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  1. #1
    Community Member Saihung423's Avatar
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    Default What was the quickest that a PnP game went south for you...

    So, a group of us decided to play Warhammer a few decades back (shyut yer mouth youngin!) and one of my friends decided to play a rogue.

    There was another player with my namesake that this rogue could not stand...he was playing a dwarf berzerker or some such.


    The DM begins the game, us all starting in a tavern. Within the first MINUTE, the rogue decides to pick the berzerker's pocket (because he didn't like him in RL) and promptly gets caught.

    *SNICK*

    There goes the rogues hand. There goes our rogue. And the game devolved into several petty arguments.


    We never picked that one back up or even really played that night.

    To this day, I GUARANTEE if the rogue and berzerker met again in RL....they would argue about that incident.


    (My ranger slunk off into the shadows and abandoned hope of finding a party at that tavern:P)
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  2. #2
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    For me it was one time our DM decided he was going to roll the characters and assign the players to them, complete with backstory and personality.

    I just could not bring myself to giving a ___ about my character, some sort of holyer than thou cleric. He went renegade pretty quick, framed our paladin for murder, burned down an inn in a battle with city guards, ran off with a purveyor of carnal wares. Ya know, the usual.

  3. #3
    Hero Gkar's Avatar
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    Well I had this one DM who actually reminds me a lot of Turbine programmers. You see he made this rather cool seeming adventure but there was always just ONE way to solve it. If you came up with something that wasn't what how he expected/wanted you to solve the problem then suddenly there was some house rule or change to the game or epic monster of death or something like that which made no sense to FORCE you to do it the way he wanted. After the first couple incidents the game became unfun quickly. After a combat that went in a direction the DM didn't want was resolved with "He kills you", no roll, no save, no explanation, just "he kills you", not even on his turn, one of the players quit and invited us over to his place the following week for a new D&D group.

    I don't think that ex-DM spoke to any of us for months after we "betrayed him" lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    For me it was one time our DM decided he was going to roll the characters and assign the players to them, complete with backstory and personality.

    I just could not bring myself to giving a ___ about my character, some sort of holyer than thou cleric. He went renegade pretty quick, framed our paladin for murder, burned down an inn in a battle with city guards, ran off with a purveyor of carnal wares. Ya know, the usual.
    /chuckles

    As a DM I'd have you as a player in one of my games any day, you sound like the type of player who keeps things interesting for the DM.

  4. #4
    Community Member Saihung423's Avatar
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    I think the actual fastest a game was abandoned was when I was trying to get 3 people into D&D. They weren't the best candidates for a thinking game like D&D.

    I believe it ended when I pulled out my sack 'o die and my adventure notes (ergo: a book sized sheaf of papers).


    This was back in the late 80's....I think my Mom ruined it by coming in and telling us Who's the Boss was on tv.

    They had a man sized crush on Samantha....(so what if I liked Mona). I blame Tony and Angela really. Their daughter was too attractive to us kids.
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  5. #5
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    I was almost always roped into being DM, and I got pretty good at it, so I'd usually keep the game on track rather well (though there was usually a lot of PC ego juggling). I remember one time I'd gotten complacent about my great DMing abilities and designed a really interesting combined adventure that started with a short dungeon-crawl, which led to clues linked to a mystery that also eventually connected to the imperial politics of my fantasy world. I wanted to roll this out, but my regular group wasn't meeting at the time. I ended up trying it on a group of D&D newbies. We got through the short intro dungeon crawl part pretty well (with a lot of gentle coaxing from me and a couple favorable "bends" of some dice-rolls). The problem started the moment they got out of the dungeon. I had included a magic item tailored to each class, with some capabilities that would help the group later on when they faced the real, major bad guy down the line. One of the PCs took three of these items, grouping up with another player (his girlfriend in real life) to deny another PC of ANY loot. The result was a complete stoppage of play as everybody got into a drag-out argument that went on for HOURS. I tried cute little "the DM wants to move on now" hints like having NPCs physically try to break up the fight and loudly announce that the fate of the Empire was a little more interesting right now, but the PCs were having none of it. Eventually, I got tired of trying to babysit a bunch of twentysomethings acting like kindergarteners and just picked up my books and dice and walked away.
    You have to remember with people who are totally new to P&P RPGing that it's best to bring them along with a group that already knows how to play, or go really slow and be very rules-intensive until they start to get the hang of it.

  6. #6
    Community Member M4st0d0n's Avatar
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    There was this Call Of Cthulhu session when a friend decided to go pulp and buy some dynamite, thinking he could solve the case and slay the abominations with good ol' explosives.

    When he missed that sanity check he revealed himself as the party's worst enemy.

  7. #7
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    I recall two memorable low-level TPKs.
    First time we ran into a bunch of crocodiles who attacked with bite and tail in the same round. (DM messed up)
    Second time we refused to pay most of our gold to a troll at a bridge. (We messed up.)

  8. #8
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    Well, it didn't kill the campaign, but I did derail the adventure hooks quite a bit. I had a strong D&D tabletop background, but my husband (when I met him) and his friends pretty much had only ever played Rifts. And being the 'new girl', I decided to jump in and try it. I had a wee bit of trouble understanding sdc and mdc damage (two entirely separate strength scales for those who have never played, think one for the average un armored human and one for dragons) and I was in the dragon-level category. We were trying to intimidate a dude into information, and I decided to punch him to show him we meant business and would start...well...torturing him. Let's be honest about it right?

    SO....dm asked if I pull my punch. I"m thinking in terms of a female human and say no, I put all my body into it. And um...sorta vaporized the dudes head. Still living that down. Understood the scales after that!
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  9. #9
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    This was over 20 years ago I think...
    But none of us were what I'd call seasoned veterans of PnP.

    It was Ravenloft.
    We lasted 10...15 minutes tops.
    Everyone died a horrible death.

  10. #10
    2015 DDO Players Council Hazelnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey1 View Post
    This was over 20 years ago I think...
    But none of us were what I'd call seasoned veterans of PnP.

    It was Ravenloft.
    We lasted 10...15 minutes tops.
    Everyone died a horrible death.
    Also over 20 years ago. Our group had been together for several years. The DM liked making epic story lines. At the point this happened everyone was between 6th to 8th level (mostly 7 & 8) He had been planning a dramatic kick-off to the next chapter of his epic. So, he had been doing quite a bit of research planning the key events (including what was supposed to be a fun & easy fight).

    A kobold stole something from one of the player characters while we were camped having lunch and ran into the woods. We quickly gave chase. Then WHAM we were in a kobold ambush. 6 characters surrounded by about 20 kobolds (level 1 and 2; the leader was level 3). They completely slaughtered us. Every PC dead in under 5 minutes of dice rolling.

    The DM had read that kobolds are sneaky, generally attack in groups, make traps, and ambush their pray in the monster manual. He had also been reading books on military tactics and just finished the chapters on guerrilla warfare.

    Needless to say, we were a bit shocked. He showed us the trap DCs and set-up of the ambush. It was all done legit, no twinking of the kobolds. He figured we would slaughter them. Boy was he wrong.

    Two things came out of that. First, every single player got a book on military tactics. Second, the entire group of fresh level 1 characters we rolled up had a paranoid fear of kobolds which caused no end of amusement for the DM after that.
    Last edited by Hazelnut; 09-05-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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  11. #11
    Community Member Philibusta's Avatar
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    Playing 2E AD&D, uhhh...back in the 90s. Two friends and I had hooked up with this new DM. He had his own homebrew setting (which was actually pretty good), and had this whole campaign planned out. The first session, all we did was roll up and design our characters, because he had this "long grandiose campaign planned out" and wanted us to play characters that we could play for a long time, i.e. not lose interest in after a few sessions or a few levels. So we spent that whole first session fleshing out our characters (backgrounds, beliefs, feelings about other races, hopes, dreams, fears, etc....anything we could think of to add more detail).

    So the second session come,s and the beginning of the adventure/story. So it starts out as a lot of them do, with some minor local Duke or something (hey it was a long time ago) hiring our PCs to go check out a little hamlet in his domain, due to reports o weird goings-on there. So we get to this little hamlet around evening time, only it doesn't seem like there's anyone there. Like the whole town just...left.

    We made ourselves at home in the local inn, and went to sleep, thinking we'd get a start on solving the mystery in the morning. Well, in the middle of the night there was a commotion, and we woke to find out the whole town had been turned into zombies, and they were now all after us! So...there were three of us, and a whole town full of them. Yeah, we wiped in the first combat, right there. So much for the long, grandiose campaign.
    All that is wrong with DDO, life, taxes, poltics, religion, music, fast food, education, the criminal justice system, the weather, society, the universe, and previously-discontinued-but-now-on-their-way-back snack cakes, is all the fault of Wizards of the Coast. I know this because Fred told me so, and Mind Flayers are smart.

  12. #12
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    A friend of mine made a new character to a Cyberpunk campaign with already existing group. He decided to make a grand entrance, kicked down the door to the room the party was waiting and charged in. Instantly he was gunned down by the triggerhappy party before they realized this was the newest addition to the next mission.

    And back to character creation it was. Actual playtime for that toon, seconds, both RL time and gametime.

  13. #13
    Community Member psykopeta's Avatar
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    after killing my dwarven fighter in our campaign i rolled a monk, DM was happy because was the perfect class to appear as "bad guy that turns good guy" we/they were assaulting a monastery after 1 of baal's sons, my master

    dm said something like "they're after your master and slaughtered all ur brothers/friends" my answer "charge!!!" and the sorc (the same guy that killed my fighter, must say we're good friends in RL just having fun in a game lol) said something like... cast magic missiles on that monk, he lvl 8, i was lvl 1, my hp was something like 6, his missiles were something like...17?XD he was really confused, just wanted to have some fun, i simply renamed the toon and started again, this time understood the DM instructions XD

    after all this i was the only survivor of the party, when they killed each other in some ravenloft incursion, was another discussion started with the sorcerer because he wanted a barb's sword(he killed my fighter ofr my axe XDDD why did we go to ravenloft? we started in akhatla, then went to eastern lands, then ravenloft, then came back to easter lands again o_O)

    the end of campaign was quite nice, fighting a boss that during 2 years was dealing the last blow to bosses(mostly son's of baal) well, in fact he was draining their lvls, y, adding on top, after 2 years was something like lvl 200 or 400, dunno, was too funny see how erased from earth to the party, the city of akhatla and half the coast too with a flame strike XD
    psykopeta - hoarding pl, for the sake of hoarding, the day i become ubercompletionist will be because there isn't anything to delay it more - thelanis, where the gimps claim to be pros and noobs claim to be pros, no newbies allowed(unless they claim to be pros), we have enough drama w/o them. PS i'm not a pro, maybe if i reincarnate in RL...

  14. #14
    Community Member dlsidhe's Avatar
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    Star Wars. Tabletop. The setting - Yuuzhan Vong War. Force Immune, undetectable, etc.

    We broke the game. We broke the setting. We broke the DM. It's supposed to be a quick encounter; we encounter the Vong, then run away.

    My wife rolls a 20 and kills the first Vong we encounter. Then our Hutt pilot says, "Hey, let's go this way, not get back on the ship."

    Then I start rolling 20s. I have a ridiculously high wisdom and charisma, so I roll to use the force to detect life. The DM says I can't sense life, and that I don't sense the Force in any of the Vong equipment. So I ask to roll to see if I can intuitively realize that I can apophatically detect the Vong by looking for where the force is not. DM says, "Sure, if you roll a natural 20." Four 20s later, the undetectable Vong are now quite detectable.

    The unrescuable jedi knight was rescued. We decimated the Vong forces on the planet. The Ewok - seriously - thermal detonated a room of Vong after stealthing around the building, following my instructions as to where the Vong were. The DM is actively trying to kill us/force us to retreat to our ship. We finally do, but only to firebomb the Vong camp we discovered. Oh, and rescue the Jedi from the air. Ewok on a rope.

    We were awarded massive experience, and the game was ended because what's the point of running a campaign with the Vong if one of the Jedi characters can ignore their major advantage?
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  15. #15
    Community Member lyrecono's Avatar
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    fastest derailment was a evil orc/goblin party set in homebrewwarhammer setting(the medievil one, i think, not to familiar with the warhammer universe)
    Anyway,
    One of the house rules was that punching each other did 1 point of subdual damage, because they were barbaric orcs that would be all rowdy and such... sight. one nights rest would reset all that subdual damage.
    We had 4 orcs fighters (including me) and 2 rogue goblins (who were intimidated by the other 3 orcs in game and real life).
    Not known to them i had taken a feat giving me dr 1/- (required thoughnes, though with the GM's aproval was turned into the imroved thoughness feat)
    Whille the 3 Orcs were grieving and intimidating the others, contualy beating the entire party, ego tripping all the way.
    I used diplomacy (darn good roll XD) to convice the goblin rogue to steal all the healing shrooms (worked like potions), remember, we had no healer in the party.
    At the end of the first game hour the party hit points were very low due to all the slapping and decided to rest for the night.
    camp fire was made and i started an argument on the loot, some more slapping occured, the argument escalated and weapons were drawn.
    The guys were at 7 to 10 hitpoints, whille i had a full 67 hp, power attack and a readied action XD
    After burning their corpses and taking all the loot, the gobo rogue and i left.
    The players were furious that i used a cheap dr 1/- to avoid the slapping damage XD

    The derailment started 5 min into the evening because those 3 players ego took over the party, thinking they had the right to constantly grieving others in the party because they were evil.

    No, cause i'm evil

    sight, just as i dislike people playing paladins as lawfull stupid, i dislike them when they use the allignment system as an excuse to be a griever.
    That's what drew me to Eberron in the first place, the allignment system was blurred.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saihung423 View Post
    So, a group of us decided to play Warhammer a few decades back (shyut yer mouth youngin!) and one of my friends decided to play a rogue.

    There was another player with my namesake that this rogue could not stand...he was playing a dwarf berzerker or some such.


    The DM begins the game, us all starting in a tavern.
    ...

    To this day, I GUARANTEE if the rogue and berzerker met again in RL....they would argue about that incident.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnbeimnech View Post
    For me it was one time our DM decided he was going to roll the characters and assign the players to them, complete with backstory and personality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gkar View Post
    Well I had this one DM who actually reminds me a lot of Turbine programmers. You see he made this rather cool seeming adventure but there was always just ONE way to solve it. If you came up with something that wasn't what how he expected/wanted you to solve the problem then suddenly there was some house rule or change to the game or epic monster of death or something like that which made no sense to FORCE you to do it the way he wanted.
    I'll tell you the reason why I gave up pen and paper and I'd bet a good penny you won't believe this, but I can tell you this is 100% true.
    A lifelong friend of mine, a DM, was directing a group at his place when he decided to hand us some characters he had rolled. I got a rogue with a backstory with a barbarian in the party (another friend of mine) who he couldn't stand. One day at a tavern we had a brawl (after I tried to pickpocket the barbarian, ofc), but then I came with a witty way out of the whole tavern brawl, then the DM came up with some enforced rules right out of his derriere and forced us to finish the tavern brawl in his own way.

    Later that day we had to solve a problem with a monster that was hunting cattle from the village that tavern was in. I quickly asked for a depiction of the creature, and how much cattle was lost per day / week / month. It turned to be a snake-like smoke-breathing flying creature of great propotions, taking away one sheep or so per day. I promptly said a creature that size couldn't be feeding off such small amounts of meat (note I didn't mention _dragons_ at any point, not here, neither back then sitting at that RP table) so someone or someting was undoubtedly trying to scare off the peasants while stealing their cattle -a 100% accurate deduction, ofc; it was some illusionist gnomes in a nearby cave, to which the DM replied "your character doesn't know what a dragon is" so we had to solve it _his_ way. Lovely.

    One night my rogue pretended he was sleeping, then sneaked around our camp to stole every last thing of any value from the hateful barbarian's backpack, then dissapeared into the night, not to be heard of ever again, neither did I play pnp ever since because those players were some of my lifelong friends with whom I don't want to argue constantly over a game, nor having to tell them I enjoy pnp -just not with them-, the other choice being no other than playing a high int rogue (which I like) that had to all effects the intelligence of a mushroom (which I hated), with a background I didn't choose, a barbarian in my party I couldn't stand, and a DM that wouldn't let us apply common sense to whatever we come across in his games.
    Last edited by fredericko; 10-10-2013 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Edited because I actually had mentioned the word -dragon - instead of the actual in-game description that was used

  17. #17
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    Hmm. Does it count if the campaign never gets underway? I had a friend who pretended to be a GM. He'd drop the 20 or 30 bucks for the basic campaign book for a game, be it Vampire the Masquerade, Shadowrun, Star Wars, etc. Even had a respectable collection of 3rd edition books when it came out. Every single time, he'd have these grandiose plans in his head and want me and my other friends to roll up characters, for the grand campaign to come. Usually we'd humor him, and he'd keep droning on about how he's working on his campaign and getting all these plots together and all this other stuff... until he got a new campaign book and wanted to make a campaign for that

    The fastest campaign I've run that's gone south involved a couple of my regular players, and a trio of brothers that were getting into the whole role playing aspect and getting their toes wet. So, the campaign's set around level 1 characters. Always a fan of doing something away from the norm, I decide this campaign would introduce the characters a little differently - the party's split into two, and each half is hired or coerced to assist opposing feuding factions in town. The first time all of the players are brought together is when there's a scuffle between these two factions, and it becomes something more of a brawl in the middle of the street. No weapons, just some bloody lips and blackened eyes, and a more memorable way for the players to get together then the normal fare.

    Unfortunately, the middle sibling of the new trio happened to have a severe sibling rivalry with his elder brother, and his idea of fun was to be as contrary as possible to his sibling and attempt to show him up. What is worse, the middle sibling is playing a barbarian with a great axe. What's worse then worse, he wins initiative out of the players. The first thing he does is to charge his elder brother's character - who happens to be a level 1 elven wizard. Nothing else going on mattered to him - just that he got to attack his bro's character.

    He got a crit right off the bat, confirmed it, and did more then enough damage to kill the elf twice over. Things quickly deteriorated after that, player-on-player killings ensued, until one was left and the plans I had in mind for the campaign were going down in flames.

    So, I rolled with the punches. Hope for that particular campaign squished, I killed off the last remaining character, and described a falling sensation, everything fading away - and then that last charrie hitting in the middle of a patch of light surrounded by darkness, and where the other dead characters had already fallen. I ran an off-the-cuff adventure where they were disembodied spirits not yet taken to their eternal resting space, and having to deal with a rather irate and off-beat grim reaper-esque being.
    Anything can be explained by drunken wizards.

    "Hey! I got a piece of the +1 Butter Knife of Victory! Ah-oh, wait, wait. It's just a crummy, normal +1 dagger of ghostbane..."

  18. #18
    Founder & Hero Uska's Avatar
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    When our gm decided that we would be playing ourselves(we were drinking at the time) and we had two couples that didnt really like each other that much(even though they lived together) and they started arguing over cha of all things next thing you know the couples were both in a physical brawl and it got really ugly a couple of us got really worked over trying to break up the fight. Needless to say that was the end of that gaming group as most of us never went back there again and formed a new group.(only bad thing there was I got stuck gming for several years)

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  19. #19
    Community Member Diyon's Avatar
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    Well, this campaign went on for a long while, but it's disastrous end was speedy.

    3.5e D&D Return the Temple of Elemental Evil

    I was DMing. The party (that was present at the time) consisted of:

    -A Water Savant Wizard (Sorcerer? I don't remember which)
    -A Dwarven Defender
    -A Master Spy (I think that was the prestige class, he was masquerading as a monk at the time).
    -A Frenzied Berserker
    -A Duskblade

    *An important thing to note about the doors in this section. They were stone doors that slide into the ceiling(?) when opened and close on their own not long afterwards.
    The group stumbles upon a fairly bare room, with a hag, a lever on a dial, and two circles on the floor next to the lever. The hag pulls the lever and a troll appears in one of the circles. A fight ensues. The details of this fight are fairly unimportant. Unbeknownst to the party, this was a sophisticated prison system. One circle was for exiting the prison cells (via teleportation, the cell room was separate with force cage cells) the other for entering. When the lever is pulled enter circle stuff goes into the designated area, or is teleported out of the designated area. The dial designates which cell, one of the selections was for the area outside the cells in the cell room.

    The fight ends. Frenzied berserker rolls saving throw to end frenzy early. Save fail. Berserker must continue to attack things. Berserker fails more saves as he attempts to murder the party. Dwarven defender tries to keep him occupied best he can. Berserker murders the **** out of the duskblade. The master spy attempts to neutralize him: Dead master spy. Dwarven defender is holding out and Savant is staying out of reach trying to help. They manage to wait out the frenzy duration. The frenzied berserker slumps in exhaustion breathing heavily. Frenzied berserker is hit by a snowball swarm. *twitch twitch* Fails save to resist frenzy. Dwarven Defender says "Screw this! And screw you you idiot savant and starts retreating towards the door. Oh, the berserker had several attacks on a full attack and did about 80 something per successful hit. As the dwarven defender makes it to the door. The berserker gets some lucky hits, and defender is now murdered. With only the savant left, the berserker decided that he didn't need to keep attempting saves to end the frenzy now. The savant uses evasive tactic after evasive tactic, but is running out of spells. The berserker goes past negative 10 but only cares about taking out the savant that caused him to keep slaughtering (deathless frenzy. Fun stuff). The savant getting desperate goes to the lever pulls it hoping to summon a distraction. Nothing. Desperate, she steps in one of the circles, pulls the lever and teleports herself into the empty troll cell. Realizes she's trapped, but relieved to be alive. Berserker runs to where the savant disappeared, looking frantically for them. Then pulls the lever. And is now in the 15ft x 15ft force cage cell with the savant. Slaughters the **** out of her, then happy, his frenzy duration ends, and he dies.

    Lesson: ALWAYS. ALWAYS have a way to restrain the berserker if they fail to stop berserking. A single hold person would have prevented it all here.
    Khyber: Runforr 13/6/1 Rog/Ftr/Mnk, Bakup 3/3/1 Mnk/Pal/Rog (TR Pal), Faylah 14 Mnk (TR Mnk), Janthyra 12/7/1 Brb/Rog/Ftr, Ainbthech 20 Sor, Fliethas 18/2 Fvs/Mnk, Unfilled 12/6/2 Mnk/Rgr/Ftr, Arcanemark 10 Wiz "Don't eat us dragon! We're like you, but smaller. And fly worse." - Kobold Crewman on the Heart of Wind

  20. #20
    Community Member Cyborg_Bill's Avatar
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    For me it was when a bunch of us used to play on the Nimitz together. We were in the middle of the Mediterranean sea on a cruise and had a run that was 3 months into its story. We played in a good size space and had gotten to the point we actually had crowds sitting around listening to us play in their off time instead of doing other things.

    One of us had a pet dog that became a focal point for the crowd watching as the dog had saved our party on more then one occasion. This one particular session we were in a nasty dungeon where the rolls no matter what they were for were against us. We were getting attacked nearly every turn. We came to this stairwell leading down and as always it was dark. Well the casters in the party tried a continual light spell.. no dice .. DM said it got darker... The fighter tosses a lit torch down the stairwell.. same thing DARK.

    Well needless to say.. the player with the dog sent it down the stairs. All the DM said was you hear the dog yelp and then silence.

    IMMEDIATLY after he said that you can hear people in the crowd watching us "He killed the dog" "I cant believe he killed the dog" "Can he do that?" All of us who were playing were looking at each other like this could be our last day alive. Someone in the crowd not playing was pretty upset and started asking blunt questions to the DM. ( later that evening we were discussing the day and we all thought there was going to be a fight when this happened)

    Talking over the crowd the DM ended up telling us that the players deity decided it "Wasn't the dogs time to go and that the dog was still alive". After a short time it came back up the stairs holding torn clothing in its teeth for us to examine. The crowd settled back down and we finished the session needless to say a bit more cautiously as we were not sure how reactive the crowd would be should things go further south over the days crappy rolls.
    Why after every update to the games I play do I constantly have to pick more pieces of the nerf bat from the back of my skull. Abolish corporate involvement in gaming now.

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