Posts Tagged: RPGs

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I was playing as a Half-Elf Ranger a long time ago, and got really lucky whilst rolling the character. Stats up to here, lemme tell you.

Despite this, I had absolutely terrible luck rolling during combat. How bad? Our party trusted the currently spell-less wizard to hold a critical hallway over me. It was bad.

Anyhow, despite my ineptitude, we managed to bust through this evil temple, defeat the crazed mummy at the end, and recover the enchanted, legendary bastard sword that was hanging on the wall. (Well, a +1 bastard sword, but it was so far the first magic weapon in the campaign.) Being the only one in the party who really USED swords of that type, it went to me.

And with it, my luck changed too.

Rolling twenties came as naturally to me as breathing. During one fight, I killed four goblins before the rest of the party had even rounded the corner. The difference was night and day.

My character had always been a bit aloof, but now grew positively stuck up. I was a whirling death machine! I was a god!

Arguments ensued. The provenance of my skill came under question. Until finally, it came out: “Without that sword, you’d be just as useless as you’ve ALWAYS been!”

In a fit of pique, I threw the sword away. It landed in the bottom of a river, and everyone stared at me. In particular the DM. “You’re… You’re sure you’re just going to leave that there? It’s a MAGIC SWORD.”

But I was determined. What good was being impressive in combat when your fellow party members saw you as nothing more than effectively a scarecrow that allowed a fancy magical sword to swing about and be awesome?

So we left the sword and carried on. As it turns out, my rolls didn’t switch back to being as terrible as before, and I proved to continue to be a competent fighter for the rest of the campaign.

But the DM took me aside a few months later, and let me know just exactly what I’d thrown away. Turns out that the sword I had was actually a legendary artifact that grew as it killed, gaining XP along with me, and growing in bonuses, up to +5, inflicting fiery damage, and granting magical abilities.

Still more importantly, it would grow in intelligence as well, eventually to the point where it WOULD have taken me over entirely, and I WOULD have been nothing but a scarecrow allowing the sword to enact its will.

He had an entire plot set up for this, whole cities full of NPCs to betray and win back the trust of, and had planned on taking me aside a few weeks into the transformation to let me know how the changes were altering my character, and had confidence that a) I could have pulled it off without the other players noticing until it was too late and b) it was going to be awesome.

And yet instead of the accusations and redemption happening over a few month’s time, it happened in an afternoon. The first afternoon. Probably forty-five minutes after first acquiring the sword.

I still imagine that sword down there some times, at the bottom of that river… Just conscious enough to realize how close it had come to being released, but not powerful enough to really do anything about it…

(submitted by Imperfect via MeFi)

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(This was submitted by a group of gaming fans of our site who go by The Zoo. Thanks guys!)

Continuing from where mrevand6 left off from the giant demon turnip, the soulknife ran ahead and was promptly swallowed, ne’er to return. My cleric of JUSTICE AND VALOUR watched in mute horror as his comrade was devoured by this foul creature, and recompense for his life was demanded.

I drew my blade and said “Now we shall slay this fiend and avenge the life of our comrade!”.

My fellow cleric stated, “We need to run.”

The local bandito said “Naw.”

And the warlock simply looked on.

This turned into a 5 minute break, where we reconnoitered outside to plan/argue, as we were wont to.

Now, as you faithful readers may know, our DM was not the best one our group had played with. He railroaded like a fiend, refused to do his bookwork, and had a very rigid idea of how D&D was “supposed” to be like. To wit, my cleric had turned into a plot device, and I endured it with grace and serenity borne of patience (until he broke my master’s sword, but that is a rage story not fit for here).

Outside, I repeated my demand that we do battle in the name of our fallen friend and scrub this blight from the land! The other cleric, a weak, weedy fellow of perhaps questionable faith, again repeated that we could not win, we were exhausted from many battles up to this point, including a very bad run-in with 2 shambling mounds (we will never look down on plant monsters ever again), and I challenged his courage and made a discouraging remark about his testicles or lack thereoff (or something of the sort).

The bandito said it wasn’t his problem (it’s never his problem until shambling mounds show up ::grumble::) and the warlock continued to look.

I repeated that we will fight this beast or I will stand alone to fell it.

What I did not say was that due to my armor and the presentation I saw before, of the soulknife, the single fastest thing I had ever seen getting snapped up mid-run by this burrowing monster, I could not under any means functionally outrun it, and I could not fly. I literally had no choice but to stand and fight, or die fleeing.

The cleric finally relented, saying he had some ideas left, and with him, the bandito grudgingly agreed. With the majority rules, the warlock followed suit. I bounded back into the house, sat at the table, looked over my charater sheet, took stock of my spells, and waited.

What I didn’t know was that the rest of the group was still plotting outside…

Everyone comes back in, and sits down. The first thing the cleric does is cast the spell needed to give you wings on himself, then offers to hit me with it. I defer to giving it to the bandito, as he had some decent ranged ability (that never worked [OHHH NOOO~]), and the warlock again takes to the air.

I then sorta realized just how buggered I was.

Well, hell. I hit myself with some buffs, hulk the hell up, summoned 5 celestial badgers (love these guys, 1d4+1 baby), spread them out in a circle, and had them rage, stamping their feet to draw in the turnip.

It burrowed down, and the DM rolled a d6 to determine who got nommed. A badger got hit (thankfully), the group made some cursory attempts to pelt it from the air, while I activated my plan. I walked over to it, and grappled the damn thing, with all the badgers assisting. I proceed to then pin the creature, my grapple check sky high with the buff bonuses, keep it down for its round, release my part of the grapple, quick draw my longsword with both hands, and full bore power attack it.

Rolled to hit, rolled damage.

"30 damage," I say, "is it dead?".

"No", replies the DM.

Rolled again, hit again, 36 damage, still alive. Quick Strike bracers, go. Attack again, hit again. “40 damage, is it dead?”.

"Yes, it’s dead…".

"Good".

I de-summon the badgers and sheath my sword as my comrades float down from the skies. I cut open the beast with my knife, hoping to recover my comrade’s remains for burial, and am told there is nothing inside, not even his metal/magic gear.

Taking this situation in silent stride, I quietly build a small shrine and pray for his soul to find salvation before looking towards a small hut that contained a gnawed upon corpse, the corpse’s journal detailing the creation of the monstrous plant we had slain and a few small baubles.

We burned the creature’s body, burned the ashes, then I called down divine fire to burn them once more just in case.

With the situation solved, we returned to the tree people, told them the creature that was killing their folk was dealt with, received their word they would leave the human settlements be, then got on our damn ship and left that accursed island behind.

This was about the time I came to realize that 3.5 D&D clerics are sorta busted.

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Last weekend I attended Ghengis Con in Denver. During a game one of the other participants told me of his experience at a previous convention. He’d signed up as Gamemaster for a good old-fashioned dungeon crawl and drew the morning slot. Only one person showed up at the time of the game, but they decided to play anyway.

Talking to the player, the GM learned that the gentleman was unfamiliar with the game. In fact he’d never roleplayed before and had no idea what the hobby was about. He and his wife lived in one of the small mountain towns of the Rockies, and every few months they’d drive into Denver to see what was happening. He’d discovered the game convention while his wife was at a doll show and, thinking it sounded fun, decided to drop in.

The GM handed the player a character sheet for a stalwart Ranger, gave him a brief overview of play, and they were off. When the player ran into his first monster, the Gamemaster helpfully pointed out the Ranger’s skill in archery and swordplay.

“So what do you want to do?” the GM asked.

The player studied his character sheet. “It says I can do bird calls,” he noted.

“That’s right,” the GM replied, somewhat puzzled.

“OK. I do a bird call to distract the monster, and then sneak past him.”

The fellow rolled the dice and successfully evaded the monster. In fact, over the course of the game, the player cleverly avoided every monster in the dungeon, with nary an arrow fired or sword unsheathed.

(found on defective yeti)

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I was twelve and had just started a campaign with a couple of guys playing 2nd Edition AD&D. The group was looking for new blood. I found out that if a player had to move or something and wasn’t able to play with the group anymore, the DM was in the habit of killing them off in spectacular, save-the-whole-party-with-your-sacrifice kinda ways.

"You shall not pass" kinda ways.

Fast forward a few months, and I have to move to another province and need to quit. I do and I lose touch with the players.

A few years later I’m back in Montreal and I come across my old gaming buddy. We get talking and I remember the game and excitedly ask how my character died.

"Oh, your mage? A wall fell on him."

(submitted by haplesslad)

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I’m a long time supporter of a small and relatively unknown LARP called RISING. It’s a zombie survival larp, and the weekend events are always full of great stories I will cherish for the rest of my life. The story I’m about to tell is about something I did that was, as one of my fellow players called it, “legendarily failtacular”.

One quick lesson in RISING rules to explain the story. In this post-apocalyptic setting, one of the few medicines that can be used is steroids, and game physics dictates that someone dosed with them—for one swing—deals 5 times the damage. On the next swing, 4 times the damage and so on untill it wears off.

Example: if you can only do 1 damage in melee normally, if a doctor hits you with steroids, your next attack will be 5 damage, then 4, then 3, then 2, untill you’re back to 1 damage. This little syringe, I always noticed, was widely ignored as not that useful. But i found a sneaky way of using it, as this story will show.

I was a Marksman at this particular event (ranged attack specialist, firearms, etc. NOT a beefy melee fighter), and I tagged along with another group as I came alone that year. The wonderful DM liked to incorporate meal times into the game as to not break ambiance. So our first morning in the event, our groups got word that our food drop landed in the mountains nearby, an area we knew was “mountain man” territory.

Feeling remarkably hungry after a night of killing zombies I decided to follow along on the quest to get our food. A short hike brought us to a clearing where a mountain man on a 4 wheeler with our food crate strapped to the back was getting ready to ride off to his group.

A short bit of diplomatic back and forth got the mountain man to agree to let us have the crate provided we offered him something of equal value. An argument broke out in the group as to what all we could do without so we could have breakfast. Feeling a bit clever, I stopped the argument (this is all out of earshot of the mountain man, who was also one of the GMs), “Guys, stop! There’s no reason we have to lose a damn thing to this guy. We outnumber him and no one else is around! If we kill him quietly we can have the food AND his gear. At the low cost of FREE!”

This becomes the winning idea and then the conversation becomes how to do this dastardly deed without making alot of noise.

And then I had another epiphany.

"Hey doc, do you have a steroid? Good. Hit me with it."

Then I drop my guns and pull my only melee weapon, a knife about the size of a bowie, “Hey dude, I have this knife. It’s a hunting knife, really sharp, good for skinning game, etc. Would that be a good trade?”

I don’t know what the guy was thinking, but he made it too easy.

"Well, I don’t know…bring it here and let me have it."

So I held it out and when I got close enough I got a good grip and “let him have it”.

In 5 quick stabs I did 15 damage in a game where the average human has 1 hit point and the average zombie has 5 or 10.

Point is I don’t know how many points a “mountain man” had… but I know I’d done enough.

The GM looks at me just baffled, “are you SERIOUS?!?”

I grinned, very proud of myself, “Yup. Gotta love steroids. So I’m looting you.”

The GM quickly gets his head back in the game and says words that may as well have just been “you fucked up.” He smiled and said, “you hear a ticking noise.”

The mountain man, in fear of this exact scenario, booby trapped his 4 wheeler to EXPLODE in the event of his death. A little fact that I think should have been mentioned EARLIER… but I digress.

I turn, cuss, and run while the timer counts down. The 4 wheeler blows up taking our breakfast with it. Not only was I the bane of the breakfast table (until the GM showed pity and gave us food anyway), but I then became public enemy number 1 in the new plot where the mountain men declared war on our camp…

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Once we were playing Shadowrun and the GM was running a store bought adventure. Around the half way point of the game, the runners have to travel from one city to the next. Along the way we hear a shot — one the van’s tires has been blown out by a bullet!

The Rigger makes the skill check and stays on the road (reinforced tires, so we didn’t have a flat per say). So we look out of the van (not stopping) and see we are being followed by a glider and the shots are coming from there.

At the same time a large motorcycle gang, waving chains and shotguns, is seen further down the road and gaining on us due to our reduced speed.

We roll for initiative.

Our sniper goes first, leans out the window, and fires one shot at the glider, hitting the pilot in the head, killing him instantly, and sending the glider crashing to the ground.

Next up, me as the mage. I cast a Force Wall across the span of the highway and roll well enough to place the wall close to the bikers.

GM rolls.

Every single biker (all 9 of them) fails their roll and crashes straight into the wall at 95 mph.

Encounter ends. High fives all around!

GM picks up the adventure book again, pauses, then bursts out laughing as he reads us aloud the Adventure Notes on said encounter (paraphrasing):

“This encounter is designed to wear out the runners and use up a lot of their ammo, so that when they arrive back in town they are low on supplies and health and thus more susceptible to negotiate.”

Total supplies used in that fight: 1 bullet.

Susceptibility to negotiations: zero.

(submitted by Vindaloo via MeFi)

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(This is a follow-up to the Wandering Plot Hook story)

The players had arranged to help a rich and somewhat crooked merchant family (the Buoanottis) takeover a black onyx mine that had been occupied by a company of hobgoblins. The deal was that the adventurers were interested in loot and riches but not necessarily operations, whereas the Buoanottis were interested in riches and operations but not in getting them or their people killed.

So, the PCs agreed to escort a small mining crew with a supplementary squad of redshirts mercenaries back to the cove, attack the mine, clear out the hobgoblins, ???, and PROFIT!

What ensued was a fairly typical bug hunt\dungeon crawl, and, in the end, the PCs discovered a cache of correspondence between the hobgoblin chieftain\death priest and his superiors.

Turns out that this was also just a prospecting party sent out to test the vein for potential on behalf of an evil monster empire run by a rakshasa with a more than passing interest in necromancy. Since black onyx is a vital spell component in animate dead spells, it is needless to say that the rakshasa emperor was very interested in sending out a full-fledged war party to help secure the mine.

The PCs did the math between when the letters were sent, how far the known borders of the rakshasa empire were, and how long it might take a goblinoid war party to march through the terrain, and figured that they only had about a week.

Cue preparation and logistics montage as the party sets up pit traps and avalanche zones and digs some trenches and fortifications all A-Team style. The goblins show up a day early and the PCs scramble to man their defenses with their mercenary allies. Drums can be heard and everyone gets tense.

Traps go off, attackers impale themselves on stakes planted in front of the trenches, and generally it seems like a plan is coming together.

Then, a boulder flies out of the darkness and hurtles over the fortifications. Drums change their beat ever so slightly, and another boulder comes out and slams into the ramshackle wall, splintering it. Drum tempo changes again and a third boulder flies and shatters the wall.

Then the hill giant shows up, roaring and hefting a new boulder to hurl at someone.

The party is, like, 4th level and a hill giant, by itself, is a 7th level encounter. Backed up by 20 wounded and murderous hobgoblins, it’s TPK territory. So the party retreats and sets off their avalanche failsafe to buy themselves some time.

Over the next couple of sessions as the PCs fight a series of running battles with the hobgoblins, they piece together a couple of things. The giant itself appears to be a juvenile and not a full adult, and it dotes on the hobgoblin drummer (2nd lvl bard, btw) who also appears to be acting as a forward observer (essentially using his drumbeats to guide the giant’s rock hurling).

So, fast forward to the last stand where the PCs have been cutoff from their beach exit and have withdrawn to the mouth of their mine and the remains of the hobgoblins show up with their hill giant artillery. The players figure out fairly quickly that they need to take down the bard and so concentrate all of their efforts on him. The person who kills the bard?

The party wizard.

One hit from the hill giant’s pinky would’ve turned him into paste.

The hill giant loses his shit and starts chasing the wizard around. The wizard has spent most of his firepower on the battle already and is exhausted (we use a spell point system where you can cast more spells in a day but a lot of casting in an encounter will make you fatigued and exhausted).

So he uses a scroll of Expeditious Retreat to essentially kite the giant, interposing squads of goblins between the giant and him and letting the giant trample them on its way to killing him, while the rest of the party does their best to use ranged weapons to whittle away at the mountain of HP that is a hill giant with 8 HD.

The remaining mercenaries try their best to just survive.

The wizard also realizes that once he runs out of goblins to sucker, the giant can very likely charge and kill him.  

Eventually, after five rounds of this hilarity, the hill giant finally goes down and the player running the wizard just collapses in his chair, exhausted and weakly high fiving everyone, like he just spent that last hour running around himself and not just moving a piece of plastic across a table.

(submitted by spokenword)

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I’m running a Pathfinder game with my kids and some friends. 

Malgus the Barbarian Sorcerer and the rest of the gang (two Rangers, a Fighter, and a Cleric) have to go into a mausoleum to seek a book. Currently the gang is in the mausoleum looking at a chest and a sarcophagus. 

Malgus: “I’m going to check the chest for traps.”

Me: “Um… ok. Roll.”

Malgus: ::roll 8:: “So…”

Me: “Cool bro. Chest looks great to you.”

Malgus: “I look at the lock. What’s it look like?”

Me: “It has a key hole, but underneath it there are three pins.”

Malgus: “Ok, I pull one.”

Ian (fighter standing next to him): “That’s a bad idea Noah..”

Malgus (Noah): “No, I checked for traps. There aren’t any.”

Adam (Cleric): “What are you doing over there…?”

Malgus: “I’m pulling the pin.”

Me: “Which one?”

Malgus: “Third one.”

Me: “Ok. Uh….roll 2d4.”

::5::

"Roll a d20. You want under your constitution."

::17 = fail::

"Ian, you’re next to him, roll a 1d4"

::1::

"Okay, so you both get blasted back and quickly blinded. When the blast clears you have this tingy taste on your tongue and weird iron smell in your nose, but other than that you feel fine."

Malgus: “Cool.”

"I pull the other two."

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One of my very first campaigns took place in a small town— a humble location with little more than an inn, blacksmith, and church. One day, upon returning to town after a small skirmish, one of our fighters was taken to the local church for curing and healing.

After making the appropriately large donation and waiting for the services to be performed we “split the party” and wandered around the church halls admiring the paintings, stained glass, and other works of art. Once our fighter was back to himself we took him to the inn and spent the rest of the evening drinking and telling stories.

The next morning before heading out our halfling (thief), who decided to use the outhouse before leaving, began to inquire about how to value some items while I waited for him just outside the door.

It became apparent that the items he was asking about were of religious origin and, right before I was able to put two and two together, a substantial group of armored riders from the church crested the hill.

"What have you done!" I yelled and, before he could answer, I instructed him to run.

He flung open the door and told the DM that he was running down the hill towards the creak, heading under the bridge. The ever-creative DM told him that was fine but, because he took action in such haste, and he was hung over from drinking, and was reasonably in fear of his life, that he forgot to pull up his pants and therefore began to tumble out of the outhouse and was rolling down the hill.

It was chaos from there on out and I don’t recall much of the rest other than we were all in tears and our sides hurting from laughter the rest of the evening.

The thief (Noose) was from then on known as Noose Tumblefoot.

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God damn it Leeroy.