To say that Dave was completely impartial with regards to the game was not to say that Dave was completely impartial with regards to players, often with hilarious results. Once, while the party was being attacked by some sort of flying machines over the swamps near the Temple, a player whinged a bit that, since he had been paralyzed, he had nothing to do while everyone else got to fight the machines, and how unfair that was. Dave regarded him quietly for a moment, then handed him a d6, and said "here, roll that every round." The player, confused, asked why. "That," Dave said, "is how much damage you take every round. That should keep you busy." I don't believe anyone else complained about anything for the rest of the session.Holy smoke do I love that! Let me analyze it a bit: (a) It's a jolly good answer. (b) It's unapologetic that if you get paralyzed or put down, it will last a while and you will be out of the action. (c) It actually is something to do each round for the player, physically. (d) It sort of makes sense that some shrapnel might be flying around and you're utterly unable to avoid it. (e) It's the exact inverse of action points in that kind of situation. (f) It's a fairly small amount of damage that may not be lethal -- not like a "bolt from the blue" insta-destruction. (g) It's above-board and explicit -- not some later behind-the-scenes passive-aggressive move wherein the DM sics a monster on you specifically, and you're left wondering why that happened. Delicious!
Happy birthday, Mr. Arneson. (And more Book of War stuff next week.)