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2/28/2019 10:07 pm  #1


Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Hi everyone -

I was hoping to solicit the help of more the knowledgable members.  A few of my regular players decided to give Hyperborea a try in December.  We had a blast and now are planning a campaign.  This weekend we are having a practice session - basically a game to help learn the rules using pre-generated characters.  I have new 3 players coming that have not played AS&SH to join 2 that have.  

What scenario - either an official AS&SH adventure or something classic AD&D, or OSR - would you suggest that would give the feel of the setting and a taste of the combat rules?  Our session will probably last 6 hours. It could span two session but it would be better if it lasted just one.  I'd like to make an impression on the new players to get them as fired up as the guys that played in December.  The only scenario I've run is the Black Moss Hag adventure found in the rulebook.  Any suggestions would be great.  Thanks!

 

2/28/2019 10:32 pm  #2


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Well, if you want to be sure to finish you might try some of the scenarios in the brand new Rats in the Walls.  The hard copies should be out soon.  The Anthropophagi of Xambaala adventure is good for new players & GMs and provides a nice pulpy feel.  Though you can certainly adapt AD&D adventures, I'd suggest going with regular AS&SH stuff to start since they are specifically written with these rules and stats, skill checks etc. in mind.  Our group started last summer and has had a blast so far.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

2/28/2019 11:43 pm  #3


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

I will chime in to agree that Rats in the Walls is an excellent adventure. With the exception of one player, my players are new to RPGs but they all loved it. Don't let the premise mislead you, it is a great adventure with a lot of gameable content for its size. The adventure offers many hints about Khromarium as a whole. I incorporated and expanded upon a TON of stuff from this adventure into my game and would say that it formed the linchpin of my campaign. 

I initially intended for Barrowmaze to be the foundation of my campaign but Rats in the Walls resonated so well with my group that elements of it became foci for the campaign. 
 

Last edited by Brock Savage (2/28/2019 11:53 pm)

 

3/01/2019 5:42 am  #4


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent was the first AS&SH adventure I ran, and it definitely helped set the tone for the rest of my campaign. Very doable in six hours, too. Taken from Dunwich is another short gem, but would probably take longer, as will most of the other published adventures.


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

3/01/2019 8:39 am  #5


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Thanks to all!  Great suggestions and some of them were on my short list of potentials.  I have the old and new Rats in the Walls and had been looking at them as well as Taken from Dunwich - which I've always wanted to run.  I'm going to read over them all and go with one of those.  

     Thread Starter
 

3/01/2019 10:08 am  #6


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

I think you could run Taken from Dunwich (levels 4-7), Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent (levels 4-7) or any of the three adventures in Rats in the Walls and Other Perils (levels 1-2) in a single six-hour session without any problem. As you know, Dunwich and Charnel Crypt are higher level, so, if it's a single session, they may give the PCs a bit more durability and allow your players to test out more of the classes' bells and whistles. If you run anything from Rats, I would probably make the PCs at least level two, give non-casters an extra random potion and casters an extra scroll or two. I have found that one-shots with level one PCs can be very hit or miss, regardless of the system or adventure. At the very least, make sure to have some replacement PCs ready.

Now, to be fair, many referees have run parts of all the longer adventures at the conventions (usually a skip to the dungeon set up, sometimes paired with a mini-goal), so that's feasible as well. It would require more work up front for you of course. Maybe more importantly, if you think you may ever want to run these in full sometime, you might as well wait given the other perfectly good options above.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/01/2019 11:17 am  #7


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

I'll add my endorsement to Rats. It can be done in a session and hits all the beats. I am less convinced that Taken or Charnel crypt can be done in one session, but my players are both thorough and scatterbrained.

Outside North Wind products, I suggest

The Meal of Oshregaal: not combat oriented, though there are plenty of opportunities for such. A great lvl. 1 adventure.
 
The Rugmaker's Den: Same creator. Lots of weird!

Ruined Palace of the Metegorgos: Creepy. And you can adapt it to most lengths depending on how much interaction you want to have with the factions outside the palace.

Serpents of the Charnel God: Again, hits all the beats for low-level intro play. We used last time we fired up some lvl. 1s.

Prisoners of the Gelatinous Dome. I think I will run this next year at GaryCon. Players map: here.

 

3/01/2019 12:07 pm  #8


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Handy Haversack wrote:

I'll add my endorsement to Rats. It can be done in a session and hits all the beats. I am less convinced that Taken or Charnel crypt can be done in one session, but my players are both thorough and scatterbrained.

Yeah, a lot is really group and situation dependent. Jeff ran Dunwich at Gary Con in 2010. I think that game had only a four hour window and time was not an issue at all. In 2012, we played through Ghost Ship in four hours too (skipped the town). Of course, people may tend to be a little more focused at a convention. If you're at home with your regular group and people are goofing off and catchin up and telling jokes and all that every five minutes, that's different.

I ran a modified Charnel Crypt for three players online and I think they finished in two three-hour sessions? I would have to double check. It could have been longer, but again, that was an ongoing campaign and invites more social- and game-related digressions as a result.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/02/2019 1:24 am  #9


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Brock Savage wrote:

I initially intended for Barrowmaze to be the foundation of my campaign but Rats in the Walls resonated so well with my group that elements of it became foci for the campaign. 
 

Our Labyrinth Lord party is currently going through Barrowmaze.  It's been a lot of fun but they're a long way from finishing and it's getting to be a bit of a grind.  So I'm looking forward to getting back to the shorter AS&SH adventures that can be completed in a session or two once we switch back to that party.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

3/02/2019 4:52 am  #10


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Spider of Leng wrote:

Our Labyrinth Lord party is currently going through Barrowmaze.  It's been a lot of fun but they're a long way from finishing and it's getting to be a bit of a grind.  So I'm looking forward to getting back to the shorter AS&SH adventures that can be completed in a session or two once we switch back to that party.

Huh, same with us (I have Barrowmaze Complete in PDF): I'm using AS&SH, and the party are far from completing, and it's been several months since we last played (running other games now). When we resume, I'm considering starting them back in town and just recapping what happened to get them extricated from the last expedition. While I really like Barrowmaze, it is a beast of a setting.


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

3/02/2019 7:48 am  #11


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

rhialto wrote:

Spider of Leng wrote:

Our Labyrinth Lord party is currently going through Barrowmaze.  It's been a lot of fun but they're a long way from finishing and it's getting to be a bit of a grind.

Huh, same with us

Is this because there's not enough variety of challenges? Does it have any factions at all? I own it myself, but have only skimmed it.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/02/2019 9:23 am  #12


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Chainsaw wrote:

rhialto wrote:

Spider of Leng wrote:

Our Labyrinth Lord party is currently going through Barrowmaze.  It's been a lot of fun but they're a long way from finishing and it's getting to be a bit of a grind.

Huh, same with us

Is this because there's not enough variety of challenges? Does it have any factions at all? I own it myself, but have only skimmed it.

The opposite, IMO: it's got a fairly intricate set of factions vying for control of "something", and the interplay of those and the PCs just takes time and slow investigation. It is quite good, but as a megadungeon it simply demands more sessions.


"My own concepts in this regard are easy and clear, and I am sure that the word 'simplistic' will be used by my critics. These folk are callow and turgid of intellect; I am reassured by their howls and yelps."
Jack Vance, The Face
 

3/02/2019 9:35 am  #13


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

rhialto wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

rhialto wrote:


Huh, same with us

Is this because there's not enough variety of challenges? Does it have any factions at all? I own it myself, but have only skimmed it.

The opposite, IMO: it's got a fairly intricate set of factions vying for control of "something", and the interplay of those and the PCs just takes time and slow investigation. It is quite good, but as a megadungeon it simply demands more sessions.

Ahhh, got it, got it.


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/02/2019 3:42 pm  #14


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Hi Everyone - great feedback, I really appreciate it.  I wanted to let everyone know that I decided to go with Charnel Crypt of the Sightless Serpent.  I wanted to save Rats for the campaign and I also wanted to give them a chance to play characters higher than 1st level.  I really like the scenario. I'm using the PCs from the Rogues Gallery II PDF - and they are great.  Running it tonight in a couple of hours.  If we don't finish it all it isn't a big deal it was just a preference. We can always get together and finish next weekend.  I was just aiming for a single session even though I rarely can do it.  

     Thread Starter
 

3/02/2019 3:52 pm  #15


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Awesome! Good luck man and let us know how it goes. 


Blackadder23: Insanely long villain soliloquy, then "Your action?"
BORGO'S PLAYER: I shoot him in the face
 

3/02/2019 5:09 pm  #16


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Chainsaw wrote:

Is this because there's not enough variety of challenges? Does it have any factions at all? I own it myself, but have only skimmed it.

Barrowmaze is awesome but it's a dangerous grind. As a DM I assumed players would automatically gravitate to a megadungeon but found that in practise the players will choose lower hanging fruit in a campaign where the DM "lets dice fall where they may".

 

3/02/2019 6:01 pm  #17


Re: Scenario suggestion for a single session game

Brock Savage wrote:

Chainsaw wrote:

Is this because there's not enough variety of challenges? Does it have any factions at all? I own it myself, but have only skimmed it.

Barrowmaze is awesome but it's a dangerous grind. As a DM I assumed players would automatically gravitate to a megadungeon but found that in practise the players will choose lower hanging fruit in a campaign where the DM "lets dice fall where they may".

Yeah; it's pretty deadly and it's freakin' huge.  Our players got lucky in the sense that they figured out early on (through runic tablets) what the ultimate goal was.  But finding what you need to complete that goal is the problem.  They completed one part of it, but have already lost the party leader and their pet giant badger.  They have picked up a couple hirelings along the way.  They have also loaded up on healing potions and paid for a few clerical scrolls to help counter the huge number of undead.

But it's been 7 sessions (average around 3 hours) and I'd say they have well over half the scenario to go.  And this group is goal focused.  They don't care about clearing the whole dungeon.  So they haven't done too much with factions either, but there's just a lot there.  So while I still like the megadungeons there is something to be said for shorter adventures that give a variety of settings, plots, and challenges.


"Behind closed eyes,realize your sight."--Blue Oyster Cult
 

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