Use Your Head: Weekend in the Realms
Posted by countingku on November 15, 2009
When people think of Living Forgotten Realms, they think combat. It is a fairly accurate stereotype. While authors are getting better at including more story in their work, the type of gaming tends to preclude a deep, overarching campaign storyline. However, there are opportunities to do something beyond beating things into submission. I would like to give two examples, from my experiences at Weekend in the Realms.
WEEK1-4 The Icy Queen’s Crossing
The group had fought their way into the final chamber, dealing with the demon summoning Creel, and noticing the dead wintery fey along the way. When we reached the bottom of the slide and saw the Icy Queen struggling with the demonic force, we decided to help her. My character was a Warforged Warden, so I didn’t have any obvious ways to help the parlay… or did I? Looking at my powers, I decided to use my daily power creatively. We had a surprise round, so I used my daily to transform. Once in the Form of Winter’s Herald, I proclaimed to the fey that I served Winter and would like to assist the queen. I then requested to make a Nature check to attempt to show them I was a servant of Winter. The DM was surprised, but went with the flow. In the end, we rescued the queen and didn’t have to fight anyone but the feral dragon to do so.
WATE1-2 Dark Secrets of Downshadow
Our group had found a secret stairwell and the sneaks (a gnome warlock and a halfling rogue) went down the stairs to do some recon. They found two dwarves whom they evaded, and a key that they pilfered. The warlock signaled the rest of us at the top of the stairs to silently start down the stairs. I aced my Stealth roll, the next player aced their Stealth roll, the final player rolled an 11 (looks like trouble). The dwarves are alerted and the sneaks need to make a Stealth check to hide. The rogue rolls a 1, and is discovered by the dwarves. I hear this and I race down the stairs. When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I point at our sneaks and yell at them for disobeying my orders and running ahead of the group. I roll a 24 on my Bluff check(it is good to be a bard), totally pulling off the righteous indignation. I turned to the confused looking dwarves and apologized to them for my overly exuberant companions and showed them a token that I suspected would get me past them. The dwarves were convinced by my performance (ACTING!), and were very congenial as they sent us on our way.
At that point, the DM stopped the game and told me that I had scared the crap out of him. He had no idea what I was doing when I ran down the stairs and was about to tell us to roll for initiative. The players he usually DMs for believe in what I like to call “percussive diplomacy”, or as it is better known, beating the crap out of whatever was in the way. I apologized for startling him, and he waved me off saying how much he enjoyed the interaction.
Combat is easy, trying to avoid combat can be fun and entertaining for you and your whole table. Try it the next time you sit down at the gaming table.