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  1. - Top - End - #61
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    As a player, if I know the DM fudges rolls to save players, I have to assume he fudges rolls to save his big bads. Even if no suspense was lost by my character's effective invincibility, I'd still prefer a fair-dice DM just so the NPCs I want dead don't get plot armor either.
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant
    I want tools to use in the game, not a blank check to do what I want. I can already do what I want.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    @above: I don't think you do. A Big Bad is different from a player.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    {Scrubbed}
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2009-07-21 at 12:49 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    {Scrubbed} He admitted to being, at least possibly, wrong.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2009-07-21 at 12:49 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    {Scrubbed}
    The discussion is interesting: fudgin rolls is an argument very faceted, and there are valid opinions from both sides.
    {Scrubbed} I always like to remember the forum rules.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2009-07-21 at 12:50 PM.
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    Very well then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes. (W.Whitman)


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    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
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    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    {Scrubbed}
    In terms of fudging, I think it depends entirely upon the purpose. and it really depends on how fudging changes the game. and then there's HOW you go about fudging a roll.

    for example, say a PC wizard is trying to disable a device that can destroy the world. Failure here pretty much ends the game for you. the player rolls up a 1. If you go by your own rules, the world now must end, and the campaign is a monumental failure. Not exactly fun for the most players, if you ask me.

    However, I can also understand that once you make a practice of fudging, you now put all of the player's accomplishments and risks they've taken into question. Were they really the great heroes who risked life and limb to save the world, or were you just being too kind and handing it to them on a silver platter? The crux here is not the question of to fudge or not to fudge, but it's whether or not you acknowledge the roll that is being made.

    A fudged roll that completely ignores the results pretty much says, "I ignore that roll", which then calls into question of all that has transpired before, especially if done often enough. But fudging, when done in the context of simply scaling back a little to give the players a break, but STILL acknowledges that they made a bad roll? Now that to me is good fudge.

    Maybe the wizard in question, instead of having the world end, the world ends... in a fashion... but not in a way that pretty much ends the game. (i.e. FF6, world of ruins style)

    fudging, I dare say, is as much of an art as it is about putting together an appropriate encounter, and probably as much skill as putting together encounters for players that don't make the players feel like the GM is constantly just coddling them or ruining them.
    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2009-07-21 at 12:50 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    well, it's possible that I'm just being paranoid, and Jolly Stevens is just reading and absorbing and actually believed he could be wrong. Maybe. but my gut tells me he's just trolling.
    Well, at least his OP was well developed...

    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    but alright, you guys are right. the discussion itself is a valid topic. So I'll weigh in too.


    Quote Originally Posted by elliott20 View Post
    In terms of fudging, I think it depends entirely upon the purpose. and it really depends on how fudging changes the game. and then there's HOW you go about fudging a roll.
    Agree.
    The thing is: the DM job is to render the game entertaining. The players should have fun. It's what you intend for "fun" that matters.

    For example, I'm not sure that fudgin to avoid an unlucky pc death is so good.
    Once I was killed in the first combat round, by the battleaxe of a frost giant with a lucky crit. I was slighty wounded previously, and I dropped to -12.
    I was really pissed (it was a random encounter), but I'm glad the DM didn't fudge anything: D&D world is a dangerous place, and some monsters are dangerous also for the possibility of an high crit.
    (Side note: we clearly saw on the DM face that he would have fudge the roll, if he only could... his face's expression was very funny).

    It depends not only on the players, but also on the moment.

    As a DM, I played a fight with a Yugoloth against the group, in one of the climax of a long adventure.
    2 pc dead, 2 incapacitated, only 1 active, with few hp; the Yugoloth had 1 hp remaining: the pc failed the SR for 1... they didn't knew the yugoloth SR, so i declare the successful hit.
    All my players jumped exalted on their chairs.
    I'll never regret to have fudged that one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiyanwang View Post
    Great analysis KA. I second all things you said
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    Great analysis KA, I second everything you said here.
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    If I have a player using Paladin in the future I will direct them to this. Good job.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    @OP:

    It's basic psych. Everyone wants to feel special. They all want the drama, the risk, the possibility of dying.

    But they don't want to die. That sucks.

    So when you have that great cliche story, and assume people want it as written, I submit to you this:

    Most people don't know what they want.

    This is true in many aspects of life. Whether it's games, romance, or what-have-you, expect that if you ask a question about the desires of another, and the subject is more complex than their favorite flavor of ice cream, it's pretty safe to assume that they don't know. They just think they do.

    To find out what people want? Observe them. People want what they gravitate to.

    Yes, it's cynical. But basics is? In epic fantasy? People generally like being the A-Team. They like going into the situation that nobody can solve, and solving it. Compare that story versus:

    "You're going into the lair of the kobold warband. It seems that every season, about this time, they start raiding the caravans, and have to be beaten back into their holes. Traditionally, the farmers just round up a posse, and flush them out themselves, but with the deepening drought, they can't spare the commoners to go scare the runts this year."

    Real epic there. It sounds like the equivalent of taking out the garbage and doing the dishes. People get chores every day in real life.

    In fantasy? Let them fantasize. Let them shine. Give them drama, action... If you fudge a few rolls here and there to provide them with that? No big.

    As for the thread thing? Around every table? There's 4 players and 1 DM. As campaign world creating is pretty intense, you can expect a DM to have 1 or 2 in years and years of running.

    Conversely, each of those four players can go through dozens of sheets. So there's more Characters than campaign worlds.

    That said, the background for most characters being epic, most characters having a shining moment?

    A DM setting the stage.

  9. - Top - End - #69
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    yes I am fully aware of the irony in my post.

    I always felt that fudging also has much to do with the system too. In games like Fate, fudging is an actual BUILT IN mechanic, which means that at some level, you're expecting it to happen.

    Clearly, as you can see, it's not just about your general approach, but also about your players too.

    Some games I've ran were about making the players AWESOME. In those games, fudging is pretty much a guaranteed thing. Even if the player's fail, they fail in a way that allows them to comeback.

    In D&D, where the game has a certain level of grittiness built into the system, fudging becomes a bit trickier and requires a light touch. The same in systems like Burning Wheel, where fudging could probably ruin the game. And in systems like this, you fudge only if you KNOW what can increase your player's enjoyment.

    I remember a long way back I was running an OA game, and the players at level 3 ran into a girallion (I think it's a CR 5 encounter). A tough fight, to be sure. But I didn't realize how deadly that encounter would be. First round, one of my players had just built her new samurai character, with a ton of interesting character potential and all that. First round, girallion charges in and punches twice, landing both hits. This also means that the creature gets a free "rend" attempt. at level 3, nothing can survive that. She ended up getting taken down to -17 in one round.

    At this point I realized that I had totally ****ed this one up. At this point, I just came out to player and said, "look, I didn't realize how deadly this would have been, so how do you want to handle this?"

    luckily, she was a good sport about it and said that she's cool with just letting the character die. The rest of the party, of course, didn't like that. They wanted to see her character do stuff with them and didn't like how deadly this encounter was.

    so at their request, we came to a compromise. Instead of having her character ripped into two, her character was left alive, but lost the use of one arm, and basically couldn't get that arm back until she scored a high level healing spell. (Something that was quite rare in the game)

    This actually led to her changing her character concept from cool samurai archetype to some kind of "one armed swordsman" character, which was actually really awesome.

    Though, I'm not sure this is really fudging, but I think the spirit is the same.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    General Rule:

    Narrative Game ----> Fudge to Obtain a Scene

    Sandbox ----> Take What You Roll

    Exceptions Examples: Avoid Wipe, Supervillain Ovestimated.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    I think it depends on the situation...

    We have had a our DM in LotFR fudge rolls because he gets...incredibly spawney sometimes.

    Like getting over 150 damage on a roll of 5 ten-sided dice of which he keeps 3...
    Don't you just love exploding dice :)?

    All the players get somewhat exasperated when he goes on his lucky streaks because no matter what we do his rolls tend to beat us (and this is with the guy showing his dice rolls) but sometimes it is very funny to watch.

    He does not hold back all the time so characters die but he does try and not kill characters off all the time because he is quite aware that one-shotting players characters when facing random mooks 5 times in a row is really boring since that player would end up writing characters for most of the games instead of playing.

    And yes, I have been one-shotted technically 5 attacks in a row and he fudged it and said I was knocked flying out of a window and landed somewhere in heap unconscious, had a building collapse on me and had to dig myself out, had all my limbs shattered (good thing one of the guys can use healing spells so I can get back up without too much trouble) by a peasant with a club doing enough damage to kill the BBEG in one shot because the peasant missed the bad guy and hit me instead...(oops!), got pincushioned by enough arrows that I would pass for sieve quite easily (this while in cover and facing people who need to roll at least 2 tens on the dice while rolling 4 dice...) when I am driven enough to normally ignore anything short of instantly being knocked unconscious or death and each arrow did enough damage to kill me outright and the barn I was hiding behind...(when your plebs do enough damage to make Hida Kisada have to pick up his dice and roll very well to avoid taking damage you know they are doing well...) or the latest where he suddenly found out that the attack would kill me and kill the fellow player standing behind me in one shot..just because he rolled ridiculously on damage.

    This guy has a great feel for story telling but his dice rolling is a serious issue when there is a system with exploding dice for skill checks and damage so he tends to fudge things that feel over the top or detract from the story line.

    Last game he would have done a TPK because every single one of his attacks hit and every single hit would do enough to kill even the toughest guy in the party outright. He did end up killing one of the players as it was appropriate and the guy had not lost a character already.

    When your DM ends up doing rolls which are beating 1 in a 100 odds on every single roll he almost has to fudge things because lets be honest doing a TPK because he rolled stupidly high and we did not roll ridiculously high is a bit of a downer.
    I did not even get to act against the big bad, his initiative was so high I did not get an action before being chopped down and since initiative in this game keeps increasing if you are not getting hit he keeps going before anybody else and we were stuck fighting 30 mooks (which we were handling ok-ish since those we were killing but even then those mooks did massive amounts of damage and ate up all of our healing spells, when you take 30+ damage from a thrown rock, a 1keep 1 damage attack, on your healer you know you are in trouble) we could not mug the big bad.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by GoatToucher View Post
    What then do the players want the dungeon master to provide?
    A sandbox. If I wanted railroaded drama, I'd go watch a train wreck. Excitement around every corner! Unknown frontiers! Intriguing conflicts! Limitless adventure! The rules are there to make the referee's life easier. Players can see a story where there isn't one.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    True. You said a great thing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
    Quote Originally Posted by ken-do-nim View Post
    DMing is how you turn D&D from a game into a hobby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    For 4.0? I expect them to whine to the DM until he makes the big bad boogeyman go away.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maroon View Post
    A sandbox. If I wanted railroaded drama, I'd go watch a train wreck. Excitement around every corner! Unknown frontiers! Intriguing conflicts! Limitless adventure! The rules are there to make the referee's life easier. Players can see a story where there isn't one.
    -1.

    This is not a "one extreme" or "other extreme" situation.

    It's not either
    "adhere to the glorious RAW at all times, and shun all fudging"
    or
    "yippee! No rules, we only roll because it makes us happy!"

    There is room for bending the rules. This is especially useful in games where there are characters of differing levels of optimization, or in games where the DM dramatically overestimated party capabilities.

    Should it be risk free? No.

    Should a DM screwup cause a TPK? No.

    Should a player who plays monks because he likes them suffer for being at the table with a devotee of the Tippyverse? No.

    At the end of the day, it's about fun. The rules serve the fun, not the other way around.

    It's like the matrix. Some rules can be bent. Others, broken.
    Do you really think that's air you're breathing?

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Talic View Post
    So when you have that great cliche story, and assume people want it as written, I submit to you this:

    Most people don't know what they want.

    To find out what people want? Observe them. People want what they gravitate to.
    I think this is basically true. And in my experience, players gravitate to dangerous games more than they gravitate to easy ones.

    I've known many DMs. Looking back on them, though, I can pick out three who were especially good and especially popular. Other DMs weren't bad, but these were the ones whose campaigns got planned for obsessively and talked about even a year or more after they'd stopped running them.

    And they all killed PCs ruthlessly. Up to the level of one PC per session, even.

    So based on my observations, players like danger.

    - Saph
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    The dice are not the boss of me. I take their decisions under advisement.

    That said, I largely roll up front. Being as I DM 4th edition, it's harder to completely kill a player you don't want to completely kill. I routinely drop players for a quick nap. If it looks a problem, i tend to just remind the others that they should probably make a heal check or something, because X is still making Death Saving Throws, yeah?

    I take it further, actually, and tend to make the players roll their own damage. You don't get fairer than that. Sadistic as it is. ^_^

    The one time fudging was required was in KOTS's most infamous encounter, Irontooth. I didn't need to fudge much, just cancelled a crit. I'd already negated some of the 'game ends' problem by simply having the Kobolds be attempting to capture the pc's, to coerce them into helping them get out from under Irontooth's thumb.
    It's how I tend to do my 'fudging'. By not fudging, but instead changing things other than the numbers.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    The dice are not the boss of me. I take their decisions under advisement.

    That said, I largely roll up front. Being as I DM 4th edition, it's harder to completely kill a player you don't want to completely kill. I routinely drop players for a quick nap. If it looks a problem, i tend to just remind the others that they should probably make a heal check or something, because X is still making Death Saving Throws, yeah?

    I take it further, actually, and tend to make the players roll their own damage. You don't get fairer than that. Sadistic as it is. ^_^

    The one time fudging was required was in KOTS's most infamous encounter, Irontooth. I didn't need to fudge much, just cancelled a crit. I'd already negated some of the 'game ends' problem by simply having the Kobolds be attempting to capture the pc's, to coerce them into helping them get out from under Irontooth's thumb.
    It's how I tend to do my 'fudging'. By not fudging, but instead changing things other than the numbers.
    Thats a nice way to put it

    In the homebrew game I am running now, death is permanent. Though since I don't like fudging dice rolls I have modified the existing system to make players harder to kill. But yeah, I too have had to cancel out a crit before...

    That is a kickass idea about making the players roll their own damage, I am gonna have to start doing that
    Been there, fought that, died horribly.

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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    One thing I'm going to be doing in a campaign later this year is partially adopting these rules. Not all of them; but I really like the negative-hitpoints = your positive hitpoint total.

    I'm also cutting out instant-death magic entirely, as to be honest it does two things I hate: 1) Can trivialize an encounter for either side. Either A) It obliterates the monster or B) obliterates the PC. Or if both sides happen to be death-warded, it suddenly becomes pointless.

    2) It goes quite far in discouraging blasting. "Why do hit point damage if I can just instant-kill you?" (There's still plenty of other ways of knocking someone out of the fight of course; but suddenly HP damage is actually important. Obviously Blasting is still sup-par technically; but at least it's not competing with "You're dead.")

    I figure that the two above changes combined; and using the 4th edition "Your con score is added to your HP at first level" rule should allow me to avoid fudging too often.

    I feel fudging is perfectly fine and valid - but it gets obnoxious when the dice seem bent on a laughable player death <x.x> So cutting out some of the worst offending situations should help make that a bit better.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    The dice are not the boss of me. I take their decisions under advisement.

    That said, I largely roll up front. Being as I DM 4th edition, it's harder to completely kill a player you don't want to completely kill. I routinely drop players for a quick nap. If it looks a problem, i tend to just remind the others that they should probably make a heal check or something, because X is still making Death Saving Throws, yeah?

    I take it further, actually, and tend to make the players roll their own damage. You don't get fairer than that. Sadistic as it is. ^_^

    The one time fudging was required was in KOTS's most infamous encounter, Irontooth. I didn't need to fudge much, just cancelled a crit. I'd already negated some of the 'game ends' problem by simply having the Kobolds be attempting to capture the pc's, to coerce them into helping them get out from under Irontooth's thumb.
    It's how I tend to do my 'fudging'. By not fudging, but instead changing things other than the numbers.
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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    PS This doesn't mean that DMs shouldn't try to be creative. Just that there are ways of being creative that work better in role-playing games. Interesting 'bits' - single encounters or individual characters - don't fall apart because someone rolled a 1.

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    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    I think this is basically true. And in my experience, players gravitate to dangerous games more than they gravitate to easy ones.

    I've known many DMs. Looking back on them, though, I can pick out three who were especially good and especially popular. Other DMs weren't bad, but these were the ones whose campaigns got planned for obsessively and talked about even a year or more after they'd stopped running them.

    And they all killed PCs ruthlessly. Up to the level of one PC per session, even.

    So based on my observations, players like danger.

    - Saph
    Unless danger wasn't precisely what they gravitated to.

    I can run a game where the party feels, every encounter, like they are inches from death. And, if they do something dumb? They very well will die. But as long as the players play smart, there are few deaths.

    Most players love it.

    I can run a game where the party feels that deaths are a real risk. Because they are. Characters die frequently.

    Most players like that too.

    I've concluded that most players like my DMing style (not holding hands, and minimal railroading) moreso than that.

    Players FEELING safe? I can tell you most don't like that. But there's no need to have regular deaths, as long as players believe that there could be.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: fudging rolls isn't as good as you think it is.

    For most systems, the sweet spot for a GM is to make it just hard enough that the players think that their characters are in real danger. Obviously doesn't apply as much to "death is cheap" systems like Paranoia, or campaigns which are 100% hack and slash. My personal experience as both a player and a GM, however, is that many players in a roleplaying scenario will have some level of personal attachment to their characters. They put a lot of time and effort into those characters, and it's not enjoyable to see such a character get arbitrarily killed off. I especially dislike it when some GMs almost immediately resort to killing off characters as a punitive measure (I can see it happening when the player is continually disruptive and they are getting kicked out of the group, but I've seen GMs who kill characters if the players go off the rails).

    That's not to say that there's not a proper time for characters to die. The best times to have characters die is either to ratchet up the stakes (the characters of players who drop are easy fodder for this) or during the climax of the story. I've been in games where the epilogue was much cooler as a result of my character's death, for example.

    In one particular instance (Mage: The Ascension), my character, a rabid gamer who awakened and took a sharp turn for the Chaotic Evil, was killed trying to liberate a pack of werewolves from Technocratic scientists (mostly for the lulz). As a result, his body was buried in the werewolf cairn and he was posthumously made an honorary member of the pack. It was his final "F--- you" to the universe, doubly so to the party's Euthanatos, who rescued him on several occasions when he almost died because she decided that she should be the only one who should be allowed to kill him. Good times.
    I am within your stronghold inflicting fatal attacks upon your conscripts.

    I Am A: Chaotic Neutral Human Wizard (4th Level)
    Strength-13
    Dexterity-12
    Constitution-14
    Intelligence-15
    Wisdom-13
    Charisma-12
    What D&D Character Am I?

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