Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

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Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

Postby jewish_scientist » Sun Jan 13, 2019 7:39 am UTC

I am running a D&D campaign and I had a really funny idea that I need some help executing. This enemy NPC is going to end up in a fight they do not want to be in, so they decide to play dead. However, they are not the best actor on the Sword Coast, so instead of just yelling out a last cry and falling to the ground, he is going to give this whole monologue as soon as he takes any damage. As they say, if it worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

The party is dredging a swamp where they have been fighting frogfolk and snakefolk for the last few hours. On about the 3rd encounter, they catch up to the lizardsfolk (that one is their actual name) that are smuggling the goods the party is after. The rogue starts off combat by hitting one of them with an arrow. Suddenly, the GM throws his screen forward. As players recoil from the flying miniatures, the GM jumps onto the table and takes a knee. Reaching toward the florescent lights standing in for the sun, he delivers the best death monologue the most legendary bard in the multiverse has ever penned. Pausing just a moment after the last line, he twists onto his back and falls over the map. The moves his hand away from he breast, revealing a length of duct tape with his final instructions: "Roll Insight or Performance, DC 5."
"You are not running off with Cow-Skull Man Dracula Skeletor!"

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Re: Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

Postby DavidSh » Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:43 pm UTC

So, what help do you need?

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Re: Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

Postby jewish_scientist » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:46 am UTC

I do not know any death soliloquies Shakespeare wrote that would really fit.
"You are not running off with Cow-Skull Man Dracula Skeletor!"

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Re: Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

Postby thefargo » Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:45 pm UTC

how about this as a starting point, from Macbeth:
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Or you could use a modern interpreation of it:
How the days stretched out – each one the same as the one before, and they would continue to do so, tediously, until the end of history. And every day we have lived has been the last day of some other fool’s life, each day a dot of candle-light showing him the way to his death-bed. Blow the short candle out: life was no more than a walking shadow – a poor actor – who goes through all the emotions in one hour on the stage and then bows out. It was a story told by an idiot, full of noise and passion, but meaningless.

You could blend the two to make it both Shakespearean and understandable, then append something on the end to make it more applicable. You could also swap out words with D&D specific words to make it more in-game.

"Epic" doesn't necessarily mean "coherent". You could even take this and then launch into a variation of "perchance to dream" (also Macbeth) to really pad it out and give it gravitas.

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Re: Epic Shakespearian Death Monologue

Postby speising » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:23 pm UTC

I'm partial to Mercutio's death in Rome & Juliet:
MERCUTIO I am hurt.
A plague o' both your houses! I am sped.
Is he gone, and hath nothing?
BENVOLIO What, art thou hurt?
MERCUTIO Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough.
Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.
[Exit Page]
ROMEO Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.
MERCUTIO No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a
church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve: ask for
me to-morrow, and you shall find me a grave man. I
am peppered, I warrant, for this world. A plague o'
both your houses! 'Zounds, a dog, a rat, a mouse, a
cat, to scratch a man to death! a braggart, a
rogue, a villain, that fights by the book of
arithmetic! Why the devil came you between us? I
was hurt under your arm.
ROMEO I thought all for the best.
MERCUTIO Help me into some house, Benvolio,
Or I shall faint. A plague o' both your houses!
They have made worms' meat of me: I have it,
And soundly too: your houses!

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