How a Diplomacy check banished the greatest evil of all


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This was a 3.5 campaign from several years ago, but I still remember what happened as if it were yesterday. For context, the campaign was being run by a guy I’ll call “J” who my party had been playing with for a few years, and we all tolerated him even if all of the characters he played were ridiculously min-maxed and he often cheated.

 Anyway, I had finished reading through the Savage Species splatbook and had a fun idea for a Chain Devil Cleric that I wanted to try playing, and I pointed out to J that my character being Lawful Neutral was plausible because Savage Species specifically stated “a monster who differs from the ‘Always X Alignment’ is a one in a million occurrence, but not totally unheard of” and I gave him a backstory which facilitated this. But J said no and if I wanted to play a Chain Devil Cleric I had to be Lawful Evil, and since he was DM I had to go with it and made Gerrick a LE Chain Devil/Cleric.
However, the book’s rules didn’t apply to J. He had a DMPC who was a Vampire, and he didn’t have a Vampire’s weaknesses to sunlight and inability to cross running water because, and I quote, “those are stupid weaknesses.”
The campaign featured my Lawful Evil monster Cleric, a Chaotic Neutral Barbarian, a True Neutral Rogue, a Chaotic Neutral Fighter, and J’s ubermensch of a Vampire Spellblade. Everyone was trekking through a forest as J’s bodyguards when we were attacked by a young red dragon. The fight was turning out fairly poorly for everyone who wasn’t J’s DMPC, who had rolled five critical hits in a row behind his DM screen. Soon J’s character decided to stop using spells and he ran up and grappled the dragon to drain its blood, and had rolled another critical success when he did so. Then the dragon flew away as J’s character clung to it and kept biting it, and this is where I rent everything asunder.

J: “You all need to chase after my character and the dragon.”
Me: “Gerrick can’t because he’s Lawful Evil. He’s looking out for himself first and his vulnerability to fire means he likely won’t survive another fight with a fire-breathing dragon.”
J: “But you’re LAWFUL Evil. You honor deals you’ve made.”
Me: “The deal he made was to act as his bodyguard. It’s not his fault that his boss suddenly went crazy and was willingly dragged away by a dragon. How can a bodyguard stop someone from doing something suicidal like that?”
J: “There’s gonna be a lot of money in the dragon’s hoard. Don’t you want that?”
Me: “He’s a CLERIC. He skims from the tithings paid to his church. He doesn’t NEED a dragon hoard’s worth of cash.”

It was at this time that Zallen, the CN Barbarian, spoke up. He said “My character pats Gerrick on the back and tells him “Come on pal, we can get a big payday if we go after him!”
I replied “Gerrick sets his backpack on the ground and pulls a fistful of gold pieces and a roll from it. I’m now going to roll a Diplomacy check as I hand them over… and with that 23 Gerrick will say “I’ll give you twenty gold pieces and some VERY tasty bread if you forget about that bad waste of good necromancy.”
Zallen, pretending to speak through a mouthful of bread, then asked “Fuhged abou hoo?”

Since Z was the only person who didn’t get mad at J’s blatant cheating, my pitiful payment was all it took for the entire group to say J’s character wasn’t worth saving and we wanted to head back ot town to see if there were any other jobs available. It was at that point that J went silent, packed up his stuff, and left. We haven’t heard from him in almost seven years now. We don’t miss him.


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