Schroedinger’s Warlord

So, there’s no journal entry from Gwenn this week because her life is hanging on one single d20 roll.

See, on Tuesday, we got in over our heads. Gwenn and Ordune are still fighting. Gwenn gave Firiel command of the operation, and we ended up going into a fight, just Gwenn and Firi, when they were quite outmatched. Gwenn pulled her punches at first, then got stunned, dazed, and quickly dropped. 2 failed death saves later, and Firi finally surrendered.

We stopped, with Gwenn’s last death save waiting to be rolled. Cut back to the camp and the rest of the PCs. Eventually, Ordune was convinced to go into town to find the ladies, and they fought their way into the same fight, but with more participants, we won. Hooray! Gwenn and Firi haven’t been found yet, though, and we are waiting for them to be found before we roll the d20 and find out… did Gwenn survive the fight, or not?

So, with that in mind, I’m going to post a little brag on the Tuesday night GM (soon to be Wednesday nights!) I wrote this in November, pretty much in between the meeting with Vecna and the operation at Fels.

I gotta brag about my Tuesday night DM, here, a moment.

We’ve been playing a campaign since April, in which we are the survivors of a rebellion who, frankly, lost, but aren’t quite willing to let go yet. We’ve gone 6 months without hitting the main part of the continent yet, and our GM alternates between frustration and pride at our antics.

On Monday, he floated a question on the skype call: “The plan is to go here, by way of here, right?” Oh, yes, I assured him. Unless Tristram wants to avoid his family’s stronghold, in which case we’ll go around.

Naturally, we get onto our call last night and decide quickly to go around.

“We’ll go around” meant side trekking into the mountains, through a swamp, and onto a boat to cross an inland sea. Which he had not prepared for. At all. He had two contingency plans, but they all focused on us being on land and able to be approached/ambushed.

Cue several hard-headed negotiations for both passage and, as a side-deal, a few crates of local whiskey for the bar we’ve opened about 130 miles away. Cue some discussion about whether we can corner the market on some iridescent lizard skins that are all the rage right now (“We’re not playing Monopoly: the RPG here, guys… guys?”) Cue some more negotiation once we get on board, an attempt to extort additional funds from us (“It’s not the money I’m worried about… it’s my pride.” “No shit, Gwenn.”)

By the end of the night, the ship’s crew had committed mutiny and attacked us, thinking we had a lot of wealth and would spit out gold coins like pinatas (this is D&D; it’s a fair assumption).

We killed 6 of them (I tried to keep more alive, but when the navigator’s death nova dropped me to 0 hp…. well, my friends raced each other to see who could slit his throat fastest). We have no experience with sailing– our best sailor is the druid who likes to fish… from a dinghy. We released the captain, who refunded the cost of our travel, and will hopefully be able to give us a don’t-crash course in sailing.

We were BSing after the game ended, and I mentioned that, in my campaign writeup, I’d included a coded note in a letter, because “Well, as the DM, you don’t get many surprises.”

I think he and Firiel’s player (who DMed our last campaign) may have actually peed themselves from laughing so hard.

tl;dr My DM is awesome and makes improvising look seamless.

What are your stories of your DM or players doing something awesome and unexpected in your games?