by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Gaming”

My Paladin Is Just as Immoral as My Elf, Alas

Posted 26 September 2008 in by Catriona

Have I posted too many pieces on Dungeons and Dragons: Tiny Adventures?

Actually, that was a rhetorical question.

I started an adventure this morning, thinking that keeping it running in the background would help me focus during my marking—the game requires little active involvement.

Of course, I then promptly forgot about it and have only just come back to it, to find this adventure:

Paks had never screamed as loud as he did when the floor dropped out from under him, dropping him directly into the middle of a large room full of orcs. The orcs had been squabbling and gambling, although Paks’s entrance seemed to get their attention.

Paks made a Charisma check with a difficulty of 13 . . . and rolled 18

Thinking quickly, Paks managed to convey (through a series of rapid fire gestures) that he was not, in fact, dinner, and was instead sent to be married to one of the local orc girls. The orcs thought this was a little strange, but Paks was charismatic enough that they went along with it. After the makeshift ceremony, Paks saw his chance and quickly escaped — with the wedding gifts.

Paks received 84 XP and 36 gold.

Paks, let’s just run this by you again. You’re a paladin. A holy warrior, dedicated to the service of your god. Also, you are carrying a Vorpal Greatsword, which adds +10 to your attack rolls.

But, just because you happened to fall through the floor and land in the middle of a group of orcs, what do you do?

You lie through your teeth.

You exploit your personal charm to support that out-and-out lie.

You actually go through with marrying a poor orc girl who never did anything to you.

And then you leg it with the wedding presents.

That’s fairly problematic, don’t you think?

(Also, orcs? 36 pieces of gold? As a wedding present? I can get more than that flogging my armour on the open market!)

My Elf's Adventuring Days Are Over

Posted 17 September 2008 in by Catriona

When your character reaches level eleven in Dungeons and Dragons: Tiny Adventures they face mandatory retirement. (Irritatingly, I didn’t even find out whether she’d succeeded in her last adventure.)

So Saeana’s adventuring days are over. Never again will she inappropriately seduce people in the middle of a fight scene, join a short line of adventurers waiting to enter a castle, or find herself inexplicably in the middle of a Robert Frost poem.

Of course, I have another adventurer, now: Paks, a Half-Elf Paladin. Paks is named after the only other paladin who came to mind: Paksennarion, from Elizabeth Moon’s The Deed of Paksennarion, who I really enjoyed as a character. Of course, Paks is a woman, but I figured that Paks really was a non-gendered name.

And the awesome thing about Paks is that I’m allowed to save one item of Saeana’s inventory to carry over to my new hero: I chose my Vorpal Greatsword. (I don’t know whether I should favour the Vorpal Greatsword because of “Jabberwocky” or because of the Homelands story arc in Fables. Maybe both.)

How could you turn down a Vorpal Greatsword? Saeana never used it, because it is a two-handed weapon, and I was addicted to the combination of my Phasing Short Sword and my Thundering Mace. But I couldn’t bring myself to sell it—and now my Paladin can wield it.

It also gives me a chance to be scornful, when he picks up the rewards suitable to a level one adventurer: “Battleaxe, huh? +1 to Attack? Ha!”

Paks seems to be settling in quite nicely, so far. Of course, he’s only midway through his third encounter, but he’s succeeded in everything he tried to date.

But I’m wondering if he’s going to behave the same way as Saeana did. I know paladins aren’t celibate figures like monks, but they are holy warriors.

I don’t think they should seduce halflings in hot-tubs.

I don’t think they should fight the palace guard in order to defend the succubus that they fancy.

I really don’t think they should seduce and then stab tiefling warlocks, no matter how desperate they are to prevent the coming apocalypse.

I don’t know that Paks is as susceptible as Saeana—but I’ll be keeping an eye on him. Sooner or later, I’m bound to come up with at least one adventurer who knows how to keep their mind on the job.

An Inside Joke for the D&D Crowd

Posted 5 September 2008 in by Catriona

I’m not normally a big fan of in-jokes on blogs, but I couldn’t resist this one:

Saeana entered a square room. Each stone tile in the floor was carved with an ancient symbol, and the walls were covered in murals depicting the rise of a great king. In the center of the room, on an ornate pedestal, sat a golden idol.

Saeana made an Intelligence check with a difficulty of 20 . . . and rolled 13

Saeana wove a deliberate path on the stone tiles to reach the pedestal. She grabbed the idol and raised it above her head in triumph. A grinding sound made her look down at the pedestal to see it slowly rising, no longer held down by the weight of the idol. A much louder grinding sound made Saeana look up again in time to see a giant boulder rolling into the room — and straight for her! Saeana was able to run, jump, and dive to safety, but not without accumulating some minor injuries along the way. Too bad the idol had been damaged in the commotion.

Saeana took 19 damage.

Apparently, the fault lies with me, not poor dead Gurdis.

Okay, Now I Love My Elf

Posted 5 September 2008 in by Catriona

I’ve been a little worried about my Elf, as my previous posts have shown. In fact, the most recent adventure threw up this encounter:

Saeana quickly realized the depths of Nyx’s insanity and decided to embrace his madness. Saeana fell on her knee, proclaimed her utter devotion to Nyx, and extolled his power, his handsomeness, and his brilliance. Nyx was delighted to find a soulmate in his quest for fiendish tyranny, and proclaimed Saeana his consort. Nyx’s moment of paradisal bliss was tragically cut short as Saeana plunged a dagger in his heart. Nyx looked at Saeana with surprise and sadness. “My love?” burbled from his lips before he died. Saeana destroyed the dimensional portal apparatus and ascended from the castle dungeon.

Knowing my Elf as I do, I’m naturally a little worried about exactly when during the proceedings she stabbed the insane Tiefling wizard.

But then I came across this encounter:

Saeana noticed a typical prince calling for help from the top of a very tall tower. Seeing no other route to the top, she started climbing up the cobblestone exterior. It was pretty easy going at first, but all that climbing got tiring after a while . . .

Saeana made a Constitution check with a difficulty of 19 . . . and rolled 12

Saeana was about halfway up, when the prince started shouting down additional demands that Saeana bring up food, water, hair products, and so forth. Saeana climbed back down ostensibly to get these supplies but, weighing the risk versus reward, just took off instead.

Sure, I actually failed the Constitution roll. I do that a lot: my equipment is all focused on Strength and Dexterity.

And I would probably be rewarded for reaching the top of the tower. (If I know my Elf, I would be rewarded afterwards.)

(Apparently, if you succeed in this adventure, you find that the prince has disturbingly small hands and feet, and have to throw him over your shoulder before climbing down. It’s a very odd game.)

But I’m still proud of my Elf for just sodding off. If reading Fables has taught me anything, it’s to never trust Prince Charming.

And, after all, my upbringing, if not my Elf’s, is best summed up by a conversation that I’ve never forgotten:

MY SISTER: Are you worried at all that Catriona and I aren’t married with children?
MY MOTHER: Well, I raised you girls to be feminists.
MY FATHER: What? Behind my back!

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