Of Dungeons and Dragons
The Halfling crept quietly along the hallway, practiced senses searching for traps. His soft footfalls could not be picked up by even the most sensitive of ears. That was not to say, however, that he went undetected. The moment his foot put the smallest amount of pressure on the next stone block, a loud creak reverberated along the passageway-
* * *
‘Damnit, Kevin,’ muttered Emily. ‘What the hell kind of rogue are you? You’re supposed to disarm the traps, not set them off.’
‘Time to roll a saving throw, sweet cheeks,’ said Garcia, beaming at her boyfriend. He gave a sheepish smile in return.
‘Wait,’ Morgan interrupted, causing several internal sighs. ‘What just happened?’ While it had been an amusing thought to include Morgan on their role-playing session, they had not counted on the endless queries as to the nature of the game.
‘Kevin set off a trap in the hallway,’ supplied Reid. ‘He needs to roll a reflex saving throw to determine whether or not he takes full damage. Of course, as a rogue, his base save is fairly high, so his chances of evading the trap are good.’
‘I thought we were supposed to be fighting dragons or something, man. In dungeons.’
‘Twenty-six,’ Kevin announced, much to Morgan’s eternal confusion.
Garcia pouted. ‘Gryorden the Halfling successfully evades the large boulder than spontaneously falls from the ceiling.’
‘It’s not spontaneous if the trap set it off,’ commented Reid.
‘Silence! I’m the DM; it can be spontaneous if I want it to be.’
‘Okay, can we keep moving now?’ said Emily, frowning slightly. ‘I want to get to level eight before I turn forty.’
‘Alright, fine.’ Garcia waved her hands about. ‘Let’s keep moving.’
* * *
Gryorden the Halfling rogue, having successfully cleared the hallway of traps, gestured for the rest of his party to follow. In quick succession came Siegfried the wizard, Amari the Elvin Paladin, and Roger the gnome fighter-
(‘Wait, I’m a gnome?’
‘That’s what you get for letting Emily help you do your character sheet.’)
Once they reached the end of the hallway, Gryorden let out a breath. The Hall of Death had been the most feared part of their journey; with that completed, they could focus on their quest:
Fetching the Golden Mop.
* * *
‘I still don’t think fetching a Golden Mop is the best quest you could think of,’ argued Morgan. ‘I thought this was supposed to be serious.’
‘It’s deadly serious,’ Garcia told him with a straight face. ‘The Golden Mop is protected by the Vacuum Cleaner of Justice.’
Kevin fiddled with his dice. ‘When you deal with serial killers every day, do you really want to take something like this seriously? It’s about letting it out, you know – having an outlet for all those ridiculous things that you can’t do on the job.’
‘Just don’t tell him about the time we got wasted on ale, and then spent the night at the brothel.’
Morgan raised an eyebrow. ‘The brothel? Isn’t that pushing the boundaries of “lawful good?” ?’ He understood alignment. That was something.
Emily grinned. ‘Yeah. Reid – sorry, Siegfried got strung up by his ankles for insulting one of the uh…ladies of the night. He didn’t even realize it was a brothel until Garcia pointed it out to him. Anyway, back to fetching the Golden Mop.’
* * *
Roger and Amari went first, swords drawn in case any danger was lurking about the corner. Due to the size discrepancy between gnome and sword, Roger was finding it difficult to walk.
There was movement up ahead. Amari put a finger to her lips, gesturing that they should move forward quietly.
It was a guard. Sword drawn, eyes wary.
‘You’re about to go into battle, you need to roll an initiative check. It’s to determine who gets to make the first move.’)
Roger struck first, his sword held high. The sounds of metal clanking against metal reverberated throughout the chamber. The guard then fought back, his powerful blows almost knocking Roger to the ground.
(‘Look, I’m sorry if you have a low A.C, that’s just how it works, Morgan.’)
Roger was not alone for long, however. Soon, Amari was at his side, engaged in heated combat with the guard. Siegfried stood back, Magic Missiles shooting from his fingertips. Gryorden kept to the shadows, his dagger aiding their efforts.
Before long, the guard was dead.
* * *
‘Do you need healing?’ Emily asked Morgan. ‘Tell me now, because I only have a couple more Lay on Hands left.’
‘I think I’m fine,’ Morgan replied mirthfully. Truth told, he wasn’t quite sure what the baseline for “fine” was.
‘It’s almost ten,’ announced Garcia, staring at the clock. ‘We should start packing up soon.’
Morgan frowned. ‘But we haven’t found the Golden Mop yet.’
‘You sound as though you actually care,’ laughed Kevin.
‘Wait, wait. Let me get this straight. This game just keeps going and going? How do you know when it’s over?’
Emily shrugged. ‘When we all die? When we’re sick of playing? That’s the beauty of it, Morgan. We can play for as long as we want. If someone wants to leave, they can just leave. The game goes on.’
Morgan shook his head. ‘I’ve been a profiler for seven years, and I will never – ever – understand the way a nerd’s mind works.’
‘Oh,’ Garcia pouted. ‘So you’re not coming back next week?’
Morgan thought about it for a moment. ‘I’ll come back,’ he said eventually. ‘But there’s no way I’m going to be a gnome.’