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The Saving Throw
Contest Entry Nov. 8, 2006
Gaming moments with multiple endings, but only one is the real ending.

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Pick a Kidnapper
featured on Nov. 8, 2006 contributed by Nwash

We were gaming with a different gamemaster than usual, using Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Second Edition rules in a realm of the gamemaster's design. We would only play a couple adventures of what was to be a long campaign with two separate parties, so the strange events of this adventure were never fully explained. I would never understand why, in one of the two parties, my character would almost immediately take a central role in the story.

I have always been one for playing good characters; I don't really much enjoy playing evil characters in general. Additionally, most of my characters have been very straight-laced even though I've never actually played a lawful good character. This time, I intended to play a chaotic good character with a little more emphasis on the chaotic part. She was a conjurer of noble birth preparing to run away from home to avoid her upcoming arranged marriage. (I know, not my only noble female wizard, but I barely got to play this one.)

So, after having made her decision to run away, she certainly wasn't expecting anyone to help with this, especially as she hadn't told anyone about these plans. Much to her surprise and confusion, while she was preparing to slip away, a number of people slipped into her home. A couple found her and immediately demanded that she come with them, but they refused to answer any of her questions. Instead, they decided to close in and try to restrain her, and so she cast Grease, causing them to slip and fall as she immediately ran away, trying to leave the house before any others could find her.

At this time, she didn't have any clue that the other player characters, a human female warrior and a male mongrelman (given a disguise to hide his hideous appearance) had also been given orders to find her. While their intentions were not to kidnap her, this wouldn't matter much when the disguised mongrelman met my mage as she was escaping her own home. The problem was that the mongrelman felt pressed for time given that others with unknown intent were already trying to kidnap her, so he didn't spend any time answering questions either. Instead, he decided to try to grab her and take her away for her own safety, figuring he could explain things later. A good Dexterity roll prevented this, however, and my mage finally managed to escape her own house and every one of her pursuers, much to the annoyance of the gamemaster, who was now struggling to find a way to get my character back into the intended story arc.

This would prove to take a while, but the details of the matter are not important. It is enough to know that she found out the mongrelman was the one who tried to take her outside her home, but no one at any point bothered to explain that he was planning to take her to safety and wasn't going to force her to do anything, so she still thought he was with the other kidnappers. Thus, when she was brought to him again, she was angry, surprised, and confused. While I knew he was a player character, she did not. Having no intention of using meta-game knowledge, I picked up my 20-sider as she acted impulsively, raising up her ironshod quarterstaff to attack.


 Which ending is the real one?

A.

I rolled a twenty, which was about the only way I could get a hit under the circumstances. Unfortunately, that also meant it was a critical hit, and we were still low-level. I rolled the damage, 1d8, and fortunately for my friend's character, I had no strength bonus. He survived with only a hit point left, but I swung again. I missed this time and didn't get another chance as the other player character restrained me from behind and began to explain that the mongrelman was hired to protect me. While I was still skeptical, it had been a difficult day already and she still had many questions that needed answers, and finally reluctantly agreed to meet with their employer.


B.

I rolled a one. By our house rules, I now had to roll again to avoid breaking my weapon, and I desperately hoped that wouldn't happen as an ironshod quarterstaff is a rather good weapon for a mage. Fortunately, I didn't roll a one again, which saved her weapon. With the attack being an embarrassing failure, however, I decided she was finally ready to listen. They weren't able to answer many of her questions about what was going on, but they did convince her she was better off with them than the others who were trying to kidnap her. She agreed to go with them to meet their employer so she could get the answers she was seeking.


Results for this Contest Entry

Correct answer: B. 4 correct, 0 incorrect.
RedBeastMage guesses B and earns 3 points.
Leaper guesses B and earns 3 points.
Karlinn guesses B and earns 3 points.
  Macstorm guesses A and earns 2 points.
Bainick guesses B and earns 3 points.
  Nwash earns 4 points from writing the entry.
UFJ casts Divine and gains 3 points.
Leaper casts Teleport. No effect.
Bainick casts Sympathy on   Nwash.
   Bainick gains 9 points.
     Nwash loses 9 points.


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