Gaming Stories: The Worst Ever

By Shamus Posted Friday Jan 4, 2008

Filed under: Tabletop Games 201 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?


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201 thoughts on “Gaming Stories: The Worst Ever

  1. mos says:

    There we are, in the depths of the catacombs. Bodies line the walls, seemingly haphazardly placed upon reed mats within niches that are stacked four high. Our level three party creeps halfway down the hall, and we see that the hallway bends to the left with more open tombs continuing around the bend.

    Bill: “So they’re just lying there?”
    DM: “Yes.”
    Bill: “Not moving, huh?”
    Bill: “I poke one with the butt end of my halberd.”
    Party: *shocked*
    DM: “…Well, now they’re moving. All of them.”

  2. ShadoStahker says:

    The GM using his pet GMPC who is so better for us (noone was allowed to be a Jedi in our Rebellion Era Star Wars game, for obvious reasons, except for his pet who had been in stasis or something this whole time, giving him a huge advantage on us. Oh, he also had blindsight, effectively.) or his favourite NPC (we don’t want to get help from Drizzt, some witch-lady nobody but the GM has heard of, or Artemin Enwhothehellcares in a Forgotten Realms game) to save the PCs, when he puts us in a situation where we have no chance of escaping without that NPC or GMPC.

    Yes, both the same GM.

    Bitter? Me?

  3. mos says:

    Speaking of the halberd…

    Early in the campaign, we discover a fool’s chamber. Or at least, it’s clear to some of us that it’s a fool’s chamber. Others of us rush in and assume that the magic items and gold must be genuine. Bill takes a magic halberd; Andy grabs a magic shield. I take a non-magical suit of armor (and only that because my other suit was ruined in a trap).

    Everything in that room was cursed. Andy’s shield was a shield of arrow attraction (or whatever it’s called): any arrow fired at him will seek him out unerringly. Even better, Bill’s halberd is a -2 halberd. Did I mention we didn’t have any means of identifying these items? For many, many levels? Bill kept that thing until level 9, if I remember correctly.

    He would forever say things like, “I roll a 10, plus my strength, plus this ring. –Oh, and don’t forget the magic of the halberd.” The DM would always reply “Oh, don’t worry, I won’t.”

    “Plus the magic of the halberd” has become a running joke with us.

  4. mos says:

    I have many more; Bill and Andy were great foils. I think every party should have at least one, they make the game interesting for the other players who play the game with precision, never making mistakes.

  5. Thad says:

    I remember me and a friend coming up with a plan to sneak an NPC out of a castle (there were other PCs also in this party). Of course, we could have waited a few hours then walked out, but we felt it was important to sneak out now.

    So we climbed down a wall. Or rather, everyone else climbed down the wall, me and my friend fell down the wall and both died.

    Seemed rather fitting. :)

  6. Allerun says:

    I was in a game once where one of our group brought a girl he met in class in to play. The DM being the horny college freshman he was started shaping the game to better suit the newcomer. It ended up in a werewolf love story between her and an NPC we had been chasing (this was Ravenloft). We switched to Call of Cthulu shortly after to cleanse our palettes.

  7. JohnW says:

    Temple of Elemental Evil, the party battled our way into the depths and encountered the juggernaut. It took everything, everything we had to throw at it. 5 party members huddle behind a stone altar, dead or dying. All our spells cast, potions used, etc. etc. My big dumb fighter, the last who can still fight, climbs on top of the altar with his 2 handed sword, ready to give his life to defend his comrades.

    The juggernaut rolls forward to finish off the party, big dumb fighter winds up and takes the swing of his life…


    “Dammit, roll again!”

    Kind of killed the mood.

  8. Neil says:

    In one of my earlier 2nd edition gaming experiences we had a player who was just plain contrary. Whatever direction the party seemed to be leaning in, he’d sprint the other way. Let’s call him Donny, for that was his name.

    Donny Story #1.
    Dungeon crawling, we enter a room with a mysterious hole low on one wall. Pitch black, as if no light can enter or leave it. Party is naturally wary and starts discussing what, if anything, to do with it. Donny: “I walk over and stick my face in it.”
    Not his dagger, not the tip of his left pinky… his [i]face[/i]. You could almost hear the thoughts of the other players screaming “Please let it be an orb of destruction!” Sadly, it wasn’t, and he emerged unscathed.

  9. Neil says:

    Argh. Angle brackets, not square. Hey Shamus, is there any possibility of a preview feature with this software?

  10. Hm… well, my warrior got cursed with the Pleasure of Fighting curse. Every time I rolled a natural 20 to hit, he doubled his damage, but he also got, eh, an orgasm, so he missed the next turn.

    Silly college humor.

  11. Tholmir says:

    In a game, I was playing a half-orc turned into a Minotaur by a curse.
    At the end of a combat, one of the monsters decides to retreat. I get an attack of opportunity on it. “Why not!” I roll. 1, confirmed fumble! The DM rolls on his fumble table: “Hit another target”.
    With 5′ of reach, I can touch 3 persons. Another player mentions that I’m Large, so it’s 10′ of reach. I can now reach our priestess. I roll. Who do you think I hit? The priestess!
    I roll the damages. Greataxe (d12) + strength (a lot). Also, I was doing a Power Attack…

    I think I rolled one of my highest damage… I killed the priestess… And we had nobody to resurrect her… I was a bit ashamed… ;)

    We transported her corpse and paid for a True Resurrect.

  12. Hal says:

    I play a game bi-weekly at the moment. Our GM has a busy family life, so he doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to writing original material. The GM has been playing since DnD first came out, while the rest of us are either first timers or have only played for a short time. One week, during some down time, the GM is telling us about all these mods from 1st or 2nd edition that he’s run or played, how neat/goofy they are, etc. He tells us about one that is very strange, but that he probably wouldn’t run it because it doesn’t fit well with what we’ve been doing so far.

    So what happens the next time we meet? “Hey guys, we’re actually going to run that mod because I didn’t have time to prepare anything else. Hope you don’t mind.”

  13. InThane says:

    I played Synnibarr with Raven McCracken at a con once in the ’90s.

    I still haven’t recovered. *shudder*

  14. pdwalker says:

    We had a DM who was known for his talent of opposing the players.

    We found a spellbook. Immediately, we all start laughing at how this book is obviously trapped with explosive runes. We’d otherwise never get anything that valuable. The DM was otherwise involved with his bookkeeping.

    So one of the PCs describes how he carefully takes the book into another 10’x10′ room away from the other, more vunerable party members in order to examine the book – in case it was trapped.


    The DM then proceeded to roll damage for all the party members because he assumed that the entire party (we were a large party with henchman and animal companions) crowded into the 10×10 room and looked over the shoulder of the PC reading the book.

    DMs are never wrong.

  15. Stephen says:

    The party has been facing terrible shadow creatures for months, and is finally ready to make a desperate strike into the heart of their dimension. I try very hard to set the mood, to get the group back into the horror mindset we’d achieved the first time they encountered one of the creatures. The only light in the gaming room is from a single candle on the table, and I describe them approaching the dark rift and heading into unknown danger. “And then… everything goes black,” I whisper, snuffing the candle and intending to leave them in the darkness for a few moments.

    Less than a second later, there’s the distinctive click as one of the players immediately switches on a lamp.

    “What? I couldn’t see my character sheet!”

  16. Neil says:

    Donny Story #2.
    Same dungeon, different day. There is a long corridor whose walls, floor and ceiling are peppered with 4″ holes. A great many metal balls are shooting out of these holes and disappearing into holes on the opposite side, creating a serious hazard for anyone venturing down there. Naturally we need something from a side passage off of this corridor. And naturally, there is a rust monster happily bouncing up and down this corridor feasting on the metal balls, though their number never seems to diminish.

    The plan: When the rust monster roams near the other end of the corridor, our valiant (and heavily armoured) fighter will brave a charge in to the side passage and pull the lever, or whatever it was that needed to do be done down there. If the rust monster starts coming back and looks like it might endanger the fighter, the mage (Donny) will toast it with a lightning bolt or two. Otherwise, we’ll try not to antagonize it.

    The result: Fighter gets in, rust monster starts coming back. Party starts urging Donny to cast his lightning bolt. He refuses. Monster keeps approaching. He refuses. Monster starts down side passage (random rolling to determine rust monster’s direction, btw). Fighter begins to sweat (and swear) profusely. Rust monster comes out, is now between fighter and party in corridor. Donny still maintains that he doesn’t want to cast a lightning bolt at it. Eventually, the monster retreated back just far enough for the fighter to slip through and return to the party. There was a lot of grumbling and berating, but Donny just shrugged and said “he made it, didn’t he?”

    Then, as the party turns to leave, “I cast a lightning bolt at the rust monster.” Looking back, I can’t explain why we didn’t throw him out there and then, making sure he bounced on every stair on the way down.

  17. Becca says:

    My husband and a friend, N., tell a story about the worst experience they’ve had with another friend, M., as the DM. Their two characters become separated from the rest of the party during a crawl through an elaborate and minutely planned dungeon, and wake up hanging upside down in chains. They make rolls, that are seemingly wildly successful, to pull the chains loose from the crumbling wall. Eh, turns out the wall wasn’t quite so crumbly. Further, “these chains were made to hold giants,” M. says.

    Husband and N. look at each, shrug, and say, “Well, then, we just slip out of the obviously over-large manacles.” M. does a double-take, and decrees that the manacles have now magically shrunk around them. They have to sit and wait for the other players to come upon the room where they are imprisoned. For two more of their weekly sessions, they sit with nothing to do other than have their characters sing Broadway show tunes, while hanging upside down.

    Then during the third session, the other PCs, who have been diligently opening EVERY DOOR in the dungeon, finally turn down the hall where M. had put the prison room … and decide to start skipping doors.

  18. Duffy says:

    We seem to have two trends that appear in most of my friend’s DnD games:

    1. I always end up being the leading cause of party death. In my defense its usually the players that are doing things like “ok, i’m going the complete opposite direction as everyone else” for no reason but to annoy us. For once, violence does solve everything.

    2. Fire is the solution to everything. Monster? Set it on fire. Town that is not thrilled with us? Set it on fire. Not enough money to buy magic items or new weapons? Kill the shopkeep, steal the weapons and burn the evidence. We may be the only party that reliably carries oil and tinder sticks for the sole purpose of burning things down.

    We also have some amusing character combos once in awhile. The psionic parrot/cat that dominated a pirate/mage was always amusing. Personal favorite was a gnome PC in full plate dual wielding shields (armor and shield spikes of course) that was the thrown weapon of an Ogre PC. Gnome chucking turned out to be a rather viable method of attack.

  19. MintSkittle says:

    Let’s see here. Mine are from Shadowrun games. The one where our group is kicking butt and taking names, one of our guys throws a block of explosives at their getaway van, and is about to press the detonator, and we have to end the game early because we’re getting loud and obnoxious, and we never finished the session.

    The pet NPC who was the baddie and several times more powerful than us. We actually beat him unconscious and tied him up, and as soon as we turn our backs, he frees himself, jumps out a window, and escapes.

    The GM who steals my hundred sided die and makes us roll it before every action we take. A roll of 1 means you suffer a heart attack and die. So my friend rolls. Of course it’s a 1.

    Just to note, these were all different GMs.

  20. Melfina the Blue says:

    Worst game ever (DM was good, other players were good, but
    our combat went something like this…
    Warlock: I hit for (rolls dice) 18 damage.
    Rogue: What do I roll again to attack?
    Everyone in unison: the d20.
    Next round:
    Warlock: Does a 19 hit?
    Warlock: 10 damage then.
    Rogue: Is it my turn?
    Everyone else: yup.
    Rogue: What do I roll to attack again?
    Six months later
    Paladin: That’s 24 damage. Your turn, rogue.
    Rogue: What do I roll to attack again?

    Never did figure out if it was the wine and vodka, or the rogue had the worst memory on the planet. They’d been playing for at least 3 months before I came in.

  21. Xale D says:

    Alright, so this is a modern Spy Game. The PCs learns of an upcoming attempt on the life of a member of a royal family in some European country. They manage to figure out where the attack will take place and stake it out quite cleverly (for the most part). One the the Characters, Dirk, is sitting on a nearby street corner, playing his guitar for change. Another, Red, is lingering around the mouth of an alley looking like either a drug-dealer or a pedophile: Long tan trench coat tied tightly at the waist with shotgun-shaped bulges.

    The team of assassins strike, killing several bodyguards before the PCs drive them off. Several of the PCs are taken into custody for having firearms and using them on the public street. Under questioning, Dirk spins this wonderful tale about how he was just sitting on the corner, trying to raise enough money for a hot meal when he saw the beloved Prince being attacked by those hodded guys and had to act, as his civic duty, and he had the pistol for self defense.

    Questioner to Red: “And what’s your story?”
    Red, gesturing to Dirk: “I was with him.”

    Rest of party: *FACEPALM*

    Also, if you haven’t already seen them, check out the CLUE Files for Shadowrun horror stories (link esacpes me here at work)

  22. Jeysie says:

    My roleplaying group had a session a few weeks ago where things went wrong in a morbidly hilarious fashion.

    Our group was in the middle of melee with a group of zombies, except for our sorceror, who was standing off a ways.

    For starters, our fighter has a homebrewed magical weapon that morphs into a different random weapon each turn (we’re playtesting it during this campaign). In this particular turn, it was a longsword. He manages to roll a 1 for his attack roll, and the DM determined via a few rolls and tables that the sword flew out of his hand and landed in the leg of the cleric.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, the weapon also has an altered Returning ability to ensure that any ammunition it produces can become part of the weapon again before the next morph. We all decided that a thrown longsword counts for these purposes (plus it solved the dilemma of what happens if the weapon morphs while inside of somebody), so of course the longsword ended up flying *out* of the cleric’s leg back into the fighter’s hand. At this point the cleric becomes very, very ticked off at the fighter and in pain and starts going ballistic at him.

    Now, that would have been memorable enough for one session. Until the sorceror decided to use his own random ability, the Spell of Wonder, on the zombies (based loosely on the Rod of Wonder).

    He casts the spell. He rolls the dice to see what effect he gets.

    “34. Fireball.”
    “… So, does that mean you just cast a Fireball into the middle of all of us?”
    “Yep, seems so.”
    “Oh dear.”

    The fighter failed his Reflex save and lost half his hit points. My rogue also failed his save and ended up with a whopping 1 hit point left. The cleric made her save, which was insanely lucky because she had few enough hit points left that she’d have been dead otherwise. The sorceror, of course, was safely out of harm’s way.

    Well, at least the zombies were completely toast.

  23. DGM says:

    There was one particular player in my D&D group who eventually managed to drive me away from tabletop RPGs altogether, and even more than a decade later I’ve never gotten back into them. It can be less than fun being the only non-drinker at a table of heavy drinkers even at the best of times, but after a few drinks this guy would have a mind like a steel trap. By which I mean:

    1) His mind could only hold one thing at a time,

    2) It would clamp on to the first thing to cross it, right or wrong, and

    3) nothing short of taking a crowbar to it could get it to let go.

    He would get some blatently stupid idea about what to do, insist on doing it no matter how much the rest of us told him not to, and then argue endlessly that it was what he was his character was supposed to do. Every. Bloody. Session. I stopped playing because I got tired of dealing with the skull-splitting headaches he gave me every time I played.

    Some of my favorite incidents:

    1) He’s playing a thief, and decides to swipe the money pouch of an obviously wealthy man passing through a marketplace. He fails, and while the target doesn’t catch him, he is alerted that something just happened.

    Not so bad by itself, but our hero decides to swing back around and try again. He fails again, the target spots him, grabs his money pouch tightly and starts calling for the watch. My character, an illusionist, is nearby and I start frantically trying to think of a way to distract the law enforcement starting to close in on him.

    And then, the moron swings back around to try a third time. Despite the fact that his mark is holding tightly to his money pouch and the guards are almost on top of him. It’s at this point that I pointedly inform the DM that my character turns around and walks away, leaving the thief to deal with the mess himself.

    2) End of the campaign, final battle with the big bad. Said big bad has been established to be highly resistant (as in, don’t even bother trying it) to magic, and most of the party has surrounded him to engage in melee. Our genius, playing a magic user here, insists on dropping a Fireball on the enemy. Despite the DM repeatedly asking him “are you sure” and me frantically gesturing to him from across the table not to.

    Predictable result: he roasts the party and doesn’t even singe the bad guy.

    3) He was playing a soldier in a game set around 1900. After getting into a fight while investigating a motel, both of my pistols jam, but we win the fight anyway. He declares he’s going to kick in the door to the next room. I point out that after all the noise we just made, anyone in the next room will be ready for us and he needs to wait while I unjam my weapons and reload so that we can back him up.

    He completely ignores me and charges in to get cut almost in half by a shotgun blast. As the group’s doctor, I had to patch him up afterwards.

  24. Dan says:

    I’ll pitch in two.

    Dragonlance, circa 1986 – I’m playing the Kender (like a halfling, but with hyperactivity and insanity for those non-DL folks) Tasslehoff. All the players are very well aware that the DM is under instructions to not let the pcs die, at least for the larger part of the game, as they are considered “main characters” who have important roles to play later in the game, regardless of how stupidly the players play them.

    The adventure begins with an exploration of some Draconian keep, whereby the party must cross a bridge over a chasm of fog.

    I’m roleplaying the fearless spazz to the hilt, probably because of a combination of roleplaying, juvenile typecasting, and an out-of-game fearlessness due to the stupid “no dead PCs” rule. Tasslehoff tries climbing down a mysterious chain suspended in the fog. He does this easily until reaching the terminal point nearly a hundred feet down, where there is a large cauldron.

    The Kender figures that he must be near the ground.

    So he says, “It can’t be too far now.”

    And jumps.

    And dies.


    Another game, this one in Rolemaster: during a long campaign, our party of adventurers had begun to encounter strange magic (i.e. alien technology) and our drow elf somehow ended up with a atomic-powered hand. The only requirement was that it required a small amount of coolant in the form of water. After a fair amount of overuse, the hand locked up and began beeping. We were near a mountain lake and the drow started hoofing it, but not quickly enough.

    Yes, it remains my only first-hand experience of a total party kill, and it ended in a nuclear holocaust.

  25. Cactuscat says:

    Please bear with me, as this will run a little long. I’ve been carrying this tale of woe with me for a very long time and finally I’ve found the proper place to air this piece of dirty laundry.

    I was the GM of a D&D game with a group of relatively experienced players. We’d run through several adventures together and (I thought) were pretty in tune with each other’s GM styles. I was apparently wrong.

    As a lark I decided to throw in a magical trap I came up with off the top of my head. The party made it to the room that had an object they were seeking and secured said object, no sweat. However, upon exiting the room they discovered that the corridor suddenly transformed into an endless loop. No matter how far they walked in either direction they’d always come back to where they started.

    Needless to say, they were impressed (and irritated) at the deviousness of my trap. Now began the process of trying to escape. They tried various forms of walking (sending groups in opposite directions, walking backwards, etc.) to see if the tunnel was indeed endless. To no avail. The thief looked for hidden doorways. To no avail. On a whim one of the three magic-users in the group cast a phantom skull spell (it creates a magical, flying skull that the caster can direct and see through its eyes). After floating down the hallway for a bit, the skull found the exit!

    Was that the end of things? Heck no!

    Somehow, the group Munchkin (let’s call him Coons, because that’s his name and I want the whole world to know what he was responsible for) managed to assert his min-maxed butt into a position of authority in the group. He decided that they weren’t done with this whole walking thing.

    For FOUR solid hours he goaded the other players into trying every permutation of bipedal locomotion known to man. He even tried walking on his hands at one point. They laid out all the rope the party was carrying along the floor to see if the ends would meet in a loop. When the rope ran out before the floor did he had everyone strip off and start laying their clothes in a line to continue the trail.

    He tried climbing the wall and shimmying along above the floor. He cast Dimension Door on the floor and jumped in, only to come shooting out the ceiling. He even Polymorphed himself into an Umber Hulk and dug through the wall, only to come burrowing out the opposite wall shortly thereafter.

    Did I mention that flying skulls were periodically sent down the hall and that each one that was sent found the exit without fail? Did this stop the walking? Not by a long shot.

    By the end of it I, the GM, was lying on the floor, half-asleep, muttering “No, that didn’t work” over and over and over again.

    Finally, the party mage–the one who cast flying skull in the first place–got fed up and shouted “F**K THIS, I CAST FLY!” and took off down the hallway. He found the exit. I gave him extra XP.

    1. Mersadeon says:

      So the solution was, that you were not allowed to touch the ground, because otherwise you would be stuck in the loop? What a clever one. I have to remember that for my players. Heh.

  26. BChoinski says:

    Years ago a friend ran a Saint Seiya game based on the Hero system. My specific character was based on the Lynx constellation, so he concentrated on stealth, scouting and some offensive ability if he could get in close. Not a Wolverine type — he was actually fairly normal in body and his armor was fairly poor (8- activate).

    Anyways, I’m out in the field being hunted by one of the enemy silver saints. I’m in the tall grasses, stealthing my ass off. Over this whole time the GM has been giving a running description of the situation, as the Silver Saint has been monologing about how she was going to destroy the other Bronzes, Saiori and all that. As he indicated me to make a stealth roll I kept making it, even with some poor modifiers, but we all just listened as the GM went on.

    It was all good.

    And then the GM is going along with the Silver’s monolog, sort of something like this.

    GM: “And after I destroy your pitiful sanctuary and the rest of you pitiful saints, do you know what I’m going to do next?”

    Me: “What?”

    GM: “Thank you!” (boom)

    Yea, the whole time this went on I just rolled in silence, then he has the villain ask a question and I actually blurted out “What”, subsequently slapping a hand over my mouth in “D’oh” fashion before my character was nuked into unconsciousness.

    Unfortunately, it fit in game because he was not the brightest bulb in the lot (average intelligence, at best).

    1. Ardis Meade says:

      I thought this was the thread for the worst stories, not the most awesome. The DM earned that kill.

  27. Neil says:

    Donny Story 3: The Grand Finale

    The party has just left town on a mission of some urgency. On a hilltop just outside of town we pass near a minor demon of some sort, trapped inside a summoning circle. It calls to the party, tries to get them to come over and talk (strong vibe: “Come closer so I can mind-control you into freeing me”).

    Me: “Don’t go near it, don’t look at it, don’t talk to it. Just keep moving, and for God’s sake don’t do anything to break the circle.”
    Party: “Agreed.”
    Donny: “As I pass by I toss a coin into the middle of the circle.”
    DM: “What… really?”
    Donny: “Yeah! I just flick one in there! That won’t do anything.”
    DM: “Okay… as the coin passes through the barrier, it vanishes and the demon grins wickedly and licks his lips as he leaps towards you.”

    By strange coincidence, Donny’s character was the only one who didn’t survive that battle. It almost seemed like nobody even tried to protect him. Normally there would be talk of rolling up a new character at this point, but in the heavy silence that followed Donny seemed to take a hint and said “Well… I guess I’ll be leaving then.”
    “Okay, bye.”
    He never asked when the next game was.

  28. Curaidh says:

    Well well, one story I’ll never forget from AD&D 2nd:
    I was playing a Warlock (Special Wizard from the Complete Wizard’s) with a Pseudodragon Familiar. The Others in the Party were a greedy Druid and a megalomaniac Swordsinger (Elvish Fighter/Wizard) with a Faerie Dragon Familiar. So we relied heavily on Magics to solve problems.

    After a long and stressful Dungeoncrawl we entered a room with lots of treasure lying around and some Balor-like demon sitting on his throne. We could not return since the entrance had crumbled behind us and we were searching for a way out. I had cast most of my offensive spells and was not in any mood for another tough fight, so I told the guys to let me handle this. I approached the demon, hailed him and started negotiating with him. My plan was to talk him into letting us pass his “Lair” without getting into trouble. The DM was pleased with this course of action but as we talked, the other guys were whispering to each other at the table. Then they started passing notes to the DM.
    Finally after about 20 minutes of roleplaying I had talked the demon into letting us pass, without any disadvantages for our Party. The moment I want to say goodbye, the Swordsinger rushes at the demon and initiates combat, catching me as well as the demon flatfooted.

    I was angry and asked the player what the f*** he thought he was doing there. His OOC answer was very simple:
    “You can stop talking now, you did a great job at distracting the demon. That gave us enough time to cast all necessary buff spells and now we’ll down this sucker in a few rounds and take all his treasure.”
    The DM just shrugged at me and said: “Sorry.”

  29. Dev Null says:

    Chrisofax the Cleric. Also known as Chrisofax the Danger Detector, because he failed _every single saving throw he ever rolled._ Party quote: “Lookout! There must be a monster! Chrisofax has turned to stone / burst into flames / melted into a puddle / been poisoned / died.”

    Or the alternative was a Ranger / Druid with a fairly low intelligence, roleplayed as a happy-go-lucky, friendly but oblivious sort. Almost all of his druid spells went on protection / resistance sorts of things, which were roleplayed as subconcious – him being protected by various nature spirits. And he had a cloak of displacement. So this amiable dunce wanders through the dungeon setting off EVERY trap and ambush known to man, most of which bounce off his various protections, but all of which collect any other party member foolish enough to stand anywhere near him. Several times he had to be crash-tackled by the warrior to avoid him walking up to a door in the enemy lair and knocking…

    Theres also a series of fairly funny stories involving the time that “our Josh” – for lack of a better term – offered to run a game. We were all a bit terrified, and made a collection of over-the-top ridiculous characters (I was the priest – to a berzerker death god, so I refused to take any healing spells, and went berzerk at the first sign of combat…) which we then proceeded to have a really excellent time roleplaying to the hilt because they were so silly. Of course we also jumped the rails so often with that mad crew that it wasn’t very nice to the poor DM, but we did have a blast.

  30. Cat Skyfire says:

    Four words. “You can’t do that.”

    We’ve all had DMs say it for the most inane of reasons.

  31. Phazzar says:

    Me:[You see in the distance what appears to be an injured kobold, crawling on the ground grasping a scroll.]

    Ranger: {So the kobold is injured?}

    Me: [Yeah. It’s leg appears to be broken and it has many bruises.]

    Ranger: {So the kobold is helpless?}

    Me: [Well… Yeah. But it appears to be moaning out a name as you, (party wizard), think you can make out in draconic.]

    Ranger: {Coup de grace!} with a scythe.

  32. MONKEEYYY says:

    This is the funniest D&D memory that springs to mind. It more or less goes like this:

    DM: The attackers (can't remember what they were but they were humanoid) outside throw a Molotov-like weapon at you while you peer outside the window of the inn *rolls* and hits causing you some fire damage. You are now alight. It's your turn, what do you do?
    Me: There must be some sort of bathroom in this inn, right?
    DM: Yes, it's this room here *points on map*
    Me: Okay, I run to it and use the shower.
    DM: There is no shower, as such, there is a sink basin filled with water, though.
    Me: Okay I use the water to attempt to douse the flames.
    DM: It's just a small sink basin. What are you going to do, Stick your legs in there?
    Me: Yeah, okay, if it helps.
    Dm: You manage to put out a small part of the flames that have spread to your legs but you are still on fire. You take more fire damage.
    (My friends use this time wisely by jumping, flawlessly, out of the inn, ready to fight the attackers.)
    DM: Your go. What do you do?
    Me: I move into my bedroom, cover myself in the blankets and roll around on the floor to suffocate the flames.
    DM: *rolls* You manage to put out the flames.
    (My friends use their round to engage the attackers in combat)
    Me: My go? Okay, I'm going to jump out of the window to help the rest of the party. *rolls*
    DM: *looks at my roll and shakes his head* You fall on your stomach and take damage.
    (My friends fight bravely against the attackers but can't help but laugh at my character)
    Me: Alright, My character is going to cast magic stone on this attacker. *rolls to hit and for damage*
    DM: Wow, you kill the attacker. You're character isn't a complete waste of space, afterall.

  33. Shinjin says:

    It’s a second-hand story (I wasn’t actually there), but some friends of mine like to occasionally recount their experience with a GM that believed his role in the game was to defeat the players (rather than guide the players and set up opportunities for player achievement).

    In one encounter all but two of the party members were down but the Death Knight they were fighting was almost defeated. On the Death Knight’s next turn it cast Finger of Death against both PCs by making a “V” with his fingers to direct the spell at each of them.

    I think that was the last time they gamed with him.

    Though this may have just been his attempt at revenge. In an earlier session where he was a player, the party encountered Shelob (or some other giant spider) in a cramped tunnel. His thief snuck around behind her and leapt on her back. The GM had the giant spider do what would only seem natural in this situation and that was to stand up, squishing the player against the ceiling.

    You know what? Come to think of it, I don’t think most of the people at that table liked that guy very much.

  34. RPharazon says:

    First D&D game I played with my friends. We were all Level 1, and I was a Barbarian. We started with a standard dungeon crawl. There was a small room that we needed to get through to enter. I decided to bash through the door. A trap gets me, I go unconscious.
    After healing me, a friend decides to see if there’s loot in the room. Traps get him, he dies and has to re-roll next game.
    Later on in another room, we fight some goblins. I decide to rush one, and a trap gets me mid-run. I go unconscious.

    That taught us to check traps.

    Later on, at Level 3, we finish a dungeon crawl for a quest and come out into a field. There’s this gigantic dragon (that was white, I think). We start fighting it without thinking.

    Halfway through, I decide to try to reason with it. I knew Draconic, so why not. We get into a conversation while the rest of my friends are half-mindedly attacking it.

    I’m one turn away from a nice happy ending, when a friend attacks the dragon with his +2 custom longbow. He ends up rolling two 20s, and somehow gets full damage, plus the arrow gets helped by the wind. It ends up killing the dragon.

    We did get some nice loot from it though.

  35. I’ve got two good ones for you. Actually, I could probably write down several good ones.

    DGM’s experience reminds me of my own experience with a player at the local gaming association that was SO annoying he actually earned himself the nickname “Bad Gamer Boy” or BGB for short. We kept letting him play with us because we felt sorry for him or we assumed he must have developed SOME brains since the last time he got tossed from a game. Always, we turned out to be wrong.

    By far the most annoying thing he did in a game where I was playing was to intentionally screw up the game setup. We were playing 3.0 D&D, and each person was supposed to play themselves as a character: we got transported to an alternate universe a la Joel Rosenburg The Guardians of the Flame series. Our GM made up himself as a character, also, an Elminster-like wizard who went around helping people acclimate to the new world.

    So far so good. Well, BGB decides he’s going to get pissed off at Brian (the GM and GM’s character) because Brian can only help us so much and go storming off into the forest by himself. The rest of us were like “whatever” and went off to do the first part of the quest we needed to remove a nasty curse from ourselves. BGB missed this, of course. Then, he manages to find some elves in the woods and vent his spleen on them. So they kill him. Idiot.

    The second situation occurred when we were playing through the BaneWarrens by Monte Cook. Our ostensible reason for being involved in this adventure was that a wizard had sent us to dig up old texts about an ancient menace that may be waking up again soon. The party was mostly Neutral, except for our poor benighted Cleric, Bradley, who was Lawful Good. My character was bitten by a were-rat in an earlier adventure and contracted lycanthropy, a situation that annoyed me at the time. (I ATE the belladonna, FAILED the save, took EIGHT POINTS OF CON DAMAGE and STILL got infected!)

    However, being a were-rat turned out to be pretty cool, so here’s my delightful Lawful Evil character wandering around with the party. We entered the Banewarrens and promptly encountered some nasty enemies along with a door we couldn’t open. How frustrating. We also found some information that indicated there was an insider in the town working with the bad guys. Uh oh. Specifically, an insider working with the Church of Pelos. Double uh-oh.

    So, we go back to town to investigate this. Me being the party rogue, I talk the LAWFUL GOOD cleric into getting me into the Church of Pelos so I can search this guy’s room. Of course I also steal anything that looks remotely valuable, but what do you expect? I also manage to find what seems to be one good piece of evidence.

    So, the two of us meet back up outside the main church and start heading towards the Chapel, where our buddies are supposed to be on stakeout. We get about halfway there when suddenly the entire tower lifts into the air in a column of flame. After staring openmouthed for some time, I tell Bradley “I can’t get picked up by the guards after just sneaking into this guy’s room”, and I scram.

    It turned out that the party psion had gotten bored with waiting and flown himself up to the top of the tower, where he discovered a dwarf on a table being examined by a guy in platemail. Said psion decided that this could only be a Bad Guy and summoned some astral constructs to attack him. The guy freaked out and destroyed a piece of equipment that, well, basically turned the chapel tower into a ballistic missile.

    The next day, the city guard shows up at our lodgings to take us prisoner. Being an intelligent sort, I ditched everything I stole in the sewers somewhere . . . unfortunately along with our only piece of useful evidence. So, we get to go on trial before the Church for the crime of blowing up their tower. I asked Bradley to please avoid mentioning our little side escapade . . . not lie about it, but don’t bring it up if he could avoid it.

    Somehow, between the time we chatted and the time he was privately interviewed by the Church fathers, this became “She coerced me into lying about it.” The church can’t figure out what the heck to do with us, so they decide to bind us to finish fixing the issue with the Banewarrens, then they’re going to banish us from the town. Oh, and we have to pay to have everyone that was killed in the tower explosion resurrected. They also decide to put a Mark of Justice on our psion that will remove his first-strike capability. The rest of us think this is, well, reasonably fair. The psion’s response: “No way in hell.”

    We wound up basically having to sit on the guy to agree to let us finish the adventure somewhere other than in the Church prison.

  36. Hanov3r says:

    A reader or two might recognize this… hi, guys!

    The Setting: Faerun
    The Party: CG elf paladin, gnome mage, earth genasi barbarian, human rogue, dwarf cleric, half-elf bard, human druid

    We had been fairly constantly getting our butts kicked by a pair of Bane-corrupted wargs we’d been sent to hunt – they were intelligent (capable of speaking), and had damage reduction, super-fast healing, and high move rates. They’d come, harass us, severely injure someone, then leave… lather, rinse, repeat. Finally, we concoct what appears to be a decent plan involving various methods of slowing them down (ropes, caltrops, the like) hoping to get some good hits in. We manage to kill one; the second (larger) one goes loping off into the darkness as usual.

    Day or two passes before the next attack. This time, it’s just the one, and our tactics work a second time. We get him boxed in, we’re doing serious damage, he’s badly hurt… and the paladin offers to accept his surrender.

    Party: *FACEPALM*
    Warg: Yes! Sure! I surrender!

    We tie him up as securely as a +8 Use Rope modifier can make him and start heading back to town. Within an hour, he was fully healed… and he took his first available opportunity to slip his bonds and run off.

    From that point on, every combat started with us telling the paladin “We are NOT accepting surrenders!”

  37. Ellimystic says:

    My worst was probably “Jeph”, the worst DM I’ve ever had the misfortune not to be able to avoid having to meet. This was my first session with this group. My friend “Brian” was also just joining this group, I think it was his second time.

    So here we are, trying to lockpick a door. It was something like a “sturdy oaken door, several inches thick”. So I try to pick the lock. He pulls out his notes, WRITES ON THEM IN FRONT OF US, and announces that it’s also barred on the other side. Brian tries to burn it, considering it’s made of wood. Jeph crosses out “oaken” and changes it to “obsidian”. We’re getting a bit tired of this by now, so Brian goes to melt off the hinges. Again, the writing on the paper. The door doesn’t have hinges, it opens by retracting into the floor.

    Now I’m mad, of course. “Then how the hell is it barred, hm? I. Pick. The. Lock.” There is no physical lock, it’s magically sealed. We’ve had it, we ignore the door and head somewhere else. “For some reason, you find yourselves strongly averse to leaving the door as it is”.

    At this point, Brian and I gave up in disgust and actually got up and left the house.

    Out of curiosity, I asked another player what the hell was wrong with Jeph. It turns out Jeph wanted to welcome me to the group with a bang, and had written a really humorous conversation with a group of goblins who were behind the door. We were supposed to knock on the door, which would trigger the funny dialogue. Jeph kept the remainder of the group (Brian’s and my characters had suddenly died of strokes, and their bodies had been instantly snatched up by TELEPORTING BANDITS so the group didn’t get our stuff) at that door for another forty-five minutes before some other guy decided he was going to hack at the door with a broadsword, and Jeph counted that as a knock…and started the comedy conversation.

  38. Melfina the Blue says:

    Okay, I’ll turn myself in for this one, since I know it drove the other players up the wall…(this was right after I started playing D&D)
    I was playing a CN druid who hates, hates wizards. So um, I baleful polymorphed our wizard into a rat just before we had to fight an ice dragon. (I set an ambush with another party member, and IC no one besides the three of us knew what had happened)
    Yeah, that was a really good idea. I think we lost half the party in that battle. And the wizard’s player didn’t speak to me for two months.

  39. Gahaz says:

    This is a bit depressing, and probably unusable as comic fodder but oh well…

    We were playing late into the night, say 12:30am, showing no signs of stopping, when there came a knock at the door. We had originally been waiting for the fourth party member but he never showed, so we pulled the classic “That character left for a very important reason” and when they finally get there I, as DM, would come up with a reason they were gone and why they came back. So as I went to check the door, sure it was our missing player, I was not surprised to see that it was him.

    So I gave him the best explanation as to why he was gone (The local assassin’s guild needed to talk over a possible opening in their ranks, he had wanted to take hiss rogue towards the prestige class anyway) and he sat down at the table. I noticed he was a little distant and looked a bit disheveled, but it was not my place to comment on his demeanor.

    As play continued, the brave party came to their first encounter with the rogue back. Little did we know that our friend was in the grips of a damnable drug and was not of his right mind. He had been with some friends of which our group has no affiliation and had a head full of acid. As I described the creature (A large Owlbear, a classic encounter) he seemed to get very agitated and as I rolled and stated it was attacking him, he pulled his hand up and in it he had a rather large pocket knife. He got one good stab at me and buried it in my left shoulder. I will never forget the look on his face, and the yell he was producing!

    Thank God i lived only two blocks from the hospital and all i have is a nasty scar. He came and saw me later and apologized, crying while he did it. We got the guy into rehab and he has been clean for awhile.

    I think I have missed the point of your request, Ha Ha. I will try to think of one of our more goofball experiences.

    1. Mersadeon says:

      That sound pretty far-out.

      But Dungeons and Dragons is a far out game. ;D

  40. Davesnot says:

    I dunno… I think back to the original D&D.. and the spells they had.. and I think back to the gaming table where they “invented” the spell.. and I think of the spell: Stinking Cloud… and I’m very glad I wasn’t at that table.

  41. 11 says:

    Second edition, if it matters:
    Okay, we’re a party of your average do-gooders, trying to stop an evil cult from resurrecting their trapped and bound demon deity. We race through some crypts and manage to beat the cult to the resting place of the Ultimate Evil (TM). The DM does a good job of setting the mood, shadows everywhere, the muffled booms of a raging storm the only sounds penetrating the suffocating silence of the dusty catacombs.

    We reach a chamber, magical runes of binding all over this sarchophogus-like stone construction. Chains are attached to loops pounded into the stone of the floor and run over the resting place of this demon, securing the lid shut. In the middle of all of this, a large waxen seal with runes of protection holds the magical portion of the bindings together.

    We start setting up to defend the chamber from the evil cultists who are sure to be not far behind us. Our most fightery character is by the door, the pair of elven multiclasses with wizard levels finding cover where possible to rain spells from protection. (Our party was three elves and a halfling. That’s 2ed for you)

    The halfling thief? Decides to search for loot in the room, takes out his dagger. And breaks the seal.

    Long story short (too late, I know), the great evil is released, the DM has to fudge things (the great evil decided in a moment of gratitude not to smite us as we had performed a great service for him), and the campaign world never fully recovered from the incident before the game ended. We were working on it, but you can be sure that a doctored version of the events was reported whenever it was found had been trying to stop that evil cult.

    To this day we don’t know what he was thinking. Maybe he thought some fine weapons were hidden in the sarchophogus? I surely don’t know.

  42. Melfina the Blue says:

    You might also try bad_rpers_suck
    over on LJ. Loads of rants about online RP, but a good tabletop story sneaks in now and again.

  43. Cadrys says:

    Inter-party conflict between the Mage and the Thief. While they role-played the tension fairly well over several sessions, one night [they were also roommates] there were…other things…going on in the background, and it boiled over.

    It ended with the mage pulling his dagger, ripping open his robe, hitting himself twice {Stoneskin/Contingency/Stoneskin being part of his normal routine) and trying to hand the thief the dagger. “HERE! STAB RIGHT HERE!”

    The DM panicked (he was smitten with the thief’s player) and he promptly dropped a Deus Ex Machina character to stop the fight. We didn’t play another session in that campaign.

    Different campaign, same players. Generic Room Full of Monsters, one of them a Green Dragon. The (semi-pacifistic) druid promptly ignores the fighting and goes over to talk to the dragon for several rounds, trying to convince it that it was playing for the wrong team. The DM believed in railroads, so of course this failed. With a sigh of regret, the druid reached out and touched the dragon.

    Blown MR check. (I *think* it was even a double-zero)
    Blown save. (I *know* this was a 1)

    Ancient Green Dragon went poof. We all–including the DM–agreed this was perfectly fitting.

  44. Devin says:

    So, in a high level party, on a flying island, the party fighter falls through a trap door that sends him sailing through the open skies above the island to the earth miles below. Figuring he’s dead, the party moves into the labyrinth.

    20d6 points of damage later, the Fighter is barely alive… but still alive. He backtracks and takes the portal back up to the island, getting healing from an NPC Cleric along the way.

    The party somehow survives the labyrinth without the fighter, manages to retrieve the artifact, defeat the guardian, et cetera.

    Meanwhile, the fighter is constructing a safety harness as to cross the trap he’d previously fallen through, and try to catch up. He fails the Reflex Save… and the subsequent Use Rope check to test the quality of his work, and once again goes falling out into open sky.

    Before he is able to scrape himself out of the crater he created last time, the party returns to the surface and speaks with the Cleric, who informs them that the Fighter did, in fact, survive… and that he went up to the island after us. Our IC conclusion: he must have gotten lost in the labyrinth. We go back up looking for him.

    God those were good times, and they also led us to the question, “What’s going through your head the 2nd time you’re falling down a 500 foot shaft into 5 miles of open sky?”

  45. JohnW says:

    C’mon, gahaz, are you sure you didn’t just see that in “Mazes and Monsters?” ;)

  46. ehlijen says:

    There were several worst moments for, all precipated by one player accusing various high ranking officers/nobles/empresses/the DM of ‘not making sense’ whenever a request by the party was denied or they wouldn’t let themselves be bossed around by the party.


    PC: We need you to send troops to here on the map, and have our horses ready, we need to move on to there.
    Leader of the army(Lota): I don’t know what arrangement you had with my predecessor, but I intend to follow to orders of my superiors, not yours.
    PC: This is a different guy? That’s why I didn’t remember the name. Anyway, screw that, send troops there and give us our horses. Your predecessor asked for our advice.
    Lota: Those horses were given to you as a loan. We need them now as we’re moving out.
    PC: No, we need them more.
    Lota: But you’re not even part of the army.
    PC: Is this guy stupid? I told him what to do? How come he doesn’t lsiten to us?

  47. Coldstone says:

    Theres a guy we play with that apparently feels obligated to sabotage a RP-ing we do so’s we will go do the wargaming instead. Downside is our group is so small that we can’t really RP without the guy.

    Best example: Our (3rd level) party has been tasked with getting rid of a white dragon of at least adult size. We have a handy tribute and a nifty cover story that should convince it to go elsewhere.
    So, the plan is for the party rogue to talk the critter into leaving, give it the stuff, and watch it wander into the sunset.
    We wander up to the cave, and have a short discussion before we decide to enter. Apparently that gets the dragon’s attention. It wanders out and demands to know what we’re doing there. While the party rogue that supposed to start negotiating stutters, the other party rogue decides to so sneaking into the cave and start jacking stuff.
    The situation stalemates, because apprently it’s a gaming requirement that anybody who plays a charismatic character be a complete goob when it comes to actual roleplaying, and stats to drag out.
    Suddenly, there’s a cry of “Death before Dishonor!!!!!” and the saboteur attacks the dragon (playing a dwarf ranger). Two rounds of combat ensue where we figure out that we’re hopelessly outmatched and we start retreating. I have the presense of mind to use my shield as a toboggan and get a really good headstart on the rest of the party.

    I think that was the last time we actually RP’d. Since then the GM has pretty much given up on trying to run anything for the group, and I can’t say I really blame him.

    Stupid part here, was that the dragon WANTED to leave. It just needed a reason to go elsewhere.

  48. Shamus says:

    Thanks so much to everyone who’s taken the time to put up their tales of woe. Some are funny, some are painful, but all of them are great.

  49. Mrs T says:

    We’re playing Traveller (far future space opera) and two of the players, John and Richard, were totally in to role playing their characters. We could go through a whole game session without actually having any combat, because they had more fun role playing what they did at the spaceport between voyages than they had during the adventure itself.

    The spaceport had plenty of casinos, so John and Richard decided they would see how much money they could make gambling. But rather than making a couple of dice rolls against their gambling skills, Richard got out a deck of cards.

    Me: Let me get this straight, you guys want to role play playing poker? In real time? With real cards? Couldn’t we just put all the books and dice away and just, I don’t know, play a game of poker?!

  50. roxysteve says:

    I’m not a “good” player. When in sit back and RPG mode I like to be realistic (I won’t go into a dungeon right after coming out of one without a couple of days in an inn for example) and when in grid-tactical mode I like the rules to be followed (otherwise what’s the point of the grid?). This makes me Mr Unpopular with the players, so they probably have more stories about what a f*ckwit I am than I do about them.


    The last campaign I was in, I suspected we were knocking about with an undead of some sort (a much-loved player was awfully chatty with the DM in another room at the start of every game session and would hide his character’s face from everyone during the game). I cast “True Seeing by note-to-the-DM”. Result? Nothing. The DM just ignored it. Boy was I pissed.

    A bit later our umptytump-level druid announced that I couldn’t tell what he looked like since one of his abilities was to change his face every day, and he was doing it and had been (unannounced) for the entire game. You might think the DM might have let slip a little thing like that. I considered asking said druid how long he thought we would have stood for finding a total stranger in camp before dispatching him to the next plane of existence, but settled for casually saying “I know exactly what you and everyone else in the party looks like, even if the DM won’t tell me. I’ve had True Seeing up several times, some of which you’ve known about, some of which you haven’t, and believe me I’ve taken a good long look at everyone. The fact that the DM is cheating is unfair, but I will expect swingeing bonuses should it ever come to me versus any of you on account of I should have seen whatever trouble you represent coming a mile off.”

    The DM was still following a policy of just ignoring inconvenient prying when it suited him when the game was disbanded. Mr Dead-and-loving-it was under no such restrictions, of course. He and the DM often went into multiple note exchanges at key points in the action.

    Horrible. Leaves a bad taste in my mouth to this day.


  51. Mrs T says:

    Story the second: The players were a group of dumb college students (I include myself in that description). One of the players, Dennis, had just had an ugly breakup with another player, Angie. Every week, Dennis would start with a new character, join the party, and immediately begin threatening Angie’s character. It didn’t matter that his character was Neutral Good and had never met Angie’s character before. He would attack her character, the rest of the party would defend her, Dennis’s character would get killed. He would spend the rest of the evening rolling up his new character while the rest of us would go off and have whatever adventure the DM had planned for the session.

    The really stupid part? That not one of us had the balls to tell Dennis that we didn’t want him in our group. Our only excuse is that we were dumb college students.

  52. Mrs T says:

    (Shamus, my first story fell in the spam trap because I mentioned p.o.k.e.r. and g.a.m.b.l.i.n.g. I don’t know how often you check for false positives, but despite the naughty words, it’s actually a role playing story.)

  53. blizzardwolf says:

    My last DM, who incidentally had earned an “Evil” in front of his name. :P

    These are the Evil Ken chronicles.

    1. After having finally slayed a banshee and entered it’s treasure trove, our heroes are given their pick of rings.

    EK: “Okay, there is a sword of +5, a Vorpal sword, and a gold ring. Who wants-”

    Tom, our ranger: “I grab the ring and put it on!”

    The rest of us: *CRINGE*

    EK: (With an evil grin) “Are you sure you want to do that?”

    (Bear in mind one of us was a mage who could identify this ring, and just hadn’t yet.)

    Ranger: “Yep!”

    EK: “Okay. The ring is now stuck and will not come off, no matter how hard you tug and pull. Your stats all drop five points, your body begins emanating a… nefarious odor, and you are now a woman. On her period.”

    The rest of us laughed for a good ten minutes at Tom over that.

    2. One member of our party, after bargaining and negotiating, was finally given access to a Ring of Wish. We tried to stop him, we really did, and you would’ve thought when the other two mages wanted ABSOLUTElY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT, that it would’ve tipped him off.

    Brian: (Hoisting the ring in the air) “I wish that absolutely nothing can hurt me!”

    EK: (Grinning once again) “Okay, you are encased in lead. A solid suit of it. You cannot move, can’t see, and will be dead in 3 minutes from the lack of oxygen. But for those 3 minutes, nothing will hurt you.”

    (Rips his character sheet)

    EK: “Anyone else want to make a wish?”

    All of us: *vigorously shaking our heads*

    Yeah, our DM was not a guy who rewarded stupidity. :P

  54. Mrs T says:

    Story the third: Anyone who has ever played Champions knows that it takes forever to build a new character. We were in the middle of an adventure where our superheroes were travelling between alternate realities. At some point, a new player joined and had to set up his character. To keep everyone busy while this was going on, the GM announced that the authorities on the current world we were willing to supply us with anything we needed to fight the bad guys.

    “Really, anything?” “Sure, as long as it’s something they can get off the shelf. You don’t have time for anything custom.”

    With that minor restriction, we all went on a shopping spree. Every so often we’d wonder if we were going too far, but we’d ask, and the GM would say we could have it.

    Finally the new player was ready to join the game, and we were all ready to jump to the next alternate earth. Upon which the GM matter-of-factly announced that on the previous world, electricity was beamed down from the space station and wirelessly powered every electrical device. Since the new world did not have this technology, 90% of our newly procured equipment was useless.

    I’ve never seen a more effective method for keeping bored players busy when they weren’t needed.

  55. clem says:

    Perhaps my biggest mistake as a GM was when one of the players in a long running high level group got tired of his evil elven mage and wanted a new character. The group was quite powerful and had become so amoral that I had trouble creating menaces that weren’t better people than the PCs themselves and plausibility was suffering. So I let the player in question create a Paladin type character. Unfortunately, I didn’t take this player’s griefer tendencies into account. Soon sessions devolved into “PC tries to sneak up on foe, Paladin decides that that is not ‘honorable’, Paladin beheads PC, foes forgotten for intragroup melee.” Fixing that took far more heavyhanded GM fiat than I find comfortable and that campaign never really fully recovered.

  56. BlackJaw says:

    Last night the party Ranger (one of our major damage dealers) refused to fight. In the middle of combat her character stood still despite a rather nasty ambush.

    It’s a long story, but basically her pet Half-Dragon Cat got killed outright, and we refused to waste our only charge of Raise Dead on it. She demanded that we raise it in the middle of combat, and when we pointed out that there was nothing left to raise (37 points of acid damage to a 6 hp creature) she decided to protest the game.

    Short back story: The DM offered us gifts in exchange for hard alcohol bribes. She, as a lark, brought him a tiny travel sized bottle of good whiskey. Instead of getting the dragon companion, she got a tiny dragon-house cat. (Tiny bottle = Tiny dragon.)

  57. MikeLemmer says:

    I’ll call this player Frank. I had heard stories about Frank from the other players, but I didn’t realize just how true they were until I played with him.

    His first PC, Mort, leaves the party within 3 sessions because another PC refuses to tell him about the book he’s carrying. Mort wanted us to beat him up until he told. The rest of the party refused, of course, because we didn’t trust Mort either. He left the game, but our GM convinced him to rejoin it the next week.

    Months later, our GM regretted.

    His new character, whom I will call Snarky, harbored a deep-seated hatred of the world and everything in it.

    My PC: “Hello, I’m the dwarven fighter.”
    Snarky: “Dwarven fighter? You useless pygmy fatty, I hate you I hate you I hate you.”

    He spent the rest of the game implying my dwarf was gay, threatening to kill me, insulting me in front of NPCs, leaving him out of party activities (“He’s a DWARF, he won’t contribute anything.”) and trying to burn all my possessions.

    When I made a joke about coming into Snarky’s room to kill him first that night, he spent the entire night sleeping upright in a suit of armor with a crossbow. He ended up frightening a messenger and tried to blame it all on the “psychotic rapid dwarf, he’s a threat to this party!”

    But the dwarf never flamebolted a powerful NPC necromancer who wanted to aid us. The necromancer’s crime? Casting a Touch of Idiocy on Snarky after he insulted her intelligence AND her looks. It took some work to apologize to the necromancer after that; we debated letting her punish Snarky without retribution. “I have a few suggestions for curses you could put on him…”

    The kicker was during a plot point where our entire undercover operation was blown wide open. Our base was burnt down, all our contacts were killed, and we were huddling in the sewers while the town guard tried to find us. Snarky suggested we just go up top and die fighting our way out. We said that was a stupid idea and tossed out alternate plans. He spent the next 30 minutes refusing to do anything & shouting down anyone that suggested otherwise. Our GM threatened to end the campaign on the spot, just because he was making playing impossible.

    I know GMs often restrict the party’s actions, but that was the first (and hopefully only) time a single PC brought my party to a screeching halt through sheer belligerence.

  58. MintSkittle says:

    Here’s one I forgot to put in last time. This is still Shadowrun.

    One of our players, John is a min/max player, taking a whole bunch of flaws for the extra character creation points, one of them being “combat monster,” which is whenever he takes a moderate wound, he goes berserk.

    So we were supposed to be demolishing a radio tower, and ended up in a full scale war with the local law enforcers. John gets shot, and goes completely crazy, and casts his most devastating spell at max power, killing all the cops and half the team. He should have died too, but managed to fast talk his way out of physical damage and only take stun damage.

    The only other survivor uses this as definite proof that closing your eyes and sticking your fingers in your ears will get you through anything. This is the same person who never creates new characters, but simply reuses the same character over and over.

  59. Kristin says:

    Our party leader promised the kenku safety if they’d help us fight through the dungeon. Our paladin went psycho and killed the kenku because the kenku had wiped out a band of paladins earlier. Not necessarily even this kenku. The DM (me) didn’t make him fall for it!

    Last night, my brother was DMing an encounter with bone claws. Now, bone claws are large undead with 20-foot reach and there were supposed to be four of them.
    Bro put out two tokens. Forgot the other two existed until we were done with the *next* encounter.
    While we were diligent about remembering the fact that them being large gave them 10-foot reach… at 15 and 20 feet we could do anything we wanted without fear of AoO because he forgot.
    He realized this when he realized he’d forgotten to put any kind of armor or something on the bee people soldiers in the next encounter. Two nerfed encounters in a row!

  60. guy says:

    I have several comic ones, though no bad ones.

    Number1: we are playing a post-apocalyptic RPG named Gamma World, and are passing through a grove of trees with mysterious fruit on them. one character, with the mutant ability to tell if food is edible, checks one. It immediately unfurled into a beetle. it also shook the tree, waking up every other beetle in the grove.
    Players: oh, crap
    gladly we survived, and my character wound up with 2000 tempory hit points on top of his 48 normal hit points. these later came in handy when he was force-fed a live tactical nuke which dealt 2005 points of damage.

    Number2: same game, latter. We have entered a nuked-out city and been captured by robots. the guy who woke the beetles was mistaken for a dangerous biological experiment by the robots who captured us, on account of being a mutant animal. while the other two players bust out of jail and start trying to open the door. meanwhile, the first player leaves the biolab, and sees a large red button surrounded by a metal cage with writing below it. MUST PUSH THE BUTTON. Once again we escape, aided by the fact that some very confused robots were trying to evacuate the building. it turns out that the alarm summoned a tank, but we won and wound up riding in style.

  61. Hal says:

    So, that goofy module from my first story? Here’s how our first encounter for it goes:

    Our party of two rogues, a cleric, and a paladin, were hired to guard a caravan and somehow ended up as the only survivors beside the caravan leader, an alcoholic priestess.

    At one point, we’re leading the wagons through the woods when a group of high level NPCs, GOOD guys at that, come charging up. One is a priest, the other a wizard. The wizard just nukes one of the wagons into oblivion, then gives us an “oops” and is on his way. We were TICKED because we were to receive a percentage of the profits if we ever reached our destination.

    I can’t blame the GM, as this is what was actually written in the module. Still, what kind of first encounter is that for a group of level 2 PCs?

  62. Retlor says:

    The only rule that comes out of our games is never utter the following phrase:

    “He can’t do X damage in one hit, and I can kill him next round.”

    (Where X is the number of hitpoints between you and death)

    Without fail, he will do (X-1) damage, and you will bleed out and die the round after.

  63. Hal says:

    I should also point out that one of the rogues in that story was played by an 11 year old girl. We practically had to chain down her character in game to keep her from trying to sneak attack the high level wizard who just vaporized our wagon. I don’t think she understood yet that sneak attacks weren’t universally effective.

  64. Telarian says:

    I just thought I should submit one of my most annoying gaming mates. This was the guy who compared absolutely everything to the movies he had seen. This was how he seemed to think everything should be determined. If he had seen it done in a movie then it could be done. Furthermore this was the best or really the only way to do the thing. On the other hand, if he had seen something fail in a movie, then it must most assuredly fail. If he hadn’t ever seen it in a movie, then it just couldn’t be done.

    You know how Mel Gibson threw his sword in front of his army of blue faced barbarians? I’m going to throw mine just like that.

    Remember how they used the shields to turn over that chariot in Gladitator?

    Switching the item out for one of equal weight won’t work. Didn’t you see Indiana Jones?

    I’m really just making all of this up because I can’t remember specifics, but you get the point.

    It can be a very useful way of helping people visualize what you’re talking about. Unfortunately when it’s the only way you seem to know how to communicate and you do it constantly, it gets a bit old. It was like a never ending stream of figuring out which part of which movie we were talking about. Then of course everyone else would want to discuss feasibility as applied to Hollywood stunts. The instigator, on the other hand, would assume he had proven his point and everything was decided as soon as you acknowledged recalling the scene in question.

  65. Hanov3r says:

    Guy said:

    we are playing a post-apocalyptic RPG named Gamma World

    Oooooh, I love Gamma World. Haven’t played since… um… first edition, actually, but it’s a fun game system.

  66. Mari says:

    I have a couple for you.

    First would be a fairly recent game. D&D 3.5, for what it’s worth. And I’m tattling on myself as much as anybody else here. It’s early in the game, 2nd level PCs or so, and we’re fighting were-rats in their nasty little warren. So basically a glorified dungeon crawl. Our GM is a very experienced RPer, as am I. The other three players not so much. Two played a little fifteen years ago and one has never played before. I’m playing a paladin, a real “stick up her behind” sort of paladin. The totally inexperienced gamer is playing a sorceress.

    We clear out a big room full of rats and start looting. The obvious loot would be the big suit of full-plate standing in the room like a museum display…or a shrine. Being the experienced one, I quickly tell everyone not to touch it until the sorceress has a look at the magics on it. I smell a trap. The GM informs the sorceress that it reeks of necromantic magic but he tells her this in secret. The next thing I know, she reaches out and touches the thing and it…comes to life. As it stalks out of the room filled with a Death Knight, I demand to know why she touched it. “Well, he said it was just necromancy and I figured that was probably from the last guy who wore it.”

    Being a paladin, though, I couldn’t let a Death Knight go wandering about the countryside. So my pitiful second level self challenges him. I attack. I do no damage. Duh. I didn’t even expect to, but a paladin with a stick up her rump isn’t about to let a little thing like survival get in the way of her moral code, right? The thing stops and tells me to go away, that he has a quest to complete. Yeah, I’d love to but moral code, guy. So I attack again to little effect. And then he decides to swat me like the annoying fly that I am. That’s pretty much the last thing the paladin sees for a while since I’m the only PC with any healing ability and I’m at -9 HP.

    That probably would have ended in tears after I healed up except before I had a chance to do anything after regaining consciousness we were sucked into the mists of Ravenloft. Ravenloft was where that nice paladin with the moral code destroyed an orphanage and was indirectly responsible for the deaths of a dozen or so orphans. After that all the players in the group asked me weekly if I’d blown up any orphanages lately.

    Second story:
    This time I’m the GM. I don’t particularly care for GMing, but sometimes you just gotta do it because nobody else will. My main objection to GMing is that I’m not so great at coming up with cohesive plots. So instead of entirely original material, I’d decided to adapt a couple of modules. Since neither of my players was terribly experienced I figured I could borrow some elements from some well-known plots (like the Sunless Citadel) and it would work out fine. Of course, I wasn’t running it exactly as written.

    Anyway, my players have made it to an ante-chamber inhabited by a mid-level bad guy. I’d noticed the last session that they were doing MUCH better than they should have against the enemies I was throwing them so I decided for this confrontation, I needed to buff up the bad. I made him three levels higher, which not only gave him more HP, but also more and better spells. I was seriously excited. A couple of second level players should have a hard but not impossible time against a sixth level cleric, right? So he comes tearing out and the PCs declare an attack. And they one-hit-kill him. One hit. Bam. My NPC is dead. He imparts no information to them, which I wanted him to have a chance to do. He casts no spells but his armor spell before he entered the room. Nothing. Just….dead. Thanks, guys. I could have fudged and kept him going, but I’ve always hated GMs who do that.

    Third story: (short and not really much of a “gaming” story) Same game that I’m GMing. As I mentioned, my two players range from “first timer” to “pretty inexperienced.” But they’re eager and interested. Interested enough that one of them has taken to listening to “Fear the Boot” podcasts. Yeah, did I mention that I’m stealing bits of plot from the Sunless Citadel module? Anybody remember a while back on that FtB podcast when they were talking about modules and Sunless Citadel comes up and one of the hosts (can’t remember who but I think it was Adam) suddenly shouts out “It’s a tree! The big bad is a TREE!” I was sitting right next to one of my players as this is shouted, knowing that I’ve changed the tree up some and it’s not THE big bad anymore, but he just handed my player a big chunk of what was supposed to be a slowly unraveling mystery.

  67. bigkr says:

    So, here’s a few choice stories out of my current character, an eberron halfling that were he in dragonlance, would be a Kender.

    as some prefacing, here’s some background

    Said halfling had a pet dinosaur (Talenta halfling, it was his first mount, very nice), a pet velociraptor who was at that point awakened and had a better int than the halfling, and a 10 man squad of warforged mercernaries that he had hired. The party had generally been a bit concerned about the halfling’s squad of bodyguards, but after the first time the BBEG’s organization (emerald claw for those of you who know eberron) sent 40 men to take our party of 4 down, they were happy to have the squad as bodyguards. To the point where I assigned two warforged to each member of the group as personal bodyguards, and another 2 to my dinosaurs.

    Funny story number 1)
    Our Artificer meets up with a fellow artificer who has a secret lab outside the city we had been staying in. keyword concerning that lab: SECRET. anyways, our artificer is allowed to use the lab, as long as she doesn’t share its location. So, after walking out of town followed by 2 huge warforged, she has them standing OUTSIDE the secret lab, while she goes in and works, and then has them stay at the lab standing outside while she goes back to town to get some sleep. when my halfling found out, he used his tracking skills he had a hilariously low modifier for and rolled for a total of 8, which was enough to track a pair of giant warforged through the jungle to the secret lab. So much for the secret lab.

    Funny story number 2, and the reason why there arne’t more stories of my halfling and his A-team of warforged.

    So, searching this ancient temple, i leave 8 warforged and one of my pet dinosaurs to guard our mules and our other camping equipment. the two we brought with us i was training to act as corporals in the squad, since the halfling was for all intents and purposes the sergeant. Well, through a bit of an unfortunate twist of fate, we end up on a pocket plane within the plane of Shadows. One 3-day trip through the pocket plane later, we end up on the plane of light, and subsequently meet up with a demigod. Demigod speaks in riddles, for a bit, and hints at us finding death when the demigod transports us back to the temple. Here’s the conversation that follows.

    Me: Oh, that just means my squad got in a tussle with some monster and kicked its butt, maybe we lost a mule or two.
    DM: No… your squad is dead.
    Me: …. *eyes widen* What?
    DM: Yep… sorry.
    Me: Who did it?
    DM: Emerald Claw. They didn’t like you spelling out ‘HAHA’ with the bodies of the last 40 men they sent at the party.
    Me: But… but… they can be raised, can’t they?
    DM: yeah… that artifact you were looking for? they were cannibalized for parts to repair it.
    Me: *eyes tearing up* my dinosaur? is he alright?
    DM: Yeah… also dead… on a side note, none of the mules are!
    Me: Well… he couldn’t be used for anything… probably took a good bite out of a few of those emerald claw…
    DM: Acutally, they made steaks out of him.
    Me: *Head hits the table*

    At the very least, I ended up singlehandedly killing off about 50 claws and finished off their leader in the subsequent fighting.

  68. gottasing says:

    Way back in the days of AD&D, I was GMing my first game. From experiences I had as a player, I knew I didn’t ever want to tell the players “no, you can’t do that”, because that’s frustrating. So I’d find creative ways to let them do whatever they wanted.

    Me: You see a shimmering golden ring
    Clueless player: I put it on! Can I fly?
    Me: Are you trying to fly?
    Clueless player: Yes, I climb to the top of the stairs and jump off!
    Me: (rolling dice). You take 56 points of falling damage.
    Clueless player: Medic!


    Me: You see a shimmering golden ring.
    Clueless player: I put it on! Can I breathe underwater?
    Me: Are you trying to breathe underwater?
    Clueless player: Yes, I stick my head in the bucket and breathe in…
    Me: (rolling dice) Ok, tell me how long you’re going to try this…
    Clueless player: **gurgle**

    Good times with slow learners.

  69. Gahaz says:

    Someone up there asked if I was just thinking of “Mazes and Monsters” and no, I have never had anything to do with a character named Purdue. Nor was he crazy, he was on drugs.

  70. guy says:

    Mari’s second story is immpressive. i guess you used death by massive damage or instant death rules that campaign.

  71. J says:


    Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the first thing that popped into my mind after reading your story is:

    “Hey! No LARPing!”

  72. Davesnot says:

    I remember a classic… I was playing a thief.. we were.. oh.. some mid-level or something.. well.. we had finished the big event that we’d been building up to… came back to Waterdeep with the haul… and then everyone wanted to go do town things.. problem was we handn’t fenced the loot yet.. I said my character would be happy to go take care of it.. I said it tounge in cheek.. but they said ok… I looked at the DM.. he shook his head slightly and smiled..

    DM passes me a note .. we had some huge total.. like 80,000 gps or something.. I said, “Wow.. we got 30,000gps for all that stuff!” (the amounts are lost to my memory.. but the percentage is close).. everybody was happy with that total.. especially my thief… I felt.. well.. I felt like a thief.. worst part was.. I couldn’t tell anyone about it… even being a thief..

    Come on guys.. don’t let the thief pawn the goods alone!

  73. Windblade says:

    I have two, largely of the same nature, and both wit the same GM (after the second case I’ve carefully avoided his games

    The first was in the ‘darksun’ D&D universe, my first (and only) game in that universe. I roll up a female rogue. through various means, the entire party (who haven’t met yet) are made slaves to the Evil overlord (or at least one of his barons) after surviving a riot (actually an attempt by the baron to assassinate the BBEG) one of the party, a half ogre, is promoted to baron and the rest of the party are his property. Deciding that a rogue is useless, the player decides I’ll be eyecandy, and the GM goes into an uncomfortable amount of detail about the two leather straps I’m now wearing.

    The second was d20 star wars where I played a female scout. one of the players had min/maxed the piloting score on his force sensitive scoundrel, and had convinced the GM to run a pod racing session. (while the event was tied into the main plot by a last minute of the session aside from the gm, the race meet seemed to be pretty much just set up so this player could show off and earn a ton of cash) As my scout was a decent pilto and a bit of a thrillseeker, I joined in. Unfortunately, the dice were not in my favor, and while the other character walked away with an insane amount of cash, a badly times 1 had caused me to crash my borrowed pod, and put me in sever debt. the debtor decided they owned, and I was sold into slavery.

    The following session was a voctory party for the min/maxed character (with the opportunity to make a contact to forward the main plot) whilst I was used as a serving girl in a tissue paper bikini with my hands restrained so I could ‘defend myself’. The evening ended 9after a lot of painful moments) with me being stripped naked, and marched off to be sold again. It was only then the min/maxed player did anything, buying me from the auction, but making clear I was very much his property

  74. freddyboomboom says:

    So we’re playing Shadowrun, and the party was doing a meeting in Sea-Tac airport…

    We get jumped by three different groups, and we’re behind any cover we can find, and the cops are coming, too.

    First couple of guys are shooting, laying out smoke grenades, etc.

    My turn comes up and I say to the GM, “you said the wall behind us was glass? Ok, then I empty my SMG’s magazine into it, jump out, and run like Hell.”

    Everybody else looks at each other, and says “we follow him!”

  75. Davesnot says:

    I have a friend that played in a first-ed game where they had needed to know the damage of a pair of chopsticks.. the DM looked it up (or fudged it) and came up with a d4.. so.. this guy makes a mace out of gobs of these chopsticks and then starts doing a d100 damage per hit.. and the DM let it happen.. these guys quit the game because the rules were so “messed up”.. of course.. they had been the ones that bastardized them so much… go figure.

  76. StereotypeA says:

    The game was Werewolf: The Apocalypse. My friend and I had crafted two brother characters, taking great care to give them each a detailed backstory and motivation and everything.

    It was the first play session of the chronicle and I had to miss it for some reason. So my idiot friend plays without his “big brother” to watch his back. He comes across a bunch of children’s bones and decides to do what any normal person would do: Stage a puppet show with them and try to craft a suit of armor.

    Another player’s half-insane fomori werewolf in Crinos form comes across my friend desecrating these bones and kind of flips out. The Storyteller asks said player: “Do you want to thrall (or something like that)?” The player, not knowing what this means, shrugs and says “Yeah, sure.”

    His character then proceeds to RAPE MY FRIEND’S CHARACTER TO DEATH.

    Yeah, that was fun when I saw him on Monday at school.

    “Sorry I couldn’t make it on Friday, anything exciting happen?”

    “Well uh…”

  77. Thpbltblt says:

    The first game I’ve played in a long time is D&D 3.5, and our group has been together for about seven months or so. My fiance plays a half-elven ranger, and we were investigating a small hill in the middle of a clearing in the forest. Some kobolds had taken up residence, and we were determined to eradicate them and figure out why they liked this hill so much. During the fight, Castalia made an attempt to penetrate the thick undergrowth surrounding the base of the hill. “Roll a dex check, please.” No problem, except that she rolled really poorly. It was a 1 or a 2, I think. “You stumble, and fall face first into something wet, squishy, and absolutely foul.” Turns out the kobolds were part of some dragon cult, and they were doing something with the corpse of a metallic dragon. That’s what the hill was. Anyway, we didn’t let Castalia live it down. It took her until the next session to get to an inn, take a bath, and then go shopping for new studded leather.

  78. Jessie says:

    Well, I haven’t played much D&D (although I loved what I have played), but at the recent International D&D Day, or whatever it was called, I got into a random game when I went to go look through the local comic store.

    The DM was good, but sort of silly, making us specify which way we were opening the doors.

    Player: I open the door.
    DM: How?
    Player: … I push it open.
    DM: It doesn’t work.
    Player: I thought you said it wasn’t locked.
    DM: It’s a pull door.

    After one or two doors like that, we started asking if it was a pull door or a push door.

    But at the end of the adventure, after destroying the mirror images of our villain, the bad guy turned himself invisible and began to sneak around. After a few turns of listen checks and “detect magic” and such, and not really accomplishing much, this is what happened:

    DM: (rolling dice) CRAP.
    Player: What? What did you do?
    DM: Uh. Well, you know this big pit over here? You all hear a very loud thud from the pit, and you see a dead body at the bottom.
    Player: You failed a climb check, didn’t you?
    DM: …yes.

    I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to win that way.

  79. BrikZ says:

    This was a while ago in a gaming group that I ran, and shows how players with good roleplaying, and lucky die rolls can leave a permanent impression on a gameing world.

    The players need to cross this valley which is heavy guarded by orcs, no real problem there, they have some decent stealthers, and they should have been able to sneak around or though with only minor instances.

    Well, the campaign was taking place in a Norse heavy setting, and the party had just picked up a priest of Thor, who had all the greatest qualities (and failings) of a true zealot. The party leader was an aspiring paladin, high on conviction, short on patience, rather typical accually. Neither of whom would just sit idly by and let such an area remain without their ah… considerable presence.

    So, the stealthier character’s do their own bit of recon, and find that, yes, the Orcs in the valley were to numerous, well placed, and dug in for the party to just route out. There were more than enough mini-adventures during this recon, including a discovery on the hygienic properties of Orcs en masse.

    So where stealth comes back with nothing positive, and PC’s feel overwhelmed, the player’s gears naturally start turning. Well, for once the players decide on a diplomatic approach, in their own particular idiom of course.

    So marching forward into the valley, priest and wanna-be paladin in front, they meet with the Orcs, some resistance follows, but several diplomatic rolls, and good role-plays later, they find themselves, still in one piece, and in front of the Orc Cheiften, and of course his own lead shaman.

    Well put two religious zealots together, the Thor Priest, and the Orcish shaman, and sparks are bound to fly. Well, they do, and both end up denouncing each other and their paltry gods. More sparks fly, Orcs and players are wounded. and all looks to be a loss.

    Well, above the tide of battle, which by now is long passed being just threatening to the party; A call to champions is issued by the paladin. May the orish champion of thier god come fourth, and challange he who speaks for Thor, himself of course.

    Well, a hastily scrawled orcish champion later, the meanest, largest, ugliest, orc steps forward. Easily brandishing weapons that will crush this so called champion. The shaman quickly blesses off on the even, with the utmost faith in his champion, myself, the DM even felt a little cocky about the orcish monstrosity that I had quickly rolled up.

    Well a few melee rounds later, the champion lies dead, the shamen leaps up, casts a few spells, but is defeated just as quickly. The stunned orcs, and dm, quickly submit to the will of Thor as being far more powerful than their present god. The priest decides a few days to stay and teach the basic tenants of the faith is a good idea, and despite some dispute, the orcs are rapidly converted.

    A short time later, the party leaves a now friendly and converted gaggle of orcs behind them.

    The valley of orcs dedicated to Thor is now a permanent fixture in my game world, and parties still run across it from time to time.

  80. Jeff says:

    Your level 6 cleric died ’cause he was over confident, and (by your retelling) charged before he prepared himself.
    Otherwise he could have set up all sorts of buffs.

    All in all, it seems the story went very well… overconfident bad guy falls to the heroes, heh. Cinematic. :P

  81. The Glen says:

    Which system? I’ve played so many of them.

    Cyberpunk players attacking tanks with smgs. When the tank nearly cuts one in half he’s screaming for the medtech to come and get him. Medtech raises his head over the trench just to shout back “No!”

    Veteran Deadlands players realizing early to shoot every corpse in the head and dynamite every well. Players were relieved to know at one point the corpses they shot in the head were only zombies.

    Twilight 2000 characters deciding to not let the Coastie with demolitions 8 disarm the bomb because they were special forces. Special forces with demolition 2, but special forces none-the-less. After that, more none than less.

    Streetfighter game where all the characters playing superspies forgot to a player to put points in computer skills.

    Vampires not realizing the heavily armed group of people wearing crosses and thermographic goggles just might mean to do them harm.

    7th Sea player challenging the veteran army sapper to a duel, only to get have the sapper accept the duel with the answer ‘Pistols. Here. Now.’

    Got tons more, but don’t want to spam.

  82. Log082 says:

    I’ve been reading for about a month now, though this is my first post. When I saw the topic, however, I just had to join in…

    First, a bit of background on our game: We’re all college students, with everything that implies, and two of us (one of which was me) were first time players. Our first few sessions were more or less improvised by our DM, as he had little time to plan due to course load. Our party consisted of two lawful neutral monks, a chaotic neutral cleric, and my character, a chaotic good warlock. For our first session, we all started out in a small town, where we were hired by a somewhat shady wizard to retrieve an artifact from the King’s vault. The King, for the record, was a nice but weak monarch, and the government was controlled by the evil baron, who levied high taxes on the good citizens – the only reason we agreed to retrieve the artifact, since in the process we would also do a Robin Hood on the town treasury. Now that the copious back story is out of the way, on to the actual event:

    Tensions built between my character and one of the monks. They started out innocuous but amusing, such as when he rolled an (admittedly stellar) bluff check to mess with my character, or when he “stunning fist”-ed my character to settle an argument (The idea was that my character would recover shortly and rejoin the party, suitably chastised. It wasn’t HIS fault I was subsequently captured by lizardmen as I lay stunned on the ground…) After the first session, however, these tensions began to leave the realm of “amusing” and become problematic (though admittedly probably still amusing if it wasn’t happening to you…) His character (now retconned to a fighter for the sake of party balance; our DM used a three-strike rule in which this was possible without penalty) became overtly hostile, doing things like trying to get me sentenced to death in a trial for raiding the vault (He fled; I stayed behind to help and ally…) and lying about my actions to create a bad reputation with our allies. When matters came to a head and the wizard revealed himself as the BBEG of our party during the middle of my trial, raising a zombie army and attacking the town, it was so bad that I decided my character would rather attempt to escape on his own on foot then ride on the same horse as the other PC; I reasoned that the zombies MIGHT get me, but he CERTAINLY would. Well, after the rest of the party fled, they discovered they needed both me AND something else they had left behind, and decided to rescue me in the process of retrieving said object. I, meanwhile, had forted up in the bell tower of a church on the outside of town, using my unlimited eldritch blasts to good effect against the individually weak zombies. However, just as the fighter with whom I had so much discord managed to heroically fight his way up to me, the zombies climbed a pile of their own dead (er, re-dead) and knock me unconscious. The fighter saved me from death, but faced the problem of escaping off the bell tower himself; the zombies were too thick to fight his way back down. Just as I was ready to bury the hatchet in return for the rescue, he hit on a solution: use my unconscious body as a cushion when he jumped so that he could survive. As they again fled to an allied monastery where they would be safe, he took my best items for himself and threw the rest into the wilderness. Then, while the monastery raised the other monk for free, as he was a member, I was raised with a burden of a quest AND a mark forcing me to be obedient to the commands of the cleric party member three times. PLUS the level loss – significant at second level. That was my last game, but I didn’t miss much – the game dissolved due to time problems after they played only one more session…

  83. Skeeve the Impossible says:

    It’s a bidding war shamus. A bidding war

  84. Yahzi says:

    King of Tactics:

    We come crawling out of the dungeon with the quest item, a powerful staff. At the entrance we’re met by the villain. He addresses Dan, the player carrying the staff.

    “I have a master assassin hiding in the bushes. Give me the staff or he’ll one-shot you, and I’ll take it.”

    Now Dan has a choice: he can fight, or he can give up and hope to fight another day. So what does Dan do?

    He throws the staff at the villain, thus simultaneously fighting and giving up. Yes, he starts a fight by throwing the most powerful weapon the party has away.

    The Patient GM:

    The party is supposed to meet an NPC at a certain spot and time. We get there, but the NPC isn’t there yet. We really can’t advance the adventure without him.

    “Fine,” we all say, “We sit down and wait until he gets here. We don’t care how long it takes.”

    The DM says, “He’s still not here yet.”

    “OK,” we say, “We keep waiting.”

    The DM sits there, silently… for five minutes. Of Real Time. In silence.

    Then he says, “OK… he’s here now.”

  85. Cuthalion says:

    Not sure if anyone is going to bother reading a post numbered 85, but here goes…

    My first time ever playing D&D was a couple weeks ago. I shared my character concept beforehand with the DM, who was a friend of mine and the only person I knew in the group. He assured me it was doable.

    So, I get there and one guy asks “Is this the guy who was going to play the blind psionic monk?” I reply affirmatively. The players have a hilarious idea: “You should make it a gnome or a halfling.”

    So, here I am, a newbie with an absurdly complicated character: blind, deaf, halfling psion telepath.

    It’s bad enough being new and trying to play such a character, but I underestimated the role-playing difficulty created by relying on a split-personality megalomaniac/smoldering-fury (+4 intimidate, -2 diplomacy) psicrystal (which the DM decided to let me have leveled up so that I had a telepathic link with it) in order to see or hear anything.

    I ended up trying to be comedic value. Holding up mirrors at people and grinning, casting/manifesting missive to tell people to burn stuff down, getting tied to the bow of an airship and attacking random birds with a sickle, etc.

    Hopefully, I was funny enough to keep my first role-playing experience from being their worst. I thank them for putting up with me and laughing at my character’s (and my own) utter cluelessness.

  86. Thunderzork says:

    Hmmm. Seems like a lot of folks are relating in-game stories. How about some RL for a change of pace…

    Played with a group of friends for several years where each of us takes turns being the DM. Each of us has their own style and ‘house rules’ so it breaks up the monotony.

    We show up for our standard 8 hour monthly game session and discover… A new player! ‘A’ has convinced DM to let Girlfriend (GF) join the game!. DM consented, *without consulting anyone else* because he’s the current DM, it’s his game and he can ask anyone he wants to play and that’s part of his rules. Plus, ‘she already knows how to play.’

    Well, DM is pretty damn good DM so… OK, sure whatever. So… Game on!

    Well, no.

    GF doesn’t have a character so we have to wait while DM chews up the entire session getting GF rolled up into a new character with background, full equipment, etc. And, oh-by-the-way, ‘A’ (the boyfriend) is nowhere around.

    The following is pretty close to the actual events that happened that night – I don’t remember the exact words but it pretty much went like this:

    Setting: B’s house.
    Time: About 6 hours into GF’s character build
    Cast: Me, B, C, and D, watching some bullshit on TV. DM and GF at the dining room table, laughing, rolling dice, etc.

    Me gets up and walks into the dining room.

    Me (bored and pissed): ‘Are you two done? Why didn’t you do this during the week?’

    DM (irritated): ‘Relax. We’re almost done…’

    Me (pissed-ter): ‘Where’s A?’

    DM (not making eye contact): ‘Oh, uh, he had to work late.’

    GF (all bubbley and shit): ‘Yeah, he said since I had to make up my person he was just going to work late and come pick me up when we’re done.’

    DM (nervous): ‘Hey, we’re almost done here. We can still get in some game time…’

    Me (sotto voice): ‘make… up… my… person?’

    DM (*really* nervous): ‘Give me 5 more minutes here…’

    Me (*really* pissed): ‘Did you just say “make up my person?”‘

    GF (dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks-bubbley): ‘Yeah! This is fun! I’ve never played this game before!’

    DM (quickly): ‘Yeah, let’s finish equipping your charact…’

    C: ‘WTF did she just say!?’

    D: ‘That’s it, I’m out.’

    Me: ‘Me too’

    DM: ‘Wait! We’re almost done!’

    We all leave. DM finishes up and leaves. Foreshadowing: B and GF are now *alone*, in B’s house, waiting for A to show up.

    Extra Credit: Describe what happened while B and GF were waiting for A, in 10 words or less.

    Next gaming session A and GF show up and announce their wedding. Hey, that’s great! Good Lucks and Handshakes all around. Game is pretty much forgotten. Beers break out. Strip club ensues. Hangovers to come later…

    A couple of months later: A and GF get married. B is the best man. Much more beers, some strip clubs. And, due to different circumstances, gaming group pretty much falls apart. All keep in touch. No hard feelings…

    A few months after that: A and GF have a baby. More beers, less strip clubs. Hmmm… A is blond. GF is blond. Baby is NOT blond. Who else do we know that is not blond?

    A few months after that: GF(blond) leaves A(blond) and runs off with B(not blond), leaving A(blond) with the baby(not blonde). No beers, no strip clubs.

    Extra, EXTRA Credit: What was the period of time between that first, disastrous gaming session and blessed event of the arrival of baby (not blond)?
    A. 3 months
    B. 6 months
    C. 9 months
    D. 12 months
    If you guessed C. 9 months, you are correct!.

    The sad thing is that the rest of us pretty much haven’t done ANY gaming since this happened. I don’t know, I guess it just left a bad taste…

  87. Gahaz says:

    For J,

    AH HAHA HAH AHAH….*breath* ah ha haah ha…*breath*

    That was good…

  88. Cipher says:

    We were playing d&d at a friends basement, I was the Dm at that time and had some special boss fight prepared for the night. Just as I introduced the spooky scene in a misty swamp, where poor villagers were nailed to fallen trunks, crying in agony and the evil black dragon just waiting for the PCs to approach, the telefone rang..
    My friend picks up the phone: “Mum, what IS IT?”
    then, asking us: “hey, does anyone use e-plus (a german cell phone provider)?”
    Another player, lightly irritated: “errr, well, me.”
    “do you have connectivity down here?”
    “eerrr, let me check.. no”
    hangs up..
    The scene was sorta ruined, but a couple of years later, we still remember it, because it was the one perfectly timed atmosphere killer, and even unintentional.

  89. Mrs T says:

    Story the fourth: My current game, D&D 3.5. I’m playing a 17 year old 2nd level cloistered cleric who had never intended to be an adventurer until her deity set her on a quest. We encounter a Shadow, and my cleric attempts to turn it. I roll a 2, so we interpret it as her being terrified at her first sight of an undead creature and stuttering out “In the n-name of–of Oghma–I c-c-command you…” etc.

    Next up is the dwarven swashbuckler. The player announces to the DM “I see what she’s trying to do… it just needs more style.” So he brandishes a piece of jewellery and repeats what the cleric had just said, and rolls a 20 to bluff.

    The DM considered for a moment, and decided that since it was not a mindless undead, it could be bluffed. It completely failed its ‘sense motive’ roll, and turned and fled.

    As players, we collectively agreed that it was the coolest thing ever, and when we got back to town, the swashbuckler bought his own holy symbol in case he gets a chance to try it again.

  90. Eledriel says:

    Ooooh, Pandora’s box… I’m playing for more than 20 years now.

    With that theme, I could write books, if I wouldn’t been too lazy for that.

    Some short ones:
    Cyberpunk 2020:

    Two Heros must escape through the infectioning, highly chemically and biologally wasted sewers of a big city.
    It’s dark. They must go in line for not falling into the “water”.
    DM (myself) described for their cybereyes an genetically enhanced crocodile, living in the sewers. The player last in the walking line shouts: “I draw my pistol (The biggest one available; makes holes in motorblocks; can only be shooted with by cyberarms) and shoot.”
    DM: “Ok, I see, damage is too much; the crocodile dies. Does everyone have cyberears?”
    Player first in line: “ehh, no…?”
    DM: “OK, your partner shoots near your ear,
    in a tunnel, with THAT pistol.
    A HUGE Tinitus.
    Any questions?”

    It became a running gag for a year. Everytime the player didn’t expect it, I made the sound.

    2) Again CP 2020
    A kind of detective story, I stole from the old british TV-Show “The Avengers”.

    Some dominant CEOs from stocklisted Companies get murdered. The PC’s got hired to find the killer. The Killer is a millionaire stocktrader, working at Wall street, NY. With Stockoptions he “bed”, that the prizes for the stocks of the comapanies with the soon to be murdered CEOs will fall in the next 3 months. Then he send some killers to him. As soon, the killers had succseeded, or even when not, he earns money. Police never could find a clue.

    The players didn’t get it for a too long time and were always looking for the murderer within the family of the killed CEO.
    Mercyful I gave them after a time enough tips to solve the problem.

    Annoyed they nag at me, because I studied Business Administration and they didn’t had any clues about that profession.

    I answered them: “What were you doing EVERYTIME, when you have a problem, where you don’t know anything about that.”
    “We hire an consultant or ask an expert.”
    Me: “… and why didn’t you do that in all the time here?”

    3) Again CP 2020
    We wre a streetgang, I played an Solo-bodyguard, who got too many shots at the head and too many cyberware inside his body to stay normal. The other players (!) gave me my streetname I got “famous” with: Psycho.
    A good friend of mine played the boss of that streetgang.

    Situation: An “Mr. Johnson” wanted to establish a longer deal with our streetgang. He provided us with weapons, money etc. and in return we solve all his problems without any strings leading back to him. As contacting officer he introduced a German Solo to us with the name “Hans”. My character loved German Weapons (Mauser, Heckler & Koch etc.) and tried to make a little conservation with that guy.
    Me: “You come from Germany?”
    DM: He looks disgusted and arrogant at you.
    Me upsetted: “I draw my H&K and touch his chin with the proper end.”
    That NPC didn’t have any chances, my character was build to be faster than Lucky Luke and his shadow.
    Me: “…and?” to Hans
    DM: He looks even more arrogant.
    Me: “Ok, I blow his head of. The whole mag. Until there is nothing there anymore.”
    DM shocked: That Johnson go to your boss (another player).
    “Hh-ee-e can’t do this. W-e can’t make business like that. When you want to work with me, that maniac must get killed!”
    Me from a few meters shouting to my streetgang minions/henchman: “Put that garbage here away, pronto.”
    DM to my boss: “I insist: No deals, until that man is gone.”
    My boss shrugged with his shoulders: “Then don’t send us amateurs. With an professional that never would have happened.” and walked away.

    After the session we went to an pub and with a few drinks our DM told us, that I killed with Hans a long, intelligent designed campaign and work for more than a month, he never can use with this group anymore.

  91. Vegedus says:

    On the topic of worst events, was another player cheating. It almost figures how that went down.

    GM: “Roll to hit”.
    Player: “22”
    GM: “Huh? What did you roll on the dice?”
    Player: “11.”
    GM: “What? That’s impossible. You can’t have 11 to attack in level 2.”
    The player came with some long, confusing explanation of how his feats, weapons and race somehow generated that number. A look at his character sheet clearly showed that wasn’t the case. Cheating in roleplaying infuriates me because it’s just so utterly pointless. My own current players are actually also quite adept at bending the rules, though I’m not sure they do it consciously. Generally, whenever they hit up a rule, I need to hit up a rule to, to make sure they don’t interpret it in some other way, favorable to themselves.

    The monk of the team is fond of tumbling around enemies and attacking them in the back, which lowers the enemies AC (a house rule I guess, but I haven’t found any fitting official ruling on this). He once asked if the ground was slippery, and said yes. “Okay, then I get a 2+ to my tumble check!”. Perplexed as to how difficult terrain would *help* you tumble, I hit it up later and found that the *DC* got a +2.

    One of the older players has an Player’s Guide v. 3.0, and no 3.5, and while the base rules are the same, there are some rather important balancing changes. He was once able to pretty much take out 90% of an ancient spider lair all by himself, simply by casting greater invisibility and hacking away. That’s around 30 large and huge spiders, plus 1 colossal. According to the v 3.0, the invisibility lasted for min/per level, which was 10 minutes in his case, a damn long time. The spiders where to dumb to begin tracing his movements, and were completely defenseless during that time. In the v 3.5, as I later checked, it was turn/per level. 10 turns. That’s around 1 minute. The way he took care of the colossal one was quite great, though. The lair was actually part of a crybt, and was situated in a very, very tall room, with a stair case running all the way to the top. He ran to the top of the stairs, cast stoneskin on himself, and then jumped sword first at the collosal spider. After having taken some checks, he ended up doing some pretty nasty crits. He then ran all the way up and did it again to the clueless spider.

  92. Turbosloth says:

    Back in 2nd edition, first game of dnd i ever played, my halfling thief was on a mission along with a bunch of other characters i cant remember except that one of them was a somewhat higher lvl (he was a leftover character from the dm’s last campaign) than us warrior priest character with a sword called mr pointy. We had been hired by an NPC to help him recover a worthless trinket which held sentimental value to him, and he came with us to recover it, but halfway through the quest he died.

    At this stage the party wanted to go on, but my halfling figured he couldn’t pay us if he was dead, so stuffed if he was risking his life for no money.

    The warrior-priests response? decided i was only good for finding traps anyway, so tied me to a 10-foot pole and beat me on the ground in front of the party to set off traps


  93. guy says:

    another fun moment: i was fighting some bugbears, and i had a cloak of many things. so i hit two of them with a rowboat. Fun times, fun times. also, i have played some games where the GM intimidates the players by having the book of vile darkness behind the screen and flipping through it occasionally.

    This is the same GM who sent us up vs. the beetle horde, BTW

    1. Jupiter says:

      I had a GM in a Vampire the Masquerade game do that with the Demon books…

      Unfortunately, several members of the group wanted Demonic Investments…

  94. Greg says:

    It was your latest post that reminded me of this, but it’s a conversation I watched, one player giving another a recap of what happened in a session that they missed.

    “Where did we leave off?”
    “We were just going down the steps in the temple”
    “Okay, well we went down the stairs and ended up in a long corridor that radiated evil. At the end we arrived there was a suit of armour and a helmet on a rack.”
    “So I checked for traps and found the helmet was weighing down a button, we managed to remove the armour around it and left the helmet there.”
    “The rest of the group was okay with that?”
    “Not so much, I went to check the first door along the corridor and someone took the helmet. That’s it.”
    “Then what happened?”
    “Well, then the water started pouring in under the door.”
    “Yeah, if you can call it water. There was so much crap in it that it was black and opaque, none of us really wanted to go near it.”
    “So did you run away?”
    “Nah, what sort of a friend would I be? I stayed around and helped them till most of it was cleaned up. We were bailing it out in cups and dishes and whatever came to hand by the end of the evening.”
    “Don’t we have any better items in our inventory?”
    “We had a look around, but there wasn’t a lot of time to go through the house, Tim has the keys to the garage so we couldn’t get in.”
    “I thought Tim didn’t play anymore”

    …somehow this conversation went on for almost half an hour before the guy who missed a session realised that when the player said “That’s it.” he’d got to the end of the recap – everything after that was describing the plumbing related incident that’d caused the game session to end prematurely. Admittedly I think the guy doing the recap realised he’d been misunderstood and kept it going on purpose, but there’s probably a strip or two in confusing real world and game events nonetheless :P

  95. Civilis says:

    We had a player that I will call Mark that did not play well with others. In his last game session with us, Mark had a Drow Paladin of Heironious who was a bit fanatical.

    We come in to a random town on our quest and find that the town has an interesting local sporting event. A powerful NPC fighter has set up a challenge: beat him in a fight (not to the death) and win a prize. The catch is that he’s an evil follower of Hextor, and if he wins, he permanently takes a point of Strength. Although the kingdom is generally good, this sort of thing isn’t against the local laws.

    Well, the paladin hates evil, and the paladin’s god Heironious, patron of honor and chivalry, hates Hextor, who’s basically the evil version, but still somewhat honorable. So what does Mark do? Challange the evildoer, of course. And when he wins initiative, immediately opens up with a series of Holy Smites, and when asked about using the flat of the blade, Mark says, “No, I’m going to kill the guy.”

    Honor? Law? Chivalry? Screw that! He’s evil!

  96. Joe says:

    wow… heading for triple digit posts here… Anyhow, two slightly amusing:

    First, a bunch of gamers get together, first campaign, first encounter, there are a handful of bad guys in a group in the woods. We discuss tactics. We decide that there’s too many for us to take in an open brawl, so we need to divide-and-conquer. Larry says “OK, I’ll go off in the woods and make a distraction”. Like what? “I’ll cut down a tree, the noise should get some of them to investigate, and when they do, you guys take out the ones that stay” Um, Larry, you do remember that you’re playing a druid, right?

    Other story, GM Piet is trying out a new gaming system, D&D-like, but don’t recall what it was. I do recall that it had lots of tables you would roll against that described everything that might happen in combat. Anyhow, he’s got his campaign planned out, we all roll up our characters, mine’s a mage. We do some playing, it’s fun. One of our first big fights, we’re fighting a bunch of bad guys around a tower while the BBEG watches on. After the first few rounds of combat, it’s obvious this is going to be a tough fight, and my mage has used up all his spells. At this point, my character is mostly useless.
    Me: OK, what the heck, I’ll take out my shortbow and start shooting it.
    Piet: At who?
    Me: What the heck, I’ll shoot a few a the big guy.
    Piet: Roll to hit…
    Me: 20.
    Piet: OK, that’s a critical, roll for where you hit him.
    Me: 20.
    Piet: OK, that’s a head shot. Roll for critical type.
    Me: 20.
    Piet: Hmmm… According to this table, it says that means the location you hit was “entirely severed off”. And you hit his head. According to a strict interpretation of the rules, the arrow from your shortbow just cut off the BBEG’s head. I can’t see how that would be anything but fatal. So, the decision before us is: do we end this campaign here, declare victory and leave the field, and go play something else, or do we accept that this ruleset has some flaws, and RP around them when they happen?

    fortunately, we opted for the RP path, and continued to have fun with the campaign. (I think we decided that my shot damaged him slightly, and that scared him enough that he beat a hasty retreat – which fit with the plot of the campaign.)

    {btw, Shamus: a hearty Thank You for the comment editing capability. It’s very much appreciated}

  97. DGM says:

    “{btw, Shamus: a hearty Thank You for the comment editing capability. It's very much appreciated}

    How do you do this?

  98. DGM says:

    EDIT: Never mind. I see it.

  99. Plasma says:

    I only really have one tabletop-related story, having only been in one or two games, run by my roommate in college. My most memorable experiences involved a half-orc barbarian originally named Logarth the Conquerer. During the campaign, he acquired the moniker Logarth Doorbane. Whenever he encountered a door, he declared “LOGARTH SMASH!” and bashed it down. This was problematic less often than you’d expect.
    If we had ever managed to get beyond second level, my gnome artificer (otherwise completely useless, kept failing all his use magic device checks) would have enchanted Logarth’s axe to do extra damage versus doors.
    There was some discussion of sticking my artificer in a Bag of Holding and just having him spend all his time crafting Alchemist’s Fire for the other party members to use, because he certainly wasn’t much good for anything else.

  100. Cactuscat says:

    I’ve got another one, it’s a “fond memory” sort of recollection this time.

    The GM was running a made-up fantasy game loosely based on Final Fantasy, but mostly just off the top of his head (he’s good at that sort of improvisation). After navigating dangers such as a valley filled with purple, exploding Chocobos (I kid you not) and vegetarian goblins, we finally confronted the BBEG, a certain “Lord Hades.”

    It was a long, bitter battle to best the belligerent baddie, but in the end we stood victorious. Someone thought the victory was a little too easy, though, and kept looking for the other shoe to drop. “He can’t be dead already!” said this no-good naysayer. “Lord Hades! I’ll bet with a name like that he’s really a demon!”

    “He’s not a demon,” replied the GM.

    “Aww, c’mon! Lord Hades, how could he not be a demon?”

    “I’m telling you, he’s not a demon.”

    “You expect me to believe that a guy named Lord Hades isn’t actually a demon?”


    *BOOM* The dread Lord Hades was resurrected as a demonic monster and we had an even tougher fight on our hands. If we hadn’t won, we probably would’ve killed the guy who kept insisting “Lord Hades” had to be a demon.

    In the end, the player had his character make a club out of the demon’s thigh bone, which he then continued to use in the next campaign. Creepy… o_o

    Still, it went down in history (our group’s history, at least) as one of the more memorable experiences. And to this day one of us will, from time to time, blurt out “He’s gotta be a demon!” when confronted with suspiciously named characters. It also was the birthing point of a saying that we all still use to this day: “Don’t give the GM ideas!”

    I could go on and on about the dangers of ignoring that particular piece of advice… ;)

  101. Ellimystic says:

    Oh, geez, giving the DM ideas…

    We had a DM who, every time someone offered up a theory about something happening, immediately made it true – even if it would make absolutely no sense. “Nah, guys, this has to be a trap”? Boom, we instantly fell into a trap. “I bet the advisor is a traitor”? The advisor immediately turned around and stabbed the king with no set-up. He apparently did this just to stop us from trying to guess the plot.

    Naturally, we tried to manipulate this. “I bet there’s some treasure under this rock!” and so forth. Whenever he’d catch us doing this, he’d just roll for damage on all of us. No pretext, no role-play, just “No theories. I’m rolling for damage.”

    We put up with it because he was a great DM in every regard except that he absolutely hated it when we tried to outguess him. Took it personally if one of us figured out what was about to happen, seemed to think that by guessing we implied his story was obvious.

  102. Jacob says:

    A nearly-perfectly executed battle with a couple of gas spores left the Drinja (half druid, half ninja) teetering near the brink of death. Perhaps it was that he ran up next to the poisonous spores moments before they exploded, but the ways of the Drinja are truly mysterious.

    The nearest possible help lay in an Orc settlement a couple days ride to the east. A journey by the entire party would be too slow for the Drinja to survive, so they gave him the two thousand gold in the party fund in addition to his own gold stash and sent him riding through the night toward a hopeful cure.

    The settlement looming on the horizon, the infected Drinja cautiously approached the outskirts, unsure of what kind of reception a poisoned human might receive. Fortunately for him, one of the first orcs he spoke with was more than willing to assist.

    Drinja: “Is there anyone here who can cast neutralize poison? I’m going to die in a couple hours!”

    Orc: “Sure, I think one of the clerics here can do that.”

    Drinja: “Okay, how much will that cost?”

    Orc: “How much do you have?”

    Drinja: “Well…I think I probably have enough to cover the costs. How much do you think it will cost?”

    Orc: “Could be hard to say, since the cleric is on the other side of town. I could go ask him, but that would require almost an hour’s journey. Just tell me how much you have.”

    Drinja: “Two thousand three hundred and eighteen gold pieces.”

    Orc: “That’s exactly how much it’ll cost!”

    After this brilliant display of negotiation, the Drinja did manage to stay alive thanks to the help of a local Hextorian cleric, although his eagle companion did not fare as well. And fortunately for the party the Drinja was quick-thinking enough not to have included the party fund among his total declared assets.

    Not surprisingly, the same player pulled a similar stunt in a Living Greyhawk module when he asked a magistrate, “How much should I bribe you to stay this man’s execution?”

  103. Dita says:

    We had a player that came in late to the group. He decided to be a cleric. Everyone was happy… until a big bloody battle was going on and they needed to be healed. I don’t know how he rolled his cleric, but no matter what the situation, he would only heal himself and not the party. He would just say “I’m not that kind of cleric”.


  104. J1nxter says:

    When my players decided that the quickest way to get from a to b would be via the underdark (obviously a forgotten realms like setting), and then forgot to pack food, drink and light for the trip. I discover this after they have been spending a day down there, and as punishment i had them eat illithid flesh to stay alive

  105. Chris says:

    Here’s a link to a thread about creepy gamers on the RPGnet forum. 617 pages of threads about weird gamers.

  106. Taross says:

    The worst thing I’ve ever seen… Mmm.
    That would be when a group of us decided to see how ‘broken’ the epic level system for the DnD setting was. And boy was it EVER broken.

    We ended up getting templates stacked, classes mixed, powers buffed up so heavily… Our Arcane Archer could hit everything he could see, no range limit, and he could see clearly to the horizon if he so tried. Our assassin could basically death-blow even a Great Old Wyrm, and as for the magic users?

    Suffices to say that one of them never walked again once he figured out how to cast unlimited Dimension Doors. And at one time the GM told us (as NPC) that the party had to go to ‘yon mountain over there past those treacherous swamps’ and the first reply from the Sorceror was “Ok, I cast Gate.”
    We eventually decided that parties of this level ought to get a -1 Con per every x levels over 20 due to never actually doing anything physically intense any longer.

    So yeah… Epic levels? Stay away from em.

  107. ChuckP says:

    Backstory: The defacto leader of the party was really slowing things down by incessantly checking for traps/ambushes. When I had an opportunity to roll a new PC, I made Mongo. He was buffed for STR/DEX/CON, much to the detriment of WIS & INT. The great thing about Mongo was that he didn’t care if he lived or died, and anything he couldn’t figure out was “Stupid”

    While pursuing a lead on a quest, we found a scroll box that nobody could figure out how to open. Finally, Mongo had a go at it.
    Mongo: Mongo pry lid off.
    DM: It doesn’t budge.
    Mongo: Smash box on table.
    DM: You don’t appear to do any damage to the box. The table is starting to crack, though.
    Mongo: Stupid box. [Tosses box over shoulder]
    DM: Sproing! The lid flys open. There’s a scroll inside.

    Turns out the box had been crafted by a rather forgetful Mage…

    Mongo was one of the most enjoyable PCs I’ve ever played, wading through battles with reckless abandon and usually coming out covered in (someone else’s) ichor.

    [Edit] Oh yeah, this is supposed to be about our worst experiences. This one happened before I joined the campaign:
    Nerfboy is playing a LE Regnar/Nidilap/Thief, who has somehow been turned into a Vampire. The group had found their way into Hell, and was fighting Asmodeus. Solo. (Where’s the minions? And the reserve legions of demons?) Nerfboy proceeds to go toe-to-toe with Big A, and manages to drain him down to level 1. At this point DM decides that, rather than die, Asmodeus surrenders, hands over the keys, and declares his undying fealty to Nerfboy.

    This campaign was produced by M. Haul

  108. Greg says:

    OK, had to share this one, even though I might be a little late on the uptake…

    I was DMing a game with two friends, Wade and Dan. Dan was admittedly a little new to the whole D&D thing, but he was interested, and we liked having him. Thus begins Dan’s character’s first night on watch.

    Myself: Alright Dan, your character’s watch begins. *Roll roll roll. Look up random encounter tables* OK Dan. You’re an elf, correct?
    Dan: Yah, so I have the night vision.
    Myself: Correct. You see three humanoid shapes about sixty feet away. What do you do?
    Dan: I move closer.
    Myself: OK. You see three humanoid shapes about forty feet away. What do you do?
    Dan: I move closer.
    Myself: OK. You see three humanoid shapes about twenty feet away. What do you do?
    Dan: I throw a dagger at one of them.
    Myself: Ohhhhhhhkay… Roll a d20.
    Dan: I roll a (insert high enough number to hit). Do I hit?
    Myself: Yah, roll a d4 for damage.
    Dan: (Insert random amount of damage) Alright! What happens now?
    Myself: *Roll roll roll* A javelin hits you for… *roll* five points of damage. How many hit points did you have?
    Dan: Uhhh… six.
    Myself: OK, you have a javelin through your stomach. What do you do?
    Dan: I run back to camp waking you two up!
    Myself: Don’t you think that would have made more sense to do before the javelin went through your stomach?

    Thus ended Dan’s first watch. Now, years later, when we’ve all gone our separate ways, it is still a running joke whenever we’re all home again. “What do you do?” “I move closer.”

  109. RHJunior says:

    There was the one campaign session where our party of thieves was attacked by a band of wererats popping up out of the winecellar in our tavern (yes, “our” tavern; one of the players actually bought it to use for our headquarters.) I had a fighter as a cohort of my main character; said fighter was a musketeer, wielding a blunderbuss and dual pistols. No matter what I did, though, the DM fudged it so that he missed every shot he made (this in spite of the fact that blunderbusses were, by the rules, evasion and dodgeproof.) After missing three shots in a row at arm’s length, our druid managed to morph into bear form and pin one of the wererats against the bar in a hammerlock. I walked up, loaded my blunderbuss with silver coins, ***placed the barrel against the wererat’s head,*** and pulled the trigger. (a blunderbuss, for the uninformed, has a barrel like a trumpet. It would be more accurate to say I put the wererat’s head IN the barrel…)
    The DM ruled that I missed, “grazing” the side of the wererat’s face.

    I still have not forgiven, and am plotting his untimely demise even now.

    In another campaign entirely, I was playing a relatively low-level wizard. Our party was organized by dint of being drafted by the local ruler. Seems the neighboring kingdom was going goofballs and had shut off all trade and communications… the queen of our own country wanted us to enter the neighboring kingdom and find out what was up.

    However, she had SPECIFIC IDEAS about how we were supposed to do this. Her (the DM’s) “plan” was that we were supposed to wander about *our own country* doing heroic deeds till we had earned enough of a grand reputation as noble do-gooders that the border guards would basically welcome us into the neighboring kingdom. Any attempt to argue with this plan was greeted with the sudden appearance of *teleporting ninjas* who would hold knives to our throats till we agreed to stick to the Queen’s plan again.
    However, not only was the DM resistant to any attempt to vary from his titanium-plated rails, his appointed NPCs were as useless as screen windows on a submarine. We gave up any pretense of autonomy and asked her what our first “heroic deed” was to be. She didn’t know. We asked her if she knew of any places with monsters or bandits or the like where we could go be heroic. She didn’t know…..
    At this point, my character (the wizard) got exasperated. “You wouldn’t happen to have any *intelligence dossiers,* would you?” He gestured, measuring out the size. “They’re folders filled with papers, about yea big… you use them to run a country…”
    Efforts to get something resembling *information* foiled, we resorted to wandering the city. I spent the entire time pointlessly going to various locations listed in the city’s description, asking people for information that didnt exist while the rest of the party got drunk in a tavern, our idiot bard traded a free wish from a genie for a magical accordion (it turned into any instrument you wished for— including a moonshine jug, still full of whiskey…) after my 98 lb wizard was deliberately abandoned by the other party members to drag our inebriated minotaur to his room, I got so exasperated that I had my wizard drop the drunken minotaur in the floor, march out the front door of the tavern, and fling himself under the next stagecoach.

  110. sunflare2k5 says:

    Just had this one happen earlier today… We’re using Marvel Superheroes RPG (the Advanced set) to run a game based on the Legion of Super-Heroes with 2 new heroes (the PCs).

    Using the basis that President Chu had said she’d set up a mission “for the media to play with” (quoted from the comics). She’d set up a ship to be attacked by “space pirates” (actors with stun pistols, basically) so the newly-formed Legion could look heroic. Except then the ship got found by Tangleweb (a 9′ cybered-up arachnoid), who took out the actors before the Legion actually got there.

    One of our heroes got ambushed by the uber-bug, getting KOed. Another of our group, imitating Daxamite powers (think Superman, except it’s lead that hurts them) rushes to the rescue… and misses, plowing into our KOed hero with super-strength and super-speed combined. Needless to say, he finished her off and only a critical success on Agility kept him from piercing the hull and killing off the rest of the group.

    And the worst part? Chu’s media team, having set up the story figuring it was only the actors aboard, fumbled their skillcheck and managed to broadcast the story… just *before* the heroes sent on the rescue actually got to the remote area the ship was stowed at. Once the Legion found out that one of their own died over a media stunt, they turned on Chu and she shut down their authorization to operate.

  111. El Zoof says:

    My favourite? This was a few years ago when 3rd Edition was still fairly new, during a Living Greyhawk game. My character was the only second level character, everyone else was first. We come across a pack of wolves surrounding a dying plot hook, and fearlessly rush to aid him.

    And then the wizard casts “sleep”.

    “Oh,” he says listlessly, trying to recover from last night’s hangover. “I thought that it only affected enemies.”

    Somehow we manage to avoid any deaths…

  112. SimeSublime says:

    Playing a Shadowrun game, the GM and one player were experienced. I’d pretty much only played in this campaign, and this was the first time the other two players had RPed. So, the only player who actually had experience with character creation was playing a chronic alcoholic, and thus his selection of equipment is at times inpractical. The rest of us didn’t know any better.

    So we’re wandering through an abandoned, underground laboratory. Can’t go back, as a mana-storm is destroying everything above and slowly making it’s way deeper. To increase the atmosphere, we come across a room that is pitch black. We try to inspect it.(This is all OOC)
    DM: It’s pitch black. What types of vision do you have?
    He’s answered with a chorus of “Low light vision”.
    DM: It’s pitch black. Low light vision isn’t going to cut it. Don’t you guys have anything that allows you to see in the dark? Thermographic vision? Ultrasound sensors? Torches?
    We’re sitting there with mostly guilty looks on our faces.
    Me: In our defence, we were hired to ambush a convoy in the middle of the desert at noon. Torches aren’t exactly the first thing you think of equipping for such a mission.
    So, this then results in a large amount of in character bickering (our team doesn’t get along at the best of times, and at this time we weren’t even a team. In fact we had been hired to perform opposite sides of the job and were only working together in the goal of mutual survival). Eventually, we decided to douse a zombie on the floor that somebody had stumbled on with the alcoholics tequila, then somehow lit it on fire. Then stood there dumbly looking at the walls when we realised that our source of light was immoveable. So, we then removed the jacket off another zombie, soaked it and draped it on the end of my mage’s metal staff to act as a makeshift torch.
    It turned out that of the entire complex, that was the only room without working lights. But it just goes to show, that with an ill-equipped party, even a minor plot device to effect atmosphere can turn into a major hurdle.

  113. vdgmprgrmr says:

    I was playing with a friend of mine a long time ago, just a couple weeks after we had scrounged up the money and bought the D&D v3.5 books. We decided for my friend to DM, and gave him a couple hours to make a dungeon.

    After half the kool-aid was exhausted and the dungeon was ready, we ( I don’t remember our names ) entered the cave.

    Many goblins and one death later, we found the goblin chieftan.

    “Behind him you see a large, jeweled, gold in-layed chest.” says Mr. DM.

    We killed the goblin chief with ease, and hungrily approached the chest.

    I begin to say that I search for traps, but one of our group says, “I open it!” before I can finish.

    “In the chest you find,” *roll, roll, roll* “40 gold. See, I told you he wouldn’t have enough money to buy that flaming sword!” The player who had been wanting a flaming sword ever since we were half done with our characters.

    All the players were overtaken by disappointment. Suddenly I was struck with an ingenius idea.

    “How much would this chest sell for?”

    “What? umm, you can’t, its too heavy.”

    “Well, hmm, ah! Everyone, roll!” *roll, roll, roll*


    “13, plus four for my strength!”

    “91!” says the person wanting the flaming sword. The DM looks at the die and back up at him after turning the die around. “aww, only 19.”

  114. Kdansky says:

    Well, one rather simple story:

    We were playing some module from Midgard (a german RPG, not so well established, decent background but very quirky rules, and never managed to make past ADnD mechanics). Now our GM was not so experienced (but we still had fun, even when half a hundred goblins managed to get down a 2 foot wide stair in less than one turn), and our group wasn’t too well balanced and never friendly with each other (but we still had fun), and our figher rolled terribly and was using the wrong weapon to pick up the plot-device (but we still had fun) until we realized one thing:

    It was kinda weird that one of the players would always be so ridiculously lucky. He never failed spells and very, very rarely skills. He always opened the untrapped chests with lots of loot in them (which he didn’t share, even if everyone else did it), but never the ones that were trapped, or never picked up cursed items. And then, when we were in a “Bagdad” like city, he immediatly claimed the Grand-Vezier was the bad guy, although that character hadn’t even be mentioned by the GM at that time. We then started to pay some attention to the player and realized:
    – He’d roll a couple times (while the other players were busy) until his D20 would show up a good number, and then use that to announce his next action with.
    – If that was too obvious, he’d roll first and announce an action afterwards (bad roll = attack, good roll = use spell. Never burn a spell when you roll badly)
    – He had actually read the module in advance. That explained why he knew every single damn trap and good loot…
    Oh, and now you might say: “Well, kids…”, but he was actually the second oldest in the group at about thirty.

    Yeah, we got rid of him…

    edit: ooooh, edits?! That’s nice! Now an edit function for name fitting email would be nice :)

  115. Hal says:

    So, yet another story from my bi-weekly game. One of the oddities of DnD 3.5 is that, even at low levels, a fighter on horseback with a lance can do obscene amounts of damage, even more so if he has the right feats. Our DM has been telling us about this quirk for a while, and how he doesn’t have much patience for min/maxing like that, but how that’s pretty much the only way to survive in Living Greyhawk.

    So, we start off yesterday’s session, and what does he do? He ambushes us with, guess what, a level 3 fighter on horseback with a lance. We don’t get any spot or listen checks to anticipate the guy, and his first action is to completely splatter one of our rogues. One-hit kill with no warning. The DM: “Uh, did I say he charges? I meant he . . . um . . . does this OTHER attack which does much less damage.”

    TWO HOURS of combat later, we finally manage to take the guy out, and the DM says, “Gosh, I didn’t think this would take so long, I figured this would be a throwaway battle.” Really? You didn’t think the guy who could kill all of us in one shot would take a while to beat? The guy who only has a 10% chance of missing his attacks? You thought we’d just brush him aside as an afterthought? The guy who nearly killed everyone in the party twice? You thought we’d just walk through that?

    The worst part was, as much trouble as it was, it was just a level 3 fighter. Paltry experience points, meager monetary rewards. *Grumble, grumble*

  116. Mari says:

    It’s been a blast to come here and read all these stories. Thanks for soliciting them, Shamus!

    For Guy: Actually, it was more a matter of poor initiative rolls on the part of the cleric and his opponents having been somewhat clever and lucky. A good power attack from a bastard sword followed by two hits from an orc double-ax, one of which was a crit, that was in the hands of a half-orc with a strength of 20. Looking back through my notes it looks something like this:

    Elf hits. Damage: 16
    Cleric is down to 32 HP
    Half-orc hits once with each side of double ax. Damage 1: 12 Damage 2: 10 X3 for the crit=30
    Cleric’s HP: -10 TKO

    There are days when the dice just plain don’t like you and there are days when the players have hot dice.

  117. Evilllama says:

    And then there are days with a bit of both.

    My friends and myself are playing a freelance completely unrailroaded and unstorydriven corsair campaign, in which our high-level chaotic evil characters sail our magic airship around a hardly-developed map killing random NPCs. It’s surprisingly entertaining, and we take turns running encounters for it.

    So one time, we were fighting a massive axe-wielding warforged punk of a barbarian. Or maybe he was a fighter. Anyhow, he was ridiculous. It wasn’t looking good either; this beast had hundred of hitpoints and still looked pretty fresh. A couple of us were down, and the warforged decided to close in on my character.

    The Dustmaker is an Eldritch Knight particularly fond of the disintegrate spell. Disintegrate is a great spell because it deals such a large amount of damage. And I could hit him (warforged have awful touch AC), but his fort save was, like, 30. In desparation, I tossed out a disintegrate. And he rolled a natural one.

    A fine trail of dust fell to the deck of the airship.

  118. I’ve been roleplaying since 1980, but the only story that leaps to mind involves an AD&D 2nd Edition campaign I ran, and one of its players, who’d grown tired of his PC, the super-specialist wizard Warstar.

    Warstar’s death wish was already starting to bother the other PCs (and their players) by the time they found The Chest.

    How often do you hear your DM say something like this?:
    “It doesn’t take a thief, or even a search, to see that This Chest Is Trapped.”

    Before anyone else can say or do -anything-, Warstar’s player announces: “I strike the chest with my staff.”

    The good news is that, after the flames and the shouting (by PCs and their players), the player made another character, which he enjoyed a lot more. That was the -only- good news to come out of that encounter.

  119. guy says:

    Here’s one: the playtesters of lair of the spiderqueen or somesuch confronted a mighty iron golem. it’s DR was 50/+5, and they had a bunch of plus ones of many shiney effects. it looked like a tough fight, but then they disintigrated the bridge it was standing on. onward to the castle they went.

    Then there was the guy who was on a rope bridge over a swamp. he asked a bunch of random questions about the environment, none of which seemed very important. he asked, “how deep is the swamp?” the GM rolled some dice, and said “it’s 15 feet deep.” the swamp was black enough that you couldn’t see more than a couple feet deep, but the knowledge was gained in character without much work. except from gravity.

  120. Germelia says:

    I’ll never forget the adventure in which the party was transporting a bunch of 10 pirates in a cage to collect a bounty. Well, that didn’t really work out. The first pirate escaped because the sorcerer (me) had accidentally set the wagon with the cage on fire. The second pirate escaped because the bored bard was using his mage hand to annoy the pirates with a crowbar. One of the pirates grabbed the crowbar, opened the lock and was free, but got shot by the ranger. The barbarian climbed the cage to stop the others from escaping, but my sorcerer decided it would be helpful to grab the cage and perform a shocking grasp on it. That killed another 5 pirates. One pirate died from pneumonia and the last two were eventually suffocated in the ranger’s bag of holding.

  121. Baruch says:

    I was a little child watching my cousin and his friends play D&D. I desperately wanted to join in, constantly asking. The one kid, Jason, was being a jerk and killing all the other PCs, but I still wanted to play. Finally, my cousin relented and made me a very tall dual-longsword wielding elven ranger of mid level (I was eight, so I don’t remember the specifics). I appeared, saw Jason threatening one of my siblings characters, yelled “What are you doing in my forest?” and approached Jason. He stabbed me in the throat. I said that a kneeling character wouldn’t be able to stab a tall guy in the throat. He demonstrated the motions with my cousin, who decided that it was possible on a roll of 20. Guess how the numbers came up?

    And thus my character, who if he had simply hacked and slashed would have easily achieved victory, was throat stabbed for his roleplaying attempt.

  122. DGM says:

    With the wrong DM, you can get screwed simply by rolling too well. As in: getting a critical hit will kill your target even if you were trying to knock him out and take him alive. This happened to me more than once, and even went to court in one game. Grr.

  123. Randomscrub says:

    During my first campaign, two absolutely hilarious events took place.

    Story the first:
    Most of the party (including me) had been captured and disarmed by low-ranking flunkies of Generic Villain, and were being held at an inn while an officer was fetched to ID us. I, being a ridiculously charismatic Halfling bard (my only excuse is that it was my first campaign), was trying to bluff my way near the table where they had stashed our gear in an attempt to rearm the party and escape. I'm almost there when what happens? Our fighter, who was upstairs getting to know the innkeeper's daughter, gets busted by her dad and jumps out the window, knocking over a lamp in the process, which sends the thatched roof up in flames. Our hand forced, we then try to overpower the guards without weapons… We die. Only the fighter and the rogue, who were never captured, survive.

    Story the second:
    Later in the campaign we are finishing a dungeon crawl, when we discover that our only exit is a hole in a domed ceiling about a half-mile above us. The fighter, who has acquired a flying/levitating/whatever belt, gets the bright idea that he can use this to essentially rig up a magic elevator. We get lifted by him, one by one, to safety. He then attempts to dismount the platform to solid ground. And fails. He slips. DM gives him a save roll to grab the belt. He misses. DM gives him a save roll to grab the lip of the hole. He misses. DM proceeds to madly try to fabricate more excuses to give him save attempts (with inexplicably lower numbers necessary for success). The fighter misses an additional THREE save rolls. The DM runs out of excuses. The fighter falls to his death. I guess the dice really were trying to kill him.

  124. Jeff says:

    Well, if the cleric didn’t have a chance to prepare, that would explain it.
    A 6th level cleric would have enough for full plate, perhaps a Dex of 12, so that’s 19AC right there. Shield of Faith for +3, Heavy Shield for +2, for a 24 AC. At 2nd level, with a +5 from Str, that’s a max to hit of +7. If the half-orc is using both ends of a double weapon, with TWF, that’s -2, so back to +5. If he both hit and confirmed a critical, he’d need to roll 19 or 20 three times.

    The elf with a power attack, two handed weapon (presumably), trading +2 to hit with +4 damage (12 points of damage remaining, so either a 6 on a d10 with a Str of 18 (gives a bonus of +6 to damage), or less Str and better rolls. With a +4 from an 18 Str, that’s a total of +4 to hit, or +5 if he only PA’d 1. Which is still a +4 to hit, and he’d need a 20.

    If the cleric was properly prepared, to get the one-shot sequence, the elf would need a 20 followed by anything else, and the orc would need a 19, 20, then 19 or 20. The DMG’s NPC Cleric is in +1 Full Plate, which means they’d have to always roll 20s to hit, so the entire sequence would have been impossible.

    Not to mention Sanctuary, Bear’s Endurance, Aid, and things of that nature. In terms of attack, he can easily get a +6 to attack and damage, and all sorts of other dangerous spells.

    The cleric died because he was an overconfident bad guy. A PC in his place would wipe the floor with the attackers, given that 3.x went overboard in trying to convince people to play healers.

  125. HunterC says:

    Vampire, dark ages. Second game, the one guy (T) is introducing his new character. Our town is preparing for a raid from the north, a PC (J) being head of the town guard. In a meeting, discussing plans, with the entire guard around…

    T: (Shows up, wearing mask and big cloak, and stands conspicuously in the corner, bugging NPC guards.)
    J: (Eventually) Who are you?
    T: I come from the north.
    J: Guards, sieze him. I’ll question him later.
    T: (Struggles, but leaves with guards, to stand conspicuously right outside the door. Keeps trying to re-enter)
    J: (Annoyed) Guards, have him here. Identify yourself. Why are you coming here from, hiding your identity?
    T: I’m a spy.
    J: …
    T: And a good spy, too. I can help you.
    J: …how?
    T: I can be swayed by money!
    J: Take him to the dungeon.
    P (another PC not at the scene): Can I be there?
    DM: Uhh, yeah.

    Later on, he’s shackled, and his mask is removed by the guards. He’s Nosferatu, so the guards freak out, and come running. Before we get there, T manages to break out of the shackles, attack the only guard who didn’t run, and, just as we arrive, is biting him. He neglects to close the wound, and leaves him to bleed. Still, he insists he’s there to help us.

    That was the last game he played, but we keep that character around as a comic relief NPC. He’s blood bound to most of the PCs.

    That same session, his first venture into torpor, which has remained a constant in every session since. Since he now must obey or die, and he’s supposed to be a spy/assassin, we send him on a solo mission to take out the leader of the party coming to attack us. He makes it to the camp all right, hiding in an abandoned building. We figure he’ll sneak around to find the leader. Naturally, he has to kill everyone he comes across, starting with those sleeping.

    This goes on for a while (the rest of us wondering why), until he goes upstairs, and find some awake, playing a game. Decides to kill them anyway, fails, and they yell, alerting everyone, including the leader (a Gangrel or Brujah – don’t remember which), who was at the table.

    That’s the first time we got his body back in a box.

    The first mission we sent him on as an NPC resulted in him
    1: Not noticing a trip rope
    2: Not noticing he set it off
    3: Not noticing the big tree falling on him
    4: Being quite possibly the only 5th gen vampire to be put into torpor by a tree.

    We cleaned him up later, and buried him along with the NPCs who died in the battle later on.

    I actually miss playing with the guy. He tried to do scenes of Hollywood grandeur, and failed miserably, while somehow not messing up our plans.

  126. Jeff says:

    Speaking of clerics, I recall almost killing off a party with a cleric two levels higher once, but had to cut down on the duration of spells significantly.

    Some of my favorite quotes involved a ridiculously overpowered melee cleric character in a campaign I ran, though…

    [17:06:01] “Found some place called a ‘comedy’ ‘club’.”
    [17:06:50] “Ended up underground again, and had to tell a joke to get past an area thigh deep in water.”
    [17:08:01] * +Garth punches the air enthusiastically, “Drama! Intruigue! Contrived plot thickeners! That’s the stuff! I’ll bet you deposed a crazed evil jester too!”

    [17:11:49] “It nearly killed us.”
    [17:11:59] “Ooooh… peril!”

    [17:13:40] “We got some weird scroll, felt turned inside out, and got deposited right back outside of town here.”
    [17:14:04] “Hah! Invigorating!”

    [17:17:46] “Oh you know, duty calls from time to time… polishing temple armour, sweeping flagstones, thwarting mobs of demonic creatures… it’s all in a days work!”

    [17:46:40] “Feet are effective weapons to those trained in their use. I’m actually surprised more people are not trained to fight without weapons.”
    [17:47:05] * +Garth looks at Kodoma appraisingly
    [17:47:17] * +Kodoma looks at Garth seriously
    [17:47:25] “Well I dunno… you’re a bit soft… and I’d have to swing you by your head…”

    19:03:00] * +Garth peruses a few items, oooh-aahs at some gauntlets and shields before stopping in front of a full plate
    [19:03:07] “Magnificent!”
    [19:03:17] “And in my colour too!”
    [19:03:27] “That color being?”
    [19:03:33] “Why Shiny of course!”

    [19:32:48] * +Julian ponders the suit that the tanner is working on.
    [19:33:06] * +Garth examines the suit
    [19:33:11] “Does it come in shiny?”

  127. Scott says:

    I have GM’d a few Shadowrun 3rd games (not by choice, as I am quite bad at it…) where some interesting things have taken place.

    One of these was mentioned by MintSkittle in comment #58.
    Another one takes place with the same charaters before the deadly radio tower escapade.

    Justin (Human/Hacker), John (Human/Mage), and Ted(Troll/Huge -Weapon-Shooting-Guy) are sent on a stress relieving mission to destroy stuff. (I couldn’t think of anything good at the time.) There was something about rival gangs and storage buildings or something… I can’t remember…
    Long-story-short, Justin found a cat inside of a small room.

    What would you do if your GM told you there was a frightened cat inside of a small room?
    The answer:
    “Shoot it.” Or at least that was the answer Justin gave me.

    So I had to start looking through the ‘Critters’ book for a cat to use for combat. Strength 1, Quickness 2, Body 1, Reaction 5, no skills…
    [For those who know nothing about Shadowrun: An attribute score of 3 is average for a human, 6 is bordering on superhuman and 1 is 5-year-old-girl level.]
    “Okay, roll your pistols,” I say.
    Roll comes out pretty bad (Don’t remember the numbers, but it’s almost a critical miss.)
    “Yeah… you miss the cat and… it freaks out and attacks you.” *rolling for damage* “Ok, wow. uhh… Do you want to dodge?”
    “No” He said, opting to save his combat pool die for the next shot.
    “Okay, roll a body resistance test.” *Roll* “Yeah… you take moderate physical damage.”
    [Again, for those not familiar, everyone has 10 hit points for both stun and physical, light damage is 1 HP, moderate is 3, serious is 5 and deadly is 10. If you get 10 stun, you are unconscious. If you get 10 physical, you are unconscious and will die very soon.]
    “I shoot it again!”
    Shooting a small moving target while injured (+2 modifiers to all tests) and in melee with said target is no easy task. Justin manages to graze it, giving it light physical damage.
    “Yeah… it attacks you again” *More rolling and cursing and laughing from the others at the table*
    “You took serious damage this time…”

    Justin limps out of the building a short time later, dead cat in hand, bleeding nearly to death. The closest his character had ever been, and has ever been since, to dying.

    He will never live that down. Ever.

  128. lxs says:

    Some guy who was not me was playing Traveller. He was sent to rescue an heiress, Jade. He tracked the gang to their lair, a warehouse. His group took out most of the gang acceptably, but the guy behind the bar with a grenade launcher was giving him major trauma. The guy’s scientist character, previously fairly useless, decides this is his time to shine and lobs a small quantity of plastic explosive over the bar.

    It’s a perfect shot and it even detonates, taking out the bar. Then the grenades detonate, taking out the northern and eastern supporting walls. Then the second floor meets the first and ground floors. Then, OOC, he discovers the hostage was tied up behind the bar. Oops.

    I really wasn’t the paladin a necromancer fast-talked into acting as his bodyguard.

    I didn’t play a superhero adventure as a Preacher-meets-Colossus. In that adventure, if I had been sent to investigate a dodgy operation, I would not have ripped the door off a police van (unmarked!).

    I didn’t totally stall an adventure while playing a pseudodragon through genius application of Grease and Gust of Wind to a flight of ghoul-littered stairs. Nor did I progressively augment a wall to ‘challenge’ a convention group. A 10′ wall topped with broken glass. To be fair the group didn’t even ask about ladders.

    I didn’t play D&D Immortals, with scratch characters, while at primary school. Which hypothetically went as well as can be imagined. I didn’t DM a two-player (victim plus me) game in the firm belief that the aim was to get XP and as long as we got XP it would be wicked fun.

    I didn’t join a rich, well-established D&D all-rogue game and ram-raid a jewellery shop my first session. I was not caught entirely by surprise by the shop being able to afford a Contingency/Forcecage.

    I do devote myself entirely to Warcraft nowadays and leave the roleplaying to people with clues. I have pledged never to game again, although I will always love the hobby looking in from the outside. In my defense I was a minor for almost all the above stories…

    I link the wonderful Mr. Welch’s list of Things He Cannot Do:
    Be aware, that list is toxic, consuming sufficient quantities will lead to Death By Snarf.

    Finally, it’s 05:55 here in the UK. It’s my first day back at work tomorrow. I hate you all.

  129. 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.

  130. Telcontar says:

    Scroll down to “DO NOT RAPE THEIR CHARACTER.”

  131. 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.

  132. 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.

  133. 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.

  134. 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.

  135. 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.

  136. 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:
    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…)

  137. 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!

  138. 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.

  139. Hal says:


    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.

  140. Miako says:


    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…

  141. 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.

  142. 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…)

  143. 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.

  144. 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.

  145. 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.

  146. 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.

  147. 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…

  148. 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.

  149. 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.


    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.”

  150. Jeff says:

    Baruch: Your players were foolish. Everyone knows golems are hollow like pià±atas.

  151. 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.

  152. 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

  153. 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.

  154. 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!

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.

  158. 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.

  159. 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

  160. 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…)

  161. 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.


    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

  162. Jeff says:

    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?

  163. 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.

  164. 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.

  165. Jeff says:

    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.

  166. Miako says:


    … 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!

  167. 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)

  168. 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

  169. 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.

  170. 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.

  171. 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!

  172. 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.)

  173. 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.

  174. 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.

  175. 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.


    …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.

  176. 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.

  177. 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 . . .

  178. 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.

  179. 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)

  180. 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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!

  183. 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.

  184. 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!

  185. 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.

  186. 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

  187. 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.

  188. 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.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. 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

  192. 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.

  193. I play 4th ed D&D at the Anime and Gaming Club at my uni, and I’m trying to start running a campaign as we speak (also 4th ed). In our first night playing D&D (which was the first time the club ran it), we just did a big honkin’ game with about fifteen premade characters stumbling around the dungeon, since we only had 2 DMs.

    So we started outside the dungeon, roasted a bunch of kobolds, and trekked inside. We were greeted with a big creepy blue arcane circle on the floor. Cue everyone looking at their skill lists to see what they have trained;

    RANGER: Can I use Dungeoneering to investigate the creepy blue circle? (strictly speaking, not the right use of the skill, but nobody knew what Dungeoneering was for anyway).
    DM: Sure.
    (good roll)
    DM: You can tell it’s some kind of portal.
    WIZARD: Can I use Arcana to check what kind of portal it is?
    DM: Sure.
    (okay roll)
    DM: You can tell it’s a teleporting portal, but you can’t tell where it leads.

    Yeah… a teleporting portal. Great.

    After that, the DMs called in some ogres. During the fight, a foolhardy type decided that he was going to jump into the teleporting portal and find out first-hand where it led. Because the DMs were lazy, it wound up shooting him out of the well outside. The foolhardy type jumped back in so he could rejoin the battle, thus wasting his turn.

    Then a Paladin had a crafty idea. He used a knockback move to ram an ogre into the bounds of the teleporting portal. The ogre got shot out of the well, but there was a problem; the well was significantly smaller in diameter than the ogre.

    Cue shower of ogre guts outside.

    ——-Story break———-

    Much later in the year, when everyone was FINALLY settling into their campaigns, I wound up in a somewhat dreggish party. The three regular members were me as Big Rakuran (the Goliath Warden — basically, a Big Dumb Fighter x 1000), a nervous wizard guy, and a cleric who didn’t talk much. We filled in with whoever showed up with a character sheet that week.

    We were running one of the low-level adventures in the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide; something to do with a goblin’s lair and a kidnapping or a theft or something, I wasn’t paying attention. There were also zombies for some reason. Three great things happened;

    1. The Wizard launched a Scorching Burst at two adjacent zombies. I don’t know about pre-4e, but for area attacks in 4e, you roll separate attack rolls for each enemy, and one damage roll. In this case, though, that rule got a bit out of hand. The Wizard rolled a 20 for one zombie, and a 1 for the other. We decided that the fireball had gone inside the first zombie, utterly incinerating him but containing the flames. We roleplayed one zombie screaming and the other warming his hands on the fire.

    2. Next enounter. A closed door, possibly locked, we never checked. Probably goblins on the other side.

    DM: How do you open…
    DM: You don’t wanna…

    I knocked down the door. I thought that this would net me a surprise round, but it seemed the goblins were prepared for such an eventuality. We all got utterly ganked. Since, as the party’s Heavy Weapons Guy, I was already the go-to guy for breaking open anything that refused to give up treasure (barrels, pots, etc.), this led to many jokes about my taking the Preferred Enemy (Inanimate Objects) feat.

    3. The night ended halfway through that debacle with the goblins. DM made us promise to keep our hit points and such firmly remembered, and took a photo of our positions. What he didn’t take into account was that the party halved in size between that night and the game next week. With half our line gone, our positions were horrible. Once the cleric and I were unconscious, and the wizard surrounded, the DM decided that he would restart the encounter for us and cut some monsters to shave the level a little (it was already a hard encounter).

    Luckily, we were able to round up some more players before setting up the encounter. This conversation between me and the wizard (all in-character) is the best bit of role-playing I’ve ever done.

    WIZARD: Big Rakuran must wait until I’m ready!
    WIZARD: If you wait before you knock the door down, I’ll give you this!
    (At this point, the wizard held out his hands with an imaginary object, forcing me to rhink of something that could distract Big Rakuran from his inability to turn a doorhandle. Given Big Rakuran’s mental age, this wasn’t difficult.)
    WIZARD: Now, Big Rakuran, I’m going to use my magic to make the goblins want to open the door. And when they do…
    WIZARD: With face.

    Wizard uses Ghost Sound to imitate some Goblins knocking at the door. Wizard aces Bluff check. Goblins utterly fail their Insight check. Goblins blithely turn doorhandle. Goblins crushed to death by door. Remaining Goblins scared shitless. Score one to the roleplayers.

    So, to those of you who enjoy playing blunt instruments, always remember; wait until the baddies are turning the doorhandle before you give them a taste of door.

  194. Regiment says:

    This one’s actually from a fantasy LARP, but that’s close enough, right?

    The PCs (probably about 25-30 of them, all total newbies at their first event) were in a town besieged by vampires and zombies and stuff like that. The mayor was desperate for help, but unbeknownst to the PCs, he was actually in league with the head vampire. By the end of the event, his secret allegiance would be revealed and he would serve as a sort of miniboss – strong and a good fighter, but no special powers.

    Anyway, the PCs proved surprisingly resistant to all of the subtle hints that the mayor was secretly evil, when they suddenly found an incredibly suspicious sealed letter addressed to the mayor. This letter was from the lead vampire, was found on the body of another vampire, and detailed the mayor’s evil dealings with the vampires. Ideally, the PCs would find this letter, read it, and confront the mayor. It was idiot-proof.

    The PCs took the letter, stormed the mayor, and said “We found this letter for you. Here you go!”. The mayor took the letter back, sealed and unread.

    Since this was the newbies’ first event, they had to win in the end, so the mayor randomly started stabbing people. If I recall correctly, that was a good enough clue that the mayor was evil.

  195. Hatim says:

    Man, I can’t believe anyone would read this far.
    I can’t believe I read this far.

    So me and several of my friends decided to start a 4.0 campaign near the end of our senior year, the very first campaign for most of us including the DM.
    I personally had only played 3 or so encounters before this. Unfortunately, most of us had a lot of other things going on and even till now we can’t get everyone together when we meet. So our second, maybe third encounter we only have four player’s, bard, cleric, rouge, and me a hybrid monk/ranger. Our DM decides to have just a short combat “memory” so we could develop our character’s back-stories; this doesn’t go as planned. Many hijinks and oddness later, including having our bard successfully tank with only her basic melee, I found myself on top of a twenty foot cliff as I had ran towards the enemy archer and killed him. Now as a ranger I did have a crossbow and the position dominated the whole map.

    I decide to jump off the cliff.
    After rolling 2d20 damage and bringing myself down to 12 hp, well under the amount I started with the DM ruled that I had managed to break both of my legs. I did win an argument with the DM somehow that as a monk I could still move my speed with my hands or something.
    Even worse, instead of actually engaging in melee after this I pull out my crossbow and take potshots at the enemy who at this point were about dead.

    Another incident happened later in the campaign at level 3 (the first was at level 1) when while trying to find a holy temple so we could penetrate and place our star-seed within it (believe it or not the DM didn’t see the Freudian implications) we managed to eventually locate the temple. By this point it was well into the night in-game so I propose we set up camp nearby and comeback in the morning. The party instead decides to chop down a tree, light it on fire, and roll it down the hill to the door of the temple to see if there were any enemies. The conversation went something like…

    DM – As the log rolls down the hill you see a great variety of things, most crushed underfoot. At the bottom of the hill though, the log hits a mound that gets up in anger.
    Me – I run.
    DM – What about the rest of you?
    Wizard – Hey guys we can totally take this! (to DM) You said this area was swampy and all difficult terrain?
    DM – Yes. (evil grin)
    Me – (to DM) Remember I ran.
    Wizard – …So I just attack it with fire as it goes up the hill, the defenders will stop it before it gets to me, the leaders can heal them, and the rogue’ll stab it in the back until it dies!
    DM – set up your pieces and roll initiative.
    Me – (still to DM) So, I’m gone. Completely. Not going to end up dead.
    Wizard – now why would we end up dead?

    I borrow another player’s monster manual and look up shambling mound’s page.

    Wizard – pfff, its only a shambling mound, we can probably take it.

    The DM decides to take pity on us and further describe the creature, not a shambling mound, but a stormrage shambler a level 11 elite with the ability to move with a speed of 8 on swamp.
    even after this point the wizard was unhappy that we didn’t fight it.

    P.S. @Rhazzy
    So everybody was expecting the Spanish Inquisition?

  196. Rakku says:

    So we’re playing through a DnD campaign and the DM tells us that in front of us is a bottle with a potion inside, although we don’t know what it is. Before anyone gets a chance to ask if they can investigate further, the guy playing the dorky little Construct says “It’s probably in character for me to drink that, so I drink it,”
    His character immediately drops to the floor and everyone panics, trying to figure out what the hell just happened. He looks for all intents and purposes dead, so our Wizard says “I’ll defibrillate him with my Lightning spell,”

    Except…turns out he wasn’t actually dead, it was a Romeo and Juliet-esque potion that simulates death and wore off after a while. And the Wizard rolled for damage done with the Lightning spell and dealt the exact amount of damage to kill the Construct entirely.

    My character, the sorceress, had to run all the way back to the town to enlist the help of a priestess of the goddess of death and darkness (which sounds like an AWFUL idea but we didn’t want to lose our OP Construct) and he was resurrected. Except then it turns out that when the priestess said she’d want to be paid she didn’t mean money, she meant something that “may or may not be your soul”. Damn.

  197. Bob. says:

    My worst sting as a DM is kinda low-key, but it’s about the DM life and the time usually wasted from player choices.

    So with our usual DM, we had a problem that most DND players have : we have gold, and no good way to spend it. Unless you count money-sinks like a lair, which is useless since we play without a lot of rules including (or playing without) feeding and lodging costs.

    So when I had the chance do DM our group, I had an idea. Find some way to make a catalog of a f-ton of magical objects, armors, weapons, etc. so players can buy anything they want, use a NPC that we used to sell them “realistically”, create some sort of near-infinite shop ingame, etc. Prices went from a few hundred gold coins to a few hundred thousands gold coins.

    To make that catalog, I used lists already made, but went the extra mile, searched every single objet on it on websites individually, translated it in french (english is second language to us), resumed the effects of those objects. Like putting small shortcuts and abreviations, etc. So that you didn’t had to use anything else when buying to know what you were buying and it’s effects.

    That document is 18 pages long. Not huge, but it took hours upon hours to build up.

    You know what objects were bought that way until now ? Potions. Those 1d4 + 4 small pieces of crap that every travelling merchand can possess. And it’s not like I didn’t showered them with gold and other equipment to sell back if they prefered that way. I simply put a rule that says that selling stuff back to the merchand will result in a 15 % lost gold, just to make sure they don’t keep switching items every time they are back in town. But it seems 15 % is enough to stop the entire market from happening.

    So yeah it’s small, but that first time that I asked : anyone want to buy a magical object ? Nobody talked. I was really down.

    That was after a gold-heavy dungeon, and I knew they all had at least 500 gold in their pocket, if not more.

    Small, not like a stabbing or a broken frienship, but still stings a little bit.

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