Tag Archives: Dungeon Master

Why You Don’t Want to Play in My Dungeons & Dragons Game

5 May

Why You Don’t Want to Play in My Dungeons & Dragons Game

I was talking with a player in my game yesterday about getting together again after a hiatus, since school will be over for me in two days (YAY!)

Here is how the conversation went:

Jeff: We should get a session going in a week or two, since I am done with school soon. You guys were on the sea voyage home… I guess I could say you were blown off course to the South polar regions. I hope you guys like scraping lichen off of rocks with your teeth. Roll a twenty-sided die to see if you break your teeth on the rocks.

Steve: I know you, you will say I broke them no matter what I roll. But I have a “Stone Teeth” spell, so I’ll use that.

Jeff: Yeah, but you didn’t say what kind of stone, so roll to see which type of stone your teeth become. I hope you get Granite!

Steve: Oh darn! I got Sandstone!

Jeff: I can see it now, your Ranger is breaking his teeth on rocks trying to be all Ranger-like in the Antarctic and the Barbarian will be eyeing the NPC Rogue saying: “He looks tasty. I know he eats well!”  Hmm, I wonder if the Rogue has “Lichen Scraping” as a survival skill.

At least it won’t be like some other game systems, where you just sit around the whole time battling a single Skeleton.

Steve: Yeah, we will just be figuring my teeth out the whole session!

Tasty Lichen

Just in case I am mean enough to send those guys off to the bottom of the world, I did some quick research on lichen, some of which ARE edible:

          “Of all the plants, lichens are best adapted to survive in the harsh polar climate. Some lichens have even been found only about 400 km from the South Pole. Lichens have proliferated in Antarctica mainly because there is little competition from mosses or flowering plants and because of their high tolerance of drought and cold.    

          On icy rock, lichens have the same strategy as plants have developed in the sand of the Sahara: they form an “oasis”. Like in the desert they miss water. They have only a chance to survive, if they settle in an area with a convenient, damp microclimate. Since what stops lichens to spread over the whole of Antarctica is not so much the big cold as the lack of water. For this reason they don’t settle in a place with the most sunshine, but in recesses and cracks between rocks. They like scanty soils, created by weathered rocks. They often quicken this process with secretion of acid.

   Snowflakes are captured in the cracked rock and melt on the dark lichens, so they can absorb the vital liquid.”

mmm… I am thinking of a Lichen Soup recipe as I read this. Unless the players have their characters trap penguin or they do some fishing, it seems it may be a long Winter ahead for them until the birds come to breed along the shores of the South polar region in the Spring!

I am such a mean Dungeon Master.



Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

17 Mar

Misc. Tale from the Gaming Table: the Mismatched Party

The Gamemaster that was over a campaign I played in during the late-80’s to the mid-90’s was very liberal about what kind of characters he allowed. He was a versatile GM and the players were experienced, so everyone was very adaptable.

However, there was this one time…

As players, some of us liked to experiment with concepts we hadn’t played before. The campaign really was good for that, because it was rather large and low-level characters were able to mix with higher level ones easily because of some aspects of the homebrew rules we were using. After a particularly major episode in the campaign was finished, another player and I created some new characters. All characters had to be approved by the Gamemaster before they were introduced into the campaign.. We both did this, so the GM was aware of them beforehand.

The group gathered and play began. I was playing a character loosely based on the movie Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter. It was not long before I suspected that an unfortunate coincidence was occurring: the other player with a new character had taken a Half-Vampire! In our game, we tended to keep these details secret and the other players would figure things out through actual play. I was unaware until telltale signs led me to the inevitable conclusion that my own party contained the dreaded enemy… a mismatched party, indeed. Certainly one of us had to go!

It was not long before my character used his fledgling skills to kill the other character when an opportune and secretive moment was available. It was not an epic battle, but more of a “vampire assassination”. In the dark of night, loading a wooden bolt into his specialized crossbow, my character snuck up upon the pseudo-vampire.He placed a called shot to the heart unerringly to its target. Before the undead dude even knew what hit him, he was “cured” of his condition. It was a clean dispatching of an undead foe.

Afterwards, I felt really bad that my in-character actions were inevitably guided to removing a fellow player’s creation from the RPG. I said so, apologized and immediately retired the Vampire Hunter from the game. Sadly, the player and I spent the gaming session creating new characters while everyone else finished playing.

It is funny in hindsight, because it was the only event of its kind so far in my gaming experience. It was not so funny at the time, but it does show that in some games, depending on the way things are handled, such incidents are possible! A GM has to either control the composition of the party or be prepared to allow intra-party character conflict. This can be seen as a hindrance to play or, depending upon the players, can also add to the fun. Looking back, however, I think the Gamemaster derived more pleasure from this conflict than either of us players did! You never know what evil lurks in the heart of a GM!
*loads crossbow*

“DM Retro”