RPG.NET rant #2
The day I killed the entire party before the first combat encounter
originally posted to RPG.net on 08-09-2002 12:02 AM:
THE FOLLOWING STORY IS TRUE. ONLY THE NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGED TO PROTECT ME FROM A SAVAGE BEATING WITH THE STICK OF PAIN.
It was the end of the 1980's, for some reason the group of players in my area had established a strange attraction to Avalon Hill's catch all RPG LORDS OF CREATION. The players had coaxed me into playing it once before but the session had been disturbing. The players had played characters based on themselves. When that game began one of the players, we will call him 'Psycho Dave', started out the campaign by having his character kill his parents.
Things went downhill from there.
So months later we are all there in the basement of another of our players, whom I will refer to as El Disgusto, and I have been talked into trying to run Lords of Creation again. There are five players- Psycho Dave, El Disgusto, Deviant Boy, The Amazing Boozehound and Weasly Crusher.
I already have a great idea for a campaign, about our reality being attacked by another alien reality. You may think I am ripping off TORG but this was years before TORG. I was ripping off the Dr. Who episode HORNS OF NIMON.
I explained to the players that they were to make ordinary modern people and they campaign would detail their attempts to survive in this strange new world. Kind of a RED DAWN meets GAMMA WORLD.
So character creation begins and it goes something like this-
El Disgusto: "I want to make a ninja!"
Me: "Well you could be a master martial artist but I'm not sure if a ninja is exactly..."
El Disgusto: "A ninja! I want to play a ninja! What kind of a game is this where you can't pick what you want?"
Me: "Ok you can play a ninja."
Deviant Boy: "I'm going to play a stripper."
Me: "Ok then."
Weasly Crusher: "And I'm his character's cousin. She's a stripper too."
Me: "Great... just roll up those stats then."
Psycho Dave: "I'm going to play a former Navy Seal. He has medals of honor and no one knows that in his spare time he kills hippies and midgets."
Me: "That's very interesting, and he has the same name as you too. Great."
The Amazing Boozehound: "I'm playing a dwarf fighter... hic!"
Me: "No. No, see this is set in the modern era. There are no Dwarven fighters."
The Amazing Boozehound: "Oh."
Me: "So what was your second choice?"
The Amazing Boozehound: "What?"
Me: "For a character?"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Oh... lemmie think."
Deviant Boy: "My character and her cousin are having an affair."
Deviant Boy: "We're lesbian strippers."
Weasly Crusher: "We're in love."
Me: "I- I-"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Can I play a midget?"
Psycho Dave: "Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr"
Me: "Maybe you could play a ninja?"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Eh... I'll just play a guy who's like a cop or somethin'."
Me: "Ok roll it up."
Psycho Dave: "You know human blood looks black in the moonlight..."
Weasly Crusher: "My character and her cousin have matching toe rings."
Me: "FOR CHRIST'S SAKE JUST ROLL UP YOUR CHARACTERS!!!!!"
Eventually they created their characters, so I began to set the scene. Well I tried to set the scene but see El Disgusto's parents had left town and he had one responsibility... to feed and walk his parent's decrepit dog Lamont. Of course El Disgusto had done neither in days so the dog would frequently pad up to the top of basement steps and howl mournfully.
Anyway, once El Disgusto had gotten done beating his parent's dog into silence we began to play. I set the scene describing a world where strange spider like creatures had enslaved humanity and how the players had all just escaped from one of the slave labor camps.
The first problem erupted-
Psycho Dave: "What? What?' We don't have our stuff?"
Me: "We never went over equipment lists because I thought-"
El Disgusto: "Dude, my ninja has to have a motorcycle."
Me: "I explained the alien spiders-"
Deviant Boy: "Our toe rings? They took our toe rings?"
Me: "-they have reduced the human race to a state of slavery. All our technology."
Psycho Dave: "No way would they take my guns knives and explosives!"
El Disgusto: "And my motorcycle... who could steal a ninja's motorcycle? My guy would fight to the death for his motorcycle. Nice going dickweed."
Weasly Crusher: "Couldn't we have hidden our toe rings inside ourselves?"
Deviant Boy: "Good role-playing!"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."
Me: "I don't really think you are giving this a chance."
El Disgusto: "Shut up Lamont! I said SHUT UP!"
The arguments and dog beatings took up another hour or so of my life but finally I said that I would 'retool' my ideas.
Me: "Ok remake your characters as naval officers. You will be playing the crew of a nuclear submarine ordered to hide at the bottom of the sea when the invasion began. You will be the team sent to investigate the surface, you will be fully equipped with weapons and other stuff. "
Psycho Dave: "Much better. Is there a chance that I killed the submarine captain and took over?"
El Disgusto: "Ok I am a naval officer but I am also secretly a spy for the ninjas."
Me: "Seeing as how all of the civilized world has fallen to the alien spiders I don't think that matters much."
El Disgusto: "On no those aliens only THINK they got the ninjas."
Me: "Fine whatever."
Deviant Boy: "My character is a tough as nails commando... but she's really hot."
Weasly Crusher: "I'm her cousin and we're lesbians."
Deviant Boy: "We're in love."
Weasly Crusher: "We share a bunk."
Me: "Please... save it for the game."
El Disgusto: "Shut up Lamont! Don't make me get the stick of pain!"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Wh- why is my cop on a submarine?"
Me: "You're playing a navy MP... don't you remember?"
The Amazing Boozehound: "Oh ok."
Me: "Anyway. The captain of the submarine is worried because he hasn't heard from Washington in six months. He calls you in the middle of the night to his office-"
Deviant Boy: "Since it's the middle of the night my character shows up wearing a flimsy teddy."
Weasly Crusher: "Ohhh me too."
Me: "The captain says-"
El Disgusto: "Shouldn't the captain roll to see if he notices me? I am a ninja after all. I-- Stick of Pain Lamont! Stick of Pain!"
Me: "The captain orders you to the go ashore and find out what has been happening."
The Amazing Boozehound: "I say- Dammnit Captain! I'm a good cop!"
Me: "He wants you to go ashore immediately."
Psycho Dave: "I say we fire our nukes."
The next hour of the game was taken up with the crew listing the many types of guns, knives, rocket launchers and butt plugs their characters would bring. Sometime during the discussion Lamont, desperate for food and suffering for what would turn out to be terminal dysentery tried to walk down the basement steps only to collapse into a quivering furry heap atop an orange crate of freshly painted minis. El Disgusto howled with rage and went to town with the stick of pain until Lamont hid behind the furnace.
Finally we got back to the game:
Me: "Ok you've got your raft as full of equipment as it can be and you're-"
El Disgusto: "Wait... what about my motorcycle?"
El Disgusto: "My character wants to bring his motorcycle."
Me: "Look your character spent the last six months on a submarine."
El Disgusto: "Then so did his motorcycle."
Me: "How in the name of all that is holy could you get anyone to agree to bring a motorcycle onto a submarine?"
El Disgusto: "What are you asking me for? You're the one running this crappy game!"
Me: "Ok then. As you all are standing there an Ensign Bruno says 'Don't forget this!' And rolls a motorcycle off the deck onto the rubber raft. The weight collapses the raft and you are all tangled up in it and the motorcycle. You are dragged down beneath the surface of the ocean and drown. End of game."
To punctuate this I took the Lords of Creation rulebook and threw it against the wall. Harsh words were exchanged on all sides. Who knows we might have even come to blows if not for Lamont staggering out from behind the furnace and spraying stream of doggie diarrhea over couch that had everyone's coats draped across it.
In the pandemonium that followed I made my way home. I can always get another coat.