Monday, January 27, 2020

The End of Eternal Whatever

(Previously on Neon Genesis Eternal Whatever)

Content Warning: This whole thing is a shitty parody of Neon Genesis Evangelion/The End of Evangelion. This series contains depictions of violence and abuse, sometimes of a sexual nature. I tried to remove or soften what I felt was the worst of it in this little satire here, but I can't guarantee I did a perfect job, so please skip this post if you have any health concerns regarding such content.


Post 201: Fandom is Destructive
Justin didn't know where else to go. He found himself in LotFP's hospital room. The book lay comatose, as if it had killed itself and its corporeal form just hadn't gotten the news yet. Could it sense his desperation for some moment of creativity, some inspiration, some escape from the infinite minor variations of the same house rules and pregenerated characters? Justin shook the book in a futile attempt to rouse it. Its red cover flapped back and forth apathetically.

"Help me," Justin begged. "Help me, Lamentations." His tears fell freely on the tasteful and conveniently-sized A4 pages. "Help me! Tell me that fun is bad and I'm playing D&D wrong again, like you always do!"

Justin shifted the balance of the book a little too far. It fell open entirely, flat on the hospital bed. Justin's breath caught in his throat. Its character creation rules were exposed, naked and helpless.

Justin's hand seemed to reach out all by itself. He tore the pages from the book slowly. No one else was around to hear the excruciating tear of paper. The hospital, the world, might as well have been empty.

Justin crumpled up the pages. Stuffed them in his mouth. Chewed. Swallowed. He stared at his hand, covered in spittle and flecks of ruined paper, a new sense of profound clarity awakening in his mind. A profound sense of disgust.

"I'm so fucked up."

Pre-Gen Creation Notes
  • For purposes of item prices, I assumed the year was between 1630 and 1660.
  • Characters begin the game knowing English and one other language. Characters with 16+ intelligence begin with another additional language.
  • My interpretation of coin encumbrance: 0 to 99 coins = Non-Encumbering, 100 to 199 coins = 1 item slot, 200 to 299 coins = 2 item slots, 300 to 399 coins = 3 slots, etc.
Mascot Pre-Gens
Flame Princess, Level 3 Lawful Cleric
4,500 XP; Needs 7,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 18 (+3) CON 18 (+3) DEX 6 (-1)
INT 16 (+2) STR 18 (+3) WIS 18 (+3)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
+2 Bonus for Magic Saves, +3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 27, BAB +1, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +0
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 15
Open Doors 4, Languages 3
Starting Languages: English, Dutch, German
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Buff Coat, Tassets, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Pikeman's Armor, Silver Holy Symbol, Steel Holy Symbol, Wooden Holy Symbol, Cestus, Sling, Backpack, Sack x5, Air Bladder, Candle, Chalk, Ink, Nails, Paper, Pipe, Soap, Steel Mirror, Whistle, Bottle x2, Iron Spike x3, Wooden Spike x3, 59 silver pieces (on cart)


Alice, Level 3 Lawful Fighter
4,500 XP; Needs 8,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 11 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 11 (+0) STR 18 (+3) WIS 18 (+3)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
+3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 33, BAB +4, Melee AB +7, Ranged AB +7
Melee AC 20, Ranged AC 20, Without Shield AC 20, Surprised AC 15
Open Doors 4
Starting Languages: English, French
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Mace (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Arquebus, Shot Bag (100 Shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Buff Coat, Tassets, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Pikeman's ArmorSteel Holy SymbolCestusSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x2, Iron Spike x4, Wooden Spike, 5 silver pieces (on cart)


Selena, Level 3 Chaotic Fighter
4,500 XP; Needs 8,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 11 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 18 (+3) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 33, BAB +4, Melee AB +7, Ranged AB +7
Melee AC 20, Ranged AC 20, Without Shield AC 20, Surprised AC 15
Open Doors 4, Languages 4
Starting Languages: English, Spanish, Quechua
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol, Shot Bag (100 Shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Buff Coat, Tassets, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Pikeman's ArmorCestusSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistle, Bottle x2, Iron Spike x2, Wooden Spike x2, 23 silver pieces (on cart)


Kendra, Level 3 Neutral Specialist
4,500 XP; Needs 6,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 11 (+0) CON 11 (+0) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 18 (+3) WIS 18 (+3)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 18, BAB +1, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 4, Languages 4, Architecture 2, Search 3, Sleight of Hand 2, Stealth 3, Tinker 3
Starting Languages: English, Danish, Swedish
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Specialist's Tools, Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Wooden Holy SymbolGarrote, SlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistle, Bottle x4, Iron Spike x5, Wooden Spike x7, 122 silver pieces (in cart)


Rhona, Level 3 Neutral Specialist
4,500 XP; Needs 6,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 11 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 18 (+3) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 27, BAB +1, Melee AB +4, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 4, Languages 4, Bushcraft 3, Climbing 3, Sneak Attack 3, Stealth 3
Starting Languages: English, Scottish Gaelic, Powhatan (Virginia Algonquian)
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Specialist's Tools, Axe (Medium Weapon), Light Crossbow, Quiver & Bolt x20, Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, GarroteSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x4Iron Spike x5Wooden Spike x8, 87 silver pieces (in cart)


Melissa, Level 3 Chaotic Magic-User
4,500 XP; Needs 9,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 11 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 11 (+0) WIS 18 (+3)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 13, Breath 16, Device 13, Magic 14
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +3 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 23, BAB +1, Melee AB +1, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4
Starting Languages: English, Polish, Greek
Spells Known: Read Magic, Identify, Magic Missile, Summon, Unseen Servant, Knock
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol x2, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Wooden Holy SymbolSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x4Iron Spike x5Wooden Spike x6, 88 silver pieces (in cart)


Étaín, Level 3 Chaotic Magic-User
4,500 XP; Needs 9,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 18 (+3) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 11 (+0) WIS 11 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 13, Breath 16, Device 13, Magic 14
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 23, BAB +1, Melee AB +1, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Languages 4
Starting Languages: English, Irish, Latin
Spells Known: Read Magic, Charm Person, Comprehend Languages, Sleep, Summon, Mirror Image
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Flintlock Pistol x2, Shot Bag (100 shots), Powder Horn x2 (both full, 100 shots of powder), Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, SlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x4Iron Spike x5Wooden Spike x7, 88 silver pieces (in cart)


Group Gear (Total cost of 2,009 sp)
Coach
Mule x2
Riding Gear x2
Animal Feed x46
Bedroll x7
Regular Tent x7
Extra Set of Normal Clothing x7
Extravagant Clothing x7
Winter Clothing x7
Crampons x7
Iron Ration x154
Waterskin x8
Cooking Pots
Fishing Gear
Lard x10
Garlic x10
Wolvesbane x4
Tinderbox x8
Torch x100
Lantern x7
Flask of Lantern Oil x50
Sling Bullets x140 (inside Sack x7)
Short Bow x7
Arrow x140 (inside Quiver x7)
Spear x7
10' Pole x6
50' Rope x7
Grappling Hook x7
Block and Tackle
50' Chain
Manacles
Lock x2
Crowbar x7
Drill x2
Miner's Pick x5
Shovel x7
Mallet x7
Wooden Spike x16
Hourglass
Spyglass
Chest & Lock containing Money (see characters above)


Bonus Pre-Gens
Isaac Helwing, Level 3 Lawful Cleric
4,500 XP; Needs 7,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 13 (+1) CON 13 (+1) DEX 17 (+2)
INT 13 (+1) STR 17 (+2) WIS 17 (+2)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 11, Breath 16, Device 12, Magic 15
+1 Bonus for Magic Saves, +2 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 21, BAB +1, Melee AB +3, Ranged AB +3
Melee AC 16, Ranged AC 16, Without Shield AC 16, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 3, Languages 2
Starting Languages: English, Dutch
Knows all standard first-level Cleric spells.
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Dagger (Minor Weapon), Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Iron Ration x7, Waterskin, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x4, Silver Holy SymbolSteel Holy SymbolWooden Holy SymbolCestusSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x2Iron Spike x2Wooden Spike x6
Horse carrying Riding Gear, Saddlebag x4, Animal Feed x14, 288 silver pieces


Jeanne de Sombre, Level 3 Lawful Fighter
4,500 XP; Needs 8,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 12 (+0) CON 18 (+3) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 12 (+0) STR 18 (+3) WIS 12 (+0)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 12, Breath 15, Device 13, Magic 16
+2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 33, BAB +4, Melee AB +7, Ranged AB +7
Melee AC 20, Ranged AC 20, Without Shield AC 20, Surprised AC 15
Open Doors 4
Starting Languages: English, French
Has Fighter Combat Options.
Lightly Encumbered (2 points)
Equipment: Sword (Medium Weapon), Short Bow, Quiver & Arrow x20, Buff Coat, Tassets, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Iron Ration x7, Waterskin, Tinderbox, Torch x10, Pikeman's ArmorCestusSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x2Iron Spike
Horse carrying Riding GearSaddlebag x4, Animal Feed x14, 218 silver pieces


Tolliver Richrom, Level 3 Chaotic Specialist
4,500 XP; Needs 6,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 15 (+1) CON 15 (+1) DEX 15 (+1)
INT 15 (+1) STR 15 (+1) WIS 15 (+1)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 14, Poison 16, Breath 15, Device 14, Magic 14
+1 Bonus for Magic Saves, +1 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 21, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +2
Melee AC 15, Ranged AC 15, Without Shield AC 15, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2, Languages 2, Architecture 2, Bushcraft 2, Climbing 2, Search 2, Sleight of Hand 2, Sneak Attack 2, Stealth 2, Tinker 2
Starting Languages: English, Spanish
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Specialist's Tools, Sword (Medium Weapon), Sack & Sling Bullet x20, Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Iron Ration x7, Waterskin, Tinderbox, Lantern, Flask of Lantern Oil x4, GarroteSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x2Iron Spike x3Wooden Spike x2
Horse carrying Riding GearSaddlebag x4, Animal Feed x14, 279 silver pieces


Iri-Khan, Level 3 Chaotic Magic-User
4,500 XP; Needs 9,000 XP for Level 4
CHA 13 (+1) CON 14 (+1) DEX 18 (+3)
INT 18 (+3) STR 13 (+1) WIS 14 (+1)
Saving Throws: Paralyze 13, Poison 13, Breath 16, Device 13, Magic 14
+3 Bonus for Magic Saves, +1 Bonus for Non-Magic Saves, +2 for Physical Damage Saves (due to helm)
HP 17, BAB +1, Melee AB +2, Ranged AB +4
Melee AC 17, Ranged AC 17, Without Shield AC 17, Surprised AC 12
Open Doors 2, Languages 4
Starting Languages: English, Chinese, Arabic
Spells Known: Read Magic, Charm Person, Identify, Magic Missile, Summon, Invisibility
Unencumbered (1 point)
Equipment: Spellbook, Dagger (Minor Weapon), Sack & Sling Bullet x20, Buff Coat, Lobster Tail Pot Helm, Iron Ration x7, Waterskin, Tinderbox, Torch x10, GarroteSlingBackpackSack x5Air BladderCandleChalkInkNailsPaperPipeSoapSteel MirrorWhistleBottle x2Iron Spike x3Wooden Spike x2
Horse carrying Riding GearSaddlebag x4, Animal Feed x14, 348 silver pieces


One More Final: I Need a Life
The colossal lifeless head of Google+ smiled senselessly amidst the lapping crimson waves. At some point, Justin must have roused himself, for his character sheets were nailed to a nearby post, a mute memorial. But now he lay in the sand as if he had always lain there, exhausted, dreamless. Crucified hardbacks jutted from the shallows. A trail of dice hung motionlessly in front of the moon.

His head listed to the side of its own volition, pointing his eyes toward the wine-dark sea. A familiar figure stood lightly, ghost-like, on the blogosphere's surface. An anthropomorphic shadow. A PC from a past campaign. She had survived to the very end, whereupon she'd sacrificed her mortal life to preserve the world. The campaign setting had been revealed as the dream of a sleeping god, and it was falling apart as the god awoke. So she made him a deal: she swapped their places. This meant becoming a living computer for this simulated world, all of her memory occupied with preserving its existence, with no room left in her own mind for herself. Her ascension to godhood was a living death, the destruction of her personality, yet it saved countless lives.

She was not his, not a direct creation of his own. Yet...she was a happy memory, a work of imagination, that existed because of him. He was proud he'd helped inspire his friend to breathe life into her. He'd taken such joy in seeing her develop from a chaotic murderhobo to a real hero.

He couldn't read her expression, but he hoped she regarded him with some remaining warmth, some common understanding. She was a living coda.

Justin blinked. She was gone. She'd escaped into the waves.

Justin shared the beach with another. He sat up and turned to her.

The Flame Princess herself lay insensate in the sand, as her rulebook had once lain in the hospital bed. Her hair was the color of the sea. Her hand and leg were bandaged; Justin couldn't remember if he'd patched her up or if she had simply reformed herself from the primordial ooze in this state. Wait, no...she was not unconscious. There was awareness there; she simply refused to move. No, not for him. He just wanted her to do something, to spring forth and inspire him again.

Justin dug into his pocket until he found an old orange d20 with white numbers: the die used for attack roles. He held it up in front of the Flame Princess' face. Nothing. Not even a twitch of motion toward her sword.


He regarded his oldest weapon, crouched expectantly in the palm of his hand. He pondered it for an uncomfortably long time.

Seriously, it went on for over a minute.

His hand closed on the die. The Flame Princess was perfectly still. He squeezed the d20 with all his might. For a long moment, nothing.

Just as he was about to roll, her hand rose to his face. She gently caressed his cheek.

His grip loosened. He drew a long, shuddering breath, as if released from strangulation. His tears fell and darkened her sleeve as he awaited her revelation.

"Free speech," was all she said.

Justin sighed heavily and flung the d20 into the ocean.

"Aw hell. Does the bus run through here?" said Justin. He climbed to his feet and trudged off across the sand. "Guess I've got some catching up to do. Maybe there's a copy of Mothership around here somewhere..."

FIN.

15 comments:

  1. I know it's a parody, but that was a little poignant and sad. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, at least I made somebody feel something.
      Just for the record, I wish nothing but the best for you, Kelvin. I love your work, and I always appreciate your comments here. I didn't want you to think I was trying to pick a fight or anything. :P

      Delete
    2. No worries at all, no hard feelings, and no offence taken! I understand where this comes from and I get it.

      Delete