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View Full Version : Say D&D Were Real - Being a PC in a 21st Century World- Rheios's story



Rheios
2011-05-05, 01:03 AM
I'm sure you've seen several of these already, but I'm going to throw my hat into the mix. The original concept came from this thread. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189905)(And the related branch threads it caused.) Read those first, by the way, they're amazing. It is worth noting that, for the moment, the stories aren't connected because I'm not sure how well I'll keep up with this. (Though I would like them to be connected.) Anyway, I'm sure you don't want to read this rambling from me, but, instead, want to read this rambling instead: :smalltongue:

(I'm copying The Glyphstone's thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192581), and am going to try and use witty chapter titles. I will also attempt to be witty.)

By the power of the interwebs!:
I slowly came awake, pulling myself from the dregs of a dream because of the incessant yammering of Mother Nature. To clarify, my bladder woke me up, and at 7am too! Normally it has the courtesy to wait another hour or so. So I yawned, rolled out of bed, and fell flat on my face in a tangle of cloth. Sonnofa-What am I caught in? I began shifting myself and quickly realized I was caught up in my night clothes. They were massive on me, looking like a toddler wearing their father’s shirt. I let out a sound, not too loud, but at a higher pitched than normal for me.

After struggling for a few seconds I managed to slide out of my shirt, but it took a little longer to disentangle my tail. Hmm…A tail you say? Indeed, I had a tail. I was also, apparently, ridiculously short, and, on closer attention to myself, was covered with scales. They started a rusty red at my chest and shifted down to a darker purple-black at my wrists, darkening even further as each of my fingers ended in a claw. I took a deep breath and held it. The only thing I could do to keep from screaming a series of loud, probably unintelligible, questions. You need to figure out what, at the moment, you currently are. Even as I asked it, I knew. You don’t make five different variants of something you’ll never get a chance to play and not know something about them. But I had to make sure. So I clambered up on top of my leopard-print gaming chair, over the papers and binders covering it, and then managed a little hop up to its cylindrical back. I thought I might slide off, but my new naturally stooped posture and tail seemed to balance me. I turned slowly and looked in the big mirror that sits on my dresser. Sure as sugar. I am a kobold. Maybe dragonwrought. Sweet.

Before I could ponder long on my new circumstances, however, I heard my mom calling through my door, “You okay? I heard a thud.”

Glad I locked that “Yiiii-eess! Just fell,” My voice came out high pitched, almost like a yipping noise. Of this, I was less than thrilled, “…and I have a cold! Going back to bed, though. Have a good day at work!”

“Okay, love you. Feel better!”

“Will do!”

Then I passed the next hour and a half by alternating between quietly leafing through the D&D books that sit in a crate in my room, which was a chore with the current size difference and claws, and rapidly pacing back and forth, holding back my initial reason for waking up.

As my kidneys complained, I thought briefly about risking it. Then the far better part of myself reared its head and pointed out that killing my mother through shock wouldn’t help improve the situation any. So I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And…you know what? I think everyone gets it. Let’s move on.
So after I heard mom leave for work and managed to unlock my door, and fulfilled my morning obligations, I once again clambered up onto something, this time the bathroom counter, and got a closer look at myself. I’d estimate myself at just shy of 2-1/2 feet tall and tad thin for a kobold. Proportionally everything’s the same. Good. Purple eyes were new though, but I figured that whatever caused this at least gave me my favorite color as recompense for the 4-1/2 feet that I lost. My head swept back into two horns, not unlike a copper dragon but the color was obviously wrong; made me wonder what kind of dragonwrought I was. No way to tell until I got to my computer in the kitchen. Well…while I’m up here…

At this point I’d like to mention that the one side of my house, which is where the hallway that connects the bedrooms and bathroom is, is pretty shaded. We have those solar-blind window-cover things that block most of the sun, and then extra blinds on top of that. We also have the same set up in the living room, so really most of my house is dark. Until you reach the kitchen. This is where I stepped out, breath routine-freshened in a most minty manner, and hit the ground with a shout. Now I don’t know if you’ve been in a cave and, say, turned on flashlights at point-blank range from your eyes, but that’s what this was like. Even after my eyes adjusted the sun light in the room was just a shade too bright, like a computer screen cranked up to full brightness in a dark room. Hard to look at without squinting, and even then, it makes your eyes water.
I managed to close the blinds on the sliding-glass backdoor just enough to make seeing more reasonable and then rolled up a chair next to the barstool that set in front of my computer. Time to investigate on what’s actually going on in the only way I can think to. It was internet-time.



L33t Skillz by Word:
I spent most of the next two hours investigating anything related to D&D. After about my 10th optimization thread, 2nd favorite story thread, and 6th “which edition is superior” thread I finally stumbled upon a forum entitled, “REAL Giralonn!” I’m going to guess that was supposed to be girallon. Idiot. Inside it was a link to a YouTube video that sent chills down my spine. The video could have been of an extremely angry silver-backed gorilla had it not been for the extra set of arms. There was no doubt. I had read up on girallons after my friend Clair’s Halfling monk got shredded like cheese by one.
Clair. The guys. Real quick there aren’t you Rheios?
I scrambled up on the counter, over to my cell phone. I pondered who to call and finally decided on Tony. The phone rang four times before he answered. The voice on the other end was gruffer than I remembered. “Hello?”

“Tony? Hey it’s me Rheios. What’s going on man? I have a bit of a cold myself.”

“Oh, sorry to hear that. I’m a dwarf. I thought you’d be a kobold.”

“I’m sorry, repeat that.”

“I’m a dwarf. Oh! And I can run through air on fire.”

I was silent for a time as I tried to wrap my mind around an half-Chinese, half-German dwarf charging through the skies on fire, “Tony, I know you’ve prayed a lot that, in the future, before you died, things would go kind of epic like this, and I have to ask – is this your fault? Oh, and Immanuel and Clair, are they…?”

“Nope. They’re normal. So you are a kobold? Cool. What are you going to do with your new powers?”

“My new powers?” Right the running fire dwarf “Wait! We have class-levels? I’d say you’re a monk with all the black-belt bak-fu action but you’re a little chaotic sometimes. Swordsage makes sense ,too, I guess, but I have to question whether or not you’re multiclass.”

“I think I’m gestalt, like in Ben’s campaigns. I can do the swordsage stuff, but my martial arts and boxing are even better!”

“Well I’m going to go see what I can do! Talk to ya later. Oh! Wait I-“Tony had already hung up, of course, as he doesn’t tiptoe around saying goodbye via the phone.

I went back to the girallon forum and read some posts. Trying to get some information before I finished.

I was reading the forum when a nonsensical error message sprang up. The box stated: “This sight is being shut down. All computers accessing this data will be removed from the internet. Press Exit to continue.” Now, I’m far from the best programmer, but I have a generally good sense about it, and it is my major, so I knew this was wrong on a few levels. So without thinking I pulled up the command line and then kind of grayed out. To this day I’m not sure what I did, or even if it even was possible, but I do know that when I came to I had the girallon video on my computer. I also had a tingling feeling in my chest and vocal cords, and on the air there seemed to hang some strange and foreign multi-syllabic word. Had I thought about it right then, I would have picked a different class to retrain in. I’ll tell ya a secret. I didn’t.

I moved to shut down my computer and stopped. Before I attempted to hop down from my stool I had one more thing to do. I spent another ten minutes searching for dragons. I had already checked the Monster Manuel, which meant checking out the wiki page and looking up the dragons there, ignoring the ones from Dragon magazine because I doubted whatever celestial DM was running this would have let me use those without pestering and I didn’t recall any. I finally found it in the Draconomicon, as I forgot I had it in my pile of D&D books and it doesn’t see as much use as it should. I should fix that next time I run a campaign. Backing up to the original point, I found the dragon that matched. A rust dragon. Wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it’s acceptable.

I turned off my computer, jumped down to the chair pressed against the stool, which rolled on the tile underneath it, sending me spilling off the chair. As I landed I felt a clattering, deep in the hollow of my chest, tittering my bones, separate from the initial impact. A number appeared in my head.(6) I groaned and stood. I didn’t seem to sustain an injury, but my ears Ear holes? were ringing. Okay! Rational deduction time. Judging by my knowledge of D&D, I’d have to say that was damage. As it didn’t really hurt, but did rattle me, I’d guess it’s nonlethal, somehow. And I’m still awake, so unless I have amazing Con for a kobold, I’m guessing my hit die’s pretty good. Which means I might be some kind of melee class! All right!
Here in the story I’ll skip my picking up the baseball bat by my front door and trying to do fancy things with it in the hallway of my house. It wasn’t anything more than what I could have done on a day to day basis, but it certainly wasn’t fighter material.
So what class am I?


Say a little prayer for me and mind:

I sat down and began thinking, trying to piece together what I knew. It was like a floodgate opening. I realized I knew a lot, about a lot. And, after some discourse with myself, I correctly identified that the word hanging in the air when I performed a miraculous data save was truespeak. I was a Truenamer.

“Maybe it isn’t so bad. Maybe you’re some kind of online, balanced, homebrew version?” Sure, because your complete lack of useable claws means that the cosmic DM’s big on internet supplements.

I ignored the sarcastic little man that lives in my head and, instead, concentrated on my second class. I hadn’t found a spell-book, but that didn’t guarantee anything. No, duh. Go look for your spell-book then.

I ran back into my room, as I had left the door open, and after knocking over a pile of papers and a binder, tearing the contents of one of my dressers apart, and even looking through my 40k Tyranid models and terrains I had found squat. As I was about to give up, though, I remembered a small purple notebook that I had planned to right some fiction stories in, but had never even opened. I grabbed my box of empty notebooks and pulled it out. The skin of the book was still purple, but no longer made of cardboard. It was bound with skin, I knew of some magically warped monster, though I wasn’t sure what kind. On the cover, carved into the scales and set with what looked like bloody steel, were words I did not recognize but could read. They said Prayerbook .

I knew of only one class that had a prayerbook. I was an Archivist//Truenamer.
And I was bound and determined to change the second one.

“HEY!! Cosmic Dungeon Master!! Hey! Big man behind the binders, you listening!? Who picked a non-variant Truenamer!? Because I’m sure it wasn’t me! Come on! Hey! Hellloooooo!? I don’t know if I can manifest as a player at the table, but trust me when I say that I can keep this up! I do have younger sibling that are much better at ignoring me than you probably are. Come on! I know you can hear -“

I felt all my muscles tighten and a stiff vibration rattled my body. Wind passed along my face from nowhere, and I felt a profound irritation in it. Well, great. Now you’ve annoyed the DM. Do you always feel the need to optimize? He’ll probably see if you can optimize a pancake now.

What ended up happening was quite contrary to that thought. The vibration continued, and I felt a strange emptiness abound within me. It gave a very clear message- Pick a new class, and quickly, or I’ll pick it for you.

I have a problem with speed, however, so when I sat down, closed my eyes, and began to reflect on who I was and what would fit me best, the hollow spot filled. I had picked my class without realizing it, and I felt a certain power in my veins. The source of power was not from my blood; I knew I wasn’t charismatic enough to be a sorcerer. It was stemming from one pulsing thought in me: A person is not their body, but their mind and soul. These things are where power sleeps. And I knew my mind was strong.

I also knew my class. The vibration seemed to rattle it into me. I stood up, feeling powerful on more levels than I could count.
“I am a Mystic of the mind. An Archivist of obscure knowledge. May my enemies tremble, because I have power once more!”

I felt glad only that no one was there to hear those words, because the next DM-subwoofer blast took the fire out of me.

“And I am first level…” Hah! Wuss. “I guess I should figure out my spells and prepare them.”


Thugprises!: (Okay, that one's pretty bad, but I couldn't think of anything)

Close to two hours later I was done. I’d hunted through some spells and prepared what I thought was best. My mind burned with power, just waiting for the proper lynchpin to be dropped for its completion. A similar power still rippled through my veins, provided from my meditations on the logic of my actions, my place in the universe, and my reasons for being. I was a little drunk with power, in fact. My face was even kind of tingly and numb from it.

I’d make an alc-y for arcana joke but I cast divine spells. More to the point, what are you going to do with your newfound power, oh first level kobold?
It was a good question and one that I pondered. I hadn’t found anything to prevent my mom from seeing me as a kobold, and I had a hard time reaching doorknobs, so leaving the house was difficult in, and of, itself. Deciding I did my best thinking in the bathtub, I hid my prayerbook behind the head of my bed and filled the bathtub with warm water.

Sometime later, after I’d retrieved my prayerbook and finished my bath, I still didn’t have anything. My best approach was probably honesty, but, while I did have a command spell prepared, I felt it was in bad form to mentally dominate my own mother into listening. To cut directly to the action I’ll skip lunch and get right to another rattling feeling. A number appeared, this time from a d20 plus modifiers and not damage. (19)

Ooo…nice roll. Uh-oh. From outside I heard my Mom’s car pull into the driveway. I darted into the living room and hid behind the couch. I could hear my mom’ footsteps, but then I heard something more. A low whisper, that I couldn’t decipher, and the sound of running. There was a brief scuffling sound, and then I heard my mom’s key unlock the front door to a chorus of whispers. The door opened and a 5’9’’ brown-haired man walked in. He wore jeans, black vans, and a baggy black shirt that read “Thugz 4 Life”, in gold and white, topped with decorated crown. He glanced around, his hand gripping a wooden baseball bat, before turning back and facing the doorway after about eight steps in. My mother, a woman about 5’5’’ with red-brown hair and blue eyes stepped in next. At her throat was a kitchen knife. It was being held there by a mousey black kid. He stood about the same height as my mom and had shortly cropped hair. He also wore jeans and vans, though his vans were red, and his shirt was plain and red, as well.
As the mousey kid closed the door, “Thugz” as I will now call him, started to let out a threatening whisper, “Okay, who else lives here?”

Thugz never got to his next sentence because a cold and somewhat alien feeling, but one I completely agreed with, rose within me. This is MY lair. They trespassed on MY property, and threatened MY family. Time for them to face my wrath. This thought urged me to act, and my first order of business was to get the knife away from my mother. I quickly muttered a few command words, fitting in the lynchpins to my spell.

Hope you enjoy surprise actions. I spoke in a clear hiss that had a magical reverb to it before stepping out from behind the couch. “Flee.”

The mousey kid’s eyes dulled out, the knife going limp at his side, before nodding once and then running out the partially opened door as fast as he could.

My mom darted past Thugz when he turned to look at me, a picture of confusion and shock playing out over his face. I thought briefly of a line from one of my favorite books, which states something about being an enemy’s Guy Fawkes and by extension a confusing, if obviously insane, adversary.

Now, while I personally would have tried to say something witty and divine spell related here, I found that I wasn’t quite in control any more. I felt more spectator-like. I knew that I wasn’t greying out from anger, as that normally feels like some roaring beast in my guts. This was different, still angry, but anger with a cold fury powered by blood-given superiority. That beast in my gut was dragon, and it made me say the following, “I offer you one warning to leave, before I kill you myself.” I felt another roll and watched as the number appeared. (15)

Thugz looked a little worried for all of an immediate action and then chuckled a little, “You can’t kill anything. I’m stronger than I ever was before, and a little lizard like you isn’t going to stop me.” With that, Thugz strode forward and swung his bat at me. I attempted to duck, but the bat still caught my shoulder, twisting my body, soreness blossoming from the impact.

I hissed through the pain and stepped back, away from another bat swing, as I painted arcane symbols in the air, drawing power from my blood, and whispered in draconic. My hand lit with a faint white aura and I laid it over my wounds. The pain subsided slightly as a number appeared (5) in my mind. I’m fairly certain I’m in trouble. There’s no way I can take another one of those.

Thugz took a step forward and swung his bat at me, but caught it on the ceiling, which lowers on its way into my kitchen. Thank goodness, a miss. I’m not even going to ask if it was DM Fiat. As the thought floated through my head, the door burst back open and Thugz’s partner, whom I will now call Mouse,(I know, I’m so creative) ran in.

“I thought you ran off like a <Censored>.”

“Nah, just went to check on your mom.”
I took this opportunity to take another step back, this time wedging myself partially around the corner into my kitchen, and spoke another set of words while my arms moved to meet the required positions. I intended this to hurt, “Mirt sva wer ofiln di mablikra!” My right hand showed a faint black color around it, wisps of negative energy.

“Look, you stab the <Censored> lizard, I’ll go get the <Censored, again, seriously?>.”

“Fo’ sho’”

Thugz turned and walked down the hall and Mouse moved into the tight space between me and the refrigerator. I’d have taken the attack, but I didn’t want to suffer the miss chance, I could only hope he was a worse shot than his buddy.
Of course, I’m not that lucky. Thankfully, he also wasn’t as strong as Thugz, so Mouse’s kitchen knife didn’t penetrate my new scales and only left me with the equivalent of a deep papercut. Oooooo…that freaking stings. Okay, in the interests of continuing my life, and because he’s made me angry, I’m killing him.
I shifted my stance to the one I’d learn from boxing, it wasn’t perfect with my new knees but I’d deal, and punched with my negative energy charged hand. The blow landed on his inner thigh. Mouse let out a sound not unlike a Chihuahua that’d been dropped kicked as two different numbers appeared in my head. One I knew was physical (2), and the other was the aforementioned energy (7) . Mouse collapsed to his knees, and away into the blissful release of unconsciousness. I, on the other hand, cracked my neck and darted down the hall after Thugz.

In the interest of clichéd comments: No one touches my mother.


Fight!
Now I live by a set of personal rules. Or at least I like to think I do, but I don’t get out enough to really test that theory. Either way, though, breaking and entering, threatening the inhabitants of a home, and then assaulting them with a baseball bat puts you firmly in my “it is alright to end his life” zone. Especially if it is my home, family, and life you’re threatening. As good as all that is, however, I’m also a tad cautious, so I slowed my darting considerably when I neared my mother’s room. I heard Thugz cursing out my mother, and I gathered she was hiding.

Okay. I have some time.

I spent the next “round” of my life doing the following. First, I weaved my hands through the air once more and whispered, “Bekirk mrith wer cekiw di tobor”. (8) . Afterwards I felt a hollowness in my veins as the divine power which rested there had been spent. So I rushed back to where Mouse lay and in the preceding round picked up his knife and hustled back down the hallway.

While I prepared from my heroic entry I could hear Thugz busting up my Mom’s bedroom. Just more marks against him in my mind. Then I heard a fight ensue over my mother’s closet door, which I can only assume was where she was hiding.

I steeled myself and ducked into the door. Thugz had set his baseball bat against the bookshelf by my mother’s closet. Books spilled out of its broken shelves where it was obvious he had struck. Great. He’s one of those criminals. I reached the bat easily and picked it up awkwardly with one hand. Let’s see how he likes being unarmed.
Thugz heard the clunk of his bat moving and released the doorknob before turning around. “<Censored>. I’m gonna kick your scaly <Censored> <Censored> so hard I’ll be wearing you like a boot.”

Thugz took a step forward and kicked at me. His foot struck my shoulder but his form was sloppy and I knew he couldn’t fist fight against someone with know-how. As he retracted his foot I swung at it with the knife, which seemed more like a short sword to me. Something I have no training in. The knife wobbly cut nicked his leg, however, and left a tell-tail bloody streak in his jeans. Thugz fired off more insults while I tossed the knife behind me, lifted the bat up in both hands and swung at him sideways. My swing nearly knocked me of my feet, making me stumble forward a step. I quickly reviewed the numbers that I’d been trying to ignore, as the proved distracting. (14, 1 , 17) A Natural one. Really? NOW? Thugz stepped forward as I stumbled and brought his fist down at an odd angle, trying to punch me. I side stepped it and swung the bat up into his chest, my heart nearly leaping into my throat at the numbers. (Nat 20, 9) Okay, now you’re just teasing me. No critical, but (4) followed the other two numbers up. Thugz grunted at the bat, and then lunged forward and grabbed my wrist in an iron grip. As he started to lift me I clung to the bookshelf with one hand, and used the bat to push away from him, trying to break his grip. With a push, and the roll of a die (13), I managed to break his hold. We both stumbled away from each other and he grinned.

“Bet you can’t do that again.” Thugz stepped forward and tried for another grab. I pulled my hand back and swung the bat up at him in response. (9) And he back-peddled away.

At this point the door flew open and my mother flung herself out and rammed a stun gun at Thugz, who dodged, cursing, and made for the knife I’d threw away. Both of us missed and Thugz stood up, knife in hand.

“Okay, that’s it. You guys stay back, and I’ll just be out of your hair.”

My mother, shaking, shouted, “Just get out.”

The feeling inside me had returned, however, and I hissed, “I’m going to kill you,” and charged flinging my weight into the bat. (19) The bat struck Thugz side and he grunted in surprise and pain. (4)

Thugz cursed and ran. I followed screaming after him in draconic. He ended outside my house on the curb, and so did I. My bat caught him again, a glancing blow to his rear (15, 2) and he made to push me over. I swung again as he stepped forward (15, 6) and caught him in the face. He bellowed in pain and jumped at me, I missed my next two swings (3 and 5) and he tackled me to the ground. I grunted as I landed, taking damage from the much bigger man landing on me. He pinned me under his bodyweight, and I cursed my size. He shifted his weight and began punching me. I grunted and made one final push to break the pin and failed.

Thugz suddenly shouted and went limp. I felt his weight pulled off of me and my mother stooped down to help me up. Once I was standing I looked myself over, and then looked up at her, “Thanks mom. Now help me get him inside.”
Thugz lay in the entryway to our house, the door now shut. We sat beside him, my mother staring at me.

“So you’re my son.”

“Yes. I take it you haven’t called the cops yet?”

“No, my, uh, my battery died.”

“Okay then, before you call on my phone, I have to do something. You should go into my room and wait.”

My mother slowly nodded, and I waited until I heard the door close. I quickly went and retrieved the Mouse’s knife before returning next to Thugz. I closed my eyes and pulled up the knowledge on my final prepared 1st level spell of the day. Detect evil. I went back into the kitchen and retrieved my prayerbook before returning to Thugz’s side. Wonder if this will work for a divine focus? “Evnek ekess ve whedabra batobot rekiwric persvek wer treskri” The book shown with a tarnished silver light and my senses exploded. As I stood next to Thugz I felt like I’d been dipped into an oil slick. I saw darkness lick the outlines of his body and his evil tasted like sewage to me. I spat on him and walked over to Mouse. Though the smell still lingered from Thugz, Mouse held none of it. He was probably a good kid in a bad crowd, and so I left him alone. Well because of that and because his breathing was quite shallow as if he’d just stabilized.

Thugz, however, I did not leave alone.

I rolled him over and slowly and carefully carved “Thief” into his forehead, using all of my cure minor wounds as I did so. The now scars on his forehead would probably fade, but not for some time.

“Okay you can come out mom!”

“Oh my! What did you do?”

“Heck, I could have killed him, but I didn’t. Plus there’s no evidence to support when he got those, and I don’t think they can prove the scars haven’t been there for some time. Anyway, go ahead and call the cops,” I paused for a little while at the look of shock on my mom’s face, “You okay?”

“No, I don’t think so. We’ll manage though, we always do.”

An hour later the cops were at my house, and that was where things got weird.


In the interst of full disclosure, I found a really cool site for translating Draconic that I will be using. It is here. (http://draconic.twilightrealm.com/)