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Dance Battle to Save the Universe? Roll an Athletics Check.

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  “Alright guys come on, settle in. Consider this the official commencement of the Level 10 Galaxy Campaign.” Bucky opened his Dungeon Master’s guide at the head of the table as the rest of the group grabbed their character sheets and dice boxes and took a seat around the table. “We should start by going around and introducing our characters before we get started, has everyone finished their sheet?”

 

  Thor sighed, “I don’t understand the purpose of this game.” 

 

  “That’s alright Point Break, I’ll start off,” Tony grinned. “Call me Star Lord.”

 

  The rest of the group groaned. 

 

  “Okay okay, his actual name is Peter Quill. He’s half human and half god, but he doesn’t know about the god part yet, and he uses phase guns, jet propulsor boots, and a magic mask that helps him stay alive in space. He has a space ship called the Milano that he uses to travel the galaxy and steal stuff.”

 

  Bucky held his head in his hands. 

 

  “You said home brew was a go, Buck, I don't know what you expected,” Steve chuckled and patted Bucky on the back.

 

  “Wait, we’re playing home brew?” Natasha asked, looking up from Thor’s character sheet. Being from Asgard and all, the concept of a roleplaying game like Dungeons and Dragons was foreign to Thor, therefore Nat decided to sit next to him and help him with the math behind his character sheet while explaining the ins and outs of RPGs.

 

  “Yeah, haven’t you been paying attention?” 

 

  Nat rolled her eyes at Tony, then hastily erased s few items from Thor’s sheet. “Does anyone have an extra Player’s Handbook? I left mine upstairs and I don’t want to go get it.”

 

  Bucky pulled his copy out from under the table and passed it down to Natasha. “Alright, who’s next?”

 

  Everyone looked around. “I guess I’ll go,” Bruce spoke up. He shifted a few of his dice from hand to hand. Bruce was a veteran player, and the one who introduced the group to the game. He mostly wrote himself easy characters because he recently he started to prefer watching others play. “My character’s name is Groot. He’s a sentient tree.”

 

  Steve started grinning. He and Bruce had spoke about developing characters with a shared past, but he didn’t actually think Banner would go for the talking tree. Steve was only half joking when he had suggested it.

 

  Bruce continued: “He only speaks three words, I and am and Groot - exclusively in that order - and the only person who can understand what he’s saying is Steve’s character.”

 

  Bucky took a deep breath. “Alright, great, cool, who’s next. Steve, how about you?” He was hoping his best friend would come up with an easy-to-DM bit, but those hopes were crushed the minute Steve opened his mouth.

 

  “My character’s name is Rocket,” Steve started. “He’s a genetically enhanced raccoon with a gun fetish.”

 

  “Jesus Christ.” The vein in Bucky’s forehead was growing bigger by the second.

 

  “Regretting asking us to play yet?” Natasha asked, smirking.

 

  “Nope, not at all. Do you want to go?” Bucky lied with a smile. 

 

  “Actually, we just finished Thor’s guy, so he should go next. I’ll go last, then we can actually start.”

 

  Thor brushed the eraser shavings off his paper and started reading. “His name is Drax. He is a valiant warrior who prioritizes honor and courage.”

 

  Bucky jotted the information down. “Do you have a physical description for him?”

 

  Thor sat back and thought. “He is of a massive build, grey, and has many red tattoos. I based him off a fierce opponent I once fought on a dare in my youth.” Natasha whispered something to him through quiet laughter. “Oh, and he refuses to wear shirts because his nipples are sensitive.” 

 

  Another deep breath from Bucky. “Natal’ka, you just love making my life difficult, right?” 

 

  “Only always.” She winked. “My character’s name is Gamora. She’s a fighter and the last Zen-Whoberian in the universe.”

 

  “BOOM! Love interest!” Tony smacked his hand on the table. He may or may not have been waiting for a badass female character to match his character up with. 

 

  “Tony, no,” Natasha sighed.

 

  “Tony, yes.” 

 

  Nat rolled her eyes, but couldn’t hide the smile that was slowly building.

 

  “Anyway, her skin is green and her hair is a black to purple ombre. Primary weapon is a sword. I also have a ton of tragic backstory written up if we want to go into that now.” She looked to Bucky for confirmation.

 

  “Um, lets hold off on your back story until later on, I know enough of it to get the plot rolling,” he shuffled through his papers. “Do all of your characters know each other before the start of the campaign?”

 

  Everyone looked around. The general consensus was no, with the exception of Bruce and Steve.

 

  Thor was hesitant to commit to anything with in the game, so Bucky promised to hold off on introducing his character so that he could watch the others play for a while to get acclimated. He was the only one out of the group who hadn’t played before. Everyone else had played in different groups at different times up until now.

 

  “Okay, I’m going to start with Tony. Peter Quill…”

 

  Tony cleared his throat, prompting a correction from Bucky.

 

  “I’m sorry, Star Lord, has traveled to an abandoned planet called Morag in search of a powerful orb on behalf of a Ravager Faction led by Clint’s character,” Bucky read off a sheet in his pile, “Yondu Udonta. Clint said he’ll join us when he gets back from visiting his family.”

 

  Tony looked down at his papers. “Do I know where this orb is located on the planet?”

 

  “You have a general idea.”

 

  “Alright, then I’m going to put on my walkman and dance my way over to the orb.” Tony said.

 

  Bucky slid a crude sketch of the planets surface out to the middle of the table for everyone to see. “There is a lot of rubble around, craters in the ground, and small rat-like creatures called Orloni scampering across the terrain. Roll an acrobatics check.”

 

  Tony opened his dice box and extracted his red and gold d20. He shook it up in his hands, then blew on it for good luck. “First roll of the night, and its a..” He rolled. “A seventeen, plus my modifier, three, so twenty - not natural.”

 

  “Alright, I guess you successfully dance across the planets surface and make it to the Temple of the Power Stone.”

 

  “Hey Tony, what’s your guy listening to?” Steve asked, trying to hide a shit eating grin behind his hands.

 

  “Yeah, and how does the dance go?” Bruce instigated.

 

  “Oh it goes a little something like this,” he got up from his seat. “Hey J- get some Red Bone rolling.”

 

  “As you wish, sir,” Jarvis responded.

 

  The opening notes to Come and Get Your Love rang out from the speakers above. Tony started spinning around and thrusting his hips along to the beat.

 

  “Wait, you said there’s rat like creatures here too?” Tony sobered for a second.

 

  “Yep,” Bucky said.

 

  “I wanna grab one and pick it up.”

 

  “Oh good lord,” Bucky said under his breath. “Roll a dexterity check to see if you can grab one.”

 

  Tony rolled. “Ah ha! Natural twenty!”

 

  “Okay, I guess you can pick one up.”

 

  Tony grabbed his water bottle off the table and held it up like a microphone. “Oh yeah, hey-ey-ey come and get your love!”

 

  Steve whistled and clapped.

 

  “Okay, okay, okay, you’ve made it to the Temple of the Power Stone.” 

 

  Tony took the restatement as a hint to sit back down. “Cut the music J, thanks.” He turned to Bucky. “Can I see the orb?”

 

  “Yes, but it’s suspended in a protective chamber.” Bucky described.

 

  Tony sat back and thought. “What’ll happen if I reach out and grab it?”

 

  “It’s very likely you’ll take damage,” Bucky stated. 

 

  “Ah, I almost forgot!” Tony exclaimed. “Magic Magnet!”

 

  Bucky blinked. “What?”

 

  “Okay, Quill removes a small metal box from his pocket, unfolds it, then sets it on the ground. The magnet pulls it from the chamber.”

 

  “Wait, can he even do that?” Natasha asked, exasperated. 

 

  “Home brew rules,” Tony reminded. 

 

  “Yeah, but doesn’t the DM have to approve these things?” Natasha argued, shooting a look towards Bucky. She wasn’t a fan of easy campaigns.

 

  “Yeah I may or may not have approved everything that was put in front of me,” Bucky admitted. “But with restrictions,” he turned to Tony. “You can only use it twice in one day.”

 

  “Fine with me. I’m going to pick up the orb from the magnet.”

 

  “As soon as you pick up the orb, a small group of Kree and Sakaaran Mercenaries led by Korath the Pursuer enter the temple.”

 

  Tony snapped into character as Bucky continued.

 

  “Korath demands that you drop the orb.”

 

Tony put his hands up, acting as though he were truly Quill in the situation. He stated plainly, “I roll the orb over to him.”

 

  “Korath picks up the orb and wants to know how you found it. His men are circling you, and prodding you with their weapons. They want to bring you to their leader Ronan for questioning.”

 

  “Hell no. I’d like to roll for an attack. How many henchmen are behind me?”

 

  “Only two.”

 

  “I’d like to shoot both henchmen with my phase guns.”

 

  “Okay, roll for your attack.”

 

  Tony shuffled around his dice again, then rolled. “Sixteen.”

 

  “Damn man, you’re rolling really well,” Bruce commented. Tony just shrugged.

 

  “Okay that hits.” Bucky concluded after skimming over the character sheets for the NPCs.

 

  “Roll for damage?” Tony asked.

 

  “No that’s okay, these guys were really weak,” Bucky stated. “Armor class of only 3. The Sakaarans are like paper people.”

 

  “Alrighty then,” Tony chuckled. 

 

  “Korath launches an attack at you. He fires his weapon.”

 

  “Can I dodge?”

 

  “I don’t know, can you?” Bucky asked. “Roll another acrobatics check.”

 

  Tony did. Another natural twenty. Steve slammed his hands down on the table. “How are you rolling so high? Are your dice weighted or something?”

 

  “Nah, I guess I’m just on a lucky streak tonight. Try to keep up Rogers,” Tony winked.

 

   “But wait till we actually get into actual combat,” Nat said. “We’ll be lucky if he doesn’t roll natural ones.”

 

  The table laughed.

 

  “I’m going to go back to the Milano with the orb,” Tony decided.

 

  “Wait, the Milano? Like Alyssa Milano?” Bruce asked, finally catching on.

 

  Tony winked.

 

  “Alright, so Star-Lord now has the orb and made it back to his ship,” Bucky decided. “Let’s move on.”