HTales from the Table


The Death of Groddic

Posted on August 25, 2016

Before this tale begins in earnest, understand I design my own adventures. So imagine my players’ surprise when I finally loaded them into a pre-planned adventure.

At least, that's what they thought.

In actuality, the ‘module’ was a list of who dies first... because I felt like running a death trap. And by that I mean THE death trap: The infamous Tomb of Horrors.

Needless to say, none of them survived. But one surprised me—Groddic Hammerstrike, a level ten Dwarven fighter.

He dodged trap after trap, a Minotaur on its home turf, and a demented 13 level Wizard. This character—played by my best friend Daniel—single handedly…

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With This Ring

Posted on August 24, 2016

Back in the day there were no spells to tell you what a magic item did. The only way to discover its properties was to experiment with the thing, which could lead to disaster.

After a hard-won battle, we acquired a ring we were certain had powerful magical properties. It had survived the titanic amounts of spell damage we'd used to destroy its wearer, after all. So we began to investigate. After running various tests, one brave soul actually put the ring on—if it was a cursed item, we'd know it almost at once.

Nothing happened.

He tried to fly, to see invisible things, to look through walls, and more. He had us shoot him…

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Under the Table Action

Posted on August 22, 2016

I'd recently started DM'ing for a new group of players that wanted to try out D&D. After spending an hour or so rolling out characters, they set to work on their first campaign--Keep on the Shadowfell.

Following a brief spat with some kobolds outside Winterhaven, the group decided to rest for the evening at the local tavern. There, they began chatting with the regulars before settling in for the night. The group's leader, an Elf Shaman named Candace, grew increasingly concerned with Valthrun, a well-liked old Wizard glossing over some scrolls. With some nods from the group, Mindolas, a Halfling Monk, rolled a thievery check to…

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If You Give an Adventurer a Detail

Posted on August 21, 2016

I run a game in a homebrew setting, and the players are discovering the lore as they adventure.

During an expedition through an extensive and ancient mausoleum, they fought a few skeletons that became animated. After the simple fight, they asked why only *some* of the skeletons had animated.

(The answer was simple: they were level one and could only handle a few skellies at a time. But naturally, I didn't tell them this.)

They investigated the bones, wondering if there were any markings--perhaps from being gnawed on by some kind of undead creature that made more undead, the way vampires make more vampires.

Deciding on the…

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Sibling Rivalry

Posted on August 18, 2016

I am currently running a modified 3.5 campaign for my wife and two daughters. My wife has played before, so she dug out a Half-Elf Bard she had from another campaign, and my two girls decided to create characters from scratch. My eleven year old is a very girly-girl. She’s a cheerleader and loves animals, so she rolled an Elven Druid named Allyson with a bunny as her animal companion. My nine year old is my little tom-boy. She loves playing in the dirt, climbing trees, and catching bugs. So I have to say I was extremely proud when she chose to create a Half-Orc Barbarian named Lily. I showed her what dice to roll to hit and for…

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