The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 30 – Best Playing/DMing experience

Hmm, there have been so many that I have a hard time narrowing it down to one. Some of my favorites as a player include:

  • When Aeduin threw himself into a pillar of fire to save someone (thus becoming the Smoke-Eye, changing from bard to Cleric of Occipitus)
  • When Thelisn became a bodak PC and adventured for a time in that form
  • When the Gogun, my dwarven cleric, learned how to cast a fireball spell in White Plume Mountain, pissing off the party wizard. Of course that led to him becoming one of those believing himself to be Keraptis…
  • Playing Raistlin and facing off against Khisanth in Xak Tsaroth
  • When my barbarian, Strom, one shot killed the enemy wizard with a critical hit during their first encounter, completely derailing the DM’s plan for the next 4 sessions.
  • Finally, when Delban used a whisper spell to taunt Lord Soth in Ravenloft in trying to raise him from his stupor long enough to save Sithicus.

As a DM, I’ve had a few, but I’ve covered most of those in earlier posts and I’ve blathered enough across these 30 posts, don’t you think?

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 27 – Favorite Curse or Cursed Item

I am perhaps overly fond of cursed items. As a DM, anyway. I find them amusing and when I DM, I have thrown quite a few of them at my adventurers. It’s never powerful cursed items, just little things that will cause mischief or annoy. My favorite, however, has to be the infamous Belt of Gender Change. Few things more hilarious than a party member that suddenly finds themselves of a different gender.

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 26 – Favorite Mundane Item

I don’t really give too much thought to mundane items. They are just the essentials that sit on your character sheet, barely noticed or acknowledged except on rare occasion. About the only common exception is rope. Every character I have ever created must have rope. Usually 100′ of silk rope if I can carry it without being encumbered. Rope is absolutely essential to survival in every single campaign I have ever ventured on.

Other items come in handy from time to time, but not regularly. Tinder twigs, chalk, marbles, caltrops, crowbar, alchemist’s fire, and so on. Aside from rations, though, only rope is absolutely critical.

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 25 – Favorite Magic Item

That’s kind of a tough one. Again, I’ll split it up into player and DM faves and try and narrow it down to a couple.

As a player, one of my favorite magic items was a Tome of Evil that Delban picked up in Lord Soth’s castle in Ravenloft. It led him down a dark, dark path, quite literally. Eventually it caught up with him, however, as the forces of evil around Soth came looking for the book, forcing Delban to flee into the Underdark with a band of adventurers heading for the City of the Spider Queen. It gave him a reason to “rethink his life” and he is now on a path back to neutrality at least, if not eventually back to the light side.

Another player favorite was Whelm, a magical, drow hating war hammer. It would relentlessly sound a warning like a giant bell in the presence of drow. In retrospect, we probably should have paid the warnings more attention or we would have learned that one of our party members was actually a drow in disguise a bit sooner.

As a DM, I’ve had a couple as well. One was a magical axe of black metal that Delban fitted with a magical gem in which he temporarily captured the soul of his one-armed paladin brother, Terun. His intent was altruistic, even if his methods were not. It’s a long story with a happy ending involving a whack-a-mole stick, a rebel illithid and a city saved from invasion.

Another DM favorite is not quite a magic item, but a magical place. It’s a borrowed idea taken from an old issue of Dragon magazine. The Inn Between Worlds is an extra planar inn which wanders about, not tied directly to any specific plane of existence but with doorways leading to pretty much any of them. Some of them even lead to other times. The Inn traditionally has wandered through the multiverse, never really tied down anywhere. However, I have given it a more or less permanent home on Occipitus, the plane that’s not quite Abyss and not quite Celestial that is now linked irrevocably with my bard/cleric Aeduin. Aeduin has taken over ownership and has offered it up as neutral ground where all are welcome to come and trade, talk, make deals, or just drink. You may find a elves from Krynn meeting with elves from Myth Drannor, gnomes of Mt. Nevermind trading with warforged of Eberron, or a beholder and a gold dragon just getting together for a drink.

he D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 24 – Favorite Spell

As a PC, my all time favorite is the cleric spell Flamestrike. That spell is frickin awesome. Half of it is fire damage and half of it is divine damage which bypasses just about any damage reduction.

As a DM, I’m overly fond of Silence and Greater Dispel Magic. Nothing like making PC spellcasters epically frustrated by not being able to cast most of their spells and for all the party members to lose their buffs and have their magic items effectively neutralized.

I know. I’m evil.

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 23 – Least Favorite Monster Overall

Gnoll rangers. It’s a funny story. Well, OK, it wasn’t all that funny. You had to be there. Suffice it to say if the rest of your party is trapped behind an iron grate, don’t wander off to scout the area while they’re working to get through to your side. Just don’t do it. Don’t. Even if you’re a one-armed paladin. Just don’t.

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 22 – Favorite Monster Overall

That’s a tough one, but I’d probably have to say the girallons. Nothing more terrifying than a 4 armed ape that can literally rip party members in half if they get a good grip. We had one encounter where just a couple of the things really beat the snot out of our party. It wasn’t fun.

Second favorite are beholders. Always a tough battle whenever you encounter one just because there are so many different types of attacks to try and defend yourself against, especially with the anti-magic cone from their main eye punking your abilities to do much damage to them.

The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 21 – Favorite Dragon/Dragon Type

As far as a specific dragon goes, the hands down winner is Tiamat/Takhisis. This is probably due to my great love for the Dragonlance books & modules as well as the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon that I watched as a kid. And yes I know she’s a deity and not strictly a dragon, but I don’t care.

As far as dragon types/colors, in general I’m a fan of the more exotic dragons, like the planar dragons. They’re an interesting group with a lot of unique and fun breath weapons to mess with a party of adventurers. As far as the “classic” types, I tended to like the brass and bronze dragons. Small, swift, independent and always speak their minds.