in which i find something unexpected during a Journey Through The Silver Caves

This weekend, I had a last-minute change in plans, and discovered that I had the free time to go play in World Wide D&D Game Day, which was set up by Wizards of the Coast to promote the release of the Monster Manual 2.

I went to my friendly local game shop, where I was able to join a session that was just starting out. I picked a Dwarf Paladin, because I've never played either of those things before, and I thought it would be pretty fun. As it turned out, I was correct. Even though it was a dungeon crawl with people I didn't know, I role-played the Dwarf, as they said in Sherman Oaks in 1983, like totally to the max.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun, even though I had to leave before the final encounter because — you know, it's easier if I just tell the story:

Having dispatched the dreaded Rust Monsters in the second encounter, we turned our focus onto the godddamn beetles who kept immobilizing me and the Tiefling. I was getting ready to use one of my daily powers when my phone rang.

I saw that it was Nolan, and sent the call to voice mail, planning to call him back when the encounter was over. He called again, and I ignored it again. When he called a third time, I figured that something important was happening and he really needed my attention.

"Hey Nolan what's –"

"I need you to come pick me up right now and take me and Calvin to the hospital."

My heart jumped into my throat. "What!? What happened? Are you okay?"

"Calvin fell out of a tree and broke his collar bone. His parents are gone and you're the last last last last resort. I know you're playing D&D, but can you help us?"

My heart dropped back to its normal place in my chest. "Yes. I'll be right there."

I told the guys I was playing with what had happened. Luckily, my friend Martin had just come into the store to meet me, so I handed my character over to him. I reminded him to keep role playing heavily, and make sure he didn't roll higher than 7, just to keep things  consistent.

I left, and spent the next few hours taking care of Nolan's friend (who was ultimately fine, but isn't going to be climbing any trees for a few weeks.)

When I got home, I called Martin and asked him how the rest of the adventure went. He told me that Eomer (the Dwarf we played) pulled off some last-minute heroics, and the PCs ended up "winning" the delve:

"That Eomer is a bad mother -"

"Shut your mouth!"

"I'm talking about Eomer!"

"I can dig it."

All of this is preamble to the whole reason I'm writing about it, though. I read this gaming blog called critical-hits. It's awesome, and if you like RPGs, you should read it to.

Anyway, there's a post today about playing the WWD&DGD, written by a guy who ran the delve.

The adventure was Journey Through The Silver Caves, a
straightforward dungeon-crawl that puts the PCs on the trail of a
kobold wyrmpriest who stole an important book of prophecy from a local
fortress. (I will spoil some about the adventure, so if you’re planning
on playing through it at some point later, consider yourself warned).
The PCs meet at the fortress and receive information about what they’re
seeking, the caves nearby, and most importantly, their reward. I
explained that the PCs had traveled together for a short time, but were
forgetful about each other and so should make short, awkward
introductions about their race and profession before continuing. After
the typical introduction around the table, the group arrived at the
caves.

Brief interlude about the D&D game days: I love the Wizards does these things, because it helps build the gaming community in a number of ways. An obvious one is making it really easy for new players to give tabletop RPGs a try, but a less-obvious one that I don't hear people talk about is how fun it is for all of us who play, all over the world, to share our individual experiences playing the same characters in the same encounters. It's so fun to hear how some other party handled the rust monsters, for example, and how other players who chose Eomer decided to use his powers.

Okay, back to the reason I wrote this post: I was reading the post at critical-hits, enjoying myself thoroughly, and then I saw this picture near the end of the post. I may have let out a little squeal of joy, because the DM was wearing the shirt I designed for shirt.woot.

I love that. I love that so much, I wanted to share it with the world. Which I just did.

So there.

34 thoughts on “in which i find something unexpected during a Journey Through The Silver Caves”

  1. That guy who wrote the post and features in the picture is called Dave Chalker and is the son of Science Fiction author Jack Chalker.
    He’s also one incredibly cool guy and fun DM. I’ve started blogging mostly because of what he did with Critical-Hits and we’re now partners in crime behind the RPGBloggers network and other upcomming RPG projects.
    Now I’ll just go and collect a load of cash from him. :)

  2. Hey, I think that shirt is now a collector’s item (unfortunately, before I had a chance to collect one.)

  3. …You win this round, Wheaton!
    I also feel compelled to point out that not only was I wearing it for D&D Game Day, I ran into at least 3 other people wearing it at Balticon, our local science fiction convention. The shirt is a hit, for sure.

  4. I was inspired to go the FLGS for the Game Day by your posts about the D&D podcasts.
    I just want to thank you for the encouragement, I’ve had the 4E books, just haven’t actually played. The Delve was a blast, and I’m now looking forward to more D&D fun.

  5. I too wore the shirt you designed. I played the Rogue. I hadn’t had much experience with 4e, and wasn’t told that thrown magic weapons automatically return until after I had charged the wyrm priest in a last ditch effort to shave off it’s last 12 hp.
    We lost, but it was a REALLY awesome epic battle.
    Oh, and the awesomest part BY FAR, there was a 10-12 year old girl playing. It’s great to see youngens getting into the hobby. It was also great to see the joy on her face each and every time she critted with her magic missle, 7 TIMES!

  6. Dude, the DM in the picture totally looks like Seth Rogen!
    Can’t wait for our next D&D day – wasn’t able to make either of the last D&D days at my FLGS – maybe next time.

  7. Wil:
    We have a rule at our house. If you call me and I don’t pick up (because maybe I’m just busy at the moment) and it’s an emergency, then follow up by texting me “Call me. 911″
    If I see that I will pull the car over or stop whatever I’m doing and call immediately to make sure you’re OK. Just don’t use it to ask me “Can I hang out with Jack at his house for dinner tonight.” If I see 911 I will go into panic-save-the-family mode so use it wisely.

  8. Hey Wil Wheaton!
    I was browsing this very funny website today, and you were at the bottom of this page: http://www.latfh.com/page/3
    It seems like you like to know where you are on the internet, so here it is… please tell me it’s not creepy that I looked at it and thought, “hey look, that’s Wil Wheaton. I wonder if he knows about it?”
    and, I still don’t get D&D.

  9. Such a great shirt! I gave one to my husband for his birthday last week — we both play D&D. There was much glee. :o)

  10. Man, that totally sucks that you had to leave your game tourney to pick up Nolan and his friend. You just scored some really cool parenting points for taking that kid to the hospital. Any other kid’s dad probably would have been a dick about it and told him to call 911. Glad to hear that Nolan’s friend is okay, but what the hell is a kid his age doing climbing trees, anyway? Aren’t they around 16 or 17 by now? Oh, what the hell am I saying? My friend’s 41 year old husband fell out of a tree last year, so I guess for boys, it never gets old or something. Me, I stopped at somewhere around age 12 when it finally dawned on me that I was a girl and had fairly large boobs to prove it. Totally skipped right over the “training bra” stage. lol Oh, did I just overshare again? Yeah, Danyiel’s sleep deprived again, which is probably why she’s referring to herself in the third person. That, and the fact that she’s completely insane.
    The shirt! LOL. I remember seeing a video on YouTube of you at a con somewhere where someone who came up to do the Q&A with you was wearing it, and after you complimented her, you started talking about some guy you were talking to who saw someone else wearing the shirt in passing and said something to the effect of “Man, what is with that shirt? Everywhere I go, I keep seeing people wearing that thing. Where the hell did it come from?” and you pointed to your head and said “In here.” LMAO. Best answer ever!
    You keep pointing to that head of yours and let the genius flow from what lies therein. Whether you know it or not, Wil, you are very well endowed in that area. No, not THAT area, you pervert, the head that’s on your shoulders! And you thought that I missed the “Shaft” reference. Sicko.

  11. Dude, I played Eomer as well, for the exact same reasons, and I *also* had to leave before the final encounter. In our case, everybody did, so no one got to actually confront the Kobold. Most memorable moment for me: my wife was playing the Goliath Barbarian and, having witnessed the Rust Monster take several chunks out of my platemail, was understandably unwilling to try swinging her longsword at the thing, decided to just full out punch it. She rolled max damage every time and dispatched it faster than I thought possible.

  12. Glad Nolan’s friend is ultimately fine, if confined to the ground for a bit.
    Seeing something you designed running around live in the world is one of the best feelings ever! Sometimes just knowing people like what you make, and like it enough to make it a little part of their lives makes all the bad design days worth it.

  13. I played the Tiefling Warlord, because I’ve never played either one of those two, and it was an interesting adventure. I particularly liked the way rustmonsters work now, makes for a tense encounter.
    The situation of having people all over the world playing the same adventure reminds me of back in the early days when every gamer had played many of the same adventures, because there were so few available. It creates a sense of community when you can talk with people you don’t otherwise know about your shared experiences.

  14. My buddy Dave blogged about by Wil Wheaton, an excellent day indeed.
    Wil, you’ll be happy to know that a couple months ago at Whosyercon (www.whosyercon.com) there were at least 5 people I saw wearing your shirt over the weekend (including myself and my girlfriend). We were trying to organize a photo-op of all of us but unfortunately failed, maybe next year though!
    P.S. Do you still want to post those dice I sent pics of? (:

  15. I’m glad to hear Nolan’s friend is doing ok. It’s good that it wasn’t anything more serious.
    We ran the Silver Caves adventure for Game Day, which I got to enjoy both as a DM and a player. I believe it was the most entertaining of the Game Day adventures they’ve provided yet. The party was nicely balanced, decently thought out (though I still don’t know why the barbarian had a healing brooch), and the adventure was able to be fast paced enough that we could do it twice in one day.

  16. My group just got to paragon tier and I have been playing a dwarven paladin throughout. I’m finding it such an excellent character to play with, and the balancing of powers and feats gave me a guy with excellent lay on hands abilities, good initiative and some wicked damage (4d10 for Martyr’s Retribution!).
    I too did not have time for D&D day but I am making time for the Sept 19th DMG2 release day. My local comic store is only 10 minutes away from the house so I really have no excuse.

  17. I went to my FLGS with my son to play this, and because their GM had dropped out at the last minute, ended up running it for them.
    I only had enough players for one group during the day, but that included a new GM who was asking a lot of questions on how you run a game.
    It also included my son playing the Eladrin Wizard (he normally plays a warlock), and another 9 year old who had never played. The kid went for the barbarian because the mini looked cool. By the end of the first encounter he’d crtted 4 times in 5 attacks… and then announced that his character called his sword the Grim Reaper! He loved the fact he got to keep the mini, and bought some books, player cards and minis on his way out of the store.

  18. Glad you enjoyed what you could of the game. Sorry about the reason you were called away,
    While I know these aren’t your words you seem to approve of them.
    Brief interlude about the D&D game days: I love the Wizards does these things, because it helps build the gaming community in a number of ways. An obvious one is making it really easy for new players to give tabletop RPGs a try, but a less-obvious one that I don’t hear people talk about is how fun it is for all of us who play, all over the world, to share our individual experiences playing the same characters in the same encounters. It’s so fun to hear how some other party handled the rust monsters, for example, and how other players who chose Eomer decided to use his powers.
    This is reminiscent to the classic dungeons “everyone” had heard of, played, or read (Tomb of Horrors, Temple of Elemental Evil, Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, etc.) back in the early days of the hobby. Perhaps one day WotC will capture that magic.

  19. Excellent!
    I also went down to my local gaming store to check out D&D day. It was my first time playing 4e, and I found it really enjoyable. I have been trying to get some friends together to set up a new gaming group, but everyone seems to want to play 2e, or some online open source D&D variant. Sigh! This always seems to happen, which may be why I haven’t been in a proper gaming group for several years now.
    Anyway, D&D day was also my 30th birthday, so in honour of this, my lovely wife made me a D&D theme birthday cake. Check it out, it is glorious:
    http://www.hypergeek.ca/2009/05/my-wife-made-me-ultimate-geek-birthday.html
    Also, it was incredibly yummy! Om nom nom!

  20. Ha! I actually was trying to attempt to climb a tree by climbing up on a little outside table and it fell over and I broke my elbow. That table still sets and my grandma’s today haha. I’ve broke my wrist by falling off a horse, my elbow by falling off a table, and my leg by falling while riding on roller skates. The 4 wheeled ones. I had to have a FULL LEG CAST and had to ride in a wheelchair. But that was fun =]. You know I actually went into a comic book store a few days ago. I felt so incredibly comfortable. I haven’t felt like that in I don’t know when. There were people in there sitting at tables and trading their cards and playing games and what not. It was grand. Plus it didn’t hurt that I walked out with a Star Trek comic book with Wil on the cover labeled “The Space Between.” It was #5 I believe. Wesley dominated in that comic book. And I can still see the freckle on your lip! It’s so cute! I love it! :) And you know I’ve never really gotten into D&D but I would like to. I think I need to get a new computer first though because I have an old school IBM ThinkPad. The same one Tom Hanks has in the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail.” I love this one but I need a new one. I hope Nolan’s friend will fully recover lol. By the way how old is Nolan?

  21. I’m a soldier deployed on my second tour over here about 60 miles south of Mosul, Iraq. I run two separate 4E campaigns (on the rare occasions mission allows) and one of my players bought me the grey T-shirt with the atom-dice on it, and a matching set of dice to go along with it. I didn’t know till I just read this entry that you were the one who designed it. Just wanted to say thanks. I’ll see if I can get a pic taken to send it to you, so you can see it doing its duty in Iraq!
    Regards,
    blues (dot) soldier (at) gmail

  22. Glad things turned out ok at home. I am sorry you missed out on the climactic conclusion, your character actually rolled a lot better without you there, so I think your dice hate you. :)
    Please come back anytime, it was fun. Perhaps next time I’ll run the infamous Village of Hommlet that Wizards of the Coast sent me last week. Moathouse? Naw, it’s been abandoned for years.

  23. Dayum right.
    Who is the dwarf that would risk his neck for his brother dwarf?
    Can you dig it?
    Who’s the dwarf who won’t cop out when there’s kobolds all about?
    Eomer.
    Right On.

    I am so totally to the max going to play my next dwarf as a Mr. Hayes wannabe (I have a dragonbourne fighter I play a little bit like Avery-Brooks-HAWK/SpenSawh-era, but that dwarf takes the proverbial cake). Awesome post: good D&D story, good fathering story, good writing. You win at all three.
    ‘quarter cup of unsweetened chocolate, and half a cup of brandi… then preheat the oven to three-fiddy, and give that spoon a lick…’
    Tree-climbing rocks (as long as the branches still hold you – =) Then it’s time to graduate to structure-climbing).

  24. Thanks for the inspiration to start looking to get into a game again, after more than 15 years. I didn’t fully realize how much I missed it, until we started playing.

  25. I, too, chose Eomer to play on game day… Imagine this if you can — a 65 year old woman with long graying hair playing at the gaming table with a crew of various sized and aged guys as her son DM’d the event in Marietta, GA.
    The troop chose the name – Fortune’s Fellowship. We also found the eladrin wizard a bit of a gender-independent role to play.
    We came through the first two encounters well and did not stop to rest before we plowed head-long into the third. We picked up on a cue that the kobold was weak from performing the ‘ritual’ and bull-charged one of the guards into the water and split the party — some to the kobold and some to the evil wrath guy down in the pit.
    The two on the kobold dished damage and then finally, give the ultimate sacrifice, but the paladin saved the day with one (count’em) ONE critical final attack roll and then roused her fallen comrades to get the guards.
    We played all afternoon and had one hellava good time, to be one of the few groups that persevered to actually win was a rush. And we knew that it was only luck at the very the end.
    PS. My son wore your shirt, too.

  26. My wife and I recently got a D&D game going with some of her co-workers (who are also full of awesome), and for the first game we both wore matching shirts – your dice shirts :)

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