A Campaign Dies

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been playing and DMing for many years. When I went away to college in the mid-90’s, I took my D&D books with me, figuring that I’d find people to play with in college. My first year of college, I didn’t game at all. There was a lot of things going on and it just didn’t really present itself as a new. And my books did serve a purpose, for my public speaking course, I did an instructional speech on how to play D&D.

My sophomore year was a bit different. My resident advisor was into rpgs and there was an interesting mix of people on our floor. I decided I would run a game for almost entirely new to D&D players. This was back in the 2nd Edition days, so making a character was pretty quick. This was a while ago, so things are a little fuzzy, but I believe for their first adventure they went through a typical D&D style dungeon crawl. It was set in caverns, included giant spiders, and I believe a pc got killed during the first adventure which nearly led to a fight between characters over looting their comrade’s body.

This should have been a harbinger of things to come.

We played several adventures based around my idea of the time of what was a good adventure. Lots of things got killed, people got some loot, and for the most part folks were having fun. I had gotten some issues of Dungeon Magazine and decided to run an adventure from it.

The party was conned into believing they were working for a secret police type group. Details slip my mind, but the party ended up splitting up, half attempting to break into an upper level of an inn to recover an object, while the other group tried a more direct approach. After several failed rope climbing attempts by the fully armored paladin, the one group was ambushed, while the second group was caught by the town guard. When they provided their “papers”, it was revealed they were duped. One if the players upon realizing this uttered the most memorable phrase, “We’re so stupid.”

The party eventually fled the city and ended up capturing a goblin. They were attempting to interrogate the goblin, who only spoke goblin, and none of them spoke goblin. As they were getting no where, half the group wanted to kill the helpless goblin, but the paladin and some of the group opposed this. It ended with the party attacking each other, and me in frustration yelling, “Tear up your sheets, campaign’s over.”

Looking back, there were plenty of signs that this group was destined for trouble. Lots of lessons learned for sure, but the story of the campaign still brings a chuckle to the friends I’m still in touch with.


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