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RPG Moments Of Glory – Our Desperate Attack On The Vampiress

This is a story of a battle.  The battle took place in a 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign.  The party consisted of two player characters: Fred’s paladin, and my wizard; and one non-player character, a cleric.  This was more than a decade ago, so I don’t recall details like our character levels, or the campaign world.  I do believe we were between 6th and 8th level, and were playing in Ravenloft.

Our foe was a vampiress, who had previously charmed the paladin and tricked him into drinking a goblet of her blood.  Time was against him, and he would transform into a vampire under her command the next night with the rise of the full moon.  His only hope was her immediate destruction that evening in her lair.  If we failed, he would forever lose his soul to the darkness.

We knew the location of her lair.  We fought our way through her defenses, and entered her sanctuary.  The lid of her sarcophagus slid to the side, and she emerged.  Words were exchanged, hollow promises made, but we stood firm and attacked, desperate to save our friend.

The battle turned against us from the start.  My wizard’s spells were ineffective against her magic resistance and saving throws.  The cleric’s undead turning was shrugged off with a derisive laugh.  The paladin’s divine powers and sword blows turned aside like a thrown pillow.

The cleric fell first, his faith stronger than his body.  The cursed paladin fell in the same round, valiantly fighting to the end.  In 2nd edition, you could go as low as -10 hit points and still live, and both hung onto life.  That left my wizard as the final party member to stand against her, desperately fighting for his friend.

His spells exhausted, he was brought down to 1 hit point.  He dropped his dagger, ineffective in the battle so far.

“I want to draw my wooden stake,” I told Andy, the DM.

“OK, you draw your stake,” he replied nonchalantly.

“We have called shots, right?”

Skeptically, he raised an eyebrow and answered, “Yeah, but you know there’s a huge penalty for that.”

“I know, but desperate times and all that, right?”

“OK, call it, then, Mark.”

“I charge her, raising the wooden stake in both hands above my head, and aim straight for her heart!”  Andy wasn’t the only one skeptical at that moment.  I was sure a TPK was on the way, and Fred shook his head in resignation.

Andy checked his charts (remember, this WAS 2nd Ed), smirked at me, shrugged, and said, “Well, you don’t really have a chance, Mark.  The only way can succeed is if you roll a natural 20.  Anything less, and she grabs you and crushes you like an insect.”

I took a deep breath, “OK.  I still do it.”

Fred spoke up, “Mark, if you run, you could live, then return with backup.”

“I know, but then you’d be lost, and fighting with her.  I’m not going to let that happen as long as I live.”

Andy said, “OK… roll.”

I screamed at the top of my lungs, “To the grave for your final rest, you unholy whore!

Andy and Fred jumped back a little in surprise.

I stood, shook my d20 in my hand, and nervously let it drop to the table.

It rolled along for a foot.

It swerved to the left.

It spun for a second.

It stopped.

We looked at the die, then each other, then back to the die.

The number looked back at us…

20

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Posted by on Monday, 2 January 2012 in Gaming

 

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Speak Out With Your Geek Out – Hands Off My Dice!

BeefGriller's Dice Collection

For my third installment in Speak Out With Your Geek Out, I’ll focus on the pride of every pen-and-paper RPG gaming geek: dice!  In a previous post, I showed off my dice collection.   Now, I’d like to share some of my rules, habits and obsessions I have with my dice.

  1. Hands off my dice!  I don’t think I’m alone in this rule.  I simply don’t like other people touching my dice.  Now, if you ask, I’ll likely give you permission – that’s only good manners.  Also, if you do touch my dice without my permission, you’re certain to be blamed when the bad rolls start coming up – so don’t rub your bad luck on my dice!
  2. At the start of the gaming session, I dump all my dice out of the bag.  This is a necessity, of course.  As you can tell by the picture above, I have many, many dice – how else could I possibly…
  3. Select three complete sets to use during the game.  Mostly because I am likely to need to roll more than one of any given type of die (d6, d8, etc.), this is only practical.
  4. Before use, roll all dice until the highest number shows.  Like athletes, dice need to warm up before the game.
  5. Organize the dice by sides first, from d4 to d20, then colors, in neat rows and columns, with the highest number showing.  OK, so the d4s are put together in a semi-circle because they fit that way.  With the highest number showing, they’re more likely to roll that way, right?  My theory is that gravity causes the bottom to become more dense, effectively weighting the die in my favor.
  6. If a d20 has a run of low rolls, I have a pep talk with it.  If it continues, I give it a “time out.”  Let’s face it, all dice want to roll the best numbers.  If the d20 causes too many failures, you have to let it know that you expect better from it.  If it keeps under-performing, it obviously needs a rest.

I’ve come to realize, oddly enough, that I only do these things as a player.  As a GM, I don’t observe these rules, other than numbers 1 and 2.

How about you?  Do you have any superstitions habits for your dice?  I’d love to hear them.

 
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Posted by on Wednesday, 14 September 2011 in Gaming, Personal

 

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Show Me Your Dice

Tim at Gothridge Manor recently came up with an idea he called Show Me Your Dice Marathon.  As a gamer, I love dice.  Heck, don’t all RPG enthusiasts?  (OK, other than fans of Amber or other diceless games.)  Throughout the years, I’ve managed to collect quite a few.  Each set has a story, too – but I wager I’m not unique in that respect.  Rather than blather on about it, let me show you my dice.

BeefGriller's Dice Collection

Observant readers will note the dice bag on the right is from none other than Dragonchow Dice Bags.  Despite it being a tall bag, my dice won’t fit in it, hence the Captain Morgan Private Stock bag on the left for the rest.

Anyway, if you’re up for it, take a pic of your own dice and participate in Tim’s marathon yourself.

 
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Posted by on Friday, 5 August 2011 in Gaming

 

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