Welcome to Tales from the Table, where once a month we will share one of our favorite encounters from the RPG tabletop. Tales range from hilarious first-hand accounts from the GM to harrowing tales of near escapes from the player’s perspective. To see your own tale shared here, visit our submission guidelines page!
Today our tale comes from our own Tom Thrush, a lifelong DM who is sharing one of his countless hilarious encounters from behind the screen.
A Tearful Farewell
My husband has been running a solo campaign for me for a few years now, it started as a way for us to practice our D&D skills when we were first learning but I quickly became attached to my character, the world, and the NPCs.
To ensure I wasn’t alone in the campaign he started me out with an NPC boyfriend, that way I wouldn’t be outmatched in every fight; however, after a year of playing I had collected around 4 NPCs that I insisted travel with me on our adventures, and a large network of NPCs that I considered friends. It got to the point that I wanted to keep almost every NPC I met with me and became a lot for him to manage (at one point I had 8 in my party, but that was much later and I didn’t get away with it for long).
Our party was gearing up to stop an evil dragon from coming back to our plane and wreaking havoc on the world. We had cities backing us, royals defending our cause, people knew us on sight in some towns, we were becoming legends.
At this point, my husband had plans to introduce some more NPCs who he intended to have a larger role in the story, so he decided to make some of my party members move on.
In-game we were sitting in a tavern, making plans to prevent the dragon from returning, while also trying to figure out how to put a stop to a war that had been started to distract from the brewing dragon trouble. My party at that point consisted of myself (elven ranger), my NPC boyfriend Iolos (elven fighter), Sam (human rogue), Grog (half-orc fighter), and Lady Breyln (Gnomish wizard).
Sam had been with us since practically the beginning of the campaign, he was orphaned and knew only that his father had been a great fighter. While we sat and planned a large man entered the bar with his traveling companion and that man was a spitting image of our Sam.
After talking to the man our party was shocked to realize that he was Sam’s father, not dead after all. He had returned home to find his wife dead and his son missing and though he searched for years he never found Sam, who had become adept at surviving unnoticed on the streets. Now he chanced upon his son in a random tavern on the way to step into a war we ourselves were hoping to stop.
I knew what was coming, after a year of gameplay (years, in-game) Sam was going to leave our party to travel with his long-lost father, but that didn’t stop tears from sliding down my cheeks as I bid Sam farewell – much to the embarrassment of myself and my character.
Needless to say, my husband did not expect that he would make me cry by taking away an NPC, and either did I! Though that didn’t stop him from sending Grog and Lady Breyln on their way not long after.
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