by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Gaming”

Why I'm Suddenly Not So Enamoured Of My Paladin

Posted 26 November 2008 in by Catriona

You know, I’d thought that Paks the paladin was a more successful adventurer in the Dungeons and Dragons: Tiny Adventures universe than retired Saeana, whose less savoury adventures I’ve chronicled elsewhere on the blog.

(Honestly: that elf and her predilection for incubi.)

But Paks—helped, I admit, by the Vorpal Greatsword I carried over from Saeana’s pack, which is really not a level one weapon—seemed to be passing through the adventures with more success and with fewer problematic moral choices—well, except for the time he faked a marriage with an orc maiden and then legged it with the wedding presents.

That was aberrant, hopefully.

But my brief absence from Tiny Adventures seems to have caused him to lose his panache: perhaps he’s rusty from disuse?

It seems so, since so far in today’s adventure—Red Plume Mountain, in which I’m apparently chasing down a thousand-year-old wizard called Byron Silvertongue, who has been leaving mocking poems at the site of cunning thefts. Naturally, when your parents saddle you with a name like “Byron,” you have to live up to it—he has:

  • fallen into a pit trap, while wandering casually around a deserted mine.
  • successfully beaten up some hobgoblins, which was a measure of success that didn’t last, since he was then
  • successfully beaten up by four brigands, after comprehensively failing an Armour Class check. But, seriously? Four brigands? That’s hardly a fair fight.
  • been skewered by the poison spikes of a kruthik. I don’t even know what that is, but it caused fourteen points of damage, which seems to be the main thing.
  • completely failed to find a mysterious and familiar-sounding bird that he could hear in the woods. On top of that, while he was searching for the bird, the merchants he’d been chatting with disappeared. Double fail, there.
  • more or less managed to outdistance a goblin horde, until he tried to jump off a cliff into a river, missed (how do you miss an entire river?), and broke his leg. That’s going to make the rest of the adventure a little tricky.
  • been severely beaten by a strongman who managed to get his Vorpal Greatsword off him. Now what’s the point of carrying a Vorpal Greatsword if you’re going to allow a long strongman to just take it off you?
  • fallen down a mountainside trying to help a young man who was hanging over a ravine. To add insult to injury, the man then broke his leg and Paks had to carry him up the mountainside—which is odd, since I’m quite certain Paks himself broke his leg jumping off that cliff. Perhaps there was a silent passage of time in the middle of the adventure?
  • ultimately failed the entire adventure—no surprise there, then—after this woeful encounter:

Paks found Byron Silvertongue sitting on a rock overlooking a beautiful mountain vista. Byron rose, turned, and confronted Paks. After a moment of baleful glaring, the wizard shot a vicious poem Paks’s way.

Paks made a Wisdom check with a difficulty of 17 . . . and rolled 9

Paks shouted some vulgarity back at Byron and charged. What Paks hadn’t realized was that the wizard’s words were also a spell, and he ran smack into an invisible wall of force, knocking himself out. When Paks awoke, Byron the Silvertongue was long gone, with the only remaining evidence being a small scroll with the poem inscribed upon it.

Really, Paks? A wizard—a one-thousand-year-old wizard, in fact—shouted at you and it didn’t occur to you that it might be a spell? So you knocked yourself out on an invisible wall? Now, that’s just embarrassing.

And “some vulgarity”? I hope, for your sake, it was at least a rude limerick.

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