Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

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Created On 17 September 1997
Last Updated On 17 September 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

Even after playing RuneQuest for 14 years, it never ceases to amaze me how stupid some characters (and players) can be. Here is a selection of the stupid things which my players have done over the years. A special mention has to be made of Andy Edgell, who played Masher and Broze Demonslayer, whose escapades, both as part of Roleplaying games and in the real world, had to be seen to be believed.

Whilst camping out on a beach in the South of Prax, the party were all asleep with the exception of Broze Demonslayer. A group of Gorps bubbled out of the sand (I had just watched Blood Beach and thought that gorps were probably funnier) and moved towards the sleeping party. Broze, who was always on single figure POW, decided to try for a POW gain roll and disrupted the gorps for a couple of rounds, allowing them to reach and engulf the party, destroying that nice iron armour. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Zak was on a scenario where the party found a pyramid and had to climb it to reach the top. Zak, being a paranoid character, decided to Spot Traps and criticaled the roll, even though it was at -100%. (He was an excellent Trap Spotter, second only to Derak "Who has the best Spot Traps? Oh, he's dead - he fell down a pit" The Dark Troll and Masher, who spotted traps by setting them off with alarming regularity, anyway I digress.) Zak saw something coating the pyramid. With a great flourish and pantomime, Ady, Zak's player, proceeded to mime himself wiping the substance off with his finger, putting it to his lips and trying a Taste Analysis - another critical roll determined the substance to be POT 20 contact poison which killed Zak. Now, Ady was a Rules Merchant par excellence and drew attention to the rule whereby Taste Analysis prevented the effects of the poison, only for the GM to elaborately pantomime the tasting of the poison with the addition of staring in surprise at the finger coated with contact poison. Ah well, you had to be there, I suppose. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

In Dorastor, the party travelled through the day and reached a great pool of Darkness which had not been there when they last passed by. Unwilling to enter the darkness at night, the party decided to camp about a mile away and investigate in the morning. They put out watches and went to sleep. When Broze Demonslayer was on watch, he became bored and decided to investigate the Pool of Darkness on his own. Off he goes for an hour or so, until he finds 20 or so Scorpion men, including a couple of Rune Lords and a Queen. Having seen them, he runs back to the camp, leading all the prepared scorpion men after him. When he arrived back, did he warn the others? No, he sat down and pretended that nothing had happened until the scorpion men charged in on a "surprise attack" and caught the party sleeping. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After that little escapade, the party did not trust Broze to be on watch and made him wake them up at the slightest sound. I had many a happy hour as a GM having owls hooting and making him wake people up. Of course, the one time he did not wake people up the "owls" were a party of hunters signalling to each other. It's fun to be a GM sometimes. We had a scenario soon afterwards with a magic item of a bracelet with a button on it - when the button was pressed the person weraing the bracelet was awakened regardless of how deeply he was asleep. My character had first pick on the Treasure Table and I took this above all the good items, crystals and matrices available. I had a magical statue, 6 inches high, which could follow basic instructions. I ordered it to stand beside me and if anything not part of the Party came into the camp at night it was to press the button. Thus, I was protected from Broze when I was not running the scenario. Ha! Ha! It came in handy a few times, too.

The party had encountered a group of dwarfs in Balazar and stopped to talk to them. After a minute or so, the dwarfs suddenly attacked the party, for no apparent reason. What had actually happened was that one character at the back had decided to cast Disrupts at the dwarfs because "Dwarfs are always loaded". Fortunately, he was on horseback and rode off as soon as the dwarfs attacked, so he was OK. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The party was doing an investigation scenario, where they were trying desperately to find certain clues, but were getting nowhere. Finally, they retired to the local inn to sleep and settled down in their rooms. The GM, relenting slightly, caused two NPCs to stop beneath the windows and began to talk, telling important details about the plot. Broze Demonslayer, true to form, leaned out of the window and shouted "Shut up, will you, we are trying to get some sleep". Stupid, stupid, stupid.

After I ran a scenario in Dorastor which figured a Vampire Tigerson who, when transformed into a Tiger, had STR 105 and a 7D6 damage bonus (not bad for RQ2 and fully within the rules), one of the other GMs in our campaign looked through the bestiaries and found that Were Sharks trebled their STR when they transformed, so a Vampire Were Shark would have 126 STR, or thereabouts. His next scenario was a watery one, with the Pcs on a boat in the River of Cradles. One night, there was a splash as this Vampire Were Shark swam towards the boat. Only then did the GM remember that being immersed in flowing water destroyed Vampires. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

The PCs were attacking the Tower of Lead in Dorastor, which was a Vivamort Temple in my campaign. Bolgar, Brother of the Bull, was walking with the party when he was hit by a spell effect which seemed to come from a nearby wall. He took a look and saw a small hole which he immediately Teleported through, meeting a Basilisk which he hit with his sword, cutting it down. He then peered through the holes in the basilisk's cell, looking to see what he could see. In the meantime, the basilisk had been healed (it was a sorcerer's familiar) and took a good hard look at Bolgar. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

During the same scenario, Bolgar, once again, came to a huge iron-bound door with a small grill set into it. He carefully took out a mirror and raised it near to the grill, in case there were basilisks in the room, and looked into the room through the mirror. All he saw was a room with a raised dais on which sat three empty thrones. "It's OK, the room is empty" he said and proceeded to pick the lock on the door. It was only after I had collapsed into a fit of giggles that the other PCs decided to look through the grill to see the thrones occupied by the Queen of the Tower and her two most powerful Vampires, surrounded by ten or so Vampire guards. If only I hadn't succumbed to the giggles. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Zak was on a scenario where he met a Lunar HeroQuestor who had a Moon Sword. Zak, hating all Lunars and wanting a Moonsword attacked and killed him, grabbing the Monnsword as he fell. The Lunar failed his Di, as did his allied spirit, so Zak gained a functional MoonSword (at the time they were not owner only items, this soon changed but not for this sword). He went away crowing, as only Zak could, and met up with an NPC who was someone's prisoner. I can't remember the details but the party freed him and he challenged the Wind Lords to a duel as a test of bravery and honour. Zak agreed, being the only Wind Lord, and gave him the Moon Sword to fight with (it was not attuned, was a 2 handed scimitar and the NPC would only have a 20% attack chance). "Gee, Thanks" said the NPC who rolled under his POW of 10 to bug out with the Sword. Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.

Masher was on a scenario where there was a simple trap in a room - step in a certain place and a slab of stone fell down and blocked the way out. Masher, true to form, found the trap by setting it off. As the slab of stone came down, he threw himself towards it shouting "Don't worry, I'll stop it" and put both his hands under the slab. Have you ever tried to catch a slab of granite 6 inches thick, 15 feet high and 10 feet long? What happens is that the granite proceeds to hit the ground with a satisfying thus, leaving behind a Great Troll with two bloody stumps. We laughed and laughed. Then, Masher tried to pick the slab up by glueing his stumps to the stone. We couldn't play for about ten minutes afterwards. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

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