A/N: For the twinsxratch comm on LJ. I sat in on a DnD session my friends were having in my dorm's lounge. It was…way more complex than I thought it would be. Major props to the people who play DnD on a regular basis. I barely understand it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers or DnD.
O o O o O
Ratchet looked around the medbay. The empty medbay. He sighed, and slumped forward dejectedly.
Primus was he lonely.
Spike and Chip had taught Bumblebee a human game called "Dungeons and Dragons" a week ago, and within days the entire Ark was obsessed with the game, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker included.
The Twins had tried to invite him to play, but he snapped that he would not play such an inconsequential human game, and Primus help whatever mech tried to make him. But now, a week after the game's introduction to the Ark, he was lonely. After the last time Ratchet snapped at them about "that fragging game", Sideswipe and Sunstreaker had taken to recharging in their personal quarters, and stopped coming by the medbay entirely. With no recent battles to cause the Twins to "jet-judo" their way into the medbay, Ratchet had had no contact with them for days.
He sighed again, and dragged himself into his office to tidy up the mess of paperwork on his desk. After a breem of half-heartedly shoving his datapads from one end of the desk to another, his commlink chirped.
"Ratchet here," he grumbled.
"Ratchet, report to my office immediately, please," came Prowl's clipped reply.
"Be there in a minute," Ratchet said, heaving himself to his feet. He plodded slowly out of the medbay and down the corridor, studiously ignoring the loud, happy voices emanating from the rec room as he passed. He entered Prowl's office, not even bothering to knock.
"What the frag do you want?" he growled. Prowl looked up and frowned, his doorwings arching up into a sharp V.
"Sit down, Ratchet," he replied, carefully setting down the data pad he was holding and lining up his stylus to be perfectly parallel to it. Ratchet yanked a chair back and flopped into it, managing to sit as grumpily as he had talked.
"Now then, Ratchet, I am interested in knowing just why you have failed to submit your reports to me this week," Prowl said, a touch testily. Ratchet started.
"Oh, the uh, the reports…right…" Ratchet trailed off, faintly embarrassed. He had been so worked up about the Twins and that infernal game that he had completely forgotten to complete his reports! Prowl was not amused.
"Oh? That's all you have to say? Let me remind you, Ratchet, that in order to maintain an orderly base and army, it is imperative that-"
Ratchet stopped listening, mentally scolding himself for forgetting to do his reports. For Prowl of all mechs! Although, Prowl could be such a-
"-do you agree? Ratchet? Ratchet!"
Ratchet was rudely snapped out of his thoughts by Prowl standing up and slapping his palms against the desktop.
"Does your current state of-of-gloom have anything to do with that fight you had with Sideswipe and Sunstreaker?" Prowl asked, irritated.
"None of your business," Ratchet snapped back. Prowl just glared at Ratchet and then abruptly sat back down and picked up his datapad.
"You will report to the rec room immediately," he stated, making a few brief notations on his 'pad. "There, you will settle your differences with Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. After you have gotten over yourself, you will return to your office and complete those long overdue reports."
Ratchet just stared at him.
Prowl glanced up at Ratchet over the top of his datapad. "That is an order, Ratchet. Dismissed."
O o O o O
Ratchet stood outside the doors of the rec room. Venting deeply, he pushed open the doors and strode in. A large amount of the Ark's crew (the Twins included) was gathered around a large circular table, surrounded by data pads and loose items.
"Prithee my liege, but mine dagger seeketh to thrust itself into the very heart of the infernal beast located over there-eth," Ironhide said solemnly.
"Cursory evaluation of the situation indicates that there is an aesthetically pleasing femme of high caste imprisoned in the highest-most point of this outsized structure, the function of which appears to be military in nature."
Bluestreak giggled. "You mean there is a beautiful princess in the castle tower, Perceptor?"
Perceptor frowned. "That is what I said."
Ratchet just stared in horror, and turned to leave. Unfortunately, at that exact moment, Bluestreak noticed him.
"Ratchet! I'm so happy you're here!" he gushed, jumping up and dragging Ratchet over to the table. He pulled another seat over so that Ratchet could sit between Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, the latter only sparing a haughty glare.
"I'm so happy that you're here to learn how to play Dungeons and Dragons!" Bluestreak gushed. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker perked up at that.
"Wait, Blue, that's not-" Ratchet began, but Bluesteak just kept babbling. "Don't worry, it's super easy to learn and really fun to play!"
"Blue, I'm just here to-"
"Sunny and Sides will teach you! They missed you. Well, Sides said he missed you. But Sunny missed you too, even if he hasn't said anything. He's been grumpier than usual," Bluestreak said happily. He leaned forward conspiratorially. "It's because he hasn't been laid for a while," he whispered. Fortunately for Ratchet, Sideswipe chose that moment to intervene.
"Thanks Blue, we'll take it from here," he said with a smile. Bluestreak beamed and returned to his seat. Sunstreaker slid a datapad over to Ratchet. Ratchet picked it up, puzzled.
"Character sheet," Sunsteaker replied. "Fill it out." Ratchet looked at the 'pad, his confusion only mounting.
"You have to create your character and fill in your stats. But you can't fill it out with just anything. You have to fill it out according to the character bios in the official rulebooks," Sideswipe explained. "But first, you need to choose your alignment."
"There are nine alignments. Some of the classes require you to be of a certain alignment, or have certain restrictions on which alignments you can be," Sideswipe continued.
"Ooh! Ratchet! You should choose chaotic evil! That alignment is so you!" Bluestreak interrupted.
"Yes, but, I don't understa-" Ratchet began, only to be cut off by Sunstreaker.
"You want to choose a class that works well with your species. I recommend a human for beginners. When you play as a human, you get a bonus feat at the first level, and extra skill points," he said.
"Yes, and your class is going to be Cleric. That's sort of like a medic," Sideswipe finished, grabbing Ratchet's character sheet and filling it out.
"That very nice, but I don't-" Ratchet began again, only to be cut off by Sunstreaker and Sideswipe rolling dice and assigning his character abilities. He began to space out in confusion, only hearing a few sentences out of the long speech they were giving him.
"Creating your stats is very easy. You just roll four six-sided dice six times, then drop the lowest roll and add the rest together. Then you distribute the totals among your abilities: strength, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, intelligence, and charisma." Sunstreaker said matter-of-factly.
Ratchet just stared.
"Each score has a modifier, which equals score minus ten divided by two, rounded down," Sideswipe continued.
" So, for example, an ability score of eight would result in a modifier of negative one, because the difference of eight and ten divided by two is negative one, while an ability score of seventeen gives you a modifier of three, because the difference of seventeen and ten divided by two is three point five and it must be rounded down," Sunstreaker explained, too quickly for Ratchet to follow.
"Hold on, I-" Ratchet began, only to be cut off yet again.
"Ability Modifiers will be used to enhance attacks, saves, initiative, and Armor Class," Sideswipe said, jabbing the datapad for emphasis. "And now that you have your character and know your strengths and weaknesses, it's time to play! Here, you'll need these." He dropped a handful of various-faced dice into Ratchet's hand. Ratchet stared at the dice blankly.
"This one is called the d20, this is the d12, and here's the d10, which is actually two dice in a pair, one going from one to ten and another going from ten to one hundred, counting up in tens. Also, you have the d8, the 4d6, and the 2d4. These are used to…" Sideswipe continued rambling on happily.
Ratchet tried to pay attention, he really did. But he was so confused that he couldn't understand anything the Twins were saying.
"So, for example, Player Three rolls a thirteen on the d20. He adds the +3 he has in Spot, giving his PC a total of sixteen to see the condition of the house. The DM had made the DC a ten, as it was fairly easy to see…" Sunstreaker explained.
Ratchet felt the beginnings of a processor lock start to form.
"So basically, the DM sets the DC. If you roll higher than the DC, your action is successful. If you roll lower, your action is a failure," Sideswipe finished. Sunsteaker handed a stack of datapads to Ratchet.
"These are the rulebooks, DM Guide, and Monster Manual," he said. "Memorize these to maximize your game performance."
Ratchet just stared at him blankly, rubbing his nasal ridge in an attempt to alleviate the pain. He was not going to crash, he was not going to crash, he was not going to crash...
"You guys ready? Good!" Bluestreak gushed. "We're getting ready to set up another quest, as soon as Dungeon Master Prime finishes up his comm with Prowl."
Ratchet gaped at him. Dungeon Master…Prime?