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The Saving Throw
Most Ridiculous Gaming Moments Feb. 1, 2006
These are the gaming moments that defy comprehension or are simply truly stupid or ridiculous.

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A Long, Slippery Battle
  contributed by Nwash

This is the story of one of the longest and most painful battles I've ever had to endure. We were playing with Dungeons and Dragons, Second Edition rules in my friend's realm. There were three players; I was playing a ninja this time around. Our party was led by a female paladin, and the other player character was a dwarven fighter. There was also an NPC druid with the group. We had been sent to investigate an area called the Shattered Lands, which turned out to be cursed by undead. The undead in this realm were under the control of a death knight named Lord Dracmare, and his undead forces were called Nockmare.

Another of our parties had managed to bury Lord Dracmare, literally speaking, so he wasn't currently a threat, but his forces still were. At this time, we weren't really aware of what was happening in these lands yet, but we did know that the Nockmare were roaming around freely. We had been encouraged to examine the ruined city of Narcil, where Lord Dracmare and his forces had once been defeated long ago, and so we set out to do just that. Outside of this city, we were attacked by a large group of skeletons under the control of a nearby necromancer.

Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, but it had begun to rain, and the clay ground had turned to slippery mud. Thus, we were making Dexterity checks every round to stay on our feet. Even with my ninja's high Dexterity, I was falling a great deal as well, mostly due to a string of improbably unlucky rolls. Rounds were passing without either side managing to inflict much damage. Somewhere in the battle, I did manage to throw a pepper grenade into the face of the necromancer, earning his anger. He'd later repay me for that, but that is only a side note.

At any rate, the guy playing the dwarf and I were both noticing that when the paladin failed her Dexterity check and fell to the ground, she was dropping her weapons and they were getting buried in the clay. Being a ninja with an expensive and difficult-to-replace katana, I decided not to mention this oversight to the DM. While the dwarf's weapons were not so difficult to replace, his player also wisely decided to keep his mouth shut.

Thus, the paladin dropped her long sword on the first fall. This is when we began to realize that she was a walking weapon storehouse; she drew a frost brand she had acquired earlier in the campaign. I believe she managed to stay on her feet for a couple of rounds and actually inflict some damage, but in this battle, the theme was falling down embarrassingly and getting really dirty. Thus, she eventually fell again, dropping her frost brand into the clay.

This is when we, meaning the other player and I, were starting to realize that the DM wanted the paladin to try to retrieve one of her weapons. Unfortunately, the player of the paladin could sometimes be a little... dense. Instead, she came back to her feet and drew a short sword to continue tangling with the skeletons. We thought of mentioning something, but well, I still didn't want to drop my weapons, and so I remained silent. I believe the other player was quiet for the same reason. Really, at this point, we were just hoping to get through it without losing anything; that's all we really cared about anymore.

The paladin fell again soon enough and lost her short sword. The DM pointedly asked if she was going to draw her dagger and fight with that next. This time, however, she finally decided to try to retrieve one of her weapons, much to our relief. We could now see if what we suspected was true.

Of course, this is exactly what the DM was waiting for, and waiting about two hours for in fact. The paladin reached into the wet clay and retrieved... a broken sword! Yes, this may seem anticlimatic, but upon freeing this broken sword from the clay, the skeletons and the necromancer suddenly decided to retreat. Sure, this meant a lot of pain for little experience, but we didn't care. It was over! We finally got to move on and try to clean ourselves off.

The paladin's broken sword turned out to be the hilt and part of the blade of the sword that had defeated Lord Dracmare so long ago, however. During the campaign, we would retrieve the other two pieces of the sword and get it reforged. One of the benefits of being a paladin is to eventually get a holy avenger. A holy avenger is a powerful magical weapon, usually a sword, that inflicts greater damage to evil characters, among many other special benefits. This would turn out to be this paladin's holy avenger. Since it was struck by lightning while the blade was inside Lord Dracmore, this weapon also inflicted up to 8 points of lightning damage on a critical hit, though this player rolls critical hits so rarely I don't know if the paladin ever discovered this.

Of course, if the paladin hadn't been a walking armory, maybe it would've taken a hour less to acquire this first piece.



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