I ran the 39th installment of my quarterly old school tabletop rpg convention yesterday. It was absolutely lovely. Without question the most fun I’ve had on the con this year.
For this one I had taken the time to properly prepare a dungeon of the type I typically like. A mix of puzzles, a lot of danger which is avoidable, a fun magic item or two, and some gonzo elements.
As you may guess from the title there’s also a fair bit of humour involved.
I’m hoping to do a little write-up about the dungeon and the process of writing it, but for now I just want to share my joy over how well the two sessions played out.
In the first session I had six players, four of whom had never played a tabletop rpg before. Four of the players (one veteran included) were children aged 12. Everyone had a whole lot of fun, even though they all died in the end. There was a little infighting about who should have the magic sword they found, but no casualties there. The dungeon also has a timecycle where half the time is a lot more dangerous than the other half. They quickly figured this out, as well as how to manipulate the cycle to keep away from the dangerous darkness.
And then they ignored that completely and were wiped out when the cycle reached the dangerous time…
The other session had five players, including a parent with two children aged 11 and 12. They were experienced players but were new to the con and the play style.
This is very much the kind of gaming where anything fun goes. For lack of imagination when it came to picking names we had Bob the fighter and his halfling son Bob Jr. The Bobsons were the only casualties for this group and one of them was replaced by Bob’s wife/Bob Jr’s mother, the halfling Bobelina, who sought and exacted revenge for her loss.
This group was more coordinated and fairly methodical in its approach. They kept track of the time and reset the dungeon time cycle regularly. They didn’t run blind into anything. They even handled the Giga Kitten extremely well.
Oh, and they found and looted the bodies of the first group…
-- CC0 Björn Wärmedal