First Game, First Death

It seems that I have always wanted to try Dungeons & Dragons (DnD), but never really had the chance to.  It was never an all consuming passion or anything, but when I would hear about the game I would say to myself “I’d like to play that sometime.”

The release of Dungeon & Dragon’s Forth Edition finally spurred me to actually seek out a game.  I ordered the Player’s Handbook (PHB) from Amazon, started reading a few blogs and started looking for a game that I could play in.

I did have some difficulty in finding a game.  I asked my friends if they would be interested in playing, but met with very limited success.  James wanted to play, as did Chris said but he probably wouldn’t be able to.  No one else that I knew wanted to play.  Having met with my first failure I moved on.

Next, I looked for a game online.  I tried several websites, but most of them were unhelpful.  Wizard of the Coast’s (WoTC) own website, which seemed to be a logical place for people to post games that were looking for players, didn’t seem to have a forum dedicated for such.

Finally, I found Meetup.com and saw that there was a DnD group that meet in Kalamazoo once a month.  So I registered to the site, joined the group and signed up to next meeting (called a meetup).  In the groups forum there was a sign up to play a Pathfinder game at the next meetup with pre-generated characters.

The Friday of the meetup rolls around and I head over to the coffee shop where the meeting is to occur, which incidently is on the second floor of a video rental store.  I met the people there, they are all nice and welcoming to the newbie.

About half an hour later, those that had signed up to play in the game push some tables together and we get down to business.  Kevin, the organizer for the Meetup group and the DM for our adventure, had created 4 characters ahead of time: a human fighter, an elf rogue, a human cleric and a human sorcerer.

Kevin had the four players roll a twenty-sided die (d20), with the highest getting to chose thier character first, then down the list.  I rolled the third highest.  The first person chose the fighter, the second took the elf, leaving me a choice of the cleric or the sorcerer.  Now, while I have not played DnD on a tabletop before I used to play Neverwinter Nights for years, which are based off of the DnD 3.0 ruleset (maybe the 3.5), so I was familar with the classes.  I have never been all that fond of sorcerers for some reason, so I decided to go with the cleric.

With character selection done, we begin playing the adventure.  The adventure that we were playing is an introduction to Pathfinder, both its rules and its setting.  I won’t go into the full details of the adventure here, but the general story is that we were looking to retrieve a stolen book and return it to this little old lady who cooks a lot of muffins.  The fighter and I learning this information, proceed in making jokes about muffins all night.

After much hunting around town, we finally find the book at the town dump.  Just as we are retrieving the book from the top of a pile of trash, a group of goblin’s appear and attack us.  Did I mention that the major industry in this town is glass making?  Which makes the town dump a big pile of glass shards?  No, I guess I forgot to mention that.

I really do not recommend fighting on top of a pile of glass shards, just FYI.  Every turn we would slide one square down the pile (away from its center), unless we spent our movement on staying in place.  Sliding down the pile would also cause a point of damage, and first level characters in Pathfinder don’t have many hit points.

Now may be a good time to talk about the interesting initiative system that Kevin, our DM, had us running for this adventure.  During our first turn of combat, we all rolled initiative.  The person who rolled the highest determined the parties initiative for that turn.  That number was compared to the NPCes initiative and whichever side that won went first for that round.  The rogue won for us, beating the DMs roll, so he went first.  After he finished we went around the table, the sorcerer then me and finally the fighter.  After we had all gone, the DM played all of the NPCes.  In the second round, the next person around the table rolled initiative for our side.  So the sorcerer rolled, beat the NPCes and played his turn.  I made my turn, then the fighter, then the rogue and then all the NPCes.  Initiative continues like this, with one player rolling initiative for the whole party, then each side using all of its turn in one block.

Back to the battle itself.  When my turn came up, I look down at my spell list and saw Command.  Then I looked at the map and saw what looked to be the leader of the goblins charging at us, and I had this crazy thought.  Following my brilliant plan through, I ran out in front of the rest of my party and cast Command at the goblin… who proceeded to make his save, meaning I not only just wasted a spell but also put myself out away from my party to do so.

The battle continues, I get hit a few times but am able to back up to where my fighter is.  He gets hurt and I use my other spell on healing him.  It only helps for a few rounds and soon the fighter is down on the ground.  But he was able to take out a few goblins with him, leaving me facing off alone against an archer while the sorcerer and rogue and working on their own goblins.

The exact details are hazy here, but I recall charging up to the archer and hitting him with my mace a few times.  The archer shifts away from me and starts shooting arrows at me again.  By this time, I’m so injured that if I even attempt to walk over the glass I’ll be dead, so I switch over to my crossbow to shoot back at the goblin.  I’m able to hit him once before he nails me with an arrow, dropping me onto the pile of glass shards.

During this time the rogue had run over to help the sorcerer and had gotten himself stabbed, but the sorcerer was able to finish off the goblin.  Apparently I had hurt the goblin enough that he decides to flee after taking me down.  So as I lay there bleeding out onto the glass, the sorcerer sits down and begins to read the book that we have been hunting down.

The rogue and fighter are able to stabilize before help arrives, but sadly my cleric takes his last breath cursing that sorcerer, who it turns out had been down to 1 hp himself so if he had tried to move he would have died to the glass also.  So at the end of the fight, the sorcerer has 1 hp, the fighter and rogue are unconscious and the cleric has died.

In the end I had a great time playing despite, perhaps because, my character dieing.  I will be playing much more in the future and will be reporting back often.

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