Friday, September 15, 2006

story time

The Snetzer Sword, without a doubt, was the greatest treasure I ever encountered in roleplaying.

The game was D&D Basic, in one of the earliest runs by my old gaming buddy Dave Dalley. The players were myself, Gopher, and Eric. We were tromping around in a very classic sort of dungeon. To this day I wish I had experimented more with the magical calliope in a previous room.

Anyway, as we entered an elaborately decorated and becolumned throneroom a magic mouth peeled out "All Hail the Snetzer!" Sitting upon the throne was the withered corpse of some longdead king, in his cobwebbed hand he held a shining sword. We all expected the dead man (who we presumed to be the Snetzer himself) to attack us, but instead we replayed the sequence from Conan the Barbarian: the sword was pried from the skeletal fingers and the body crumbled due to this disturbance.

Now we had the Snetzer Sword! Ah, but who would wield it? I remained neutral but Gopher and Eric, both hotblooded young hack-n-slashers, each claimed the mighty Sword of Snetzer as his own. Tempers flaired and one party or the other demanded combat. Initiatives were rolled. Gopher's Elf won the right of first strike. He poured over his crude, hand-drawn character sheet, trying to puzzle out what action would give him the most advantage against Eric's Fighter. Without fully understanding the implications of his words, Gopher declared "I cast sleep."

Kids nowadays do not understand the awesome might of the sleep spell. In the arena of Basic Dungeons & Dragons it ruled supreme. Although many were the creatures immune to its effects, when cast against men or orcs it always ruled the day. Because in that bygone era sleep allowed no saving throw. Well, that was the day my group discovered the awesome power of sleep. It was also the day we discovered that Eric tends to hurl his dice across the room when he gets mad, for mad he was when Dave, after much pouring over the rules, confirmed that the Fighter was sound asleep. Gopher's first use of the Snetzer Sword was to dispatch Eric's Fighter.

That day marked the first time in my gaming group that two PCs, heroes who had fought together to overcome many perils, came to blows. And later what awesome powers did we discover, contained within the mighty Sword of the Snetzer?

It was a sword +1.

(I posted this earlier today to this thread on theRPGsite, but I thought I would put it up here as well.)