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(TFT) I remember the first time I killed

I remember the first time I killed.

     I remember the first time I killed.  A player, not some faceless monster.
When it happens I am just as surprised as he is.

     Darryl Mccreary, my brother Mark, and Scott Johnson are the players.  May
campaign is going well.  They are levels 26, 27, and 24 respectively.   I
follow some simple unwritten rules that basically amount to not doing what my
previous DMs have done to me.  Darryl used to be our DM, but he made me do it
after an incident.

     Darryl has us playing on the Kitchen floor at his place.  This gives easy
access to the iced tea, and the entire floor is tiled in little hexagons.  We
have great battles with miniatures there.

     One day we are fighting a dragon miniature and Mark reads out a rule from
the Dungeon Masters Guide.  Subduing.  We try for it.  Beating the dragon down
to a weak enough state, we force it to surrender.

     Darryl thinks about it.  I can see that he is having conflicting
emotions.  He looks from the dragon miniature, to the DMs guide.  Then he
looks over at our character sheets.  Still struggling within himself he seems
to go with his intent.  Conflicted, but certain, he looks right at us and

    ``The Dragon defies you and fights to the death.`` There is a little bit
of color in his face like he is slightly upset.

     Latter I ask him about it because Mark had seemed so disappointed.  I
know his mom, is a Christian, maybe dragons are supposed to be eternally
unrepentant or something.

     ``Why didnt you let him ride the dragon?``

     He bristles with emotion like I have touched some raw wound and he says
``Why dont you DM, Mike!``  And he has this look that says I dare you.  So I

     My method is to help the players figure out what they would like to do,
and do it.  Make what they want to become real.  I set up an encounter with a
dragon.  When Mark starts killing it, I suggest why dont you try subdual
instead.  And they beat it down.  Even Darrel is pleased with the result.

     I charge them a bit of gold for some customized saddles and saddlebags.
We then write down a seating order on a separate sheet.  Now my campaign is
off and flying.

     We play every day after school and all night on the weekends.  At Scott
Johnsons house we play in his parents sound proof party room.  It literally
has a disco ball, dance floor, and tower speakers.  We move a table in the
middle, load the fridge with drinks, pile up the munchies, and game non stop.

     One weekend after a particularly long session, where we used up the
entire module and I had to start making encounters on the fly, we come out of
the room weak kneed and blinking at the light.  Scotts back yard is rain
soaked, the lawn a fresh clean green.  Tender green limbs with bright green
leaves are laying everywhere.  There is a large limb laying across the fence.
We ask his mom what happened.  She says a Hurricane has come and gone during
the two days we were in there.

     So during one marathon session I realize they are getting too powerful.
They are fighting six Pit Fiends and beating them easily.  So I have one shape
shift into a gnat and hide in the ear of Marks 27 th level Ranger Lord.  Hell
follow them home then sneak off to tell all the demons where they live.

     ``It disappears`` I tell them.

     Darrel says ``I wish it back to normal.``

     Like a deer in the headlights it takes me a full four seconds to say,
``Marks head explodes.``

     They kill the Pit Fiend, staff of resurrect Mark who then says ``Ok. I
retire this character.``

     I tenderly and with a hint of awe ask if I can keep his character sheet.
Somehow sensing he is being honored he says ``Sure`` and hands it over.  I put
it away with purpose, of everything in the room, it is the most precious.

David Michael Grouchy II

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