I already wrote a bit about last night's play session, so I won't harp on it too much more, but there is something I want to address.
My character, Calishun the Dwarven Cleric, was ready to run when our bruisers were webbed by our misfiring flying magic-user. The thing is, he isn't a long term character of mine (the magic-user and ranger are characters from my campaign, running under the "if it happens here, it happened there" rule). Calishun was created as a 4th level cleric specifically to playtest the adventure in question. Last night was his third session in play and yet the thought of running at that moment came quickly to me mind.
In truth, I'm not even sure if my decision not to run was influenced by the fact that Calishun will probably never see use again or out of loyalty to my fellow party members. Perhaps a bit of both. Still, the fear and the initial thought were real and that was damn cool.
There can be no gain of worth if there is no risk of loss. Which is why 3rd Edition and beyond of D&D ceased to appeal to me - if you can plot out your character's advancement with a computer app from levels 1 to 20, what is the point to playing levels 1 to 20? Actually, in old school gaming, who plays to level 20? (sure, some do, but I'm making a general statement)
If I'm going to play an RPG, I need there to be some real risk, some real threat to my character, or there is little if any true potential for growth. Sure, the numbers increase, but the numbers don't truly define the character - game play history does.