Wednesday, 13 August 2014

RPG a Day - Day Thirteen – Most memorable Character Death – Runequest

I’ve died a few times over the years, from such simple things as walking down into a sewer with a shoulder light on (Aliens Style) to highlight my head for the inevitable headshot, to being absorbed by a nano-plague and dissipated to the four winds by an engineered nanite construction, but most of these didn’t have the same impact on me as a late eighties game of Runequest.

There were three PC’s in the party, all of us having generated our characters fairly (or so I’d thought at the time, I had no way of knowing that the GM had a budding bromance with one of the other players), so I’d got my woodcutter, a simple man of simple origins, with the axe he used in his day job and a leather tunic borrowed from the blacksmiths in his village. The second player was an apprentice wizard with a few minor spells, and the third player was a noble born wizard who happened to be a were-dragon…

No prizes for guessing which one was the budding bromance…

But it could have been worse, the game started and we found that an army of Broo (remember those?  Random agents of destruction, not known for their forwards planning) had been raiding up and down the land and we needed to go put a stop to it.

All three of us…

Not one to let the odds cause us any issue, we loaded up, got all our gear (didn’t take long, we didn’t have any), didn’t mount up (didn’t have horses), and started investigating what had been going on in the surrounding villages.  Reports were that they were marauding up and down the coastal ranges, and the last village that had been hit was just down from where we were staying, so off we went to the last village where the broo had been sighted.  We needed have bothered looking too hard, the broo had set up camp and were just starting to cook the villagers, they’d also come prepared, knowing that sooner or later they’d encounter some sort of resistance, they’d brought along something for protection in the form of a huge Minotaur…

Now, as the designated fighter in the group, it was down to me to engage the minotaur while the wizards prepared spells to even the fight. 

Closed to combat distance, rolled initiative, lost it by a mile, the minotaur stepped up to the plate, wound up for the strike…

And rolled 26 for damage…

In the head…

And in the quiet words of Harry Kalas… (SFW)


So there’s me, characterless and watching the rest of the combat unfold, which consisted of the Minotaur going 2 and 0 with the apprentice Wizard, and then turning its attention to the noble, who went pale, went scaly, and then proceeded to drop the claw, claw, Breath Weapon smackdown upon the assembled bad guys.  I and the apprentice retired to the front room to generate new characters while the GM went raving on about how well his crush had done in the fight.  Sitting in the front room while the nascent bromance developed in the other room, the thing that struck both of us was not that we’d been killed, but that it’d been a one shot wipeout in both cases.  Enough damage had been caused in both cases that had the cleave feat been invented at the time, the minotaur would have gone through any number of adventuring parties without any real problems, something that had never occurred in any other game that we’d played. The only thing that stood a chance against it was the Dragon in the rear.  This in particular is why I remember it, not because of the sheer unfairness of the whole thing, I’ve had bad GM’s before, of a certainty I’ll have them again, but I’d never before been killed to make someone else feel awesome, and to this day it stands out as the only time I was actively annoyed at the GM by the end of the session.

Cheerfully enough however, when I and the apprentice returned to the other room, the were-dragon had got upset about the fact that we’d been wiped out and had to spend another hour making characters and had spent the entire hour berating the GM for being an all round Biatch and crap GM…


So all’s well that ends well…

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