The Saving Throw
Most Creative Gaming Moments Dec. 22, 2005
These are the unique gaming moments where the sheer creativity, by the players or by the gamemaster, was profoundly memorable.

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  contributed by Kularian Arieus

My friends and I have played many a different type of tabletop RPG. I'm usually the Dungeon Master, and for this particular game, I decided that a storyboard type would be one of the better choices. For those who've never done storyboard, it's a unique experience; there are no dice or character sheets. Each player chooses a 'base class' for their character, and it is assumed that they have all relevant abilities in that area, i.e. a fighter can fight, a wizard can cast, etc. But having just finished Final Fantasy V, I wanted to include a job type system, which is made a lot easier with the storyboard.

The game has four characters, of ages 17-21. Erdrick (21) is our standard fighter, who stays mostly in his fighter class to take punishment. Schan (17) bounces around between thief, cleric, and druid, but at this time I believe he was a druid. Onyx (19) had found a Dragoon class, and had pretty much stayed with that one the entire game. Finally, Falidor (19) was a Monk, who occasionally shifted to cleric.

The four lived happily in their town and adventured in the countryside within the limits of their imagination. One day, they stumbled upon spheres that contained the memories of the fallen, and were able to draw information from them on how to cast spells, use a variety of weapons, etc. Soon after, their home was attacked by demons who came from fireballs that rained from the sky. They managed to defeat them, then follow the people of their town, who had fled to a neighboring town. Fortified with their new powers, they continued their journey past this, and begin to make their way to Port Reigh, where they could get passage on a ship to kill the wizard who is attacking their homeland, Zeroth.

What happened
Having come from the previous town with a horse and wagon, the four were doing fine as they travelled. Few walked the roads after hearing about the attack, and it was a quiet ride. Around nightfall, they stop for the night and set up watch. Falidor took first watch, Erdrick second, and Onyx third. On Erdrick's watch, he begins to see a town in the distance, which had just appeared out of nowhere. Confused, he puzzles over it, but doesn't wake up the others. At the end of his watch, he wakes Onyx, who sees the town fading from sight.

The next morning, they awaken, and continue on. When they reach where the town should be, Erdrick speaks up, and Onyx confirms the story about the village. After discussing, they agree to wait until that night, where the town will appear. The day comes and goes, and when night begins, the town slowly appears, along with the noise of a festive party. Exploring the town, they find everyone gathered in the town hall, a wonderful party going on. Confused, the four ask people what is going on, to find out, surprisingly enough, there's a party.

After awhile, they begin to enjoy themselves, and Erdrick begins talking with one of the women. Near two in the morning, the doors burst open and a frail, ill looking man throws open the doors, and proclaims, "You betrayed me! Me! Your Savior!" and strikes the ground with his staff. A huge dome of energy spreads out from it, and when it touches the players, they simply awaken at dawn, when the town had vanished. Now intrigued, they agree to wait it out again, and try again the next night, wondering all the while what was going on.

To make a longer story short, they return to this town for another six nights before they were finally able to solve it. Erdrick, meanwhile, becomes closer and closer to the woman who he had wooed the first night, and with a bit of, "This is Dungeons and Dragons. It isn't real," he ends up seducing her. After rescuing the town, the ghosts that were trapped fade away forever, allowed to leave. Several weeks later, after they had adventured on for three or so more sessions and gone on several more adventures, they arrive in a small village, where everyone was slaughtered. In the center of the town stands a young, pale faced man in his early 20's with a sword strapped to his waist.

He turns to Erdrick, and with a sinister smile, he says, "Hello Father. It's been awhile." Everyone at first is confused, but then realization slowly begins to dawn on them about what had happened. The young man, named Wraith, tells Erdrick that through some strange working of magic, the woman whom Erdrick had seduced was still alive enough to carry his seed, and when the curse was broken, and she was able to go to the land of the dead, she was pregnant. Wraith was then born, a creature that was half human, half spirit.

Now Wraith is a lieutenant in Zeroth's army, able to shift from one plane to the other with only a thought, making him a deadly and capable warrior. The game is still going on, so we will see if Erdrick has enough faith in himself to kill his own son.

How did I get this ghastly (pun intended) idea to have a player simply being silly, and turn it into a powerful enemy? I don't really know. The thought just sort of struck me one day, and I thought it was ingenious. My players are now a little more careful about the off-the-wall things they do, as they never know when it might come back to 'haunt' them. (Ah ha... I'm so clever.)

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