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.
A few times a month, I play in a D&D 3.5 campaign hosted at a local game store. The game takes place in Eberron, and we are currently investigating some mysterious ruins deep in the swamps of the March Lands.
The game is run by a veteran D&D DM, and it’s been interesting seeing 3.5 run by someone who learned to DM on the previous systems. I started with third edition, so I find his intermittent comments of “in 2nd edition it would have been this,” very interesting. I haven’t played in a D&D campaign for about 10 years, so playing in this game has been a lot of fun for me.
Get on with it!
In this game I play a 5th level Half-Orc Druid named Rutkin Bighands.
This game has been open to the public, so the DM created a bunch of characters for people to choose from. I started play as a Cleric, but last session I forgot my character sheet and chose someone new: meet Mr. Bighands.
Just like his miniature, Mr. Bighands wears no armor. That leaves him with an AC 11. Yeehaw, baby! Now there’s a challenge! Right now I’m rocking a +1 Club, a Healing Belt, a couple potions of Mage Armor, and Bracers of Quick Strike.
Our party consists of a Halfling Warlock, an Elven Ranger, a Warforged Fighter, and me, the Half-Orc Druid. Along for the ride we have our boat captain, we think he’s a Rogue.
We recently discovered a previously unknown large patch of land deep in the swamp, and have been hired to go check it out. It takes us a few days, but our party, lead by our hired boat captain, eventually reaches our destination. The entire landmass is surrounded by a huge rock wall, and we only know of two entrances. We can brave a river full of rapids, or we can attempt to climb down a perpendicular rock face. We elect to climb down the cliff, as braving the white waters leaves little chance to take our boat home.
We notice a broken boat nearby, but there’s no sign of whomever brought it here. We make our way to the cliff, when we all hear a very loud buzzing from below. “Take cover by the boat!” yells Mr. Bighands.
We wait in anticipation as the buzzing gets louder. Eventually…
… a giant dragonfly appears from the cliff-face. “Hi, Mr. Dragonfly,” says Mr. Bighands. The dragonfly hovers for a bit before taking off across the swamp. None of our characters have ever seen a bug so big. Although it wasn’t hostile, I don’t think I’d want to mess with one.
(Note: As we were setting up to play, the DM had placed two nasty looking giant wasp figures on the table. “Oh boy, we’re gonna fight that?” commented one of the players. The DM quickly put them aside and said, “Who knows?”. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but when we heard that buzzing I fully expected two nasty wasps on their way. Shady GMing? Maybe! Either way it was great.)
Crisis averted! We took a breath of relief and began to plan our rocky descent. The first matter of business: what do we tie our rope to?
As you can see, we’ve got a rough patch of dirt, some shear rock walls, and low-growing grass to work with (I added Cliff). The cliff is a straight 100ft drop to some thick vegetation. The small rock outcroppings on the bottom left of the map are sharp, and we don’t want to risk our rope breaking. I ask the Warforged to start digging a hole as I grab some wood from the broken boat. A Wood Shape spell later and some heavy Warforged dirt packing, and we have a nice post to tie our rope around. Huzzah! We begin the decline.
The Elf Ranger climbs down with no problem. The Halfling Warlock Spider Climbs his way down, making sure to chuckle at us non-Warlocks. Our captain makes it down without fail. Mr. Bighands makes it most of the way, and then falls, taking about 8 points of damage. I guess my hands got in the way. We’re all waiting for the Warforged to attempt his climb when we see the front of our boat begin to peer from the cliff-face, 100 feet in the air. This is when the captain started to mutter profanities.
That’s it for Part 1 – in Part 2 we’ll find out if the Warforged survives his 100ft pleasure cruise and come face to face with vicious aberrant dinosaurs! Stay tuned!
Extra bonus: Here’s the map the DM had prepared for the river ride!