I ended up running a session with only 2 players yesterday. It evoked a weird feeling for someone who used not have anyone to play with. I enjoy the social aspect of our sessions, and spend so much time developing the material, just two players seemed kind of like having a party with just two people-- what's the point. But we played, it was fun, I think I creeped them a little (that really isn't my only goal, but it seems easier than others).
Zhang Ziyang NPC
Alone in the Tumbling Dungeon they dithered and went back and forth a lot. They found a passage with four spheres sunk in the floor, made their way past it and found a new room. Black walls with crystals embedded in them, it looked like a night sky. A bed on gyroscope-like gimbals in the middle, the floor covered with a writhing mass of giant grubs. They turned back. They'd been getting pretty blasé about the dungeon's tumbles and a little later found themselves caught midway down a passage that was quickly becoming a vertical shaft.
Sliding the last bit, they fell ~20' into soft sand. The lantern went out. The three of them sat their catching their breath. In the darkness, only the sounds of four people breathing. Four! Toral tried pray unsuccessfully for light. The witch touched his neck, whispered "You are unwanted." She mentioned they must be weaker than she had thought. Gail agreed, "Oh yes, we aren't powerful at all," assuming she saw the powerful as a threat. "Weak enough for me to slit open your bellies?" she asked. Gail frantically relit the lantern. It's light filled the room to reveal something crawling quickly up the the shaft out of view. Zhang Ziyang was gone.
They dithered a little more but eventually figure the way out. Back on the beach the sailors of the junk Haiyan are slowly dying of plague. After resting the night, Toral prayed for healing in his broken arm and was answered, then prayed to have his plague removed and was answered! But they both know the sailors will die in a few days, miracles are uncertain, and the healing root and the one who knows how to prepare it are both back in the dungeon.
More training for me on roleplaying npcs. I know if the witches confront these folks, the witches will most likely end up dead. So, when I rolled one an encounter I figured she was shadowing, shadowing. "What will she do?" I was wracking my brains, then the dingleberries got so careless with the dungeon they ended up in a hallway they should have know was about to become a shaft. An viola, perfect. She's there in the darkness with them.
What now? Especially because there's another session tonight which will involve a much larger party. I'm thinking the witches will leave a root and instructions to prepare it in the first room of the dungeon. They just want these fools out of here. Of course it will be poison and written in ZZ's hand who is charmed by them now.
Also, the grubs are a dud. I made them slow moving, and basically harmless, as long as you don't try to hurt them or let them crawl up your leg. I think they need to start turning into beetles of some horrible sort.