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Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Dusty Tome of D&D Stories: Chapter Five

Doug Kovacs art for the DCC DM Screen!
Before I dust off the tome, I just want to mention that I played some 4e in my friend's game yesterday. He had a really cool idea that I am going to steal. We ended up using magic force bubbles to fly to the moon! How cool is that?

I could run a John Carter of Mars-style adventure on the moon for Dungeon Crawl Classics. I also like the idea of the heroes having some kind of fight with a space monster while traveling in their force bubbles. I should look up old time-y fantasy/sci-fi books involving MOON MEN.

I was also reminded of my idea to create the "King of the Minions" - a level 30 minion (that's a 4th edition D&D monster with one hit point). You could throw him at lower level PCs, who would have to defeat him through a critical or a power that doesn't require hitting, or an effect that does damage if he starts his turn adjacent, etc. I just find it amusing that the party would be terrified over a monster with one hit point.

I also had a moment that I think some of you would "tsk-tsk" me for. We have an "optimized" guy in our party who has stacked all these radiant powers so he does piles of damage. He got dominated and was forced to use his at-wills on the party, doing d4+36 (THIRTY SIX) damage to three PCs at a time.

I had a power to give him a saving throw. I didn't use it. I like it when the game is dangerous. To me, that was an interesting scenario and I didn't want it to end.

Enough of that! Come back to the time of stone-washed jeans, color-changing shirts and bajas (which were hoodies made of hemp or something).

The Star Trek Experience

We were old enough to drive. Quiet guy got a car. What happens when D&D-playing teenagers have transportation?! They go to conventions! That summer, we rocketed off to New Jersey.

I have never been a big Star Trek guy. I prefer stuff with more action. I don't hate it, but I have no idea how I ended up in a Star Trek RPG game at this convention.

It was run by an RPG group who took their Star Trek game very, very seriously. They had their own ship name and everything. They each dressed like their character. We played their characters... with them sitting next to us, coaching us. It was treated kind of like I was playing Scotty, with James Doohan sitting right next to me, trying to get me to fine-tune my accent.

"Marooned for all eternity..  buried aliivvee!"
They had printouts of our ship consoles (as in, the thing that Sulu sits in front of), and insisted that we press the correct buttons on the paper console in order to get a ship function to work. The time it took for them to teach us the buttons to press left almost no time for the game.

I didn't care about them wasting our time. I had mentally checked out two minutes after we got to the session.

For some reason, I was sitting in a chair against the wall away from the table. One of the Star Trek group's peripheral members started talking to me. She was a year or two older than I was, and she was extremely attractive. At some point, my friend whispered to me that she liked me.

A terror-flavored smoothie ran through my veins. You may recall that at this time I had a crippling fear of women.

One of the Star Trek guys took notice. He kept glancing at us, jealously. She explained that she was sort of seeing him. It was immediately clear to me that this poor guy was in love with her, and she didn't particularly care about him one way or the other.

I was relieved when I got away from her. But then, as the session came to an end, some new guy showed up. A good looking dude with a motorcycle helmet. Star Trek girl immediately began to flirt with him. I looked at my poor living pre-gen, pain etched on his face. I too was wracked with jealousy. I may have been terrified of her, but I didn't like being thrown overboard for Lorenzo Lamas over there.

I still have that pre-gen around here somewhere. Whenever I look at it, I think of that poor guy.

The Anime Room

So were they in love... or what?
After a full day of D&D and hot dogs, what better way to unwind then to go into the anime room? Yes, that's right you Millenials, we had anime in the early 90's! It involved super-powered schoolgirls beating up robots while riding motorcycles. And of course, my favorite: Kaanneeedddaaaa!

I quietly pressed open the door to the room. A blast of heat spewed forth from the dank orifice. A rank odor overcame me. The dark room was entirely full of rows of sweaty men sitting in folding chairs. They were silently watching a movie of a tentacle monster tearing a woman's clothes off. Her moans filled the room.

I froze, backed out of the room, and ran for my life.

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