Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chess and Dungeons and Dragons

We finally finished our three session dungeon two weeks ago. I left off after we defeated a giant skeleton and opened a stairwell behind a spooky statue.

not exactly this

We entered a room with five circular discs in a pedestal and no exits. After we clarify that they are just blank discs, I decide to pick one up, and a picture of a castle materialized on it. I put it down and pick up another one, but nothing happens. Our ranger picks one up and a picture of a very royally dressed, fancy woman appeared. Our paladin picks up a different disc, and the DM says "a picture of a regal bishop- oops."

"Oh, duh."

The assassin picks one up and horse materializes on it, and finally The Pugilist excitedly grabs the last one and, funnily enough, it materializes as 'just a simple footsoldier'. As we held our discs, the wall ahead of us raised itself up magically.

When we entered the room, we noticed that the floor was decorated in an alternating checkered pattern.

I mean we visibly saw the chess board the DM had brought

We sort of knew already that chess would be involved. It was definitely fun, although kind of cheesy, but it's only the fourth or fifth time I've played chess in a role playing game of some kind.

We broke character and role playing rules like crazy as we set up, because some of our players weren't 100% familiar with chess rules. We explained chess to each other and totally ignored that we in-character may not know how to play chess. We sort of made up for this by allowing our paladin, who had history NWPs and may possibly know about chess and totally actually knows about chess in real life, basically yell commands at us on how and where to move.

The enemies were statues, and combat didn't officially start once we stood on the board. We had free action for a few turns as we figured things out, and as we approached the statues, they slowly started to come alive, move, and attack us.

We assumed that combat would somehow be dictated by chess rules, but we didn't exactly know how or what would happen if we broke the rules. The pictures that materialized on our discs were the piece whose moves we had to adhere to. Thayne tested out the theory, and tested to see what happened if we failed to stick to our piece, and moved forward instead of diagonally as a bishop should. The punishment was an electrical shock. Miranna tested to see if we additionally had to attack in accordance with our pieces, which was also accurate. It was pretty simple - but it was pretty funny that Tristan had to move and attack like a knight piece.

you'd think a horse could move a little more freely, or at least less awkwardly

I was personally worried about whether or not the enemies had to adhere to the chess rules, or if they would break them, but throughout the entirety of the encounter, they never broke rules. As The Pugilist was played true to his character by the DM - i.e., dumb and a little crazy - he broke movement rules a ton of times and totally almost died.

Instead of playing like a regular, actual game of chess, each team took turns. The DM explained later that he had done research on D&D chess encounters, and going back and forth one unit at a time proved to frequently be atrocious on time and efficiency, while everyone going as a team tended to work out better. Regardless, considering we were in the lair of The Mad God, I guess it doesn't matter if we follow the rules correctly or not.

think Sheogorath from Elder Scrolls

We weren't sure if we had to defeat everyone on the board by just dealing enough damage to them or by checkmate'ing the king. At one point, Thayne had the king in check - he yelled out "check!" and the king attacked him with magical energy. Dumb jerk.

We had dealt damage to the king numerous times, but he didn't seem to be dying. At one point, I was hit by a poisoned arrow, which was totally BS. It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be since it kind of ended up playing out like a table-top turn-based strategy game.

except with like restricted movement capabilities

The encounter took a pretty long time, but we eventually checkmated the king without anyone dying, not even The Pugilist. The paladin was weary of calling out the checkmate, considering what happened when he had called 'check', but we got him cornered and called it out. He started glowing, but nothing else happened.

"Uh, I guess I'll attack him."

Previously, we had attacked the king, but obviously not killed him. After checkmating him, I hit him for, like, 3 damage, and he crumbled. The DM wouldn't tell us his secrets, but we assumed we couldn't have killed the king without checkmating him.

After combat was over, we didn't bother to test the limits of the chess board room rules and moved to the other side of the room while adhering to our movement restrictions. When we went to the door on the other side of the room, we found it was locked, so we had to go back onto the board again to rifle through the statues' debris to find some keys. I found two keys while everyone else found cool stuff like bracers and weapons, whatever.

When we unlocked the door and went into the following room, we saw a book on a pedestal.

"Does it appear to be bound in human skin?"


good it's not the tome of eternal darkness

We explored the whole room corner to corner before touching the book, and we ensured it was definitely not the evil book that makes people go insane by reading it before we touched it. I give it a go and try to read the book.

"The book is in another castle."

Collective groan.

We look on the pedestal, under it, and in the room again, and the DM draws our attention to the fact that the door we entered through has disappeared.

"I look at the cieling."

"You see a door."

We had Thayne open the door since he's pretty tall, but I decide to use my jumping NWP to jump out of the ceiling door because hey, I can jump ridiculously high so why not? Thayne tries throwing everyone out of the door instead of just letting them stand on his shoulders, and ends up missing his checks while trying to throw Miranna out. She yells at him for dropping her, and he coined the legendary line "Maybe you should lay off the muffins."

We've been making muffins jokes ever since.

We all get out of the hole and, after attempting to verify that we are in the real, actual world after leaving through that door, we use some navigation'ing to find our way back to the castle.

We get back, totally forgetting that we sent like 40 people back with our cleric and that other dude we ran into, where the king and queen were excitedly awaiting our return. We tell them about our failure to retrieve the book, but we get rewarded anyway apparently because we're baller, and head to the tavern to wrap up our session.

With no other real clues to go on, Miranna yells out "Oh! It said the book is in another castle, what if it means the castle?"

Ooooooh snap.

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

1 comment:

  1. As I have a knowledge of both Ancient and Local History. I am aware of how to play the game chess. We (paladins) play the game in our down time to think and meditate.

    Do you think Miranna has any muffins to spare, I'm kinda hungry?