Thursday, November 10, 2011

Dungeonspiration: Fellow Players

Kay is playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Second Edition with us.  I've seen him play him play quite a few characters.  He's the group's min-max guru.  Kay tweaks out his characters until they are . . . well . . . completely ineffectual at doing anything except that ONE THING he designed them to do.

I describe Kay's characters as awesome looking sports cars that look great in the garage, but drop their transmissions in the driveway on the way to the street.  It's not uncommon for other players just to kill his characters in an effort to put them out of their own misery.

Tim had us rolling straight 4d6 characters for the game.  I rolled up an awesome character - probably the best rolls for a character I've made in 30 years - so good that I made her a ranger.  Kay, on the other had, rolled a big pile of crap.

Torvalds' best stat is 12, and it just goes quickly downhill from there.  This is horrifying to Kay.  He's a young punk in his early 20s.  He is not used to the realities of the old school dice gods.  Tim countered every attempt that Kay made for squeezing anything min-maxy out of the character.

So Torvalds became a magic-user - a magic user with a 15% chance that his one spell each day will fail.

I'm not sure what snapped in Kay's head, but Torvalds personality came to crystal clarity within a few moments after the comeliness, height, and weight rolls.  He was fat and ugly.

Torvalds bought himself an ox, and named it Imbrogli-ox.  He got a saddle and a collapsible ladder, so he could heft his sack-of-potatoes-like body onto Imbrogliox.  Torvalds refuses to get off his ox, unless it is to sleep in his lavish tent.  He even gripes about having to get off the ox to go into buildings with doorways that are ill-equipped to handle an ox.

He also has a beagle called Willington.  The beagle is about as useless at Torvalds is himself, being afraid to go off-road.

Torvalds spent the remainder of his money on expensive steak dinners and grapes.  He's never not eating - constantly popping grapes into his mouth.  Torvalds feeds Willington steak while poor starving village children beg him for food.

We all know that first level magic-users are useless.  Most of the time, the player tries hard to not be that way.  This time - it's the perfect storm - a perfectly useless character statistics-wise being played in a perfectly useless manner.  It's hilarious - and it doesn't help that Kay is constantly miming eating grapes while talking just like Hedonism Bot.

Tim has taken to calling the useless magic-user Cartman Harkonnen - which is very apt.  If only he had a suit that would make him fly and a bag of Cheesy Poufs - it would be perfect.

The Boy calls him Troll-Balls, but that's another thing entirely . . .

So go pay attention to your fellow players as they breath life into characters.  They very well could be up to something amazing while you are not paying attention.  Um, not that Cartman Harkonnen is amazing - quite the opposite - but it is gut-bustingly funny all the same.  It may just inspire you to do something inspiring.

- Ark

P.S. But watch - Torvalds will probably save the entire party one day.  :)


  1. lol cartman harkonnen
    See folks, that's how it's done right there.

  2. Go Torvalds! I will watch his career with interest. Keep us updated on his miserable little life.
    And kudos to Kay! Welcome to the Old School dude!

  3. Great stuff. I'm glad you are adjusting to your 2e game.

  4. I almost choked keeping in my guffaws, and all my cubicle mates are staring at my anguished snorts and watery eyes. This made my morning.