Table Tales: And we broke it! [DND]

I mentioned maybe blogging about my adventures in DnD. I play Dungeons and Dragons with a group of some of my oldest friends. Many of us met about ten years ago, living in Yokosuka, Japan while we were in the US Navy. I learned to play with two people I still play with today, one being my husband.

Today, I shall give you the first blog of Table Tales, which will be long. Clearly, this is the first time I’m blogging about it, so there’s some groundwork to set up to help everyone follow along. If you’re even interested in this. We’ll see! From here, I’m going use some specific names. Let’s give you the rundown.
Disclaimer: Species, classes, god names, and more after this point belong to Wizards of the Coast. Character names belong to those players. Absolutely none of this is for my books or relevant to my books. None of it will be featured or discussed in my books.

Nimh (GM): Our Gamemaster or Dungeonmaster, depending on the vernacular you use. GM or DM is used a lot. He was the GM of my first DND game ever and yup, we’ve been playing on and off together for a really long time.
Nick (playing Claudio): Is my husband. He’s playing a male aasimar glamour bard that is not a stereotypical bard. Aasimar, a mortal being of celestial heritage. Like tieflings but angels instead of demons or devils. His dad is a Very Important Character, and actually Nick’s previous character from the last campaign they did. In a relationship with Ira (in game. We’re mature)
Ira: Our thief rogue/bard multiclass! An owl lady! Also not a stereotypical bard. In a romantic relationship with Claudio (in game).
Vel: An eldritch knight fighter. Male dhampir (a half vampire). We got to watch him kill his own dad, who betrayed their home, killed Obi’s dad, and later killed Obi in front of us. His mom is a vampire. He grew up with Obi and they are BFFs. Often romantically shipped with Roula.
Obi: Trickster cleric, earth genasi. He owns a brewery and tavern. His mom is a werewolf now, his dad was killed by Vel’s dad. He’s been killed by Vel’s dad. He and Vel grew up together and are BFFs.
Roula: Playing a female drow war paladin. Doesn’t follow a drow god. Her mom is bad news and pretty toxic. Some jokingly call her Captain Princess, because she is a Princess. Some people in the party ship her with Vel, who is also a noble. There is a romance brewing, but… well, I can’t ruin some future surprise, can I?
Me: I am a woman playing a Regular Human Man. He doesn’t even have magic naturally. He’s a battle master fighter/barbarian mutliclass. #normalhumanman He’s hot AF, because if I was going to play a human, he was going to be swoon worthy. He is part of a religious order, but they don’t ask for divine power from their god and celestial patron. He’s duty bound to protect people, certain people (normally only 1 person, but we’re the heroes so I get to defend more than one person). The Charges. These are: Obi, Nick, Vel, and Ira from the party, and 2 NPCS; Newain and Peony. You’ll hear more about them later. I’m the only party member who joined late, so I needed a solid reason for my character to follow them around.

I’m not trying to make this too detailed to protect the identities of my fellow players. We’re not an Actual Play where we record or livestream, so while I’m going to give you stories, I don’t want to give away so much that I reveal who they are if they aren’t comfortable. But there you have it! 1 GM and 6 players. We’re here to fuck shit up and make each other cry like it’s the heartbreak Olympics. And laugh. We laugh a lot too. Let’s go.

About a month ago, Vel had to go on deployment. We were in the middle of some shit. Like, deep in enemy territory gathering intel on an enemy that is the aspect of war and about to start a lot of really bad wars. We had an objective. Vel was in the mission, but when he leaves, we have someone else run his character for combat, while we semi-ignore him for RP until we can find a way to set his character in a safe place (like he goes to research something without us).
Education moment- RP is roleplaying. It’s when you see players act and speak like their characters, acting in ways that person probably never does, because in that moment, they are playing the role of their character. Roleplaying is just acting for free with friends.

We knew this was coming up but we had tried our best to get as much done as we could before he had to leave. We don’t like having players miss story moments. I had to step away from the campaign for about a month in October and November last year. There’s still moments where my character was involved, but I wasn’t there, so my friends have to remind me of what I missed.

But he had to go. The Navy called. There’s one thing everyone at our table understands and it’s that the Navy doesn’t take no for an answer.

So now we had to finish this mission and get home without being able to talk to this person. Luckily, Nimh and Obi stayed in contact with Vel and got some important answers for the group at certain points, even though Vel wasn’t able to play. We did get caught by the enemies in a sense, but we were released. That was a complicated situation, but we got through it. (There was a particularly harrowing point where I could have gotten Nick’s character dead, because he was petrified as a stone statue and I had to have my Strong Human Man lower him 100 feet from a portal without my character being able to see the drop.)

But nothing was broken that day. We even levelled up! At level 10, trying to get out of this underground mountain war camp and city that we knew was about to become as flying mountain city, Nick learned a teleportation spell (Magic Circle, for those who play), and we GTFO. We went back to the Emerald Empire, where our guild hall is and where we needed to deliver this information for the safety of our people. We reached out to a few other cities and people to let them know that the enemy was about to make their mountain city fly and they needed to be ready. We do some shopping, commission some magical items. We have a lot of money after this mission, but it was a Big Deal mission, so of course we were going to make some of that coin.

However, there’s been something else brewing for a long time in the game. A problem that we are directly involved with that we might be the few who can solve and with a war about to envelope the continent, we need to go figure it out. See, we have some friends, frenemies, and enemies. We got some allies and contacts. We are Kinda Important. (Emphasis on the kinda)

Let’s set up these NPCs up.
We’re in the Emerald Empire, which was founded by… an emerald Dragon. Her name is Vivana. Not the best person, especially not to our Good Group (we are running a good campaign). She might have killed the families of several party members and the characters themselves while they were children (she did), and then brought the kids back to life without those memories, letting them live in her Empire as orphans. She’s playing a long game of chess with people’s lives. We’re only just figuring out how deep her games go. Right now, we have some agree to disagree stuff with her. She’s good to her people, but at the cost of playing with people’s lives. It’s a messy situation. Many in the party, particularly me and Obi, don’t like her. Others are more willing to try dealing with her.
She, being so powerful, is the patron to a warlock named Newain. Newain worships her, owing everything to her. I am duty bound to protect Newain, remember?
Peony is also one of my character’s closest friends after he met the party and those around them. A deaf inventor of mysterious origins and powers, she’s about my character’s age and they are close. My guy learned sign language to communicate with her. She was raised by an adopted family, the Ship family. Her adopted mother is a friend of the party as well.
And finally, Yixz. Oh Yixz. She’s an old assassin, in her 70’s but you’d never know it. She’s got one rule: Don’t kill kids. So, you can imagine, when she heard one person in our party tells the others that Empress Vivana killed a bunch of them as children, it was taken personally by Yixz, who was helping the Empire at the time of learning.

While we were gone gathering intel on the war about to break out on the continent, we learn that Yixz did something really bad. She stole Vivana’s mind. She became the most wanted person on the continent. We’re were a little busy, so we couldn’t really do anything about it right at that moment. We knew when we got back it had to be on the list of “shit we need to fix”. So we got back to the Empire and started figuring it out. I went to see Peony and Newain, both living in the palace alongside many others, like the Empress. We learned Newain got lost for a few years in the fae wilds (it had only been 2 weeks to us), while she chased after Yixz. Roula and I helped Newain get some rest and eat, promising to get Vivana back. Now, we don’t like Vivana. My character truly hates the dragon empress, but there’s a war coming and the people of the Empire don’t need to lose their best defense because of this. We didn’t promise to capture Yixz, though, because we understood her and why she did it.

We do get ahold of Yixz and she agrees to meet us, filling in some holes of the story we were missing, like how she discovered what we knew about the empress by listening to us. Yixz is pretty fucked up by running for so long and the people chasing her weren’t going easy on her. She’s missing an arm, weak, and it’s not good. Peony joined us on this trip because she likes Yixz and Yixz likes her. Plus, it’s field time for an inventor normally in her workshop and forge. Sunlight is nice.

Yixz let’s us free Vivana’s mind, explaining the trap she had put it in. No need to explain it all here, but needless to say, Vivana was pissed. Like blind rage kind of angry. We all run for our lives after that because Vivana shows up pretty quickly to destroy the whole estate we’re in to hopefully kill Yixz. We get away and survive (she never knew we were even there, not at that moment anyway), and chase after Yixz.

Now, we went to an assassin to free as war criminal Empress. That was difficult decision #1. It’s for the good of the many, even if we don’t like what she does in secret. Most people in the Empire aren’t involved and live normal, good lives, well taken care of by their empire.

Now it’s time for difficult decision #2. We catch up to Yixz to find that the Empire has a capture team there to grab her. We’re allies with the Empire. We live there.

But damn it, if they don’t to hold Vivana accountable for her actions, they sure as fuck don’t get to throw Yixz into their “rehabilitation program”. I couldn’t talk Newain down. I couldn’t get her to step aside. Right there, my character loses his bond to her, no longer needing to protect her by celestial order. It’s the first time that’s happened.

So now we have a fight on our hands, protecting an assassin. Free a war criminal empress and protect an assassin. We’re an odd bunch.

With Newain is the arch mage of the Empire, and some guards. We fight hard, but there’s something important brewing in the background of this. Peony’s adopted father is the arch mage of the Empire and Peony isn’t a normal human girl or a normal anything for that matter. She’s getting stressed out as she watches her friends and family fight each other and she’s been in danger trying to run from Vivana’s wrath and now this.

My character died in this combat. In one of the last few attacks, he went down and did not get back up. Peony was hit by her own dad, and went nuclear. We had summoned a dragon friend to help us, and he died protecting us from the being disintegrated by Peony (on accident. If there’s one person not at fault, it’s our poor Peony). Newain, however, was left to die by her own people, and was disintegrated by Peony. Remember, I was dead, so… if no one else wanted to save her, I couldn’t say anything to make them try.

Obi brought my character back from the dead. We’re now at odds with the Empire. We need to go hide. Peony is somehow alive and she needs to heal, and none of us want to send her to the Empire for that. We’re splitting up for a year long time skip, to get stronger and let the situation cool down while Peony recovers.

My stupid character didn’t think to admit he was in love with Roula to her before they separated for a year, because he hasn’t figured it out himself. Ira and Claudio got married in a rushed ceremony in our house before our bounties were publicized.

We kind of derailed the campaign, that’s for sure.

Vel returns next week or the week after. We’re taking a short break as players to give him a chance to come back before we move forward to the time skip session.

Hopefully he read our recaps, because I don’t know what we’re going to tell him.

“Hope you had a good deployment! The campaign has been going great and we broke it!”?

Good times.

Hope you enjoyed this dive into my Sunday Dungeons and Dragons campaign with friends! Next time, we’ll be able to skip some of the explanation parts about characters and stuff.

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1 year ago

DND sounds far more complex than I expected. I’ve never played and I haven’t met other players either. It sounds like being immersed in a book, though. I would like to try it one day. Keep having adventures. I’d like to know what happens after the time skip!