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Monday, February 16, 2015

So you've botched again...


Hi, my name is Liz.
(This is where you say hi Liz)
Last night I botched for the thrid time in a row.

We've all had these moments. Botching is always bad, botching three times in a row and the only logical course of action is your character to lie on the floor so they can’t hurt anything else, is horrible.

The Dice Gods are cruel, especially when it comes to combat. Normally, I play in relatively diceless games, however, sometimes you just need to smash something over the head with a club and this is when my friends and I get out our dice. While we would all like to think that we botch because the Dice-y Ones above hate our guts, it really is just random. Therefore, brothers and sisters, I am here to show you another way. I am here to preach the gospel of botching!


The idea is simple and one I have adopted after years of playing whilst spectacularly botching. Each time that I botch multiple times in a row, I make a significant change in my character's life and personality. The first time this happened it was very much organic.


I was playing my beloved Goliath Barbarian Tali at a 4e D&D Battle Interactive. Tali was a boisterous hot headed goliath, who travelled the world with her best friend a gnome wizard. Together they kicked ass, took names, and were mostly into adventuring for the lols. During the big boss fight my player was the damaging machine for her party and we were fighting a red dragon plus it minions. Tali ends up botching on her daily I'ma gonna f*** a b**** up power and things just go downhill from there. It wasn't a total TPK, the rogue got away.

Tali (and I) felt like a failure. Everyone around Tali was pretty puny and she was the big hitter who was meant to protect everyone. So, waking up blood stained and broken on the battlefield. Tali decided for a change. She realized she had taken her oath to Tempus too lightly. She only decided to worship him in the first place because he supported tons of fighting. 

So, on the battlefield Tali made a promise, an oath, to change her ways and only fight with honour (for the lols no longer!) To hone the rage within herself, sharpen it, and release it on those who were dishonourable and fought for the forces of evil.

Now, Tali and I made a pretty epic pact - but D&D is a pretty epic game. I am not suggesting that people should change their entire character concept, but the dice being totally random and punishing you doesn't have to be a bad thing. Since you control your character, it is hard to be surprised with how you react to certain situations. Mechanically failing so badly is something that can break you from that, make you re-think your character, and find a new personality trait they never realized before. 

Also, getting some story and character development out of it, makes botching a lot more exciting. It forces you to be creative in a way that you never thought possible and a cool character change makes something bad into something fun.

Have you ever botched so badly, or so frequently, that you decided to make a change with your character? Tell me about it!

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