So far so good, though I'd say the jury is still out.
Tonight, I was more interested in some of the other areas of the game....for example, negotiation, offspring, and play-testing some of the new character classes from the new book. Up today? A redux of the archer, the new-and-improved barbarian, and the summoner spell-caster (specialty: necromancy)...all of which worked just fine and dandy.
We had a total of six players tonight for the Keep on the Borderlands, four of whom needed to make new characters (only two of last week's three survivors were in session). The "standard" classes included a fighter, a magic-user, and a thief, so there were plenty of chances to exercise the "auto-skill roll" thing.
Perhaps surprisingly, the players did NOT "go crazy" with it. They hired two more "meat shields" (both of whom would die in the first combat encounter), but while the thief did flex his "thief muscles" he did so no more than usual (he climbed a wall without rolling and maybe checked for traps once). There were no locks to pick. I did make folks roll for listening checks, including the thief, but with a 1 in 3 chance I don't remember anyone ever missing that roll.
The reason why I say the jury's still out is that they weren't really scouting "virgin territory." There were back in the goblin (and ogre) caves, or they were in the outdoors (lizard man mounds and giant spiders oh my!) where lock picking and trap searching didn't really seem appropriate. We'll have to wait to see what happens the next time they're in a new labyrinth of exploration. I will keep you all posted, but the early results look promising.
[and I'm not just saying that for my own ego...I've play-tested lots of rules that later had to be chucked out the window. So far, this one's looking good, but I'm not quite ready to call it]
Only one character (besides the hirelings) died tonight...a new fighter (played by Dave, he who ruined everything) got hammered to death by the goblin chieftain while engaged in melee combat. The party otherwise made out like bandits, hauling in plenty of loot, reclaiming their dead companions' gear (the archer managed to find the remains of his dead son who fell in last week's final confrontation), and making friends with the "especially evil" tribe of lizardmen (whoops! missed that descriptive quote earlier!).
Not bad at all. The venue was good tonight (the karaoke mercifully suspended for the evening) and everyone seemed to have a great time. I know I did. I'll calculate experience tomorrow...right now I'm going to bed. *yawn*