Last week, our intrepid group played without two of their players. So, instead of continuing our adventures in Ravenloft, I convinced the remaining player to hack and slash his way through some goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears. Other than a mishap with another player who joined the ranks, he enjoyed the experience. Check out that article for that summary. This week, our party plays Curse of Strahd Part 2 for real this time.
In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he asked for another hack and slash after one of their group got picked up early. They tried to convince me to let them keep playing the main adventure, but I got them to abandon that idea with some slick DMing. I’m getting the hang of this. But, join me for a quick recap of the adventures for this week.
Session 2: To the Attic to Get to the Basement
In anticipation of this week’s (it might have even been last week) session, I reviewed the map and where our party explored already. Since they are young, they don’t always think to check for traps or secret doors. So, this time I gave them some grace and more or less pushed them through those secret doors. Being a Dungeon Master is sometimes a delicate balancing act between rules guru and storyteller. Not with this group. With this group, I’m all storyteller and as a result, I sometimes need to dispense with the rules and take matters into my own hands.
So it became that they “found” the secret door to get to the attic and then “found” the secret door to get to the basement. I actually screwed up and needed to improvise by saying that one of them bumped the second secret door with their butt while searching the room. Of course, that got a laugh from all of them.
They also experienced a wider range of combat this time. Fighting both a specter and an animated broomstick got them some experience points and closer to leveling. And, isn’t that the real reason we all play this game? To grow ever more powerful and eventually challenge the gods themselves? Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But, by the end of their senior year, I expect that to happen.
Playing Curse of Strahd Part 2 (for real) went rockier than last time. I continually needed to remind them not to touch each other’s dice, not to hit one another, and not to swear. Honestly, much more on par with how I expected a Dungeons and Dragons group with middle school aged kids to go, so not a huge deal there. We only have one session left in October, but if they finish the introduction, maybe I can get them to play another theme adventure for November and December.