In preparation for our first M&M game we decided to run a one shot of D&D 1979 rules (re-edition Old School Essentials by Necrotic Gnome) as none of us had ever played that edition. We made characters by the book, I had a premade adventure for levels 1-2 (the Hole in the Oak). We were ready.
We were not ready.
We had 3 players that night, 2 of them rolled mediocre characters with passable wisdom so they chose clerics only to find out clerics don’t get a spell a level 1, both rolled 3hp (3+0 and 5-2). The third one rolled great and chose a dwarf with a roll of 6hp.
The game started at the titular Hole in the Oak, I explained that the village hunter had tracked cultists back to here and the village offered up a bounty to root them out. They wisely decided to use a rope to help them down the hole but the greedy dwarf decided to keep the rope so he untied it and tried to climb down the roots only to fall and loose half his health (3/6hp). Here we decided that, since this was a one shot, they would have 3 lives as a group and every time someone would die they would come back next round with all their health so at the fourth death they would loose.
Unfazed, they lit up some torches and headed down the tunnel. At the first fork they headed towards the sound of rushing water. A few steps in, a blurry image of a robbed wizard appeared and tried to warn them of something but the illusion was old and fuzzy and the words kept cutting out.
They entered a dimly lit circular room where the Dwarf took the cue from the illusion, checked for traps (2/6) and found a magic circle carved under the rug. They sidestepped it and kept going towards the water in the now stone corridor until they came up to a locked door on their right… and decided to knock.
What opened the door was the biggest troglodyte they ever saw and his two friends peering over his shoulders. Accompanied the most foul stench to ever fill their level 1 nostrils. This is where everything went downhill, they managed to save against the stench but the big one took a chunk out of one of the clerics, the others were stuck behind him.
They moved around so that they fought 3 against 1 but even then, the troglodytes each had a much health as they had as a group and 3x1d4 attacks along with an instinct to kill and eat whatever they saw as weaker. After a few tense rounds of desperate tactics they managed to beat the troglodytes but not before loosing all their spare lives as both clerics had mediocre armor and would go down in one or two scratches.
As they caught their breath and recovered from multiple visits from the reaper, they checked the room for treasure, the dwarf found a secret room filled with rotting fish and a slimy looking wooden chest. suspecting a trap the dwarf wrapped his hands in cloth and checked for traps, failed to see it, triggered the poison cloud, failed is save, vomited his own lungs, and ended the game.
As we went over the events of the night, we came to the conclusion that we were way to gung-ho about the whole thing. 3rd edition, pathfinder, 5e had taught us we were heroes. 1979 D&D taught us we were but men (and a dwarf).
With our egos properly crushed we are ready to start living in 1648. I suggested that the players make more than one character, they agreed.