I sat down with three players last night for a session of Northern Marches. It was the first time I had pulled out my Northern Marches binder in about 6 weeks. Of three players, one (K-Slacker) is an old-school gamer in very much the same mold as myself. Players two and three were the previously mentioned Former Northern Marches Players. That is right - they actually came back!
The session itself was fairly basic but it was in its basic-ness that showed me that my previous conversations with them had an impact. The first couple of hours were spent talking to a local sage, tracking down the "Old-Timer" that loved to spin stories of his exploits when deep in his cups, talking to off-duty guardsmen about the goblin menace, and seeking out tougher retainers than the drunk misfits they had hired up to this point.
After that, they stole a small rowboat to head across the river as the ferry service has stopped due to lack of demand and the threat of goblins on the other side of the river. They then proceeded to explore the wooded mountains of the far side trying to scout for these goblins. They smartly avoided a couple of encounters with giant animals and quickly dispatched a lone Ogre. The session ended after they overcame an encamped hobgoblin patrol. My favorite part was when one of the players said, "wouldn't it be cool if they had a damsel to rescue?"
Well guess what - I made sure there was a damsel. She turned out to be a cleric. One of the most basic DMing skills there is.
It was actually a fairly mundane session. It had been a few weeks since we played last and I wasn't sure what they wanted to do so I treated it as if it were the first session. It worked well as it gave them a chance to try out their new "old school" skills. I had alot of fun!
As an aside, Konrad the Fighter is the only PC to remain from the first Northern Marches session. He is K-Slacker's character and is a foppish, vain fighter who the other players love to see get wet, dirty and otherwise covered in filth.