Last Friday (October 1), the game did not make due to a lack of players (itself due to a variety of issues, mostly dealing with health). This is the second time in a span of a month, I was looking at only a cleric and a sorcerer being available. For most locations in the Southern Reaches, this equates to a a dead cleric and a dead sorcerer. As a result, I am taking two steps to correct this issue: open up the game to new players and create some adventure locales appropriate for two spellcasters.
Opening the group up is both easy and difficult. Easy in that, ta-da – it’s done. Now I have to find local gamers to invite, gamers who play well with the existing group. This part is more difficult. The Houston metropolitan area is large (larger than the state of Rhode Island) and its gaming populace is scattered and not really in contact with each other as it has been years since Houston had a large stable gaming convention, something critical for putting gamers in contact with each other and, more importantly, allowing gamers to game with each other on neutral ground, rather than at someone’s home. This makes it easier to cut ties with/limit exposure to the crazies (and there are several of them, as a one time manager of a FLGS I met many of them).
[NOTE: I am aware of OwlCon, but it is a relatively small convention and does not have the drawing power Nan-Con had when it still existed. Evidence? When your dealer area, your miniatures gaming area (read: Games Workshop tournament area), and your CCG tournament area are the same room, you’re small. ‘Nuff Said.]
Actually, due to the D&D Encounters thingee, I know several of the local gamers and (due to a scheduling issue one time) have a line on some possible recruits, assuming I can track them down again. I may have to skip a Verden game (which I’d rather not do) to scout the FLGS to see if they are still playing at the store (both Verden and RPG day at the FLGS happen the same day – Wednesday). [Note to Kyle and Tony: I’m talking about the folks in the other group, who I had a chance to game with once, and they were cool. I believe we have tapped out our original group.]
Now the other option, build adventure locales suitable for only two characters is well within my reach. What I can do is put together a few pocket dungeons of 5-7 rooms, seed them in a few places, and then layout some adventure hooks. The easiest way to do this will be to have bounties posted in Spider’s Bar and let the PCs choose which to follow. I could have a flunky of the Baron’s show up and ask them to take care of something, but that would seem to violate the sandbox parameter of “the players choose where to go”, so I won’t be doing that. I will have a flunky turn up and ask about ownership of Drop-off Tower however…
The pocket dungeons have to be small so two characters can reasonably handle everything in an evening. If it takes longer than that, they’ll fall back early and return with a troop of characters, completely overpowering what I originally put there and removing all challenge. These “side excursions” could even be used it to introduce hirelings (that could be recruited later as actual henchmen or cohorts) or start leveling secondary PCs (in case their primary PC dies).
That’s it for now, more on pocket dungeons (or whatever seems more talkable) on Wednesday.