A couple weekends ago, I got invited to my friend’s house to play some Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition. I haven’t had an opportunity to play real D&D since I was in high school, and so I was pretty out of practice. I’m pretty sure I used either the 2.0 or 2.5 ruleset back then, as THAC0 was still around. I only played once and while I had fun, I didn’t get to really experience the whole of the game.

Some time later, Bioware released Neverwinter Nights for the computer, and I got to experience the game again with the new d20 system that was part of the 3.0 and 3.5 ruleset. Unfortunately, a computer game just doesn’t have the same social and roleplaying aspect that sitting around a table with your friends does.

Thankfully, I got the opportunity to play with Crusher, et al. I decided to roll a Half-Elf Wizard, and he actually turned out to be pretty badass. I chose a Wizard so that I could really try some unique methods to resolving combat and other encounters. It really made the game more enjoyable to be able to work around within the rules of the game to try options other than just murdering everything that moves.

In our earliest encounter, we all fell asleep in an inn and during the night woke to find black-clad assassins fighting the city watch. After a few interesting combat maneuvers (such as one of our party leaping from the balcony to crush the assassin below), we set out on a quest to recover the kidnapped son of the local baron. During our journey, we were set upon by a band of gnolls while passing through a valley. The combat was quick and bloody, with one gnoll left alive for information. We soon discovered that the gnolls mistook us for some humans that had attacked a hideout nearby. These gnolls were part of a raiding party on their way to free their comrades.

We quickly reached the hideout and brought our new gnoll friend with us. Once inside, however, we discovered many dead bodies of human and gnoll alike. In the main room we discovered a battle between them. A battle ensued in which the party did their best to knock unconscious as many gnolls and humans as they could to attempt to get to the bottom of this mess. One of the more entertaining moments of the night happened when one player misunderstood why we were attacking the gnolls and turned on another player. In the end, it provided some excellent character development.

Unfortunately, while searching the other passages, the gnolls escaped, killed the remaining humans (it’s okay, they were evil, anyway), and fled. Soon after we discovered the advisor to the baron had kidnapped the baron’s son and charmed him. We returned to the baron’s castle, but could not convince them that anything was wrong with the baron’s son. The baron died that evening and we quickly found ourselves in prison.

Throughout the campaign, one of the players (the usual DM and a rather argumentative father of one of the other players) fought with Crusher over many of his and the party’s decisions. Mostly he was frustrated that we didn’t kill everything we met. He was quite happy to find the party had no qualms about killing guards that were under the baron’s advisor’s control.

We managed to kill the advisor, free the baron’s son and seek out an inn for the night. It was a very exciting evening and one I hope to repeat soon. I also hope to get some 4th edition rule books so that I can start my own campaign with some other friends and family members that might be interested. I’ll write more if and when I get the chance to play again.

Download this article as an e-book