It's late, so I'll just give a quick rundown on C2 so far.
The group handled AD&D much better, this time. Or this group did. Out of five players, two were long-term AD&D vets (running the cleric and the thief), two had played in White Plume Mountain last year (the magic-user and the monk), and one was new but had been heavily briefed on AD&D by his dad (the fighter.) And of the two vets, one had also played in WPM. By "better," I mean they had a much better handle on the the consumable resources they had, the nuances of things like damage vs. S-M / L and initiative, the importance of ganging up, and the value of spells and using them appropriately.
We got through most of the module today, but we simply ran out of time. A lot of time was spent figuring out puzzles, and trying to find alternate solutions instead of pushing ahead with the first workable one that was found. We got to the "last" bit of the adventure with very little time to spare to complete, and put it off for another day.
We had some highlights:
- manticore trouble, again. This time, no one wanted to talk to it.
- a plethora of L-sized creatures - in fact, not a single S or M sized one yet - and the fighter chose a two-handed sword! Excellent choice.
- some clever puzzles that the PCs figured out, and some they did not but managed to solve eventually.
- lots of valuable contributions by our youngest member, whose dad wasn't even old enough to attend Wintercon VIII when this module debuted.
- the one non-tournament encounter that I used turned out to cost a good 45 minutes of time to resolve. Oops. We'd still have run out.
- a combination of proper caution saving people, and excessive caution hurting people. Got to love it.
As always, returning to play AD&D close to "by the book" was a lot of fun, and we'll finish C2 and then we'll certainly play AD&D again. If only to encounter over-written rules and stern admonishments to be strict with the players in the DMG!