Welcome Back to the Labyrinth
"We have been away far too long, my friends," Ashoka declared, his face lit by the eldritch green glow of his staff. "But we have finally returned to the labyrinth whence our adventures first began."
"Just imagine the treasures that lie within," said Yun Tai, flexing his mighty muscles. "Wealth enough to live in luxury the rest of our days."
"And arcane artifacts of great power," added Ashoka his words dripping with avarice. "All ours for the taking!"
"Umm...guys?" Nysa interrupted. "Do you hear something dripping?"
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Dramatic License in Roleplaying
When I first started playing D&D I had very little background in fantasy literature to draw upon for inspiration. Aside from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, I had only mythology to refer to, particularly Ray Harryhausen movies which I watched obsessively when I was a kid.
The famous skeleton fight scene from Jason and the Argonauts is one of my favourites, and I especially love how Jason and his lads were classy enough to let the evil wizard complete his ritual to animate the skeletons. This kind of appreciation of dramatic license is something one rarely sees in a roleplaying game. If this had been a D&D encounter I imagine it would have gone down something like this:
DM: "The wizard reaches into a clay pot that he is carrying under his arm and..."
Fighter: "I charge him!"
Dwarf: "I shoot him with my crossbow! I had it ready, remember?"
Cleric: "I cast hold person!"
Magic User: "Magic Missile....MAGIC MISSILE!!!"
DM: "sigh...Okay, roll for initiative."
Party Leader: "Oh, sweet...natural 20!"
DM: "Okay, the wizard has been held, blasted with arcane bolts, shot through the heart with a crossbow bolt, and cloven in twain by the fighter's greatsword. He slumps to the ground, dead."
I'm tempted, one of these days, to pull a Gran Torino ending and have the old man's clay pot full of alms he was distributing to the poor, or something. The angry mob of peasants hungry for PC blood might teach 'em a thing or two about dramatic license, damn their twitchy trigger fingers.