We played with a skeleton crew this week. The host and his wife had previously canceled this session, and one player was going to be training with sifu and his sifu out of state, but I did have one mysterious no-show. I decided to play anyway, because I'm no longer willing to let the schedules of others dictate my fun. I thought I was going to have to tone things down a bit since we were rolling with only two party members, but after befriending the gnomes and, oddly enough, a couple of hobogoblins, the party had enough bodies for me to run things pretty much as-is.
Now, although I previously mentioned that I don't like DMing outside my house, I have to say I have come to enjoy running the game at the school. Although it is technically a public place, we don't start playing until the non-playing students have departed for the evening and the school is locked up. We have a fridge, there are several eateries and convenience stores nearby, plenty of room to play, (and even some furniture we drug out this time) and none of the idiosyncrasies of someone's house (roommates, pets, family, etc.) There aren't any neighbors to bother, we can generally be as loud as we want, there's a stereo... you really cannot go wrong. Though I have my doubts that our host is going to return to the game, I think I'm just going to continue running it in the school regardless. It also gives us more playing time, because even though the (former) host lives nearby, you can't get any closer than already being there. Ah, I just remembered... while making a snack run, we discovered there is a Jimmy John's within delivering distance of the school... yes, I do believe we've found the perfect spot. It really is a unique situation; it's not my house, but it's not anyone else's house, and it isn't a public place by the time we start playing.
Anyway, the game...
One player nearly died of poison. I probably threw him a softball, which I regret... but once that pesky NPC cleric is gone, they'll have to step their game up a little bit. (And I will have to be a bit more impartial) We didn't get a whole lot done, but we didn't want to leave the two missing players too far behind.
At any rate, I am enjoying this experience immensely, because it isn't often I get to play a game that is completely free of my normal player base... not that I don't like my players, quite the contrary, I just think that it's nice to get some game in with new blood. I also think I am going to avoid mixing the two groups... I'm considering it a type of experiment.