I hope everyone had as great a holiday weekend as I did. This weekend was the annual Council of Five Nations – the worlds second oldest gaming convention after Gencon, so they say – held by the Schenectady Wargamers Association, and it was a blast. I ran two events and participated in another – a playtest of Adventurer, Conqueror, King run by Tavis Allison.
I’m not much for after action reports for game sessions. My eyes tend to glaze over when I try to read them and I write them even less often. But such a great weekend deserves a little tale telling.
The First game I ran was a Dragons at Dawn event recreating one of the earliest Blackmoor adventures. In 1971 Dave Wesely was home on leave from the army and joined Dave Arneson and the Boys on an expedition into the dungeons of Blackmoor. Orcs had recently driven out Baron Fant and taken over the place. Somehow they had also managed to kidnap Lotsa, daughter of the Elven king. The elves promptly surrounded the place with an army and offered 10,000 GP and marriage to Lotsa (temporarily) to any rescuer.
For players I had only one of my usual D@D crowd, but once we had all our characters rolled up and the stragglers all setteled we got off to a great start. SWA’s resident grognard (played D&D since 74) led the gang as Atroz the hedge knight and wasted little time with all the obvious passages and quickly discovered the elevators in the basement pillars.
I won’t do a step by step, but its fascinating to watch an experienced group of players make all the right moves and use the right tools to get the job done. I guessed finding Lotsa in a 20 level dungeon might be a bit challenging, but the wizard used a location spell to discover an object known to have been in Lotsa’s possession when she disappeared. A captured orc in the general area and use of a ward on a passageway to block the chasing hordes, and a tranqulize spell on a unruly Lotsa are some of the highlights. In short, mission accomplished and a great time had by all. Oh, and twas the lady wizard who won the bride….
Mention should also be made of the next game I ran. Dave Arneson’s Haunted Lighthouse using OD&D, CoZ rules. That was interesting in that I had 11 players at the table, 4 of whom were youngsters with their parents. Again, efficient play ruled the day with the group sussing out and destroying the baddie (Atroz pushed him off a ledge into the nethervoid) with only one fatality.
And to round out the Blackmoor goodness of the con, Travis, unbeknownst to me, set his ACKS playtest in Blackmoor dungeon. I might be proud to say that the humble Mage I played was one of only two characters to survive, escaping unscathed, except that was mostly due to hiding in the back and running like heck. At least I wasn’t the player who managed to get killed twice by the same monster….. Good Times.