disclaimer: Worm is the intellectual property of wildbow. i am just taking his creation and hacking it into itty bitty bits for my amusement... and the amusement of others of course...
Worm d20: The First Anti-Hero
It was a Friday night at Arcadia U. The end of the week, the beginning of the weekend—a rather roundabout explanation, but there was a distinct difference between the two. When the weekend came around, sleeping schedules shifted a few hours later into the nights and soft drinks and pizza became the default menu items of choice. Classes and club activities gave way to parties and sleep-ins. Careful consideration of one's wardrobe became the last thing on anyone's mind, giving way to whatever T-shirts or pajama pants were most comfortable.
On Friday nights, it was game time.
Colin had just applied the finishing touches onto his latest campaign when the doorbell chimed. He stopped arranging the miniatures on the large dining room table and stepped into the foyer, unbolting the door and stepping back to allow his guests' entry into his home. "Hey guys!"
A chorus of greetings were thrown back at him as a group of five individuals stepped inside. The first one, an attractive blonde with her hair tied back into a french twist, negligently tossed her coat in the general direction of the stand set up for that purpose. She grinned at Colin as she sauntered past, her smile doing nothing to interfere with the exaggerated chewing motions of her mouth as she worried at her ever-present stick of bubblegum.
"Sarah... " Colin sighed as he bent down to retrieve her coat and place it against the hanger.
"I'll get it one of these days," Sarah replied as she made her way over to her usual chair and pulled out the binder holding her character sheets and notes.
"So far you're oh for twelve," the young man following her pointed out. He ran a hand through his neatly-combed black hair, intentionally mussing it up after having spent several long hours at the university's theater trying to maintain a neat appearance.
Sarah stuck her tongue out him, blowing and popping a bubble shortly afterwards. "Bite me, Frenchy."
"Don't tempt me," he countered.
"Um..." a quiet voice spoke from behind them. "Let's... not fight... please." The black-haired man stepped to the side to allow the diminutive redhead past him.
As she walked inside, she made her way directly to their host with a tiny Scottish Terrier following at her heels. "Is... is there a place I can put Angelica?" she asked, not meeting his eyes.
Colin pointed towards the kitchen. "I've got a box and blanket set up in there, same as last time." He watched as she silently stepped towards the room, then called out after her. "There's some treats in the pantry if you forgot to bring yours, Rache!"
There was a nearly inaudible sound that might have been a 'thank you'.
Colin turned towards his last two guests: a tall, gawky-looking young man stood in the doorway politely, his hand clasped against the head of a younger-looking girl at his side. "Brian," he greeted. "You've brought a guest?" Their chocolate-brown skin and similar facial features suggested that they were siblings, but it didn't hurt to be sure.
"My sister," Brian confirmed, adjusting the oversized glasses perched on his nose. "Dad's out working and Mom's playing host to some of her housewife friends, so she dropped Aisha off at the dorms earlier today. She just wants her out of the house for tonight at least. That's not going to be an issue, is it?"
"Nah, not a problem," Colin said. "I've actually invited another person myself."
That got everyone's attention.
"Someone we know?"
"Are they starting from scratch or did you help them roll up a char?"
Colin raised his arms for silence. "Guys, quiet down for a sec. We've been doing this campaign for a few weeks and you guys really nailed that last challenge I threw at you, so I figured this would be a good time to start a new one. You can keep your own chars, I want to see how you deal with babysitting a relative newbie."
Sarah grinned. "Sweet."
"Anyhow, she's also living on campus so I told her when and where we usually meet up so she should be here at anyti—" he broke off as the doorbell rung once again. "Oh, there she is."
He opened the door to reveal a tall girl standing at his doorstep. She wasn't looking at him or the room, instead fiddling with a cellphone. Her dark, curly hair was artfully arranged to frame her face, drawing attention to her wide, dark eyes.
"Nice~" drawled 'Frenchy'. "And this is?"
Colin cleared his throat, catching the newcomer's attention. "Hey, right on time. Guys, this is Taylor. Taylor, this is our roleplaying group. Plus a few extras."
The sound of barking erupted from the kitchen before Angelica was distracted by food.
Taylor thumbed her phone off and turned a brilliant smile on the group as she stepped inside. "Hey. Nice to meet you all."
Colin began pointing to each person in turn. He started with the redhead now reentering the room after seeing to her puppy. "That's Rachel. She's playing Hellhound, the group's tank and transportation."
"Bitch!" Sarah corrected. "We're all adults here, no need to get all PC and shit."
"Sarah..." Brian clapped his hands against his sister's ears and gave the blonde a warning glare, paying little attention to the high-schooler batting at his hands irritably.
"I don't mind," Rachel said demurely as she took her seat. "Bitch or Hellhound, whichever you prefer."
Colin shook his head and threw out a hand helplessly towards the heckler. "Sarah, she's the group's know-it-all munchkin."
"Which means she cheats by finding creative ways to utilize player-knowledge," the young man sitting beside her grumbled.
Sarah popped another bubble into his face. "It's just my character's power. I can't help it if it's just that awesome." She turned towards Taylor and gave her a wink. "And while we're still getting introduced, try calling me Lisa. I need it to get in-character."
Colin turned towards the other half of the bickering duo. "Jean-Paul—"
"Paul," he corrected. "Only my sister still calls me by my full name. And same with 'Lisa' over here, try getting used to me as Alec when we're playing."
"Paul here is the group's crowd-control, taking care to disable enemies any time they try to do something particularly nasty."
"And then some," Paul smirked.
"Finally we've got Brian, he also helps to disable enemies but he generally acts as the shot-caller. He's very... methodical about it. Good thing talking is a free action, eh?"
The rest of the group groaned good-naturedly as Brian readjusted his glasses, looking slightly miffed. "And this is my sister, Aisha," he added. "She's not a player, she's just watching for today."
The teen simply waved.
Taylor nodded at each in turn as they were introduced to her. "Nice to meet you all. I guess I'll be joining you for the near future. I'm a bit new to all of this, in fact..." she winced. "I haven't yet finalized my character sheet. Does anyone mind if we spend some time working out the kinks?"
Colin scanned the room, looking for any objections. "Sure, I don't see a problem with it."
"Holy crap, you're psychotic," Paul said. "And I should know, I made my own character somewhat sociopathic, but... you... "
"What is it now?" Brian groaned. He had not fully lifted his head in the last half hour, instead choosing to hammer it slowly and repeatedly into the table's surface.
"She wants to go Carrie on her classmates."
"What?! Taylor, no. You can't use your powers at the drop of a hat like that!"
"Why not? You said this was a roleplay. Why can't I roleplay getting some super-sweet stress relief in my backstory?"
"Let's try this," Colin interrupted from behind the safety of his DM screen. "Taylor, do you really want the chance to go nuts on people?"
"I mean, granted our group is RPing as villains, but you're kind of stretching it. But fine. You'll get the chance—"
The rest of the room erupted.
"Are you kidding me?!"
"She's gonna bring the fuzz down upon all our heads in just one encounter!"
"I… don't think it's such a good idea… "
"Hey, hey!" Colin stood up from his seat, stopping the complaints. "Taylor you get the chance, but you've got to take a penalty. DM fiat: I'm forcing your character to take the anti-hero trait."
Taylor blinked at him even as she scanned her character sheet out of the corner of her eye. "A what now?"
"Anti-heroes generally have some sort of darker side they need to fight against in order to do good. A character with that qualifier might have to occasionally roll a Will save in order to do 'the right thing' instead of taking 'the easy way out'."
"I'm not done yet," Colin continued. "I'm flipping it around for you. You've got to roll each time you want to do something horrendous. If you fail, you've got to do the right thing."
"What's your Will modifier?"
Colin ducked behind his screen for a few moments and there was the sound of a pencil furiously scratching against a sheet of paper. "Okay, roll a d20, right now."
Taylor rolled and cursed. "Twelve."
"No, you may not go Carrie on your classmates."
"Can I sit in a bathroom and scream my head off?"
"Colin," Sarah asked, "What are you doing back there?"
"I'm writing up an emergency character in case I need to rein Taylor back in line or something."
"Do you want to find out the alternative?"
"I guess not."
"Okay, Skitter. This is your final encounter before you meet up with the others. You're on the verge of taking out Lung. What do you do?"
"I've got bugs on him, right?"
"Yeah, but he's slowly burning them off."
"...yes. But he's regenerating."
"But you said earlier only parts of him were changing at a time. We've got his head and neck, his back, his arms and legs, all that, right? Am I missing anything?"
"Maybe his torso. You're not gonna get to his heart anytime soon."
"That's fine." Taylor picked up her die and tossed it across the table's surface.
"What was that for?"
"Will save. Nineteen."
"Erg… success. Do I want to know?"
"I go for the family jewels!"
Brian and Paul shifted uneasily in their chairs.
"Yeeah~" Colin drawled. "I do believe this is where you guys step in to save Lun—er, save Skitter from getting in over her head. The rest of you roll for initiative."
For a few moments there were no sounds other than the rolling of plastic and vocalized numbers.
"Alright. Bitch, go."
"Armsmaster? A Master of Arms. With a swiss-army polearm that can turn into a metal cage. Yeah, not broken at all. I'm calling shenanigans."
"A rock falls on Regent. You die."
"There are no rocks above us. Did you suddenly make up some sort of super telekinetic and a conveniently located rock quarry?"
"Hmm, that gives me an idea for an NPC…"
(a/n)—so i thought this up one day while on the train. a crack fic heavily inspired by DM of the Rings, Darths & Droids, and all their subsequent derivatives. fun fact, this was very close to being titled "Skitter's Gonna Choke Herself a Bitch."
i'm not going to be going through every single scene, just the ones that seem to be good stations to stop at
so... please read, review, and let me know which scenes (if any) you'd like to show up later.
edit: for those interested, and because i seem to have tweaked people's idea buttons—i mentioned this in the notes of my previous fic, but there is an existing "WeaverDice" game running on the worm IRC channels.
rules are here: tinyurl -dot- com /lz8w2l2 (googledocs)
channel is #weaversdice at irc -dot- darklordpotter -dot- com (alternatively you can simply hangout at #parahumans)