• Published 7th Oct 2017
  • 3,216 Views, 100 Comments

Spike’s Substitute O&O Session - Lise

With Twilight off at a conference, Spike is ready to host the greatest O&O session of all time. One problem: none of his regular gaming buddies can make it. And they're sending substitutes.

  • ...

The Uh&Oh Session

“I challenge!” Rarity hissed through her teeth, pulling the dragon miniature with her magic.

“I challenge your challenge!” Ember shouted, throwing a die halfway in the wall.

“Not to be a pig’s snout, but I reckon that I and Marble here did more than half of the damage,” Applejack interjected, looking up from the rulebook. “And, if you don’t mind me pointing out, I did strike the first hit, by which the battle was initiated, as it says here, so rightfully we should get the prize. It’s only fair.”

“Uh Huh.” Marble Pie nodded beside her.

“And I did the last hit,” Starlight narrowed her eyes. “But you somehow skipped the section about the killing blow. Not very honest now, are you? The rules very clearly state that whoever kills the monster gets the prize, plus corresponding experience.”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Darling!” Rarity scoffed. “It was obviously a party effort, and regardless the character whose role was best illustrated should justly earn the reward.” She raised her chin, pleased. “And if there are any doubts, let Spike tell you. Isn’t that right, Spikey-Wikey?”

“Yeah!” Ember crushed another die in her grasp. “What do you think about, Spike? As Oubliette Master you can make the decision.”

“Can’t argue with that.” Applejack flipped a few pages. “Says here that the OM has full authority when it comes to disputes and their decision is absolute.”

“Uh huh.” Marble Pie nodded beside her.

“Actually, that’s a good idea.” Starlight grinned. “Spike, what do you decide?”

“Um. Me?” Spike swallowed. Things had completely spiraled out of control. Sweat trickled down his forehead, as he flashed a guilty smile. Four sets of eyes were glaring at him, expecting him to announce in their favor. How could something so good end like this? he whimpered internally. This was supposed to be the best game ever...

“So, remember Spike, I’ll only be gone for two days, so don’t worry too much, okay?” Twilight trotted towards the door, a small suitcase levitated behind her. “Remember to eat well, and if there’s an emergency—“

“Send you a scroll, I know.” Spike sighed. “You only told me like, a hundred times.”

“And you can always ask Starlight for help if you’re in any sort of trouble. Or maybe I could ask—“

“Twilight! Go already! This isn’t the first time I’m alone!” The dragon crossed his arms. “Besides I’m not a baby dragon anymore. If anything happens, not that anything ever happens, I’ll handle it, okay?”

“Right, right.” Twilight nodded. “It’s just that you’re like my little brother, and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I’ve been so busy since I became princess that I’ve hardly had enough time to spend with you. You must be suffering inside.”

“Completely traumatized.” Spike deadpanned. “Now get going or you’ll be late for your conference thingy.”

“Friendship summit,” Twilight corrected. “I still feel uneasy leaving you alone for so long.” Twilight’s ears drooped. “But I guess Starlight’s here, and you can always send a scroll in case of an emergency.”

Spike shook his head. On the outside he was calm, cool, annoyed at her habit of second guessing herself when in came to him. On the inside he was screaming for her to go. An hour from now, after a two week delay, the weekly Ogres & Oubliettes game session was going to begin. What was more, today was a very special session: Thorax had finally agreed to join, for which Spike had prepared an entirely new adventure. The dragon grinned as he pictured the intricate plot and complex puzzles he had spent days coming up with. This is going to be so great!

“Well, I suppose I’m overreacting a bit,” Twilight chuckled.

“No kidding?” Spike grumbled under his breath.

“I better go now. And remember—“

“If there’s anything I’ll send you a scroll,” Spike recited in his most annoyed voice.

“Yep. I guess I’ve said that before.” Twilight blushed, covering her mouth with a hoof. “Well, have fun, Spike. And don’t worry, I’ll be back before you know it.”

A flash of purple later the alicorn, along with her luggage, was gone. Spike waited for a few more moments, just to be sure she wouldn’t reappear to give some “final words of advice”. A minute later he closed the door. Finally The dragon rushed towards the map room. There was so much he had to prepare. New character sheets, spares-just in case someone decided to change character-, maps, NPC scrolls, miniatures. The last three sets had all disappeared due to unforeseen circumstances. The original ones were brought to life by Discord and had to be destroyed, the second set were unfortunately made of gems and quite delicious, as for the third... the entire group had decided never to speak of that again.

“Core rules, core rules.” Spike hurried to fetch them from under his bed. I hope Thorax doesn’t chicken out again. I have the perfect character for him!

The dragon had barely reached his room, when a loud knock came from the front door. Spike paused a moment just to be certain. The rapping sounded once more.

“I’ll be right there!” Spike grabbed his entire Ogres & Oublettes box. I bet it’s Thorax! Only he’d be here this early! He’s probably going to ask about stats and perks and backgrounds... The dragon wobbled along the corridor and down the stair, careful not to trip or spill his precious loot. Reaching the front door, he placed the box on the ground. “Gimme a moment,” he said catching his breath.

Okay, maybe I need to revise my O&O stuff, he considered. Most of it was old editions he kept for sentimental value and the occasional house rule. Spike could easily replace those with an errata scroll. That, would have to wait, however.

“You sure are early.” Spike started to open the door. “I didn’t expect to see you till— hghu?!” The dragon froze in place. Standing outside was a stunning white unicorn dressed in a scarlet silk dress. Her purple mane was woven in several braids, each ending with a gemmed ring. “Ra-Ra-Rarity?”

“Hello, Spikey-Wikey.” Rarity said, trotting past the extremely shocked Spike. “I do hope I’m not late. When Rainbow Dash made me promise I take her place she typically forgot to mention the precise time. I would have been here sooner, but I just needed to finish my roleplay outfit. What do you think?” She made a few steps, then turned around, waving her dress in the process.

“Pretty...” Spike managed to say, blood rushing to his face and cheeks. “Wait, RD did what?” He jumped in panic, as the sudden realization hit him.

“Well, she had promised to go with Fluttershy to observe the great ant migration, and being who she is didn’t even bother checking her schedule.” Rarity glanced at the box of O&O materials. “Naturally, I couldn’t let your game be ruined, so I decided to take her place. To be honest I was looking forward to observing your game sessions. Pinkie Pie keeps going on and on about them, so... is that me?” The unicorn levitated a miniature of her.

Uh Oh. Spike swallowed. “Umm, sort of?” He flashed a guilty smile as drops of sweat covered his face. “She’s actually the princess we are supposed to resc—“

“A princess?!” Rarity’s eyes widened as she stared with adoration at the small figurine. “Oh, Spikey-Wikey. You made a princess just for me? You really are the sweetest dragon in Ponyville.” She rubbed his cheek with her hoof.

“Err, that’s right!” Spike’s smile widened. “I made the character just for you!” Coming with stats and skills for a princess class will be impossible! “She has level 8 on regal fashion!” he quickly added. But so worth it! “Let’s go in the gaming room and I’ll help you fill in your character sheet. It will only take a—“

A loud bang came from the door. Spike’s heart fell. He wasn’t expecting anyone else to arrive early. His glance moved from the door to Rarity. She was still busy admiring her figurine, fortunately for him. A second series of knocks reminded Spike that wouldn’t last for long.

“So, um, let’s get your character ready!” Spike suggested pushing the box towards the map room. “You’ll be much more comfortable there, and you can go through all the books to choose the skills that would best suit you.”

“Skills? Role play is like theatre!” Rarity waved her hoof dramatically. “All is in the backstory if the character. Those fine nuances that make up the fabric of one's very existence, the patchwork of events that give texture to one’s very soul!” She placed a hoof on her forehead remaining still for a few moments. “The map hall, you said?” Rarity asked almost immediately after, breaking out of her theatrical persona.

“Umm, yea?”

“Splendid, darling.” Rarity trotted down the hallway. “I better get started, then. It would take a short while for me to get into the character of my, well—“ she giggled “—character.”

“Yeah, right.” Spike added a forced laugh. “I’ll be with you right after...I talk with the mailmare about a package!”

Oh no, oh no! I hope it’s Big Mac. At least Big Mac would be understanding. Discord would do everything possible to humiliate him, forcing Spike to resort to bribery. Last time he had to give him ten additional experience points so that certain truths would remain unmentioned. Taking a deep breath the dragon opened the door.

“Yo, Spike!” Ember said almost knocking him back. “What took you so long? For a moment I thought I had gotten the wrong day.”

“Ember?” Spike blinked. “What are you doing?”

“Oh, right.” Ember slapped herself on the forehead. “I always forget your pony customs.” She grabbed him from the floor, giving him a brief but tight hug, then let him down again. “There we go. Greeting hug achieved.”

“I mean what are you doing here?” Spike managed to ask. “Is anything wrong in the dragon lands? Did someone challenge you for the title of Dragon Lord?”

“Hah, as if!” Ember laughed. “Nah, Thorax got wrapped up with something so he asked me to come to your fighting game thing instead. He was really broken up about it, and since he’s my friend I decided to check it out. Besides, after what we went through at the dragon trials, I’m sure your ogres and oubliettes won’t stand a chance.”

Thorax sent a replacement as well? This was rather unexpected. Not that Spike had anything to complain about. He had been considering inviting her to join the party for a while now. The only thing that stopped him from going through with it was the insignificant fact that Ember tended to become a bit too competitive when it came to anything combat related.

“So who will we fight today?” Ember rubbed her claws.

“Umm, Thorax told you that we don’t actually fight anyone, right?” Spike asked with hesitation. “It’s just a game of make-believe.”

“Huh?” Ember narrowed her eyes.

“Err, what I mean is, we don’t actually fight anyone, we just imagine what we’d do if we fight them. Like, I’m great very realistic detail.” Sweat was trickling down his face.

“Hmm. Go on.” Ember made a circular motion with her claw.

“You see, it’s much more efficient that way. Instead of bringing monsters here all the time, we just imagine how we’d defeat them. It’s very realistic. You even get to choose what weapons and techniques you use when fighting to make it more realistic...”

“Imagining how to defeat an enemy.” Ember scratched her chin. “Unusual, but why not? I guess it’s easier than finding monsters and bringing them here.”

“Yes! Definitely much easier!” Spike nodded enthusiastically.. “And this way you get to face a whole set of different monsters! Seas of monsters you must defeat to get their loot and win the big prize.”

“Spike.” Ember placed her claw on his shoulder. “I like it already! When do we start?”

Not today by the looks of it, Spike thought. Two substitute players, both complete newbies with no idea how to play. It was going to be a challenge to get them up to speed to say the least. Spike glanced at Ember. She was standing in the hallway, wings open, ready to swoop at anything she might consider an enemy and smash it to bits, or melt it. Heh, good thing that there’s nopony else in the—

“Ember?” a surprised voice asked. Spike barely had enough time to turn around when a torrent of fire burst in that direction, stopping in a wall of magic. “Hey, it’s me, Starlight!” The voice shouted. “Hold the fire, okay?”

Spike bit his lip. Starlight was the last pony he wanted to be around. With all the recent surprises he had completely forgotten she had remained behind. In normal circumstances it would hardly have made much of a difference. Most of the ponies already knew about his hobbies, so joining into his O&O party would hardly make any difference. Bumping into a fire-breading Dragon Lord, however, was an entirely new bowl of gems.

“Twilight?” Ember blinked. “I didn’t know you’d be here.”

“Wrong purple one.” Starlight frowned as she trotted closer.

“Hmm, are you sure?” Ender arched a brow. “Well, if you say so.”

“Yep, definitely not Twilight,” the unicorn insisted. “No wings, no reddish streak, entirely different cutie mark.” Starlight smiled, yet Ember didn’t seem overly convinced. “Anyway, what brings you to Ponyville? If you’re looking for Twilight, you just missed her.”

“No, not Twilight. I’m here to take part in Spike’s game of wit and military skill,” The dragon said proudly. “It’s called Ogres & Oubliettes.”

“Really? What a coincidence! I’ll be joining the party as well!”

“Nice!” Ember grinned.

“What?!” Spike jumped. “Since when?!”

“Right. Well, Discord lost a bet and had to go on tour with Trixie for a week.” Starlight smirked. “He’d been pestering her for months until she finally gave in. Just a friendly piece of advice, in the next few months don’t mention “flying pigs” to her.”

“Oh.” Actually this might not be a bad thing, Spike thought. With Discord not showing up, the greatest source of humiliation was gone. Instead he was going to play with Starlight, Ember, and Rarity. Panic changed to calm, then joy as the dragon re-evaluated the situation. “That’s great, Starlight!” he said with newfound enthusiasm. “You’d make a great player... as well,” he quickly added seeing Ember’s glare. “Any idea about your character?”

“Hmm.” Starlight put a hoof to her muzzle. “I’ll have to go through your books to make a decision. Discord tried to explain a bit, but every five words he’d start telling a new story so I got a bit mixed up.”

“Sure, sure! Everyone will be making new character sheets anyway, so you’ll fit right in. This way if you please, brave adventurers!” Spike made a bow and rushed along towards the map hall.

“Character sheets?” Ember asked in a whisper, to which Starlight only giggled.

Less than ten steps later, yet another knock came from the door.

“That’s probably Big Mac.” Spike said with earnest. “He’s already made his character so he’ll be able to help out with character creation. I’ll go get him.” And have a quick talk with him warning him not to mention the last princess quest. “Starlight, can you take Ember to the gaming hall?”

“We can wait for you a few minutes, Spike, it isn’t a problem.” Starlight offered. “Right, Ember?”

“Err.” Spike swallowed. “Sure, you could... but you could also go there and get familiar with the skills and weapons? Big Mac and I have this secret greeting that can take a while and, you know, I don’t want to waste time in rule explanation when we could start playing faster.” He flashed a smile.

“If you say so.” Starlight giggled and winked. “Let’s go, Ember, Let’s go to the ‘gaming hall’ and leave the boys to their secret greeting.”

That was close. Spike wiped the sweat off his face. The princess quest wasn’t something he wished anyone to learn about, especially Rarity. That was the one and only time Discord had been OM, resulting in a combination of the best and worst experiences the party had in and out of character.

Counting to ten, Spike then made sure he couldn’t hear Starlight or Ember anymore, before rushing to the door again.

“Hey, Big—“ he paused. Applejack was standing there, saddlebags full of books, right in front of Marble Pie who seemed to be using her as a shelter to hide behind. “Let me guess, Big Mac and Pinkie couldn’t make it and sent you in their place?” the dragon asked with a confident smirk.

“How in tarnation did you figure that?” Applejack blinked.

“Please.” Spike waved in faux modesty. “I’ve been playing O&O for years. I could tell when someone wants to join the party. And I bet those are Big Mac’s books in your saddlebags.” Don’t know why you brought them since I have my own set, which is a hardcover limited first edition and his is a simple paperback limited first edition.

“Well, Big Mac kept saying you were a pretty good OM. You be mighty good at noticing the small details.” Applejack glanced at the large red book in her left saddlebag. “Don’t fret, though. I spent all night reading the Beasts Bestiary so I reckon I’m pretty acquainted with things.” She puffed up her chest.

“That’s Great, AJ!” Spike beamed. “That would be very useful when you start the adventure. Did you set up a character?”

“Say what now?” Applejack narrowed an eye.

“You did go through character creation, right?” Spike asked. The orange mare stared at him blankly. “Did you pick your skills?”

No response.

“Did you roll your stats?”


“Did you choose your class and race?”

“To tell you the truth I was so captivated by the Bestiary thingamajig that I didn’t get to the other books.” Applejack looked away.

“Uh huh,” Marble added meekly behind her.

“Hey, don’t worry.” Spike moved aside so the mares could enter. “The entire party will be making new characters anyway. Funny how the entire party today is substitutes,” he added with a chuckle.

Best day ever! Spike thought as they made their way to the map hall. He was about to OM an entirely new group, not to forget a group that had Rarity in it. Spike could almost see the thrill, the excitement, the tension as they went on their first O&O adventure. It wasn’t going to be easy, most new groups ended getting their characters knocked out on their first adventure, but as long as he was forgiving and let them get used to the system everything was going to be fine. And not least, there was Rarity. Now was his moment to shine. Since everyone was going to start a new character, Spike was going to switch to his secret level one alt he had created just for the occasion. He had never had the courage to actually ask Rarity to an O&O session, but now since she was here already, he was determined to do what it took to get her hooked to the game. Maybe she’d even agree to another session in the future?

The moment he reached the game room, his illusions shattered. Sitting on one end of the table Rarity was busy sketching her character on a piece of paper...next to a large scroll titled Backstory. More concerning, she was dressed in an entirely different outfit than before.

“What do you think? A two handed halberd or a great grandsword?” Ember asked beside her.

“Let me check,” Starlight levitated a corebook towards her. “If you take the Greatest Cleave ability, it will be better to get the sword. If you’re going to use vocal magic the halberd is better.”

So much for a having simple session. Still, ether was nothing for him to complain about. Character creation might take a bit longer than expected, but after that it would be smooth sailing. Spike climbed onto Twilight’s chair and pulled the corebook towards him.

“Okay, everypony!” He said in his most cheerful voice. “I’m glad that all of you are here.” Especially you, Rarity. “Welcome your first O&O adventure session. I’m Spike and will be your Oubliette Master.”

“How come you are the master?” Ember jumped to her feet. “I challenge you for the title! Choose your wea—“

“Begging your pardon, Ember, but Oubliette Master means that he’ll be leading the adventure,” Applejack interrupted. “As in the one setting up the challenges we must face.”

“Ah! I see.” Ember nodded. “He’s the holder of the title who’s setting up a trial for us to compete and claim it.”

“No, no, no, darling,” Rarity giggled. “We’re not competing, We’re helping each other fight anything he throws at us with style and pizzazz as we break them to pieces!”

“Yes! Now you’re talking!” Ember grinned,

“Umm, maybe before that start with creating your characters—”

“Way, ahead of you, darling. I have a complete story, description, and family tree of my character starting from—“

“—by rolling your stats.”

“Rolling stats?” Ember whispered to Starlight.

“Pfft.” Rarity waved her hoof. “Darling, please. Everypony knows that stats dilute the essence of role play. It’s all about fine descriptions, deep motivation, and romantic intrigues. Surely you won’t lead a boring stat-filled session, right Spikey-Wikey?”

“O-of course, Rarity. It’s just that...we’ll need skill checks for realism?” Spike suggested hesitantly. Receiving a reluctant nod from Rarity he mentally sighed in relief and continued. “So, everyone get three dice. Remember to choose wisely. The dice are your trusted companions that will determine your fate.”

Everyone quickly took their dice. Marble was first, taking a set of common dice, looking at them as if they were magic stones. Ember grabbed hers without a fuss, while Rarity carefully started comparing the options available. Applejack had brought Big Mac’s, and as for Starlight, she just used a spell to create a set of her own. So much like Discord, Spike thought. Of course, Discord’s dice tended to be far more unusual and dangerous. The last set ridiculed itself each time it rolled a critical miss.

“Okay, now you roll the dice and add up the results,“ Spike continued. “Do that seven times. Those are your stat numbers. You can choose which number to allocate to which stat based on—“

“Pardon me, Spike, but what is our quest?” Rarity interrupted.

“Huh?” The dragon blinked.

“We could hardly make an informed decision if we don’t know what we are supposed to do.” The white unicorn continued. “I mean, of course I’d put a lot on charisma, but there are other stats as well.”

“She’s got a point there.” Applejack looked up from her corebook. “Knowing the type of adventure would help us choose our equipment.”

“Well, we usually go on a quest to save Princess R—“ Argh! Spike abruptly stopped. His cheeks reddened as all eyes were upon him. “Well, most quests go that way.” Oh, my gems! Why did I have to slip now?!

“That might be difficult since I’ll be playing her as part of my party.” Rarity tapped her chin. “I know! This time we’ll be rescuing Spikey-Wikey. Isn’t he just the most adorable little dragon?” She rubbed his cheeks, causing the crimson to spread to his entire face. “Isn’t that right? Spikey?”

“Um, sure, Rarity.” Spike smiled.

“Saving Spike, eh? Let’s hope it doesn’t go like last time.” Applejack laughed. “Does the one who rescues him get to marry him and and claim half the kingdom?”

“Getting back to the stats,” Spike raised his voice, uncomfortable with the new direction of the conversation. “Roll three D-eight, assign, then pick the skills you wish your character to have.”

“I want Greatest Cleave!” Ember shouted. “And Shield Bash! And Fire Breathing!”

“Level one skills only,” Spike sighed. “When you get to level two you can—“

“Then why does Rarity’s character have Etiquette at level 8?” Starlight frowned.

“That’s simple, darling, it’s part of my backstory.” Rarity levitated the sketch of her character in front of Starlight’s face. “You can’t expect a princess, even a ‘Level one’, to be as unrefined as a common ruffian. And besides, having such an understanding of etiquette is bound to put us all in the good graces of other dignitaries.”

“Hmm. That’s true,” Starlight agreed. “And also it will give us a bonus in Information Gathering in high society areas. Also, if you combine it with dancing and poetry, you get two free levels on Charm and Seduction, which can use in combat to disarm an opponent.”

“Hey, I rolled three ones, is that good?” Ember asked, looking closely at her dice.

“‘Fraid not, Sugarcube. Says here that’s the lowest there is.” Applejack read. “In fact it’s so low that you must reroll your dice until the sum is six or higher. Marble, how much did... you rolled twenty-three?”

“Uh Huh.” The grey mare took the dice and rolled again. This time all three dice showed eight.

Spike closed his eyes. This was far more chaotic than he had imagined. To make things worse, he couldn’t yell at any of them as he did in his usual group. For one thing they were complete newbies, it was normal for them to make mistakes and go through all the phases. For another, he was rather fond of each and didn’t have the heart to correct them, especially Rarity. As a result, the entire party started with level ten characters, each with a full compliment of skills and equipment.

No biggie, this is just char creation, The dragon thought, flipping through his campaign notes. All he had to do was increase the NPC difficulty a bit and everything would be fine. It was a simple task. Instead of goblins they would face stone golems, possibly a dragon or two, and as for bosses, a deity avatar would provide an adequate challenge. But first, he was going to send them a small challenge. Taking a deep breath, Spike started the adventure.

“So you’re all gathered in the tavern. It has been a long, arduous journey, so you’re all very tired and—“ A polite cough interrupted Spike. “So, you’re tired and can’t wait to go to sleep in the luxurious beds of the royal tavern. You are about to go to bed, when the tavern door suddenly slams open!” Spike slammed one of the books shut, causing everything but Ember to jump, startled. “A huge rock warrior walks in the room, holding a double axe. What do you do?”

“Hello, weary traveler!” Rarity rose from her seat. “Pray, tell us what ails thee? We are but simple travelers and wish you no harm. Quite the opposite, if there is any way we could assist you in any way, we will gladly be at your disposal, for our quest is to find the beautiful Prince Spike, and rescue him from a face worse than death!”

“The rock warrior ignores you completely.” Spike grinned.

“He dares ignore me?” Rarity’s eyes widened in disbelief. “I’ll show that grotesque pile of rubble what what happens to those that ignore me!” She hissed through her teeth.

“I draw my sword and attack him!” Ember rubbed her hands.

“Roll an attack die.”

The die was almost throne across the table... resulting on it showing a two.

“That’s not what I wanted to roll!” Ember quickly snatched the die again, “it clearly slipped from my hand. This time I’ll make the real roll!” The die fell on a one. “Argh!” She slapped her forehead.

“Ember swings at the rock warrior, but slips and drops her sword,” Spike glanced at his aid table. The battle initiative of the party was there, along with that of every NPC of the campaign. “Combat has started. Each of you now have a combat and a free action per turn. First to act is Starlight.”

“I cast Oxen Strength, Fire Hoof, Elemental Protection, and Bloodlust on my character.” The unicorn checked her character sheet. “I also stand two meters away, to gain an attack of opportunity if he moves.”

“Err, you can’t cast four buffs on you...”

“Sure I can.” Starlight smirked. “I combine Fast Talking with Arcane Rights. Since I have over eight levels on either skill, they can quadruple the amount of buff I can cast, as long as I’m the target.”

Spike winced. He didn’t like the practice of min-maxing, but Starlight used it to perfection. A quick check revealed she was indeed correct.

“The rock warrior feels threatened by Starlight’s actions and takes a step back.”

“While he is confused I move quietly beside him, brushing my mane along him, then when he’s distracted I kick the axe out of his hands!” Rarity almost growled

Scary. Spike swallowed. “Umm, you successfully disarm the warrior. Yet are unable to do anything else. Applejack?”

“Can I use all my action to tell Marble something?” The orange mare kept on looking into Big Mac’s bestiary supplement.

“Umm. I guess.” Spike shrugged.

“In that case, I tell her that the rock warrior is in fact a jade warrior and has a weak spot at the base of the neck, under the ear. One critical hit there and the monster will be as good as dead, I reckon,”

“Uh huh.” Marble Pie nodded and rolled the dice. All three of them landed on an eight.

“Critical success,” Spike announced. “Now you need to roll again and confirm the result.”

Marble rolled again—another twenty-four, that almost got Spike screaming in despair. One round, one round was all it took for his brilliantly crafted scene to be over. The minion was supposed to be indestructible. Spike had planned to use it to show the party how not everything could be resolved through brute strength. Instead, the girls were cheering, pleased with their first victory.

Stay calm, Spike. The dragon flipped through his list of monsters. Flukes happen. Besides this was just a lowly minion at the start of the adventure. It’s normal for him to be destroyed by beginners luck. There’s still a whole army of monsters, plus Grizwald the Black. He glanced at the party. Every one of them seemed so happy, enjoying the feeling of their “first blood”. Spike smiled. Even if this wasn’t the result he wanted, at least he had managed to get them involved in O&O.

Well, the show must go on. Spike smiled as he started selecting monsters for the group’s next encounter. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

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