Big thanks to everyone who chimed in on the post offering advice for Dane. By the way I'm totally taking credit for his decision to try Points of Light, as I pitched it to him last night as a great place to set a game. Is Points of Light 2 out yet? I stumbled across this page a couple days ago and immediately sent the URL to my friendly local game merchant so he could order me a copy.
So last night magic-user Reginald Featherweight, his gnomish henchman Johan Waywocket, thief Sylvia Corvine, cleric Deric Holyborn and hireling Abrog the Drunkard continue with more Blackmoorian hijinx. The group has become obsessed with those giant magical berries that can be found in the vicinity of Blackmoor, buying several and experimenting on rats with them to learn their effects. They're pretty sure one particular color of maxiberry grants giant strength and another gives control over giants. At least that's what they think. And thanks to currying favor with one of the elves that runs the renfaire/carnival outside Castle Blackmoor, they even got some direct from the delivery elf, neatly cicumventing the berry merchant's sizeable markup.
A chunk of the session was spent debating the merits of maxiberry use, possible preperation techniques, experimental procedures, etc. And and a fair amount of time was spent on discussing the berries with the berry merchant, their elf contact, his cousin the berry salesman and the local alchemist. So this was probably the least hacky and most talky session so far. But we did see some dungeon action.
The first encounter of the night involved the party stumbling into a lair of several dozen goblins. Our heroes opted to run away from such overwhelming numbers and Reginald's timely use of a hold portal scroll played out well in their favor. Later when the goblins got out of their lair something dark and terrible killed several of them. Something that apparently uses the dungeon rats as eyes and ears. Now Deric Holyborn responds to rats with flaming oil.
The best part of the night was the wandering wraith. The players weren't sure exactly what they encountered, but it wore a dark hooded robe from the sleeves of which protuded white skeletal claws. And it's face was nothing more than two shining red beams of hate where its eyes should be. Deric immediately turned the thing and it fled down one of the zillion spiral staircases to level 2. But here's the cool part: earlier they had found the janitor's broom closet, so they went back and got a bucket. They poured three vials of holy water into the bucket and placed it on top of the doorway, just like the old practical joke! I liked this plan so much I decided it would automatically work. A few turns later they heard an unearthly shriek. The party returned to the location of their booby trap to find nothing remained of the wraith but his obiwan robe. Which Abrog later sold for a couple cheap drinks.