A parable of the D&D Table and, indirectly, life and the internet:
The ancient, heavily wounded red dragon has gathered almost all of the downed party members in his enormous claws and is about to take wing with them, carrying them off to who-knows-what dire fate.
Player playing the paladin: “I’m at zero hit points so I’m still barely conscious. I mouth a prayer to Tyr, put healing energy into my hands, and touch my wounds. Shit, that only brings me to five hit points.”
Dungeon Master: “Better than zero. You stagger to your feet, armor smoking, all your weapons lost to the dragon’s fiery breath. The dragon doesn’t realize that you’re alive, so there’s that. But you watch in hopeless futility as the huge reptile prepares to make off with your companions.”
Player of Paladin: *Poring over character sheet, checking his equipment list, looking for something, anything.*
DM: “The dragon tenses, muscles coiled, and leaps into the air.”
“Shit,” says every player of every captured PC.
“Shit,” echoes the player of the paladin.
Player of every captured PC to player of paladin: “Do something, man!”
Player of Paladin says to the DM: “What’s around me? Anything? I want something to throw! A weapon, anything!”
DM: “Just that pike you carry for show, charred from the dragon’s breath but still intact. It’s beside the smoking, seared carcass of your mount.”
Player of Paladin: “I grab it and throw it at the dragon as he starts to fly off!”
Player Who Misses the Point Altogether: “I don’t think a person could–”
All other Players: “Good idea! Awesome!” *Glimmers of hope twinkle in their eyes.*
DM, smiling: “I’ll allow it.”
Player Who Misses the Point Altogether: “But how could he–”
DM, ignoring PWMtPA: “It’s a makeshift weapon. It’s also heavy as hell and very unwieldy. I gotta give you a -5 to hit. Sorry.”
Players of captured characters: *groan*
Player of Paladin: “I don’t care. I’m doing it. *Grabs his favorite twenty-sider and starts ashakin’*
All other players except PWMtPA lean forward, hoping, praying. They’ve spent a lot of time with these characters.
PWMtPA sits back in his chair, arms crossed.
DM: “The beat of the dragon’s wings as it launches its huge form into the air raises a cloud of ash and stirs the scent of all the charred dead that litter the field around you. You grab at the pike, feel its metal in your hand, its weight. Another beat of its wings takes the beast further.”
Player of Paladin: “I shout a prayer to Tyr, charge after it, and throw the pike with every bit of strength remaining to me.”
PWMtPA: *Purses lips. Gives a harumph.*
DM: “You throw it as hard as your wounded body allows. The momentum of the throw causes you to stumble and fall but you got your arm into it. Roll!”
Player of Paladin: “Come on!” *Rolls*
All other players: *Leaning forward, watching the dodecahedron hit the table and roll, numbers tumbling past until it finally settles and shows….”
Player of Paladin: “TWENTY! TWENTY! THAT’S A CRITICAL!”
All other players: *Cheers. High fives around.*
DM: “The pike flies true! Guided by your faith in your god and your desire to save your friends. The point pierces a weak spot in the dragon’s back, right between its wings, and sinks in an arm’s length. Roll damage. Include the crit.”
Player of Paladin: “MAX DAMAGE! MAX DAMAGE, BITCHES!”
DM, caught up in it, grinning: “A roar of pain and a reflexive gout of fire slip between the creature’s fangs. It spasms in agony, drops the rest of the group to the grass, and falls like a scaled mountain to earth. It exhales once, twin streams of smoke leaking from its nostrils, then moves no more. It’s dead!”
Player of Paladin: “SHUT THE FUCK UP! HOLY SHIT!”
All other players: OH, HELLZ YES!”
*Much rejoicing. Cheers, Grins, Mountain Dew, and Cheetos for all.*
PWMtPA: “You know, I don’t think anyone could ACTUALLY throw a pike. I mean, it’s–”
Everyone: “Shut up, man! Seriously. Just. Shut. Up.”
And so endeth the parable. The lesson, apart from the fact that Player Who Misses the Point Altogether misses the point altogether? As it is with the DnD table, so it is with life and the internet: Don’t try to make yourself look smart or well-informed by shitting on other people’s fun or other people’s good news. It makes you look small.
That is all. 🙂