This weekend, I had a last-minute change in plans, and discovered that I had the free time to go play in World Wide D&D Game Day, which was set up by Wizards of the Coast to promote the release of the Monster Manual 2.
I went to my friendly local game shop, where I was able to join a session that was just starting out. I picked a Dwarf Paladin, because I've never played either of those things before, and I thought it would be pretty fun. As it turned out, I was correct. Even though it was a dungeon crawl with people I didn't know, I role-played the Dwarf, as they said in Sherman Oaks in 1983, like totally to the max.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun, even though I had to leave before the final encounter because -- you know, it's easier if I just tell the story:
I saw that it was Nolan, and sent the call to voice mail, planning to call him back when the encounter was over. He called again, and I ignored it again. When he called a third time, I figured that something important was happening and he really needed my attention.
"Hey Nolan what's –"
"I need you to come pick me up right now and take me and Calvin to the hospital."
My heart jumped into my throat. "What!? What happened? Are you okay?"
"Calvin fell out of a tree and broke his collar bone. His parents are gone and you're the last last last last resort. I know you're playing D&D, but can you help us?"
My heart dropped back to its normal place in my chest. "Yes. I'll be right there."
I told the guys I was playing with what had happened. Luckily, my friend Martin had just come into the store to meet me, so I handed my character over to him. I reminded him to keep role playing heavily, and make sure he didn't roll higher than 7, just to keep things consistent.
I left, and spent the next few hours taking care of Nolan's friend (who was ultimately fine, but isn't going to be climbing any trees for a few weeks.)
When I got home, I called Martin and asked him how the rest of the adventure went. He told me that Eomer (the Dwarf we played) pulled off some last-minute heroics, and the PCs ended up "winning" the delve:
"Shut your mouth!"
"I'm talking about Eomer!"
"I can dig it."
All of this is preamble to the whole reason I'm writing about it, though. I read this gaming blog called critical-hits. It's awesome, and if you like RPGs, you should read it to.
Anyway, there's a post today about playing the WWD&DGD, written by a guy who ran the delve.
Brief interlude about the D&D game days: I love the Wizards does these things, because it helps build the gaming community in a number of ways. An obvious one is making it really easy for new players to give tabletop RPGs a try, but a less-obvious one that I don't hear people talk about is how fun it is for all of us who play, all over the world, to share our individual experiences playing the same characters in the same encounters. It's so fun to hear how some other party handled the rust monsters, for example, and how other players who chose Eomer decided to use his powers.
Okay, back to the reason I wrote this post: I was reading the post at critical-hits, enjoying myself thoroughly, and then I saw this picture near the end of the post. I may have let out a little squeal of joy, because the DM was wearing the shirt I designed for shirt.woot.
I love that. I love that so much, I wanted to share it with the world. Which I just did.