Pet Tales from the Olden Days (D&D Games)

So, one of the reasons I came up with this week’s topic is because I remembered a few stories of when I played Dungeons and Dragons.  These are the earlier days of high school where we were goofing off and not really trying for a good story.  Somewhere along the way, three members of our group gained exotic pets.  Some of them were bought between adventures because the players thought it would be cool and one of them was gained during a quest.  In the end, things never went well because we didn’t understand what we were doing.  Here are their brief stories:

Kirnen Surdstrong and His Bear

This is the one that we gained during an adventure.  Apparently, there was an established NPC in Dungeons & Dragons who had a bear.  We met him while on a quest and . . . Kirnen the fighter kind of got the guy killed.  Of course, he had to keep the bear.  This thing was there and not there because we kept forgetting about it.  Seemed to only be remembered when we were in combat, which got confusing.  Overall, this pet caused the least amount of trouble.  The player didn’t make a fuss about him unlike one of the others you’re going to see.

What happened to the bear?  We ran into a problem with some goblins who had a ballista (enormous crossbow) behind a door.  We may have misunderstood the description and thought it was a regular sized weapon or just want to get things done.  It was a quest where a lot of stuff had gone wrong.  So, Kirnen sent the bear barreling through the door to take out the goblins.  It didn’t make it and that’s when we learned about siege weapons.

Alanik Leafellow and His Wolves

All I know is that I showed up to a game after missing one or two sessions to find that our elf had two wolves.  I don’t remember their names, but I think that got changed every time because it was never written down.  Again, we wouldn’t really notice these animals much outside of combat.  They did make appearances when we were making camp or needed to track anything down, so they had more use than the bear.  We never had any supplies for them, but we didn’t carry rations for ourselves either.  Just kind of assumed that we’d find a way to avoid starvation and dehydration even during the desert quest.  Don’t worry though.  The wolves had died before that one.

How did they die?  Well, the elf was handed over to a new player for a bit.  We were on a quest through the swamps, which would also see the death of the bear.  A big battle had happened and everyone, including all pets, had been hurt.  Except for the horses . . . The sorceresses accidentally killed them with a spell . . . again.  Now, our cleric had a healing skill that was basically first aid.  She could only do it once on a character per injury, so she couldn’t fully heal major damage.  The elf kept forgetting this and repeatedly demanded that his wolves get healed again.  The DM finally got sick of it when it was stated during another battle.  Whatever we were fighting took out one of the wolves and the other panicked and ran into a spike trap.  It was brutal and final, but we’d all become very tired of the constant request.  This was the last session that anybody had pets too.

Sentrent Pastle and his Mountain Lion

This was a monk who I used and he began with the mountain lion.  A major reason for this was because he was given to me by the DM and he started with a Ring of Weakness.  This a hand-to-hand specialist and his physical abilities were cut down immensely.  To make up for this, I was given a pet mountain lion and I commanded it very carefully.  Mostly because I didn’t want it to die and leave me defenseless.  Not to say I was great with it since I would routinely forget that it had hit points until it was near death.  Once I got rid of the cursed ring, I was able to do more of the fighting and I left the mountain lion alone to occasionally fight like the wolves and bear.  Honestly, I don’t know how we avoided getting mauled by at least one of these predators.

So, what happened to the mountain lion?  It managed to survive the game where the other pets died.  One reason is because I didn’t demand healing and also it was dumb luck that it got forgotten.  By the time of our next adventure, I had made a note that the mountain lion was left at home with a caretaker.  That was the end of our pets and their removal didn’t change anything, which proves we didn’t need them in the first place.

The Horses!

Because I mentioned it in passing, one could say that the horses are pets of the group and you could be right.  Unfortunately, our group never had ours for longer than an adventure because things would go wrong.  Off the top of my head, I can remember:

  1. A bridge breaking and all of our steeds drowning after a long fall.  This was caused by a bad roll.
  2. A few times when thieves stole our horses in the middle of the night.
  3. One time when they ran away from monsters.
  4. Dragon attack
  5. Trading them for supplies and then realizing we needed them to carry the supplies.
  6. Really disastrous desert adventure.
  7. Multiple times our spellcaster unleashed a fire or ice spell, which destroy the horses and sometimes the target.  Even when they were clearly marked on the map, the player would forget.
  8. Vampire

I’m really surprised we continued getting horses considering what routinely went wrong with them.  Still deciding on if I’ll include this bad luck when I write the series based on these heroes called ‘The Bungling 7’.  Hard to tell what I should and shouldn’t include from those crazy games.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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15 Responses to Pet Tales from the Olden Days (D&D Games)

  1. L. Marie says:

    I guess the horses would be the “red shirts” of the series. 😀


  2. It could be a fun dark humor gag if it was absurd enough, and readers didn’t have time to get attached to them.


  3. I’m surprised the ASPCA didn’t show up to the games.


  4. V.M.Sang says:

    I don’t remember anyone having pets when I was playing D&D, but I agree that there would be a tendency to forget them except in dire need.


  5. Our groups never had pet animals, but our mages would have familiars. I remember one half-elven wizard of mine had a falcon as her familiar. She was killed and reincarnated as a halfling. But the familiar still knew her. She was teased a lot about her familiar being nearly as big as she was.

    We tended to protect our familiars, because the PC would take a stat hit if the familiar died. Or maybe we were in college, and a little more mature. Our group was also quite large, so we didn’t really need our familiars to join the battles. We did sent them out on occasional stealth missions to gather information, though.


    • I think our mage had a familiar on her sheet. It never turned up or get used. We didn’t really go by rules. It was all about goofing off and enjoying the adventure while hanging out. Definitely more hack, slash, and comedy. This was in high school and we swapped characters at times. Games would even be played with just the DM and one player. No level of consistency. Wasn’t until college that I entered a game that was all about story and roleplaying.


  6. I once had a ranger with an owl. We agreed rules for using it before I was given permission to have my familiar, including the fact the animal I had needed to be something small enough that my character (a halfling) could carry, or it could fly, so it could follow us without difficulty. That’s why an owl; we made it a little owl, so it was small enough to easily perch on the protective pads my character had added to the shoulders of jerkins, but could fly when having it perched there would be an issue. I was really good about remembering it existed, but also good about not screaming at people to heal it if it got injured.


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