How I was punished for defending myself in a fake trial


(I’m sorry for my English, it’s not my first language)

It was my second attempt at D&D after the first one ended up terribly. I followed two of my party member and friends to join another party who was playing an Homebrew campaign. We three were noob at D&D (altough I roleplayed in other contexts) and therefore we asked to be patient with us. 

The party soon consisted in my friends the Human Thief and Dwarf Ranger, an Half-Elf Warrior, an Homebrew!Race the Catfolk Barbarian, an Halfling Warlock and my Elf Bard. 

The campaign was… not great. Me and the other “noobs” player were continuely left behind, especially me since I I struggled with some technicalities, mostly rolling and counting on my mind for the damages (I have Dyscalculia). Now that I know how to DM a campaign I can say that it was nothing major, campaign breaking, or even frustrating – I merely took one second more than them to communicate my attacks or rolls. 

At a certain point a NPCs of the DM joined and become nearly as powerfull as a god, and he left the party only because we all got angry. 

Also, soon the Warrior and the Warlock became protagonists of the campaign – all the sessions I remember, the great plot lines? They were all resolved by them, in a way or in another. They would impose themselve in everything, by talking with all NPCs, proposing all the plans, and the Warrior pretended to duels all our enemies – and the DM did not stop them. Now, I was not doing anything else during the sessions. I was not playing with my phone or leaving the table. I listened to the DM, still wanting to propose ideas, and so on. But I had realized they would not listen to me, nor the other players… so we did not bother. And we were never told to start talking or partecipate more.

We played all year until december came. I immediatly notified my DM that I was going away for the holidays and would not be present. I also clearly told him that I would have no problem with them continuing the campaign, if he would not kill my character (something my previous DM did when we skipped more than one session) and instead gave a quick realistic excuse for why I was absent. 

He stopped me right there, swearing and perjurying that he would never play so many sessions without a player, that they would wait for me (even if, again, i told them not to, since we played twice a week and I didn’t found fair to stop the campaign for four sessions) and that he didn’t even want to play during that time. And it seems he was sincere: when during the holidays I called the Thief and among our conversations asked him if they had played together, he told me no.

Except it was a lie. I came back in the city to found this: not only they had played during the holidays, but since they all had lots of free times, in a span of two weeks they played something like eight sessions. When I asked why they would lie to me instead of simply telling me, they said they didn’t want to upset me (altough I clearly said I was okay with it), but don’t worry! The DM had found a perfect explanation for why my character wasn’t there: he had went back home for the anniversary of the death of his parents, to mourn them at the local temple and honour their memories like he did every year.

As I told in game to my party at least three time and had written in the BG, my character’s parents, siblings and girlfriend waiting at my village were completly well, happy, and alive. I had even a cat at home.

At first I tought it was a way to kick me out of the party but my friends and the DM basically begged me to stay. For the next four or five session things actually went well, we roleplayed all together and it seemed like we were really a party. The only bad thing that happened was that the Warrior had a really nasty fight with the DM and left.

And then came the Trial.

During the eight holidays sessions the mostly evil characters, the Thief, the Ranger, the Barbarian and the Warlock found themselves with their moral compasses (as I was merely Chaotic Neutral leaning on Good and the Warrior was Chaotic Good) gone (the Warrior missed lots of sessions too during that period). They then did everything they could do that would classify as evil: killed lots of innocent NPCs, stole from literally everyone and everything, burned down an entire village during a fight, you know, those things. My DMs decided then that he would rightly made them understand that actions have consequences, and soon the whole party (now those four and me) was arrested and brought to the King to face justice.

We started a trial in which we had to defend ourselves… and of course since the party was guilty there were no good proofs to our innocences. We tried everything, corruption, diplomacy, I even tried to seduce one of the judges (something that actually made my character pretty uncomfortable as she was really really old, but the reaction of the DM was priceless and we all laughed a lot) but between failed rolls and various other unlucky events, it seemed that nothing mattered and we were going to be punished (at that moment, we tought with death or worse) for what we did.

Then I remembered that did nothing. As every single action had happened during the holidays, I was not in the sessions. My character wasn’t even in the session: he was off, as the DMs retconned after finally asking for my bg, visiting his family.

And so I told the King just that. I was asked to roll deception but I objected: I was not lying. There were literally no proof that I was with them during the foul acts, no one had seen me, no finger prints, my entire village was a witness of my innocence. When asked why I was associated with those evil people, I cryingly told the jury that they were so kind with me, that they were my friend, and surely they could have not been evil? They would have killed me otherwise, wouldn’t have they? I tried to defend them as much as I could (and the Barbarian actually put up a solid chain of lies to help me, with a Nat20 at a certain point, and was ignored), but the King/DM told me to not overdo it and to stop, so I did.

I was declared not guilty, but the rest of the party was not. They were forced to work for the King in a terrible quest for slaying a monster far away. I immediatly offered to follow them by my own will, since they were my friend (and I actually wanted to free them), and that’s where my DM told me I could not do it and that I would have to create a new character if I wanted to stay in the party.

He was very angry because I had defended myself in the trial (something I discovered had been impossibile for my friend to do, guilty or not, because he wanted them imprisoned and working for the King) and I even tried to save them. He was angry because I should have been there doing all those bad things with my party (even if it was not how I played him, even If i told him i would not be there at Christmas) so we could have all been imprisoned. 

I told him that if following by will wasn’t enough, I could still do something to be enslaved, as for example following my original plan to free them but automatically fail and be enslaved in the process, but he said that I had ruined the moment and thus he didn’t want my character there anymore. I asked him if that was really necessary and he turned to the table and announced to my party (who were pretty angry for the fake trial and distraught with what was happening) that my character, while leaving the trial grounds, stumbled upon the entrance stairs, rolled down and broke his neck falling to the ground… ending up with his face in horse’s poop. 

I immediately left the party, and with me the Ranger, and later I discovered that two session later, the campaign ended when the Thief and Barbarian left too. 



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