I've got to say, the gladiator style games campaign I wrote about a few days ago is going extremely well.
I keep fine tuning things as we go along. The Players are good sports about that which is good.
Another thing that I've decided to add is that combatants can buy magical services like healing from the money they manage to win.
The money is kind of held for them in account kind of like in a prison.
Of course, the more money they spend on weapons, armor, items and magic, the less they have saved toward buying their freedom. This is something they have on their minds.
We have been able to play more games in this manner than any since we started playing.
For example, a first level Cleric took on 6 Giant Rats in the arena. He managed to get a win out of it and get the gold and the XP for it, but at firsts level, those rats were close to sending him packing, really close. The battle took us about 20 minutes or so.
Given the setting is a gladiator style situation, they really are more into a faster paced game where each missed roll on the D20 or low damage rolled is almost seen on their faces as if they really did it.
Some people might cry and call it a "railroad" but that's the campaign setting and the Players agreed to it in advance to see how it would work out. So far, they haven't even asked about going back to one of the other campaigns yet.
To find out what opponents they will take on for the level of PC they are, I have so far been rolling on the table for level one dungeon encounters. If the resulting monster is a 1 HD or 1+ then I let them go one to one against them. If it's less than one HD monster, then I will go with the minimum number listed.
My daughter just lost a fighter she created just for this campaign to an Orc who didn't obey the Caesar to let her PC live even though the Orc won the contest. He killed her anyway and for that, the Caesar's soldiers shot him full of arrows.
Her fighter could have healed and lived but the orc went for the kill anyway. That's what happens when the dice rolls wrong.
I always roll at the end of the match to determine if the Caesar gives thumbs up or thumbs down to the victor (to give the win and to determine the fate of the conquered) then I also roll to determine if the victor follows the Caesar's directions or not. To disobey Caesar is to have the soldiers kill you instantly.
It's getting very interesting. Very fast games, lots of fun so far.