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photo credit to dwarven-innkeeper.tumblr.com

The Tuesday night group that I play with is what introduced me to tabletop gaming. I started with 4th Edition D&D, and have tried a myriad of games since. Now our regular system is 13th Age (thankfully) and we have played numerous campaigns, including a translation Ravenloft to the ruleset. As of now, we are in between campaigns, having just finished our Bluffside: City on the Edge translation and awaiting our return to Eberron now being converted from 4e to 13th Age.

To bide our time before returning to Eberron, we’ve been playing some smaller off-shoot games. Last night, we played a small adventure our GM came up with he calls The Queen’s River. In short, we are in the town of Briarton which is a settlement just outside of the Elf Queen’s lands, but still heavily under her influence. Oddly enough, four out of our six players decided to be dwarves in the Elf Queen’s lands and are all a part of what they call the Cragshaper Clan. One bard, a cleric, a fighter and a barbarian. Me? I played a twygzog (from the 13th Age Bestiary) warrior/terrain caster druid (from 13 True Ways) and the my companion was playing a grippli (frogfolk) rogue. What an odd bunch we are. The cleric (Sellywub) had a living beard and served the bard (Belog) as some sort of bodyguard, the barbarian was a complete oaf who only liked to drink and fight and the fighter only had the features of a dwarf but was the height of a human with some sort of employment problem. All this while my little fungaloid was just trying to stay on the Elf Queen’s good side and get some work done with my grippli diplomat friend.

Without any story elements involved, this situation as a whole sort of looks like a fantasy version of VH1’s old show, The Surreal Life. From there it really only got worse, and by worse I mean further and further into silliness. A small farm in Briarton was attacked by a group of dire ants and ankhegs and before we knew it, we were off into the adventure. The dice were against us and we basically got into a whiffing match with the ants, pretty much every turn was a miss. Frustratedly, the GM glazed over the fight and called it a victory, making the Cragshapers now something of a group of town heroes. There was a bard, she wrote songs and even made a puppet show about their triumph that absolutely mesmerized the Cragshapers. They got to keep the puppets of their likeness by the end of it and what a dispute it became. Sellywub bet the barbarian that he couldn’t beat the grippli in a game of log jumping. The stakes? The puppets. Yes, it was that degree of silliness. The barbarian lost to the cleric and it created some hilarious character tension that made the night interesting far beyond the actual story the GM had come up with. Long story short, last night’s session was finding some sort of elven rabbit that was stolen and to be sold on the black market but we were to keep the operation quiet. Of course, the grippli and I hadn’t informed the Cragshapers that this was our quarry, but said instead that we were to sniff out some criminals. Not only would they scoff at us, but they would walk around town asking everybody if they’ve seen a blood elven rabbit! You can’t see it, but I’m facepalming right now. So what was our genius plan? The grippli and I followed any and all leads we could and used the dwarves to distract any prying eyes.

Best part? It completely worked and the dwarves couldn’t help but be confused and shocked that the entire time we were searching for a rabbit when they were lead to believe we were only looking for criminals. By the end of the night everybody’s gut hurt from laughing so hard the whole session. After finishing up a rather serious campaign, this was a very nice change of pace that I believe we all needed.

Stay Metal \m/