Tales from The Trenches Archive

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Calling in Dead

Years ago I was the QA Manager working on a turn based strategy role playing game. We were in the alpha stage and were really starting to see how the game would play and feel. The team grew more very excited as more elements of the game were implemented.  We knew we had a hit on our hands.

One Monday morning Mark, one of the testers, about 19 years old, calls me to let me know he could not come to work. He had explained that he and his D&D guild were gaming the night before and were up pretty late. I attempted to be understanding and continued to listen to his pathetic attempt at trying to sound sick. I was not buying it. Maybe he knew. He continued. He told me about the one character that he had had for years and how he had grown very proud of his high level chaotic good paladin. Last nights gaming session had taken a very bad turn for the worse for poor Mark. In an intense battle his paladin had managed to heal everyone else but not himself. Sadly, he had died.

Mark was clearly very distraught and upset by this and needed to take a day to mourn the loss of the once great paladin. At least the paladin managed to score with the ladies once in the tavern thanks to the correct rolling of the 78 sided dice! (or however many sides it had… I digress.)

I let Mark know that he could take all the time he needed and his services were no longer needed.