Tribune Tries (and Elric Dies): D&D

In the span of ten minutes he grabbed a sphere that disintegrated his hands, he accidentally summoned a powerful demon lord, he got his soul stolen and he made an enemy of an extra-dimensional being.  And all this happened during seventh period in the study room in the 400 wing of Talawanda High School. Through the past several weeks our group of students from Journalism Nathan (Elric), Bradyn (Assyria), and Logan the Dungeon Master or DM have been playing the Dungeons and Dragons, Fifth Edition role playing game. Logan, the DM, designed the campaign in ten minutes even though it typically takes weeks. He also improvised a lot as we played. We made our characters Elric the half-elf druid and Assyria the Drow rogue and started our campaign with a letter, a hostage and a location.

Our “Professional” Experience With the Game:

The two characters each received mysterious self-writing letters. The letters asked them to save a living cheese wheel from the king of kings*. Thus, naturally of course, they went and followed the note’s directions, because why not? It’s just a shady letter that wrote itself asking for their help.

Upon following the letter’s instructions the pair found themselves in the Valley of Eternity, one of the most dangerous places on the continent. When they entered the valley they were approached by two human looking figures which tried to bite them to no avail and the monsters were killed, upon further investigation the pair found two blue and black feathers that they kept. The pair decided to explore while avoiding the nevermore zombies and found a tree with a blue rune that Elric pressed, this caused 20 nevermore feathers to slowly fall to the ground and a pass to open in the back of the tree that they went into.

In the tree they found the Nevermore’s lair and explored… poorly. Elric cut the rope and dropped  Assyria into a hole twice, he also tried to pet a dog made of shadows that almost killed him, to help his situation he solved a puzzle and got into a room with another shadow dog. Assyria on the other hand hid from the dog and found a magic mask. When they met back up Elric found a magic crown, they traded magic items as Elric could not use his. Elric grabbed a sphere of annihilation which disintegrated his hands and he had to use a potion to grow them back. In the end Elric locked himself in a room with a deck of chance which made a powerful extra dimensional being angry at him, give him a knight to help him, gave him a single wish, gave him a monster infested keep, trapped his soul in a bottle, and summoned the Prince of deception Fraz-Urb’luu. He then used his wish to free his soul and kill everything but Fraz-Urb’luu in the room before his soul returned to his body, unfortunately his body was still alive so that was destroyed and he became a lost soul as Assyria listened from the other side of the door.

About the Game:

The game, invented in 1974, has had many alternate versions throughout the years the version that we played was the most recent of the Fifth Edition. The game was originally created by Tactical Studies Rules Inc. who published it up to 1997 when it was bought by the company Wizards of the Coast who were later made a subsidiary of Hasbro in 1999.

There have been many versions of D&D throughout the years each improving on the ideas of the last, in the first version there were only three classes; the cleric, the magic-user, and the fighting man while in the fifth edition there are twelve classes that are playable and the option to multi-class. The combat system, originally the same as the game Chainmail’s combat system, now has much more individuality to it. In D&D you can do anything you want as long as it doesn’t break the rules the DM and the books have established. In the majority of games you play, you and your group will go on a quest or journey of some kind fighting monsters exploring and collecting goods to give you special abilities that you can use to help in the journey or save them for a future use.

The game originally grew in popularity during the late 70s and 80s. This lead to it being referenced in pop culture around this time.

But what about today? Well today with the resurgence of the 80s in popular culture D&D has also seen a resurgence with it being referenced heavily in shows like Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory. So if you still want some more action after LARPing Club, just grab your dice and sit down.

*Do note that although the king of kings may have meaning in religion, this is not the same person and they have no relation.