Live to Fight

Story I heard from Sheila Davis:

Last weekend I attended Ghengis Con in Denver. During a game one of the other participants told me of his experience at a previous convention.

He’d signed up as Gamemaster for a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl, and drew the morning slot. Only one person showed up at the time of the game, but they decided to play anyway.

Talking to the player, the GM learned that the gentleman was unfamiliar with the game. In fact he’d never roleplayed before, and had no idea what the hobby was about. He and his wife lived in one of the small mountain towns of the Rockies, and every few months they’d drive into Denver to see what was happening. He’d discovered the game convention while his wife was at a doll show and, thinking it sounded fun, decided to drop in.

The GM handed the player a character sheet for a stalwart Ranger, gave him a brief overview of play, and they were off. When the player ran into his first monster, the Gamemaster helpfully pointed out the Ranger’s skill in archery and swordplay.

“So what do you want to do?” the GM asked.

The player studied his character sheet. “It says I can do bird calls,” he noted.

“That’s right,” the GM replied, somewhat puzzled.

“OK. I do a bird call to distract the monster, and then sneak past him.”

The fellow rolled the dice and successfully evaded the monster. In fact, over the course of the game, the player cleverly avoided every monster in the dungeon, with nary an arrow fired or sword unsheathed.

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3 comments.

  1. I had a similar experience when I was a camp counselor and we spent some evenings playing D&D. A couple of Brits (women no less!) who’d barely heard of the game joined us for the evening. The DM got us all set up with characters and set us on the edge of a forest, then asked what we were going to do.

    “Well,” said one of the newbies, “first thing: If we end up getting lost, let’s agree to meet back here.”

    We were stunned. Frankly, none of us “real” players had ever considered this. It was brilliant.

  2. In one of my first D&D adventures (back in the early AD&D edition days) my character had a skill that enabled talking to animals. When the DM told us that our party came upon a pack of large carnivorous bears… I walked up to one and said “we are bears”. The DM rolled some dice and determined that the bears believed us and walked away. That response become the running joke for every encounter thereafter.

  3. I came back to D&D after a few years of MSHRPG (where the worst thing you could do was kill someone). Our first adventure involved a bunch of elves who’d been possessed and were now violent and evil. At our first encounter my companions heartily started butchering them while I shouted “whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you DOING?”

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