Blinded by the light~!

Oh, that’s just great. Now I’m going to have that song stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

thanks obama

Welcome again, one and all, to the wonderful misadventures of Ali’s D&D life. This is the second and final part of the “happy little accidents” segment of my tabletop ramblings. Why do I call them that? These are moments in games where I try to do one thing, and the outcome ended in one of two ways: I planned something that I thought would be cool or fun, and the result was still cool, though not what I had in mind; or I had a plan, I didn’t expect it to work, and it ended up working out in a fantastic fashion. In the post before this, I talked about unintentionally kill-stealing from a rogue by wild magic surging him with poison. This one, fortunately (or unfortunately…depending on how twisted your mind is, I guess), does not involve maiming of fellow party members.

As a brief recap, magic is new in this world. The whole place is only several hundred years old, so magic isn’t well developed or researched or whatever. My character found out she could cast magic via an accident and was expelled from/she left her village. She went off in search of answers, and how to possibly control this new thing happening to her.

Fast forward several gaming sessions, and our party has just received word that weird things are happening in my character’s village. Not just strange, but “the new leader has lost their shit and is building up an army in a village that never needed an army before” levels of messed up. The leader had received help from a bad guy we had met before, so it is agreed to go check it out.

We get to the village, and there are now 5 constructed towers that weren’t there when my character left a couple years ago. In game, years, not…out of game years. Each one of these towers were a unique color made from different kinds of material. That’s not ominous at all. We make the trek further into the village, and after talking to some folks, we find out that the new chief has actually been missing and that his wife (my “rival”) had been making all the calls. It’s decided that we should check out these towers and get more information about them than what’s been offered, which isn’t much.

It’s soon realized, both in and out of game that these towers are puzzles. One made us feel like we were in water. One had a few zombies or golems we had to fight. The color of the tower gave us a hint as to what to expect without really giving anything away…other than the blue tower. That was the water one. If we “solved” the puzzle, we were rewarded with a special gem.

We head up to the top of one of the towers, and when we get there, we are met with a creature no party really should want to face:

A beholder. A big floating ball with a giant eyeball in the middle of its face, and covered with these stalks that also had eyes on them. And just like the Spanish Inquisition, we most certainly were NOT expecting it.

spanish inquisition

Obviously, fighting ensues, and the other wild mage in the group ends up getting turned to toasted human. I’m struggling to find something to use that would be helpful; unlike the other wild mage, I focused on gathering almost all defensive spells (remember, I don’t play conventionally). I’m flipping through the player’s handbook and my spell list, trying to find SOMETHING that might keep us from getting our asses beat. With a sigh, I finally chose something:

“I’m going to cast blind on the beholder.”

Blind on a beholder? Would that even wordk? I didn’t know how I could possibly blind a giant floating ball with more than 10 eyes. And, let’s be real here, I didn’t even know how it would work mechanically. Would the spell work on only one eye? Would it work on all of them? I had never seen it done before, and trust me, I’ve seen some crazy things go down in games. All I could do was sit and hope that something would happen, though I didn’t have my hopes up.

The DM rolls the dice for the beholder’s saving throw. I’m actually expecting it to make its save, especially since I don’t honestly know the stats for a beholder. I don’t usually go perusing through monster manuals just for kicks, so the most that I could do was cross my fingers, and hope that I could at least blind one eye.

The gaming gods must have been smiling down on us. My spell goes off, the DM rolled…and the beholder failed its fricken save.

I had sucessfully blinded a beholder. Completely. What started as “This isn’t going to work, but oh well” turned into “HOLY SHIT! THE BEHOLDER CAN’T SEE ANYTHING NOW!” We’re all laughing and cheering, and while it didn’t stay blinded for long, it was just enough for us to knock it down to a more managable level! We beat it, got the jewel, and moved on.

That was perhaps one of my most “badass” moments in any game I played in. Now I can add that to my gaming resume:

Killed three assassins in one encounter.
Managed to sneak out of cuffs without anyone noticing.
Blinded a beholder.

Obviously, the game didn’t end there; we found my “rival”, found out she was being controlled by an evil magic item, and we saved her by me giving up my magic. We saved the girl, saved the town, and we all lived to tell the tale. It was a good day.

Thus ends my “happy little accidents” series. At least for now. There are obviously many more that I could talk about, but I think a change of pace is needed. I’ve been super focused on my writing, and an author I just recently fell in love with is coming out with a new book this month, so I’m likely going to talk about those over tabletop gaming. But it doesn’t mean I’ll never talk about gaming again. I just want to prepare anyone who might be expecting more D&D adventures for the possibility that there won’t be some for a while. After all, I’m not just a gamer.

Thank you all so much for reading! If there’s something you’d like for me to talk about, or you have questions for me, leave me a comment!

Until next time!

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