I just got out of a PnP D&D session and two of our players had the most hilariously, pointlessly violent side quest. I have to tell the story. I won't be able to remember every detail, unfortunately.
Our tale begins with Garnash, a surly half-orc barbarian, and his gold-digging ninja buddy, whom I will call Davy, short for Davy Crocket, because of the poorly-made animal skin cap he wears. We have just reached a major turning point in our quest to get out of a provincial Scandinavian-esque backwater, but we have a whole day before we go dungeon crawling with a new friend of ours, a high-level mage with a thing for invocation magic.
We each have our own little plans. I go spell shopping, the other mage relaxes at home, the paladin donates a rare book to a local temple, and an NPC in our party bangs a hot black guy (the abovementioned invoker, namely). So our GM asks Garnash and Davy the ninja what they want to do.
Garnash: Let's go find some trouble. What's the seediest place in town?
GM: That would probably be the docks or the slums, or around the tannery... naturally the poorest folks would be around the tannery. Smells bad, nobody wants to live there... the eastern docks are the poorer part. Dirtier, messier, poorer.
Garnash: Let's go to the docks.
GM: Eastern docks, or the-
GM: All right, the seedier part. You go down to the docks. The place smells awful. People in rags. It's an awful place. What do you want to do?
Garnash: Look for trouble.
Davy: Okay... I want to attract a pickpocket. So I'm going to try and act like an easy target... act like some idiot, a foreigner, somebody who doesn't know what they're doing.
GM: Okay, roll a bluff check.
Garnash: I'm going to shadow him.
GM: How far away?
Garnash: Mm... 10, 20 feet?
GM: Roll a bluff check.
*They roll a 16 and 17.
GM: Great, you look like an idiot. Some ignorant foreigner going around marveling at everything; an obvious target. And you look foreign, which helps you stand out. That bad hat also makes you look stupid.
Davy: Yeah, and I tilt it at a weird angle. It-
GM: Right. (to Garnash) And nobody seems to notice you following him.
*Davy is going around goofing off and waiting for somebody to try and pick his pocket.
GM: How long are you going to do this?
Davy: We'll do it all day if we have to!
Garnash: There's nothing else to do in this town. I hate this place. This town is a hellhole. Nothing ever happens. We wait until we get bored and have to get lunch.
GM: You keep going for about an hour and nothing happens. Then... roll a perception check.
GM: You feel a light tug at your pocket. What do you do?
Davy: Just a light tug?
Davy: I go for the grapple.
*Rolls a 12
GM: You succeed. You grab your target and pull him to the ground... It's a little boy, about six or seven. He's screaming and crying for help.
*Cue evil joke from Garnash
GM: Do you end the grapple?
*More talk from the other party members. It takes a while. The question gets lost.
GM: You hear a man shouting out. A very fat, bald man comes running over, shouting in Stratzi (a language they don't know).
*Garnash and Davy think.
Garnash: The guy's probably a front for the kid. The kid is a pickpocket; the man is his boss.
Davy: I shout out, "Guards! Guards! Thief!"
GM: Roll a perception check.
*Rolls a 4
GM: You haven't seen any guards in the area since you got here. The guards don't come around here. Nobody cares.
GM: Do you end the grapple?
*Davy tries to speak with the fat bald Stratzi man using the trade language.
GM, as Stratzi man: No trade (the standard line for people who don't or won't speak our language).
GM: The Stratzi hits the kid and yells at him.
GM, for the third time: Do you let the kid go?
Davy: What's this kid got on? A coat, or-
GM: He's wearing almost nothing. He must be freezing. No coat, just rags. He's really got nothing.
*Cue evil joke from Garnash
Davy: What can I do? Do I have to roll for-
GM: He's just a kid; you don't have to roll for anything. You can do pretty much whatever you want to him.
*Cue evil joke from Garnash
Davy: I pick him up by the collar of his shirt or whatever and throw him aside.
GM: The bald man is shouting something at you.
*Arguing with the bald man. He starts to go away with the kid. Garnash makes a hand gesture--more of a "go away" gesture than an obscene gesture.
GM: The bald man shouts a curse at you. You don't know what it was, but you can tell it was a curse.
Davy: I go over and stop the bald guy.
GM: He looks at you.
*Davy puts his hand to his ear. It's a wordless way of asking "what did you just say to me?"
GM: The bald guy steps back.
Garnash: I reach for my sword. I don't grab it, but I reach for it.
GM: The bald guy steps back a little faster. He says something, in a calmer voice.
*They decide to let the guy go.
GM: The bald guy starts hitting the kid in the back of the head, yelling something. You see red on him.
Garnash: Red as in, is he actually...
GM: Yeah, he's bleeding. Lots of blood. Like, the bald guy hits him and you see blood come out the side.
GM: The guy beats the kid until eventually he fall unconscious-
Several people: Wait, he actually beat the kid unconscious?
*Mutters of horror.
GM: The bald guy hurries away.
Davy: I follow him, but I try to hide.
GM: Roll a hide check.
*Rolls an 11
GM: He doesn't seem to spot you.
Garnash: I follow him, too.
GM: The guy ducks into a tavern.
Davy: We look inside, through the window. Is there a window?
GM: Yes, one.
Davy: This is probably the center. It's where the guy and his pickpockets hide out.
*More talking. Somebody asks what they're doing.
Garnash: I just want something to do. I hate this town.
GM: Do you go in?
*They decide not to.
Garnash: I just want to catch a pickpocket and rough him up. But I don't want to kill him... wait, what is wrong with me?
GM: Do you go back to the docks? There's still plenty of time left in the day.
GM: A woman calls out at you. She's wearing almost nothing... definitely a prostitute. She must be freezing. You can tell she's propositioning you.
Davy: I'm rolling an intimidation check.
*I burst out laughing.
Multiple people: Seriously?
GM: What did you roll?
Davy: A natural 20.
GM: Okay... the woman cries out something and runs away. Roll a perception check.
GM: She was so scared she told her girlfriend to run away as well.
*More talking. Some express disbelief that a come-on warranted an intimidation check.
GM: You notice some guy walking down the street. He comes by the kid and stops to spit on him.
Garnash: He actually spit on the kid?
GM: Yes. Just stopped by to spit on him.
Davy: That guy needs to be taught some respect. You can't just walk around spitting on kids who have beaten half to death.
Garnash: Yeah, he needs to learn some respect.
Davy: I try to trip him.
GM: You try to trip him but he gets out of the way. He shouts something in Stratzi and draws a dagger.
Garnash: This guy's attacking us? Yeah, we need to teach him a lesson.
Davy: I use sleight of hand to draw my sai.
GM: You draw the sai without catching anybody's attention.
Somebody: He's not really attacking you. He just drew his weapon.
Davy: I'm going to get him.
Me, starting with a normal voice and gradually breaking up into laughter: Let me get this straight. You just walked into the docks to pick a fight with a thief. Then you get mad at the guy who scolded the thief. Then you yell at the guy and threaten him when he curses back. He beats the kid unconscious and walks away. Then you intimidate a prostitute just because she's there, and then, when you see a guy spit on the kid, you go over and attack him?
Me: Roll for initiative?
GM: Yeah, roll for initiative.
*Davy rolls highest
Davy: I charge him and try to disarm him.
GM: You try to disarm him, but he slips out of the way.
Garnash: I draw my sword and attack him. I have quick draw.
*Rolls high. Garnash and Davy disarm him and hurt him pretty bad.
GM: The guy puts his hands in the air. He's surrendering.
Davy: I grab the guy and pull him over to the kid.
GM: He doesn't resist.
Davy: I point at the kid and then point at him.
GM: He doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't understand.
Davy: He shouldn't have threatened us.
GM: He wasn't actually attacking you; when he shouted at you, it was more of a "what the f**k?" than a threat. By now, people have gathered around to watch. Some people are exchanging coins.
*Davy and Garnash decide to leave, profoundly pleased with themselves. Later on, when our paladin is having a pleasant conversationn with a cleric about a rare book, Davy and Garnash fist bump over their successful troublemaking.
I just love the pointless hostility towards everyone, and the overreactions and underreactions to everything.