01
Mar
10

arnold and the allosaur

I’ve been bad about blogging – I’ve got little to say these days – but let me tell you about my character… (And solicit your own tales of bravery!)

Last night, while exploring the Caverns of Thracia, my 4th level Magic-User Arnold Littleworth stared down an allosaurus which had just devoured our platinum robotic liger.

Like this but made of Platinum

Rest In Peace, Loki

(Yes, we have had a platinum robotic liger.  This is not the focus of the story.)

Two things are noteworthy about this encounter:

  1. The rest of the party all ran away in terror.  I won’t kid you, I wanted to run as well.  But to the true hero, glory matters more than life itself.
  2. I cast a spell I researched: Zolobachai’s Impertinent Invitation basically allows you to mingle with monsters until the boss shows up.  Thanks to some sloppy drafting on my part, it worked perfectly in this situation.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time in the OSR that a Magic-User has researched a brand-new spell and cast it in play. (Though I’d be happy to be proven wrong.)

Not only has Arnold, also known as Zolobachai of the Nine Visions, traveled between two different campaigns, and been immortalized in print (entirely due to Tavis’s greatness) – but he is also Using Magic like a fiend.

What crazy, foolhardy tales of derring-do has your character been up to?  For me, this is the third or fourth time Arnold has risked crazy death:

  • Arnold – no weapons, no “good” spells – brained a Lizard Man with his frying pan in his first adventure, purely to save Colin Tree-Slayer’s life.
  • Arnold – again, no weapons or “good” spells – toppled a mind-controlling statue in order to save the party
  • Arnold swindled an 11th level Wizard into eating Giant Eagle dung, in order to lift a curse on his comrade, Sir Argus the Rat-Knight
  • The whole thing with the allosaur, yadda yadda old news

So although Maldoor is smarter, and Forager is more ingenious, and John is more noble, and Ookla is more sensible, and Chrystos is funnier–I think Arnold is hands-down the bravest and most gutsy.

Like this, but alive and smelly

Yes, I Defeated You (by just barely surviving)

I’d be happy to read tales of courage in the comments!


9 Responses to “arnold and the allosaur”


  1. March 1, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    I stick by the analogy that finding a robot liger is like finding part of the Rod of Law in that it commits you to either finding the other six parts or finding all the ligon/jagger/tigon hybrids. However, by that analogy it now seems that what you must do with them when you find them is destroy them in suitably Gygaxian artifact-destroying ways; “crushed under the heel of an ancient dinosaur” certainly qualifies!

    While some of the tales of gutsy things Arnold has done cannot yet be told, a suitably Mulish analysis of cross-party bravery comparison must take play frequency into account. During what percentage of sessions he’s played in has “Zolobachai of the Nine Visions” exhibited these heroics?

  2. 2 James
    March 2, 2010 at 12:37 am

    Tavis, no White Box scholar worthy of the name would dispute the existence of a Golden Tiguar, an Electrum Jagupard, a Silver Doglon, and a Copper Panther in addition to our Platinum Liger.

    But the associated conjecture – that these robotic beasts are to be piloted by five courageous Halflings, and in times of trouble combine into a gigantic Adamantine Half-Elf to defeat the Tarrasque – is the subject of much acrimony.

    If that’s the case, maybe we should get Loki repaired.

    Regarding frequency of play, I’m not sure how many sessions I’ve attended, and I’ve left most sessions early.

    But in courage-per-minute (CPM’s) I’m probably leading the pack.

    Of the regulars I suspect only Chrystos is even remotely close, though some of the irregulars like Spider-Dwarf and Colin Tree-Slayer might rival me.

    But I think when you look at what I have to work with (Efficiency-Adjusted CPM’s) I’m still punishing.

  3. March 2, 2010 at 1:38 am

    I agree that Chrystos is stiff competition. He did volunteer to be the guinea pig for six untested magic swords, and poke out his eye to replace it with a magic one he found in a box in a dungeon. In the spirit of fostering this rivalry, I’d be open to having you tell me that what appears to others as a bathrobe of AC 4 is actually Arnold’s experimental new skin…

    I think that the destruction of Loki the Liger proves that y’all are fated to ride the Tarrasque to victory, and the only thing that could stop you would be the assembly of the hobbit Voltron.

  4. 4 James
    March 2, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Yeah, I guess Chrystos is my peer, or would be if Ookla didn’t keep shooting down his proposals.

  5. 5 maldoor
    March 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Chrystos and Arnold are more-or-less tied in the ballsy/brave dept.

    I think Arnold Littleworth and his alter-ego Zolobachai easily win the “most gonzo” award.

    A second category might be “most consistently applies role-playing hurdles” through not using the obvious workhorse spells like sleep, or weapons other than a frying pan. I would say your chief competition here is Ookla, who has done a great job of fleeing the undead – despite being one of our most capable fighting-men. (John Fighter and his amnesia are no longer in the running).

  6. March 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    Well, I think the frying pan does the standard 1d6 damage of all weapons in Tavis-Land, so that’s not really an obstacle.

    I haven’t played enough games with undead to notice Ookla’s peculiarity: last session was really the first time it came up, but I agree in principle.

    Does John’s devotion to Law and general Goodness count as a role-playing obstacle? If so, he’s beating me.

  7. March 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    There are different lenses through which to view a character’s courage.

    When a player proposes to take some wildly dangerous action, the rest of the group often tries to dissuade them. (They may also spur you on because watching you self-destruct is funny, but that’s another matter.) This is typically because the reckless PC is a group resource, and if your PC dies, that reduces the party’s chances of success as a whole. What happens next is based on how you view the importance of the group!

    An example: a couple of sessions ago, I declared that my cleric Caswyn would go into the lich Patariki Van’s chamber to try and destroy the PULSING PILLAR OF EVIL that seemed likely to be his phylactery, thus preventing the lich from returning to bedevil us in future. The rest of the group told me not to, and I acceded to their wishes. Sure, Caswyn would probably have been devoured by a Type IV demon, but he might also have permanently killed an eighteenth-level wizard-lich! But I didn’t make the attempt, because I put the group’s consensus before my own intent.

    Meanwhile, when others pooh-pooh your efforts to put Arnold in harm’s way, you (along with Chris) are more prone than most other players to discard the advice of your fellows and do your own thing. So instead of Arnold being brave and other characters being cowardly, it might be a case of other players being obliging and James being insouciant. It’s a matter of perspective!

  8. March 9, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    “part of the Rod of Law”… makes me think of the “Staff of Law” from Steven R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series, which then makes me wish I knew someone that could pull THAT campaign off because I would love to roleplay a leper who has the power to destroy the Arch of Time. “Leper, outcast, unclean” indeed!


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