Last night I was was able to start up my 2nd edition AD&D game. Been chomping at the bit to get this to start. It was a great deal of fun in my opinion. My players thought so as well. Not much happened though, and that is fine with me.
I find that the players were helping create the world more than just what I had set down. They went around the starting town; getting the first "adventure hook," exploring, following a simple boy with a snake coin and the thief doing his best to be a thief before they even left for the next "plot point." There was a great deal of role playing without much combat, expect for a single round where they chanced upon a warehouse guard/owner. It wasn't until near the end of the night that there was fighting at all. With the Tokli. (I highly recommend this guys blog. He is great! And, I know my players read this blog. I trust that they will keep in game and out of game knowledge separate.)
Was I disappointed that it took most of the night to get to the small town? Not at all. I was having fun, so were they. That is what the game is about. Granted, as we got closer to midnight there were some sleepy looks and a little confusion. Yet that happens. I think next time, I might have a break if the players start to drift and wonder--if we are deep into the game. If it is five minutes in, then no.
Moving on, the only complaint I got from my players was that there seemed to be a lot going on. And, there is. I have built this world to be massive. There are plots and plots and plots. Wheels within wheels. It was one reason why I made a player's handout and the first thing I said was, "Take notes!"
This is something that has not bothered me, but sometimes I see my players just nod when I tell them that and then a session or two later stare at me blankly when I ask what the name of an important NPC is. I'm not asking you find out every NPC and keep a detailed flow chart, just write down names of people who talk to you for more than a few minutes. Usually the quest giver and any major NPC that can affect the party-captain of the guard, king, head of the local temple and maybe the innkeeper if you are going to be there for awhile.
This has always been a sticking point with some of my players. They do have the correct assumption that this is their character's life, their character would know the name of these NPCs and that they--as players--don't need to write it down. At the same time, I believe that is shows the the players are paying attention to what is going on. (Probably cover more of this on the podcast...which might be a little later than normal. Having issues with people, life issues that get in the way.)
Beyond that, the only two problems were minor. One was an NPC bodyguard for one of the players didn't follow her somewhere. I completely forgot about him is why and it wasn't until combat started that I realized no one asked about him. So I decided he stayed in town. It happens. The other issue was the mage of the group sidled up alongside the skirmish that started towards the end of the night. He asked for targets, I told him five. I neglected to tell him that two were fellow PCs and one was a damsel in distress. He proceeded to cast a spell to affect all five targets. When I asked the players for saving throws, who both failed and were knocked unconscious by it, he realized the error. He apologized and tried to take back the action. Yet, I didn't allow it.
Once again, I think it falls into the category of a player not paying attention to the game. He stated he was confused by what was going on. Both points hold water. Again, something we will talk more about on the podcast, I think.
The rule system is something I cut my teeth on. Yet this is one of the first times when I didn't have to constantly look in the book for something. Granted, I also put that down as a player handout rule. And, most of the first session was roleplaying. However, I hope that I can continue to have games without me or my players constantly looking up things in the book. The only exception is mages and their spells. I might have them put down notes on what their spells do, damage, range and the like. Yet, this is just a thought at the moment.
Overall, it was a very fun game and I can't wait to do it again. The way things are slated right now, I think it is an every other week game. We shall see.