READER: “What is the most memorable/ridiculous stunt a character of yours has ever pulled off, in a game and/or in your writing?”
Ed Greenwood (author of Elminster Must Die): Long ago I wrote a short story that followed a farfetched, ridiculous chain of events precipitated by a snooker game shot that went wrong (the ball bounding up off the table to upset a decanter, that when it toppled dislodged a wine bottle from its rack that rolled across the floor and tripped up a man who fell and crashed through a door, upsetting a table that plunged down a flight of stairs, and on and on . . .). Thoroughly ludicrous and improbable fun, which is also an accurate description of much of my life.
Erin Evans (author of The God Catcher): In gaming, I played an Eberron character who was a neutral evil sorcerer. I played Esha as selfish more than evil, but pathologically selfish. After defeating a naga, she and Markus, an artificer who’d also been kidnapped, searched the lair. Upon finding a pile of gold, Esha blandly put it in her pack and did not offer to share. I’m still surprised my friend let me do that. The DM was almost apoplectic, but it was in character, so what are you going to do?
In writing, it’s hard for me to describe anything my characters have done as being “pulled off,” since frequently it’s been the plan from the start that they’ll do that wild thing. If I were really there, I’d probably say the whole second half of The God Catcher was a bunch of ridiculous stunts that should have got Tennora killed, and what the hell was wrong with her? But if I were really there, I probably would have convinced her it was better to stay home and eat in instead of going out in the rain in the first place. It’s better I’m not a fictional person. (Friend Erin)
Christopher Rowe (author of Sandstorm): I once had a pilot eject from a chain plummeting straight down next to a plateau-top airstrip. He used timed it so that he came out at ground level to the runway and used the ejection chair’s parachute as a drag chute to slow himself down as he hit the ground running. Um, that falls under the “ridiculous” option for this question. (Friend Christopher)
Richard Lee Byers (author of Unholy): Characters in my stories have pulled off a lot of daring stunts. There isn’t one that stands out from all the others. In an Eberron campaign run by a friend of mine, my PC was a dwarf swashbuckler who would never do anything as prosaic as simply sword-fight when he could do something crazy instead. In one fight, he leaped onto the top of a powerful vampire’s head, and basically surfed there for several rounds, using his exceptional balance and acrobatic skills to stay put no matter how the vampire tried to dislodge him. It distracted the vampire and helped the other characters clobber him. At another point in the same fight, the dwarf also dumped acidic fire down the vampire’s pants. (Friend Richard)
Philip Athans (author of A Reader’s Guide to R.A. Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt): Well, there was that guy who killed and ate his mother in Scream of Stone, but then he was a mummy at the time and she was kinda mean, so it wasn’t really his fault. The lichdrow sending Gromph to halfling heaven in Annihilation makes me pat myself on the back. (Friend Philip)
"Oh, hello there, main bad guy and all his minions in the room we weren't supposed to go in until the end of the adventure. I [forbidding looking wizard person] was sent by YOU know who (that is, your boss) [bluff check success] to convey some important instructions to you, which I must do privately--or did you want all your scheming bodyguards to hear? [bluff check success, diplomacy check success] Indeed, we need to go into that back room where we won't be overheard. [diplomacy check success] Oh, and [gesturing at my fellow PCs] my bodyguards will accompany us, of course."
And it worked. (Friend Erik)
Richard Baker (author of Avenger): Back in 3e I played a sorcerer called Ulwhe in a playtest of City of the Spider Queen. I was developing the adventure, so I had to find an excuse to play stupid. So I played Ulwhe as a raving megalomaniac who was convinced he was the spawn of Talos, god of storms. On one occasion, out of sheer imperiousness and impatience, Ulwhe disintegrated a door rather than bothering to open it. Another time Ulwhe used five consecutive disintegrate spells to dig a pit beneath a triple-HD giant iron golem and drop it into the vast room below. If your only tool is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail. (Friend Richard)
Rosemary Jones (author of City of the Dead): I once played in a game where a friend’s fighter leaped blind into a hole to save another character. It was one of those “whaaaaa” moments for the DM, who wasn’t expecting it. When asked about it later, my friend said, “But that’s what heroes do.” I borrowed his move for Crypt because I thought he was right. (Friend Rosemary)
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