Session 17 of the Dwimmermount campaign was remarkably uneventful, mostly because it was a session where we kept finding the flow of play interrupted by off-topic banter. That's a common occurrence when either we've missed a session or two and so spend a lot of time catching up with one another or when a player who's not been around in a while shows up and the same pattern repeats itself. I find it hard to get upset about this, since gaming remains for me a social occasion primarily. Likewise, the Dwimmermount campaign is structured in such a way that nothing is lost if we spend a session or two goofing off rather than "getting down to business." I don't consider time spent talking with friends while we're ostensibly supposed to be gaming to be a waste of time and, sometimes, I actually find it a much-needed break for me. Even though refereeing an old school dungeon crawl is incredibly relaxing, I nevertheless appreciate having stretches of time when I don't have to be "on," if you know what I mean.
That said, the party and their henchmen and hirelings did make some progress deeper into the dungeon. First they overcame a room whose floor was trapped by means of Brother Candor's boots of levitation. The cleric of Tyche was the first across the floor, using the walls as a means of pushing himself to the other side. He had a rope tied around him and, once at his destination, he set up a pulley system to pass the boots back and forth to the other party members, each of whom in turn used them to float across the floor without actually touching it and setting off the magical trap they guessed would lead to unhappy results.
The players' ingenuity in overcoming my traps is something at which I regularly marvel. Whenever they open up their packs and MacGyver a means of avoiding death, I'm generally more amused than frustrated, so much so that I suspect I often let them get away with more than I ought to. For example, I probably should have had Brother Candor attacked by some nearby hobgoblins while he was in the midst of setting up the pulley system for his comrades. But I didn't, mostly because the thoughts of a pair of magical boots being passed back and forth across a trapped room was priceless and I never considered the possibility of disupting it. Though I hate to admit it, if my players amuse me, I tend to be far more lenient on them than when they don't. I realize this makes me a bad person.
I also realized that, while not essential, I still benefit greatly from the use of miniatures and dungeon models. I have a very poor spatial sense and, without models, I tend to lose sight of melees. For example, the characters entered a room in which there were a number of trained mountain lions and, although the room had only a single door, I allowed all of the mountain lions to attack on their initiative. Brother Candor's player rightly objected to this and I corrected my error in the next round, but I flubbed it initially, something I wouldn't have done if I'd have had miniatures to look at for the fight. So, next session, I'm not going to attempt to run combats without minis, lest I make the same mistake again. It's a small thing -- the players didn't really care after I corrected myself -- but I prefer to do whatever I can to avoid making mistakes like that and, if miniatures are what I need, so be it.
Short though the session was, we continued to have fun. The characters discovered a section of their current sub-level that was seemingly walled-off from the inside, which has piqued their interest. They were originally gearing up to descend into Level 4, but, now that they've discovered this hidden section, I imagine they'll be spending some time exploring it and trying to determine why it was walled off in the first place.