Sunday, April 22, 2012

More Feedback From Players

Im posting this as a way to record my players feedback on the issues I presented earlier. This is a list of feedback Ive gotten from them and what my replies have been thus far. Im NOT doing this in any way to discourage feedback as much as a means to see what others feel about their feed back, if other DMs have gotten similar feedback and how they handled similar situations,  and maybe to help other DMs who have similar player discrepancies.

Thanks for the feedback so far. I will continue to consider what you all have said until we next play so I can alter things that need to be altered. Please keep in mind a few things about the gaming sessions-

1) Its Old School- so it will have very olds school flavor and mechanics weather they makes sense or not,

2)We are trying something new here. Many of us have not played together in a long time and some not at all. None of us have played on line before and this is my first time running an online game. I applaud Madeleine for setting up Skype and making that system work for us-  I don’t have the  patience for it- but it is quirky and slows things down at times (cameras issues, microphone issues, multiple people talking can mute out what a person says, etc). Also I am managing a lot here: The adventure, the model set ups, the character movement, the rules, the notes,  and each player. Its hard enough to do when people are sitting around a table, its another when its all online and your trying to direct information- so please be patient if I don’t hear you tell me you cast a spell or did something.

3) Lets not take this too seriously and have fun with it. It shouldn’t be personally frustrating experience for anyone. I do this because I love gaming and I want to play with my friends and I enjoy bringing those to dynamics together.

So- here are responses to feedback so far:

1) Regarding initiative, I am sort of a convert to individual initiative. I think this gives a better feel of the "chaos of combat." I would suggest rolling a d6 or d8 and having characters add their DX bonus, and perhaps have penalties for heavy armor or huge weapons. Then just count down from 8 or 10 to one, with each character reacting on their number. Monsters could be rolled as a group if there are lots of them, or individually if there are just a few.

I think the bigger issue with initiative is how spells are handled. In my systems, I long ago moved away from the "spoil the spell" rule, so spell casters don't have to declare spells at the beginning of the round. I find this makes things flow far better. If you retain the spell declaration, there really has to be a call for spells at some point when the initiative die is rolled. I think with individual initiative, spell casters would be prompted better to declare their spell because it would be a more active process. Also, spells could have an initiative modifier (perhaps even different modifiers for different spells), which would impact the roll and force the caster to call the spell to get the correct modifier.

So either way, I think individual initiative is a better solution and would actually make play more interactive, interesting, and fun.


I don’t want to bog the game down with lots of initiative modifiers ( spells, armor, weapon speed, etc) these are primarily AD&D mechanics. I want to keep initiative simple. My issue with having everyone roll and then count down is that I never liked that all my monsters got to go on the same initiative roll and I its too much work to keep initiative for a bunch of monsters individually. I agree with Bill that it would be easier for spellcasters to remember to call out spell use- and I am getting better at remembering to ask prior to  die roll. But again, part of old school is stating intention first and dealing when casting a spell ( actually, how it was handled was that before initiative was rolled, everyone stated their intended action first- then we rolled and everyone was stuck with their action no matter what the outcome. So if you decided to fire an arrow at a goblin and the goblins won initiative and that goblin hides behind something- too bad- that was your action. If you want to reopen this style of initiative im ok with that too).
I think the main issue here is more that I just wrote your characters down in absolutely no order and its easier for me to go down the list one by one. But this means characters at the bottom always go  last even if the party wins initiative. SO…. I guess im still pondering this mechanic.

2) Some other thoughts...

>It did take a bit to get things off the ground again with hirelings and such...

>Unfortunately it cost nearly all your hirelings

Yes it did. I think there are a couple of issues around this that should be considered.

First, on a bigger picture, I think there is a lot of "resource micro-management" going on which is taking up a lot of time, in my opinion somewhat needlessly. This is compounded horribly when you factor in all these groupies, who each need to be micro managed to the nth degree. Tom, I would suggest that you develop a "standard pack" for porters, and one perhaps for fighting hirelings, and the assign a basic cost for the upkeep of said pack when we get back to town. The same can be done for the characters. It will just save a lot of time and hassle, especially since we seem to need to replace the hirelings after virtually every adventure.


Much of this has to do with players. You guys choose to take on hirelings and such and often change things when we start or want to buy more stuff or whatever., I have no problem with that, I just want a list of who has what. Since I don’t have you sitting here, I have to keep a record this for certain reasons. I don’t think its too much to ask. If a porter is carrying all your torches and he runs off into the dark- well then you have no torches. When the cleric tells me he is using his holy water ( and I remember he used it already in the last encounter) it tells me some people aren’t managing their equipment accurately and its an unfair advantage for everyone. Part of old school is Resource Management because so much of the characters survival at early levels depends on this. Im not being a total nazi about this, I just want to know who has what in general.

 I don’t want to put together a FAST PACK for hirelings since I don’t know what you want them to have. So if someone wants to put together a Hireling Fast Pack  based on the Equipment list and say  “This is the Fastpack we will purchase for each Hireling and always  maintain that” Im ok with that.

3) This brings me to my second point, which is the lethality of combat and the relative power of our characters. Were I Orien (which in a sense I am), I would be thinking to myself, "what the hell am I doing wrong?" In the last two adventures we have come a hair's breath from being wiped out. And so far we have yet to penetrate barely beyond the entrance to the Caves of Chaos, and didn't even find a burial mound in the Barrows. I could see having a big climactic battle that really tests us when we have actually gotten somewhere. But being essentially wiped out at the doorstep of these two places has Orien (me) thinking that these places are way above our heads, and that we need to find somewhere that is more appropriate.


Well we are playing Old School and I know a lot of you are either out of practice or havnt played before. Part of old school is picking away at encounters a little at a time, running a lot, fleeing back to town to rest up, arming yourselves with hirelings, etc. Especially at low levels this is how things go. You don’t get much EXP from killing monsters, it all mostly comes from treasure. Wandering monsters suck because they never have any. Time Management is just as important in Old School as Resource Management. Its just a different style of play and sets of rules. If  you want to stand around for an hour in a undead haunted bog without setting up proper defences while you let one porter dig out two graves all by himself- that’s your choice. BUT- I roll for an encounter every few turns or so- more if you making noise.  The  trick is to figure out how to get past the monsters and get the treasure without much bloodshed (you guys h andled this nicely with sleep spells in the Caves).

Also, you may have had your asses handed to you the last two encounters, But, you managed to wipe o ut nearly every first encounter you faced for few sessions with Sleep spell. You also took out a significant Bandit operation that could have been problematic for your group. You win sometimes, you loose sometimes. It all depends on actions you make and the roll of the die.
Again-YOUR FIRST LEVEL- its not suppose to be easy. But I think your doing a pretty good job so far since NOT ONE character has died to date. That’s pretty fair.

If Adventureing wasn’t dangerous, more people would be doing it and all those tombs and caves filled with loot would be empty <G>.

4) I feel like we tried to gather information in Barrowmoor. Perhaps if the place was too powerful some kind Cleric maybe could have given us a clue and pointed us elsewhere. But I have to say it is pretty discouraging to watch half your party get destroyed every adventure - especially when it is in such seemingly benign encounters like a few giant toads.


The Barrowmoor is a dangerous place and everyone told you that including the priest in the village. You were told there were undead  and other nasty creatures.  The Priest has priestly duties to perform, he isn’t interested  in  endangering his life by trapsing around some fetid bog to get information about whats going on. That’s your job….

5) Yes, the party members themselves have survived by the skin of their teeth, but Orien looks around and realizes he has exactly one hit point more than most of the porters, and thinks, "there but for the grace of Hearn go I." It seems to me that characters who are level 1 should have their zero level hit points to make them relatively more powerful than the porters. If Bryrig had ever advanced, for example, he would have gotten a second d4 or d6 of hit points for now being level one. I think giving the characters that would make us a bit more resilient and also differentiate the characters a bit better from their hirelings.


No- Bryrig if he gained  a level would not get another die  of hit points. He would get to re roll ( or take the max if he were a PC) of the class he starts in ( for the record hes a porter so he can never advance, only a fighting man can). What separates you from them is you can level, you have more abilities, your better at fighting than they are, and well as crewl as it may sound- You matter and they don’t. Their not called Cannon Fodder for nothing. That’s not to say you cannot develop relationships with your hirelings or whatever, but don’t say the adventure is too hard because you brought 5 torchbearers to a Monster Mash and they got killed . You guys didn’t loose any party members.

6) But bigger picture, Orien feels that the two places we have been have proven to be beyond our current abilities, and would look elsewhere for a next adventure. It just isn't a whole lot of fun to put all this time into making this party then having us get wiped out without penetrating at all into the more interesting parts of the places we are supposed to be exploring, and not really pushing the story forward in any meaningful way.


 There is no overarching story here. It’s a sandbox setting where there are adventures to explore together. You can clean out the Caves of Chaos, kill undead in the Barrowmaze, etc. I like that most of you have provided a backstory that tells me why you are here and gives me something to create side stories each of you personally, but those wont come to light right away. For now you are trying to get some experience, prove your worth, establish connections with NPCs, etc.

7) So in synopsis, I'd like to find ways we can focus less, and spend far less time, on the mundane aspects of the system like buying food and lighting torches, and put more time into developing our characters interaction with the world. Charge us a little money and just consider it done. Our characters have lived in the world, they know they need to buy food, they know where to get it - that part doesn't need to be played out as rigorously. Stuff like Madeleine's spells or buying a special weapon is different, and I thought that was handled well, but not the mundane stuff. And secondly, I think there needs to be a better "flow" of combat. If every encounter sends us fleeing back to town, we'll never get anywhere. So if we are doing something wrong in not being diligent about vetting the places we are going, we need to change that. But if not, I think the encounters we have need to be crafted better around the story. The battle we had yesterday, for example, would have made more sense to me if it happened at a Burial Mound, rather than as the result of encountering some toads.


I agree with better flow of combat and I addressed that above. But fleeing back to town after a few combats is standard. I wouldn’t suggest camping out in the Barrowmoors anymore than I would suggest camping out in the Caves of Chaos- They are not safe. There is a reason the town is not very far away- its to rest, recouperate and replenish supplies and henchmen.
Again, the battles yesterday were random encounters. Two brought on by your actions ( hanging out for an hour and digging graves, shouting out to your friends so you they could find you).
Also, we only play for about 4 hrs when you  factor in computer connection issues, players having to go off to take care of personal things, etc. In that time I try to get in a fair amount of both roll playing and combat in. Its not always balanced, sometimes its heavy on the role play, other times its heavy on the encounters.

8) Taking turns for actions - I think the player characters (not Tom) should name a caller to ask each character what they are doing, and that the caller should keep track of action order - I personally vote to use round-robbin - fair, fun and simple.

Im not sure what Adam means by this, I think everyone is telling me what their characters are doing, but if you guys opt to assign a caller to speak for all your actions Im open to that

9)Porters etc. Cadfael will never take more than one from now on. It gets cumbersome and expensive!


LOL yes especially when the run off into the dense fog of a the undead infested Barrowwmoor..

10) Oil - good idea about pre-made molotov cocktails. We could keep a couple in belt/sholder harness/vest harnes, and draw, light and throw and still have a movement (half-move or 5'?) action also allowed in that round. Question:  is there such a thing as a smoldering taper - like a punk or cigarette etc, rather than using a torch to light the oil? Like a "match" people used to light cannon fuses.


No there isn’t a way to keep a constantly list item other than a torch really. But prepairing Molotov cocktails is always an option. Also note torches last for two hours each, so even having on lit and on hand when going into dangerous areas is worth it so you can easily light other torches or oil ( since trying to get one lit with flint and steel isn’t easy, especially when zombies are chasing you)

11) Last - not sure what to do about it, but only having 7 HP's is a real pain and naturally produces a more cautions approach (run away!!!). Two desent hits from anything at all and we will be burrying, or cremating if it is the elf :),  someone.  Here are two very simple solutions: (a) give us more HP's! (b) somehow make it that we have access to cheap CLW potions (at the moment they are very expensive).


As Ive said before, I think Im more than fair on what I offer for healing ( well beyond the B/X  rules). Clerics can swap out healing for free, you can bandage for 1d3 hit points after battle, you can heal back in town for 1d6 hit points, If you fall below zero and make a save  vs Death you don’t die, you can pay a cleric back in town to heal you, you can buy healing salves that cure 1d3 hit points.

Yes having 7 hit points sucks. Having better armor, a shield and helmet certainly helps, as does hiring men at arms to surround you and keep you safe.

12) I also agree with people about initiative. I don't think that round robin really reflects the characters though. It should be a rare day, indeed, that Golar goes before Orien, so I think that some way of doing initiative that reflects a character's skills is best if it can be simple enough to run. Perhaps an initiative roll modified by dex as Bill suggests makes sense. Perhaps we only roll initiative once per battle rather than once per round? I also really like the idea of one of the players calling the turns out rather than Tom. Its one less thing for him to have to manage during a busy combat.
Im ok with switching to someone rolling Initiative once then staying with that order. This may be easier  but it removes the option of  the party ( and the monsters as well) from getting two back to back actions. But in this case, individual initiative based on dex wouldn’t apply.


Im ok with someone else counting out initiative.

13) I don't mind spell declaration at the top of the round but if we do that, then whoever is calling the turns should call for spells by character, I.e. "Top of the round. Myra: spells [i speak], Cadfael: spells [Adam speaks]", etc. That said, not having spell declaration or spell spoilage is advantageous to the party so if we feel we are too weak, then this would be a small change that would help the cause.

Agreed- If someone wants to handle this fine by me- makes it easier for me believe me.

14) I also agree with people that our apparent weakness vs. the various tasks and quests is somewhat discouraging. We were completely unprepared for Barrowmoor. Our spells were ineffective, our night vision was ineffective, our weapons were ineffective, and even Cadfaels turn undead which should have been a powerful skill was largely ineffective. I felt like we asked the right people the right questions around town and not one of them clued us in to any of this. I can see us deserving to get our asses handed to us if we got some of that advice and went in there with no thought to strategy than "Let's get them!" I.e. if you go around stupidly and stubbornly, you deserve to get beat up, but if you're cautious and put some reasonable thought into what you're about to do, you should be able to avoid some consequences.


You knew you were going to be going into a place with undead. Why Cadfaels turn undead wasnt effective is a mystery ( or could be he just rolled low every time- remember he gets -1 cumulative on each turn). Your adventurers – adventurers are crazy. Normal people don’t risk their lives in tombs and caves. You often learn by trial and error. Well now you know better. Another note I want to mention about Cadfael's turning ability. Remember he is only 1st level. When you encounter an undead that keeps getting up every time you "kill" it, doesnt seem affected by your weapons and who exudes some kind of fear ability that causes half your group to flee in terror- It likely these undead arent your common everyday household zombies and therefore beyond his ability to turn. That doesnt mean they are too powerrul, it means you resort to other methods of dealing with them ( holy water), or better yet  RUN!!!!!. Again- Trial and Error- if and when you encounter them again, youll no better....

15) One other suggestion is that we have a set marching order that we fax or email to Tom before we play. I think one order for in dungeons going 2 abreast and one for the wilderness when we can be more spread out. Tom can make the call as to whether we're in an area spacious enough for the spread out formation or not and set up our figures accordingly if we run into a battle.


Works for me as long as I have all the hireling info ahead of time so I can set things up. Also who will be carrying light.

16) Myra suggests we don't use porters or men-at-arms any more. Using porters is not much different from human sacrifice, and perhaps more important (in her mind anyway) is they're a bad investment. If we want more power, we should get people like Thad who have hit points and skills. If we want to be able to carry lots of stuff, we should get mules. For 30gp one mule can carry 200lbs of stuff, or double that with a movement penalty. If the mule gets killed we don't need to worry about next of kin, etc. and it's body can be left to Hearn's realm. (What did you call it, Brother Cafael? The wheel of life?) And if we need torches to be carried, we can carry them ourselves. OK, maybe one or two porters for the whole party at most (they can take care of the mules, too).


A very sound alternative…

17) Regarding the Barrowmoors, Myra feels we are uniquely unsuited to be successful there. All of our best strengths and skills are virtually useless there. We could come up with an elaborate strategy involving a lot of oil, at-the-ready molotov cocktails, haul in our own firewood, and somehow procure several gallons of holy water, but that is a very expensive venture. She recommends that a different quest would be a smarter investment of our funds right now. The three that come to mind are the other quest that the wizard gave her, the Abandoned Mine with Mikko's help, or the Citadel of the Iron God with Ironfist's support.


That’s fine, I just need notice so  I can prepare for the next adventure. I also have some town based adventures I can run if people want so me of that.  The reason you did well up to this point is because the factors of the Caves and encounters to and from were easily manageable ( sleep, visibility, etc). The Barrowmoors represent a different set of obstacles to overcome- but they are tombs- so the chance for bigger treasure  is more likely than what goblins will be carrying around. Your choice. But…If you don’t like dealing with undead, you have already been warned that undead were sighted at the Citadel of the Iron God. Undead are nasty aren’t they- no morale and they just keep getting up after you kill them.

18) Old School "style" - in general I really like the stripped down,
simplified rules, but... the need for hirelings, constantly being on
the verge of death, only ever getting our foot in the door (and then
running away), and amount of time spent on inventory/hireling
management is seriously detracting from the amount of fun. I really
want to be able to get to the "meat" of the adventure.


Yes hirelings, constantly on the verge of death, running back to town to heal up. Thats old school. But again YOUR FIRST LEVEL- in most any edition of the game thats standard. Again, about inventory/management- we will all work on a way to get this done outside of game time. The "Meat" of the adventure... Well in the Caves of Chaos it is killing goblins and collecting their heads. In the Barrowmaze it is finding three sapphire skeletons and ( most likely killing them) and taking their gems. 

19) Hirelings: HATE them. I don't feel like they add anything to the game.
We need them because we're weak, but they don't make the game any
better. I would really like to find a way to not need them. That being
said, I do like the idea that the characters with a high Charisma (not
me) can have a single dedicated follower (possibly who can gain levels
to keep them relevant). Currently, it seems like if it's worth while
to hire a few hirelings, it'd probably be even better to hire a whole
company of 40 or 50 fighting men and make our own mercenary band. Then
we'd be able to take on a cave of goblins and actually root them all
out. But I don't think any of us really want to play that way...


Then don't hire them and take your chances. I dont force you to hire them, they are an option to increase survival. If you could afford to hire a company of 40 to 50 ( not that you would ever find that many in the whole Northern Reaches) and wanted to pay for all their expenses and run them into the caves, more power to you. But I dont think that would be fun for anyone really. And talk about hirelings getting underfoot and needing over management....

20) Oil: Honestly, oil really bugs me.  It's one of the most effective
weapons we have because we're weak, but it seems silly. We're carrying
around bandoleers of Molotov cocktails? Really? Why don't the monsters
do the same? If they ever do we're totally screwed. Also, why not just
have an "oil thrower" class?


Well its part of the game mechanic as an option. Really its not much different than the 4th edition wizard always getting to cast magic missile spell or other grenade like weapons offered in other editions. Its a classic trope of not only Old School but also fantasy adventure genre in general. If you think they are silly then dont buy them or use them. But maybe my monsters now will, hmmmmm

21) Hit Points: I agree with Bill, coming close to death (or dying) in a
climactic battle is a great part of the story, but coming very close
to death in even the most mundane encounters isn't really very fun.


Again- YOUR FIRST LEVEL. I can see you being upset if your 5th level or 10th level lets say and you get wiped out by giant centipedes. Thats very un climactic, but your first level, your not heros, not special, your "ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances". None of these encounters should feel mundane to you as everyone should be a battle for your lives in the hopes of gaining treasure and experience points. The only way do what your asking is to attack you with 1 hit point giant rats for every encounter and for the climactic battle, I attack you with a 6 hp orc-  not very interesting at all really. 

22) Inventory management: hate it. I would really prefer the limited time
we have to be about the story and the adventure and less about record
keeping. Certain items (Oil, holy water, etc.) should be precious
commodities with a big effect, only a few in the party, etc. Almost
everything else seems just too mundane to track, how much food do we
have? do I have 9 iron spikes or 8? How many torches do we have? who
has them? I don't really care. In some ways our characters are more
worldly than we, the players, are, I'd like to leave the more mundane
issues to them and let us worry about the role-playing.


Again, I think you all are making a bigger deal of this than there really is. Ive not been  persnickety at all with regard to if you have 8 or 9 iron spikes or whatever. Im merely asking who has what and if you gain new stuff, who is carrying it. Ive already pointed out why this is important to me and the group. Also, you as players are probably far more worldly than your characters, and in role playing games, in general the knowledge they have is often based on what you know and applied to the setting they are in. I am leaving the mundane issues to them, i dont ask you when they pee or poop or what and when they eat (unless its adventure specific), etc. 

23) Initiative: I really prefer individual initiative. It adds more
flavor. I'd suggest doing all the monsters at once (or in blocks of
3-5) except for the important PC type monsters (Riva, the ogre, etc.)
Hirelings/followers should act at the same time as their employer or
just go last.


As ive said before we can work on another option for initiative, but the simpler the better is what I want.  Its pretty simple now, the only issue that started all this discussion is that the party rolls initiative vs the encounter and whomever wins goes first and that I just go round the table so to speak as you each take your turn. Some thought this always put them at the end of the table and wasnt fair, and others complained they werent aware initiative was being rolled and never called out their spell casting. These issues are minor and can be worked out. But I dont want to bog down the game with lots of initiatives, counting down,initiative modifiers, etc. 

24) Story: I'd really like to have a story that influences some of the
game, at least a bit. I wrote in a family "magic item" into my back
story, it would be great if it was in the story somewhere, same thing
with other character's back stories.


As I said already, I like that each of you have done that an I have taken that into account. Two of the players are already working on elements of their back story. I did not forget your "magic item" either. But you cant expect to find that "element" right away, or whats the point. Each of you are working your way toward your "backstory element" in your own way and also exploring other adventuring options.

25) Porters: I agree with Madeline that having mules is a better idea, but
it would also be nice if we didn't have to worry about carrying tonnes
of stuff. To that end maybe we could do away with every monster having
a few silver and just give the leaders more gold / gems, etc.


Then go for the mules  and carry everything into the dungeons yourselves. And for the record, every "leader" you have met and dealt with ( the ogre- although he wasnt a leader, and the bandit leader) all had more gold/treasure than their followers.

26) Game tokens: honestly +1 to a die roll, is kind of weak, +5 to a die
roll is pretty useful, so if we can spend a bunch on a single role,
that'd be great (still confused about this point). Having said that,
if we only get one a session, it'll be pretty rare you can do anything
really cool with you game tokens. I'd like to try making them fairly
powerful in game terms, think "epic fantasy" moments like allowing the
M-U to cast her spell despite having been stabbed, or allowing an
automatic hit, or cause maximum damage for one attack, recover a bunch
of hit points, etc. Characters should then get 1/2 or 1 point per
session with Tom giving out extras for doing something really cool
(like Cadfel and the hold person scroll).


Game tokens were a devise option I created to allow characters who do creative things in the game to gain something that they could use to benefit them somehow down the road. You dont deserve them Im being nice enough to give you them. Yes a +1 is better than nothing at all. That said, I decided to allow you to combine them for more effect. Right now the only way you get them is for things I find enhance the gaming experience- not just general use of combat and spells ( Adams use of the Hold Person scroll was perfectly appropriate). I get what you mean about "epic fantasy moments" and again YOUR FIRST LEVEL. So even a few points here and there to offset a Save or Die roll or whatever is better than nothing. 
Now in other games ( mazes and minotaurs) they do use a Hero Point system that gives you one point per level ( and more if you perform heroic actions) that allow for amazing "epic fantasy feats". I may change out game tokens and use the Hero Point System- we will have to see. But for now- DONT LOOK A GIFT HORSE IN THE MOUTH. 

27) This may sound a bit heretical, but I think the easiest answer to some
of the issues would be to have all the PCs start at 3rd level.
-We wouldn't be so reliant on hirelings
-Death wouldn't be around every corner
-Oil would be much less important


Well thats an option, but at 3rd level you all would be complaining about different things ( monsters too hard, spells not as affective, etc). Besides I like the idea of proving your worth through the lower levels. Death is always around every corner, its the reality of the Dungeons and Dragons ( but I hear computer games are great because if you die you can just start over like nothing happened- how fun...). Ive already had my say about oil and hirelings,  if you dont like them you dont have to use them. 


  1. I swear I heard a tiny violin playing during the entire post :)

  2. Oh my, I think KiltedYaksman up there DMs 10X more maliciously than you, but we've learned to savour the "pain" of it lol. Also I think the number one recurring problem that I'm seeing (aside from maybe initiative rolls) is that everyone's complaining about being 1st level. Once they reach an average of 2nd/3rd level party, almost all of these gripes essentially dissapear. I think it'd be a good idea to stress this fact. And I don't think it's a good idea to plainly start at 3rd level, especially in a sandbox where old 1st level encounters/areas don't necessarily have to be repeated. Scrapping your way up to 2nd, 3rd higher levels is one of the most fulfilling aspects of the game. it's much easier to appreciate your character who can fight strong undead and ogres "high fantasy style" and live to tell about it, when you saw him grow and work up to that point. This is just sort of what I've taken away from the old school style of play in the past year or so, well alot more than that but I'll stop here ;)

    1. Well I am trying to work through some of their grievances for next session. I think what I decided to do was give each character an extra 1d6 hit points ( to represent their zero level hit points as it were). I have reservations that this will fix the problem, but we will see. I agree with you that if they could just manage to suck it up and get through level one, then they would see there is less of an issue with the hit point thing.

  3. Amen. Technically your giving them more starting hp than they would get in even later editions. it must be tough running an online campaign so I would imagine that you'd have to make concessions etc. That being said there's no way they'd get that kind of luxurious DM treatment from me ^^