kayshapero: (HINABN)
Something for the gamers amongst us (of which I am one, of course)... :)
kayshapero: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] ohiblather incautiously asked people about their D&D experiences, and I wound up writing several pages worth. Decided if I was going to write that much I probably ought to put it in my LJ too, so here it is, mildly detypoed...

I started playing D&D in 1974 (yeppers, the year after it came out), when Nicolai, whom I'd not met before, came down from Berkeley to run a game at that year's ComicCon. Some friends and I who hadn't played before showed up, and were handed dice and told when to roll them. I rolled up a character who was mostly 8s save for his strength (12 I think), and dubbed him Mediocre Fred after a character in a song (who turned out to be a vampire, which my Fred didn't do thank goodness.) Anyway, the game was vastly entertaining not to mention kinda weird in spots (like the purple worms that were charmed into eating each other, or the rust monsters that ate my new armor shortly after I got it. :( ) And the Deck of Many Things Fred pulled a card from and got turned into an 8th level fighter with the above armor.. which was great for him since he was a 1st level fighter but would have not been so good for a 10th level mage - small wonder they let the newbie try the treasure.

Whatever - I was hooked on the game (and the DM too, to whom I've been married for the last 26 years, but that's another story) after that.

Fred finished the trip as a 9th level Fighter, having gone up a level. This seemed to require a more lofty title, so I dubbed him Lord Frederick Finagle because of the weird way he got there. I figured I didn't know how to play such a high level character, so rolled up his daughters, Lenla and Kala, along with some other characters and ran them in the local campaigns for awhile.

I also started GMing (we called it DMing - Dungeon Mastering) myself, for the Klingon Star Empire. Strange and wonderful things happened when adventuring with the Klingons. Like the hobbit who insisted on bringing high class "pipeweed" into the dungeon and caching it around. The monsters LOVED him for this. It also saved his life once...

OK, this takes some telling. We will start with Miskatonic University. MY version of which includes the Arcane Studies department, who rented a segment of Robber's Roost Asteroid (my main dungeon) to house the upper level students. This was because of a lightning bolt fight between a couple of dorms back on campus. The Dean was passing between them at the time. Bolts and students were promptly grounded.

Ahem.

Anyway, magic students housed in a D&D style dungeon have plenty of room to practice their skills, and most learned early that there was lots of $$$money! to be earned casting trap spells for monsters who lacked the magical ability to do so for themselves. So most of 'em earned pin money this way. One enterprising pair got hold of a Mirror of Life Trapping, put it up on the wall in a lockable room, and researched a spell that made the first intelligent being other than the owner to touch the object so trapped teleport into the room facing the Mirror. They sold castings of this spell to monsters very cheaply so there were a lot of them about. Periodically, they would check the Mirror, and charge victims to be let out and sent home. (Yes, they were neutrals. Think magical frat boys. :)) Ultimately... but I'll tell you THAT story when I finish this one.

A Klingon had fallen afoul of one of those traps and vanished into the dungeon. His buddies were worried about him, so they mounted a rescue expedition, first paying a visit to a 4th level bar inhabited by a mage who had picked up a number of interesting items and retired from active expeditioning in favor of renting them out at appropriate rates (yes, they had protective spells of returning on them. Not that anybody was fool enough to test them out.) One thing he had was a magical object compass, mounted in such a way as to swivel in all three directions. You could set it on something or someone you wanted to find, and it would point in their direction and give an approximate range. They paid the man (payment in advance) and set out in search of their friend.

After a number of adventures, Our Heroes fetched up outside a door, behind which the compass said they would find their friend. They lined up in front of the door. I asked where everybody was standing. I drew a picture on the chalkboard, to make sure I had it right. (Of course this WAS the same crowd who once spent 5-10 real minutes trying to figure out how to open an airlock to the airless outside of the asteroid before it occurred to them that they didn't really want to go... ) They assured me this was where they were standing. So when they opened the door, making lots of noise, and the red dragon right behind the door breathed fire at them.. they were all hit by the blast. No question at all.

This included the guy with the stash in his backpack. Which caught fire and began to smolder. The dragon inhaled for a second breath which would probably have finished incinerating the party... and kept on inhaling instead. Oh Wow.... The rest of the party left the smoldering backpack, picked up their charred companions, and beat it back to the exit.

As it turned out, their friend had been released by the mages for a sizable donation, only to wander into another mirror on his way out. The dragon had found and appropriated the mirror. Another, better prepared rescue party came back in later, killed the dragon, freed their friend, and got a lot of treasure.

Now for the other story I promised you. One day, a party killed a monster, and went over to check its treasure chest. One of the party had a plus 3 warhammer of returning, which he threw at the chest, figuring to trigger any traps at a distance (usually a good idea in the Roost. Heck, sometimes you'd find traps in the *corridors*, especially after the end-of-finals-week celebrations.) The chest had the teleport trap spell on it. Which, if you may recall, merely specified intelligence. Warhammers plus 3 have intelligence ratings. So, it triggered the trap and vanished from sight. As the party gaped (and the owner wailed "Hey, my Warhammer!"), it continued through into the room, facing the Mirror, momentum barely slowed by its brief contact with the chest. The Mirror of Life Trapping was made of glass...

*Crash!* *tinkle* *tinkle*

The contents of the destroyed Mirror were released into the room, which made things a bit exciting given that intruding humans aren't the only ones who get picked up by these things. In the midst of this, the warhammer attempted to return to its master. Who was several levels up and over a couple of rooms. It smashed into the ceiling, and continued doing so until it battered its way through into the next room. Repeat macro.

Upstairs, the party heard a distant "thud!" "Thud!" "THUD!" coming from beneath and to one side. They readied for battle, as obviously something nasty was coming. Just as well, actually, because by the time the warhammer burst from the floor and flew into the owner's hand it had gone through several rooms. The heads of various monsters peered up through the tunnel left behind by the hammer. The party decided to depart. Yes, they remembered to bring the chest.

June 2017

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