I am Batman

This is the last campaign I started under my cousin as the DM.

He was playing a half-elf thief as a GM NPC, my brother was playing his trusty Dwarf, and I was playing my Goblin as usual.

We began by sneaking into town while other member walked in, due to racial hatred towards goblins. I was trailing them on the rooftop since I was forced to climb the palisade. I got it in my mind that I would master climbing and become Batman by swinging from rooftop to rooftop. This worked out twice, each time I was elated and trailing them.

The third time…

*Failure*

Roll to maintain grip… *Failure*

I fell and broke my leg. As a goblin in a dark alley barely unable to walk. I was approached by a vagabond. I fought this person who made his home in the dark side paths.

Meanwhile, they met a dwarf merchant that forced their service to an evil jin that was chained to the wall. Double-crossed by the dwarf who was supposed to be a friend of the thief.

While they tried to make good on their escape, I took a nap on top of the alley man’s remains, ate only available food source nearby. The man. I failed a Constitution Save and threw up. I then proceeded to eat that too (I know…, I was purposely disgusting).

In the night I saw a priest and an old man walking by. I tried to throw a dagger and sneak attack him, and I rolled a solid hit…
but some magical force caught the dagger, and it fell down. The old man looked over and smiled tapped on a ring and smiled. I fearfully skulked back into the dark alley.

In the afternoon, I tried climbing to the top, I failed to start. Eventually, I climbed to the top and slept up there. The very next evening tried climbing down safely with a knotted rope and fell to death, with a crappy roll.

Body carried by rats to jin. He revived and cast geas on me and commanded me to spy on the party for jin and send word back to him at every town.

Geas: an enchantment spell that commanded any subject to undertake a task or suffer possibly fatal pain and sickness

We left town, in search of an ancient artifact under the employ of a mysterious and evil jin.

We concluded playing RPGs with my cousin. I moved away, and we didn’t yet know about virtual tabletop RPGs. We do now, but it has been years since we played.

The Desert Adventure

Trapped in a square cell, on top of each other with only a hole in between them and a small arrow slit looking out onto a forested area and coast. We spend some time trying to get free and trying to think up a solution to the problem. Can’t and some try and rest, while others try and stay awake.

Rooms are promptly flooded with poison gas. Wake up as slaves.

We make our escape as we are transported via chains across a desert. Weakened and beleaguered, thirsty and desperate we track the slavers.

All hyped to murder slavers and then…

*low hiss*

The ground shakes as we plunge and are engulfed into a sand whirlpool. We awake glued to a ceiling of a sand cave 50 ft in the air. Our feet stuck, much like Luke’s feet were in the cave at Hoth. The assassin played by my eldest brother manages to free his short sword and frees his legs. He uses his short sword as a pick and tries to scale the cave, but he can’t get leverage. He falls and catches himself with his cloak gliding down. But the cracks in the ceiling get wider and eventually collapse.

We are captured by temple raiders on their way to a pyramid temple.

The temple entrance is smooth and hidden. Eventually, we find the door before the raiders decided to use us as miner and mine into the temple. On the long corridor in, I spotted traps, but the savvy temple raiders saw my attempt to signal to the party where the traps were.

After a few more traps and a false treasure room, we enter a sizeable underground cavern deep in the dark. We are about 150 ft above the ground on the cavern wall and below is a city, complete with an underground river. The streets were lit with glowing mushrooms.

The climb is precarious and dangerous. Some of the raiders don’t make it. On the ground, they free us but promise a share to treasure if we act as a vanguard into their incursion into the secret city.

Assault on the City is met with resistance, and quickly they get guards and establish defensible lines. In the first fight, I am critically that cause me to lose my hand.

The final fight is me storming a residence turned temporary barracks by myself with people who readied to fire crossbows. My inevitable death was probably why we stopped this session.

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part Three of Three

The fall of the goblin happened as a cliff hanger and would only be resolved halfway through the next session. I had prepared another character, a cleric, to replace my dead one. But my GM had other plans for me.

As the dwarf and paladin managed to push back the oncoming horde, since the dragon left after a clean hit and being near-immortal, it decided that it would go back to its lair and lick its wounds over its horde.

They went looking for me to bury the body and what they found was me suspended a few feet above the ground. I was unconscious, and when they touched my body, I fell to the ground. An old wizard came out and talked with the group. This was when I was awoken and the wizard being brash and my head hurting I tried to stab him, but again I was frozen in place. The paladin was laughing at me so when I was unfrozen I yelled, “I ‘m gonna fight ya” and stole his sword and was about to cut him when I was put to sleep.

After the hilarity of interparty fighting died down. We made a promise to find Wizard after town and help him. So the party went back to town, without me (I was still sleeping). The Paladin and Dwarf started arguing about who should be able to buy a magic item since they only had enough gold for one (with the reward form saving the town). They decided to fight each other. As an aside, my GM allowed called shots on a roll of a 20. So the dwarf and paladin start an escalation of called shots.

I am gonna cut your beard off! *miss*

I am gonna cut your hand off! *miss*

On and on it went to the point when the shopkeep came out and yelled at them (the GM using the GM voice to move the story along).

I am gonna cut you your legs off! **20**

The paladin was made as tall as the dwarf. We looked blankly at each other. My brother smug face was lived short as the shopkeep murders dwarf with an enchanted blade.

I managed to get blamed once I awoke and found their bodies and was in the process of going to jail when I escaped. I ran out and was corned by the guards. The wizard saves me, creates a thinking zombie from the paladin and we go to a weird dimension where the dwarf is stuck fighting himself to try and save himself from himself.

The weird dimension was so cool. My brother’s character starts out watching the fight. Then a guy grabs his shoulder. Then he is dodging an axe, then he makes an attack, he murders himself, he stands there and sees someone, he reaches out, and the cycle continues.

To get there was travel to an unknown dimension where the wizard instructs me to close my eyes. I am surrounded by fire and brimstone, and the Wizard speaks an ancient, evil-sounding language.

Next thing we know we are back and it has been 3 months in the world, but in our time it has only been moments. The wizard had buried the zombie, and we dig him up. The party is back together, but now there is a guy with black gauntlets of giants strength chasing us.

That is how this campaign finished.

The campaign was finished merely because we didn’t return to play it.

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part Two of Three

After the kerfuffle in the Orc Lair, we decided that now that we had some treasure at least it was time to find the nearest town. The nearest town was through a forest mysterious forest. When we were crossing it, we heard a voice calling out to us from the trees. When we called back silence. We decided not to pursue the voice since it was a likely ambush.

At the town, they initially didn’t want me to enter because of my goblin heritage. The town’s people were convinced by the paladin that I was his helper, and we were allowed to traverse into town and spend our spoils. I purchased my first armour upgrade, a chain shirt and the dwarf spent the majority of his money on a dragon skull tattoo that covered his now bald head and face (beard still intact).

When we went looking for an Inn to finally have a rest, we heard war horns. We were quickly conscripted into the militia. The town was under attack by a different coloured dragon than the one that was on the mountain and a horde of angry orcs. The paladin and dwarf waited on the wall near the gates waiting for a siege. I ran to get in line with the archers, but the wall was much too big for me to see over.  This was when I noticed the ballista. One the first few swoops of the dragon I missed, the others were busy throwing oil at orcs and getting into the courtyard. The siege crew finally entered where I was shooting and loaded a bolt for me. This was when I scored a critical. The ballista launched an excellent shot, but the leader exclaimed that they didn’t tie the rope that was attached to this bolt to the wall yet. I rolled a dex check and failed, I only had time to grab the line. I was given the option to let the rope go or hold on. I held on. I rolled a subsequent strength check to see if I was simply pulled off the wall or was now dangling to a rope attached to a flying dragon.

I climbed that rope throughout a few rolls and made it to the dragon.  I recalled this moment at the table clearly when playing ICO: Shadows of the Colossus years later. On the back of this dragon, I stabbed at it with my shortsword, each strike prompting a strength test to hold on with one hand. Eventually, I failed. I fell. It took several turns for me to fall from such a height. The valiant efforts the dwarf and paladin repelling the orcs at the gates. Eventually, the speck that was me disappeared from view below that tree line of a nearby forest.

 

Cursed (Blessed) Platinum Coin – Part One of Three

This is the first long forum campaign I played in. It was maybe 5 or 6 sessions, each played once a month. It was me, playing my goblin archer, my brother playing his dwarf fighter, and my brother’s friend, playing his exiled paladin prince.

We were in a pirate ship getting harassed by winged birdmen. We fought with bow, axe, and sword but it wasn’t enough. We fought as the ship crashed against the rocks. I grabbed a sack of treasure as the ship sank, barely making it to shore.

When we divided the loot, my cousin poured out a bag of pennies ontop the table, that had one dime. We each grabbed a handful of treasure, I immediately grabbed the dime. Each penny was a gold piece and the dime was a platinum piece.

We made our way to the closest town and decided to go through a mountain range. On the top of the mountain, there was a large orc battling a small dragon which he was dwarfed by. We entered the fight and that’s when the coin took effect. It acted like a sort of uncontrollable haste. Each swing of my dagger a dozen hits, one shot on my bow, my entire quiver. Some solid hits from my compatriates and the eventual critical finished it off. My cousin said I was overcome by greed. In my greed I decided to skin the dragon, my knife uncontrollable, I cut the skin in between each scale and scattered the scales across the mountain throwing them from the top before anyone could restain me. All that we managed to recover two claws and 3 large scales (chest plates) from the dragon. The orc took the head as a trophy and invited us back to his tribe down the mountain.

In the orc cave, they only spoke orc and goblin. I was acting as translator and conviced the orcs to let us stay. When we rested the coin acted again. The orcs had a treasure room which we each took one object to celabrate the death of the dragon that was harrying them. Instead of sleep I was driven to steal. I didn’t have the haste, so like a ninja I traversed the cave complex into the treasure room. When I reached the treasure room, the GM asked how I was going to steal it. I said I will pick up some treasure and hide it. This activated the haste and in a blur I grabbed all the treasure and ran out to the bottom on mountain side digging holes and putting one item in each hole.

Shortly after I had emptied out the treasure room, the orcs found out and blamed the party. With only two humans, and a young cyclops  and the goblin missing. The humans didn’t understand what was going on and so started killing their way out of the Orcs’ Lair. I went to run back but the cursed haste wore off and so I had to make it up the mountain the slow way. An epic battle ensued, with one of them using a bed frame and the narrow corrdors to keep the bulk of them at bay while they slowly made their way out. They were already making their way down the mountain when I caught up to them and then had to retreat, firing cover shots to keep them slowed as we made our decent.

At the bottom I tried remembering where I had buried it but since everything was a blur I could remember where the treasure was and so only had what was in our packs from before. But everyone had gotten a cool item. I got a helm with a large gem in the forhead, the dwarf got a large fancy gold cup, and the paladin got a fancy sheild but it may have been a large gem, my memory is a bit muddled.

 

Miniatures…

Miniatures are great. I currently don’t use them much as I play Warhammer 40k and get my miniatures fix from actual miniatures games and don’t feel the need to always include them in the RPGs that I play.

I remember picking up the unpainted pewter miniatures and being enthralled by them. Instantly going on adventures in my head with them. But this time I was to play in a game that used miniatures. A game that my cousin DMed that brought both of his gaming groups together.

This was a return of a familiar name, Barbos Hawkscar, but not as my character. This time as a Wizard PC played by one of my cousin’s friends. I am just glad that such an awesome sounding name got to live on as another character. I wonder if he did the same thing as I can choose it from the list because it sounded vaguely heroic. There were at least 3 other of my cousin’s friends. I don’t remember what characters they all played. This session was memorable for another reason.

A green blanket covering boxes and towers transforming the coffee table into a valley system. Miniature trees, pillboxes, and a CD rack were converted into a stone shire adorned the center of the valley as well as a large rock with moss on the bottom.

Searching and moving boulders lead to actually hidden treasure. Tiny Lego gems were hidden in the scenery’s mossy base.

Battling Goblins and orcs on the edge of a ruined cliff castle (CD rack). I found a magic sword inside the shire that was actually a sarcophagus, that the fighter claimed as his since I was an archer thief and didn’t have the proficiency.

After this, we climbed a mountain cliff and entered a magic circle leading to a mystical tower surrounded by liquid metal (tin foil).

After we set about and I threw a dagger in the mysterious liquid metal. I decided to attempt to climb down. I had forgotten I had rope to use, and promptly fell into the liquid metal died…

Just like that, my first character death. I was saddened but young and only used to dying in video games. The next time I played I brought a new goblin with the same name into play. I did this several times, most of them died too. It was a blast.

 

The Wait until the next game…

The wait between games was too much for me to bare so I hounded by cousin to schedule the next game. My cousin was working on it but not wanting to be bothered as much and to entertain me handed me the D&D Basic Player’s Handbook revised by Frank Mentzer published in 1983. This book constituted the majority of play in my first few years in the form of a solo adventure, but was usually eclipsed by the much more exciting time when my cousin DMed.

post

I must of played through the solo adventure dozens of times. Probably in the high 20s or 30s. It starts off as a series of scripted encounters designed to be an introduction to the terms and definitions of the game and the second part becomes a choose your own adventure.

Having played that I must of made dozens of characters from the third section which had rules on character creation. I came up with the idea of testing them in the choose your own adventure section. I think for me only classes that survived were the fighter, cleric and dwarf. The halfling, thief and magic-user all perished having too few hitpoints (HP).

I have so many fond memories just playing by myself, dreaming of playing with a larger group one day. I didn’t have to wait that long but playing through the solo adventure was what I did in between the longish waiting times to sate my craving for wonder, battle, and quest!

My First Game

It was one and half years after we made our first characters. My cousin had secretly prepared pre-mades and a small adventure.

I remember the details of my first game pretty well. My two brother played, as well as my brother’s friend. With them as my party and myself we made up the players of this rag tag group ready to game. My cousin was the DM and picked from a cadre of potential adventurers. We were playing 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

There was a exiled prince paladin, a surely dwarven adventurer, a half-elven assassin, a cyclops with the intelligence of a baby, and myself, a goblin archer. There might have been a few other characters but they didn’t become important in anyway. I choose the goblin archer because he used a bow. My brother, who was around the same age as me choose the dwarf because of his last name which was, Dragonsbane. His friend choose to be an exiled prince. My eldest brother choose to be a mysterious half-elf assassin, know only as Shadow. My cousin ended up playing the few others as a group as NPCs for the first session.

My cousin had filled in the name on the character sheet as Gromil Hazling the Far Seeing. He was a minor thieves guild member in a major city. I started to develop my character more. He was the self-styled best archer in the land with a short bow and greatest thief ever.

The game opened with only me in a gladiator ring in a jester’s suit. The crowd were handed rocks and to hit the goblin as a pre-show in order to stir up the blood thirstiness of the crowd. After dodging a few, a child hit me squarely in the jaw. I picked up my dice. My goblin picked up  the stone and threw it…roll…

*CRITICAL*

The child fell limply as I knocked out him out with a swift powerful throw. The crowd roared and began raining down rocks. I fell into the fetal position and embraced the sweet unconsciousness knowing that I did a really funny thing. I knew then that this was the game for me.

The next scene was me awakening chained to a bench with all the PCs and available NPCs. Everyone except the assassin. We talked about how we got caught and what crimes we committed. When it was my turn I told them I was a thief and got caught. I tried getting to know the cyclops but…

*BANG*

Lights out again. Never be snide to a cyclops.

We were being equipped with padded armor and wooden swords for a mock battle. The doors opened and we went out and dispersed into the sandy arena. We took a few seconds and were determining if we should fight each other or try and escape. I went to inspect one of the many doors along the walls. I was locked with a large keyhole.

A large chariot opened and out rushed a few people with actual steel weapons. It became a desperate battle to hide behind the cyclops before he overturned a chariot and a wrestling match to grab the weapons and put these false gladiators to the sword.

I grabbed a dagger and made my way to the locked door with a big key. I argued that since the lock was large and i was small. I should be able to use the dagger to pick the lock. My DM decided that should be possible but hard. I grabbed the percent dice and made the near impossible possible.

We made a break through the streets and the DM requested a break.

After we came back we were apprehended by a wizard with a sleep spell. In a much worse prison this time. Slaves are not given two chances to escape. This is when the assassin joined the game. He was on a stealth mission to break us all out. Its during the intermittent scenes of stealth and sneak attacks, the rest of the party interacted with the jail cells. I simply talked to the cyclops and sort of made friends by saying that he was the strongest and smartest around.

Eventually we were rescued but the cyclops wouldn’t join us. He wanted his ‘wand’. Not knowing what that was we searched for our stuff and when saying we will get his wand, he joined us. Eventually we found our starting gear in chests, the only gear the cyclops had was a 6 ft tree trunk that we latter found out he threw at people and he thought could cast spell, not knowing it was just his raw strength making people fly and explode.

Escaping into the streets and disappearing was the conclusion on my 1st game of Dungeons and Dragons. This was surely a great kick-off to a great game… nope. We always just started a new campaign but just kept these characters. All of them great starts, but no follow through usually through PC getting us into too great of trouble. I think it was because we were my cousin’s alternate group. So months in between session would lapse. Regardless, I was hooked. I loved this character. I loved this game and I couldn’t wait to play more.