Last night the newbs grew up a little. They impressed me. A simple chain of events started the game. First the recap of last adventure. Some of the players were thinking this was an episodal game, where everything got reset at the beginning of the next session. After the short explanation this was a continuous game that what they did in the last session will effect what happens in the next and the next.
So they returned the acolyte to the temple thus earning the right to be healed there. Brother Owen, head of the temple, handed of all people, the thief the reward. At first he wanted to keep it all. After a brief discussion on how to split it everyone went away satisfied. The thief got to keep the 'change' left over from the split.
The thief went to sell his goods and met up with a member of the Brotherhood, my world's thieves guild. At the beginning of the discussion the player wanted nothing to do with Trent, the Brotherhood recruiter. But as they spoke some more the Trent explained how difficult it would be to sell anything in town if he didn't join. Plus he'd have access to some of the information gathered and not least of all have no worries of other thieves taking from them.
The thief sold some things off and later regretted not trading for the stuffed badger because the mage that he wanted to identify his ring really wanted it. There was a promiscious encounter with the elf mage and a mercenary. At the tavern there was a gathering of adventurers. After some talk they discovered a new source of treasure was being hauled up from the depths of a giagantic tomb. Later on the bartender told them about a merchant looking for some help.
I dangled both these leads out in front of them. What do they do, the smart thing. They dig for more information. After agreeing to join the Brotherhood, I player Trent as a very convinceing NPC who is only looking out for their own best interest, he told them they were not ready for the Barrowmaze. Sure they might hit it big, but more don't come out than do.
So they met with the merchant. Two of his wagons were stolen. He wants them back. And he was high as hell. As the party deliberated on whether to take the job he smeared coins all over his table to make a point. They accepted.
This is where I used my one-page dungeon Where is Margesh Blackblood. He has four hideouts. But again the party did the smart thing and deducted out of all his hideout the wagons could only be kept safely in his manor outside of town. With some clever role playing and strategy they formed a good plan of attack.
But that is when the bad rolls began. They fought with Blackblood for a while until in the end a string of good rolls brought him down. End of session.
One of the players said, "I can't believe we played for two hours without getting into a fight. We just talked."