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Thread Necromancy (?): Cool Moments in Roleplaying History

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I hope this is a suitable place to post this, and if not, moderators may relocate or delete it as desired.


A while back there was a thread called "Cool Moments in Roleplaying History".  I think it was lost in one of the recent forum reboots, as I can't find it with a search.


I made a pdf of that thread several years back, and every so often I like to go back and enjoy the tales therein.  So I started thinking, why should the stories stop there?  I've attached that pdf to this note to possibly get things rolling again.


Let the tall tales begin!

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I have had several good Cthulhu games at GenCon in the States and Britain.

First time our group of six end up fighting Nyarlathotep himself in full huge mode. San rolls and death ensue with the end result that we get rid of him but two of use are dead (me included), three are incurably insane and one is just about sane and ok. That was in Miiwaukee

Two of the British ones ended up with victory for the players. The first was in an old house that we as players had gone to and end up fighting dog like demons. But no one went insane from anything. The San rolls were kind and we did not lose anybody in the fighting. We also destroyed the thing we were meant to and saved the person we were supposed to. This was down to good cooperation and communication within the group.

In the second we are playing students on a campus If I Recall Correctly over the Christmas and New Year holiday when some of the NPCs start perishing.The group manage to work out that the root cause is a stone tablet that the university has acquired. We work out the way to destroy it is to have something magic destroy it or bless it. I take the tablet into the church on campus and dunk it in holy water in the font. This causes an explosion. I am at ground zero but luck rolls preserve me from damage. Sadly for one of the other characters who is in love with my character they failed their luck roll and perished. The rest of the party survived.


As I recall others I'll post them. 

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I am glad you saved this, but I think people are using the "Quote of the Week from My Game" thread in the Champions forum for this sort of thing.


Lucius Alexander


Tagline of the Week from my Palindromedary

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Thanks for this, just read page one of the pdf.  I think there is still a place for this, stories rather than quotes, they don't have to overlap much. 


Our heroes were fighting the Steel Brigade, from Aaron Allston's Strike Force, well trained power armored goons.  A Brigadier grabbed our teleporter, King's Gambit, and threw her into the air, while radioing his teammates to shoot her out of the air like a clay pigeon.


She did not have enough Teleportation to reach the ground, so her player said, "I teleport towards the ground while I still have upwards velocity, to try to throw off their aim."


No dice were rolled - I replied, "They shoot, they miss."

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I played in a Mercenaries, Spies, and Private Eyes game many, many moons ago.  Just the GM, myself, and another player.  We decided it would be a PI game, with the other player and I being partners in the two-man PI firm.


In MSPE, you rolled for starting money (something like 3d6 x $100). with the proviso that if all three dice are the same number, your character is independently wealthy and IIRC you get that roll x $1,000 per month.  As luck would have it, I rolled three 4's, so I had $12,000 per month to play with.


The game also had some odd possibilities that could be rolled during character creation, and my character ended up being a British lord - nobody with any real influence, but rather unique as a PI.  All my other rolls during character creation sucked, so my PI wasn't all that skillful.  My partner, on the other hand, was a part-time journalist in addition to being a PI, and was very skilled. 


Things were fun for a while, but then the GM decided to have my character recruited by MI-6 as an independent operative, but I wasn't allowed to reveal this to my partner.  Sounded cool, and my first assignment was to go down to El Salvador and either destroy or redirect a weapons shipment bound for some rebel fighters.  So I convinced my PI partner that we had been hired by a reclusive individual to head down south to investigate shipments being redirected from his company. 


All went well, and we ended up blowing up the ship with all the guns, and were then picked up by a ship owned and operated by MI-6.  As we're speeding away, the captain informs me that I have to kill my partner to keep him from reporting on this secret mission.  I tried to convince the captain to take some of my money and offer it to my partner to buy his silence, but the captain insisted either I had to kill my partner, or one of the crew of the ship would do it.


I ask my partner to meet me on the ship's fantail after midnight to discuss something.  My plan was for both of us to jump ship, thinking we'd swim back to shore, make our own way home, and I'd cut my ties with MI-6.  However, the GM figured out what I was doing and decided to be a dick, having one of the crewmen shoot my partner before we could jump the railing. 


There my character is, with crewmen pointing machine pistols at him.  So I decided to pull a Blazing Saddles.  I wrap my arm around my neck, point my pistol at my own head, and shout, "One move and the lord gets it!"


The GM was stunned, saying, "Whaaaaaat?!?!?"  to which I said, "That should be the reaction of all the crewmen."   The GM, still in full-on dick mode, says, "It is... for all but one.  He aims his weapon at you and says, 'You're right.  One move and he gets it.'"


So I said, "I pull the trigger."


The GM tried to talk me out of it, but I was adamant.  My best friend and PI partner, who has had my back all along, is now dead because I brought him along on this stupid secret mission.  The GM even had me make a to-hit roll and damage roll. And on 2d6 damage, I rolled two 1s.  But it didn't really matter.  It was the end of that game.  The GM was pissed, but the other player thought it was awesome.

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I think Bolo gets the "dick GM story" award, especially with the Mel Brooks touch.


I have a minor one of those to share.  Thanks to the magic of DriveThruRPG, I've rediscovered some classic favorites, which I can now own in weightless, spaceless PDFs.  One of those is Werewolf, which I played in grad school.  The first campaign went swimmingly, with good story, memorable characters, and a lot of fun.  The other one started out all right.  After the first combat encounter, I got suspicious when we were fighting a powerful vampire lord.  The guy just wouldn't die, and one of my fellow players counted at least 20 levels of aggravated damage on him.  Later, we looked at the rules for the baddie's vampire powers, and the GM was applying his own interpretations of those powers, which kept allowing the vampire to survive even after the previous interpretation would have had him dead.  We gave the game another chance or two, but it quickly became apparent that it was nothing more than a marathon of "let's fight the GM's indestructible monsters and bask in his sheer unfathomable awesomeness" and it quickly died.


Why a master vampire even cared about a pack of nobody werewolves was also beyond me.  The stated reason was "you owe me money".  Really dude?  That's what nobody mooks are for.

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Somewhere between one and two years ago, my stepson and I joined a D&D group.  We were invited to join by Jeff, one of the dads in our Scout troop, who is an unquenchable nerd (a compliment, of course).  The group consists of several fellow nerds and their kids, so while it's...mildly chaotic from time to time, we are helping the next generation learn the art of pencil 'n' paper roleplaying.  Jeff works for our local library system, so we normally use meeting rooms at libraries for our games.  Being a Boy Scout (read: pyromaniac) and a chemist, I decided to play Feanor, an elf sorcerer who specializes in fire magics (red dragon ancestry).  My son plays a halfling rogue who he calls Frodo Baggins (it's only in the last year or two that I finally introduced him to Lord of the Rings).  In our first adventure we crept up carefully on some kind of lizard men (I forget the name of the species), who were camped out in some ruins.  Frodo crept in quietly, the rest of us thinking that he would recon the place, then return and report so we could execute a well planned attack.  Instead, as soon as he had good shots with his bow, he opened fire.  He missed several shots in his opening volleys, earning the name Frodo Treesbane, which stuck, to my son's chagrin.


During one of our sessions, Jeff pulled me aside and asked who this guy was who had just walked in.  I looked and quickly noticed that "this guy" was Pete, who hosted our long-standing Saturday night gaming events.  At Pete's house, we mostly played 18xx-series railroad games, with occasional forays into other games as well.  Countless times when walking up to Pete's house, I'd take note of the bumper sticker on his car that read, "I played D&D before it was cool".  Pete made some puzzling moves in our train games, especially once dementia started taking hold, but man, I don't think there was a malicious bone in that man's body.


The previous Saturday, I had mentioned the D&D game to Pete, and he took that as an invitation.  It wasn't, and I knew Pete was harmless, yet I had some parents who were getting increasingly jumpy.  To him, Pete was some random guy who had walked into a game meant for their kids.  I agonized over what to do, and ultimately called Pete's wife, explained the situation, and asked her to come pick Pete up.  By this point I knew that Pete had dementia, but it hadn't wreaked its worst havoc just yet.  I felt utterly wretched, and must have apologized to Pete's wife at least a dozen times.  I don't think I ever apologized to Pete, out of sheer shame.


As for that bumper sticker, I knew that back in the day, Pete had been friends with some guy named Dave Arneson (I had seen Dave once or twice but never really met him).  So yeah, he really did play D&D before it was cool, and even before it was D&D.  Last year, I was also privileged to play in a Blackmoor game that included several other members of Mr. Arneson's original group.  Pete was still alive, but unable to attend due to rapidly declining health.  Sadly, we lost Pete last year due to complications from his heart.


Some time after Pete's death, a video published by "David Megarry's Dungeon" came to my attention (see link below); it features an interview with Pete.  I think it is part of a project to collect information on the history of roleplaying, though I don't know many details of that project offhand.  I must admit, I was stunned.  This guy who had hosted countless games for us, who I had often treated with less than adequate courtesy, arguably played the forefather of magic using characters in modern roleplaying games.  It is possible that I'm way off base, but I'm still proud to have known one of roleplaying's pioneers.


Pete, I wish I had treated you with better respect more often, and I wish I'd taken the time to hear some of these stories while you were still around to tell them.  Every time Feanor incinerates his enemies, I know he stands on your shoulders.  Rest in peace man, and if you don't mind, save me a place at the great game table in the sky....





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A few years ago in my 7th Sea game...


Ulfen is charming little orphan children with his pet goat when Luc enters the scene and things get awkward.  See, if you recall, Ulfen had been told at the party that Luc is a war criminal in Eisen and boy, did that piss off Ulfen. Luc offers to buy Ulfen a drink to talk matters out and present his side of the story. Much soul baring is done! Much liquor is consumed! A table is stabbed and a waiter is traumatized! But, in the end, Ulfen believes the Montaigne and now wants to find out just what the hell happened as much as Luc does.

And then they hear the telltale cries of a goat in trouble.

Rushing back outside, little orphan Sara is crying as a larger sullen-faced red-headed orphan Eisen boy is tormenting her and poor Francis. The boys step in and try their damnedest to get through to Fritz to not be a bully. Ulfen tries to teach the boy some fighting techniques to instill some discipline in the brat, however Luc picks up on the fact that it seems Fritz is learning the wrong lessons (ie, how to hit people better and harder). The brat eventually runs off after Ulfen soaks a shot to the nuts.

The boys decide to visit Greta (one of Luc's former squad) and see if her brother is willing to speak to them. Actually, Luc goes as Ulfen sneaks his goat back up into his lodgings. Erich is in BAD mental shape, plagued by nightmares, but he eventually reveals a few tidbits. 1. He didn't fire the cannon first. Another man by the name of Jean-Christophe Vacher did and he followed suit, thinking the order was given. 2. He claims he saw a building on fire BEFORE the cannons went off. & 3. He thinks he's being followed. Luc is uneasy. What he little he remembered about Vacher was that he was a very unambitious and unassuming man. Unfortunately, Greta thinks he's in Freiburg now. Luc promises to visit the siblings again soon in better tidings.

Luc meets up with Ulfen and relays the news. They check in with Glenna to see if she has any further info. She's just as surprised about it possibly being Vacher as anyone and confirms Luc's thoughts that, if it wasn't a horrible accident, then someone else must have ordered him to do it. Which could have been anyone as he was pushed around a LOT. She confirms that she also heard he was in Freiburg and says she'll see if there's any further info she can find out. Now that Ulfen heard about Heidmoor, she dropped the flirting and was a lot more subdued around him.

(Also, I make Mike paranoid before arriving at Glenna's by having him make a few perception checks along the way. Yeah, someone's following him and they're DAMN good at it.)

Leaving for the Guildhouse, the boys hear the Orphan Matron frantically trying to find Sara. Some of the other orphans say Fritz was talking to her, claiming he found pirate treasure in the forest and wanted to show it to her. Cue the boys in protective mode as it's getting dark out and nobody has tracking. However, in those woods, they find the terrified girl up in a tree, crying, clinging to the trunk protective and sporting a fresh new bruise over her eye. Luc goes up the tree to get her down, but while he's up there, he thinks he sees a clearing among the trees -- and the breeze is blowing in the scent of blood.

Ulfen gets Sara back to town while Luc bravely/foolishly stays to investigate. The Montaigne finds Fritz. Well, bits of him anyway. Torn pieces of flesh and bone and clothes. He starts to hear an odd ticking sound and follows it to a small still pool in the dark forest and there appears to be a young girl crouched by it. Ulfen returns at this point and calls out to her in Castillian if she's all right.

"All I wanted was a playmate...HE gets to have a playmate! Why couldn't I have one?" The boys hear this response as if it were in their respective native tongues. And the ticking noise is coming from her. She giggles. "He should have been my playmate..."

"Who are you?" More giggling. "I'm Tink! Where's the girl...she could be my playmate. Aww, you took her back?" "Is that what you want? Someone to 'play' with you...you want US to 'play' with you now?" "You can't play with me -- you're too OLD! He hit me with a stick, you know..." "That's what you do, you pick on those weaker than yourself!" "Play...or prey."

And she turns her head to reveal bulging eyes, sinewy leathery bumpy green skin and a long snout filled with sharp sharp teeth still stained with blood. Mike misses his fear check at this point. Still in the little girl voice, she says "Bones are sweet, but flesh is sweeter."

Ulfen rises to the challenge, broadsword at the ready! He dares her with a "What are you going to do NOW?!" comment. Tink sighs wistfully "Well! I say we..."

My voice drops several octaves at this point as I cock my own head and bare my teeth into a growl "...roll for Initiative, [bLEEP]ERS!"

The look of shock on Steve's face afterwards filled the subcockles of my black heart with glee. And, unfortunately for him, she acted twice before Ulfen and savaged him with two vicious bites. To Ulfen's credit, he soaked the 38 from the two rolls. Unfortunately, he then missed the Resolve check I asked for and passed out, now in the thrall of the mother of all acid trips. Images flashed in and out of his tiny brain. of purple oceans, a handsome young man smiling, an older man with a with his left arm tucked behind his back who looks like he's related to Ulfen's mother, a ship wrecked against rocky shoals bearing the name "Rudiger's Joy".

Luc knows he's outmatched, but attempts to thrust his rapier into the monster, hoping to pin it to the ground. A game effort, but it just won't work. Still, he manages to make a strange observation...that the unholy creature seemed to have an odd look on its face when she bit the Eisen. Like Ulfen's taste seemed familar...

"He will DIE unless you leave. Now is not the right time..."

Luc takes the hint to retreat with the unconscious Eisen. The creature slips back into the pool without disturbing the waters. And, with the creature gone, the ticking sound stops.

Ulfen wakes up to a goat trying not to chew his bandages. We left things there.

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Hmm. Friend ran a game, told us it would be post-apocalyptic but that we would all start with a character incarcerated in a migh security prison, it was set in the early 1970s just before the apocalypse. He insisted we were inmates, so definitely bad men (very much playing against type for me).


After some thought I settled on what might be obvious for someone who grew up catholic in the west of Scotland in the 1970s. My character was Kevin "Bomber" Brown. A Provo who had been working in the North of a England. He was in this prison awaiting transfer to the H Blocks and he allowed me, ultimately to give voice to the obstructive, stubborn, viscious aspects of my psyche that my group had never seen.


Our escape from the prison happened as the guards and power vanished overnight. We escaped and while others were helping other inmates, I was taking revenge on those who had tormented and beaten me up in the preceding days. The wing containing the British Front thugs mysteriously caught fire while I was supposed to be unlocking the doors.


My group were horrified that I would kill Brits when the country was under attack. Worse was to come.


We found a Range Rover and were trying to find out what happened, we had some shotguns and other improvised weapons. The guys were delighted when we saw a British Army roadblock near a farmhouse. They could not understand why I urged them to go the other way and avoid contact, Bomber didn't trust them. Ultimately I had to sneak out the Range Rover and followed up covertly, starving and cold while the others shared warmth and food with the soldiers. Bomber then sneaked in and wired an IED to the Range Rover before heading back out onto the moors.


Bomber's moment came when he saw movement in the hills, covert figures moving around. He pulled back, behind what would be a good ambush point (ambush was his speciality). Russian troops! My friends expected me to warn them and the soldiers, instead I ambushed the ambusher, stole his sniper rifle and waited.


The troops had informed my friends that they were requisitioning the Range Rover and shotguns. All very sorry but they were under attack. Then the Russians attacked the farmhouse, the soldiers ran out to the Range Rover which duly exploded when they started it up. Bomber then ensured he picked off the British soldiers before going hunting Russians.


It was an eye-opening experience for my friends. Everything this IRA guy did was contrary to what they expected and the brutality I played him with made the discombobulation worse. I had a fantastic time, playing hugely against type but owning the game...


I have never since been allowed to play 'a bad man' and Bomber Brown's shirt has been hung in our group's Hall of Infamy.



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