Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Joy Of Creative Players

In a recent post I mentioned PCs taking on the roles of bad guys during play. The action decribed briefly in that post glossed over a scene with the characters crossing a chasm amid a fog cloud and having to rescue one that had fallen in. The scene led to a very creative bit of play by some of the players and never fails to make me smile when thinking back on it.

Rashid had attempted to pursue a thieving dopplganger across the stone bridge. Not wishing to be caught the creature pulled a magical knot from his rope belt, blew across the knot creating a thick wall of fog to obscure the narrow pass over the chasm. Streamers of fog spilled into the darkness below and soon so too did Rashid.

He survived the 20 foot fall into a pile of discarded decaying corpses and other castoff waste. Standing up and trying to get his bearings he called out that he was ok. Then he heard something move amid the darkness and mist surrounding him. He made sure to convey his concerns to his companions.

Above, Elwyn and Ted prepared spells as Otis readied a rope. Ted cast light on the end of the rope and had Otis lower it down. He instructed Rashid to yank at the rope so they would know where he was. As Rashid did so, the light exposed a frightening silhouette. A large roundish creature with waving tentacles was upon him and he shouted for help "now!"

Elwyn, unable to see anything below aside from the scattered glow of the light spell in the mist, used the rope as a guide for targetting her sleep spell. It was risky since Rashid was certain to succumb, but not knowing what danger he faced meant she might be consigning him to his death if the creature resisted the spell.

The spell worked. Otis climbed down, slew the carrion eating beast which had managed to paralyze Rashid before falling asleep beside him, and tied Rashid to the rope. He climbed up and together they hauled their sleeping friend back to the stone bridge.

The scene above shows that simple things can become very useful when applied in out-of-the-box ways. Casting light on the rope to help Rashid find it was good, but then using the rope to target a spell put the icing on the cake.

This same group later used the same light on rope approach to recover another party member that had fallen through a hole into a rapidly flowing underground stream. Hoping he had managed to grab onto something and that he was also where he could breath, they strung out nearly 100 feet of rope, with the light spell on the end, into the current.

That character saw the light source floating toward him as he hung onto a jutting rock in the dark cavern and was able to tie it around himself and get pulled back through to safety.

These are the kinds of things that make being a DM fun for me. Seeing the creativity players exhibit when faced with difficult and dangerous situations is what gives this hobby the allure it holds for so many of us.

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