A month or two ago, the Spawn and some of her online friends decided to start playing Dungeons and Dragons, using real-time phone and data links as the various participants are scattered around the continent. Her party is composed entirely of young women, and all of them are playing female characters — the Spawn, for example, is playing some sort of magic-using High Elf (Possibly a Warlock? I’m not really hip to the present-day character classes, having done my gaming 30+ years ago).
The woman who is acting as DM informed the group that they are “squishy”, lacking anything like a damage-absorbing melee specialist, or “tank.” Apparently the closest thing they have to such a character is a Half-Orc cleric. But they’ve had several adventures on the present campaign, and thus far have taken no casualties.
The Spawn tells me about the adventures the next day, and I noticed today that there was something… unusual about the business. Their first adventure was to recover some jewels that a local merchant had lost. Turns out they had been stolen by chickens, and well, one of the party now has a pet chicken. The party’s task last night was to gather some various materials for some sort of magic-users’ component dealership. One of the items they had to find was a kobold scale. So off they went to the nearest colony of the critters, and —
“So how was the fight?” I asked.
“Oh, we didn’t fight. We made up a friendship ritual, exchanging locks of our hair for some of their scales. They were really impressed — apparently most adventurers aren’t interested in trading, and our not wanting to slaughter everyone really made an impression.”
“You made friends with the kobolds?”
“Yeah. In fact, well… we kind of got adopted into their tribe.”
“But they’re evil.”
“Usually. But they’re so cute! They’re only about two feet tall, and they have big eyes! So anyway, they like us, and now they want us to help integrate them into the larger society.”
“You didn’t fight anyone?”
“No, Dad. We usually rely on diplomacy — why fight if you can avoid it? The monsters are just trying to live their lives too! One time we were in an adventurers’ tavern with all these stuffed, mounted monsters, and I was like, ‘Those were sentient creatures, you know!'”
“How’d that go over?”
“We’re not really welcome in that tavern anymore.”
“Yeah, okay. That’s not how it usually went when I played. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not how it ever went when I played.”
“What did you do?”
“Well, my parties were usually 90% male or more. We’d enter dungeons, fight almost anything we encountered, and stack gold pieces and magic items.”
“But why do it that way?”
“Are you sure you weren’t playing Undertale?”
Apparently we have different approaches. But her 18 Charisma probably helps.