Tabletop role-playing games seem stuck in the fantasy genre, which is a shame. A recent study concluded that less than 30% of players are, in real life, medieval adventurers. And those of us who live through mundane lives wish we had the convenience of dice rolls and ability checks governing our everyday challenges. Wish we had a dungeon master guiding us through such ordeals as ... 

The Surprise Test Of Doom

You sit down in the lecture hall just in time for class to start. Phew! And then you hear those two most dreaded words: Pop. Quiz. You did the reading -- you SWEAR you did the reading! But none of these essay questions seem at all familiar. 

Roll a History Check (target number: 10) to try and dig this information out of the deep recesses of your brain. It's in there somewhere. Something about antonomasia. Or wait, maybe it was synecdoche. God, why am I even getting a BA in English? What am I gonna do with this degree? Okay, now I'm spiraling. Think. Think!

graduate with diploma

Felipe Gregate/Unspash

Convincing anyone you're qualified requires a Deception Check. 

Roll a Perception Check (target number: 15) to try and sneak a little peek at your neighbor's quiz. Roll a Stealth Check with disadvantage if you're sitting next to Roger, though. Roger's a narc.

Roll a Performance check to clutch your side and wail, "oh, the pain! The PAIN!" and rush out of class. Target number: 25. This never works outside of Disney Channel Original Movies.

Tummy Of The Hangover Queen

You had a bit of a crazy night last night. Okay, it was wild. A rager. And it was a Tuesday night. You didn't mean for it to go so far, but Kyle poured shots and what are you going to do -- not partake of these pre-poured shots? Kyle worked so hard. 

shots at a bar

Jagga/pixabay

Pour one out for Kyle. Oh wait, he already did!

You board the subway at 7:45am on your way to work, and sitting down beside you is a man tucking into an overstuffed bacon, egg, and cheese on a bagel.

Make a Constitution Saving Throw (target number: 15) to see if you can resist puking up all over the 6 train.

Roll with disadvantage if it's an onion bagel.

Shadows Of A Dreaded Past

You're walking down the street, minding your own business, when suddenly you catch the eye of a high school acquaintance. You assume they don't see you. But oh. Oh, yes, they see you. They begin waving one arm excitedly above their head. 

Roll a Stealth check to disappear into the crowd and worm your way into the safety of a Sephora for ten long, tense minutes. Target number: 5.

Sephora store

Zarateman/Wiki Commons

Put on a totally new face if necessary. 

Roll an Acrobatics check to try and Frogger across to the other side of the busy street. Roll with disadvantage if there's an adjacent bike lane. 

Roll a Deception check to pretend they've actually misidentified you -- you didn't go to McDougal High School from ‘05 - ‘09. You're actually from out of town! Silly mistake. Target number: 15. Target number 20 if you're from really out of town and attempt a fake accent.

Journey To The Temple Of The Dog

Your friend asks you to dog sit. You don't know a ton about dogs but ... it's a dog. What could truly surprise you about a dog? Plus, your friend lives in a bangin' apartment, and has both HBO Max and Showtime. Of course you agree to stay the week!

two Chihuahuas

Luis Quintero/Unsplash

Uh oh. Turns out "HBO Max" and "Showtime" are the names of two more dogs. 

Roll an Animal Handling check to get this little dog's vibe. He's cute in a, uh ... gremlin sort of way. There's such a thing as happy growling, right? Like growling because he's so excited to see me?

Okay, this dog has had you hostage on the couch for the last three hours and you really need to pee! You're like -- what -- fifteen times bigger than this Chihuahua? This is madness. He should be scared of you! Roll an Intimidation Check to see if he backs down when you stand at your full height and stomp around, y'know, intimidatingly. Target number: 10.

A Chihuahua protecting its bon

David Shankbone

You could pee to show dominance. But that would expose your soft parts!

Oh, God, you're never getting off this couch are you? You can't risk it again. The speed -- the strength -- where did this dog come from, the pits of hell? Was Cujo a Chihuahua? Roll a Survival Check. Target number: 25.

Fantastic Locations: Date With A Stranger

Your New Year's Resolution was to put yourself out there more! Say yes to new experiences, new people, blind dates! But here you are on said blind date and you're trying to stay true to your other New Year's Resolution: stay positive. 

PhotoMIX-Company

Why did you agree to dinner? You should have suggested something simpler, like a D&D game. 

"So ... what do you do for fun?" Classic opener. You're nailing this. They give you an answer about their lifelong love of tennis. "Uh oh ... " you joke, knowing you've got a killer punch line coming. Roll a Performance Check and deliver, baby! "You gotta be careful with tennis players, because to them, love means nothing." 

Blink, blink. Silence. "Get it?" you prod. "Love? Means 0, like nothing?" Oh God, the silence is killing you. This is about to turn into a Constitution Saving Throw to keep yourself from passing out from embarrassment. 

dice and game

CompLady/Pixabay

Starting to look like you're not going to be needing another Performance Check later tonight. 

Roll a Sleight of Hand Check to glance at your watch. 8:02pm. You don't want to be rude. You have to give this date an hour before you politely excuse yourself and never see each other ever again. This is excruciatingly boring. Okay, at least ten minutes must have passed since the last time you checked your watch, right? 8:03pm. Damn it.

"Dessert? Oh, no thank you. I'm not hungry for dessert." Roll a Deception Check (target number: 25). This is the most egregious lie you've ever told. You already rolled an Investigation Check at 8:04pm to plan your most expeditious exit. New Year's Resolutions are for chumps.

Expedition To The New Domicile

You ask your good friend -- who owes you a favor, by the way -- to help you move. Roll a Persuasion Check. "It's not all that much stuff ... " you say, batting your eyes. "And it's only down six flights of stairs at my current place, and up four flights at the new apartment." They immediately respond without looking at their calendar, "Oh my gosh, I wish I could but I'm busy ALL DAY that day!"

They look a bit ... shifty, don't they? The way their eyes instantly lowered. The slight sheen of sweat on their brow. Roll an Insight Check to see if you can catch them in a nasty little lie. Target number: 5.

moving boxes

Michal Balog/Unsplash

They weren't busy that day, but they will be. 

They've always been a good friend to you. Roll a History Check and blast back to all those good times. Picking you up at the airport that one time (at 8am). Swooping in at that college party to rescue you from that dude's neverending lecture about symbolism in the film Avatar (was there even symbolism in that movie? Allegory, maybe ... Wait, maybe THIS is synecdoche!). Maybe they are lying about being busy. But does it really matter? 

You know what? Being a good friend doesn't necessarily mean owing someone manual labor. And maybe, just maybe, you're old enough to suck it up and hire professional movers instead of paying off friends in pizza and belated favors. Roll a Wisdom Check. Your character just levelled up -- emotionally.

The Secret Of The Swedish Fortress  

You ordered a new set of drawers from IKEA. The website says it recommends two people when constructing it, but you're pretty darn confident you can do it on your own. I mean, it's just a set of drawers. From IKEA! It's not rocket science. It's RAWCKET SCYENNXE!

Sure, it took nearly every ounce of strength in you to even get the box up the stairs, but now you're here, you're confident, and you're ready to assemble this thing TONIGHT! Maybe you'll even transfer over all your clothes. And refold them in that new way Marie Kondo taught you! You are about to SEIZE LIFE! Roll a Strength check! But first you have to just (huff) stand the (huff) frame upright. Target number: 10.

5-hour energy drink

Mike Mozart

Hope you quaffed your potion of strength.

Roll an Arcana check to try and decipher whatever ancient magic dwells in these runes. These crude drawings without captions must hide some deeper, secret meaning, some sort of Swedish incantation, perhaps. This smiling little blob fellow, holding a ... is that a wrench, or one of their hands? Oh, no. This part is definitely screwed in upside down. Target number: 15.

They're just drawers. You've seen drawers before! So what if the illustrations reveal very little, and the written instructions are brief. So what if there are arrows pointing seemingly nowhere. Drawers are drawers! You can use your brain and real-life knowledge of drawers to put this stupid thing together. Throw those instructions away and Roll an Insight check, you sweet, sweet fool.

Ikea Minde mirror instructions

Steve Garfield

There's probably a YouTube tutorial on this, right? (There isn't.)

Okay, so you have to use one hand to hold the shelf at a ninety-degree right angle, while using your other hand to slowly and precisely screw in a bolt using the world's smallest, thinnest wrench, but need another hand to keep the console stable enough to screw the bolt into? Roll a Sleight of Hand check. Target number: 20. You should have called a friend.

No surprises here. You jammed your thumb and slammed your head on the inside of the half-constructed monstrosity. Roll a Medicine check and call it a night. 

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