Tracy's HackMoor Campaign 2016/09/22

Games are on Thursday night sometime after 5:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

This week I spent a bunch of Burger King coupons, and got hamburgers and fries for everyone.

++++ START OF SESSION ++++

The underground passage wound downward for many yards until it was about to turn a corner. The party established marching order for game play on a drawn hallway, and sent Jacko up ahead to peek around the corner. He made his saving throw to disbelieve the illusion of a giant Red Dragon. Thus with a slight sense of humor, he returned to the Party and gave the "all clear".

There was some consternation as a few party members including one of the two remaining got "flamed" by the illusion of the Red Dragon. One of them even went into unconsciousness (I forget which). I ended up looking up the rule if some one "dies" from an illusion they are knocked unconscious for 2 to 12 Turns.

The fake dragon having been dispensed with, the party explored the area finding two doors and a secret door at the end of the hall, one of the regular doors was ajar, the other closed, the secret door ended up not getting explored due to time constraints. The party checked out the slightly open door first, there were about to get a good description, when a late coming Player arrived and I forgot to mention the rest. The Players also forgot I was in the middle of a description and went on to the next door.

Combat ensued at the closed door, they managed to unlock it and magical darkness was cast from within. I won't go into details, but the Party defeated an apparent ineffective Battle Mage (due to bad die rolls). The Battle Mage also seemed to have a just as ineffective pet Carrion Crawler that attacked from the ceiling. The Party sent in their Main Battle Tank called Elefus and just at the time they defeated my monsters I had to play a card to rescue them. My monsters winked out.

At debriefing time I gave the Players a choice of knowing what it was or encountering them again later in the dungeon. They chose knowledge so I explained the Mage and his pet Quasit, used a dimension door to escape, so the party got half points.

While all this was going on at the rear of the Party the Vixine the Anti-Violence Cleric got back stabbed by a Half-Orc Assassin using an invisibility spell. Vixine due to being a hemophiliac (a bleeder) and because of the poison on the blade went down to one hit point before Gnomex (the other Cleric), Huang, and Honda came to the rescue. Gnomex cast a Cure Light Wounds spell and stopped the bleeding while Huang & Honda soundly defeated the Half-Orc.

At this point I was able to go back to the description of that room and informed the party it was chock full of odd shaped (but non-magical) weapons, including a double barrelled light crossbow. (Effective only at half-range.)

Exploring the now vacant Battle Mage's room the party found a secret door, a closet, a map on the wall showing a portion of this dungeon. In the closet they found a trapped chest but was unable to disarm it. So following their now "standard" procedure they told the remaining conscious Gully Dwarf prisoner to "open it", while the party stepped back.

Chlorine gas filled the 5 foot empty space of the closet, thus leaving the party with one prisoner that they need to wake up. The contents of the chest was also rendered useless (as it was designed to be.)

Perhaps Elefus will do a raise dead on the prisoner?

GM's note: I received some third party commentary on my Player's treatment of prisoners but I never got permission to release it. I wish I could say more here.

Further secret doors will be explored tonight.

++++ OUT OF CHEESE ERROR ++++

BT

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++++ CHARACTER ROSTER ++++

PART 2.

CHARACTERS (New players on top.)
Jacko, an Albino Dork Elf, a Probe (an Infiltrator, Thief subclass).
Blake, a human Creep (an Infiltrator, Thief subclass).
Vixine Numar, a human Sigil (a Chosen One, Cleric subclass).
Aerys, an Elvariel, a Larcenist (Thief class).
Count Elefus, a human Abbot of Heimdall (Cleric class).
Baronet Huang - a Master of the North Wind of the Stone Tiger Order, (Monk class).

NPCs:
Baronetess Honda - a Human Datai Samurai, Steward of Catan (formerly Temple of the Frog)
Gnomex, a Gnome Brother of Geardal Ironhand (Cleric class.)
Sum Dum Gai - Brother of the Winds (Monk, Fighter subclass).
Bang Mi - Sister of the Winds (Monk, Fighter subclass).
Sum Ting Wong - SheMale Brother/Sister of the Winds (Monk, fighter subclass).
Tanzen (new) a Fae-Born first level Pinger. (Fist level Invoker, a Magic User subclass).

MISSING or CAPTURED CHARACTERS (PCs or NPCs)
Gargoyle (Elefus henchperson, demoted from Sidekick, out of town on business, acting as courier to BlackMoor).
Numrendir - a human Conjurist (a Conjuror, Magic User subclass) - Gone off to BlackMoor to check his Investment Account.
Junkbot Jackson - a human Tracker/Adept (a Ranger, Fighter subclass and Cleric).
Gerry Castagere, human Fingersmith, (Thief class) and ever loving devotee of Elefus.
Fundisha - a half-Elf Swordsperson/Tout (Fighter and Infiltrator, a Thief subclass).
Sir Weasel, human Guild Soldier, Warlock, & Champion (Thief, Magic User, & Fighter classes) he stayed back in BlackMoor.
- and nine Pilgrim henchmen of various levels. (They wear hoodies.)
Slade Wilson - Dwarven Professional (a Bounty Hunter, Fighter subclass) Left behind at Catan.

BT

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++++ RECORD KEEPING ++++

PART 3.

This is also posted on two forums, and a blog:


Tracy Johnson
Old fashioned text games hosted below:

BT

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Comments

tmjva's picture

I have received the following commentary from elsewhere which followed an eMail thred, used by permission:

Dear Tracy

Ah, I see your party has studied at the Reinhard Heydrich school of military/civilian relations.

You do have a terrible attitude towards prisoners.

Didn't you even try and turn them?

I have found that "adopting" former enemies (when humanoid) and becoming their officer or lord often works well, especially when you add kindness and forgiveness to the mix. This includes even dwarves-- hell, it includes people on TMP who are somewhat worse than orks in their dispositions.

You must understand that these dungeon creatures lead a terrible life, living in cold dank holes, no one appreciating them, everyone terrorizing them, everyone taking everything from them and taking them for granted. It must be almost as bad for them as black people under the democrats. Anyway, I have found that if you respond to these dungeon people with kindness they often repay it, and if you show genuine concern for their welfare and betterment they will respond at first warily and then they will go through a period of secret anger, resentment and rebellion where they turn treacherous for a while, but if you keep on with it, eventually they will see they have a good thing with you and come around.

I remember once I had a character who collected in this way two elves, three dwarves, an ork and a rather fetching succubi who became a sort of entourage . The Ork turned out to be a little difficult as he became a positive prig for manners and etiquette, but we all needed a reminder now and then on this, but the succubi was most grateful that I always made sure she was well (and fully) dressed and did not have to go about in a state of continuous shall we say "deshabile" which she was rather self conscious about. In fact over time her demure succubi horns became smaller and smaller until they were only little dimples within her hairline and her skin became clearer and clearer (and she lost that case of acne she was accursed with) and she was quite pale at times though when she blushed, she still did it demonically. Eventually she began building a trousseau for the day when she would meet a really nice guy, and eventually did find one, a nice, established clerk in a counting house who married her and they lived happily ever after with.

The clerk's only bad habit was he had this absurd phobia about her doing the housework by simply wrinkling or wiggling her nose. I understand they had three children all of which grew up well and wonderful and their mother became something of a "tiger-mom" insisting they do well in school and not letting them step out of line ever.

The ork found a good job as the master of ceremonies and revels for the Duke of Milan, however he was not so successful in the job as the Duke's Taster, as it seems Orks are not really susceptible to poisons made for humans and after he passed on a cup to the Duke that worthy was rendered stiff as a board by a superlarge dose of Strychnine.

tmjva's picture

Yet more commentary:

Dear Gary

If you read Gary Allen Fine's book "Shared Fatnasy" which examines the culture of role playing games you discover it is not as hopeful or innocent as people think. It forms an outlet for in many cases, brutal, violent fantasies of the inner souls people, all pablamized and homogenized. Indeed the actions of many players are indistinguishable from the monsters who they mug for their money. We have dealt with this before. In one wincing incident Fine recounts how one group of male gamers said to a few female gamers "What' wrong with you women, don't you want to get raped." These were REAL people speaking to REAL people, not gamers to even cardboard characters.

Indeed, as Fine's book points out Don Peterson's "playing at the world carries through on, players live in an amoral if not immoral universe where all that counts is the accumulation of gold, experience points and enjoyment. More pertinent there is almost NO sense of ethics or philosophical restraints imposed beyond the dictates of expediency and bare materialism. Fine notes that those who do role play one role play one that is entirely personal and does not challenge those of othrs, and which allows for their convenient abandonment when necessary. My own research supports this and I note that in Gurps, AD&D and many others I have not once every run into the word "kindness" in any of them, at all. Indeed anything like it in a character or a stat is simply as a "spare can" idea. It's a state to be pitched low so that the points from it witin the normal range can be hijacked for those that produce violence like strength, agility, etc.

Fine also notes that player who attempt this are universally disliked by others who see no real reason for it and resent it as it means a decrease of expediency. The class of "cleric" only requires the player to act as a bigoted user of his power for his or her "God" none of which has the slightest idea of ethics beyond neutral convenient and the latter AD&D class of Palladin is simply more of the same. A paladin engages in his "acts of good" only for his own benefit, not for others, and the proliferation later of "neutral" and "evil paladins" completely slides off the moral edge. It is only necessary to mention the rampant racialism afoot in RPG. Dwarves are greedy for gold and insular, clannish, always seeking revenge for slights imagined, and are workaholics. They resent others wealth and power when they get it and cling firmly to their mountain fastness and are incredibly cheap. Color then Shylock. Elves are tall, thin, beautiful, and sing pretty songs. Color them them the rich or the gay. Orks are evil, smelly, swarthy, speak awful "everyone speak" swear, curse, and delight in brutality and causing harm and crime- We ALL know what to color them!

I remember my most successful dungeon character started as a simple mercenary fighter, like a Landsknecht of the 16th century. The DM made the "origin myth" of the character that I was time/space/dimension/bajooble/ warped here from our world. When he asked what God I served, the answer was "yes" and I explained that if I was time/space/dimension/bajooble warped here I would carry with me my own beliefs as well as skill at war as well. He said he couldn't encompass Christianity within his world, it wasn't set up for that. I explained to him that didn't matter, I would act in accordance with it no matter that it mean't I could gain no game benefits. The character obeyed the picture of a man as portrayed by Huizinga in "The Autum of the Middle Ages" varying between blowing his latest pile of gold on a three day bender with the whores and in the Inns, or the next time, in an excess of piety, giving the money away to the poor an needy. In spite of constant urgings not to, and to not sell some of the nifty magical items to aid the poor, (the party treated the poor with contempt and violence beyond a two-bit donation now and then when a beggar showed up.) I continued to do so and to preach the creed.

The umpire gradually "forced" the character into the role of "paladin" and was completely frustrated when the character would not do so and pick a more regular god from the pantheistic pantheon he had. His concern was always I was missing out on game points. Several times we got into long discussions or why I was doing this, and one player felt I was "pushing my religious values on the group" which of course I was not.

It was then that I realized that the thing that people hated most about Christianity, that turned them against it, was the Sermon on the Mount.

tmjva's picture

More commentary from elsewhere:

Your experience sounds something like the results of the campaign game we had last time, where we all tried to be nice guys and the gamemaster got frustrated because we WEREN'T invading each other... Or am I mis-remembering?
Joe

tmjva's picture

Commentary from another responder in the thread:

It's been over twenty - no, wait over Thrity years now but the RPG I most remember enjoying running as a GM (or whatever the game master was called) was Call of Cthulhu. What edition is it in now, the eighth or nineth? The players in my game weren't after piles of treasure or running up a body count - how can you when the better your character gets in the game, the closer it comes to insanity or a grisly, unknown death at the hands (claws, tentacles, teeth) of powerful monstrosities? They were a reporter, a cop, a highschool kid trying to solve a mystery and protect their city from evil. Then there was the Traveller campaign that was an endless independent merchant trip along the Spinward Main just to make money! Eeuuuu! Or the Star Trek campaign that never quite lived up to the TV show. { Okay, CofC is only in its seventh edition. But its bound in leather.} Hm, here's another image of RPGs. The character as "murder hobo." An itinerant who takes temporary jobs that entail lots of danger and mayhem. Which sadly also discribes the classic western "saddle tramp." Or private eye.

Gary Richard Damn, its flat here

tmjva's picture

Yet even more...

The fondest memories of playing a Roll Playing game was a Champions game I played in.  The GM was very good at comic book lore, but it was really the group we had.  We would spend half the night laughing from the jokes we used from our characters. Had the GM spray a soft drink through the nose twice from the jokes.  I almost chocked on some food once from a joke.  There was always plenty of laughs.  

Randy

tmjva's picture

Dear Joe

You are mis-remembering. I never had a problem with people being nice guys. It was an interesting experience. The only problem came when Mike Lonie was complaining that the game gave no benefit to being a bad guy

Otto

tmjva's picture

Otto,

Ah, but I remember you going on about how we weren't making war in what was meant to be a wargame, and I merely pointed out that was the way you designed it, in accordance with your belief that war never benefits anybody. So why make war?