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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

One Dead Ogre and Four Battered Egos (Guest Poster Charlie Akins - Dyvers Blog)

(+Charles Akins  is the proprietor of the Dyvers Blog, the go to location for capsule reviews of the blogs in the OSR corner of the universe.)

One Dead Ogre and Four Battered Egos

"The ogre is dead," I said as I threw a coke can into the steel trash drum for effect.

Dee looked up from where he had buried his head and said, "Grand. Does anyone feel like dancing?"

"Love to," Alice said with a smile, but I'm fairly certain that the effort would drop me."

"We should be better than this," Jeff grumbled, "There were four of us - a balanced party mind you - against a single ogre that talked like a three-year-old and had all the battle finesse of a brick to the back of the head!"

"There he goes bring up our sex life in public again," Alice groaned.

"I'm serious."

"So is she!" I exlaimed.

"Very funny, Charlie," Jeff said, "but you know damned well and good that there isn't a single reason in this world for us to have been overrun and damned near destroyed by that brain damaged -"

"You're taking this a bit personally, don't you think," Alice interrupted him. "It's just another tough fight in a campaign filled with them. I don't see any of us should be bent out of shape over a victory."

"We almost lost Joe in the second round!"

"I was fine," Joe said as he waved him off. "All he did was rip my arm off and beat me unconscious with it."

"That right there is exactly what I'm talking about! You were so busy making jokes about blowing guys in college that you didn't even think to ask for a spot check. Hell, you just walked right in and let him slap you about."

"By the way," Joe said to me, "thanks for not making the 'why are you hitting yourself jokes.'"

"Thought they would be a bit too obvious on my part."

"And look at the two of you acting like you're friends," Jeff practically shouted.

"We are friends," Joe said, "were all friends here."

"No we aren't," Jeff said as he crossed his arms. "He's the Dungeon Master - the enemy. You're a player and you need to remember that his only goal is to tell his story and kill us if we get out of line."

"What are you talking about," Alice asked, "he asked me to roll for a random encounter and I rolled a one. Did you honestly think that meant that you weren't going to fight anything?"

"Oh, I'm fine with fighting but that ogre battle was just him punishing me for stealing that gem back in town from the blind prophet."

"You've lost your damned mind," Joe said, "That's not how he runs."

"Of course you'd say that," Jeff mocked as he jabbed a finger in my direction, "you're friends. Well your friend here just threw an ogre at us that didn't follow the damage matrix from the monster manual."

"You've memorized the damage output for an ogre," I asked a bit incredulously.


"Dude, you need to fix your life," I said.

He stared at us, focusing on each of us in turn before he said, "You're going to let him talk to me like that? I'm the only one standing up for us after the bullshit he just pulled."

"I don't think I want to play Dungeons and Dragons with Jeff anymore," Joe said.

"Seconded," I called.

"Fine," Jeff said as he stood and started cramming his things in his backpack. "Then Alice and I won't play with you jerks anymore."

"Speak for yourself, Jeff," Alice said.

"Alice," he said with anger, pride, and hurt playing in his voice. "You can't stay with them. You're my girlfriend."

"Were," she said as she refilled my wine glass, "the word you are missing from that sentence was were. As in you were my girlfriend."

"You can't mean that," he said.

"Oh but I can," she said without a trace of kindness in her voice, "I won't fool with any man so selfish and unkind." Jeff stood staring at her for a few seconds before he turned and slammed the door behind him.

The room was still filled with the electrical static that always follows these sort of things. Then Joe moved next to Alice and said, "So now that you're single," she stared at him with a face flush with anger, "would you mind if I told people that we were having an affair and you were pregnant with my child."

"But you're gay," she said with disbelief.

"Shush," he said with an evil twinkle in his eye, "don't go telling the truth now and spoil my fun."


  1. Is flash fiction what you had in mind for guest posters, Erik?

  2. I liked it!! besides Jeff being a tool.. But I can understand the frustration at the table when what should be a fairly smooth encounter doesn't go that way due to bad luck and shitty rolls..

  3. There is a method to the madness of guest posters, and a large part of it is to get additional exposure for other bloggers in our community.

    If The Tavern is considered by many to be an OSR hub, it should add some spokes whenever possible ;)

  4. That reads like Armistad Maupin if he played D&D. I actually really enjoyed it.

  5. Can someone explain the point of this anecdote? It went right over my head.

    1. The point of this anecdote is to show that writing about how we play role-playing games doesn't have to be bland and boring. When we write we can actually show that things can become personal, emotional, or exciting. We can let the people we play with be as humorous in our tales as they are in real life without taking away from the fact that we had a really fun time, or that our groups crashed and burned right before our very eyes.

      In this case I lost a player who never did come back to the table because he had married himself to the game as written and treated any violation of that as a personal insult. I lost him; he lost the game, a couple friends, and his girlfriend because of his reaction.

      Most of my actual plays are like this: I try to write about the game in an engaging way that mixes the jokes we had at the table with the way that each of us felt (as best as I'm able to know) to create a post that makes reading the game an enjoyable endevor. I mean, sure, I could write things like, "Ted rolled a natural 20, kicked 54 points of damage, and killed the ogre," but that gets boring. I much prefer writing about how Ted looked, the way that everyone at the table held their breath as he rolled, and the way they celebrated after killing it.

      Each to his own though.

  6. Replies
    1. If I can help you understand I will. What would you like to know?

    2. I think your reply above to Matt Celis covered much of what I couldn't understand. I think it's been over 20 years since I had that kind of drama at my table.
      It would never have occurred to me to write it up.
      But my session reports are very "Just the facts" affairs.

  7. I've gamed with people like Jeff. I get it.

    Though the most accurate case didn't end nearly as neatly as in this story, much to our dismay.

  8. I think the title is off. Only one ego took a beating. Everyone else just had fun.

    1. I knew I should have changed it to "One Dead Ogre and Four Burritos!"

    2. Mmmm, burritos!

      By the way, in case it wasn't clear I enjoyed the story :)

  9. Love it. Last time anything close to this happened at my table, I flipped it and someone got banned. Yes, I have actually flipped a table.

    1. And that's just one more reason why I think the hell of you.

  10. Who needs a point? That was freaking hilarious!

  11. I didn't realize an anecdotal tale needed a point. It just needs to be entertaining, and to me, it was.

    And it actually had a point, although as I am not in the OSR proper, I can see why OSR-ers would miss it. ;)

    Nicely done Charlie.

    1. "I didn't realize an anecdotal tale needed a point." Having glanced at your blog, that's more than apparent;)

  12. This brought a smile to my face, the drama of the PLAYERS sometimes commandeers the drama of the game. I’ve played in groups like this! Now just add in a couple of squalling under 5 year olds up past their bedtime, an ex-boy/girlfriend calling a participant every 12 minutes and someone complaining about their job…

    Great guest post! (Dyvers is now on my blog reading list too.)

  13. It sounds like Jeff would not approve of how, once upon a time, I handled a situation with a player who always use to show up with bullshit stats by having him arm wrestle a guy who happened to be wearing a "ring of drain your strength." That guy eventually stopped showing up at my table, and I can honestly say that I never missed him.