Monday, May 7, 2012

No Hero is Complete Without a Weakness...

Ok, so this was my first D&D adventure with the guys (we're playing 3.5e with a few elements of 4th edition. No lightsabers or modern technology have been permitted though...at least not thus far...) and we were all a bit unfamiliar with how to play (I had NO idea what I was doing but the guys had a bit of experience reading the rules from what I gathered.) We had about six guys total that first night with one of us, Jeff, acting as the Dungeon Master (DM). We all created our characters that night and immediately hopped into a campaign. I chose to be a Half-Elf Paladin named Valcrith Fletcher. The full party consisted of two Dragonbornes (If I recall correctly. That's Alex & Matthew), a Drow named Delgryn (That's my buddy Tom. More on him in a minute...), and a Half-Orc named Orent (Steve, Tom's younger brother). We had been sent to explore a mysterious dungeon and draw a map for our client while clearing it out, so that it would be safe for exploration. As we were all level one characters, I figured that it wasn't going to be too difficult to complete the mission and save the day. Well, I was in for a surprise...



Ok, so we head towards the plains and get ambushed by a bunch of goblins. After a short scuffle, we win and get a small amount of loot. Nothing major I'm told. We then reach the entrance to the dungeon at which point the two Dragonbornes decide to take a breather to recover some health from that ambush I mentioned earlier. Since I was the only healer on our team, I thought that that was fair. I had initially planned to wait it out with them since I didn't want to leave them behind (being the Lawful Good character that I am). The Half-Orc however, had other plans. He decided he didn't want to wait and decided to "descend into darkness". I asked the Dragonbornes in Draconic (my second language as I'm a follower of Bahamut) whether it would be alright if I follow him. They're okay with it. We thus split into two parties of two. Mistake number one.

Mistake number two. I was with Steve. Steve is a great guy, and funny too, but his personality and small stature is reminiscent of...Scrappy Doo. He'll often charge into battle without much thought as to strategy or skill. It's more of a "Let me at 'em!!!" approach. It rarely works, but occasionally he has those moments of sheer awesomeness...this however, was not one of those moments. Anyway, it was pitch black in the dungeon and HE CHARGED INTO IT...leaving me to eat his dust. I'm taking a more careful approach and following behind him when suddenly giant spiders crawl from the ceiling and drop down in front of us. We roll initiative and of course, it's the Half-Orc that wins the roll with me dead last. He decides to light a sunrod at this point, smack one of them around, and then just run DEEPER into the seemingly neverending darkness. For those of you that don't know, a sunrod is a 1-foot-long, gold-tipped, iron rod that glows brightly when struck. It clearly illuminates a 30-foot radius and provides shadowy illumination in a 60-foot radius. It glows for 6 hours, after which the gold tip burns out and essentially becomes worthless. What he was hunting, I will never really know. Anyway, I ended up getting stuck with the creepy crawlers.

Now, the DM and I don't really get along with each other well. (Don't get me wrong, I don't HATE the guy. I just TOLERATE his presence and sourpuss attitude.) Nonetheless, he decides to have a little fun with poor Valcrith and makes the one wounded spider crawl up the wall and onto the ceiling once more, ready to pounce on him. Luckily, I whip out my crossbow and shoot him down. Unfortunately, the carcass lands right on top of me for some minor damage in addition to poisoning me. (-__-) Jeff gets a good chuckle out of that.

Meanwhile, the Dragonbornes decide to go around to the left of the dungeon entrance and see if there's an alternate path to take (completely unaware of my current predicament). So I'm pretty much boned. I'm still trying to catch "Mr. Brilliant" when he gets attacked by some skeletons. I leave him to it at this point and go around to another room. Nothing there. I return to help the Half-Orc with his battle and chastise him for leaving me behind to which he just gruffs like it's no big deal. We get to this door and in a combined effort, knock it down. "I'm finally getting to him that we can make a good team if we stick together!!!" I thought. Mistake number three.

We stop the session there and the next one becomes my worst nightmare.

Steve, being bored with his character decides he no longer wants to be a Half-Orc and makes a Minotaur merchant, which would've been fine, except for now there has to be a way to introduce him legitimately into the campaign so that the story flows. Unfortunately, it's not the most "opportune" time to do this because, well, we're in the middle of combat...and we're fighting giant spiders. AGAIN.

So, the room behind us and to our left just so happened to be an exit and covered in foliage. This is where things just went...awry. The Half-Orc, IN THE MIDDLE OF BATTLE, decides to chase a lone butterfly out of the dungeon and leaves me...alone...AGAIN...to fight with spiders. This time, I'm not so lucky. Valcrith gets killed. Or so I thought...

I was pretty bummed when the guys told me Valcrith had died. I kind of figured with my luck that he wouldn't make it anyway (even though it was my first time playing), but even though I told myself not to get attached, I sort of did anyway. I decided to whip out my Nintendo DS and play Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies to tie me over since I kicked the bucket. (At least I can get revived for free in THAT game.)

Suddenly, Tom, the Drow (who still has yet to make an appearance), realized I still had a saving roll to make. I reluctantly get up and prepare to roll. I roll a NAT 20. Everybody was shocked. Tom was like "Dude!!! You're back in the game man!!! Awesome!!! See? I told ya you're not ready to die yet!!!" I was pretty happy myself. Perhaps, there was some sort of divine intervention for Valcrith, a greater purpose for him to fulfill!!!

Then Jeff chimes in..."Had you gotten that on the third roll, I'dve let you be able to see ghosts." (-_-)

So, Valcrith is down, but not out. Now, low and behold, who comes to save the day? Paalk the Minotaur, wandering in the dungeon looking for artifacts to sell in his shop. With a swing of his mighty axe he lays waste to the spiders...then the noble warrior offers me a potion to restore my health...for 20 gold pieces. (>_<) Seeing as I've really got no other choice, I reluctantly accept the offer.

We eventually reunite with the other members of my party who seem to have forgotten that we had lost a large green companion...which also didn't help Valcrith because apparently I had lost enough blood (according to Jeff) to get partial amnesia and permanent arachnophobia...so nobody knew what happened. How convenient...

Nonetheless, we pressed onwards when suddenly a mysterious figure presented himself. It was an assassin Drow named Delgryn. He doesn't announce that he's an assassin, but he lets us know meta-game. Me, being in no condition to object to him joining our party (Elves and Drow do NOT go well together as they're almost mortal enemies, yet look very much alike except for Drow being darker skinned with long silver-white hair), we welcomed him to the group and we inevitably made our way to the final room of the dungeon with...just a bunch of monsters. No real final "boss". That was kind of a disappointment...(I like having big, climactic battles with something so large, that the odds seem stacked against the players. Nonetheless, Valcrith sliced into two of the monsters with a couple of heavy hits and we left the dungeon with a completed map and a fair amount of experience (none of us leveled up though as far as I can remember). I was then left in charge of holding onto the map as we returned to town. Mistake number four.

The next session was more or less a transition from one DM to another with Tom being the new campaign manager. I thought it might be fun to invite my friend Dave from work (he and I were co-workers at a board game store a while back). He had his character join in the campaign and right as we were about to deliver the map to our client to redeem the reward, Dave's character managed to steal it from me. I rolled to see if I could blame him for stealing it, but I failed the roll. Dave's sly character then made a bluff to the client to redeem the gold. I tried to roll a history check (to pull a Sherlock Holmes type of deal on him, by retracing my steps) but that was just shy of recalling what I did with the map up until that point. Oh, and my team totally blamed me for the loss of the treasure. Mistake number five.

Now, we are continuing our adventures through our friend Tom's campaign. Bottom line, mistakes were made. Oh, and I really REALLY hate spiders.

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