Critical Success!

By Chris Parsons


Some of the most profound things to come from the tabletop are the tales of triumph and terror from RPG sessions past. While we don’t pretend that these fables mirror the valor or sacrifice shown by actual troops in real battle, we proudly share these war stories with fellow roll players. Today I will bless you with a glory of Turgon, an elf rogue.

Turgon approached the Red Dragon Inn. The moonlight made his pale almost blue skin look like it was the color of the mid-day sky and his eyes glowed like a blue flame. His long sliver hair like a blanket of fresh fallen snow seemed to vanish as he drew his cloak and pulled open the door of the inn. It was important not to stick out, so he made his way first to the bar, to order a drink to hold, then to a quiet corner. Surveying the loud inn, the towering figure of a Half-Orc Paladin caught his eye. This individual was out of place, his polished armor and almost smug expression made him a target for the brutes and drunkards that frequented the inn.

Turgon watched as the out of place paladin began interacting with a robed man. The man’s skin, in what few places you could see it, appeared to have been badly burnt. He also spoke to himself when we wasn’t talking to his new paladin friend. This intrigued Turgon, so he decided to get a closer look at the duo from a small table that two drunken dwarves had just left vacant, as they stumbled out of the inn.

A bearded human plopped down across from Turgon. He leaned in and asked “What’s a paladin like that doing in a place like this?” Turgon moved his gaze to the man and said, “I was wondering the same thing.” The man grinned back at him and stood up momentarily as a large man moved past him. The two bumped shoulders and the bearded man who had just stood began to speak as though he had drank too much ale. “Mmmy appppologies  m’ lord” He patted the large man on the arm and fell back into his chair.

As a rogue, Turgon knew very well what had just happened. A little game of pickpocket. “Drinks are on him.” The bearded pick pocket said as he flipped a gold coin to Turgon and winked. He stood once more this time moving toward and without stumbling. A fellow rogue could be an appropriate distraction if a hasty get away was necessary, he could make the pickpocket known and slip out of the inn.

The doors of the inn burst open and in came a robed man who was adorned in fine  blue, gold and white garments that represented the king of this realm. With him was a group of three knights who’s armor matched the paladin that had caught the attention of Turgon earlier. The man and his entourage moved to the middle of the Inn, that had fallen silent. “As many of you know, toil has found our brothers to the south. The king has requested that a team of champions are brought together to aid our allies and prevent the spread of the plague that has befallen our southern comrades. Should you accept this challenge, you will be rewarded handsomely. You need only journey to the palace to await further instruction from the King himself.”Turgon  would not normally concern himself with such matters, however the kings rewards are sure to be great, and the opportunity for fame would surely present more opportunity in the future.

Upon his arrival he noticed the Paladin and his strange compatriot, the pickpocket and a few other familiar faces. The group was brought to the throne where the king stood. “Champions! On behalf of the kingdom, I want to thank you for your bravery.” The group was briefed, given rations then sent on their way. A day and a half of travel awaited them and they were eager to begin their journey, so they set off. It was about midday and a halfling, who was small even for his kind, sang songs and talked up until they decided to set up camp at nightfall. Before laying themselves to rest they ate a hardy meal. The halfling with a loud mouth, was a druid and turned himself into a weasel, much to his own amusement. They decided on who would stand guard and laid themselves to rest.

Turgon, being an elf had the first sleep shift, as he needed only to enter a trance for a few hours to be well rested. He did so and the first watch went without issue. Turgon took up his post and drew his hood to cover his hair. He waited in silence as the others slept and they were not disturbed through the night.

Upon waking they saw smoke in the distance. There was no settlement for miles, so Turgon and the other rogue went to investigate. They made their way to a cavern entrance, outside of which a fire burned and two goblins stood guard. They went back to the party with this information and it was decided to investigate the Goblins further. Could these be the culprits responsible for the despair that had befallen the southern kingdom? The group approached the cave making sure to keep back far enough so that they wouldn’t be discovered. Once again the stealthy rogues were sent to the cave, but this time they would enter the cave to assess the goblin horde.

The Halfling turned himself into a weasel to distract the guard. They chased him, but it was to no avail he was far too agile for the guards to catch him. The warlock, mumbled something to his book and one of the tow guards drew his horn and it bellowed a crude trumpet-like sound. The group had been spotted. The rogues who were attempting to investigate the goblins were stopped dead in their tracks and forced to make themselves scarce. Close to a dozen Goblins ran past them. As the last of these made his way past the two rogues, the pick-pocket shifted his feet causing a small stick that was on the floor of the cave to snap. The goblin turned to him and reached for his weapon. As Turgon saw the creature turn around he moved like a shadow to the goblin. Covering its mouth Turgon slid his elven blade across the goblins throat and gently lowered it to the ground. The two rogues then looked at each other and then took off after the group of goblins.

Now to break down what happened in the encounter with the goblins…

A few good rolls happened here, one by the halfling who rolled close to a 17 was able to distract the guards. The party (minus the two rogues) was asked by the DM to roll a stealth check, which the Warlock rolled around a 5 on, and being the interesting character that he was he began to mumble to his book… The guy playing the lock, had masterfully crafted a back story that made his character insane and almost schizophrenic, often speaking to no one or his book, that was imbued with mysterious powers. I have to admit the storytelling by our DM was amazing here. Then came time for the rogues to roll their stealth checks as the group of goblins ran past them. I was Turgon and as fate would have it, I rolled a 17. The other rogue not so lucky rolled 11 ,or right around there. I was then presented with an opportunity to roll for an attack as the goblin turned its attention to the other rogue. 20 Critical Success! This is where the clutch kill happened. Again, brilliant storytelling from the DM as the kill happened like something you would see a ninja do. It is here that I will take a break. May your rolls be high and stories be filled with adventure. As always… Stay Geeky!