Sunday, January 3, 2010

Three Women, Two Men, And The Eye of A Sleeping God

Notes On Today's Game

-New newbie player today: Daniel, blond, male, 20-something, 37 adult feature film credits to date, human, wizard, charm, magic missile, 1 hit point.

-Turns out the White Elves have found one of the eyes of the rain god, Vorn. I said it was 15-20 feet in diameter. Anybody know how big you are if your eye is 15-20 feet across? Anyway, I guess that's how big gods are in my campaign now.

-KK: "Can we take it?"
Jesus, ten minutes into her second game ever and she's already totally Old School.

-Low-level combat: I fail to hit you, you fail to hit me, I fail to hit you, you fail to hit me--must remember to pull out some kind of alternate weird tactic or environmental factor by at least the third round to keep things interesting.

-So if you remember last game ended with KK and Mandy magically siamese-twinned together. There was a ridiculously long discussion about the pros and cons of performing battleaxe surgery and then just having Mandy cast a healing spell on them both after. Didn't come to that.

-"So one of the guards is charmed, the other two aren't."
Frankie: "Um, I have 17 charisma, can I talk to the guard?"
"Go ahead, what are you saying?"
"Ummm...that's really nice armor you've got, how does it go on--just, like, straps?"
"Uh, yeah, straps."
"Can I see?"
"See, it's a strap."
"Ummm...what does the inside look like?"
"Like the inside of some armor."
"Uh...that's a really nice sword, can I see it?"

-KK and Daniel both got calls from their agencies at the table at almost exactly the same time. Just coincidence? Or do all porn agents wake up just as the sun is going down?

-Daniel: "I guess I shoot him."
"You can't back out of combat and then shoot at him without him getting a free hit in on you."
"Well I don't have any spells...what do I have...ummm...a tinder twig?"
"You have a twig?"
"Why does he have a twig?"
"He bought it."
"You bought a twig? You moron."
"Can I, like, stab him in the eye with the twig?"
"Sure, you can try..."
"Fuck! I missed."
"You poked him in the ear."
"Did my twig break?"
"No. The twig is intact"

-KK got bitten by a werewolf. She was totally jazzed, of course, she even drew little wolf ears on the pictures she was drawing of her character (above). I'm expecting a lot of "Rookia, we'll have to find a cure, you keep trying to eat us" vs. "But being a werewolf is so cool."-type action very soon. Hey, if it makes the barbarian role-play, who am I to argue?

-Frankie: "Can I sneak up on them?"
"Roll to move silently."
"Ok, these guys all start waking up..."
"Shit! Ummm, I use my charisma on them!"
"What do you say? They just saw you trying to sneak between them while they were sleeping."
"Ummm...I say I was just, uh..."
"Tell them you just wanted to see Lord Gormengeth's butt!"
"Yeah, tell them you wanted to see his butt."
"Yeah, say that."
"Ok, I say I just wanted to see Gormengeth's butt."
Me: "Jesus."
[Lord Gormengeth rolls a 1.]
"Lord Gormengeth is intrigued, and invites you into his chambers."

-I'm sure it all sounds ridiculous. And it was--because it's D&D. But it was spooky, too--Mandy looked into the eye of her god, there was a lot of tense sneaking, and then everyone almost got killed in a crumbling church in the snow by werewolves--until they remembered about running away. I was very proud of them when they remembered about running away.

-When everybody finally got to the city, they rolled on the Extended Carousing Mishaps Table so they could trade cash for x.p.. Next session will begin with Daniel having narrowly avoided venereal disease and Mandy waking up in bed next to a dead female White Elf.

I'm too tired to supply the "art imitates life" jokes here. You're creative people, feel free to make up your own.

p.s. Did the math on Vorn--he'd have to be about 1332 feet tall. That's several Godzillas.


crowking said...

I think it's a gas you have a guy willing to play a PC with only 1 HP.

Adam Dickstein said...

You make D&D sound so much more fun than I've ever had actually playing it. At least as a player. As a GM I can generate my own madness.

mordicai said...

I like out of context DnD anecdotes, yes I do.

E.G.Palmer said...

Remember,Zak, regarding combat in D&D. It's an abstract system. A failure to hit is actually a failure to hit and do damage. You can add as much flavor text to the melee as you like.
A miss can be a sword blade ringing off someone's helm, it can be a bloody flesh wound that causes no hit point loss, It can cause chips to fly from the edge of a shield and rattle the teeth in your mouth.
You can make the misses just as frightening and exciting as the hits,and you should.
If your players arn't looking at you wide-eyed and pale during melee, you're slacking Kemosabe. Remember the mechanics of combat arn't the limits of the game, they're just the armature. You can do whatever the hell you like to flesh the events of an encounter.

Blood and Thunder, man, blood and thunder!

Good call by Daniel with the twig by the way. Yah gotta make do with what you got.

I let a player find a wand of eye poking once. 1d6 charges, burn off a charge and the wand will unerringly poke out the eye of a target creature. Wielder must be withing arms length of the target, and it only works for magic-users.

Anonymous said...

But can a Wand of Eye-poking poke out the eye of a god that relates to godzillas like they're kobolds?

Juho said...

I'll have to borrow the Extended Carousing Mishaps Table for my Stormbringer game. Just in case the characters somehow manage to survive the sudden onslaugt of zombie pirates.

Zak Sabbath said...

I know all that, but my players also know--no matter how I describe it--what rolling a 4 means.

If they didn't. then the elegant Drama of Target Numbers would be lost, which is an important part of the tension and terror.

Matthew Slepin said...

I fully endorse an MU doing what he can to survive. Good on Daniel; I never thought about poking someone in the eyes with a twig.

Hmn, I feel some universal law of gaming bringing on a Monty Python bit about pointed sticks. :D

E.G.Palmer said...

Heh, I get excited sometimes,Zak, don't mind my preaching. I don't always tell the players what their target number is when they roll, sometimes I just ask what they got.

I'm used to excercising a far-reaching power of DM Fiat. In the example I gave, that chip that flew off of the splintering shield just might hit somebody in the eye, spoiling a spell, or causing a lost action.
I might declare something like that if the to-hit roll just missed scoring, or if it'll be funny.

Also, the wand of eye-poking would be insufficent to gouge the eye of a god.
For that you'd probably need the mighty Staff of the Stooges.

Adam Thornton said...

It may be several godzillas, but it's only 1.5 Oral Roberts Jesuses.

mordicai said...

EG-- like Zak said, you can describe all the mortal combat you want (the sword rings out! The shield answers in antiphon! Battle is joined! Your four is pitiful & we mock you!) but really, a miss is still a miss; it doesn't alter the gamescape or narrative in any way, just eats up time; it isn't even a failure-- just a lack of success.

clovis said...

I enjoy your blog and commentary to others.

Do you except advertising on your website?


Herobizkit said...

Here's a question: How come anytime a character ever wants to get laid, the DM feels a need to either a) inflict him with VD or b) have the woman be a doppelganger/Red Widow/other wolf in sheep's clothing (not the tree stump)? Conan never worried about VD, I'll wager...

Unknown said...

Herobizkit: I would bet its a combo of the following:
* Many groups are all males. Males are often reluctant to go into any detail on sex and relationships in a game, it tends to get glossed over entirely. Its embarassing. A porn-star industry gaming group may not have this problem of course.
* If females are present, many males are reluctant to go into any detail on sex and relationships in a game, it tends to get glossed over entirely. Its embarassing. If the female in question is also your girlfriend/significant other/object of desire then you really don't want to look like an ass, even in game "Yeah I boff the crap out of her while she's drunk, then leave early in the morning".
* I don't know since I am male, but I suspect women in gaming groups might feel a bit shy in some of these instances.
* Most rules systems don't really delve much into this aspect of a fantasy universe. You can't define what you are doing in dice rolls as easily.