There is a term within the gaming community known as the Partykill, coined originally by Dungeons and Dragons players I believe, that refers to a whole group of adventurers being wiped out all at once by a single challenge. Usually it’s something pretty standard like a building collapsing on their heads, triggering a nasty poison trap or challenging a monster that’s way bigger than the party can handle, like a dragon. Partykills such as those are nothing to be ashamed of. You try, you fail, and you roll up new characters; that’s just the way it goes sometimes. There are however occasions where the group gets wiped out by something so stupid and pointless that you can’t help but shake your head. Every gamer has a story of one. Here’s mine.
I was playing a rogue character in a D&D game that was beaten to near death at the end of the previous gaming session. The rest of the group managed to fight off the monsters and bind my character’s wounds so he didn’t die, but I was still unconscious and helpless. We didn’t have a cleric or any healing potions, so they all decided to take me back to town to recover. We start the next gaming session making the journey back to civilization.
Along the way we come across a well. Not a magic well. Not a well containing a horrible creature. It was just a hole in the ground full of water. Somehow the fighter ended up falling in and, since he was covered in about 60 pounds of armor, failed his swim check and started to drown. The ranger shouts out, “Don’t worry, I’ll save you.”, and heroically dives into the well to save the fighter. She too fails her swim check and begins to drown. Next comes the mage. He carefully climbs down the edge of the well, slips slowly into the water… and begins to drown.
Unable to assist my aquatically challenged party, all three of them die a watery death. My fate was to starve to death on the edge of the well. I may not have been conscious for the 15 minutes that gaming session ran but on the plus side I can at least say I outlived everybody.
A shining example of collective stupidity.
Every gamer has a story about stepping on a four sided die (d4) at on their way to the bathroom at one in the morning. If you don’t know what a d4 looks like they’re pyramid shaped. No matter how they’re thrown, they always land point side up, like caltrops, which is what makes them so much fun to step on.
I, colossal geek that I am, ended up doing something far more stupid.
One day I am engaged in particularly gripping Dungeons and Dragons game; everyone’s excited and having a good time and the dice are being rolled furiously. Yes, furiously. In the middle of a scene I reach for my glass of coke and since I’m down the last inch or so in the glass, I just tip my head back and chugged the whole thing. Then suddenly there’s something’s lodged in my throat. I coughed, I swallowed the obstruction, then I drew an inordinate amount of attention to myself as I spit soda pop across the furniture. At this point I am of course profoundly embarrassed and did my best to clean up the mess without really getting into detail about what happened. I wasn’t sure I should, as I really had no idea what it was I choked on at the time. Could have been a cat toy for all I knew. Or maybe I bought the crunchy Coca-Cola by mistake.
I didn’t actually find out until two weeks later, at the next gaming session when I was going through my dice bag. Yep, I was missing a d20. I can only assume that’s what I choked on; it sure felt about the right size going down. I suppose either I or someone else using my dice made one hell of a miss-roll and dropped it in my glass. Or maybe it was sabotage. Gamers are a nasty lot. Not to be trusted… Anyway, I’m just glad it was a nice round d20 and not a d4. It wasn’t fun to swallow but of all the dice required for a D&D game, it sure could have been worse.
Something for the Warcrafters out there:
20 stacks of Tenacity on a demonology warlock in Wintergrasp = 128k health, 4-5k health regen from Fel Armor, DoT’s that tick for 5k damage and a Shadowbolt that blasted for I don’t know how much (enough to one shot a lot of people). I literally could not be hurt. When I got down around the 80k health mark (which took the efforts of at least ten allies) I would just switch to life draining everything and top right back up again.
Didn’t last long as a bunch more hoard showed up and the tenacity buffs started peeling away but for about 3 minutes I was the godliest warlock ever. I wish I’d taken a screenshot with my voidwalker out. All the pet’s stats are based off the masters, so my Voidwalker was pretty uber as well.
Right click and select “View Image” to see it full size:
Behold! 80 levels of wasted youth... and this was just one of three characters...
I don’t play Warcraft anymore since I’ve rediscovered writing but it was fun for a time.