Author Topic: The Thief and the Fall  (Read 2229 times)

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Offline David Roomes

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The Thief and the Fall
« on: March 12, 2016, 12:39:12 PM »
During the Avisarr 98 campaign, the party was searching for the skulls. During the third skull quest, the party was making its way through a huge inter-dimensional labyrinth… one where each door or passageway might take you to a chamber that’s a few feet away or in another plane of existence.

During one portion of this immense labyrinth, the players found themselves starring across a vast subterranean chasm. This rocky chasm was more than 50 meters across and so deep that they couldn’t see the bottom. The depths just disappeared into darkness. Spanning the chasm were hundreds of floating rocks. Some were as small as a skull and others were as big as a warhorse. The rocks were static and simply floated in position.

After a little bit of testing, it was determined the rocks would support their weight (although stepping on to a rock was a bit like stepping into a rowboat… the rock would wobble a bit). The players decided they would carefully jump from rock to rock to reach the other side. For safety, they decided to lash everyone together with rope in a long, single file line.

We had with us a relatively new and inexperienced player who was playing an RPG for the first time. This person was running an elven thief character. Despite warnings from all of the other players and the DM, this player chose to leap out onto the first rock without lashing to any of the other characters. This thief then began to jump from rock to rock toward the far side. No rope, no safety line, just dexterity and luck. The other players called for the thief to come back, that it wasn't safe and they should lash together, but their warnings were ignored.

Of course, about half way across, the thief missed a Dex check and slipped off a rock and fell into the darkness. Now, as DM, I didn’t want to kill off a neophyte player, no matter how stupid and unlucky they were. This was, literally, their first D&D character ever. So, I decided that there were layers of floating rocks below, several layers, which the players couldn't see. As the thief fell to the second layer of floating rocks, another Dex check was made to try to grasp and hold on to one upon impact. The thief hit, but failed the roll, took some damage, slid off and continued to plummet downward. The same thing happened with the third layer of rocks and the fourth.

By this time, other players were rolling their eyes and laughing. Finally, the thief come upon a fifth layer of floating rocks (far below the other players) and I decided this was the last chance. The thief slammed into a large rock, rolled a 20 on the Dex check and managed to hold tight. By that time, the thief was badly wounded from having impacted several rocks during the fall and was near death. It took more than an hour for the other players to get down there (using a lot of rope and some careful belaying). But the thief was eventually retrieved and healed.

While down there, the players decided to explore a bit further down and eventually found the bottom. At the very bottom, they found skeletons of those who had previously fallen. They searched the moldering bones and found a few pieces of nice treasure.

The new player learned a lesson that there’s value in group wisdom. The party actually ended up finding a little treasure which they might not have found had the thief not fallen and I didn’t end up killing the character of someone very new to role playing. Not my best day as a DM, I admit... I can still see the other players rolling their eyes... but it all worked out in the end.
David M. Roomes
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Offline sid6.7

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Re: The Thief and the Fall
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 06:31:39 PM »
that's hilarious!

come see Kramxel at

Offline tanis

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Re: The Thief and the Fall
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 08:41:52 PM »
Lol. Well, at least the party got rewarded for their amusement.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.