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Second viewing, in English Original Version this time...
A few fun observations, spoilered for ending scene...
The Think Tank where Lord Business keep the master builders prisoners, can be seen in the Real Life basement as father's minifig collection on the wall (each on its little shelf, neatly organized in rows and columns). This somewhat explains why all the master-builders featured in the movie (with the exception of Wyldstyle and Vitruvius) is a recognizable character (such as the green ninja, wonder woman or Shakespeare) instead of generic Lego minifigs.
The wreckage of Cuckoo cloud island is briefly seen in the boy's own Lego collection (the small bucket next to the family's Christmas decoration).
I'm sure there are many more I didn't catch.
Any other fun "catch" you've seen?
Kelsey MacAilbert wrote:
I loved the Rocketman master builder. Guy was a kick.
spaceship, Spaceship, SPACESHIP!!!!
After a few weeks of reviews, it looks like Spaceship Benny and Unikitty are the two most acclaimed characters of the movie.
about Unikitty, not much of a movie spoiler:
I mean a cute unicorn-kitten with anger management issues living in a wacky land of mismatched constructions like what we build when we're 5 years old? I call it a weapon of mass seduction.
For my girl, this was love at first sight. I got her the Cookooland Palace Lego kit for her birthday and she's been playing with, dismantling, re-building her Unikitty figurine ever since.
As I understand Ross's OP, the revolutionary can be of any alignment, and all alignment makes him/her just as likely a revolutionary.
Only, the Lawful revolutionary will make use of planning, strategies involving cohesive units, use rigorous tactics, might impose discipline withing his revolutionary troops etc. His goal will more likely be to build/install another regime rather than simply overthrow the previous one, and his motivations to do so will be more a result of his Good/Evil axis than Law/Chaos.
I'm interpreting the OP here, but "Law is not Legal" means that being lawful is not about your relationship with who is in charge, not about obedience or refusal. Obedience might be a lawful trait, but it doesn't make lawful = obedience.
 ninja'd by Ross
Hmmm. They're not selling me on it. (...) Why should I care about any of these people: an egotistical petty con-man and thief, a psycho, an assassin, a car thief and his muscle? Right now, I'm on the side of the cops. Keep these guys locked up.
Interesting, the trailer works for me because I can't see why I should care for these guys, and I certainly hope (even though I know I shouldn't) that further previews will not spoil more of the currently delectably obscure purpose of this movie.
But I know it's marvel. I know it's produced by Disney. I know it's an American film. I can thrust the good guys to be the good guys, and I'm certainly happy not to know why for once.
 ...and because raccoon with an assault riffle...
Detect Magic wrote:
I guess I should practice drawing on the hex side; eliminating wacky diagonal movement is a huge improvement.
My trick is; don't worry too much about the hexes (unless we're talking witches' hexes, but that's another story).
Free-hand draw your space. If necessary, use a regular tape-measure (or a seamstress line) to get the initial measurements, and work from there. The grid is there to regulate movement within your space; not the other way around (i.e. don't let the grid impose what you draw). Since you're there, let go of the otherwise omnipresent 90-degree angle and create round structures, passage at angles etc.
This means you'll have more half 5-foot spaces than on a regular published map; it's ok, you have the same issue when drawing round towers on a square grid. It also mean that you get the occasional "unwanted" bottleneck allowing a single 5-foot creature to defend a whole 10ft wide corridor and such, but you can roll with it and call it rubble, archways or other architectural/natural features that you wouldn't have included otherwise but spices-up your encounter (if you're mean, have the bad guys take advantage of the terrain they assumingly know better than the PCs, or traps etc).
For me, the hex-map was a liberating experience. Eliminating the wacky diagonal movement rate was just a bonus feature.
hexes are fun! (witches will agree)
Didn't know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.
For you adult fans of Lego out there; this movie is made for you by other adult fans of Lego (and one could even say about lego fans). Kids will enjoy it too, but "Benny the 80-something spaceman" and his awesome neo-classic blue-themed spaceship is there for those who grew-up with the LL-928.
 Just saw that this ship will be released as a set this summer, sporting LL-929 markings![/edit]
Much more Lego elements than in the various Lego computer/console games (which is what I expected); landscape, floor, clouds, smoke, water, laser shots, gun flash etc, everything is "brick built". Facial expressions change and head/arms/legs rotate a bit more out of their sockets than they should, but from what I remember, parts that don't flex in real life don't in the movie either (horses don't "gallop", minifigs don't flex their "knees", hands don't close etc). Bricks show enough level of wear and tear, dirt in the cracks etc to remind of the real thing. You can even feel the thickness and the slight not-quite-straightness of stickers.
If you like to build mocs, there are some really nice things in there. Lots of play with different scales to portray distance. Can't wait to actually own the movie to press pause and appreciate the actual builds. The pirate ship looks awesome at first sight.
If you are a Lego enthusiast and still hesitate to go see it; don't. Everything is awesome...
It gets tiresome playing a dwarf or orc and receiving strange looks from the NPCs EVERYWHERE I go because I am not human.
Humanocentricity and segregation/racism are two different things. You can have humanocentric yet racially diverse and accepting settings (Star Wars does a OK job at that). Similarly, you could experience racism in a setting were humans are non-existent (typical elf-dwarf rivalry, or orc in either elven or dwarven land).
I bet that even in a human-only setting, your character will receive strange looks from NPCs EVERYWHERE you go because you are not [insert setting-related dominant culture].
I agree that humanocentric settings have been done... a lot. I cannot comment on your preferences as they are personal, but I don't think that humans are the source of social conflicts.
I don't get it. What is the problem of humans being the dominant or most widespread race in the setting?
Don't have any problem with that. Being a big Star Wars and LotR fan, it's actually my preferred type of fantasy setting.
I also like settings were humans are the underdog, but only when the accent is put on humans as PCs ironically. I also like settings were humans are not present altogether; but one of the races usually acts as the "default-two-arms-two-legs-adaptable-creative-likes-war" race taking the same role that humans take in other settings.
I think its natural to relate to the race that resemble us the most, even if I too have observed a disdain for humanocentric settings on these forums.
Snarky tone aside, the players must remain masters of their own choices off course. Even if their choice is to ride the train.
But the game is full of thing that players don't like, like being killed, charmed/dominated, held, grappled, paralyzed, level drained etc. The point is to make clear rules with clear conditions and clear consequences.
Unlike in a movie, I wouldn't expect the players to make it to the jail, or bad guy's lair or whatever. There will always be opportunities to rebel, and I can trust my players to jump on any of these. The point of this rule (well hypothetical rule since I've already said I wouldn't make any) was to give the DM another storytelling tools, not locks on doors of the passenger's wagon.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
appearing cool never was the intention...
but regardless of my opinion (which are not about to change due to the "cool kids"), I am fascinated by what is considered cool and what isn't.
As a DM, my PCs are specials because they are the main characters of my story.
From a narrative standpoint, they are not different from any other person of their race (they don't see better, they aren't smarter or tougher etc) but mechanically speaking, I'm willing to go into further levels of details about what they can do and what they can withstand.
In RPG terms, they are allowed hero points or similar privileges, while the majority of other characters do not.
TL;DR: Yes they are special because they are the "actors" on which the camera is on all the time, not because they are intrinsically more powerful, privileged by gods or whatever.
Slightly More Complex Variant
This variant uses a condition track instead of a wounded? yes/no question. It also includes damage penalties; badly affected characters are encourage to adopt a different strategy.
As with the previous variant, character recover 100% of their hit point after a night of rest, and 50% after a quick rest and refit period in a calm and non-threatening environment.
Instead of one "Wounded" box, make fours.
One "Lightly Wounded" box, one "Moderately Wounded" box, one "Seriously Wounded" box and one "Critically Wounded" box
Inscribe a penalty next to each box, raging from -1 to -8, as such:
 Lightly Wounded (-1)
These act as a condition track. Whenever the character receives a critical hit, fails a saving throw (from an effect causing damage) or is dropped below 0 hp, check the topmost box. Further critical hits and failed saves (or passing out below 0 hp) worsen the character's condition by one step. Once a character is critically wounded, its condition cannot worsen regardless of the number critical hits or failed saves it receives. At this point, the character is probably close to death anyways...
Every condition implies a penalty. Penalties apply to all d20 rolls (attack rolls, skill checks, saves etc), spell save DCs, and it also affect the character's hit points maximum. The character's hit points maximum is reduced by the associated penalty for each level the character has attained. To not adjust the character hit points to this new maximum; this merely indicates the new hp maximum the character can have after a night of rest or a rest and refit period.
cure spells improve a character's health condition. A cure light wounds spell completely heals a lightly wounded character, or else improves its condition by one step. A cure moderate wounds spell improves the character's condition by two steps, and so forth... Cure spells can be use consecutively to clear a character's condition track completely. A heal spell instantly clears a character's health condition in addition to the spells benefits.
Since the hit point maximum is only relevant after rest, apply the appropriate amount of hp gained for cure spells regardless of the character's new hit point maximum.
Similarly, a wounded character's condition improves by one step for each day spend under the care of the healer with a successful Heal check (see long term care).
Mostly a though exercise; not in use or in playtest at the moment.
These are a variation on Evil Lincoln's Strain-Injury rules. If you are not familiar with them, here they are. Otherwise, these rules work under the same postulate: most damage should be seen as tiresome parries, dodges, degrading equipment, luck etc. Therefore, hp could regenerate quickly without the need of magic. From times to times, characters get actually injured, which takes time, skill and magic to heal. This variant also aims at the same goals of removing the reliance on magical healing with the least impact of the Rules as Written.
Very Very Simple Variant:
Make a "Wounded" box at the top of your character sheet. Calculate the 50% threshold (rounded down) of the character's hp. Mark it beside your hp total.
Characters recuperate all their hp after a full night of sleep. After a quick rests and refit, all characters recover 50% of their hp. This replaces the normal rules on natural regeneration of hp.
When your character receives a critical hit, fails a saving throw causing damage or is dropped below 0 hp, check the "Wounded" box on your character sheet.
As long as the "Wounded" box is checked, a character may not regenerate hp above the 50% threshold. Do not drop a character to 50% hp when wounded; that character simply cannot recover more hp than this threshold.
If a wounded character receive a successful Heal (long-term care) check, or receive a cure, heal, regeneration and similar spell, un-check the "Wounded" box and immediately apply the effect of the spell (if applicable).
Otherwise, stat blocks and damage remains the same as seen in the Bestiary and RaW. Poisons, bleed effects and other secondary damage effects are unaffected. Nonlethal damage is RaW, except that sources of nonlethal damage never cause the "wounded" box to be checked.
Stay tuned for the slightly more elaborated variation.
Laurefindel, I second what 3catcircus originally suggested - Vitality & Wound System. Vitality represents your ability to deflect attacks or turn deadly strikes into glancing blows.
I'm currently using Evil Lincoln's variant hit point rules, and I must say they work beautifully for the purpose of differentiating between connecting blows and near misses (or luck, or dink in armour etc). My own system uses a variation of the Vitality-Wounds. The Vitality-Wounds as written is a bit too complex for me, or I should say, adds another layer of complexity that makes the game too complex overall; but I love the idea of differentiating lost hp as plot immunity from those lost to actual injuries.
At the moment, all of that is crystallizing around a central point: there are situations were the normal rules for damage don't work in order to recreate the cinematic feel that I'm going for. Theses are mainly situations where a character is at the mercy of another (the en-joue crossbow trope), situations of stealthy insta-kill (the Steven Seagal trope) and situations that no normal being should consider without special powers/magic (jumping down 40ft, wading through lava etc).
I think that I need to identify these threats, state how they differentiate from regular action scenes and how players can easily recognize them.
Then I will have to decide what happens if a character ignores those threats, such as damage going straight to Wounds (bypassing vitality if such a system is used) or another consequence to be determined, possibly involving a saving throw of some sort.
Then integrate that into a fantasy settings were characters can actually survive a dragon breath, a stab in the back and (accidental) immersion into lava, and with the rest of the rules as written (easier said then done).
It has nothing to do about ethics.
The point of leveling up is indeed to be more powerful and survive tougher encounter.
But narratively speaking, I do make a difference between falling (or being thrown) down a cliff and casually jumping down one, although the damage is the same. Similarly, I do make a difference between dodging/withstanding 15 crossbow bolts in a fight and being shot point blank while whistling as if nothing ever happened, even though the damage is the same.
My point is that PCs, even at high levels, are not Superman. They are not invulnerable, even if they have many resources and magic that allow them to survive against impossible odds. Their hit points is a limited, measurable amount of plot immunity, a la Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones or an unarmoured Tony Stark. Regular firearms work just fine against them, it's just that bullets (or laser blasts) somehow never get to hit them (ie. they lost an abstract amount of hp) in a firefight. But if their head is under the guillotine, I shouldn't have to reset the instrument 4 times before their head get chopped off.
VM mercenario wrote:
I'm not sure why you think a bunch of superheroes should be afraid of a few crossbows.
Because they are not superheroes; they are a bunch of adventurers. If I wanted to play super heroes, I'd play a X-men game or something of the sort.
I know about the Alexandrian article. 10th level characters can withstand more than ordinary people. And I know; dragons...
Instead, I want to play cinematic hero. One that can dodge 15 crossbow bolts in a fight (read: they have enough hp not to be killed by 15 hits), but not one that says "sure shoot me, I can take 15 like that!". I want to play the hero that will survive the 40ft fall after being tackled by an orc, but not one that that looks down a 40ft cliff thinking "I'll just jump down; easier than stairs".
It's a matter of style not matching mechanics (or rather mechanics not representing a style). Sometimes I wish I could create a threat without pulling out the nukes...
It may sound silly, but I dislike when players are munching on snacks so loud that I have to raise my voice, or that are so messy that they need to wipe their hands every time they need to reach for a die/pen/book.
I dislike when players make a comedy out of a scene I had imagined to be serious/dramatic.
I dislike when a player looks behind my screen to verify my dice result, or worse, touch my dice!
I dislike having to explain something for the fifth time. Event if they didn't think it was important at first, they should have clued-in by the third time...
I dislike when players make no effort of remembering the names of my NPCs, or worse, give them silly nicknames and stick to them.
These are my main pet peeves, but I dislike blatant disrespect in any form (in which I include invasive usage of technological devices).
I've never in years of table top gaming had a player say that a PC was killed or a TPK occurred because one of the players didn't create a powerful enough character.
I haven't either, but I've seen groups of players being upset at (to the point of ridiculing) a particular player because his player wasn't as optimized as theirs (and in their mind was more of a liability than help).
I've also seen a players having a hard time surviving because the baddies used by the DM (necessary to challenge his better-optimized fellow PCs) were well beyond his league.
While it basically boils down to "play with a group with which you are compatible", hyper-optimization (or lack thereof) can be an issue.
Personally, I was surprised there wasn't a Divine/Arcane Mystic Theurge from level one hybrid in this book. Considering how many folks have wanted to play this concept, and tried so very hard to make it work.
That was my first reaction too.
Magus allows the "fighter/mage" concept, but the "mage/thief"* and "cleric/mage" were popular concepts in previous editions and I"m surprised that no base/hybrid classes attempted to recreate them.
* one could say that Investigator does "mage/thief", but not in the magic-backstabber sense. Also, the ninja from Ultimate Combat Guide does the invisible + sneak attack, but it's a ninja, not a mage/thief...
A houserule we use is to re-roll all your Hit Die at the start of a new day, adding bonuses or penalties for things like where you slept, how well you ate last, sleeping in armor, that kind of thing.
A bit heavy on the rest/sleep routine, but this is an interesting way to use hit dice as, well, hit dice.
I like the fact that this can bring a point to good sleep, food and a bit of luxury while adventuring (ye use of profession-cook skill!).
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
I guess my point is: I don't ask a 5 year old to cook dinner and then get mad when I get peanut butter and spaghetti.
You got spaghetti from a 5-year-old cook!!??!?!
All I got was a slice of bread (with rest of loaf spilled over the kitchen floor) with what looks like a 1/4-pound chunk of butter on it, and a bowl-full of cheese crackers...
@ OP: you're right to be upset. Your DM is probably upset too. Take a breather, talk with your DM, reconsider playing something more "predictable" if that means more fun for everyone, but otherwise roll with it.
Making stuff-up as you go isn't an illegitimate DM-ing technique, but being that blatantly unaware of the basic abilities of your players is bad form, especially since it implies that you (as a DM) are not considering your players in the first place.
Part of it probably is my sleep schedule - I seem to be utterly incapable of falling asleep before midnight unless I'm sick. Any attempt to go to bed earlier, unless aided by illness, just ends up with me tossing and turning until the normal 12.30/1-AM-ish time that I always normally drift off.
Was like that until 35-ish. Then it started to be rougher going on 6 hours or less per night, so i had to change my sleep pattern a bit. Still if I'm not careful, I end-up with a week like this (mornings start at 6h30 because of kids/school/work etc):
Monday: Ok, let's be reasonable today. bed at 10 pm
Bah, I feel self-important today, so I'll dust off some of my older houserules.
I had a campaign with two players; a ranger and a druid (a third player playing a wizard tagged along at one point). The game was big on traveling and exploring the wilderness (figures!). They started level 1 and the campaign finished at level 11th or 12th, so we mainly played low levels: no teleport/wind walk for the most part of the game.
They used a herb lore ruleset for finding and using plants with magical properties which can be found here
and a houserule about daily "action economy" ruleset dividing activities like actions in a round. It was called the Overland Round.
Which stat did you remove, Laure?
Constitution is out and merged with Strength, But Intelligence and Wisdom are redefined as well. so it goes...
BRAWN for hp, attack/damage bonus and strength-related skill. FORTITUDE is its derivative save for resiting everything physical you cannot avoid (typically with reflex), from poisons to physical spells to grappling.
AGILITY for AC, attack/damage bonus with finesse weapons and dexterity-related skills. REFLEX is its derivative save for avoiding things by moving away/catching yourself.
ACUMEN for understanding, learning and perceiving things, and typically intelligence-related skills. AWARENESS is its derivative save for perceiving incoming dangers.
INTUITION for empathy, connecting with the wild and the divine, and typically wisdom-related skills (except perception). INSIGHT is its derivative save for "not being fooled" by skills, illusions or deception spells.
PRESENCE for personality, force of will and social skills. WILLPOWER is its derivative save for resisting fear and most mind-affecting spells.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
If the issue is that Perception is so much better than all the other skills that everyone feels like they have to max it out, maybe the solution is to make other skills equally valuable, rather than to make Perception free?
In an ideal game, all skills have the same level of "usefulness" for the genre that the game is catering to. But D&D/Pathfinder already "automates" certain progressions that are central to the game, such as HPs, BAB, saving throws etc.
Actually, most tests that are called for by the DM (or else "something" goes bad) usually take the form of a saving throw. I believe Perception as reactive "skill" could make sense as a saving throw, which can be complemented by a "search" skill for when the players make their own call.
In my home-brewed system (my own findelfinder, so to speak), there are five saving throws - one for each stat (yes I removed a stat) - serving for situations you can avoid by being strong/though enough, quick/agile enough, acute/insightful enough, alert/perceptive enough or strong-willed/self-controlled enough.
Some skills can be used to substitute a save in certain situation. High Perception skill? Substitute your Alertness save with your Perception skill against enemies sneaking being you.
Not hating them (hating is such a strong word!), mostly unsatisfied with the concept of hp.
I don't like the "one second you're fresh, one second you're dying" effect of going from 100 hp to 1 hp with no effects, a super narrow "disabled" window, and then its a race not to die.
I also don't like the undefined mixture of avoiding blows, withstanding damage and exhaustion, which rises questions like "how badly wounded am I really", and "how much more blood do I have in my body now that I'm 10th level". And if you bring out hp as the ability to avoid serious blows, then the "really, it takes me 10 days to sleep this off?" comment arises.
I understand they are meant to be abstract, but they also kill other abstract and cinematic tropes like "I sneak around and break his neck/cut his throat", or "I muster enough energy to give a last blow despite my two broken legs".
In other words, I find that it fails to convey the fast and cinematic feel that it was intended for.
In Schrodinger's experiment, the cat is only dead and alive as long as leave the system closed, but as soon as you open the lid, you'd find the cat in one of the two possible states, not both simultaneously.
I always thought the Schrodinger's analogy was a way to point out that while wizards can theoretically do everything, they are still limited by their state (i.e. their selection of spell) within a specific, given moment or situation. I thought it was first used to point out a fallacy, not a character concept.
Wouldn't a wizard that can cast all spells at any given point (or at least built and equipped in such a way to have the best spell flexibility) go against Schrodinger's principle, and therefore be an anti-Schrodinger wizard?
The 8th Dwarf wrote:
I got such an attack from my girl the other day, when I said she was too young for make-up.
I guess she took a level in Rouge already...
I prefer to give XP, equally distributed among all PC.
I tend to give XP on situations mores so than creatures, although "defeating", "slip past", "smooth-talk" or even "having its butt kicked by" a creature usually constitute a situation deserving XP, among others.
This system isn't completely transparent; mostly because my guidelines are vague at best and I want to be able to conveniently grant just about the right amount of XP to level-up went I feel that the time is right. Bit of a mix between "RaW gives me this to work with" and "play by ear".
I prefer to reward individual behavior with action points or a similar system rather than XP. Usually, good R-P sessions are self-rewarding, so I rarely grant anything beyond the boons/reputation/social-goodies/satisfaction-of-bragging-over-the-bad-guys that they get from that R-P anyways.
and 50 coins weighs 1 pound
hum, let's see if I get this right...
1 pound = about 0.45 kg, or 450 g.
Which makes a gold coin's size somewhere between that of a penny (0.348 cm3) and a nickel (0.688 cm3), and almost half that of a quarter (0.808 cm3)
We're pretty far from big fat gold doubloons!
 hum, this sound about right, according to wiki, a Spanish doubloon did weight 6 or 8 grams a pieces, depending on era...
I claim full responsibility for burning TOZ's char to ashes.
It brought no feeling of accomplishment whatsoever, but it was diabolically satisfying...
I love a good dose of DM's fiat in RPG. I find it bring a definite "colour" to a game. I never experienced that many horrible DM's fiat stories, so maybe my hands just didn't get burned bad enough...
Perhaps I should rather say "I love a dose of good DM's fiat", or "I love a dose of DM's good fiat".
Anyhow, as a DM, I make good use of my fiat, and I'm not hiding it. So far, either my fiat has been good enough for my players to complain, or else my players are too polite to complain...
Mythic Evil Lincoln wrote:
Middle Earth is a difficult setting to pull off in fantasy RPG. Even MERP had set their default setting a bit less than 1500 years before the War of The Ring, when both Gondor and Eriador were much more populated.
Cubicle's 7 The One Ring recently brought a breeze of freshness to Middle Earth by setting the default campaign time and location in between The Hobbit and LOTR and in Rhovanion where Elves, Men and Dwarves live side by side (Elf kingdom of Mirkwood, Laketown, Dale and the Lonely Mountain).
In addition to the relatively dense and diverse population, the fact that these locations are mentioned but not visited by the heroes of LOTR is liberating for the DM.
I dunno, I like to envision the Paladin as something more than a warrior with a cause and a crusader for a (good) religion. It's an old fashion ideal (in terms of RPGs), and perhaps that the marriage of a class with a unique paradigm is outdated, but that's how I like it.
That's not to say that Chaotic Evil characters cannot be more than warriors with an (evil) cause and crusaders for an (evil) cult or religion, but then I'd rather them have their own, exclusive class instead.
I've rage-quit very few things in my life, but a failed conquest of Asia from my Americas-backed European powerhouse, despite all the odds in my favour, resulted in my most violent (and shameful) rage-quit.
I moved out over 20 years ago, but my dad keeps finding Risk pieces under old furniture...
I love Tolkien.
I love the narrative, the language. Fellowship is my favourite. I have a few chapters that I like to (re)read when I don't feel like picking up the whole book, and "Concerning Hobbits" is one of them (but The Council of Elrond is chief among them).
I delight in the "long" passages that, from what I can read on these boards, put everyone to sleep.
I know, shocking...
Players made their way down the dungeon, they got the item of their quest. They are low in hit points and resources, and the bad guys are close on their tail (on their way down as a matter of fact). Now they need to go back to the Azers, Salamenders and Fire Elementals living inside a volcano where they guard a rift to the elemental plane of fire. To make things even more complicated, the volcano is besieged by an army of demons, preventing the heroes from coming back without further complications
DM(me) - The bad guys catch up with you. Their wizard order his bound efreet to "get rid of them!"
(Players quickly make their plan)
Bard- Stoneshape on the archway, I want to close the passageway to prevent the bag guys from coming in.
DM - Hum, you guys know this is the only entrance; therefore your only exit?
Bard - Yeah, it's all cool.
DM - I thought you guys used your only scroll of teleportation to get here?
Wizard - That's correct, but it's all cool.
DM - OK, the entrance collapse, but the efreet already made its way in (as you can see on the mat here).
Wizard - Good, I attract his attention over here and ask him to plane-shift us to the elemental plane of fire.
DM - you... you do what?
Wizard, druid and Bard - Yeah, we try to convince him that this way he'll have gotten "rid" of us. We ask for his protection once we get there. Our plan is to get back to the volcano by the rift from there.
DM - *seeing this as too good of story twist and RP opportunity to find argue* Ok, the efreet lowers his falchion; "I'm listening", he says...
Not so much a confession but an affirmation of my unpopular opinion: I think all checks should fail on a roll of "1". If you don't want the character to have a chance of failing, don't make him/her make a check in the first place.
Note to players: If you don't want to stand the chance of failing; take 10.
Note to DMs: Failure =/= fumble.
And yes, that should apply to saving throws as well.
so there, I said it...