Gaming Stories: The Worst Ever

 By Shamus Jan 4, 2008 199 comments

Today I posted a bonus feature on Chainmail Bikini describing the writing process. In there, I talk about how hard it is to find good gaming stories of bad gaming. I’ve exhausted a lot of the stories relating to my own experience playing tabletop games, and now I rely on the misfortune of others to provide the fodder my our gaming comic.

I just realized that I could pull a Scott Adams and solicit anecdotes from readers. That might be fun, and if nothing else it might be therapeutic for the victims to share their experinces with everyone else. (So we can point and laugh.)

So how about it? What’s the worst single event you’ve ever endured / witnessed at the gaming table?

A Hundred!2020202019I bet you won't even read all 199 comments before leaving your own.


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  1. Scott says:

    Here’s the setup:

    Shadowrun 3rd
    Justin (Human/Hacker), John (Human/Street Samurai), Ted (Human/Weapons Expert)

    I was very new at GMing, none of us were very familiar with the rules (we are still like that, actually) and I had no idea how to make a good story (still don’t!).

    Anyway, John had gotten himself trapped in a warehouse with a water elemental. He managed to defeat it single handed, but couldn’t get back out through the door he came in. He called up the rest of the team to get him out, and Ted gladly got into his truck and drove over to help him.

    The warehouse was pretty solid. Bars on all the windows, sturdily built garage doors with closed and locked grates. The weakest part seemed to be the small door on the side of the building.
    Ted decided to ram his truck into it.
    I looked up some ramming tables and barrier resistance ratings and all sorts of crazy obscure rules and charts, (Shadowrun has a table for EVERYTHING) and made all the necessary dice rolls.

    Ted rolled his driving skill and failed. Badly.
    Someone asked, “Were you wearing your seatbelt?”
    Ted answered truthfully, “Probably not.”

    So John was still trapped inside of a warehouse with a large dent on one side of the building where Ted’s truck had rammed it. Ted, meanwhile, was lying unconscious on his steering wheel with a broken arm and nose and blood all over his dashboard.
    John shoots the door up with his SMG (completely disregarding the danger to both persons) and, after many rolls for barrier resistance and strength tests kicks the door off.

    I think this was a combination of luck, game balance issues, and me not knowing what the heck I was doing.

    In order to say sorry to Ted, Justin, and John for having their most pathetic experiences put on teh intarweb for all to see, I think it is only just for me to put my own up also.

  2. Telcontar says:

    http://www.tasteslikephoenix.com/articles/women.html

    Scroll down to “DO NOT RAPE THEIR CHARACTER.”

  3. food4worms says:

    This might actually be useful. ;-)

    1001 years ago I was playing AD&D 1st ed. My character was a half-ogre fighter probably around 7th level. Good AC, awesome HP and major damage dealing broad sword.

    The party wound up fighting a demon. The demon was just a little too tough for us. I wound up standing toe-to-toe with the demon, trading blows. All the other characters were either down, out of spells or simply did not have weapons with high enough plusses to hit it.

    I managed to beat the deamon down to just a handful of hit points left without getting creamed myself. I had laid the lion’s share of damage on the beast. I would have easily killed it the following round. I was already talking about adding “Demon Slayer” to my character’s name.

    Except the party’s mage decided to cast his last spell, magic missle, which miraculously got though the demon’s magic resistance, killing the demon and robbing me of my glory.

    I had to put on a good mope before they let me add “Demon Slayer” to my character’s name.

  4. Scott says:

    Shadowrun 3rd
    Me (Human/Adept), Justin (Human/Hacker), Ted(Uhhh…. can’t remember…)
    This was a first time RPing for all of us. Our GM was used to the game, but had never GM’d before.

    The Mission:
    Break into a high security, 20 story building and steal a prototype-thing from inside. Simple enough, right?

    While Ted and Justin find their way into the building by busting through the sewers into the old foundation in order to hack the security from the inside, I was scaling a nearby apartment building that was adjacent to a 5 story parking structure (it was attached to the target building). Or at least I was trying to. I took light stun damage when I failed to make the last 8 foot jump from the fire escape to the roof (I ended up using my grappling hook to get up… pathetic.)
    I then threw the grappling hook over to the parking structure 40 feet away, tied it securely to the apartment building, and made my way stealthily to the other side. When attempting to pull myself onto the parking structure, however, I failed my roll and fell.
    “How far down is it?”
    “5 stories”
    “I’ll try and grab the next one”
    “Are you sure? You can burn Karma and re-roll.”
    “No, I think I’ll try to grab the next one.”
    I DID grab the next one, but I took moderate damage.
    [Note that, every time damage is taken, all dice rolls are affected. I now have a plus 2 modifier to every roll that I make. Not good...]
    I make my way back to the top of the structure only to find a locked door with a keypad entry. Not having any skills with electronics, I radio Justin and have him walk me through the process of hot wiring the door over the radio. It works and I open the door.

    Inside are two security guards, one armed. I go through the door and take the armed one out with my pistol.
    My character is much better at melee combat, so I move in quickly while shooting and close in on the uninjured one. Once in range, I drop the pistol and attempt to punch the guy. I have a skill of 4 in martial arts (and magically augmented ‘Killing Hands’), so I roll my four dice and roll all 1′s. Critical miss! I fail badly and get my nose broken.
    I retreat a bit and draw my sword.
    [Little note: I have a skill in edged weapons at 9, where 1 is amateur and 6 is expert.]
    I hit the guy with my sword. Not once. Not twice. FIVE TIMES before he goes down with serious injuries. All the while being beat to a pulp while he franticly tries to defend himself with his fists.

    After the guy finally goes down, I get a call from Justin saying that the whole place is on alert and that I need to get the goods and leave fast.
    The GM informs me that, not only am I a nudge from being unconscious, but I am bleeding profusely from the face and still have 12 floors of a high security building on high alert to climb through with a plus 5 modifier to all rolls. Oh, and I’m only 10 feet from the door I came in through.

    I decided to retreat.

    Luckily, the GM was gracious enough to let me skip the rolls to make it back to safety so that I wouldn’t have to die so pitifully during my first session.

    Afterwards I discovered I had forgotten to mark down my Athletics skill of 5 on my character sheet.

  5. Craig says:

    most of the bad experiences I’ve had were directly related to out of game conflicts. One player when I was DMming would always hijack the game by talking to an npc for honestly, a half hour, exhausting my on the spot acting ability. Another player would simply try to either play the game like WoW or just be so selfish in his decisions that half the time they would just knock his character out and carry him away in order to get anything done. They must’ve knocked his character out at least 10 times when he refused to cooperate, before he finally voiced his frustration by jumping out of the boat they were in, despite not being able to swim, and died drowning. That was a good campaign.

  6. Craig says:

    I just remembered another, very short, campaign run by a friend. We were in Waterdeep, and I remember that we constantly complained about being railroaded into helping out the thieve’s guild. Long story short, we wind up getting to the point where we perform a terrorist act by blowing up the base of a guard tower, sending it down the hills, into the ocean, killing at least 100 innocents. Afterwards, a goblin army invades, and thanks to the distraction, has the upper hand on the city. The railroading we were complaining about? We were supposed to distrust the thieves’ guild, and work against them, and help defend the city against the goblins. Whoops. This was all at maybe 2nd-3rd level, by the way.

  7. Namfoodle says:

    Well, in Middle School and High School, we had a guy who liked to DM. We shall call him Ray, as that was his name. He wasn’t that bad of a DM, I remember his games were usually fun. But he had a very annoying habit. Whenever there was an in-game conversation going on between a PC and an NPC, or even two PCs, he would often voice both sides of the conversation. He just couldn’t help himself most of the time. He had no problem letting you choose your own combat tactics and roll you own dice, but when the combat stopped and the talking started, he usually hi-jacked both sides of the conversation. “The king says Sweet!, and then your character is like, Awesome!” It was kind of an annoying habit, but we all put up with it when he was willing to run a game, then talked smack about him afterwards. He once ran a marathon overnight Top Secret game with 10-15 players spending the night at his mom’s house.

  8. Joe Werner says:

    Actually, this is going to be not a “bad” moment:

    Some years ago:
    Low-level group, all experienced gamers (I was the greenest one with a mere 10 years…). We meet with a red wizard (Faerun), one of us had once tried to join them, but decided not to pursue this any more. He was… frightened. So, deciding the Red Wizard was here to get him (while he just was supposed to be a story hook), he attacks him, shouting the words:
    “DIE, RED WIZARD”
    rolls: 1
    character tries to fast talk himself out of this: I meant “die, red LIZARD”, while the player tells the DM: “Oh, and with this and that spell he can kill us all (save the Babarian) in one round…
    Voila: Instant Party Kill. Hillarious, nonetheless…

    Same group, other campaign. We acquire a blessed Sword of Some Goddess. The Barbarian picks it up, DM rolls dice…
    “You have a vision of the goddess, she says
    <>
    Same character died the following encounter. Other character picked up the sword. Died next encounter. We figured out that the sword had to be cursed…

    Oh, and if Don G. or one of the other guys reads this: I really enjoyed being part of your group for that year (though I lost three or four characters…)!

    I actually have not really had any “bad” groups, just the normal problems with rules lawyers… Anyway, tonight will see the death of our party. We play an Iron Kingdoms campaign (Witch Fire) and have _big_ problems at the moment. We are currently in a fight, bad odds, bad tactical position… a combination of bad planning, bad luck and a DM Who Is Out There To Get Us (just kidding). Maybe we’ll just be captured… by dark elves (or somesuch creatures)…

    Oh, one player drives me mad: he always tries to use some obscure rulebooks (for different settings…) or material that is outdated (DnD 3.0 vs. 3.5 anybody?), or seriously overpowered. He is really doing min/maxing (well, the rest of the party is more max/minning, so it balances neatly…)

  9. Joe Werner says:

    Dang! Forgot about html…

    And I cannot edit…

    The goddess says:
    ” and I want you to be (DM looks at barbarian’s stats: mdiocre Wis, Int and Cha) my Pa… Cle… hm. Disciple.”

    Sorry guys!

  10. Piglet says:

    Not exactly a bad gaming experience, but it sure was frustrating at the time:
    We, the party in a a fantasy game, had gotten trapped in the top room of a tall tower. It was perfectly round and the ceiling was about 5 meters above us. There was only one way in, a magical door through which we had gotten placed there, which when shut merged perfectly with the wall. No handles, hinges, locks or anything. The only other opening in the room was a small hole in the ceiling with a glass lens in it. It let in a little sunlight, focused in a single beam aimed at the middle of the floor. Every surface in the room was smooth and unadorned, with one exception. In the floor, just where the light hit, there was a small triangular depression.
    So, we sat around trying to figure out how to escape. Failing this would mean fairly certain death (can’t exactly remember how). We immediately thought it obvious that the triangular hole had something to do with it, and that something should be placed there to open the door. But what?
    We tried everything. We all scoured our character sheets multiple times to see if there were some items we had picked up that would do it, but to no avail. The GM did nothing to help us.
    After about an hour of this the mood was getting mutinous, and the GM nervous. PC comments about us not being supposed to survive this were rampant. So the GM collects all our character sheets and looks through them, with the dread suspicion that he might have forgotten to hand us that one crucial item. After about a minute he hands them back with a sneer of “you’ll have to f*****g solve this yourselves!”.
    Another hour is spent the same way, discussing and discussing various alternative methods. Then we finally decide to have one last thorough look through our character sheets (this is probably the fifth or sixth time we do this), before giving up.
    It takes about ten seconds before one guy sheepishly mumbles “Well, I do have a prism…”

    He is since then and forever on, known as The Prism.

  11. Hal says:

    Scott

    Your story reminded me of this, wherein Shamus calculates the odds of a 1st level Wizard beating a house cat in melee combat.

    Sadly, it doesn’t look good for the Wizard.

  12. Miako says:

    @Simslime

    You could have just… walked through it. Choose the person with the best dex, and just walked (listening carefully, and falling/tumbling often). Also, if it’s the only room with no lights, there should be some light reflected from the other rooms…

  13. Miako says:

    Oh, there are so many stories.

    Here’s one you haven’t heard yet (not mine, thank G-d).

    GM sitting in room waiting for players. One player enters, with boyfriend in tow (said boyfriend being new, and her with a character sheet for him), and announces that the other players couldn’t make it. Then they start roleplaying — he’s a barbarian, and she’s a svelte sorceress. They’re in a dungeon, and as the game starts they’re more interested in each other than in the rest of the dungeon… It took a while for the GM to figure out they were really “roleplaying”; but when the clothes started coming off, he left pretty quickly.

  14. Miako says:

    That tasteslikephoenix article has a lot of things that I’d disagree with… but ‘do not rape their character’?? oh, my loving God, I feel so sorry for someone who would do that. And, in the here and now, if anyone did that to ANY of my characters… I’d enjoy explaining to them exactly what happens when they fall asleep after sex. And it would be gruesome.

    And I have a story that you guys might not understand, but it felt a whole lot like getting raped at the time.

    It was whitewolf, and I had understood that nothing glorious lives in whitewolf, that all people are shattered, and heroism comes from picking up the pieces and going on with your lives. That’s fine — i thought I’d be into it. So, I took a friend I knew from High School, modded on a few traumatic events to have her gain Mage status, and all in all, I knew the character because I knew my friend. She was a Dreamwalker who had lost faith in humanity and only loved animals — thought they were better than humans.

    In the first session of this game, our mentors are all killed. We are alone and friendless, with an abandoned sanctuary to call home. And we are out for revenge. So, me and the other Dreamwalker are trying to reach out to the Spirit World, to find help. Well, I win first roll, and so I’m able to see into the Spirit World, and with my dice maybe even affect it.

    What do I see?

    I see two sets of animals fighting, each looking the twin of the other. Having no DreamLore, I can’t tell which side is in the right, but one side is clearly winning and the other losing. The losing side runs over to me, and says that they need help against the ‘evil ones.’ Well, I twist and agonize, as they are being slowly killed. Finally, I decide to help them, as they are dying.

    Then the GM takes over my body, by the evil spirits, and uses my unwilling body as an innocent blood sacrifice to desecrate our sanctuary and remove us from being able to replenish our magic supply.

    At the end of this, my character had been betrayed by her good nature to the detriment of the entire team, and I was in tears — not necessarily because I was hurt, but because my character was so hurt, having lost the only thing she felt she could trust in… and I could empathize with that.

    For a variety of reasons, we never had a session after that… but, in a way, I’m glad. I’m pretty sure the GM was cut up about this too… She had a faction that was trying to do the desecration, but she hadn’t meant it to be so early (when we hadn’t been able to find any friends of our mentors or anything…)

  15. Miako says:

    Ever had the guy in your games who wants to be the King of Everything? Wants to be remembered, in game, by being the best, having the most levels, being the biggest baddass? I knew a guy like that.

    Funny thing is, he has achieved immortality… through being mocked. The GM I knew has a lot of friends, and likes to share stories. So you might have heard this one before…

    Our wild mage had just reached 4th level, and was due for two new spells — but the game only had one. So, he came up with an imperfect spell, a ‘protection’ spell that would ‘spellshield’ you from any spell (from within or without) — if it worked, which had a 5% shot. GM was bored, and liked the novelty. Since it came from a wildmage, the absorption also came with the possibility of an ‘effect’ from the /wild mage something went weird/ table — again, a 5% chance. How do you cast such a spell? by dancing around the person you want to cast it on.

    Now, we had a metagaming player (the previously abovementioned Mook), who often needed to be shouted down from doing things that were based on out of character knowledge. He had been out one gaming session, and hence was coming back without the ‘gift’ of a horse, that everyone else had gotten as a quest reward.

    Since Mook had come back, the wildmage begins to do ‘dances of happiness’ around him, casting that spell about twenty times. Which, after the first time round, the Mook complains about, but eventually decides to do nothing, because it’s just dancing.

    So, Mook hears about the horses, and gets the idea that he won’t be able to catch up without one (probably right). So we tell him, “so get a horse” — for the mook in the party, we weren’t exactly minded to give him any money, and horses cost a lot.

    So, he gets the brilliant idea to steal a horse. Not that he is a thief. He is a neutral good cleric, a Priest of Life. He decides to go and use Word of Command on the hosteler with keyword “sleep”. But that had to go through all twenty spells. So, much frantic rolling later (and much giggling from the GM), the GM announces that the hosteler has just been turned to stone. Player responds, “What THE Hell…” and says that he’s leaving, without any horse. Then the stableboy looks in, and sees Cleric and the stoneman — he puts up the cry, “Murderer!” At this point, Mook decides that the best thing to do is to shut the boy up, so he tries to use his mace to knock the boy out. He rolls wrong, and kills the boy. THEN he grabs a horse, as the entire city with a high powered wizard and many guards, is mobilizing. He, of course, is just trying to flee… except they’ve got all gates covered. Again, not a thief, he decides to charge them. With only one of those shieldspells gone, it takes about ten rounds, in which he changes into a woman, the wizard’s hair grows a foot and turns green, cleric emits a noxious gas, etc. etc. etc. Eventually, they manage to knock cleric unconscious, and he gets dragged off to prison.

    The rest of us? We plead for his life, but to no avail.

    He was a Priest of Life, and he killed someone because they saw him turn a man to stone — and then charges the 6th level Mage defending the city. This has to be one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard.

    This was when the GM said no more than one shieldspell at a time. Also when Mook quit, and we never told him why his Word of Command turned someone to stone — in case he ever wanted to play in the campaign again.

  16. Poet says:

    Our GM pulled out Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil. He’s not fond of Greyhawk, so he made a few changes, including setting it in the Realms instead. Because of this, he said we could draw characters from any D&D setting. Being fond of Kender, I created one, and we found a way to work him in involving an accident with a powerful wizard and a magical doorway.
    This horrible experience, I should mention, was entirely my doing.
    We enter the moat house, do a bit of exploring, and naturally we find the blue dragon. Just laying there.
    Somehow we accidentally wake it up (that was, I swear, not my fault). For the moment we have cover, so we talk with it, figuring maybe we can trade. I get a little bored (in and out of character), and I mention this. Someone says “Well, just don’t talk to the dragon. It could get us killed.”
    So I say, “Alright. I peak around the corner, what do I see?”
    Naturally: “It’s a blue dragon. It sees you, but makes no move to attack yet.”
    Me, in character: “What? That’s a DRAGON? I’ve seen better scales on a FISH!”
    This, needless to say, led to us rolling initiative. Through a series of lucky crit roles, we managed to actually hurt it, so it fled, but it kept coming back several times before we managed to kill it. Very often it would arrive in the middle of combat with other things, or shortly after combat. Somehow, it never manged to kill anyone.
    After that, I was forbidden from playing Kender for a while, since I was “too good at it.”
    Hehe, damn right.

  17. Kristin says:

    Playing in a free-form, play by post, no dice game – basically a cooperative story-writing experiment, we had quite a bit of fun. The DM/main character (Firenza) and her BFF took exception to a character who was playing, basically, a fallen angel called Ahadriel. My character Rodinia, an elven-blooded ranger, was the only one in the party who could stand him.

    So to get rid of us for a bit, they sent us off on a shopping trip. My character’s backstory was that she’d lived alone in the wilds for seven years, and only with her mentor for three years before that, except for a few brief stops home in the Elven woodlands to see assorted cousins. Put her with a fallen angel who’s still unsure how the day-to-day bits of the world works, and you have the world’s WORST negotiating team.

    Shortly after, since Ahadriel wasn’t playing by their plot where Firenza got to do some kickass thing and heal us all (Ahadriel claimed it was part of his powers, they said something about “no you’re exhausted from the nasty evil spell we’re under”, I invented a spell to allow me to transfer energy from my character to another, at the cost of passing out and being useless for 8 hours) they kicked Ahadriel out of the party. There were some out-of-game issues between Firenza’s player and her BFF and the guy playing Ahadriel.

    So Rodinia made it a point of bring him up every chance she got. Not long after, we had a brief interlude, and Rodinia got drunk and confessed her love for another character – naturally, Firenza’s boyfriend. I’d been playing Rodinia’s crush since it developed, but since I was playing a shy, hesitant, self-conscious character, I’d never had her speak up. The guy playing Firenza’s boyfriend PMed me shortly before – he’d gone back rereading and he said it hit him like a sledgehammer, while he hadn’t noticed it at all just reading as the posts came – and we agreed to have this little scene. Rodinia wasn’t going to steal the boyfriend, she was just going to confess her love, hate herself for a bit, move on, and find twoo wuv with a guy from her forest she’d never thought about as anything but a friend.

    Firenza and her BFF got so mad they eventually took their ball and left. Keep in mind: these are two women who are old enough to be retired. I was 22 and Rodinia was very much a reflection of myself at that time.

  18. James Blair says:

    I once had a couple of players in an epic-level Realms game, which I decided to spice up a little bit by having a couple adventures with a certain drow ranger with dual-wielded scimitars. I played Drizzt aggressively, as if he felt a good offense made the best defense. I had played a dual-wielding axe ranger to good effect as an NPC before with this tactic, so I figured it was good.

    It became a running joke. The players could tell an encounter that properly was a challenge to the level 22 party by whether or not Drizzt got killed sometime in the 2nd round. It happened about 3 times before Drizzt finally became cautious… and died in the next challenging encounter in round 2.

  19. Another one, from circa 2000, an early 3E Forgotten Realms game set in Westgate, just as the Time of Troubles begins:

    Our heroes have been asked to help a young lady escape her family’s home so she can marry her forbidden love. Once they get her, they need a place to hide her until the ceremony. After carefully studying the Westgate map I’ve provided, the players decide on the temple of Leira – the ONE location out of 50+ places that I’ve already predetermined is about to be ANNIHILATED by a meteorite as the Time of Troubles begins.

    And that’s how the session ended, with a tremendous crater and a lot of worry. I even showed them the printout to “prove” I wasn’t screwing with them. The wait for the next session was a LONG one for them…

  20. Namfoodle says:

    I was in party of 1st level characters, all experienced players, and we were TPK’d by some swans. 1st Edition AD&D, I think.

    Just regular swans, which you had to look up in Fiend Folio or MM2. They wing-buffeted us to death with their 2-3 HD powered THACO’s.

    So sad.

  21. Baruch says:

    This one involves players screwing themselves out of money…

    We were playing a game where the PCs were 21st level (I was much older and actually acting as DM), and the PCs had just defeated a mythril golem. One of the players had the bright idea that a huge monster constructed of mythril would probably be worth about 50 thousand gold pieces. I said that there was no way it was worth that much. We bickered, and I finally put my foot down at 10 thousand. Incensed, he demanded I look up how much the epic level handbook said it would coust to create it.

    Mistake.

    Apparently the body was not entirely mythril, for it cost a paltry 2 thousand gold (at least I think it was that little), a price I was perfectly willing to give to the PC since he had insisted we use that amount.

    Needless to say, the hassle of transporting a giant metal corpse won over the “big payout.”

  22. Jeff says:

    Baruch: Your players were foolish. Everyone knows golems are hollow like piñatas.

    http://www.seankreynolds.com/rpgfiles/misc/irongolemsarehollow.html

  23. Althanis says:

    Where to start?

    I’m older than dirt, so I’ve been involved in a LOT of bad role playing over the years.

    My introduction to D&D was in the 6th grade at a slumber party for a friend. Everyone else had played before and they all had characters with a couple of levels under the belt. I rolled up a hobbit thief (I’d just read The Hobbit), and joined in the fun. As a thief they decided that I should scout out the tunnels ahead of the group. I entered the first tunnel carefully looking for traps. I found a secret door instead. Being a clever thief I entered the hallway behind it and found the secret chamber of an ancient monk. Being new to the game I didn’t understand the significance of a 1st Edition monk. I found out that you never shake the hand of a “friendly” monk in a dungeon.

    Several years later, at another slumber party the lot of us started rolling up our characters for this adventure that one of my friends had put together for the night. We spent a couple hours bickering over who was going to play what and what kind of equipment we should have. We enter the first room of the dungeon and find ourselves in a square room about 30′ to a side. We are on the north side of the room with the wall on our left side and a wooden wall on our right (with arrow slits cut in it). Ahead of us is a desk with 2 drow sitting behind it and another wood wall with arrowslits. We all roll to see if we notice the crossbows being held by the numerous gards behind the walls and we all succeed. We were your average bunch of do-gooders so our party leader, played by Carl, steps up to find out what’s going on. The drow in charge asks our leader “What are you doing here?” We all shouted our answers to Carl which run the gammut from friendly to deceitful. None of us were suicidal enough to suggest that we try to take on the heavily armed drow guards, but without hesitation Carl answers, “We are here to seek out and destroy all evil!”. The guards were amused. They used sleep poison on Carl’s character and death poison on the rest of us. We spent the rest of the night passing around a Coleco Football game while Carl and the DM RPed his slavery to the drow queen.

    My most annoying game I’ve played in was with a friend at work who decided to invite his young son to our games to play with him. This kid would NEVER pay attention and it frustrated the hell outta the rest of us, but since most of us worked for his dad we never said anything because we didn’t want the excess stress at work. Same child also constantly whined that his character was useless because he refused to look at the rules governing his character and find a way to make things work. He’d stubbornly stick with a broken idea and expect the GM to change the rules so his munchkin idea of the moment would work. Said child has grown up a lot and is still annoying to game with, but at least now he usually pays attention and knows 60% of how his chosen character should work.

    My worst moment as a gamer came in a game of Fading Suns my completely non-scientific friend was GMing. Our group of characters had been together for a couple of game sessions for this game, but the players had been playing together for several years (I was the newbie to the group and I had been playing with them for over a year). FS has several interesting ideas, one of which is that when you travel between stargates ships without the field to protect them experience the “Sathrah” effect. It’s hard to describe the exact feelings, but it is addictive, and after learning about it, engineers of ages past figured out a way to use the stargates and shield the ship’s personnel from the effects. I was playing an Engineer who was responsible for the upkeep on the ship we had found/stolen from its previous owner. My friend Derek was playing an assassin-type character. Our GM starts talking about this effect and I on the spot decide that my character is going to be very much against Sathrists (a religion based around the effect whose followers would do anything to disable the shield on a ship and jump gates). Derek for no good reason other than it sounded fun decided that his character was going to be very curious about the effect and do whatever he could to get us to turn off the shield.

    Well after many RP sessions between the two of us debating the good/evil of this (always decided by the party as a whole refusing to allow the shield to be turned off to satisfy Derek) we were at a starport. Our ship was attacked by some Chainers and things got a little chaotic. After the fight I went to check on the ship and found that somehow the shield HAD been turned off. My character jumped to conclusions and immediately blamed Derek’s character. He denied, I threatened, it almost got ugly. We managed to move on, but for a couple of minutes it looked like our two characters had no choice but to start combat and see who lived. Well after that session one of the other players got very upset because he HATES conflict within the party. He just couldn’t get that no matter how mad my character and Derek’s character were with each other, Derek and I were fine. He ended up quitting the group after that session because he just didn’t want to be around it.

    All of that is lead up to the actual incident I am guilty of. His replacement was a friend of the GM who had just gotten out of the Navy. He was young and something of a jerk. But John insisted and we needed the player so we all said sure. He rolls up a character and decides to play a pirate from many hundreds of years before who was cryo-frozen and had just recently been thawed out. He was played in a manner that did not encourage us to trust him, and I had already decided that my character’s paranoia from the previous session would become a permanent part of his personality. We leave the planet we were on and on our way to the stargate we get attacked by the most notorious pirate in the Known Worlds. We are heavily outclassed and we all get taken prisoner. All except the new guy who manages to sleeze his way into the trust of the pirates. I’m sure he really meant to help us, and was doing everything he could to get us out of captivity, but since the rest of the party was locked in a small room with no armor and weapons the rest of them picked up on my paranoia and started to go with it. When our chance to escape occurred (we thought anyway) we attacked with the single knife we had found hidden in a wall. We had clearly asked the GM what the usual content was of the guards to came to feed us or take us to interrogations. He had described it and we found the odds to our liking. When we actually attacked he then remembered to tell us about the 4 guards in full powered armor that were there all the other times but he had neglected to mention. I’m sure his idea was to keep us in the cell so that his friend could introduce the next adventure hook and get us out and on our way. But being the paranoid freak I was playing, my character refused to believe that trusting the new guy who had clearly sold us out to the pirates was the only way out. I kept attacking (expecting to die a glorious death alone and have to make a new character) the guards and actually took out one of the regular pirates before the goons in powered armor could react. Then much to my shame the rest of the group, all feeding on nothing but my paranoid reasoning for the last several hours, decided to join me in a glorious death. We were easily subdued by the goons and when forced to choose death or cooperate with the BBEG, we all chose death by airlock.

    I don’t think the GM ever forgave me for that because I always got the poopy end of every deal in every game he ran from then on.

  24. Garwulf the Skald says:

    Short of Neverwinter Nights, I’m a new player when it comes to RPGs, but I’ve got three stories to share from the group I play with…

    1. The party is a scouting party for an army in a fantasy world beset by war. That hadn’t actually been made clear to me, though, so I made a character who I thought would be a hoot to play – a dwarven Warrior who thinks he’s an Elven Ranger…and who always speaks in really BAD Elvish.

    Having learned that the party is military, I then came up with a backstory, and made Svein the dwarven Elven Ranger into a combat engineer. So, he builds stuff. And the party gets transported to a flat plane.

    Here is how we were SUPPOSED to get off the plane – in the middle there is a sword. When we all put our hands on the sword, we will be transported back, with the sword. The DM’s clue is “Everybody must pick a direction and follow it.”

    What we actually do is start wandering to the edge of the plane, where we find the vacuum of space. Svein realizes this, and starts thinking that the solution is to get enough velocity to make it back to our home plane. So he starts building a giant slingshot. Happily, the DM stepped in, and the slingshot broke as we were getting our “test pilot” ready.

    Yes. We nearly had a total party kill by using a giant dwarven slingshot to slingshot us into space…

    2. Same campaign, a bit later. The half-orc barbarian, Aggro, is opening a door in a dungeon, and falls down a hundred foot-pit…onto a bed of long spikes. Somehow, he survives. This leads, however, to the following conversation:

    Aggro’s Player: Are there any other corpses in the pit?

    DM: Um, sure.

    Aggro’s Player: Can I loot them?

    3. Same group, but now playing a Conan RPG campaign that I’m spearheading the design work on. We have a Zamoran thief who is carrying around a cursed Pictish gem. There’s a very important plot point to be discovered about the gem’s mojo, but you have to try to sell it first.

    What does the thief do? He wanders around asking “Would you like to buy this cursed Pictish gem?”

    Garwulf the Skald

  25. If you want comical stories, I’ve got several dozen, one that the Mr. Welch list reminded me of: my ex once created a character in a homebrew system I wrote that had one point in every single skill. He was a 12 year old kid named Alex. By the time he met up with the other party members, he was calling himself “Alex the Stupendous!” and claiming knowledge of/familiarity with anything and everything they ever encountered. Any time anything needed to be done, he’d shout,
    “I CAN DO IT!” and roll his lousy 1-point skill while PC’s with better skills sat around doing nothing.

    It was HILARIOUS, and oddly enough he was frequently successful.

  26. Fnord says:

    Oh dear, where to start?

    Most annoying character: This friend of mine doesn’t play any more, and he’s a good player, but boy did some of his characters (all named Eaf) do dumb things. He’s on watch and sees a 60 foot tall zombie wandering up the other side of the river. “It’s big and ugly and lump and bumpy,” says Eaf, “It must be evil. I fireball it.” Said zombie hadn’t actually noticed him up to this point. It proceeded to step across the river, uproot a tree and hit Eaf for about 60 damage, killing him instantly. The zombie was dispatched next round by a lightning bolt from the other mage. In a different campaign, Eaf is again on watch (I see a pattern here), and sees some people sneaking by. He attacks them without warning (and without warning the rest of us), nearly getting us all killed (again, they hadn’t noticed us).

    Most depressing campaign ending: Call of Cthulhu, of course :) . The party is investigating an ancient site in the deep southwest of New Zealand, while trying to prevent the imminent rebirth of Great Cthulhu. We get rumbled by the local cultists, who attempt to blow up the boat we’re in. We end up trekking through trackless bush for several days without food before making it back to our starting point. At this point it turns out that one of the party has had his mind swapped with the cult leader and he’s been leading us by the nose for some time. Party gets ambushed in a swamp by the cultists and all but my character is killed. Having gone mad several times previously (as one does in CoC), my character finally cracks completely and runs off to hide on the West Coast, abandoning the world to its inevitable doom. Fun for the whole family :)

    Most frustrating gaming session: Party was trapped inside a magical pyramid full of undead (RuneQuest Glorantha campaign, 3E I think). A poem inscribed inside the front door said, among other things, that “Death alone holds the key” (ominous at best). We bashed our way through a level full of skeletons, then a level full of zombies. We found no further (useful) clues and no other way out, and it was clear that each successive contained stronger undead (I think the GM later told us the next level had mummies, which are lethal in RuneQuest). We sat around for hours (real time) trying to figure it out, to the increasing frustration of the GM. As the sun came up the next morning, we were totally strung out and desperate, and was getting to the point where the GM was saying things like “but you just mentioned it a minute ago” and we were too tired to remember what we’d just said :( . In the end we finally realised that the “Death” line of the poem was literal: a section of the zombie level, when viewed on the map had a Death rune (cross) standing out alone, but we’d missed it completely because it was the last part of the level we’d done and we’d rushed through it because we were getting fed up with zombies. A quick search revealed a secret room that literally “held the key” for the front door. Aaargh!

  27. Pidmon says:

    I don’t have a story, but I did want to comment on Fnord’s most frustrating session.
    I think by the time that literal hours have passed, the DM should just start dropping some obvious hints or just write the session off with a skill check from each player.
    Since nothing says fun like sitting around for nine hours because of a stubborn player (in reference to the loop with the flying skulls much earlier) or DM.

  28. Scourge says:

    Something from me, not a bad RP session or the like but something very very grustrating in a Persistant World (online).

    I played a Cleric in D&D and decided to worship Jergal, who is the Lord of The end of Everything aka Scribe of the doomed. Clerics record the names of creatures that die and how they died and each year they celebrate this for the end will soon be near.

    Well, I guessed that it would be fun to write down the names, type and the way how the creatures died when i was close to them. Little did I know for spawn after spawn came and I had more trouble writing down how many died and how they died thatn surviving.

    Very annoying and I even stopped doing that after 500 hundred kills.

  29. Benjdragon says:

    Having played RPGs for nearly 30 years, I have way to many stories of bad games. Here are a few though.

    While doing a dungeon crawl, the party of 6 comes upon a bottomless pit blicking the passage. the party each ropes themseleves to one another and the the first person tries to leap across the pit to fasten a rope to the other side. Roll dice, fails miserably and falls into the pit to dangle from the rope. DM tells the next person tied to the rope to roll a strength check to brace himself so he doesn’t get pulled it the pit. This is the biggest, strongest character in the party. He rolls and blows it. He goes into the pit. Third in the line (2nd biggest and strongest) blows his roll also and into the pit he goes. The 4th in line (a small thief character) is told to make a strength roll to stop from going into the pit. He looks at his character sheet, then sats “No, I am Dex roll to draw my knife and cut the rope”. Result he and the other two survive. Three party members dead to a simple pit that wasn’t supposed to be a problem.

    We also had one player in the group that would always play a thief type character. He would constantly go off on his own and loot valuble items that other characters could have used, then sell them. In several games he looted or stole an item with wishes in it. Then would procede to waste the wish on something really stupid. In one case we had the party cleric die during an encounter, during which, instead of continuing to fight the enemies, he was off looting bodies, which is how he got a wish ring. He then used the wish to make a pair of dire wolves that he saw up on a nearby hill his faithful pets that would follow him everywhere, instead of wishing the cleric back to life. The DM did make the wolves followhim everywhere though, even when he was trying to sneak up on something. He says “I sneak up behind the gaurd to backstab him.” DM says “Roll your stealth”. Thief rolls and makes it by a lot. DM says “The guard suddenly looks your way and points at you and yells for help”. The thief says “But I made my stealth rolls!” DM smiles and says “Your wolves didn’t.” Thief ended up having to kill the wolves to stop them from following him. Funny though, thier ghosts kept showing and following him.

  30. pffh says:

    Right, I’m DM-ing a fairly simple adventure. Basicly the players teleport across the countryside attacking towers and placing beacons on top of them, sounds simple yes?

    Well we had one player, pretty good guy am still playing with him, that was playing a rogue and when the party gets to the first towers they kill the guards outside. One of them gets the brilliant idea to have the rogue scout ahead in the tower to see whats waiting for them while they wait hiding in the forest surrounding the tower.
    The rogue sneaks up getting past every guard and in the top room of the tower was a huge fire elemental (long and boring story why the elemental was at the top of the tower) filling the room and what does the rogue do? He runs to the nearest window and shouts out to the rest of the group that there is a huge fire elemental in there. The rogue did not survive.

  31. Kokushibyou says:

    I am playing my second character in a D&D 3.5ed game (the first one had been killed). He was a halfling rogue. I decided that I did not want to go with the immediate introduction to the party, so I just follow them in the shadows of the dungeon they were exploring. The had just solved a trap that closed the exits to a room and tried to fill it with sleeping gas. When the gate opened, I sneaked in (not being aware of the residue sleeping gas). Needless to say, I failed my check and promptly fell asleep behind the party. The first to find me was the half-orc Aggro (the same one mentioned above). He decided that I was a nice looking squirrel and stuffed me into his javelin pouch.

    In the same room, an undead mage (which has been troubling us throughout the campaign) walked in to discuss things with the party. Aggro decided to throw a javelin at it, but picked my rogue out instead and through him. He, of course, missed the mage and fell in a heap next to it. My rogue later woke up with many bruises and no idea what happened.

    Later in the same game, we came across a room with three mummies in it. I had rolled badly in initiative so was last the party to go, but before the mummies. I had intended to throw a alchemists fire over Aggro’s head, who was at the door, but failed to mention that I wanted to behind him. The DM decided to have me in front, and so the first mummy attacked my rogue. Of course, it was a critical hit, and took me to -9 HP. the next round I rolled poorly on the check again so fell dead from the wounds. Thus my rogues short hours life ended.

    PS: Svein the dwarven ‘Elven Ranger’ then spent the next several rounds trying to light the mummies on fire with his torch

  32. Garwulf the Skald says:

    “Svein the dwarven ‘Elven Ranger’ then spent the next several rounds trying to light the mummies on fire with his torch”

    Well, strictly speaking, at that time I was trying to swap him out with somebody else, and killing him was as good a way as any…

    …and the dice WOULDN’T LET HIM DIE!!!

    (Stupid dice keeping my character alive when I want to get rid of him…)

  33. AnarchoPaddy says:

    The first time I’d ever GM’d a game, I was running a Star Wars campaign (set just before Ep IV and just after Ep III) which I’d spent AGES writing up and plotting out.

    Two of the characters – an Imperial intel/specops officer and a bounty hunter – were on board a monorail bus on Coruscant when a thug tried to hold it up.

    Result?

    52 dead passengers, a dead thug, and the destruction of the monorail service plus another 100 dead people when the monorail line blew up and fell 300 stories.

    They’d escaped and proceeded to an Imperial Army base which they then shot up, finding a battlesuit rig thing with heavy blasters which they stole.

    It got worse from there and ended two sessions later, unresolved.

    I now run Vampire: Bloodlines games and much prefer my new style of GMing, which I learnt largely from the disaster (hilarious disaster) that was my first campaign.

    In one V:B game, our diplomatic vampiress comes across a truckload of heavily armed Bolshevik revolutionaries…:

    “I ask them to help.”
    “What do you say to them? RP it please.”
    “Hello! I’m a proud member of the Red Menace!”
    “… They look at you, at each other, and back at you. I’d start running.”

    The party was only saved by some armoured cars. Later, they destroyed my plot by BURNING DOWN most of the city centre because they couldn’t be bothered to ask around an absinthe den’s patrons to see if anyone’d seen a certain person. I just ran with it, but it nearly broke me. :p

  34. Jeff says:

    Benjdragon:
    Even assuming the guy who jumps is 200lbs and the ‘strongest’ guys are only 150lbs, that’s 200lbs against 750lbs. How the hell would he manage to pull an entire chain of people down?

  35. Matt C. says:

    D&D 2nd Edition. My first character ever.

    Due to some poor rules explanations, over-focus on thac0 and no Player’s Handbook of my own, I had the most amazingly terrible luck on dex checks. A 17 dex score should really get you by most of the time, but not for me. It got to the point that once when I said “I lean against the wall.” the DM asked me to make a dex check. I took floor damage.

    Fortunately during the third or fourth session one of the other players spotted what was wrong. They pointed out to me that I was not trying to roll *under* the stated difficulty.

    It took a while to live that down. When I missed a session I was told that, while the rest of the party had gone adventuring, my character had stayed back at the inn practicing how to use a chair.

  36. pffh says:

    Jeff, think about it, if 200 lb are falling down thats 980N pulling the rest of the group. All of them are standing up so only the soles of their feet create inertia (think this is the english word) so a 200lb person dragging the rest down is actually very believable.

  37. Jeff says:

    pffh:
    You mean friction.
    Consider spacing though.
    Assuming they’re all tied at around 3 or 4 feet between each other, the moment the first guy is jerked, he might go over the edge, but the others all get pulled forward, and if this is all in a fairly short frame of time, the guy at the end just got pulled 25 feet into a pit. At some point half of these guys will be sprawled on the ground.

    Even ignoring that, each person is individually exerting force upon the ground, so let’s look at friction. Static friction is higher than kinetic friction. Let’s ignore static friction, and assume they lose their footing and start to slide. Let’s assume a value of 0.5, or 0.4 or so. (Look up tables to refute this if you wish.) 150lbs is 68 kg. 5 people, so 340kg of mass. Mass times gravity, so 3332N of force pushing down on the ground. A coefficient of friction of leather on wood has a value of 0.4, which results in 1332.8N. More than enough to resist.

    And this is in the stupefying case of a 200lbs jumper and the rest of the party at 150lbs, with two of the 150lbs members being the strongest characters.
    If we assume the strongest characters are the warriors, armor and gear give at least another 50 lbs or so each. They’re probably going to weigh more anyways. It’s ridiculous.

    Get 5 guys, tie yourself to them, then jump off a roof. You’ll get a nasty jerk and smack into the side of the building, but given that they’re bracing for it, they’ll hardly lose their footing, and given you’re outweighed at least three times, you’re not going anywhere.

  38. Miako says:

    @AnarchoPaddy

    … if they burn down most of the city, assume that everything becomes gangland warfare afterward (with the same neighborhood alliances as earlier). Voila! New ‘plot’ of chaos!

  39. Miako says:

    Worst Treasure Ever.

    So, having just switched campaign worlds but kept characters, we’re Werewolves in Rolemaster aligned with the God Gaia (theurge is now a sorceror (thanks, mook), ahroun is now a paladin, philodox is now a healer (thanks, gm *heart* we still needed a healer…)).

    We have some money, courtesy of Sir Paladin, and have entered a magic shop (quite a rare thing in the world). Well, a lucky roll gives us a special item — that’s holy. A really lucky roll gives us a special item HOLY TO GAIA (which is pretty freaking rare, considering that no one in the Northern Hemisphere even worships her). Then a STUPENDOUSLY bad roll (that’s a 2, on a hundred sided die) — gives us an ALTAR. Another roll, and the dice are merciful — the altar is only 50 lbs.

    In a NORMAL campaign, this would have been a ‘huh, that’s funny’ moment. But our paladin has 100 strength (that’s, almost maxed, but his potential is 101, which is extraordinary). Which means that we buy the altar, and the paladin carries it around (he could carry up to 200lbs., so it wasn’t too much trouble).

    While the healer and sorceror were busy adjusting to the new world, whenever we’d do something ‘unwerewolf like’, he’d get out the altar and start praying to Gaia.

    His final death was… rather extraordinary (it involved Gaia interceding into the mortal realm)

  40. Cougar says:

    Got a few of my own humorous/bad stories to tack onto this giant list.

    First campaign ever, playing with a bunch of other newbie friends (there were up to 10 of us at one point). The DM, an experienced D&Der who was trying to get us into it, had us sailing on the night sky in an alternate plane so we could get somewhere important.

    Friend named Ghost decides that the “water” must be interesting and pokes the surface with an oar.

    Lesson learned? Don’t poke the “night sky” when you’re sailing on it in an alternate plane of exsistance. It thus opened a rift to the Abyss, sending a demon horde at us. Ghost was the only casualty in the ensuing chaos.

    During my first campaign I ran, I had the party go on a normal unholy graveyard tomb run. Two things came out of this encounter

    Paladin with stick up arse: I use Detect Evil. Do I sense anything?
    DM (me): I said it before, and I’ll say it again, UNDEAD CRYPT!

    Shortly after I presented them with a treasure chest as a reason to run a gauntlet of traps, which ended up being empty much to their dismay (they’d kinda been running through everything unharmed, so I wanted an excuse to shave some HP off). What was unexpected was that they’d keep it, and even used it as an improvised weapon when the scimitar wielding druid found it a better option against the skeletons they came up against.

    One last one. Another campaign I ran a year ago. Ghost, running ahead of the party, comes to a 30 foot wide chasm with a broken rope bridge. Gets the brilliant idea of climbing down the bridge on this side to salvage some rope for his grappling hook (yes, he bought the hook without rope. He also bought a bow with no arrows).

    His climbing ability was completely questionable at best when he started down. Oh and did I mention a misdirecting, invisible imp was around to? He blatantly ignored the imp as it swatted point after point of damage away as he continued to try and salvage some rope. This was on top of me mentioning that he was hanging over a chasm.

    Ghost fell unconscious afterward from loss of hit points and, surprise surprise, fell down. He did an even bigger number me when he simply shrugged, stating

    “Eh, how long of a drop could it be? 20, 30 feet? 40 tops?”

    Everyone in the room just kind of stared at him blankly before I said,

    “CHASM!!! The kinda of thing where you can’t see the bottom!”

    He responded with a sheepish “Oh”

    Thus “I poke the water”, “I Detect Evil at the unholiness”, and “CHASM!” have become mainstay lines in my group for whenever someone does something pretty stupid or notices the obvious.

    ‘Cept for “I perform chest-fu” (which could have a double-meaning considering how buxom the druid player was). That one’s reserved for hilarious ingenuity

  41. Owlpete says:

    I play with a great bunch of guys who have an even better history.

    We have an Irwin bottle. The Irwin bottle is named for a previous player named Irwin who would unerringly spill a drink on the dry-erase map and wipe off the dungeon. Hence, the small bottle with special top to distribute just enough water to clear the map is now called the Irwin bottle.

    And a few stories of my own errors as a DM:

    Once, in an effort to get a player to use his special magical crowbar, I announce that the trap door over the dungeon is a 15′ x 15′ x 1′ slab of lead, or something like that. After a blur of calculations, the players inform me that such a quantity of lead would collapse under its own weight (something like 8 tons), and that they plan to take it and corner the lead market when they get to town. Playing with math geeks can be rough.

    A different time, I misjudged the dimensions of a map. They snickered at the 20′ x 20′ trap door on the roof, and had a blast with the 5′ wide chairs and the 10′ x 20′ dinner table. I blamed it all on mushrooms they picked on the road, but I might never live that moment down.

  42. Kokushibyou says:

    We were just starting a new D&D 3.5 campaign where we would get into a war with some drow. I decided I wauld play a drow, the rest of the party was human except for one elf. We did not think this would really be a problem. The campaign started with us all being teleported into a ring of stones with no memory of what has happened, and where we were before. The DM then starts to read off this VERY clichéd opening. I decided that, as all of this is a big surprise to the party, my characters ancient hatred for the elf would be the primary thought in her mind. She then pulled out her bow and shot the elf.

    Of course my drow missed, but now the elf decided he wanted his revenge. The rest of the party, but one of the other humans, agreed. He had decided that, since I was the only female in the group, I needed his protection. He held off the elf, while the rest of the party attached me. The first round went without any damage. The rest of the players were telling me to end it there. I roleplayed the thought that my drow saw the rest of the party as below her notice (the fact that none of them could hit her did not help with this thought) so she continued her assault, ignoring the humans.

    In the end, she was killed by that party. This ended the shortest hour long campaign we have ever had.

    PS: The entire time this was going on, the DM was sitting shaking his head trying not to laugh. He was not required after the opening, since all of us were experienced enough to sort out the fight and rolls.

  43. poxjedi says:

    I was playing in a D&D 3.5 campaign with some friends. All the characters started out at level 10, but with only a very small amount of starting gold; to make up for this they each got a special power that had to be OK’d by th DM. For example, the Wizard got a free 9th level spell slot. I was playing a Barbarian/Warshaper, and my ability was to ‘Wild Shape’ as a 15th level Druid. I finally found a form I liked in the Monster Manual 2: ‘Grizzled Mastadon’, a huge-sized 15HD animal.

    So we approach the dungeon, and it’s an Ice Palace in the middle of the tundra. We were already tuckered out (but in my case, Mammoth-sized) after a fight with a frost worm, but we decide to enter anyways (the other characters had limited cold resistance). So the first chamber is a massive hall with an ornate carpet in the center. The other players are very cautious and disputing who should go first, but I’m just having fun, so one word comes to my mind: Sledding.

    ME: Okay, the Mastadon pulls the carpet out with his foot, and then uses it to slide-
    DM: Alright, you pull the carpet back and it reveals a massive pit trap.
    ME: …whoah.

    Ironically, my character being extremely foolhardy, perhaps stupid, saved his life. We discussed it afterward, and were all quite amazed. Then the DM pointed out that the pit trap was only ten feet wide; a huge character could not fit in it! This inspired more laughter on the topic of mammoths getting caught in undersized pit traps, and the idea that my character would have suffered agonizing pain for hours while the others attempted in vain to pull him out, and then hours later falling to his death when the Wild Shape expired…

    A few more from that same session:
    1. In order to avoid taking cold damage every ten minutes, the Rogue suggested shearing off some of my Mastadon fur and furnishing crude cloaks out of it. This then put the DM in the strange position of having to rule whether shaving the Mammoth’s leg would result in a shaved human leg- the gruff macho barbarian didn’t want shaved legs!

    2. The party’s Rogue, who happened to be a ghost, decided to further investigate the pit trap.

    ROGUE: Okay, my character slowly glides down the pit.
    DM: The pit goes down about 200 feet… and then there are spikes.

    ‘And then there are spikes’ became my favorite D&D originating phrase, used whenever something really bad becomes much worse.

    DM: The cultist blasts you with a Maximized Fireball.
    PALADIN: Damn! I failed my save, that brings me down to 9 HP.
    CLERIC: And I’m knocked unconscious!
    DM: Oh, and the Fire Mephits all recover 2 HP because they were caught in the blast. Oh, by the way, the building failed it’s reflex save, so it’s on fire now.
    ME: And then there are spikes!

  44. Scruff says:

    My first and second games at a club.
    I was 14, and so were 3 of the group, + 1 older lad.
    First game had been a really basic dungeon, killing monsters because they were monsters.
    It wasn’t even for the xp, as this was a one-off game.
    There was no quest, no goal, no motivation. Most of the monsters were kobalds who were scared of us and tried to run away.
    I commented that this seemed pretty pointless, and was sent to coventry by the rest of the group. Apart from when they wanted my help in a fight.

    Second game, this time older lad (OL) is the GM.
    First session and OL asks where we are on this ship we’ve booked passage on.
    One lad declares he’s in the crowsnest, the other two are in the cabin, weapons training.
    I’m the only one on deck, watching the sailors fish for dinner.
    The sailors pull up their fishing net, and they’ve got a merman entangled in it.
    He’s patently unarmed, and too tangled to use magic, so I talk to him, and convince the sailors to let him go.
    Not difficult, they didn’t fancy cooking a sentient creature.
    Rest of the party furious that I didn’t kill him.
    Cos he’s a monster.
    In vain did I point out he was no threat (and clearly didn’t have any treasure on him.)
    OL pointed out that I’d actually got some useful information out of the creature.
    The rest of the party refused to play with me anymore, so I left the club.

    Many years later I found better gaming buddies, although there were the occasional hiccups.
    Like the GM who read out the players bit in an encounter, and then the GMs bit. Out loud. And didn’t understand when I pointed out that that bit was supposed to be for him only.
    And the GM who was surprised that I didn’t attack two T-Rex’s when I was armed with only one rocketlauncher with only one charge. (We were playing Shadowrun, but he’s seen Jurassic Park the night before. And added Dracula as a subplot. Although the High Noon showdown in Wembley Stadium with a dragon was cool.)

  45. mixmastermind says:

    How in the world has Paranoia not been mentioned this entire time?

    Perhaps it’s because stuff like GMs intentionally killing people and player-against-player violence is encouraged in that game.

  46. Kokushibyou says:

    I was DMing a D&D 3rd ed game with a few friends. We had just managed to include a newbie to the game, who decided to be the cleric for the party. I was explaining all the spell available to him, and he decided he liked the ‘continual flame’ spell. Thus he immediately cast it on his helmet. None of us thought of this as too big a problem as having a, literally, bright cleric would probably come in handy, since a lot of the campaign would be in dark places. This was until he decided he would try to follow the rogue into an orc infested temple while sneaking.
    The rogue player just looked at him dumbfounded, not being sure if he was serious. I had him role the hide and move silently checks, and then pointed out that, though he was doing a pretty good job of trying to hide, the orcs were not having any trouble seeing the flaming beacon that was his head.

    PS: the rogue also had the worst luck at sneaking around. He never had trouble with the hide check, but he almost always rolled a 1 for moving silently. This actually worked out at one point when the room of orcs panicked at the incredibly loud, but basically invisible, creature that jumped into the room.

    As a second part of the clerics troubles:
    When I had initially started the game, I had to take it easy with the party, since they did not have a healer (which I never figured out why they set it up that way). I thought I could have more fun with a cleric finally in the party, so I had them go up against a large nest of cockatrice. (As a quick note, I believe in giving adventures reasons to adventure, so I tend to give them a random magic item to work with. The cleric got a ring of protection 4, which ended up giving him an AC of 24) I never really took into account the poor luck of the person playing the cleric. Sure enough, he managed to be the only person successfully attack by a cockatrice (I tend to do poorly with rolls myself) and through the fort DC was not very high, he managed to fail that as well. Thus the only member of the party with any healing ability got turned to stone, and had to be dragged back to town for healing. (which was very funny for me since the rest of the party were either halflings or spell casters).
    This same cleric also died when he mistook an evil altar (I can not recall to which god) as an altar to Palor (his god) and prayed to it, while next to the statue of the god the altar was for.

    We all decided that it was not a good idea for him to ever have a cleric character again.

  47. Tiana says:

    So, I was playing on a Star Wars forum RPG. Unfortunately not a table… I’ve been playing for a while, I stay out of combat and just character develop and I’m notorious for it–I don’t care about battle results so much as development.

    I’ve never died in a battle.

    So, I’m playing my non-force-using Captain who’s been dismissed to check out a disturbance on our ship. A bounty hunter’s boarded, in the middle of a war–Empire versus Alliance–to try capture the Admiral for whatever reason. The war’s been going on in space for a while. The Imperials have an INTERDICTATION FIELD UP. (No jumping to hyperdrive) We fight. I win. I’m surprisingly good at winning for someone who hates combat… I thought I’d be toast. Anyway, he convinced me to let his character live, seeing as my character was a lawful neutral and not likely to kill him for no reason at all, not without knowing why he was there. Okay then. I let him live, interrogate him about his plans, I have no idea why he preferred this to dying…

    And then we’re attacked. By another army. That’s far more powerful than our armies. They destroy a couple NPC Super Star Destroyers and stuff. In seconds. I’m sent a message from my Admiral–get down to the planet immediately! The same message is transmitted to the Imperial fleet, demanding an immediate temporary truce.

    I’m still lawful. I don’t leave my former attacker there to DIE while we’re getting attacked by unknown enemy forces. Oh, no. I free my original attacker. Him: “My ship’s closer. Come on.” Me: “Right.” I mean, we’re both going to die anyway and out of character, by this point we’ve made a truce to not kill each other, so I let her be dragged off by him and we leave the large flagship.

    To head down to the planet.

    Not away, into the interdictation field and a fleet of alien starships.

    Right?

    …Yeah, right.

    Him: “I don’t trust the armies. We’ll be safer on Coruscant. I jump to hyperspace!”

    We were the first casualties of the war. Because he jumped into hyperspace–which failed to work due to the field–and therefore, right into the middle of a fleet of powerful alien solders with technology far more advanced than entire armies from our factions could face.

  48. Dannerman says:

    I’m a bit late to the party here, but I have a depressing amount of low gamer moments…

    Me and a few friends start talking about me running a Forgotten Realms game. I decide to allow some unusual characters if the players want to be a drow or a celestial or something. I assume everyone will jump at the chance.

    But, no. I just get Jed (not his real name) who wants to be a Githzerai rogue (an odd creature from another dimension). We chat for a while about the unusual roleplaying challenges that this will entail (he seems enthusiastic) and then we get to play.

    The group enters a pretty stereotypical dungeon which I intended to be a sort of training\tutorial area as some players had not played D&D in a while and I wanted them to be familiar with their characters abilities; some combat for the fighter, some scrolls for the mage, some undead monsters for the cleric… and a few traps and opportunities for sneaking for the rogue since I noticed that he’d maxed those two skills.

    Anyway, tho rogue charges into combat as soon as the opportunity presents itself and does very well (Gith have some amazingly twinky abilities as I quickly discover) then proceeds to charge into every single room, before the party has finished searching the last one.

    Most rooms are pretty obviously trapped (scorch marks around the space immediatly in front of the door, holes in the wall with some rusty darts scattered on the floor, even tripwires) but he never makes any attempt to search or disable any (even when I pointedly remind him that he IS a rogue) and gets pretty bored when I try to describe anything in any detail whatsoever.

    The party quickly uses up all it’s healing magic on him. He never utters a word of thanks and tries to steal from them the first chance he gets. This gets him kicked out of the group by the other players. He tries to attack them. I curse myself for foolishly allowing this character as he is more than a match for the group due to a ridiculously high armour class. I thought he was a good roleplayer dammit!

    The party let him back into the group just before things are about to get ugly and my campaign dies a cot death.

    Then they get to town (well, the small village that the campaign would be based around) and meet the various NPC’s and shopkeepers and begin to get little side-quests. Everyone seems to be having a great time bonding with the unique inhabitants of the locale (I’d made sure there was a great deal to see and do for all the characters, being the most skill-orientated class, there was alot for the rogue to do especially).. but Jed’s Gith rogue almost tried to attack the whole village the second the party was intercepted in the woods by the village’s twitchy Ranger guardians (Who were on alert for bandits which had been striking the towns various industries). He is unfailingly and unapologetically rude to every single NPC (and PC!) he encounters, most of the time barely bothering to be in character and I breathe a sigh of relief as the session draws to a close.

    I don’t bother inviting him to the next session. He was not missed. Luckily that campaign turned out to be pretty good and one of my current group still tells stories about it to this day.

    Jed was a 10-year veteran of D&D and other RPG’s by the way (as he enjoyed telling the rest of the group every time he had a ‘great idea’ – the ‘great idea’ usually being a Ulysses S. Grant-style charge) and I had actually enjoyed playing with him before. Later on, I asked him why he was acting up. He said;

    “Oh, I don’t like playing with girls in the group. Sorry.”

    (One of the players was indeed female.)

    I didn’t quite know what to say to that. At least he said sorry? I’ve not played much with him since.

    Sorry it went on so long, but there’s my story. It was such a low moment because of what that session COULD have been. Apart from this player everyone was having a great time and he was REALLY dragging down the mood at times. I’m sure most of us has experienced the bad feelings of intra-party conflict?

    Anyway, I’d better stop typing. Thanks for reading if any of you have the patience to get this far.

  49. Kizer says:

    May as well add my two copper pieces, someone else is bound to read through 177 comments like I did . . . ;)

    Back in middle school, I decided to construct a legitimate DND 3.0 campaign. Story arc, plot development, the whole nine yards. I proceeded to spend months painstakingly coming up with plot hooks to carry a party of adventurers from level 3 to level 18. Yes. The whole time if any of these adventures required a dungeon setting, the results were completely random straight from the DMs guide. Except, this wasn’t quite true. The room’s descriptions were all random, except for one crucial difference: any time I rolled on the room contents table, if I got “empty room,” I re-rolled. :)
    My dungeons ended up being a Diablo-esque series of fights against random creatures straight from the Monster Manual. Of course, my plot involved a cabal of evil magic-users, each with their own tower that had to be assaulted. The weakest caster had a tower with twelve stories, plus three basement levels. The next wizard had a sprawling fortress with over 400 rooms. All the while, each room was constructed to contain a combination of traps, treasure, and monsters.
    We start the campaign before I finish constructing the end, and the first few levels go off fine. The monsters were challenging but not impossible. Then the level 5 adventure begins, featuring my first ever endless maze of monsters. Only 37 rooms. After spending four hours running a fight between the party and a group of Mephits, we ended the session with only one room completed.
    I think I’ve learned the importance of empty rooms . . .

  50. Cerebrete says:

    A little late to the party I can see, but oh well.

    This came about a few weeks ago in my group’s off-forgotten-relms game. We had been aiding an orcish initiative to bring down a corrupt and greedy dwarf empire and my character was the party leader by merit of +7 strength at level five and actually pretty balanced mental stats for an orc barbarian. The party had been aiding a dwarf fortress-city for some time while secretly working to destablize the dwarf presence in the land for some time when we prevoked an attack by formains. The party fended off the mouthless one while I finished off the myrmidons, but when I turned to attack the mouthless one, I found it was being defended by a mind-controlled gnome who was the objective of our search-and-rescue mission. Not wasting a second, I attacked the mouthless one, and through careful pronounciation, the GM allowed his favorite random encounter monster to mind-control the elven hex-blade played by my best friend. She lept in the line of my attack, and was destroyed by a power-attack crit that the GM ruled actually went through her (dispite the maul I was using) and crushed into the mouthless one, killing it instantly even though it was at full health and only took a third of the total damage. My friend then took posession of the gnome character, and the group’s only caster (and necromancer) proceeded to cut out our deceased comrade’s eyes, tounge and hands, arguing that all of them would sell well. Since that time, we have been persued by an angry two-limbed ghost that enjoys posessing me and wreaking havoc on the party.

  51. Kokushibyou says:

    Since someone noticed there is very little mention of Paranoia I guess I should talk about some of my games.
    (as a note, all of our games are single session plays, since most of Paranoia is for the comedy and fun, and not really for long involved stories)

    For the second game I ever hosted, I decided to play most of it off the top of my head, so I could work the game around the players actions (most of whom had never played this before). One of them decided to be especially sociopathic and spent most of his time convincing the party that his ‘registered’ mutant power was to “BLOW THINGS UP WITH HIS MIND” by using self modified remote controlled grenades (he even convinced The Computer by demonstrating in front of everyone in the ‘cafeteria’). This ended with the only game I have played where a character killed everyone AFTER the ending briefing, since he had stuffed theses grenades into everyones pocket just before meeting the debriefer.

    For another game I hosted with all the players being completely new at table top gaming.(except one) I decided to spice things up with having them deliver a package, which was actually a nuclear bomb designed to damage part of the computer, thus having all the parties clones revoked from the system. Throughout the game they faced men and bots that they thought were ‘Commies’, but were actually other Trouble Shooters trying to stop the delivery. Unfortunately they never managed to deliver the package, since we were actually playing at work (during a midnight shift that is normally very slow) and we ran out of the time to finish.

    There was one interesting time when a player decided to use their ‘Luck’ mutant power to try and shoot down some, thought to be Commies (see above), that had surrounded them in a hallway. He got a VERY good luck roll (which was lucky for the player, since anyone who is a veteran at Paranoia knows that the Luck mutant power can be either good or bad), so managed to shoot one of their guns and cause an explosion that killed all but the party off. (which was VERY lucky seeing as how the ‘Commies’ were both behind and in front of them in the hall where normally the explosion would have hit the party as well, and the laser gun that was shot does not normally have the feature of ‘blowing up’ when shot)

  52. Kokushibyou says:

    While in college, a friend convinced me and two other friends to try out Jade Claw (for those who have not seen it, it is called a ‘furry’ game, since the world is based around sentient animals in a human like world). I was playing a rat thief, and my friends were a phoenix mage and horse sword dancer. We decided our cover story for travel was we were a performance act where the horse showed off sword tricks while the phoenix made the ‘fireworks’ and I orated. This worked very well for us, and we even managed to impress the nobles enough to have them invite us for a private show. At this time another friend decided to join in. I can not remember what character he played, but he did have some combat abilities. It was decided he would play a MOCK fight with the horse for the act. This turned out to be a very bad idea.

    During the act, the horse tried to make a fake thrust at the new guy, and did not fail on his part. Our friend managed to fail his dodge roll though and was stabbed in the gut. This was not so bad since it was a light strike, but he managed to fail his toughness roll as well, and screamed out in pain. Since I had maxed out my speaking skills, I decided to try to convince the audience that this was SUPPOSED to happen. Thankfully I did very well in my roll and succeeded. After the act, we all decided to collect for a group bow. This was the second bad idea. As we tried to pick up our injured friend, he failed his toughness roll again, and screamed out it pain, AGAIN. I tried to bullshit the audience again, and rolled very well again. From that point on, our new friend never did anything more for the act then carry the props.

    For another game we played (different characters) I was a rabbit thief, with a cat mage, rhino warrior, and another thief (can not remember the animal). We were sent on a thieving run in the noble part of town. Us two thieves broke into the place, while the other two were lookouts. Things went well, until the rhino decided to attack a patrolling guard that had not seen them. We all tried to run, but I was the only one who succeeded. I had managed to climb the wall, knock a guard off of it, but had trouble climbing down the other side. I fell and was knocked unconscious. This turned out to be very funny, as I learned all the city guard were looking for me, but never thought to look on top of the jail house, where I fell.
    The rest of the party were thrown into this jail, with the mage tied and gagged, so he could not cast any spells. The thief was able to pick the lock and even tore the throat of the guard out with his teeth. He went to free everyone else, but the rhino decided that the cat mage was a more useful improvised weapon, so left him tied and gagged. They also decided to clean up the blood pool made by the dead guard. They realized they had nothing to clean it up, so used the cat mage as a ‘mop’. At this point the DM had a NPC that we had met previous come into the room, since he had planned to help free them. The DM played the role of the unknowing NPC beautifully, and asked the party why the cat mage was dripping with blood. This turned into a running gag where the mage became the party mop.

    PS: the player who played the cat mage, was the same guy who played the injured guy in the sword act. He was never very lucky in our games.

  53. Andrul says:

    I swear the following is all true and happened in a single adventure:

    We come upon the ruins of a castle, debris all around. The front doors open into a 10′ wide hallway running back about 80′ with small openings running down one side. Bob the fighter/mage (yep, he really was named Bob) decides it’s safe and starts sauntering casually down the hall as we all ask what the heck he thinks he’s doing just before arrows (duh) start flying from the murder holes. My fighter then has to run in and drag him out of the hall, taking damage himself.

    Later on, inside the castle dungeons he opens a door after ignoring our request to listen for noises first, gets covered in voraciously starved rats. My fighter fails his save against disease after several bites received while we save him.

    Lastly, We’re limping down a forest path after actually surviving the ruins when the DM announces there’s a bear foraging about 15′ off the path. Everyone (except Bob) announces they’re just going to walk by and leave it alone. Bob, who is last in line, fires his crossbow then rolls a 1 for damage. Bear gets mad, bear mauls Bob. Party stands around for a few rounds deciding do we want to save him and finally turn around to drive the bear off. Our ranger was quite displeased at the unnecessary killing of the poor beast who was only looking for vittles and strongly proclaims we should have fed it Bob.

  54. Wind-Up says:

    Well, I don’t know if this is a ‘bad’ gaming experience, but it certainly makes me look like the moron I am/was.

    My character was this 19-year-old human Knight (yeah, young, I know), and we were facing off against this Cleric of Hextor that had put my character’s brother in prison about 9 years before. I kept asking if I could get any morale bonuses on initiative, attack rolls, etc. until the Paladin of the group got fed up with it and said, “Alright! Go forth! You are blessed, my son! Now shut the $#%% up!

  55. Innsmouth says:

    This is acctually the only campaign I’ve participated in, and dispite this *cough* ‘questionable’ decision by the co-GMs I enjoyed it. I was a cowardly Mexican kid with aweful stats who (by sheer luck, I assure you) was the second most combat effective member of our party.
    Anywho, we were riding around post civil war New Mexico doing exiting, often evil deeds (though not generally on porpose)and having a great time vaugly following a plot reguarding a railroad company that felt it needed to demolish entire towns rather than, you know, use the functionally endless dessert surrounding them. No one had a problem with that.
    And then, out of nowhere, we were in Shantar (D&D land, basically). We were drawn into saving the alternate world by collecting the ‘Stones of Light’ or something. We went from an unusual setting where we were highly likly to take a bullet and die during any random encounter (making fights highly exiting) to being five to seven (depending on who showed up) gunslingers who carried the D&D equivilant of M-16s.
    Not to say it wasn’t a blast. The guys I was with were all fun to be around, and so were their characters (even if they were mostly wild west versions of ourselves). I still smile when I remember it, and it was damn fun to play, but damn was that a lame plot decision.

  56. PEEJ says:

    While playing Shadowrun one of the party had smuggled a disassembled gun past the ‘dumb as a post’ guards at the front doors and then we encountered a very perceptive one. Whilst sitting down behind his desk the guard described to us in detail why he didn’t trust us and proceeded to draw his weapon…Our gun smuggling friend happily announced that he would take out the bits, re-assemble his gun, load and then cock it and then shoot the guard in the head. And then, to our jaw dropping disbelief, he rolled a series of die, each as high as it was possible and did just that…Can you picture it? The players just rolled about the place for the next ten minutes!

  57. Taktis says:

    One of my friends experienced a very grand fail in one of our attempts at starting a new D&D 3.5 campaign. We had spent about 3 hours rolling up characters (we get distracted a lot) and just preparing for our DM’s new story. We finally got to start the game.
    Our party of 3 brand new level 1 characters was traveling through a forest when we are suddenly surrounded by a group of mercenaries. The fight started and things were going alright. The mercenaries mostly missed with their attacks and I (the cleric) commanded their leader to flee.
    My friend (who was a monk wielding 2 swords and the feat needed to do so) attacks a nearby mercenary. He rolls 2 d20′s for the attack and…gets a 1 on each. Crit Fail.
    But oh! it gets better! He rolls each again to see exactly how badly he failed. He gets a 1 on each…again. We’re freaking out. Surely he can’t fail as hard as we think he’s going to is he? For the third time he rolls both dice. Up comes a 4…and a 1.
    We sat in silence for about half a minute, then looked to our DM as he describes how the monk somehow manages to slice off both of his arms and his legs in a sliding downward thrust and finally impaling himself on one sword as he hits the ground.


    We didn’t continue that story and have yet to touch those particular d20′s since.

  58. mazer says:

    First game i ever played, dnd 2nd eddition. I was a rogue, another player was a cleric( maybe a priest?), dont rember the rest of ther party.

    the first tunnel in the dungeon has like 3 pit traps. I find them and we go around, then the path T’s. I go one way, making search checks, and dont find any for maybe 20′. the cleric gets bored and explores the other tunnel. Falls in a pit and dies before going 10′.

    The DM looks at his notes, then looks up at us. “you all die”
    “whay?” i say, ” I was just standiung there”
    “The monster at the end is a gargoyal, you cant hurt him without the bless spell”
    “Oh” I say, ” in that case we leave”
    “the gargoyal flys out of the dungeon and eats you all”

    the next campaign had a different DM

  59. Simperin' Fool says:

    I have a couple of interesting stories to tell, some funny and some painful.

    The funny ones are from a few years ago when I was running a D20 Modern campaign set in the 1960′s. My players were a bunch of NASA astronauts on a mission Mars, and they were racing a rival team of Russian cosmonauts to be the first ones there. I intended the game to be sort of a comedy, but I didn’t expect for things to get as crazy as they did.

    Early in the race, one of the players (“Tom”) looked out a porthole and noticed a small capsule approaching the ship, apparently launched from the Russian craft. It moved over one of the airlocks and locked onto the hull. Out of curiosity, Tom opened the airlock to see what was inside the capsule.

    As soon as it opened wide enough, a huge goose wearing a red bandanna with a hammer and sickle bursts out and sends Tom flying. The other two players, Dick and Harry, rushed over to try and fight it off. There was no gravity, so the astronauts had a lot of difficulty maneuvering, but the goose had no trouble flying around the cabin and raising Hell. They eventually defeated it by stuffing it into a locker or something.

    Later, Tom and Harry were outside the ship repairing some damage from a small meteor. Tom, at one point, did something incredibly stupid, I can’t remember what, and Harry decided to punish him by pinning him down and duct taping him to one of the wings, then leaving him there and going back inside. Tom tried to get loose and succeeded in bursting free of the tape, but unfortunately he drifted away from the ship into empty space. He eventually floated back to Earth, turned into a human fireball during his rapid descent, and landed in a pool in an American suburb. After the gigantic splash, an old man ran up to the pool and screamed “THE COMMUNISTS ARE ATTACKING!” Everyone had a good laugh, and Tom seemed to take his epic death pretty well, so I decided to let him play one of the cosmonauts after that.

    Everyone eventually made it to Mars, American and Russian ships landing beside each other at the same time, and after piling out of their ships there was a huge brawl as both teams tried to plant their flag before the other. The surviving Americans, Dick and Harry, won the battle, and returned to Earth to receive a hero’s welcome. After a debriefing and congratulations, the NASA director approached Dick and Harry and said “Go home and get some sleep, we need you two to come in early tomorrow for the shoot.”

    Both of them were like “Wha?”

    And the director said “We need to reenact the landing for the news. You think we can show the public the real landing footage?”

    That was a good game.

    But now for a sad story (And a long one). A few months ago, I was playing in a Traveler campaign. My friends and I landed on a resort planet called Sauna to relax after a totally awesome psychic battle in an ancient starship we had discovered. Sauna was a fairly nice place, but basically a police state. Picture Cuba. We were given a nice welcome, but forbidden from taking any of our weapons off of the dock we’d landed our ship on.

    One of the players was a space marine, fully decked-out with power armor and heavy weapons. He pretty much always used the same character in any game he played with us: the Doom guy. A one-dimensional combat monster with little regard for life (Even his own). He stayed on the dock, guarding the ship while everyone else wandered off to do their own thing.

    Our captain, played by the GM’s mildly autistic younger brother, put out a bulletin that we would be accepting passengers to another planet once we’d finished our business on Sauna. This one guy responded and arranged to meet the captain at the dock to book passage. He was an obviously shady rogue-type character, and the captain rather cluelessy offered to give him a tour of our ship before finding out more about him.

    Mr. space marine saw the two of them coming and intercepted them on the boarding ramp of the ship. After a short argument he picked the captain up and heaved him out onto the dock, which was pretty justified I suppose. And then he threw an armed hand grenade after him.

    Everyone was pretty stunned, and the GM had this look of “are you ******* serious” but he let it go on and told the marine to roll his damage. The captain just BARELY survived, and a mob of security officers came swarming onto the dock.

    The most unbelievable part is that the marine was actually surprised that he was being arrested. He seemed to think that being allowed to carry weapons on the dock also meant he could use them, I don’t even know. When we asked him what the hell he was thinking, he said he didn’t care if his character lived or died, so it was a random impulse to throw the grenade. We spent about half an hour reasoning with him that just because he didn’t care didn’t mean he could murder other PC’s, and that we’d prefer if he DID care about his character because it would the game more enjoyable. Fortunately, the guy he’d exploded took it all very well, and there were no hard feelings afterwards.

  60. Phntm888 says:

    I know it’s incredibly late to the game, but I have to share this one.

    So, my first campaign ever, 2nd Ed AD&D, showed the party being more buffoon than hero at the beginning. Myself and my one friend were new players, but everyone else at the table was fairly experienced (being my parents, her dad, and her godparents). So, we rolled up stats using 4d6 in order. This resulted in us having 2 Clerics (one human, one dwarf), 2 Rogues (one halfling, one elf), a Druid (half-elf), and a Mage (human).

    So, first adventure, we have to get into this underground dungeon via a chasm that another adventuring party had generously left their rope tied to a post to get down. So, the GM decides to have us make Dex checks to get down the rope. We send the halfling rogue down first, and he makes it down, no problem. I go second, and while I’m halfway down the rope, the rogue is attacked by giant rats. So, I yell up, “We need help.” The guy playing the Dwarven cleric looks at his character sheet, yells out, “Look out down there,” and attempts his check with a Dex of 8 – failing. The good news is he landed on a rat.

    So, I continue climbing, and the human cleric goes to come down – and fails. So he goes flying past me to land and get knocked unconscious. I finally make it down to heal the 2 clerics, just in time for the Mage to land next to me. We decided that the Elven rogue and the mage had reached for the rope at the same time in panic, and the mage hadn’t gotten a grip.

    So, before we even entered the dungeon, in a party of three healers, I had already used up all of my healing spells, the Rogue had a disease, and we then had to cross a rotting wooden bridge – and the Cleric was styled after a Viking. Being 6’2″, 180 lbs., and wearing chainmail.

    Fortunately, we showed ourselves to be much better heroes as the adventure continued.

  61. rayen says:

    saddest thing i ever saw;

    Me and about 6 of my friends (2 other people came and went randomly) had gaming sessions every tuesday and friday. We had a very lax game not alot of roleplaying, conversations while the game was going on and the DM making up shit as he went along. One day a new guy walks in and friend says, “this is jacob, he’s a friend of mine from *comic shop* (<- warning warning) his group disbanded so he joining ours."

    Thus began the day from hell where me and three other people literally got up and left 2 hpours early because we had a hardcore stick to the rules, full roleplay player who had to have his way. He did not return the following session and his new characters sheets were cerimonly shredded and burned.

  62. Roninsoul7 says:

    The most painful thing I endured at a gaming table?

    That would be when I ran Shadowrun for a group of friends, and one friend made 24 characters prior to the game starting, and during the course of the game, brought in and lost all of them nearly instantly, including having to make up 5 more. I know what you will say, but Shadowrun is a futuristic corporate espionage game, and he was dying in such ways as, waving a gun at the passing police car, then shooting when it didn’t stop. Walking into a crowded club for the “shadow” denizens, then picking a fight with all of them at once. The list gets worse (and less general audience friendly) from there. In the end we shelved the whole campaign while that player was there.

  63. Rhazzy says:

    Oh boy do I have a few stories to share with y’all…

    At one point my regular gaming group had this guy we called “politician” (long story involving high school’s student-body-thingamabob), who was about to host a game of 3.5 DnD for a few rookies. He wanted someone experienced there as a player to show the tricks to the rookies so he invited me.
    What followed was an evening of linear railroading involving an inn that looked like the moomin house, the frikin’ boogeyman from the same serie attacking the inn and the cellar of the inn somehow transporting the players onto a demiplane of sorts. The place was a tunnel with a cave-in and another side passage, from which a ghostly voice was whispering “come here…”.
    Naturally the group was less than enthusiastic to go there, so we tried to make our way through the cave-in. As soon as we took pick axes to the rocks, we were told to roll save vs. fear as a ghostly face leapt at us. Luckily one player had a warblade with the totally broken ability to roll a concentration check instead of a will save, so he repeatedly made the saves with impunity. Then, out of nowhere, the pickaxe of the Warblade started to fall apart, leaving us with no choice but to head down the railroad of the side passage with the ghostly voice.
    In the chamber of ghostly voices we ran into a bunch of ghosts, the leader of whom proceeded to deliver a 45-minute angsty emo monologue about their cruel fate in the hands of some “godslayer” or something… I was too bored to care at that point. Afterwards -once the ghost was done delivering his speech- we proceeded onwards to confront this godslayer, who turned out to be an old 3rd-level sorcerer with crummy stats, bad spells and no HP to speak of, so we stomped all over him. Here’s the kicker: the guy proceeded to give a half-hour monologue WHILST DYING, and wouldn’t stop after we cut off his head!
    Generally this “politician” guy was the worst DM I’ve ever had the displeasure of meeting, and I’m incredibly glad the group finally got rid of him.

    Now then, onto a more funny failstory!

    The group was exploring an underground building complex in search of a golden pressure wheel for the brewery of an ancient temple. The dungeon had some undead, some gnolls and some Drow in it; good times all around.

    At one point the party (with two players playing a homebrewn “lesser” version of a gnoll with LA +0) tried to ambush some drow in a room. the gnolls -me with a fighter and a friend with a barbarian- had the genius idea to poison our weapons with drow knockout poison. turns out we both failed our rolls and ended up poisoning ourselves… and then subsequently FAILING the fairly easy save vs. the poison. Luckily I made the second save and wasn’t out cold for hours, whilst the big burly barbarian failed his second save and slept for hours… we had to drag him along in the corridors. Everyone had fun in that game, though, despite -or perhaps exactly because of- the big frontliners knocking themselves out at the most crucial point.

    I have one last story to share…

    About a year ago the group was playing some Dark Heresy, exploring a space hulk in search of a legendary artefact (the adventure “twilight” from the adventure book “purge the unclean”). They met the warp-spirit of a dead psyker girl who warned them not to tell the others they are from the Inquisition, because the others wouldn’t like that. What did one of the players say the first thing when we ten minutes later ran into the other warp spirits? you guessed it… “we’re from the Inquisition!”. the warp spirits attacked with a storm of psychic energy and everyone had to burn a point of Fate to survive.

    To this day we still keep reminding the player of his little mistake xD

  64. Gabriel says:

    Dnd 3.5
    I’m a rogue, can’t remember what the other two guys were.

    We return to town after ‘thinning the population’ of wolves, and find it overrun with zombies (not a very creative DM). We find someone willing to let us into their house and we explain we were just hunting wolves. He says, “wolves are the least of our problems now”, to which my friend responds, “why, what else is there?”. I just look at him for a second, see that he really was serious, and scream at him, “Zombies!”.

    What else is there is now a running joke among my dnd group.

    Another time, still 3.5, we were making characters for the module ‘The Thunder Below’. My brother was making a level 18 druid with a dire tiger animal companion, and he was consider bestiality as one of his…hobbies. My friend, the what else is there guy, says to him, “isn’t bestiality a language?”. As if that weren’t enough, my brother responds, “its the language of love”, forming yet another running joke.

    Finally, towards the end of our first campaign, where no one but the DM had ever played before, the same moron friend of mine was playing a dwarf fighter, and in a failed attempt to quote LotR, his character cried out, “Nobody tosses a horse!…wait, what?”. Of course later on, when we reached epic levels, I was a monk boarding an enemy boat and I tossed a horse down to my brother’s barbarian, Brawndo Shatterhelm, who was waiting with his hammer, and was certainly very surprised by the sudden appearance of a horse.

    Same guy, responsible for my only three suitable stories I can think of, along with three great running jokes. This is the same guy that’s been playing for 3 1/2 years, and just recently learned to make a character, though the skill system still confuses him. The saddest part? The guy has a genius IQ.

    I wonder if anyone will read this.

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