"Black Dougal gasps 'Poison!' and falls to the floor. He looks dead."

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Premier of the Northern Marches

Six players and one DM (me) sat down last night for the first session of the Northern Marches campaign. It was actually one of the largest groups I have ever run.

At the beginning there was some discussion as to which ruleset to use. I had taken along all of my copies of B/X (8 and 5, respectively), 5 copies of Holmes, 4 printed pdf copies of OD&D, and 4 copies of S&W: WB. As one would guess my preference was for B/X but, I wanted to be open to other rules if there was a clear preference. I was happy when everyone was more than happy to go with my favorite.

Character generation went smoothly, but did take a bit longer than I expected as people had to re-familiarize themselves with the old rules. When they were done the brave party consisting of Belgar the Dwarf, Rexall the Magic-user, Krocker the Fighter, Binford the Cleric, Ganus the Cleric and Danan the Cleric was ready in the town of New Hareth. The really interesting thing was all three clerics were of different alignments.

After collecting some rumours about the outlying wilderness and the reportedly haunted Castle Hareth the party went looking for retainers. Most of the residents of New Hareth thought these newcomers were crazy, but eventually Able the normal man with big ears, shuffling feet, only 1 hit point and a chaotic disposition decided that he would join them. He quickly became known as "Shuffles".

The party really surprised me by ignoring the axiom that as you go deeper in the dungeon the more difficult things get and that a tower is really just an inverted dungeon. They climbed every set of stairs they could find until all but Belgar the Dwarf, Ganus the Cleric and Shuffles perished fighting something way out of their league but from which they could have easily escaped.

Belgar and Ganus decided to recruit some new associates and head back to the ruined castle to grab some of the easier loot they left behind. Shuffles decided that he had had enough and decided to stay in town from now on. Thus Belgar and Ganus headed back to the castle with Liam the magic-user, Marius the Elf, Konrad the Fighter, and Rinford the cleric and Dotson, the thin-lipped normal man with 1 hit point who heard about the possibility of treasure.

A quick raid into the castle and back to town with some of the loot was enough to convince Dotson that adventuring wasn't his thing. That is where we left it for the evening. None of the wilderness was explored but they did do some adventuring in my megadungeon. I am hoping that one or more of the players post play reports for bonus XP. If they do I will be sure to share them here.

I had a great time. Things were fast and fun. I hope to get this group together in whole or in parts again many times in the future.


  1. Sounds like it was a great session. Congrats!

  2. Awesome! There's nothing like the excitement of that first session / adventure, everything is new and there's so much possibility.

    It sounds like you've got a good group of folks and that they've got that "adventure" bug that's so key in old school games.

    Quick question if you don't mind: Your descriptions of the henchmen / hirelings seem randomly generated...is there a pre-gen table that you prefer? Or have you created your own?

    Have fun and keep those updates coming, I love reading that kind of stuff.

  3. I made an NPC table of my own but a lot of it is taken from Grim's NPC generator available on the Swords & Wizardry downloads page.

  4. I'm so thrilled for you that your game got off to such a great start!

    I had taken along all of my copies of B/X (8 and 5, respectively), 5 copies of Holmes, 4 printed pdf copies of OD&D, and 4 copies of S&W: WB.

    Wow! Were you a boyscout as a lad?

  5. I'm envious ... this looks and sounds unbelievably fun. After I close out my private practice and settle back into a day job, I may make a dedicated push to get a tabletop group together.

  6. It was a lot of fun. One of the players is putting together a write-up of the session that I will try to post tomorrow.

  7. Hope everyone likes the story of the first adventure of The Hereos of New Hareth. First session was great i had a fun time.