When you decide to unload the big guns, it better be for a good reason. That’s because collateral damage and excessive force can both ruin the moment. This is one that I learned the hard way. What follows is the tale of “Dammit Dangus.” I’ve yet to live it down.

So no shit there we were, a bunch of deposed kings of the universe fighting an evil robot uprising down in Autochthon. It was the final fight of the campaign, and we found ourselves inside a bizarre Lavos-looking chamber facing off against our BBEG.

My characters was… not well built. Dude was an archer named Dangus Wildspeaker (because I am a paragon of originality). More importantly, his puny arrows had zero chance of punching through the BBEG’s indestructible soulsteel plating. The best I could do was “ping damage,” chipping away for one measly health level at a time. I’d built the guy to take on swarms rather than single targets, and that’s not where you want to be when you’re fighting the 40-foot tall avatar of a living city.

So anyway, as I’m watching my buddies swinging away for actual damage with their grand goremauls or whatever, I’m left paging furiously through my character sheet wondering how I can be effective. I’m reading and rereading Essence Arrow Attack and Phantom Arrow Technique and Inexhaustible Bolts of Solar Fire, but it’s completely hopeless! I had more chance of damaging the building than the boss monster. I was doomed to go down in campaign history as “the useless one.”

But wait. Damage the building….

“Hey ST! You said this fight is happening inside a dome, right?”

“Yeah. There’s a big cupola on top and everything.”

“Perfect! I shoot that.”

“You what? Why?”

“Rain of Feathered Death!” I shout triumphantly. “See, you can create duplicate attacks with that one. Ima do one of those shoot-a-hole-in-the-floor things and bring the building down on this bastard’s head!”

I was supremely happy with my daring ploy. I was also somewhat perplexed by the blank expressions around the table.

“Are you sure?”

And to my lasting shame, I did not heed the age-old wisdom. I’d found my biggest, baddest attack, and I was gonna use it Sol-dammit! So I begin chucking my bucket of d10s. Everything comes up success. Numbers are crunched. Calculations are made.

“You’re aware that your opponent only had two health levels left, right?”

“Yeah, of course I’m… Wait, what?”

Apparently, while I was feverishly hunting through my charms list, somebody had magic’d up a status report on the end boss. Dude was nearly dead. I could have had the killing blow.

“Heh. Oops. Seventeen successes though! That’s pretty good, right?”

That’s when my ST uttered the words that will haunt me for the rest of my days. “Everyone? Roll Dex + Dodge please.”

As it turns out, bringing a building down while you’re inside of it is not the smartest move. The collateral damage was considerable, and some of the party’s allied NPCs were already on their last legs. I’m pretty sure my group would have disowned me if our adorable otter mascot had actually snuffed it. As it is, I’m still routinely treated to a chorus of “Dammit Dangus! He only has two health levels left!” whenever I plan out a fancy attack.

What about the rest of you guys? Have you ever accidentally done more harm than good with an attack? What happened? What were you hoping to happen? Sound off with your own ill-advised nuke deployments down in the comments!


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