So the Borderlands has run through 4 sessions in total now (the first being an introductory without much adventuring), and I've been tabulating the experience now that they've actually gone back to town. I don't know about you, but I'm found the experience gained up to this point a little low; the most gained by someone who's been there through all three adventure sessions is 311 exp. Is this normal or have I been too stingy on gold rewards...looking back they accumulated perhaps 200 gp altogether (jewellery included), with another perhaps 500 for selling stuff (mostly rare books). Looking back my one mistake up to this point seems to have not bee to roll for random treasures for the wandering monsters; the treasure placed was taken directly from the B1 module. Maybe its just me though; looking at things if it continues at this rate it could take around 20 sessions to get to second level, this seems beyond the patience threshold to me. I have a feeling I may need to offer a little larger treasure incentive, with a larger risk too of course.
For anyone who thought things have changed after thirty years, here's a little story: I pulled out a large set of multiple dice this week, to teach grade nine math students about probability, and the one student referred them them as "Nerd Dice". When asked what that meant, she told me they were used in dungeons and dragons, which of course was only played by nerds, and geeks. With wide eyes, I replied "Oh Really". Well the expression on my face must have said enough, because her look quickly turned to panic as the person next to her asked me if I played. I turned it around and asked them if it would be so bad if I did. Unfortunately almost in unison of group of them nodded yes.....sigh.....so much for the cool factor of being geek.
I love our hobby, I really do, but it saddens me that because of it we get saddled with a label that I at thirty five can handle properly, but one for which a shy, awkward fourteen or fifteen year old can feel like a social kiss of death.
PS. I'm not a fan of divulging much of my own personal life with students, but my reply to the question on whether or not I play was to ask my level six paladin.
Wow, I've waited too long to recap session 2 (in fact to be honest there's already been a session 3, but more on that later), I will be doing a lot of this from memory...so excuse me if I forget some details..I'm not an elephant you know. Again I should be doing this sooner, as its suppossed to also be for my own benefit to refer back too.....sigh....I never learn.
To begin with Stickles the thief, Dakken the Magic User, and Satara the elf all decided to head back to the Keep, leaving Dale the Killing Machine alone with the two retainers to tackle Quaqueston. Luckily he was joined at the gates by a adventuring holy warrior (i.e. cleric), by the name of Theodore. Shoring up their courage, the now much smaller party stepped through the imposing arched doorway to the dark depths below.
The group came upon many unnerving sights as they explored the fortress, starting with the grisly remains of a recent bloody clash between some ugly pig faced humanoid beings and a group of humans marked with strange blue tattooes along with a slain dwarf. The group immediately began searching the bodies only to find some coins upon the dwarf.
The group's luck improved though as they located a private reception area off of the main dining hall; where they proceeded to investigate a large statue of an unknown woman gesturing as in greeting; with some poking and prodding, the group found a compartment inside the statue hiding a beautifully wrought silver laced black mace, bearing the word Bonecrusher along the side. Needless to say Theodore was pleased beyond belief by such a find; and was eager for a chance to test the quality of his new found weapon.
This opportunity came soon enough, when they stumbled upon a large barrack holding 4 of the pig faced creatures (which Theodore had deduced were Orcs) sleeping in their cots. The group attempted to quietly sneak into the room, but the battle trained creatures were light sleepers, and awoke to find these four humans breaking into their home. As the group did battle, it was Erin the farmhand that they had hired who surprised everyone (himself included) by slaying an orc single-handed, and aiding in the killing of another. The last 2, seeing their comrades killed so quickly, and maybe the slaying skills of Erin the farmboy, soon surrendered. When questioned the two revealed that they had thought the group where either in league with the northmen (the tattooed people) or someone they referred to as the Red Wizard, also that they were waiting for what they felt would be the eventual return of their long departed master (Zelligar). Theodore not trusting the two beast men decided to truss up them and have them guide them through the building.
They were quickly lead through the building to the bedroom of the fortress' former owner, a room left untouched (more proof of the orcs continued loyalty, or at least fear of the mighty magic user). Once there it was hoped by the orcs that the dangerous poisonous spiders who had taken residence there would make quick work of the adventures. However the trapped was turned upside down when the group threw their prisoners into the on rushing spiders. The distraction worked, mostly, and the small number that continued on to attack, were easily dispatched, leaving only one of adventurer to be bitten and crippled by the strength numbing venom.
The intrepid explorers were also lucky enough to come upon Zelligar's private library, where they located his diary, penned in a secret code none of the adventurers understood. Having left the library with the diary they continued on down the deserted hallway, to find a large oaken door barring their way. No sooner did they attempted to open it, when suddenly the group was dropped plummeting down a deep shaft into a frigid pool underneath. With little time to gather themselves after the dangerous fall, the group was set upon by a group of short ugly goblinoid creatures who pelted them with arrows from across the way.
Somehow through both skill and luck, the group was somehow able to regroup and dispense with their mysterious attackers without succumbing to their surprise attack. However they were now wounded, trapped and beginning to low on resources; what would they do?
End Session 1
Editorial (keep in mind this is actually coming really late, as Session 4 wrapped up last Sunday). I was actually a little sad when we started, because only two players were able to make it. I thought for certain they'd feel too awkward to play (for one...Theo...it was actually his first time), but they still wanted to try it, and had a blast doing so. I'm kind of glad to be starting with a group of complete beginners with a very BASIC dungeon because I'm starting to realize how rough my own DMing skills are after over ten years of not playing (it may be more like 15). I also liked some of the ingenius tactics they seem to take, the attempt to use the orcs as guides..and then as food (a theme that repeats itself later....oops spoiler), I just hoped I don't stifle subconsciously try to stifle this as it creates a great challenge to my own improve skills, and gaming ability.
Still things went really well with one of the players recapping the session at work the next day.
Sorry for the lateness in my posts, but real life has gotten in the way again....new house..busy work.
PS I'm not certain if the narrative style works, but I'd thought I'd give it a shot anyways.