Why you shouldn't kill EVERY bad guy you meet

by Imaginary Daemo on January 16, 2017

All those years ago, after my fledgling doppleganger ninja had joined the group of seasoned adventurers, we quickly set off on some quest that I can no longer remember. The group was well established by then, and they were half way through some sort of multi-part quest that I didn't really pay much attention to.

What I DO remember is that after we left the main city we stopped in at a complex somewhere in the wilderness being run by your friendly neighborhood cultists. I didn't know who they were cult-ing for (it took years for me to understand the gods in my GM's homebrew campaign), but I knew was that they were bad, I was a ninja, and that it was going to be awesome.

After some wholesale slaughter and relishing the freedom of playing a pen and paper campaign after years of railroaded PC games, we came across the main building.

Long story short (and because I can't really remember the details) we came across a room with a young man who at first glance appeared to be some sort of apprentice sorcerer type.

Cue the three rounds of rolling 2s, 3s and 1s to grab the little turd and getting punched in the nose in return, and I quickly developed a dislike for young sort of apprentice sorcerer types. Yet, being a kid, we didn't kill him. We trussed him up and took him with us for judgment.

(As an aside, being a father of a toddler the above 'trussing up and taking for judgment' of children isn't far removed from reality sometimes...)

Along the return journey said young apprentice sorcerer type escaped, revealing his true identity (cue dramatic music) the leader of the cult! We of course learned this when he vanished one morning with a good portion of our loot.

And so was born my first ever Nemesis... the ferocious Magnus of the nose punching, groin kicking and loot stealing.

That happened in my FIRST ever session of D&D, almost 15 years ago. To this very day myself and the other remaining players harbor a special hatred for that little turd, and my the gods does it make gaming fun sometimes.

I hate Magnus to this day... but I love hating Magnus even more. From that very first session, I had an emotional tie to a gaming world I barely understood. More than any magic weapon or trinket I looted that game, that groin kicking embarrassment has given my group endless fond retellings.

So, I would say - don't kill everyone. Leave someone alive. Hold grudges. Let them live to fight another day. Create a nemesis. An Arch Villain. The DM may have one planned already, but believe me when I say they will relish the chance to create yet another source of misery for you own the track - and you're going to love it.

And Magnus, we're coming buddy... one of these years.