From time to time I want to write about player characters that I remember well. Recently DM Harald ran a few sessions using Moldvay’s Basic D&D and the Karameikos setting that came with it. We all rolled up characters and Jörg rolled up an elf with Charisma 3. He likes to play elves and that in itself is a recurring joke in our group. This time, however, it was payback time! This was an asshole. Arrogant. Disinterested. Unwilling to fight. Unwilling to come along. Jörg managed to stay on the thin red line separating character aggravation from player aggravation.
When we decided to go vampire hunting in Krakatos, the elf joined us against his own recommendation. We were, after all, just first level characters. After the first session, the elf had been charmed by the vampire and had joined his master as living blood snack.
The next session we managed to free him. Two or three sessions later, however, we were exploring Koriszegi Keep and had good reason to believe another vampire was present. Again, the arrogant elf tried to dissuade us. Again, we ignored him. As we were fighting ghouls climbing out of a hole in the ground, the battle turned against us. My cleric had been paralysed in the first round because he had once again used his cursed holy symbol instead of his real holy symbol. The arrogant elf received a mortal wound. (We’re using the Death and Dismemberment table.) He decides to grapple the ghould standing over my cleric’s body and fling himself and the ghoul down into the hole! Thank you, asshole.
We win the fight, descend into the hole, can’t find the elf’s body, continue into the next room, and see the body lying there, vampire mist covering the floor of the foul cave. Another character, a small lady thief, gets to work and saws off the elf’s head in order to prevent him from rising as a vampire minion at midnight. My cleric, no longer paralysed, is contacted by the vampire. L E A V E . H I M . T O . M E ! the disembodied voice says. I say to the small woman, “leave him be!” But she insists on cutting off the head. And she does. But now the vampire materializes, drains her into oblivion. We scream. The vampire crushes my gnome henchman’s skull. We cry. The vampire turns around. We run.
And all of that because of an elf that we didn’t like.