Collateral damage is an unfortunate side effect of adventuring. Anyone who’s ever thrown a Molotov in a bar fight or sundered a wooden beam in a mine knows how things can go suddenly, catastrophically awry. Most of the time this is the GM’s fault. He will arbitrarily decide to enforce that oft-ignored “sets fire to combustibles” line in the fireball spell or start getting creative with the kinds of items that conduct electricity. As a player, this is not your fault. That duplicitous jerkface behind the screen has decided to flex his narrative muscle, and you can only gesture with impotent rage towards the rule book as you interweave expletives with phrases like “well in the real world” and “structural integrity.”

If on the other hand you’re anywhere near an orphanage, then that shit’s your own fault. Orphanages are the rattlesnakes of the gaming world. You can practically hear the telltale sound as the GM sets the scene.

“As you settle into Imminent Violence Inn, you notice a pack of ragged children watching you from across the street…”

*rattle rattle*

“There’s a ramshackle structure behind them topped with a very dry looking thatched roof…”

*Rattle Rattle Rattle*

“Night is drawing on, but you feel confident that the creatures which hunt you won’t attack here. Not in town. At long last you’re safe. Meanwhile, the children in the yard of St. Berthude’s Home For Combustible Orphans look on with weary resignation….”


Sorry guys. I don’t care what system you’re playing. No amount of Piety Points can make up for the soul-crushing  expression on little Suzy’s face when she learns that she “gets to go camping” for the fourth time this month. The lesson here is simple: if a wild orphanage appears, turn and walk the other way. Your alignment will thank you.


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