The WA state portion of our gaming group rallied for a lively session on Saturday. In February, Ned flew south to visit Dino and Craig and run those two through a bit of fun. They managed to avoid death, although Craig's ranger (my wizard's adopted brother) is now Craig's FEMALE ranger. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy ;)
So the three of us (paladin, cleric, wizard) took off in the same direction as the ranger and rogue, hoping to follow in their footsteps and catch up with them at the town they were heading to.
We took out a bugbear warband, and then entered a smallish temple/dungeon that our pals had previously passed through. They didn't leave much for us to do except kill the mummy and scoop up his treasure - sorry you missed it! I suggest scorching ray against mummies - makes 'em burn REAL good.
Towards the end of our journey, we came across a one-sided battle around an active portal. A dozen ogres and a pair of ogre-magi were thrashing three local elves. The paladin charged into the fray, followed by his grumbling dwarf medic. My elf hung back at the treeline, waiting for the right time to strike. When my companions became predictably swarmed, I unleashed an ice storm on everyone, friends included. It was a calculated risk, as was the fireball I tossed in there next round. Those two spells (coupled with the cleric's holy smite) spelled the end of all the ogres, leaving the magi to deal with.
That proved much harder, of course. The paladin and cleric were reduced to 1HP each at least once, possibly twice, and my wizard was toppled by a cone of cold. Steve's dwarf healed me, and I was back in the fight. A do-or-die attack by Matt's paladin produced a much-needed crit, and that took out one of the magi. The other one fled, as I was flinging fireballs all over the clearing, hoping for a lucky shot. And then a fire giant came through the portal...
The paladin and cleric did their best to soak up the giant's attacks while hammering away at it. I rattled off four straight shocking grasp attacks (delivered via spectral hand) and landed my first-ever spell crit on my fourth attack! Good times. We beat feet for town and joined up with the dynamic duo. Next time we play, it will be all six of us around the table in California. Can't wait for May!
At one point, we started talking about our favorite and/or most memorable adventures or gaming sessions over the past three decades. In no particular order, here are some notables: The Halls of Beol-Dur (Dragon #41), Tegel Manor, White Plume Mountain, The Village of Hommlet, Dark Tower, Ravenloft, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, the G-D-Q sequence, and The Pit of The Oracle (Dragon #37). Oracle bears special mention. Somehow the party managed to locate the back door in this adventure and more or less stumble into the main treasure room with little to no opposition. I wasn't there, so don't ask me how...I was also told that Craig actually cried tears of joy, being the loot whore that he is. We love you, Craig.
Of course it goes without saying that there were many adventures and encounters created by Ned that do not have names, but live on in our collective gaming memories as good times. And speaking of Ned, it seems that Steve has been holding onto our "real-life characters sheets" all these years! At some point in the past, Ned created character sheets for each player, complete with nicknames, alignment, stats, and even a pencil sketch! Hopefully Steve scans then so we can all have them in electronic form. And I'm going to give Ned our ancient VHS tapes of one of our sessions so that he can transfer them to DVD. I'm sure they are long periods of boring geek footage, interspersed with brief moments of geek hilarity.
The icing on the cake was my wizard's HD roll for 9th level. After a truly woeful run of seven straight rolls of 1, I broke the streak with a 4! So huzzah for me, and hopefully I'll start rolling nothing but 4s for the next 11 levels.