“Lex the Brave spots a path ahead on his left, barely noticeable among all the trees and bushes,” says the DM. “He adjusts the sword strapped to his back and plunges into the foliage to follow the path.
“Lex follows the path for a while, and it eventually ends at a clearing. In the middle of the clearing this a large stone altar. Atop the altar is a big gilt chest.”
“Lex starts towards the altar,” says Lex’s owner, “very eager to see what is in the chest, certain that it must be a great treasure of some sort. But he holds back, wary of any traps or hidden dangers. The path to this place had been suspiciously safe, and Lex would have expected something to block his entry to the treasure.”
“So you want to check for traps?” asks the DM. “Very well.”
Lex’s owner rolls the die and the DM checks his sheet.
“All clear,” says the DM. “There are no hidden traps.”
“Then Lex steps into the clearing to check the chest on the altar,” says Lex’s owner.
“As he does,” the DM narrates, ” a giant troll appears in order to guard the altar.”
“A giant troll? Ugh! How much XP does it have?”
The DM answers and Lex’s owner groans as he looks at his character record sheet. “I don’t think I have enough XP to beat him.”
“Still, you need to make a saving throw. Who knows, you might get lucky.”
Lex’s owner grabs the die and shakes it in his hand. He closes his eyes and whispers a prayer as he rolls the die.
The DM looks at the number on the die, surprised at the result. “Well, well, well,” he says. “It looks like you got lucky after all. The troll starts to charge you but it trips on its feet and falls backwards, hitting its head on the side of the altar and knocking itself out, leaving you free to investigate the chest.”
“Woohoo!” says Lex’s owner. “I open the chest.”
The DM rolls the die. “Oh, too bad. You should have checked it for traps, too. The chest is boobytrapped. You’re pricked by a poison needle hidden on the clasp.”
Lex’s owner looks at his sheet. “Dang it! I don’t have anything to ward off poison or enough XP to heal myself with magic.”
“Do you want to try a saving throw anyway?”
“Sure, why not.”
Lex’s owner rolls the die.
“Oh, too bad. Better luck next time.”
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “xp”: