Friday, March 7, 2014

D&D Campfire Stories: “Let’s get it on!”

This week I asked the question on Facebook: While playing D&D, or similar roleplaying games, what monster have you had the most fun fighting and why? Here are some of the responses:

-          Fun question! I'll try to keep it short. Fighting an orc chieftain that wasn't wanted by the tribe he took by force, so they watched to see the outcome. It was Savage Worlds, which meant he had bennies to spend, too, which created a real back and forth. It wasn't just whittling down HP, but repeatedly countering almost death dealing blows on both sides. Felt like actual strategy on both sides - will he spend his benny to protect himself this round, or does he think he can take the hit and use it to smash us? Very climactic and dramatic.

-          Most fun fighting? Easy, Dragons. The epic scale of a dragon fight is what D&D is all about. Life is   
       always hanging in the balance. As a DM, I loved running drow and of course, dragons.

-          In a Palladium game, I chased the party with an iron golem through a cliff-top fortress. They were no match for it toe-to-toe and they knew it. So the group ran all over, trying to come up with a tactic to fight it, all the while trying to at least slow it down with parting shots and debris thrown in front of it. It was very cinematic. Eventually, they lured it towards a room with a balcony overlooking the vertical cliff face. They taunted it and engaged in hit and run tactics until it barreled after them full bore. One character ran directly in front, as the bait. She grabbed a rope they had tied up there and jumped over the edge as the golem reached for her. It's mass was too great to stop instantly, and tumbled over the balcony, into the raging river below. They were so proud of themselves.

-          Most fun I have ever had playing a group, was nothing epic or even close. Heck it wasn`t even supposed to be all that dangerous. The group had been failing recon rolls all day. The rogue had been taken prisoner by the sprites, as a spy. They found him hanging in a foot trap looking rather upset, which of course generated a search by the Ranger, who promptly got lost and captured by Kobolds. After a while, this caused the Barbarian to follow only to end up being caught by the Sprites as well.  The cleric got roped while doing his prayers. The magic user got charmed by a sprite. By the end of the night, every party member was a captive of one side or the other. They had walked into a battle field between the two races. I left them hanging for a week trying to decide what to do. They were only supposed to observe from a high hill not get into. Now in the end, after a couple of evenings of laughter and loss of all their equipment, the group was rescued by a local Druid who had a quest for them. But I still remember the look on their faces when the Sprite leader began questioning the Rogue. On the second night, for as they were captured I caused each to make an observational type roll. None of them rolled over a 5 with attribute bonuses, so they were left in the dark for a week.

-          Vast hordes of low level one-hit-kill monsters. Because I like Great Cleave. Plus it makes you, as a player, feel epic.

-          Getting caught unprepared by a troll is always fun but my favorite fight was against humans. Defending a keep against an opposing army of humans.

-          Dire badger that ended up killing the entire party. It was hilarious and sad all at the same time.

-          Honestly, there was nothing better to fight some minions of any evil overlord (or something similar). At one point in time - while in a lair of a big and evil vampire - we were so tired of killing his cultists/followers, that we actually discussed what to do with the last one - while he was still standing there in front of us. He was totally frightened and shivering, with about a dozen of his fellow mates lying beheaded or otherwise killed all around him. His weapon was in his shaky hand, his eyes getting bigger and bigger while those strangers (us) were totally IGNORING HIM while discussing if we should kill him right where he stood or if we should give him a chance to run or what else. In the end, we let him off the hook with a raised finger and a "Don't do it again!" (and some seriously wet, dirty, and smelly trousers). Killing the vampire after that last encounter was just the cherry on top of the cake.

-          Once a mage I was playing had to go through a series of challenges to gain magical knowledge. In one of the challenges a hound archon appears and says 'You must challenge me and win to advance!' So I challenged him to a whistling contest...

-          I had a group of first levels that discovered a group of 20 kobolds around a campfire in the basement of a ruin. The party's presence had gone undiscovered until then and they were quietly arguing over a plan when their mage brought up what seemed like a brilliant idea. They had found four potions earlier they couldn't identify, so he thought if they tied them together and threw them into the fire (from a safe distance, of course), they might explode and do some damage. This was first edition AD&D, and the DM's guide had an awesome table on what might happen if you mixed potions together.
When they tried this, what ACTUALLY happened was indeed an explosion, but it affected everything within a 20 foot radius with 150% of the strength of one of the potions, and made those effects permanent. So, when the smoke cleared, they had a group of very surprised seventh level kobolds on their hands...
Needless to say they ran, but over the next several adventures there were always these reports in the background about a group of "super kobolds" that they knew they would eventually have to deal with. If their characters had been laughing as hard as their players were, they never would have made it out of there!

-          I have a half orc assassin that I have been playing since 1980 or is it 81. Anyways, as we all know assassins suck at face to face combat. I was all about the sneaking and the back stabbing and the assassinating. Then one day our party, consisting of myself, a paladin, and ranger, were skulking through a dungeon. I was ranging out ahead because of my sneaky-sneaky abilities. Well I discovered a pit trap by falling in to it. Now, under normal circumstances, despite some damage from the fall, I would either be able to climb out on my own or wait for the rest of the party to catch up and pull me out. All which would have been just fine if it weren't for the fact that I wasn't alone in the pit. I had two undead ogres as pit buddies. But they were not slow, stupid undead ogres, but rather the fast and very strong undead ogre pit buddies. So I am doing my very best to not get killed by said pit buddies till help arrived, which did a round or so later. So there, 20ft above me are our overly brave paladin and ranger. They both yelled down that they were going to jump in and save me. I am like "Please hurry!". So, the DM tells them that if they can make their dexterity checks at a +2, they will be able to jump in to the pit unharmed. Well “How hard can that be?” they asked. Both having exceptional dexterity scores, what are the chances of failing? Well, in goes the paladin. He rolls a natural 20, which in our group means you just blew your dexterity. So the DM tells the player to make a saving through vs petrification cause the ground is rushing up at him. How hard can that be. He rolls a natural 1, which in our group means you just blew your saving throw. WAM! The paladin hits the ground, knocked out for like 5 rounds. The Ranger sees this and jumps in after the paladin to "save" the both of us. He too rolls a natural 20 and has to roll a save vs petrification. Guess what? Natural 1. WAM! He hits the ground and is out for like 6 rounds. The long and the short of it is, I had to fight the GD undead ogres on my own. By the time my two "rescuers" woke up, I was out of the pit throwing a rope down to them. To this day, at least 20yrs later, we still laugh and laugh about that one. Dumb asses!!

Do you have a monster/fighting story? Feel free to share it below!

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