I had a great time but I was surprised at how draining it was. By the end of our four-hour session, I was running on fumes. None of my home sessions have gone longer than 2 hours. This is something to keep in mind if I go through with my plan to run 4 games at DragonCon next year.
While it wasn't flawless, I got some positive feedback from a few players - and most everyone seemed to be having at least some level of fun taking a nostalgic trip with B/X. The players themselves were great and I think credit for the fun goes to them more than anything I did.
|The intrepid adventurers at Giga-Bites Cafe, Saturday afternoon.|
- I lost track of initiative more than once - as in, whether or not the NPCs had acted. If anything, it was to the players advantage, still, it seemed unprofessional to me.
- One trap that I really didn't like and had thought about removing, I didn't and in fact, I should have. I didn't have it pat, and frankly it was one of my weakest moments; I felt like things were getting away from me. Next time, I go with my gut.
- They will explore a lot less than I think - this was a fairly small dungeon and in 3.5 hours of actual exploration (the first 30 was chargen) I think they explored about 25% of it. This doesn't mean I'll prepare less, it just means I can consider some one-page dungeons I wanted to run, but decided against due to their small size.
- Drink water. Have at least 2 on hand, full, at the start.
- Let the players roll all of their actions, even those that traditionally would be behind the DM screen - detect traps, pick locks, etc. Why? One player did it accidentally and i decided to go with it for them, and then when another did it, I thought, "You know, we're here for fun, What does it matter if they know if they were successful? If they fail, there will still be consequences." Plus, it's something else for the players to do. Any opportunity to roll dice is a chance for some tension.
- Actually, the more I think about it, the more out in the open the dice are, the more the players can see that I'm not fudging anything. I'll probably do all of my die rolls out in the open as well from now on, including wandering monster checks.
- Make the font bigger on the chart for Monsters to hit. Ditto for the PC chart on the DM screen. I could never quite see it - I was standing up a lot, and at the angle worked against me.
I'm running another one-shot dungeon crawl in early December, which I'm now even more excited about, and then I'm 90% positive I want to run a monthly open table dungeon crawl campaign for the meetup group in 2014 - perhaps something in a mega-dungeon or at least a mini-mega.