I have mentioned in a few posts my Monday night adventures with friends. However, this time I wanted to go a little more in depth on what comes with the adventures.
So let's start by introducing our cast.
First we have Bob, the DM.
That's him standing behind his DM screen (with lots of reference books scattered around it). He's thinking about some math here, adding up bonuses in his head to see if someone's attack hits the enemy we were fighting.
Bob likes to pit us against some interesting monsters, and sometimes we don't always come out of the fights in healthy shape.
Bob is a great DM because he likes to get really into everything. His narration is descriptive without being dry and boring, he's good at improvisation, and he lets us have fun with his world. We write the story. Sure, he has the most basic skeleton of a plot for us to follow, but there has to be one, doesn't there? We fill in all the meat.
Bob also plays Taelir Auf Audor (I don't think I spelled that right), his "in-case-we-fail-spectacularly" character that's only there to act as our plot guide and safety line. Taelir is our employer, and while he can be brutally honest with our short-comings, he tends to be a bit vague when we ask where exactly we're going.
To Bob's left is Dan.
Dan is someone I've known since high school, and we didn't really get along back then. He was in a pretty toxic relationship with someone I hated dearly, and it had a bad effect on him. He's been out of that for a few years now, and grown back into himself. Dan is very much a sort of brother for me.
Matthias, Dan's character, drinks anything, smokes anything (especially if it is a hallucinogen), and likes his women short. He's also one of our two tanks. Matthias is built to take a good hit, but he doesn't return the damage as well. He is a lusty, jump-without-looking kind of guy, and he has a tendency to make the rest of the party shake their heads in frustration or shame. We often tell people that we encounter to disregard him. Only twice has he not been around and we have said, "If only Matthias was here."
To Dan's left is Me. Those are my dice, since I don't have a picture of myself. Left-to-right, front-to-back are the tools of the trade: d10, d100, d8, d12, d20, d6 (regular playing dice), and a d4. I play a half elf name Morrigan, who was harassed and bullied and very confused as a child growing up in an orphanage. Eventually, to cope with her confusion, Morrigan developed two personalities, a human cleric, and an elf warlock. Neither are aware at all of the other's existence, which means the group can have fun at her expense. Mostly Mattias and Eris abuse this fact.
"Hey, elf, can you do this for me?"
"Matthias, I have told you countless times. I know my ears are a little pointy, but it is only a birth defect. I am as human as you, though not as saturated in alcohol."
To my left is Patrick. Usually during our sessions he is the backseat leader. On any given night, one of us will usually step up and take the job of leading our band, though only in a line-leader sort of way. Patrick rarely takes this post willingly, but he will gladly give out advice and help everyone make attack decisions based on what kind of damage he's tanking at the time. He is the other one of our two tanks, and the one that does the most damage. Sel'zanath, his dragonborn paladin is full of righteous fury when he starts a fight. He challenges everyone, marks them, and makes them take damage if they don't attack him. This is good news for me, since I wear cloth and seem to attract damage no matter what I do. However, I return the favor and keep him alive when he drops to dangerous levels in health.
Next around the table is Patrick's cousin Ben.
That's Caryn's hand that's attacking his face, by the way. Ben is very much as silly and friendly as Patrick, but much more violent and unforgiving when it comes to battles. Whereas Patrick must display mercy in some situations because otherwise Bahamut will smite him good, Ben is all for killing everyone.
Ben's character is a revenant, which is a spirit brought back from the dead and put into a body by the queen of the dead for some purpose or other. We don't know that, though. We think Calen's (pronounced KAY-len) a doppleganger warlord. Which he is. Dopplegangers can change their shape into any race available to players, which is useful if we need to escape from somewhere. "What's that? Oh, no, just escorting the prisoners to a meeting with the boss. Carry on." But usually we have to convince him not to kill everyone in sight. He is not all about 'discretion is the better part of valor' or any of that.
Last around the table is Caryn.
I don't know what to say about Caryn. She stirs up trouble subconsciously. Playing a rogue for her is fun, because she hides, gets behind people, and stabs them in the back. Then she hides again. And hardly anyone can hit her.
Eris has this... thing. She has to climb, and be up as high as possible. It's a subconscious command from a demon that's possessing her. And if she doesn't climb, the demon takes over and makes her do badass stuff. Normally you'd think a demon that makes you do badass stuff is a good thing, but not in this case. Mostly because the demon is not really "good". Eris herself is chaotic neutral, which means she is doing this solely for her own gain. God help you if you get in between her and what she wants.
The night starts around 7:30, when we all gather at Bob's apartment and catch up on what's happened with each other in the past week. Sometimes we bring food, sometimes not (though there's usually munchies). When the last person arrives around 8:00, we settle in around his kitchen table and get out our character sheets and dice, and get ready to get our asses kicked. This time, we're headed through a country that isn't happy with us at the time (They're not happy with anyone, really, but we beat up one of their generals) to the next point of our quest.
On our way, we run into a band of gypsies, except their camp is pretty quiet. Matthias, speaking to one, recalls the gypsies he met in his homeland The Burning Isles. Aren't gypsies normally more upbeat and cheerful?
They would be, replies our NPC, except that most of their troupe has been taken by Troglodytes. These, in D&D, refer to semi-draconic humanoids that aren't generally that bright, but they like to sacrifice smartier, meatier humans to their leaders. Either that or eat them. Well, we continued on our adventures with our two stealthiest people in front and behind (I was sandwiched in the middle, being the most vulnerable member of our party). We stumbled upon a bunch of Troglodytes in the middle of a post-battle feast. Gruesome, but we had work to do.
We got a surprise round, since the Troglodytes hadn't realized we were there. It went pretty fast. We moved a little bit and started to beat up on some Troglodytes.
I usually stay pretty far back from the front-line action, since I'm a "squishy." This is pretty much a good strategy for me, and it was effective against just about everyone but the dragon. Dragons have burst 10 auras that destroy everything forever. But that's in the past.
It wasn't working this time, since there was a chanter and it seemed to set its eyes on me. I was weakened, which means my damage-dealt is only half the total. I managed to get over that, but then I just got hit again. Matthias was surrounded by a Troglodyte and his "dogs," two horned drakes. He'd already taken one out, and was busy pushing the others around. Sel'zanath had marked half the Troglodytes by the end of the second round, and was beating the crap out of them while they tried really hard to beat the crap out of him. Eris was stabbing people left and right and dealing ongoing damage all over the place, while managing to avoid the hits they were trying to land on her. Calen was throwing alchemical things all over the place and having fun doing damage at a distance.
We had to stop in the middle of the fight, since it was getting late and most of us had work in the morning. We'll finish it next week, and continue on our way. Before we reach our next destination, we'll be passing through Bastion, Morrigan's home country. Taelir has promised her she can stop and visit the Reverend Mother from her orphanage, so she is extremely excited.
Oh, by the way... Friday, we're picking up a dog from the shelter! I'm so excited.