|Why does it seem that most my D&D experiences come from barrels?|
Once upon a time (AKA a few months ago) my fellow party members and I were wandering down a trail in the forest, heading home after a long adventure in a cave involving a math mix-up, dark rooms for even those with low-light vision, and an angel that got all emotional with us. We were tired and ready to reap the spoils of turning in our found items for rewards beyond our imaging. There was one problem, our path was blocked by thieves and mind you these were some of the dumbest thieves I've ever encounter. Bless their pathetic souls, though, because they still tried to take a "toll" from us. Having a less than good natured group, we quickly took to fighting instead of paying and spent the remainder of the game bottle necked with these annoying bastards. We eventually took care of them and Zoob, our groups minotaur, took to looting the thieves camp. We didn't find much aside from a box we couldn't open (I don't talk about that box anymore because boxes have been known to make players cranky) and some barrels of mead. Zoob decided he was going to drink it....all of it....
(You should be reacting right now the same way you would if a 3 year old was about to put a plastic bag on their head)
We all tried to advise Zoob against this, but it was late and I guess he had nothing better to do. Zoob drank a large portion of the mead and continued to sip as we walked. Needless to say he got drunk, really fast. I tried to slow him down by stealth-ing beneath him and making a small hole in the barrel, but that didn't help much considering he had already drank most of it. So we now had a drunk minotaur stumbling around and making an authentic ass out of himself....great!
....that I'd actually be able to hit the bitch? Well, luck decided not to be on my side that day, and I ended up hanging off of a cliff.
Zoob was taking dramatic penalties to his attacks due to the fact that,
1.) He could barely stand
2.) He could barely move
It took a very long time and we were almost killed on more than one occasion, but we made it out alive.
As you can imagine, the players were pissed at Zoob for his decision. I honestly thought it was a little annoying though I saw the humor in it. I like it when people break up combat with something they create or do to make the game feel more interactive. Sure, it can mess up a perfect game plan and almost get you killed, but that variety keeps things fresh and from becoming....
Nerd 1: I use "Blood for Strength". (Pushes up glasses)
Nerd 2: (Snorts) Give me a roll.
Nerd 1: (Rolls) 12 vs. AC
Nerd 2: (Evil laugh) Miss! You die!
You see where that can get tedious and boring!? I think the real goal with D&D is to find that balance between playing the attacks and such given to you and incorporating your own ideas. Free will can make this more interesting, but it can also get you into trouble if you mess up. The more I think about it the more I realize that you run that risk no matter what you do, so maybe it's better to have fun and do whatever the hell you want along the way. Perhaps it should more so be up to the DM? I'm honestly on the fence about this. What do you guys think? Should Zoob have been allowed to drink all the mead even if I meant jeopardizing the game? What would you have done if you were the DM? I really have no conclusions to this story and I want to hear you input.
Until next time,