Friday, December 18, 2009

The Lord of the Rings as the Greatest D&D Game EVER.

Anyone that plays Dungeons & Dragons will tell you that the game is heavily influenced by Tolkein's work. All of the races and several of the monsters came into being based on things seen in Lord of the Rings. Perhaps because of this, the storyline of the trilogy sounds like the single best D&D campaign ever written.

Think about it: The game starts with 4 people. They play for a couple of weeks, spending a night on characters meeting each other, a night in the first town to sort of learn how the world works and work on rules and everything, then somebody wants to play, a guy who's been playing D&D since his uncle taught him at the age of seven, and the DM says "Alright, but you're going to be playing the wizard. And also, this is a low-magic world so your spells kind of suck". The new guy says "Alright," and proceeds to be the most awesome person in the party. After a couple more sessions, having accomplished their first quest (making it to Rivendell,) the DM lets the Gandalf player invite a couple of his friends to join the game. Super-backstory-ranger Aragorn is the first to show up, playing an NPC that just happened to fit the story he had come up with. The DM then makes that shadowy allusion he made earlier with Gandalf's letter all the cooler by letting Aragorn be the last in a line of kings of Men. Boromir, Legolas, and Gimli play the melee tank, the archer, and the barbarian, respectively. We've all played with these guys. They enjoy one aspect of combat, and it's all they focus on. Eventually, the DM figures out what the plot hook's gonna be (by expanding that delivery quest) and the Fellowship of the Ring sets out. The DM railroads the party into Moria with a stupid-powerful NPC wizard who for some reason gets to do all the cool things Gandalf tries to do but gets denied by that balance-minded DM. A few horrible fumbles later (really Pippin? You roll a 1 on the Move Silently that decided whether we survive or not? So they wake up the Balrog and a whole ton of orcs (Legolas and Gimli say "Sweet! Grinding!"). The Gandalf player realizes he's the only one with a shot of thinking his way out of the situation, so he stays behind to let the others go. The DM, saddened that his nigh-deific demon is being aggro controlled, kills Gandalf with No Save. So now Aragorn is the best RPer in the group, and therefore manages to take party leader. They make it into Lothlorien so that Aragorn can use his elvish upbringing and the party can heal after the crazy battle in the mines. Frodo at this point starts getting pissed because he's not the most important character in the game any more, and Boromir is tired of always getting shown up. Boromir quits after they leave Lothlorien, and Frodo talks the DM into letting him and Sam have a side-campaign. Merry and Pippen are cool with whatever, so they agree to getting kidnapped to give Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli a plot hook. The DM uses the Uruk-hai to kill Boromir, who happened to fall to the Bane of Isildur, and then Frodo and Sam peace out. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas stay for an extra 8 hours that night to get the chase scene done, then Merry and Pippen come back for the next week. Gandalf's finally over being pissed about his character dying, so he comes back with a new (better) character because the DM felt bad. Merry and Pippen's side-quest early the next week brings them into contact with a sweet NPC named Treebeard who raises an army of TREES to beat up on Saruman, and on the way bring Gandalf back into the story. Isengard gets destroyed, the main part meets back up, and they go to Rohan and take part in Helm's Deep. Then Frodo and Sam's session comes up, and they have no combat skills because they BOTH took levels in straight Rogue (Come on, neither of them learned how to actually USE the sword they carry?) Sam realizes that Frodo has become the worthless character so obsessed with one aspect of something that they're useless in all other situations and starts leveling in Fighter. Blah blah blah, stupid random encounters later, and the Guiding NPC betrays them, which goes very badly for Frodo, but since Sam's been preparing for stuff getting real, he's able to smack his way through everything the game tosses at him (his d20 must have been lucky that night). Next night with the main party, they go to Gondor to fight Sauron and help Frodo's quest (hey, it's still a valid plot hook). Stuff goes down, they have the Battle of Minas Tirith (in which every single one of them crits like nobody's business), and then they meet at the gates of Mordor. They have to wait for Frodo and Sam to finish their campaign, so they stop. Frodo almost fails one Will Save too many, but the DM's all like "Alright, let's fix this" and has Gollum bite off his finger and save the world. The next week the whole party (minus Boromir) get together for the end of the campaign. Merry, Pippen, Sam, and Frodo don't want to stop playing, so they go home to the Shire and find that it's all gone to hell. They get to show off all the character levels they gained over the past campaign, and then the story ends with Frodo and Sam going off to Valinor with Bilbo and the Elves.

Boromir is the only one who will look back and bitch about how awful this campaign was.

1 comment:

Bruce Richards said...

False. Haven't you read DM of the Rings?

Clearly the greatest DnD game of all time is the Star Wars saga.