That Guy: Lawful/Chaotic Stupid

Since I spent most of my days RPing lately, you get snarky RP posts instead. Deal with it.

Most people don’t want their characters to die. That’s understandable, I mean, these are our creations and they can take a lot of work!

The problem is that sometimes…sometimes a character really SHOULD die…because he did something stupid.

Let’s say you have a character who is, for all intents and purposes, a villain. In this case, a cultist, because that’s most of the villains I see these days. And let’s say this character decides to…pick a fight in a crowded tavern. Maybe he flings some sort of shadowy, tendril-y spell at a patron.

Not surprisingly, four or five OTHER people are probably going to turn around, go “What the FUCK?” and get involved because…nothing involving tentacles is ever good.

Is it reasonable for the cultists to miraculously escape a tussle with 5-6 other characters unscathed?  No, but I see it happen routinely, because the player of said character doesn’t want to lose them.

It’s exasperating for the others, however, because this is usually accomplished by ignoring or brushing off nearly all of their actions. Before too long it’s no fun to play your little cultists because no one wants to deal with you.

What’s the best solution to this problem?

Simple. If you character doesn’t want to die, he needs to fucking act like it.

My apologies to all the Warhamz fans out there, but Eisenhorn could have avoided a lot of trouble for the whole universe if he's just not been a fucking idiot. Seriously. Have you READ those books?

Play your character INTELLIGENTLY. Don’t pick 6 on 1 fights unless you want to get seriously messed up. Have a plausible back up plan if he does get in over his head. And for the love of all that is holy, get fucking hit sometimes.

Last night my druid, Aedeminar, got in a tangle with a known villan alongside her friend, a priestess named Sarah. Despite it being a two on one fight, the cultist got away–but it was a reasonable escape. Our intrepid heroes weren’t used to working together, so they were sometimes getting in each other’s way, skewing things in favor of the cultist. My feral druid had no idea what to do when the PRIESTESS tackled the target, preventing her from making a leap of her own! When the target got as far as her drake and took the combat to the air, Mina had to bow out, because bird vs dragon never comes out in the bird’s favor. All three were injured to some degree or other–we all took hits as well as gave them.

In other words it was a well-played out conflict that DIDN’T SUCK. You know what does suck? The enemy being unharmed by every single damned thing you did because they have to brute force god mode their way out of their own fucking idiocy.

My druid has been caught unawares–and paid dearly for it. Either embrace mistakes and have your character learn from them (note said druid is now in armor FAR more often than not, what with a cultist RP plot actively moving against her guild–she learned!) or rub their two little brain cells together and don’t box them into stupid situations that should, by all logic, result in them getting their gravestones erected.

Other RPers are often approachable. Don’t be afraid to say to someone, “Look–I got this character in way over their head right now, sorry. Is there some way we can work this out so that my character survives this time? I really need them for later, I’m not ready for them to die.” This will go over much better than “and suddenly, Archnemesis vanishes into the night, despite three fireballs, an arrow, and a sword coming right at him.”

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  1. #1 by SirFWALGMan on March 21, 2012 - 12:26 pm

    LOL. I have not read Eissenhorn yet.. Soon.. I think I have 3 more books in the Horus Heresy to go then I have no idea where to start in the books after the heresy… I am thinking just pick up anything Dan Abnett? heh.

  2. #2 by ILikeBubbles on March 21, 2012 - 12:47 pm

    I’ve been told that Dan Abnett gets good–but Eisenhorn (I have the omnibus, so fuck what all the individual novels are called) was his first foray into novel writing, I believe, and I facepalmed so heard throughout all of them.

    Was his editor a spineless wuss or something? Someone should have really stopped Dan and been like, “Look, buddy–Eisenhorn is supposed to be smart, right? So…why is he acting like he has all the foresight of a toad?”

    I forced myself throughi t to get some background for a Dark Heresy campaign, but it hurt me to do so. Please understand I don’t really mean to trash on Dan as a writer–but THIS PARTICULAR WORK maybe should have remained a trunk novel. Or should have been read/edited by some people with spines and sense because you NEED people like that to point this shit out to you. Oftentimes what you mean doesn’t make it entirely onto the paper, and just–

    –oh I could go on forever. Anyway, Eisnenhorn is really kind of an idiot, the end. I’d skip over those and go for Dan’s later stuff becuase I know people who LOVE them.

  3. #3 by SirFWALGMan on March 21, 2012 - 1:53 pm

    So there is no order that you *should* read the actual 40K stuff like there is with the Heresy stuff?

    Yeah, I have not read much about Eisenhorn but isn’t he SUPPOSED to be an idiot? Isn’t he like the bumbling, idiot, who somehow gets things right in the end? Anyway, look forward to getting into the 40K ones and off the heresy. Loved the Heresy books but after like 15 it’s getting tiring lol. I need to stop being an engineer and realize I can read other stuff and do not just have to gulp down everything in order.

  4. #4 by ILikeBubbles on March 21, 2012 - 2:08 pm

    Admittedly? Eisenhorn is the ONLY Warhamz books I’ve read. My husband is the Warhamz person with his silly metal and plastic army men, not I. I just join in on Dark Heresey games. :)

  5. #5 by theerivs on March 22, 2012 - 6:04 pm

    CHAOS!!!! Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne.

    Err… Sorry when Warhammer is mentioned I lose it a bit. I read the Warhammer books religiously tell you the truth Dan isn’t my most fave. I’m enjoying the Warhammer Word Bearers Omnibus right now, I love the books written from a Chaos perspective…well cause I’m Chaotic. ;)

  6. #6 by Steve on March 22, 2012 - 8:27 pm

    “Not surprisingly, four or five OTHER people are probably going to turn around, go “What the FUCK?” and get involved because…nothing involving tentacles is ever good.”

    That is one of the best lines I have ever read.

  7. #7 by (un)Holy Dueg! on March 23, 2012 - 2:36 pm

    *puts on 40k nerd hat* The Eisenhorn series was actually created specifically to roll out a new specialty game for Games Workshop called Inquisition and Abnett had to take a lot of input from GW to help it tie in better to the game. If you want to read a really good Abnett series about 40k inquisitors you should read the Ravenor series that involves his apprentice, that series is really awesome. But if you want to read some REALLY good Abnett you should read any of his Horus Heresy books, but I believe that Legion is definitely his best. *takes off 40k nerd hat*

    PS: Duuuuuueeeeeeeg!!!!
    PPS: You totally said erected.

  8. #8 by standsinlifesfires on April 24, 2012 - 3:36 am

    Curse you for linking to TVTropes! I now have about twenty tabs open *sob*

    But seriously, I’ve never seen a Lawful/Chaotic-Stupid character that hasn’t made me want to strangle their player through my screen. People who Godmode just ruin the experience for everyone else imho.

    And yes, it IS your $15 a month, so you SHOULD be able to play as you want. But when it’s OUR $90 a month, we say you died from the crap you just tried to pull.

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  1. How Not To Post: How NOT to Fail At RP « Chainsword and Mana Shield

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