Tales

Hit the Deck

Posted on March 03, 2017

Military life has a way of bringing people from all over together in the most amusing ways. Several of us had grouped together and discovered that all six of us had played D&D. Only one of our number had never taken up the reigns as DM (but had always wanted to). The eyes of five experienced DMs twinkled, and we agreed to band together in a fortnight to make our way into the vast realm to conquer the unconquerable with nary a clue of what was going on (for a change) and to let the new guy run things.

Game day arrived and our new DM ran us through the typical tavern-get-together and we’re-all-the-best-of-chums-now-so-let’s-go-kill-something scenario for a bit, and we camp out in the local forest. We’ve leveled up to 2nd Level on the blood of Goblin bandits and all is right in the world when our NPC Ranger guide decides to read our fortune with a deck of cards…

Yep, that Deck of Cards.

The Ranger draws the Sun and receives a Wondrous Cow Bell. We’re all having a bit of a laugh, and so our Cleric draws the Key, and receives a Sun Blade, which he can’t use, but hey we’ll never need a torch.

My Half-Elf Bard goes next and draws the Jester. Suddenly I gain greater understanding… a lot (I am now a level 10 Troubadour, wearing the rags of a level 1 Crier). Now our Fighter draws the next card, the Skull, and is suddenly facing Death.

While the Reaper explains his challenge (and my Bard is banging a cowbell) I come over to negotiate a better time for the challenge, say high noon. Death feels this to be interference on my part, and now I have my own Death to worry about (armed with more cowbells, somehow).

Suddenly I sneeze. Not the quiet little, “ah-choo” of a tissue commercial, but the typhonic explosion that dislocates your shoulder, echoes down the hall, and leaves a ringing in your ears. My sneeze dismisses my specter, by rolling my d20 onto 20 of course.

“Hey, I sneezed 20! I have sneezed away Death!”

Without missing a beat, the Cleric says, “Bless you,” and my cowbells begin to glow. (Actually, he said, “Bless you! Now you have glowing blue bells. Ha-ha, Blue Bells! Get it?”)

I drop a “Glow-bell” and our Fighter picks it up along with the Cleric’s Sun Blade, and attacks his wraith. With a sound hit in the Crit-range and max damage, he vanquishes it.

Our newbie DM, lost and confused, was trying to figure out how he lost control of his favorite little story hook from his home-games. “What happened?”

“Dude,” I said. “You just can’t take a party of tactically trained Dungeon Masters anywhere these days.”

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