Digging shit out of backpacksPosted: February 26, 2013
I’ve always wanted to do an experiment on game night where we fill a backpack with coils of rope, blankets, different bottles of beer, soda and whiskey, thousands of coins and various tools and miscellaneous items. One player gets the backpack. The rest of us get broomsticks, hockey sticks, yard sticks, flyswatters, etc. If he is playing a fighter, the player with the backpack has to wear oven mitts or thick gloves (to duplicate the effect of the diminished manual dexterity from wearing gauntlets). Then, while the players with sticks try to hit him, the player with the backpack has to try to retrieve specific items from the backpack. So the DM might shout out “Ball Peen Hammer!” or “Mini bottle of Crown Royal!” or “Can of Pork & Beans!” and the player has to retrieve that specific item while the rest of us whack at him with our sticks. We count the number of times we manage to tag him and then multiply that by 1d6 damage which is immediately applied to his character sheet. Every item he drops means that one randomly determined item from his backpack is lost. And you have to do this in a darkened basement with only the light of a tiki-torch to see unless you are playing an elf or a dwarf… if you are playing an elf or a dwarf you get to do it with the lights on (infravision) but all of the items are painted grey… so if the DM shouts “blue plastic cup” and there are multiple plastic cups of different colors in your backpack but you can’t tell them apart because they are all painted grey, you better grab and hope because everyone knows that infravision doesn’t let you see colors.
If the player is playing a dwarf, he has to kneel on his shoes like Tim Conway in Dorf on Golf. If the player is playing an elf, the guys hitting him with sticks are permitted to hit him twice as hard because elves get only a d6 of hit points per level so the elf is obviously going to feel more pain. Plus the elf guy has to wear rubber Spock ears. If the player is playing a magic-user, he also will have all sorts of tiny items like erasers, paper clips, lucky pennies, packets of Sweet-and-Low, etc., stuffed in the pockets of the bathrobe he has to wear with his pointy hat. The magic user has to retrieve these small items from his pockets at random intervals in addition to having to grab stuff from the backpack (obviously, this duplicates the effect of having to grab the right spell components from a pocket or pouch at a moments notice).
If we perform this experiment a couple of times, it should definitively prove that you can’t just casually say, “While dodging the gelatinous cube, jumping over the bear trap and avoiding the gaze of the basilisk, I’m going to dig the oil flask out of my knapsack, light a torch, make a Molotov cocktail and set fire to the troll...” without being met with guffaws of laughter.