D&D 101: The Party Wrassles an Ogre

The journey continues, as Jordan Barber teaches first-time players of Dungeons and Dragons.

After their last adventure, the party continues to mull around the town of Brindol, gathering clues to determine the source of the recent goblin attacks. They are about to meet with the local town leaders, when a commotion disrupts the peace outside their inn. Scanning the scene, the group discovers townsfolk fleeing their homes.


The Cast
Jordan as… the Dungeon Master
Nick as… Handley Toshane, a male Halfling Rogue
Kevin as… Twitter McFacebook, a transgendered Human Wizard
Clay as… Emma Fierce, a female (lesbian) Dragon-born Paladin
Aaron as… Bigby O’Toole, a male Half-Elf Cleric
Sean as… Chen Stubsters, a male Dwarf Fighter

Jordan: You hear shouting. As you step outside, a throng of townsfolk are fleeing their homes. They’re fleeing a curious sight. A monstrous-looking creature, an Ogre (check out that pic of the statue eating children in that article), about two-men tall and two-men wide, is pulling a large cart and holding a cask in one huge hand, with a club in his other. Two Hobgoblins with bows are perched atop the wagon.

Kevin: Cue Final Fantasy fight music!

The cast tries their best to imitate the generic Final Fantasy music. Sean is off key.

Nick: This is more like Final Fantasy Tactics, honestly.

The DM draws a map on a grid, adding markers and buildings.

Nick: So I feel like we need to disable this wagon. What does it look like?

Jordan: The Ogre is pulling it by a strap at the waist. It has two wheels, and is made of wood. Nick’s character notices that the Hobgoblins are standing on top of more casks.

Clay: Casts? Casks.

Aaron: Barrels. Just… different.

Nick: I don’t necessarily have to share this information, right?

Kevin: Why wouldn’t you?

Nick: I’m a schemer. Maybe I want to scheme.

Jordan: As you run outside, the Ogre throws his cask. When it hits the ground, it explodes and catches nearby debris and a building on fire.

The DM places some orange-colored beads on the map to indicate the areas on fire.

Nick: And he has more of those?

Jordan: Yeah. So after he throws that one, one of the Hobgoblins riding on top hands him another one.

Nick: I can speak Goblin…

Jordan: You might be able to catch what they say.

Nick: Can I bluff? Be like, “Hey, we’ve got a goblin twice as big, you better skedaddle.”

Sean: Better git’.

The DM calls for an Initiative Roll, which indicates that combat has begun, with a whole new set of rules in place. The game slows down significantly, and now players must precisely indicate their actions and movement.

Kevin: Okay, Twitter McFacebook is going to move forward toward the Ogre.

Kevin moves his marker on the map.

Kevin: So there are casks in that wagon? That are flammable?

Jordan: Yep.

Kevin: Well let’s burn that shit up. I’m going to cast the Scorching Burst spell on the wagon: “a vertical column of flame burns ALL WITHIN.”

Clay: So you’re going to hit them all.

Dice rolling.

Jordan: One of the casks explodes, burning one of the Hobgoblins riding on top the wagon and the Ogre itself. They look annoyed.

Kevin: Wouldn’t it be nice if they all just died?

Aaron: Yeah, I’d just grab the fire hose.

Nick: While you’re all doing that, I’ll burglarize everyone’s homes. Including that burning one.

Jordan: They don’t all die, unfortunately. In fact, none of them are dead.

Kevin: Okay, well I did my turn. Let’s see some hustle out there.

Jordan: The Ogre throws the cask, now lit with the help of a Hobgoblin, at Twitter McFacebook.

Kevin: Oh shit. Shiiiiiit.

Jordan: It explodes, and Twitter is burned for seven damage.

Kevin: Shit. I’m retreating. (Kevin’s Wizard has low health, maybe 10 hit points total.)

Nick: As a minor action I’d like to activate my marshmallow toast ability.

Aaron: Okay, I’ll run up and help Twitter, who’s on fire.

Kevin: Twitter is down!

Aaron’s character Bigby O’Toole, blessed with the healing properties of his deity, magically cures Twitter of some of his wounds.

Nick: (looking at the fire on the map) I feel like I can’t really do anything here… Can I throw a dagger?

Kevin: Oh yeah, that’ll stop a giant Ogre with explosive barrels.

Nick throws a dagger at one of the riding Hobgoblins instead.

Kevin: Is anyone else imagining this Ogre as the Rancor, and the riding creatures as Jawas?

Sean: I was actually going for the Cave Troll in Lord of the Rings.

Clay: That’s what I was thinking! Anyway, my turn. Emma Fierce is going to throw a javelin!

Emma Fierce runs past her compatriots, tossing a javelin in the air and sticking it in the large Ogre.

Kevin: “Falcon kick!”

Clay: Okay, I’m done with that.

Clay moves Emma Fierce back behind everyone else.

Nick: What the fuck? You’re supposed to be the burly guy standing in front to protect everyone. That’s your role.

Clay: Meh.

Sean: I want to take out the fire instead. Can I get a bucket anywhere?

Aaron: I have a waterskin!

Sean: Okay, that idea is stupid. I’m going to try throwing a dagger too, but I want to hit that strap on the Ogre.

The DM makes some dice rolls. Sean’s character (what’s his name?) throws his dagger, but misses and hits nothing instead.

Sean: I’m just building up steam. Wait till next turn.

Aaron: Yeah, dagger throwing doesn’t seem like your specialty.

Kevin spends another turn lighting the wagon on fire.

Aaron: Alright, let’s have someone productive go.

Aaron moves his character.

Aaron: Bigby O’Toole is going to use Sacred Flame, a divine power. Sacred Flame “sears an enemy with its divine radiance, while at the same time giving aid to an ally.”

Everyone snickers.

Aaron: What?

Sean: Every ability your character has used is just… fabulous. My character is getting a serious gay vibe from you.

Aaron: Who me? Bigby O’Toole?

Sean: Lance of Faith? Bedazzling Light?

Nick: Ray of Light?

Kevin: You are divine!

Aaron: Yeah… okay, I’m casting my spell. Oh shit. (Aaron rolls a 5.) I probably miss.

Jordan: Well you tried, and that’s what’s important.

Clay: Okay, leave me an opening; I’ll run up and attack.

Kevin: And then hide behind a building again?

Clay: I have a good plan!

Jordan: The Ogre lets out an angry yell.

Clay: Blargh!

Kevin: I’m hungry!

Jordan: He swipes at Emma Fierce twice, hitting you with his club twice for 10 damage. The Hobgoblins fire their bows, and one pierces Twitter McFacebook for 7 damage.

Kevin: Je-sus. I’m gonna die. And you’re gonna’ miss me. You’re all gonna miss me.

Eventually the Ogre is felled and the wagon blows up, killing both the Hobgoblins riding on top. The town’s buildings are in various states of disrepair, some smoldering and some still on fire.

The group takes a moment to collect itself and heal up.

Aaron: Can you ravage the corpses?

Kevin: I don’t think that’s the right verb.

Nick: Yeah, is there any loot?

Instead of aiding the weary townsfolk or dousing the nearby buildings, the group pokes around the dead bodies to see if there are any valuables. Emma Fierce tries to take the Ogre’s club, which is actually just a small tree root. He struggles to move it.

Kevin: Okay, well I go back to our inn and look for the continental breakfast.

Clay: It’s night!

Kevin: This was not complimentary, by the way.

With the Ogre successfully slain, and local townsfolk (begrudgingly) grateful for the party’s help, they retire for the night. The town is at peace, for now. The root of these recent troubles, however, seems to be a much greater problem.

Kevin: Is there an erotic Dungeons and Dragons? There must be.

Jordan Barber is proud that the internet allows him to criticize, admonish, and irritate people from his own living room. And though this immense power only comes to the few, he promises to wield his hammer of judgment with a standoffish, thoughtful outlook.