Friday, 15 July 2011

Girls really do just want to have fun: Part 3.

 Sheila, Dungeons & Dragon - the original girl Dungeoneer
(by jkuri96)

Like all good trilogies the third part will bring unsatisfying conclusions to plot elements that could have been tidied up better and will almost certainly be judged negatively against the first but maybe not the second of the series. So here it is the conclusion to our dungeon adventures with girls!!!

Third and fourth games

This looks familiar...

Flush from our awesome showing in the previous mission we decided we were ready to rock Strahds world, yep we foolishly ramped things up to the final mission levels 12 and 13. We were in search of an epic experience we could tell our grandchildren about. We were doing the hardest missions and we were determined to kick old blood suckers ass back to hell!!! Tired weary and possibly a little too comfortable with the roles we'd chosen for ourselves and quite frankly how easily we'd blitzed the last Dungeon Crawl we decided why mess with a winning formula? Smart move right? Well actually yes, we were now a very well oiled machine that had started to understand the the risk and reward mechanic of this randomly generated Dungeon Crawler.

We set off confident in our abilities and happy knowing our roles. We knew just how we were going to rock things. We were right to be confident, we systematically rocked around exploring and downing baddies with ease and a professionality that would have impressed even the most hardened adventurer, it wasn't truth be told much of a challenge. The Ranger and Warrior explored backed up by the Wizard and Cleric who healed and zapped away all supported by the Rogue who cleared traps, explored a bit and finished off any nasties who the others had only slightly bloodied and not killed. It became predictable and to be honest it actually started becoming a bit boring.

Once more the feckless warrior finds something big and hard

Perhaps because of this we started to get a bit complacent with how we moved and explored, we stopped thinking about how we were going to move as a group. We started planning our trip to the cinema and what we might do next weekend. I wandered off with the Wizard meanwhile the Rogue, Cleric and the Warrior started searching elsewhere confidently blatting monsters as they went. Then the Warrior, 'the Cursed' drew the Arcane Circle tile and drew the Howling Hag as Strahd's bodyguard; not the hardest of bad guys we could have drawn we grant you but we were now quite spread out and hadn't been quite been as diligent as we should have been at monitoring our hit points.

 Wizard & Ranger once more totally in the wrong place - feck!!!

Me and the Wizard were off down a corridor cut off by traps and slaying things... we were both level 2 by now and had collected all the good treasure designed to tackle such mini bosses, we were suddenly in totally the wrong place. The Cleric was surrounded by bad guys we'd left him to kill on his own as he seemed quite adept at it. The rogue had kind of kept a watching brief on all of us and had luckily hung back and was luckily in the best possible place to help mobilise operation 'help the bloody Lizard... AGAIN'. The rogue started her trek towards the two traps that had me cut off, killing one of the wolves that was occupying the Cleric as she went. The Wizard teleported themselves directly into the conflict between the Warrior and the Hag. The Cleric finished off a skeleton and prepared to be hit by a ghoul. Meanwhile I dispatched a rat swarm and a Skeleton and waited to for the Rogue to bail me out of one of the traps so I could use a treasure card to safely traverse the other trap to get me closer to the action.

It was inevitable - Warrior meet Strahd. Strahd meet Warrior

Things went well and we managed to get ourselves back into the fray, only for the Cleric to draw an encounter card that meant we had better start the search for Stradh's secret layer and face any beasties that came our way rather than wait around, besides the Hag was almost dead. The warrior strode forward, wounded and limping and searched an unexplored table edge... oh dear. Yep the unlucky Warrior had drawn the tile containing the undead sucking machine that was Strahd, yep this shit storm had gone from bad to worse. However we were all now in one sort of place and the Cleric and Rogue were dispatched to aid our bumbling Lizard, while the Wizard and Ranger finally silenced the Howling Hag.

Strahd was proving to be a tough cookie to cut down to size but he was slowly being whittled down when I rocked in with my stake I'd found while searching for a treasure. He was on his last legs and would soon flee in the face of such a brutal and concentrated onslaught. Up stepped the rogue with a back stab and a few other buffs and magic items and finally saw the anemic, neck botherer off. We took stock and wandered whether we could be bothered to finish the story off. We were now quite, quite knackered, possibly disinterested and worst of all possibly slightly bored. However we vowed we'd finish him off and so onwards we went, mainly because the males in the group didn't want to leave the job half finished.

Meet my Holy Garlic Sword of Justice evil doer!!! (note: sword not included with game)

We turned up to the 13th level, got really lucky with the encounters and treasures, we also found Stradh very early on and topped the blood sucking child of the night a second time. The end. Yeah it really was that mercifully short this time round and that was that. We had a brief conflab about the evenings gaming and decided all in all it wasn't too bad but that perhaps it was one or two dungeons too long for us as a group. It'd have been helped if the gaming had been fueled by a little more alcohol and a bit more in the way of snack food, but ultimately the success of the evening was down to the company and not necessarily the product itself, but then again it was the product that brought us together.


Well this is more about what Geology Girl and Dr Brainiac thought of proceedings. You see this whole evening had been an experiment to see if Dungeon Crawlers were a route into the hobby for two women who'd shown no previous desire to play with toy soldiers. So did it work? Well yes and no. I think its fair to say that both of them enjoyed the evenings entertainment and the company, as well as the slightly more narrative nature of the game over say a straight up wargame. They also seemed to like the co-operative element and were very quick to remind us of our conjugal allegiances were we to stray to far or leave them unhealed. Both aren't short of a brain cell or two and very rapidly picked up how the game worked after a while and Dr Brainiac's knowledge of RPG's actually came in handy as she was more than able to say how we should stack things to get the right kind of buffs to take the hardest baddies down. Meanwhile Geology Girl proved quite adept at positioning everybody's characters to thwart the bad guys and reduce the damage of their attacks could reap.

However whereas the males in the room decided more games were good, it was clear that half way through our final two games chasing Strahd down that the ladies had started to lose interest and would prefer to actually sit down have a chat and a drink and probably watch a film; probably something like Love Actually or Notting Hill... bloody girls!!! However I think had we stuck to one or two games it'd have been more than an adequate evening and perhaps my eagerness to get a few more games in so I could fairly review Castle Ravenloft was probably too much Dungeon Crawling for one night. However both Mr Chaos Space Marine and Myself were pleasantly surprised to find out that both Geology Girl and Dr Brainiac were more than willing to give the Wrath of Ashardalon a go at some point soon. They were also more than willing, in fact insisted on, our next game being Fantasy Flights Lovecraft inspired Mansions of Madness game, which has arrived from OG Games. So the experiment wasn't a complete failure. Peace out!

Dungeon Crawlers Approved by girls: Part 1
Adventures with girls: Part 2

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