Steal My Idea: Occam’s Razor and Arkham’s Razor (Part Two)

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[Click here for part one]

While holding Occam’s Razor, one of the players accidentally said something that made logical sense:

“If there are two of these weapons, shouldn’t there be more of these insanely powerful artifacts with different, awesome powers?” This phrase accidentally created two new reality-bending weapons. I told the player that he felt some power leave the sword, but he didn’t know exactly what it did.

Since the player said it while holding Occam’s Razor and it made sense, I needed to come up with something on the fly. So I focused on one particular word he used: awesome.

Since Occam’s and Arkham’s were opposites, I decided to make two weapons that were also opposites.

In an instant, Awesome’s Razor and Unawesome’s Razor poofed into existence. If someone was holding Awesome’s Razor, they could say “wouldn’t it be awesome if…” and as long as it was specifically awesome for a person or group, reality bent and it happened. Likewise, Unawesome’s Razor had to do something terrible to a specific person or group of people.

As with the other razors, Awesome’s and Unawesome’s powers were usable twice per day. However, the players didn’t have access to them yet. I had to work these two new weapons into the plot. I wanted them to obtain one of them, but I wasn’t about to make it easy.

The next time the players stepped outside, they saw flyers plastered onto every wall in the city. The flyer had a picture of Terrance the Balor and Bruce (an incubus PC) staring angrily at each other. Terrance the Balor was an NPC that hated everyone in the group. He was one of Bruce’s former coworkers in Space Hell (it’s a long story), and Bruce was the best man at Terrance’s wedding before Bruce fled Space Hell. The flyer said “Terrance Vs. Bruce! Hellion Vs. Hellion! The hottest beat down of the century!” It also had the necessary details the players needed, including the location and time.

The players figured out that if they started walking before midday, they could make it to the fight. They debated whether or not they should go, correctly realizing that this was the work of Arkham’s Razor and Bruce could die if he lost the fight. Balors are tough demons.

They decided to go to the fight. They made it to the location and learned it was a cage match. The prize for the winner of the fight was a sword with the word “Awesome!” engraved on the side. If Bruce quit for any reason, Terrance would receive the prize. And a Balor that hated the group with a reality-bending weapon was no one’s idea of a good outcome.

The other members of the party tried their best to rig the fight in Bruce’s favor without anyone noticing that they were cheating. However, tight security and a massive crowd left them with little they could do. On paper, Terrance the Balor was much more powerful than Bruce. However, I gave Bruce a few edges in the fight.

First, it was a fistfight. Balors are powerful, but their weapons are what deal the most damage. Bruce, on the other hand, only fought with his magical fists (he had levels in Soul Eater from The Book of Vile Darkness on top of his incubus racial levels).

Second, I knew that despite all of my warnings of what would happen if someone caught them cheating, the rest of the party would risk their own safety and find a clever way to rig the fight. This group is particularly clever, and I make it a point to make them think harder than most because I know they’ll blow me away with their ideas.

Third, I just wanted them to have Awesome’s Razor. It was a cool item, and the craziness of the campaign was ramping up. I wanted them to bend reality to their will and change the world in ways I could never predict. I wanted them to have fun, and I knew they would with that magic item. So I may have pulled a few punches and fudged a few numbers to allow Bruce to have some epic moments

The fight was a true crowd pleaser, and in the end, Bruce won. Fearing Solaris would close in on them while Bruce was weak, they snagged Awesome’s Razor and quickly escaped by stealing Terrance the Balor’s spaceship (that’s another long story).

In the third and final part, they face boss at campaigns end…


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Twitter: @RexiconJesse

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