Session 5: First Hireling, First Hireling Death, First Level-Up

We were down to two players this session. Two of the others were sick, and one was moving that evening. The two players who came decided to hire an NPC to help fill out the group for that excursion.

They met a young shepherd, an old farmer, and a young dwarf. They picked the dwarf, convinced him to buy an axe, and off they went into the wild.

Their goal was picking up some easy EXP while they had such a small group to share it with. Previously the party had just traveled around the wilderness around town, not mapping, and so they weren’t getting the exploration EXP. So the pair decided to circle the town mapping as they went.

And “looking for trouble” …

They encountered some suspicious vines, twice, which they avoided. And plenty of Giant Wasps (it has become a joke). Another batch of Giant Ticks. A pair of Black Bears. As they traveled, because they were exploring intensively, they moved slower and found more interesting ruins and natural features. Not full dungeons, more like single-description locations. They were all off the cuff, aided by random tables.

They came close to death a few times, but pulled through. Not the dwarf, though, who perished under the onslaught of a dozen Giant Wasps because he was the last one to run away. They were sad about that, because they liked him for his positive attitude, willingness to take risks, and the nickname they gave him.

All that bonding and loss happened within four hours of gaming.

On a happy note, one of the two PCs gained a level, the first level-up of the campaign! All the exploring really made a difference.

It’s interesting how the flow of the adventure works out. The players decide among themselves where they want to go that session, whether they’re in the mood for some wilderness exploration or some more structured (and more dangerous, and more rewarding) dungeon crawling. The only thing I’m steering them away from is spending a lot of time in town chatting up the locals.

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