Friday, September 14, 2007

Darger of the High, Soft Boots: Part 3

I then decided to open the first door in the hallway, which I did.

Darger found himself face-to-face with five orcs in an otherwise perfectly empty room. Why there were five orcs in a perfectly empty room is one of those great mysteries of life. Maybe they were interior decorators? Maybe they were lost? No one will ever know, as I did not ask. I was nine. Five orcs in a perfectly empty room seemed eminently logical.

Darger looked at the orcs. The orcs looked at Darger.

I decided five-on-one was bad odds. I decided to talk to them. This was my first ever attempt at roleplay.

Me: Hi.

Orc#1: Hi.

Loooooong pause.

Me: Are you orcs?

Orc#1: Yes.

Looooong pause.

Me: I am a fighter.

Orc#1: Cool.

Loooooong pause.

Orc#1: Did you kill the rat.

Me: Yes.

Orc#1: Lets be friends.

Me: Okay.

Looooong pause.

Orc#1: There is a vampire in the room next door.

Me: Really?

Orc#1: You shouldnt fight him. Hes tough.

Me: Okay.

Looooong pause.

Me: Im going to leave now.

Orc#1: Bye.

And I left the room. Obviously, not quite Oscar-level performances, but not bad for a nine-year-old talking to a bunch of orcs.

I decided to keep going and wisely skipped the room next door. Why a vampire was living in a room next to five orcs is once again a question that can never be answered.

I opened the third door and discovered a baby red dragon. Flush with excitement after my victory over the rat and successful parley with the orcs, I decided to attack.

I rolled the twenty-sider and was informed that I missed. The dragon attacked me and hit, doing approximately 57,000 points of damage. Darger of the High, Soft Boots was no more.

I was disappointed, but immediately rolled up another character, who also promptly died. We were nine. We did not grasp the concept of level-appropriate encounters. If the random encounter table said Horde of Pit Fiends, by god, we fought a Horde of Pit Fiends (and died). Eventually, we hit upon the concept of running away, so our characters started to live a little longer.

Our DnD group eventually expanded with a couple more guys and we played constantly through early high school, when we started to find new friends and drift apart. Chuck and I kept in touch over the years until, sadly, he died in an accident when he was twenty.

I like to think, however, that somewhere out there, an Ancient Red Dragon is sitting on his massive hoard. His scales are scarred and twisted from countless battles and the bones of hundreds of would-be adventurers are piled high about his lair, mute testament to his might. And at the very bottom of his hoard, almost forgotten, lie the trophies of his first victory: a pair of black Converse All-Stars.



Gillsing said...

We started playing roleplaying games when we were 12-13, and in the first scenario there was a village filled with 'people' who had to die. Well, sort of anyway. My character died to some mutated beasties while crossing a river, and when I instead got to play the game master's pet munchkin-NPC, I pretty much had that abomination commit suicide.

Still, the gaming was good. Much better than my own poor excuses for scenarios. I had very limited understanding of the rules and the way a scenario was supposed to be designed, and the starter scenario that came with the box included enemies that would wipe the floor with beginner characters. And the scenario unwisely encouraged the game master to flesh out the journey to the main event, which resulted in my scenarios being long strings of set encounters, which in turn meant that the players never reached any main event, ever.

In fact, due to the village scenario in the other game, they started every scenario by investigating the starting village, and tried to kill as many villagers as they could, while robbing them of any useful items they had. Which meant that the first group didn't even make it out of the starting village. Ahhh, the crazy days of early gaming.

J. Alexander Van Belkum said...

In my first RP, I was a wizard in a simple dungeon. I went into a room, beat up a monster, then found a statue with a dot on its forehead. Being the eminently logical person I am, I whacked the statue with my stick (magical staff), and the head came off. I got a whole bunch of gold pieces.

I wish I had used the "open" spell. I never got another chance.

Jason Janicki said...

It didn't explode? If it had been in our group, it totally would have exploded. We were so good at rolling new characters we could do it in a matter of seconds. Ah, the good ol' days :)