Hello, and welcome to gibbering mouth! Where I am literally going to sit here and gibber for a bit about whatever I want for a bit. I’m Alexander Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and if you’ve been watching the Paizo Blogs, you’ll know that they just did a Pride Month segment and I was featured in it. Specifically, I spoke about discovering I was asexual and how roleplaying games (specifically playing kitsune) helped me discover that about myself. If you want to read the blog post in full, you can do so here: there are tons of Paizo creatives on the list and I am honored to be just one store among a dozen, which includes the Network’s own superstar Vanessa Hoskins.
So, right now I’m in the middle of this massive pair of Starfinder freelance design for Paizo that I can’t talk about yet and am completely overworked, so I thought it might be more fun to share a bit of my “Ace Hindsight” stories with you guys instead of doing a big mechanical blog post. Don’t worry, those will be back but my brain is fried today. So let’s get started on my Ace Disaster Stories! (Because there are PLENTY.)
First Tale: Reign of Romance
Many of our devoted followers know that James Ballod and I played in a Reign of Winter home game. He played Reynard, a jerkwad dhampir rogue/swashbuckler and I played Zanzo, a kitsune bard who specialized in singing and playing a lute. Now, minor spoilers for Book 1 of Reign of Winter, you end up going to this ice tower during the adventure, and the tower is guarded by a troll lady. Ms. Troll is guarding the way in, and our party is trying to figure out how to fight the troll because none of us have a good supply of fire or acid to beat its regeneration. I pipe up, “Hey, I know charm person, why don’t I just put the magical moves on her?” The party laughs, and I go and do it. The spell works! Except according to our GM, the troll has never had a friend before so it mistakes the feeling of friendship I’ve magically forced upon her for love. (Think Wreck-It-Ralph 2.) So the troll picks up my charcacter and starts hugging and squeezing him. Zanzo tries to talk back to the troll, but she doesn’t speak any languages that my character knows. Great.
Meanwhile the rest of the party sees my character getting picked up and caressed, so they come in thinking things are okay. Well, they’re not. Charm person makes my target like me, but it does nothing for my friends. And I can’t talk to the troll to leverage the spell, so she gets mad. Our dwarf shaman, who CAN speak with the troll (he spoke Giant; who knew) tells the troll to put me down so they can walk throw. And she’s like, “Uh, no. Go away!” and starts attacking.
So here I am, being held in a troll’s arm like a damsel in a King Kong movie. I pretty much stay grappled for the whole fight, and when my friends win the troll collapses. With Zanzo right under her. My GM has a flair for the dramatic, so she describes me as getting lodged directly between the troll’s boobs. I squirm my way out and I make a joke involving getting smoothered my boobs and how that wasn’t how I’d want my first time to go; something dirty but overall harmless. James slams his hands on the table, stares at me, and yells something like, “I’ve known you for two years and this is the FIRST time I’ve ever heard you talk about sex even a little bit, and you’re joking about a TROLL?!”
What can I say? A near-death experience makes comedians out of all of us, I guess!
Second Tale: All Dem Ladies
My absolute favorite character, Kyrshin Yilenzo, who’s also the mascot for my company, Everybody Games, is actually from a campaign that my GM ran for me back in 2014. In fact, my very first product, Psychological Combat (and later Ultimate Charisma) was designed specifically for Kyrshin because my GM wanted my character to have a way to aggro enemies. Kyrshin was a weird character that I cherish dearly. When I originally wrote him, he was this braggart of a character who was kind of a playboy knight who was going on an adventure on his adopted daddy’s payroll. But as I played him, the character mellowed out a lot; he became clever, diplomatic, and above all else a leader. Eventually we ended up carving out a small plot of land to build a settlement on, which we did because Kyrshin ended up having a legion of hobgoblins as allies, and these poor boys and girls simply did NOT know how to take care of themselves. They are all like malnourished and constantly drill instructing despite their ancestors having been essentially left to die in the jungle by their commanding officers. This legion was basically still carrying out business as usual despite it all, and they needed a place to stay gosh darn it!
So they had a prophecy that a red hero would come and save them, and while hobgoblins can have red skin in this campaign, it turns out that the prophecy might have been referring to my red-haired (and furred) kitsune hero instead! So they give us a mission to prove our might (slaying a babau-possessed allosaurus; its as horrible as it sounds) and in doing so we got an army. Hooray! Except not hooray, because my brother’s character, a magus named Dyne, had a black blade. And this black blade possessed the soul of a trickster copper dragon. Dyne wanted access to his sword’s power, but it wouldn’t talk to him. As a trickster, Dyne surmised that if he could pull a trick on someone that he might earn the blade’s respect. So in the middle of negotiations with the hobgoblin elders, he calls out, “My sword is ancient, and he says that if Kyrshin is going to take over as Supreme Commander of your legion, he’s got to eat the testes of the raptor after we kill it.
Okay, gross. But Dyne is book smart, not Charisma smart. The GM has him roll a Bluff check. Natural 20. Great, but Kyrshin is Charisma-focused and he has Bluff and Diplomacy as trained class skills. Kyrshin can talk his way out of this. Kyrshin rolls a Diplomacy check. Natural 1. With the bonuses, 12.
So we’ve killed the death dinosaur and brought its testes back to the village. The ENTIRE legion is assembled to watch me eat these things. And the shaman inform me that if I can’t hold them down (aka not vomit all over the place) I might not earn the legion’s respect and the near-death we almost suffered at the hands of the dinosaur would have been for nothing.
So with all the resolve he can monster, Kyrshin takes the melon-sized teste and chomps down on it. GM has me roll a Fortitude save. Natural 20. I AM THE GREATEST!
GM agrees with me. Also chimes in that the all of the lady hobgoblins think that I’m officially a fertility god. And here, folks, is where Alex gets as red as a tomato. Not when he’s chomping down on deviled dinosaur nuts, but when the ladies come a-knocking. I immediately tell the GM that Kyrshin eats and parties for a bit, then runs off to his tent to sleep. GM allows it, if only because it’ll allow us to move on with the story. Whew, escaped THAT roleplay!
Third Tale: Date Night with My GM
Okay, take the story from Tale Two and fast forward it a bit. Kyrshin has rescued an entire clan of kitsune from beig cyclops slaves. He has a cohort named Shira now, and their settlement is booming. Its mostly kitsune, hobgoblins, and some jungle elves that Kyrshin has befriended. Now, my GM for this game had a thing where whenever we established holidays with the Kingmaker rules we had to roleplay out the holiday. Our summer festival was awesome, except for the roleplay that led up to it our GM told me that I would be roleplaying my cohort instead of my character. Why? Because we had a B-plot going for a long time in our campaign where one of my followers was mad in love with one of my cohorts and had been working up the nerve to ask her out for a long time. And he did! Except I had to roleplay the interaction.
You know that meme that goes something like, “You can attempt to seduce all the ladies you want, but remember that I, your brother, have to roleplay every single one?” Take that and have your GM initiate it. And man, this NPC planned EVERYTHING. My ruthless kitsune ninja had to go to the dress shop and pick out a dress she liked and then she had to go and have dinner with the guy and then they went to the holiday party at the docks. Looking back on it the whole scene was so cute and my GM did such an awesome job with it. Except for one problem. I am so freaking ace that both in-character AND out of character I had no idea what was happening. (Which made sense for Shira, thankfully). It wasn’t until the very end of the RP day where my GM, playing my follower, asked me, playing my ninja cohort, to go steady with him that I was like, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOH.” And Shira and I were both flustered. Me because I had no idea how to roleplay this and Shira because she had no idea how to answer this. Its funny how much of yourself you find in your characters, eh?
In the end Shira and Shai, my follower, ended up going steady. And my GM said, “You really had no idea what I was doing?” My brother, who has autism, chimes in, “And I thought I was oblivious!”
That’s life, I guess!
I think those three tales are the only stories I’m going to share for now. I personally can look back at those stories and think to myself, “Man, I’m so ace it hurts,” but that’s part of the fun of roleplaying. It’s a great way to evaluate yourself and figure out who you are.
What did you guys think about these stories? Have you ever had any weird experiences with romance in your campaigns? Do you want me to do more stories like this? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll see you next time, back for our regularly scheduled Alex content (hopefully; I still have a TON of Starfinder on my plate…).
Next week is going to be my Part 2 of “How to Do PF1 Ultimate Classes in PF2” speculation series, and then I’ll finish this Tian Xia series with the Samsaran. Three weeks later I’ll be doing “How to Do PF1 Occult Classes in PF2”, and then I have an article on character roles like tank / healing / control and how Dev design is affected by them.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!
Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.
Creative Permissions “Kitsune Kissing” by Jacob Blackmon, used with Everybody Games’ permission.