Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oh, the times we had.

When Steve and I were still in highschool, we were both members of the Games Club.

Steve started up a couple of D&D games with the members of the club, both of which failed miserably.

I'm uncertain which of these was first, and which was second, but I'll tell them in the following order...

We were playing a group of rogues. Everyone rolled up a character that was at least part thief. I think my character, the leader, was a human dual-classed fighter-thief. So, he was a fighter first, then switched over to being a thief after a couple of levels. The only thing I remember is that we were wandering around the countryside, and we came upon a man driving a wagon. We made up a story about being the militia, searching for... I dunno... fugitives or something... so it gave me the opportunity to check the back of his wagon. He had a bunch of carved figurines and stuff that he was going to sell at market. So, I let him go. The group got all grumbly at me, because they wanted to steal stuff, and even went so far as to accuse me of taking something and not telling them. I explained to them the plan... to intercept the guy on his way back from market, and take his money then, but they I don't think they believed me. Typical.

However, I'm now getting the impression that this was the second campaign. Here's what happened with the first one.

I was playing a human monk. I don't remember all the other characters, but there was definitely a paladin and a cavalier in the group. We were in a town on the edge of a swamp, and we were told by the townsfolk that some of their number had been attacked while they were picking plants in the swamp waters. They thought it was lizard men attacking them, to drive them out. As I led the group into the swamp, I had my own ideas of what it might be, but I had nothing concrete to go on. When we arrived at a lizard man village, I told the group that I wasn't sure that the lizard men were responsible, so they weren't to attack them unless the lizard men attacked first. I even extracted a promise from both the paladin and cavalier... they were to give me their word of honor that they would obey that order. They both agreed.

So, we moved into the village, which was very quiet, and fanned out to check the various buildings. I approached the largest building, as the cavalier and paladin checked out two of the smaller huts. The cavalier went inside one, to find that there were several lizard men asleep. It was in the middle of the day, so I guess they were taking a bit of a siesta. As he looked around, one of the lizard men woke up, got up and reached out towards him.

Apparently, in the cavalier code of conduct, a lizard man reaching out towards him constitutes an attack, so he suddenly drew his sword and cut the lizard man down. It screamed as it died, and woke up the rest of the village. Lizard men poured out of their huts, attacking everyone. The cavalier and paladin began gleefully hacking down lizard men, right and left, as I yelled for everyone to calm down and stop, all the while, using my three-sectional staff to harmlessly ward off the attacks of the lizard men. It quickly became pointless, as everyone else joined in the slaughter (I did NOT), and lizard men were dropping left and right. It came down to one lizard man left, and the paladin grabbed it in a headlock, the player rolling his "bend-bars/lift gates" Strength check to break its neck. He only had about a 25-30% chance of succeeding per try, so I had my monk quickly move through the main building, around behind the paladin, and I planned on hitting him to knock him out before he could kill this last lizard man. See, in that edition, Monks had the chance, on any strike, to knock an opponent unconscious. It wasn't a high chance, but it was there, and I was going to try to take advantage of it.

Just as I got to him, he finally succeeded in his roll, and he broke the lizard man's neck, killing it. Steve asked me if I still hit the Paladin, and I nodded. I rolled my percentile die and rolled 01. I succeeded! I karate chopped the paladin in the back of the neck, and knocked him out.

Immediately, the rest of the players started booing me and saying "Down with the Monk!"

Pissed off at their stupidity, I said "Since the Cavalier and Paladin think that they know what's best, now they're in charge. I quit as leader." That shut everyone up, but we continued on, since there was nothing more to be learned in the lizard man village.

We continued along the path, and all the while, players (other than the cavalier and paladin) were handing me notes, begging and pleading with me, even making promises to give my character all their treasure if I would just come back as leader. I would calmly write "No" on the paper and hand it back, every time, much to the disappointment of the person who wrote it.

We got to a point on the path, and suddenly heard the sound of wings. A huge black dragon landed on the path in front of us, with what appeared to be a human wizard on his back.

(This miniature seems to have been cast directly from this scene!)

The wizard accused us of being murderers, since we killed the lizard men, and so I went forwards to talk with him. I didn't like having to say this, since I thought the group deserved to die for what they did, but my monk was Lawful Good. So, I said that he should let the group go, and that I would see to it that they would be brought to justice, once we made it back to civilization but he did not agree. He said that the justice of civilization wasn't good enough. I told him that I would fight for the group, and attacked him, but the dragon let out a stream of acid, killing my character instantly.

Now, Cavaliers and Paladins are supposed to be honorable. They are not supposed to run from a fight, in fact, they have resistance to fear specifically for this purpose. What was the first thing this cavalier and paladin did?

They ran. Followed by everyone else.

I just sat back and laughed as Steve had the black dragon track every last one of them down and kill them. The cavalier and paladin even tried to climb a tree... although I have no idea what they thought they'd get from that (hey, maybe they were trying to get up to the Dragon's head level, I don't know), but climbing a tree in full plate armor is no easy task, so they failed and fell to the dragon eventually. That's when we just started the "thieves" game, since it seemed obvious that these guys couldn't play a "good" party. Unfortunately, that didn't turn out any better.

Funny edit: Re-reading this, I switch perspectives a lot, from "my monk" or "my character" to "me" and "I". Don't worry, I'm not deranged, it's just that when you're playing a role, you tend to get into it, and play it from the first-person perspective. I think it helps with immersion in the story.

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