I’m a long time supporter of a small and relatively unknown LARP called RISING. It’s a zombie survival larp, and the weekend events are always full of great stories I will cherish for the rest of my life. The story I’m about to tell is about something I did that was, as one of my fellow players called it, “legendarily failtacular”.
One quick lesson in RISING rules to explain the story. In this post-apocalyptic setting, one of the few medicines that can be used is steroids, and game physics dictates that someone dosed with them—for one swing—deals 5 times the damage. On the next swing, 4 times the damage and so on untill it wears off.
Example: if you can only do 1 damage in melee normally, if a doctor hits you with steroids, your next attack will be 5 damage, then 4, then 3, then 2, untill you’re back to 1 damage. This little syringe, I always noticed, was widely ignored as not that useful. But i found a sneaky way of using it, as this story will show.
I was a Marksman at this particular event (ranged attack specialist, firearms, etc. NOT a beefy melee fighter), and I tagged along with another group as I came alone that year. The wonderful DM liked to incorporate meal times into the game as to not break ambiance. So our first morning in the event, our groups got word that our food drop landed in the mountains nearby, an area we knew was “mountain man” territory.
Feeling remarkably hungry after a night of killing zombies I decided to follow along on the quest to get our food. A short hike brought us to a clearing where a mountain man on a 4 wheeler with our food crate strapped to the back was getting ready to ride off to his group.
A short bit of diplomatic back and forth got the mountain man to agree to let us have the crate provided we offered him something of equal value. An argument broke out in the group as to what all we could do without so we could have breakfast. Feeling a bit clever, I stopped the argument (this is all out of earshot of the mountain man, who was also one of the GMs), “Guys, stop! There’s no reason we have to lose a damn thing to this guy. We outnumber him and no one else is around! If we kill him quietly we can have the food AND his gear. At the low cost of FREE!”
This becomes the winning idea and then the conversation becomes how to do this dastardly deed without making alot of noise.
And then I had another epiphany.
“Hey doc, do you have a steroid? Good. Hit me with it.”
Then I drop my guns and pull my only melee weapon, a knife about the size of a bowie, “Hey dude, I have this knife. It’s a hunting knife, really sharp, good for skinning game, etc. Would that be a good trade?”
I don’t know what the guy was thinking, but he made it too easy.
“Well, I don’t know…bring it here and let me have it.”
So I held it out and when I got close enough I got a good grip and “let him have it”.
In 5 quick stabs I did 15 damage in a game where the average human has 1 hit point and the average zombie has 5 or 10.
Point is I don’t know how many points a “mountain man” had… but I know I’d done enough.
The GM looks at me just baffled, “are you SERIOUS?!?”
I grinned, very proud of myself, “Yup. Gotta love steroids. So I’m looting you.”
The GM quickly gets his head back in the game and says words that may as well have just been “you fucked up.” He smiled and said, “you hear a ticking noise.”
The mountain man, in fear of this exact scenario, booby trapped his 4 wheeler to EXPLODE in the event of his death. A little fact that I think should have been mentioned EARLIER… but I digress.
I turn, cuss, and run while the timer counts down. The 4 wheeler blows up taking our breakfast with it. Not only was I the bane of the breakfast table (until the GM showed pity and gave us food anyway), but I then became public enemy number 1 in the new plot where the mountain men declared war on our camp…