Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another Tale from the Dorkside

(I originally wrote this one for an old RPGnet thread entitled "Worst character intro to a party?" The very next poster declared that I had 'won' the thread. This tale comes from the same campaign as the previous post.)

Me and my schoolchums all went through a lot of PCs in Jim's campaign. We usually brought along two or three spare PCs apiece. Sometimes we went through all of them in a session. I guess you could call it a killer campaign, except that we had our share of hard-won victories.

But one incident always kinda soured the game for me. My latest replacement PC was my coolest character yet, at least in my mind. His name was Arius Claudius and he was a gladiator. He wore bronze plate and wielded a trident. (Fun fact: in AD&D 1st edition the one-handed weapon with the best average damage was the trident.) I was totally jazzed about playing this guy. Well, I guess Jim thought he would do me a favor by introducing my guy in the middle of the dungeon, but that I would have to pay for that priviledge. So the PCs discover me in the next room they enter. My guy is naked, tied up with big leather straps, bent over a barrel, with a lubed-up ass. Apparently the DM thought it would be funny if my guy was introduced as the bondage rape-toy of the troll in the next room over. The players were kind enough to release me. My first act in play was to secure my equipment and kill that damn troll.

My playgroup was composed of teenaged boys, except for the DM who was old enough to have known better. For years afterwards the rest of the players thought it was funny to bring up the fact that my guy Arius was some troll's plaything. The whole thing soured me on playing the character, but I toughed it out and had some good adventures with Arius, right up until he made one draw too many from a Deck of Many Things and wound up imprisoned.

That was going on 15 years ago now. I sometimes wonder if I could play the same character today, but try to actually grapple with playing a heroic fighter who is also a rape survivor. But at the time it was clearly the worst character intro I could imagine.