What Went Wrong
- I split the party. It made sense in my head, as I had dreams of glory for Dleggit. In practice, it was the one thing had I done different that would have changed the whole outcome.
- The pit - It wasn't that the pit was too dangerous on its own, but its depth. I used Mythic but I really shouldn't have set the odds at 50/50, once I knew it wasn't 10' deep. The party's average level, including NPCs but excluding the mule, was 1.4. Even if I just rolled a total of 3 HP of damage, that would be enough to kill the NPCs outright, 75% of the time (if they had no CON bonus). Since my PCs start with max HP, at least the magic-user survived the fall, barely. Of course, had I not tested DEX for everyone with a D20, but used 3d6, they would have had better odds as well.
- Maybe instead of a DEX save for Dleggit to throw the rope over the beam, it should have been an attack on an AC 5 or some such.
- Dleggit had terrible dice rolling during the combat - even with a +2 berserker bonus and a +2 strength bonus he never landed a blow. In fact he rolled a natural 1 on his first attack, which is how he ended up with the mantis between him and the party when they arrived.
- Conversely, even though the mantis were only 1 HD and Dleggit has an AC 1, they were scoring way more hits than I would have thought.
- White Eyes's magic-missile was a game changer - had he gotten 2nd casting off, he could have TPK'd the party.
What Went Right
- The Five Room Model - including linking two of them together. I really like this method as it means something is always happening to increase tension/force choices, thematically its all connected, and it's easily resolved within a short time. What it isn't, is a crawl, as resources aren't really an issue. To me, torches, food, spells, missiles are all part of the enjoyable pressure on the party during exploration.
- The use of the d6 for decision making Yes And, Yes, But, No, But, No And. I've used this a lot before, but I thought I'd mention it.
- Bringing back a recurring villain - he's a danger and provided sufficient motivation.
- Staying true to the dice. I could have re-rolled or give Dleggit or Waldu other advantage, but i stuck to the honest roll of the dice and took my lumps. That to me is required for solo gaming, an ethical minimum even. As I've mentioned before, if the results directly impact the character, the dice must remain sacrosanct.