Okay, I guess it’s my turn to tell a DND story.
No, the dice don’t always roll the way you want them to. In fact, they rarely do.
I was playing a wizard once, tagging along with a group of first-level characters into the Abyss. (Yes, the DM was insane to let us go there at level one, but that’s not even the crazy part of this DND tale…)
Our party had an Elven Wizard, a Human Paladin, an Eladrin Ranger and an Eladrin Sorcerer. (Custom DM race. Homebrew havoc to come!) Anyway, we fought our way into an Abyssal castle, out of which were coming all kinds of bad guys, including a bunch of demon-populated zombies, who seemed to have their very own anti-life agenda.
Even though we’d been given the cream of the crop when it comes to high-level magic items, the resulting melee was really bad news for the easily injured Eladrin Sorcerer, who was played by Mark, a somewhat inexperienced player with a tendency to panic. I don’t recall any looting, but as we were retreating in panic, I was able to snatch a wand of fog cloud off a nearby wall.
Nothing to it: I’ll run over and give it to the Eladrin Sorcerer, who is on the far side of the melee and can’t get out of the castle, then I’ll also be able to help out with some eldritch spells. Bingo — I run over and pitch the wand to the guy, and as I turn to run back to the group, there’s a roll-off.
At the end, I win hands down. I think the DM rolls a “1,” and I get a natural 20. You’re probably thinking this is the meat of the story, but you’d be wrong. Oh, no. The story gets stranger. I refer you to the title of this DND tale of yore… “magic” dice. Let’s continue, shall we?
So, I’m about to run back to the group, when suddenly, I notice the DM is staring at me with an expression of absolute astonishment.
“What?” I say.
He suddenly jumps up, as if shot out of a cannon, and starts to shout, “Dispel magic! Dispel magic!”
“What?” I say, even more confused. “What NPC is dispelling what specific magic?”
The DM continues shouting, and no one at the table is saying anything. I’m thinking, “Hey, everything just went well and we’re turning the tables on the bad guys, I don’t want to spoil things by asking questions. Let’s just play on and see what happens…”
So I get back over to the group, and we start to turn the tables on the shit-show of an adventure. But suddenly, all the zombies and their allies (not to mention the castle and all its defenses) just… dissolve. Like, poof!
We can do the math. A level-one wizard, who is probably at the bottom of the class in terms of spells, just zapped all the demons and all the zombies that were attacking us in a single round, which is a lot of bad guys.
What’s worse, I don’t even know that I did it and the DM can’t remember. Neither of us was expecting that.
And that, my friends, is what the title of this DND story is all about.
Wait, wait, that’s not it. That doesn’t make sense. All this wizard weed is getting to me!
That’s not the whole story! Here’s the rest.
By this point, everyone else is looking at me like I’m the second coming of Merlin. I’m thinking, “Okay. It’s me. I’m pretty sure that I just did what the DM is still shouting about, but I’m pretty sure we’re all kinda stoned at this point.”
No, really. It’s a classic DND moment.
The only problem is that the DM can’t remember what spell I cast, on what, or why. The guys look at me in worship, the girls look at me in lust, and the DM looks at me like there’s something wrong with me. Aside from being a little stoned, I’m okay with all of it.
“Let me explain,” I say. “You’re right, I’m pretty sure I just zapped things out of existence. I’m very clear on that. I had not the wand of fog, but a wand of wonder disguised as a wand of fog. When I turned to run back, I saw it was my turn to roll a d20. When I got a go-ahead and rolled, I kept rolling and scoring 20s until the bad guys were gone. I went back over to where I got the wand and found that it was gone. I’m pretty sure it fell off my belt so I could run faster. Anyway, that’s the story. I think.”
“Wait — a wand of wonder disguised as a wand of fog?” the DM (Ralph) asked.
“What does that mean?” he scoffed.
“I don’t know! That’s the nature of the wand. I can roll a d20 + 1d4. I don’t know what the results are until I stop rolling.”
“That’s nuts! You’re telling me that this wand works like a computer-generated random number generator?”
“That’s right. I believe the +1d4 is the power of the spell. When the wand says it’s the low d4 result, I get a 1. When it says it’s the middle d4 result, I get a 2. When it’s the high d4 result, I get a 3.”
“That’s nuts! I did NOT approve of this magic item.”
“You did say we could have anything,” Samantha stated.
I turned my neck and flashed her a 20 charisma smile. She blushed, ‘cuz she was attracted.
“You know what?” Ralph said. “I’m going to allow it. Fuck it. You’re still all going to die!”
At this point, the rest of us looked at each other, but we were all too high on weed to say anything. He rolled his own d20 + 1d12. The result was a 4, which meant his NPC missed me again. I had one action left that round.
The others were on the edge of their seats, peering over at me like they were watching a circus act.
“I zap the wand one more time.”
“Roll this die…”
I saw Ralph’s hand coming over the DM screen, and I rolled my own magic d20 before I revealed the result. I got a 6. He just looked at me and shook his head.
“Six is the result?” he asked.
“I don’t know yet. Modifier maybe?”
He chuckled. “Nope, Bellow. You’ve blundered. A six is bad, bud. The wand sizzles, and then it goes dead.”
My jaw dropped. “I guess it’s still good for one other use, but it’s kind of a bummer.”
“It’s a bummer all right,” Ralph said, laughing. “The wand was a full month’s wages!”
“That’s not fair!”
“You rolled the dice, man, your magic dice.”
“They’re not magic,” I argued. “You said they were magic, not me.”
Ralph pulled out Big Bertha (the bong), and took a good, long rip. Samantha and I were both eyeing it, but we waited our turn.
That night got even crazier as I swore Ralph had somehow cast Dispel Magic on my d20 because it never rolled good again.
All this is a totally true story. I’m sticking to it.
I cast Charm Person and tell you to watch these two YouTube videos about DND Stories…