Let me tell you the odd tale of…Grok the Half-Orc!!!
This was a one-time game session I ran with one of my friends
as the only player. His girlfriend (the current DM for our Kelleck &
Aerynn game) was next to us playing video-games though, and she would
often sigh or giggle at the silliness of it all.
So me and my friend intended to just do a short game for the heck
of it. A ‘soda & pretzels’ type of session, we weren’t going for a
great story here. Just rolling some dice and having fun. My friend
created Grok, a D&D 3.5 Half-Orc Fighter with amazing Strength and
The story was plenty of silly. The mayor of a town hired Grok to
fight off the invaders, who happened to be actual sci-fi aliens from
outer space with disc-shaped spaceships and all!
Grok managed to infiltrate the ship and started hacking off aliens
left and right with his mercurial greatsword. He then grabbed a raygun
and the game started looking a lot like a Star Wars RPG session.
After having killed all the aliens inside, Grok stepped out of the
ship just in time to deal with a second incoming ship. The mayor had
installed a catapult to deal with the flying saucers and asked Grok to
be the one to fire it. Problem was, Grok didn’t know how to nor did he
have any ranks in the skill used for siege weapons. As the DM, I had to
come up with a potion of temporary intelligence and knowledge that the
mayor had supposedly acquired at the same time as the catapult. Like I
said, this game was being played fast and loose.
Despite the boost to his mental abilities (which still left him
well below average!) and the temporary knowledge of how to operate a
catapult, Grok needed an extremely high roll on his d20 to hit the ship.
As the flying saucer began to destroy the town with its beams, Grok
launched the first catapult attack… and missed, the huge rock landing on
the mayor’s office and completely destroying it!
“It’s a catastrophe!!!” I had the mayor exclaim as he placed both hands to his head.
“No.” Grok bluntly stated right away. “It’s a catapult.”
After wrecking a few more houses in the process, I forget how many,
Grok managed to bring down the alien ship and moved on to other
adventures (that were never played) with his newly acquired alien
weapons and gold coins.
It was a silly game session and we never did continue Grok’s story,
but he is sometimes fondly mentioned in conversation. What made that
pun so funny? The fact that Grok was, in his mind, genuinely correcting
the mayor. He just didn’t know the word ‘catastrophe’.