Saturday, June 7, 2014

Unleashing Yuri: A Gaming Story About Evil Gods and Evil PCs

Here on our Table Talk feature we are always happy to hear from our readers. This week's gaming story comes from Ron Samuel, and it's one that I think we can all sympathize with.

Game masters take note; evil gods lead to evil characters. And shenanigans.

The Story of Yuri

Yuri, as recreated by the stock photo tribe.
This is a story about a barbarian our shop owner plays. It is definitely a little more on the adult side but I tried to keep the references to a minimum. Let me know what you think.

The adventures of Yuri #1
How I met Yuri.

A couple months ago my younger brother started a beginner Pathfinder group at the local game shop, to try to drum up some interest for some new players and introduce more people to the world of roleplaying. He had been playing with the same group off and on for years, so starting a new group with strangers seemed like a great idea.

I missed the first couple of sessions due to some work scheduling issues, and not being acquainted with Pathfinder (my last roleplaying experience was some 4th edition games) I wanted to see how the games were going. I sat in for a session before making a character to get in on the action. It was a pretty standard group set up so far: barbarian, cleric, bard, fighter, rogue, mage; the staples. At this point the group was still about the same, plus some old friends who we hadn’t played with in years and the shop owner who was also new to pathfinder.

I didn’t know exactly how into this I was going to be so, with the GM’s permission I rolled a magus tiefling who was going to end up being one of the NPC villains of the campaign. I didn’t know how long or interested I was going to be so I was preparing my character for integration into the campaign if I didn’t end up sticking around. He was a blind magus based on a character from a early Sega Genesis rpg game called Shining Force 2. He had lost his memory (I know what an original plot), and when recovered would revert to his evil persona. I can’t even remember what I named this character because after the first session he henceforth was known as “The Herald”.

Now, Yuri. Yuri was the party’s barbarian who was being played by the shop owner. As barbarian as he could be, he also worshiped an evil god. My brother allows all sorts of stuff in his campaigns. Never one to shun any creative idea, he had let this barbarian come up with his own evil god to worship. Now as every GM knows leaving decisions to your players can result in some hilarious or even broken characters; this particular god came to be known as Phallus Diablo. Yes this is exactly what it sounds like, a god that was worshiped by sacrificing male parts to it.

Yes folks, this too was allowed.
Yuri, being a swing first act questions later kind of character, immediately latched onto The Herald as he entered the game. Proclaiming that this demonic looking creature must be a “Herald” of his god Phallus Diablo. The special relationship that developed around these two eventually ended up with us taking our turns in unison, being as The Herald was blind and he needed to be led in most situations.

Having almost every single one of the characters in the campaign being Chaotic Neutral didn’t help the situation either. Often resulting in inter-party fighting over various things the Herald and Yuri took on all comers, using different creative ways to bring down their foes. An example of this was when the party was fighting a giant whale god, Yuri shed his armor and attempted to jump onto the whale's back as it was swimming. Using The Heralds prehensile wings to help with the check he lunged out, dragging The Herald behind him like a kite. Upon landing they both immediately began assaulting the whale’s blowhole, all in the name of Phallus Diablo (whose sworn enemy was apparently whales… based on the size of their… in Yuri’s words dongers).

Various shenanigans ensued, at one point ending up with Yuri killing off another party member in a drunken brawl. The Herald, not realizing it was a friendly bout, had heard the struggling from Yuri and cast Enlarge person on Yuri, which spelled the downfall for the dwarven fighter. Afterwards he was jailed in the city of Sandpoint. Now in character, every time someone would get within range of Yuri in the jail cell echoes of FREE YURI were yelled into the night hoping that someone would free our mighty barbarian.

Long story short I have since rolled a new character to play in this campaign (the Herald taking his predetermined slot of a villain), but the hooks laid into Yuri by befriending this blind tiefling have led to all sorts of story lines and adventures. GM's, let your players be creative. In the end it may be broken, or make you change some of your campaign, but it almost always ends in a more fulfilling experience for the player. Sometimes you just have to free Yuri.

A big thanks to Ron for his strange tale. Do you have a story of your own? Would you like to see it right here? Contact us right here on Improved Initiative for your chance. If you'd like to help support us then feel free to drop your loose change into the "Bribe the DM" button on your top right, or drop by our Patreon page and become a patron today. If you'd like to keep up-to-the-minute with what we're posting here at Improved Initiative then just drop your email address into the box on the top right of the screen, or follow us on Facebook or Tumblr.

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