Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ham-Fisted as Usual

Thursday night gaming was once again a nice, clean tonic for that which ails the soul. Getting back to the gaming table is always a welcome respite to the usual drama of the real world, but this week I really needed a break.

Due to vacations (and recovery from vacations) only four of my usual players showed up, but that was plenty...especially as I've re-instituted retainers in a more useful fashion (yes, I will finally be finishing up that series of posts in the very near future).

Seeing as how I was forewarned of our short-staffing, I designed a very small site-based adventure with naught but a handful of encounters, perfectly capable of being completed in an evening.

Of course, the party hardly even made it into the building.

God love 'em. My players are great dudes, but man things go to hell with astonishing frequency for these guys. They've got more stealth dudes than fighters and yet they can't seem to sneak anywhere without leaving a mammoth footprint.

Of course, it's all in good fun and they DID survive and they DID complete their main mission objective (rescuing a fair damsel from distress). They just ended up leaving a lot of treasure (and thus, a lot of XP) sitting on the table. But what else is new?

The real question is, who should get the bonus? Stanley for his very entertaining choice of retainers ("Helmut? Helmut?")? Greg for somehow managing to survive yet another week with the same character? Matthew for his wry observations about the retainers and his character's excellent sword-work? Or Heron for his priceless facial expressions while listening to his party brainstorm?

Larry Elmore once wrote of SnarfQuest that when coming up with plots for the script, he would first consider a "normal" adventure session, and then find a way to make it happen in as ridiculous a fashion as possible. Personally, I've found most D&D adventures to become pretty ridiculous as a matter of course, with more ridiculousness occurring with smaller groups of players (group dynamics can change considerably with larger tables as players become more concerned with fitting in, doing the right thing, etc...generally "toned down").

Side Note: Old Snarf sure used to do a lot of running away in those comic strips, something I found pointless and irritating (if funny) when reading them as a kid. Now? I see this action occur a LOT more. Maybe this is what real D&D "adventuring" consisted of for adult role-players back in the Golden Days of the Old School!

Anyway, there IS a front-runner for the adventure bonus, which means that next week will see almost all of the player characters "leveling up" (even some that missed this session...they earned enough from the toad temple), which means my players are living through some exciting...if ham-fisted...times.

: )

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