Day 19 of #RPGaDay2019: Scary


19 days in and RPGaDay 2019 encourages you to keep the lights on. Why? Because the word prompt for today is SCARY.

I began my foray into Dungeons & Dragons as a DM. I ran games for a year before I played my first game as a character. I had heard through the grapevine that my small, rural high school’s D&D Club was going to be playing at Redbeard’s Books in Marion, so I talked my father into taking me so I could watch the older kids play and see if I could learn something.

Afterward they invited me to play in their next game which was to be held in my hometown at my buddy Brent Smith’s house. I showed up with pop and snacks, my Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, set of dice (from the Basic Box Set), and a pre-rolled character and was led into the dining room where everyone was already gathered around the table.

I pulled out my character sheet and the DM, Shaun Keenan, asked to see it. He proceeded to tear it in half and hand me a blank piece of paper, making me roll a new character on the spot while he watched. Three sixes. No re-rolls. I ended up with a passable fighter. First level. Limited gear. I named him Wyrmfang and sat down at the far end of the table ready and eager to play.

glacial riftThen Shaun began the game. We were playing a module that night, but not just any module. It was new. The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.

Which I guess gets to the heart of today’s word prompt.

While I was nervous about playing my first game and with mostly older kids, I began to know true fear as I traversed this epic module, designed for 9th – 10th level characters, as a 1st level fighter.

Wyrmfang was decidedly outmatched and, admittedly, spent the majority of the adventure desperately trying not to die. I vividly recall spending the majority of my rounds cowering behind rocks, only occasionally firing off an (ineffectual) arrow at boulder flinging giants.

The most memorable thing that happened was watching in horror as John Fleck’s rogue repelled down a hole in the ice and into the gaping maw of a white dragon.

I’m glad I had been DMing for a year prior to that game. Had that been my introduction to the hobby I probably wouldn’t have played again. But in retrospect, I learned a lot and became better at running my own games after.

I didn’t get many opportunities to play with that group over the next few years. They mostly played in neighboring towns and it was hard for me to get rides in to game with them. But I had my own players and lunchtime games to keep me fueled, at least until I got my driver’s license.

Then the real fun began…

— Bob Freeman

One Comment Add yours

  1. Runeslinger says:

    Great tale! Thanks for sharing~


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