You Only Live Twice
By Dwip January 19, 2004, 1:24 pm Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post

My throat hurts like hell for no reason. I’m angry about that. Anyway.

So, last Sunday, we all gathered together for the weekly D&D ritual at Rema and Mel’s. Whereupon our group was hired by the Temple of Antion, the knowledge god, to go investigate some ruins we found while clearing out the demons I was talking about a while back. We’re getting paid 1500 gold per week for this task, which for the clueless amongst you means we’re not quite the equivilant of a Guatemalan sweatshop worker, but we’re close.

Anyway. So we go in, start digging around. Get in an inconsequential fight with some wraiths, which loses a couple people some levels which get restored, and then we keep going. End up in this cave, a big big big cave, with a ramp leading down blocked by some shrieker mushrooms and some other ‘shrooms. I, being clever, toss a rock through the shriekers, which of course sets them off and rings the front doorbell, so to speak.

Bad move. Next thing we know, this big black spikey monster does this little skiing up the walls thing, appears right in front of our gnome mage, and chomps him a lot, which has the dual effect of losing him a lot of hp and losing him a lot of int.

We prepared for the fight scene, such as it was. Which looked like it might go well for a moment, when us rogue types got dual sneak attacks going, except for the fact that A, the monster absorbed 10 damage from every single attack, and B, it also used some psionic power to stun our frontline fighter, leaving, uh, me to attack the thing, with Mel’s cleric’s and the gnome’s robot’s help.

Realize that either of them making it above 10 was pretty tough. Realize also that it was doing 10 and 12 damage hits at a time, and I have 36 hp.

Still, we tried. And apparently got it down to 0 before it regenned to 5, killed me, and ran off. Still, I died. Like, dead dead.

The plus side of this is, I got raised from the dead. The down side of this is that I lost a level, and the party is like 5000 gold in the hole. That’s hurting.

At any rate, we prepared a bit harder this time, and went back in, spelled up and raring to go.

Yeah. Monsters aren’t stupid either. First it stuns ME, then it stuns Chase the barbarian and Seebo the gnome in consecutive tries, then it whacks on Mel’s cleric and the robot for, get this, more than the 12 rounds the stun lasted on me. So I come back, start whacking it, Chase comes back, starts whacking it, and Seebo comes back, starts blasting it. It’s mightily unimpressed by this, kills the robot, and leaves. We decided that’s a good plan, and do so as well.

It 2, us 0. But we’ve got a third try coming. There’s hope. And the robot only costs 1k to rebuild.

So, Saturday night, I went over to Cole and Brian’s, and played some Star Wars d20 just to learn the system because nobody had played it before. Fun times. I’m playing a Jedi consular of some screwy giant rabbit race nobody’s ever heard of before, Cole’s playing a Jedi guardian of some big blue buff race nobody’s ever heard of before, and we’ve got Brian’s NPC, San Holo the starship pilot to back us up.

And there was much leveling of a random Sith base with ease. And then we went in to talk to Java the Hutt to pay off San Holo’s debts (what, you say? This is obviously a hastily written adventure? Yes, yes it is. But it’s fun.), whereupon we hack Java’s computers, kill a lot of droids and Gammoreans, release all his prisoners, rescue San Holo from being captured, and strike a deal with Java to pay the debts. Whee.

In other news, I sure do have a whole lot of homework to be doing.

Dungeons and Dragons Comments (6) RSS Feed for this post
Comments on You Only Live Twice
avatar Comment by Regina #1
January 19, 2004 at 4:42 pm

The last line was perfect.

I’m also confused as to how you can role-play so much stuff in DnD with dice.

avatar Comment by Dwip #2
January 19, 2004 at 8:05 pm

It is, to be sure, a lot of homework. Mostly reading, but those papers are beginning to come due. Which meant me and the New York Times had a lot of fun on Saturday. This also reminds me that I must blog on the awesomeness of one of my textbooks, but not now.

As to D&D, there’s various ways. Combat, of course, is mostly dice rolling, combined with a whole bunch of detailed combat rules. Non-combat roleplay usually involves some sort of in-character conversation, with or without some sort of skill check. Frex:

Antion Priest: I’ll pay you 1000 gold per week to investigate these ruins.

Me: Make it 1500 per week and you have a deal. (rolls Diplomacy skill check, makes it)

Priest: Sounds good.

Etc, etc. For example, my character in the game, Alvanir, has the following sorts of non-combat skills, in addition to the usual combat-type stuff like proficiency in swords and armor:

Appraise: Lets me tell the value of gems, etc.
Bluff: I have mad politician talking skillz.
Climb: I can climb stuff.
Diplomacy: More mad politician talking skillz.
Disable Device: Disarming traps and the like.
Disguise: I can disguise people.
Gather Information: I know who to talk to find things out.
Hide: I can camoflauge myself.
Knowledge (Local – Auchester): I know lots about a specific town.
Listen: I’m skilled at using my ears.
Move Silently: Just what it says.
Open Lock: I can pick locks.
Profession (Merchant): The catch-all skill for merchants.
Search: I’m skilled at finding things.
Sense Motive: I can “read” people.
Sleight of Hand: I can pick pockets and such.
Spot: I’m very good at spotting stuff. Waldo, for instance.

That’s about half the skills or so, with some skills like Craft, Knowledge, Perform, and Profession having a whole hell of a lot of subskills.

In any case, skills have numbers associated with them to tell how skilled you are. I have 15 Diplomacy, which is very good, but 4 Disable Device, which is pretty bad. Generally you use skills by rolling 1d20+(skill mod) against a numerical difficulty, 15 and 20 are common, and if you get higher than that, you succeed.

There’s some complexities involved in it, but that’s the gist of it.

avatar Comment by Anonymous #3
January 19, 2004 at 10:12 pm

The trouble is, all the other characters in the party have low or negative diplomacy numbers. So, he has to stop us from opening our mouths if he wants it to work.

This was a bit tough when he was dead. We were considering using his corpse to communicate with people, because it was still probably more diplomatic than us.

There’s a lot of stuff that happens in the game that’s more characters interacting with a situation and not strictly dice-rolling. If the dice were all there was, we might as well just have the computer click through the math for us.

avatar Comment by Clyos #4
January 20, 2004 at 1:38 am

Bah, this whole post glosses over the great debates of what happened to Java the Hutt.

avatar Comment by Dwip #5
January 20, 2004 at 2:23 am

I did sort of gloss the SW stuff.

Like, for example, the bit at the Sith base where we jacked a bunch of explosives with the Jedi mind trick. And on a related note, that dude we stunned is still bound and gagged in that locker. Er.

And again, I ignored the bit where you hacked Java’s droids and stuffed them full of all the explosives, which of course Java found. But the discussions on the lethality of digging explosives was sort of fun.

Oh, and we got in a big fight with some Dark Jedi. That was fun.

“This is bad. All of the encounters I throw at you are labeled, like, extreme, and you walk through them with ease.”

avatar Comment by Whir #6
January 20, 2004 at 11:32 am

Yes, I do believe we need to get me to Oregon.