Fallout 4 EP31: Neoclassical Post-Apocalypse Fantasy Cyberpunk Noir

By Shamus
on Aug 17, 2016
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning


Link (YouTube)

I love Rutskarn’s idea of someone trying to coach the Supermutants to say cool one-liners, but they come out horribly mangled because they supermutants are too dumb to grasp the idioms at work. So I thought I’d try to take some famous bad-ass phrases and imagine them shouted by a moron who didn’t understand their own words:

I AM HERE FOR BUBBLEGUM!

MY LITTLE FRIEND SAYS HELLO!

YOU ARE THE DISEASE AND I HAVE MEDICINE FOR IT!

WE FIGHT OR WE DIE!

This is fun. Try it.

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A Hundred!2020207Many comments. 167, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Content Consumer says:

    WE FIGHT OR WE DIE!

    I sincerely doubt any Super Mutants would be dumb enough to say something like that. That’s fungus level of intelligence, right there.

  2. Thanks to the terrible design of this game, you’re skilled with EVERY weapon! It’s just a matter of skilled vs. slightly-more-skilled since the weapon perks are completely idiotic.

    • Hector says:

      Yes/No/Maybe So.

      You’re equally skilled with all weapons, although it gets increasingly tedious to switch later on, when you may have double damage on your favorites. Although going for Sneak Attack-based bonuses helps mitigate that issue, though it can leave you depend on the tools that work well there.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      And 1 is the average stat level for an average person.There are no weaklings,there are no idiots,there are no fuglies in fallout 4.Everyone is either average or above average.

    • Raygereio says:

      That’s actually a good design choice though? It allowed them to design a competent combat system. Sure, there are balancing issues with damage & health pools. But the core action of shooting stuff is pretty good.

      I honestly can’t think of any game that combined your character’s ingame combat skill, with the player’s skill at playing the game and made it work well.

      • MichaelGC says:

        I seem to remember the original Deus Ex making a decent fist of not-skilled->skilled, but possibly only with automatic weapons what with how they handled recoil. And even that might involve a fair bit of rose-tintery.

      • New Vegas? :P

        Aside from the standard point-and-shoot, you needed to have certain levels of both Strength and the relevant weapons skill in order to minimize sway, otherwise you needed to compensate for it or take Steady, which was only a temporary fix. It generally acted as a “you either need a lot of personal skill or the right amount of player skill” which is something Fallout 4 lacks since player skill is basically just the “point-and-shoot” bits without anything else.

        • Raygereio says:

          I love New Vegas. Possibly to an unhealthy degree. It hasn’t left my drive since the day I bought it. But let’s be realistic: the addition of things like strength-reqs didn’t change the gun-gameplay coming from FO3. It was still pretty awful.

          “you either need a lot of personal skill or the right amount of player skill”

          That wasn’t how the game actually played. It was “You need to have high enough skill, or eliminate the influence of that skill, or said skill will get in the way of the player’s actions”.
          Character skills influencing combat works just fine when the player isn’t actively participating the combat. But in a first person game where I am aiming the weapon with my mouse, my character needs to hit what I’m aiming for. The computer randomly deciding that I missed when I can see that I was on target is not something I find enjoyable.

          You could argue that FO4 has a problem when it comes to the lack of build diversity. And I’d agree with that. Perks could have been used to gate access to weapons. Or force you to specialize in the mods for one specific weapon type. Stuff like that.

          • MichaelGC says:

            my character needs to hit what I’m aiming at

            Aye right – and to harp on Deus Ex & recoil slightly: if I remember rightly (and we’ve assessed the likelihood of that and found it wanting) the way it would get around that problem would be to ensure that the unskilled were aiming at the ceiling milliseconds after squeezing the trigger.

          • Somebody says:

            I thought NV’s combat was serviceable, but far more varied than 4’s combat (such as the ammo types).

  3. Phantos says:

    “THERE 65 BILLIONS COWS AND PIGS IN WORLD!!”

  4. guy says:

    They supermutants is really dumb, not like we humans who type good.

  5. ehlijen says:

    HELLO KING, BABY!

    DANCE WITH ME! *miniguns the floor*

    COME, ACQUIRE SOMETHING!

    I’M GONNA AXE YOUR KISS!

    YOU’RE DYING!

    I GET YOU!

    DO YOU DESIRE ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS OF THIS, WELL DO YOU?

    YOU PICKED AN INCONVENIENT DAY TO BOTHER ME!

    CERBERUS HAS AN IDEA, SHEPARD!

    This is fun!

  6. Phantos says:

    This game makes a lot more sense if you imagine it was written by Super Mutants.

    And coded by Mama Murphy.

  7. BruceR says:

    YOU SHOULD GO AHEAD HUMAN AND INCREASE MY DAILY ENJOYMENT!

  8. Nixorbo says:

    I LIKE THE SMELL OF VICTORY IN THE NAPALM IT SMELLS LIKE MORNING

    NO LUKE YOU ARE MY FATHER

    YIPPEE KI YAY MISTER FALCON

    WHO YOU GOING TO CALL, SUPERMUTANTS?

    I HAVE THE SHINIEST MEAT BICYCLE

  9. The Snide Sniper says:

    “WE FIGHT, OR WE DIE!” would be a great line for the super mutant suiciders…

    Of course, if Bethesda were willing to give different lines for different weapons, “YOU’RE FIRED!” could also work.

  10. BruceR says:

    I WILL MAKE COWBOY NOISES WHILE YOU HAVE SEX WITH MY MOTHER NOW!

  11. lucky7 says:

    I AM VENGEANCE, THE NIGHT, AND BATMAN!

  12. andy says:

    Grognick the Dickbarian! (that’s “dick” as in “private eye,” you perv.)

  13. MrGuy says:

    I WILL BE DEFEATED!

    NO! THIS CANNOT BE! I AM INVISIBLE!

    THIS IS YOUR DENSITY!

  14. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    THATS WHAT MY MOM SAID LAST NIGHT!

  15. Ander says:

    THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE COUNTDOWNS!
    STAND UP WESTERN MEN!
    WE GO TO THE BREACH ONCE MORE!

  16. Gruhunchously says:

    WE JUMP OFF BIG BUILDING AND NUKE HUMANS FROM THE SKY! ONLY WAY TO MAKE SURE!

  17. Flux Casey says:

    FIGHTING BACK IS FOOTLOOSE!

    YOU ARE A FARMER! HERE IS FARMLAND!

    THIS IS MY BOOMBOOM!

    YOU WILL STAY HERE!

    DO YOU DANCE WITH EVIL NIGHT TIME?!

    I AM THE WALL!

    TODAY IS A GOOD DAY TO GET KILLED!

    I’M IN A WORLD OF BOXES!

  18. John Beltman says:

    I WILL COME BACK!

  19. Jakale says:

    Civilization, they called it.
    Massive gatherings of people trodding the land so much they needed to cover it with rock, devouring so much food they needed to create a group specifically to produce food because there was no longer enough to find, inventing the grindstone so they could wear themselves down with it.

    These are not my people. This is not my city. They look upon me and see a savage, unenlightened to their progress and glorious creations. I look upon them and see people who made walls so they wouldn’t need to look at what they’ve done to the world around them, who made laws so they could excuse their own actions. I am an outsider, but I see more than most of those that live here.

    I am Thornok, the barbarian detective.

    • Christopher says:

      I love it!

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      Noir Barbarian is REALLY close to what Fritz Leiber did with Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser. Start with Swords and Deviltry….

    • This actual line from The Big Sleep fits quite well here:

      “I don’t mind if you don’t like my manners. I don’t like them myself. They’re pretty bad. I grieve over them long winter evenings.”

    • Haha. Actually, I was thinking something more along these lines:

      “I tell you it’d be a grand life, Mickey, if these naked virgin priestesses of Zumalk would just stay outta my office . . .”

      I sighed, leaning my electronic axe on the plank that served as a bar. These dives are all the same. They even smell the same: boiling cabbage, smoking fish oil lamps, rotting rushes and vomit. Just once, I’d like to see one ablaze, but those days are behind me. Torching villages just doesn’t have the savor any more. It’s the virgin priestesses, I tell you. Nothing but wild adventures and mountains of gold, but one look at those heaving bosoms and I’m right back in it again.

    • LCF says:

      “The axe is heavy on the raider’s helmet. It cleaves the frail armor, splitting the skull.
      Blood.
      So much blood.
      Like all the others before him, he falls to the ground, still shaking.
      Murder. Murder never changes.

      Once inside the irradiated cave, I gather what little evidence I can find. There’s a couple of old machines, with that black, shiny ribbon. The machines don’t work. The memory ribbon stays silent.
      I snatch it all. Some day, I will hear the voices of our ancestors. I will hear their dreams, their lies, their hopes.
      I will listen to what they have to say, and I will find those bastards that broke the world.”

      (I’ve not read a lot of Noir, I hope it’s not too out-of-touch.)

  20. Daemian Lucifer says:

    So the silver shroud quest is still going on?Man,look how good that shooting of random mutants and raiders is.And the looting of random buildings.Truly,the quest of legends.Chris,how can you not be in awe right now?

    • Duoae says:

      To be fair, I don’t think it’s any worse, mechanically, than any other quest in Fallout. (I know you’re being facetious but this is the same gameplay of the entire game – shooting random people on the way to location X)

      However, in terms of being able to play a character and having a choice to role play, it is far superior than anything else in Fallout 4.

      Seriously, I mean, this was the only time (wearing the Shroud costume) that you got to do something with the dialogue system that wasn’t just agreeing with whatever bullshit Bethesda’s crappy writers shat out onto their keyboards.

      I’m not going to say it’s the best quest evar or that it’s a great roleplaying opportunity (because it’s really not in the larger genre) but in Fallout 4, being able to act up and mess around in the conversation system was a nice experience. :) Plus, the Silver Shroud is more interesting of a character than ‘Shaaau- Ooh!’ *insert distraction here*

      I played through as a female and I was disappointed that no one called me out on it during the quest because it would have been great to switch it back on them and just ignore their insult in the ‘Silver Shroud’ style.

      • GloatingSwine says:

        Whilst the Silver Shroud quest does allow you to “play a character” (are you the sort of person who would go along with acting in character or not?), it’s slightly muted because none of the rest of the game allows you to express any kind of character, so it’s the only datum of character not one facet of a character who has expressed other opinions and personality traits through the player’s choices.

        And really, that “do you do the voice Y/N” bit is the only way you can express character in the quest. There’s no multiple outcomes, you can’t resolve any of the encounters in any way other than shooting dudes, the quest doesn’t even give you a way to really deliver on the thing that Kent wants which is to use the Shroud to inspire people because you, Kent, and Hancock are the only people involved in the quest who aren’t there to be shot dead, and one of those is invincible, one might die anyway, and the other can quickload.

        I mean even Bethesda themselves have done better than this before, the silly comicbook quest in Fallout 3 at least had multiple resolutions, as small and crap as it was. (One or the other could be convinced to quit, or killed, and the other could be convinced to quit or carry on as the victor).

      • evileeyore says:

        “However, in terms of being able to play a character and having a choice to role play, it is far superior than anything else in Fallout 4.”

        By ‘far superior’ you realize that’s still a crap quest yes? You’re holding it above the the much that is the rest of Fallout 4, but were it compared to a better game, say Fallout, it would be one of the “not so good quests”.

        “Seriously, I mean, this was the only time (wearing the Shroud costume) that you got to do something with the dialogue system that wasn’t just agreeing with whatever bullshit Bethesda’s crappy writers shat out onto their keyboards.”

        You’re still agreeing with the bullshit shat out by the crappy writers, but this time that bullshit is fun and funny. No change. Had the rest of the game had great dialogue, this quest wouldn’t stand out in any meaningful way.

        • The Rocketeer says:

          Well, if the rest of the game had great dialog, this would stick out as pretty poor by comparison.

          • Gruhunchously says:

            If the rest of the game had great dialogue, we would have already built up enough trust in the author to understand that this quest was a nice bit of lighthearted fun. It would be ‘that one quirky quest that everyone likes but can be safely ignored’, not ‘the only quest with any character to it at all, one that you feel compelled to complete if you’re look for a minor break in the monotony’.

        • Duoae says:

          I realise you’re still just agreeing with the writer but it’s the fun aspect which raises it above ‘just agreeing with the writing dialogue”. I mean, your responses are usually just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ so to have the option to play around makes it better than literally every other dialogue choice in the game.

          What we’re dealing with here is a shitty quest, with no meaningful result and terrible writing and poor, limp characters… and yet it’s still more imagination than Bethesda put into almost the entirety of the rest of the game!

  21. MichaelGC says:

    You’ve had your time, human!

    See, I reckon that super mutant wasn’t only expatiating on the fragility of an individual human life but was reaching well beyond that and pronouncing on the likely fate of the entire species, thus demonstrating a deep knowledge of history (stretching back to before the nuclear exchange) as well as comparative biology and the likelihood of divergent outcomes stemming from differential fitnesses when confronting the challenges of the post-apocalyptic environment. Well, it’s either that, or someone thought it sounded cool.

  22. Joe Informatico says:

    YOU ARE WITH ME, OR YOU ARE BY YOURSELF.

    DEAD OR NOT, PLEASE COME WITH ME.

    NO MORE MARTHAS WILL DIE TONIGHT!

    TIGHTLY SIT, HOLD FORT DOWN, BURN DOWN THE HOUSE. IF WE’RE NOT BACK WITH DAWN, THANK OBAMA.

  23. MichaelGC says:

    I’ve never really hung out with the good Paladin, so I don’t know his story, but spelt as it is I wonder if it’s an allusion to:

    Danse Macabre (from the French language), is an artistic genre of late-medieval allegory on the universality of death: no matter one’s station in life, the [Danse Macabre] unites all. … They were produced to remind people of the fragility of their lives and how vain were the glories of earthly life.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danse_Macabre

    Does anything at all happen within the game which would suggest that’s what they were going for?

    • Felblood says:

      If you kill Danse, you find out that he’s a synth.

      He hates synths. He doesn’t know that he’s killing his own people.

      That’s probably intended to carry some deep meaning, about mortality and ignorance, but the writers had neither the talent nor the work ethic to make something out of it.

      • MichaelGC says:

        He who fights synths should see to it that he himself does not become a synth? No, that don’t make a lick o’ sense. You always hurt the one you love? That makes more sense but forlornly flails for relevance. If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with? I feel as though I may have irretrievably headed off in a wrong direction here.

    • potatoejenkins says:

      Danse. Dense. It always made more sense to me. But I am lame and English is not my native language.

      Danse Macabre could work depending on how you interpret his story and his character. Sadly there is not enough “material” to work with and one falls far to easy into headcanon and/or adding details to the story actually present in the game (Let’s just say its bad. Like, really bad. His quest breaks the BoS storyline. Not that it wasn’t already broken. But geez … the cut content for the BoS would have been better and that one was already really, really bad.).

      They could’ve gone for simple irony: A synth not knowing his true identity beeing trained to hunt and kill the very thing they are (he says something along those lines).
      On the other hand, after loosing everything, he still holds on to BoS ideals. So maybe they were also going for the “illusion of choice” thing. Is it his choice or his programming? Can a synth choose?

      Like many stories and characters Danse’s is hindered by the awful limited dialogue, different writers for different quests and the general bugginess of an unpolished/unfinished game.

      His character is like the Combat Zone: Interesting at first glance. But in the end: Nothing to see, folks.

  24. stomponator says:

    I HAVE STRONG LUST AND POWER! SUPERMUTANT IS ME!

  25. Ledel says:

    I SPEAK LOUDLY AND HAVE BIG STICK

    ME YELLOW BUT NO SCARED OF YOU

    THERE NOTHING TO FEAR BUT ME

    YOUR MAMA EAT ALL THE FOODS

    THIS NO HURT ME CUZ I HURT YOU

    I HAVE SOMETHING FOR YOU COME GET

    STOP SHOOTING ME

  26. Duoae says:

    Me polymerised polyene, you adhesive! What hit you with stick me bounce off you!

  27. Thomas says:

    BELIEVE IN ME WHO BELIEVES IN ME

    A HEARTFELT FAREWELL. INFANT.

    STOP HITTING ME AND TRY TO HIT ME

    PANT AND SWEAT AS YOU RUN THROUGH MY CORRIDORS

  28. Christopher says:

    I AM A LAWNMOWER FOR YOUR ASS

  29. Grudgeal says:

    Rutskarn’s overly verbose Super-Mutant threat reminded me of this all of a sudden:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf4GWJTzchY

    • I think that’s why Borderlands overall makes more sense as a whole compared to Fallout 4, which seems to be taking the worst bits of Borderlands (the pointless/annoying sidequesting, the spongy enemies, the feeling like you’re just slogging through it instead of having fun) while ignoring the good parts (the characters, the simple story that can’t really be screwed up, thematic cohesion, consistent tone [until breaking that tone works really well], the variety of guns that actually feels like variety…), so that Psycho doing Hamlet in BL2 is amusing, fun, and actually makes you want to avoid shooting them for a while in a game where shooting everything is basically the only interaction with the world (seriously, one of the story DLCs has you activate a level by shooting it since you can’t reach it; I guessed on that without knowing and was correct) while in Fallout 4 it’s nothing more than a *sigh* moment since it reminds you that you could be doing something else where better writing exists.

  30. Dork Angel says:

    ARE ME TALKING TO YOU?

    I COME TO KICK BUBBLEGUM AND CHEW ASS AND I HAVE NO ASS.

    I WHUP OPEN CANNED ASS ON YOU

    This does remind me a bit of Sandra Bullock’s character in Demolition Man…

  31. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    I WANT TO HOLD YOU TILL WE DIE
    TILL WE BOTH BREAK DOWN AND DIE
    I WANT TO HOLD YOU TILL THE ISOTOPES COLLIDE

  32. Ninety-Three says:

    What everyone loves is when we make absolutely no progress

    I actually don’t mind, I see Spoiler Warning as basically another podcast, only sometimes instead of talking about random tangents you talk about how power armor looks cool or holy shit you just punched a deathclaw into space.

    • MichaelGC says:

      Aye right – and sometimes the lack of progress is so extreme as to entail an awesome montage! (Somewhat rare, these days; there’s an episode in the Metro 2033 season which was perfectly set up to entail a montage … but no, Josh just had to go and clear the area out expertly & efficiently, didn’t he. Hmph.)

    • Wide And Nerdy® says:

      It bugs me sometimes because like Skyrim, they didn’t do any of the DLC (and don’t tell me they never do, they did for FO3 and FNV).

      I really would have liked to hear their opinion on Dawnguard or especially Dragonborn because I feel especially the latter DLC addressed at least some of the crew’s complaints.

      • MichaelGC says:

        Good point – I wonder if they’ll do any for Fallout 4? Or even whether Josh has them installed, as even just that – with one of them at least – seems to have an effect on the gameworld (in a similar manner to how Dawnguard affected things even if you completely ignored the actual quests).

        PS I did LOL at ‘whoop-bottom’. You’re right about the benefits of a ‘like’ button, but I still reckon the costs would be too high!

        • Raygereio says:

          Or even whether Josh has them installed

          He doesn’t. At least not Far Harbor & Automatron or he would have had those quests pop up when he reached level 15.

          • Josh says:

            The issue is that Far Harbor came out right around the time we started, and my actual not-spoiler-warning character is basically suspended because it’s a pain to switch the mods on and off for recording vs playing. So I haven’t actually played Far Harbor yet. I probably should at some point before we finish the game though.

            • potatoejenkins says:

              Any chance on playing through Automatron? Or a short discussion about how either of you guys played it – if you played it? Would be nice to hear your opinions on it.

              The story part, anyway.

  33. Vermander says:

    “YIPPIEE-KI-YAY MOMMY’S “FRIEND” WHO SHE HAS GROWN-UP SLEEPOVERS WITH!”

    “MY NAME IS INIO…uh…INDIGO…umm…mustache guy have fancy name. Something about daddy? Me forget. This hard!”

    “ME WANT DRINK SHAKEN. TOO HARD TO STIR WITH LID ON SIPPY CUP.”

    “WHY IS THERE NO SPOON? IT TOO HARD TO EAT APPLESAUCE WITH FORK!”

  34. MrGuy says:

    I’LL EAT YOUR BONES LIKE A HAT!

  35. Xapi says:

    I AM GOOD AT SOME THINGS, SO I AM A DANGER TO YOU!

    IF PIGS MOVE, THEY WILL BE KILLED!

  36. Wide And Nerdy® says:

    To defend the Memory sequence on one point from last week, you can at least blitz through it. You just keep running.

    Once you get to the last room, just let the sequence play out and don’t interact. So the last part is annoying but at least thats a lot shorter than what you do the first time. I’ll bet someone has made a mod to skip that.

    Also: “Ah! Of course! An alien death beam annihilated them. It all makes sense. There’s that crashed alien craft in the Commonwealth.”

  37. Henson says:

    PEOPLE DIE WHEN THEY ARE KILLED!

  38. One suggestion for a next season: Sleeping Dogs.

    Just to hear Shamus go through the gun tutorial mission.

  39. Philadelphus says:

    THIS GOING TO HURT ME MORE THAN IT HURT YOU!

  40. djw says:

    I LIE ABOUT CAKE!

  41. djw says:

    DAVE’S NOT HERE!

  42. djw says:

    IT’S NOT EASY BEING GREEN!

  43. djw says:

    I DRINK YOUR SWEETROLL AND STEAL YOUR MILKSHAKE, AND THEN DRINK IT TOO!

  44. MrGuy says:

    I’d like to suggest an alternative possibility – combat taunts that are accurate action movie quotes, but not situationally appropriate.

    TALK TO ME GOOSE!

    WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE SNAKES?

    WE’RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BOAT!

    THIS IS CHESS, IT AINT CHECKERS!

    • djw says:

      I AM GETTING SICK OF ALL THESE GODDAMN SNAKES ON THIS GODDAMN PLANE!

    • Felblood says:

      I AM GOING TO RUN OUT OF ROAD

      ALFRED, HAVE YOU GONE INSANE

      IT IS A BORING MACHINE

      WHY DONT YOU CALL HIM ON THE LARRY THING

      CHRISTMAS IS WHEN YOU GET STUFF

      I MUST SAVE CHRISTMAS

      I NEED MORE WOOD

      YOU MUST CONSTRUCT ADDITIONAL PYLONS

      I AM BORED

      SACRIFICE ME

      I SHALL RETURN

      I almost made a couple of Team Four Star references, but most of them are a bit too salty for this site, I think. I know that sort of thing is more tolerated, now that Josh and Mumbles have taught Shamus how to swear, but some things are across the line.

      I did save one.

      DODGE

  45. BigTiki says:

    YOU’VE GOT ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVY AND ONE ON A BANANAS FOSTER! YOU ARE MAKING A HUGE MESS OF SUNDAY DINNER!

    YOUR CHANCES ARE A MAN NAMED SLIM AND A NUN, AND THE NUN WENT BACK TO THE CONVENT!

  46. Volvagia says:

    WITH GRATING POWERS COME GRATING RESPONSIBILITIES…? PASS ME THAT GRATE!

  47. Pax says:

    You know, after reading through this large, delightful list of misquoted battle taunts for super mutants, it occurs to me that many of them are the type of things the Nightkin super mutants should be yelling.

  48. Tizzy Turtlebear says:

    STOP SHOOTING ME!

    Wait, wrong catchphrase…

  49. tmtvl says:

    THEY CALL ME TIBBS, MISTER.

    MAN OVER ,GAME!

    IN HELL I GET A GROUP DISCOUNT!

    I WILL TAKE YOUR LIFE AND YOUR FREEDOM!

    I HAVE LOTS OF AMMO, WHICH SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR YOU!

    FALL IS ALMOST AT AN END!

  50. @Rutskarn

    You know, I’ve noticed that the hyper-control aspect of many tabletop players where they can’t really bring themselves to role-play because that might mean losing kinda comes about because a large number of tabletop games actually TRAIN that into people. A lot of VERY POPULAR game modules contain dozens if not hundreds of setups like this:

    DM: “There’s a narrow ledge leading up to a gap with more ledge on the far side.”
    Player: “I climb along the edge and jump the gap.”
    DM: “Roll jump.”
    Player: “Uh . . . 2.”
    DM: “You fall into a pit of spikes and die. Oops.”

    Either that or it’ll be some version of victory-is-stolen-by-boxed-text-where-the-villain-escapes (very common also in video games). They reward playing like a PR flack attempting to avoid a lawsuit, and very often sharply penalize flamboyant, high-drama, risk-taking behavior.

    I have problems with this myself because I quite enjoy several game systems where this kind of thing is an endemic problem, but I made a very strange discovery the first time I tried running an Epic Handbook game and accidentally put my players up against a foe that there was just no possible way for them to defeat or even make a dent in. I mean, TPK in 2 combat rounds, it was so bad it was hilarious, they were all left sitting there staring at me like “uh . . . Jen . . . this is a joke, right? You didn’t REALLY just kill the ENTIRE PARTY off like that, right?”

    It was a really strange gaming moment. Normally as a DM I would have totally backpedaled from actually killing them all off from just absolute total bullshit unfairness when I realized what I’d done, but, see, I had actually been planning to have this Weird Thing happen if/when any of them got killed, so I just WENT with it. The effect was STUNNING. It was like realizing for the first time that you’d been stuck in a box you had never suspected.

    The effect on my players was really strange, too . . . “you mean, if we screw up, we won’t actually die?” “Looks like it.” “But, what’s making this happen?” *evil DM grin*. Suddenly, we were playing an *entirely different game*.

    Bringing your players around to the notion that “failure” doesn’t mean “losing your hefty investment in this character and having to start over” takes some time and a different sort of approach to the rules. Bringing them even further around to the notion that “failure” can mean “bringing some high drama and new possibilities to a character” is a lot of effort too. But I’ve found that this is the way to get people into the character, instead of the character just being the abstract vehicle by which they move numbers around.

    • LCF says:

      “I had actually been planning to have this Weird Thing happen”
      This DM has ONE WEIRD TRICK when PC die. Players HATE her!

      So, kidding aside, what was the Thing?

      • The underlying premise of the game was that they were summoned by a defensive system that was supposed to prevent a magical artifact from getting used. Well, someone stole the artifact but unknowingly tripped the defensive system, summoning Our Heroes who would then (theoretically) go retrieve the artifact.

        The defensive system was designed to keep them alive until the artifact was returned, so if they died it would just resurrect them 24 hours later. But they didn’t know that. I wasn’t PLANNING for them to find this out quite so EARLY, but what the hey.

  51. Dork Angel says:

    IF IT KILLS WE CAN BLEED IT

  52. Coming_Second says:

    THERE IS DEEP TROUBLE AND THERE ARE TWO OF US

    I WAS NOT TRUTHFUL ABOUT YOU BEING LAST

    I WILL SEE RICHTER AT GATHERING LATER

  53. Alex says:

    TONIGHT I DINE… ON KNUCKLE SANDWICH!

    YOU WILL REFUSE. THIS. OFFER!

    I SHALL KEEP YOU CLOSER THAN MY BESTEST FRIEND!

    YOU WILL WISH YOU HAD PHONED HOME!

  54. LCF says:

    I AM BIGGER SHARK!

    BE BACK IN A CAR!

    YOU HAVE TWO SHOES AND THEY GOOD!

    WHAT’S ON MY FACE?

  55. BurningHeron says:

    YOU ARE KING OF JACK AND BOOMSTICK, AND BOOMSTICK IS SMART!

  56. potatoejenkins says:

    It seems I missed the best week so far. I am sad now.

    Unless I read through all of the combat taunts again. Which I will. Because you are all wonderful and glorious human beeings.

  57. Jabrwock says:

    I AM TERRIBLE FLAPPY NIGHT

    SAY HELLO TO TINY HUMAN

    I AM HERE TO CHEW ASS BECAUSE OUT OF GUM

  58. LCF says:

    USE YOUR STRENGTH!

    SEE YOU IN SPANISH!

    GREETINGS FROM BIG GUY! LORD BIG GUY! THE WARRIOR OF WASTE LANDS! THE BIG BOSS OF ROCKS AND ROLL-UPS!

    WE COME IN PEACE!

    WE ACTUALLY COME IN PEACE! LAST TIME WAS ALL A TRAGIC MISUNDERSTANDING! I MEAN IT!

    I AM NOT HAPPY AT ALL BECAUSE I THOUGHT THINGS WOULD BE BETTER!

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Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun.

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