The All Guardsmen Party: Origins Part 2

We were taking a city this time, and once again our regiment acted as the cannon fodder. We secured and pushed, and secured and pushed, and died and died and died. We decided we’d take the Orks back any day, at least with them it was obvious who the enemy was and their snipers and heavy weapons teams were NOTHING compared to what we were fighting here. We were higher level this time and better at the game, but still we died in droves leaving only a few PCs alive when our regiment was stood down while a veteran regiment took the lead.

Once again we got to see the nice little map of our progress, and we got a warm fuzzy feeling when we saw how our stubborn defense of one building had crippled an enemy advance, but we were exhausted. Our DM pressed us to play fast and make new characters faster, we would roll up Lil Jimmy who lied about his age to enlist, then have him bleeding out in a pile of rubble within 15 minutes. it drained us. We were actually glad to take the evening off from playing and just watch movies and shit.

The final day of our marathon started with more Orks, but this time we won. That’s not to say we didn’t die like frogs in a blender, but we fucking won. We pushed them out of their barricades, and hounded them across the plains when they routed. I played a gunner in a salamander during the chase and mowed down greenskins like ugly blades of grass. We partied like champs in the bumfuck town we liberated, and settled in for a few months of boring garrison before we got redeployed. Then we fought some Tyranids.

It was only a splinter fleet so we actually had a chance, but it was hell. Our regiment was defending an evac point on some grassy agri-world and it was trench work again. We burned off the grass to clear lines of fire, dug ourselves into the rich soil, set up the heavy weapons and watched the edge of the burn area like hawks (Trigger-happy hawks as it turned out, we wound up failing a spot-check and killing the first few retreating PDF to come through the grass). When the Tyranids came it was ridiculous. We mowed down wave after wave of Gaunts, but unlike Orks, Tyranids don’t lose morale and break, they just keep coming as fast as you can kill them. We stopped using actual dice for a while, just so we could roll combat faster.

The bastards in command (see DM) had decided to do a “Collapsing Defense” where we fought until the front trench was collapsing, then shelled the bejeezus out of it while the survivors retreated. We lost something like 20 PCs to our own gorram shells, but it really did work pretty well, at least until we ran out of ground to give. All the civvies were out, it was just a few regiments of guards crammed into a spaceport completely surrounded by the swarm killing them off as fast as possible and hoping either reinforcements or evac would come down before ammo ran out.

Things started to get bad when the higher forms of Tyranid started appearing. Gaunts and Gargoyles are bad enough, but it was when the Warriors showed up that we started taking serious casualties. However the evacs shuttles had started to ferry men up and we had some actual air support, unfortunately our regiment was going to be the rear guard. The end was in sight and morale was holding up well, right until we encountered a Lictor brood, then things started to fall apart. I hate Lictors, I fucking hate them, we played three backline squads in a row and each one was torn to bloody shreds by those sneaky bastards without us landing a kill. We started to rout, but our Commissar and his guards went into the breach and killed one of them and we shouted the regiment back into position.

 

By: suptg

The All Guardsmen Party: Origins Part 1

Our DM can be a little bit evil.

Last weekend our group got together for a marathon session to start a new campaign in a new system. Upon arrival we were all given copies of the Only War sourcebook and told to build a regiment, then build grunt level characters, then make a few backup characters. Now our DM runs what we refer to as “High Mortality Games” (in our several year-long DnD game so many PCs died that our GM actually appears on the “Hitler Scale” of death measurement) and we were all familiar with the nature of a guardsman’s life, so each of us made a bunch of backups and didn’t get too attached to any of our characters as we wrote them. No special snowflakes here.

Our regiment was mustered, our characters met and trained, and we were deployed to fight some Orks. We learned the system in a few skirmishes, and commiserated when one or two characters rolled poorly or fucked up and bit the dust. Then we were marched out to the trenches, given our piece of the line, and the battle started.

We had expected some sort of priority mission. We had expected to be the heroes who went in behind the enemy, or were dispatched to save a key position, or led the valiant charge. Instead we were put in a bloody trench and told to Hold The Line.

The Orks came, and we killed them.

The Orks came again, and we killed them again, but now we were low on ammo.

The Orks came again, and some of us died.

The Orks came again, and brought a tank and the rest of us died, except for me, I ran.

The first session ended there, with our first (sorta) set of characters dead in the trenches. We agreed it was a proper introduction to the life of a 40k guardsman, and got ready for the next days session where we expected to finally be sent on our mission.

The second session started with us watching my characters execution by the Commissar. Then we were put back in the same bloody trench and told to Hold the Line. We did better this time, we actually held out long enough for fresh ammo and reinforcements to come up, but in the end we died. Then we brought up new characters and did it again in another part of the trenches.

Then again.

Then again.

We were rolling up characters between turns now, either to bring in as reinforcements, or for when we had to start-up as a new unit. Very rarely we would survive long enough to be rotated to the rear, or take a non-fatal injury and get evaced, usually we all died. Finally after 3 in-game days and something like 100 PC deaths, we were told to Charge.

We bitched hard when we heard this, it was a fucking death sentence. Our characters had done well this time, we were all still alive and ammo levels were good, we knew we could have held out much longer in our nice safe trenches. Our DM asked us if we wanted to lodge our complaints In Character, so we shut up and Charged. We died like fucking animals.

We fought on the left flank of the charge, then on the right, then got to play our first armored characters in the center. When the charge failed we played as a basilisk crew covering the retreat. Then our regiment was rotated off the front.

Our regiment had lost a third of its strength in that first engagement. Out of over 100 PCs, about 10 lived, and five of those were artillerymen who never saw the enemy. We were shown the battlemap, we were shown where our squads held or failed, we were shown how our charge weakened the enemy for the fresh (and much more valuable) reserve troops to come up and break them. We were given a summary of the next few months of light skirmishes and mustering, then we were sent into battle against Traitor Guard.

 

By: suptg

I Said…

Scene: Thay in Forgotten Realms, at an auction for some items, one of which we need to retrieve (a hammer). There’s also a slaver lord we’re supposed to assassinate. Party is split into 3 parts, our cleric of Sune and her patron are in the private vault, the gnome rogues and the druid’s animal companion are in the main auction room, and the druid and I are (rogue/sorcerer/fighter/gold dragon disciple with 24 Int and 4 Wis) in the courtyard looking over the slaves. We’re polymorphed to look human (Thay after all) and the magical auras are damped to throw off detect magic/arcane sight. When we go into the auction, our weapons are wired shut, the gnome rogues disable theirs surreptitiously, but I have mine wired shut still.

Fight has started, priestess of Sune uses greater command. “Kneel!”. About 1/3 fail in the private vault. Recover spell with item, cast again. “I said, ‘Kneel!'” All but 2 fail in her section.

My section is going, the druid has freed 2 of the angel slaves. I’ve gone to one of the guards and try to rip his sword out of his hand with improved disarm.

“Give me that sword!”

I fail. I try again.

“I said, ‘give me that sword!'” Success. Last attack, I toss the sword to one of the angels.

The rogues fail to kill the slave lord and he runs through the courtyard to escape. I spot him and use my bluff skill.

“You coward! Don’t run away, we haven’t finished the job yet!” Some of the guards fall for it and try to stop him, but he escapes.

In the private vault, the 2 who didn’t fail their saves grab an urn that has the 1000 souls of an undead army in it. This turns out to be a cleric of Bane and his minion. They run out through the courtyard, but run out of movement.

My character has great folklore, knowledge religion and appraise, so he recognizes the urn as an evil artifact. My next round, I run over and disarm the urn from the cleric.

“Give me that!”

Using haste, I run over and give it to the other freed angel.

Cleric of Bane’s turn comes. He casts hold person on me. I critically fail. He casts hold monster on the angel with the urn, she fails. His minion runs to the angel and takes the urn. DM says he coup de graces me. I point out that it’s a full-round action to coup and he decides to just run off with the urn with his haste action.

Fight going okay in other two sections, with cleric of Cylindra giving the cleric and her patron some issues, but nothing major. The rogues move into the private vault to help and/or loot.

I use a mental action with an item to cast dispel evil on the hold person on me. Kip up and chase after the cleric of Bane’s minion. By the time I reach him, I only have a haste action left.

“I said, give me that urn!” I rip the urn out of his hands again with improved disarm and then we have to stop for the night due to time.

Can’t wait for next session.

 

By: Pookha

Dead Dwarves

As a DM, some of the most hilarious moments in my homebrewed campaign were a result of players decimating my carefully laid plans. Because you can never predict how a player will react to any given scenario, the improvised jargon that came after my failed plot points were more fun than the original idea.

The homebrewed campaign was a spin off of the four horsemen of the apocalypse with a fifth horseman added in for flavor and story. The lead figure in this story was a human barbarian who we took to calling Manbearpig. Manbearpig was a mute, leading to hilarious conversations of charades, miming, and eventual frustration by all the other party members.

In one unexpected twist, Manbearpig died in a fight in the sewers underneath some city. As a kind and gentle DM, I felt bad and wanted him to keep this super-interesting character, so I sent the primary antagonist, the God of Death, to Manbearpig with an offer. He can be resurrected as an undead human with the same persona and soul in exchange for becoming a vessel for the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. Of course, Manbearpig said yes, and I thought this was going to be a great little plot twist for the rest of the party. Little did I know how it would end…

Manbearpig also had an unusual talent for looting extraordinary items. Whilst sifting through barrels and crates in almost every room of every dungeon, he came across a potion that would literally annihilate everything within a large radius. (I rolled a 100 as his loot roll). He tucked it away for future use.

Fast forward to when the party decides to take a break in an underground dwarven city to rest and relax. They shop, wreak a little havoc, and regroup for the next adventure. I had planned for this, and because of some unseen event, the front entry to the city was blocked by a cave in. The only way out was an abandoned mine at the back. The plan was for Manbearpig to emerge as the fifth horseman, thus becoming an enemy of the party, kill some dwarves and maybe some PCs, and be defeated. Then the party would leave via a dungeon crawl through the mine, winning the loyalty of the dwarves in any upcoming fight. This was the last city of the dwarves, and their race was being threatened by extinction.

Instead of all that, however, things got a little crazy. Manbearpig emerged into his role as one of the world bosses, instantly killing dwarves left and right and raising them from the dead. After assembling a substantial zombie horde, he went after the rest of the party…

…who were separated and confused. They ran more than they fought, and Manbearpig was unstoppable. Except for one dwarf battlemind (who slept through most of the excitement), the party eventually regrouped at the entrance to the mine, ready to run or fight. I breathed a sigh of relief, reassured that the fifth horseman would die that session.

Wrong. The bard taunted Manbearpig to come and get them. Manbearpig smiled, took out his potion of destruction, and hurled it at the bard. It missed, thankfully, but it caused another cave in and sealed the party in the mine…

…with Manbearpig still inside the dwarven city! He proceeded to commit genocide, effectively erasing the dwarves from the face of the planet. Our poor battlemind, who woke up after the cave-in, was subjected to scenes from 28 Days Later. He was no match for thousands of zombies and one pissed off undead barbarian world boss horseman.

Why do dwarves always get eradicated in every fantasy setting ever?

The party left through the mines with two players dead, ready to be rid of dwarven zombies. Manbearpig rolled another character as the barbarian became a stagnant world boss.

We never did get around to tying up that loose end…

 

By: Fatjoke

I Didn’t Kill Anyone!

Ok leading right off I need to apologize. We were running a relatively small 4e Campaign, and kind of rushed our characters… Which in truth is why I can write this story.

The players are as follows ; A Human Paladin (abusing the heavy armor perks), an Elf Swordmage running for a stealth crossover (Me), A dwarven Warden (no real distinguishing features), and a painful semi evil Drizzt-clone.

We had just had a run in with some pirates who severely out leveled us and were actually meant to be allies later on. The pally and clone got captured, while my Swordmage and the Warden escape and return to our cave base. I decide “Hey I’ve got decent stealth, how about I just scale the cliff next to the pirates base and infiltrate it top down style”…… Which goes fine. (Incidentally the Dwarf Warden stays at base while repairing his shield which took a couple of throwing axes more than necessary) I then ace all my stealths, make my way down to the prison level, and snuff all the torches while dodging increasingly confused guards. I make my way to the cell that contains the Drizzt-clone, only to have the DM describe a shadowy figure get there first. I decide to sit back and see what happens. Promptly my Senses check comes up with

Clone: Who are you?

Figure: *draws sword, Removes hood, revealing similar featured drow*

Clone: You! No! It can’t be, you’re dead.

The Clone basically rushes the other drow and tries to get out of the cell and make an escape.

…tries.

The drow promptly rolls a nat 20 on what the DM said was a Violent Disable check, and cuts our clones leg off.
Then he promptly steps over and coup de grace for a one hit.

I’m completely shocked, firstly for just the sheer lack of resistance by the player operating the clone, (He fought tooth and nail to be able to make this Drizzt-clone) and then because the DM then describes the drunk guards coming back, who I was sure I had locked in one of their own cells.

So I do the only thing a Swordmage can do in times of trouble…. I drop my Assault glyph right on top of this drow assassin, doing a double arcana and stealth check to not be noticed. They pass. I then just sit back and watch. The drow then spider climbs onto the ceiling and tries to drop on top of one of the guards.

Because it’s not me, My glyphs passive makes him fumble it. So then we hear more noises and apparently the Captain was going to mess with our Paladin and found the guards locked up. So we have the entire crew charging down a 2 wide hallway. The drow uses Cloud to block them and starts sprinting towards me. Again I just be Mr. Sneaky and trip him. Pass. He hits the floor, the captain has a sword at his throat in seconds. The DM promptly hands our single D20 to the previous player of the clone and says “Your Turn”

Turns out the player decided to kill his old character off and replace it with…… wait for it….. A Drow Entreri clone.

I Immediately throw my hands up in disgust and decide to screw this character over. I pop the glyph and make it explode in a flash of light. After a six turn charge the glyph pretty much blinds everyone but me. I leg it passed the blind pirates and through the Cloud. Only to run face first into the heavily armored bosom of the Paladin. Quite literally I, blurt out the first thing that comes to mind ” I didn’t kill anyone”.

Meanwhile The pirate captain starts swearing and also adds in “Whys there a ******* leg here” everything goes pretty smoothly after that. The “new” drow gets a pair of nat 20s on his Diplomacy checks and explains away the issue. And then the Paladin slaps me with the leg for not rushing in to help the Clone.

 

By: Dashiell Gallagher

Whack-a-Sith

I was GMing for a Star Wars campaign that had ended the previous session with the party sneaking into an unmarked Imperial facility. Since we had a new player joining us, another player had helped him to generate his character across the week. I should have been a lot more suspicious of the Soldier Wookiee than I was at first glance. It wasn’t until we were halfway into the adventure that I found out what had gone horribly wrong.

The party didn’t figure out where they were until they snuck into an empty classroom, at which point they figured out that this was a training academy for Imperial Inquisitors. Foolishly, they decided to send a message on open comms that sent one of the Inquisitors poking around the classroom, looking for who was not supposed to be there. Miraculously everyone, even the Wookiee, made their Sneak checks and the Inquisitor rolled a Nat 1. It was here that I found out what had gone wrong.

The Wookiee, because of his size, had bought feats allowing him to dual wield large-sized weapons. This he had combined with the triple attack feat and a slew of talents that reduced his penalty for dual wielding and extra attacks down to virtually nothing. Having caught the Inquisitor flat-footed, the results were disastrous.

The Wookiee leaped out from his hiding spot and caught the Inquisitor full-on, hitting him with four power hammer attacks in the surprise round. The Inquisitor wound up ping-ponging back and forth between the wall and his attacker until he was bludgeoned into unconsciousness, one-shotting what was supposed to be a formidable enemy. The party then decided to take the Inquisitor captive and taped him to the Wookiee’s back, forcing me to look up (for possibly the first time in history) the appropriate encumbrance penalty for having a Sith taped to one’s back.

The moral of your story? Always find out who the min-maxers are before they join your campaign, and then monitor the character creation process closely.

 

By: SOAS

Deck of Many Things

This happened a bit back, with my first character in a giant campaign some friends and I were doing. We had about 10, maybe 11 people, but they’ve been swapping in and out that I can’t be accurate anymore.

Anyways, we had just gotten back to the tavern and (since I don’t remember the miniscule details) we found ourselves in the presence of a Deck of Many Things. So one of our members decided to draw from the deck. The first card he gets is imprisonment of his soul on another plane, his body now comatose.

Our DM decided that (either through rolls or off the top of his head, I don’t remember) that his soul is stuck in the gem of the Sultan King of the Fire Plane around his neck, and the king now doesn’t want to take the necklace off. To spare him the evils of the deck, DM was nice and moved on to the rest of the group, dismissing the other cards that would have been drawn.

I remember someone got a Keep, someone else got experience but was bare naked, and something else happened to the other guy in our group. So I decided to draw two cards.

Before I go on, I want to say that I was playing a ranger who loathed the Undead. It was up to the point where I would rather sacrifice everything to kill one skeleton than save a village.

So, my first card was lucky. I got a random magic weapon. DM rolls for the weapon, and each time he rolled, he looked more and more in disbelief, and finally told me what I got.

DM – You now have a +4 Disruption Flaming Undead Bane Shortbow

Me – ….What?

Then he started to laugh hysterically, and everyone couldn’t believe that I had received the “Undead F*cker 69″. Major discussion ensued, and epic roleplay of my ranger seeing the bow as her child. Then everyone shut up because I had one more card.

The next card caused some random person to hate me uncontrollably. Guess who it was?

The Sultan King.

 

By: Diera, the Undead Hating Ranger

Blame the Gnomes

We were playing 4e without minis and whole bunch of house rules.

Playing in a party that includes all small races, 2 Gnome wizards, halfling rogue, Kobold Cleric who spent all his points into intelligence and used some BS to make it so he new every language. I was the rogue.

Only one player was a medium size, he was a human druid. I’ll call this guy James to protect his anonymity.

In James’ back story he had a wife who lived in a nearby city to the woods where the campaign mostly took place.

We had a lot of loot so we wanted to go to the city. Only humans could enter the city and having magical abilities or using magic was punishable on penalty of death.

James’ house was only 2 streets down from the gate. James distracted the guards and we sneaked in, James walked to his house normally while the rest of us sneaked through the back alleys.

We were Inside James’ house. His wife wasn’t home. Kobold goes to the basement and begins drawing plans for a tunnel system that would lead from the outside of James’ house to woods. The Gnomes went to James’ coat cabinet and tried sitting on each other’s shoulders and wearing a trench-coat as a disguise as their bluff and ability to disguise was tragic.

The druid and I went upstairs to his storeroom where we could store excess equipment.

The we hear some banging noises at the door. DM says you hear a noise at the lock that doesn’t sound like a key normally would. James transforms into a Bear. Door breaks open.

James bounds down the stairs and quickly stops and he realizes it was his wife. He stops as two Gnomes wearing a white trench-coat fall out of the cabinet onto there backs with the coat open and attempt to bluff as a travelling bear salesmen. They fail rolling a 7+1.

Wife is too shocked to scream. I decide to stay upstairs. Kobold is too embedded in his work to notice.

Wife draws a flintlock pistol. Points it at the Gnomes. Keep in mind that Gnomes, halflings and things are considered evil devil spawn in this society.

James changes back into human, botches diplomacy calls his wife by the wrong name.

She points the gun and James attempts to fire. Botches her roll. Pistol backfires and does 2d8 damage. She takes 15 damage but has only 8 hit points so she obliterates her own face and a chunk of her brain flops to the floor in front of James. Her body falls to its knees and dies. James falls to his knees in sorrow. DM says to James “You realize you left your key in this side of the door making it impossible to unlock from the other side”.

Kobold comes up stairs carrying 8 parchment scrolls of tunnel plans. He sees two Gnomes on the floor wrapped in a trench-coat, James on his Knees and a woman missing half her head on the floor. Kobold walks over to James’s wife. DM tells him there’s nothing he can do to help the woman. Cleric says he knows then loots the pistol and begins working on a way to make unbreakable so it cannot back fire and carries it for the rest of the campaign.

A few sessions later the Kobold missed a pistol shot on an Ogre which hit James in the knee cap. The wound got infected and James wouldn’t allow the Kobold to come near him to heal it. Eventually his leg had to be amputated and had to use a peg-leg from then on. He also had the peg-leg in bear form.

 

By: TheAverageCrocodile

Memetic Door

This happened at our most recent Pathfinders session.

Cast:
Aasimar Sorceress
Human Paladin
Half-Dragon Fighter
Half-Elf Rogue/Ranger (Me)
Gnome Druid

Our party set out to a nearby mountain to confront a band of Kobolds who have been pillaging the city at night. After some failed negotiations we eventually take one of their generals hostage and force him to take us to their chief as he is “Communing with our God.” Eventually we reach a large iron wall with small Kobold size doors on them.

Our GM declares that all medium sized creatures would have to crouch to pass through it. Most of our group is annoyed because it feels like a trap but we think the Gnome would have no problem with this. Except for one thing. Our Gnome Druid was already Wildshaped into a Velociraptor and didn’t want to change and waste the form change for the day. So like the others we all crawl under (In my case, with my high Acrobatics check I decide to limbo under the door. Just for kicks.) and safely pass through.

Then a thought occurred to me and I laughed until I had tears falling from my face. Getting odd looks from my friends I collect myself and explain to them that we literally just Opened the door, Got on the floor, and Everybody walked the Dinosaur. I will remember this for years to come.

 

By: Submitted

 

 

Hugged to Death

The Party
Moga: Dwarf Barbarian Twin Sister of Mogo, distrusting of letters and readers
Mogo: Dwarf Barbarian Twin Brother of Moga, distrusting of letters and readers
Koko McLoggins: Elf Bard serenades with Smooth Hits from the 70s, cousin of Round Ears
Splorn: Overweight Gnome Ranger, deathly afraid of squirrels
Merkin Dax: Elf Cleric specializing in Healing in Brothels
Round Ears: Elf Rogue, childhood nickname given by her cousin Koko
Smooth Not Mellow: Human Sorcerer always tripping from licking his hallucinatory toad familiar.

After waking up in a cave the party had been exploring the day before we disabled the alarms and traps on the room’s only door. As we opened the door we hear an enemy run down the passageway (the day before we had slaughtered 27 Gnolls in the entrance of the cave). The dwarves quickly give chase, with the rest of the party not far behind. As we reach the end of passage we find a Necromancer and 27 Gnoll Skeletons in the large entrance room, and the entrance is sealed. He gives us the option to join his undead army voluntarily or after we’re dead he will add our corpses.

The dwarves rage and charge, I cast a well placed fireball the evaporates a majority of the skeletons, the elves and splorn begin firing arrows and bolts. The Necromancer disappears. We mop up the remaining skeletons without too much difficulty.

While examining the sealed entrance the Necromancer reappears and casts Black Tentacles ensnaring nearly everyone in the party, the dwarves aren’t ensnared and charge his position as a wall of stone forms around the Necromancer.

The elves, gnome and myself can’t get free of the tentacles, round after round we are re-grappled whenever we get free another tentacle captures us.

The dwarves beat down the wall of stone finally breaking through and attack the Necromancer. Mogo swings his great axe and connects solidly but the Necromancer merely laughs at him. Moga tries the same with the same result.

Koko has an inspiration and tells Mogo to grapple the Necromancer, and both dwarves do. The Necromancer can’t break free and Mogo and Moga pin the Necromancer to the ground and begin to Squeeze each round. Merkin gets free miraculously and helps grapple/squeeze the Necromancer. While the rest of the party cannot escape the tentacles the cleric and the dwarves continue to grapple and squeeze

As the party remains grappled by the tentacles the DM finally says “Screw It” and tells the dwarves “You hugged him to Death!”

 

By: Smooth Not Mellow

DnD And Role Playing Stories