Another death to comment on this week. Thankfully, it's not a new one, just the anniversary of an old one. One year ago yesterday, on March 4, 2008, E. Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, passed away. All modern role-playing games are due to the example that he created. Even though "Adventures in Oz" is very different from the Dungeons & Dragons game that Gary designed, or as it is played now, it still traces it's roots back to good ol' D&D.
I finally managed to talk my gaming group into trying out "Adventures in Oz". So on Saturday night, we got everybody's character's made and started out a simple scenario. You can read the results of the session over here. (Check out the rest of the site while you're there. Jared could use the traffic.)
A few things of note: Character creation was a small challenge. One player commented that the Child in Oz template had a higher base Wits rating than the Soldier, which makes little sense in any kind of real world context. But once you start accepting that this is Oz, it makes much more sense.
The big challenge was coming up with starting friends for the characters. According to the rules, every character has one friend of their choice on their Friends List. For the Sorcerer, we decided that he wanted to practice magic legally, so we made his friend the Good Witch of the North. Our sand-man has a wind-fairy as a friend. I think our anime-inspired character is still working on a friend. We'll see how that develops.
Instead of the Winged Monkeys, I was originally going to use Nomes. I was thinking that General Guph was trying to conquer Oz by making sure that Ozma was so busy dealing with all sorts of small troubles that his army could invade with little opposition. I scratched that idea after I realized that our last campaign revolved around a plot by an outsider general to conquer the world. Even if it was a different general with a different master plan, I didn't want to get stuck in a rut.
The rules mechanics worked out just fine. Everyone got the hang of how to roll the dice rather quickly. Our sorcerer had little problem casting spells, but that may simply have been because I have the spell-building rules memorized (I did design them, after all). He was quick to use poetry, meaning he wasn't too ready to risk failure. I probably should have mentioned the Terminal Condition rules to him, because now the spaghetti fields will be permanently illuminated.
Nobody has spent any Oz Points, either for bonuses or for plot devices. We'll see how those mechanics work out.
The only real flaw or gap I found in the system is that Oz Points, while helping to drive play, are not the only kind of reward the system should have. I'd like to be able to reward the players for making me laugh without weakening Oz Points.