I may primarily run TTRPGs as the Game Master, but when I get the chance to play in a game, I jump on it. In this segment, Player Persective: The Shady PC, I share my experiences as a player at the game table.
In the last segment of Player Perspective, I introduced you to my 5th level Druid, Mr. Bighands.
Our boat ride ended when we encountered a small barren beach nestled between two immense and impenetrable sheering rock faces. We are adventurers, so we strove forth!
We encountered a 100ft perpendicular drop nearby – our destination. A Woodshape spell to make a post and a rope tie later, and all but the Warforged had made the descent. Then we saw what was delaying the Warforged…
This particular player has never played a TTRPG before. So far he has tried to intimidate nearly everything he encounters: including PCs. But I’m easy-going, and it’s a different kind of play experience for me, so I try not to give him shit (although I did read aloud what Intimidate actually does so that he would stop mechanically antagonizing our allies.)
I was still surprised when he announced his intention to dive bomb off the 100ft cliff. Particularly because we were making the climb to save our boat.
C’est la vie.
Get on with it!
The DM was pretty sure that Cornerstone the Warforged was going to meet his demise. He even warned the player of this. But to everyone’s surprise, the fall merely brings the hulking metal-man down to single digit HP.
(Note: Although this action was unanimously considered stupid, we all shared a good laugh and offered our interpretations of how this free fall may have looked. Everyone was smiling, and it was one the session’s highlights. In terms of “the game”, this was an absolutely terrible decision. In terms of the play experience, it turned out to be awesome. I peered across the table to glance his character sheet. I laughed. “He does have a Wisdom of 6.” The Halfling Warlock’s player suggests, “That Warforged came out of the forge wrong.”)
“That was fun!” Cornerstone says.
The Halfling Warlock begins to laugh heartily, and his player knocks his miniature over to represent him rolling on the ground, laughing. (Note: Here’s a great example where miniatures help express role-playing!)
“Fun?!” echo the captain and myself.
“Now we’ve got no way back and you’ve alerted everything around here to our presence,” says Mr. Bighands. “But that was pretty cool.”
“Wait,” the Elf Ranger says as he draws his bow. “I think I hear something.”
The vegetation is very thick here, and we can barely see more than 15 feet.
The dinosaurs are stealthy, but the shifting plants and subtle chirps give them away. The Elf Ranger shoots an arrow into the dense forestation, but the shot plants itself firmly into a tree.
The Halfing Warlock quickly gets to his feet and backs himself against the cliff. “Alright! Raptors!”
Mr. Bighands moves between the Elf and the Warforged to prepare for the assualt. Before our boat captain can act, the “raptors” are upon us.
Now that they’re out of the brush, we can see that these nasty dinos are rocking two gnarly tentacles on either side of their torsos. “They look similar to Displacer Beast tentacles, but green,” remarks the DM. Fantastic…
(Note: This really was fantastic. The DM has a super impressive assortment of miniatures, and when he brought these raptors onto the table my eyes went wide. When he described their strange abberant nature, I was stoked to take them on! A D&D monster I haven’t fought, yet? Yeehaw!)
Mr. Bighands is part of the Gatekeepers, a Druidic order devoted to destroying unnatural things of aberrant or extra-planar origin. That means I’m obliged to kick some displacer-raptor ass. My character’s only feats are designed for killing Abberrations like these.
(Note: Mr. Bighands was made by the DM, name and all. He is not a character I would have made, but he’s tailored for the story and a blast to play. In my opinion, this is an example of how DM generated characters can be a great option.)
A raptor rushes Mr. Bighands and tries to grab him with its tentacles. Mr. Bighands may have an AC 11, but he’s also got a +5 vs. grapple. He knocks aside the pesky tentacles and winds back with his club. Mr. Bighands’ attack rings true, and he bashes the raptor in the side. But the Raptor still stands. I use a swift action to activate my Bracers of Quickstrike: their once per day ability allows me to “break the rules” and make another attack!
“Die, vile creature!” Mr. Bighands screams, as his magically enhanced speed powers an instantaneous swing at his hated foe.
Mr. Bighands’ second attack is a success! I roll well on my damage and drop the bugger. I was quite relieved, as they have something like a 75% chance to hit me, and Mr. Bighands is not the hardiest Half-Orc.
The Halfling Warlock uses Spider Climb to scale a bit of the cliff, and then begins to lob down eldritch blasts. (Note: The Halfling is standing on the Chessex box at the edge of the map. Simple altitude representation.)
We dispatch the rest of the raptors fairly easily, and finish combat with only minor scratches. These things went down pretty fast, and didn’t have a chance to get a good hit on any of us – I think we were all feeling a little cocky after this fight. We journey onwards…
…and approach a strange stone platform rising from the swamp. An immense statue of a fiendish looking frog sits in the middle.
That’s it for Part 2 – in Part 3 we’ll discover what this place has in store for our adventurers. Here’s a hint: it rhymes with “captors”.