This last week, I ran my first B/X game (OSE) for my spouse and their parents, neither of whom had ever played a roleplaying game before. The experience was a great learning opportunity for me, and at the encouragement of a couple folks on my GLoG server I've decided to try to write the night up. Generally, I don't care for session reports, so I'll try to keep things lively.
To ground the setting in tropes the players are all basically familiar with, I set the scenario in the Wild West to avoid the difficulty of generating characters, I took the liberty of rolling up three character and allowing the players to choose between them. We've got:
- Magic-User 2: Mother-in-law's character. She spent a long time researching the name of contemporary clairvoyants before deciding on the name C.C. Showers. Knows the spells Charm Person and Protection from Evil, which I related in natural speech on her character sheet. By happenstance, has the most HP in the party.
- Dwarf 2: Father-in-law's character. After I described a miner-surveyor available, he snapped it up and declared his name was Dirk Pitt, apparently named for the protagonist of a certain book series. In off-time, the player would find pictures on google to go with his equipment. Demanded to own a lodestone. Tried to bully me into giving him extra bullets.
- Ranger 2: Spouse's character, James. A veteran scout of the Civil War. Surprised me by deciding to have fought for the Confederacy. My spouses' relative experience played well with the character's role as hired muscle and guide.
|Cowboys, by Paul Canava|
- It pays to ground your game in tropes the players will be familiar with.
- Explain more than you need to as succintly as possible. My mother-in-law asked what THAC0 was, and I should have started by saying something like "it is a measure of your character's ability to hit someone in combat" rather than trying to define the acronym or talk about the table.
- In B/X, infravision is great.
- In B/X, bandit lairs have a heck-ton of treasure. Even halving the amount of treasure for slightly below-average number of bandits, each player would have enough XP to level up twice, to 4th level.
- That said, dangers truly are deadly. Two different players made saves that, if failed, would have killed them. Luck and skill made the adventure survivable, and common sense rather than system mastery was a big part of that.
- Setting B/X in the Old West is easy and feels right, if you're willing to miss out on most magic and monsters.
- No one wore armor and it all worked out okay.
- Everyone wants to use dynamite.