The Power of Poo (part I) (8/3/2009)

I run an occasional (much more occasional that I’d like) role-playing game for a few old of mine. They are, by nature, a generally danger-averse lot, and the same character or character types come up time and time again:
a) Someone who generally likes to lurk at the back, is good with knives and whose first instinct is to run away.
b) Someone who’s a bit of an academic or craftsman, who can’t resist the draw of meddling in Things That Man Was Not Meant To Know, but whose first instinct is otherwise to run away.
c) Someone who has a feast of character quirks and whose first instinct is to run away.
d) …

You get the picture. So when I dangle temptation in front of them, there are a couple of players who are generally game for investigating what’s up, and a rather larger number who are game for leaving Mr Temptation well alone, thank-you, or possibly notifying the authorities if there are some authorities conveniently nearby. Most famously, this lot have managed to avoid any sort of confrontation whatsoever for seven consecutive game nights until they finally plucked up the courage to tackle a single guard dog. A single guard dog that was asleep at the time.

In that particular game this was, finally, how they fell into the clutching maw that was the plot. They have learned from their mistake to let sleeping dogs lie. No more temptation. Rumours of a mysterious artefact in the nearby woods? Best leave it be. Mysterious artefact known to be in the hands of dodgy guy they could easily turn over? Best leave it be. Mysterious artefact found lying unguarded in the middle of the road? Best leave it be. Man runs up to them claiming to have been an arch-villain who’s just gone through a religious conversion, has seen the light and is giving up his warrior ways for a life of contemplative solitude and would they like to look after his mysterious artefact? Best leave it be.

Sometimes, when a mysterious artefact really won’t leave them alone, they turn it over to the authorities instead.

Disturbingly like the way real people might behave, in fact.

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