Calawas - Elf Thief (Katz)
Amalia - High Elf Cleric (Paraj)
Volbak - Dwarf Knight (Jim)
Lamaevhun - Wood Elf Scout (Tim)
Ilsildel - High Elf Wizard (Martin)
Chief - Wood Elf Barbarian (Catherine)
Our intrepid group of adventurers made it down the road from Verbobonc to see the little village on a hill with its strange new Church, bringing only some little gear and their travel-worn ponies. They came originally from a sylvan community on the shores of the Nyr Dyv, being a sort of extended family that was sent out "to make something of themselves" and, perhaps more importantly, to stop being near home. (The dwarf was adopted because his parents have strange ideas about the origins of the species; nobody's had the heart to tell him yet.)
They came with a decent amount of debt underwriting their expedition from the purser's Guild in Verbobonc, and so were quite interested in employment, and fast. (The pursers are known both for their usurious rates and for their legbreakers.)
Riding past the Church, their druid (not pictured above) spotted the standing stones of Jaroo's grove in the distance and set off in a beeline to, "Contemplate the inner mysteries of nature," over the wizard's objections that, "You can do that here, dude! I brought, like, fifty feet of rope!"
Instead of messing around in the town, they made a beeline for the Inn of the Welcome Wench, hoping to find lodging and, well, some wenches. What they found instead was more expenses, but Master Gundigroot was kind enough to put them up for the night with a basic meal in exchange for the party wizard making all of his lighting require no oil for the next week or so. During their copious conversation on the nature of the fare and serving staff, Lamaevhun and Isildel shared this gem:
"Dude, try the turnips, they have awesome turnips."
"I prefer the stuff I can kill myself."
"Dude, you can kill turnips! Can't you hear their screams when they bite into you?"
This went on for a bit, until the traders entered the establishment and managed to garner instant dislike from Calawas. Nevertheless, after a bit of verbal sparring, it was made clear to the greedy little bug- I mean, the party thief, that a chance for coin was afoot, so they repaired to the trading post for a bit of more private conversation.
It seems that Lareth is the leader of a band of ruffians that Gremag is convinced is harming business. After some wrangling the PCs secured the right to keep anything they find (of course!) and even a pouch of a hundred copper, which elicited quite the interest from Calawas when Rannos, the slow stupid one, went to open the safe. Also, they completely blew off the offer of a man-at-arms to go with them for only $15 a day.
After that, they decided to retire. Early and fresh next morning (at about ten o'clock, after getting rid of hangovers and having breakfast), they set off for the half-day's journey to the old moathouse everyone had been telling them about, passing by Burne's construction with only a few glances and leaving the druid behind to his contemplations.
It all went well and I read some box text (we're enjoying the box text), until they came upon a pool that the scout discovered was home to a colony of voracious monstrous frogs! He got off a shot, but then was quickly snared and swallowed, discovering that the larger ones had teeth. This caused Chief (an otherwise unassuming individual who has both Berserk and Sense of Duty (Fellow Adventurers)) to go a little crazy and start playing golf, smacking one of the dog-sized frogs straight into the side of the moathouse. The rest of the party dithered and got ready while the horses miraculously stayed their ground, sealing the scout's doom. (He was around seven hexes ahead, which was great for the rest of the party, but very bad for him when he missed his perception roll. Also, we discovered that our dwarven knight has a move of 2 with encumbrance. Whoops.)
- Three hours is enough time to do some roleplaying, but not enough for serious dungeon delving it seems. I should probably be prepared to stop in the middle of combat pretty much always.
- They didn't have a lot of interest in intrigue in Hommlet. I'm okay with this. They willfully stumbled into the one truly interesting thing going on, and none of the module requires that they care about Hommlet in the least.
- My players are prone to distraction. I knew this before; our last GM (the guy now playing the scout, poor man) basically had us run riot over his campaign with some nights where we didn't even play but fifteen minutes or so. Fortunately, they also respond well to direction. I don't want or need to be tyrannical, since half the joy of this group is getting together to talk about stuff, but they're attentive when I take the reins to get back to the game.
- I need to brush up on GURPS combat a little from a GM side. I know the rules, but it's been a while, so I have some trouble remembering to apply them all at times. There were definitely a couple moments where the frogs did some things they oughtn't be able to. Also, I need to firm up their stats a bit to deal with corner cases.
- I badly need to teach my players how to play, or they're all going to die. For example, our scout had a full second to himself to react to these frogs. He knows also that he's out in front, a goodly number of yards away from help. So what does he do? He shoots one frog once in the torso. With skill 16 and 5 yards away, without help coming, he should have at least gone for the vitals, or (if standing still instead of doing a Move and Attack to retreat) maybe use 1 FP to shoot the vitals twice (Heroic Archer makes that a 10 or less, or 11 if you don't want to defend - low, but when faced with a bunch of enemies without backup, quantity has a quality all its own). None of this occurred to the player, though, nor to anyone else at the table. However, my work is predicated on the idea that the players know their options.