I do that too... somehow it manages to be the same player for the whole session that I will be looking at and talking to, then check initiative to see who is next and completely skip - so around the table I just hear "So I don't get a turn this time?"
Also, I like calling the guy "Blah" - I tend to fill the blank with "Gary" if put in a situation where I have to have a name.
It being an in-joke with my group from a long ago multi-player magic game when we had a bit of a sit and wonder about what each planeswalker involved in the epic war going on would be thinking about the guy just sitting over there in a forest saying "look at all these trees!" because he couldn't manage to draw anything but forest cards... and we labelled him Gary Greenrobe, friend of the trees.
...and Fallout 3 then solidified Gary as being the official filler name in my brain.
Hey, it just seemed odd to Morag that her name was "the Epona" :) And I don't recall anyone calling her "the E-pony", because I would have withheld healing until they apologized suitably to her!
Epona is Link's horse, in Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, and Twilight Princess.
Never played Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask?
Axel and Dheza's players were doing it constantly, but maybe they were careful to do it behind your back. ;)
Nope. As I mentioned in the very post you quoted, the only ones I have played was the original Zelda, Zelda II, and... *actually looks up the name this time* Phantom Hourglass. The only Nintendo systems I've ever owned were the original NES and the DS.
Okay, TECHNICALLY, I played some of Ocarina in the demo mode at the game store, but I never got very far.
Joanna Swiftblade wrote:
Well of course it has. That scene sounds like it would be pretty much the apex of ANY campaign. No GM could improve on that.
Malachi Silverclaw wrote:
That is a great story, and a really good idea for a campaign. Babylon 5 forever! Was their diplomat like Londo Mollari?
A group I was in a few years ago named any non-essential NPCs (and they almost always came in 3s) Jim, Bob, and Nebuchadnezzar.
Ah. They're well worth playing. They just remade Ocarina of Time for the 3DS and there's whispers and mutterings of a possible Majora's Mask remake sometime soon.
Though they're still perfectly great on the N64 if you can track one down at a garage sale or flea market some time. Should be pretty cheap.
well I only GM'ed one campaign but my team was supposed to stop an army from invading through the mountains (it would buy them a couple months to prepare). Anyways they decided to blow it up. The army they were stopping was blatantly evil.
Anyways they get on the bridge to distract the enemy, parley with them while the rogue set up a makeshift bomb (this was a huge bridge) and as the enemy general I made an offer for them to join us. Never thought they'd consider it. Only one person did. Oddly enough not the evil one.
It resulted in an all out party fight in the middle of the bridge collapsing out of under them.
On the brightside my evil cleric "hugged" an ogre one shotting it and our druid alligator tail swatted the traitor into unconsciousness.
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
That is a great story, and a really good idea for a campaign. Babylon 5 forever! Was their diplomat like Londo Mollari?
Actually, she was based on Delenn! Lady Alysee was a priest of Sune, and one of the PCs was based on Lennier, her assistant. The player pretended to be just a low-level priest, but was really a dual-class priest3/rogue9. There was a paladin of Sune, a duelist-type fighter and a wizard.
In my second Jade Regent party, I have a pair of Gnome sister PC's who are adopted by one of the prominent NPC's. For the life of me, I've mixed their names up atleast once per session while having discussions with them in character.
It's become a running gag at this point, with each of them quick to correct the NPC's in question about who is who.
Well, my GM "oopsies" range from the errant to the epic...
Last session I was using Combat Manager to manage initiative and decided that I needed to have the prisoner's initiative in the mix in case she ever got a chance to move. The party did not yet know there was a prisoner involved. Until I got to her spot on the initiative chart and muttered out loud "OK, now Orchid.... "
"Orchid!?" She's here?!"
I once created two custom races that appeared to be almost identical. One race was extremely powerful physically, but were vulnerable to magical effects. The other race was extremely weak physically, but fed on magic so that the more spells you hit them with, the stronger they became.
I thought it would be a good opportunity to "teach" the players about expectations. So they first encountered the physically powerful race and after nearly getting killed in a frontal assault, they realized the magical vulnerability and dispatched them quickly.
Unfortunately they were so pleased with the success of that tactic, when they encountered the second race they never questioned it, even when the creatures grew to three times their size..... And eventually TPK'd them.
After the battle I asked them, "Didn't you realize that the magic was feeding them?" Their near unanimous answer was "you said they were 'almost identical'!"
Since then I have learned to avoid subtlety....
I accidentally revealed one PC's personal secret (which she was planning to reveal in a dramatic and heartfelt moment herself) before she got a chance to reveal it.
She'd been gushing to me, privately, for weeks about how excited she was about the upcoming reveal. On the week where it was going to occur, we had to cancel the game at the last minute. The week after that, I began by quickly summarizing the events of the previous game, and my scumbag brain decided to make me think "she was planning to reveal it last week, therefore, it's already been revealed" despite that I clearly remembered the session cancellation of the week before. So I casually gave away the secret that she'd been excited for weeks about doing the reveal for.
I felt so bad about it. I still do. I've since been forgiven, but it's still one of my biggest shames in GMing.
I have only been a GM a few times. My first time was a 4e adventure from the Dungeon Delve book. Everything was going fine until I failed to realize the group had a Goliath that could look over the 8ft tall fence surrounding the enemy camp. The combat was less than thrilling with the party knowing enemy positions and able to plan. Now I know to take any fences in a campaign, find out tallest PC height, and make fences 4ft taller than tallest PC.
once i was dming and setting a random encounter, one of the players goes to the bathroom and at that moment i was phacing pages and stop at Displacer Beast!!!
so, i feel so sorry for the famelic image in the book and say to myself "hey!! why don´t make that displacer came to try for a meal?"
the characters are lvl 1 all of them... TPK
I once got confused on the rule change for ethereal type monsters and ended up giving a set of reasonably weak monsters both 50% miss chance and 50% less damage from magic attacks (including +1 weapons) AND no damage from any other source. It took them the better part of an hour to chip away at the enemies meanwhile they all took considerable amounts of STR damage. Finally, they get past that room cursing and healing...next room...same enemy type, but +2 CR each. This finally prompted me to check the defenses properly and found my screw up before what would have surely been a slow and agonizing TPK. The intent was for them to get through a maze of shadows type structure with an easy then moderate encounter leading up to a shadow wizard. The final encounter of the night, I almost said "more shadow creatures!" just to screw with them.
I ran my group through an adventure where they had raided a den of werewolves, and had to slay the matriarch of the pack, who was also a cleric of the Wolf-god of the setting. The PC's were carrying several powerful magic items, and a couple of them were formidable spellcasters as well.
So, my big plan was to drop a large anti-magic field in the BBEG's chamber, nullifying the groups magic support. I figured this would work great, since the matriarch would just shift to her wolf form and tear the group to shreds...
Except for the part where shapechanging is a Supernatural ability, and thus nullified by the anti-magic field as well. Which, only came to my attention after the encounter had begun.
So, yeah. BBEG spellcaster with no spells, no weapon, and no shapechanging. The group pounced on her and beat her down like it was a mugging. Total blunder on my part. What was supposed to be a fierce battle, turned into a group of people beating down a defenseless old woman. Worst adventure climax ever.
Hm. One I still cringe remembering.
I managed to kill a Champions character.
Taught me to never get po'd when a pc takes a different route.
I was just learning to GM. The group was going to be sucked into a different dimension created by the BBEG. They were picked up by a federal group and driven to the site where they were to be caught in the expanding field that has swallowed a town. One pc refused to travel in the van. Insisted on using his motorcycle. It never occurred to me to just catch the motorcycle in the field. I got mad because he wouldn't follow the plot and had demons with killing attacks jump out and slash him, hoping to scare him into getting in the van.
He had no resistant defenses. I rolled max...
I had a large battle consisting of multiple goblins, four spellcasters and elementals of all four primary colors.
The battle went on, spells flying, hordes of humanoids moving. PCs cleaving, spell slinging and what not left and right.
And then I overheard them, peering suspiciously at this one fire elemental that just hadn't done anything the entire battle. Just sitting there in its initial position.
They became intensely suspicious of it, thinking it must have a plan, or be concealed spellcaster.
I'd just forgotten to move it. I forgot to put it on the init chart..
The party ended up tip toeing past it. They concluded it had fallen asleep and opted to not irritate it. The entire rest of the adventure kept resulting in people wanting to pause but 'That creepy fire elemental might wake up.'
I have noticed that I tend to forget pervasive conditions that cover an entire complex or location at times. For instance, a level of caverns that have heavy fog that cuts visibility. I start off great, then after a 45 minute debate among the players, dinner break or other significant interruption, the conditions seem to disappear until I remember them again. Fortunately for me I have honest players.
Namewise, the only recent name blunder in recent memory came when I pronounced Chelaxans as "chill-laxing" and now my players laugh whenenver a native of Cheliax enters the game.
I once got myself when I spent a month writing and setting up in-game events leading to a big pre-planned adventure. It was to be a 5 game-session adventure and to make sure the players found it, I had four big hooks to get the party involved. They ended up killing the two NPCs due to mistaken identity, burning both clues, and leaving town due to the killings before the last hook could happen. After that I switched to a more sandbox, less rail-road style permanently.
In my world I have created a Specific NPC, his name is Bob. Bob is a 90 year old 20th level wizard and has an extreme case of the scatterbrain. Bob runs a magic shop called Bob's Bargain Basement. His store exists in a small demi-plane that has a random chance to attach its door to any empty store front door in the material plane at any given moment. think Howl's Moving Castle style only random based on the size of the city. His inventory is supplied by a magical contract that transports any "lost" magical item from the material plane directly into the store. Bob does not have the time or inclination to organize or identify any of the items in the cramped shop. He organizes his shelves and aisles by item time but the contract stocks the shelves. His magical rings appear on a peg board that is 10 pegs by 15 pegs and stacked 10 rings deep per peg.
If asked what a specific item is he describes the items physical characteristics and is immune to the effects of any item brought to the store by the contract. Since bob has no idea what the item is he has no inclination of what to charge for them. I roll a d100 to determine what percentage he charges for the item of its actual cost. This may seem like a very monty haulish kind of place until you take into account that most intentionally lost items are cursed items. The aisles between the shelves require that any medium sized character wearing med armor or heavier must shuffle sideways down the aisle to avoid knocking items off of the shelves. Any item, normal or cursed, that falls off of a shelf has a percentage chance, usually 40%, to attempt to equip itself to the player.
all that aside, I once made the mistake of allowing the party to search for Bob's at 1:30 in the morning while in the middle of a sugar high and little actual sleep proceeding the marathon game. The players decided to break into 3 2-player teams and "attack" Bob with 3 competing conversations among 6 PCs at the same time. After 20 RL minutes of round robin appraisals, Bob's failed memory checks, bluff attempts and general all around confusion on my part the players walked away with a tidy sum of gear. As well as a purple PC, a gender changed rogue, a male fighter who's hair had been polymorphed into flowering ivy and magically compulsed dwarf. to this day they still chuckle at me when I start on the sugar train.
Once I was running a adventure in 3.5. There was a room that had a almost full page description. After finishing reading it to the group, they started making camp in there. Thing is, there was an ogre in the room. That the super long description never mentions. So, after the party is halfway setting up camp...
Me: So, what do you guys do about the ogre in the room?
Now, whenever I'm DMing, if I read a long description of ANYTHING, the players ask "Is there an ogre?"
Later in that same game, they opened a door to what the adventure described as a "long and dark hallway."
The hallway in question? 10 ft. long.
I'll never live down either of those.
I almost had an entire group TPK.
They'd been chasing clues for 7 or 8 games, and finally due to some faulty intelligence transfer from one of the players (who managed to screw up every possible bit of information I gave when telling it to the other players), they were woefully underprepared for the big bad battle.
So, I had their employer step in and bring them all up to WBL, and fill in some blanks finally. Then they went to attack the Big Bad who had the McGuffin. The BB was a half-dragon witch with a nasty scythe, and 12 mooks of various types (including one adept healer with a wand).
The very first thing the PCs did was leave their own witch 120ft from the fight, their archer 80ft from the fight, and then the rest charged into the throng of mooks.
BB half-dragon witch simply ignored the melee people and the archer, flew straight to the witch, and sliced her into kibble in 2 rounds. Then flew to the archer and sliced him into kibble in 2 rounds. By then all but 2 mooks were down (plus the noncombatant healer, who refused to attack, would only heal the others, and the LG cleric coudln't attack the healer due to personal code of honor). In the end, the cavalier's horse was the only one standing, and it managed to bring the BB down to 25% hit points, which was the BB's standing order to retreat with the McGuffin.
So the Cavalier's horse was the only 'survivor' of the fight. Sheesh.
my story isnt as funny, i was in a dungeon with traps laid throughout the floor, and my character had secured a safe pathway from a switch back to the starting point, only, the GM had forgotten about one of the traps when i crossed it the first time, so i unwittingly went back over it, thinking that nothing would happen because i was retracing my steps and BAM
on a lighter note, when i played 3.5 we had an entire homebrew campaign setting where damn near all the NPCs were famous musicions
there was the Aero-Smithery run by Steve and his apprentice Joe
there was the AC/DC armory, run by Angus
we had an NPC named Scott Staff who was a Paladin and the Head of the town guard in our main city, and he was based off Scott Stapp of Creed (hence paladin) and every time he spoke he said MYAH (imagine the worst/best scott stapp impression)
we also had an NPC (who later became a premade PC) named Scott Wild-Land who was a homebrew version of an arcane adept who was seeking his familiar who happened to be a Pseudo Dragon that he lost
we still had plans for running into a character based on David Bowie who would be a druid (based on david bowie's appearance in the Venture Bros)
Detect Magic wrote:
I did something similar once!
I had been building up this mystery all session. The PCs had tracked a man through the wilderness back to his little shack in the woods and were about to ambush him when we got into a small debate about how Stealth worked. One of the players asked to see the PHB for clarification, so I passed it to him.
... only I actually handed him the Monster Manual, which I had left open to the entry on werewolves. щ(ﾟДﾟщ) They all noticed it and tried to act cool, except for one player, who suddenly had the urge to remind me that he bought silver arrows the last time he was in town.
Once I had to hastily name a female NPC who turned out to be more important to the storyline than I had anticipated. Flustered, I thought up a pretty common name, and then chose the first random surname that popped into my head to go with it. It wasn't until I caught my players snickering at least an hour later that I realized I had inadvertently named her after a well-known porn star.
Haha! This reminds me of one of the "easter eggs" I put in a very long campaign one time. There was a young up and coming bard named Ossian who was extremely popular and known for his wild singing and shows. As the party traveled the Forgotten Realms, they kept running into this bard performing gigs everywhere. Finally someone in the party decided he might be an "important NPC" and went to talk to him. I made them burn a Tongues spell to completely understand him since he spoke in a broken language none of them spoke fluently. Determining he was not after them or related to any of their quests, they dismissed him but did go to one of his shows. There were groans around the table when his name was announced... Ossian, Ossian Osbourne.
I use the GameMastery Combat Pad because I was terrible at keeping track of initiative order without it.
My habit when I first started using it in my 3.5e Forgotten Realms game was to write the name of the creature on its initiative magnet so I'd say "Now it's the ghirrash's turn" (for example). I'd remind my players afterward that they shouldn't know what the creatures were. My players used to joke that they had the Detect Name ability to recognize what creatures were.
More recently in my current Pathfinder campaign, I mostly let the players manage the Combat Pad and keep it out for everyone to see. Unless a creature's type is glaringly obvious, I use an initiative magnet that is just labeled as "creature." Sometimes I'll just use a colored AleaTools magnet right on the Combat Pad that corresponds with a matching color assigned to the mini on the board if I have more than one of the same mini in use.
So, yeah, for the most part players in my current campaign don't get the Detect Name (Su) ability.
So many...where to start?
How about silly names:
- Marin, lord of Battles (homebrew deity) - battle cry created by my players? "You've been MARINATED!" This deity no longer appears in my homebrews.
- Every single NPC I can't think of the name of is "Larry" as in "They got Larry; let's GET 'em!" My players thought it'd be awesome to jot down notes on every Larry for a while. A few months into the game they presented me with "The chronicle of Larrys", a record of all the poor shmoes I'd thrown around.
- I had a dwarf bartender change names 3 times over the course of a few months of gaming b/cause I could never remember his exact name. The third time I did it I called him the same name as the blacksmith (conveniently also a dwarf) and my player called me on it. I went with it: Player - wait, isn't that the name of the blacksmith? Me - the dwarf looks embarassed and for the first time you notice he looks amazingly like the blacksmith, save that his beard is red and the blacksmith's is black. "I...don't know what ye' mean lad" he stammers. You notice his apron is stained with soot as well as liquor...
Also there are GAPING inconsistencies in my campaigns. There have been details I've forgotten to drop "How do you guys NOT know the name of the noble who's missing?" players look befuddled, "because you NEVER told us...", there's been whole set pieces in homebrew games I forget so that the adventure makes no sense and of course I forget little things...like what's happening in the game's plot.
But we all keep rolling on don't we?
There was one time, and don't know what I was thinking, that I described a creature in detail that was attacking the party. Except I neglected the most important bit of information: the fact that it was huge size. They were thinking it was medium and it started this argument about how reach works and I couldn't for the life of me understand how they were confused. So I got frustrated a grabbed some minis. They immediatly pointed out that was retarded and I hadn't told them that it was this massive creature. Yeah...that was derp.
Not from a campaign I was in, but one of my fellow players apparently was GMing a game where the party entered a town that was having a spring/summer festival where many games were being played. Unfortunately, he had not thought through a potential game list, and so just started rattling off different games going on. Somehow curling made the list. Needless to say, the PCs all wanted to go curling at the festival, and so he had to make up the mechanics for curling on the fly.
For Kingmaker, I kept slipping up on Oleg's name and kept calling him Olaf. After like 5 times of me slipping up, I finally say f+~~ it and called him Olaf. Also his wife Svetlana got some laughs from us because that's the name of this really terrible manga artist that draws people horrifically out of proportion and somehow got her own show in Canada. The running gag was that every time they saw his wife, her features were always different. Arm shorter than the other, eyes too close. Was funny.
You were illustrating the encounter area with the RoboRally boards, right?
. . . a town that was having a spring/summer festival where many games were being played. Unfortunately, he had not thought through a potential game list, and so just started rattling off different games going on. Somehow curling made the list. Needless to say, the PCs all wanted to go curling at the festival, and so he had to make up the mechanics for curling on the fly.
Curling at a spring/summer festival? Magical ice?
Yep. Curling. He still hasn't explained how exactly it worked, but apparently the players had fun with it.
Curling sheet- Using precedents established through trap building to create permanized yet cheap running water, a series of traps were established around the rink, known as the "sheet" utilizing create water, ray of frost and a single sleet storm spell to create a constantly forming/evaporating sheet of ice. The target and lane are defined by a prestidigitation and arcane mark woven into the sleet storm trap. Matches are timed with an hour limit; at that point the ice traps need to shut down and refresh.
This trap, crafted by the clever gnomish adept named Zamm Bo-Ni was originally meant to be part of the town's defenses but due to cost overruns the illusory fireworks, color sprays and mecanical golems meant to accompany the sheet were never produced. Since these generators only seem to kick on during the summer festival for some reason and no one really knew how to shut them down, they were repurposed for the entertainment of the crowd.
I forgot to tell you the class? Yeah, sorry. He didn't even have to cast any spells. He only used a hex on the cavalier to make her horse hate her and that was it.
Two encounters when I ran Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil in 3.0 didn't go as planned.
The players breezed through what I thought was a clever and challenging encounter. Two assassins who had drank potions of invisibility trailed the party to a room with a rust monster. It was a group with eight players and difficult to challenge most of the time, but I thought they would freak out after seeing a rust monster and a few party members would take significant damage or be killed from the initial death attacks. I didn't think it through, the monk ran and soloed the rust monster and the wizard launched a fireball into the room, trusting that the monk would make the reflex save. An assassin failed the save against the fireball and the clever challenging encounter last three rounds with the party taking minimal damage. I should have anticipated the monk soloing the rust monster, and placed the invisible assassins further apart from each other.
A different enounter ended up being much deadlier than intended. The party needed xp to level up before the next section of the dungeon (eight pcs slows down progression). I moved a mind flayer with five levels of sorcerer to team up with a thirteenth level cleric. The cleric buffed up expecting the pcs, and started off with destruction on the half-fiend barbarian, who needed to roll a three or better to save. The mind flayer floated in behind with levitate the pcs and mind blasted them. I designed the encounter to provide a lot of exp without danger equal to the EL. The five levels of sorcerer added to the mind flayer's CR without significantly making it more dangerous. The cleric is scary at first with destruction, but two or three melee types could kill the cleric and get opp attacks to prevent spells while the rest of the party dealt with the mind flayer.
But it didn't work like I planned. The half-fiend barbarian rolled a 1 against the destruction and died in the opening round. The halfling bard that no one liked was at the back of the group and no one helped him against the mind flayer (the 3.0 bard was underpowered and I believe the rest of the party let the bard die so the player would make a new character). Six of the seven surviving characters fought the cleric, and the mind flayer attached four tentacles to the bard. I told the bard's player that if he cast shout the mind flayer would not get a saving throw and he would break free. The player, who had been playing D&D for more than fifteen years, said "I've got a better idea" and cast shout at the cleric. The player forgot the mind flayers eat brains. The mind flayer ate the bard's brain, resulting in two pc deaths from what I thought would be an easy encounter. The party chipped for true ressurection for the barbarian and did not bring the bard back to life.
My favorite near-tpk was in a 3.0 home-brew campaign. The party consisted of two half-dragon dwarven rogues and two halfling rogues (I let the players roll up characters before the first session and they all chose rogues and chose their races without consulting each other). They were heading into a volcano to fight a red dragon, in a slightly-Hobbit-inspired adventure also drawing from a 1st ed Dragonlance adventure in the World of Krynn module. One of the half-dragons was planning on betraying the party and going to work for the dragon. The player had a lot of faith in my ability as a DM, more faith than was warranted (I'm not up to running a campaign where the players sell each out and can still work together). So the dragon is on a ledge over a pool of lava, and the players are on a ledge opposite him. The adult red dragon uses his suggestion ability and tells the half-dragon dwarf to "step off the ledge and come over to him." The player makes the will save but thinks the dragon is casting fly on him so voluntarily fails the will save. He steps off the ledge and a halfing is next in the initiative order and tries to grab hold. We had decided half-dragon dwarves weigh about 400 pounds and halfing had a strength of 11, who fails a strength check, so the halfling also goes over the ledge. Next in initiative is the second halfling, with a strength of 12. He grabs the first halfling, fails the strength check, and also falls over the ledge. The second half dragon grabs them and I don't want to end the campaign this way so I make the strength check dc 15 and he succeeds. But it was almost a tpk from a suggestion spell the player made the save agsinst.
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