1st Day of D&D

The D&D 5e Adventure Begins!

I hide behind this D&D screen.
Their quest – the chest.

The D&D day had finally arrived.

I picked up the four boys after school and brought them to our place. The-Youngest and I had transformed the rec room into the new D&D room. We had chips for them. We had pop and candy. We had chairs that weren’t going to collapse and The-Youngest had taped off areas on the table so everyone knew how far they could spread their stuff out.

We were about as ready as possible.

When the boys arrived, I had to let them settle down. 12-year-olds have energy I can only remember, that kind that makes it impossible to sit still, to not talk quickly and loudly, or focus on any one thing. It was awesome to see, actually. That energy meant they were excited

After a short while, they calmed down a bit.

D&D, being a complex game with many, many rules, created my first challenge. We’d gotten together before this first session to roll up characters, (a ranger, wizard, a paladin, and a rogue), so we didn’t have to do that, but there was still stuff they needed to know if they were to play.

To speed things along, I filled out their character sheets and reviewed changes. (For the nerdy folks, that means weapons and damage, armor and armor class, skill bonuses and equipment).

Their miniatures were given out and they were wow’d. I’m not a super good miniature painter, but having a little rogue, ranger, paladin and gnome made the game come alive.

From there, like any good film, we started with the big picture. Let us begin with the world. So let us start there.

The realms are at peace, a peace that has lasted eighty years. The Six kingdoms are united under the All-father, the king of kings, an undying ruler who governs with benevolent grace, bringing prosperity and harmony to all the peace-loving people of the land.

Or at least that’s what has been taught in the schools, in the cathedrals of the Holy Light, and in the great halls and homes of men.

But ask the Dwarves, at what price did this peace come, their kingdoms smashed, their once-proud nation reduced to clan-enclaves in mountains or crafting halls in the hills and towns?

Ask the elves when men came to cut down the trees for lumber, when they slaughtered the fey and treants out of fear, and then when the Elves fought back, burned the elven treehomes.

Ask the Halflings why they are wanderers or relegated to the poor quarters, thought of only as dirty thieves and bringers of bad luck. Ask them if they know peace.

Indeed, if you are not of mankind, you might have an entirely different opinion of this peace and prosperity. 

After conquering the last kingdom, the All-father destroyed the old orders, tore down ancient fortresses, built churches of the Holy Light in every village, and set up puppet rulers to govern his lands. While most of the conquered kingdoms fell into line, the last Kingdom never fully bowed to the All-father’s will, and nearly a year, ago, as repression became harsher and harsher, many of the old races united to rebel.

Against the All-father, against his Red Legions and Wizards of Flame, against the martial might of the Order of the Holy Light, they didn’t have a chance. They were slaughtered.

After the rebellion, the Purity Laws came into effect. No non-human could hold a position in government, could not attend any of the Arcane Academies, and could not hold title to land. Travel was restricted and there are rumors that the All-father may soon offer a bounty on non-humans.

It is into this world that our players find themselves.

Thus began the adventure for the boys.

  • Sherlock – a gnomish wizard.
  • Leroy the Ranger.
  • Brad Armpit the rogue.
  • Honor the Dragonborn paladin.

 

 

 

The Best Day Part III

gollumSo, for a moment, imagine if the Hobbits had said, yah, you know what, no, that whole dropping the ring in the fiery pit of Mt Doom, yah, we’re not going to do that. Or what if Kyle Reese had said, damn, yo, look at that terminator thing, I’m outta here? Or what if Batman had looked at Bane and said, you’re right, Mr. Bane, Gotham kinda sucks, it’s all yours?

That was what was threatening my D&D adventure. I had one hero who didn’t want to be a hero. At least, not a traditional D&D hero.

But I had to drive on.  I mean, did Sam give up when Frodo went all limp biscuit? Did Harry Potter wilt when he was told he had to die? Did Will Ferrell wander off to make snowmen after being told to leave the Elf community?

No!

So I would find a way to make this adventure work.

I picked up after the non-bar fight, where the ogre had given all his cash to avoid violence. Luckily, such things still impress people so he was hired to look into a missing caravan. Joined by his brother, the most blood-thirsty warrior ever born, and my friend who played a veteran soldier, they began their search where the caravan had been headed.

mohicansBeing all rangerie like Aragorn or the Last of the Mohicans guy, The Youngest’s character tracked the tracks, and they found the caravan without too much trouble. Oddly enough, there were no bodies, though. Not a one. Lots of blood, sure. Some goods stolen. A few goblin arrows sticking into dead oxen, but so much was off about this scene.

Where had the bodies gone? Why would the Goblins leave their arrows behind? Why would they not steal everything in sight, even eating the oxen? Hey, goblins are all about the bling-bling, and the hack and slash, and BBQ afterwards.

So what was really going on?

As The Oldest – playing the Ogre – looked around for clues and The Youngest began to dismantle all of my carefully built trees, the goblin trail was discovered. Following it and knowing the forest as they do, they were able to sneak up on some of the goblins who, like all good goblins, were waiting in ambush for them.

Ah ha! Another classic battle in the making. Good guys sneak up on the green goobers and slaughter them.

But, this is not the Ogre way. No.

He did something – again – I’d never seen in D&D.

He tried to scare them off by running at them. Like a big-ass bowling ball, he roared into them, flailing his arms, shouting Ogrish nonsense and knocking them all over.

While stunned and not a little surprised, the Youngest rained arrows at the Goblins, and my friend took out her trusty sword and slashed and hewed about her like any good fantasy hero.

orcsThe Goblins, caught off guard, didn’t really know what to do, so they shot a few arrows at the Ogre and tried to reform in some sort of battle order. As they mustered around their leader, the Ogre, not content to merely roar and run around, climbed a tree that bent with his weight and fell on them.

Call it Ogre-slamming. I think the Rock tried something like this once.

Anyway, there was like this big mushroom cloud of dirt and clover and leaves as 500lbs of Ogre hit the ground, squishing Goblins underneath him.

The Youngest, with epic shots (for those who’ve actually played, he rolled three back-to-back 20s) mowed down the few Goblins who staggered away from the Ogre-slamming, while my friend finished off whose who who tried to flee.

They’d won. But at a cost.

The Ogre, desperate not to kill anyone, ended up with an arrow in his chest. As he lay on the ground dying, his hands dug into the earth and he watched the trees sway above him, shedding leaves like tears.

None of the other characters had the power to save him.

He was simply too badly injured.

The Ogre would need a miracle.

Yet, miracles do happen in D&D.

All the time.

But that’s where the adventure ended.

At least for now.

See, now here’s the thing. Here’s why I refound my love for D&D…

I’ve never seen a character use himself as a bowling ball. I’ve never seen someone roll 3 critical hits in a row, even my old D&D friend who had a knack for lucky rolls. I’ve never seen an Ogre try to turn himself into a club and smack a group of Goblins unconscious. Nor, I think, have the Goblins.

It’s why D&D really can be such a fun game.

You never know what would happen.

ogre d&DAnd would I really let a character die for being heroic?

Stay tuned for the next adventure. Sometime in December.