Sunday, February 15, 2009

OD&D Solo Game with my wife - 7th day

Continuing the adventures of Aeli (my wife) and company in the tunnels below the Westport Keep, we gathered again around the tabletop and went rat hunting. My step daughter decided to join us again. I'm constantly impressed at how easy it is to get people rolling with the old school rules. 15 minutes of chargen and "Mystaria" was created, an Elven Adventurer sent by her house to human lands for some seasoning. I had her write up three words that described her: "mysterious", "funny" and "pretty". I wanted to try this as an experiment to see if that helps people flesh out their character for first time play.

Last night was a bit more book thumbing than I like. The party encountered a wererat who ended up attacking the party and giving one of Aeli's henchmen the disease. I had to thumb through S&W to look up if lyncanthropy could be cured by Cure Disease alone. Nothing written in stone, so I ruled that it takes a Remove Curse as well as a Cure Disease. The party was forced to sacrifice an extremely valuable piece of jewelry to cure this henchmen. Aeli's loyalty and caring of her followers endears them to her in many ways.

They also ran into a rat swarm which ended up with Aeli getting accidentally hit with a molotov oil flash My stepdaughter tossed it from the center of the party, she missed the "to hit" so I gave her a 3 in 6 chance of accidentally hitting someone. She did... and hit my wife. That was umm... a semi-tense moment.

A sad moment happened in the game, the comic-relief cowardly torch bearer died a horrible lonely death. When the rat swarm poured over the front line like a carpet of vermin, he broke and ran. In the ensuing combat and then the wererat attack, Nodwig was quite forgotten. The party fled the dungeon after the wererat attack, looking for healing and recovery. Nodwig was forgotten. So I gave him a 4 in 6 chance of surviving.. and he didn't. He tried to retrace his steps and found himself in the slavering jaws of monstrous rats. Aeli was quite upset and slaughtered the rats in vengeance. Poor Nodwig will be remembered...

They survived and my wife has managed to make it to third level! She's attracted some attention now from the local power-brokers and her future should be very interesting. I'm really proud of her, as she is starting to show the seasoning of sessions of play. She still doesn't use the 10' pole though...

This game was challenging in some ways. We had some encounters where I had to spend a minute or two looking things up. I also had to make some on-the-spot rulings of how things would work, but it all worked out pretty well. Aeli continues to grow as a character and my wife continues to excel at learning the art of surviving.

Aeli wreaks her revenge on the last monstrous rat that ate Nodwig.

My setup prior to the game. I have homebrew DM charts for Swords/Wizardry, and I also have homebrew OSRIC DM charts. This screen is working out well. And I can't wait to have a S/W hardbound when printing 2 is released... that'll look nice! (Here's hoping for a hardback release...)


Randolph said...


Congrats on getting the Wife & Kid involved! Fortune smiled upon me when my wife and me were dating. She saw my humble (no longer) collection of D&D stuff and asked what it was. AFter clumsily explaining the game concept here response was "when can we play?" 16 years later and we are still at it. Soon the 10 year old Son will have enough attention span to participate and the 7 month old will have a lifetime of fun awaiting ;-)

christian said...

That's so great that she looks after her henchmen instead of using them as bait.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Randolph - that's great! Your kids are going to remember playing together for a long time.

@Christian - the group I gamed with yesterday were talking about that. I can't say all guys, but anecdotally, women seem to care more about the henchmen/hirelings than the guys do. That's been my observation at my table.

Perfect example yesterday, the Dark Ages group hired on two henchmen. One became a javelin pin cushion, the other became a human torch. They left the bodies there and even were discussing how to explain it off.

Contrast that to my wife's game where the widow came to her and complained she had left the bodies there - this was after her first dungeon dive. She felt guilty, got the body, paid for the funeral and since then has treated her henchmen as minions to nurture and develop... into loyal minions. Heh.

Zachary Houghton said...

Very cool! Love getting the family involved in gaming...good times together.

If I may, if you're experimenting with fleshing out characters with 3 descriptors, you may want to check out my Page of 3. Don't know if that'll help or not:

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Zach, thanks for sharing that - that may become part of my chargen routine. I was also curious about the Burning Wheel link, I had a read of the basic rules.

Anonymous said...

Well, Burning Wheel is a game with a lot of sub-systems, so to speak. One of the things it provides are Beliefs and Instincts, which sort of govern and can come into play (for example ‘I draw steel whenever I see Ratlings” might be an instinct, whereas a good belief may be “The Temple needs reformed, even if I have to go against all we hold sacred”. In BW, it gets a little more involved then that, but I like the basic concept to help folks flesh out characters and give them an idea of some behaviors/mannerisms without a two-page character background.

Anyhow, if you do use it, please let me know how it goes over!

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Interesting. Have you played games with Burning Wheel? Are these subsystems portable to other systems or dependent on each other?

I will indeed share how this goes!

Anonymous said...

The Burning Wheel subsystems are fairly tightly coupled with the rest of the rules. Combat and social interactions both are treated by all sides first scripting actions and then seeing what happens by cross-referencing things.

I find orc lifepaths and death art previews to be very inspiring. Link:

If you are interested in the game itself, read fire in the garden, the intro to character generation book, at the same link. It provides some philosophy.

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

@Thanuir - I've looked at the basic chargen intro that's available on the site - and now just the orc stuff. Wow, that's pretty intense writing for orcs. I like it. Just from reading the orc PDF, the system sounds complicated. I'll have to look into it more. Thanks for the link!