My and Mona's schedules finally matched up with Ashli's and Lee's so we could have another go at Dyson's Delve. Victor, as predicted didn't show up, so Heian was an NPC. John decided to play too, a Ranger character named Cyric that he had played once before very briefly. I have an easier schedule than everyone else, so I announced that it would be an open table from here on out, if you make it- good, if not we'll go on with out you. I have a few other people that may be able to play if they aren't locked in to being obligated to make it to every game too.
Having cleared out the first level, the party decided to move on down to level two and start some mayhem. They captured a goblin in their first encounter there. I named him Roy. Eemah then used Roy as a PMD and got him killed by his buddies in the next guard room down the way. I kind of miss Roy, he got a lot of personality in his few minutes of game time, and he gave some slightly valuable information to the party too.
The party seemed interested in trying to bluff or intimidate their way through encounters after the first one where they captured Roy, but were unsuccessful for a variety of reasons; the most telling of which were lack of a group command structure and lack of unit cohesion caused by lack of leadership. In previous campaigns I have played with my kids and their friends Mona has usually taken on the role of party leader by default, now Lee is here too and Mona seems reticent to try and force her leadership on another adult. Lee seems to be to much of a loose cannon chaos monkey to really want to be a team player with an organized command structure, ergo Eemah particularly kept tripping encounters off and as a result died. Actually, it would have happened sooner if this dungeon featured more traps. Lee Ann then took over playing the Elf Fighter Heian for the rest of the day.
Giving her something to do was a nice gesture on my part, but apparently she doesn't like elves and played him as a gay stereotype. She won't be playing him in the future. Lee is a pretty charismatic woman and very funny, but I have a different vision of elves in my campaign world; one of an ancient noble race that defined civilization in the ages before the coming of men. Playing them for cheap laughs ruins the sense of grandeur of their civilization and makes it harder for me to evoke any real feelings towards them in the game.
John's character Cyric curiously seems to think that as a Ranger he merits only being a second rank fighter. His chief weapon is the Halberd. He prefers it's use to the +1 Battle Axe the party found for him. Since Eemah's death he really needs to step onto the front line, but he sent both Sister Brangwen and Ruby ahead of himself so he could keep attacking from the second rank in several battles, this was nearly fatal for Ruby. Curiously, this did not stop him from immediately initiating combat with some Goblins when he opened a door and surprised them. He also one-shotted the level's end boss.
Ruby, for her part, seems to think that archery while in melee range is a really viable option and often blocks Sister Brangwen from entering combat in the channelized dungeon crawl setting. Archery was a great option when most of the combats were outside, now she is still trying to utilize it as he primary combat option, despite having had some real successes with flanking the enemy and back-stabbing.
Brangwen, sadly, spent most of her time being ignored when she offered any sound tactical advice, blocked from entering battle when it occurred and having to burn through her spells much quicker than she normally would because of the frustratingly foolish tactics of her party members. The game was less than fun for Mona as a result. She used her d30 roll to super heal Ruby which was pretty cool.
The party is probably going to return to Castra Alba to sell swag and recruit some meat shields after a pretty good haul. I have offered some advice in this matter post game. Assume it came from their professional adventuring torch-bearer Lorenzo.