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Thunder King

Adventuring Time!

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Adam was at first delighted with the response. He wasn't sure how many of them were serious about playing, but he sent the materials out. He distributed materials for making characters and sincerely hoped that the people who said they'd come would be there.  Then he got scared as he realized the implications.

 

He had snacks, and drinks, and extra sets of dice, three copies of the player's book, an abundance of mechanical pencils, several notebooks, and a whole bunch of minis that his mom had given him. He had an inkling of what they were going to bring to the table, so he had a collection of various classes and races. He figured they could pick out their minis.


"Game's starting in a bit, mom." He said as he did a mental checklist. "Yeah, yeah, it's the new edition, but most of these guys have never heard of the old stuff. Or the new stuff, probably. I dunno. Any advice?"
 

While he waited for an answer, he paced back and forth. He had on a pair of boot cut jeans, his size fifteen sneakers, and perhaps daringly, a short sleeved shirt. He looked over them. He'd memorized every scar he bore. He wasn't going to bring it up, wasn't going to mention it. It was just too warm to wear a hoodie.

 

He checked his laptop. He had a sound effect playlist as well as a music playlist. He probably did way too much research, he admitted. But, if he could make this work, he could make actual friends. With actual teenagers.

 

This was a terrible idea, but he was determined to see it through. 

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A sharp, peremptory knock caught his attention - and when he opened the door, he found himself staring down into the scowling face of Ashley Smith. With a frown, she raised a hexagonal handscanner and passed it over his body, then stepped inside the room. "Hmph," she grunted as she scanned that space too. 

 

"Uh, hi!" said Judy Smith with a nervous wave in Adam's direction, watching as her sister made her way through the room. She was holding a neatly-printed character sheet in her hand, along with a small box of dice. "Sorry about mah sister, she's just very protective." 


"Clean," commented Ashley, waving a hand to her sister, the gesture bringing Judy inside the room.

 

"And Ah've never been in one of the guys' rooms before. Ah know you said we'll be playing in the common room in case it goes after curfew but Ah wanted to meet you here and ask you some questions about the game." 

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"No worries." Adam said with a shrug. "I've had some protective people watch out for me. I understand." He did more or less understand. He had been around strict security before. He wasn't sure why Ashley was acting that way, but he had a feeling questions would be bad in that context.

 

"Questions, sure. What would you like to know?" He said in the most nonchalant way he could manage given the circumstances. Alone in a room with two girls, one of which was really zealous about security for reasons he didn't want to think about.

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"Well, um, in the game, Ah wanted to play a paladin, if that's okay, but instead of the pretend churches in the game, Ah was thinking she could be a paladin of the Lion. You know, like Aslan," she added, blushing slightly at the last word. "Ah mean, ah know it's just pretend," she added firmly, "games don't send you to Hell." For a moment, there was the distinct impression she was arguing with someone else. "But ah just really like the paladins, and Ah didn't want to have to pretend to be in a church ah'm not really part of." 


While she spoke, Ashley was leaning against the wall and seeming to make a great study of her fingernails.

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Adam nodded, it made sense. "Sure. I mean you're going to be playing the good guys, beating bad guys. Like superheroes." He smiled. "I mean there's stats for the bad guys, but that's so we know how to defeat them." It was more than mere pretend, it was telling a story. With other people, wherein you acted like...okay so it was pretend with rules.

 

"Paladins are great. You get to be really tough and strong, but you also get to be someone that helps your team by healing them when they're injured."  He was doing his level best to keep his enthusiasm measured and relaxed.

 

Judy was one thing, Ashley was another.  He figured she was dragged into this but didn't want to play. Adam decided that he'd hope Ashley would get into it. 

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"Yeah," said Judy, relaxing before she shot Ashley a distinct "Told-you-so!" grin. "They sounded like they had really cool powers. Ah just wanted to play someone who was such a good person, they got to have good powers..." She swallowed, then changed the subject. Seeming to catch where Adam was looking, she added, "And Ashley promised she'd play the horse." 

"Beats sitting around doing nothing," replied Ashley evenly. 

 

"You are mah trusty warhorse Watchdog!" said Judy with a grin, and despite herself Ashley smiled too. Judy really could get enthusiastic about something when she put her mind to it. It was nice to see her smiling about something. 

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There was a rapid knock at the door. Opening it revealed...an elf, or more properly, Lulu Beaumont's idea of an elf. The pretty Alabaman was standing in the hallway, grinning like a little kid and wearing what appeared to be an elaborate costume. Her hair was long and blonde, and she had graceful pointed ears. A silver circlet in the form of leaves rested on her head, and she wore a suit of armor, a leather coat and skirt covered with studs of fine steel, shaped to look like acorn caps. On her back were slung a shortbow, a quiver full of arrows and a shield, and a blackthorn club hung on her belt. Based on the various design flourishes, it was a safe bet she'd seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy many times.

 

"Hi Adam! Ah hope ah'm not too early!" She held up a shopping bag, which looked incongruous in her gauntleted hand. "Ah got my character and ah brought snacks, too! Everyone online said you need to bring snacks."

Edited by Heritage

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Adjusting the pizza boxes and two liter bottles of soda in her hands, Selena did a mental double check of everything for tonight's RPG night as she walked towards room 107.  'Dice, miniature, character sheet, rule boo-' her mental musing was cut short by a literal elf straight out of a New Zealand film set standing in the doorway.  "Crap, were we supposed to be going full LARP?" she asked with a bit of a grin to her rhetorical question.  "I don't have enough leather to pull off my character's costume in real life."

 

"I come with the traditional offering of pizza and soda," she offered, handing away the boxes to reveal the design on her shirt, a bunch of dice showing either a bunch of ones or the maximum number for their size around text reading 'The Dice Giveth and the Dice Taketh Away'.

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Alex was gonna be late again, it was starting to frustrate him how much of a thing that it was becoming now, burdened with extra course work as he was.

 

He liked to think of it as no good deed going unpunished, too much "extra curriculars" as principal summers had put it....well it was nice to know that someone knew it was him at least, so many different forms and no chances to announce himself had lead to people assuming he was infact several different metahumans, Caitlin had even told him about a theory around the water cooler that there was infact a group of metahumans cooperating.

 

As the owner of the most discreet form of transport (AKA: not a dragon) he'd offered to do the store run for folks attending the game, he'd gotten to and around the mart pretty quick, even stopped a mugging on the way but now he was trapped in the line of a understaffed checkout behind a particularly chatty and pleasent old lady.

 

He was gonna be here a while.

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As the new people came in, a serious-looking Ashley Smith scanned the teen heroes with her pocket device, then nodded in satisfaction, or at least acceptance, after each one. Behind Watchdog's too-cool-for-school teenage glare, Ashley kept her own council. Getting Judy friends would make the poor kid happy; and making friends in venues besides patrolling would mean her friends wouldn't be trying to get her into dangerous situations. That was the theory, anyway. She fixed her gaze on the telepath for a moment but said nothing; if Callie said she was all right, she was all right. 

 

"Well, okay, looks like a good crowd of people," said Judy, making her introductions for herself and her sister as the new people came in. Neither of them had dressed up; Ashley was in the leather jacket, white tank-top, and jeans she seemed to prefer - Judy was in a loose-fitting green blouse and skirt that went down well past her knees. "Nice to see everyone here," she said, pronouncing the first word as "Nahce." "Ah guess Ah'll go make sure we have space in the common room. Don't wanna be kicked out for canoodling after curfew!" she said cheerfully as she headed out, followed closely by her sister. 


 

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Lulu grinned at Selena's arrival; they didn't see a lot of each other, being two grades apart, but since the assembly they'd always been friendly whenever they bumped into each other around campus. "Hi Selena! Hope you got some pepperoni in there!" In reponse to her comments about her costume, she shook her vigorously. "Oh Lord, no! Ah ain't got time for all that cuttin' and sewin'; this here's just a psychic projection, is all." She closed her eyes, and for a few seconds all her adventuring gear and elvish features faded away, revealing the oversized T-shirt, sleepy pants and socks beneath, then the illusion returned, complete with the smells of metal and treated leather. "Pretty cool, huh?"

 

Lulu raised an eyebrow and started backward for a second when Ashley scanned her, but otherwise offered no complaint; she wished she had an older sibling who was that protective!

Edited by Heritage

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"Yeah, I have boring, garlic, and 'covered in dead animals'," she answered holding up the trio of boxes, "Figured I'd grab a bit of everything to cover the bases.  Especially since I was too busy trying finish my character before the first session I forgot to ask what people like on their pizza."

 

When Ashley scanned her, the young magnetokinetic had to suppress the urge to release a magnetic pulse, it was bad enough when she got 'randomly selected' at the airport most times she went home to visit, but Ashley had always had an overprotective streak and bricking her toys was not a good way to get her to lighten up.

 

"That is an awesome trick, remind me to drag you to the next anime convention," she said

 

Watching Judy and her sister walk down the hall towards the common room Selena muttered, "I've heard of worse ways to pick up girls."

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Alex was back on the road again, Having politely waited it out behind the old lady and quickly packed his stuff away he found he still had a few minuites to spare, so he'd decided to take the scenic route through the theatre district, past the square moon club.

 

should even have enough time to stow some of my essentials in the fridge and grab a shower before we start.

 

everything was going so smoothly he was actually feeling a little nervous! nothing a second sweep around the block to ensure there was no street crime going on in the alleyways didn't fix.


he couldn't afford to get as involved in things he came across as he had, his failure to graduate with some of his peers this year was proof of it but he could help people here and there with little problems.

 

but now he had to get back to claremont and put together an arty-ficer to help his classmates delve the dungeons deep!

Edited by Exaccus

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"Ah think Selena is sweet on you," murmured Judy on the way back from the common room, which the two of them had found blessedly free of trouble. She had that nervous smile that showed she wasn't sure if she was taking the teasing too far. 

 

"Seems unlikely," was Watchdog's only response, figuring that she and Judy might need to have a conversation about this sort of thing later. Still, it was nice to see the girl relaxed - even if she'd need to discourage any hint of setting her up with other girls. I think she forgets I'm not actually sixteen sometimes.

 

"Okay, ladies, gentleman," said a broadly-smiling Judy once they were back at the dorm room, "Ah got us space and a table! Follow me!" Ashley could tell how nervous Judy was, but it was nice to see the girl taking the initiative too. She's really into this nerd stuff! Ashley had never actually played these games before, but it seemed to be working already. 

 

"

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Adam, for his part, carried stuff. He had a bunch of stuff stacked up. He was trying to play a good host as the GM, but he was mostly failing on account of nerves. Once he was secure and ready for the game, he was sure to be a little less nervous. Especially considering how many girls there were here. How many pretty girls, at that. 

 

"If anyone has any lingering questions, feel free to ask. I want to get stuff cleared up so we can get to gaming when we start."  That was redundant of him to say, but he doubted anyone noticed. Or, at least, hoped. The good news was, nobody seemed to notice how badly scarred his arms were. 

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"Well, I did have one Big Guy, you mentioned Judy was going to be playing a paladin, it's not going to be a problem if I end up going the assassin route with my rogue is it?  I mean, I have a backup plan if it is but, well, to quote the internet, 'Evil is Sexier'," she said with a wink.

 

Following Adam and the sisters to the common room Selena set the food down on a table, opening the boxes and pulling bottles and plastic cups from the grocery bags.  After she finished she took a tiny steel miniature about an inch high made of steel from her bag followed by grey Crown Royal bag.  "Crown Royal man, they make the best dice bags and each one comes with a free bottle of whiskey," she joked.

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"Oh, maybe ah could my daddy to play," Lulu said wryly in response to Selena's comment about Crown Royal; it was obviously a joke, but there was a hint of genuine bitterness as well. "As far as the rules stuff goes, ah Skyped with my cousin Randy in Pensacola? He's played, and he gave me lots of pointers. Ah rolled up an elven cleric, Nature domain, so ah guess we should be pretty good on healin'."

 

She placed a big bag of tortilla chips on the table, and put out salsa and cheese dip. She also brought two liters of Coke and a bag of grapes, as a healthier alternative.

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"Hmm," said Judy doubtfully. "Ah don't think Lady Quanah would like adventuring with an assassin. Unless the assassin only killed enemies of the Lion, Ah guess." Despite her teasing of Ashley earlier, she wasn't entirely sure what to make of Gauss - but she supposed playing a game with her would help with that. "What do you think, Selena, do you want to play an assassin for the church? I bet there'll be lots of bad guys out there!" 

 

"Watchdog is black," said Ashley, sitting next to Judy around the table and giving everyone else a once-over. Well, scary-looking or not, these kids seemed mostly harmless. No reason not to play along. "And big, like a draft horse somebody mounted. And she's got a scar over one eye, so you know she's a tough warhorse.

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"Sorry I'm late folks!" Alex called before he'd even come into sight of the group, having arrived and quickly freshend himself up a little, helmet hair nicely combed and his bike leathers replaced with more comfortable plain white t-shirt, loose fitting jeans as he plonked himself down in a free seat somewhere near the middle of the table with a breathless huff.

 

"Traffic was crazy." He explained as he gathered himself up and brought his carrier bag up onto the table to begin rummaging through it taking out a few bags of carrot sticks and various humouses.

 

"Nice to see this took off, Adam!" He mentioned as he looked around the room at the various faces, some he knew, others he had only heard of in passing.

 

"Im alex, the senior who got held back pleasure to meet you or as the case may be, see you again." Giving a nod of his head towards Selena.

 

"As Adam and selena'll tell ya im a bit of a fitness freak so if you ever need spotting or showing how a machine works feel free to hit me up." He took that oppertunity to strike a bit of a silly pose and flex his muscles "No shame, only gains!"

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"I mean, I can go the Iscariot Organization route, though I was aiming for a more Martin Blank approach.  She's not going around killing folks at random, she's just not opposed to it," Selena said.  "I mean, my backup plan was multi-class into warlock or mystic, adding some of the utility of psychic abilities like telepathy and the like to the group.  Probably the best plan to avoid intraparty tension."

 

Grabbing a slice of garlic, another of pepperoni, and a cup of soda she stepped back to the main table, mentally dragging a chair away far enough out for her to take a seat.  She bumped knuckles with Alex once she was settled, "Glad you could make it man.  And yeah, Adam, this group is roughly the exact opposite of every gaming group I've been part of before.  More girls than guys involved and the guys in question don't have much, if any, excess body weight."

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Oh, Pan was late. He was very very late. But the book had just been so exciting! So many adventures to be had, so many fantastic things to do and stories they could tell! Pan had never even heard about a roleplaying game before, but now he was hooked after reading through the book a few times. He had realized too late that he had basically none of the things needed for this. Like no dice! So, he had made a run into the city and had managed to find some nice emerald green dice with white numbers. One of each, from what he understood. He wasn't quite sure what to bring, but it seemed customary to bring something to eat, so he had picked up as many bags of chips and assorted candy that he could carry along with his book, dice and character sheet.

 

With a wide grin, Pan flew into the room, quickly apologizing. "Sorry, sorry! I know I'm late! I only realized that I didn't have any dice an hour ago!" He put the bags down and did a quick bow. "I bring offerings! I hope I did it right!" Standing up straight, he grinned his usual happy grin as he looked at the assembled group. He knew most here, but wasn't sure if he had met Adam. "I'm Pan, so nice to meet you! And sorry again for being late!" He should probably start apologizing now, but he genuinely felt bad about it, now that Adam had gone out of his way to organize this.

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"Oh, havin' a psychic in the party could be super cool," Lulu said in response to Selena's suggestion of an alternate character concept." "Not that ah'm biased or anythin'..." The young telepath grinned and winked as she started to pile pizza on a paper plate, then poured herself a cup of Coke. "'Red Solo cup, ah fill you up!'"

 

Lulu was very interested to see what types of characters everyone was going to play; Randy told her usually said a lot about a person. Judy picking a paladin was an obvious choice, and her cousin got her to admit that a cleric might represent her desire to atone for her misdeeds.

 

"So who are the 'meat shields'? Randy said it was my job to keep our front line fighters healed up so they can keep kickin' ass and takin' names."

Edited by Heritage

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"Finally!" With the snap of a closing binder, Leroy stood up from a corner where he had definitely not been a moment ago, eyes flashing with triumph and decked out even more than usual.

 

The athletic young man had dressed up in a matching deep red tunic and trousers, white fractals intersecting each other with the roaring maws of gold crocodiles, whose claws and lashing tails were confined in the rest of the repeating geometry. The binder in his left hand was thicker than his head, clearly divided into sections and subsections. Around his neck was a silver choker shaped like a snake devouring its own tail, and the Eyes of Horus around his own had indents indicating a slitted pupil at top and bottom.

 

"Please accept my deepest apologies, Dungeon Master." The towering boy sketched a low, solemn bow. "Rolfengrim the Warmaster took a long time to work out. But, behold the fruit of that labor!" He dropped the binder on the table with a flourish "I present to you, the Book of Answers! Any enemy, any challenge, there is a path writ' within!"

 

"And I have been researching the setting," he added, taking a seat near Pan, "since the Crossed Swords Company has branches on every continent, I decided a former commander of those mercenaries would make the most sense for the class. Rolfy is a half-dwarf, half-orc from the icelands of Styr , hailing from the war torn Steel Sea. After the Company took part in the Fall of Leors, and seeing the sack of that golden metropolis by treachery and base greed, Rolfengrim grew sick of the service and turned his skills to saving and preserving the lives of others. He has sworn a Holy Vow not to take a life..." to Adam he added briefly "...page 327, the Drawbacks sidebar. The mechanics took a great deal more work, admittedly."

 

"So, you are our Paladin," he nodded to Judy, "you, her destrier, you, NatDom Cleric, you, Assassin, you, ah.." Leroy frowned, snapping his long, powerful fingers,  as he regarded Pan and Alex "I do beg your pardons, what was the plan for yours?"

Edited by Ari

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Adam sat back and worked on his notes, very pleased to see that his game was coming together quite nicely. It was going to be a fairly simple dungeon, a bit of combat, some exploration, a few locks to unlock and traps to bypass. All in service of teaching those who had yet to play the game how, and to give himself a kiddie pool to wade into first. 

 

"I do have some notes for continuing the game beyond the first session." He said after taking a drink of his Coke. "But I want to run something fairly simple at first to get people's feet wet and to make sure everyone is down for more. I won't hold it against anyone if they decide they don't like it." 

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Leroy jumped up, "Oh! That reminds me!" Racing around the table, he opened the windown to let in a massive green dragon who had been clinging patiently to the side of building. The looming reptile slid into the common room, stalking into a comfortable corner to flop down. "I must ask again for pardon, I had forgotten to mention I invited my dragon along!"

 

"Greetings, I am Dio, Talon of Ghorammuz and thousandth-born of the Red Rage. The Prince informs me this game involves my kind. Extensively." The dragon smiled, showing a pair of broad, flat bone plates jutting from his jaws "I cannot play, it is in defiance of my religious vows to game or gamble, but I am well-acquainted with the lore of my kind and more than willing to help ensure accuracy of depiction."

 

Returning to his seat, Leroy nodded and gave the dragon a quick thumbs-up.

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