I got a chance to run a game for some younger* friends of mine I don't see very often. Most were Pathfinder or D&D 4.0 players. I, on the other hand, had just bought the B/X D&D books at the con for a criminally low price (only five bucks per booklet!). I decided to show the kids what D&D used to be like, using a mash-up of B/X and Labyrinth Lord.
*And by younger, I mean 20-somethings.
The straight rolls gave us some wonderfully diverse characters like Incindro the Magic User with a beefy 18 STR and a fragile 4 CON.
|Character sheet also by Dyson Logos|
I decided to put the company through the first level of the ultra-nifty Dyson's Delve. It was decided that they were five independent adventuring parties that had grouped together and formed a guild called "the Doomed Knights" to explore the dungeon in search of adventure, glory, and gold.
The adventure went as well as I could have hoped. In the first encounter with a pack of giant rats, two characters were slaughtered in the first round, and two more were gnawed to death before the combat was over. A fine bloody beginning.
We kept a list of the dead on a "Scroll of the Doomed" in the middle of the game table. The players were always excited to list their fallen adventurer's name on the scroll, along with the cause of death.
|Salklerik, killed by a Halfling named Scrotum. Both PCs belonged to the same player.|
Through giant ferrets, goblins, and zombies, the PCs quickly learned the value of defensive lines, ranged attacks, and the liberal application of flaming oil. Whenever a player lost two of his characters, I let his remaining third PC advance to level 2. This created an interesting tactical decision for my players after their first character died. "Do I try and keep two first level guys alive, or do I kill this one and let this other one become 2nd level?" Sophie's Choice, man.
|I sketched out the map as they explored. That's one explored dungeon!|
We played for about five hours, and the party cleared out the entire first level. Everyone had a blast. The 4th Ed players were stunned by how fast combat went. Eight-or-so fights (with a ton of characters, no less!) in one session, as compared to maybe one or two. A friendly grognard at a nearby table told me afterwards how much he enjoyed hear people play old-style D&D again. He also remarked on how much fun it sounded like my players were having. That, I think, is the greatest compliment.