Mar. 10th, 2010

theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
Last night's game was truly epic.  This was our long-running D&D (3.5) Forgotten Realms game I've dubbed "The Company of the Basement Dwellers."  Because, you see, way back when we started in April of '07, the basic conceit of the campaign was that we, a group of minor nobles and their hangers-on, had inherited a manor house which conveniently sat on top of a rather deep and intricate dungeon complex.  As a result, pretty much the entire campaign has revolved around exploring the basement, with occasional forays to pocket dimensions accessible only from points in said basement.  For my character, Val, that was seventeen levels, an ennoblement, a marriage, and countless smitings ago.  We're wrapping up now, and the last few encounters of the campaign are (as they should be) doozies.

Normally, we meet a little before six at an agreed-upon eatery, have dinner, then drive over to Rice for the game.  Last night, however, the DM asked if we could start an hour early and order pizza or something.  Due to having two what amounted to two large combat encounters to set up and the potential for a long rest so some of the characters could level up, he needed the extra time.  So, last night was a bit of a glorious throw-back night for us, with boxes of pizza and two-liter soda bottles taking up one end of the table, the game taking up the other, and an extra hour of laying down the Smack upon the forces of not-nice.

The first encounter was an interesting setpiece involving a lot of giants and giantish things, along with a couple of big fire-type things.  Our primary blasting things Wizard, Zook (a frighteningly smart, incredibly small gnome) very nearly dealt out 1000 HP damage over the course of the encounter, actually blowing a Limited Wish in the process of turning the tide in our favor.  When the dust cleared, we were still standing and they weren't, so that's a win by any metric.

This was, however, just the preliminary.  The big one was yet to come.  From the start, Greg (our DM) said, "The name of the game is Dungeons and Dragons."  As a result, we knew the campaign would feature both items heavily, and over the course of the past few years, we've fought well over a dozen dragons of various ages, colors, and states of life/undeath.  But we've known from an early point that somewhere down in the depths lurked the Great Red Wyrm Klauth, sometimes called "Old Snarl."   At long last, we were going to cross paths with him.

As a complicating factor, he was far from alone.  Some months ago, we bested an ancient blue named Rathguul.  Shortly thereafter, during a mishap with a Deck of Many Things, Rathguul was resurrected in Klauth's chambers, where he was immediately enslaved by the elder red.  We knew this as well.  Undaunted, we plunged forth into the lair.

And so it was, we came upon this scene:


(The mini at the base of the colossal Red is there for scale.  I'd get up there soon enough, but this was before the fight started.)

The whirlwind things were gigantic air elementals, which swept the battlefield, trying to drag us within reach of the dragons.  A somewhat meaningless gesture, as many of us were happy to get up in their scaly grills:


(That's my Paladin, Val on the right next to Gideon, a Fighter/Barbarian who got permanently embiggened right after we killed Rathguul the first time.)

Of course, Klauth wasn't going down without a fight:



(A possible total of 264 HP worth of breath weapon damage.  Thanks to a good save and some high energy resistance spells, Val got through it OK.  Gideon had to burn some magic to get a re-roll, or else he would've been a crispy critter.)

In the end, we triumphed.  And again, everyone got to do what they do best.  Our front line fighter types put the hurt on Klauth (Val got the last shot in on him before he dropped).  Our crazed dwarven cleric of Tempus occupied Rathguul and kept him largely out of the fight.  Our utility wizard stripped 20 points of AC from the big red, and our blasty wizard took away half of the blue's HP almost at the outset.  It was tense, it was dangerous, it made memories in the space of our shared imaginations.  In short, it was everything I want from a gaming session.

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theron: My Dice Are Probably Older Than You (Default)
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