Ninjas generally come in four varieties — (1) the sort who gives good gear to a friend or a guildie even though someone else wins the roll, (2)  the sort who rolls need on offspec gear and keeps it even though it would be an upgrade for someone running a main spec in the group, (3) the sort that strikes from the shadows and kills you and everyone you’ve ever cared about before you even know they are there, and (4) the sort I like to call “Dude, WTF.”

In our mid-20s, Leigh and I braved the twisted paths of Razorfen Kraul, which in my opinion is one of the cooler low level dungeons. We had with us a gnome warlock whose name escapes me at the moment, but I will edit it in when Tuesday maintenance is finished and I can access my ignore list.

EDIT: the gnome’s name was Freesshh, from the Stormreaver server. As of this writing, I note that he is now level 73 and in good gear. I have no idea what was going on during the story to follow, but hey, it happened.

In short order we came to Aggem Thorncurse. We dispatched him (and his little boar, too), and as always, he dropped Thornspike, his +8 agility dagger. Funny how that +8 agility doesn’t save him from getting his ass owned by every group to come within 100 yards of him. Anyway.

We had a rogue in the group who naturally rolled need on this fine piece of quilboar craftsmanship. The warlock also rolled need.

Thankfully the rogue won the roll and received the dagger. Now, being the optimistic fool I sometimes am, I tried to assume the best of the warlock’s actions. He was a quiet player and wasn’t doing great dps, so I thought he might be new to this whole thing, and he only rolled need because warlocks are able to use daggers. I explained to him that agility is useless for warlocks and that he shouldn’t roll need on things that aren’t good for him. He responded with “k”, that truly multi-purpose letter.

The run continued and the warlock didn’t roll need on anything else he couldn’t use. I was reassured that I had taken the right path, that I had helped this poor newbie warlock better learn how to function in a group, saving future groups the pain of dealing with his misconceptions. I had Done Good, as do-gooders are wont to do.

We came to the last boss, and we put her in the ground. The Heart of Agamaggan dropped, a shield that despite the preponderance of spirit is often an overall upgrade for tanks at this level (many of whom are rocking a turtle shield from Wailing Caverns). Leigh rolled need.

So did the warlock.

The roll was not immediately resolved because one of the dps was in the process of disconnecting and couldn’t roll. We went after the gnome warlock, demanding to know why he rolled need on it. He told us that he had mistakenly thought it was a quest item.

There was still a chance at redemption here. He could still have gone to gnome heaven someday, where buxom gnome lasses play on whirring machinery all day. We told him that if he won it, he needed to give it to Leigh, since she could actually use it. The roll was finally resolved. The warlock won. And, of course, he immediately dropped group and scampered back to his own server.

What’s the point, I wonder, of ninjaing a BoP item you can’t even use? I imagine him scurrying into his little gnome hole somewhere, clutching his prize in sweaty little hands. Maybe he puts it into a nest fashioned from his ninja’d items. Perhaps he likes to hold it in front of him and pretend he’s a tank. Maybe he just really, really needed the 63 silver you’d get from vendoring it.

Moral: If you roll need on items you don’t actually need, you will go on the ignore lists of decent and good folk. They will spread your name so that others might know of your deeds. And before long you’ll find yourself only able to group with other ninjas. All five of you will crouch around your kill, wild-eyed and grunting, wondering who will betray the others first. You won’t know until you feel their hot teeth in your neck as the brawl begins. The winner will rise triumphant, clutching his blue offhand of the gorilla in a bloodied fist, and he will cry his victory to the heavens as the others wail and gnash their teeth at his feet. Then you all go to gnome hell, where the buxom gnome ladies turn out to be sharp-clawed imps in disguise and you always get your genitals caught in the whirring gears.

Seriously, don’t take other people’s well-earned shit.