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  1. #1
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Default Murphy's Laws (of Gaming)

    The more you build up the Big Bad Evil Guy during the game, the faster he will fall when he finally confronts the PCs.

    This actually happened to me last night. After three sessions of building tension with the BBEG, he gets ganked on round one of combat during the (anti-)climactic "final battle" (before his initiative count even comes up, no less).

    What are some Murphy's Laws you have observed during your games?
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  2. #2
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    No matter how thorough you think you are about setting up an encounter, the PCs will almost always find a way to throw a monkey wrench in it, forcing you to think on your feet instead of following the storyline you spent too much time setting up


  3. #3
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    I tended to be a bit flexible with the key baddies in my games so that they didn't go down easily. I kept the actual HP and "to hit" numbers unknown to the players and just used descriptions to show if they were doing well or not. So even if they actually took him down in round one, I'd keep him standing longer for some dramatic effect, but keep a note of it so that my fudging of the figures didn't result in something significantly bad for the players.

    A couple of my favourite ways of justifiying this (especially if you've got players who've memorised all creature stats and go "But he's only supposed to have X Hit Dice!!!. He should be dead by now!!") are:

    1. Some self healing mechanism (boss has a heal clicky, potions, a cleric backing him up, etc).

    2. Damage reduction armour/spell/etc.

    3. The old "it's not the real boss, but a clone/illusion" tactic, that's why it was easier. The real boss if just wearing down the players resources before facing them himself.

    4. Boss teleports when mortally wounded.

    5. Boss can't be killed permanently until some object is destroyed cause it contains an essence of his soul/whatever.

    6. A few others I cannot recall at the moment.

    Also make sure your backdoor is believable.

    If it's a heal clicky or some magical gear, make sure the players find it, but put some restriction on it, like evil-aligned or limited charges, so that it doesn't unbalance the game. My favourite was letting the player have it for a while, but have some sort of delayed negative effect (cursed, etc) on the player (even better if it's on the whole party) so that he realises he needs to get rid of it. Then make the whole "get rid of cursed object" a quest on it's own.

    If it's a potion, make sure the baddie is seen gulping it down and that it isn't an endless supply. If it's a cleric, make sure the players have a chance to find and kill him. If it's clones/illusions/teleport, make sure the boss has some way of generating the effect (like a mage working for him, etc).

    Whichever you choose, have your backup planned in advance and use it only if necessary.

    Players are resourceful, DM's need to be even more so.
    Last edited by wisdomstorment; 11-19-2010 at 12:18 PM.


  4. #4
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Um, thanks for the tips wisdomstorment, but I think you may have missed the point of the thread.
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  5. #5
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    If you have a 50% chance of success, you will fail your skill check/attack roll/etc. 75% of the time.
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  6. #6
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    The more important the clue is, the less likely the PCs are going to find/follow it.

    The reverse is also true - the more insignificant the detail is, the more important the PCs will think it is.
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  7. #7

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    Best Laid Plans...

    ...will consistently fail.

    For the very fact the GM is sitting right there thinking of a way to fail you because you must.
    MONKEYS or EXPLOSIONS?!
    Quote Originally Posted by QuantumFX View Post
    If what you have to say is *that* important to you, then say it and damn what others think.

  8. #8
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    If all the PCs need to do is set up A - B - C
    THEY will do it P - Q - T - G - 7 - 3- Circle - *

    Also, if someone EVER has the temerity to utter "What could possibly go wrong?" it will.
    Also, if someone notes that the plan is foolproof, they will prove themselves wrong.
    Last edited by buddahcjcc; 11-20-2010 at 11:23 AM.

  9. #9
    Community Member ARcdevil's Avatar
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    I have heard of this sort of thing happening in fact it happened in my first game a few months ago. I was dming in place of the reguler DM and was controlling a devil and a demon. I jut had them standing next to eachother. BIG MISTAKE. One of the players had over head attack and the cleric made them both enourmous. I had no idea what was coming and then managed o score two crits with 2heavy picks killing the demon. I had to just saythe devil had a very small wizard inside him being force to cast certain spells and said he teleported away. I then just trid to swarm them with an army or cr 1 monsters. It turned out they had somehow aquired a few sumon monster scrolls and just slaughtered the monsters. After that the DM never let me replace him again.
    If beauty is in the eye of the beholder which eye is that?
    I demand you nerf this post. I was the first person to enter the chronoscope quest on cannith. And died in 10 mins when the whole party finally got in. Profesional Necrobumper.

  10. #10
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    The more damage your limited-use attack/spell/power does, the more likely you are to roll a "1" on the attack.

    This happens to the rogue in our party all the time in our 4E game - he works really hard to set up his Daily attack so that he gets Combat Advantage and Sneak Attack, and inevitably rolls that 1. Can apply to all game systems tho.
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  11. #11
    Community Member sainy_matthew's Avatar
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    The more time you put into writing a great plot, the sooner the players come up with an alternate plot idea that you as the DM will like better then the plot you spent all that time writing.

  12. #12
    Community Member katana_one's Avatar
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    Nice, sainy_matthew, but in my experiences it works more like this:

    The more time you spend writing a great plot, the faster the PCs will unravel/destroy it.
    You are responsible for your own DDO experience.

  13. #13
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    how about this one - The more time you spend creating a campaign for your rp friends, the harsher life is when it gets in the way of your game!!!

    This has happened to me... both as a player, AND as a GM. I have spent, off and on, over a year on a campaign, that I want to run players through... a campaign that I would eventually like to turn into a novel idea.

    The problem is, once I FIND a group willing to run the campaign... Work schedules change, people end up moving away, Something always happens that causes the group to split up.

    Or here is another on...

    The best GM(or players) you will ever find for a game, will come with a spouse(significant other) that can't stand the game, and won't let them spend their free time playing!!!

  14. #14
    Community Member Ethiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladiestorm View Post
    ~snip~

    The best GM(or players) you will ever find for a game, will come with a spouse(significant other) that can't stand the game, and won't let them spend their free time playing!!!
    That is my issue currently...my wife has no problem with me playing the game at home....but go anywhere to play more than once and its a struggle.
    “Don't be buffaloed by experts and elites. Experts often possess more data than judgment. Elites can become so inbred that they produce haemophiliacs who bleed to death as soon as they are nicked by the real world.” General Colin Powell

  15. #15
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
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    The more practice rolls you make on a d20, the more that same dice will fail you when you need a good roll in a clutch situation.
    Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.

  16. #16
    Community Member biggin's Avatar
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    Those are all funny memories. I remember DMing years ago. PC's would be walking down a hallway, checking every nook and cranny for secret doors, traps, etc. Thirty minutes go by and you just want to scream, "Hey you ***holes, you aren't even in the dungeon yet!" Then of course you set something up to look as interesting as possible only to have someone walk over and bash it/shoot a fireball at it/completely ignore it. Ah, those were the days....
    Neg Ten, ruining your enjoyment of the game one quest at a time.

  17. #17
    Community Member Arkadios's Avatar
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    The more as a DM you spend building a plot line the more the players poke holes in it. And bigger holes too.

    The most obvious clue you give them is always taken the wrong way and they're going to head off in the wrong directon with the wrong idea.

    Whener (as a dm or a player) you need that dice roll just right (reflex or some such) the more you know it's going to fail, followed immediatly by that natural "20" on the knowledge history roll about the insagnificant temple.

  18. #18
    Community Member lord_of_rage's Avatar
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    MOST COMMON LAST WORDS OF RIFTS PLAYERS AND CHARACTERS
    Super Samas? Hmmph, all Samas' suck!
    He's unarmed? Ok, I want to kill him in hand to hand.
    I'll let it hit me, my armour has lots of MDC
    I'm saving that spell for when I REALLY need it.
    What new CS army?
    Phase Technology, why would I need that? My NG ion pistol works just fine.
    Dragon, Schmagon, I've got a plan.
    Trust me, I know what I am doing.
    30 seconds till the nuke goes off? Ah, plenty of time. I lean back and crack open a beer.
    Xitixic are from the first book, before everything got powerful, they're no threat.
    CHARGE!
    No worries, my E-clip is full.
    I go talk to the mysterious figure in the black cloak, sitting at that table in the dark corner of the bar.
    Let me think about this for a second. What table in the dark corner of the bar?
    Let me think about this for a second.
    Click? What click? I didn't hear anything?
    Don't worry, I've got the security systems skill.
    No prob, I'll only fail if I roll a 1.
    My gun does 4d6x1000 MD!!!! There is no way this guy is gonna survive.
    Hey guys, look what I found! Mjolnir, Thor's hammer!
    Where did that Splugorth come from and why is he foaming at the mouth?
    Don't worry, they wouldn't bother to trap this way in.
    We'll take them completely by surprise!
    Ok, this is what my character is gonna do. I'm gonna jump from the plane, grab the Samas by its arm, put a fusion block in its intake, jump away out of the blast radius, make my body flat so I fall slower, then touch my summon griffon tatoo, land on it, and fly away. (this has actually been attempted)
    Don't worry, hearing our plans won't affect what the GM does, he is impartial!
    Hey there <insert your GM's name>, what are you grabbing all those dice for?
    Let him cast the spell, it can't affect me.
    Psionics are nothing compared to my Robot's 600 missiles! Hey, what does Tele-mechanics do anyways?
    They won't find us, I covered our tracks.
    <insert your GM's name>, you have no idea what you are doing.
    Dude, I'd rather **** on your ashes than dance on your grave.
    Your momma!
    Those vampires can't get in here, all we have to do is wait till daylight. Hey, where did all this mist come from?
    I pull my gun before he draws his.
    Badges? We don' need no steenkeen badges!
    You want to try that stuff with me tough guy?
    CS juicers? Yeah right, those are illegal!
    <mutant character newly rifted from Heroes Unlimited>: let's go to this Chi-Town everyone keeps telling us about. They sound like good people.
    What do ya mean "my fly is down"? good people.
    Hah! My plane can fly faster than the missiles!
    Ever notice how the GM never makes any of our equipment break down?
    Stop whining, my 6th Sixth Sense power will give us plenty of warning.
    He won't be expecting this!
    That's not what it says on page 65 of the rule book
    Don't forget, all body armour comes with radiation shielding.
    Time to sit back and have a smoke.
    Remember the Allamo!
    My character goes and hits on the good looking woman at the bar <come on, we all know that women will be the death of us all>
    You worry too much, I checked out this cyber-doc's credentials it isn't a chop shop...
    With this magic item, my character is now INVINCIBLE!
    Anyone else smell something burning?
    What does "engarde, my sword is a soudrinker" mean?
    Can't we all just get along?
    I'll show you mine if you show me yours.
    Ewwwww...look at me, I'm so scared.
    What kinda stupid name is "Pogtal" for a race?
    Now was it throw the grenade ON three, or count three THEN throw it?
    So, like, are all you Amazons lesbians or what?
    Why did I have to put all my magic weapon tattoos on my butt?
    Ok, so I was wrong, your gun IS bigger than mine...
    Uuuuuummmmmmmm...why didn't my missile hurt him?
    I think this is the way out...
    I'm gonna try and pick his pocket.
    Geeze, nothing seems to be a challenge for my 8th level Cosmo-Knight anymore
    Are we gonna let him get away with saying that? LET'S GET HIM BOYS!
    <1st level vagabond to Dog Boy> meet any good hydrants lately?
    This isn't AD&D, nobody casts protective spells on their equipment.
    <in a secret note to GM> when it is my turn for guard duty, I am going to sneak away with all the party's money.
    Oh yeah? I bet my character could kick your character's ass!
    No sweat boys, my dodge bonus is high enough.
    <male player to female player> wanna go in the kitchen and grab some chips for us? thanks babe.
    Guns don't jam in Rifts, look in the main book, there are no rules for it.
    Oh ****.
    What are you guys afraid of? Its only a group of faeries...
    Hey kid, put that down, it's not a toy. ZAP!
    Man, even for a Dragon you're ugly.
    Women players don't have the right mentality to play Rifts.
    How much? 750,000! For that piece of ****? Later ya cheat, you aren't the only Splugorth arms merchant on Phase World.
    You wouldn't hit a guy with glasses would ya?
    Allright, I've almost reached the top of the cliff. <to GM> I just got to make one more climbing role, right?
    <player fighting Kittani serpent armour to GM> What do ya mean they've got autododge?
    Ok, my city-rat sneaks up on Odin and gives him a death blow!
    Come on, the campaign just started, you seriously think the GM is going to throw anything hard at us this early?
    Geez I'm bored, when is it my turn to do something?
    Is it just me, or did it get real quiet all of a sudden?
    Ah, its just a red herring the GM made up to scare us.
    Fire elemental? No prob, I pull out my TW water pistol and roll for initiative.
    <one player to another> NPC my character for a second, I got to go to the bathroom.
    Lightning spells never strike the same place twice.
    My character has a horror factor, I'll try and scare the CS troops away.
    I take my armour off and go to sleep.
    <player to GM> You want to know who was walking last in the group?
    Glitterboys suck! They don't even get missiles!
    Honest, I wasn't reading the adventure. The book just fell off the table and flipped to that page when I picked it up.
    How deadly can the Pecos Kingdom be, Palladium hasn't even done a book on it yet!
    I go up to the crazy and play with the knobs coming out of his head.
    I don't care how much MDC it has, it shouldn't have ****ed me off!
    Geez, does this GM ever like to power trip.
    I'm not leaving till I kill something.
    Are you looking at me?
    Ow.
    ALL D-Bees are Superior to humans, right?
    That's Cheap!
    I Tell the witch to suck On her third nipple.
    I leap through the rift.
    Mega juicer? No problem, I take out My Wilks laser pistol and blow his fracking S.D.C. Head off.
    I try to Score with the blind warrior slaves of Splurgoth.
    I tell him to kiss my @$$.
    <A D-Bee talking to the GM> Who cares about the CS? I tell them I'm Just looking around.
    Its a Fireproof suit, And I'm Sure plasma is like M.D. Fire.
    Toons are in a constant state of flux. Khyber server.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trillea View Post
    Maybe your forum name should be lord_of_halfling_rage then...

  19. #19
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    Best trick I ever learned as a DM was flexability. I never ran with a set story line, even when I used a store bought dungeon. I always kept in mind that the players would never follow a set story line unless forced to which made for a bad session. I consider a DM more as a mediator and the players are the story writers. Had no problems adjusting stats on the mobs, bosses, or traps on the fly if needed. Most players really liked this style because even if they were in an adventure they ran before something new always seemed to happen The best asset a DM can have is imagination since you are trying to out think 6 other people at the same time, and they never do what you want or expect. Most mobs do have a brain and need to be ran that way not just the way the book says.

  20. #20
    Community Member Kaelain's Avatar
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    consult a lawyer before making a wish because the GM WILL find a loophole to make your life miserable.
    "Yes Rassiter, yet there remain two problems. One, I work alone. (dagger in Rassiter's heart) And two. You are dead."
    -Artemis Entreri

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