In the way of the Ancient Traditions, The Librarian and I went to where sanguinity and grrlpup were housesitting.* Two of our group had never played before, so we spent over an hour rolling up characters and explaining things. Then we settled in for almost five hours of dungeon crawling.
I don't have any miniatures, so I bought some plastic dinosaurs and army men. The players got to be the dinosaurs. One doesn't need miniatures to play, but I think they're helpful in visualizing the layout of rooms and where everybody's standing. I used some simple grid pages for showing the rooms; I think I'll refine those a little bit to make them easier to use. Above, the Player Dinos explore a room (click on the photo to see the rest of my pictures on Flickr):
The biggest frustration (for me, anyway) was having a hard time reading the tiny print on my charts. I'd created them long ago, back when I could focus easily on small things close up. With my contact lenses, I don't quite have the acuity at that range, so I spent a lot of time squinting at the charts, wondering if it was a 3 or a 5? I either need to wear my glasses (with which I can focus on closer objects), or get some reading glasses to wear when I have my contacts in.
The biggest challenge, which I think I handled pretty well, was allowing the group to chose their actions without guiding them. Numerous times they were VERY CLOSE to finding treasure, but either didn't look in the right place or decided to head another direction. Sometimes they moved away because something seemed dangerous (and it often was), and I can't fault them for that. I think the game is better when the players get to figure things out for themselves, and I mostly stuck with that.
I'm pretty sure that I don't have the time and energy for frequent gaming, but I'd like to get a chance to play with all of my friends who have expressed interest. And this time I won't wait another twenty years...
* Back in high school, playing D&D while housesitting meant no Adult Supervision. Not that we were doing much that couldn't be done around the Grown Ups, but there was less problem with being noisy far into the night.