Tales

Swarms of Fun

Posted on July 17, 2017

My two cousins and I had played first edition D&D when we were kids. We loved it, taking turns being the DM and making up cool stories and adventures to take each other through. Often when we made new characters, the most common enemy we fought was rats. As a group, we got proficient in dealing with the vile vermin, making them about as scary as a stuffed pillow.

Fast forward to fourth edition and we are all adults. While my cousins had completely stopped playing the game, I had gone on to play the different editions as they were released. Not only that, but I married someone who also played. Together we ran through many adventures, often with me as DM and usually running low-level parties. In fact, one recent session had seen the group facing a few rat swarms, only to lose one party member to an unfortunate crit. It was very traumatic to the survivors.

Fast forward a little further, and we convinced my cousins to join us for a game. We were all very excited to play together again, with them as the adventurers and me as the DM. They were delving into an old ruined keep of some long-forgotten hero as they learned the fourth edition rules. The first few rooms were a breeze for them to clear and they were getting confident. When they opened the door to the old kitchen, what should they see, but RATS!! About three swarms, to be more precise.

This prompted my wife, the Dwarven Barbarian, to run screaming out of the room, leaving my cousins looking back with confusion. They could not understand why the meat shield just freaked out about a few furry targets. They learned quickly the danger of swarms, though… all those gnashing teeth!

We still play as a group in a long-going campaign. In fact, we still run the same characters. The best part of it all for me is putting them all against a swarm or two and watching a group of high-level players get tense and nervous.

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