Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dungeons and Dragons and RNG

We played our second campaign of D&D yesterday. After having already played once, we had a good grasp of our characters, and so were able to roleplay better with more cohesion.

I am Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light!

The experience of adapting to your character and others' is interesting. You already have relationships with your friends where you understand each other's behavior, but when you create characters you have to learn how they will behave, unique to the game. But, simultaneously, you're still figuring out how you will behave, while you get used to your character. Even if you plan out your character entirely - I had four pages in my notebook detailing my character - things pop up that you didn't think about or suddenly something just works.

I'm not unfamiliar with role playing, but most of the role playing I did was in Skyrim.

don't judge me

Yes, Skyrim, as in, it was a single player game. I know a lot about adapting to my character's behavior, but not so much when other people are involved. In a single player game, I have all the time to decide how I want to react emotionally to a thing and think about myself and my character's development, but it's a lot different when you're interacting with other people who are all also developing their character.

In our first campaign, our DM set us all up to be hired for an adventure yadda yadda by the king and queen of Saharkhan, which is a town in Tethyr.

if you didn't know, there is legitimate canon inside of the D&D universe

In our original mission, we were sent on a vague quest for a thing. It was all pretty relevant to one of our characters, a paladin half-giant. We actually ended up, as I was told usually happens, ruining all of our DMs plans. I detected noise down one corridor, so I insisted going the other way (it turns out my character is a fraidy-cat) - except that way ended up being to a dead end. Except, one of our characters made a hidden door check, which is a percentage dice roll out of 100 and you only have, like, a 15% chance to make it. We went down a corridor which put us on track to run into a creepy evil church sermon full of dudes that, we found out later, we weren't supposed to fight yet.

"creepy evil church sermon" had no interesting
image search results

We managed a plan that killed five of the seven dudes by collapsing part of the structure on top of them, but then we had to fight a, we found out later, level five dude and one other dude, while we were level 1 on our first adventure. Against all odds, the dice were in our favor, and we defeated someone we weren't supposed to, and we got an ancient, evil relic we weren't supposed to, entirely bypassing the other half of the dungeon which actually had the thing we were intended to get.

We were pretty stoked to learn how cool we had been, but our DM had devised another tricky campaign for us yesterday... that we ruined entirely against all odds, again.

these things loved us

The super ridiculous powerful evil book we had was what we thought we had to bring back to the castle to the king and queen. On the way there, we started an encounter with eight skeletons and three clerics. We tried pretty hard, took 34 health off of one of the clerics - found out later he was level 7 - but in the end, they had all successfully cast hold person on all of us, took the book, and captured us. We ended up in a caravan, bound in handcuffs. Everyone made strength checks to break out of the handcuffs, the half-giant paladin with an 18 strength and something like a 30% chance failed, but our assassin with something like a 4% chance managed to roll a 1% and critically succeeded. After breaking out of the cuffs and looking around, he successfully picked my cuff's lock, and against all freaking odds we both picked everyone's cuffs successfully.

not quite like this

We each had under a 50% chance to successfully pick locks, and in my experience with video games, that is not a good chance. You can only make one check, so between each of us we had one try for each person, and we somehow rolled three 11s in a row. The caravan was surrounded by skeletons and of course driven by the clerics and a team of six horses. We picked the lock on the caravan door and I used my phantasmal force to create menacing spiders to scare the horses into running away - taking the evil clerics with them. We had lost the book, but we escaped. We tuck and rolled out of the back of the cart - we all made our dex checks, except for the half-giant, but there were skeletons behind the caravan as well.

oh crap!

We rolled the dice, and the half-giant fell out of the caravan, crushing a skeleton into dust for eight damage. We defeated the skeletons quickly, and knew we had to make it back to the castle town. Our ranger had navigation for a non-weapon proficiency, so she was able to figure out where we were, and which way the castle was. We had to make constitution checks because we were running, but the paladin started carrying the ones who failed their checks. We rested for a brief moment, in which time we encountered bears.

o haaai!

Our ranger says "Can I make a hunting check or something on the bears?" The DM says she can, and she makes her check. Due to her ranger affinity with nature or something, the bears are 100% non-aggressive to us. After briefly trying to see if we could ride the bears or command the bears to fight for us (we couldn't as they weren't trained bears), we simply thanked the bears for not attacking us and went to the castle.

Our last two hours of roleplaying was telling the king and queen our story, planning our next step to get back the evil book, buying supplies, and our ranger and assassin getting into a drunken bar fight at the inn.

there are even rules for fist fights

Later on, I asked the DM "Did you expect us to escape the caravan?"

No, of course not. Another point for the adventurers!

Oh, and our paladin is making his own in-character blog about our adventures, if you are at all interested!  (Don't mind the grammar, his character has a low intelligence!)

- D&D Series -
Intro.    Ch. 1    Ch. 2    Ch. 3    Ch. 4    Ch. 5

1 comment:

  1. Just because my intelligence is low doesn't mean that doesn't hurt a little. Tis true though my grammar does suck along with my sentence mechanics.