It’s almost weekly game night with my wife and kids. Maybe I better post last week’s silliness.
Last week my wife and kids had their heroes continue a desperate attack against the goblins who took over their town. They had just finished clearing out the Town Hall when the last living goblin cried out, “Wait! I’ll tell you everything!”
So we began with that conversation.
The fearful goblin explains the mysterious jewel the goblins are seeking: it’s a magical artifact that can exert control over the goblins in some way. The band of goblins are part of a larger organization led by the enigmatic Kal, who no one has ever seen and lived to describe. Kal has allowed the goblins to keep the jewel as a sign of trust in their relationship, and the goblins have pledged their support to Kal’s unknown goals.
Further details are all well above the head of the pathetic goblin captive, so the party stops questioning him.
However, if his story is true, the goblins aren’t motivated to ransack or destroy. The heroes begin wondering if it’s possible for them to help the goblins find the jewel and thus end the invasion on the town.
They bring the goblin captive into the next underground tunnel and head for the smithy to attempt diplomacy.
The goblin is sent up the stairs with the offer of coordinated effort.
His corpse is dropped down the stairs a moment later, followed by a fireball.
Burak, the half-orc sorceror I control, takes a crit and gets knocked 15 feet down the tunnel. I’m fine with this. As I’ve said before, I like finding ways to get him out of the way. That way, we can focus on my wife’s character and especially my kids’ characters as heroes.
Justin’s rogue, Clayface, is the first up the stairs. The party already knows there are four goblins near the stairs. But I whisper to Justin, informing him that there are four more goblins at the far end of the room. One of them is the purple goblin the heroes have been looking for.
I don’t put down any pieces because I don’t want the rest of the party to know yet. They’re downstairs. They can’t see these extra goblins.
But I do tell Justin, “Would Clayface want to tell his friends anything about what’s up here?”
Justin thinks a moment, and ‘Clayface’ informs his allies, “Guys, there are goblins up here.”
Deborah looks at me with eyes and a smirk that say, “Duh… we knew that.”
Jonathan calls out, “Uh… okay! Thanks…” in a sing-song response.
Jami’s character is next up the stairs and finds out about the added goblins. She laughs about Justin’s well-meaning attempt at a warning.
Soon everyone is upstairs from the underground tunnel into the smithy (well, everyone but Burak). The fight is pretty intense, and almost all the heroes are bloodied, D&D 4th Edition’s term for “half-dead.”
On his turn, Jonathan decides that Killbot is mad about this.
He starts asking about rules for biting.
“I want to walk up and bite the goblin on the nose.”
I try not to laugh. “Your character is pretty big and these guys are small. Look at that picture of your character. If you bite a goblin, you’re probably biting on his whole head.”
“Okay, even better.”
We roll for grappling, as Killbot tries to catch and hang onto a goblin. Then we roll an attack for the bite itself. It hits but doesn’t do too much damage. Jonathan doesn’t care. He just wants the goblins to know that the Dragonborn wizard is MAD.
Then it’s Justin’s turn.
He has a habit of getting excited that it’s his turn and immediately rolling dice to see “how well I do.” He knows most things in D&D require the roll of a 20-sided die.
He rolls a 20, a critical hit or automatic success.
As usual, I have to ask him, “But what are you trying to do?”
“Shoot my crossbow at something that’s not dead that’s not one of my friends in the game.”
Killbot continues his toothy rampage. He grabs and bites the purple goblin on the head.
But the goblins score a lot of hits. Jonathan looks around and says, “I’m the only one in the party not bloodied yet.”
He says this as I calculate damage for an arrow that hits him and bloodies him.
The purple goblin and another goblin die in a scorching burst cast by Jonathan’s wizard.
The three remaining goblins get mad and start chanting, “Bursh nakh!”
Two of the three fall dead from Clayface’s crossbow bolts.
But then the wall shakes, splinters fly, and the last goblin rejoices.
Killbot grabs hold of the third goblin, and bites him. The goblin tries to break free but is held fast.
Then Justin decides he wants to shoot at it.
“Justin, your friend is holding the goblin… the goblin who is about to die.”
“You remember, your magic crossbow causes explosions when it kills enemies.”
“You might hit Killbot with your crossbow, or you might hit the goblin and make it explode. Are you sure about this?”
I try to throw him some rope.
“Let’s talk about delaying actions or holding actions. You can choose something you want to do, and say ‘if this or that happens, I will do this.’ So, maybe Beastly Tiger could stand next to a door and declare, ‘If an enemy comes through, I’m going to smash it in the face with my hammer and call it a hobo.’ Your character picks an action and waits for the right moment to do it. Does that make sense?”
“And you guys are in the same room. So you can talk about this. You can tell Killbot, ‘Throw that goblin toward me.’ Then when he does, you can shoot it and make it explode.”
“So… do you want to do that?”
“I want to shoot it.”
“Right now?” “Yup.”
I give Killbot a break and allow him a saving throw to see if he can react in time. You roll a d20, and on 10 or better, you succeed… so you have just over a 50-50 shot at whatever it is. He saves, and throws the goblin away just as the crossbow bolt hits it.
With the goblins defeated, the heroes have a moment to catch their breath.
Then they learn what “Bursh nakh” means, as the Dire Bear the goblins summoned bursts into the room like the Kool-Aid man.
I think the bear might do some biting too.
The home of David M. Williamson, writer of fantasy, sci-fi, short stories, and cultural rants.