To begin this tale of woe, I must give some context and whose who. I also posted this on the r/allthingsdnd Reddit, so here it goes.
Background and Character Info:
I was the usual DM for this group at the time of the story, and I had gotten a bit burned out, and offered for someone to take the helm of DM for the time being while I recuperate, also giving me the chance to break out of the Eternal DM role and try out a PC I had wanted to play.
The DM (which is how I will refer to them in this story) was the first one to offer and started creating a setting right off the bat. I actually helped them iron out a lot of details, and even sketched a map of their world after he asked me to. Things were going well, at least they seemed to.
The DM thought he would go about creating certain roles for us to play, which essentially were starting points for our character’s backstories. They weren’t railroaded and with some imagination could very well be crafted into a truly cinematic and great story arc. This is where I will detail the other PCs involved in the campaign.
First, there was my character, a Scarlet Sorcerer Tiefling with fluency for disguises and acting, and was originally a slave kidnapped from his village in childhood, and grew to hide and manipulate the situation to his liking. For this story, I’ll refer to him as Scarlet.
Second, an adopted Dragonborn Fighter/Sorcerer mix, who grew up in the same village and family my character did, and both were the best of brothers and was the only survivor when the village was raided. He vowed to save Scarlet and anyone else who was living in the village, starting his quest to find the labor camps. They went by Ragnor.
Now eventually these two met up, escaped the camp, and made their way to the capital of the nation where they had gotten a tip that maybe there were more survivors, and maybe even their parents.
Both Ragnor’s player and I were heavily involved in the backstory so it would intertwine and have a good reason for traveling with each other in the original concept and were extremely excited to finally live their characters.
The third character was a Rogue Kobold, who, during the short time we roleplayed with her, was a spicy demon who got offended at the smallest thing and go feral at anything that looked at her wrong. Her Player made all her characters like that, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. I’ll call her Spicy for the moment.
And fourthly, the Human Cleric, who just so happened to be the DM’s girlfriend at the time. Her character was pretty much immune to most of the bad that had happened (it’s definitely a coincidence… right?), and she sat next to the DM at all times. I’ll appropriately call them Favorite.
Now there were more characters, but that would be a spoiler for the upcoming cracks in the campaign’s foundation, speaking of which…
Now I wanted to educate myself on the setting beforehand, as I was wanting to have the most context for roleplay and possible insights on our goal. DM mentioned how the capital city has a massive wall around it and how there was few magic-users anywhere in the world. Instead, a group of super-powered individuals began appearing throughout, which all had a “quirk” about them. I do recall specifically asking if magic users were disliked or illegal in this world, just so I knew how to act in certain situations. He answered no, magic was fine, and we continued other topics.
As we were getting closer to the time of the campaign, I had heard the news that this DM, who I should mention had never once DMed a campaign before, was starting session one with 10 Players. I know there that there’s DMs out there who can somehow magically orchestrate a campaign with that many players or more to make it work wonderfully, but for this DM, it was a major red flag.
So the day comes, with me and Ragnor’s player making it to the DM’s house right on time. We were both in massive yet slight nervous anticipation for the upcoming session, and I wished we never walked in.
So skipping to what actually happened, Scarlet and Ragnor make their way into the Capital, and of course, go for the classic Tavern and find a nice open booth to sit down in. Scarlet is in a merchant’s garb and strikes a conversation with the information broker, while Ragnor goes next door to buy a room for two in the Inn.
All while this is happening, the DM is introducing the other eight players, all on their business, and specifically focusses on Spicy the Kobold, who is also buying a room in the Inn.
Ragnor, being the kind selfless individual he is, saw that Spicy was having a hard time talking with the Inn worker, who couldn’t see her since she was so short. Ragnor went over, picked up Spicy, and softly placed her on the counter.
Both the DM agreed on the spot that picking a kobold up was a major taboo and trigger, so at that moment, craziness ensued.
Spicy began to screech at Ragnor (which was mostly taken as a joke by everyone, Spicy’s player was just having fun), eventually getting the attention of the other Players. Scarlet saw how rough this was getting, and tried to break up the fight. Spicy wasn’t having it and drew steel to turn things up a notch. Scarlet thought that casting Calm Emotions would perhaps mitigate the situations calm everyone down so they could just move on with everything peacefully.
Oh, how I was wrong.
As soon as the spell is cast, it seems to disintegrate before our eyes, having no effect. As well as starting the chain reaction of unforeseen-event that killed the campaign in its crib.
A massive metal dome formed around the city, all the gates closed, and an army of guards began to chase after the newly-formed party, chasing them throughout the streets and alleyways, eventually splitting the party. No one would dare talk to the party, calling them profane magic-user slurs and refusing any shelter. Scarlet and Ragnor went off on their own and were eventually trapped while trying to scale a building.
Everyone was gathered up and made to form a line, all fitted with magic-dulling cuffs and restraints. We were eventually confronted with a person with the “quirk” of permanently removing a person’s magic just by touch, and were all stripped of their abilities.
Proceeding this, the party was released, and the magic-stealer teleported to his palace which sat in the middle of a castle that was in the center of town.
Scarlet and Ragnor were furious, they had tried to calm everyone down and stop a fight and now were delegated to “sit back and watch the physical classes do most the work” roles.
Out of game, me and Ragnor’s player were confused and taken off guard, as we were blindsided by this apparently new hate of magic users according to the world.
I brought the earlier remark that the DM had told me that magic was allowed, to which he acted as I had never asked him that question in the first place and that it was planned from the inception of the world.
I was starting to get a bit frustrated but thought rationally. Maybe if Scarlet and Ragnor snuck into the palace, we could touch the quirky-guy again and our magic could be reinstated?
To achieve this, we planned that Scarlet would make guard uniforms to sneak in, with his affinity of disguises and high Charisma, he could convince the guard to allow them passage. Ragnor, meanwhile, would find information on the layout by utilizing the other party members as a distraction all while a parade cheered through the city.
Scarlet, who was not to be deterred by his lack of magic, used his Acting and Sewing talent to find the three cloth makers in the city and planned to commission each of them a different part of the guard uniform so none would get suspicious, which went horribly.
Every single vendor had the ability of mind-reading or Sherlock-levels of deduction, with no quirks or magic to be found in them. That in combo with some impossibly high chances of success (as stated by the DM), Scarlet was thrown out of every shop.
Each. And. Every. One.
The third shop actually got Scarlet arrested, and the fine they gave him made sure he couldn’t buy from anyone for a while.
Now for Ragnor’s poor fate.
Ragnor and co. go to the parade, which is featuring a local celebrity that also lives in the palace. Ragnor’s plan was to convince them of the pair’s blight and try to use his sympathy to help regain their lost powers. Problem is, this celebrity, has a quirk that causes anyone to make eye contact with him to be instantly infatuated with him.
I’m sure you could see where this is going.
The strange part was, the quirk was specifically detailed and explained that it was a non-romantic infatuation unless you were of the opposite gender. Problem was when Ragnor made the roll to resist this, he got a Nat 1.
The DM described and took control of Ragnor at that point, to the displeasure of Ragnor’s old player. The group took this all very light-heartedly, and saw it all as a joke, even when Ragnor climbed the parade float to Mr. Love-Me Quirk, and proceeded to have a staring contest, then make out with them to the Party’s and DM’s delight.
I have no problem against anything LGBTQ or anything, neither does Ragnor’s player, who later came out as Pan, but at the time, he and I were made extremely uncomfortable by this, as the combination of lack of control and low chances of any effect on our character’s dive-bombing fates.
Things got even worse, and extremely cringe-worthy when Favorite and Love-Me made eye contact. Now, of course, Love-Me was essentially a more attractive version of DM, which didn’t help the next interaction.
They saw each other and with the help of a Cantrip (I and the DM argued about this, as I wasn’t allowed to use any of my cantrips, yet apparently Favorite had a natural immunity against the full effects of the Magic-Removal Curse.), to which she succeeded and seduced the master seducer herself.
They began to make out, and that’s when one of the most egregious events happened.
Ragnor was (as narrated by the DM) so heart-stricken and jealous of Favorite, that he pulled out a knife and slit his own throat. No reactions. No saves. Insta-Death.
Ragnor became extremely pissed and texted me while he went to the other room. He essentially wanted to leave early, because he couldn’t handle the crap going on in-game or out of it with Favorite and DM making out every couple of minutes.
By this point in the session, of the 10 players, only about 4 remained at the table, as the rest had gotten bored and were all laying on the carpet in the next room, or waiting to be picked up by their parents.
I agreed that this campaign had crashed and burned, so decided to take my leave in the least disruptive way possible, to at least feign a slight amount of respect for the group’s effort.
Scarlet had been sitting, doing literally nothing while all of this had happened (for and out-of-game amount of time close to two hours), and when he finally witnessed the corpse of his adopted brother, with Favorite and Love-Me making out with excruciating detail, he was broken.
I described how he carried Ragnor out of town, into the sunset, and was going to add how maybe he buried his body in their childhood backyard but was not granted that possibility by the DM.
He interrupted and mentioned how Spicy and Favorite had convinced Love-Me to let them into the palace, and even gave them more powers.
With the attempt at trying to wrap up Scarlet and Ragnor’s story stomped down on, I just packed up and left with Ragnor’s player. I never huffed or had some dramatic exit, I just left while they were distracted.
And with that, we both quit, and the campaign fell apart before a second session, as a majority of the Players quit as well, mostly for different reasons.
And yet Scarlet’s journey does not end there, as I reused him for another campaign, which just so happened to go worse than this one.
If you guys want, I can have a part two where I detail Scarlet’s misadventures with a party of murder hobos and a DM with a thing for redeeming every single thing the party came across.
Long story short:
DM decides that he needs to screw over some player characters while making out with others.