Welcome back to the weekly D&D and Tabletop Gaming thread! Here’s a place where we can talk about Dungeons & Dragons or any other tabletop games that you nerds might be into. Tell us about the games you’re playing, speculate about future expansions, recruit your fellow Avocados into new groups, whatever you want.
Today happens to be CleverGuy Jr’s birthday, so in honor, let’s talk about one of his favorite (and D&D-adjacent) tabletop games–Munchkin!
Munchkin is a card game that is meant to spoof D&D and other RPGs. Players need to fight monsters to increase their level, and will find treasure and equipment to increase their combat capabilities. The first player to level 10 is the winner, but getting there can be dangerous. Monsters can range from easy level 1 creatures like Lame Goblins and Potted Plants to level 20 creatures such as the Plutonium Dragon. If you encounter a monster that’s too strong for you, you can always ask your friends for help, though they might demand a share of the treasure. And, ultimately, this game is every-man-for-himself, so your friends will also stab you in the back when it suits them.
During your journey to level 10, you’ll pick up race and class cards, which grant you certain perks and abilities as well as some drawbacks. You’ll also find items that can be used to help or hinder your friends as you see fit, curses that may be either sprung when you kick down a door or saved to use against another player when the time is right, and various weapons and armor to help you kill all those monsters.
Over the years, Munchkin has seen a number of expansions to the core game, adding more monsters, more races and classes, more items, hireling and steeds, and lots more. In addition, there have been numerous special editions built around various themes, including Western, Sci-fi, Spies, Kung fu, Superheroes, Zombies, and even classic mythology and literature. There are also licensed versions featuring characters from such properties as the X-Men, Harry Potter, the Wizard of Oz, the Cthulhu mythos, and Adventure Time.
Overall, it’s a great game, and I never get tired of the punny names and sight-gag artwork on the cards. There’s enough randomization and potential back-stabbing to keep the game interesting, even with just 3 players. If I have one complaint it’s that there are so many cards (especially when you start adding in expansions1) that it can be difficulty to shuffle the decks adequately.
The AvocaD&D group is currently running through a set of Eberron adventures, DM’d for this week by The Wasp Woman. The player characters (all at Level 3) are as follows:
- TheCleverGuy as Cybin Stoneswift, a Hill Dwarf Wizard who’s singularly obsessed with the study of various forms of mushrooms
- Otto (our only non-Avocado party member) as Magz, a Changeling Rogue, a native of Sharn familiar with the city’s seedy underbelly
- The Hayes Code as Cassidy Cody, a Tiefling Bard who makes a living busking in the lightning rail stations with the talent passed down to her from her Pa’s deal with the devil
- Wafflicious as Pizzazzle, a Dragonborn Druid who just wants to clean up the planet so it’s fit for consumption by the all-powerful Nexu
- Spiny Creature as Aina Nistor, a Half-Elf Monk who wears the red hood of the Blood of Vol, a religion that worships no deity, but rather the divinity within all mortals
- Sister Jude the Obscure as Orana Coratash, a Kalashtar Barbarian who’s hiring herself out as muscle to local adventurers
Technical difficulties this week meant we both got off to a late start and ended early, so this’ll be a short recap from one Cybin Stoneswift.
We were still sitting in the police station lobby, recovering from that chase and distributing our reward, when yet another courier walked in and handed us a letter. I have a copy right here:
Good morning, cunning investigators. I hope this letter finds you well. My name is Alicia Lund, I’m a ‘marked of House Sivis. That’s point one. I’m a spy, and I hear things. That’s point two. Last night, I heard you came into possession of a coded letter that you need translated. That’s point three. You see how these things come together, right? Gnomes like me, those with a dragonmark, we see right through codes, get me? I can help. But I need a favor done for me. See, I’m currently plying my craft in a House Cannith compound, and I’m worried that my cover story is wearing thin. I need someone to extract me before the whole situation goes elemental, and none of my fellow agents are close enough. You follow me? You scratch my back, I scratch yours. I’ve included a map to the Cannith compound in Lower Dura—it looks like any other warehouse down there, so make sure you’ve got the right place.There are two other ways in, besides the main gate. Stay sharp.
Respectfully yours, Alicia Lund
P.S., Would you mind doing a little bit of identity theft while you’re in the compound, if you have time? The chief artificer keeps his records locked up tight, and I’d love to get my hands on his identification card and his personnel records.
I had lots of questions. Mostly about how this Alice Land character could have possibly known about the letter we’d acquired from those halflings, and who we were, and how to find us, AND written a letter of her own to ask for our help. But that’s not really important, I guess. Magz told us that House Cannith are mostly humans and artificers, and they were the original designers of Warforged. She’d heard some rumors that the chief artificer is looking to make more Warforged on his own, even though the treaty that ended the Last War strictly forbade such work.
I’m also not sure that out little group is really qualified for the kind of extraction work we were being asked for. Nevertheless, we decided to check out this Cannith compound. Maybe we could sneak in by pretending to belong there somehow–that plan worked for us at the Boromars’ house. The main gate was guarded by a pair of hobgoblins, and they didn’t seem inclined to allow visitors through. Cassidy started playing a tune to distract the guards, aided by Pizzazzle who turned into a snake and danced. The rest of us used the time to find those other entrances that Ms. Lint mentioned.
Around the back of the building, we saw two large loading doors, but they both had heavy padlocks on them. Not too far from the front gate, there was a manhole leading down into the sewers. I offered the services of my familiar, Toadstool. He hopped down the sewer into a tunnel that was much dryer than expected. Just a few feet away was a door marked with the sigil of House Cannith. It appeared that we’d found the last entrance.
We gathered up the rest of the crew and made out way down the sewer, Pizzazzle still in snake form and riding in Cassidy’s pocket. I looked over the marked door and it seemed safe, though I did hear some voices on the other side. Magz took out her tools and picked the lock easily, but also set off a trap that I guess I must have missed. We were all sprayed with some kind of poisonous gas. It wasn’t too serious, but it was bad enough that Pizzazzle couldn’t maintain her snake form and she tore the pocket right off of Cassidy’s pants as she returned to normal size. But we were in…
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