Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

Microgames, Monster Games, and Role Playing Games

Madicon 21: The Brief Adventuring Career of an Illustrious Elven Lord

While we played the Moldvay Basic Set and Keep on the Borderlands, a steady stream of gamers walked past to check us out. At first, the players were a little embarrassed, but as the evening wore on they began to get a little old school pride. “No, no… this is from before first edition,” they would boast. Hearing this boggled some people as they couldn’t imagine how anything could precede the first edition of anything. I didn’t take any time to explain the various iterations of the original fantasy role playing game, but pressed on with the adventure.

The dwarf and the fighter returned to the Keep. Two players had taken all the old school hurt that they could stand and left the game. I was impressed when the person I’ve been referring to as “the 3.5 guy” doggedly rolled up another character. The girl with the fabulously rich and experienced fighter left the game with no explanation, but we easily found a wandering game-geekess to fill in for her. While the party was killing goblins, a chance passersby got so excited that he rolled up an elf character and waited for them to come back to town so that he could get in on the game.

That elf guy quickly became a problem for the other players. At the tavern, he tried to hire the two men-at-arms with an offer of a full share of treasure. This caused a chorus of aggravated objections from around the table. The players all began to argue immediately and when it didn’t seem to be on track to any sort of resolution, I told them that the men-at-arms had walked off in disgust. The dwarf’s player knew well the value of some extra cannon fodder and was dismayed, but the elf cast Charm Person on one of them, so things were at least partially salvaged. The elf flaunted his epic lordliness to the tavern denizens in elevated, flowery language. The other players tried to explain that they were all just first level nobodies, but he still offered to go kill that dragon that was due to come into the area any day now. “We could sneak into his cave when he was raiding the livestock,” he argued. After much convincing, the other players got him to quiet down and agree to go looking for the missing caravan instead.

So the players went west, the opposite way from the Caves of Chaos and camped out after searching along either side of the road. I made everyone describe their searching. The cleric said she was praying, and I told her that she sensed a great disturbance in the spiritual ether– something terrible had happened in this very spot! More searching revealed a strip of expensive cloth in some underbrush. The elf climbed a tree and saw a thin wisp of smoke in the distance.

The party marched towards the smoke with the charmed man-at-arms way out in front. After going over several rolling hills… the man-at-arms fell over– he was filled with arrows! The party charged in to make the most of their surprise. They caught the bandits partially off guard. Thanks to their plate armor and decent hit points, the players didn’t get hurt too badly. Bandits seemed to be dropping like flies due to their poor armor classes. Midway through the fight, the elf decided to charm the leader. “I say,” said the head-bandit, “that’s an elven lord there upon yonder hill. It’s okay boys, I think he’s a friend of ours.” The confused bandits hesitated, and the player-dwarf took the opportunity to kill a few more for “free”. The elf conversed with the leader on the hill-top while the party finished mopping up the rest. The elf would lackadaisically let fly with a crossbow bolt while in mid-sentence as he continued to discuss banditry with the leader.

The players recovered the bandit’s stolen goods and made ready to head back to the Keep. They got back to their camp area and I asked them what they were going to do next. In that moment, every single person at the table pointed to the elf’s player and said, “WE ALL KILL HIM!!” Thus ended the brief adventuring career of Lord Zanzibar, an illustrious elven lord.


6 responses to “Madicon 21: The Brief Adventuring Career of an Illustrious Elven Lord

  1. Chris Mata March 15, 2012 at 8:37 am

    I never killed an elf that didn’t deserve it.

  2. Peter March 15, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    That elf seemed pretty effective, actually.

    • jeffro March 16, 2012 at 6:04 am

      He was far more colorful and interesting than any NPC that I’d make up to have tag along with the party. I never quite figured out if he was messing with the other players on purpose or if this was just what he thought role playing was….

      • Peter March 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

        All in all, though, I think I’d rather have that PC in my game, and that player in my game, than folks who’d kill him off for . . . uhm, offering NPCs a fair shot at treasure and charming bad guys and being awesome.

  3. micahblackburn April 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah…seems like the elf got a raw deal… still great session report. Did the goth girl join your game?

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