Only two players were able to make it last Wednesday, and they were a bit nervous about heading back into the dungeon.
The apparently incredibly unappealing "why does the town stink of rotten meat" hook was left dangling, and they want gallavanting about the countryside looking for henchmen. I think they were planning on heading back into the dungeon if they could get enough hired help. They have enough sleep spells to take out anything if they can win initiative - I don't think they really understand how overpowered they are at the moment.
Regardless, they started asking random slobs they met if they had adventuring work. Each request was met with a die roll, which kept coming up "no". Such is life! Wandering around asking complete strangers for work is not the path to adventure.
Eventually, at the suggestion of a few NPC's, they headed off to the big city, which is chock full of stuff. Mongo's player had it in his head that he wanted a flamethrower - I love that, I can work with player-driven goals, very easy to come up with interesting things to happen when the players are driving towards something.
Gutboy's player tried the "ask for a job" thing back at Thor's temple, and the dice finally came up "yes." So I had Thor himself show up and give him some work. Now he's got Thor's mind in the back of his head. Since they're now heading off to do work on the "get a flamethrower" mission instead of Thor's "get my hammer back" mission, he's going to have some 'splainin to do. Fortunately for him, the level of polytheism is such that he can work for whichever god he wants (or whichever god commands him) without much consequence. He hasn't realized this yet, so he's coming off as a bit of a Thor-zealot to his fellow priests. He also spent a lot of time looking for more information about a thief who died 40 years ago, after crawling into a sewer right next to the temple. I didn't want to play this dead guy up into a major villain, he's just some rotting bones clutching a temple relic by now. It was all just an excuse to crawl into the City Underfoot and root around down there. If he follows those tangents again, I'll have to indulge, I suppose, and make G'Nax into a figure of undead horror, legendary among those of the under-city. Or I could just let him flounder around.
So Mongo is off on a few hooks - getting a flamethrower, and saving enough to afford the "alabaster surprise," and Gutboy has his Mission For Thor.
I'm not entirely satisfied with the "roll to see if they have a job" mechanic I used. There was about a half hour of wandering around aimlessly at the beginning of the session because of that. I need to come up with some better tables for random happenings, or come up with more scenarios in advance.
When they got to the city, the pace picked up quite a bit, and a lot of things got done. Not a single combat happened, but the players were too busy wandering around slack-jawed, staring at the sights of the big city, to notice.
Things to do after this session: map out & key a portion of the City Underfoot, come up with some better tables for random adventure generation, and come up with some baddies to move into the nearly-vacated gatehouse level.