Hey Game Fans, we’re back with another article in this fun series about gamer horror stories and what happens when things go terribly sideways. Today’s article is all about the Oriental adventures book for Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition. (For those of you keeping score at home, this is the version that uses Legend of the Five Rings Rokugan as its core setting). There’s a bunch of stories that i could mine for this article, but today we’re going to talk about how the game died in a most violently splendid fashion.
We’re about level 16 or 17 when this story starts.
We, as a group, haven’t taken this campaign seriously from the jump, and it’s mostly because we’re not deep into L5R lore, and the story hasn’t really tried to grab a hold of us. “Go Find Some Bloodspeakers.” is our overall mission imperative, but none of us are exactly built for that. Go figure that we’d end up off the rails in the middle of the desert looking for a Hot chick named Osiris (SG-1 was on all the time at the university).
Our adventure session starts in the amazing city-state of Short Topia, run by halflings searching for the best sandwich in the universe. We’ve only recently gotten into town and our party is pretty banged up. We check into the Hotel California (it’s a lovely place, and we should have known), and everyone disperses to their separate corners of the city. Our Sorcerer friend, Ragmager, ends up getting petrified by the city’s incumbent werewolf/sorcerer/mayor without any of his allies nearby.
The CG cleric who’s been travelling around with us decides that this is the best opportunity to be a raging asshole, and he casts stone shape on the petrified sorcerer, pushing his fingers into his hands and leaving them as smooth stumps. The he dicks off to do something else, while the rest of us are trying to figure out why we’re here. Eventually, my character, the Apostle of Peace, one of the Bushi Samurai, and the Sorcerer’s Shugenja buddy find him in this state. The Shugenja questions nearby citizens to figure out what happened, and gets a clear enough picture to figure out what happened. I unpetrify the sorcerer, and the easiest way to fix this involves the Bushi striking his hands clean from his body and a quick application of the Regeneration spell. The Bushi and i return to the hostel, while the Sorcerer and the Shugenja seem to be up to something.
We all gather together for dinner, and it’s the appointed hour for mischief. The Sorcerer and the Shugenja start by casting their most powerful offensive spells (Twinned iceball for the sorcer, and a maximized flame strike for the Shugenja) at the Cleric, inside the dining room. Shit has officially gotten real. Spells are exchanged, hell is raining down, the bushi don’t know what the hell is going on, and we’re in the middle of mayhem. The Cleric goes down to another Flame Strike, and then the two spell casters turn to the rest of us like “What, he started it?”
The Bartender then casts the dumbest spell he could have cast right then, and gives the cleric a 1/minute per level raise dead effect. The cleric continues hostilities, and now people start dropping fast. The old Bushi is betrayed by his apprentice, who stabs him with a bloodsword and leaves him to die. The Akodo Bushi takes this opportunity to avenge all of his insults on the same, mortally wounded bushi. The Shugenja and the Sorcerer end up with about a hit point between them as the Cleric starts dropping every offensive spell he’s got prepped for the day.
At the end of this firestorm of calamities, I’m the only one left sitting inside the burned out remnants of the Hotel California. Both Bushi are dead on the floor, caught between the spellcasters. The Cleric is dead twice. The Sorcerer teleported away, never to be seen again, and the Shugenja died putting the cleric in the ground. The Bartender is dead, the staff is dead, and the building is a smoking hole in the ground. We never did end up finding the Bloodspeakers, or the Hot Chick Osiris....
So what went wrong? Personality is my best guess. The Sorcerer’s and the Shugenja’s players were pretty dickish to the cleric’s player out of game, and as often is the case, this spilled over into the game. We weren’t taking the game seriously, and the entire thing came crashing down on our DM’s head. All hell broke loose and then the game ended. We’d eventually try again (unsuccessfully) with Legend of the Five Rings, but it was a bloodbath.
That’s it for today folks, Game On, Game Fans.