‘How It Goes’
Tavern, bar fight, hooded stranger,
proposition, chance of loot,
cleric, wizard, rogue and ranger,
mission taken, soon en route,
fight some goblins, fight some giants,
cryptic message from the clients,
reach the dungeon, get inside,
bones of the last lot who tried,
crushing ceiling, rolling boulder,
freezing breeze, unearthly smells,
casters running out of spells,
final dungeon, Spot, beholder,
flapping eyestalk, glancing ray,
Will save, won’t save, TPK.
Another Onegin stanza – they’re just so much fun. Possibly because they are very good for being smart-assed in? I’m convinced there’s some sort of alchemical, greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts reaction between the tetrameter line and the contorted rhyme scheme. The combination fizzes in the most amazing way. As Vikram Seth wrote of Onegin itself, “its effervescence stirs my brain”.
TPK stands for Total Party Kill, i.e. when every member of a roleplaying party dies in the same encounter. The beholder is an iconic (and copyright) D&D monster with ten eyes, each of which shoot rays with various horrible properties.