Sometimes, the Good Guys Win.

This story ends well, I’m afraid. Credit it to the otherwise excellent group — all the other players were great and the DM was hands-down the best I’ve ever played with.

Shockingly enough, this story comes from a Vampire game. I’m going to use real names, except for the guy I’m talking about. Not because I’m being nice or anything, I’ve just forgotten it, so I’m just gonna call him douche. Because he was one.

So, we’re playing. It’s a group of like six people, plus Jesse, the DM. I’m a Ventrue who was in the mafia before he got turned, so he’s taken the transition to undeath pretty easily. I take a couple dots of Underworld to reflect the mafia thing. (This’ll all come into the story later, I promise.) Meanwhile, douche is playing a Lasombra and he specs out that shadow-manipulation discipline all to hell and back. In fact, he puts so many dots into it, and has so clearly played Lasombra minmaxed characters before, that battles quickly become trivial — if there’s a shadow in the room, douche is invulnerable and kills everybody. This is not very fun for the rest of us, who would like a challenge and also a chance to get some violence in ourselves. Resentments simmer.

He’s also a colossal jerk to everyone both in and out of character; his character is an arrogant jerk who just does whatever he wants and expects us to follow along, and in real life he’s even more obnoxious because he’s a scrawny little fuck and doesn’t have the threat of being unstoppable in combat to back up his imperiousness. He’s exactly the sort who takes out real grudges in-game, so I go to the GM privately and let him know I’m rigging up my apartment with special lightning designed very specifically that if I turn it on, there isn’t a single shadow in the entire apartment. (I’d later learn that most of the group, each one acting independently, had done the same thing. He was that min-maxed.)

So one day, we’re sent off to kill some elder or something, I don’t quite remember the details. I do remember, however, that a frontal attack on this guy’s haven would have been foolhardy, and eventually one of us gets the bright idea that with some explosives, we could do this. Slight problem: we don’t have any explosives. After mulling over other options, I suddenly realize that a mobster damn well ought to be able to get his hands on stuff that goes boom if he really wants to, and I’ve got those two dots in Underworld. I roll on the dots, attempting to find a contact, and I succeed. Hooray! My guy knows a guy, we get our explosives, the attack goes swimmingly. (Douche diablerizes the elder.)

Well. Our group has just learned that Underworld is a very goddamn useful skill to have; between us we’ve got enough wealth to get our hands on anything we need that money can buy, and now if we need something that money can’t buy… I make a call, and we buy it anyway. Since we’re getting such mileage out of it, I save up my experience points and build myself up to 4 dots in Underworld, telling the GM that I’ve used my contacts amongst the other Ventrue (who are, after all, power brokers) to get myself into position as a capo in my crime family. This is a good explanation; it’s a lot of power and it makes 5 dots appropriately impossible; to advance any farther I’d have to be the godfather.

Since the group is now leaning on my Underworld contacts to get us useful illegal things when we need them, I’ve become important to the group. To douche, this just will not do. He must be the best and most important at everything! So, one week, he brings his girlfriend Sara into the game. Wouldn’t you know it? He’s already already prepared her character sheet with her, complete with backstory — not only is she a Ventrue too, but she was the daughter the godfather from the very same mob family I’m a part of! Man, small world, right? I say “was”, however, because it’s also part of her backstory that upon being turned, she frenzied and killed her father.

The plan here is very obvious. She was the godfather’s daughter, the godfather’s dead, she’ll inherit the position, right? Disregarding the fact that the mafia does not work that way, it’s a gigantic douche move. He can’t handle me being good at something he’s not, so he’s brought in a new player who’s under his thumb who’s good at everything I am. I’ll be supplanted and he’ll be the most important and the best again. Meanwhile, I see a golden opportunity. I couldn’t advance while the godfather was alive, and I couldn’t kill him because Jesse, nobody’s fool, would surely have made sure I would have gone down for doing that and not gained the position, and it was equally impossible that he’d be kind enough to have some outside force kill him off for me. But now the godfather is dead and I had nothing to do with it. Perfect!

I take Sara aside and, after making clear that I’m talking in-character, threaten her pretty strongly. She’s just killed my boss, and I’m no fool — I know she’s planning to try and take control of the family. I inform her that’s not happening. The family would never accept a woman in charge, but her last name does command some respect and she’ll have some loyalists on her side in the coming power struggle. I tell her she’s got two choices; she can back my play for the top spot and I’ll promise her a position of some power in return, or I can shoot her dead right here and now because, after all, I’m overcome with grief that the godfather is no more and I was taking revenge on his killer. She agrees to back my play.

I then go to Jesse and tell him that I want that fifth dot. I tell him that I’ve gotten Sara’s backing for the infighting that I’m sure will erupt, and I’m well aware that he can’t make getting five dots in a skill easy for me, but I’m going for it. I tell him to figure out what hoops he wants to make me jump through and I’ll get the group to help me out — they’ve been enjoying the fruits of my Underworld dots and will surely help me get even more power there. He thinks about it, then strips all my monetary resources and my influence for the next three game sessions to represent me putting everything I’ve got into securing the position, and tells me I can buy the fifth dot. I end up the godfather and get to wield practically unlimited power.

One week later, before douche arrives, the rest of the group huddles up and decides that last week’s bullshit was the last straw. We compare our characters and decide which among us has the best chance in single combat against him (we’re doing it by the book so we don’t get any wrath from above for killing a coterie member). We decide that the Malkavian in the group does, so when douche arrives he is promptly challenged to single combat. The Malkav (I’ve forgotten his name too, sadly) wins. Douche’s shadowjerk is staked and drained.

One week after that, Sara dumps him and starts dating Jesse.

So while playing with that guy was undoubtedly the worst experience I ever had with role-playing, I can’t deny that it has a very happy ending. He brought his girlfriend in to undermine my power and make him the guy we all needed to rely on again, and ended up increasing my power, getting kicked out of the group, and losing the girlfriend. Not bad, huh?

CapnAndy did it pretty well eh?

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