The Saving Throw
Proudest Gaming Moments May 3, 2006
These are the times when the impossible or near impossible was accomplished.

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The Psychic Dwarf vs. the Zombie Giant
  contributed by Derek 'Roku' Cavin

This particular story takes place in one of my many adventures in the world of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. What makes this tale different from most of my other ones is that the roles were reversed this time: I am usually the GM while my friends are the players, but I was the player in their campaign this time. As usual, I rolled the stats for my character, but since none of my stats were particularly low or high I decided to do something unusual to avoid playing a boring, average character with no specialties. I decided that I was going to be a Lawful Good Dwarf with telekinetic abilities. I also knew how to use spears, specifically dart-like ones that made rather nifty projectiles when bolstered by my telekinesis.

Anyway, after the usual introductory phase, I was given my first mission: investigate a farm that zombies had recently started appearing in and rescue anyone still human. My efforts to investigate the farm from afar were ruined, so I decided to check it out in person.

The journey itself was oddly peaceful despite the gamemaster's best effort to roll enemies. It didn't take me long to arrive and I could see pretty much all of the zombies that were outside from where I was standing. I hopped the fence, and a small group of them came at me. I decided to fight them now as opposed to after I had rescued survivors for obvious reasons. My darts managed to take out most of them before they reached me, and I was able to beat the rest with my dagger at close range.

I continued to go around the farm, clearing any zombies that might get in the way of the escape route. With my darts, telekinetic ability to make zombies explode, and reasonable skill with a knife, it didn't take that long at all. I made a quick trip to the nearby village to stock up on darts, and was pleased to find that the gamemaster hadn't revived any of the defeated zombies while I was gone. Now I would have to explore inside the buildings, in much closer quarters where my ranged attacks wouldn't be very effective.

The farmhouse proved uneventful, aside from the usual swarm of zombies. They weren't too clever, so locking and unlocking doors on them while selectively taking out a few at a time was enough to gain me victory without a scratch. Unfortunately, the implied survivors weren't here, and neither was anything of interest to the case. Next would be my final destination: the barn.

There were two humans that had been tied up in the corner and a single zombie guarding them. The only problem was that this particular zombie was about twenty feet tall and had over fifty HP. Since I was level one and stood only a little over three feet, I was a bit worried.

It's unusual for gamemasters to send such ridiculously powerful enemies against level one characters unless they're in an especially foul mood, so I figured it was some kind of plot device and I would have to escape with the hostages and come back later to vanquish the zombie. This was not the case. The gamemaster would not allow me to leave the room. That was out, so I had no choice other than to fight.

The very first thing I did was to blind the giant using my special ability to create a bright light psychically. I had chosen the ability because I thought it might bail me out if I ended up in some super dark place without a torch, but it ended up being exceedingly useful in this fight as well. My armor class wasn't very high, but, with its accuracy reduced dramatically, the zombie now only had about a 45% chance of hitting me, and that was good because I could only take three or four hits from its massive arms.

At this point it became rather clear that the gamemaster wanted me dead. I'm not really sure what I did to anger him, but my battle was now with him just as much as it was against the zombie. Clearly, this was not a battle I could win if he abused his powers, but he was willing to play by the dice, so at least I had a shot.

Thinking quickly, I decided to use my exploding zombie ability to remove the appendages of the giant, significantly decreasing its accuracy, attack power, and movement, all while dealing a good deal of damage. I made one last attempt to get out peacefully, but the captives said they would kill themselves if I tried to save them at this point.

Removing two arms and a leg wiped out my mental stamina, so the next twenty or so minutes were spent in a fierce melee battle. Now, it took that long because the zombie only had about a 10% chance of hitting me now and my only weapon was a small dagger that I wasn't very skilled with. With the enemy's armor class, my accuracy wasn't so good either, and I only hit for two or three points of damage.

Luck was on my side though; I was reduced to seven HP over the course of the battle, but I had managed to knock this monster down to two HP. Just before I could land my final blow on the giant, the GM had one of the NPCs I was guarding attack me for seven points of damage and no saving throw. That was all of the HP I had left, so I was essentially left for dead. I did get a saving throw against death, but it didn't go over very well. Thus ended the adventures of the telekinetic dwarf.

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