I was lucky enough, on my recent trip to New England, to make a stop in Needham, Mass., and tour Turbine.
‘Twas a very fun trip, and I got to meet a number of devs. Sadly, the banana and broccoli weren’t part of the swag I got, although I must’ve had a jewel of fortune going ’cause I pulled some nice stuff, including a hoodie!
And there was one little item I was definitely not expecting to get, and one that I’m pretty sure no other DDO player has received. But there’s some back story here, so bear with me.
Being an adventurous sort of adventurer, upon completion of my tour followed by lunch (Williamsport needs a Chipotle, dammit!), I noticed that there is a very nice park across the street from Turbine HQ. There’s a trail that goes all the way around a lake. I figured this would be a great spot to stretch my legs and get some pics.
I was not planning on questing. I mean, c’mon, I was in, y’know, REAL LIFE. So I was figuring on a casual saunter with plenty of photo breaks.
But then… but then… well, you know what they say. You can take the adventurer out of the adventure, but you can’t take the adventure out of the adventurer. OK, they don’t really say that, whoever “they” are. It just fits the story to say that they say it.
I heard barking. I heard yelling. And then a medium-sized canine-type monster came bounding up to me.
I stood my ground. He seemed friendly enough and didn’t seem inclined to try to flank me. Shortly thereafter, two adventurers happened along. I’m guessing they were barbarians, although I didn’t know that at the time.
“Is this your canine-type beast?” I asked.
One of them replied, “No.”
I looked at the canine-type beast. “Well,” I said to him, “you’re clearly undergeared, seeing as how you have no leash.”
(I should mention here that for one thing, there were “All dogs must be on leash” signs all over the place, and for another, anyone with an Int higher than 4 should know that, signs or not, no dog should be off leash in an area that’s clearly a habitat for waterfowl.)
“Someone’s probably searching for you,” I added, thinking to myself, “Yes, someone who is clearly not a rogue, because their Spot and Listen both seem to be 0.” And I took hold of the beast’s collar, believing that I was doing its owner a favor.
The two barbarians began to walk away.
The canine-type monster decided to follow.
At top speed.
With my fingers hooked in his collar.
Have you ever wondered what Improved Trip would feel like if you were on the receiving end? I’m betting it would be a lot like the canine-type beast jerking me off my feet and dragging me along the ground for a couple of yards. Turns out he DID belong to one of the barbarians, the one who hadn’t answered at all when I asked if the dog belonged to them.
The trail around the lake was relatively flat in most places, but was covered in dead leaves, bark, small stones, and of course, dirt. My right hand was pretty scraped up, including one good-sized patch that was missing a chunk of skin but had replaced it with trail debris. There was a similar patch on my arm, and assorted little dings elsewhere on my hand, wrist, and arm. And I could feel that my knee was also banged up a bit, but my jeans weren’t torn so I figured that wasn’t too bad.
The two barbarians, or maybe they were warlocks, or maybe just dropouts from adventuring school, proceeded to yell at me about how they were watching their dogs (in the meantime, a second canine-type monster had bounded up) so there was no need for them to be leashed, and generally seemed perturbed that I would dare suggest such a thing. And then they stalked off rather quickly.
I walked on a bit further thinking the gouge on my hand was the worst of it… and then I felt a tickle on my elbow. I thought it was a bug or something, so I swiped at it with my other hand… which came away covered in blood.
You can’t really get a good look at your own elbow, although I tried. And there was a LOT of blood. “The blood vessels are really close to the surface there,” I told myself. “It’s probably not nearly as bad as it looks.”
But I thought I should probably try to at least clean out the trail dirt. And then I realized that, in real life, I have absolutely no self-hjealing. NONE, I tell you! I’d put my wallet, keys, camera, and phone in a little camera bag, and left everything else locked in the car. I had nothing first-aid-y AT ALL with me.
But I was nearly halfway around the lake, so I figured it would be just as long to turn around as it would be to keep going. And so I kept going. Once I finally made it back around to the start (with a short detour to get more pics of a snake that may or may not have been a water moccasin), I headed for the ladies’ room (luckily for me, there was one in the public area of Turbine HQ) to assess the damage.
Well, now I had soap, water, and paper towels, anyway. Jerry, aka Cordovan, was nice enough to bring me some stuff from their first aid kit as well. I never put any points into my hjeal skill, but I figure that was worth at least a +8.
But the worst of the dirt and gunk was still pretty embedded even after an extended period of vigorous washing followed by scrubbing with an antiseptic towelette. Thanks to Cordovan, I now had a couple little packets of antibiotic cream plus bandaging supplies, but I didn’t want to use that stuff until the wounds were clean.
Then some kind woman who happened upon me with my elbow under the faucet told me that there was hand sanitizer in a dispenser in the lobby.
Have you ever poured nearly pure alcohol in a gaping wound? Yeah. NOT FUN. But rather effective once I could feel anything but the infernal burning. The sanitizer was dispensed as a foam, which did a surprisingly good job of foaming the debris out of the wounds. I washed them out one more time, applied the antibiotic cream, slapped the gauze over my elbow, taped it up, and thought that was the end of my adventure…
… and it mostly was. Until I got home and realized… I still have the roll of tape.
I know other DDO players have visited Turbine HQ. I know they’ve gotten swag. But I bet not one of them has EVER pulled a Roll of Adhesive Medical Tape.
Yep. I win the swag war!
(Note: A week and a half later, there is still some gunk embedded in my hand. The elbow wound is finally starting to close and probably should have been stitched. And I really wish I’d put some points in Hjeal and hadn’t dumped Dex!)