During one boring night…
Antonio: Doc, you’re back!
Preston: Have a seat, Doc!
Doc: Greetings, everyone. I’ve been meaning to join you and the others on one of these game nights you have every month.
Antonio: We’ve always wanted to have you join us, Doc! It’s just because you were so busy with work.
Doc: Well, I’ve delegated most of my tasks to our outsourced minions, so I’m free for a few nights. So what are we playing? Chess? Backgammon? Scrabble?
Preston: Even better. A tabletop RPG!
Doc: A rocket-propelled grenade that you play with on top of a table? That sounds interesting but dangerous, don’t you think?
Antonio: Preston meant tabletop role-playing games, Doc.
Doc: Oh, so that’s what it means! Role-playing. So this will be like an acting game of sorts, then.
Preston: Kind of. You create a fictional character and roleplay as them during the game. Then the dungeon master or DM creates an adventure for us.
Doc: That does seem quite exciting. (In Koguryeon: Will you be joining us, Park?)
Park: (If it means getting back at Preston for cheating during one of our games, I’m in.)
Preston: What did he say, Doc?
Doc: He said you’re a really good sport.
Antonio: To help us orient you and Park about tabletop RPGs, I’ve invited my friend Daniel Marvin Mokowitz, or DM for short. He’s from House Rembrandt.
DM: Hello, everyone!
Preston: He’s also the dungeon master for our other campaign, so he’s called DM either way. We’re creating a new campaign just for you, Doc!
Doc: Pleased to make your acquaintance, DM. So you’re one of Rembrandt’s boys.
DM: The pleasure is mine! Yes, Doctor. I serve as one of Archon Rembrandt’s lieutenants, but during my free time, I work part-time as a dungeon master for many people’s tabletop games.
Doc: Part-time. So this isn’t free?
DM: The thrill of adventure comes with a price, Doctor!
Doc: *looks and whispers at Antonio* (Get us another dungeon master.)
DM: But since this is the Doc’s first time playing, I’ll be doing this for free!
Doc: That’s a relief. Right, so what do we do first?
DM: We begin by creating our characters! Creating characters for a tabletop RPG, or in our case, Vampires and Crypts, is a very exciting experience.
Antonio: Creating one character alone takes around 3-4 hours. Preston and I have already created our characters, so we’ll just help you and Park to speed things up.
DM: Do you have any idea for a character in mind, Doc? You can be an elf, a dwarf, a human, or–
Doc: A vampire.
Antonio: Um, Doc–
Park: I want to be Koguryeon character.
Preston: C’mon guys, at least choose something that’s different!
Doc: A drow elf?
DM: That’s the closest thing I can think of to suit your preference, Doc. Drow elves live underground and hate sunlight, and they have a really nice city in the Underdark.
Doc: Excellent. A character that suits me! They’d better suck blood.
Antonio: They don’t suck blood like us, though. But they hate sunlight! In my case, I’ll be Reyross, a half-elf vigilante who hunts outlaws.
Park: I think long about it, and I want make human cleric, but her name will be Koguryeon name.
Preston: And I will be Augie Redaxe, slayer of chickens, avenger of all those who fear poultry.
DM: Now that we’ve all created our characters, why don’t we start by introducing them? State their race, class, name, and the reason they’re adventuring. Let’s start with you, Preston, since you’re the most experienced player.
Preston: My character is a human barbarian named Augersson “Augie” Redaxe. His tribe was massacred by a giant chicken-like creature, so he set off to become strong enough to kill it and exact revenge. He prioritizes brawn over brains above all else.
Antonio: I didn’t expect Augie to look like that.
Preston: He looks pretty cool in my opinion.
Antonio: Mine is Reyross “Rey” Olavyre, a half-elf ranger. He was a simple hunter at first, but the rise in banditry forced him to take up arms and become a vigilante who tracks down outlaws. Also a well-known cad, the only thing preventing him from becoming a bard is his lack of musical ability.
DM: Nice, a vigilante!
Doc: I created a drow elf rogue named Malignar Gallis, or “Mal” for short. Mal came from the Underdark as a spy for his kind in the surface world, posing as a gem merchant. He ran into Reyross on one mission at some point which made them allies of sorts. He is calm, collected, and always seems to be scheming something.
Preston: He looks like you, Doc. But with white hair and elf ears.
DM: Creating a character similar to yourself is helpful for beginners, Preston!
Park: My character, beautiful cleric name Shin Hyang-geum. Her nickname, Hyang-geum. She serve in church, as trainee priestess, but one day met Augie the barbarian. She slap Augie because he catcall her. Then she makes sure Augie behave, so she follow him to correct his behavior.
Preston: Did you make that character on purpose just to harass me?
Park: (Yes, you turd.)
Preston: *looks at Doc*
Doc: He said she’s secretly in love with Augie.
DM: You all sit in a cozy tavern just outside the city of Ernsvale. This is a tavern situated at a crossroads, so lots of adventurers, merchants, and people pass by. The dwarven barkeep seems to be arguing with his human staff. Meanwhile, the patrons are just keeping to themselves while a halfling bard is performing on stage. What do you do now?
Preston: Augie calls for a waitress and orders any kind of chicken dish. “I need me chicken meat!”
DM: The waitress comes over and asks for payment first. Deduct 50 copper from your purse.
Antonio: I look at Mal and say, “It’s your first time in this part of Ernsvale, eh? We’ve got quite a big job coming up. Do they also have bandits in the Underdark?”
Doc: *looks at DM* Do they?
DM: Make a… Hm. Make a history check.
Doc: *rolls a 14 while Antonio helps him calculate*
DM: *hands Doc a slip of paper*
Doc: *opens slip and sees a hint about Underdark lore* Mal, keeping his hood up, replies, “Not bandits, but horrific creatures that are not common here in the surface world.”
Park: Like an angry Preston when he lose game.
DM: An hour passes as your walk through the main road is uneventful. But now, you see a fork in the road.
Park: A fork? I want to pick up fork then.
DM: No, I mean, there are two paths now in front of you. One leading left, and the other leading right.
Antonio: Is there any signboard at the fork indicating where they lead to?
DM: Yes, there is. The left one points to “Dunderton, this way.” The right one seems to have been scratched out, so nothing is legible.
Antonio: I say we head to the left. We need to stick to our main objective and look for the missing girl there.
Doc: I agree.
Park: Me too.
DM: Right, so it’s a unanimous decision, then? Okay, so you all head down the left–
Preston: Wait, as the three of them head down the left, Augie runs to the right and shouts, “I SENSE THE CHICKEN BREAST– I MEAN, BEAST, NEARBY!”
Doc: What the hell are you doing, Preston?
Preston: That’s what my character does. Deal with it, guys.
DM: Since Augie opted to go right and you all go after him, I now need all of you to roll a perception check.
Preston: 4. HAHAHA!
Doc: 7. That was not good.
DM: Okay. Since Park rolled high, Hyang-geum senses movement from behind the trees on both sides. From what you can discern, they appear to be highwaymen, looking for some victims to rob. Do you tell the rest of the party?
Park: Hyang-geum say, “I think there are bandit behind tree. Be careful.”
Antonio: Rey readies an arrow and scans the area, watching out for any possible attack.
Doc: Mal brings out his daggers and sticks close to Rey and Hyang-geum, taking caution.
Preston: Augie charges at a tree that he thinks might have a bandit hiding behind it. “CHAAARGE!”
DM: Right, Preston. As soon as you do that, the bandits come out of hiding and announce that they are robbing you. There are around six of them, armed with simple weaponry and shoddy armor. Make a dexterity saving throw.
DM: Armor class?
DM: …Augie charges for a tree as soon as he sees one of the bandits come out, but an arrow from his right hits his shoulder, which deals him 5 points of piercing damage.
Doc: Damn it, Preston!
Preston: It’s my character, guys.
DM: Now, ROLL FOR INITIATIVE!
And their adventure continues…