Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Teenagers & Dragons

I recently returned from spending a little while with my object of unholy intent super-bestie, Lady Murderbeam.  Her home is a busy place, full of comings and goings.  There's always stuff happening.

In her house, one particularly fun source of entropy is The Child(TM), who is working her way through her senior year in high school.  In addition to the demanding schoolwork, she is navigating the web of high school social drama.  A thousand young people, all trying to figure out who they are, and who their friends are becoming, and with whom, and what to do about it.  I'd forgotten just how terrifyingly complicated it could be.

While I was there, I was given the opportunity to join The Child(TM) and some of her co-conspirators for a quick game of Dungeons & Dragons.  I started playing when I was their age, and I haven't played in a while, and I sometimes make poor choices, so of course I agreed.

Holy crap.

It's like raw unfiltered id, communicated entirely in memes.  A constant barrage of references, of pop culture and movies and anime and music and their own shared repository of in-jokes and anecdotes.  There's no way I was that smart when I was 17.  Sure, I was driving a car at that age, but I'm pretty sure I was still an idiot.

As for the amount of D&D adventuring that was actually accomplished, it wasn't a lot.  But because it's funny to me, and for no other reason, here's a summary:

The characters met in a small town.  After some discussion about whether the characters would be allowed to have pets, we proceeded to the militia barracks to learn about the quest.

When the militia captain's office was described, the enthusiastic storyteller mentioned a computer monitor on the desk, before realising it was a bit anachronistic for a medieval-themed adventure.
This led to discussion about the nature of the computer, and the revelation that the 'mouse' on the desk was, in fact, a real mouse.  The mouse was immediately stolen by The Child(TM)'s character who, for some reason, put it in their mouth and started to gnaw on it.  This led to the party being kicked out of the barracks.

Fortunately, we'd managed to find out about the quest, which was to investigate a troublesome griffon in a nearby field.  Spirited debate ensued about whether or not the griffon might be tamed and kept as a pet. 

On the way to the griffon, we were ambushed by a group of wolves.  Immediate attempts were made to tame the wolves as pets.  These efforts continued as the wolves started to eat the characters.

For my part, my character hid behind a rock to observe the outcome of the taming/eating.  Rolling a 'stealth' check produced a critical success.  Delighted by this, the still-enthusiastic storyteller declared that my character had willed himself out of existence entirely, shifting to another dimension where time and space had no meaning.  This was my main contribution to the adventure.

There was then additional discussion about pets, following which the game broke up, as the teenagers had school the next day.

You know what?  The whole thing was a huge success.  I should play more often.