101 Things to Say to Mess with Your Players


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1. When they announce their intention to enter a room, ask them, "Do you touch the walls?"

2. When they announce their intention to pick up an innocuous item, ask them, "Are you wearing gloves?"

3. When there aren't any traps, tell them, "You find—wait, what did you roll? Ohhh. You don't find anything."

4. When they announce their intention to head underwater, tell them, "Just give me an estimate—roughly how much of your body is exposed to the water? Mm-hm. *Roll*"

5. Spend a whole dungeon crawl making puns based off of an infamous monster, such as beholders or dragons. If anybody seems to notice what you're doing, start "catching yourself" on it. "When you enter the room, you behold—ugh, I mean, you see a..."

6. When the adventurers are on their way out after beating a dungeon crawl, have them walk through each room. Describe how the bodies of their foes are "strangely bloated", as if "something is growing inside of them". When the PCs inevitably panic and attack one, have your whoopee cushion and your Wikipedia link handy. Scare them with science!


Basically, the goal here is to trigger their metagaming instincts. All players have 'em, don't lie.

7. "Alright, you all go to sleep. Where do you put your weapons?"


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8) "Roll me a fortitude save real quick. What'd you get? Roll me a will save as well." *Make a quick note on a piece of paper*

9) Give one of them a note. Have nothing on it but instructions to not talk about the contents of the note at all.


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9b) The note reads, "Give a slow smile, put the note in your pocket, and say nothing about it for the rest of the game."

You can do this with two players at a time if you like, though it does reduce the amount of brainf@@$ery you're able to pull off.


10. (after player rolls perception) "No, you're not aware of any traps."


11. Randomly roll a dice, then smile to yourself. When someone asks what the roll was for, just say "You'll find out later." Bonus points if you were rolling in the open, and the die came up as a natural twenty or natural one.


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12. While they are walking, start describing the scenery and suddenly stop to ask "uhm... before we continue, who exactly is in the front/back of the line?"


13.) "You perceive a kind of burnt, smoky smell coming from the room you just left."

14.) "Could you remind me what your armor check penalty was again?"

Sovereign Court

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15. Imma try something new I read about on the Paizo forums....


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16.) "As the fireball detonates on it, you hear the troll begin to laugh."


17) when they are going to sleep "ok, so... who cleaned their wounds?"


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18. Do you check your sleeping bag for scorpions?
18b. How about for spiders?

Then stick him with the sleeping bag snakes.

19. If it's a PbP on the Paizo forums, post weird Rules Questions threads like, "If the whole party's asleep, what's the DC to overhear a coup de grace? Does the guy getting killed get to make a check?"


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20. "Sorry, just a minute: which hand did you use to open the door?"
Got a rogue's player panicking once, trying to justify why he'd be using his (right-handed character's) left hand to open the door...

21. "Hmm. That's an interesting plan."

22. "How far away are the rest of you standing? Right beside each other, or..."


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23. If your PbP players are prone to metagaming/looking under spoilers (for the purposes of this, we'll assume that characters are called Abel, Baker, Charlie & Darien):

Dice rolls:

Will save, Abel: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (11) + 2 = 13
Will save, Baker: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 1 = 15
Will save, Charlie: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (10) + 3 = 13
Will save, Darien: 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (6) - 1 = 5

Darien:
Is it just you, or does this dungeon smell even more foul than most?

Await dramatics. Grin behind privacy of monitor.


I find a simple "seems legit" when they roll to check for traps usually suffices.

Scarab Sages

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24. Keep making random, superfluous die rolls throughout the session, always followed by saying things like "almost!" and "just barely!" under your breath.

25. Pull out a d100 so everyone can see it, stare at it like Hamlet staring at Yorick's skull, and ask yourself, "Should I?"


26. As combat with the BBEG begins, reach into your bag and pull out another d20, placing it on the table with an air of finality. "Time to use this one."

Scarab Sages

27. Stare at the text of the AP you're running, or one of the sourcebooks you're presently using, with an incredulous look, then say, "HAXX, but okay...."

28. Say "YESSS!" in response to seeing a player select a particular die to roll.

29. When the players announce that they are resting for the evening, respond, "Really? Now?"


questions are good too:

30. Did you say whether or not you were carrying your weapons drawn?

31. How many flasks of oil does the party have in total?

32. Who is carrying loot item X? Did you try to put that in a bag of holding?


34. Randomly for everyone to make a Perception Check, and then scribble something behind the screen.

35. Out of nowhere, roll either a d20 or d%, and then quietly exclaim "oof... that was close".

36. (half-mumbling) "Now where are those rules on possession?"


37. After a long dungeon, roll a d20 + a save modifier for one of your players in the open and go "Oops, that was supposed to be a secret roll."

38. Whisper "You feel funny" to a player.


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39. In the middle of a tense post-combat situation, hand your druid player a note with the following.

"You realize how depleted and exhausted you are. You feel absolutely weak, famished and drained from your numerous minor wounds.

You also realize something else.

Bob McRogue smells delicious."


40. "Oh, sorry to ask but how much is your total hit points again?"


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

41. Check the positions of the PCs on the battle map immediately after a fight and say "ooh, everyone's in range". Then roll some dice and move on.

42. In response any (and every) decision the party makes about where they're going next say "Oooookay, if you're sure?"

43. Ask everyone to roll perception, and unless someone rolled a 20, check a monster book and wince.

44. "Who's got..." check notes. "Third watch?"


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45. "Are you sure?"


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46. Does anybody have any more d6s? (NOTE: works best when you're already holding a double fistful of them).


47. In a naval campaign, wait till they're out to sea before asking, "Who has ranks in Swim?" as a storm blows in.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

48. Open the Bestiary to the doppelganger page, and set it where the players can see it. Send one player an otherwise innocuous note.

Dark Archive

49. Ask your players each individually what their background is in public, then bring them into a separate room to tell them that they receive a note from someone claiming to be their long lost brother. After this introduce a character out of nowhere who is the race of the majority of your players, and describe them slightly similarly to how each player described their character.


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50) "Here's a new NPC. Roll Sense Motive. Mmmhm. You find her absolutely delightful!"


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Lathiira wrote:
47. In a naval campaign, wait till they're out to sea before asking, "Who has ranks in Swim?" as a storm blows in.

51. Better yet, in the middle of a desert campaign ask "Who has ranks in Swim?"


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DualJay wrote:
9) Give one of them a note. Have nothing on it but instructions to not talk about the contents of the note at all.

My group call these assassin notes. I do this as a player and GM all the time. I'll usually follow it w/ either a laugh or smirk or I'll ask "So can I?" or something like that.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Haladir wrote:
48. Open the Bestiary to the doppelganger page, and set it where the players can see it. Send one player an otherwise innocuous note.

48b. Send all the players innocuous notes.

Dark Archive

52. Don't tell player how many hit points a monster or opponent has left.
53. when they roll for Perception or Sense Motive saying, "you didn't perceive or sense anything amiss, nothing 'seems' to be there or they don't 'seem' to be lying.
54. Be generally vague or mysterious in certain details of what you say.


EDIT: This isn't really as much "saying" as it is more of "doing".
55. Create your events in a pattern. A simple one that the players will realize and as soon as they think they figgured it out, meta-wise, and start to act accordingly, break it.

56a. Make sure the players sees this. Casually look through your collection of miniatures at the start of the session, pick some of those that you're going to use up... and some others. Remeber, the bigger the better.
56b. Place said other miniature on the mini-map in a room where they havn't been yet.

57. "So, wait, you DIDN'T look inside the box? Are we clear on this?"

58. "By the way, do you know how an angry, screaming Rust Monster sounds like? Well it's like this". Proceed to make appropriate sound. "This is what you hear". Repeat the sound.

Dark Archive

Have an NPC with a very thick accent say something unintelligible. If players ask for spellcraft checks, give them a chance and tell them they fail to identify the spell. Mention they fail to notice anything visual except maybe a slight hand motion. Get everyone's linguistics skill modifier without them knowing that was being used to recognize what was being said. It could even bein common so you could GM fiat that even unskilled people can do it.

Silver Crusade

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60. Before the adventure, put out all the miniatures you intend to use during the adventure. Addionally, put out a bunch of miniatures you have no intention of using. These should consist of several large and dangerous creatures above the party's capabilities. If anyone asks, just say you have them ready in case the party makes the wrong decisions.


61.) Look though the Bestiary or Traps part of the GM's guide, point at a page, and murmur "That sounds fun."


I always liked the occasional can I see your character sheet for a second. Followed by taking a few notes then hand it back


OldSmith wrote:
I always liked the occasional can I see your character sheet for a second. Followed by taking a few notes then hand it back

62a: Be sure to comment on any weak point that character has. "Oh, your will save's only a +5? Well then..."


My GM took this up after my berating the rest of the party for NOT letting me bash down doors, because literally everytime I dont something bad happens to whoever opened it.

63) Are you sure you open the door? Whats your AC again?


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64) Allways use the same mini for human sized BBEG's, make a poiunt of gathering said mini before a session every now and then


Chengar Qordath wrote:
11. Randomly roll a dice, then smile to yourself. When someone asks what the roll was for, just say "You'll find out later." Bonus points if you were rolling in the open, and the die came up as a natural twenty or natural one.

65. Randomly roll a dice and then look worried/guilty, like you're not sure that they can avoid a TPK. Bonus points if you were rolling in the open, and the die came up as a natural twenty or natural one. Mix with 11 for extra mind fu@+$ery.


66. "Does anybody search the toilet/latrine/outhouse/chamber pot? How do you do it? Do you reach right in there? Do you use a tool? If so then what tool exactly?" (there could be an ooze in there - there could also be gems or maybe a secret compartment - it seems like someplace most people are unlikely to check thoroughly)

67. "You want to break the chains and free the prisoners? Ok, what do you use to break those chains? Do you use your magic sword? Aren't you concerned that might damage the blade? You don't have any non-magical tools or weapons on your character sheet, do you?"

In our groups the DM also might say, "Ok, everybody have an ugly off!" to call for a Charisma check to determine who gets targeted by a sniper attack, who gets crapped on by a bird, or who gets a really smelly outfit when we steal enemy uniforms as a disguise. The call for a luck check probably bothers people the most if it happens right after the DM puts a really nasty looking mini on the table and or rolls a d20 which comes up nat 20.


JonathonWilder wrote:
52. Don't tell player how many hit points a monster or opponent has left.

52a. Don't show them the health bar.

Scarab Sages

68. Substitute terminology from Call of Cthulhu for similar D&D terms (saying "SAN loss" instead of "Wisdom drain," "impale" instead of "critical hit," "POW" instead of "caster level," et cetera), as though from force of unconscious habit.


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HyperMissingno wrote:
JonathonWilder wrote:
52. Don't tell player how many hit points a monster or opponent has left.
52a. Don't show them the health bar.

52b. Show them the Health Bar, and never modify it.


Chemlak wrote:
Haladir wrote:
48. Open the Bestiary to the doppelganger page, and set it where the players can see it. Send one player an otherwise innocuous note.
48b. Send all the players innocuous notes.

48c. Send all the players—except one—innocuous notes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

69. Ask if you can keep a copy of a PC that just died permanently. Over the next several game sessions, have the PC's just miss the BBEG or his/her lieutenant, while leaving clues that the person they keep missing shares disturbing similarities with the the recently deceased PC.


JonathonWilder wrote:


53. when they roll for Perception or Sense Motive saying, "you didn't perceive or sense anything amiss, nothing 'seems' to be there or they don't 'seem' to be lying.

70: Related to this one...just a different way to do so...

When the PCs make a Sense Motive roll or a perception check...'As far as you know the barmaid is telling the truth.' or 'As far as you know the door is cleared of traps.'

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