Alas, poor Nolan

we hardly knew ye.

My good friend Russell, who’s been playing RPGs with me for a little over twenty years now was with us last Sunday, and the group promptly abandoned his character Nolan to his doom. This was the first time Russell has lost a PC in one of my campaigns, which are notoriously hard to die in, in years and years and it shocked him a little. I mostly blame Rachel. <wink> Sure, the monsters they were fighting were probably too tough (even though I was confused about the rules, not having internalized D&D 3.5 yet , and made them much wimpier than their official stats would indicate), and I neglected to have the inexperienced young NPC who was tagging along play optimally which probably would have saved him, but it was Rachel’s character Pedro who first cut and ran, leaving the dying Nolan to get crunched. It’s entirely possible that Pedro couldn’t have helped, but what surprised Rusell was that he didn’t even attempt it. Of course, it was perfectly in character for Pedro; don’t let Rachel tell you that she never plays evil characters. Hint: if she’s playing a Rogue, that Rogue will be evil, no matter what the official alignment is. Stealing from party members, betraying their secrets to local criminal families, it’s all part of the job to her. Russell, however, was foolishly assuming an implicit “Band of Brothers” contract among the party members because that’s what he’s used to. This was foolish, because I’ve told him enough stories about this group of players that he should have known better; he’s even read this blog.

The game goes on: Russell’s already made up another character for next time we play, one that’s much more survival oriented. I kind of wonder whether a sniper with a cloak of invisibility isn’t too much of a reaction, though….

6 thoughts on “Alas, poor Nolan

  1. Russell says:

    I wasn't shocked that Pedro was evil,
    as much as how quickly he cut and
    ran. There's a difference between
    being a Band of Brothers and getting
    the most out of the monster-fodder. Nolan
    seemed quite competent at distracting
    the critters for the rest of the group
    by being tasty, so if I were another
    PC, I'd want him around for a while.
    I also expected flying gargoyles to
    bite them in the back as they jumped
    off the ziggurat, doing themselves more
    damage than the fight so far had.

    By thw way, don't you remember Ham
    the weather-wizard sailor? He took
    much longer to create and had a
    game life shorter than Nolan's.
    He wasn't even abandoned; his head
    went flying across the forest before
    the other PC could even react.

    I have no idea what you mean by
    “cloak of invisibility''. My
    new character is a trained scout.
    (Are you TRYING to get the others
    to kill me and loot my corpse?)

  2. Joshua says:

    As I recall, your weather wizard got shredded by a crit in Rolemaster, which isn't really a system conducive to any kind of script immunity for PCs.

    And hey, if the party had thought that Nolan had any important gear they might have done more to salvage the body….

  3. Scott says:

    What I want to know is how many more hits Monkasho would have needed to take out one of those gargoyles (ignoring the D&D rule that only magical weapons are supposed to do any harm?) I thought he was holding his own! He took far more damage jumping off the ziggurat after Pedro than he did from the baddies.

  4. Joshua says:

    Ignoring the fact that I should have been subtracting another 10 points off every hit, which would have left the gargoyle entirely undamaged, and assuming it didn't change tactics I'd guess you'd have needed another four hits on average to kill the first one.

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