My group is cobbling together our own version of D&D, mostly at my impetus but the others are getting into it and it seems to be working. We've been playing mostly with 6th to 8th level characters so far and I've been happy with the results combat is tough, even 10 hobgoblins across a 50' room actually pose the chance of loss to 6-8 level PCs.
So last night to see what would happen we played with a mixed party of 1st level PCs.
We had a Rake, a Knight, A MU, A Burglar and an Archer to start with.
The burglar fell in the first fight against 4 skeletons in an obvious trap ( a chest in the center of a room full of bones). The knight rushed to the fore and was almost slain himself falling to the skeletons onslaught. The party survived because the Rake drew the skeletons too him with his taunt/distraction ability and the MU and archer were able to finish them from behind. Thanks to the wound binding rules the knight survived but the burglar died.
The party 4 man party was surprised by zombies while searching the chamber with the skeletons for loot by a pair of zombies. The archer was overcome but survived, low initiative didn't help the zombies.
The party was joined by a wandering Acolyte (PC replacement). He was able to heal the knight from the earlier fight.
The party discovered an evil looking idol with large gem eyes. The rake and acolyte went in to investigate and discovered the chamber was a trap as the idol fired magical missiles from it's eyes.Luckily for all magic missiles require a hit roll in the game we are playing. The party opted to not deal with the evil idol and moved away.
The party went on to discover a a group of gnomes playing cards. The rake joined the gnomes in a couple of hands and then his companions jumped the gnomes slaying 5 of them and charming one.
After looting the gnomes chambers the party discovered a locked door blocking one section of the dungeon from another. So they decided to chop their way through the door as no one could manage to pick the lock (the rake tried but he lacked tools). While chopping into the door zombies once again ambushed the party but were quickly turned by the acolyte just before a hole was chopped in the door blocking their way and giant rats burst forth. The giant rats proved to require some maneuvering by the party to defeat but it played out well.
All in all it went really well, we were surprised by the durability of the PCs and their combat effectiveness relative to the opposition (even with one death and two almost deaths). There will be further adjustments on the MUs ability to cast frequently and beef up spells, even with a hit chance and a chance a spell wasn't cast at all (two missiles were delayed in casting, two or three missed) the impact of multiple magic missiles was telling but not overwhelming.