Last sunday I ran the second session of my Swords & Wizardry Core game with my 11-year old son and his 14-year old cousin.
The basic concept are that they are tracking a werewolf that has been troubling some burghs and villages. The trail has led them far into the wilderness of Frostreave, land of Eternal Frost. They are in a weird valley, seemingly devoid of life. Just snow and frost covered pines among jagged hills, surrounded by huge mountain peaks.
Our protagonists are an elf fighter (3rd level) and an elf cleric (3rd level).
The first session started with them holed up in cave, trying to get away from a severe snowstorm. In the back of the cave they found a mysterious secret door, which lead to an underground complex filled with traps and Draugr. That time they barely escaped alive…
This session found them wandering up into the mountains, on the trail of the werewolf (wrong!). I had to improvise, so I whipped out Dyson’s Delves and settled for “Ruins of the Gorgon”. They managed quite well, but decided to leave before entering the 4th level. As they ascended an unknown stairway, they were waylaid by a pair of undead Troglodytes. Not good, as they were very low on hit points. The battle went well, but after a while the elf cleric managed to fumble and fell so bad as to fall unconscious. The elf fighter cut down one of the Trogs, but then he fumbled too, and hit himself bad enough to fall to 0 hp…
Now both are unconscious. It’s only them, so thing look bleak. There’s some potential allies in the dungeon, but I think that the baddies will imprison them and then we’ll take it from there.
I use this fumble table.
For potential death situations I use the Near Death table from Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque Compendium. Basically, you never go below zero hp. If reduced to 0 hp, you roll a Save. If successful you’re just unconscious and if missed you roll on a d20 table with more serious results. Fair and easy. I like.