Once upon a time in Elysombra, toward the 2/3rds mark of Jonathan Tweet’s epic 3e campaign, I switched from playing Sigurd, the dwarf fighter who’d taken a level of cleric to better understand Primus’ will, to playing a half-dragon gnome psychic warrior named Dzhay who maintained an illusion of looking like a jailbait Pippi Longstockings until she tore someone’s throat out with her camouflaged silver-dragon teeth.
Dzhay plundered the Psionic Handbook and came out loaded for war. For this, and for abandoning Sigurd, and for somehow talking the notoriously stingy DM into gifting me with a full load of good magic items, I achieved campaign infamy.
Which did not lessen the second time our party got gacked trying to destroy a particular naga-infested Temple of Evil. We’d been hit by overwhelming barrages of empowered fireballs and lightning bolts, some cast by nagas and some cast by our own frickin’wizard, who’d had the courtesy to ask whether Dzhay could take a hit from a fireball but did not entirely listen to the answer. The answer had been no, not so much, and especially not with a disintegrate spell on the way from the nagas.
So Dzhay was toasted and Jonathan gleefully turned to determining the fate of the magic items she had been carrying. Old school baby! First I rolled saves for the stuff she used, then I turned to rolling for the items that she kept in her backpack. When I mentioned that it looked my +4 amulet of mighty fists had been destroyed, Mark Jessup, playing the party’s abused but beloved monk, Ta-Wei Shek, nearly spit out his teeth. “You have a +4 amulet of mighty fists? And you keep it in your backpack?”
“Yeah, the enchantment I get from [one-or-the-other-of-the-cheezy-and-near-permanent-psychic-warrior-tricks-I-was-using] is better…Uh-oh.”
“Augh! Augh! +4 amulet of mighty fists! Do you know what Ta-Wei is using? A +2. Augh! Augh!”
Guilty. Guilty and oblivious. And in no position to correct the error.
This, and other slights and fiascoes, eventually led Mark to utter the despondent war cry we forever associate with his flamboyant yet strangely ineffective characters: “I’m 76 hit points you don’t have to lose.”
Although to be fair, in the final act of our heroes’ mortal existence, Ta Wei-Shek climbed the head of the world’s greatest red dragon, Vaerm, and punched her in the brain, no +4 amulet required.