Entering the World of Role-Playing Games


For the first time, today I played a Role-Playing Game. My friend Sacha had been pressuring me to do it for a couple years but I just didn’t want to commit until I was able to. This year I met James in the History MA program and he wanted to do a game as well. We decided to do a test run with Pathfinder to see if we liked it and wanted to continue with the story (we’re using the module The Brinewall Legacy). Sacha’s friend Alex was kind enough to be our Dungeon Master (DM).

This post will outline my character I created as well as the narrative of our adventure. I’ve tried to hyperlink any unfamiliar terms in case you want to find out more.

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Character Name: Caelash | Race: Elf | ClassRanger | Alignment: Lawful Neutral | Sex: Male | Age: 150 | Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 180lbs |  Hair: Silver | Eyes: Green | Languages: Common, Elven, Goblin | Weapon 1: Longbow | Weapon 2: Rapier | Armour Type: Studded Leather | Key Skills: Climb, Craft, Knowledge of Geography, Perception, Stealth, Survival, Swim |

Story so far:

Caelash is travelling with his caravan in a wooded area. Among the people with him are Zerris (Sacha), a Tiefling Witch, and Hadji (James), a Half-Elf Rogue. They are travelling to trade in goods, such as spices. Upon their travels they see something in the distance that looks like it’s smoking. Hadji and Caelash decide to sneak up to inspect the the situation. Upon being able to see it is they realize it’s  another caravan that appears to have been attacked. The members of the caravan are all dead or they ran away. In the distance they hear some loud bangs and booms. The three members of the caravan decide to leave the trail and inspect the noises. They end up coming to a swamp but they didn’t find the cause of the noise. As they were about to head back to the caravan, as they feared of travelling too far away from it, they thought they saw something long and slithering in the swamp. Instead of inspecting further they figured returning to the caravan was safest for everyone.

The module (story) we’re playing

After travelling for sometime more they come upon a small trading post and village. When they get close enough they realize there are burn marks on the walls surrounding the village. They end up discussing the marks with a guard and he informs them that goblins have been attacking and using fireworks as weapons. They decide to investigate the matter further and speak with the town sheriff. They find out from the sheriff that there is a 300gold piece (gp) bounty on the goblin king’s head. Additionally, there is also a 10gp bounty given for every ear of a goblin that is returned. It’s still mid-afternoon so the three adventurers, plus an NPC named Ameiko, decide to head out towards the swamp where they were told the goblin were living.

Goblin.jpg

A goblin

As they’re about to leave the gates of the village nine goblins attack! In the end they ended up killing seven, one was captured, and one escaped. After debating about what they should do with the captured goblin, they decided to press him for information about where the king lived. After some persuasion he agreed to lead them to the king the next day. They end up sleeping for the night in preparation for the travels tomorrow.

At the break of dawn they leave and head out into the swamp with the goblin guiding the way. As they’re walking along between the forest and the swamp water, a really ugly creature attacks the goblin who was guiding the party. The creature turns out to be a sinspawn, an aberration of a human. Caelash, Zerris, Hadji, and Ameiko fight the ugly creature but, unfortunately, the goblin is killed by the sinspawn because he was not able to fight back as the adventurers had his hands bound and a rope around his neck like a leash. Caelash was also knocked unconscious but Zerris revives him with a spell.

Sinspawn mini.jpg

A sinspawn

Hadji wants to take the sinspawn head as a sort of trophy or intimidation factor when travelling to the goblin’s hideout, but Zerris tells him it’s probably useless weight to be carrying around. In a childish fit Hadji attempts to kick the sinspawn’s head into the swamp, but he barely hits the head. The adventurers continue on in the direction that the goblin was leading them, hoping that they were not being led into a trap.

Shortly after they see a a village with a spiked wall around it. Hadji and Caelash sneak ahead and scout the perimeter of the walls. They find out that there are two entrances and it appears they arrived at the back of the village. There are five goblin guards at the front, but only three at the back. Since Zerris knows goblin, he tries to send a message telepathically to the guards at the back to tell them to go to the front doors. It appears it may have worked since one of the guards leave. However, the remaining two set up in a defensive position. Unfortunately, Zerris doesn’t know much about goblins and thus he didn’t know they don’t use magic. Soon after they see us and another four goblins emerge.

The four adventurers make fairly quick work of the six goblins through the combination of long ranged attacks, magic to put them asleep, and swordplay. The adventurers storm the village quickly and run to the large centre building, assuming that is the king’s house. Upon entering they see two guards and a very fat goblin sitting in the middle of the room. The two goblins attack quickly and Caelash uses a point-blank shot form his long bow to injure one, who Ameiko quickly finishes off. Hadji rolls out of the way and critical hits the remaining guard for a single, deadly blow. Seeing that his guards were dispatched of quickly, the king yells: “Fools! I’ll have to deal with them myself!”

Rendwattled

The goblin king

The king attacks the adventurers but misses. In a very quick sequence of events, the fight went like this: Caelash uses his bow to deal damage; Ameiko misses her attack; Zerris does some damage with his ear-piercing scream; Hadji misses his attack; the king stabs Hadji and reduces his health to about half; Caelash misses his attack; Ameiko lands a blow on the king; Caelash lands another blow; then Hadji lands a critical hit on the king and kills it in one strong blow. Zerris walks up to the king and slices off it’s head.

The adventurers leave the house, raise the head in the air and yell to the village that their king has been killed. Being the disloyal and fearful creatures they are without proper leadership, the remaining goblins flee the village. Instead of chasing after them the adventurers decide to search for loot. The adventurers find a total of six fireworks and some magical components for Zerris. They then come across a large, red chest and Hadji picks the lock. Within the chest there are six shurikens, a long hair pin with a red pearl, a golden ivory fan with a gecko on one side and a hastily drawn map on the other, 329silver pieces (sp), and 112gp. They collect the ears of the goblins they have killed as they’re worth quite a bit. As the adventurers are returning to the village Zerris allows Hadji to pick up the sinspawn head to see if they can in fact get any money for a bounty on it. Hadji had agreed to give the king’s hat to Zerris in order to return for the sinspawn’s head. Upon arrival the adventurers collect their 300gp for the goblin king, 160gp for the ears, and Hadji smoothly persuades the sheriff to give them 100gp for the sinspawn head. In total the adventurers acquire 560gp, which they split evenly. After a long day, Caelash, Zerris, and Hadji decide to rest in the village.

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That was James and my first time playing a role-playing game that was not of the video game variety. We had a such a good time that we’ve decided to continue with the story and play regularly on Mondays. While there may be some sort of negative stigma that still surrounds Role-Playing Games, Greg Tito of The Escapist argues that “The Stigma of Role-Playing Must Die!” And frankly, I agree. With video-games becoming a main-stream pass-time and one of the largest entertainment industries in the world, perhaps some of the stigma around Role-Playing Games will start to disappear. If something like this interests you at all, I highly suggest you gather some friends and play some games! It’s excellent fun.

Here are a couple clips from Community where the entire episode followed the characters playing a game of Dungeons & Dragons.


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