Friday, April 11, 2014

D&D Campfire Stories: Darts! So many Darts!


Here’s another story from my personal collection. Enjoy!

My friends and I were in the character creation phase of a 2nd edition Dark Sun campaign and my friend had decided that he was going to play a Thri kreen warrior. For those who don’t know, Dark Sun is an exotic desert world with a few races that don’t appear very often in the other settings. One of these races is the Thri kreen who look like the picture to the right, basically a humanoid Mantis.

Two of their more impressive traits are four arms that can all work independently and exceptional strength in the range of 19 or 20 without any bonuses. With this knowledge in mind, my friend asked our DM if he could specialize in a very odd weapon: the dart.

Darts are usually reserved for rogues or wizards or other classes who can’t handle the larger more “damage dealing” weapons, but my friend was adamant. Darts he wanted and the DM shrugged and said, “sure”. It was 
one of the worst mistakes he ever made. Using the 2nd edition rules to their ultimate min-maxing glory, my friend began to construct one of the most deadly horrors I have ever witnessed.

Under these rules, he was able to roll his stats so that he his character had 20 strength and this gave him +8 to all of his damage rolls. Also, under normal circumstances, darts can be thrown at a rate of three per round. However, as a warrior, and starting at 3rd level, he was able to take dart as a proficiency as well as a specialty. This increased his rate of fire to four darts per round and also increased his damage by +1. But then, he also spent three proficiency slots to make himself ambidextrous in all four of his arms. This then increased his rate of fire from four to sixteen! If you then do the math, he was doing 1d4+9 damage per dart x 16 throws per round. That means that should he hit with all sixteen shots he would do a minimum damage of 160 points and a maximum of 208, per round! Even if you average it out, only hitting with eight out of the sixteen shots and only rolling 2s on the d4s, that’s still a whopping 88 damage each round. Imagine if he ever got his hands on a potion of speed! 

During the first battle of the campaign, my friend unveiled this devious masterpiece of min-maxing like Grand Moff Tarkin revealing the Death Star. All of us players and our DM sat in fascinated horror as he decimated our foes in less than two rounds almost single-handedly (he did over 200 points of damage I believe). It didn’t seem possible but there it was in black and white, all of it perfectly legal under the rules. After the fact, we must have debated, laughed, researched, and argued about it for an hour or more.

Long story short, our DM eventually put a ban on my friend’s character and made him roll a new (and more sensible) one. But still to this day when I hear players bragging about the amount of damage they are doing with critical hits and/or magical weapons, I think on my friend's four-armed dart machine gun of a Thri kreen in Dark Sun and politely inform them that they don’t know sh*t.