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200px-Deities_&_Demigods_(front_cover,_first_edition)Just a quick note to say that I am running a summer youth camp right now, which is why the blog has been silent lately. What I’ve posted has been stuff written in advance (like this one for example). The kids will soon dismiss me, though, and I’ll commence bloggenating proper once I taste freedom.


Okay, most of you probably aren’t going to get the point of this story, and some of you may flee in terror shouting ‘nerd alert! nerd alert!’ That’s okay, because, well, …guilty as charged.

The game was D&D, and it may have been the mid-90s, but we were playing first edition. I was the Game Master, and two separate gaming groups (one from Las Vegas and one from Flagstaff) had come together for a single game session. Each of the players had several characters on the table and we were engaged in a massive battle with an army led by evil forces. At some point in the evening, the players had achieved a clear victory over that army, so I thought it was time to wrap up the long game session and give the players their just rewards for a battle well-fought.

I told the players that an evil God (Li Kung, I believe) had descended upon the battlefield and congratulated the party on their victory, asking them to consider sparing what remained of the evil army and allowing it to quit the field. In exchange for this, Li Kung would grant a number of favors. At this point I meta-gamed the issue and simply told each player that they could ask for 1 favor for 1 of their characters. The players readily agreed.

It didn’t take long for the players to begin making their requests. Most of the specifics were perfectly forgettable, but one of them stands out. This player prefaced his request with the words; ‘it can’t hurt,” which I actually thought was probably a safe assumption under the circumstances. He then asked for a Holy Avenger for his Paladin.

I thought about explaining to the player that his great and Holy Warrior ought not to ask an evil deity to provide him with a weapon that was supposed to be a symbol of his faithful service to his own (good) god.  Then inspiration struck me. I told the players that Li Kung nodded his head and then disappeared. The players chatted a moment in character, wondering where he went and whether or not this meant the deal was off. Then the evil one reappeared with a great sword, which he offered to the Paladin, the bloody stump of a human hand still gripping its handle.

“Oh goody!” the player was positively beaming.

He wasn’t entirely sure why the sword functioned as a simple +2 weapon.