Tuesday 14 August 2018

#RPGaDay2018: Day 14 - Describe a failure that became amazing

#RPGaDay2018 B&W graphic

I've been thinking a lot about this. The one that keeps coming to mind is one I've talked about before, in one form or another, and is part of why my Exalted game is still on my mind, even though we haven't played for months.

It's when Taji and Kito, recently given leadership of a small unit in the Teppet Legion, are sent with that unit to find out why a previously loyal and prosperous farming community in the northern threshold were no longer sending their tithe to the Realm, or responding to them at all. Although full of doubts about the Realm's Anathema propaganda, Taji had no such ambivalence when it came to her duty, her faith in the Scarlet Empress, her faith in her powers of persuasion, or her faith in the sway and power of the Realm, which is why she insisted they approach in full colours, despite her more circumspect brother's protestations.

It was the worst kind of failure. Unbeknownst to her (though foreshadowed in a previous session) the rest of the unit had secret orders, including "kill them all if they don't submit" (Taji and Kito's grant of leadership being very much tokenistic at this stage, possibly given to curry favour with House Cathak, or possibly to keep an eye on them after they'd openly befriended an Anathema). Taji marched up to the gates and demanded entry, which was denied. Stunned, she demanded again, in the Name of the Realm! They refused, a fight broke out, Taji and Kito tried to get their troops under control (and failed) and tried not to kill anyone themselves, but ended up doing so as they were fighting for their lives.

Eventually, the twins were separated, which was when Taji found the Anathema. At first, she thought he was joining in with the slaughter just for the fun of it, but she quickly realised he was laying to rest one of those he'd sworn to protect: a child killed by one of her side (out of character, I suspect his presence was the reason the rest of the unit were under instruction to kill everyone).

It was a really intense moment in the story, leading to some exciting roleplay since as the twins deal with their incredible guilt over this incident, particularly as they come to work with the Anathema they found there. Taji blames herself absolutely, believing this would not have happened if she'd listened to her brother (probably the first time her self-confidence has suffered a real knockback). She would do anything to make things right with the Anathema. Kito, on the other hand, is more wary of him, afraid that he might yet kill them. It makes for an interesting dynamic, especially as the game continued and the relationships between the twins and the Anathema developed. The devastation of the village was an absolute disaster, but has led to some amazing roleplay.

Possibly this prompt meant to inspire a story of a time a failed dice roll led to something cool, and that's certainly happened, but this stands out everytime.

Taking part? What's your story? Share a link or tell me below!


  1. I love your discussion of Exalted and have bought a couple of first edition books. The setting in the books is a pale comparison to the stories you tell though...

    1. My GM loves the idea of the setting but didn't think it was epic enough, so upped the epic-ness and changed around and fleshed out NPC's. I don't know how much he's changed it, but I know he can't leave a setting alone :-D

  2. Don't forget the time Kito tried to convince Taji that looking for trouble in the slums of Nexus was a bad idea, as she lead them into the slumps of Nexus while they discussed. Shortly before he found a blade in his kidneys!

    Got a nice arrow out of it! :)

    1. I did, didn't I? Kito didn't even get to keep his scars, I think?