The Second Level

At the last gaming session, my D&D 4E campaign had one of its teams hit second level.  This is a big deal, because they have only played two sessions.  Back in Castles & Crusades, getting to second level meant literally months and months of gaming, and after running the game for several years off-and-on the group barely broke the ceiling of third level.

I don’t know if this new pace is too fast, but its briskness and energy has certainly kept the player’s interest at a high temperature.  I need to get the other half of the group playing now.

Side note: I need some sort of convention for naming these two groups, like “Blue Team” and “Gold Team” or something similar.  I had sort of hoped they would name themselves, but we’ll see what develops.  For now, I’ll call the group that has already got two sessions under their belt the Blue Team, and the other the Gold Team.

As a little backstory, the Blue Team had agreed to clean out a sunken fort (called the Sunken Fort) at the behest of the Lord Sheriff of Silverton.  In the first session they had worked their way through five level 1 or 2 encounters without too much difficult.  On the second session for the quest, they ended up with one level 2 encounter and two level 3 encounters.  While the level 3 encounters went off fairly easily, the level 2 encounter nearly TPKed them.  I noticed during that encounter that I was managing the battle a lot more than they were–drawing off defenders and hammering strikers with my artillery.  When it got down to the ranger in single-digit hit points against a goblin blackblade with single digit hit points and who’ll hit who first and how hard?  There’s your gaming drama right there.


  1. What is Castles and Crusades?

    Sounds like it was a fun game. I’ve not picked up 4E mainly due to not having disposable income these days but it looks like a lot of fun. Nothing is more exciting than having a close call with your character. I ran a Samurai in a 3E game that was knocked down from 40+ hp to 4 hp and if things did not go well the next hit was going to be in the 20-30 hp realm (certain death). Easily one of the most memorable encounters.

    • “Castles & Crusades” is a D&D clone by Troll Lord Games that came out prior to 4E, during the 3.5 era. It was one of the first “old school” games done under the OGL, and attempts to hearken back to AD&D with assassins and cavaliers (renamed knights) and dropping feats, skills, and the whole “need to use miniatures” thing. On the downside the game seemed to progress slowly, and the home-grown success/fail mechanic (called the SIEGE engine) had some technical issues.

      Oh, and their version of the DMG is total vaporware. Literally years waiting for it.

      • I realized later that my comments sound overwhelmingly negative. I am, despite my enjoyment of my 4E campaign right now, someone who is all over the Old School Gaming scene. C&C is a nice, light system that allows for a more free-flowing style of gameplay than the more structured 3.x or 4E versions. It’s also got a very responsive forum where any questions are quickly answered.

        And to be fair, the C&C doesn’t really need a DMG, since most of the rules are already provided.

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