I was playing as a Half-Elf Ranger a long time ago, and got really lucky whilst rolling the character. Stats up to here, lemme tell you.
Despite this, I had absolutely terrible luck rolling during combat. How bad? Our party trusted the currently spell-less wizard to hold a critical hallway over me. It was bad.
Anyhow, despite my ineptitude, we managed to bust through this evil temple, defeat the crazed mummy at the end, and recover the enchanted, legendary bastard sword that was hanging on the wall. (Well, a +1 bastard sword, but it was so far the first magic weapon in the campaign.) Being the only one in the party who really USED swords of that type, it went to me.
And with it, my luck changed too.
Rolling twenties came as naturally to me as breathing. During one fight, I killed four goblins before the rest of the party had even rounded the corner. The difference was night and day.
My character had always been a bit aloof, but now grew positively stuck up. I was a whirling death machine! I was a god!
Arguments ensued. The provenance of my skill came under question. Until finally, it came out: “Without that sword, you’d be just as useless as you’ve ALWAYS been!”
In a fit of pique, I threw the sword away. It landed in the bottom of a river, and everyone stared at me. In particular the DM. “You’re… You’re sure you’re just going to leave that there? It’s a MAGIC SWORD.”
But I was determined. What good was being impressive in combat when your fellow party members saw you as nothing more than effectively a scarecrow that allowed a fancy magical sword to swing about and be awesome?
So we left the sword and carried on. As it turns out, my rolls didn’t switch back to being as terrible as before, and I proved to continue to be a competent fighter for the rest of the campaign.
But the DM took me aside a few months later, and let me know just exactly what I’d thrown away. Turns out that the sword I had was actually a legendary artifact that grew as it killed, gaining XP along with me, and growing in bonuses, up to +5, inflicting fiery damage, and granting magical abilities.
Still more importantly, it would grow in intelligence as well, eventually to the point where it WOULD have taken me over entirely, and I WOULD have been nothing but a scarecrow allowing the sword to enact its will.
He had an entire plot set up for this, whole cities full of NPCs to betray and win back the trust of, and had planned on taking me aside a few weeks into the transformation to let me know how the changes were altering my character, and had confidence that a) I could have pulled it off without the other players noticing until it was too late and b) it was going to be awesome.
And yet instead of the accusations and redemption happening over a few month’s time, it happened in an afternoon. The first afternoon. Probably forty-five minutes after first acquiring the sword.
I still imagine that sword down there some times, at the bottom of that river… Just conscious enough to realize how close it had come to being released, but not powerful enough to really do anything about it…