I am, in general, not a superstitious person. I don’t mind black cats, broken mirrors (beyond the obvious “well shit I have to pay for that”) and I don’t believe that cracks that I walk on have anything to do with my mother’s chiropractic health. I believe firmly that science and reasonable deduction can explain anything, from the strangest occurrence to the weirdest of situations. With this in mind, I would like to posit the following: I have been cursed, but I may have found a way to rid myself of this otherworldly affliction.
The most recent game we recorded (that you won’t hear for many weeks, if ever) was a one-shot affair involving super heroes and some other things but that’s not important. What is crucial to my rambling is that my rolls were fine, but Billy’s were disasterous. Every. Time. Nothing he did could achieve success and the things I did just happened. They just happened! As if some loving god had decided that I had suffered enough, but kind of like “You are forgiven my son and you may go free but while I’m here I’m gonna rain pain down on Billyville today and it’s gonna be like an El Nino of shit… peace be with you.”
It is with this in mind that I would like to present some advice for those of you that may find themselves on the receiving end of a non-stop barrage of demoralizing dice.
1. Don’t Panic
This may seem obvious, but don’t discount your mind’s instinctive reaction to flee from the situation that is clearly borne from terrible witchcraft. Show the people around you that you can take bad luck in stride, and that at the end of the day you realize that it’s just a game, no biggie. Your internal monologue will probably be one of screaming and gnashing teeth, but just be cool.
2. Prepare for Mockery or Feigned Sympathy
People, in general, are dicks, and roleplayers have two avenues (themselves and their character) to not-so-subtly chide you about your bad luck. This is based on a “better you than me” mentality that is understandable, and just remind yourself that maybe they are trying to add levity to a difficult situation. Others may offer words of comfort, but their forked-tongue lies are obvious to even the most simple of children. Take a moment to mentally scrawl their name onto the list of people who have wronged you.
3. Consider Your Options
Utilize the time you have from not affecting the game in any positive manner to look up ways to mitigate what is clearly a supernatural crisis. If you can, excuse yourself for a brief period and go to the corner store to see if they have the necessary components to make a devil’s pact and pass the curse onto someone else. Some may call this extreme, but they’ve clearly never botched three initiative rolls in a row so they can shut the fuck up.
4. Embrace Nihilism and Laugh at the Futility of All Things
At this point you’ve fully recognized that your character is trapped in the theater of the absurd. While the other characters are searching for the Lich King that has afflicted the town of Placid Falls with a terrible virus in D&D 5th Edition, you are a one-person rendition of Waiting for Godot. Bring your performance art to a new level by shouting random nonsense and then whispering quotes from episodes of The Golden Girls. Void your bowels at the table. Eat your character sheet. Stare straight ahead and don’t blink until tears run unchecked down your cheeks. All things are permitted now that you have seen the Truth.
5. Switch to playing Fiasco
So what about you? Do you have any superstitions at the game table? What about anecdotes about your dice all conspiring to end your good time and reduce you to a sputtering mess? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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