The Evil DM

The Evil DM
The Evil DM

Monday, March 17, 2014

Has an NPC ever asked your character to do something morally repugnant?

I grew up in a rural area. Before I was born, my parents raised chicks in the hall closet. There was a closet in our hallway. My parents used the closet to raise chicks. When they were old enough, my parents slaughtered as young chickens for food. My father was amazing at jumping rope. All through my childhood, I heard stories about my father cutting the heads off the chickens, gutting them, and then using their intestines as a jump rope.

Today, few people slaughter animals for food. On the other hand, eggs are highly popular. Look at the sales of Egg McMuffin. People are more interested in having eggs without the yokes, e.g. the Egg White McMuffin. They forget eggs are a product of chickens. One of the lines from the movie Coneheads refers to consuming fried chicken embryos. Balut is a developing duck embryo boiled alive and eaten in the shell. Balut is a commonly sold street food in the Philippines.

Food is often associated with both medicine and religion. Celebrations and religious ceremonies often include food. For example, the story of the prodigal son mentions the phrase "roasting the fatted calf". The Jewish feast of Passover includes eating lamb.

Throughout history, man associated eating with religion. Many religions had dietary restrictions and festivals. According to one source, most anthropologists today believe the practice of cannibalism has been part of human behavior since long before recorded history. Humans have killed humans as part of religious rituals and for food. Child sacrifice is just a sub-category of human sacrifice.

I have never played a role-playing game where cannibalism, human sacrifice, and child sacrifice were prominent themes. I decided to spice up my campaign with some interesting situations.

A cleric of an obscure sect wanders into town looking for the party of adventurers. The party developed a reputation of obtaining "things". The cleric arrived in poor shape. Thieves along the way robbed and beat the cleric. The cleric ask the party if they would retrieve some things the sect needs for a religious ritual. The party asked the details. The sect needed three things.
  • Berries picked off of particular bushes at particular times
  • Water from a sacred brook
  • The head of an unborn child
The first two items did not bother the party. They did not worry about taking water from a sacred brook. The party questioned the third item, the head of an unborn child. The party asked the cleric how they would obtain such an item. The cleric replied, "Find a pregnant woman and retrieve the head of the child." In response, the party immediately murdered the cleric.

The party found the cleric's request morally repugnant. Have you ever played a game where a non-player character asked your character to do something morally repugnant? If so, what was your response?