Most unexpected turn of events


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Shadow Lodge

Lobolusk wrote:
the best part was that the old man who was supposed to send us on this quest was in fact a vampire! and we had killed the bbeg with out even knowing it we of course made the dm furious and he quit but it was incredibly funny.

That is one of the lessons of being a GM--we need to have the humility necessary to recognize that we might not be nearly as clever as we think we are.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
Lobolusk wrote:
the best part was that the old man who was supposed to send us on this quest was in fact a vampire! and we had killed the bbeg with out even knowing it we of course made the dm furious and he quit but it was incredibly funny.
That is one of the lessons of being a GM--we need to have the humility necessary to recognize that we might not be nearly as clever as we think we are.

yeah but we honestly had no clue the other player was just being a himself

and trying to cover his murder lol


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One of my better moments as a DM.

The players hit a plot point, where they were each sent a divine vision in a dream. I wrote up a specific vision tailored to each players showing them the doom they needed to avert. As part of the vision, they were each granted a boon(AKA a wish).

Most of them wished for the normal stuff, but one of my players went off and did some awesome roleplaying. He wished "That no harm would come to him or his friends" It was a very in character wish being granted by a divine being that the PC was on good term with, so twisting it was out of the question. I had a week to ponder what to do with it. Finally, I decided that the wish would prevent the next 1d4 + 1 player deaths. I rolled the max, and started tracking it.

The fun part for me was that I was given a free Deus Ex Machina to get the players out of trouble, so I threw some really nasty encounters at them, and we had a lot of fun. Everytime one of the players should have died, I would give the guy who made the wish a knowing look, but he couldn't quite figure out what was going on.

It was about fourth time or so, the party's badly injured barbarian charged into the middle of the fray to bear hug the BBEG while wearing a necklace of fireballs. The party wizard blasts them both with a fireball, he fails the save, and the necklace goes off. Many d6s of damage later, the smoke clears, the rest of the party mobs up the remaining bad guys. They go check on the barbarian, and find that he somehow inexplicabaly survived and was lying there stabilized at -9 hp. I gave the guy another knowing look, and finally, it dawned on him that it was his wish at work.


Charender wrote:

One of my better moments as a DM.

The players hit a plot point, where they were each sent a divine vision in a dream. I wrote up a specific vision tailored to each players showing them the doom they needed to avert. As part of the vision, they were each granted a boon(AKA a wish).

Most of them wished for the normal stuff, but one of my players went off and did some awesome roleplaying. He wished "That no harm would come to him or his friends" It was a very in character wish being granted by a divine being that the PC was on good term with, so twisting it was out of the question. I had a week to ponder what to do with it. Finally, I decided that the wish would prevent the next 1d4 + 1 player deaths. I rolled the max, and started tracking it.

The fun part for me was that I was given a free Deus Ex Machina to get the players out of trouble, so I threw some really nasty encounters at them, and we had a lot of fun. Everytime one of the players should have died, I would give the guy who made the wish a knowing look, but he couldn't quite figure out what was going on.

It was about fourth time or so, the party's badly injured barbarian charged into the middle of the fray to bear hug the BBEG while wearing a necklace of fireballs. The party wizard blasts them both with a fireball, he fails the save, and the necklace goes off. Many d6s of damage later, the smoke clears, the rest of the party mobs up the remaining bad guys. They go check on the barbarian, and find that he somehow inexplicabaly survived and was lying there stabilized at -9 hp. I gave the guy another knowing look, and finally, it dawned on him that it was his wish at work.

+1


Charender wrote:

One of my better moments as a DM.

The players hit a plot point, where they were each sent a divine vision in a dream. I wrote up a specific vision tailored to each players showing them the doom they needed to avert. As part of the vision, they were each granted a boon(AKA a wish).

Most of them wished for the normal stuff, but one of my players went off and did some awesome roleplaying. He wished "That no harm would come to him or his friends" It was a very in character wish being granted by a divine being that the PC was on good term with, so twisting it was out of the question. I had a week to ponder what to do with it. Finally, I decided that the wish would prevent the next 1d4 + 1 player deaths. I rolled the max, and started tracking it.

The fun part for me was that I was given a free Deus Ex Machina to get the players out of trouble, so I threw some really nasty encounters at them, and we had a lot of fun. Everytime one of the players should have died, I would give the guy who made the wish a knowing look, but he couldn't quite figure out what was going on.

It was about fourth time or so, the party's badly injured barbarian charged into the middle of the fray to bear hug the BBEG while wearing a necklace of fireballs. The party wizard blasts them both with a fireball, he fails the save, and the necklace goes off. Many d6s of damage later, the smoke clears, the rest of the party mobs up the remaining bad guys. They go check on the barbarian, and find that he somehow inexplicabaly survived and was lying there stabilized at -9 hp. I gave the guy another knowing look, and finally, it dawned on him that it was his wish at work.

As an addendum to the story.

No one in the group wanted to be a dedicated healer, but they wanted some heals. So, I put together a NPC that would fill that spot. It was a good PC, but doing a role that no one wanted. I was very careful to make sure that the NPC didn't steal the PC's spotlight. Over time, the Players really started to anjoy having the NPC around.

So the players are fighting some hill giants, and the NPC wades into the fray to save the barbarian.... again. Long story short, she heals the barbarian, but ends up on the recieving end of a full attack from a hill giant with barbarian levels. Greataxe crit, I follow up with a 20, which means max damage by our house rules. I add it up, and announce the damage. The players all look at their character sheets and realize that the only person in the party who had a chance to survive was the barbarian, and even then, only in a rage.

I lay the NPC model on its side. The players kill the giant, but they are all looking glum like their best friend in the world had just died. They check on her hoping that the wish was still active and find that she was alive and stabalized at -9 HP. The NPC had used the last charge of the wish, and the players weren't mad, they were happy she had lived. That marked one of my best successes with making an NPC that the party really cared about.


The first campaign I ever played in (ad&d), first character... we played at least once a week, 10-12 hour sessions most times, and I only ever missed 1. Everything had gone very well, to the point that we had gained entrance into a dwarven city only because of my dwarven characters renown, but no one else in the party was particularly welcome. The next session was the one I missed, and because I wasn't there, the rest of the party decided to go on without me. They headed out into the snow covered mountains, complete with the donkey and cart FULL of gold and gems that I was going to trade for gear and such from the famed dwarven craftsmen of the city (we had been accruing this wealth over the entire campaign, as no where we had gone to this point had the ability to sell us anything close to the total value of what we had). Once in the mountains, a random encounter roll had the party come upon some goblins... when the dm rolled to see how many, he proceeded to roll 3x 100% rolls in a row followed by a 93%? Or something like that. The party ~felt~ the goblins coming, and ducked down behind the ridge they were on, the DM fully expecting to allow the army to pass without incident. ... but one of the PCs refused to stay down... he thought it would be a great idea to throw down a few vials of alchemist fire... "the experience would be legendary!" Or some such. So he did, and was of course seen by the army of goblin archers, who proceeded to decimate his only showing body part with called shots... his head. The army immediately began making their way around to get up the cliff to face their new enemy, giving the rest of the party enough time to run, but they knew they would be caught if they tried to keep the donkey and cart while running through treacherous mountain terrain. They escaped, pennyless. I have never been so upset to miss a session as I was the week I returned.


starwars rpg playing a ewok jedi hanging out a jabbas palace for some reason. i am good and hate slavery but i am working for him. the slaver npc is threatening jabba and has some twileks as slaves i want him to sell them to me. i decide to get on jabbas good side to threaten the slaver so i can buy them and let them go free. like the bar on tashi station. i jump in the air scream about how you shouldnt be disrespectful to jabba and attack with my light saber I roll 20 and cut the dudes arm of. i wait for the applause instead every one is mad at me for antagonizing slavers and the next time he comes he comes fully armed to the teeth and a fight ensues and the twileks leave with him.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
That is one of the lessons of being a GM--we need to have the humility necessary to recognize that we might not be nearly as clever as we think we are.

Noted.


I'm loving this thread. Gotta keep it going.

First game of D&D (or any table top) I ever played was 3.5. First session I join my friends are getting ready to go up against the boss. My one buddy is playing a CG paladin who worshiped Eris (goddess of discord, hence the alignment). We get to the boss and he starts going into his "you'll never stop me" rant and when he badmouths Eris the paladin gets pissed. The boss is still monologing and my friend says he's attacking with his longbow. He crits, while smiting with a composite longbow (I think it was enchanted too). One-shots the boss. The DM gets all pissy because his big boss battle ended so easily, so he says "Another one appears." We aren't so lucky on the second one, it is immune to most ranged magic so the wizards are useless, it was on a mount (and for some reason the DM ruled this meant no melee attacks), and the only two with ranged weapons are my (rather worthless) bard, and the pally. We eventually manage to kill it and demand that the DM give us double exp. Ridiculous, but the look on the DM's face when my friend decided to strike was priceless.

Another good one. I was the GM for a game of Pathfinder. I had this cleric NPC who I was going to off for story purposes, so I devise a simple trap that only an NPC would walk into. Portcullis falls and poison gas starts to fill the room. Of course, that same player from above is playing another Paladin. The Paladin has something on him that prevents the poison from affecting him, so while the rest of the party runs to the next room, he stays behind and tries to lift the portcullis. He needs a nat 20 to succeed on the STR check, eventually gets it in time to save the NPC cleric (though not until he has taken severe ability damage). I ended up leaving the cleric alive and working around it after that.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Correction on the 'Impenetrable Portcullis' story. The party was 9th level. >.<

Anyway, in my first Shackled City game, the party was traveling by river on their way to the dungeon. They came up to the point they needed to disembark from, but took arrows from the woodline. They spotted gnoll archers and hurried to landfall.

However, the enemy had retreated by the time they made it there. This irked the party fighter, who wanted to track them down. Unfortunately, they had no tracking skill, and were forced to press on.

Later in the campaign, they had reason to come back and visit an NPC in the area for information. And I thought to myself, why not deja vu?

As I'm rolling the attacks, the party bard pipes up. 'Are we within 440ft. of their location?' Not understanding why he was so specific, I answer the affirmative.

On his action, he grabs the fighter and the cleric, and dimension doors them directly behind the archers. I had forgotten they had leveled and the bard had gotten access to new spells. I was so impressed I ruled the the gnolls were completely unaware of their sudden appearance.

The fighter was multiclassed ninja, and made short work of them.

I was so proud, and the party had the satisfaction of payback. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

This is the House of Cuthbert!

Delvesdeep has written plenty of awesome supplementary material for Shackled City. One such item is an encounter with the thieves guild assaulting the temple that the party frequents.

In my first game, this was the temple of St. Cuthbert. The party cleric received a sending for help, and the party rushed to pull a big damn heroes moment.

Finding acolytes slain and the doors thrown open, the cleric stepped up to see the thieves attempting to break down a door. His action was to cast Mass Inflict on them.

After rolling damage, I looked at the mooks HP and said 'Okay, Jarek calls down Cuthbert's wrath and slays half of them outright'. Since even half damage would have killed them.

Priceless.


Back in our 3.5 days, one of our players decided he'd like a hand at DMing for a change. He started us at a fairly high level, and the story began with the wonderful trope of all of us waking up in captivity together. I was playing a wizard/elemental(air) savant.

After breaking free from our cells and recovering some gear, we bust our way through the facility and the only way out we can find is a teleportation circle. We step into the circle and find ourselves stranded on a mountain top.

Beat and exhausted and low on hps, we agree to rest before attempting to climb down the mountain. My character was a very aggressive, impatient, arrogant fellow - and he was unwilling to spend however many days it would take to hike down a mountain. He wanted to find out who captured him and blow them up and he wanted to do it NOW.

So, after asking "what elevation is the mountain?" and getting an answer, I did some rough math and found that mass fly would do the job. I proudly declare my intentions to the group, which is met with enthusiastic approval from the other players, and then watch curiously as our new DM grumpily tosses 5 pages of notes into the air over his head.

Apparently, the trip down the mountain had been important and was filled with plot, all of which we blithely bypassed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Same campaign, further down the road, we find the guy who had captured us all. We've blasted our way through his fortress and all his minions and are all level 16 at this point. Now, the way I built my character, was not with trying to boost his saves into the stratosphere, but rather make him so awesome at Caster Level checks that spell resistance never stopped him. I had a feat that let me take 10 on them, and when all was said and done, I'd acheived my goal - he never lost a spell to spell resistance.

So, we throw down with the boss, a nasty teifling with class levels and templates. Sadly, none of those things helped him when I won initiative and he rolled a 2 to save vs my character's own researched spell flesh to glass. Smugly, and with a bit of relief after seeing the roll of 2, the DM declares "Hah! Spell Resistance." My response is the same it's been since hitting level 16 - "I take 10. That gives me a 32(maybe, I don't remember exactly)". The DM blinks at me a few times, looks down at the bad guy's sheet, and then once more pages of notes were grumpily tossed into the air.

Just to be a jerk, I then cast force cage around the new glass sculpture, and then stacked 3 walls of iron laying flat on top of the force cage. We rested, just because we could, and then I hit the forcecage with disintegrate.

That instance was apparently so unexpected that the campaign just kind of fell apart afterward. It was too bad really, we were pretty well poised to save/take over the world.


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pipedreamsam wrote:
Post your most bizarre or unusual encounter.

There are too many to pick from, but one fun one comes to mind ...

Backstory

We were playing RuneQuest back in 1982 ...

RQ has levels of success in skill checks. If you roll low, you can get a critical success. If roll sufficiently high, you can *fumble*, and rolling a fumble is really bad.

To advance a skill in RQ I & II, you had to successfully use the skill to get a "check."

Sometimes players would find very creative uses and situations to use their skills in order to qualify for that precious skill check.

RQ tended to be a relatively bloody and often deadly game.

The design team, mostly Steve Perrin and Gregg Stafford, used their experiences in live SCA fighting to form the basis for the in-game system.

There were no resurrection cemetaries ... there were no three saving throws before death ...

On to the story ...

The Set-up

The party happens upon a scaled, winged critter with two legs and a barbed stinger for a tail ... *obviously* a wyvern.

Wyverns in RQ are tough and bad --> deadly to PCs.

So, like a nice GM, I gave them plenty of advance notice. I never intended for the party to interact with the critter except to notice its deadly beauty from long-range.

One of my players said, "hey Rich, I use my 'Animal Lore' skill to try and identify the creature."

I said, "you all know that it is a wyvern."

He insisted. Why not I figured.

He rolls ... a "00," the worst kind of fumble.

Thinking on my feet both for what would constitute an appropriately painful fumble and to send a message about meta-gaming the skill system.

So, I said, "you are absolutely convinced that it is a friendly, wooly wyvern."

"Really ..."

"Yes, in fact, if you go up and hug a wooly wyvern, it will be a friend for life."

*sigh* "I rolled the dice and am willing to pay the price. Shadow walks up to the wyvern to give it a hug."

The rest of the PCs cowered in fear, readying their weapons, but all hoped that Shadow would just die quickly, preventing their own potential deaths from the wyvern.

To be fair, I rolled the wyvern's reaction roll out in the open on the table -- afterall, a potential PC death was in the offing.

The Punchline

I rolled on the hostile table ... "00" --> wildly, enthusiastically friendly!!!

Shadow walked right up to the wyvern and gave it a big hug!

The wyvern wrapped his tail around Shadow and give the PC a big, friendly lick with his forked tongue.

The party had that darn wyvern for eighteen months of play, and they never failed to use it to the best possible advantage.

It was awesome fun!

I am still a huge fan of allowing a high degree of randomness in gaming ...

In service,

Rich

apology for folks signed up for my GENCON events.


DrGames wrote:
Shadow walked right up to the wyvern and gave it a big hug! The wyvern wrapped his tail around Shadow and give the PC a big, friendly lick with his forked tongue. The party had that darn wyvern for eighteen months of play, and they never failed to use it to the best possible advantage.

This is some sort of awesome. I guess wyverns are just ol' softies and have simply never had anyone bother to offer them hugs before. Who knew?

All that's missing is a catchy 70's sitcom jingle for 'Shadow & Wooly' with an appropriate video montage of their hijinks: ...and ol' Wooly might not have arms, but that don't mean he don't enjoy a good hug from Shaaaaadow... Cue saxophone solo.

Shadow Lodge

Dal Selpher wrote:

Apparently, the trip down the mountain had been important and was filled with plot, all of which we blithely bypassed.

Serves him right for pulling the awaken-in-captivity schtick.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
Dal Selpher wrote:

Apparently, the trip down the mountain had been important and was filled with plot, all of which we blithely bypassed.

Serves him right for pulling the awaken-in-captivity schtick.

Unfortunately, that plot hook is only really effective at lower levels, but it is also rather difficult to come up with a decent reason for a group of high level adventurers to be together if they haven't been a party for a while.


DrGames wrote:

One of my players said, "hey Rich, I use my 'Animal Lore' skill to try and identify the creature."

I said, "you all know that it is a wyvern."

He insisted. Why not I figured.

He rolls ... a "00," the worst kind of fumble.

Thinking on my feet both for what would constitute an appropriately painful fumble and to send a message about meta-gaming the skill system.

So, I said, "you are absolutely convinced that it is a friendly, wooly wyvern."

"Really ..."

"Yes, in fact, if you go up and hug a wooly wyvern, it will be a friend for life."

*sigh* "I rolled the dice and am willing to pay the price. Shadow walks up to the wyvern to give it a hug."

The rest of the PCs cowered in fear, readying their weapons, but all hoped that Shadow would just die quickly, preventing their own potential deaths from the wyvern.

To be fair, I rolled the wyvern's reaction roll out in the open on the table -- afterall, a potential PC death was in the offing.

The Punchline

I rolled on the hostile table ... "00" --> wildly, enthusiastically friendly!!!

Shadow walked right up to the wyvern and gave it a big hug!

The wyvern wrapped his tail around Shadow and give the PC a big, friendly lick with his forked tongue.

That was so blindlingly absurd that I instinctively face palmed.


Local village is being terrorized by a nasty monster each full moon. After some research, the PCs learn this happened nearly a hundred years back and some local noble with his mystical dagger was involved. The PCs invade the crypt, find the dagger, and find a map to the beast's lair.

(My plot, as the DM, was that this noble long ago defeated the beast but it has arisen. The dagger is 'the one thing' that can kill the evil beast and save the village. )

PCs journey to the lair, find a dark pit, and hear the sound of the monster starting to awaken..... and they then throw dagger into the pit. The PCs assume that returning the dagger to the beast will somehow appease it.


DMFTodd wrote:

Local village is being terrorized by a nasty monster each full moon. After some research, the PCs learn this happened nearly a hundred years back and some local noble with his mystical dagger was involved. The PCs invade the crypt, find the dagger, and find a map to the beast's lair.

(My plot, as the DM, was that this noble long ago defeated the beast but it has arisen. The dagger is 'the one thing' that can kill the evil beast and save the village. )

PCs journey to the lair, find a dark pit, and hear the sound of the monster starting to awaken..... and they then throw dagger into the pit. The PCs assume that returning the dagger to the beast will somehow appease it.

[Facepalm]


DMFTodd wrote:
PCs journey to the lair, find a dark pit, and hear the sound of the monster starting to awaken..... and they then throw dagger into the pit. The PCs assume that returning the dagger to the beast will somehow appease it.

It might, if they happen to roll a natural 20 while tossing the dagger. ;)

Shadow Lodge

hgsolo wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
Dal Selpher wrote:

Apparently, the trip down the mountain had been important and was filled with plot, all of which we blithely bypassed.

Serves him right for pulling the awaken-in-captivity schtick.

Unfortunately, that plot hook is only really effective at lower levels, but it is also rather difficult to come up with a decent reason for a group of high level adventurers to be together if they haven't been a party for a while.

Actually, that plot hook is only really effective in the DM's mind.

And high-powered people congregate with other high-powered people constantly in the real world; why wouldn't the high-level PCs know about each other? It's easier to get high-level people together than low-level, because you know they already all have something in common--being high level in a world that isn't.


InVinoVeritas wrote:
hgsolo wrote:
InVinoVeritas wrote:
Dal Selpher wrote:

Apparently, the trip down the mountain had been important and was filled with plot, all of which we blithely bypassed.

Serves him right for pulling the awaken-in-captivity schtick.

Unfortunately, that plot hook is only really effective at lower levels, but it is also rather difficult to come up with a decent reason for a group of high level adventurers to be together if they haven't been a party for a while.

Actually, that plot hook is only really effective in the DM's mind.

And high-powered people congregate with other high-powered people constantly in the real world; why wouldn't the high-level PCs know about each other? It's easier to get high-level people together than low-level, because you know they already all have something in common--being high level in a world that isn't.

I see where you are coming from, but I would think a high level character would be more inclined to decide to go solo until they face something that means they require help. The real issue with getting high level characters together is that they need some common goal, and probably compatible alignments. It is easier to handwave a CN working with LG early on when they know they can't make it alone. Then later as they develop a sense of camaraderie they are inclined to stick together.


Ambrus wrote:
DrGames wrote:
Shadow walked right up to the wyvern and gave it a big hug! The wyvern wrapped his tail around Shadow and give the PC a big, friendly lick with his forked tongue. The party had that darn wyvern for eighteen months of play, and they never failed to use it to the best possible advantage.

This is some sort of awesome. I guess wyverns are just ol' softies and have simply never had anyone bother to offer them hugs before. Who knew?

All that's missing is a catchy 70's sitcom jingle for 'Shadow & Wooly' with an appropriate video montage of their hijinks: ...and ol' Wooly might not have arms, but that don't mean he don't enjoy a good hug from Shaaaaadow... Cue saxophone solo.

Indeed! It is the spontaneous moments like these that you remember 29 years later. Many of the other details from the campaign are fuzzy, but this one stuck with me.

Cute 70s reference too!

In service,

Rich
www.drgames.org


hgsolo wrote:
Actually, that plot hook is only really effective in the DM's mind.

You speak the truth.

As a player, I would rather have my PC go down swinging and die with a weapon in his hands or the last arcane word on his bloodied lips than get enslaved.

Come to think of it, I feel the same way in the real world.

Guess that's why I joined the Army.

Who knew!?!?!?

I love to DM/GM/Ref; creating the plots, making props, and putting together an afternoon or evening of fun is the best part for me.

Occasionally, I get the chance to play.

I was taking a GMing hiatus about three years ago and had a chance to play in a 1st Ed. AD&D game. There were supposed to be five players. When only one other guy showed up, it should have been my clue.

The two PCs that were there ended up on the plot railroad. We were overwhelmed and surrounded. I refused to surrender.

The campaign ended there. (Well, the campaign ended there for me; it was already a festering undead thing mimicking life prior to my one time attendance.)

In service,

Rich
www.drgames.org


Cartigan wrote:
DrGames wrote:

Shadow walked right up to the wyvern and gave it a big hug!

The wyvern wrapped his tail around Shadow and give the PC a big, friendly lick with his forked tongue.

That was so blindlingly absurd that I instinctively face palmed.

Yes, I can see that as a reasonable response. :-D

The campaign was normally quite serious.

So, this spontaneous silliness was all the more fun, because it was a departure from the norm.

In service,

Rich

www.drgames.org


This has happened to me (the DM) soooo many times. I guess that's what I get for having players smarter than I am.

Example 1: The party had been together for quite some time and hunting down a mad prophet who'd assembled an army of gnolls, orcs, and other hygienically challenged rabble. His aim was to summon a demigod who would lead this army and destroy the world, blah blah...

We used the old "Good Hits and Bad Misses" critical and fumble charts (this was a 2e game, btw). The party manages to get close to the summoning area without being detected, and just as the dimensional gate opens and the entity begins to step through, my wife (playing a ranger/bard) stands up and hurls her throwing axe at it. She gets a natural 20 and the d100 roll on the chart comes up "Chest struck: instant death".

The army of rabble, seeing their demigod slain so easily, broke apart and retreated in every direction leaving the prophet alone. I was so flabbergasted by the instant kill of a villain I'd worked a long time preparing that I just had the prophet kill himself and get it over with.

Example 2: We (my group of players and myself, but mostly me) had created our own Star Trek RPG because we hated FASA's rules. We actually sort of created a system that was like the d20 system, only with d30's (this was in 1996, before the d20 system had been invented, or at least as far as we know). We'd created characters, figured up what the races would be like, and even created the ship together. So, after months of work, I put the first adventure together and am so excited to finally play our creation I was practically frothing at the mouth.

The mission was simple: A supply ship had disappeared on the way to its destination, and by tracking it's warp signature, the players found it after a fashion. The ship had been looted and scuttled, with no sign of the crew. A few d30 rolls and human life signs are detected on the planet below, but they are underground and sensors showed the geology of the area to be too dangerous to use the transporter and beam them out. MY idea was for an away team to beam down, fight their way to where they were being held, and rescue them. I'd planned on about a 3 hour "inaugural" game.

My brother, playing the ship's captain (an Andorian) looks at me and asks, "So we can't beam them out?" I said no, and waited for them to assemble the away team. He then says, "Well, we'll just use the phasers to blast our way through the overlying rock and then beam them out."

20 minutes and the game was over. I was disappointed and a little angry for a bit, but we all had a good laugh and went out for Chinese food..lol


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
The mission was simple: A supply ship had disappeared on the way to its destination, and by tracking it's warp signature, the players found it after a fashion. The ship had been looted and scuttled, with no sign of the crew. A few d30 rolls and human life signs are detected on the planet below, but they are underground and sensors showed the geology of the area to be too dangerous to use the...

Rule 1 of DMing a game based on a tv show (or any game, technically speaking): Players will NOT forget the applied phlebotinum, regardless of how much it would help the game to do so.


GM throws us into a fight against a pretty badass big boss (level 13 fighter with a vorpal sword) and some minions. big boss and minions part undead, big boss also part black dragon. and large. and swinging a large broadsword I think.

We were level 6 at that time.

As the barbarian tank I stormed the front, taking most of the big bosses damage. He took around 1/3 of my overall hp (in rage) with one attack. And he hit on 17 upwards or so.

DM kinda planned for us to not beat the enemy (He was the evil leader of a pretty big spy network around our world, so he shouldn't die that easy).

But of course things did not progress as planned. In our 3rd or 4th round (I was still standing... What luck!) our inquisitor had finished his buffing, and started to attack.

Result: 2 confirmed crits. in one round. equaling to almost 150 points damage (and the big boss only had around 180 hp or so).

I, as the main damage dealer, did the enemy around 20hp damage, the inquisitor 7 times more. It just felt kinda wrong...

Although not what he planned, the GM of course went with the flow and presented us some awesome loot (I think our gold nearly trippled).

It was fun! And unexpected!


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A very recent occurance in a game I started running made me come back to here...

The system is Legend of the Five Rings, and the players are a group of samurai tasked with checking on a specific out of the way mountaintop shrine which no one has heard from in eight months (of course, five of those months were winter, so no one could have). It is the first session of the game.

The players are making their way up the mountain, and have made camp for their first night when someone arrives walking down it. It's a crazy cartographer sort of fellow, who is smoking a pipe of something strongly narcotic.

Now, the PCs offer the guy a spot at their fire, and some of their food, because the culture of the game world places a strong focus on hospitality, which the players know. Lots of talking ensues, the guy offers to share the only thing he has (his pipe and what he's smoking) with the rest of the party. Two party members pass out trying to smoke it, two others are struck with a horrible case of the munchies, and the last two don't partake.

Unbeknownst to everyone, this is supposed to be the Big Bad of the campaign, making his way down the mountain while in disguise, after killing everyone at the shrine. He's not a native to the Empire of the game, though, so he makes a few mistakes as far as cultural things. Most importantly, the PCs offer him some fugu, which he recognizes as being potentially poisonous, so he refuses.

The two PCs who didn't partake become offended (the others were either unconscious, or happy there was more for them), and one of them challenges the cartographer to a duel over his bad manners. The cartographer attempts to defuse the situation by apologizing and saying he's been without human content for so long that he's forgotten his manners, but the duelist's player is a bit bloodthirsty and he doesn't look like he's going to let this go.

Fortunately, I have prepared for this in my campaign notes (it was the first NPC interaction of the game, and I know my players well; without any fight yet, they would instigate one the first chance they got), and given the BBEG a minor magical item (magic is extremely rare in all it's forms in the setting, and particularly rare in items that anyone can use) that should let him escape. It basically causes an incapacitating pain effect, causing damage but being incapable of killing.

Now, L5R is a particularly lethal system at all levels, and I'm the only person in the group who is familiar with it. The goal was that I would use the magic item to drive home to my players how different this was from most systems we play; Hit points are based off a non-level dependent stat, and while having 30+ might sound like a lot, your average 'low threat' enemy rolls 4 d10 and keeps the highest two to determine how much damage he has dealt... with 10s being re-rolled and the totals added to themselves. So a single die has no upper limit on the value it can be worth.

The magic doesn't quite manage to incapacitate both 'active' PCs on the first turn of combat... and one of them, not having his weapon by his side (he'd taken it apart to fix a broken handle from a climbing accident earlier in the day), promptly decides to kick coals at their attacker. I give him props for creativity, he makes his roll, and rolls poorly... spraying coals everywhere about the camp. This happens again during round two.

By the end of round three, both active PCs are incapacitated, and the guy turns to leave. Unfortunately, the coals have started several small fires, and one of them happened to be in the party's food stores. Which infuriates one of the characters who is struck with the munchies. In a beserk rage, this character attacks the BBEG's back as he's walking away. I watch as the player rolls a 10 on his first damage die. And then another on the reroll. And another... by the time he's done rolling, that die alone has totalled up to an 85... and the player still has three more to roll, two of which he will also get to keep.

In the end, it winds up at something like 100 damage from that one shot. Okay, I think to myself, no biggy. It's a mountainous area with really steep and rocky, I'll have him fall down one of those as he dies, and he can come back later in the game and what not. So I do that. And the enraged PC literally leaps over the edge of the hill to grab the body, and dash it's head against a few more rocks. The PC manages to break his leg in doing so, but he's successful, and the rest of the party recovers and brings the bodies back up.

They search the body, and find actual legitimate travel papers and an Imperial commission on the cartographer (stolen, but none of them know that; after all, there's just a name listed, and the man they met used that name). So the PCs spend the rest of the session hiding the evidence of what they've done, convinced that they have managed to kill an actual cartographer who was under the protection of the Emperor.

Of consequence, they end the session three days walk from the nearest village, without any food supplies, one of them having a broken leg, and convinced that they've technically just committed a high crime against the Imperial Court, for which they can be executed.

The good news? They appear to have a plan, which involves faking their own deaths and becoming wandering ronin for hire. I just have to reinvent the campaign now.


That's hilarious. In multiple disturbing ways.

Dark Archive

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We were playing a session of My Life With Master, and my wife (fiancee at the time) was playing a character who was chronically shy and unable to speak to people unless an animal was present. Luckily, she had a pet mouse which she kept with her to allow her to speak most of the time.

The Master (an evil genius with power over the characters) ordered her character to go to a nearby widow's house and invite her to a dinner party that he was throwing. My wife's character was also in love with the widow, so I figured that would give a lot of opportunity for pathos as he has to ask her on a date with the Master.

But when my wife's character arrives at the widow's house, the first thing she does is send her mouse to go take a look around the house, then she goes up to the widow's door and starts knocking. When the maid opens the door, I remind my wife that she no longer has an animal around, so she can't speak. So my wife starts trying to mime something to the maid to ask for permission to enter.

I figure that the maid would be frightened of this warped mime desperately signing at her, so she attempted to close the door. My wife's character then forced her way inside, still signing, but putting a ghastly smile on her face to show friendship. The maid screamed and ran away, and my wife completely panicked at that point and had her character brain the maid with a frying pan.

Everyone else at the table is shocked at how this has gone from dinner invitation to attempted murder. My wife asks "Is she dead?" I thought for a minute and replied "...no, not quite." So my wife actually suffocates the poor maid with her bare hands, then breaks a jar over the corpse's head, in an attempt to make it look like an accident or something.

Making the whole episode even more bizarre, the system allows the players to narrate scenes of horror in the town at certain points, and when my wife gets the opportunity to do this, she narrates a scene where some villager goes insane and kills someone with a jar. So my wife's character's murder retroactively looked like the work of a deranged serial killer with a fixation on jars. This led to one of the funniest lines I've ever heard at a gaming table - as another PC was leading a woman off to kill her, a third character called out "Don't go with him! He's the Jar Killer!"


I had a campaign where there was a barbarian, a witch, an oracle, and an alchemist. Now I had them set to fight a rival party of dragon slayer NPC's. The fight ensues, and an enemy druid wildshapes into a Gorgon. The witch at this point has evil eye hexed everyone, and misfortune hexed most. The oracle, and barbarian are in CQC with the tanks of the NPC party, and the alchemist is flying around being a little girl not wanting to be in melee. At this point one of the NPC's turns into a dragon himself (know your enemy i guess) and the witch casts confusion, they ALL fail their saves. The bard in the enemy party was out of reach so he wasn't conufused. He casts Bards Escape and everyone gets away. Everyone except the Gorgon who was out of reach. At this point I'm thinking okay so they rape this druid and move on right? Wrong. The witch casts her major hex: Ice Tomb. The druid fails horribly and is encased in ice. So I'm thinking well now they leave this woman druid to die or kill her or whatever...WRONG AGAIN! The witch pulls out her portable hole and puts the druid inside. The druid was held hostage for the rest of the campaign having the hole opened for air every once in awhile.

Another time in the same campaign I had the party fight a buffed up werewolf in a house. When the barbarian and oracle fell unconscious it was down to the alchemist and the witch. The alchemist was out of bombs and it was dark so he was just constantly missing with arrows. The witch had used pernicious poison and vomit swarm so this werewolf is hurting pretty bad...then when its coming to get her and knock her out so the alchemist can get some glory...the witch throws down a feather token tree IN THE HOUSE. So now this house has just been split in half by a giant tree and theres a square in between her and the werewolf. The alchemist crits it with his bow and it dies. Shocked. Then (icing on the cake for the witch) a guard shows up to ask what the eff is going on. She claims to be the werewolf man's wife, and that the tree was there in the first place. Passes her unbelievable DC bluff check, and the guard miserably rolls a nat 1 on his sense motive. Everyone buys her story, and they end up OWNING THE HOUSE. The deed was in the chest upstairs. She passed more bluff checks to whether she owned the house. Then to top it all off. They were on a mission to find some alcohol that the werewolf man had stolen from a bar tender, and they returned the alcohol to the bartender with the dead body of the werewolf IN THE CHEST WITH THE ALCOHOL....I was in shock but at the same time completely and utterly impressed and amused


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Our party was in a town that had seen some sort of disaster and the BBEG was trapped in a mansion in the middle of town. The remaining town guard formed a perimeter in the blocks around the mansion, but didn't have enough manpower to go in and deal with the threat. They hired us. No prob. We gird our loins and head through the perimeter.

We flit from cover to cover until we can see the mansion, which the GM describes as being surrounded by a tall wall containing wide gates. One player runs up and takes cover behind the wall as a double move, near the gates so he can rush the place on his next turn. The archer mooks in the mansion go next and begin firing on him, hitting him for hefty damage.

Player: "Wait, how tall is the wall?"
GM: "About 8 feet."
Player: "Don't I have total concealment from anyone in the mansion, since I'm behind the eight-foot wall?"
GM: "No, they shoot you through it."
Player: "They shoot me through a stone wall?"
GM: "It's not stone, it's made up of iron bars running up and down."
Player: "Iron bars, with spaces between that they can shoot through. You mean a fence?"
GM: "Yeah, I guess that would be a better word."

The whole table collapses with laughter at that point. The GM, to be fair, allows the player to retract his attempt to hide behind the fence and we proceed, but we've never let the poor GM forget it.


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This was near the end of my first campaign as a DM. The 21st-level party were about to face a CR28 vampiric dragon, which I had intended as a fight where the dragon would toy with the party to let them see who was really in charge, and then letting them off the hook to serve her needs.

A 1 on the initiative roll allowed the party to go first. The fighter flew 30 ft up towards the dragon, then stopped to taunt her. The wizard readied a time stop for when the dragon was about to strike. The dragon charged the annoying fighter, and time stop went off, leaving the dragon's jaws motionless while about to clasp down on the fighter's head.

The wizard proceeded to fly up, push the fighter out of the way, and place the sphere of annihilation they had retrieved a couple of levels earlier between the dragon's teeth. Before flying back out of sight, she laid an illusion to cover the sphere with the image of the fighter.

One swallowed sphere later, and the intended-to-be-epic encounter was over in one round :)


'Ok guys, I'll disguise self so i look like a street urchin, fling a pebble at the evil priest dude we need to quietly spirit off the streets, when he chases me he'll run past you guys, trip him, knock him out, chuck him in the sack, we'll interrogate him later.'
*flings pebble*
*Rolls 20, followed by twenty*
'Cool, max damage!'
DM had houseruled that a twenty/twenty crit meant you didn't roll, you just got max damage. Including sneak attack and whatnot. Was also using massive damage thresholds for both lethal and nonlethal.
Level 15 rogue. 54 damage. Failed Fort save. Concussed evil priest!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

L5R game at Gen Con. I was playing a Rank 4 Lion with a Crab background who'd served on the wall...quiet, grim.

Some other guy was playing a minmaxed Akodo who was technically in the running for Clan Champion, so high was his glory.

And he played the guy like a drunken barbarian instead of the honorable House of Akodo.

So, we're in town and go to a Geisha House and he gets drunk and wants to get laid. The geishas are having none of it, so he's turned out in the streets and wandering around calling for a woman and drinks (i.e. he really didn't know how to play an honorable samurai).

Of course, none of the villagers are going to dare to come out and tell this general to shut up in the middle of the night, and he's loudly complaining there's no wine and women.

As his duly appointed minder, I then step forwards in my best military manner, calling for the wine and women to make themselves known for the benefit of the honor of the house of the Akodo!

Crickets.

I turn to the guy playing the drunk, "Most honorable Nekou-san, it appears the village is deserted. We will have to do without tonight."

The GM gave me an xp point on the spot as I escorted my 'superior' back to his tent without wine or women.

==Aelryinth


AD&D game, I don't remember which module. Party is in a dungeon area, stuff and stuff happens, lots of fighting. Party is critically low on resources and hit points and decides to rest. They have a safe place already picked out and retreat to it, a garden-like area they had seen earlier but not explored.

The "gardener" is a Lawful Good young-ish silver dragon polymorphed into the form of a young human. One party member has an intelligent, and evil, sword (nine lives stealer) that sees the gardener as one hell of a nice looking soul. Of course, the party sees a young human and nothing more than a curious NPC.

Mental conversation between player and blade:

Blade: "That one has an amazing aura. I must have it."
Player: "What? That's not an enemy, no, no way."
Blade: "Oh? You're what, almost dead right now? Gimme."
Blade: *Handily wins ego check vs severely wounded player and takes control* [AD&D game rules, not Pathfinder]

Player: "I... uh..." *looks at rest of group, all nearly dead from prior encounters, and gets their attention* "... Rodney walks up to the NPC and attacks..." *looks at me, GM* "... but internally he fights it as hard as he can, screaming in his head "NNNOOOOOOO" the whole time!"
Rest of Group: "Wait, what?"
Me: "Roll the attack."
Player: *rolls a 1* "Fumble!"
Me: "Roll percents" *consults old fumble chart from a Best of Dragon*
Player: *Rolls 00*
Me: "... Decapitation"
Whole Group: *stares quietly*
Me: "... Well... Rodney draws his sword, screams out something gurgly that sounds like NNNNOOOOOOOO!! and swings at the gardener, twisting bizzarely and short-arming the swing, bringing the blade right into his own neck. He is down, blood is everywhere, and the sword clatters to the stone floor."
Player: *pumps fist* "Yes!!! Screw you sword!! YES!"

It was awesome. The character ended up raised shortly afterward, so the party easily figured out that the sword took control of the character. They left that sword sitting right there on the floor and never looked back.


Arcane_Guyver wrote:
Well...in this week's Tuesday game, our party was stuck in a trapped flooding room. While everyone was scrambling to disable the mechanism, bust holes in the doors, or help other party members hold their breath, the paladin decided to remove his plate armor so he wouldn't drown so easily. It was an odd choice, but we got through that trap without anyone dying.

How do you help a party member hold their breath? Strangle them?


Share some of your breath. *smooch* Or, what room to put the succubus in 101.

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