|Memoirs of a D&D Gamer
The Entertainment eZine - Gaming
During the height of my D&D career (if you want to call it a career), I have published several things in Dragon Magazine, won a D&D tournament, was voted Best DM by my university roleplaying guild, and ranked as a Five Star DM.
I have been gaming for 11 years now (since 1995), ever since I joined the Simulations Club at my highschool in Walkerton, Ontario. The club also played Diplomacy, Spaceward Ho!, Warcraft and several other games. It wasn't just a RPG group, it was also a computer gaming group of geeks and freaks. Yeah.
I swear I am the only one from that group who has had a steady girlfriend.
And now onto my memoirs:
In my first D&D game ever I played a half-elf bard named "Rades" (pronounced Rad-daze) who was affiliated with a spellslaying group. So instead of bardic spellcasting, he had spellslaying abilities (see the 2nd Edition Arabian Adventures book). On our very first adventure as a group, we got our asses kicked by a wizard and his band of charmed goblins, right up until the point where Rades spellslayed the wizard's casting abilities and the tide changed. So despite the wall of force in the way, the half-ogre and the lizardman (our party had some misfits) went around the building, crashed right through a wooden wall and surprised the cornered wizard. Suddenly the wall of force was more like a cage and a spellslayed wizard was no match for a half-ogre and a lizardman in close combat.
Afterwards, badly beaten but still willing to fight, we followed the goblin band back to the wizard's layout in order to rescue villagers the wizard had intended to enslave. We found the layout, broke the elevator, had to scale down the elevator shaft and found the villagers... and at this point, my friend Glenn (who plays the lizardman cannibal) had to go write a math exam. Our first gaming session was during the exam break in the winter of 1995. So he left to write his exam, and the rest of us decided to explore the rest of the layout and loot the wizard's belongings.
We left the lizardman cannibal behind, figuring he could guard the villagers near the entrance. We had somehow forgotten he was a cannibal... hey, we were rookie gamers! It happens!
Once upon a time we were ambushed by three stone giants with really bad aim (the DM rolled really badly during the surprise attack). Stone giants aren't actually made of stone, they just have tough skin and its camouflaged so they blend into rock. In response, my fighter picked up a fist-sized jagged rock and did a called shot at the nearest giant's head, saying that I am deliberately trying to knock him out. Natural 20! Since this was 2nd Edition rules, the rules was a bit blurry as to how someone would KO a giant. The DM decided that even with a Natural 20, there was a 90% chance the giant could just ignore it. The DM rolled a 92, so the giant fell over unconscious and bleeding from the temple.
A round later he decided to roll the same 90% chance to see if the giant would wake up. He rolled a 95.
Another round passed, he rolled again... 97. "Fuck it! The giant dies from brain hemorrhaging!"
We had already decimated the other two giants and they were about to flee anyway. One of their buddies was down (due to my fighter's rock) and they had taken massive damage from fireballs, arrows and several of our fighters. Their morale was pretty weak.
We finished them off with arrows and fireballs as they fled.
Nevertheless, it has since been one of my favourite memories. How many players can say "I killed a stone giant with a rock!" It just sounds funny by itself.
#3. A barbarian (played by someone we normally didn't play with) joined our party, but he decided to have an attitude problem over who was leader of the party. Rades, my spellslaying bard, being ever pragmatic decided to solve the situation. He proposed that the barbarian was so big that he should be his own party all by himself (despite the fact that our half-ogre was easily twice as big as the barbarian). Meanwhile, our party of misfits elected Calladon (the half-elf fighter/mage/cleric) as our leader. We chose Calladon because he was... well... everything. In a party with a lizardman, a half-ogre, a minotaur, 2 half-elves, an elf, and a hunchback human... Calladon seemed quite normal, but at least the other characters could relate to him. Most of the time people don't worry about "who" is the leader of the party, but we had just been hired as mercenary irregulars in an army, and we needed a leader for the paperwork... Somehow the barbarian's paperwork went missing...
#4. In a separate campaign, henceforth called the "Underdark Campaign", our band of characters was exploring the ruins of an underdark ogre fortress. Within its catacombs they encountered two ogres, a priest and a chieftain... both of which had been mummified and HATED each other. Using a little creative genius, the party got both undead ogres into the same room together, at which point they started beating each other into a pulp. Near the end of the battle, when they were both looking pretty beat-up, we chopped off their heads and stuck the undead heads in a big burlap sack. From that point on, the party used the mummy heads as translators when dealing with ogres and also learned how to swear in ogre. We admit it looked strange carrying around a bag that was swearing all the time, and that we had to cast silence spells on it whenever we wanted to do something quiet, but it was definitely amusing.
Once upon a time the entire party (except for the half-elf) was killed by vampires. One of them was turned into a vampire. 47 years later, the rest of the party was reincarnated by sea elves who had heard of their exploits and decided they needed heroes from the surface who could help them. The half-elf was still alive too. So the party was re-united, but the tension with the vampire in the party brought the group into an era of subterfuge and spying on each other. Party members repeatedly stole copies of a powerful spellbook from each other. Eventually this was solved, and the vampire redeemed himself and became a daywalker.
Whats ironic about this party however is that when they originally started the game they were hired soldiers. The different units in the army were given flower names... blue roses, yellow daffodils, purple violets... our party was the BLACK PANSIES. This name gave the party a bit of notoriety and the name stuck. They were known by that name all over the continent, but thankfully they were also very good at what they did. They overthrew an empire and restored the old kingdoms, they removed some major curses, they stopped a demon invasion, they destroyed a draco-lich, saved the sea elf empire from hordes of demonic sea monsters and sea dragons, helped a Zaratan find a mate and killed the tarrasque twice (they didn't kill it properly the first time).
Black Pansies Kick Ass!!!
In many multiple campaigns that I've run, I've always had my players at some point encounter a special book: The Mating Rituals of the Zaratan. Its basically a kama sutra book for monstrous sea turtles the size of islands. They sleep for thousands of years and only wake up to eat and mate. The problem is that Zaratan have problems mating, and thus they need a self-help book. The book also contains explicit drawings of different zaratan sexual positions. This book is quite large/heavy (40 lbs), is impossible to destroy, waterproof, floats, and contains copies of the spells "Summon Female Zaratan" and "Summon Male Zaratan".
The book also makes a great doorstop, club, shield, life preserver, decoy, catapult object, etc... its basically 101 things to do with a "BIG DUMB BOOK". We've only once ever used it for a zaratan. We needed a ride, so we bribed a lonely zaratan with the book in exchange for transportation across the ocean.
#7. Once upon a time I gave one of the players a sword of sharpness (its magically enhanced to chop off limbs on a natural 20). Rolling a natural 20 is rare, but sometimes weird stuff happens. Like that time the party was crossing a lake on a ship and was attacked by a Korovian dragon breathing ice (Korovian dragons are also notorious for swooping in and grabbing people, and then biting their heads off). It swooped in to grab Miles Dashing (the swashbuckler with the sword of sharpness)... Swoosh! He chopped the dragon's claw off!
Upset and angry the dragon turned around and came in for another pass (it had already used its breath weapon)... Swoosh! Another dragon claw fell to the deck...
At this point the dragon was successfully hit by a fireball and realized that not only had it just lost both front claws, but it was in danger of dying. It retreated.
After that event, the dragon became known as "Stumpy".
They never killed "Stumpy"... he tended to avoid wherever the party went. Who says dragons can't be cowards?
Stumpy's mother is One-Eyed Toreen and the party had met her before the Stumpy incident. Afterwards however they became aware that Toreen was angry at them and decided it was time to get rid of her. They spread rumours that they were in a certain area, knowing that Toreen's network of spies would alert her to their supposed location. They then teleported to her lair, killed her hatchlings, stole all her stuff and boobytrapped the lair to collapse. Fighting her straight on would be almost impossible, but burying her inside her own lair was certainly a possibility. With only minor snags in the plan, it worked. One-Eyed Toreen lost her eye when a historical band of adventurers managed to take out her eye, but they were all killed quite quickly. History had shown that she was not going to be defeated without a good solid plan.
The party found a teleport ring (twisting it activates it) that has only one destination: A paladin church in the city of Kost. Sadly (or ironically) they tended to "poof" themselves into the church during ceremonies. They disrupted weddings, funerals, bar mitzvahs, nuns taking their oaths, circumcisions... the one time they deliberately grappled with a vampire and teleported her with them to the paladins' temple, where the vampire was immediately attacked by paladins, clerics, nuns with holy water and choir boys!
For fun they would sometimes run and twist the ring repeatedly...
In a campaign belonging to someone else called "Mischka", but whom I prefer to refer to as "asshole" I had a paladin in full plate armour. Mischka, the DM, had a 50' tall King Kong-like ape that was standing 100' away. King Kong jumped on my paladin, and because King Kong's feet were so big, Mischka declared it was an area attack. And because King Kong dealt so much damage, my paladin was automatically squished. Needless to say, I never played with that asshole again and have badmouthed him as a horrible DM ever since.
Mischka also makes up his own rules, borrows heavily from 1st Edition D&D, and famously broke up with his girlfriend once because he was "too busy gaming". I would rank him as a TEN out of TEN on My List of Complete Losers. I really DESPISE that guy. I am tempted to punch him every time I see him.
And many more. I will add more to this in the future. I have so many stories its ridiculous.