Finished up my 1974 OD&D experiment tonight. I did end up making it a Greyhawk game, but in Greyhawk’s Blackmoor. The backstory: The wizard’s apprentice Abner turned traitor, seduced and corrupted by Iuz. The Old One’s plan was to take Blackmoor from the inside, so he gave Abner the means to create a gate inside the dungeons where Iuz’s forces could enter and launch a surprise attack. The party was tasked with entering the dungeons and capturing or killing Abner. They were not aware of it, but they had a time limit. For the first three or four sessions the party did not play well. Too many unnecessary deaths, never thought to capture and question any of the dungeon denizens they encountered, wandering around haphazardly, etc. They did play much better tonight. Hit and run tactics, more purposeful exploration plans, but it was too late. While they were resting in town the attack was launched. They heard the alarm and fighting from the castle. They decided to flee, and they escaped town before it was completely overrun. They headed west towards the Burneal Forest with an elf they rescued from the dungeon.Which is where we will start if we decide to go back to these characters.
Tonight's session notes: Three fighters and a magic-user, all 1st level, but close to 2nd. After resting in town the party returned to the castle. One of the Baron's advisors informed the party that scouts they sent not the dungeons were reporting an increase in organized activity. They entered the dungeon and headed towards a completely unmapped area off the main hall. The passage was mostly blocked by rubble and garbage, leaving enough space for a PC to crawl over the top. Several zombies were hidden in the rubble just beneath the surface, and they popped up and surprised the party as they were trying to make it over. They beat the zombies, made it over the rubble, and explored several rooms controlled by more zombies, skeletons, and the cleric controlling them. After the battle with the cleric and his zombie guards I think everybody in the party was down to 2 His, but the cleric was one of the main encounters and they ended up with quite a haul of gold and gems. Also they're first magic item besides potions, a shield +1. They headed back to town, and everybody leveled up. Back in the dungeon they cleared out a series of rooms making up a small brigand lair, and a section of the dungeons controlled by orcs and their ogre boss. They rescued an elf here, but they were pretty beat up, and left to rest, ignoring the room where the ogre emerged from, and missing some pretty good loot and a magic sword. The castle was attacked while they were resting.
I was planning on running a short 5E game next, but I was overruled and we'll be playing some Stranger Things D&D, i.e. 80s Basic, maybe the Lost City and I'll replace Zargon with "the Demogorgon", at least the mini.