First, the highlights:
Last week we added Mike G from Occult Moon Games to the group and this week we added David P from White Haired Man. They're a pleasure to game with and no, I'm not trying to stack the deck by adding game and adventure writers and publishers. I just happen to be lucky to know some creative types ;)
Ambition & Avarice is a really tight system. Nothing noticeably off balance (but I do know why Greg put extra attention to flaming oil in his game designed - it's come up in both session - heh).
Now for the rest of it:
We've closed the door on Dwimmermount, at least for now. By my best estimate, the party has completed about 35% of the first level and have found the stairs leading to the next level of the dungeon. There were two party casualties tonight - one in combat and one to a poisoned trap. Two out of five PCs, in just over 2 hrs of actual game play. A bit higher in lethality than I would have hoped for, especially as I allowed the players to start at second level.
The lethality would have been significantly higher if more than 21 of the 68 number locations had adversaries. While that is roughly 31%, and the AD&D DMG sets it at 25-30% (depending what you consider "special" to include), it's a much thinner population than other adventures I've seen. That, and the repetitive dungeon dressing was frustrating some of my players.
I will say this, the best gamer rant I've heard in a long time was to the effect of the following:
"What the fuck! 2000 copper pieces in a rats' nest? What the fuck are rats doing with 2000 copper pieces? Can they even count to 2000 copper pieces? Did Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser have to pick through rat shit to find 2000 rat shit cover copper pieces?"
Little combat and little loot leads to low experience points rewards. I've done low rewards in the past, but this was a bit painful. Under normal circumstances, I'd change and add things in advance and adjust to my group, but we were trying to playtest both A&A and Dwimmermount, and to be as true to both as we could. Currently, Dwimmermount is not a match to my gaming group's style of play.
Could it be they're more comfortable in the sandbox styled game I was running with ACKS? It's possible, but the last few sessions we played of ACKS were using Barrowmaze 1 and there the only concern was the sheer amount of undead. I've also put them through smaller dungeons without issue.
So, we're closing the door on Dwimmermount for now and moving on to a different dungeon adventure next week.
We'll see if the change of setting does the party good.