You’ve heard the old saying, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade (and if you ask some people, they will tell you to add some vodka too)”. Well, about eight months ago I decided to take a chance…a leap of faith…and pursue a dream I’ve had for some time. After 30 years, I have become a Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) player again.
My interest in returning to D&D has stemmed from a couple of things:
1) Even at the ripe old age of 50, I still find myself embracing different facets of geek culture (which luckily has become more accepted and mainstream these days). Movies, animation, gaming… you name it.
2) A couple of years ago, I heard about a little show called Critical Role which featured voice actors who were streaming their D&D campaign. The show was just about to start its SECOND season at that point and I thought I would give it a shot. Little did I know how much fun it would be watch, how much it would draw me back to D&D, and ESPECIALLY how much of a time commitment would be involved in watching this series (3-4 hours per episode). Well, here I am…almost 120 episodes later (and still going), I look forward to tuning in Thursday nights at 9:00pm CST to not only catch the next great encounter but strangely spending time watching the cast interact with one another and have fun playing the game.
3) Maybe it’s a mid-life crisis thing. An attempt to rekindle my youth perhaps. But I’m having fun.
Some days I wonder if I would have jumped back into D&D if it wasn’t for COVID. Working from home has allowed me to not only catch up on a number of projects and chores around the house but also given me an opportunity to play the game virtually (which helps when my introverted side kicks in). So currently, I am involved in two campaigns right now (one of them I’ve managed to rope my best friend into playing as well). The first could be considered a “standard game” where we have a group that tries to play one night a week. The second is set up in a “west marches” style where encounters are organized by player’s availability. So players decide on a day/time that they can meet and the DM/GM creates an encounter designed around the characters with the intent to be finished by the end of the session. I enjoy both campaigns for different reasons.
Well of course there is more to tell but I digress from the reason why I created this post. So, last evening, we had a session from our regular campaign. My character Erexis, who is an elven Arcane Trickster Rogue (which means he’s crafty, nimble, can use magic, and likes to cause trouble when he can), with his adventuring party had come across a giant tree where they noticed several lizard folk and their mounts entering. Cutting to the chase, we killed some lizardfolk, a crocodile, and some green dragon hatchlings. Journeying through hallways inside the tree, we came across a room filled with lizardfolk and their mounts (which I haven’t figured out what they are just yet). Being proficient with ranged weapons, I was in the hallway shooting into the room with my longbow (which also inflicts fire damage). Rogues have some great abilities which allow them to inflict substantial amounts of damage to their enemies under certain circumstances. Well, we were getting to the end of the fight. I manage to kill one of the lizardfolk but it’s large mount decided to come after me, charge down the hallway, and attempt to “take me out”. What happened next was amazing.
Since it missed me (thanks to a bad roll and my high dexterity score) when it tried to charge at me, I was given an attack of opportunity. The creature was in 5 feet of me…so since I was so close, it’s was considered melee instead of a ranged attack for my bow (which means I get a disadvantage on the roll…aka the lesser of two rolls). So I thought, “What the hell. I’m taking the shot anyway”.
I roll a double critical. Two natural 20’s (on a 20-sided die). Literally the perfect shot! With my rogue abilities, the arrow damage, and the bonus fire damage, I managed to deliver 37 points of damage…killing the beast instantly. Next I hear, “how would you like to describe this”? Completely shocked, I said my character managed to jump and flip over the beast and shot it through its head while he was directly over it (landing in a perfect 3-point superhero stance, of course). While it’s not the best moment I’ve had since playing (I will cover that one at another time), it’s definitely in the top 3.
So I started looking at what were the chances of rolling two natural 20’s. Here’s how it breaks down:
1/20 x 1/20 =
(1×1) / (20×20) =
1 / 400 = 0.25%
Wow! So needless, even though previously I suffered a major hit from one of the hatchling’s breath weapons (*curses*) and almost went down, that shot made my night. I’m sure many of you D&D players out there who are reading this can understand. Looking forward to many more “perfect shots” in the future.