Later, over a cigarette, Tess and I talked about her joining the next session and we set up a schedule for Sunday. When it came to discussing her character, well, I knew it was going to be a challenge.
Tess: You know I don’t want to be someone who uses magic. I’m always the fighter type.
I did know this.
She had not played a table top role playing game before. What she was referring to was when she plays games on her PC. For example, in Morrowind and Torchlight, she always preferred a melee class.
Tess was not going to be interested in a Mage, she did not like the idea of a Paladin and she laughed at the idea of the Bard.
Tess: Who the hell would play a Bard?
You might be thinking, Ranger! and that was considered, but I made a plea for the Cleric.
DM: Your kids are going to end up dead.
Tess: Don’t try to manipulate me. I want to have fun too.
As you may know, in AD&D 2ed, Clerics can wear any armor type and are only limited by weapon choice based on their faith. So, ranking the available groups, from best to worst in melee, it would be Warrior, Priest, Rogue and Wizard.
Against The Odds
I do not fudge dice rolls and most everything is rolled in front of the screen, aside from the unknowns. An elf’s passive ability to detect hidden doors, a thief that tries to hide in shadows or just anything that the PCs may not know the result of is what I will roll in secret.
Combat results are known immediately, so that takes place in front of everyone.
I also use critical hit, full damage on a natural 20 and as you have probably heard before, the odds the PC receives a critical hit from an NPC is higher than the PC dishing them out to an NPC. Based on this alone, I knew their luck would run out and they would eventually die.
Do not confuse this with me actively trying to kill the PCs, but when it comes to combat, without the risk of dying, what is the point?
I was not worried about me killing the girls on their first run, I was worried about the ghoul killing the players.
Dungeons and Dragons always has undead lurking somewhere; having a Cleric would give them better odds at survival.
Tess: Fine. I’ll try the cleric, but when Sue’s character dies, I call dibs on the next fighter.
DM: Fair enough.