Aurum plays a table top RPG online. But when he fails a saving throw in game weird things happen to him in the real world.
Aurum didn’t have a lot of experience with tabletop RPGs, but he had been invited to a group that played online using voice chat. It wasn’t as much fun as playing in person, but it had some advantages. It was in the evening and Aurum was in his home alone, and currently the gold and white tiger was dressed in nothing more than a pair of boxer shorts and a bandanna. Though, by this point in his life he was used to winding up with even less on in public he still preferred to wear something. But since this was all online, he might as well be comfortable.
He sat at his computer with his headset on as he joined the voice chat and waited for the game to start. As he did he looked over his own character sheet again. He had built a wizard, and they were apparently a little bit into the campaign already so was getting to start higher level. Not super high level, but at least not level 1. It meant he could skip the usual low level caster phase of having two spells a day before he had to rest.
“Everyone here?” The GM asked as she got on the call. Most of these people Aurum didn’t know by anything other than their screen names or their character names. So that just left the GM as the GM.
“Ready.” The party fighter Mr. Smashy replied.
“Here.” The cleric Charity Allhope replied.
“Present.” The rogue Truste Gai chimed in.
“I’m here as well.” Aurum spoke up last. The entire game was here.
“Alright, we have a new player, so let’s catch you up to speed.” The GM began. “The party has been tasked with obtaining the Goblet of Divinity, believed to have been the last item the Risen God help before his ascension. The party is in a race to find it before the nefarious Count Requiem can obtain the goblet and use the divine magic left in it to open a gateway to the Netherworld to allow his demon patron to return to the mortal plane.”
“Got it.” Aurum said eager to get started with the game.
“Hey…” Truste asked. “So, we were in the middle of a dungeon, how are we going to justify adding the new member to the party.”
“Easy enough.” The GM’s smile could be felt through their voice. “Aurum’s character was simply out on an unrelated errand when the ground beneath him caved in, dropping him down into the underground labyrinth the rest of the party has been exploring. He’s been stuck in here for a day now looking for a way out when the party comes across him.” There was a pause here and Aurum realized they were waiting on him to introduce himself.
“Oh right!” Aurum tried to think of a name for his wizard. “I’m uh, Majik the wizard and I’ve apparently been lost and in here for a day.”
“Well… We’d love to help you find a way out but we’re in the middle of something.” Mr. Smashy explained. “My character goes ahead and tells him all about why we’re here.”
“Uh… Right. That sounds important.” Aurum nodded despite the fact no one could see him. “So of course, I’ll help.”
“Great, with that taken care of, we can continue the adventure.” The GM continued. “After navigating the maze and meeting a new ally, you finally find a sealed door that leads to the underground tomb where the Goblet of Divinity is said to be held.”
“Hmmmm.” Truste sounded unsure. “I carefully examine the door.”
“It’s a door, shouldn’t we just head inside?” Aurum asked. “I go ahead and open it.”
“Wait don’t!” Charity tried to warn Aurum but it was too late.
“As you open the door, ancient magical powers are unsealed meant to protect the tomb from intruders. You feel them run through your body. Make me a fortitude save.” The GM spoke ominously.
“Uh… That’s my worst save…” Aurum muttered. He clicked the button on screen to roll the die. It came up as a 1.
“Ohhh Nat 1. That’s not good.” Mr. Smashy groaned.
“The magics burn through your body, and suddenly you find all your equipment and clothing dropping to the floor all around you as the world grows much larger. It was a polymorph trap, and after triggering it you’ve turned into a mouse.”
Aurum didn’t get a chance to respond. Because something strange was happening. He was shrinking into his chair in real life. His bandanna fell down from his neck, and soon his boxer shorts slipped right off him and his headset fell onto his chair. His tail grew tinner and was soon naked of fur, as were his four paws. His ears were larger and more round while his body was quite small and round.
“Squeak!?” Aurum shouted in confusion. He was now a white and gold striped mouse in real life, not just in the game.
“Oh, wow that’s a really convincing mouse squeak.” Mr. Smashy sounded impressed. “You must be really into role playing part. Charity, anything you can do to help him?”
“Not really.” Charity sighed. “I need at least five more levels before I have a spell that can reverse this. An arcane caster might be able to do it faster but… I doubt he can cast like that.”
“Squeeeeak.” Aurum looked up, the keyboard was way up on the desk, far from his reach. The headset was down on the chair sitting around him. He squeaked furious into the headphones trying to tell them what had happened.
“Guess we’ll just have to keep him safe till we can reverse this.” Mr. Smashy replied. “I pick up the mouse and place him in my pocket.”
“And I grab his gear.” Charity quickly stated. “No point letting magic gear go to waste while he can’t use it.”
“Alright then, everyone ready to go on?” The GM asked.
“Squeak!” Aurum protested, but everyone just thought he was being in character. There were no cameras, it wasn’t as if anyone could see him. And so the game simply continued on. He wasn’t in a good spot to click the buttons to roll the dice… But being a mouse in game as well his character, he wasn’t helping with much more than being moral support. All he could do was wait.
When the game was over and everyone logged out of voice chat Aurum was left wondering what had caused him to just randomly turn into a mouse. As far as he knew no one in the group possessed any magical power, and the site they used was mundane. Had he somehow done it to himself? He climbed down from the chair and walked around his now large apartment figuring out what he was going to do. Getting to work would be a challenge, as would explaining his current state when he couldn’t even talk. The cleric had said they’d be high enough level to fix this after five more levels? If turning into a mouse in game caused this to happen then fixing it in game should reverse it right?
Well… Meeting once per week… How long could it take the party to gain five levels?
Aurum was going to be a mouse for quite some time. But at least with a fully stocked pantry he had plenty of food for his smaller form to survive on until then.