I got into roleplaying in a sort of roundabout manner, from a no-dice situation, starting a long time ago with PbP (play-by-post), evolving into me participating in the Dramatic Roleplaying Tournament (aka the DRT) at Running GaGG and eventually having my significant other lure me into the wild world of the New World of Darkness.
DRT-style modules are prone to all sorts of hilarious antics because it’s more like improv acting than any tabletop RPG session. There’s usually a good balance of characters, because all of the backgrounds are concocted by the GMs beforehand just to make the next 3-5 hours about as insane as they could possibly be.
Take, for instance, one module I ran called BLOOD FEUD! Somewhere, William Shakespeare is still spinning in his grave over this one, because it was one part Romeo & Juliet, two parts The Comedy or Errors, and three parts TV Tropes.
Death, Fuuuuuuuuuu--!, Gods are tough motherf*kers, Isern, Jerek, Pathfinder, Player Knowledge =/= PC Knowledge, Rolling Rocks, She'll get better, The Dice Are Trying to Kill Me!, Valeria, When someone asks you if you like your God--YOU SAY YES!
Every roleplayer has had one of those moments where a sensible little voice inside their brain goes “That’s the stupidest thing you could possibly do!”
The most important way to distinguish between a Good Roleplayer and a Bad Roleplayer is to determine if this voice is followed by a second voice saying “But it’s in character, so I have to do it!” If the player has the PC go ahead and do the dumb thing, well, they’re sticking to character, and my hat’s off to them.
This is the story of how Valeria de Valfierno–through bad rolling and the divorcing of Player and PC knowledge–died a horrible, frostbitten death.
Valeria de Valfierno was my first Pathfinder character. For some reason, D&D and I never got along–as soon as D&D is mentioned, my dice roll natural ones like it was required–but I enjoy Pathfinder immensely. Valeria’s surname, de Valfierno, came from Edurado de Valfierno, the man who masterminded the theft of the Mona Lisa just so he could sell forgeries of the painting.
Aenaiyah and her cabal, The Shepherds, spend an awful lot of time in pubs.
Perhaps this is because Aenaiyah (under the fake name Emily Brown) works in a pub called “The Hole in the Wall,” based on NYC’s The Ginger Man.
Perhaps it’s because strong spirits help you forget dealing with traumatizing supernatural things like . . . er, strong Spirits.
Perhaps it’s because The Shepherds enjoy an alcoholic beverage now and again, like other mature adul–Hahahahaha! I can’t even get through that sentence with a straight face.
In truth, The Shepherds just like to have a good, completely irresponsible time every now and again, and since that usually means Mage Mistress doesn’t have to plan anything for that part of the session, she lets us roll with it.
And so, PCs who can bend the universe to their will get drunk and hilarity ensues.
Now that I’ve gotten a few amusing stories under my belt, I thought it best to give a little background on some of the characters that will frequently get mentioned here, starting with the one nearest and dearest to my heart, Aenaiyah.
Aenaiyah is a character who already has a somewhat infamous internet reputation thanks to Mage Mistress and her blog. Aside from being one of the Greatest GM Banes in the Mistress’ campaign, Aenaiyah has the auspicious(?) title of being the first character I ever created for an RPG involving dice.
Sometimes games are unintentionally hilarious. Take, for instance, the World of Darkness Crossover Game I was in for a time (For your own sanity: DO NOT EVER RUN OR PLAY IN A W.O.D. CROSSOVER GAME).
We picked up a Vampire late in the game, and our Werewolf, Chase, was something of an impatient fellow. My much-stressed Hunter, Daisy Maza (named after my two favorite fictional cops), was leading a charge with most of the rest of our crossover group–Dusty the Promethean, our mages Bear and Relic, and our new Changeling–against a bunch of cultists who attacking The Dumbest Task Force Valkyrie Operatives EVER (more on that in another post). Instead of coming with us Chase takes the brand-new Vampire to an alley by the Task Force Valkyrie base. He points to the darkest part of the alley and says “Stand over there, close your eyes, and let what happens happen.”
To which the female Vampire spins around and says ”Excuse me? If there is ANY funny business I will shoot you!”
“No, no, no! Just–just stand over there, OK?” Chase demands.
Out of character we’re all dying laughing. We know that Chase is just trying to bring the Vampire into the Shadow Realm so they can slip past the gunfight that stands between them and the TFV base, but the Vampire as a character has no idea what’s going on.
To emphasize his character’s honorable intentions, Chase’s player says “He’s just standing there. He’s not following her.” Then after a pause he asks the Vampire’s player “Are you resisting?”
We all die laughing as the Vampire’s player bursts out with “Resisting what?” and Chase’s player realizes how terrible that sounded. He only meant “resisting being pulled into the shadow,” but, obviously, wound up with a terrible innuendon’t instead.
Toward the end of March, beginning of April, I was at I-Con 31, and there were many, many hilarious things that happened.
For one, the lovely Mage Mistress (of Magemistress.com) got vengeance upon me for my Aenaiyah the Acanthus antics by playing an Acanthus herself in my Mage: The Awakening one-shot. The Big Bad in that module was tossed around, beaten like a piñata, and tricked into thinking success was failure and failure was success–meaning when he did successfully manage to navigate himself to the ground after having being levitated, he promptly fell over, convinced he had failed.
The Rippers (a Savages Worlds setting) game I ran was hilarious in another way–my NPCs kept rolling rocks. Picture this: a dim-witted PC goes to pick up a (possibly animated) stuffed owl to see if there is a key underneath it. The owl, ticked off, starts clawing at the PC. It doesn’t manage to hit him, but flies off to warn Master “THE PCS ARE COMING! THE PCS ARE COMING!” Naturally, I then promptly forget about the owl until we’re a few rounds into the fight. The Dim-Witted PC is engaged against an animated terra cotta warrior. The angry owl swooped in for an attack and . . . rolls a natural one. So, as the owl is swooping in, the terra cotta warrior raised his sword and impaled the bird. The owl–being that it was enchanted and not actually alive–proceeded to flail and flap its wings helplessly until the terra cotta warrior (who then also rolled a one on his attack) and it were crushed from debris falling from the ceiling (which had a massive hole in it thanks to a Magician PC).
Then I got to play in a Hunter: The Vigil game run by the lovely Mage Mistress.
This is the tale of how dear Jerek the half-elf Ranger, Companion of Valeria de Valfierno (Rogue, first class), was blessed with not one, but four beautiful wives.
See, when the men in an inn are tipping the lovely dancing girls gold to make them stick around all night, you can up the ante pretty easily–you put down TWO gold.
But this is not how Jerek ups the ante! Jerek wants to be draped in multiple beautiful women! Not just the one Charisma 22 lady whose eye he caught. So Jerek throws down two PLATINUM pieces and asks Charisma 22 to bring over some friends. She readily complies. So now he has five dancing girls all of Charisma 15 or higher (though 22 didn’t let anyone above a 20 come over) draped all over him. And then he slaps down ten more platinum and goes “Who wants it?”
This is when the massive catfight breaks out. Continue reading