Our gaming group played our first ever session of XCrawl just a couple of hours ago. The current campaign (3.5E Shackled City AP) is on hiatus for a couple of months while I deal with a second little one in the house. Tonight was a chance for me to catch up with the guys and have an informal, casual game. I figured that XCrawl fit those requirements nicely so I ran the group through Dungeonbattle Brooklyn using the pre-gen characters in the crawl.
We only got the the second room (the one with the Orcs) before I scored my first ever TPK (I've never had one previously in about 100-130 session of DM'ing). Regardless of that fact, in the short time that we played we all managed to have an absolute ball.
The first room went ok. There was comedy from the start with players falling in the mud and smacking in to walls due to very low Balance and Climb checks. The "Giant" was taken out without too much trouble while the Rogue nearly knocked himself out after falling while climbing the tower. A miraculous catch by the female Dwarven Cleric managed to arrest his fall before he fell head-first on the ground.
The Orc room started out ok. The PC's got a surprise round in and then managed to win initiative in the first round. By the end of that there were only 3 Orcs remaining. Unfortunately some really bad rolls saw things go pear-shaped after that. The Evoker lined up 2 of the Orcs with a Colour Spray. After saying that anything but a 1 would see him pass the Concentration check to cast while threatened, he proceeded to roll a 1. In return I rolled a natural 20 for the AoO and killed him with a baseball bat to the head, his brains smashed to pieces as he went from just under full hit points to dead in one swing.
Across the other side of the room another Orc batted the Rogue into negative hit points. Just the Cleric and the Fighter were left standing. The Cleric was knocked out soon after, still standing in the tunnel. The Fighter dropped back and gave the Cleric a healing potion, only to roll a 1 for the healing. With just 2 hit points the Cleric was knocked back out before she was able to heal the Rogue.
In the meantime the Ferret familiar of the Evoker continued to bite the neck of one of the Orcs. The Fighter took down the Orc the Ferret was attacking but then rolled low for the Cleave attack. Then the funniest moment of the night happened.
The Ferret attempted to launch itself at another Orc, giving the Orc an attack of opportunity. I proceeded to roll another natural 20 as the Ferret joined its master in the land of the dead. I described the action as basically the Ferret launching itself at the Orc, only for the Orc to baseball bat the Orc out over the walls for a "home run"! We were all cracking up laughing at this point and I literally had tears in my eyes.
In the end the Fighter couldn't hold up against the 2 Orcs and was knocked unconscious as well. And there the session ended with 1 dead Evoker, 1 dead ferret and 3 other unconscious PC's. Despite the fact they only made it to the second room everyone had a blast of a time and we agreed that they would have to have a second shot at the Dungeon another time.
So despite the group's abysmal failure, XCrawl will definitely be played again by our group in the near future!
Olaf the Stout