Thursday, January 27, 2011

How D&D Went

Well guys, A&G asked for it, and as we all know, A&G gets what he asks for.  I'm going to try,to the best of my ability, to tell you how Dnd went without boring you to death.  Explaining a dnd game is much like explaining a video game: it's awesome when it's happening, not so great in the explanation.  I see this as an opportunity to do a few things.  First and foremost, use it as a writing exercise.  I'll call it, 'taking something that is boring as hell and trying to make it interesting.'  Second, I'm hoping to get a little feedback on the storyline, because being a DM is really just telling a really long choose your own ending book.  And lastly, I had nothing else to write about today.  If you're one of my three players, there will be spoilers.  If you're going to criticise my writing, go ahead, but I have no intention of really revising this.  Here we go, welcome to the magical world of: DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS!  (my sister in law gave me a set of dnd cartoons for Christmas, they're actually pretty good and they say this before every episode).

Three adventurers are questing to end the slave trade of a quickly dying race (much like the Na'avi from Avatar: look, society, race name, pretty much everything).  Little do they know, an Ancient, Red Dragon, through lesser dragons who are his puppets, lies behind the slaves' captures and distribution.  He hopes to once again help his lesser race, The Dragonborne, rule the world, with him at its absolute head.  The slaves are being taken to make weapons out of a material called Unobtanium (I shit you not) which is perfect for weapons of war, but will not bend for any race, but the Na'avi.

The latest installment of quests came when our three heroes sailed to the city of (I can't remember, something coolish) to try and find the root of the slave trade, one of them being a Na'avi himself, one being an Eladrin (closely related to Elves, but a different species), and a, oh goodness, I can't remember the name, picture Wolverine without the claws, who is in search of coming closer to the land, and knows no race is closer than the Na'avi.  The three meet a man whose ring was stolen while he was on a merchant ship.  Through asking around, they are sent to talk to Rafael, a Shadowfell who runs a theives' guild.  Rafael explains that one of his men did steal the ring, though he shouldn't have because it was something special to someone, and Rafael makes a strict rule not to do that, but cannot let the three leave until they have stolen some things so that Rafael can blackmail them in case they decide to turn on him.  He gives them three tasks to perform.

The interesting part happened on the second task.  It was supposed to be easy.  They were told to steal a Barbarian's sword from a man who was known to be evil.  The man was away on business, they were told to go to the house at night, and that only one person would be watching the house.  All they had to do was climb to the top window, be a little sneaky, steal the sword, and no one would be the wiser.  Here's how it went down:

The three approached the home of Alfred (the evil guy) carefully, trying to make sure that they were not seen.  They looked at the three story home and analyzed its layout, windows and height, and decided to let the thief (the Eladrin) climb the home while the other two went to the front of the house to keep watch.  The thief had trouble at first, the house was not easy to climb, but eventually reached the third story window (where any dnd player knows the sword must be).  He did so stealthily, no one saw or heard his doings.

At the front of the house the two rangers waited, and eventually became bored and wanted to help.  So, they went to the door in hopes of distracting the man guarding the house.  The wolfman pounded on the door, pretending the Na'avi with him was his slave.  The guard woke, and came to the door, opened the smaller window to peer out at them, and asked what they were doing.  The wolfman explained that the Na'avi had been acting up, and the he was told that this was the house that would help him teach the Na'avi slave to mind "properly."  The guard explained that Alfred was not home and that he could not help in such matters.

The Eladrin continued sneaking into the home and found a forge with some Unobtainium weapons in the same room. He grabbed a rock of it without fully knowing what it was, and began picking the lock to leave the room.

Below, the wolfman and Na'avi continued trying to distract the guard, but only succeeded in the guard calling the town guards over for assistance and making him closely listen for if the two at the door were trying to distract them.  The Eladrin made more noise than he was supposed to and the guard began running up the stairs.

The guards below were telling the two to take off, and the Na'avi began a tribal dance to distract them while the wolfman laughed at the Na'avi.  As the dance continued, the guard eventually found the Eladrin thief, and the thief was forced to drug him and tie him up.

The Na'avi continued trying to distract the guards, but fell over, alerting them that they needed to go into the house to make sure everything was okay.  With the guard upstairs tied up, the thief went to statue of the Barbarian and unsheathed his sword without trying to see if there were any traps.  The sword was trapped with a fireball, which the Eladrin mostly dodged, but could not stop from starting the house on fire.  This alerted the guards below even more so and they ran up the stairs to see what was the matter.  The Eladrin, acting in haste, and not knowing what to do (the player did a great job of keeping in character) threw the young tied up guard into the fire and began running for a window.

He failed to pick the lock at the window and heard a creature waking up in the other room that he was not aware of.  The thief attempted to pick the lock to get to the other room, but could feel the flames from the trap engulfing the room on the other side.  After one failed attempt, and the fire raging, he finally made it to the other side of the door, and saw a Na'avi burst through the door leading into another room.  He called to the Na'avi and opened the window.  Both jumped down and took minimal damage.  Then the Eladrin player had to go home.

Basically, things went as bad as they could have gone without the players dying.  I thought it was hilarious.  Anyway, I hope that wasn't too boring.  It was a fun game though, I will say that.  Can't wait for February's installment, when they will finish up the third task and go to the tomb of Lord Darkstar, should be good.  Let me know if you are at all interested in me explaining how Dnd went again.  If I hear nothing, I will assume that I should blog about other things. :)


  1. D&D, wow this really brings back some memories.


  2. ZZZZZZZZzzzzzz....
    what... huh...?
    I'm awake!
    No, seriously, sounds like a good story.
    What was it like finally being the DM?

  3. Depends what I ask for ;)
    Like the story line.

    Sprite-think of D&D as "the Belgariad" and the DM as Eddings. Did I wake you? I'm sure you know, but his wife Leigh actually co-authored them all, which is probably why the female characters are strong.

  4. Paulsifer-I have some suggestions for the writing exercise, I hope that's okay. Keep in mind that most readers have never played it, it's not that it's boring, they just can't relate.

    As the DM this is your story, writers will appreciate that. Most people don't realize how hilarious D&D can be, or how much storytelling is actually involved. Why not tell it like a chapter in a fantasy adventure?
    Feel free to remove this comment, it's really just meant for you.

  5. @Underground Dude
    I get that from more people than you'd think. It really is a lot of fun.

    Yeah, I read through it again, and was like, wow, this is boring me... I'll take A&G's advice next time I give this a shot.

    Being a DM is a blast. You get to make up your own story, and then watch how other people whould play your story out. It's like you set up the situation, and they run with it.

    I completely agree. I really only had one hour to get it done, which was not nearly enough time to make it interesting. I am debating starting to write it as a series of short stories to put on here, but to do that I'd have to start at the top and give my characters a base that people can relate to. I don't know if I feel like puting that much time into it though... we'll see.

  6. Good advice someone gave me, which applies to writing as well: "First you get good, then you get fast". No reason you can't start the story in the middle. Time and blog posts: tell me about it.

  7. @A&G you've hit my weak spot! Ahhhh!!
    Yeah I love Eddings' characters. Sparhawk is my favourite. I found his female characters to be a little too peremptory, but none-the less strong.

  8. @A&G
    It is good advice. I'm better at writing other things than fantasy, but I may give it a shot.