Monday, August 16, 2021

The Things Heroes Do For Friends

Hey...guess it's been a while, hasn't it? Ummm...sorry about that, guys! Let's talk about something stupid that happened to my character in a recent RPG session. know how in The Oregon Trail games, you have a list of options of how to cross rivers when you come up to them? And you know how fording the river is almost always a bad idea? At least that's how it seemed to me in the Apple II version I would play in elementary school, maybe some other people had better luck. Maybe it works better if you actually pay attention to the river conditions. I don't know.

So, a little background on this campaign. A group of us have been pulled into a world that seems to be in a limbo state, neither dead nor alive, with six towers that need to be activated to restore what has been lost, and the towers seem to be reflective of the traditional elements (earth, fire, water, wind, and two others I'm sure the GM mentioned that I've already forgotten). At this point the earth and water towers have been reactivated, leading to a spike in seismic activity and torrential downpours. Which, naturally, leads to flooding.

Our party is heading towards what can only be described as the most dangerous part of the map, and there's a pretty sound strategic reason behind it. We're on the run from a group of villains (because what's an RPG without the main characters being on the run?) and since the villains themselves don't want to enter this part of the map, a ruined city with a bunch of advanced technology including killer automatons defending the place, seems fitting that, if we can tame the place or at least learn to survive there, it would provide a decent home base while we plan the rest of our actions.

Well, as it turns out the only way there led us to a place where the flooding is so intense that it's not even standing water at this point. It's essentially become a river.

Yeah, you know how you're told to "Turn around, don't drown" when you see conditions like this while traveling? Especially when a vehicle is involved?

So the group has been traveling with two wagons and a team of archeologists (because why not use that as a cover while we try to do things the bad guys don't want us to do?) and once we came to the river, we ended up having to take some time to consider our actions. Do we wait and try to fashion the wagons into rafts? Do we see if we can find boats elsewhere? Or do we tie a rope to the other side and try to brute force it?

Honestly the rope thing seemed like a good idea at the time, but one slip and a failed strength roll later, and down the river one of our party members went.

Naturally my character, upon ensuring that the cart was stabilized, dove right in after him. After all, he's the party's tough guy, having grown up in a frontier village.

And this is where it's important to acknowledge that this campaign isn't using the D&D 5e system where the Athletics skill covers a multitude of things including climbing and swimming. Nope, we're playing GURPS (short for Generic Universal RolePlaying System) specifically to make use of the different tech levels and a lot of other stuff as part of this world's setting. And in order to fit that generic mold, GURPS has a TON of different skills and skill sets. Including swimming.

And my character doesn't have that skill. And naturally, trying to save someone who is currently panicking, trying not to drown, my character diving in without thinking only made things worse.

Couple that with the dice being really uncooperative that night, and...well...

Nah, I'm just kidding, by this point the rest of the party had sprung into action, including one using the draft animals from the carts (these lovely things) and a party member who could actually fly, and we were brought to shore, my character doing slightly better than the other because they chose to rescue him first.

So...what have we learned from this?

I dunno. I guess sometimes when you have two choices ahead of you, the choice really ends up looking like this.