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Just ran SW at FLGS ...

Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:19 pm

Our FLGS here in Dover, Ohio is probably no different than a lot of FLGS. There's an overwhelming presence of Magic the Gathering and a splash of D&D5th. Last week, my gaming group unanimously decided to play at the store, for several reasons - some out of a lack of old school representation, others to attracting new players. We played last night and were surprised at the amount of interest our gaming attracted. We have a new player, and possibly several more to join us in the continuation of our descent into the Barrowmaze.

SW proved easier for brand new players to grasp and before long, they were playing like old hands.


Re: Just ran SW at FLGS ...

Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:33 pm

Very nice! What flavor of S&W did you play? I'd love to hear more details from the session if you have the time.

Re: Just ran SW at FLGS ...

Sat Mar 26, 2016 9:24 pm

My Flavor ... Swords & Wizardry - Northwind

I decided to interpret the popular megadungeon, Barrowmaze Complete, as the scenario/campaign of choice. There were three players that braved the Desolate Swamp to get to the infamous dungeon.

The Dwarf Tunnel-Fighter had bought a pony to ride and carry supplies, while the stealthy Shinobi elected to run. On the way, the Shinobi, Kurayoshi, fell behind the Dwarf, Theogeon's, pony and nearly became lost. Kurayoshi discovered a camp of goblins not far from Theogeon's campsite - where he was cooking a hearty meal of bacon as he waited for the Ninja to catch up. The scent of bacon carried into the goblin camp and four went off to investigate. Kurayoshi followed them in secret, thinking their sense of smell was keener than his and they'd lead him straight to his Dwarven companion.

But the Shinobi got flashy and tried to pass the goblins to better prepare the unsuspecting dwarf for the encounter, which is when fierce goblin eyes spotted the crafty Easterner. A running melee was engaged as the Shinobi desperately tried to defensively get away and alert his comrade to the approaching danger. Kurayoshi ran into the campground and scurried in the marshy ground to a tree to conceal himself as Theogeon did the same. The goblins were fooled by the tactics, split up and further engaged our two heroes.

Melee was quick and four goblins met their end in the gloom of the Desolate Swamp. Theogeon sought to move the camp further into the marshland, so as not to attract a goblin search party's attention. This is where they met the Mage-Thief, The Sorcerer, Seleukos, who also sought wealth in the Barrowmaze. After applying bandages to their wounds, they settled down for a night's rest.

The night was uneventful, and the rosy fingers of dawn woke them to a fog covered ground. They knew the Burial Mounds were to the North, and judged by the rising sun which way to travel. In a matter of hours they came across the first Burial Mound, which had apparently already have been plundered, as the stone seal had been shattered leaving a somewhat man-sized crevasse that lead straight into musty darkness. The party entered the ancient tomb, and proceeded down a roughly hewed set of stairs that snaked downward into the earth.

The Dwarf's keen eyes mapped out a rough hallway that had east and west passages every ten feet down 60 plus feet, but his mapping came abruptly to a halt when peering down the first intersection, he came face to face with a great beastly humanoid. The green creatures screamed a warning to Theogeon as it rose to its full height, some seven or eight feet tall. Its ferocious claws wracked the diminutive Fighting Man as he desperately tried to fend the beast off. The Shinobi grabbed a torch, recognizing the foul creature as a Troll and began using the torch as a weapon to sear the beast's wounds. The Sorcerer, Seleukos, worked his art to hide in the arcane arms of an invisibility spell.

As the Shinobi and The Tunnel-Fighter fought a defensive withdraw from the hallway and back up the stairs, the Sorcerer, Seleukos, took advantage of his magical stealthiness and began searching the hallway complex for signs of treasure ...instead, in the next hallway north of their location, he discovered the Troll's much bigger sibling waiting in ambush. The mage-thief attempted to move silently away from the beast, still masked by his invisibility spell. The Troll started sniffing the air and moving in his direction, not quite understanding the new scent in his dungeon home. Thinking quickly, the Sorcerer, Seleukos, emptied a bit of wine from his wineskin on the floor of the dark dungeon and scurried up against the wall opposite of his lure. The troll stopped to taste the wine, still not sure what to make of it. A trollish scream was heard on the stairwell as a hard fought fight was won by Kurayoshi and Theogeon . The other troll took the scream to be not one of defeat, but one of delight, and continued to lap wine off of the floor. Seleukos manage to quietly slip past the beast, considered discretion the better part of valor, and hurried to rejoin his comrades ...

We meet again in two weeks to continue ... :)

Last edited by JMiskimen on Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Just ran SW at FLGS ...

Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:36 pm

That sounds like fun. I know from experience that Barrowmaze is quite deadly. I played maybe 10 sessions of it using the LL rules and went through 2 PCs and almost lost a 3rd to the some exploding runes. In the great tradition of old-school dungeons, there is little game balance. You can have giant rats in one room, and shadows in the next, so you have to learn to run.

Re: Just ran SW at FLGS ...

Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:46 pm

That's what I love about 'old school' ... without risk there can be no treasure. That and it has a sort of realism in its lack of balance. If I go into the woods, I might run into a kitten that I can deal with, or I might run into a bear, which I cannot deal with. My only option is to RUN. The idea of balance like we see in more modern rpgs just leaves me flat, because I know there is no real sense of danger. Believe me when I say, my PCs above were fully convinced of danger in their encounter with the trolls - and I had all PCs start at 3rd level (no XP.) They came away telling me it was a great game - in a large part, I think, because it challenged them to the point they nearly died, but they still made it through with wits and steel, so to speak.
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