Just ran a party of Freebooters (2e) through the Tomb of the Serpent Kings. It was a really fun session! Here are my impressions about the system:
– Everyone enjoyed it. Overall it ran smoothly and felt satisfying for the players.
– As the GM, the PbtA structure gives me freedom about the consequences of players rolling a failure. Knowing how deadly damage can be, I felt like I hesitated to deal damage, and it was difficult to make the game just dangerous enough. I felt like if I had run it with a DnD retroclone, it would have been less “arbitrary” and probably more challenging for the PCs. Next time, I’ll try to state the consequences before a player rolls: “On a 6-, you’ll take damage”. It might slow down play, but everything would be on the table in advance, so to say. I’ll see how it goes.
– There’s a Dwarf fighter with 18 Str. He is terrifying. The Stone Guardian in the module is mostly meant to be avoided by lvl1 PC or maneuvered around, but he just hacked it to pieces. Maybe this is related to my issue with setting the right difficulty.
– I felt like I was lacking a guideline for when to tick down Durations, so we mostly ignored them.
– I used the “threads” to decide about wandering monsters. The party was ambushed by goblins because they failed an unrelated roll earlier, and I knotted the “Goblins!” thread because I had no other move to make then. It worked well!
– The random spell generator <3
Not sure yet if it clicks for me well enough to become my default dungeon game, but I like it a lot!