Players arrived at 1:30p and we started rolling up characters around 2p. I had copied Dirk's excellent character sheet in advance and gave two to each player.
They "warmed up their dice" and then dove into rolling their character's in earnest. My buddy JD suggested the best method which was to roll 4d6 (drop the low) seven times and then use the best six for the two characters. Kudos. Another friend, Ryan, who arrived late had rolled his characters up as a a "team", pooling their money as a knight/squire. Also a good method. In any case, I played it fast and loose and one half-orc character ended up with a 21 strength (!).
In the end we had the following party:
- Half-orc fighter
- Half-orc wizard
- Gnome paladin
- Hobbit rogue
- Lizardman fighter
- Cleric (not sure about the race)
- Gnome illusionist
- Elf ranger
- Human knight
- Human squire
In the near future, when we continue the scenario, I'll add two players and four more characters to this mix.
I began with a reinterpretation of the backstory, explaining to the heroes that they were working for Rudi Rump, a ne-er do well non-undead member of the Rump family. He had hired them to "clean out my ancestral home" and to return a certain "signet ring" to him. The heroes were free to keep ANYTHING of value that they found inside the Manor. In addition, they would receive a considerable sum as a reward when the job was complete.
The heroes proceeded into the Manor, eager to take on the challenges and strangeness that awaited them there. (It is at this point that I will cease describing the adventure in case anyone else might choose to run or explore it).
I did make great use of the "Startling Statues" table that is included in the adventure. Great fun! I also chose to include the dreaded "Tin Foil Monster" in a battle with some zombies. LOL!
Suffice to say that Tegel Manor is HUGE. It has over 300 rooms and many of those are left to the referee's discretion. Bob Bledsaw has a fun way of referring to the reader as "'O GM" when he tells you that you must fill out the description/contents for yourself. It's quaint and it connects you to him in a way that you are not connected to modern adventure writers.
As for M20, I was disappointed in only one way. It wasn't nearly lethal enough. :) I was sincerely hoping for some PC fatalities during the adventure and (perhaps it was luck or the nature of the encounters) I was unable to kill off even one. :( I even warned the players that this would happen and they seemed prepared for it.
Perhaps the next time I will be more successful!