Apr 21, 2009

Celebrating my 100th post! With little more than a sorta-funny story.

A milestone, but it helps the miles go by...right?

I apologize to my readers for the lull. I spent so long trying to think of a brilliant internet changing piece of gaming wisdom, that I let too much time slip by.

As such, I still haven't even figured out what I will write about yet...thinking....hold on a moment.

I got nothing :)

There's been too many backyard projects, and sick kids to game :(

So tell me, oh wise and powerful audience, have any of you had an awesome gaming moment? Please feel free to replace awesome with embarrassing, insane, unbelievable, retarded, incredible, or any other adjective you have, as I plan to live vicariously through anything posted up :)

Meanwhile, this motivational poster sums up my current 4E group to a T...

I remember, as a player all those years ago being bored whenever my brainless half-orc fighter wasn't smashing and /or breaking things. It's not that I was a shallow player, it's just that I figured the character (with his harsh barbaric upbringing) wouldn't whine or grabass around on the road between points in need of stabbing or violence.

The DM always gave me a hard time between battles for not taking the initiative and "DOING something". To him, I wasn't role-playing. I was simply there for the board game that we played for 1/3 to 1/2 of each session. I told him this wasn't the case, but he called me out one game.

Here I am laying on the floor with eyes closed listening to what the rest of the party was doing.

"I assume Haarnsgaard the cursed (me) is just sitting there, doing nothing?" asked the DM.

"Nothing out of the ordinary" I reply.

"And just what is the ordinary?" Asked the DM.

"Sharpening my Zweihander, polishing my armor, cleaing my boots...maybe airing out my codpiece...?" I reply.

"Donny...do you WANT to play this game?" the now pink faced DM asked me.

"Of course, why do you ask?" I answer...feeling the beginings of annoyance.

"You don't seem to care about the party. You don't converse with them. You don't seek out quests or story elements, you are just THERE." He said, anger beginning to form CAPS from his words.

"Well, I don't think that it would be conducive to the party for me to get in the way of what they were already doing when I joined the group. Besides, they don't like me (in-game) and are constantly dissing me and not being very friendly. Are you asking me to be more active?" I asked.

"YES! I want you to play your fucking character! You spent two days making this meat-sack, the least you can do is use it like it's supposed to be used!" He's pissed now, and everyone else is just looking around or finding ways to excuse themselves for "air".

"Okay, when it's my camp watch, I want to do some role-playing...is that okay?" I ask.

Placated, the DM agrees. 10 minutes later, the group is passing the night in camp, when my shift comes up. I tell the DM that I wait for everyone to be sleeping peacefully, so they cannot see what I am going to try and do. The DM is curious, so with no objections from the party, he agrees that they are all asleep.

That's when my NE half-orc fighter draws his sword, and falls upon his sleeping companions. The only other tank, a Dual class fighter/cleric was sleeping without his armor, and the mage/thief and bard were out of spells from the previous battle.

Ironically, the players thought it was funny as hell! As I killed each one, I listed my grievances against them - the scorching from a fireball, a missed heal, a stolen coinpurse, all meticulously maintained in my notebook.

After butchering them (I took a total of 7hp damage) I burned their bodies and packed up all or my new gear. The DM was apoplectic. I thought he was going to jump across the table at me. He ordered me never to come back again, to which I asked "why?".

The group rallied around me, and reminded him that he wanted me to "role-play" and that he knew what my character was. I'll also note that the party was 2 elves, and a human raised by them. He backed down, but refused to let me carry the character into the new campaign.

Was I a dick? Maybe a little :) I think of this little story whenever I end up DMing for a mixed group of races and alignments. (drow and sun elves!? Shield dwarves and duergar!?) Of course you can justify almost any combination of races classes and alignments, but sometimes we don't even do that. Yet...how many games have been set completely in a single tavern common room? You know, an adventuring party forms, they banter and party away - knowing that they may face their deaths in the lair of a dragon...only to all die at the hands of the party rogue who poisoned their drinks at the dragon's behest.

A one room campaign...indeed :)

Haarnsgaard the cursed
NE Half-orc fighter 8
STR 18/21
DEX 12
CON 17
WIS 10

One last thing, does this look like a min/maxed character to you? :P


Swordgleam said...

Sounds like you had an awesome party, even if you had a jerk DM.

My players are a little too story-oriented. I try to give them some pure hack'n'slash to lighten things up after a couple really plotty sessions, and what do they do? The wizard gets himself possessed by a demon and turned into a tiefling and the ranger gets herself kidnapped (or something) by Melora. I cannot have a single plot-free fight with these guys. It's absurd.

Mr Black said...

My two favorite moments in D&D were:

One was my bard against a jerk DM. My Char kept getting killed because the DM had a raging hard-on for killing bards (he kept calling them useless, mad at me for wanting to play one, and kept sending me into impossible odds simply because of class choice) so I rolled one that I literally used my feat and skill selection like a random encounter table and just got whatever the fuck came up.

This was the first char to survive more than two sessions (mainly because there was mostly just talking, and everyone thought the bard was useful) First combat, everyone else is down on the courtyard fighting the undead, my lone gimped bard was standing on a balcony with his short-bow well out of combat helping. I made a listen check and saw a Blackguard coming for me. A blackguard 3 levels higher no less.

So my bard pulls out his dagger (the only melee weapon he had, which he only had because I gave him ranks in decorative woodcarving) and went to fight. Every roll in that fight was either a crit success or a crit fumble. everyone stopped caring about the fight in the courtyard and started paying attention to the 8 STR bard with a non-magic dagger kicking the ass of the Blackguard with the epic greatsword.

After I killed this blackguard in single combat the DM is so pissed that he made the balcony I was on fall (about three stories up) I make the reflex and not only survive, but take no damage. The falling balcony scored a TPK.

Next week, everyone re-rolled bards, DM got so angry he almost had an heart attack as he threw us out screaming.

Mr Black said...

The other story (post broke in two parts 'cause it's really long) was from when I was DMing. Please note that this was the same group that played with me during the anti-bard campaign.

Anyway, we had just finished a 30 lv epic campaign and decided to do a one to two shot mini campaign and screw around.

One of the guys in the group said 'we should roll pirates' Everyone but one guy agreed. We were all like 'What would it take to get you to agree to pirates?' and he said 'if we all roll catfolk pirates'. Everyone was all WTF but decided screw it , it's a one-shot anyway. the dude who said catfolk rolled a barbarian with a greatsword. As soon as we start I said that they're about to attack a merchant ship and loot it. The guy with the barbarian asks if he can grab a rope when they start to get close and swing aboard, everyone agrees and half the crew (mostly NPC's, couldn't justify 6 people sailing a huge ship)

The guy with the barbarian asks if he can yell a battle-cry as his char swings across. We're all like 'sure, why not' and then he takes a deep breath and screams: 'PLUNDERCATS! HOOOOOOOOO!' at the top of his lungs. We had to stop playing right there we were all laughing so hard.

Donny said...

Wow...those are the moments that make it all seem worthwhile.

Pirate games in particular. We played one in which not a single person decided it would be a good idea to put ranks in swim. Not one.

I didn't even have to mess with them, they got themselves dumped in the water and drowned to a man, on the first session.

I folded my screen, and told them, "you guys were the lamest pirates EVER!" They wanted to play again, though - they were HOOKED.

I know, that was bad...

Mr Black said...


Yeah, I love it when people overlook little shit like that.

Fave TPK ever was when the bard forgot to put any ranks in diplomacy and rolled a crit fumble when dealing with the King. The party (who were simply going to spend the night in jail) decided to cut their way out.

The ones that didn't get killed immediately were hung for treason (the rouge attacked the king to try and get the guards to leave them alone. WORST. IDEA. EVER.)

Best game for TPK's is Dark Heresy.

People wipe so hard in that game it's unreal.

MacGuffin said...

If those stories were any funnier, I might have cried, I was laughing so hard.

Actually, in the second game I was in, I had a bard! He got into trouble a lot, but through skill and the fact that the DM did not know that you could only use spells that you picked, he was able to get out of most of them easily.

One of my best D&D stories involves a town on top of two buttes, that could create a magic staircase that went up to the bridge between them.

and we hated that city.

the next stage involved a magic carpet, magical explosives, and a grease spell on the magic bridge (my personal touch), operation "carpet bomb" was a go!

we bombed the hell out of that city, the people escaping slid when they hit the grease spell and fell to their deaths, but our carpet was disenchanted mid flight and the towns folk came charging after us...

We did escape, barely, due to an item that was found prior to my joining the campaign. The "spoon" transported us to a random plane- the plane of drowning... er... water. it took a while, but we made it out of there.

There may also have been a trip to some sort of 'plane of the gods' involved in that trip, and it ended badly for my bard...

MacGuffin said...

I died SO MANY TIMES in that campaign...

Rich said...

So I have taught my son to play D&D. I have a few regular groups so I picked a few people from there to join us. He makes a changelng rogue.

The game is simple and straightforward go in the warehouse, kill the zombies, figure out where they come from. My friends all love his enthusiasm and how INTO his rogue he is.

The best part of the night was as they were going up the wizards tower they ran into a gargoyle. My son runs around the table, climbs on my back and explains how he backstabs the gargoyle as he pretends to thrust his pencil over and over into my back.

Donny said...

Children in gaming are an excellent source of inspiration to use old folks, all set in our crotchety ways :)

As to bards...they are definitely...unique in the game, as far as individual mileage go.

I had a player for years that always, and I mean ALWAYS played a Paladin/Bard combination of some kind. She refused to play anything other than a diplomancer. To this day, I have yet to find a rule that "breaks" 3E as badly as a 7th level character with a +20 to their diplomacy rolls.

She could literally talk the king out of his crown...made things very difficult for me...so I dropped a tower on her head :)