I ran DnDNext games at PAX East this year and, as always, had a blast. Though one would think I got my kicks from running the Mines of Madness, which were pretty fun and I nearly TPK’d one party twice, I would have to say my favorite session was my second Danger at Darkshelf Quarry group. They were fresh faces that hadn’t had too much exposure to Dungeons and Dragons.

I ask you to picture the following scenario:

Me: Blah blah blah backstory blah ventilation shaft etc etc. What do you guys do now?

Group: *Blank faces*

Me: *Thinks* Time to work some magic.

Challenges are great and this group forced me to bring my A game. I started off with a simple search roll to find the shaft. Shaft is a funny word! From there I had them roll more skill checks and encouraged people to do their own thing.

What eventually happened was that the party went down the shaft and encountered some goblins. The commotion caused the human guards that had been stationed in the mines to come running to engage the party. However the adventurers were able to “trick” the guards into pretending that they were here to conduct business with the elf that was in charge of the mines. While one guard went to get the elf the cleric began to entertain the other guard left in charged by singing some hymns. The performance was so good that the guards began to spill the beans about what real operation was taking place in the mines. Said guard vowed that he would put in his notice and become a brother to the order.

It was then the guard, elf, and a truck load of troops came back to arrest the party. The adventurers decided on a tactical retreat. Their wizard conjured up a wall of illusionary fire to block the guards. The rogue failed his will save and proceeded to “dive through the flames” and became caught on fire while everyone (in character) looked at him weird.

Anyways the group found the spy that was sent by their boss and brought him safe back to town. That wasn’t until they fought an evil elemental cleric who summoned several elemental creatures that breathed lightning.

I love new groups.