29 Responses to 772 – White Smoke Mountain • 139

  1. The roll over text. It reminds me of the first session of the current 3.5 campaign I’m in. We started the campaign being hired by an evil king of an evil kingdom who wanted to become an evil king of an evil empire. We were “randomly” paired up together. The dude actually hired hundreds of adventurers. We were the few that came back alive. I digress. The mission was go to a neighboring country, disguise ourselves as nobles (with provided potions of alter self), infiltrate a birthday party for the 5th daughter of the king of the country and kidnap her. An hour before the session was to end, we came to a point where the DM wouldn’t let us continue because we would have to stop mid-action. So we decided to plan the kidnapping and escape. We did. It was beautiful. There were multiple distractions and contingency plans incase one plan failed. In the end, another group employed by the evil king attacked the party giving us a distraction. That same party also sabotaged the airships at the dock except the one we inteneded to comandeer/steal. And ran throughout the city under the effects of haste to keep the city, royal, and palace gaurds busy while we walked through the sewers fighting rats. Only at the docks did we official meet this team, which included one other PC who couldn’t make it till the second session. Incidentally all but one of the NPC’s in the other group survived. All in all, the plan succeeded because the DM controlled a group we weren’t aware of.

      • So the DM got to fight the city while you fought rats in a sewer? Cunning plan, but wash your feet.

        • What was more cunning was our original escape plan. We were planning on getting the princess to leave the party with our group. She expressed interest in doing that so it wasn’t hard to do. As soon as we were alone, our half-elf sorcerer cast sleep. Then I, the Cat-Guy ninja, would sneak out into the kitchen, and throw alchemist fires through a little window connecting the kitchen to the ball room to cause panic and a distraction. What actually happened at this point, the DM group barged in through the windows and attacked the party. I went back and signaled my team it was clear. Our warforged was special and has a portable hole inside his chest cavity so we put a necklace of adaptation on the princess, bound her, and through her in. We went back to the kitchen, and had the warforged jump up and down on the drain to get into the sewer. We were met there by a PC who was late to the session. She “guided” us through the sewer, came out in a mansion of the DM character a few blocks from the dock. We ran to the docks, ran into 1 group of gaurds who we utterly destroyed. We got to the dock where the other DM character who is a necromancer, using zombies to load the ship we were going to steal. He instructed us to gather up supplies before the guards got there. While doing so, the DM group showed up with the final PC. We set up an ambush for the gaurds that came to aprehend us. We repelled the gaurds and as we left on the ship, the other ships started taking off. About half of the country’s armada was chasing us when they all blew up. The DM group sabotaged them. It was pretty epic.

  2. The funniest way to ruin a plan is to become a random psychopath and randomly start decimating groups of civilians or guards you come across. This will screw with just about any GM story that relies upon you not being in jail or executed.

      • The trick about running dystopia is that you have to balance between depressing and the fact that society and people aren’t dying or grinding down to nothing yet. People still have kids, population is not going drastically down, starving peasants don’t starve all the way most of the time, etc.

    • That is exactly why all the DM’s I’ve ever played with forbid CE alignment except for a few people. Said few people, amongst our group of friends, we have deteremined they can play CE right and not be random sociopaths.

      • What do you have against random psychopaths anyway? We’reThey’re nice people too.

        Though strangely enough I’ve always been the one to treat NPC’s the nicest(enemies don’t count, if it’s out to get you’re not obliged to let it surrender).
        I remember the first session I had with my last group involved us starting in the forest and coming across a small village at night. While the rash dragonborn warrior entered the inn like some SWAT member and everyone else was suspicious of everything, I addressed the barkeep politely and tried to tone down the others’ behavior. Of course I was playing a LG cleric but that’s how I like to roll anyway.
        Be polite and discrete as long as innocent people are around. Smite your foes without mercy(maybe if they deserve it, but I’ve only come across monsters and organized-crime bandits) when they show up, and don’t treat the NPC’s like, well, NPC’s.

      • Oh no… no, no, no… I don’t do this alignment thing.
        If you’re playing a game where you actually have a consistent character and real background and such you probably don’t want to play a psycho. Designing a consistent and believable psycho is a terribly creepy thing you really want to maybe once or twice because those characters have less freedom of action and focus than most.
        In other cases you may be explicitly choosing something different however: There’s no reason you can’t play dice & paper like it’s one of the good, earlier GTA games. GMs keeping a leaderboard of deaths and property damage on a small whiteboard where everybody can see it works nicely for this.
        Both of the above group focuses assume your GM isn’t an incompetent jerk however. If the GM sucks and they’re using roleplaying hooks to steer you on a rail-plot I reserve the right to terminate that plot with prejudice.

        • I resent that stigma that psychopaths are all “KILL! MAIM! BURN!” savages who can’t do anything but act like a Chaos worshiping goon, or drooling weirdos getting commands from their neighbors’ dog.
          You can just as well play a character that might not have a grand scheme or purpose to their more nefarious actions other than “for the evulz!” or follows a strict code, but that can still think clearly and refrain from doing so all the time.
          And what do players do anyway if not murder and pillage under different excuses? You might as well pretend to do so for whatever reason but really you’re doing it for your own “kicks”.

          But it’s still safer to play as a good person, both in-universe and real life.

          • I resent that stigma that psychopaths are all “KILL! MAIM! BURN!” savages who can’t do anything but act like a Chaos worshiping goon

            Very true. That reminds of a character I made-but never got to play-who was a sociopath. He was a fanatical priest of the death god who believed he heard personal messages from Nehrull (whether he was actually getting messages or not was ambiguous, but he certainly believed he was). He also believed that cannibalism was less wasteful than burial and that certain actions merited an immediate “blessing” from Nehrull . So, rather than a rampant sociopath, he was a quiet sociopath who could go years without attracting attention unless you tried to have a discussion about religion or morality with him.

            • Why the “sociopath” label then? He sounds perfectly reasonable, especially in regards to the culinary “waste not, want not” part(and it’s not like he’s killing people for food, they’re already dead, he just wants to eat them himself instead of letting the bugs and bacteria do it). Overall he sounds like a nice person.

          • Sociopaths come in all shapes and intensity; for example consider the klepto who takes things he or she doesn’t think others will notice are gone but otherwise keeps to standardly law-abiding conduct. I’m talking about people who kill without provocation or mercenary contract though, particularly for metagaming/metaplotting purposes.

    • 1st session, PCs are insulted by, and kill an arrogant young lordling. 2nd-last session, PCs compete for rations and twinks in the Royal Prison.

      • How is killing an arrogant young lordling considered as psychopathic or CE? I call it “one little step for mankind”.

        • Because of the inherent feudalism-justification of the setting; if someone has acquired significant worldly privilege and power they are safely presumed to have the approval of at least one deity for being such. I.E. anarchists and anarchist impulses are always wrong/chaotic/evil.

  3. A good DM rule to follow is to always have the players make their big plans BEFORE announcing the end of session and make sure they write it down before they leave. That way they don’t get a week to plan how to annihilate the encounter.