07 April 2015 @ 03:14 pm

Cursing their missing player, the group starts up a – dramatic pause – 5th edition game! Refusing to put up with the group mocking him for stealing NPC names and locations from other sources, the DM enthusiastically steals them whole-cloth from a different setting…

DM: Adventurers such as yourself come near and far as the calls come out. A new continent has appeared out of nowhere. Ansalon, they’re calling it. Colonized pretty recently, this small little haven… they went ahead and just called it Haven. But it’s been clear to the kingdom that’s funding this that the people there aren’t enough to clear the way for civilization. So they sent out a call to adventurers and heroes alike to head out to this new land and settle it down. Clear it out. Take out the monster’s den. Talk to the local wildlife. Explore. Something the colony hasn’t had the chance to do yet because they haven’t had the people to do it. You’re on one of the first boats out. There’s a lot of adventurers on this boat. Explorers… clerics…
Elkus: Why the HELL am I here?
Balisar: Why ARE you here?
Elkus: I don’t know!
Valan: You’re in chains.
Elkus: Oh okay. That makes more sense.
DM: I’m not a Bethesda game!
Elkus: I guess I’m here to try to entertain more people, and… I don’t know.
DM: You actually didn’t mean to be on this boat, but there was a pretty face you followed onto it.
Elkus: My flaw gets me away from the main city…
DM: It was a particularly beautiful girl you followed, you didn’t quite realize you were getting on a boat until it set sail. The captain gave you the fair warning that you have to be on the new continent for at least a month before you come back.

Their boat ride is uneventful, but the DM calls for them to talk to others – i.e. each other, damn it.

Elkus: How long is this boat ride, and has there been a murder yet?
DM: No, and about two weeks.

Elkus plays for the ship, in the hope of earning the moneys! Another bard rolls just a bit higher (or possibly the same), but his higher Charisma and his multiple instrument proficiencies carry the day.

DM: I imagine he’s playing them all at once. He’s got the lute attached to his legs… six instruments at once.
Balisar: You have a frequent audience of an incredibly large dragonborn. I’m 6’9” and weigh 335, I’m fucking huge.
Elkus: (whimpering)
DM: The other attempts to match your musical wit…
Balisar: Natural 1, hes off the edge.
DM: He does not match your ferocity. He attempts to join in and fluster your music with his guitar.
Elkus: I should’ve gotten the sousaphone.
DM: The crowds are enjoying it. Anyone else wish to do anything while they’re here? Perhaps TALK TO THE OTHER PLAYERS? Cough cough!

An extremely long silence.

Balisar: I made an appearance, how about you guys?!
DM: The DM is secretly telling the playerbase, but apparently they don’t get the hint that they should INTRODUCE THEMSELVES!
Tyr: So this is a tavern he’s trying to play at, or what?
DM: No, no, right now you’re on a boat heading to a new continent! An unexplored land! And you are part of the first group of adventurers.
Balisar: You’re stuck listening to it whether you like it or not, there’s nowhere else to go.
Elkus: And late night I do my dirty limericks. “There once was a fellow McSweeney…”
DM: Is ‘comedian’ a performance instrument for bard?

The rest of the adventurers group up, leaving the five of them explicitly out of the reindeer games. Seeing the inevitable, Balisar approaches Elkus to inquire about his prospects. Aurianna pops up out of nowhere to join the conversation.

Tyr: “Hey healer girl!”
Aurianna: Did your character just yell, ‘hey healer girl’?
Tyr: Yes I did.
Valan: He doesn’t speak much, but when he does he offends everybody.
Tyr: “It sounds like you guys could use more muscle in the group.”
Balisar: “Perhaps if it was less offensive to the healer.”
Aurianna: “I’ve been called worse.”
Balisar: “Well, mind your tongue and you’ll be welcome among us.”
Tyr: “I speak plain, thank you very much.”
Balisar: “There’s a difference between speaking plain and speaking rude.”
Valan: (cracking his knuckles)
Balisar: Does everyone have to roll Perception to hear that knuckle-cracking?
Valan: That was not in-game! I’m getting ready to introduce myself by punching the healer girl.
Balisar: You could punch the barbarian, I think we’re all on board with that.

The characters banter a bit, while the ship’s cook appears and offers them ‘last-day pie’.

Balisar: An 18 to investigate the pie.
DM: After talking with some people who aren’t rushing to get the pie, you find out that ‘last-day pie’ is a fancy name for… leftovers. Wrapped up in a pie crust.
Balisar: I AM hungry though…

Valan discovers his character voice, which consists entirely of talking through his teeth as if barely restraining a killing rage. The last-day pie turns out to be delicious.

Valan: His teeth are oversized. Unfortunate half-orc.
Balisar: You don’t have proficiency in Deception.
Valan: Nnnnnnnope.
Balisar: That’s what I thought, you can only tell the tooth.

Thundering silence.

Elkus: I just got that.
Balisar: (collapsing into laughter)
Elkus: It was so bad. And it took a look from Valan for it to register in my head. I was almost blissfully ignorant.
Balisar: (feebly) I almost spewed pie everywhere…

The group toasts their new arrangement. This takes some time and effort, mostly because Tyr takes some convincing.

DM: You spend your next few days—
Elkus: In a drunken stupor.

The ship pulls up, and the adventuring groups are called out to send a representative to the Town Square to get their tasks. No relaxation for our heroes! Balisar and Elkus try to pass the duty of getting the task on each other, even though other groups are fighting for first shot at the missions.

Valan: It’ll be the shittiest mission first. Skin five boars.
Aurianna: Collect five bear asses.
Valan: Mine five silver pieces.
Balisar: If I wasn’t Good, I’d sabotage them.
Elkus: “What could we do to sabotage them?”
Balisar: “There’s no harm in their enthusiasm.”
Elkus: I didn’t say that aloud!
DM: He can sense it.
Valan: Use your breath weapon to clear the way!

Elkus subtly ties a rope across the railing at ankle-height, distracting the other adventurers with chatter and verbal misdirection.

DM: The others rush forward, not seeing the tripline, tripping, falling. “Who put that rope there?!” The others quickly scramble up and give chase. You are well ahead of them.

Acrobatically dodging through the town, Elkus reaches the mission board ahead of them all! Behind, they crash into innocent children and wreak havoc with their clumsiness.

DM: The lady is not pleased with the dashing towards the counter. She has to put up her book..
Valan: She can’t be used to this.
Balisar: Slam into her, impregnating her somehow! …what?
Valan: This is the first boatload of adventurers, they had to be expecting an opening day rush.
DM: You slam ahead!
Balisar: “One best job, please.”
Elkus: “Give me your best job. Not too dangerous, but good coin.”

The girl takes down some information on the group, also using this as a chance to spring a quiz on Elkus about the names of the other PCs. He passes, with flying colors!

Elkus: “And I am Elkus, the peckish bard.” Peckish? Puckish, is what I meant to say.
Valan: Spends all his money on hookers and blow, doesn’t eat!
Balisar: Well, you know, Rich accommodations and Rich food are two separate entries on the table!
Valan: That’s where Wretched comes in.
Elkus: “The peckish bard! God, I’m so fucking hungry…”

The transcriber notes that Word keeps correcting ‘peckish’ to ‘puckish’, vindicating poor Elkus in hindsight. The task board girl offers them three missions, two investigating ruins and one surveying a desert for a town site.

Elkus: The desert one… (miming ripping it up and throwing it away)
DM: “Sir, someone else could have taken it…”
Balisar: It lands in the hand of some poor innocent kid, now he’s committed to doing it…
Elkus: “Let’s see, mountain or jungle. Is there not one where I could survey the basement of the inn?
Balisar: Social skills! USE YOUR SOCIAL SKILLS! Why’d we send you!?
Elkus: “Surely there must be something better than these two. Something of a little higher rank. A little more cushier, a little nicer, pays a little more…”
Balisar: Five days later, we’re all going down the gullet of a dragon. “Damn it, Elkus!”

The task board girls promises that the ruins adventures offer the best shot at treasure, which the party could keep. They end up with the mountains ruins adventure – their challenge is to investigate ruins that seemed to have just appeared, but flying creatures and mechanical men will oppose them! Elkus at last gets elbowed aside by the rest of the charging adventurers as they appear on the scene. Satisfied, they head off to the Inn of the Last Home (so named to copy a famous inn on the mainland). Balisar insists they set off immediately.

DM: As you leave the town, one of the guards—
Elkus: Oh.
DM: I thought you guys were leaving… if you wanted to do more, go ahead.
Balisar: Wow, it’s as if my word come true when I speak them. “And then we got to the dungeon!”
DM: As the guard stops you, he asks you for the dossier you were given on the mission.

The guard reports an ominous haze that blocks the line of sight to the ruins, prompting Balisar to keep trying to provoke the appearance of the Sha. Tyr complains that the RAM of the system is too low and messing up the draw distance. On they head! Aurianna spots large birdlike creatures out of the corner of her eye, too far away to deal with, so they stop and watch them. Three head east, but two land further up the road.

Balisar: “Can any of us sneak upop… upupupupupup. Sneak up on them.”
Elkus: “I can give it a try, I might be a bit stealthy…”
Tyr: “I don’t believe in stealth.”
Balisar: “Then we are not sending you to be stealthy.”
Tyr: “I believe in putting an axe into the opponent in the loudest possible way.”

These are tall, humanoid birdlike creatures (everyone shouts out the name of fictional birdlike people at this point) wielding long spears and chattering in their birdlike tongue. Elkus guesses, from reading their body language, that they are arguing over whether one or the other saw something. The group sneaks forward as a whole, making their best Stealth roles.

Valan: I blew it.
Elkus: Is that a 1…?

Initiative erupts as the bird-people spot them! Aurianna rolls the lowest she has ever rolled in the history of the gaming table.

Aurianna: I think Tyr and my dice got confused. I got a 5.
Tyr: What the hell did you do with my dice? Can I have them back?
Aurianna: I’d like to know what the hell you’re doing with my dice, and could I have them back…

Tyr, acting first, zips forward to deliver an axeing. 10 damage wounds the bird severely.

Elkus: “You got feathers in my tar!” “You got tar in my feathers!” “Saaaaaay…”

The second bird attacks Tyr and completely misses. Balisar throws a Sleep spell out, then rolls to see how many HP of creatures he affects.

Balisar: Ooh, that’s a good roll. Sorry, this might hit Tyr. A really alarmingly good roll…
Tyr: Sleep the barbarian!
Valan: Tyr tired…
Elkus: Me sleep for justice now…
Balisar: I affect 37 hit points.

The spell does indeed take out both birdmen and Tyr – exactly, which makes it his own fault for not doing one hit point less damage. Valan spots the remaining birdmen flying back their way in response to their comrades’ calls. Wisely, he wakes up Tyr.

DM: Unless you had some sort of feat that would allow you to sleep standing, you’re on the ground.
Elkus: Should I stab the weaker one… do I sing badly in one’s ear and give it massive damage?
Balisar: If we capture them I can interrogate them.
Elkus: We have one sleeping, I guess I’ll stab the one that’s been damage already.
Balisar: Tried to resolve this without unnecessary death…
Elkus: Oh my God.
Balisar: I can’t control you!
Valan: There’s three more coming, we’re not going to be able to just hold on to one.

Elkus and Aurianna hold their actions to lob spells at the oncoming birds. Tyr lobs a javelin, while Balisar lobs an acid splash (blowing the rules in the process) and Valan lobs shuriken. Aurianna casts Sacred Flame on one. The birdmen get in close and immediately become subject to all the unimpressive readied action. One crits Balisar for 9, taking him right out. Tyr wades into the fray, dealing 8.

DM: It’s a pity that the one who wanted to let them live is down on the ground. Valan clocks one with his staff for 6, then seals the deal with a snap kick for another 6.

DM: And down it goes. The snap kick breaks his sternum in half. Or something, I’m not good at that Balisar stuff.
Valan: Balisar doesn’t do it any more. It makes the fights go longer.
Balisar: If you guys would focus you wouldn’t have that problem.

Everyone gets a cheap laugh at how the rules explicitly spell out that death breaks concentration, as Elkus ends the threat of another one. Aurianna heals Balisar back to full with a spell, while the DM bemoans his successful attack.

Tyr: The one not sleeping will be sleeping soon!
DM: Sleeping the dirt nap…

Tyr misses, and an angry Balisar rises, looking for some cheap vengeance.

Valan: So much for sparing and interrogating them.
Balisar: There’s still one on the ground that we can take.
DM: There’s two, two are still asleep.
Valan: He’s going to turn his attention to one of the sleeping ones.
Elkus: Stomp one to death.
Valan: Just put a pillow over his head.
Elkus: What are the suffocation rules…?
Balisar: I surge to my feet, reach out, grab the birdman, pull him in close, and blast acid straight into his face! …and a line 30 feet past him…
DM: I’m assuming the grab is mostly for finesse.

The attack only does 3, thanks to bad rolling and good saving, Valan punches the birdman out! They swiftly bind the sleeping birdmen, and then – since the majority of this session was taken up by character creation, this is the end!