Tuesday, March 6, 2012, 9:05 AM
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons
After 30+ years, I've decided to start playing D&D again. Here's more of how it went the first time.
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Two years after my first attempt at D&D, my friend Slovko and I were invited to play with Slovko's older sister's group of friends. The Older Kids. We were around 13, and felt lucky to be cool enough to join these 17 and 18-yr olds.
Phil was our Dungeon Master, and a pleasant and likeable guy. He walked us through rolling characters. We rolled a number of times, and took out the lowest rolls. I felt like this was cheating. I also felt overwhelmed by the many choices I needed to make so quickly. I had picked out a mini that looked like a grim reaper (which I would later paint with gloss black Testors paint.) I spent far too long deciding on a name, but eventually chose "Targon" after a bit player in one of the LOTR books. Slovko created a grumpy dwarf named "Iron Mace," which he would regret when all of the NPCs 'mistakenly' heard his name as "Iron Face."
Phil had us roll 3rd level characters. I wasn't sure why. I felt like we were cheating again.
(Not my exact mini, but close enough. Pretty cool for a 13-yr old.)
In the group's previous session, all of the characters had been killed. Slovko and I didn't know that the main reason we were invited to play was so that we would be pawns in finding a way to bring the others back to life. All of the Older Kids waited around for Phil to bring us into the story. New to roleplaying, Slovko and I had no idea how to interface with the game, or what was expected of us. The Older Kids, essentially 'dead', just watched us silently.
PHIL: "You two guys are old friends walking down a country road, when you're approached by a shifty character who starts trying to sell you various items. 'You fellers need anything for your adventure? Rope? Daggers? A load of bread?'"
US: Blank stares.
PHIL: "What do you want to do?"
PHIL: "'Tell ya what I got here, for you boys..." Looks around suspiciously. Opens his coat. "Life potions! For resurrection! Rare and wonderful! And I'm ready to let them go cheap! Whaddya say?"
Turns out, we had just enough money to buy them. Phil said that they were probably stolen, but it was a good deal. So we bought them.
Within a few hundred yards, outside of a cave, we come across the dead bodies of our fellow players. Four players, and we had four resurrection potions.
PHIL: "You can use the life potions, and then you'll be able to join the party when they're resurrected."
US: "Ok, well then we take each potion and dump the contents into the mouths of the dead guys."
The room errupted in a collective gasp.
Older Kid: "You guys are...!"
Phil hushed the other player. Later, I would look back at this as one of the coolest DM moves ever. We were clearly making 'a mistake', but he was letting it play through.
PHIL: "You dump the potions in their mouths, but nothing happens."
US: "Well, we move their larynxs around a little to force it down their throats."
PHIL: "Nothing happens."
Eventually, we learned that *we* were supposed to drink the potions, which would allow us to know/cast a spell of resurrection. I don't know if this is something Phil made up or not, but we ruined his plans to get everyone back to living status, and get the game rolling again.
He worked up some other scheme, and a half hour later, everyone was back in the game. I felt like this, too, was cheating.
Older Kids: "Oh my God, you guys are so dumb. You can't make a corpse drink a potion!"
Who knew? We were newb adventurers, and it showed. But that moment enlightened me to start re-thinking how I did things in this new world. And it remains one of the funnest moments I've ever played, even though we took heat from the group! Ha!
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Friday, March 2, 2012, 12:19 PM
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons
After 30+ years, I decided to play D&D again. Here's how it went the first time:
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