This evening, laurie_robey and I went over to jamesbarrett's house, where we were joined by camstone and mooivos for Frisk's D&D campaign, set in Greyhawk. We're playing a 3.5(ish) adaptation of the classic Liberation of Geoff campaign, and we have just entered "The Lea," a village overrun by verbeeg. (For those not up to date on D&D lore, verbeeg are bigger than ogres, but smaller than giants ... sorta like runty giants.) We started taking out the verbeeg in the outer fringes of town (including one pair that had their laundry out to dry ... verbeeg undies, ugh), basically with the plan of spiraling our way in towards the main force, in the center of town (which includes ogres and hill giants).
Unfortunately, the most efficient way to handle it has been via assassination and commando techniques ... which consists mostly of sending in the rogue to slit their throats as they sleep. Since the rogue is an NPC, that means that the players end up sitting around watching Frisk roll dice and make notes, waiting for him to tell us what happened. Not his fault, that's just the way things have ended up. I've got a fighter/wizard, Camstone has a paladin, Laurie has a barbarian ... in a melee we're a giant can o' whupass, but for sneakery, we pretty well suck.
We did have a couple of straight-up fights, and in an entertaining twist, my character's leopard familiar ended up delivering two of the killing blows -- so naturally he climbed up on top of the dead verbeeg and claimed them as "mine!" He also batted his paws at them, wondering vaguely why they'd stopped moving.
I have been weighing different possibilities about my own D&D game; I'm not sure what I want to do about it. I'm not really happy with the character mix in the new 3.5e game I started; the characters from the old 3.0 game worked much better as a group, I thought. Unfortunately, the world in the old game was rather dull, and the big campaign-arcing plot I had in mind, just couldn't sustain my interest. I kept sending the characters off on side-trips, and finding them much more interesting than the main storyline.
I have been pondering the idea of bringing back the old characters, rolled back to 4th level, and running Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil as a campaign. That's set in Greyhawk, a world that's a little more interesting than what I came up with, and has the advantage of being more or less pre-written for me. I have also been considering running a game set in Ethangea, using a hybrid of 3.5e and the Conan d20 rules. When the 3.5e dataset for E-Tools comes out, I'll have to look seriously into finding a way to build custom classes. I'm told it can be done if you have MS Access (which I do, at work, I believe) and know what you're doing (which I don't, but I can figure it out).
An Ethangea-based game could probably be run using the 3.5e rules with some tweaks (rules about how/when you could take spellcasting classes, alternate non-spellcasting versions of the ranger and bard, different spell lists, that sort of thing), but I do like the "scholar" class from Conan d20 ... that's a lot closer to how magic works in Ethangea.
Ah well, I've got time to ponder it. I probably won't have Conan until I get back from Further Confusion, and E-Tools will be February at the earliest. So we'll see!