Started my first AS&SH campaign over the weekend. We ran Rats in the Walls. Four players, a Cataphract, Witch, Shaman, and Legerdemainist.
A Cataphract - neat! I'm not sure I've had any of my players choose that class or even seen it in play at conventions. I think everyone thinks that unless there's an open plains, horse-riding adventure or something, they won't be able to enjoy the class to its full potential. How did it go? The other classes I've seen in play many times, especially the Shaman and Ledgerdemainist.
I sort of ran things on the fly with the module as a guideline, which worked great, and the game quickly took a bit of a jocular tone. Most of the player were fairly new to RPGs, and this was my first time running the system so there were some slow downs in looking up rules and I ran combat without referring to the phases but nothing too bad at all.
Good to hear that it went well overall, particularly with a group new to RPGs. As for the jocular tone, much as I try to make my games, no matter the system, grim or scary or whatever, we end up joking around. It's just my personality, I think! I'm fine with it though - if people are laughing, they're having fun.
The party quickly worked out what the issue with the rats was and ventured into the basement to get a firmer grasp on things. Things got rough quickly and the encounter with the rats saw the Shaman and Ledgermainist down. Some quick thinking on the part of our Witch and a bit of creative rules interpretation regarding a sleeping potion saved the day.
The two grievously injured PC's think they are in the clear, however they both failed a check against rat borne disease. I've decided to make that a whole different issue than presented in the book, one that will lead to a perilous quest to cure them of their ailment
We ended the session that note and everyone is looking forward to next week.
Sounds like a nice little session - Rats is a good choice for a first adventure for a new group. It's brief, there's some roleplaying, there's some investigation and there's some fighting. Basically, it showcases different aspects of playing an RPG without requiring too much of the players. As for creative rules interpretations, I'm big a fan, especially if you're trying to hook new players (or encourage people to be creative). After a while, once your new folks understand what RPGs are all about and have a handle on the rules, you can decide if you want to ratchet up the difficulty level and be more of a hardass. You may not - some groups enjoy a casual game that serves as a backdrop to socializing. Oh yeah, I think you did well to spin the disease into an a new adventure. Great way to remind new people that actions have consequences, but failing a roll isn't the end of the world, while also reminding them of the game's continuity from session to session and give them a specific reason to come back next time (kind of a cliffhanger).
You planning on using any of the other published AS&SH adventures?