Well, that was unexpected. I'm working away from home with some people I've worked with before and some new guys. Chatting to one of the people I don't know very well in the works van heading to site yesterday, he says he was at a games club at the weekend and played his first session of D&D. "Oh cool, I play too, old-school D&D that is" I replied. "Really?" comes a voice from the front of the van, from one of the older guys, same kinda age as me. "I used to play RuneQuest back in the day". "Oh, I'd love to play proper D&D" offers another of my colleagues. Then our supervisor chimes in "I've never played D&D, but I used to play Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play 15 years ago"...
I mean seriously, what? There are 8 of us in the van and 5 of us are gamers?
So the long and the short of it is that last night, after we got back to base, four of us played a game of Munchkin and after that, I helped three of the four interested people roll up Basic D&D characters (after playing Munchkin with us, our supervisor had to and make a Skype call, I suspect to his wife, so I'm helping him put a character together tonight). I don't have any dice. I don't have any rules. I don't have any scenarios. I don't even have access to a printer.
What I have is access to a couple of die-roller websites and apps, the knowledge that the equipment list is on the web, and a bunch of links to various OSR and other gaming sites. I created a random dungeon from the WotC site (that is only going to take us so far, I need to soften the party up I mean get them used to playing a bit first). I generated some NPCs from Meatshields!, and tonight I'm going to get some stats for a few monsters and start the adventure proper.
The players will begin in the small town of Rock Fort (when I described the town as 'a bit like Bree' one of the players said 'what, like Camembert?'... 'maybe, but I think Rock Fort is a better name'). Anyway, the party is coming together. Lady Malice De Vine (a thief), Timmy Song (a Halfling) and Rolf Ironhead (a Dwarf) will shortly be joined by Del Diablo (another thief, a mysterious and slightly Spanish one).
So here's the deal: a herald accompanied by a couple of men-at-arms rides into Rock Fort and issues a proclamation from the local Earl that monsters have been seen in the area and bold souls are needed to go and fight them, for suitable rewards, of course. Step forward Rolf, Timmy and Lady Malice, and sort-of-hang-back-mysteriously Del Diablo, while six of the townsfolk (the NPCs from Meatshields!) join them.
They set off to the north; the 'monsters' - described as 'orrible, 'ideous, monstrous fings! Wiff 'eads.., an' fingers... an' fings! - have been seen about four miles north of the village, near 'the Old Mill'.
The party has made its way about 3 miles to the north, taking care to send scouts and look for signs of any monsters, and have been rewarded with ample signs of Orcs (yes, they guessed in advance that they were Orcs) in the area. Scouting and sneaking stood them in good stead; they were able to ambush the Orcs, killing 5 of them and only taking one fatality and two injuries in return. Alas, Del Diabolo succumbed to an Orcish sword.
True my 'other' campaign, I'm allowing the use of a roll against CON to survive 'fatal' wounds (should the injured party be treated by his comrades). Del Diabolo has made his roll and will permanently lose 1 point of CON as a result (to represent the debilitating injury from which he'll never fully recover). However, he will live to sneak another day (actually, without his shortbow shooting the party would have been sunk).
Rolf, (the Dwarf) and one of the men-at-arms, Derdue (who now has a first name as well, 'Raul') are both heavily injured. Neither should die but the company is starting to regret not having any healing magic.
I need to go to bed now, more pondering on this strange turn of events in due course...