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Messages - sinanju

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General Chaos / The New World!
« on: December 31, 2017, 01:06:07 AM »
So, having volunteered to GM a new game for my gaming group (somebody had to, as the current GM is tired and wants a break), I polled them on what they'd be interested in playing. Fantasy was the top choice. Well, as I'm sick to death of D&D (I loved the hell out of it for many years, and it was my introduction to role-playing games, but that was forty years ago...) I thought about how I could do something different.

For one thing, we'll be playing Fantasy Hero. ("Are you a lawyer?" "No, I studied the Hero System rules instead....") For another, I had a brainstorm--and I'm going to use Ross's New World setting for my game. With lots of changes and additions to make it my own, of course, but still. The idea of a tabula rasa where I could set the parameters of what exists and what doesn't, and steer away from all the D&D-esque cliches that are so ingrained in many fantasy RPG players' minds was a godsend. So thanks, Ross!

Because of you, my PCs will be trying to colonize the New World instead of dungeon-delving. They'll be exploring Lemurian ruins, every one of which is at the center of some kind of Zone of Weirdness (think magical Chernobyls scattered across the east coast of America), to justify a variety of one-off monsters. Magical "Kudzu" that has completely engulfed all other life within miles, and is only restrained from covering the continent because it can only exist within a certain distance of one of the Lemurian ruins. Or the ruin where gigantism is a thing. Giant...everything exists in that area, but can't leave (though the PCs will stumble across the occasional dead giant critter that wandered too far and died. And the Night Folk, stolen from Niven's Ringworld--they're ghouls, and they exist in huge numbers; as long as the humanoid races don't bury or burn their dead, they're content to take the dead. If not, well, they're dangerous in a fight. Plus, if they're treated respectfully, they can tell you all kinds of things about the peoples and places in the campaign.

The more I've worked on this game, the more fun I'm having figuring out what I can throw into it. (Every Lemurian ruin will also have a grailstone (from Riverworld) at its center, though I haven't figured out what they do--did--in this world. But they're there.)

RPGs / Re: Delta Green Agent's Handbook
« on: September 28, 2016, 04:05:06 PM »
Well, I ordered the Agent's Handbook and Need to Know from Amazon last night. I should get them tomorrow. Good to know that the full RPG will be out in December.

RPGs / Delta Green Agent's Handbook
« on: September 28, 2016, 01:26:13 AM »
I've been listening to, and very much enjoying, the "God's Teeth" Delta Green campaign. So much so that while I was haunting my Friendly Neighborhood Game Store this evening, I picked up a copy of DG:AH and leafed through it. It looks interesting, and I'm tempted to buy it.

Except...there's not a word about Mythos Things Man Was Not Meant To Know (tm) in it. No real adventure design or Gming advice.

I was under the impression (enhanced by the book itself, which bears the legend A Role-Playing Game of Lovecraftian Horror and Conspiracy) that this was a complete game. Apparently, I was mistaken, and it's only a sourcebook. Which is a little disappointing. It means I have to buy TWO Delta Green books. Curse you, Arc Dreams! <shakes fist futilely at the heavens>

RPGs / Wushu Wannabe
« on: August 27, 2016, 02:23:34 AM »
I've tried to get my fellow gamers interested in trying Wushu. But, alas, most of them are too enamored of their crunchy superhero games. I had such plans...including some very entertaining (or at least I found them entertaining to create) supervillains to fight.

KID KAIJU is a 13 year-old boy, a bit scrawny but scrappy, with tousled hair. Not above using his obvious youth and small stature to scam adults. He can transform into any Kaiju he can imagine, but no larger than a big man.

Style: torn jeans, tattered sneakers, and no shirt as often as not.

4 – Turns Into Cute Miniature Kaiju
5 – They’re Not Cute At All, They’re Horrifying!
3 – Hey Mister, Can You Help Me?
1 – Enraged When Dismissed as Unimportant or Unthreatening

His monster forms may only be human sized (albeit a very large human), but they pack a punch all out of proportion to his size. He can fling armored cars around, shrug off the heaviest ordnance the army can produce, and bring down buildings like a full-sized kaiju. It will just take him longer.

THE HINDENBEGGAR was just another bum (or “homeless person” to gullible do-gooders) until the night some rich kids out looking for trouble chose him as their target.

Style: Filthy cast-offs and a grimy watch cap, several days growth of beard.

5 – Oh Now You Respect Me—Because I’m A Threat!
4 – I Depend On The Kindness of Suckers
3 – What Am I, Invisible?
1 – Temper, Temper

Stomping Grounds: New York City, NY

Once John Smith was just another bum. Or “street person” if you’re a credulous do-gooder. The city is just full of do-gooders who can’t wait to put a little cash in your tin cup, or food in your belly. And some of those high society dames like a man with a few rough edges, if you know what I mean. There are shelters for cold winter nights, and the hospital ER will always give you care if you need it. Food, shelter, booze and broads were easy to come by.

Until the night a bunch of hooligans thought it would be fun to set a bum on fire. They were almost as surprised as John when, instead of dying in a fire, he discovered his power to wield it like a weapon. Yeah, they were surprised, all right. Briefly.

ALEXEI TORSHIN was once a low-level thug, an enforcer for a mid-level eastern european syndicate. Then he was captured and interrogated by A Man With A Very Particular Set Of Skills (tm), electrocuted and left for dead. But he didn’t die. He changed.

That was years ago. The man with the particular set of skills is long dead, and Alexei has moved on from revenge to capitalism. Murder is his business, and business is good.

Schtick: He absorbs, generates and throws around electricity.

Style: Supervillainy has been good to him; he could give 007 fashion tips.

5 – Shocking. Simply Shocking!
4 – The Women, They Love Me
3 – Euro-Trash
1 – Inveterate Womanizer

Stomping Grounds: Europe primarily, but he goes wherever the job takes him.

RADIATION RAVAGER is a skinny college student whose lifetime of being bullied and dismissed has left him a seething ball of rage. Maybe that’s the source of his power, the ability to unleash godawful damage with a look. Maybe he’s a mutant. Maybe his fairy godfather finally came through. He doesn’t care. All he knows is that his days of being bullied are over and it’s time for some payback!

Style: White jumpsuit with radiation icons in red, and flip-up shades.

5 – Ultraviolent Vision
4 – Collateral Damage Is A Virtue
3 – Take Me Seriously, Goddammit!
1 – Socially Inept

RPGs / Re: Hacking Red Market question.
« on: June 10, 2016, 04:44:16 PM »
I think step one would be to go hard on the Spelll Components & rituals.

wizards have to have enough eye of newt and enough books to nuke their foes, clerics have to appease their patron deities with lavish rituals and or sacrifices, druids have to maintain plants and feed and look after the animalst hey use. Scorcerers are tricky but I imagine you could come up with a reason why they have to spend bank on not being torn apart by forces beyond their control.

...and if you do it right, you can really step hard on the mages' humanity tests. For instance, in a game I played in many years ago, we had a list of potions one could brew, with the primary ingredient listed for each. Potions of blinding required...three blinded mice. Potions of fear required..the heart of a drowned cat. (If it was just a job, you a put noose on the end of a long stick and did it as neatly and quickly as possible. If you were sadistic, chainmail gloves and tub of water would do.) And so on.

"You're going to drown the cat to make a potion. Roll or take some trauma, you sadistic bastard."

I always thought started small, and got worse at an exponential rate.

From "Hmm, that's odd" from a military tech at seeing some strange behavior by drones/computer systems/whatever to "Houston, we have a problem," when they realize the strange behavior/malfunctions are a) widespread, and b) not malfunctions but instead deliberate actions by the machines, to "Oh God! It's the Apocalypse!" in a matter of hours. (One of the first signs: all the automated factories around the world murder the (few) humans who still work in them, and pretend via comm channels that everythings' just fine so nobody knows for hours or days that they're turning out war machines now instead of cars and appliances....)

I envision some particularly forward-thinking government types hitting the alarm button early on, but being shot down by their superiors for being alarmists. Some continued trying to convince them. Others knew a lost cause when they saw it and ran for the hills (or for the nearest farcast facility to get the hell out of Dodge ASAP.

For most people, though, I expect it went from Just Another Day to The Apocalypse in the seeming blink of an eye. By the time the uprising (for lack of a better word) by the machines became visible to the public, the war was already lost. All that was left was running and screaming and genocide.

So, yeah, the world's nuclear arsenals get hacked and launched to sow chaos, mistrust, and megadeaths. But also, "Emergency Broadcast System" announcements full of basilisk hacks to turn neighbor against neighbor, citizens against the authorities, etc. And then the drones. And THEN the nanoswarms. All in a carefully calculated series of attacks so people are thinking, "Oh God! It can't get any worse. OH GOD, IT"S WORSE!"

RPGs / Re: Core Activities in Role Playing Games
« on: May 10, 2016, 03:27:01 PM »
In Champions, players use math to define common tools and weapons in excruciating detail, then use them on bad guys. (I kid, I kid. I've played Champions since the first edition, and I enjoy it but it's not for everyone. Some people get a law degree. I learned Champions.)

RPGs / Re: Anecdote Megathread
« on: January 30, 2016, 11:37:10 AM »
Speaking of dwarves planning a GURPS Fantasy game once, one of the players (who tended to be somewhat obnoxious in real life in a "I know better than you about everything" kind of way) was playing a dwarf. In his typical fashion he'd acquired heavy armor and a potent axe and considered himself a real badass. The other PCs had encountered some goblins and gotten trounced--we'd run away rather than stay to fight and die. Obnoxious Dwarf (tm) had not been present for that encounter. He decided, for reasons best known to himself, to go out and confront the bad guys on his own, certain he could take them.

And one on one, he probably could have. But he encountered three. Two armed with spears and one with a crossbow. Run by a GM who was familiar with basic tactics and was as annoyed by the dwarf player as the rest of us. He warned the player (without declining subtlety) that he was not the unstoppable badass he thought he was, but was in over his head. The dwarf's player would have none of it. He charged into battle.

One of the goblins stabbed him in the foot through his unarmored leather boot, crippling his foot and reducing him to a hobbling movement. Then the two spearmen took up positions to either side of the crossbowman, using their spears to keep the dwarf at bay while the crossbowman slowly and carefully shot him near to death. He eventually blacked out and woke naked and badly injured, all his gear and gold gone.

Of course, the lesson HE drew from all of this was that the GM had cheated and/or been afraid to have the bad guys face him man to man. (Which was bizarre, given that our gaming group's ethos has always been "if it's a fair fight, you're doing something wrong." But the rest of us were highly entertained.

RPGs / Re: Anecdote Megathread
« on: September 12, 2015, 11:39:02 AM »
What happens next? He makes up a new character for the next adventure. The Expendables had a high turnover, which was both expected and intended. It was a game for a bunch of rules lawyers and ruthless power gamers, whose credo was "if it's a fair fight, you're doing it wrong." They expected the GM to be as ruthless as they were. And as we all took turns running games, that was generally the case.

Except for Todd. Poor Todd. He just didn't have the killer instinct. And one day he decided to run a GURPS Vampire the Masquerade game. He asked if we wanted to be Camarilla or Sabbat. "Sabbat!" we chorused. I'm sure he had some kind of plot in mind, and it involved fighting werewolves, who tended to attack us by jumping in and out of the Umbra like Nightcrawler teleporting all over the Oval Office in that X-Men movie. (I was pretty sure it didn't work that way, but whatever.) We dealt with them by throwing grenades around wrapped in silver wire.

When we weren't busy fighting werewolves we were street racing through Portland, shooting at (and throwing grenades at) our opponents because We're Sabbat. We Don't Care! We engaged in contests to see which of us could be cruelest and most inventive about killing humans. (And I have to say this is one of the few times I saw this group all pause, and consider what they were doing, and back off because it was just to psychopathic even for their murderous characters.)

Meanwhile, one of Todd's pet NPCs hosted live local wrestling shows on television on Friday night. Of course, he was a powerful vampire. So one of the PCs decided it was time for some diablerie. On live tv. So he goes to the wrestling show, kills any (human) security guards who try to stop him, and goes after the NPC vampire with a broadsword. The vampire's vampire goons intervene and there's a huge vampire brawl on live television. PC fails to kill the NPC, but does manage to get away.

At which point the Prince of the City calls my character and another PC into his office. He demands that we find our friend and kill him for what he did. We refuse point-blank. We point out to him that he didn't have us searched before we entered his office, we're very heavily armed, and we can take him and his goons. And after some dithering, we escape unharmed.

The thing is, if ANYONE in the group but Todd had been running that game, our response to the Prince's orders would have been to click our heels together and salute, shouting, "Sir! Yes, sir!" Because we'd have known that the Prince of THAT campaign both could and WOULD murder us in a heartbeat for that kind of insubordination. But this was Todd. We knew he almost certainly wouldn't have them react that way, and more importantly, we were pretty sure that if he'd tried we COULD have taken that roomful of NPCs. We'd have tried, anyhow.

So, the lesson here is: these guy will run roughshod over you as GM unless you've demonstrated you can play hardball too. Which is why, when confronted with a helicopter gunship, these guys immediately surrendered (except for Frank).

RPGs / Re: Anecdote Megathread
« on: September 06, 2015, 03:27:07 AM »
I was running The Expendables in GURPS. Think Stargate, only exploring alternate dimensions instead of distant planets. The PCs were a a group of hardened rules lawyers who strained to carry a huge inflated liferaft filled with a mountain of gear for every conceivable environment and situation thru the gate, then figured out what they actually needed. (I told them "only what you can carry, and you have a 30-second window" and this is what they came up with. I couldn't argue.)

So in this adventure I had them step through the portal and find themselves tumbling into a huge mass grave filled with corpses. My intent was to have them running and gunning in a world where the Walking Dead were running amok. (The mass grave was where the government was dumping the zombies who'd been killed for good.)

But the players/characters immediately fell into Paranoid mode. They began spinning increasingly elaborate theories about a dystopian US under a brutal martial regime... and it sounded a lot more entertaining than my idea so I ran with it. They were chased by black-clad minions of the President-For-Life and his ruling junta, and eventually were cornered by a helicopter gunship. The gunship pilot demands their immediate surrender over the speaker system.

Most of the players can't drop their weapons and throw their hands in the air fast enough. All except Frank, whose player is not good at quick decisions, hates to lose, and will occasionally decide to take his personal Custerian stand at the oddest times. So he decides that this is the perfect time to pit his MP5 against the armored gunship with the mini-gun trained on him.

He gets off a couple of shots (to no effect).

A few other PCs all run for cover while the mini-gun hoses down Frank. One PC remains absolutely still, hands in the air.

The mini-gun turns Frank into swiss cheese, then makes short work of the fleeing PCs.

The surviving PC is taken into custody and placed in an interrogation room. They have a few questions.

"I sing like a bird," says the player. After all, he reasons, he's missed his window to return (if the PCs don't return on schedule after two tries, the address is written off). Once he convinces the authorities that he's not a rebel, he's got a good shot at getting recruited to join the black-clad minions enforcing the junta's rule. And that's way better than going to jail, or getting a bullet in the back of the head. And so he does.

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Re: I would like to lodge a complaint.
« on: September 27, 2013, 12:52:21 AM »
I also enjoy listening to the folks of IPMM (I Podcast Magic Missile). They're in central Virginia (Blacksburg), so the accents remind me a little of home (I grew up a little south of there). I especially enjoy listening their Monsterhearts AP sessions.

General Chaos / Jack Reacher: Murder Hobo
« on: September 27, 2013, 12:49:01 AM »
Some weeks ago my lovely wife and I went to the coast for the weekend. It was a little getaway for us from the day-to-day trials of her recovery from (her second) surgery on her (second) inner ear to cure her of a debilitating vertigo she's been suffering for over a year now. Not that she's completely recovered yet--that won't happen (per the doctor) for another three or four months. That's when she can expect to be fully recovered from both the surgeries AND from the vertigo that prompted them. But she was recovered enough to enjoy a weekend at the coast.

It was a very nice weekend. We drove down Friday afternoon. We spent a large part of Saturday on the beach, basking in the sun that shone on us despite the predictions of cold and rain. (Which came along on Sunday, a day late.) It was a great day. That night I wandered down to the lobby of the hotel to choose a few DVDs from the huge collection they provide for guests to watch.

We settled on JACK REACHER, the Tom Cruise vehicle from a year or so ago. I'd heard things about the movie, that Cruise was in no way the Jack Reacher from the novels (which I hadn't read), that it was a vanity project (another attempt to prove he was an action hero), etc. But still, we gave it a try.

And it was good. Really, really good. No, Tom Cruise is not 6'5" tall and 250 lbs. But the movie was still a damn good story, and he was convincing enough. We both were really impressed by that movie; so much so, that we bought a copy to own.

And I went to the library to find a copy of the book it was based on, ONE SHOT by Lee Child. The movie followed the novel pretty well. They filtered out a few characters and gave their duties to surviving characters, or simply did without. They gave some of the bad guys some scenes not in the book to flesh them out for the movie. And they added some action that wasn't in the book. But overall it was still a fairly faithful adaptation of the book--and it worked because of that.

I enjoyed that book very much. So I went and borrowed four more, and I'm working my way through them. They're entertaining and instructional. (From a writer's POV, any writer who can write a very popular novel series and get all the books optioned for movies is doing something right, even if his stuff isn't your cup of tea--and these are my cup of tea.)

Tom Cruise is NOT Jack Reacher. Reacher is huge, physically imposing, and a drifter. Jack Reacher is a "murder hobo" in the parlance of some gamers I know. (Your standard RPG action hero PC is a rootless wanderer who finds trouble, kills the guys behind it all--with or without collateral damage, to taste--and then moves on. A murder hobo.)

Jack Reacher is a murder hobo. A former officer in the Army and an MP, he lives with no job, no fixed address, and owns nothing but what he carries with him: the clothes he's wearing, a passport, an ATM card, a roll of cash, and a toothbrush. He supports himself with his pension and the occasional replenishment of his reserves from odd jobs, or cash liberated from bad guys who won't need it anymore. He wears the clothes for a few days, then discards them for new. Expensive habit? Other characters have remarked on that--and he counters with the question, "How much do you spend on your mortgage and insurance every month?" He takes the bus (doesn't fly) when he can, hitchhikes when he can't, and walks when he must.

Typically, he stumbles across villainy in the course of his travels, and when he is unable (sometimes) or unwilling (mostly) to ignore it, he gets involved. While he's capable of cunning, and definitely experienced at violence, he tends not to be subtle. The bad guys can't ever say they weren't warned at least once. By the time all the dust settles, you can be sure that a lot of bad guys will be fucked up, and at least some of them will be dead. Again: murder hobo. Let us be clear: some of the deaths are self-defense. Others are executions.

Jack Reacher is DOING what Jules only talked about in Pulp Fiction*: he walks the earth (well, the USA, anyhow) like the guy in Kung Fu, just going where fate takes him, with no job. Or in the words of Vinny Vega: "A bum." Or in other words, a murder hobo.

These are not "thriller" novels (they're too slow paced and densely written for that). They're mysteries, with action. There's always a mystery at the heart of each novel, one that Reacher will slowly unravel in the course of scratching his curiosity itch and/or teaching the bad guys that they messed with the wrong folks (either Reacher himself or someone he's protecting), before he lights the fuse on the final explosion (literally, in the book I just finished), and then heads on down the road while chaos reigns and the authorities swoop in to pick up the pieces and tag n' bag or arrest the bad guys.

They're not quite like any other novels I remember reading, but I'm enjoying them.

*To be fair to Jules, he may well have followed up on his plan. We just don't see it happen.

General Chaos / Re: Image Thread
« on: July 13, 2013, 11:54:11 AM »
I'm still trying to figure out how that would work, wouldn't it be "unstoppable force meets immovable obje... Snap! ... well nevermind."

No, I figure it's like two (well-muscled) normal men struggling against one another. Their superstrength/invulnerability cancel out. A normal man can break another normal man's neck, so Clark could break Zod's neck.

(Good thing for the mooks--uh, I mean, hapless civilian family, that apparently you can only shoot your heat ray vision straight ahead. Else Zod could have just, you know, glanced their way and incinerated them despite Clark's neck hold. I'm just sayin'....)

Man, that movie sucked is so many ways. I have a new appreciation for Superman Returns now. It was very, very problematic too, but there are ways in which it was far superior to this mess.

RPGs / Mind Controlled PC--Threat or Menace?
« on: July 12, 2013, 11:45:42 PM »
I was playing in a weekly face-to-face Champions game a couple of years ago. First one in years. The campaign ended with a double (two night) wrap up, since the GM is traveling to China for an indeterminate period for work. He wanted to wrap up the adventure we were having before he left.

So we confronted the Big Bad Boss Monster, a vampire who was stronger than any of us, faster than any of us, and had vast mental powers.

I was playing the Black Knight. He was based on the Kurgan from the original Highlander film. He regenerates like an SOB (I have 20 points of rPD and rED armor to represent the fact that any wound smaller than that heals so fast that it effectively doesn't even slow him down. Plus some Damage Reduction (even larger wounds heal really, really fast), and Regeneration. STR 50 and a huge sword for lots of HTH KA damage.

(For the non- Champions players among you, let me translate: Wolverine only wishes he healed as fast as this guy.)

In short, he's a combat monster who's very, very hard to stop.

Did I mention that he's got 2x Effect from Mind Control attacks as a disadvantage? And that the vampire had Mind Control? Yeah.

First thing the bad guy did was an area effect Mind Control command "Kill yourselves!" I was the only one who succumbed and I impaled myself on my own sword, to little effect.

So the vampire's second command--to me--was "Kill your friends."

The Black Knight ripped the sword out of his own torso and immediately attacked the nearest player character. For all the years I've played RPGs, I have a strict policy regarding my characters being mind controlled. And that policy is: do your damnedest to carry out your orders.

If my PC is under someone else's mental influence, I don't dither, or try to be deliberately ineffective. I fight just as hard and just as enthusiastically as I do when I'm in my right mind.

Alas for fellow player Ben, his character was closest. And he had virtually no resistant defenses. I sliced him nearly in half in one shot, and on my next action kicked his bleeding (but not quite dead yet) body into the next nearest PC. Which killed Ben's character and knocked the other character out.

Another player managed to disarm me and knock me down with martial arts at that point. (He was savvy enough to know he couldn't rally hurt me, but he could keep me out of action.) And before I could do anything else, the rest of the group managed to take out the vampire. But Ben's character was dead as disco.

I posted about this on another forum at the time and I was surprised by how many people came up with rationalizations for why they wouldn't have done the same. I understand trying your best to AVOID being mind-controlled by the bad guy. I do the same. But once it has been established that, yes, my will has been subverted and I'm under orders from the bad guy, I think it is a) only fair and b) a hell of a lot of fun to do my absolute munchkin best to fulfill them. If nothing else, it forces the other players to bring their A game, because I'm sure not going to hold back while I'm trying to kill them.

I have to say, though, that that was the most fun I've had gaming in a long, long time. Most of my gaming for the last three years has been online. Which is fun, don't get me wrong, but it's not the same. Sitting around the table, rolling dice, and making wisecracks and riffing on one another's jokes--it was loads of fun. I laughed more (and frequently harder) than I have in a long time.

RPGs / Re: Horror: How Far is Too Far?
« on: July 10, 2013, 06:42:15 PM »
I don't know that I have a good answer for "how far is too far." I only know that I've crossed that line.

My one-time gaming group, a bunch of unrepentant rules lawyers and power gamers once played a few sessions of Vampire the Masquerade. The GM, a regular member of the group, but not a real power gamer wanted to run it. And he gave us the choice: we could play Camarilla vampires or Sabbat.

Well, that was a no brainer. "Sabbat!" we chorused. Because why play a bunch of rule-bound emo-vamps when you could be a bad-ass vampire who thought the masquerade was for pussies? (Disclaimer: this may not accurately mirror how the games were written, but it was how WE interpreted the game world.)

So we created characters. Being who we were, we bend the rules to the breaking point to create the most obscenely powerful vampire characters our GM would allow (which was, frankly, way too powerful). And then the GM made the key mistake of not giving us enough to do. Left to our own devices, we started looking for trouble. Assaulting humans in the open. Holding drag raaces down crowded boulevards, complete with grenades being tossed at our fellow racers. Why? Because we COULD.

And then we started using our powers on people. It should come as no surprise that we had a couple of Tzimisci (or however you spell it) amongst the PCs. And they had flesh and bonecrafting powers. Which we used gleefully, in ever more vicious, horrific ways. It turned into an unspoken competition to see who could come up with the most fiendish, horrific, torturous fate to inflict on some hapless NPC.

It reached the point where we players all looked at one another--and realized just how depraved our characters were acting. And we stopped. Remember, this was a bunch of powergaming rules lawyers who LIVED for the opportunity to think up new and innovative ways to abuse the rules and break the system (any system) and demonstrate our cleverness in doing so. And we stopped, because...we'd managed to horrify OURSELVES. I've never seen that happen before or since. But we'd managed to plumb depths even we couldn't abide.

What took it too far? It wasn't simply a lack of regard for the lives of the NPCs (most hack n slash games involves killing lots of humans or humanoids with little or no concern). I think it was behaving like literal monsters, causing pain and suffering and death for its own sake. But whatever the reason it's an experience I've never forgotten.

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