Page 389 - Fire With Fire

14th Jan 2014, 6:00 AM
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Fire With Fire
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Jan 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
So, here's a question: When the players are usually known for coming up with the crazy plans, what happens when the DM is getting in on the action by practically throwing out suggestions?

In other news, I'm plotting to get back into the DM seat myself. I'm planning on running a Skype-based Pony Tales game set in the Fallout: Equestria setting, and I'm considering opening up application to the readers here. I also plan on recording the sessions and publishing them podcast-style. More details here or in the comment thread below.


Raxon 14th Jan 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Hmmm. I am looking forward to seeing this one. Story time today is about scaring players or NPCs! Go!
Digo 14th Jan 2014, 6:11 AM edit delete reply
Didn't we already have this subject? I swear we did... well, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft is one of those crowning campaigns I ran because I kept my players fearful for so long. I didn't have to hurt them, just put them outside their comfort zone.

It would be a pleasure to run that adventure again. So what is Raxon fearful of?
Raxon 14th Jan 2014, 7:46 AM edit delete reply
Thought we covered that. Raxon is scared of Santa Clause, because, you know, elves.

But enough Raxon. Today I will tell about someone different. Let me tell you about a minmaxed fighter. He is called Bull. He is a very, very big man. 8'5" and 600 lbs of extremely solid beefcake. And I do mean that literally. He is a custom race of my own design. Think minotaur, but using an auroch for the base animal. Now, Bull is small for one of his people. We're talking short. Women usually start at 8'6". Males generally start at 10'.

They are a mighty clan of warriors. For the heck of it, I made them Scottish. They wield swords, maces, axes, and hammers. Typical tactics are to send twenty into the enemy ranks and go nuts. A 50 lb battle axe held by a race with a strength bonus of +10 will mow down even heavily armored knights like snowmen wrapped in tinfoil.

They used to, until the queen sent them, her most loyal supporters, into a trap. The whole clan branch, three hundred such mighty warriors, all gone. Only Bull survived. The queen made a mistake. She thought it was a small ambush. It was a massive field trap complete with ballistas, archers, and siege weapons.

On the one hand, three noble auroch warriors died that day. On the other hand, two thousand soldiers with siege weapons, a spike trap pit, and five units of archers all died, right down to the last man. Bull survived. He learned that the queen knew it was an ambush, and sent them anyway. His people, who had no obligation to her, but fought for her loyally.

Bull did something reasonable, an unusual trait for his people. He ran. Clearly, the queen was out to destroy his people. He, being the son of their leader, would inherit the title. But there were no warriors to lead. He went into self imposed exile. Built a little home in the queen's own personal black forest, hidden away deep in the dark wood.

He made a living killing dragons, but I can tell about that some other time.

After a few decades, he came across a young woman being accosted by several wanted men. Bull dispatched them, dragged them in for the bounties, and the girl followed him home. After a while, they became romantically involved. She was an orphan, an he had taken her in.

A year later, she was with child. She begged him to take her back to her home city, and he finally relented. They went to her hometown, and she led him through some hidden passageways.

When they emerged, they were in a garden by a big building. She took him by the hand and led him inside. She seemed to know her way around, so he though she might have relatives there. Then as they were turning a corner, they came face to face with the queen. Bull reacted by pulling the girl behind him and drawing his axe. The queen responded violently as well. After a few rounds, the girl jumped between them, and they barely managed to pull their attacks. The girl led Bull to a throne room, where the queen met them. "Hi mom." "Where have you been this past year!? Why did you run away? The world is not safe for a fifteen year old girl on her own!" "Mom, I'm sixteen now! I'm fine!"

Let us recap. She told Bull she was 18. She said she was an orphan. She followed him home. She was actually the daughter of the woman he believed wanted to murder him.

And he got this girl pregnant. Fear does not begin to describe what this unfortunate man felt. Acute paranoia, and the feeling that he has walked into a trap would be a better description.

Now the queen would have every reason to have him executed.

Yeah. Even in a medieval setting, that looks bad. Really, really bad. The queen isn't actually out to murder him. However, she is pushing him to marry her daughter before the child is born. The way he sees it, he has eight months to live. He knows she won't let him leave. She just doesn't want him to abandon her daughter, but he interprets it differently.

The way he figures it, as soon as he marries her, he's dead, because the heir is legitimate. If he does not marry her before the baby is born, he will be executed, and the child could be killed or abandoned somewhere in a monastery.

She's not like that at all, though. She has no ill will towards him, and is rather sympathetic, since her daughter did lie to him. Really does not help matters. If she had just beaten him within an inch of his life and yelled at him to make things right, he would be much less suspicious.

So, living for months, constantly on guard, one hand at the ready to draw his weapon, he suspects the woman he fell in love with of trapping him to draw him to his death, and he can count the number of months he has to live on both hands.

Yes. This is fear.

EDIT: Holy cow, this was a really long post!
Digo 14th Jan 2014, 9:31 AM edit delete reply
Santaphobia is not as odd as some might think O_o

Oh but the part about gettingthat girl pregnant? Oh man, I accidently incited a riot with my players over that subject!

The party ranger was falling for one of the NPC clerics that occassionally joined the PCs on adventures when they knew they needed extra healing on tap. Well, what the party DIDN'T know, was that she had celestial heritage. When they went to a cursed dungeon inhabited by a black dragon, this cleric got ill the very morning they arrived.

The players thought it was morning sickness from pregnancy and nearly canceled the entire quest to bring her back to town. It wasn't until I had to actualy reveal out-of-character that this wasn't pregancy, this was just a reaction to the curse the dungeon had, as it was a poisonous ward against angels so that the heavens didn't try killing the dragon themselves.