Thursday, November 13, 2008

Of diseased dwarves

So last night I ran an OD&D demo at my friendly local game store. I had four players and only one of them (my buddy Dave, one of the owners) had played the original version of D&D. One of the players was a young feller who started with 3.5 and he came to the store specifically because he saw OD&D on the schedule. Outta sight!

Each player made three PCs with one of my OD&D triple character sheets that I've used a few times over the years. (Did the fonts look okay on that charsheet? I'm using new softwares and I'm not sure I did it right.) There was some talk of running all twelve PCs at once, but the players decided to run one at a time and just use the other guys as replacements. Everybody but the enigmatically nicknamed Squirrel lost at least one character.

I brought with me several adventures to choose from and the players handed me the inspiration for picking which one we'd play. Three of the four starting PCs were dwarves with extraordinarily puny Constitution scores and abysmal hit points. When someone cracked wise about the "dwarfplague" going around I decided on the spot that the PCs would be searching for a cure to this ailment. Jamie Mal's "Ruined Monastery", from issue #1 of Fight On!, struck me as the perfect place to hide a cure for the dwarfplague.

Everyone had a rollicking good time fighting rats and goblins and such. And one of the new monsters was a big hit when I described it as "like a wolf in weiner dog form". I had to kick myself for leaving my DMG at home because Squirrel's dwarf drank a potion while already under the influence of a potion of heroism. My first chance in years to use the potion miscibility chart and I didn't have it handy! I did have my Arduin Grimoire handy, so we were able to enjoy a good pratfall fumble and also Dave's hobbit totally wrecked the master villain with arrow through his wrist. Ouch!

So that's two successful old school demo runs in a row. I'm starting to think there's plenty of audience for the kind of game I want to run. This could become a regular gig for me.


  1. Great work! The more the merrier.

  2. Kevin9:29 PM

    Sweet. Or maybe groovy considering.
    I remember many a great adventures i.e. dungeon crawl with OD&D. I haven't been able to 4.0 yet, but it seems there you do, that you could do. It seems all versions have their pros and cons.
    I like the way you worked a meta game thing, low con and HP, into the game. I wish I had DM, like you, around so I could play a PC. I'm the DM be default. Most of the players are new.
    I wish you epic sessions that will legends in your next campaigns.

  3. Great work, Jeff. I firmly believe the audience is definitely out there for old school gaming demos. Its one of the reasons I'd love to get an old school gaming booth going at Gen Con this year, to show off the product, offer demos, and get a new audience in.

  4. This could become a regular gig for me.

    Hopefully your gig will include some stops out east! Seriously awesome stuff, Jeff.

  5. Weird. It displays just fine on my computer, but when I print out a copy, it just a bunch of gibberish. Huh.

    Awesome sheet though!

  6. Good stuff, love the way you worked the randomness into the game plot :-)

  7. You should move to Albany, NY and run games here. Not because there's a big old school fanbase out here, but because I'm here and I want to bash through more dungeons, dammit! :)

    Seriously, it sounds like that was a wickedly fun romp. Great stuff.

  8. Sounds like a night or two in the cool spirit of the D&D I loved. Looking forward to further tales from the dieing table.