I had a lot of fun playing my first barbarian ever. I learned a lot, and I’d like to share that with you in this new series of Epic Experiences. You’ll see things from a player’s point of view for the first time on this site! While the night was a blur, baby aggro was strong, I remember and kept notes on a lot of key things. Rather than describe everything that went down, I want to focus more on key highlights and what I learned from them.
Before the beginning…
My wife and I normally make characters that know each other ahead of time; just something most couples do I guess. We normally have good story for it, but we have a player who is still very new to role playing and we though it would be interesting to tie him in with us. So we decided that we were a rag tag group of mercs for hire. My character is a white dragonborn barbarian (berserker). My wife is playing a half elf rogue (arcane trickster). Our friend is playing a human fighter (armor master). We came up with an elaborate backstory, figured out how we formed this merc group, and even decided how they got around.
My wife goes ahead of the two of us, into a town, and spreads rumors about “The Bloodcloaks” as we called ourselves, signatured by our crimson colored cloaks. She doesn’t wear one, to help spread the rumors as a commoner.
The Opening Night…
So our GM took creative hold and said that a noble, after hearing of our ventures, had put out a contract to protect the lord of the town we were in while they had a political meeting. We took it, pay would be decent, and work is work. Turns out, the townsfolk weren’t too happy. A riot ensued shortly after we started the campaign night. Us three had gone outside to patrol just as it started. Some quick and very lethal combat sent the rioters fleeing.
… A quick note about not metagaming! You see, being a GM for so long, I’m sure my current GM feared my knowledge of tricks, traps, and clever scheming. So when I rolled a low intelligence character, he breathed a sigh of relief, but the problem is… This character is very unpredictable, and he knows my smarter ones would have been easier to predict. In any case, out of character, I figured this was an obvious ruse. But, played along in character, because it was fun and what my character would have done. Solve issues with violence.
When we got back in, a bloody skull was found, and from here on out; things were a blur; with baby aggro, and the introduction of the other three players of the night (not calling them party members yet). I was determined to start an investigation, check all doors, and figure this out. I didn’t have the skill for that, but my wife plays a pretty smart character, and my character knows her strengths. He asked her to help figure things out. A bit of time passes and we end up finding the lord’s child and some ghosts… Things got strange very fast. In any case, I had called for people not to leave the chambers. Another party member did, and then ignored my warnings; four times. It came as no surprise when, after declaring that I ready my weapon, I struck down my greatsword in a frenzied rage.
A second first…
I’m not big on player versus player, and this had been the first time I directly attacked a player character first; even though it was under reasoning for my character and after several warnings. My character needed people to follow his orders during this point in time, and he had no knowledge of who this person was. He was hired to protect the lord of the town, and that’s what he was going to do. Get paid. So a bit of discussion was had. Basically about fairness. The way I saw it, I warned him several times in character, and readied the weapon with growing anger. When my greatsword struck down, it did a lot of damage…
To my friend. The one who plays the fighter. And, suddenly the other members of the party figured out our trio’s balance. He is basically a heavy armor master. My sword struck the steel of his shield as he tried to break the fight up and warn the noble (other player). Even after this, I feel that the other player still felt a bit of a personal grudge. I hope that doesn’t last. I re-iterated that this was not against them as a person, it really is just my character’s nature.
In any case…
I pressed onward, furious, and ready for blood; I pushed further into the castle. I killed a ghost. Yep, I killed a dead incorporeal creature. You wouldn’t like me when I get hungry. Angry*. The other players used this opportunity to search and explore as I wandered in rage, finally being calmed down by my two companions. I went back and talked to the noble who hired me. I laid into him about missing details in the contract, and how poorly this mess is being handled. That discussion lead to more rage. I stampeded to where the lord’s chambers were supposed to be. From my point of view, this is all that happened, my companions following suit. I didn’t pay attention to the other player’s actions because, well… I have nothing to do with them.
What did I learn through the night?
- Kick ass first, take names later. This character solves things through violence. He does not risk his contract being failed. He is proud of his reputation as a merc, and anything to stain that reputation will be handled swiftly and mercilessly.
- Don’t fret over enemies made or force a party to happen. I’m sure that, currently, that noble being played by my other friend will hold a grudge against my character. I don’t know how that will play out over the course of the campaign, but I like it. Because I just need to remember #1.
- Have fun. I forgot that it is sometimes hard to just remember to have fun. Don’t turn everything into a personal challenge to get noticed or do the best at. If you don’t have a memorable night, but someone else does, then awesome! Enjoy it, and have fun with it. The best moments happen from you just having fun, not from trying to show off constantly. (Unless you’re a bard, disregard everything I’ve said.)
Till next time,