Monday, March 15, 2010

My Players Curse the Name "JRients..."/One Man's Stupid is the Other's Highbrow

During last Sunday's Planet Algol game the players decided upon a bit of petty larceny, plotting to break into the Tower of the Twin Sky Masters (twin silver men with pterosaur mounts who report vulnerable travellers to a band of slavers).

Of course the tower was guarded, by a guardian beast....The Saw Bear.

The party was invisible and foolishly tried to maintain their invisibility by not attacking the buzz-saw armed armored bear while running around the tower trying to loot it. This is where rule 0 comes in play. "You may be invisible, but if the room was completely dark a bear would be able to find you, especially as you're wearing armor and bleeding."

The players could have used slowing magic on the bear and than kept their distance while blasting it with their firearms, lasers and calcium bombs. But no, it was like the invisible stooges trying to loot the tower while dodging a furious saw-bear. Trying to carry a heavy metal chest away while a saw-bear is attacking their invisible ass and the like.

Five characters died before the saw-bear was slain...and yes, indeed two of the players were cursing J Rients!

Now one's initial reaction may be "An armored bear with circular-saws for forepaws? What kind of stupid shit is this? Seriously guy, are you trying to make a joke of D&D with your saw-bears and crap? I thought this was a serious campaign setting, not some Encounter Critical-esque joke!"

Actually, there's a precedent for this kind of madness in one the literary influences upon Planet Algol. One man's "stupid gonzo shit" is another's "commentary upon mankinds oftentimes abusive relationship with animals."


  1. That's an awesome story. All hail saw bear!

  2. Saying "Chainsaw bear? But why?" and then going "Why not?"= Gonzo

    Saying "Chainsaw bear? Why not?" and then going "But why?" = Highbrow

  3. My absolute favorite Dungeonmastering moments have to be when there's this perfect balance/tension between the Gonzo/Absurd and the Serious/Logical, where the game feels like a Coen bros. movie with swords & monsters.

  4. Dude, your players just made my day.

  5. i like jeff,
    but when is Jon Stewart going to get credit for the bear with chainsaws instead of paws

  6. You should have dabbed up their tears of perfect sadness and posted them to Sifu Jeff to flavour his Martinis.
    Tears also CC'ed to Jon Stewart.

    (after Zak) Standing there saying "Chainsaw bear? But why(not)?" just means you lose actions. ;)

  7. Clovis, you wound me! That Jon Stewart item is dated 10/2009. The War Beasts were first mentioned in Jeff's Field Guide to 17 Unknown Gods, published 13 months prior to that:

  8. Bat Bombs!

    I'm proud to say, I grew up in Bat Bomb terr'tory. yessir. Thems good times.

  9. @ jeff

    My apology

    Can you sue Jon Stewart for copyright infringement?

    Mad geniuses just don’t get the credit they deserve ; - )

  10. I personally always try to remain invisible around anything with a chain (or any other kind of) saw.

    I totally agree on the absurd/gonzo and logic angle.

    "Skyfish! Run! Wait, these fish are breathing air and swimming around like they are in water...RUN FASTER!"

  11. What happens when a Sawborg mates with a Proto Bear?

    Heavy fatalities.

    It's a testament to our players that nobody even let out a peep about the anatomics of the Saw Bear. We just grinned and were scared shitless. Good times. Thanks Jeff.

    One or two charges of the Eye of Retarding Destiny could've saved us three from the Eye of Restoring Life.

    Now that's resource mnagement at it's worst! Scrounger let everyone down on that one.