I'm still half a country away at the in-laws' abode, and we played our second game of AD&D 1e today. Having played through a bit of the first module of Against the Giants (The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief), we proceeded to the second module - The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. These modules are classic old school, and I DM'd for my two brother-in-laws, who have very little gaming experience.
It turns out that they have some pretty solid old school intuition. Without any prodding or suggestions, they came up with a few classic old school moves. Needing a light source but not wanting everlasting light, the two debated how best to use the continual light spell. Eventually, they figured that they could cast it on the tip of a sword and put it in its sheath when they didn't want the light to show.
Even better, after taking a couple steps into a dark cavern without light, but not wanting to be seen and afraid of pits in the ice at the same time, they fashioned their own tapping pole from a giant size barrel they found before. Yes - they came up with the idea of a 10 foot pole by themselves. I was impressed.
Still, this intuition didn't stop them from dying. One particularly notable death occurred after being chased onto an icy ledge with 2 frost giants and two wolves in front, a huge boulder blocking an exit behind, a cliff face on the right, and the deep, icy rift on the left. The wizard cast a cone of fire, instantly creating crazy steam and significantly limiting visibility. The other charged through the steam, slipped on the increasingly slippery icy ground in the steam cloud, and careened off the ledge into the rift (for 10d10 damage, on top of the damage already taken). It was good fun.
When it was all said and done, we played on and off for about 6 hours, which is much longer than I usually game for these days. By the time we finished, the two of them had gone through 5 characters (the last two of which died deep in the rift fighting a rare and legendary remorhaz, which is basically a massive, 30ft long snow worm). We then retired to play Puerto Rico with my wife, who was otherwise set to watch Law and Order reruns all night.
It turns out that my one brother-in-law is hooked on the old school but now has no one to game with. If you game in the temecula/murrieta/wildomar/lake elsinore region and are looking for an enthusiastic rookie addition, let me know...