Those of you who know me personally or follow me on Twitter (isn’t that the same thing?) know that every other week I have “geek night.” It’s something I always look forward to. It’s when a bunch of my friends get together and do a roleplaying game. A few weeks ago, we did one of my favorite RPGs: Star Wars. Both Bob Perron (a regular) and Gene Monteracelli (special guest player) were a part of the fun.
I happened to be the game master that evening and Chris Padgett played Winter, a human Jedi. Winter has a lot of skills. He can use a lightsaber. He can use the Force to sense if someone is telling the truth. And he has a very high “acrobatics” rating which Chris tries to use in every encounter.
I now insert you into the story of the game…
Winter and his companions enter the atrium, expecting a meeting with Darga the Hutt. But the doors suddenly shut behind them. The adventurers hear a whistle blown in the distance and four large carniverous birds with razor sharp claws attack! One of Winter’s companions recognizes the whistle—it is used to command the birds. Winter realizes that if he can take out the person blowing the whistle he can stop this attack before anyone gets hurt.
He fends off one of the birds with his light saber and runs into the dark forest of the atrium, Jedi senses keenly attuned to any movement.
“Okay,” said Chris. “So I want to use my power of the Force to see if I can sense where this person is.”
“Roll a d20,” I said. (A d20 is a twenty-sided die for you non-gamers out there.) “I’ll let you see something if you roll a ten or above.”
Chris rolled the die. “Crap,” he said. “I rolled a three.”
Winter could see nothing in the darkness as he wandered the atrium, lightsaber in hand. Meanwhile, his companions were getting severely hurt by the carnivorous birds that flew in and out of the shadows.
Just then, a blaster shot came out of the darkness and grazed Winter’s shoulder, barely missing him.
“I use my acrobatics to dodge the shot!” Chris said.
“It already missed you,” I explained.
“But now can I see where the person is?” Chris asked.
“Yes, their blaster shot gave away the location.”
“I run towards them!”
Winter, honing in on the location where the blaster shot came from, ran towards the mysterious person. Meanwhile…
“No meanwhile, I want to catch up to this person now.”
“You’re too far away.”
“Not if I do an acrobatic leap!”
“Chris, you’re in a dark indoor forest. There’s no way you can reach the attacker this turn. Just wait for the next one.”
“No! I’m going to do it!”
“You’ll need at least an eighteen to make it.”
Chris stood up. “I’m gonna do it! I’m gonna do it!” The other players began to clap in a slow rythym as Chris shook the d20 in his hand.
“COME ON, BABY!” he said as he cast the die upon my wooden table.
It was a one.
Winter actobatically lept into the air… and got caught in a tree.
“NOOOO!” Chris cried. “I can’t believe this is happening!”
Meanwhile, the carniverous birds attack the wookiee…
“I want to get out of the tree,” Chris said.
“It’s not your turn. And you’re losing a turn because you’re trapped.”
The birds make numerous attacks the other heroes. Two of them go down. Winter, the not-so-acrobatic Jedi, finally gets out of the tree and spots the person behind the attack. It was Kaylar, the female gang leader they humiliated outside of the spaceport.
“Is she close enough to reach?” Chris asked.
“Yes, she is,” I said.
“I jump in the air—no, wait. I run up to her, put my lightsaber against her neck, and tell her to call off the attack.”
Winter sprints towards Kaylar and points his lightsaber at her neck. “Call off your attack,” he says. Kaylar dropped the whistle and the birds disappeared into the darkness.
“Why are you attacking us?” demands Winter.
He can see the anger in Kaylar’s scarred face in the glow of his lightsaber. “It is because you humiliated me by the spaceport,” she says.
“Liar!” Winter screams as he—
“Wait, you want to… what?” I ask.
“Cut her hand off!” Chris says. “Make her tell me the truth!”
“But she’s defenseless!”
“Do it!” Chris said.
Winter slices Kaylar’s hand off. She screams in agony and collapses on her knees.
He points the lightsaber back into her face. “Enough of your lies!” he says. “Tell me the truth!”
“I did tell you the truth, you moron!” Kayla says, cradling the charred stump where her hand once was. “You humiliated me at the spaceport and I wanted revenge!”
“Is she really telling the truth?” Chris asked.
“Why don’t you use your Force power to check,” I suggested.
Chris rolled the d20. “I got a seventeen,” he said.
“Good,” I said. “Because that was such a high role, I’m going to let you realize two things.”
Winter the acrobatic Jedi closes his eyes and uses his knowledge of the Force to discern whether Kaylar was telling the truth. In doing so he realizes two important things. First, he senses that Kaylar was, in fact, telling the truth about her reasons for attacking. And second, that he just cut the hand off a defenseless prisoner.
“Move your Force meter down by two,” I told Chris. “You’re going to the dark side.”
“But how was I to know she was telling the truth?” Chris asked.
“I don’t know… maybe use your Force power before cutting appendages off?”
“I just got excited,” Chris meekly said.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Chris Padgett is the worst Jedi ever.
You….GM…RPGs?? The things I never knew…I….whoa.
That…is awesome. (I don’t think my previous comment went through, so hopefully there isn’t a double comment…)
You ever game with Welker?
He’s usually the GM, but he had to clean his house that day.
I am perpetually proud to be a household brother of the coolest nerd on planet! lol… The best part was I could picture the look on your face as the whole thing played out!
Doug, Bob’s a geek, not a nerd…big difference…i wouldn’t marry a nerd
This is the most awesome thing. I so want to do something like this
Where do guys find the time to do this? And who’s watching the kids?
To answer your two questions:
1) Not all of us spend all our time writing theology books that enrich people’s lives and spread the Gospel message, John.
2) That’s what the television is for.