Welcome to another exciting issue of RPG Triumph…and Defeat, the weekly feature where we tell the great stories from RPG campaigns, both the amazing and the downright humiliating.

These are the stories, our legends, that we tell all our friends, even if they don’t play.


Dude, how much health do you have? (DMS)

My Role: GM

System: World of Warcraft RPG

Relevant Rules: Characters have Hit Points (HP) measuring their health. If the number reaches 0 they fall unconscious. If it reaches their Constitution score in negative points, they die. Example: Petyr has 20 HP and 16 Constitution. He falls down at 0 but dies at -16 HP.

My World of Warcraft game had a lot of parties and players, reaching up to 10 consecutive players at one point, before eventually dwindling down to the last 3 in that number of years.

The first party however provided me with hours of laughter. This story was one of them.

The party had just reached the shores of Theramore and joined the Alliance forces in defeating an onslaught of Naga. One of the players was the group’s healer, so of course he became my prime target. For over ten rounds I hit him with varying amounts of damage and he’d just reply “Ok, -[insert damage here], go!”

How he would've ended up!
How he would’ve ended up!

After a while, I got suspicious and simply asked, “How much damage have you taken?” He looked down at his sheet and said, “Let me see…250 points of damage.”

“Ok…and what’s your maximum HP?” I asked, and once again he looked down at his sheet but this time his face dropped and he slowly raised his eyes to meet mine and sheepishly said, “100…”

The table fell to complete silence…for about 5 seconds before we all started laughing. He’d done this in the past and come close to dying, but never had he stopped paying attention to his health that he didn’t realize he was more than dead. In between fits of laughter, the other players all asked me how they could save him, because I was already joking of having him simply explode from all the damage.

In the end, I allowed them all to sacrifice healing items to restore him from the “Edge of Kablooey.”


Brother, I shall avenge thee! (CMA)

My Role: GM

System: World of Warcraft RPG

Relevant Rules: Barbarians can enter Rage, an ability that increases their Strength and Constitution, directly increasing their attack and damage output and total Hit Points. If a character rolls two consecutive 20s and then overcomes the enemy’s defense, it’s an instant kill. Negative levels add cumulative penalties on rolls. If the number of negative levels is the same as the character’s level, they die.

This story is with the same party, and it was one of the fantastic moments when storytelling and gameplay join together into a moment of sheer awesomeness.

Exploring a Dwarven ruin, the party came across a trio of Dark Iron Dwarves, evil ash-skinned and red- eyed cousins to the average Dwarf, holding Dark Iron weapons. At the time, Dark Iron wasn’t in the game as a special material, but there was a Dark Iron dagger special item that caused negative levels on hit, so I made all their weapons do that too. On hindsight, it wasn’t the best idea but I was still an amateur at that moment and didn’t realize just how hard that made the encounter.

Pretty much how it happened!
Pretty much how it happened!

During the fight, one of the party members died, having taken on too many negative levels. On the Barbarian’s turn, the player said, “I see him fall and I roar and turn on my Rage and charge the Dwarf who killed him!” The attack was an instant kill, splitting the Dwarf in half.

We cheered and laughed, and even though his turn had ended, I allowed him to intimidate the other enemies when he requested it. No one objected and it made for an exciting turn of events.


 

Knife-Pinball! (DMS)

My Role: GM

System: World of Warcraft RPG

Relevant Rules: The Ricochet Shot and Whirlwind are feats that allow a throwing weapon character to bounce a weapon off a surface or a target and into another. Ricochet Whirlwind allows a character to ounce the weapon a number of times equal to Dexterity Modifier + 1. My villains all had bumped up stats, with the thrower in question having Dexterity 30, with a +10 modifier. Wounding weapons reduce the character’s Constitution score by -1 with every hit.

Near the end of the campaign, the players were on their ship, The Mayhem, buying provisions for a long journey. One of my villains showed up, a human dressed in a trench coat and wide-brimmed hat, the coat jingling every time he moved, as if he was carrying tiny bells or a bunch of keychains.

He gave the players an ultimatum: get off the ship or he’d kill them. The party’s gunslinger didn’t much like being threatened and fired and commanded the two gunslinger NPCs with him to form a firing squad, so they stood side by side and aimed and shot at the attacker.

They thought this was a good idea!
They thought this was a good idea!

He reacted calmly and opened his trench coat revealing it was lined with hundreds of throwing daggers. He reached in and threw three out, the close proximity between the player and the NPCs allowing him to bounce each dagger off them over and over again, each hit taking a minuscule amount of HP but draining the constitution.

After only three daggers and three more to go, 1 NPC was dead and the player and the other NPC were unconscious and barely alive.

That’s what you get for bunching up close together.

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