Sometimes you land your new spaceship right in the middle of the Feywild. (You know, like the Neverwinter Feywild) That is where my new D&D group found themselves at the end of our last session, and considering the lack of direction everything seemed to have last time, I have been scheming to find a way to point the group in the right direction.
Enter Ensign Gustav, a new character who is conveniently from this universe’s Space Federation and knows how to work the ship! Miraculously he got separated from his group of space explorers and got lost int he Feywild. Good thing he ran across this spaceship that came out of nowhere, huh?
Gustav is played by my good friend Nick, fellow newsletter contributor and GM extraordinaire. He helped my GM the last session, and now he is hungry to play. He is like me in the regard that he is always GMing, never playing. I have actually had the privilege of PLAYING D&D less than ten times in my entire life, although I have run hundreds of games. Nick has similar stats, but we figured he knows the game so well that he is going to dominate as a player, while simultaneously helping to bring along the new players in our group to teach them the ropes of being an adventurer.
What could go wrong?
The session starts with Gustav knocking on the airlock, and having a introductory conversation in which he explains that he is a follower of the way of Adama, the legendary god of taking action (and destroying cylons.)
We figured Adama would be a good role model for this party, since he an iconic figure from science fiction who is know for making tough calls and taking action. Hopefully this new character can keep the group from griding to a halt with indecision the first time the encounter an obstacle.
Gustav showed them around their new ship, and they got familiar with all their cool new space toys… including what they found in the armory. Pistols, an assault riffle and a shotgun. Sometimes you just need to give level 1 nobodys some guns. There was conveniently a shiny new firearm for every party member. Everyone was freakin’ stoked, except for Ulfric. He just stood there for some reason.
In reality the person who played Ulfric was late. Like, really late. He texted and promised he would be there soon, so everyone just decided he would stay behind and guard the ship for now. He will catch up with them soon enough, probably just in time to help them out of a jam!
They ventured forth into the mysterious Feywild in search of dilithium crystals. To be used to fuel the ship, as Gustav had explained. I could tell Nick was very excited, he couldn’t wait to show off his D&D skills against whatever evil monsters they came across. This was finally his chance to play and discover, not just watch others go though an adventure he already knew everything about.
To bad for him he got ambushed by an evil tree monster. I didn’t single him out on purpose, he just happened to be the character that was standing closest to where it was hiding. Before he had a chance to do anything, it picked him up with evil vine tentacles, paralyzed him and knocked him out. So for his very fist battle he spent the whole time making death saving throws while everyone else busted caps in some evil monster brains.
Especially Tealeaf, she was especially trigger happy. Maybe it was a bad idea to give a ranged weapon to a character with sneak attack…
I felt bad for Nick, but at least the party saved his character and nursed him back to consciousness. He would get his chance to shine in battles to come. Ulfric texted that he was now only 15 minutes away, so things were looking up. He had a little bad luck, but that has to over now, right?
They wound up finding a friendly Eladrin village. (That’s a Dungeons and Dragons race by the way, just like elves but snootier.) Nick and company used their sick roleplaying skills to discover that this part of the Feywild is plagued with evil plant monsters coming from the local dungeon, which also just happens to have dilithium crystals in it. What are the odds! They gathered up some supplies and set out for the dungeon.
It may not be quite as simple as that, however. You see, this dungeon has cold iron traps. Those of you super nerds who are familiar with the Feywild know that cold iron is a special magical substance to paralyzes and immobilizes creatures that are native to the Feywild. It’s kind of like kryptonite for elves… elves like Jackie, one of my players.
Maybe it was too much of a dick move for me to give them such an overpowered obstacle, but I also gave them freaking guns, they can handle it. Besides, Ulfric just texted again and he is only 5 minutes away now, so he will be here any minute to help.
They reached the entrance to the dungeon, to find it guarded by evil plant monsters. They slowed down. They hesitated. They stopped. They started talking about how to approach the situation, they started to argue. Then, I saw the sparkle in Nick’s eye.
This was his moment, the moment his character was made for! He was there to take decisive action and move the plot forward. Sometimes you just have to make the tough call and get things done, it’s exactly what Adama would do. He readied his great club (oh yeah, he has a great club by the way) and charged in! It may not have been the best idea, but a man of action like Gustav has the guts to take risks and get things done.
He rolled a 1.
A miss! But at least now the battle had started, I have everyone role initiative. The monster that Gustav attacked had the luck to go first, and decided to attack Gustav right back! Aaaaand critical hit, Gustav is down and dying again. (That reminds me, I should make a new crit fail table for 5th edition)
What terrible luck, but at least he still has his teammates to help him. Jackie had the fortune to go next, so he charged in to help his fallen comrade…. right into my cold iron trap. He fell to ground, immobilized next to his dying comrade, surrounded by monsters. It was three turns into the fight and two people out of a four person party were down. How could it get worse?
A text from Ulfric! He says he is super hungry and he stopped for lunch, it will still be a while before he can get there.
Luckily Sarek and Tealeaf weren’t gona take that shit. “I don’t know about cold iron,” Tealeaf remarked “but how about hot lead!” A couple rounds from Sarek’s assault rifle and Tealeaf’s sneak attack pistol saw the battle end with all the players still alive. Gustav briefly questioned his faith in Adama. I understand the way he must have felt, he finally gets a chance to play after all this time, gets (almost) killed twice, and rolls a 1 on the only thing he tried to do.
It is a good time to stop, so we wrap up the session and I start adding up everyones experience points, when Ulfric shows up. He is ready to play, but he is also 4 hours late to a 4.5 hour game session.
“Sorry bro, you don’t get any experience points this time. But, we saved you a shotgun.”
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