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Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is Steven Petrick Posting.

While I was stationed at Fort Campbell, the gaming group I was part of decided to play a "Cthulu" campaign. The various characters met, got acquainted in early adventures and the campaign proceeded deeper into the milieu.

At one point in the campaign, the characters were divided into two groups. One group went to Transylvania to investigate going's on there, while the other went to Egypt. The survivors (yes, it was a Cthulu campaign, in point of fact we actually had one player and his character go completely over to the other side) were reunited on a passenger ship heading back to the states.

But something strange happened.

One of the characters had "Danger Sense", which would alert him that he was in danger, but was never specific about what the danger was. Now, suddenly, whenever he was near Allen Jones his danger sense would go off. And he could not figure out why.

In game terms, when the two groups were brought back together, the player running Allen Jones saw the other character, and asked to speak to the Campaign Master privately, and when the two came back, he sat down and the Campaign Master simply told the other player his character's danger sense went off when ever he was around Allen Jones. It was incumbent upon him to figure out why.

The Campaign continued through various other adventures. Allen Jones was, within the group, the only character everyone else trusted. Except the guy with Danger Sense, who became increasingly anxious. But since he did not know why, all he could do was tell other characters that something was not right about Jones. But Jones was the one guy everyone else trusted.

Things got really worse because the guy running Jones had a rather warped sense of humor. One day, he and the other player were alone in a car driving someplace (real world), and he explained why the the character's danger sense was going off.

Jones, you see, was no longer Jones. While he had been in Transylvania the villain that that group thought they had killed had actually traded places with Allen Jones, i.e., his spirit and soul now possessed Allen Jones' body, and Allen Jones' spirit and soul had been destroyed with his (the villain's) old body. And Jones was the one character that everyone else trusted, and he was going to kill all the other members of the party, one by one, and the last thing they would each see would be the smiling face of the one person they all trusted.

You can probably imagine what effect that had on that player's character in subsequent adventures. He had to play the character as if he did not know what he, the player, did know. He could not warn the others of exactly what was wrong, and yet he knew.

Eventually his paranoia spread to other members of the group, but even though they were paranoid, knew something was wrong, no one knew just what, and everyone (except the character with danger sense) still trusted Allen Jones.

The paranoia levels finally started to derail the campaign, and the Campaign Master had to stop it, sit everyone down, and tell everyone exactly what was going on.

The character with Danger Sense had committed (albeit in the line of duty trying to stop Cthulu) major crimes while in Egypt, and was wanted by the law on international warrants. Allen Jones was a law officer and would have arrested the character with danger sense and turned him in if he became aware of the crimes. Thus the danger sense was triggering to not talk with Allen Jones about things in Egypt.

However, my little joke (yes, I was Allen Jones) had almost destroyed the campaign. And, yes, while we were in Transylvania the main villain was intended to "trade places" with Allen Jones, the problem was that Allen Jones had become aware of it, and caught the Campaign Master off guard by emptying a 50-round .45 caliber drum magazine of a Thompson sub-machinegun into "the baron" rather than "confronting" him.