No wrecks in this post, just a bit of thinking out loud. I frequently mention how great (some of) you are to me. Well you just went past great and into fabulous. I got a cashier’s check over the weekend with a note that I should buy a cargo bike to replace Blue and Gigi properly. I guess “properly” means “gold plated” or something like that because the check was for $2000. I can get a fantastic cargo bike locally or a really comfortable bike from my favorite bike brand and not spend the entire $2K.
The conundrum lies in the fact that I can build a bike myself and the issue with not having a new cargo bike yet is getting the metal I need to build the bike I want. I can eventually get the metal from the Internet, but I want to get my materials and supplies as locally as possible. And it’s looking very much like I can’t get bicycle-sized tubes and wall thicknesses in single bicycle quantities locally. But I have plowed that ground many time already, to get back to the point, I has moneys I can’t give back and I do need the item I was told the money is for. Do I do the lazy thing and buy a cargo bike already built, or do I use the money to get the materials I need from a source I don’t like just to get the bike built?
I play a D&D 3.5 game with other members of my church on the first and third Saturday nights of the month. As we level up we start getting encounters with fewer non-sentients and more interaction with sentient monsters, which increases the ability of members of the party to interact with the monsters.
We just started a module where a previously peaceful ogre that was a farmer who would sometimes waylay travellers that wandered through his farm ( the Fuzzy Lumpkin of ogres) suddenly decided to lead a gang of kobolds and attack the villages in the area, so adventurers were summoned to deal with the problem. Our party answered the call and went forth do deal with the ogre and kobolds. When we got to the ogre’s cave we inquired to make sure that we had the right ogre. What we found was a very sad-looking ogre with a deformed head and limbs and numerous open sores on his back and a magical aura of evil about the place. The ogre made no immediate move to attack, so some of the party (at higher levels) decided that getting the ogre to stop attacking the surrounding villages would be a better alternative to destroying the ogre and kobolds. Others of the party were of the “if it moves and we’re not in town, kill it” persuasion and attacked the ogre when he lost his temper and struck out at one of the members of the party during our attempts at information gathering. The melee caused our more powerful members to actually kill the ogre.
So, there we were with a (mostly) dead ogre, and more questions than answers about the situation. SO WE CURED THE OGRE enough that he could answer questions about what happened to him and the kobolds (that he said were in similar condition as he was). What the ogre told us was that there had been a change in the area with permanent dark clouds hanging over the mountain and his farm, his crops had failed and everybody in his cave became like we saw him there, and that he and the kobolds had felt a compulsion to attack the villages. We left him to recover and started to explore the cave more fully. Inside the main cavern of the cave we were attacked by stirges that also showed similar deformities to the ogre and that popped like balloons when killed, a very un-stirge-like thing to do. During this encounter several members of the party lost a large amount of constitution and we were forced to retreat back to the village nearest the ogre’s cave to recover.
OK so what makes our group different than other groups? Well first instead of just killing the ogre and the kobolds we tried to assess the situation as to why a previously peaceful (for ogres and kobolds) group had suddenly started to maraud the countryside. Second, when negotiations broke down into violence WE HEALED THE OGRE so we could gather more information about the situation and how to correct it so that other sentient beings would not move in and start the whole thing over again. We would be long-gone by that point, so we would be leaving the mess for someone else to clean up again. This is a very Unitarian thing to do, not just take care of the crisis of the moment but try to eliminate the root cause of the crisis du jour.
Our last module the monsters were not under the effects of an evil magical aura, they were just bad guys that had moved into a weird ruins that had gone partially to seed. The monsters attacked on sight, removing moral ambiguity for the battles, they wanted to kill us for being there so we had to fight to recover the stolen religious artifacts the monsters had taken from the village. No moral ambiguity at all, just a series of raids to recover stolen property for the people it was stolen from. The evil magic of the ruins did not cause the inhabitants to become evil, they were that way before occupying the ruins. That we captured the ring-leader of the group and brought him to Justice was just a way to get more XP.
So, that’s how UUs play D&D.