Mar 072013

The only reason I started playing DDO – no exaggeration, this is the only reason I started playing back in 2006 – is because it is Dungeons & Dragons Online. Emphasis on the Dungeons & Dragons.

I am a D&D geek from way back.

I discovered D&D during my first abortive attempt at college. When I returned to my hometown, I wanted to play again so badly that I typed out my own players handbook, from memory as best as I could, and photocopied it for use by whomever I could draft into sitting around the coffee table in my miserable little studio apartment and play with me.

Good times!

But I digress. This isn’t about me and my rusted ancient memories. This is about one of the coolest and most D&D-like touches that the original Turbine developers put into the game: Teleport Error.

According to the first edition AD&D rules (and I am working from memory here again), each use of the Teleport spell had a 3% chance of failure. If you rolled a failure, you had to roll again on a terrifying Teleport Error Chart that could result in anything from a harmless one-foot fall to having your molecules permanently merged into solid rock thousands of feet below your intended target.

Ouch. Time to roll up a new character.

One did not take Teleport as lightly as one does in DDO today. Even so, the Turbine game designers honor the intent and spirit of the original rules. We still have a chance to get a Teleportation error, we just don’t have to worry about becoming entombed in the Earth or sequestered in orbit. We are instead flung high into the air over Stormreach Marketplace. It even feels like it is about 3% of the time.

Lack of FeatherFall will likely still result in a fatality, although there are no permanent deaths in DDO; no need to reroll. I have characters now with so much Tumble and/or so many hit points that falling from the troposphere is a minor inconvenience; “I meant to do that!”,  easily brushed off or remedied with a Cure Moderate Wounds.

It is a charming and fun way to play D&D, staying as true to the core rules as is feasible in an MMO format, still recognizably a Dungeons & Dragons touch. I love it.

And I especially love the screenshots you can get while falling. I’m going to share some of my favorites.

Just like D&D,
Teleportation Error.
Screenshot bonanza!

If you click on any of these images you can download the full-size original JPG, some of them make excellent wallpapers.

Here is the prototypical top-down view of Stormreach:

Top-Down Stormreach
Top-Down Stormreach

I like to reverse the camera and check out my character against the sky:

It's raining Brymn
It’s raining Battleclerics!

This one is similar but I like it enough to include it anyway:

Walking on sunshine
Walkin’ on sunshine

Teleportation error at sunset:

The outfit matches the world
Accessorizing one’s outfit with the world

Rain over Stormreach results in amazing modern art:

Abstract Stormreach

My all-time favorite: Moonwalker

Sparksy Haversack, Moonwalker
Sparksy Haversack, Moonwalker

Sometimes this game is so beautiful.

🙂 😀 🙂

  4 Responses to “Scenes From Falling Down”

Comments (4)
  1. First time I used teleport was a failure and I didn’t have feather fall, so I fell and died right in front of a level 20 cleric that was like “dahell” and raised me. I did not dare use teleport for months after that.

  2. Y’know what’s also fun and screenshotty? Leaping into space *after* VoN 6. Just remember to go back for your end reward after stargazing.

    You should try /sleep on the way down (from a teleport error, not VoN), that way you’ll “splat” properly.

  3. My last ‘teleport error,’ I decided to try something, I took off my feather-fall item. I was expecting to die at the landing, however, I only suffered a 25% hit to my HP, ,and no damage to any gear.

  4. The immediate load screen’s text just before you go screaming to your Wile E. Coyote impression is lovely, too.

    “Magic is a curious thing; full of hope and promise one minute, then everything goes pear-shaped.”

What do you think?

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