Aug 7, 2022


Well, it’s back to full-time WFH for me: they’re closing the office until the end of September for refurbishments.


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

This week I ran Winter’s Daughter, an adventure for Old School Essentials (which I previously used for my Forbidden Lands one-shot), for a group at work. Two players had played a bit of 5E before, two hadn’t played any RPGs before. We also only had two and a half hours to get through character creation and enough of the adventure to leave a good first impression.

So we’d hit the ground running, before the session I:

I was going to roll up two full characters of each class, but didn’t get around to it. Then, when the game began, first we rushed through an abbreviated character creation in which I made sure their characters were a little tougher than usual:

  1. Roll 4d6 drop lowest, in order, for ability scores
  2. Pick a class (ignoring requisites and XP bonuses / penalties, in fact they didn’t look at the class descriptions at all, I just gave the names hoping the tropes would be enough context—they were)
  3. Note down ability score modifiers
  4. Choose a set of equipment
  5. Note down AC
  6. Roll hit points (re-rolling 1s and 2s)
  7. Elfs and Magic-Users roll for spells and choose what they have prepared

Then I gave a very brief intro to old-school play, which boiled down to these three points:

And then the adventure started! I’d prepared an intro spiel beforehand, wherein I gave a bit of background, described their immediate surroundings, and finished with a good old “what do you do?”

You have all been hired by a wizard to go to a centuries-old burial mound and retrieve for him a ring that was buried with the occupant. A bronze band set with a moonstone, with fittings in the form of woven branches. He said he doesn’t know who was buried there, but that his magical researches have led him to become aware of this ring. And as for why he’s interested in the ring, well, he said that all you really need to know is that he’s sufficiently interested in it to pay you 5,000 gold pieces to fetch it, which is quite a good sum of money.

So, you journeyed through the forest all of yesterday, camped for the night, and got up well rested this morning for your assault on the burial mound. You can see ahead of you the trees open up, into what looks like a clearing, and there’s a very overgrown path heading in. In the clearing you see the mound: a large flat-topped hillock, clearly artificial. And you can hear, coming from along the path, towards the mound, the quiet sound of clanking metal.

What do you do?

Over the course of the session, they:

The two players who had some experience with RPGs before were more proactive at the start of the session, but the two newbies gradually got into it too, which was great to see happening. By the end, everyone had had a good time, and they were asking about next time.

So next time will pick up with the Magic-User returning with two other companions (I said I’d run for up to 6 people, but only 4 could make it this week), and then, I assume, them heading into Fairy. I think they think the second part of the riddle is there (it’s not, they missed a secret), so I have no idea how that will turn out.

I haven’t really thought about what the campaign will turn into after Winter’s Daughter, I’d planned this to just be a single adventure, but everyone seems keen to continue… it’ll have to be something fairly easy to drop in and out of, because there’s more than 6 people in total who want to play, and also I don’t expect consistent attendance (this being an after-work game), or for everyone who tries it to stick around. I’ll hold a session 0 after we finish the adventure and see what everyone’s interested in.


I watched Prey, the 2022 Predator film this week.

I liked it. It just repeated the successful formula of the first Predator film: one Predator against a bunch of people who go from “there’s something out there, maybe a bear?” to full-on invisible Predator leaping between trees while blowing people up with futuristic weaponry.

My only complaint would be that the big fight at the end felt a bit rushed. They’d spent the film building up the Predator as this super strong fighter, but then two people are able to deal with it without a huge amount of difficulty (well ok, one of them dies) when they manage to figure out that it uses heat vision.