It was a full house, with at least nine participants in the game, and another half dozen friends and family doing all they could to interrupt and disturb us role-players. Luckily i have a loud voice and a commanding presence. i like parties and crowds at my house, and don’t mind large playing groups which is odd since i am pretty introverted by nature. Being a dm draws out the performer in me, and I feel exhilarated when trying to hold a room’s full of attention. At these times, besides funny voices and gesticulations, I have even been known to dance.
That said, there is a great benefit to a smaller, more concentrated gaming experience. More people to please means less time to spend on the details, and the game sessions can seem rushed, rail-roaded, or incomprehensible. I am blessed with a mix of both types of audience with participation varying from week to week due to the players busy schedules, and obvious lack of enthusiasm for the game! (just kidding.) I try to prepare ahead of time for the number of people expected to play that week, and if possible, I try to plan a session that can expand to fit more people or contract into some “serious rolepolaying” for a smaller group. I plan the friday dinner with similar thoughts in mind. This week we had an XL lasagna from stouffers – a great choice for twelve dallars it can feed ten to fifteen people. A pair of garlic loafs and we had a feast of merriment prepared. Ok maybe the glass of strawberry crush and watermelon schnapps helped my merriment but anyhoo…
But back to the game. We started with a group colony building excercise as the first week of life on the new world progressed. Each member of the party was assigned a role in the expedition. The walls were built with the help of the master woodworker chibi fanaton whom they had picked up from the Isle of Dread, as well as a main gate, and side gate, and a guard tower. Inside the walls, another store house was built, and a central square was laid out with shops and houses. It was decided the governor’s mansion would be a walled enclosure within the main walls.
the five barbarian introduced themselves as danes from the Isle of Danehelm off the coast of this land, and warned that the mainland was haunted by vengeful spirits of nature. they applaude the attempt to build a colony and agreed to help in return for saving their lives from the necromancer, and so they became the town guard, under the watchful gaze of the sorcerer and thug Sherrif.
The royal hunter of Shalazar. the lady elf Bowie spent the week hunting elk (she claimed she bagged 40 – and kept enough for a herd of 20 in the gates. I ruled she caught 4: 2 for the herd; one for the tigerman; and one for the boiling oil, but I get ahead of the story…) While hunting she came aross a huge set of prints that could only be from a gaint owlbear. She estimated the size to be 50 feet tall, and have over 250 hit points. That night the heard the shrieks of the owlbear in the echoing fjords around about.
The next day the began building a wall of brush and sticks, to light in case of attack. About noon they head a boom, then another boom, and it continued rhythmically coming closer. They saw trees shake and prepared for the worst, when suddenly a huge elephant strode into view. The elf rogue (and my wife) called it and asked if there was a tent on top. In fact there was, it was Fafhrd Felis the Merchant Lord Rakshasa and dealer in rarities and antiquities. He traded magic items.
The impeccably dressed and french accented tiger man introduced himself and told them he was happy to see people settle these lands once again. he told them the lands were ancient and there were many tombs ripe for plunder, and he even offered them a magic item to help them find the treasure – a pickaxe +1 of booty looting. Besides being a +1 pick or axe, it also can mine through 1 cubic foot of stone per minute and glows warm in the presence of gold. Fafrhd also offered to trade for any magic items and the Sherrif traded her recently acquired ring of x-ray vision for a +1 longaword infused with scrolling fire on its blade.They used the pick to dig a moat around the new town, and just in time, because Owlbear-zilla attacked the next morning. It was just as hokey as it sounded, and was still lots of fun ad the owlbear shook and raved and chased them down and barrelled through the fire. At one point it seemed like three quarters of the party suddenyl had the magic missile spell. I have never seen the like, as soon as the owlbear charged to within 100 feet, a salvo of at least 5-7 magic missiles launched from the town wall. ANd there are only two first level wizards in the party! Very strange indeed. When the owlbear stood before the walls, he used a claw-claw attack that randomly targeted both wizards – doing 4d6+4 and instantly dropping them both. The snake charmer Jamboonathon was lucky and never bled out, but as for poor little female elf wizard, she didn’t quite make it, and the 1d6 of bleed damage sent her spirit to Valinor. At one point, one of the wizards cried out in fear and frustration “No matter, I will just create an exact duplicate.”
Oh will you? ((sinister laughter))