Great Gaming Stories — “NINJAS!”

Within the local gaming group, whenever someone mentions anything related to ninjas, someone is bound to say “NINNNNJAS!”

There is a reason behind the craziness.

It was at a small home convention where there was a pickup game of Bushido, an old but still reputable roleplaying game based around the mythic Japanese feudal era, meaning that not only there were Samurai warriors and ninjas but kami, oni, mystics and other beings and professions from myth and legend.

Out assorted group included two Samurai, one higher ranked than the other, plus a number of other characters, loosely connected but all in service to the same feudal lord. It was that lord that ordered the group to go to a neighboring lord’s castle and steal back an Imperial seal that the other lord had ‘acquired’ and was making vague statements about his Imperial favor. As it was by the lord’s command, we were obligated to obey,

The actual mission was successful, right up to the moment the group was going to leave, when the captain of the guard  stopped us. Unbeknownst to us, the ninja clan in service to the group’s lord was causing chaos in the town to cover our escape, and the guard was suspicious of us. The game master asked what we were doing and I, playing the higher ranked Samurai, didn’t have anything to say in reply.

That’s when the player of the lower-ranked Samurai down at the other end of the table pointed and yelled out “NINJAS!” The game master had him roll to see how well he persuaded the guards to run off and leave us alone.

It was one of the times when the dice listened.

The player rolled a “1”. Since in Bushido, the lower the roll, the better the outcome, this was considered a critical success.

The game master rolled a “20”, which was a critical failure.

The game master replied by saying “The guard captain looks back in the direction of the castle and yells ‘NINJAS!’ ” The player characters were ignored and we walked out of the castle untouched.

And thus the cry of “NINJAS!” was embedded in the social consciousness of the local gaming community.

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