Last night I spent the several hours in a dungeon! Rrrright, I hear the snickering all the way here: "As if that is something new for you..." but I am talking about a dungeon at World of Warcraft, with Agirra. Or perhaps I should say it was a first time for Agirra.
The dungeons are contained areas packed with NPCs and valuable items, and often containing several quests, or it has several quests ending in it. It is too dangerous for one character alone, unless they are a much higher level than the quests are built for, but a good group can make a level and several interesting items. Earlier yesterday I had stumbled into a dungeon, but the company was not particularly experienced and it all got very messy. Entering the Ragefire Chasm was another experience entirely.
Most of the players seemed to be experienced. They had the language down pat, talking about who would "pull" and who would "tank", about "attracting aggro" and about "buff time". The strategy was clear, my job was second healer. The most useful things they expected from me seemed to be healing and resurrection, if somebody died. I'd like to say I had something up my sleeve, but I just stuck to the spells I had found useful. Shaman is a wonderful character for slow old ladies like me. Agirra puts up totems that gives protective magic to everybody, that slows down the attackers and shoots fireballs automatically, and I can take a few seconds to figure out what is going on while the totems protect and kill. Luckily for the group, the totems will protect everybody in the group, not just Agirra.
This was a group who knew about sharing quests, were generous about it, and cared enough to wait until one slow shaman had managed to find just the right quest item before starting. The leader took the time to show me a couple of "instances" - looked cool as she floated through the air, but I have no idea what it was good for. Something to explore. Yes, my field research notebook is getting packed.
Not much roleplay in the dungeon though. As the other players pointed out, stopping to roleplay in a dungeon would get everybody killed. I guess that is realistic anyway, socialising and posturing in a dangerous situation would be very low priority. And it would certainly get me killed. Just typing "n" or "g" when rolling for items was a strain, and I gave up on it. I lost the opportunity for some nice equipment for Agirra, but I had absolutely no idea what I should need, so I just defined everything as "greed" and passed on most rolls. Right, "rolling" is another word I have learned - when a group finds some particularly valuable item while looting the corpses, there's a pair of dice and a picture of the item on the bottom. You can either click the dice or the red sign below, depending if you roll or pass. The Need and Greed system is honour based - if you want the item to sell it, it's greed, if your character can use it, it's need - up to you to make the distinction. That's where I missed out - I don't know what items Agirra needs, so I had no idea what to say, n or g.
But all in all it was very educational, and very interesting. And my first dungeon experience was a lot better than the ones described in Dagbladets spill-blog (in Norwegian).