This is the story of how I (may have) gotten my entire Dungeons and Dragons party killed in two sessions. It’s a bit of a cliff-hanger, as I won’t know the actual end result until the game session next Wednesday, but the journey is more important than the ending.
A new campaign recently started at our local board game cafe and Colleen and I were probably the first to sign up for it. The setting for the game is called Primeval Thule – it’s a world that mixes a Cohen the Barbarian type environment with H.P. Lovecraft elements like Cthulhu. That alone should have told me that this campaign would be more intense than any game I’ve played before.
It started out with our group of adventurers being sent on a mission to an ancient dungeon (surprise, surprise) to find a specific gem. During the first session, we arrived at the location only to find it crawling with zombie-like creatures being controlled by strange plants. It was a tough battle, but we made it through with only one near-fatality – my character (also the only healer in the group), who was almost turned into one of the plant-zombies.
My character was saved just in time, but not before receiving severe brain damage (caused by vines). Our group then rested and healed up, and that was the end of our first session.
When we continued on last Wednesday, we delved down into the ruins. While my character’s brain injuries would slowly heal, for now my intelligence points were well below what is generally considered the minimum for a character being able to speak properly. So, I decided I had to play it properly.
While the rest of my group carefully explored the ruins, mine started ambling around aimlessly. My character was eventually tied to another with a length of rope in the hopes of avoiding catastrophe. Well... it worked for a while – right up until everyone else was distracted and my character wandered straight into a trap, getting covered with a clinging acid.
My character was (barely) saved, but in the process another character was severely injured and I used up all of my healing spells. That’s why, when a spider dropped on Colleen’s character and knocked her unconscious and paralyzed her with poison, there was no way to heal her.
Now, if our group had decided to take a rest at this point, allowing the poison to wear off Colleen’s character and for her (and a couple other injured characters) to heal a little, things may have gone slightly differently. But the group had just solved a riddle that had opened a secret door somewhere and, in our eagerness to find it, we ran straight into a group of animated skeletons.
Now, to start with, there were eight of them and six of us. We had one person down and three injured (two severely injured). Our tough barbarian (injured from saving my character) charged right into battle while everyone else fought from a distance. He went down, but not before taking half of the skeletons with him.
One by one, each of my companions fell to the skeletons (unconscious and with a chance of dying – it would take too long to explain the game mechanics) save for my character and one other – and that’s where the session ended. My character fighting one uninjured skeleton, and a companion fighting two (one uninjured, one almost dead). If either of our characters gets hit one more time, they’ll be down.
And I can’t help thinking how much differently this battle would have gone if my character hadn’t stupidly wandered into that trap. Some healing spells would have saved us all.
Yet, at the same time, it was the most intense and fun night of D&D I’ve ever had – and that’s saying something. Who knew that having your character mess everything else up for the entire group could be so fun?
Click here to find the charity anthology containing a couple of my short stories.