Having Fun

Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 1 October 1997
Last Updated On 1 October 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

A couple of years ago there was a Games Convention in Burton-on-Trent and a couple of my friends (Stuart Hunt and Andrew "Tom" Taylor) went along (I couldn’t as I was working or otherwise engaged). Even though I was not there the tale has been related to me on so many occasions that I could retell it word for word. As the session was so good (Stuart and Tom say that it was one of the best they have ever played in) I thought I would share it with other people.

After half an hour of wandering around the Convention looking at figures etc. they came across a RuneQuest game being set up. They got chatting with the GM and found out that the game was for two teams and he already had one team. "What’s RuneQuest? Is it like AD&D?" they asked, having only played RuneQuest for 12 years. When he explained they said they would give it a go.

The Scenario was a simple one - a group of Chaotics had stolen a Yelmalion artefact and a squad of Templars had come to get it back. Victory conditions were: The Yelmalions had to get the Artefact back, in which case they scored a huge amounts of points. The Chaots got a number of points for each Yelmalion they killed. It was possible for the Yelmalions to get the Artefact back and still lose if they took huge losses.

"What are Yelmalions?" When the GM explained, they said "So, they are like Paladins. We’ll play the Chaotics - are they Chaotic Evil?" The GM explained that Chaos was different in RuneQuest. "OK, we’ll still play the Chaotics, they sound fun."

The Yelmalions had a number Templars and a couple of officers on horseback. The Chaots had a load of broos, a Jack o’Bear, a Scorpionman Lay Member of Bagog and could summon a Chaos Demon from a Chaos Pool if they sacrificed a living person to it.

Stuart and Tom looked at the stats quickly and asked if the Chaots could have a couple of stone buckets. "OK" said the innocent GM.
"For a couple of weeks beforehand, these two broos spit their acid into the buckets at night, building up a supply of acid."
"You can’t do that!"(1)
"Why not?"
"You just can’t!"(2)

"What are Diseases?"
The GM explained.
"Ok, the broos all crap in a pile and wipe their weapons in the dung heap to get the diseases on everything and to get them really dirty."
"You can’t do that!"
"Why not?"
"It’s against the Spirit of Roleplaying!"
"But they are Broos, they do that sort of thing!"
"Well, you can’t do it!"

Having the tone set, Stuart and Tom gathered that they were going to lose, but that they would have fun doing so.

When the session started, two broos started grappling with each other, ignoring everything else.

The Templars came marching in as a few groups with the officers on horseback. What they should have done was to go straight for the Artefact, put it with an officer and have him ride away as fast as he could, with the Templars covering his retreat. Session won. However, things went badly.

Tom spent a while looking at one of the cards. "I don’t understand some things here. What’s special about ‘Iron’? All my weapons are just ‘Bastard Sword’, ‘Spear’ and so on but this says ‘Iron Spear’." The GM explained that Iron weapons had more armour points and did not take damage as easily. "OK, what is Carapace?" The GM explained that it was a Bagog spell which increased armour. "And Jabbers?" The GM explained. "I suppose that ‘Venom Boosting’ increases the Scorpionman’s Poison." The GM agreed. "OK, she casts all her spells and charges that group of Yelmalions." At this point the squad of Templars broke and ran with the players complaining bitterly that the Chaots had a Rune Lord of Bagog and that this was not fair. By far the best piece of psyching out I have ever heard of.

The two broos were still grappling and ignoring everything else.

A couple of Yelmalions cast Fireblade and charged into combat. "Ahem", said Stuart and Tom, "how can they use Fireblade as they are in Yelmalio" and made the GM look at the cult in Sun County. True enough, Yelmalions could not cast Fireblade. This may have blown their cover that they knew nothing about RuneQuest, but it was too late now.

One of the grappling broos succeeded and the other failed. "I offer this willing sacrifice to Thed". "I’m not willing" wailed the other broo as he was thrown into the Chaos Pool. The GM was horrified. The broos should have tried to capture a Templar, dragged him to the pool and thrown him in. This should have taken rounds and rounds, he did not expect the Chaos Demon to be summoned at the end of round 2. However, he could not complain as only a sacrifice was needed. Several tentacles snaked forth from the Pool.

Then the Master stroke. The Jack o’Bear Harmonised a Templar. This held no fears for anyone as Harmonise is a 2 point effect which could be dispelled by Dispel Magic 2, which both officers had. No problem. However, a broo ran up to the Templar, lifted his skirts and proceeded to bugger him senseless.(3)
"You can’t do that!" cried the opposing team and the GM.
"Why not?"
"It’s against the Spirit of the game."
"But they are broos, it’s what they do."
This they could not argue against, because it was indeed what broos do.
"But they don’t do it in the middle of combat!"
"Normally, but we know that you are going to win, this makes sure that you won’t boast about it!"
End of discussion.
Next round, the Jack o’Bear harmonised someone else and the same thing happened.
And again. And again. The funny thing was, all the buggered Templars took no further action in the game, even though the Jack o’Bear was killed and the Harmonises removed. They were not touched by the opposing players. Maybe they were deemed to be in a state of shock, maybe the players were so disgusted about what had happened that they couldn’t bring themselves to use the Templars. Who knows.

Anyway, the Templars decided to kill all the broos. This they could do as they were the stronger force. However, they got no Victory Points for doing this and they lost Templars in the process, increasing the broos’ Victory Point Tally. When Stuart and Tom had killed enough Templars they could relax, confident that Victory was theirs.

True enough, the surviving Templars got the Artefact away but did not brag or boast about it.

I wish that I had been there as it was exactly the kind of game that I enjoy.

If anyone is reading this who took part in the Session, could they email me with their recollections of the Session as I would like to include the Opposing Force’s comments.

(1) I don’t know of any GM who has allowed player Chaotics to do this (except me, of course - I allow anything) but all of them have had NPC Chaotics use the perfectly valid tactic.

(2)Falling back on the age-old GMing strategy.

(3)Probably not the first time this had happened to the Templar - all boys together in the barracks.