Sunday, April 7, 2013

Brief notes: actual play in Stonehell

Some short thoughts on running Stonehell last night.

1. Two encounters with giant rats were neatly avoided by the PCs distracting them with food. I enjoyed that aspect, particularly because actually running that many giant rats in combat would've been either a TPK or a slog.

2. By pure coincidence, in my Holmes game I had run an encounter with a dwarven archaeologist mapping the dungeon, and since the PCs ran into Snorri Broadshoulders I wound up running another in Stonehell. It was also a nice opportunity to give some of the dungeon's history and an impression of it.

3. Stonehell's vision of kobolds is pretty compatible with mine: instead of being little guerrilla warriors, they're the dungeon's janitors. This meant that the first four encounters were non-combat, which was promptly fixed with encounter #5.

4. I love that the orcs in room 16 of level 1A got to ring a gong for backup. Built up a nice sense of dread, because the party had almost won when the orcish reinforcements came. One orc got away, which is always good for potential.

5. A player wound up playing a monk and noted that their powers were fairly imbalanced in S&W Complete. The orc captain in room 14 of level 1A had a philosophical disagreement with this, and used his battle axe to demonstrate that the monk's low hit points balance things out. The party now has a druid.

Overall, I enjoyed how Swords & Wizardry Complete ran, and I thought Stonehell offered some nice encounters. Only the monk died. Stonehell overall is a bit stingy with treasure and I may fix that a little bit as time goes on.

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