Critical 20 Ch. 01

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Amateur

Hello readers,

Fair Warning – Do not expect sex in this chapter. This story’s going to have a build up and while there will be some great incestuous sex and plenty of it, for now, we’re just going to enjoy the romantic buildup.

Hope you guys enjoy. This was a blast to write.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chapter 1.

“Wait, I have all five editions, man. It doesn’t need to be fifth!” I called out to the guy as he was packing up his stuff to go.

He smiled at me limply and I could feel my frustration slowly building within my stomach, “Yeah, maybe later man. I just remembered that tonight I have a class so I can’t afford to run late.”

“Yeah, I, uh, I mean that’s cool. We could just make characters, if you’d like, ya know,” I desperately tried to get anything I could from the only guy who showed up to this damn thing, but when he put his hand on the back of his head, I knew it was a lost cause.

“Sorry, man. Hey, maybe next time, okay?” He said, grabbing his jacket and slinging his backpack over one arm.

“I… I uh…” I grunted, thinking of something to say, but he opened my front door, “I’ll pay you!”

Slam.

“Dammit,” I muttered, softly placing my fist on the chair of the dining table, looking down at the large map I had drawn out along with the character sheets and tokens placed neatly on top of it. The sight of the custom placemats I made for the players sickened me slightly and I turned away.

Yeah, so… you probably want a little context, right?

My name’s Daniel Cook. I’m a lot of things, a student notably, but what I wanted to be today was a Dungeon Master. For those of you who are not aware of what that is, there’s a type of gaming known as Tabletop Gaming, and one of the main pillars of it is a game you’ve probably all heard about at one point or another.

Dungeons & Dragons. The ultimate fantasy roleplaying game. It allows you to be and play as anything. If you want to be a half-giant psychopathic lunatic wielding a giant phallic sword hellbent on killing all cats in the world, you can do it. A Dungeon Master is the person who oversees the game and tells the narrative. In actual gaming terms, I guess he’s the game developer, but imagine if there was only one and he controlled everything from the mechanics to the story to the art style to whatever else you can think of.

As someone studying to be a writer, this is kind of my shit right there. The idea that I can create a story and have real life people act as the characters and see the story unfold right in front of my eyes and get immediate feedback is super appealing to me.

So for the last while I’ve been working on creating my own game. Again, for the uninformed, each ‘game’ is its own separate world with a (hopefully) static group of players. In each game, there are several campaigns, which are long stories, and multiple adventures, which are shorter stories.

I’ve been wanting to run my own campaign for a little while now after getting into D&D after highschool, but… as you will very, very, very quickly learn when you get into tabletop gaming, finding a reliable player base is like finding the Holy Grail or proving that Aliens exist (the truth is out there, damn it). It’s not very easy to do. As we can see by this glorious shit show that we have here today.

Having watched the only player who even showed up to this leave my living room, I leaned on the chair sadly. It was time to mope.

“Dan? What’s going on?”

Ah, yes. My sister. Leah.

I turned around and looked at my sister, sighing a bit, “Just… Is it too much to ask to have people sit in front of me and listen to me droning on about a fantasy world for three hours?”

She cocked her head, “What?”

Of course she cocked her head. She always did. She had no idea how important my fantasy world really is.

I sighed again, “It’s fine. You can go back to hanging out with your friend.”

She opened her mouth to say something, but after a quick moment, she closed it and shrugged. Without a word, she turned away and left to head back to her room.

I guess it was time to pack all this stuff up… or maybe I could figure out a way to play by myself…

Man, that’s sad.

~X~

Leah walked into her room and stretched out, feeling a little groggy after the couple hours she’s spent studying with her friend. Finals week is next week and then she was done for the summer until her senior year of high school. Having turned eighteen only a few weeks ago, she felt like the world was her oyster and things were looking up.

“What was your brother yelling about?” Her friend, sitting on her loveseat next to her bed, asked.

That friend’s name is Chloe Dwyer. She’s been friend of Leah’s since they were too young to wear bras. Judging by the look she was giving Leah right now, it seemed pretty obvious she was used to her brother’s shit at this point.

Leah sat down on the edge of her bed, “No idea. Something about fantasy worlds? Don’t know.”

Chloe shrugged and Leah returned it. Without further poker oyna adieu, they pulled out some of their books and went over their science notes. They went back and forth for a while until they heard Daniel stomping outside of their door and throwing something in his room before stomping back downstairs, grumbling the entire way.

“I’ve always wanted to know… is he… is he not all there? No offense or anything but like… is he autistic or something?” Chloe asked.

Leah giggled a little bit, “No. He’s just a huge dork.”

“Dorks are cute. He isn’t,” Chloe smirked.

“Oh come on,” Leah set aside her books for now, leaning forward a bit, “He’s not that bad. I know he isn’t ugly, that’s for sure.”

“You could be the hottest guy in the world and if you acted half as arrogant as he does, you’d be not-cute to me.”

“He’s not arrogant, he’s just socially awkward and comes off that way… I think. But he can be nice when he wants to be. We don’t talk a whole lot but he used to be a little sweetheart when we were kids,” Leah explained, “I think he’s just been in a bit of a slump since he graduated.”

Chloe sneered, “A slump, huh? Sounds like a cliché romance novel trope. A depressed writer with a heart of gold.”

Leah reached over to grab her phone and check the time, “A little bit. I mean, you know, you can’t blame him. Mom and Dad aren’t around at all cause now that we’re in college, they’re pretty much travelling 24/7, and all of his friends moved away. Imagine if I left you all of a sudden.”

“Well that’ll never happen cause we’re besties and besties stay together,” Chloe said as if it were a fact and both of them, without hesitation, reach out and wrap two fingers around one another’s in a sort of odd finger-handshake.

“Well of course, but imagine that,” Leah responded similarly casually.

Chloe thought for a moment and leaned back in her chair, “Yeah, I guess it would kind of suck.”

“Yeah. Pretty sorry for him, honestly,” Leah said wistfully.

Chloe rolled her eyes, “Yeah, sure. Well, LeLe, I have to head home. Curfew’s pretty soon, didn’t notice the time. Don’t think I’ll be available till Monday.”

“Me neither. Text me, okay?”

They say goodbye and before long, Chloe’s out the door and Leah can hear the sound of her car pulling away. The eighteen year old laid back on her bed, thinking for a moment.

Yeah. I bet it does suck…

Hm.

~X~

I was putting all my miniatures away into a big box when I saw my sister’s friend pass by me. To be perfectly honest, I forget her name, but I know her well from her looks. She was pretty hot to put it frankly.

Well… I could use a person to talk to. I guess it’s time to use some of that natural charm.

“Why hello there-“

And before I could say anything more, she shut the door behind her.

…Hm.

Must not have heard me.

I went back to packing all my tokens away and placed the box on the table, sitting my ass on the floor because I couldn’t be bothered to get up right now. I looked up at the ceiling just next to the hanging lamp.

Why do things usually end up like this?

“Hey Danny?” I heard come from behind me once again.

“Danny?” I turned back toward her, “You never call me that. Just Dan. What do you want?”

Leah’s face paled slightly, “Nothing… was just wondering if you’d like to talk about what happened earlier.”

“Oh,” My cynical sense was tingling, guess it was off for a bit, “I mean… you probably wouldn’t understand it.”

Leah walked up next to me and pulled a seat out from the table, turning it around and sitting down. She pulled out another chair, presumably for me.

“I’m okay, thanks,” I told her.

“Uh… wouldn’t you like to be level with me?” She asked, seemingly confused.

“No, this is fine,” I laid back on the floor, “So uh…”

Again, she seemed like she wanted to say something, but she must’ve decided against it. The room went silent for a bit.

This was a little bit uncomfortable. We never talk about… well, not about anything to be honest. Not sure why, but we’ve always had a bit of a awkward relationship. I never teased her and we were never particularly loving towards each other. Not that I can remember at least.

“Do you know what Dungeons and Dragons is, Leah?” I asked.

She kinda scrunched her face up a bit, “Uh… I guess I know of it? Don’t really know what it is.”

“Well it’s…” I stopped and waved my hands, “We’ll get into that later.”

“All right.”

I sat up slightly. I used my hands a lot when I talked, so I was gesturing with one hand and was leaning back on the other one, “A game of Dungeons and Dragons takes a lot of time to set up. Even longer to find a player base to actually play it with.”

“Is it harder than getting a cosplay group together?” She asked.

“What did you say?” I asked.

“What?” She looked confused, “Is it harder than trying to cosplay with a group? Like, I remember last year I went to Anime Midwest and we canlı poker oyna all dressed up as female versions of the characters of Hajime no Ippo which is like this boxing show but it’s actually pretty good even if boxing’s kinda boring to me-”

I tuned her out after that.

Oh God.

My sister’s a weeb.

When did this happen?!

No, no… okay. No. We’re not getting into that now. That… ugh.

“I… Y-Yes?” I choked out, trying to keep my overwhelming criticisms to myself.

“Ohhh… that’s really hard then,” She nodded her head slowly.

Fucking Christ.

“Sure, okay. Yeah. Um, back to my thing,” I continued, “Well, it’s really difficult getting a group together. Like, I don’t have… a lot of people I can go to and ask so I had to put up an ad recently. I tried to do an online game… but both times I did it, not only did everyone go inactive after like a couple days of planning, but our internet connection’s just total shit.”

She gave out this heavy sigh, “Ugh, tell me about it. I was trying to stream Madoka the other night to show Chloe and-“

“What the hell is a Madoka?” I interrupted.

Looking somewhat annoyed, she turned down at me. What? Don’t look at me like that; I wouldn’t interrupt if she had anything half-decent to say.

She tries to explain, “Madoka’s like this magical girl show-“

“Let’s stop right there,” I interjected, “Let’s not talk about anime. Ever. Okay?”

“You don’t like anime?! Oh man, I gotta show you some stuff sometime, you’d love it,” She tells me.

“No, you know, what? Let’s not. Let’s not show me anything. That’s more than fine, right? Okay, yeah, so anyway back to my thing,” Jeez, how many times is she going to interrupt me, just so rude, “It’s just… I’ve really wanted to do this for a while now. It just sucks that every fucking casual player for tabletop games are flaky as shit.”

“Well what is it, exactly?” Leah asked.

Finally, something not cancerous comes out of her.

I went through a whole explanation basically reiterating everything I said earlier about it being a very inclusive and imaginative roleplaying game based on player decisions with a Dungeon Master loosely stringing a story together based on player actions, which are decided by dice rolls. The mechanics for D&D is based on a series of different sided dice. It is composed of the following: a four-sided dice, a six-sided dice, an eight-sided dice, a ten-sided dice, a twelve-sided dice, and a twenty-sided dice.

“So… it’s kind of like a sandbox RPG?” She asked.

“Yeah, pretty much.”

“Ooohhh…” She made a soft sound, “So you need players? How many does D&D need?”

“I mean,” I shrugged, “It depends. They generally suggest three to four as the perfect size of a party.”

“What about a two person campaign?” Leah asked.

“Hell, I’d like just one at this point,” I rubbed my cheek, “Two would be nice.”

“So then that settles it,” She stood up all of a sudden, nearly knocking me over, “Let’s do it.”

“Huh?”

“Let’s do a campaign with just you and me,” She said.

“I…” I pinched the bridge of my nose, “I meant two players as in me and two others. Not a DM and another player. The DM doesn’t play, Leah.”

“You’re telling me the Dragon Master can’t play a character as well as run the game?” She asked.

“Dungeon Master,” I corrected her, “And… I mean yeah he can, but I know the story, so I won’t be surprised by anything.”

“So? It can be an NPC or something,” She insisted.

She’s really pushing it. But frankly, if that ad didn’t do it… I don’t know if I’m going to find a group around here for the time being. It could help to at least practice some material on her… and hell, I’ve been disappointed enough times that if even my sister doesn’t show up, at least I’ll expect it.

“Okay. Okay, fine. We’ll do it,” I stood up, “Tomorrow we’ll make characters.”

“Tomorrow night,” I nodded, but she continued, “I got a new show to watch during the day plus studying, it’s called-“

Was already out the door with my box of miniatures before she could keep going, thinking about the campaign ahead of me with a million other little things milling about my brain. This was going to be a long night.

~X~

Come tomorrow night, I was sitting at the living room table and was laying out my supplies. Character sheets, pencils, two sets of dice, and all that other sweet, sweet fantasy gaming goodness. I set out two drinks on some coasters and did inventory, making sure I had brought everything.

Before long, I could hear the footsteps of the little weeb coming down the stairs, bouncing about and trotting over to see all the stuff laid out on the table.

“Whoa. Okay, so we’re geared up over here,” She commented, taking a look over my armament of totally not nerdy tools I had.

I smiled proudly at my handiwork, “This is only the beginning. Sit down, we’ll go through the character creation process together.”

She did just that and I began to explain. I went into internet casino detail about how we’re rolling for stats, what the stats even are (STR, DEX, CON, WIS, INT, CHA), how backgrounds work, and other basic things like that. Afterward she stared at the sheet.

“So… I roll the six sided die… three times?” She picked up her die.

“Four times for each stat,” I let her roll it once and she got a four.

She looked up at me as if to seek approval for that roll. I just slowly reached over, picked it up, and rolled it again. She once again looked for my approval…

Becoming impatient, I grabbed the die, rolled it very quickly another two times and then scribbled down the result of her statistic on her strength stat. I then pointed to her sheet and made a scribbly motion as if to say, ‘Just write the damn thing. Go go go.’

I looked at my sheet and a hundred character ideas immediately sprung to mind. I could be the berserker barbarian, the tranquil monk, or any of those other tropes and then just modify it into being interesting… but I kind of hesitated.

This is sort of a practice game… should I really go all out with it?

“Can my character have heterochromia?”

“What?” I turned to her.

“You know, the thing where people have two differently colored eyes?” She said, “Like Kakashi from Naruto-“

“No.”

She pouted, “But it can be cool! It’s not always an OC-Plz-Do-Not-Steal trope kind of thing, it can-“

“What the fuck does that even-no, I don’t even want to know. I don’t. There we go. Nothing is known, nothing is permitted,” I shook my head.

“Pffh,” She grumbled, “You can’t stop me…”

Yeah, no, I’m not going all out.

I went to the top of the page and put the first name that came to mind, first class, and first race. Quickly rolling stats, I did this all in a flurry and saw the result of my character concept. Thomas Draven the lazy human wizard.

Yeah, a lazy character for a game that’s destined to turn into a shit show. Seems fitting.

After creating the basic concept, I went through the rest of the stuff for him. And… honestly? I kind of liked him after I was finished with most of the sheet. Liked him a lot. He was a noble’s youngest son who didn’t want to be anything like his brothers who went off to war as knights and barbarians, he found more solace in books and academics. He always looks for the easy way out of any situation.

Satisfied with what I had done with it, I turned over to my little sister slaving away at her sheet. Looked like she had barely gotten anything done but… well, I’ll give it to her. She’s trying, at least.

“What did you decide on?” I finally asked.

“An elf. A female elf rogue,” She answered shortly, still trying to figure out how backgrounds work.

I was actually surprised. While pretty simple, it wasn’t anything weird or too difficult to handle. I nodded my head and leaned over, telling her what to roll for and what traits/flaws/bonds/ideals were. When I was confident she got it, I returned to my sheet and filled out his Spellbook.

This was a tedious part of creating a magic user, but very worth it in the end if you can power through it, which I did in relatively little time. Finishing up my sheet entirely, I saw that she wasn’t far behind; she was just filling out some stuff on her inventory.

“You satisfied with your char?” I questioned as I read into her sheet.

“Hrm…” She looked down at it, “Not really sure. It’s pretty simple but I guess for a first character that works? I don’t know.”

“Simple’s not always a bad thing. I like things when they’re simple,” I told her.

She shrugged, “Maybe. Sometimes it’s easier to deal with, but sometimes it can be boring too.”

Hm. I furrowed my brow a bit. I think this is one of the only meaningful conversations I’ve really ever had with my sister and I’m not sure she’s even trying to make it that way. Probably too focused on finishing her character.

I’ve noticed her doing that before. Getting so focused that she blocks things out or keeps things curt. Usually with studying. She’d pull up her long light brown hair into a ponytail, get a serious face on, and get to work. Much like how she was doing right now, but she didn’t seem all too serious. That’s probably a good thing when it comes to D&D. I think.

“I’m done,” She claimed, snapping me out of my head.

I took her sheet from her and read it over. While it did take her a while, she got it mostly right. I noticed that she got a couple of item weights wrong by a little, but it was a negligible amount. Besides that, she did have a pretty decent starting character. An elf rogue that had some notes on dirty fighting. Nothing too outrageous.

I nodded, “Good stuff. I think your character will mix in well with mine. Yours isn’t an entirely opposite character, but they’re pretty different. But I’ll get into that when we do our first session.”

“When are we going to do our first session?” She cocked her head slightly when she asked, “How long do they usually go for?”

“Depends on the group, really. Some groups can go for as long as like seven hours and some just do hour-long sessions. I was thinking, like, three hours per session,” I explained, “And I don’t know, it’s up to you.”

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