Dragons in Dungeons, Oh My!

yeah yeah go ahead and call me a nerd, it is 100% accurate so I’ll accept that

Anyhow, I played Dungeons and Dragons last night! First time I’ve ever played, actually, despite the fact that I make jokes about the content all the time. Like most bits of nerd culture, I’ve absorbed enough information secondhand that I can trick people into thinking I know what I’m talking about when I really don’t. It’s like secondhand smoke, only instead of cancer you get accepted into an insular subculture.

Of course, I didn’t get back to my dorm until about 1:00, didn’t get to sleep until like 1:30, so I am super tired right now. If there’s any grammar or spelling errors in this post… I was going to say I’ll go back and fix them later, but let’s be honest, I’ll probably forget.1

I’m pretty happy with how I did, though, considering that I’m still mostly sitting around muttering “I have no idea what’s going on” under my breath. I’m playing a chaotic-neutral high elf sage-librarian wizard2 who got recruited into the group halfway through an adventure.3 Closer to the end, actually – they fought through the last room of minions before the boss, and then I was in a little room off of that room. Apparently I’d been working for the bad guys, but not very willingly: as we walked into the final room of the map, our were-bear-barian4 charged in, ripped the enemy mage to shreds, and then… ran out of actions that turn. After a little bit of dilly-dallying,5 it was my turn. Unfortunately for me, I’d been far enough back that none of my spells could reach the other enemy in the room, an incubus.

And then I remembered that, since I’d started at Level 5 so I wouldn’t be underpowered compared to everyone else, I’ve got a couple third-level spells.6 One of which is Lightning – with a range of 100 feet, more than triple that of anything else I’ve got. So I cast, and the enemy has to make a saving throw – an attempt to dodge, or otherwise take the hit without taking full damage. On a twenty-sided die, the succubus rolled… a one. “Critical fail,” the Dungeon Master said, beginning to grin. Lightning, being 3rd Level, does 8d6 damage – 8 six-sided dice – and a critical fail doubles that.

Or, to remove the math that a good portion of my readers won’t be following even slightly: the incubus exploded.

The situation being what it was – my having been working for them and just tendered my resignation in a very emphatic way, I was pretty much required to fire off some sort of quip. “Next time I ask for a raise, boss? Just give me the raise.” I brush invisible dust off my hands, try to ignore the smell of ozone that’s now filling the room, and turn away from the 100-foot long line of scorch marks on the floor, walls, and ceiling, and see the looks of awe on the faces of my party.

The moral of the story? Dungeons and Dragons is fun, and I’m looking forward to playing again sometime. And now? Now I’m going to try to stay awake through my first class of the day. It’ll be a struggle.


  1. My mantra for today shall be survive until noon, because after noon I’m free until four, or, in college terminology, “naptime.” 
  2. Good lord does D&D keep track of a lot of information about characters… 
  3. I’m not sure if that’s the correct term, but I’m just gonna roll with it for now. 
  4. He’s a were-bear and also a barbarian. Stop and think about how cool that is. 
  5. That’s such a fun phrase. Dilly-dallying. Dilly-dallying. (I’m kinda impressed that autocorrect isn’t trying to make a mess of it, actually.) 
  6. Don’t ask, because I honestly still don’t really understand the math involved.