This is part one of a two part blog – exciting, eh? ;o) This first part consists of a little bit of fanfic, for want of a much better phrase, detailing the exploits of the Dungeons and Dragons group that I play with. Now, to protect identities and dignities, players are only referred to by their character names, races and classes. Here’s a crib sheet so you don’t get lost!
Random is a tiefling warlock
Freppwench is a dragonkin paladin
Morgana is an eladrin (high elf) ranger
Merrick is a half-elf assassin
Spankador is a dwarf warrior
Moragon is an eladrin rogue
The Dungeon Master is, well, the DM, need I say more?!
Why have I written this I hear you cry? Because it all ties into the next blog that I will post shortly after this one, so please lend me both your patience, and your ears...
A cry rang out through the forest, whether from animal or man, none could be certain. A tangible chill spread in the air as our six brave adventurers exchanged wary glances. Morgana, the elder elf kin, bent low and put her ear to the ground, using her heightened ranger senses to check for any subtle vibrations that may indicate movement. The group held their breath and watched for a sign. Minutely, the elf twitched her delicate head to indicate that all was well. The rest of the group relaxed again, the dwarf releasing the tight hold on his axe and the assassin re-sheaving a knife that had not been visible even when it was in her hand.
‘Let us keep going’ the paladin rumbled, ‘whatever is ahead, we’ll not avoid its advance by staying in one place’ the dragonkin looked across her fellow adventurers, checking for any sign of dissent.
The tiefling, who had been using the pause to cast his eye about for any likely avenues of profit, called out, ‘there appears to be town a little way off down the road to the left, it is likely that there are many with pockets in need of lightening, with a swift game or two of cards.’ His eyes sparkled at the thought of parting unsuspecting locals from their gold.
‘And would that parting with involve some spell casting, hmm?’ The dragonkin eyed the small warlock suspiciously.
‘There are easier ways’ the rogue piped up, grinning at the others ‘to part them from their gold.’
The ranger lifted herself from the ground and rolled her eyes at her elf kin.
‘Always on the hunt for something to pilfer, aren’t you, sister? Even when we have a quest to focus on!’
‘Enough of this’ roared the dwarf, who had been pacing furiously during this exchange, ‘I am tired of this dallying about, I wish to get to that rotting sepulchre of a castle and show those bastards the shiny side of my axe!’
‘I agree’ the assassin spoke up, ‘we have been travelling for too long, the sooner we get there, the sooner we can start fixing the mess that we have gotten ourselves into.’
‘So it is agreed then, we should continue onwards?’ the paladin asked.
The assembled adventurers grunted their consent and once again set out upon the path toward their destiny. All of a sudden there was a rustle in tree tops above, and within seconds a flock of winged beasts descended upon our heroes. Despite the speed of the attack, the team responded instantly and efficiently. The dwarf swung his mighty axe and knocked three of the creatures onto their backs. The beasts had tiny distorted features and fangs dripping with venom, their bodies were shaped like those of rats, but they were the size of small dogs.
The assassin swooped in, her cloak hissing in the air as she turned, and stabbed the three fallen creatures with stunning accuracy, one after the other. They began to wail as they bled out.
During this time the ranger had already got a shot off at the flying swarm, using her daily power to split the tree and send two arrows flying, one each towards two separate enemies. Her aim was precise and the arrows flew true, hitting their intended targets with deadly accuracy.
The warlock was already spinning his hands in the air, conjuring a familiar to help with the assault. The dragonkin breathed deeply and as he exhaled, a rush of flames hit the six nearest enemies and they fell to the floor as their wings ignited and burned to nothing.
Within moments of the attack starting, the adventurers had all but decimated the creatures. As the dwarf swung again and batted the last few to the ground, the rogue joined the assassin in swiftly executing the fallen beasts with her nimble blade which, of course, with the plus one bonus to her attack rolls, made short work of them.
The heroes re-grouped and began to laugh at the paltry remains of their attackers. The tiefling was in the process of dismissing his conjuration for the team had acted so effectively it was no longer required.
After a moment, the assassin interrupted their smug laughter with the observation ‘if only all that lays ahead were as easy to dispatch as these, but I fear that will not be the case. Whoever sent those…things, was clearly trying to distract us.’
‘Then they had better try harder than that!’ the dwarf retorted.
‘Indeed’ the rogue agreed, ‘but something tells me that they will.’
With that sobering thought, the group gathered together their packs and rations, set to one side during the brief conflict, and once again took up their trudge towards the kingdom that had held their world in tyranny for so long. With miles to go before they slept, no matter how many battles they had behind them, they all knew that the war was still to come.
So the above is a hypothetical example of how our playing of Dungeons and Dragons *could* go if, y’know, we weren’t the blundering bunch of dumbasses that we are.... Now let’s have a look at how it really plays out, on any given adventure....
‘What? Is it my turn?’
‘Of course it’s your turn, bellend’ the Dungeon Master says wearily.
‘Well, I did not know, is all’ Spankador stumbles back over to his spot on the sofa and tries to locate his D20.
‘He’s pissed’ Morgana observes.
‘Yeah, well, so’s your face’ he sneers.
‘No surprises there then! It’s all the red wine’ Merrick adds, swinging her legs around to let him past.
‘His teeth have done that weird discolouration thing again, he looks like Death’ Moragon says with disgust.
‘Alright, here we go, Spankador, it’s your turn, what do you want to do?’ the DM asks.
‘Well, where are we?’ he slurs in response.
‘Same place you were before, you’ve got eight beasties attacking you, two of them are over there by Random and Freppwench, and another six are surrounding the elves and Merrick. What do you want to do?’
‘I will dive, John Woo style, into the nearest two, swinging my axe, axe style.’
Spankador rolls his D20, and everybody groans as they see the result.
‘Right, instead of diving John Woo stylie, you lunge yourself onto the ground, dropping your axe, and the two beasties start attacking you, and you get...’ The DM rolls his dice, ‘6 damage’
‘What?! Oh!’ Spankador slams down his wine glass, nearly missing the table, and enters his new hit point level onto his character sheet.
‘Don’t “oh” me, you got a 2 dickhead! Now try to pick up your axe using your minor, in a Charlie Chaplinesque manner, like you always do...’
‘I attempt to pick up my axe’
Spankador rolls again, and this time gets a 9.
‘I’ll give you it, just barely. Spankador picks up his axe, but he’s still on the ground.’
The DM checks the playing order and addresses the next combatant.
‘Right, Merrick, what do you want to do?’
‘I will... summon the mist?’ Merrick says hesitantly.
‘Are you sure you want to be mist summoning, you are currently in the confined space of a cave’ the DM enquires.
The rest of the room chants, almost as one, ‘No!!’
‘Okay, no misting up then. I will have a go at one of the beasties attacking me, Moragon and Morgana. And I will roll.... and get an 18!’
‘Nicely done’ the DM responds, then he rolls for damage, ‘and the beastie is now bloodied’
‘Wooo! Screw you beastie thing!’
‘At least one of you is actually fighting them, this was only supposed to be a short encounter and we’ve already been here for half an hour!’ the DM sighs.
‘It’s been half an hour?’ Moragon asks the room in general, ‘balls, I should check on that pizza’
‘You want to roll for that?’ Morgana asks.
‘Oh, piss off!’ Moragon says, giving her sister the one finger salute before disappearing off to check on the food.
‘Okay, so it’s now Freppwench’s go’
‘Right, I will use my dragon breath to take out the two next to me and Random’ Freppwench leans forward and hurls the die onto the table.
‘And it’s a 1, oh, frigging hell.’
‘So instead of setting alight the two beasties, you and Random are now aflame, and you take,’ the DM rolls again, ‘two D8’s of damage each...’
‘That’s harsh!’ shouts Freppwench.
‘Yeah, well, you rolled a 1 and you’re on fire. So that’s 6 damage to you Freppwench, pretty lucky, and, ouch, 12 damage to Random.’
‘Oh, cheers dude.’ Random rolls his eyes.
‘I didn’t do it on purpose!’
‘Jeez, Freppwench, your karma is through the floor this week, what did you do? Kill a man?’ Moragon shouts from the kitchen.
‘Okay, okay, I use my heaving dragon bosom to smother Random and put out the flames. Using my minor that is.’ Freppwench picks up his die again, ready to roll.
‘A bit of a stretch for a minor move, but I’ll allow it’ the DM retorts ‘you guys need all the help you can get this game.’
‘Bosoms?’ Morgana asks, confused, and then remembers, ‘oh yeah, I keep forgetting that his character is a woman.’
‘Hold up’ Random says, leaning forward, ‘I’m not sure I want to be smothered in your dragon breasts.’
‘Well, it’s either that or remain on fire’ Freppwench reasons.
‘Okay, just do it then’ he responds, holding his hands up in resignation.
‘That’s what she said!’ Spankador pipes up, and then giggles into his wine.
Freppwench rolls a 6.
‘Sorry, I can’t let you have that’ the DM states, ‘I’ll say the flames have died down a little, but on a 6, you are definitely still very much on fire.’
‘Jeez, how much of a pounding can we take?’ Freppwench exclaims, throwing his die down in exasperation.
‘You’ve said that before’ Random observes with a wink.
The DM updates his notes and looks around for the next player.
‘Hang on, just getting the pizza ready.’ With that Moragon returns to the living room with a platter of decidedly burnt looking pizza.
‘Ah, what is that?’ Morgana asks in disgust.
‘Well, it was pizza, but I definitely should have put the timer on, cos it’s very, urm, well done. Better over cooked than under cooked though, right?’ she asks the room hopefully.
The sentence hangs in the air as everybody takes in the sight of the ruined pizza.
‘I’ve got some kettle chips if anybody wants some?’ Merrick asks the room at large.
Bags of crisps are ripped open and Moragon sits down, somewhat deflated.
‘I’m going to eat some anyway,’ she mutters...
‘Don’t be a tool, and roll your dice’ the DM instructs her with a smile.
Massive thanks go to my D&D team mates who not only gave their permission for me to write about them in this abstract manner, but who have also made the last two years of the game an utter joy to play. And, of course, thanks to the Dungeon Master, upon whose creativity we have all happily hung our hats. Cheers dudes :D
Part two coming up shortly...