This week I thought I would share one of my own stories from back in the “day”:
So I was playing a Halfling wizard in 2nd Edition D&D. We were a group of mercenaries looking for work with anyone who would have us. A high level wizard came along eventually and picked up our contract. He was quite a likable fellow and I remember the group enjoying his company quite a bit, except for me. I hated him. I hated him because he was another wizard stealing my arcane thunder. And the fact that I was only 2nd or 3rd level and he was like 12th made things much worse. Every time he would show off for the PCs some spell that I couldn't possibly cast yet my loathing increased. It didn't take long for the other PCs to pick up on this and soon I was being ridiculed for not being as “cool” or as “useful” a wizard as our great and glorious patron. Cue sad music.
After a brief time going on a few wilderness adventures supposedly gathering items and components for a massive spell, our group landed in a city and we rented out an entire inn for our company. It was here that strange things started to happen and some of the locals began to disappear. My party immediately wanted to investigate. They had their suspicions about a local thieves’ guild and were getting prepped to raid their guild house to get some answers. On the other hand, I was convinced that the thieves had nothing to do with these missing people. I was convinced that it was our beloved patron experimenting on unsuspecting souls in his spare time. When I presented my theory to the group, they laughed at me and said I was being a poor loser.
In my supreme frustration, I waited one night until the rest of my group had gone to sleep, sneaked out of my inn room, and slipped into my patron’s room. He was nowhere to be found even though I had witnessed him enter into the same room roughly an hour before! Knowing that I had very poor tracking skills, as well as very few hit points, I decided not to go out into the big, bad city alone at night. Instead, I would wait for him to return and confront him about his nightly activities. He did return just before dawn and the first thing he saw when he climbed in the window was my accusing little face.
At first he tried to give excuses and even tried to convince me by requesting I go with him the next night as a “witness”. I was having none of it. I laid it all out on the table and called him a kidnapper and a murderer to his face. His change from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde was as sudden as it was violent. He threw a fireball at me, point blank. My only hope was a saving throw for half damage, which I promptly failed with flying colors. That was it, I was crispy critter. To add to my finality and any hope of resurrection, the inn burned down with my remains inside.
After that, my only consolation, other than a brand new character, was that it didn't take my group long to figure out what had really happened to me and denounce their patron. To my supreme delight they spent the rest of the campaign avenging my character’s death and bringing the pompous wizard to justice. The lesson that I learned: having a character die for the purposes of the game can be just as rewarding as any other deed.