Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Gaming's "Killer" Pastime...

Death finds us all, and I sometimes wonder why I'm still here. But tabletop gaming is quite possibly the most doom-laden enterprise short of kicking a sleeping badger, even when completely imaginary. If it were real, old-school gamers would be knee-deep in traumatizing death. Vietnam on steroids (I've seen some things, man). Well I have seen some things, imaginary, and funny in retrospect. I've kicked it many ways...

In the first room of the first dungeon from the first successful attack against me. The DM worried this would impact my future participation. Safe to say it didn't.

Picking an old man's pocket. I failed. The old man was a 12th-level magic-user, and I was immediately reduced to a halfling-sized heap of searing ashes.

Casting Fireball. The chamber was wide open. And flooded with natural gas. Boom! That one felt arbitrary; but in all fairness, I ignored the DM's (not-exactly-subtle) warnings.

I'd been rolling low all day. Just 4 HP left. My DM, ever the charitable friend, let me roll the monster's damage, banking on my trend to continue. I got a 12. Whoops.

Warriors throughout history, from Samauri to Vikings, sought a good death. Surviving was best, but to die well was everything. Fortunately, gaming deaths are imaginary, the pain physically theoretical. But since our characters are extensions of ourselves, the wish to die well remains stubbornly intact. Short of this (especially since it's imaginary), a humorous death remembered decades after the fact just might be the best of all possible ends...

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