Monday, October 17, 2016

Running the Funnel in B/X

So, this past Friday, I ran "The Funnel" for my B group. The original plan was that we would continue the D&D 5th Edition game that is the usual bi-weekly event of the group, but the DM overslept. Brief mention was made of running Call of Cthulu, but since I had all of my B/X stuff with me, I proposed running The Funnel. After some explanation, the players agreed, and I gave them the 3" x 2.5" index cards on which I had written the 0-level characters. There were seven players, for a total of 21 characters. I put them into a deadly dungeon in the Arcadian Isles (the setting for my regular B/X game), and let them loose.

They loved it.

True, some of the characters died. One especially unlucky player lost all three of his starting characters, so I gave him a fourth (the maximum number, so he'd better be extra careful with this one). Another player - his older brother, in fact - played one of his characters as an impulsive, gung-ho type (very much like one of B.'s characters, in fact), and the other two as more cautious; the reckless Bailey died gloriously, and the players kept talking about him for the rest of the session. Still a third player was making a map of his own using a paint program on his phone.

There were only two points of concern. One: the need for a map. I figured that having a mapper might slow down a group who usually doesn't even use miniatures, but since the aforementioned player was already making a pretty good map without the aid of grid lines, I think having at least one mapper would be a good idea. (In general, my players have enjoyed mapping far more than I expected for a bunch of young'uns - or at least, haven't hated it as much as I feared.)

The other concern was the order of actions. In a group of four to eight player characters, it's not extremely important who goes in what order on the same side... but with twenty-one characters in play, it gets a little chaotic. Next time, I'll probably just go clockwise around the table.

Fun was had by all, and hopefully I'll get to finish the adventure soon. It was also a morale booster, since the last two meet-ups with my A group kind of fizzled. The cool thing about B/X is that it has all the rules for The Funnel hidden inside the saving throw and combat tables, and the monster section (look under "Normal Man"). It's sessions like this that remind me why I persist in being a referee despite the difficulties and frustrations that crop up every so often.