The first session of the new campaign went quite well. The boys had a good time and paid attention and did well with their new characters. The introductory adventure I had was a good, balanced scenario for them. We are all looking forward to more adventures on Zendikar.
I admit that I was a little concerned. Thursday one of the boys messaged me to graciously tell me that he was bowing out of the campaign and D&D for a while now. I understood and he made it clear that it was not just my games, he had been in others, and none of them had ever really spiked his interest. Which I understood and accepted, because role playing is not for everyone. I was a little concerned that with his departure the other two would bow out as well, leaving me to figure out a solo game for Jimmy. That was not the case, the other two still wanted to play so the game was on.
I kept things simple for now. Not a lot of character background needed for any of the characters. Heck, I even let them skip the arduous process of coming up with names. And I just threw them together with some background so I could also skip the introduction process.
I ran them through a small, simple set of caverns. Where they fought some pretty tough monsters. For once they actually have a monster that they fear (Umber Hulks, man they are brutal.) They all had a chance to use their abilities and powers and everyone had a chance to shine.
I am looking forward to running them through some new stuff each week. Freed from the constraints of a complex campaign arc. I can just plan on variations of the monster of the week, only a little more sophisticated.
Having them use the Magic Land Cards for Sorcery Points and Spell Slots worked quite well. One player said he really liked how it made it easier for him to keep track of what spells he had cast and had not cast. It also gave me a more visual way of tracking how depleted their resources were, which was an unexpected benefit.
Above is a sample of what the sorcerer used in two encounters. The plains were his Sorcery points. He used Swamps for Third level spell slots, Forests for Second level slots, and Mountains were First level spell slots. Now I know what sort of resources I can pull from them.
I plan to introduce some environmental effects from their overusing spells of a certain kind of Mana, but want to run one more session first. My idea is that there will be a couple of effects tied to each color. And when a certain number of spell slots of that color are used then one of those effects will trigger. It could be something as beneficial as a healing surge where every living creature gets some hit points. Or it could be neutral like all the vegetation grows really fast for a time. Or it could be bad like a blight hits the area.I have some ideas, but I want to document one more session to get a real feeling for what they are using.
It was a good session. I would like to see another player join in. But, for now, the smaller group should work fine. I am looking forward to seeing how this campaign develops.