D&D Thirty-Day Challenge

Posted: June 2, 2015 in RPGs
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Random challenge found on Twitter.  I’ll start the first two days here (to match the daily challenges to the days of the month of June), and edit the post later with answers on successive days:

Day 1 – How you got started

I was introduced to D&D by a friend’s older brother, when we were in grade 4 or 5, circa 1981. We quickly went and bought our own books: Red Box ‘Basic’ D&D, and Blue Box ‘Expert’ D&D, while the older kids migrated to AD&D. We took turns being dungeonmasters, and in those days, it was almost entirely dungeon crawls with maps we drew ourselves. There were a few TSR modules played, as well, such as the Isle of Dread. D&D also lead to trying Star Frontiers, Gamma World, and Top Secret, but mostly we played D&D.

Day 2 – Favourite PC Race

I’ve always loved elves more than others non-human races. They felt oodles more heroic and ripe with fantasy than the other races. Over time, I realized that I didn’t really like how elves were treated in D&D, however, being so slow to learn stuff (starting characters are typically 80-100 years old). I used to joke that they should get a 90% reduction in experience points to reflect their flighty and dim-witted nature, which was really a joke at the systems expense rather than at elves. Once I had that in my head, I ceased playing elves entirely, and preferred half-elves or humans.

Day 3 – Favourite Playable Class

Spoiler alert: it’s paladin. It used to be wizard, because I’m a smart guy and tend to like using smarts to solve problems and wizards are smart so if I’m a wizard I gets to use the smarts. I grew out of that, though. I’m mostly drawn to roleplaying opportunities, and nothing beats the built out of the box motivation of a paladin. Sure a fighter is cool and does cool stuff, and rogues are awesome, and everything is awesome. But with these other classes, you need to mess around with complex backstories and who did what and why and the feelings and, come one, LeT’s Go MetE OuT SoMe JuStIce! For Kitteh! I try not to play paladins all the time, because I like variety. Or I’m a pleasure delayer.

Day 4 – Favourite Game World

Limiting my choices to published worlds so that might be accessible to you, dear reader, I would pick Forgotten Realms. I prefer my fantasy served with high magic, and FR delivers that. There are plenty of nations with many different cultures and structures in place, to accommodate different styles. Caveat: I have not played Ravenloft or Dark Sun, and had only a single session play with Spelljammer, all of which intrigue me.

Day 5 – Favourite set of dice/individual dice

I purchased a set of Blue Sandstone real gem dice from a kickstarter from Metallic Dice Games. They’re heavy and amazing, with a phenomenal sparkling effect.

Day 6 – Favourite Diety

I would have to go with Vecna or Tyr. Two very different gods, the first a villain from Greyhawk, the second a champion for Forgotten Realms, they both are very godly and feel that they really personify their ideals.

Day 7 – Favourite Edition

My favourite edition is 3.5, in which I include Pathfinder. The ability for strange and unpredictable customization is key, and added much wanted game complexity to the system, partially with feats, but mostly with the concept of Prestige Classes. Many other editions limited your choices is very odd ways (remember when only demi-humans could multi-class?) in order to strive for some semblance of game balance.

Day 8 – Favourite character that I have played

I would say Rirpha, a chaotic evil tabit barbarian. Tabits are descended from halflings and cat folk. I played Rirpha as a super cute, fuzzy childlike creature, who occasionally would rage and eat faces. The cute factor was a disguise and a trap. The character build was a hot mess of poor choices for feats and prestige classes (reflecting his chaotic nature) but was super fun to roleplay. Memorably, he took the Bear Warrior prestige class early on which gave some limited shapechanging ability, and would go to taverns and yell “Who wants to punch a bear!?”

Day 9 – Favourite character I haven’t played.

In experimenting with D&D 5e, I rolled up a human paladin. I used the variant human that started with a Feat, took Magic Initiate. Magic Initiate gives the character magical training in another spellcasting class (two cantrips, and one 1st level spell per long rest). I gave him warlock spells. The idea of a paladin with warlock training seemed to beg a long complicated backstory, rife with the potential for love, loss and recurring antagonists. Perhaps, the paladin has turned away from the dark pact, but every time he uses a warlock power, he regains the attention of his one time patron.

Day 10 – Craziest thing that has happened that you saw

Many years ago, we were playing through some WotC pregen adventures (Sunless Citadel, …, Bastion of Broken Souls). Each of us took turns DMing one adventure (with their own PC not participating, but still leveling up with the others). I don’t recall which adventure it was, but it was of a higher level, and we were being attacked by a teleporting drider assassin who would one-shot my Mystic Theurge and then book. We came up with a plan. I cast Anticipate Teleport and we waited. When he teleported to us the next time, his ‘port was delayed one round, and we knew exactly where he would arrive. The Elementalist Wizard cast Transmute Rock to Lava on the street and I cast a spell called Chains or something when he arrived. The Elementalist was specialized in electricity magic, so his Transmute Rock to Lava became Transmute Rock to Lightning, and I Chained the Drider in place so that he was unable to move or teleport away. Then we just stood back, waited for him to die, and tried to imagine what this lightning-transmuted ground would look like, haha.

Day 11 – Favourite adventure I have ran

Keeping this limited to published adventures, I think that my favourite was Heart of Nightfang Spire. Part of the pregens that I mentioned in Day 10, in this one, we had the Elementalist Wizard and my wife was playing a Shifter Druid. She could wild shape into a plant, and chose the Shambling Mound. We had also allowed her to take a Feat that allowed her one Supernatural ability from a wild shaped form. Now, when a Shambling Mound is exposed to electricity damage, it gains 1d4 Constitution. So the Elementalist Wizard would cast Wall of Lightning (Fire) and the Shamblng Mound would bathe in its glow for, like an hour. Her Con would be in the hundreds, with hitpoints over a thousand. Then the Shambling Mound would go open all the doors and chests and clear all the traps. She would return to the rest of the party, who had been playing cards, and report an all clear. There would be darts stuck in her, and smoke emanating from burnt parts, it was so viscerally funny. Then they would go through and see where the fireball trap had gone off, the busted chest she beat through, etc.

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