Let's talk about Dungeons and Dragons

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
Posted
If you've ever read my author bio, or if you've been paying close attention to my Twitter feed, you'll know that one of my hobbies is Dungeons & Dragons. I've been playing the game for some time now, since 2005 I think. I started with D&D 3.5 and from there (recently) moved on to D&D 5. I also own the Pathfinder rulebook, but I have not actually played it.

Up until a few years ago, I used to DM these games, which is quite a feat considering my mastery of the rules is somewhat sketchy. I ran the Savage Tide campaign by Paizo for two different parties. One party stopped playing halfway through the 7th installment, while the other finished it in spectacular fashion. Some nice memories to share from that second campaign:

  1. Barbarian with jump-based power build gets a Suggestion by the 5th adventure's boss to "drop his weapons and fight him like a man". Barbarian fails Will Save, says "okay", charges bad guy, jumps, and kills him in a single blow.
  2. When assaulting Wat Dagon, in the first stage of the final battle, rather than storming the beach D-Day style, they recruit an army of titanic crocodiles, cast Fly on them and a combination of spells to make them shoot lasers out of their eyes. Causing the opposing army to panic and enabling them to skip a third of the adventure.


Anyway, due to the amount of time and work required to successfully run these game, and my interest in trying out the player side of things, I passed along the responsibility to one of the other players, who played the Cleric in the Savage Tide party.

To complete the circle, I'm now playing the Cleric in the our D&D 5 campaign: Princes of the Apocalypse.

Playing this Cleric has been a blast so far. Rather than the typical Light or Healing Clerics, I am instead playing a human Knowledge Cleric named Alarin Eowain. He's absent-minded, disdainful of his companions, and more likely to pull out his sketchbook to draw their grievous wounds than heal them. He speaks six languages and is prone to start swearing in Orcish, much to the amusement of the other members of his party who also speak this language.
His history is complex, however, and his companions are not aware of the ticking clock he is facing. A former scholar in Waterdeep, his thirst for knowledge almost became his downfall, as he managed to summon a demon in his foolhardy pursuit of secrets. It was only through the intervention of Oghma, the God of Knowledge, that he retained his life, and it is only through service to Oghma that his soul is safeguarded. Should he ever stray from this path, his soul is forfeit.
Even so, Alarin takes great joy in his service to Oghma, and life as an adventurer agrees with him, despite the need of the party's Sorcerer Talion to (literally) pull him out of trouble on several occasions.