There is an issue with using pre-release material that is still in flux (as I previously learned) - some things are still in flux and I really need to make sure I have the latest release in front of me. Apparently I downloaded the latest release to my laptop, but my desktop had the one prior. No earth shattering changes, but things could have played out a bit easier (potentially) for the PCs. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm happy with how things played out.
The hot topic last week was loot, which took on a life of it's own. This time around, the loot was mostly merchant supplies and historical scrolls - which means the PCs are going to have to work on getting some of this stuff back to town. 125 pound crates do not walk themselves, nor can the PCs carry them for any significant length of distance. Interesting problem for them to think on between sessions.
Early on they got themselves into a situation where they had to negotiate with a summoned demon (not their own, but bound in a circle and wanting release). The negotiations themselves were priceless, as was the party split on dealing with the demon or not. In the end, they released a powerful demon into the world in exchange for a magic item and dealing with the party's immediate threat. It played out in a way I hadn't foreseen, but it certainly made the event memorable.
Part of the reason things played out as well as they did is that I wasn't constrained by running things "By the Book". Not that I didn't run things by the book, I actually did, but there were enough encounters that required interaction and roleplay by the party that I was able to expand on things a bit. It didn't hurt that the encounters had a snippet of background and / or tactics included with each to give me a seed to work with as I improvised.
The party took a beating, but no one was lost - we came close more than a few times. Amazingly, we only had 2 natural 1's rolled, so Attacking the Darkness had a minimal effect on expo and had no opportunity to have an effect on in game dice rolls.
After running back to town at the end of the session to lick their wounds and rest, the party will pick things back up next week. We'll see how things work for them, as the first session in a dungeon has historically gone well - and the second session has a recent history of derailing ;)
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