Another dungeon crawl this weekend, with three players: Rickey, who went solo last time; Coach' and Coach's son, who is back from college and is new to the old-school RPG scene but familiar with online roleplaying games. I'm running this campaign using the Holmes basic D&D rules.
Before setting foot in the dungeon, the players talked about hiring henchmen. They found the down-on-his-luck Halfling, Banker Baggins (no relation) willing to join them for a full share of the treasure, however. They also found a quartet of mercenaries--Marko, Darko, Sharko, and Lonnie--willing to work security for a flat 100 gold piece fee. So three player characters (Coach's fighter Fred II, his son's thief Mavvelwinna, named after his World of Warcraft character, and Rickey's thief Alric), the NPC Halfling, and four men-at-arms set out for the dungeon.
Entering the underground chambers, they came upon a pair of large spiders in a room where other adventurers had slain a similar creature. This time, one of the arachnids landed a bite on Fred II, who failed his save and fell unconscious from the poison. Coach then took over Banker, as two of the men-at-arms toted the feverish Fred II around the dungeon--but not before Mavvelwinna relieved Fred of his money.