This week, I wanted to bring you guys an update on the fun shenanigans that my group has been up to in D&D. But the longer I sat and stared at the several things I wanted to talk about, the more I realized that they all kind of belonged in the same story.
And in light of the fact that all our games lately have been one-shot campaigns, one of which did in fact start with the group of us walking into a bar, I figured I’d write the stories in the same style. So bear with me, here we go!
Tales from the borderlands
As you may or may not know, Shane took up DMing about a year ago. Too many table-runners in our last group led to quieter players not actually getting a chance to play, and that’s no fun to sit through for several hours a week.
Instead, we started playing with a few regular players, and started Kingmaker about six months ago. We were eking our way through the campaign, exploring the wild marches and claiming them for ourselves.
It was slow going—we had exactly the number of players needed, so if one person couldn’t make it, we couldn’t play. And throughout that time, we were too dependent on Shane’s NPC cleric, whom we nicknamed Jhod the Toad because he would flee and/or panic at the first sign of conflict.
But then, one of our players got a new job, and couldn’t make it to regular games anymore. We were one player short of a campaign.
Enter the new players
A few months ago, one of Shane’s friends had expressed an interest in joining our game and bringing his wife along to try it out. So when our player got his new job, Shane put Kingmaker on hold, and invited them to do a one-shot campaign with us.
That way, they could get a feel for the game, and see if they liked it before we threw them in the metaphorical deep end with Kingmaker.
They were extremely excited, and within days, came over for help building their characters.
After six hours of research, rolling stat grids and planning, we had a brand-new minotaur fighter and half-elf druid.
Not a game of “healers adjust”
Typically, when I create a character for a D&D campaign, my primary goal is to find a way either to do as much damage as possible, or manipulate other characters as much as possible. May or may not be a learned trait from a previous DM letting me build a witch with a 51 INT.
As I looked at our new druid and fighter, and knowing full well our other still-quite-new player would want to build a rogue, I couldn’t help but think back to Jhod the Toad.
I knew in that moment that if we were going to have the slightest hope of surviving Kingmaker, we were going to need a regularly scheduled healer—and it was going to have to be me.
Now, I’ve never been much of a healer type, and I’ve had more than my fair share of squishy casters who can only take one hit before they’re demolished. So playing a straight cleric was off the table.
Instead, I decided to build the best of both worlds: A warpriest, a magical being with all the healy magic of a cleric and all the tanky smash-ness of a fighter. And as one experience with someone who assumed I’d heal non-lethal acquired from anti-party shenanigans proved, that tanky healer was not going to adjust.
Just wanna roll D20s all niiight
The first few games with our new players went amazingly well. The one-shot Shane chose gave us plenty of opportunities for all the magic D&D has to offer—roleplaying, brawling, solving puzzles, you name it.
In fact, they loved it so much that they kept wanting the sessions to be longer and longer—and eventually, the idea of a 24-hour game came up.
It took some coordinating and a long weekend, but we did manage to make it happen. I loaded up on groceries, found a fold-up table we could use in the living room where we’d be more comfy, and set up with a full dossier of my character. Only three of us players could make it, so Shane had to bring in an NPC for us, but it was a very successful night!
We only lasted about 19 hours (only), but in that time, finished two one-shots and got ready to start our own foray back into Kingmaker.
So that’s what we’ve been up to! Now it’s your turn. What fun adventures have you been up to in your games?