Facing Impending Doom

2008 January 10
by Stupid Ranger

There will come a time when you will be faced with the inevitable realization that the DM is actually, actively trying to kill your party. Sometimes, you’ll discover it far enough in advance to be able to do something about your impending death, but often the crafty DM will hide the truth of the encounter until it is too late for you to do anything other than play along and hope for a bunch of really, really bad dice rolls from behind the screen.

Grab Your Weapons and Tell Your Clerics to Pray!

Upon realizing your impending doom, you can suck it up, tell your clerics (or druids or paladins… anyone in the party with ANY sort of religious affiliation) to pray to their respective deities, and head into danger with a swagger in your step, knowing if you go down, you’ll be taking down as many of those murderous orcs with you as you can.

This, of course, is the “hero” scenario, and it will either end with your party emerging as god-like to the uneducated peasants in the surrounding village or… well… certain death. Either way, the villagers will usually turn the site of your battle into a monument to your (attempted) achievements, unless the evils move in for good and the peasants all become slaves in the Evil Army of Doom.

The positive part of the “hero” scenario is that there is usually a lot of smashing and destruction involved, so at least you get your last kicks in before the bad guys try to kill you. The negative part is that you’re never sure until it’s over if you will survive.

DM’s will often create a “hero”-esque scenario to test your skills and battle-courage. But sometimes, they’ll do it just because they can (cue evil DM laughter).

Lower Your Weapons and Let’s See What Other Options We Have

The other option available to the party upon realizing the impending doom is to investigate what other options are available. This doesn’t necessarily make you cowards; this is the “second chance” scenario. You are avoiding certain death now, knowing that with a little more experience or the help of a magical artifact, you will better survive this impossible encounter.

DM’s will often create “second chance” scenarios to see if you’re paying attention to the story; they present an obvious attempt to kill you to see if you’ve remember that the old wise man from three towns back, told you that you should seek the rare Midnight Gem, reputedly lost in the Forest of the Night.

Put Away Your Weapons and Let’s See What Other Trouble We Can Find

You collectively can decide not to fall in with the DM’s plan and abandon the carefully-created storyline. This is the “scoundrel” option, where you don’t pay any attention to the story and just do whatever you want to do. The DM will not like this, and retribution will likely be swift and… well, deadly. But, hey, the look in the DM’s eyes when you choose not to follow the outlined path is a priceless moment. Enjoy it, before it is replaced by the Look of Vengeance.

One Response leave one →
  1. t_catt11 permalink
    January 11, 2008

    Oh, yes… woe to those who try to avoid my… er… the evil GM’s carefully crafted railroa.. er… “thoughtful” plot.

    Woe, I say! Woe!

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