Monday, February 2, 2009

OD&D Solo Game with my wife - Day 6 concluded


We managed to get in some solo game time last night, thanks to our babysitter situation going downhill, keeping us at home. Neither one of us was particularly interested in the Super Bowl, so we dungeon delved instead.

I have been moving away from microlite74 to Swords & Wizardry Core rules gradually and last night, we converted my wife's character over fully. If I wanted to houserule microlite20/74, it would end up looking a lot like S&W, so I just went there. I will continue to run microlite20/74 as well.

Last night was the encounter with "the big monster" - a gelatinous cube. (or as my wife referred to it, "the big moving jello") Upon hearing strange liquid sliding noises, then catching a glimpse of the cube, my wife maneuvered her team into a room and choked the cube into the doorway. I was thrilled that she was using awesome tactics!

Thinking this was going to be an epic battle, I won initiative and the cube attacked, but missed. What occurred next is so typical in true RPG fashion, my wife rolled a natural 20 on her first attack against the BBM and I ruled that she hit twice instead of once. Naturally, she rolled high damage, so if you imagine a fairly good looking woman going "beserk" over a 10x10 cube of jello, you have the correct picture. Two hits by the hirelings and the cube is toast.

So in one round, a 4 HD cube is now a pile of melting goo and the party is high fiving each other. I could only shake my head and laugh. Searching around the goo for the loot took a couple of turns and my wandering monster dice showed a skull, which meant 6 Giant Rats decided to see what the hubub was about about. Thus began the LONG eight round standoff between rats and party members. As hirelings took damage, my wife again surprised me ... by retreating in good order. She was tired of wasting time and resources (hp) on the worthless rats. I was thrilled with that decision.

I also introduced her to the concept of hirelings vs. henchmen as two former hirelings pledged their loyalty to her in a drunken stupor... although they meant it. Now she has mouths to feed and take care of, but she seems very pleased by that. She also got to see hireling panic as the little torch bearer (the guy behind everyone else in the miniature assembly in the picture) ran off in a panic when the cube attacked. At least he dropped the torch when he fled... fighting cubes in pitch black would be bad...

I play-tested a 1-2hp "bind wounds" houserule last night. I'm not convinced by it, it almost felt 4e-ish with healing surges, but I think if I make it soak up a turn per hp recovered (up to two), that might make it a bit more dicey and time-consuming. We'll see.

The picture is of my lovely Princess Bride, with her retinue in marching order in front of her. That smile persisted the entire night as she rocked and rolled through the session.

17 comments:

greywulf said...

Excellent! :D

Jarl Frå Oslo said...

Ugh, my weak reflex - cool layout, more "epic" :) Women in berserk are dangerous for dungeon ecology, that's true. :)

Chgowiz said...

Jarl - there should be lots more berserk women in dungeons. We'd never get up from the table. :)

Bonemaster said...

Sounds like it was a lot of fun. I may need to get my wife more up to speed. Maybe I should start doing a bit more solo adventures.

Christian said...

Oh man that sounds like such a great time! :)

Spike Page said...

We've been using a bind-wounds rule here for a few weeks now. House rules are that the binding must take place immediately after each encounter, they take a whole turn, and cannot heal more damage than was sustained in the immediately previous combat. We use a d4. This makes up for the serious lack of healing potions and spells in Garish's dungeons.

As for fighting the Jello, great work on your wife and her party's behalf!

What she really needs to beware of is the green gelatinous cube with bits of fruit cocktail in. They generally only haunt gradeschool cafeterias, but have been known to diversify.

Chgowiz said...

That's what I did, except it was 1d2, took place after the Wandering Monster rat encounter, involved some time spent in the binding and applied only to damage taken at that point (the party had gone through a previous rat encounter, and the cube encounter, without any damage.)

It still felt... wierd? Dunno. I'll see if it throws things off. They do have healing magics available, once they get into town. I think it's magnified to me right now because at 1st - 3rd level, 1 to 2 hitpoints can mean the difference between life and death.

Chgowiz said...

Thank you all for the nice comments. We're going to try and sneak in more play tonight once the granddaughter goes to bed.

Matthew James Stanham said...

I usually allow the recovery of 1 hit point per turn (10 minutes) to a maximum of the number of hits taken. So if a character took 5 damage from an orc and 2 damage from a goblin, they could recover 2 hit points over the course of two turns spent resting and tending their wounds.

Brunomac said...

Good show! I haven't done solo games, especially for wimmen-flesh, in many many moons.

Great way to flesh out the setting for group games too.

Chgowiz said...

@Matthew - that might work as well, and the recovery is limited to only the most previous combat. I might be convinced, but it still just smacks of "healing surges" and those just left a bad taste in my mouth.

@Bruno - the campaign that my wife is in is separate from the Dark Ages. Although I am considering it as a longer term thing if I can get more people interested in playing S/W locally.

Tony Reyes said...

That's amazing! It's cool to have a lady who likes to rpg evey once in a while.

Christopher B said...

Big bad monsters fall way too easily, while vermin hold the party at bay for an inordinate amount of time. Isn't that always the way it works? Congrats to your wife for her victory - and for once again reminding us that there is no DM plan that a determined player (and her dice) can't completely screw up. :P

On a side note, I'm surprised you got away with the "fairly good looking" comment. I know if I had written that about my fiancee on my blog, I'd have gotten: "What do you mean fairly??" LOL

Chgowiz said...

@Christopher - sometimes the dice roll against the players, sometimes they roll with the players.

And now on my third marriage, I've learned the most excellent response of: "Hon, that was your CHARACTER with a CHA of 12 I was talking about, not YOU..."

Sometimes it works...

jamused said...

My house variation of the binding wounds thing is that in addition to the restrictions people have mentioned about fresh wounds etc, it only applies to the first hit die. That is, you can't invoke it until you have less than 1 HD worth of points left, and no matter how good your roll it doesn't go over that 1 HD. It probably doesn't make a difference at your wife's character's level, but I think it makes it very distinct from the whole healing surges thing.

Chgowiz said...

@jamused - that just might work. I'll keep fiddling with this until I feel right about it.

jamused said...

If you're interested I have a post on hit points in D&D and how I see that particular house rule on binding wounds fitting in with how hit-points operate.