Thorgun the Barbarian
All right /tg/, gather up, I have a story to tell you. And I know you like stories.
When I'm done, I suggest turning this into general that DM/ cool DM thread.
One of my friends decided to run a game. We've been playing RPGs a lot of the time together and I've never seen him DMing, so - obviously - I was a bit curious how it might turn out. He always was an all right player, fun to have fun with. Also, he always reminded me of an offspring a bear and a huge dog might possibly have had. You know, in a parallel universe where biology doesn't work like ours does. I guess that's not important, though.
I was told to prepare myself a character using D&D 3.5. Well, I thought, it could have been worse, it could have been FATAL. Also, all of us know that it is the GM that makes the game, not the system and so on, so instead of complaining I rolled with it / a character. DM told me that I can do this myself, and that he only wants to see the results; also that I should aim for a tribal feel, that playing casters was discouraged, and that he wouldn't mind a bit of minmaxing. Oh, and I had to make a human.
"Well, fine" I thought and made myself a barbarian. "At least those damn casters won't steal our spotlight and I can expect manly men doing manly things."
This, or the DM is going to introduce some kind of OP Merlin DMPC. But I kept this thought to myself.
Since I was starting at a low level, I decided not to overblow my history. Adopted son of a local fisherman, mysterious child, blah blah blah, dreams about being a warrior but in his tribe your father (biological father) had to back you up if you wanted to become a weaponthane, so he trained himself. Thus the barbarian.
I sent this all to the DM. Soon I've received a reply "cool. Please, come at four PM."
Well, I get there a bit late, but there is nobody in except me and him. He smiles, nods, says that the rest will arrive a bit later, and that he want to get my character a proper introduction.
It was weird, but we've been total bros for a long time so I sat down. He brought some refreshments, offered me a beer, cracked himself one open (I think it was my first clue as to what kind of game we will be playing) and hid behind his DM screen.
First, we roleplay through some childhood scenes. Your character faces bullies, your character sees his friend bullied, your character is generally disliked due to air of wrongness he has around himself, your character finds out that the aforementioned fisherman is not your real dad, and so on, and so on. Soon I have my character fleshed out - a warrior that tries to hone the rage smothering within him as just another weapon.
For some reason the DM smiles when I tell him that.
Then, the real quest begins. Thorgun the barbarian leaves his hamlet for hunting, and when he returns he finds the village burning and the corpses charred with dragon fire. It was much cooler when he told that, but that was basically what it boiled down to.
Thorgun seeks revenge. Also, he was unable to find the corpse of his love amongst the dead, so hoping that the dragon might have kidnapped her, he follows him. Through the forest and the desert, killing wolves and wild beasts, saving villages from dangers, visiting ancient temple in the hope of finding a dragonslaying sword, more than once just barely escaping with his life. Some NPCs turn up, major character arcs ensue, but all the time I wonder "where the hell are the other players?"
As I ask the GM about this, he smiles and says one of them will turn up soon. I expect something creepy to happen but, lo and behold, a guy actually arrives. You have no idea how relieved I felt. Pleasantries ensued, GM cracked himself yet another beer and we returned to game. The new guy just sat there, also smiling (bad sign? Good sign?), playing with some papers he brought with himself.
My barbarian prepared a poisoned sheep to cripple the dragon. I also got myself a huge trunk to use as a club, keeping dragonslaying sword at hand. The plan was simple either poison him, or - if that won't work - sneak into his cavern and club/ stab him to death.
It worked, partially. Dragon ate the sheep, but instead of falling dead he started vomiting. So deciding that the cover was already blown I grabbed my tree and run out of the bushes screaming like an idiot. I managed to catch him with a trunk hit while he was barfing, so I had a lot of time to follow up with a couple more blows. I've nearly managed to beat him to a pulp, but then he shook it off and faced me, however mangled and sick he was.
Well, I dodged vomit/breath attack and stabbed him with a magical sword. A few times. The beast fell, and my barbarian started screaming with joy.
Then, another dragon turned up. And another. And their mother.
I stare at my GM for a moment in an "are you serious?" way. He tells me that the dragons roar in unison, that their mother pounces at me...
Well, fuck encounters with CR too high. I start 'zerking.
...and the dragon is blown aside with POWAHFUL MAGICAL BEAMS.
Oh great, I thought. DMPC wizard.
"A huge, glistening beast appears from the sky, throwing one thunder of fiery red death after another at the vile beast. Dragon's body spasms and twitches as the very life is burned out of it. With an ungodly roar, the grey monster that - apparently - saved you lands on earth, sporting stinking fumes."
I slightly watted.
"Two remaining drakes move back a little, apparently horrified by the death of their mother and the new monster. You have a feeling that it stares at you through its huge, black eyes."
Well, I charged it with my trunk.
"Its huge maw opens roaring even louder and surrounding itself with great vapours. But not before Thorgun rushed it with his mighty club!" *rollan, rollan* "He managed to catch it at the knee-joint, apparently crippling it gravely."
DM describes the beast collapsing, and I start to wonder whether I just one-shotted an encounter. But then the other guy - I've nearly forgotten about him; also two girls came around in the meantime (and I am sure they were "together"). Still, the player speaks, looking as though he is about to burst into laughter at any moment now.
"Out of the beasts' remains you see a huge ogre rising. He is clad in a blood-red steel, deorated with the imagery of a black raven. He gives Thorgun a long stare" - I get ready to yell "I charge!" - "and looks aside, at the wyrmlings. He raises his hand, holding a weird wand with it, points it at them and" - he looks at the GM, GM nods - "blasts them apart in a matter of a few thundering moments."
I wat. And then I smile.
"The figure comes a few earth-shaking steps closer until all you can see is his armor. Even though his physical supremacy is obvious, he falls to one knee; the earth thunders as he does it. Then, you hear a booming, stunningly loud and alien voice. It says 'My lord von Trovalt. Finally I've found you.'"
GM hands me a new character sheet. It reads "Rogue Trader" on top of it, and is filled with something quite resembling stats of the D&D character I've prepared earlier.
"Unluckily, I bear grave news. Your father is dead, killed by treacherous poison of forsaken Eldar witches. Most of your siblings were blown apart, together with a ship, in a battle that ensued a few moments after your father's demise. Now you, as the eldest of von Trovalts are the righteous bearer of the Warrant of Trade. I feel obliged to..."
Then Thorgun did exactly what he would have done to any other, scare monster speaking incomprehensible things. He slapped it with a tree.
Thus began the great, galactic journey of Thorgun von Trovalt, another in a long line of great and honoured Rogue Traders.
Oh! And I kept my sword.