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(TFT) Marsha said Robbies mom called.

   ``Marsha said Robbie`s
mom called.  You can go home any time you
like.``  Darryl is still the only person
I know who calls his mom by her first
If my mom has been calling around then Ward`s mom probably knows now
too.  I guess this means I`m
infamous.  I`ll go home after school.


I get home,
Cathy goes outside into the front yard. 
Mom goes out after her.
twenty minutes later mom comes to get me.


   ``Come here Mike I
to talk to you.``  She is using the
finger that beckons three times.  I
feel defensive.  I get up from the couch
and go out on the front
step with her. 
There are three live oak trees in the front yard.  Cathy is
standing under the middle one
looking down and away from us.


   ``I want
you to apologize
to you sister.``


   ``But mom. . . It
was an accide4nt.
I didn`t _ mean _ to
do it.  We`re really extra safe when we play.``


mom holds up her
right hand like a halt sign and her eyes cast skyward like
she does when
talking to her own mother sometimes.  But
then she stops.  She
lets out a breath,
drops her hand and just looks at me.


   ``You hurt her


   I nod.  I walk over to Cathy.  She turns towards me but she
doesn`t want to
look at me.  She does look unhappy.  Sad even. 
I drop down
into my heart and speak with her.


   ``Cathy I`m very
sorry.``  She looks
at me unsure, but I`m
not happy either.


   ``I didn`t mean to
hurt you.``
Now I feel sad.


   Cathy breaks out
into a smile.  ``Ohh, that`s O.k.``
She hugs me then skips into the house.  I can`t believe how good I feel.  I
really feel much better now.  I`ve got to share this with everyone.
The next game I`m
looking for a way to work in an apology. 
It happens, you
know, sometimes players get their feelings hurt.  So I`m watching for it.  The
ironic thing is that years later Robbie
will refer back to this very game as
``The moment Mike went evil.``





   I use a patron NPC.  One
wealthy wizard hires them for a mission
of extermination. He gives them a
blood stained map to a monster factory. An
underground factory of horrors. A
rival wizard is running the place. The patron
wants everything in the factory
killed. The team gets it all. Anything they
find. All the equipment. Even the
extensive complex of the factory itself. They
just have to kill everything in


   Each turn I ask
each one what they do.  I`m hanging on
their words,
looking for one of them to feel like I`m not being fair.  I go 
around the
table to each one every turn. 
I let them change what they do, if they want.
I even say ``Next turn?`` like it`s a
question and wait for one of them to


   Ward, Robbie and
his little brother Jimmy are killing every
monster I put before them.  They are coordinating attacks perfectly.  I`m
keeping track of the number of Monsters
killed with tally marks on my scratch
When I get to one hundred I stop.


   The team has slogged through
the tunnels
with a mechanical precision. Every creature they encounter is
dispatched. One at a time, teams of ten, it doesn`t matter. The well
team carves its way like a knife through butter. They kill


   I can`t believe this.  The two of them with one cleric
henchman have
steamrolled a hundred terrible monsters. 
They are already at
the last room. 
The big boss.  The final wizard
behind it all.  And no ones`
feelings are
hurt.  All of them are grinning and seem


    But how
did they
do it.  It`s not like I am faking the
rolls or something.  Of course
the 1 Hit
Die monsters are using a different to-hit table than their
characters.  Hmmm, a hundred to zero kill
ratio.  Maybe there is
something wrong
with AD&D itself.


   Either way I am not
going to let them
just slaughter this wizard. 
I describe the scene to them.


   ``There is a
guy in dark
robes with stars all over them. He immediately says `I didn`t do
it. I was
framed. You got the wrong guy.`  I`m just a scribe. I was hired to
do some
translations. When I figured out what the boss was up to I confronted
him. The
next thing I knew I was trapped down here surrounded by a hundred
monsters. Wearing these spiffy looking wizard`s robes.`` 


look around the room desperately.  ``Thank goodness you`re here. Now maybe I
get out of this place.``


   Robbie looks skeptical and looks down at


   Ward tightens his grip on his dice.  A sure sign he is fixin
to attack something.


   Jimmy gives me the Vulcan eyebrow of doubt.
``Here I`ll show you where the treasure is.``  To a person they are instantly
interested.  We play out the discovery
and testing of each item in turn.  The
best part of any session.  Buy the time
they are done they just head back to
town and the inn, not even asking what happened
to the scribe in the robe.
I have him teleport into their room at midnight with 3 assassins
climbing in
through the windows at.  The
ring of protection pays off big.  They
kill all
the assassins and the wizard in two turns.


Michael Grouchy II
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