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Friday gaming recap: bugs, bugs, and more bugs!

The notorious bear makes an appearance!
Yesterday's session featured a pretty small party for my gaming group (four) and a fairly low-muscle group (warlock, sorcerer, druid, monk) with the highest AC being 15.  With the group feeling a little fragile they decided to avoid heading to either the temple of Orcus (where the previous group had whacked the high priest and everyone would be on high alert), or the monolith level (which is the climax of the dungeon).  Instead they decided to explore some of the upper levels that had been, to date, ignored by the group.

This meant they ended up facing fairly easy opposition: ankhegs, phase spiders, and carrion crawlers.  Actually carrion crawlers are really broken, but the group got lucky on their saving throws.  They also discovered both a heretofore undiscovered level, another sublevel, and a major quest waypoint in the dungeon.  While the XP load might not be that high in terms of monsters, the group definitely broke some ground.

A few observations:

First, the group has developed a delightful sense of tension in the dungeon.  In the old 4E days, every encounter was one to be overcome with a small modicum of effort.  Now the anxiety of the unknown really plays on them.

Second, while there may not be a lot of NPC roleplaying, the exploration-as-fantasy-RPG-genre thing is going pretty well, and seems to be a hit.  The group likes deciding what happens and where they go.  I'm trying to figure out how to work more named NPC's into an exploration-based campaign right now, though.


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Speaking of which, it's game night tonight...