We're on track for the worst gaming year in a long time. It's mid-March and we've had three game sessions, only two of them Dungeon Fantasy: Felltower. If this keeps up, we'll get in only about 10 sessions this year.
It's been a rough combo of events falling on Sundays, work and special events for me coming up on Sundays (which kills DF outright, and makes Gamma Terra less likely), and gamer availability issues. One of our gamers picked up Sunday work, for example, and another had been socked by snow a few times. We've had a number of days pushed back - "Game Sunday" becoming "next Sunday" becoming "Not this Sunday after all."
We had a session planned today but it fell all the way off to four people - not enough for Gamma Terra and a rough session for DF, especially since one of the players was a maybe. Doable, but not ideal. So if it's seemed a little thin for DF here, lately, it's because of this falloff. We do aim to pick back up.
I still would have run game today but I get that no PC wizards and NPC wizards as a "maybe" = tough adventuring and real concerns over what there is to do. Felltower is quite dangerous, and the "easy" things have mostly been done by PCs desperate to find any loot at all. While I can see with my GM's eye a lot of things that could be done solo, or by a pair or trio of carefully delving and boldly acting delvers, I can see why people feel like it's a maze of ambushes by orc armies and every turn has the Lord of Spite stomping out to destroy the group. It's not like that, and there are things one levels one, two, and the levels as yet unnumbered below that that have been either avoided, ignored, or otherwise bypassed. After all, this is why the statue puzzle was finally solved - someone said, I know you guys marked this as "done" or as "always ignore" but I want a crack at it. The upper levels are mostly explored but there even level one has a good 20% or more of its keyed areas that have never been touched once. So it's a mix of "I get it" versus "but I did design this with the intention we could play with even a tiny group unwilling to hire or uninterested in henchmen."
I've been using the time in between to catch up on prep, though:
- I've fixed a few minor map issues.
- I've finished stocking several new areas.
- I've gone through most of the explored areas and re-stocked or at least re-checked them. Some areas are not really prone to stocking.
- I've keyed a lot of treasure that was rough-keyed before. By "rough-keyed" I mean it said stuff like "3 Ogres + ~2000" and now it says "3 Ogres (stat line inserted). Treasure: Ogre boss wears a silver necklace worth 400 sp, each has a sack with 100 newly-minted sp from (fill in paymaster), and in the corner is a sheet-covered wooden chest full of old clothes, pretty stones, and so on with a false bottom (Per-3) containing a bag with 20 gems worth an average of 75 sp each."
- I wrote up my house rules for something in a form other humans can actually read and potentially understand.
- I wrote up about six or seven new monsters I'd had half-written in my head, on note paper, or in my "Monsters I Need to Stat" document.
So Felltower continues to grow, and wait, until we actually can get our real-life schedules ready for game.
And in other good news, it's possible we may get one of the guys who used to play back at the table. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, all of that stuff* and we'll see how it turns out.
* Which in Felltower, might actually work!