Wednesday, April 17, 2013

RPGs: We May Be Doing It Wrong

I play an RPG called "The One Ring" with a couple of friends on Sunday evenings (on the rare occasions when everyone can make it. So...once every month, maybe.), and it's a lot of fun. Other RPGs I've played over the years include but are not limited to, in reverse-chronological order, the Tomb of Horrors D&D module (which, as I look back on it, we *basically* "won," or at least, didn't lose, by running away from things), a rousing game of Mouse Guard (in which I forced a 15 minute discussion about what distances *really* meant - miles? or mouse miles? because human miles would be proportionally ENORMOUS compared to mouse miles! how fast can mice travel? etc etc etc. I am so fun!) and some AD&D stuff. Always very enjoyable.

Currently, I'm playing with a group where no one is any good at fighting. We should be okay at it, but our rolls are just the worst, and we've started handling this by running away. Often. During one fight, Ivar's strategy was to sign us an inspiring song, and then lasso a monster and kick it in the river. Now he's attempting to build an Athelas empire, a la "Breaking Bad." Lif (that's meeee!) is fixated on some severed thumbs we found AGES ago, because clearly they are important! Right? No. Everyone in Laketown thinks I'm creepy. And I've had limited success in trying to stab opponents in battle, even though I *should* be okay at things. I'm not. Terrible rolls. Avina isn't being generally ridiculous (though one battle strategy involved sending her dog to harass attackers), unless fluid dynamics are described in a manner that isn't consistent with real-world fluid dynamics, and this has actually been fantastic. "The lake water is still and mostly clear, but there is turbidity at the bottom." OH NO THERE ISN'T! (because the turbidity wouldn't be right at the know what? Just trust me on this. Apparently, Carol is also someone for whom you should not run a module that includes any sort of sewer system. Because you're going to learn about how things do and do not actually work! I find this hilarious and educational.) The last major "fight" we had ended when we rushed our antagonist and pushed him down some stairs. I'm not kidding. The stairs were into a tomb, and in the tomb there was an angry mummy, so it was appropriately game-y, but we did not comport ourselves in a dignified battle manner.

This last session, we ended up using the power of local government to stymie some evil dude's attempt to get Smaug's teeth out of the lake at Laketown. Dragon teeth are never used for anything pleasant, and while we did float some ideas about getting the teeth first, or trying to destroy them, in the end, we suggested that it would be bad for the town's morale to disturb the bones of the dragon that burned it to the ground in its previous incarnation. We told, basically. We Parks and Rec'd that stuff.

We might be doing it wrong, but we totally lived to have another (fight-averse) adventure. And it's super, super fun.


  1. If that's the Mouse Guard game I was a part of, and my memory serves, we all chose to specialize in skills that were about as inappropriate to Mouse Guarding as you could get. I seem to recall your apiarist character's motto being "The two things I love are everybody and bees."

  2. You left out the fact that, after tattling on the evil wizard to the local government, we then high tailed it out of town for fear of evil wizard reprisals. I just hope my athelas empire will be ok while we are gone.

  3. I also left out the fact that your character is basically a less-competent Archer-type (hahaha) (the character from the television show, not a bowman) who sings hurdy-gurdy songs with suspiciously right-wing lyrics. "Oh Sauron, he had some good ideas..."