TheGlen (theglen) wrote,

#7 Frodo

As the realization set in that the entire Fellowship of the Ring was just an extremely badly run game, Frodo has gone from the DM's pet character to be revealed what he actually was. The poor bastard being played by the chick the DM had eyes for. I was fooled into thinking Frodo was some sort of Pollyanna Mary Sue type character, but the more I watched the more I felt sorry for the poor girl playing the hobbit. It rapidly became obvious Frodo didn't want to be there anymore.

It was obvious Frodo was supposed to be the center of the game. Frodo was the first player we were introduced to, a 1st level hobbit thief that everything had to be explained for. Everything was given to Frodo, from Bilbo giving not just the One Ring to Frodo to get the story going, but then willing all of Bilbo's wealth to the hobbit. Starting out with several thousand gold pieces at first level must be nice. The DM then gets an old friend to play an epic levil wizened mentor in the kill crazy yet highly intelligent warrior Gandalf. So you've a lot of money and a super high level mentor, what could go wrong? Frodo starts to catch on the DM's motives are less than benign.

Frodo has some adventures and levels up fairly quickly. Never really gets in a fight until well under way. The starting party starts extremely small, apparently it's going to a hobbit thief love fest so the DM adds Frodo's sudden and long time best friend Sam as a DM PC so they'll at least have a fighter in the party. How does Sam get hauled on the quest? By being caught eavesdropping through a window. Apparently Gandalf has a real job because he takes a few weeks off from the campaign. So Frodo and his merry band have a lot of adventures, pick up another player to replace the warrior god Gandalf and finally get in a real fight at Weathertop. Whereupon Frodo gets curbed stomped and the DM comes to the realization 3rd level hobbit thieves ain't got jack for HP.

Frodo gets hauled to Rivendale where magical elves fix him right up. And there is the DM's old character fresh with a new magical weapon and armor just for Frodo! The DM breaks down and finally adds several more characters to the party as a two fighter/three thief mix isn't going to work. So Gandalf finally comes back after his work schedule clears, and three old gaming hands in the form of Gimli, Legolas and Boromir show up. The fix is revealed when Frodo takes on a cave troll while the rest of the party is doing their thing and Gandalf feigning being a hapless old man to lure the goblin closer as he goes from Gandalf the Grey Wizard to Gandalf the Ruddy Cuisinart. Cave troll hits clean and takes Frodo straight to the minus lots column on his hit points. But low and behold, the magical chainmail retroactively has a DR rating just enough to bring Frodo back to positive numbers. The rest of the party looks surprised, but Frodo is beginning to release the game is rigged.

With Boromir and Gandalf showing actual true friendship towards to Frodo, the DM decides to get rid of them. They are only two to try and help the poor girl play her character the way she wants, they are the characters Frodo is attaching to. So they both bit it. Gandalf due to a 'lucky critical' by the Balrog after Gandalf takes him out with an engineering check, and Boromir after being pretty much only guy out a party of eight attacked by about 100 Uruk-Hai. So Frodo decides to head off and be a background story. Only the DM won't have that, and send best friend and buddy DMPC Sam in a total guilt trip attempted drowning to get Frodo to keep going. The other five guys get left behind without a thought.

Then Frodo starts to catch on that Sam wants Frodo all for himself, just like the DM has removed anybody close to Frodo. Frodo now is running a solo game, but those never work for long so the DM gets a second player in on that in the form of Smeagol. This time there is no mistaking Smeagol for a sympathetic shoulder. Low comeliness, limited combat abilities a very chaotic neutral alignment and the fact the regular player can only make about half the sessions alignment means this isn't a character to latch on to. The DM volunteers to run Smeagol's split personality Gollum as an NPC while the regular player is away, but that isn't going work long term. Frodo wants real companionship. Something the sycophantic DMPC Sam isn't providing. Even after the DM gives Frodo what he wants in the form of really cool elephants, the plot has to get moved along. Frodo tries to end it all by diving straight into the Dead Marshes but Smeagol is there to convince the player it will get better now he's here. A guest PC in Faramir shows up as a pregen brother of Boromir. Faramir is very quickly reminded what happened to Boromir, and Gollum is given a beat down by Faramir's followers that's blamed on Frodo. All to make DMPC Sam the only one Frodo can trust, and by extension the DM the only person sticking up for Frodo's player. Faramir gets the hint and kicks Frodo on his way with no help at all. Left alone again with DMPC Sam and part time PC Smeagol Frodo again tries to end it all by giving up the artifact to a Nazgul, but Sam coincidentally criticals a grappling attempt so the game can go on despite Frodo obviously not wanting to play anymore.

After DMPC Sam once again tries to guilt trip Frodo by falling down right in front of the Easterling army, Frodo realizes how badly the game is rigged when his elven cloak magically looks like a rock, despite it doing nothing of the sort in the rules. Smeagol saves Frodo several times and serves faithfully as a guide, no matter how much DMPC Sam keeps blaming Gollum on all the troubles they are having. Frodo is going through the motions at this point. Finally after a the DM and Smeagol get into one too many fights Smeagol's player takes off and it's all Gollum from now on. Frodo decides the line is crossed and just walks right into Shelob without a fight. DM panics, has DMPC Sam singlehandedly defeat Shelob while revealing the wound wasn't fatal and Frodo wakes up none the less for wear. While a single hobbit slaughtering an entire tower full of orcs and Uruk Hai would be ridiculous, fortunately all the bad guys slaughter each other and DMPC Sam cleans up the last few. But Frodo is done with this game, the player doesn't even know why she keeps coming except for the DM's pleading.

The last adventure has Frodo slowly march towards Mount Doom with not one of the tens of thousands of orcs once making a spot check to notice their hairy feet or Caucasian features. Nope, just walking to Mount Doom surrounded by bad guys on every side and not one of them put a single point into spot. Totally legit. After listening to DMPC Sam moralize and preach one too many times Frodo just sits down and doesn't care. The adventure is over for all Frodo cares. No problem, DMPC Sam, despite weeks of starvation and constant marching just picks Frodo right up and carries him to the epic conclusion spot. Where Frodo rebels and refuses to finish the damned adventure. Middle Earth can burn, not going to throw the ring into the fire. The line has finally been drawn. No problem, DMPC Gollum suddenly appears and forces the One Ring into the fire. Fine, Frodo decides to go with the ring. Nope DMPC Sam catches Frodo at exactly the right time and Frodo lives! Except for all the lava, but don't worry heat convection doesn't work in this game as they can sit right next to lava that will set cars ablaze at forty feet but not scorch hobbit lungs at two feet for some reason.

So the wrap up is uncomfortable to say the least. All the PCs have one last wrap up session where new star of the campaign Aragorn gets to be the king with the hot elf wife, and the hell with everybody else except Sam and his hot new hobbit wife. Finally reunited with Gandalf, the only character that actually cared about Frodo, but at this point Frodo is happy to see anybody but DMPC Sam. Look at the reunion, Frodo is ecstatic to see everyone, Merry, Pippin, Gimli, Legolas, even scene stealing Aragorn, then DMPC Sam walks in and all the joy Frodo had at seeing real people just quickly fades. When Gandalf's player is announcing he's retiring the character by sailing with the elves Frodo is all to quick to sign on, leaving DMPC Sam far behind. Frodo's player probably quit the gaming scene for a while before signing up for Cyberpunk 2020 campaign, hopefully competently run with actually players.

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