Sunday, July 29, 2012

Adventurers Gonna Adventure

I got into Dungeons and Dragons pretty late in the game. In the brief time I was with my ex husband, I sat in on several of his D&D sessions with our friends and roommates, but never took part - I can't recall the reason for that, if there ever was any to begin with. I don't remember much about them, though - largely because I wasn't actively taking part, but probably also largely because they were just pretty normal.

A few years later, after I'd gotten a divorce and met someone awesome and met his awesome friends, there was talk of starting up a D&D campaign, and this time I went for it. I wasn't going to miss out on this action any longer (we play 2nd Edition - I had no idea what I was getting into). Since then, I don't think any of our sessions have been anything even remotely close to normal.

Last night, for instance, was the first session of a new campaign with new characters and a brand new player - our friends' daughter, who is 16 and wonderfully and enthusiastically nerdy. So while she's working on getting her priest in working order, her dad asks the DM if his character Ted (short for Tedyllican) can use his Deck of Many Things, which has been passed down from character to character through campaigns. The DM allows it.

Now, here's the thing. Ted's a hobgoblin thief. He's blisteringly ugly, he's not too bright, and his player is kind of a nut to begin with. So as our party rolls into Scardale Town, trying to be low-profile, Ted starts asking the proprietor of a silken goods shop if she happens to sell any red silk thongs for him to wear. Because it feels good on his junk. Our party stops by a leatherworker's shop later, and Ted orders himself a pair of ass-less chaps. Luckily for our party, those won't be ready for a few days, so we continue to the place where we'd arranged to meet our contact for the nefarious deeds we'd be doing.

It's in a square near a fountain which has the magical property of preventing anyone from magically eavesdropping on anyone. There's a lot of activity in this square, and a lot of people are hanging out playing games, like chess. Ted, not being very bright, realizes they're playing games and whips out his Deck of Many Things and starts offering it to nearby people. Luckily for them, he's ugly and he smells like a hobgoblin, so nobody draws a card. So Ted draws one, and everyone at the table braces themselves for what's going to come from that fucking deck.

He rolls, the DM figures out what card it corresponds to and he just shakes his head. "It's a Throne," he says. "Ted gets 18 charisma and a small keep."

None of us can believe the luck, or the weirdness of it. In-game, out of  nowhere a soldier-type guy walks up to Ted and says, "I can't believe I just noticed this, but you are the best damn hobgoblin I've ever seen. I've never seen such a fine-looking hobgoblin as you. I want you to have this key. It's the key to my keep, but my troop has all vacated it, so it would just be going to run without anyone staying there. I want you to have it, because you have really impressed me today." And then he walks off.

We all tried to shake it off and continue with the adventure - luckily our task for that session was to clear out a cave of goblins and, as I am currently playing a badass dwarf fighter, it was a nice way to end the evening. As we drove home, my boyfriend said to me, "I just realized - Ted got turned into Ridiculously Photogenic Hobgoblin."
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  1. I LOVE this story. I'm also painfully nostalgic now.

    I stumbled onto this a while back (sorry if I'm repeating myself, I can't remember if I've shown you or not)

    I might be assembling a band of adventurers, near and far.

    1. That website is pretty spiffy! And I have a regular(ish) schedule now! Sweet! What edition do you play? We only have books for 2e, but apparently there's a shitton of the books available to download these days.

  2. I'm hoping my game turns out as fun as yours did. I picked up the core books for 4th edition, and I'm studying up on how to run a game. My friends all want to play, so I'm taking the initiative and trying to design a campaign.