Michelle is ever the eternal optimist. The first time she played with us she didn’t have any dice, so Havok loaned her some of his. He pulled out his clear yellow set and said, “Here, you can have the piss-coloured ones.” Charming as always, Havok. As she took them she said, “They’re not piss-coloured, they’re lemon-coloured.” To this day, they’re still the lemon-coloured dice.
Käsemädchen had a bad habit of having her familiar, a ferret, bite anyone who pissed her off, including other party members. One night in a tavern in Sigil, Havok’s githzerai fighter/thief had suffered this indignity for the last time and chopped the ferret in half.
In Second Edition, the penalties for losing a familiar were much greater than in Third: first, Kasey had to make a system shock check (essentially a Constitution check) or die; after succeeding at this check, she still lost a point of Constitution, which lowered her hit points. Echo, seeing her chance to get rid of the other female mage in the party (yes, she was jealous), took advantage of Kasey’s weakened state (and Marc’s dumbfounded one) to start slinging spells. Several other members of the party jumped in, looking to take out the annoying and generally despised character. (Kasey’s personality was annoying but the character was hated because it was dumped into the game from a previous “Monty Haul” campaign, and had spells, items and levels that completely outclassed the rest of the party.) Marc, seeing his beloved über-character down to around one hit point (Kasey hadn’t seen single-digit hit points in years) quickly used the final wish on her Ring of Three Wishes to wish that Käsemädchen hadn’t ordered the ferret to bite Havok’s character. That was the last time anyone suffered a ferret bite.
Jodie will never be accused of being a brain surgeon. But she was cute, so we tolerated her. Briefly. Once she finally stopped playing (when Jay kicked her to the curb), her samurai in Steph’s Oriental Adventures campaign had a suitably ignoble death. As the rest of the party did what a party does and looted the character, we discovered a very interesting item in her equipment list: a flashlight. In feudal Japan. Um, yeah.
As I mentioned before, Havok tried to keep Kemcni up there with Kale by “borrowing” the Bloodstone of Fistandantilus every now and then. Kemcni would take it, do his business with it, and then put it back in Kale’s pouch. This was fine until the time Kale caught Kemcni with a hand in his pouch. The funny thing was, Kale had actually caught Kemcni putting the Bloodstone back. Jason played it surprisingly well, considering that he knew Kemcni had taken it before, but Kale didn’t. Kemcni got off really lucky with only a severe tongue-lashing. (Kemcni was still playing the “innocent kender” card.)
Donny’s character had died. Nothing out of the ordinary, no DM gunning for the characters (in other words, Ed wasn’t DM-ing). Just bad rolls at a bad time. So, Donny started making up a new character. He got his hands on a copy of Oriental Adventures and started rolling up a kensai. Don’t ask what a kensai was doing in Dragonlance, Ian was the DM.
Donny was practically getting hard over all the stuff a kensai can do. Having played one myself, I can attest that they rocked in Second Edition. But Donny was enjoying it so much that he was showing all the cool abilities to Jason. Bad move, because Jason agreed that they were cool abilities. In fact, they were so cool that Kale should have those abilities! As Donny’s new kick-ass kensai introduced himself to the rest of the party, Kale activated the Bloodstone of Fistandantilus while shaking hands, and that was the end of the character.
According to the rules, the Bloodstone cannot be used in this manner, but it was so funny at the time that Ian let it go. Unfortunately, Donny was less than impressed that two hours of his time had been wasted (time creating the character, then waiting for an opportunity to introduce the character). It wasn’t as funny years later when Donny finally admitted this was the reason he stopped playing.
Paul was having a hard time in my Robotech game. Playing a hard-ass character, combined with some really bad die rolls at some really bad times, frequently found him in conflict with the other characters. Agreeing with him that the character was beyond redemption, I took pity on Paul and we discussed ways to have the character bow out gracefully. Then this was dropped in my lap.
The squad had been sent to the RDF Accelerated Training Program, which is pretty much like modern-day war games, except in mecha instead of tanks. In one of the final exercises of the program, the characters were getting beaten up pretty badly, by a bunch of people on motorcycles no less! They were too small and too fast for the 40-foot plus robots to hit easily. Paul had the great idea to stomp on one of the riders, and successfully scored the hit. The fight ground to a halt. It slowly dawned in on Paul that he had just stomped, not a rebel, but a fellow RDF member pretending to be a rebel for the training mission! Needless to say, not much was left of the poor fellow but red paste.
Paul’s character was court-marshalled and railroaded out of the RDF and into a military stockade, mostly because of the rest of the squad’s rather dubious “testimony.” Where’s the “bowing out gracefully” in that, you ask? It came days later (in game time), when Paul’s character was broken out of the stockade and recruited by the squad’s nemesis, Matthew Burke, where he proceeded to become an even bigger thorn in the characters’ sides than before as an NPC.
Just say the name “Matthew Burke” around Havok some time and watch the reaction.
Sometimes, random dice rolls work out more perfectly than any DM plan. This was one of those occasions.
In Havok’s Ravenloft game, Jay’s character was magically induced to seek out vengeance for a dead NPC named Maria Rathas. After some time, the party eventually caught up to the priest who had killed her. The party hid behind a wall, discussing their plan to get him. Unfortunately, he was surrounded by about 20 undead, so wading in swinging seemed out of the question. Suddenly, Jay’s character stood up, screamed “In the name of Maria Rathas, vengeance is mine!” drew back on his bow and fired. Jay rolled a natural 20, which by our house rules at the time was automatically double damage. Then he rolled max damage, a six. Twelve points of screaming vengeance (not bad for a low-level Second Edition fighter) hit the priest, knocking him off his altar and leaving him with 1 hit point.
I still don’t know if this was intentional on Ken’s part or not, but it was pretty damn funny regardless. Ken was DM-ing his first game ever. In Planescape! Not exactly where most people would choose to begin their DM-ing career, but he was damn good at it. (Heck, I still have trouble keeping everything in Planescape straight.)
Our party headed into the plane of Pandemonium on a mission. I forget the mission, but it’s not an integral part of this story. Echo, my character, had been to Pandemonium before; the rest of the party had not. Havok’s first character, Apok, had accompanied Echo on her first sojourn, but he was dead now (the character, not Havok).
Echo tried to prepare the party for the unusual conditions of Pandemonium, but they weren’t listening. Marc’s character, Käsemädchen, was creating far too much of her usual white noise for anyone else to do anything constructive.
So the party headed off to Pandemonium, woefully unprepared. As they headed through the portal out of Sigil, they were immediately thrown off-kilter by the gravity of the first tunnel they ended up in. Half of the party, including Echo, ended up seemingly pinned to the ceiling, while the rest of the party were on the floor. While the rest of the party figured out that if they jumped high enough or climbed the walls they would end up in the other gravity field, Echo simply picked up and carried on, walking on what had arbitrarily been termed the ceiling.
Echo wasn’t known for her glowing personality, and while she was respected by the rest of the party, they didn’t like her much. (Although the rest of the party preferred Echo to Käsemädchen because Echo was reliable, unlike Marc’s flighty wild mage.) Heck, sometimes I didn’t like her. So, the snide comments and under-the-breath derisions started. Kasey, especially, was getting into it. Marc and his partner-in-crime Chuck even started in on me, outside of the game. Havok, having had a character in Pandemonium before, kept everything in-game. Echo didn’t care what they said, because she knew it was pointless to try to fight the effects of Pandemonium; you just have to roll with them.
About half-an-hour later, the gravity shifted and the rest of the characters were unceremoniously dumped on their heads at Echo’s feet.
Nobody could ever call Sandra certain names with a straight face. Names like “brainy,” or “smart” could never be used to describe her, at least seriously. “Sentient” is even pushing it. “Slightly above dirt” pretty much sums it up. But, she’s pretty good in bed, so we put up with her. The fact that Havok, Jay and myself (and very likely others in the group) can all attest to that should tell you about her moral fibre. But we’re talking about her intelligence here, not her promiscuity.
Jay was GM-ing our first-ever Palladium RPG game. Reading the rules, Havok had become enamoured with the “Miscreant” alignment. Several others, including myself and Sandra, decided to try out some of the evil alignments for a change. It was havok, no pun intended, from the get-go.
Havok’s character had been riding Sandra’s for the last several days (not that way, get your mind out of the gutter). So Sandra decided she wanted to get back at Havok, put a little fear of the gods into his character. So, she announced one night, while her character was standing guard, that she was going to slit his character’s throat. Subtle. To Jay’s credit, he tried to give Havok’s character every chance, but she managed to make one prowl roll after the other, and eventually was standing right next to him. “I cut his throat,” she said, smirking at Havok. Jay, unable to think of anything else to do, just replied “Okay, he’s dead.” The look on Sandra’s face was remarkably reminiscent of a deer caught in the headlights, as the realization of what she’d done sunk in. “But, but,” she protested, “I DIDN’T WANT TO KILL HIM!” Evidently, Sandra felt that a slit throat would be a non-lethal wound.
Amber and Kelly Scotsdale were Juicer sisters played by myself and Havok in one of Jay’s Rifts campaigns. They were supernatural Juicers (Amber was a Maxi-Killer, Kelly was a Dragon Juicer; an interesting dichotomy itself) who pretty much ran roughshod over everything and everyone in their way. Until they died in a relatively mundane way. No, Jay didn’t put them up against monsters they couldn’t handle (that’s my specialty). They weren’t poisoned or crushed by heavy objects or murdered in their sleep. Nope, it was one bad decision that killed them.
The sisters had just arrived in the New West, and came across a recently abandoned gas station, with gas still in the big storage tanks. Two creatures (forget what) attacked them, and they separated during the fight. Amber was still fighting hand-to-hand under the big roof, Kelly and her opponent moved up the street. Kelly felt that, now that she was outside of the gas station, it was safe to open fire on the creature. So, she un-slung her grenade launcher, turned and fired. And Havok rolled a natural 1. The grenade sailed into the middle of the gas station, detonating and blowing up the gas station with it. Now, the explosion and subsequent fire were SDC damage, so physically Amber was in little or no trouble. But, fire means no oxygen, and she began to suffocate. She couldn’t get her bearings to find her way out and collapsed from asphyxiation. Kelly, horrified at what had just happened, ran into the conflagration, but couldn’t find Amber, and herself succumbed to the fire.
Just goes to show that nobody’s unstoppable.