Monday, November 23, 2009

McCormick and His Paladin

So McCormick has a paladin.

"What god is your paladin dedicated to, McCormick?"

"Ummmm..." [on-the-spot tumble into existential spiral of performance anxiety at the thought of whether he can think up the coolest possible god on such short notice] "...uhhh..."

"Ok, McCormick, unless you tell me different, your paladin is dedicated to Vorn, god of iron and rain..."

[dubiously]"Vorn? Ok. Vorn."

"So what's your guy's name?"

"Ummmm..." [more existential dread]

"Ok, well let me know if you think of a name."

It took him three months to get a name.

In action, McCormick is slightly more decisive:

"I pray to Vorn for guidance."

"You don't get any."

Although McCormick has kind of a love/hate relationship with Vorn, and can never remember what he's the god of, he likes praying to Vorn and saying stuff like "I show no fear, secure that Vorn will protect me from these armed and foul-smelling heathen."

Actually, in-game, Vorn is shaping up to be kind of a sucky god. Not only is he constantly being blasphemed against by whatever local usurping demon cult stumbles through the campaign, he does a terrible job of keeping an eye on his people:

One of his clerics (in a rare and tactically foolish display of pure role-playing) ended one game on her knees howling "Why Vorn? Why have you forsaken meeeee?" while her brother and sister were busy stabbing the big boss in the next room, and his other cleric, Mitchell, had, on his first day at work, his arm ripped off by a minotaur, and then, in his second, was knocked down to zero by a hydra. Likewise, McCormick's paladin can't seem to catch a break either--despite being armed with the impressive Tooth of Vorn he's hardly managed to kill anything big. He did kill a bunch of 1 hp peasants last sunday...

It takes forever for AD&D paladins to level up, too, so McCormick's paladin still has to roll high to hit anything--and usually doesn't.

So what does he do? He lays on hands (curing 2 hit points of damage) an awful lot (which is good, considering how useless and accident prone the clerics of Vorn so often are) which, at first level, is nothing to sneeze at.

"Can I lay hands on myself?"

"Sure, um, but do you want the rest of us to, like, leave the room first?"

"Do you get experience for laying hands on yourself?"

"Some, but not as much as if you lay them on someone else..."

"I don't know, if you're a girl and you lay hands on yourself until you get it right and then you show someone else the right way to lay hands on you, I think you should get more experience..."

Another paladin function: detecting evil.

McCormick loves detecting evil. Here are some things that he's sure are evil:

-the vampire
-the skeleton in the black robe with the one black eye and one red eye that sets you on fire when you look at it
-the goblin who was rifling through his pack while he was asleep
-the rug on the second floor of the tower

"You notice the rug has a bizarrely intricate pattern."

"Is it evil?"


"It's an evil rug?"

"Yes, it's an evil rug."

McCormick also often takes point and parleys when the party encounters something that isn't evil.

"I see, thank you sir. Can you tell us anything about the evil rug on the second floor?"

"'I know nothing of such bizarre things, my lord.'"

"'Bizarre things'? You're a talking swan."

"And you're a man who's covered in blood and waving a giant tooth and talking to a bird while laying hands on himself, what's your point?"

McCormick is also developing a talent for the metagame:

"While, I--as a paladin of Vorn--would never suggest such a thing, a less pious and self-sacrificing man than I might perhaps suggest that we use that healing potion on me rather than the half-orc since I'm down to only 3 hit points..."

However, for all his foibles, the paladin is the rock of the party:

"Fear not, I shall cover your retreat! Zorn will protect us!"


"Avant-garde jazz will protect us?"

"I mean Vorn, Vorn will protect us! Fly, you fools!"

So, yeah, that's McCormick. Long may he ride. I love my players.


  1. isn't a paladin just totally cute?

  2. Hilarious and good advice on handling character creation in the if player has idea go with it, otherwise lay it down with final player veto option.

    "Ok, unless you tell me different, your paladin is dedicated to Vorn, god of iron and rain"

  3. Look, if your deity is lying in bits and pieces around the campaign world, maybe it might behoove you get the pieces into the same damn room before asking for help...