We were playing a custom variation of DnD. Mostly the same but with simpler character creation and some different classes and abilities. We needed to get into a Keep in the woods with guards at every entrance without one of them raising the alarm.
Jason – The Ranger
Derek – The Rogue
Robert – The Druid
Nick – The Barbarian
Sharda (me) – The Healer
Now I’m not saying I have violent tendencies… but when playing a game I like to knock heads and blow things up. Knowing this the DM assigned me the Healer class to “broaden my character range”. His Healers were not allowed to pick up any weapons, not even a knife. His rationale for this was because the character was so weak. The only “weapon” at my disposal was a very large tome of spells I kept on me and was enchanted to allow me to lift it. No damage spells, buff and heal only. I was a little sore at the handicap but trying new things can be fun so I went with it.
The plan was simple. Two guards stood at the least protected entrance. If we took down one and not the other they would blow their horns and we’d be dead. Solution? Why take the risk of missing a role when you can split them up? The Barbarian seeing this as a stealth mission choose to stay in the woods we were watching the castle from. I was to get the one guard away from his post, and let the Rogue deal with him, while the Ranger and Druid took care of the other.
We waited until nightfall. I played the lost girl in the woods and asked if someone could escort me if not to the village I was looking for, then at least to the main road. One of the guards agreed and away we went. The Druid tried to pull off a fancy maneuver, and ended up snapping his own neck before the action even began. Multiple critical fails and too much show does that to a character. Luckily the luck all went to the Ranger who natural 20’d his shot and killed his guard instantly. His job being done, the Ranger kicked back and decided to wait until the rest of us returned… Don’t mind us, we’ll be fine… luck stealing bastard…
Back to the Healer and guard escort. I pretend to trip and ask for the guard to give me a hand up. This gives the Rogue a chance to come up from behind. He chose to use a black egg (basically a smoke bomb you crush in your hand and blow powder towards your enemy) containing a paralyzing agent. The Rogue fails the roll and the wind blows the black egg powder away, but making enough noise to alert the guard. So their stands our Rogue, exposed and panicking. He makes a few more attempts to take down the guard before he sounds the alarm but is met by failing roll after roll. I was getting frustrated at this point, feeling very powerless, barred from attacking and itching to join the fray. So I did.
IRL – I turned to the DM and asked “So how big is my tome again?” he told me it was two feet by one foot and a good six inches thick. “Is it decorated?” he tells me yes, with metal on the cover and around the trim. “Excellent! I whack the guard over the head with it.” He couldn’t think of a reason to stop me from attacking so though he wasn’t happy about it, it was done and the dice were cast.
I got something like an 18. Down went the guard, dazed but still conscious. The Barbarian charged from the woods and gave the poor guy another good lump to the head to rectify that.
We eventually made it into the castle and completed our mission.
Moral of the story? Don’t be flashy but be creative. You’ll live longer.