Whoa, what a day yesterday! I found out some freaky personal news less than an hour before running Daniel J. Bishop’s The Arwich Grinder at the Brooklyn Strategist for the DCC NYC Meetup group. (Super short version is I found out someone is posing as me online with the expressed intent of defaming me. Very weird and scary stuff…) Although it was very upsetting, and it still is as I work it out, it was awesome that I was forced to set it aside for four hours and do what makes me happiest… GAME!
And game we did!
The mob of Arwich villagers marched over to the Curwen family farm and discovered they had neglected to bring what any good mob of angry villager needs – torches! So once they found the dungeon, they had no way to see in it, except for the four halflings.
So these four halflings braved the dungeon on their own and scouted ahead. (I was like, YES!, if you want to split the party you have my full support!). Soon two of the four halflings were dead, the other two retreated back above ground and thus their presence was announced to everyone down below before anyone else had even had a chance to go down (!).
They bravely faced many heroic challenges: like killing hungry wolves distracted by food, killing a terrified pig running past them, killing an old man with one leg who had fallen on the ground, killing a deformed giant man wordlessly begging for mercy, and killing a naked mentally ill woman screaming about her baby. Nope, this isn’t Pathfinder! We didn’t have no Tiefling Shadowdancers engaging in political intrigue with Air Genasi. Instead we had frightened villagers reading blasphemous tomes by candlelight, lowering themselves down wells in bloody buckets, and exploring shacks filled with the bits and pieces of human and pork floating in barrels.
They spent almost the whole session above ground in the house and by the time they managed to actually penetrate the dungeon, there was only 20 minutes left. Usually I’m good at editing content and keeping folks on track so that we can finish the story in the four hour slot, but I was more distracted than usual (see first paragraph) so the last five minutes of the game was spent with me very quickly wrapping up the story. (The store closes at 8pm so we have a hard out time.)
Given the circumstances, it wasn’t my best performance as a judge, but I have no regrets! The adventure is scary, sick, and horrific. The players had a ton of fun. And I did too. As a bonus, we now have some rad zero-level characters leveling up. I call that a success all around.
Our next DCC NYC Meetup group game is Claytonian’s Wizardarium of Calabraxis on Sun Mar 12 (https://www.meetup.com/DCCNYC/events/237571600/). I’m also running that at Gary Con on Fri Mar 24 at 10am. There aren’t any seats for that left, but there are still seats available for Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells: Beneath the Comet on Sat Mar 25 at noon. It’s the first Con Game of Diogo Nogueira’s Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells gaming system and I’ll be using the amazing module by Jeff Talanian for AS&SH. Hope to see you at the table!