Tales

Best Not to Gloat

Posted on July 11, 2017

My first experience with D&D was in 5th Edition with a couple of friends who were completely new to it as well. Our DM was a friend of a friend and agreed to help us get started, wetting our feet at the humble beginning of Level One.

The crew was as follows: a Halfling Rogue (myself), a Dragonborn Druid (my brother), a Drow Elf Fighter (friend 1), a Wood Elf Ranger (friend 2), a Human Barbarian (friend 3), a "tall" Gnome Dorcerer (friend 3's sister), and an Aarakocra Paladin (reluctantly friend 4). It wasn't the best of team make-ups, but it did help teach us how our characters worked and how the game was played.

Our journey took place in a rather advanced Dwarven city where magic and machina had progressed further than the rest of the world. The Dragonborn and Elven Fighter worked as a part of the town guards and rounded us up to investigate rumors of an "illegal ritual" being held by the dockyard. Everyone's stake in the mission was more or less a play-by-the-numbers job for hire, while my character was being "leniently" paroled for a burglary charge. Long explanation short, the job turned about to be a ruse: the "illegal ritual" was actually an Elvish fertility ritual and we were meant to be framed at the crime scene for purposes, at time, unknown.

Over a series of sessions trying to escape the city, my Rogue was great at everything non-combat related. He would scout ahead, pick locks, and investigate a suspicious scene, but the poor guy couldn't hold his own in a fight (with really bad rolls). His only shining moment lay in the fabled "Nat 20" for stealth, and he happened upon a scene of Dwarven guards rounding up non-Dwarven citizens, executing them, and sticking brass clock hands into the corpses (a story clue!) I was too far away from the group to relay the scene, and because the line-up of citizens were becoming exceedingly smaller, I decided to try and pick off the guards by throwing daggers as best as I could to save the last citizen.

The first dagger landed and killed the guard mid-swing. I felt so proud to have done anything that I whooped and hollered, telling the guards something equivalent to eating a generous helping of cow-pies. Adding insult to injury, I also flipped the bird at them. The guards heard AND saw this display, because I’d forgotten in my celebration that I was in really good stealth (which lasted about 5 minutes). I didn't even use my bonus action to try and hide after the first kill.

The rest of the night entailed very precarious rounds with our group fighting the guards and saving an NPC crucial for the story. I learned since then to enjoy my victories, large or small, more humbly.

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