Dungeons and Dragons – The Heir Affair
Long horses and fickle fools
So we begin our tale, five strangers joined around a table for an evening of drinks, as they wandered into the street and drained the last dredges of their glasses a figure ran past them. Pursued by a band of ruffians; leaping or stumbling into action the party saved the figure. Only to find they were the youngest princess Inej, who then tasks them with an important mission. Protect her life, but the only way to do so will be to help her ascend to the throne.
And so the session began, with four players (unfortunately our Dwarf Paladin couldn’t make today, I’ll come up with a story reason for this) waiting in the Princess quarters to speak with her about their mission.
Here we swapped from me detailing the backstory to the actual role playing, as the princess introduced the world the party wrote notes, taking names of characters they thought might be important later. For some reason they are immediately distrustful of the princess’s advisor; as a DM never forget that players know their genre tropes, and a goateed royal advisor is sure to raise some eyebrows… which is why I then promptly named him Iago.
Inej tasks the party with picking up a new animal for the zoo, a fantastic creature with a long neck and spots that she’d tried to get the night before but had been set upon. The party agrees, although the druid raises an eyebrow at the idea of a zoo.
The party makes their way to the warehouse with little effort to collect the Giraffe, which is now officially called Long Horse within the universe. The dwarf who greets them immediately tries to overcharge them for the animal, now with such a heavy charisma party I thought this would be an easy task and that they could even negotiate him lower and pocket the remaining. Certainly this is what they attempted, although rushing between intimidates, hypnotism and winning friendships through stories, the party actually forgot to try and lower the price below the amount the princess had given them.
Well, at least they didn’t get ripped off.
Welcome friends, to the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons.
Now I am by no means an expert, but as I stumble along with the process of learning how to be a Dungeon Master I thought I could bring you all with me. No knowledge of D&D will be required to follow with the blog series, I’ll be explaining the basics as we go as well as relating the story as decided by the players.
So let us start with Dungeons and Dragons 101.
D&D is a role playing game, you create a character following the game rules where you stats are often decided by dice rolls. These stats determine your skills, your base stats are as follows.
The numbers for these stats, and the subsequent skills like swim or bluff, along with dice rolls determine how successful you are at doing whatever it is you want to do. This is where the fun is, any situation the Dungeon Master can throw at you can potentially be talked out of, fought out of, run away from or teleported to another dimension.
Depending on the party playing.
The Dungeon Master, in this case me, sets the scenario, chooses the enemies, and is subsequently either punishing the party or being punished by the party.
The rules are malleable, some Dungeon Masters play strictly to the letter of it with players who can build a character maximizing every possibility within the rules. Others will let some things slide in favour of the story, although usually some rules will always stay in place. A game isn’t fun if there isn’t some grounding that you can rely on.
The only other thing to keep in mind is different editions, the rules of D&D change with each new edition. Edition 3.5 is the one we are playing with, which is usually called Pathfinder. However I’m going to continue to refer to it as Dungeons and Dragons.
And really, that’s all you need to know, join me next week as I chat about creating a campaign and I show you some of my favourite random encounters to come across.