We tried a campaign with an evil party. They did a good job at not being your average high school-screw the other character- evil, the players were totally who cares about about collateral damage and ends justify the means evil. And they were off to save the world. I know it sounds odd. But Evil folks like the world too and dang it if somebody is going to screw it up, it’s going to be them not some tentacle faced aberration. They actually started to role play and then this little scene played out:
Evil Wizard: I just learned that there is a powerful magical artifact hidden in a Good temple.
Evil Bard: Why don’t we just ask them for it? I’m sure they want to save the world too.
Evil Cleric: No way! Remember last time. That they saved the world. Did they ask us for our artifact? NO! They just stormed the place. Killed everybody, took our artifact and anything else that wasn’t nailed down.
Evil Fighter: He’s got a point. I think they even stole the furniture. What were they going to do with that?
So where do all the summoned animals come from? This came up in our little gaming group a while back. I mean just think about the Summon Nature’s Ally spell for Druids. Is there a room somewhere filled with animals just waiting to be summoned? I bet it looks like a bizarre cross between Grand Central Station and Noah’s Ark. I can just see a group of dire badgers sipping on double mocha lattes; just waiting for their number to come up.
”So, Bob. You heard what happened to Frank the other day?”
”Wasn’t he summoned by that druid Urban Spawl-Killer?”
”Yeah, he never came back. Just like that bear the other day.”
”Joe was such a nice guy.”
”We could ask Tom the Weasel. He came back.”
”Are you kidding? Tom went bat shit insane. He keeps screaming that the Orcs are gonna get him.”
”You ever notice that most of us never come back after being summoned. And the few that do, just don’t come back right.”
”Wow. It really sucks to be us.”
”Paging! Bob the dire badger. Bob the dire badger! You’ve been summoned by Urban Sprawl-Killer. Bob please report for summoning.”
Those fancy “at-will” powers in 4th Ed D&D ain’t nothing new. We had those back in the good old pure days of the One True White Box. Now it was simpler back then we didn’t mess with all those fancy Feats or “Skills” but each class had it’s own “at will” powers. Let me break it down for all you youngsters out there.
Fighter kill shit.
Thief steal shit. (There were no sissy Rogues. They were thieves. Dammit.)
Cleric heal shit.
Magic User blow up shit. (No, emo goth sorcerers. Just Wizards and we called them Magic Users.)
Now, get the hell of my lawn.
How many have you seen this? A party of low level adventurers tear through an Orc village leaving behind dozens of orphans. I know they always say ”It’s not my problem.” or ”We needed the XP.” But what about the children. For only a few copper pieces a day, you can sponsor an Orc child like Gutgnash here. You can make sure that he’s clothed and fed. And just for the cost of few XP per level, you can assure he gets an education and a couple of class levels. So, when a crazed Orc orphan driven by revenge comes looking for blood years later; he’ll actually be worth some XP to you. It’s an invest in all our futures. Won’t you please help?
The Cat Piss Man had decided to start a new D&D campaign but this time he insisted that we game at his house. His house was decorated in the styles of Freshman Dorm Room and New World Landfill Chic. It was a geological history of the local fast food industry. The bottom layer consisted mostly of cartons from the Chinese restaurant that went out of business about three years ago after The Great Tofu Substitute Scandal while the newly opened BBQ place down the road had earned a place at the top of the food pyramid. As a DM, he was fast and loose with the rules; part Monty Haul and part Killer. So you always ended up with lots of swag until your 20th Level Half Dragon Drow Paladin/Assassin/Ninja/Wizard got polymorphed into a hermaphroditic paraplegic Halfling just before a soul devouring demon disintegrated you. The game was progressing at a good pace. We survived the obligatory tavern scene. We had given up arguing with the Power Gamer and just let his Fanatic Good Paladin lead the party by divine right. The Dice Bitch was on Master Thief Number 6 and had grown accustomed to his position as trap detonator rather than trap disarmer. th3 d00d’s half elf nymphomancer babe with a tentacle phobia attempted to seduce anything. Rules Lawyer played a cleric and just hoped to just survive. I was playing my usual crafty wizard and just tried to stay out of the way. The session had reached that blurry eyed period somewhere between midnight and dawn when a Greater Mucus Demon attacked the party.
Dice Bitch: I back stab the demon.
th3 d00d: You gonna try a ballista this time.
Dice Bitch: Screw you. Damn I missed!
Cat Piss Man: The demon swivels its head around and attacks you. It does 35 points of damage. Save versus poison.
Dice Bitch: I fail. What happens?
Cat Piss Man: Nothing…yet
Power Gamer: He’s possessed! I know it. I attack him.
Me: You idiot! What about the demon?
Power Gamer: I got this one. You guys take the other one.
Dice Bitch: But I’m not a demon!
th3 d00d: Does it have tentacles?
Cat Piss Man: Yes
th3 d00d: Eek! I attack the giant bug instead.
Cat Piss Man: There is no giant bug.
the3 d00d: Yeah, there is. It’s attacking Rules Lawyer.
Rules Lawyer: I’m being attacked! I retreat!
Cat Piss Man: There is no giant bug!
Th3 d00d: I try to seduce the bug.
Power Gamer: I fly into a berserker rage and attack the demon and the bug!
Dice Bitch: I’m not a demon!
Me: I thought you were a paladin.
Cat Piss Man: There is no giant BUG!
Power Gamer: I’m a paladin/berserker.
Cat Piss Man: You can’t do that.
Power Gamer: You’re trying to screw me. You approved of the character. Here’s your initials on the sheet.
Rules Lawyer: Can I get away from the giant bug?
Cat Piss Man: THERE IS NO GIANT BUG!
Me: It’s right there.
Rules Lawyer: Yes, there is. Right next to my mini. Wait, it was there. Where’d it go?
Dice Bitch: It’s on the pizza.
Me: My God. That is the biggest cockroach I’ve ever seen.
Rules Lawyer: I don’t feel well. I think we should call it a night.
We all agreed… to never game Cat Piss Man’s place again.