Friday, April 3, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons: How Not to Play

I play Dungeons and Dragons. I generally like the group I play with, which sucks since I will be moving away soon. My group does not do stupid illogical things, like use magic to look up dresses or burn the houses of people who snub them. We try very hard not to metagame, that is to make use of outside knowledge in the game (I know the weakness of certain monsters or how some traps work, but my character might not. The best example was in a Call of Chuthlu game where my friend was offered a glass of sherry from the guy he suspected was the villain. He knew outside of the game that the sherry was poisoned, but he had no reason to know in game, therefore his character and the police inspector both died of poisoned sherry). Old style gaming actually encouraged metagaming to a degree, mostly because the players did so often it didn't matter anymore. Our Dungeon Master was using a older adventure book for our game a couple weeks ago and it had a puzzle involving a chess board, which wouldn't have been a problem except it's a Dragonlance game and Krynn chess boards are either hexagonal or octagonal, I don't remember, but my point is that our characters couldn't have solved the puzzle and since we don't metagame, we were struck by a lot of lighting (except for my character because I was very lucky).

We do do one thing wrong. We cannot plan. We hear about a dragon ravaging a city and poof - we are there in six seconds (the fastest you can do anything in D&D). We used to have a player who would insist that we wait outside and stake out the place for three weeks and know the name of the dragon, the dragons parents, and everyone the dragon has eaten in the last decade. Since he graduated we have done some foolish things. 

  • We when after the most powerful of the dragon demigods first. Since we were so low level we actually helped him. He is currently ravaging the countryside.
  • Yes, we did poof in. Then we smashed his birthday cake and poofed out. Technically, we should have died in that, uh, "battle".
  • One of our allies hid the artifacts for two other dragon demigods in the sewers of a major city. We expect someone more devoted than us will eventually dig them up.
  • And finally, we scryed on an enemy wizard, beat up his guards, scryed on him some more since he had escaped and then followed him into the enemy base because they said they were going to "muster the troops". They had a lot of troops. As well as five dragons and a wyvern.
The last one was the worst. We really had no reason to go there. We accomplished nothing other than killing a couple dozen men and two dragons. We have this inability to just stop and plan out an attack or even realize that while the one battle we were in was small, this one will be much bigger and more dangerous and they are already prepared for our attack because they are a military base.

Just had to get that out.


P.S. Saw some tactical team guys while we playing. They were locking down the building. Really causes you to do a double take.

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