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Eric was playing a Neutral Paladin in Ed’s game. He was on some lord’s lands when the following exchange occurred:

ED: You see a well groomed garden. In the middle, on a small hill, you see a gazebo.

ERIC: A gazebo? What color is it?

ED: (Pause) It’s white, Eric.

ERIC: How far away is it?

ED: About 50 yards.

ERIC: How big is it?

ED: (Pause) It’s about 30 ft across, 15 ft high, with a pointed top.

ERIC: I use my sword to detect good on it.

ED: It’s not good, Eric. It’s a gazebo.

ERIC: (Pause) I call out to it.

ED: It won’t answer. It’s a gazebo.

ERIC: (Pause) I sheathe my sword and draw my bow and arrows. Does it respond in any way?

ED: No, Eric, it’s a gazebo!

ERIC: I shoot it with my bow (roll to hit). What happened?

ED: There is now a gazebo with an arrow sticking out of it.

ERIC: (Pause) Wasn’t it wounded?

ED: OF COURSE NOT, ERIC! IT’S A GAZEBO!

ERIC: (Whimper) But that was a +3 arrow!

ED: It’s a gazebo, Eric, a GAZEBO! If you really want to try to destroy it, you could try to chop it with an axe, I suppose, or you could try to burn it, but I don’t know why anybody would even try. It’s a @#$%!! gazebo!

ERIC: (Long pause. He has no axe or fire spells.) I run away.

ED: (Thoroughly frustrated) It’s too late. You’ve awakened the gazebo. It catches you and eats you.

ERIC: (Reaching for his dice) Maybe I’ll roll up a fire-using mage so I can avenge my Paladin.

At this point, the increasingly amused fellow party members restored a modicum of order by explaining what a gazebo is.

Thus ends the tale of Eric and the Dread Gazebo. A little vocabulary is a dangerous thing.

Richard Aronson

I know so many people
Who think they can do it alone
They isolate their heads
And stay in the safety zone

But what can you tell them?
What can you say that won’t make them defensive?
So…

Hang on to your ego
Hang on, but I know that you’re gonna lose the fight

Frank Black / Hang On to Your Ego