In Horror RPGs, You Can Use Your Weapons


I'm not sure what else I could have done. They were pissed and nothing, NOTHING I could say would change that, so I just gave up and left. After what I'd done, I couldn't ask them to put up with any more. What did I do? Well, I wasted lots of good karma on a stupid stunt, thats what. More detail? Ok.

I was standing there hanging onto the last scraps of my tattered sanity with gritted teeth. I was going mad and I knew it. I did the only thing I had time for before the darkness totally overcame me. I nailed that slithering slimy gibbering shambling disgusting mound of poisonous tentacles to the floorboards with all but the last few of my flechet shotgun shells. Its guts splattered and splashed all over, all over me, it burned and itched and I wanted to throw up.

My end was VERY near.

I'd only managed to trap it in the room with me, blocking my only escape, but I wasn't going to let it live. The only sane thing left to me was one thought, kill it, kill it but good. I had thought about it a lot in the moments before I totally lost it, the shotgun wouldn't even come close to killing it. The shotgun would only injure it and with the flechet shells, maybe pin it to it's spot for a moment or two, before it could engulf me whole.

I didn't need to think to accomplish my goal. My last sweet free choice made in cold stark sane contemplation.

I blasted away at the gas stove next to the thing. I wasn't even sane anymore, I was obsessive about it. I deeply regret that at that last moment as the gas exploded into a gout of hot death I couldn't enjoy in that things destruction as I suffered from my own.

I'll not forget those words, that expression, the finality of it. The GM was pissed. His other players were pissed.

"I just KNEW you'd resort to violence!" he spat.

I had destroyed his story, his plan, killed his antagonist in a glorious celebration of explosive destruction. I wasn't supposed to actually use the weaponry. I was supposed to go into madness and digestion with aplomb and style... and I couldn't do it. At the last minute, I cracked and did what any sane person would do. I acted to save the world from that... thing.

They never invited me back for another game.

That's a shame too...because it sounds to me like you roleplayed your character well. If I was in that situation IRL I would have likely done the same thing. When all else fails, and death is certain...take the gibbering thing with you. If he didn't want you to use that shotgun, the GM should have thought twice about letting you have it. If he allowed it so that you wouldn't feel your freedom of choice within his world was hindered, then he shouldn't get all bent out of shape when you pulled the trigger.

Alot of horror RPGs stress the fact that violence won't be the solution to the problem 9 out of 10 times...but that doesn't mean that you can't try it. I think all those pasages in rule books for horror RPGs are meant to encourage one to think more, shoot less, and generally do their research before an encounter. However...when the chips are down and you're going to die anyways, shoot the stove! I, personally, would have given you some kind of bonus for your next character just for sacrificing that one to take the slimy horror out with you.

But that's just me. I've found that if you give them a holy hand grenade, someone will throw it.

Why'd the GM get pissed? I don't get it. I'm currently running a sci fi horror campaign set in the modern world and I allow the players to use anything that they can come up with.

A player who actually sacrifices his character to kill the bad thingy would, as Scott said, get a pretty substantial bonus on their next character (and the love of this GM, I love a good story and self sacrifice for the greater good almost always works).

If the GM didn't want you to kill the thingy, he should have planned better. I just finished an adventure based on Robert McCammon's Stinger.

The bad guy, an alien bounty hunter, sends out cyborg replicants of people he's killed. While these replicants can be damaged to the point of uselessness by gunfire, explosions and the like, the only real threat to them is... electrical light.

Flashlights, headlights, florescent lights. The town involved lost it's electrical power when the alien landed, so these ights aren't nearly as common as normal.

I didn't punish the players for shooting up these replicants, running them over with cars, and blowing them up with dynomite. These things were all within the real of possinilities that I as the GM allowed them to have.

Your GM is stupid and immature. He allowed you to have the shotgun. He created a creature that could be killed with said shotgun, albeit through an explosion. And then he put your character in a no win scenario. So why was he surprised when you didn't just lay down and die?

If you tried killing one of my characters then you'd better be prepared for a high body count because I'll take out as many motherfrakers as I can before I go!

Your GM should reward you for ingenuity (you killed the creature in a way that he didn't expect), for roleplaying your character as a real person rather than a set of numbers on a piece of paper, and then he needs to get over and plan the next adventure better.

From the little you've written, you may already be a better GM than this person. Maybe you should give that a try. Just be careful, that GM will try to screw up your campaign out of spite if they play.

"I've seen a rich man beg
I've seen a good man sin
I've seen a tough man cry
I've seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie
I've seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between"

I guess the issue is that he didn't want to creature dead, and he wanted it to continue as the evil enemy for the next characters. He could have done of two things to make it better:

1) Made the creature tougher

2) Realized that even the best laid plans fall apart when you add players to the equation.

At least now he knows that his uberbadguy wasn't badass enough, and he can go back to the drawing board. If it seems that he is trying to write a book instead of running a campaign then you've been done a favor by not being invited back to play. Unless you wanted to collaborate on his mythos story with him, in which case he should have stated that it wasn't to be a campaign, but rather him telling a story while you all listened to him. LOL.

I just thought of something else...your character died in the explosion...maybe the creature didn't? No offence, but he sounds like a big baby. This could have been handled better, that's for sure. He should have calmly had you make up new characters and then slowly provided clues that the creature was still alive and still causeing terror wherever it, I mean oozed.

It might still be alive! I think I'm going to be sick.

Those are great ideas. But I gotta come clean. This single event never actualy happened. I have played CoC not realizing that the above would have been an appropiate character action. Getting the cold shoulder when I suggested that doing someting similar might be fun.

I'd like to add that it is amazing what great editing can do, thanks!

A good GM may also have had neither die. The wounded creature, surely near the brink of expiration slithers over to the charred corpse of the character and extracts vital organs and limbs required to sustain its horrid existence. This was a horror story ... right?
The GM plot line intact, weaves the character's actions into the story but also plants the seeds of future interactions with this beasts. Weaknesses, allergies, and even personality traits from the fallen character can give others an advantage against this horrid foe. This special advantage means that the players are compelled to act against it because they alone know a terrible secret about its power.

I agree with SF and Calamar -- your GM is a weenie.