So I'm changing up the rules a bit. I haven't liked the dead-at-0-hp for a while now, so that's changed. Occasionally you're going to take a hit, it's pretty penalizing to the front-line players to constantly have to roll new PC's. I don't want to have the players end up so paranoid about standing up front that we're playing Dungeons & Dogs instead of Dungeons & Dragons.
I also decided to do the d30 rule that I first read about on The Lands of Ara. We don't actually have any d30's just yet, so we're simulating with d6's and d10's, but it worked out well. All four players blew their d30 rolls on saving throws against the troglodytes, probably because I said "save vs poison."
The henchman-retirement rule finally came into play - it's nice to see them cycle out of play. The party is getting henchman-and-dog-heavy. It's slowing the party advancement down as they have to share more treasure than they otherwise would. So the elf "sleep" brigade will slowly erode, and the party power will reduce back down to what it really should be. Right now everything they meet gets insta-nuked. Enjoy it while it lasts, I say! I might have the departed henchies return as a rival adventuring party at some point. They know where the dungeon is, after all.
As the session started, I gave Gutboy's player the bad news that his XP was way out of whack. I reviewed things and there's no way he had nearly as much XP as he thought, and the reason was almost certainly what Spawn of Endra suggested, he had mistaken the "xp for next level" for the "gold remaining". Since I have the house rule that treasure turns to XP once you spend it, it's pretty easy for that mistake to result in quickly-gained levels. I don't know exactly how much xp he should have had, but it would've been real close to 2nd level if not actually over the limit, so I reset him back to the exact amount of XP for 2nd level, and no gold.
Some other random comments:
a. Reciprocity. I've tried to follow & link to the blogs of everyone who's linked to me, if I've forgotten or missed you leave a comment and I'll add you. And when I say "trying" that's really an exaggeration, I'm incredibly lazy. But let me know you want some blog-following-payback and you got it!
b. Some new minis arrived from Mega-Miniatures, I got four dogs, P.W. got a halfling, and Netal got over a dozen of the Guthrie Grenadier minis. Including some monster prehistoric dog that they certainly will not be buying and bringing in the dungeon.
c. I thought it was insane that the players wanted to leave the partly-healed dogs behind - what's better, a dead PC or a dead dog? Because they had long ago emptied Chelmsfordshire's inventory of war dogs, however, they decided that they didn't want to risk the dogs dying. Insane, but it does make for better play - less henchies, less dogs, more smart play required on the part of the players.
d. They just never search for secret doors. They briefly did in the mummified leathery body room, but some of the players actually refused to look after the first few failed rolls. They were searching an entirely wrong part of the room, but I gave the elves a chance to notice in passing the secret door in the correct location anyhow - but the dice were not with them. Too bad for them, there was some powerful mojo behind there.
e. Gutboy's player has come up with a theory that this is a "dungeon playground", based on the training room and motivational hologram in the gatehouse level. Totally offbase - what's funny is, the "dungeon playground" notion is something he came up with in the campaign he runs on a monthly basis, that I also play in. So he's unconsciously attributing his own dungeon design decisions to me, which should lead to a lot of incorrect assumptions about how things work down in my creation.