The role-playing group set out to kill the monster. They would reduce it’s hit points until it died. They would then scour it’s corpse for valuables and leave it’s hacked, bloody, oozing corpse out in the open where flies and bacteria would take the rest. So was the plan.
Funny, isn’t it? These misfits, these social losers, bullied and ostracized at school turn to fantasy to allow themselves to bully others. They enter dark dungeons, where they really need not be, and abuse goblins, kobolds, orcs, and whatever else they can sink their swords into.
All in the name of fun. It’s amazing what fun allows. Just ask any serial killer.
But we’ve gotten lucky this time. Our “heroes” aren’t going to be committing their usual mass murder today. This is a tale not of redemption, which is too much to hope for in this dark age. Rather, one of basic compassion and how despite what our culture constantly disinforms us of, human limitation helps us.
Meeting the Monster
The RPG group, with swords and spells full of death, minds full of happy teamwork, arcane statistics, and characterization fantasies, set out on another kill party, another dungeon beginning virginal and leaving well and fully dominated.
Man, that troll was big. The party hacked and slashed, zipped and zapped, plotted and trapped, but to no avail. This inconsiderate troll would not be conquered.
Nor did the party suffer. The troll defended himself but did not injure the group. So the party’s healer, having nothing to do, took a look around, and examined the troll. What caused it to turn it’s back on humanity and become a monster? It lives as an outcast, in the dark, skin scaly and oral hygiene non-existent. Like all monsters, it’s primary feature is it’s ugliness.
The healer blinked and looked at the group’s wizard, or rather the human being the wizard, perhaps for the first time. Acne-riddled, skewed teeth held in place by braces, arrogant and a social disaster. An outcast, in the dark, skin…. oh my.
Oh no… what degree of self-loathing have we here? Unlike the troll who is happy living apart from humans, the dungeons and dragons nerd lacks the courage of his convictions. He longs to be the popular one, the handsome one, the acne-free, straight-toothed, socially at-ease master of the universe. He longs to be precisely what he is not.
He longs to be a mass murderer, such as the powerful American state, thinking nothing of killing hundreds of thousands of poor brown-skins.
In the world of dungeons and dragons the nerd becomes the blond-haired blue-eyed Arian superhero while the nerds within that world, the goblins, kobolds, orcs, and trolls are lambs to be slaughtered.
Somehow I don’t think “Cure Light Wounds” is going to work here.