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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Dusty Tome of D&D Stories: Chapter Two

B is for catw.... d'oh. Wait! Black Pearl!
I prepared the Tower of the Black Pearl for DCC RPG next Monday. It has some extremely cool stuff in it. The most interesting room is actually probably the second one.

You are sucked into a mysterious vortex through impenetrable-module-opening-boxed-text. No, you can't interrupt! Just let me finish! The whole module depends on this.

You have returned to 1991! Make a saving throw or your tapes will be eaten by your cassette player! You may never be able to listen to the Jerky Boys again. That is what is at stake here.

Natas Silvernuts

My second campaign used the Spelljammer rules (that's D&D in space). One player, the guy who had killed The Slug with the Golden Brain, made a goofy character. He talked in a deep voice and said psychotic things. You know, "I'm gonna kill you blahhh". That kind of deal.

His name was Natas Silvernuts. As a young DM, I wasn't sure what to do. I just let it play out. After a few sessions, everyone was really into the campaign, and he altered his character on his own. He became heroic half-elf Penn Silverfist, wielder of magic basilards (punch daggers).

Penn Silverfist's heroic exploits included dueling Lord Soth and falling off an asteroid while single-handedly fighting a pit fiend. He was a legend.

I learned that in many cases, "joke characters" ironed themselves out in short order.

Chain Lightning

A player jumped in to the campaign with a character not fully-made. We were ready to start. He uttered the immortal words "I'll pick my spells as we go".

Our heroes crept into an orc camp, which was right over a dungeon. They entered the dungeons and proceeded to hack and loot.

Things got intense. The heroes needed spells. And so our wizard said he would cast Chain Lightning. Which he had to look up. We waited. It took him forever to find the spell. He read it slowly, and then cast it. Upon further examination, he realized he'd hit the party, too. Frustrated cries rang out amongst the debris of pizza crusts and clouds of dorito dust.

He nearly killed the whole party in what was a ten-minute ordeal involving saving throws, damage rolls and range determination. And then, once the dust cleared and half the party was dying, he said, "Oh wait - I can only cast this outdoors."

The wizard was tied up and left in an orc latrine, never to be seen again.

The Predator

This campaign was very popular and ran for quite a while. But eventually I got tired of it. I wanted to run a final adventure on an asteroid city where all sorts of enemy factions converged. I envisioned an epic melee, where the city burned and chaos reigned. I wanted all of the characters to die.

Two demigods were there, godzilla-sized, fighting. A pit fiend who had been impersonating Lord Soth (the real Soth had been sucked into Ravenloft in 2nd edition, if you remember) had his epic battle with Penn.

Cool monsters stalked each of our heroes, who had split up in the apocalyptic battle. I was really excited about one in particular.

One of the party's drow-with-two-swords (because it was 1991) came upon an odd ship. The back hatch was open. Mist spilled out. He went inside, and found some kind of trophy room. Why, there was an alien skull! Yes, an alien, as in Ridley Scott's Alien.

Then our drow felt warm. Three red dots had appeared on his forehead! A predator opened fire and blew his head off with a plasma-firing shoulder cannon.

As the drow's player sat there, baffled, I excitedly explained that the ship then took off... to Earth. To fight Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Predator movie!

The player did not share my enthusiasm for this concept. He said to me on more than one occasion: "I can't believe I was killed by a fucking predator.

The Scent of a Catwoman

A friend was running a Shadowrun game. I always liked the setting of this game, but never understood the rules. And, as is often the case, I had a hard time coming up with a cool character (because I hate being a player).

My friend had made a character based on Catwoman from Tim Burton's Batman Returns. She had a mono-filament whip and was clad in tight leather.

We are fighting dudes on the roof of a skyscraper. Catwoman is invisible and whipping people left and right. Suddenly, she is shot by a sniper on a rooftop across the street.

Catwoman's player asked how the hell the sniper hit her when she was invisible. The GM explained that the sniper had "enhanced sense of smell" cyberware. He SNIPED HER BY SMELLING HER LOCATION.

Catwoman calmly got up, went downstairs, and watched TV while we finished up the session.


C.D. Gallant-King said...

"I'll pick my spells as we go" is one of the worst things that can be uttered during character creation. If someone says that, stop immediately and make them pick their damn spells before you go any further.

I had a player who insisted on playing a Predator in Rifts. I hate Rifts and so use every excuse possible to f*ck with the players when we're playing it. In his case I told him he couldn't see doors with his stupid heat vision (they would be the same color as the wall, right?)

I look forward to your stories every day!

Bronk said...

I wonder if the DM for the Shadowrun game was just messing with the player, or if he thought inventing new cyberware just to kill someone off was cool...?