Last night's session had one of those really great moments. Gavin took his PC, henchmen, and a few NPCs into my Greyhawk Dungeons. He was going to raid an orc lair he had discovered on a previous excursion into the dungeons. At a 4-way intersection he headed south towards the orcs. He immediately ran into some of their sentries who sounded an alarm and fell back. The alarm brought a large group of orcs from the north. The party had earlier cleared that area of the dungeon, but the orcs had since expanded into the vacated rooms. Here Gavin made a big mistake and split the party. He took the cleric south to chase the orcs, and had the rest of the party engage the orcs from the north, which they were able to defeat without much problem. Gavin and the cleric, however, ran into some problems. They both had good armor, so it was tough for the orcs to hit them, but with the number of ocrs they were facing, they eventually wore down. Finally, standing amid the bodies of the fallen, the last two standing, Gavin and the orc chief. Both wounded to the point where one hit could mean death. The orc wins initiative. A swing, a miss. Gavin swings, a hit, max damage. The orc chief falls. Gavin lives to adventure another day.
I once had an entire party of 1st level characters go down against goblins and it all came down to a magic-user with a dagger versus one lowly goblin. The m-u and goblin kept missing each other, while the other characters were bleeding to death... But finally the m-u got lucky and landed a hit, and the party survived.
Gavin's next adventure did not turn out so well. He decided to go without his normal NPC buddies, and just took his two henchmen. A half-orc fighter, and a halfling fighter/thief. Brok, the half-orc was rescued from the cells of the kobolds on the 1st level. Jolly Torbuck, the halfling, was a prisoner of a band of gnolls on the 2nd level. The trio were the first to find the Nixie Pool on the 2nd dungeon level. The pool is in a large natural cavern, magically illuminated for a permanent twilight effect. The party approached the pool, and the nixies started popping up. One group tried to cast a charm on Gavin's PC, but he saved. The other group cast their charm on Brok, who failed. The half-orc went trudging into the pool. Gavin tried to stop him, but he broke free and dove in. With just the halfling, he decided to head back to town. Gavin is now looking for other adventurers to go back with him to try to rescue his henchman.