Tuesday, 21 June 2016
D&D 5E is amazing, to be frank. So much Old School, but with a subtle touch of modernity that is more than just "welcome."
With 5E's release I somehow convinced two 40-something neighbors—both with some 0E/1E experience in high school/college—to play. I started with the Pathfinder module Hollow's Last Hope (D0) from Paizo. The two players, an Elf Rogue and a Dwarf Fighter, cleared the old Dwarf monastery and left Falcon's Hollow, after making some shady friends.
They were soon hired by Spugnois, an ambitious wizard, in Hommlet. Spugnois was interested in exploring an old moathouse rumored to be the home of warlock defeated in the fight to end the Temple of Elemental Evil influence in the area years prior.
The short story is they soon found themselves in the moathouse's old dungeons and face-to-face with a wizard that almost killed them both. In a battle of attrition, Spugnois and party decapitated Lareth and looted the body and his cache.
Nearly two months in real time passed before we could meet again.
I opened with Spugnois being found dead "several days ago," floating face down in the creek that crosses the main road at the "flooding ford." Rufus, of Rufus and Burne, immediately was sent to ask questions of Spugnois' "friends" that have been spending freely in town. The ornate staff (of striking) with vaguely evil carvings on it was the only thing missing. Rufus wanted to know where Spugnois got the staff. In the moathouse, along with other things not missing the heroes offered. They collected the rest of Spugnois possessions.
The heroes soon found themselves being watched by Gremag, that rude trader friend of Davl's at the trading post. After confronting the assassin in Inn of the Welcome Wench, they followed him back to the Trading Post, but snuck first into the stables. They found the "Man at Arms" and "Groom" tending the livery. After a bribe that started with the Man at Arms asking for his price suddenly doubled to cover the Groom, a quiet, young man of 18 summers or so, the heroes decided force was necessary.
The elf took the Man at Arms to his last breath, but not before taking a near mortal stab himself. The dwarf finished the Man at Arms with an axe blow, as the Elf tackled the Groom as he ran to warn Davl and Gremag. A bribe and slap from the flat side of a longsword sent the Groom to the north.
The heroes stood in the shadows of the stables looking at the trading post and planning their next move against the assassin Gremag and thieving trading post owner Davl, both agents of the TOEE.
Such a good game. And both players just left saying: "Best game ever!" Naturally, I'm riding a GM high.