Saturday, 16 January 2016
Geekery of the Week-ery: Dungeons and Dragons
Last week I joined in a game that a few years ago I considered to be too nerdy even for me. I played my first ever game of Dungeons and Dragons. I’m not so elitist now, but I still won’t be LARPing (live action role playing – just YouTube it if you’ve not heard of it) any time soon (though to be honest that has more to do with the limits on my energy levels and physical ability than anything else). I had tried a bit of tabletop role playing before as my flatmates and I and a friend who acted as GM (Games Master) have had a few goes at a Shadowrun role playing game. However we probably could not have picked a more difficult RPG (Roleplaying game) to start with and spent a good three or four all-day sessions simply trying to fine-tune our character creation, equipment and inventories in the face of all the possible specifications and options. We’ve only managed one campaign so far for various reasons – mostly scheduling issues, but we’ll definitely get there eventually! So when someone at a board gaming group I belong to offered to run a one-off short campaign to teach newbies, I jumped at the chance.
Being a fan of RPG video games helped a lot to get a handle on things fairly easily, already being familiar with the attributes of strength, dexterity, wisdom, etc. and which were most important for each class. To make things easier though, we started with pre-generated characters so we could jump straight into the game. Anyone who knows my history with the Dragon Age series would be completely unsurprised that I chose to be a rogue. In this case I was a high-elf rogue assassin. And the awesome thing was I was able to use some of my own D6 dice I’d bought for Shadowrun, which happened to match the D20 I was borrowing from the DM (Dungeon Master). Completely trivial but I was ridiculously excited about it! I had to restrain my unoriginal urge to name my elf Tauriel or Zevran, and used the DM’s phone app to choose a name, eventually settling on ‘Kelal’
The DM had gone to extra lengths by creating a model of the tomb our party (made up of my high-elf rogue assassin, a half orc barbarian, a drow sorcerer, a high-elf wizard, a human cleric, and a dragonkin fighter) was raiding, along with figurines of each of our characters and the enemies we faced.
It was a good game and I got to make a couple of assassinations which were a lot of fun. I did kind of screw things up for my party at one point by jumping ahead and stealthily entering the crypt room, failing to make a complete assassination, and running away past the rest of the party without telling them the shitstorm awaiting them. Oops! Things went even further awry with a skeleton triggering a pressure plate causing the corridor outside the crypt where we all were, to start flooding. The orc barbarian then got paralysed with fear after catching the mummy’s eye (it was a bad game for him – he was caught in a net earlier in the campaign too). We made it out safely but with considerably less treasure than anticipated as it turned out the tomb had been raided already.
I’m hoping to play DnD again soon. I really enjoyed it and recommend it if you are into RPG video games and haven’t tried it before. I did find it a bit of a challenge to hear and be heard as we were playing in a pub, which while not busy, was still a little too loud. A home environment would work much better. Next time maybe! J
Have you played any tabletop RPGs? Got any funny stories to tell? Share in the comments below!