I know it has been quite some time since I have made an update to the blog. In all honesty there has not been a whole lot for me to report on. My new job while amazing has kept me very busy and I have only gotten 1 gaming session in since the start of the new year. Thankfully things are starting to wind down to a more manageable state and the ol burning desire to roll dice is beginning to kick in once more.
I have decided to expand out the world of Aeril a bit more and did a bit of random hex generation thanks to Martin Rayla's Hexamancer which you can find Here. I sprinkled in some old school 1st level adventure goodness throughout my 4 map continent including the village of hommlet, the keep on the borderlands, saltmarsh, and a few others. I am looking to do more of a hex crawl with this group and so many areas of the map have room to grow into bigger things. Currently there is no major cities or kingdoms designed out but those will come as they are designed and or needed.
The new group is about as green as it gets but also bright eyed and bushy tailed as they come. My brother in law is a veteran of table top role playing and even runs an iron kingdoms game that I may be joining in the near future and rolled up a duelist who believes every one is responsible for their own fortune in life. A co worker of my wife's found out I DM'ed and had always wanted to play in a real D&D campaign and so him and his girlfriend signed on to play. Neither has really ever played in a real sit down D&D campaign before but were very excited to play. I informed them from the get go that I aim to give a fun experience but I run in the old school tradition, so do not get too attached to their characters, bad things happen whether any of us want them to happen or not. They understood and rolled up an assassin and a druid. I hinted heavily they may want to consider hiring on some additional help if there is a role in the group they feel they may be lacking in(ex: healing/magical support/extra fighting power) which they promptly forgot about later in the session.
Before the game began i gave them an option of what kind of local they wanted to start in; plains, mountains, or heavy forest. They voted for heavy forest and found themselves heading to Hommlet. Once there they went straight for the tavern to find a place to stay for a few days and maybe find some work. The assassin and druid ordered drinks and the duelist not having any money but still hungry sees a village militia man eating a steak. With out warning he goes up to the militia man and demands a duel for his steak. Obvoisly he is very confused by this odd stranger making an absurd demand and ingores him, right up until the duelist calls him a coward and unworthy of defending this village (at his point i rolled a hostile attitude for his reaction) and he accepts the fight to first blood outside the tavern. They step outside and unsheath their blades and the militia man side steps the duelist and delivers a cracking blow to the back of his skull with the pommel of his blade knocking him to 0 hp and out cold (it was a max damage hit) before getting a round of pats on the back by the other militia men and returning to his dinner. The inn keeper tells them where they find the local church to see if they can convince them to possibly help out their foolish friend.
The group throws him on the back of the druids horse and take him over to the church and discuss healing of their friend. They work out a deal that he will do so in exchange they check out the old moat house not terribly far from the village as there has been rumours of stirrings of vile creatures not seen in many years out there. The village cannot support a expedition at this time so if they will check it out it would be a great service to the village and they are welcome to take any spoils they find. The group agrees, the clerics heal the duelist and in the morning they head out to the moat house.
It is at this point that forgetting they are new I should have possibly done more to give them some additional pointers in maybe asking around town a bit more, or possibly seeing if there was any one in town who might want to come along that could provide some assistance instead of letting los tres amigos walk in by themselves however from the very git go i told them running away from anything that looks too dangerous is a extremely valid and perfectly acceptable answer to many situations they may face. If you feel you are outgunned, then fall back. With that they headed to the moat house.
The trip there was uneventful and seeing the marsh next to the moat they opted to leave well enough alone (avoiding at this time the killer giant frogs) and headed for the old draw bridge. They rightly took one look at the old draw bridge and figured it was safer to cross with out their horses/mules and left them tied out a little ways away from the place and go in on foot. They cross inside and find the place a ruins. The assassin decides seeing the many doors this place has to just start kicking them in and making as much noise as possible(i dont know why) the first door leading to just an empty room. The druid opens one of the others on the other side and is greeted by the swinging battle axe of a gnoll, just barely missed getting sliced in half. She backs up telling it they mean them no harm as the duelist moves in to engage and the assassin lets loose an arrow that misses. At this point the rest of the gnolls including a large darker haired leader step out and rolling a helpful reaction decides that they are outnumbered 3 to 1 that he will spare these gnats in exchange for them to leave all their wordly possessions and leave while he is in a good mood. The duelist is not having this and the rest of the group is not keen of leaving everything they got with no guarantee their lives will actually be spared. He steps right up to the leader and demands a one on one fight, if he wins they leave with their lives and their gear. At this point i figured what the hell let him have his duel and so the leader accepts and the rest of the gnolls surround them. The fight was mostly them dodging each others blows and only giving minor cuts to each other. The gnoll then loses his grip on his weapon(crit fumble) and the duelist gets 2 free shots at him which he sadly flubbed, just before the gnoll roared with anger and brought his axe down into the duelists skull killing him instantly (crit hit for 2x damage), rolling another reaction and surprisingly enough getting another helpful reaction the leader made himself distinctively clear, leave all of your possessions including your clothes and now dead comrade and leave now before he and the rest of his pack rend them to pieces. They was not happy but they did as they was told leaving everything that wasnt on their pack animals behind and left.
They found some tarp and a few daggers on their dead friends mule making some makeshift panchos to atleast cover themselves with as they ride back to the village. Despite the setbacks they had a bit of fun and are looking forward to our next game. A few npc characters will introduce themselves after hearing about their mis-adventure at the moat house and offer some advice and possibly some assistance. I let them know that they do not have to stay in the village they are welcome to travel wherever they like but I have a feeling there will be some revenge on their mind and a helpful new stranger may be willing to assist them with that.