Page 519 - Nervous Eating

20th Nov 2014, 6:00 AM
Nervous Eating
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Nov 2014, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
As a DM, it's our task to add the right amount of details to make a place feel populated, believable, and even a little provocative in our descriptions. But sometimes, you don't know what small, unimportant description will catch a player's eye. And if they think it's important, then sometimes you have to make it more than it was.

I suppose the Story Time prompt flows naturally from this: Any stories about a player obsessing over a small detail?
Notice: Like what you see? I'm struggling a bit, so any donation via PayPal at the top or Patreon would be greatly appreciated.

69 Comments:

Boris Carlot 20th Nov 2014, 6:01 AM edit delete reply
Nope, got nothing for this one. Mint, anyone?
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
"You turn right at the fork in the cavern and the tunnel tapers off to a dead end after about 40 feet or so."

The party was exploring a network of caves inhabited by ogres. Slaying the ogres was not a problem, but for some reason the party rogue got tripped up by this one dead end. It tapers, why? Why this one spot and not other areas where the ogres have been chiseling away at the rock to make straight-ish corners for their rooms?

Well the rogue ended up getting the druid, wizard, and one ranger in on the mystery. The rest of the party finished cleaning out the caves, but this party (composed of the smartest members) were casting various detection spells, scrying spells, poking-n-prodding with their tools at this oddly tapered dead-end in the cave. I think they were at it for a good hour in real time.

DM (me): "You guys seriously find nothing at all odd about this dead end."
Rogue: "But it tapers! That's unusual for a cave, right? Unless you mean the real world and this is just... um..."

(Beat)

Rogue: "Oh fishsticks! Duh, caves taper when they're not being chiseled by ogres. Let's go get drunk."
Raxon 20th Nov 2014, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
In the corner, you see a small, wooden, blue box"

PC1: "Why is the box blue?"

Me: "Upon careful inspection, you find that someone has painted it blue."

PC2: "Guys, we need to take this box with us! It could be part of a dungeon puzzle!"

PC1: "Yeah! We take the box with us."

Me: "well, you can if you like."

PC3: Nobody touch it! It's booby trapped somehow!"

The rogue then spends twenty real life minutes searching the box, everything around the box and then the entirety of the room.

PC1: "There are no traps anywhere around here, you guys. How big is the box?"

Me: "It's about six inches tall by six inches wide, by eight inches long."

PC1: "I open the box to see what's inside."

PC1: "I stand on the far end of the room."

PC2: "Me too."

Me: "It won't open. It appears the paint is so thick that it has sealed the box shut. Only due to small raised spots on the back can you even tell where the hinges are."

PC1: "I pick the box up."

Me: "The box is heavy, and there are metallic clinking sounds inside."

PC1: "Is there anything on the bottom?"

Me: "Yes, it says 'Blue's box' on the bottom."

PC2: "Hey, this must be part of a quest! We need to find Blue and return his lost box!"

They ran back to town, but could not find the owner of the blue box. By the time they returned to the dungeon, two days later, they found the room. It was now painted blue. A goblin turns to look at them. "Who you? This my room!"

PC1: "Are you blue?"

Gob: "I blue. Like the color. Is gud color."

PC1: "I think we found something that belongs to you."

He gives the goblin the blue box, and he is overjoyed. In his gratitude, he gives each of them a small can of paint. Blue, of course.

Everything about that little blue box was made up on the fly, after they took an interest in it, because it amused me.
XandZero2 20th Nov 2014, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
You've been GMing Raxon?

That poor party...

-Sounds hilarious though.
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
At least this particular story didn't end in gory death. XD
Raxon 20th Nov 2014, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Raxon
Co-DMing. I do a lot of stuff,and world building for the proper DM, and run the game for him when he needs to leave the table.
you know that guy 20th Nov 2014, 2:35 PM edit delete reply
Raxon, have you read a book called The Cyberiad, by Stanislaw Lem? He's Polish but there's an amazing English translation.

The book is about two robots who are friends and rivals, and they invent things. Some of their inventions include or involve things soley for misdirection.
Dragonflight 21st Nov 2014, 1:56 AM edit delete reply
Wow. Someone else who's read the Cyberiad!

To this day, I still get chills when I think of the last story, involving "Mona Lisa." Every now and then (usually when I've done without sleep for too long,) I start wondering about if maybe everything's a delusion, and maybe I'm really in a hospital somewhere. You know, the "Mona Lisa" conundrum. how many times do you have to unplug from the VR machine before you're back in the real world? :)
Zena 21st Nov 2014, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
That is so adorable. :)
Specter 20th Nov 2014, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Well, for people who regularly play with I as their DM, small details are often obsessed over.

Me: You walk into the manor's foyer. The walls are made of emerald, the furniture made of gold, and the animatronic staff is busy at work preparing for the upcoming party.

Rogue: Do we see anything interesting?

Me: Roll a proper skill check, search is not your option for this, and define your definition of "interest".

Rogue: (24), Differences in the warforged.

Wizard: (19), Magical anomalies.

Paladin: The lord of the house is a preacher of a dragon, right?

Me: Bahamut, yeah.

Paladin: (27), Then I'll look for any religions symbols.

Bard: (Nat 20), I'm gonna look at the furniture.

Me: (Rogue) You don't see too much differences in the animatronics. They do vary in color, signifying their jobs, but not much else. (Wizard) You can tell without much difficulty that the walls are not actually made of emerald, and the furniture isn't made of gold, but the staff does have a number of magical enhancements, more then the owner said there was. (Paladin) You see a lot of dragon cryptography, varying from dragon to dragon, and Bahamut is pretty much everywhere. But you also see the symbol of Tiamat inscribed into the staff.

(A break into real life)
Paladin: That's not good?

Wizard: They're essentially enemies, like jedi versus sith.

Paladin: Aw, then that's really not good.

(Back into game)
Me: (Bard) You inspect the furniture, and you are just impressed by the choice of material of they're made out of. From the cut emerald walls with sapphire trim to gold chairs and couches. In fact, they're more comfortable then they look to, you can also see paintings with jeweled riming and a animatronic working on small wooden clock. Above the room you can see-

Bard: CLOCK! (Smashes clock, inadvertadly hits hidden button and opens passage way)

Paladin: How?

Bard: It was the only none expensive thing in the room.

Wizard: Everything was none expensive! I could've told you that.

Bard: I couldn't tell. It was the only thing I could see not made of expensive materials.

Everyone: ...

Rogue: What was the clock made of?

Me: It had a base of oak wood, but it's more detailed parts were made of red wood. The mechanics and metallic pieces out of ivory.

Rogue: Was the button in the clock?

Me: Under.

Rogue: Dude! We could have made serious bank off of that!
EricStarstorm 20th Nov 2014, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
I don't have a player worrying about that, but I did once have a DM that worried about it. He seemed almost militantly adamant about not letting us sleep at an inn before we went to see the mayor of the town, despite the fact that it would change nothing if we went. Not really sure if that's exactly what you're talking about, but it's the closest thing to this situation that I can think of.
T 20th Nov 2014, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
All the time. Even worse when the mental image of the scene in the head of the GM and the mental image on the player head are totally different. Them the GM tries to point at the right hint while the player have no idea why that would make any sense while obsessing over some other thing that seems out of place but was just something the GM didn't think about.
kriss1989 20th Nov 2014, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989
Just realized the Luna - one piece left deal. Huh, maybe she stress snacks?
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
She keeps such a good figure though. :)
What's her secret?
FanOfMostEverything 20th Nov 2014, 7:08 AM edit delete reply
Well, given her sister's reaction to cake, maybe a hyperactive metabolism is one of the less noted gifts of alicorns.
Super_Big_Mac 20th Nov 2014, 7:10 PM edit delete reply
What was it Twilight ordered at the hay burger joint? A number seven, two number nines, a number six with extra dip, two number forty fives, one with cheese, and a large soda.
CharginChuck 20th Nov 2014, 8:01 AM edit delete reply
CharginChuck
Magic.

I'm not being sarcastic, I actually mean it literally.
Dakkath 20th Nov 2014, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
All of the above
Toric 20th Nov 2014, 10:07 AM edit delete reply
Well, Stress and worry actually consume quite a bit of energy and heaven knows that Celestia at least has been having a bad day ever since Twilight moved to Ponyville.
Specter 20th Nov 2014, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Specter
She's probably looking at the piece of candy because someone stole the rest? I don't know, I just like creating alternate scenarios, despite the likeliness of how incorrect they are.

-edit-

thanks Disloyal, didn't really notice.
TetsuKnife 20th Nov 2014, 11:19 AM edit delete reply
I like to assume she got super stressed and blew up the candy pile or something and one forlorn piece was missed. She sobered up into sadness following that. :/
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 11:58 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
TetsuKnife's idea seems pretty in-character.
Specter, I think you meant likelihood; likeness means something else.
FOME's idea is great too; I can attest to absurd metabolisms racking up food bills with no visible change in waistline.
Summoned Singer 20th Nov 2014, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
Summoned Singer
Okay, in one campaign my friend was running, specifically a guest DM'd session, we were looking for a king's crown to earn his favor, and we were in a small dungeon. Suddenly, there were stairs, we made a homestuck joke (I told you about those stairs) and didn't take them. As it turns out, those stairs led to the stash of bodies the boss was using to fuel his necromantic abilities, and heal himself. Yeah, my character nearly died that encounter, but that leads into my Nat20 story.
Paradoxical 20th Nov 2014, 6:39 AM edit delete reply
I was DM-ming and I thought that there needed to be more than 2 characters to even out the party, so I made an NPC to help them. And One of the players thought that he was a total spy instead of an attempt to honestly help and act as a liason. So the PC set up a thing where he would put on a show and whisper via spell to the other PC about his concerns, and then he followed the NPC for a long while.

This took up the whole first session and the other PC felt so left out that he quit.

Yes, the obsession was so great that it killed the game --BEFORE IT STARTED.
Indigo 20th Nov 2014, 6:54 AM edit delete reply
I got a story from a friend about the most terrifying table in existence. I wasn't in the game, but what I heard was that the party was attacked by an animated table, and once they started attacking it, one player asked how hurt the table looked. The DM replied 'it's fine, it's a table.' Part of it was him being a bit of a smartass by reasoning that the table wouldn't get HURT, but, being an object, get DAMAGED; semantics. Either way, this tiny detail freaked the rest of the party out, thinking that this was some sort of eldritch table horror I wish I was there for it, it sounded quite silly.
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
AJ rolling that 5 and then metagaming how it don't satisfy her brings up another topic to my mind-- how players who fail such checks get paranoid and try to find ways around that die roll.

I have been known to occasionally give them the correct info just to trip them up.

One example was when the party was talking to this shady merchant that approached them with some information on where to find a back entrance to a thieve's lair. He offered it for free which threw up a red flag in the players' mind. So the party monk rolled a 'Sense Motive' on the merchant and totaled a mere 5 on the roll.

I told the monk that the merchant seems to be genuinely concerned and offering this info free-of-charge because stopping the thieves helps his business. The monk (and by extension half the party) got paranoid at the low roll and figured the merchant is lying. Gotta be something like a trap.

They harass the merchant to the point he runs for his life and the players take the front entrance to the thieves lair believing the back to be an ambush/trap waiting them. The party slogs through some rather skilled thieves and their pet dogs, plus varying traps that actually hurt quite a bit.

After destroying the band of thieves the party found the back entrance the merchant told them about. It was hidden as the merchant stated, and oddly void of any traps, guards, or warnings. Had the party used it they could have gotten the jump on the thieves and not been injured so badly.

The PCs go back to town for healing and selling of their loot. However, because word got around that they manhandled that one merchant so badly they got the WORST deals in town for their business.

Morale of the story: Don't try to out-metagame the DM. :D
Crazy Tom 20th Nov 2014, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
Great story! I hate it when my players meta game crap like that. Maybe I should try this sometime....
Chakat Firepaw 20th Nov 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
This is why Sense Motive is one of those checks that is often rolled in secret by the DM.

If you have players that are going to metagame using their knowledge that they probably blew the check then it is often best to take that knowledge away from them.
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 8:45 AM edit delete reply
Eeyup. Yet I still had PCs who just loved to make that roll themselves and then metagame off it when they roll really low. The smart ones eventually learn to chill out and not do that.
Mabbz 20th Nov 2014, 8:57 AM edit delete reply
I had a related thing happen when a PC tried to bluff an NPC who, unbeknownst to the player, actually already knew who the PC was and what she was up to. In the system I was using, bluffing requires the target to fail an intelligence check (with modifiers for how good the bluff was). An intelligence test was taken, and failed, so the bluff worked. What I neglected to tell the player was that it was his character that took the test, not the NPC, because the NPC already knew everything and was pretending to be fooled.
Specter 20th Nov 2014, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
Specter
(We are in a jungle)

DM: You see a large metallic rod sprouting from the center of the crater, it is covered in small runes.

Me: I roll knowledge (nature)... Nat 1 (DM thinks i'm about to meta-game). "My word! How is it you, of all trees has stood strong, when whatever happened destroyed your brethren?" I hug "tree".

Admittedly, I was not happy with Nat-ing a 1 for this thing, but after everything that could have happened to me, just straight up hugging it sounded pretty good at the time.
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
In an American Civil War RP I once ran, the party met Oliver Winchester. One of the PCs swore he's heard that name and made an INT check. Rolled a nat-1, but before I could respond the player got up and pointed at me shouting "Wait, I know him! Oliver Winchester is a Pharaoh!!

We all fell over and died laughing. That was one of the few hilarious one-liners that the group remembered for YEARS afterwards.
MumaKirby 20th Nov 2014, 1:07 PM edit delete reply
MumaKirby
Most of my parties have done similar things like that. "I roll a perception check... *natural one* Oh look! My eyes appear to be glued shut." "I make a nature check on the tree. *natural one* On closer inspection, I'm pretty sure it's a big wooden rock."
Mykin 20th Nov 2014, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
I talked with someone who does DMing for pathfinder and he makes it a habit to make his players roll what he calls "fake checks." Basically, perception checks for spotting a bird in a nest that has nothing to do with anything and stuff like that. His reasoning is that, if he throws enough of these, then they'll stop being paranoid about every bad roll and start having their characters actually act like their suppose to. After all, if you don't see anything, that doesn't really give you reason to immediately draw out all weapons and start casting random fireballs at innocent trees.

...Though that one group of trees did have a creepy smile on their faces. So safe bet burning those down along with the strange blue flowers. But yea, great story there, Digo.
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I enjoy playing a character in a game with such a rule who's unhinged enough to still react with paranoia every time they think they've missed something, to the point that their hunches and conspiracy theories are brushed off by the more level-headed party members. I don't go blowing stuff up on the fly, but I will aim large guns at it and scrutinize the area for hostile contacts.
Of course, I dislike metagaming failed die rolls, so instead it's more like jumping and pulling a gun at random intervals on pigeons, bushes, and whatnot. I try to reserve that play style for groups who'll find it as funny as I do, and justify it with horribly traumatic backstory.
Mykin 20th Nov 2014, 12:16 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
That character would work well with my Rogue Trader group then, Disloyal. Heck, even my ship is schizophrenic so he'd fit right in.

...Actually, now that I think of it, my character seems to be the only level headed one out of all of them. And he believes his father is haunting the ship just to spite him...
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 12:26 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
There's a character in a Dark Heresy campaign I've been reading who embodies this character concept; he's a hilarious credit to the team.
Theo 20th Nov 2014, 2:11 PM edit delete reply
Please team up with your DM to have one of his wild conspiracy theories turn out 100% true, just to mess with the rest of the PCs.
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 4:35 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Sadly I'm not a member of the All-Guardsmen Party, but Twitch has been absolutely right on multiple occasions.
My current character is slightly less paranoid than I am, and my last only slightly more paranoid than me, so it'll be a while until I get another chance to scheme with a GM like that.
Mykin 21st Nov 2014, 10:57 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
Having spent some time reading that campaign, I'm still convinced your character would fit in quite nicely. But dang, and here I thought I had it rough with my DM for that game.
GothPoet 20th Nov 2014, 7:21 AM edit delete reply
The PCs were undergoing a test to see if they were worthy to be servants of the guy who helped them break out of jail.

While describing the dungeon, I mentioned the lighting, which was a small oil lantern hanging in the center of the room.

They latched onto that, and were determined to figure out what significance it had to the tests at hand.

Which was, exactly, nothing. They were just mundane lights hanging from the ceiling. Still, they spent the whole dungeon wondering about those lanterns.
Crazy Tom 20th Nov 2014, 8:10 AM edit delete reply
I once DMsd a game where the players were all level 20 pathfinder characters. They had gone to an ancient underwater city populated only by constructs, endlessly trying to repair a destroyed city and failing. They paid no mind to the PCs, so the group went straight to their objective, a large tower in the middle of the city. The walls were made out of what I described as 'some material you have never seen before. It looks like pure darkness' and the players all kind of flipped at that. They spent a good ten minutes IRL trying to figure out what it was or get a sample of it, to no avail. But it gets better!

Once inside, there was a lobby room on the ground floor with spiral stairs in the middle leading both up AND down. They wanted to go up, to see what was at the top of the tower, but the stairs had been blocked by rubble that looked like the indestructible darkness material that they'd seen earlier. But the rogue became obsessed with getting through that rubble, so he let the other party members go ahead while he kept trying and trying. Eventually he found a legitimate way to get past, so I let him do it. He felt so proud of himself he didn't bother checking for enemies or traps. Big mistake.

He got hit by a paralysis trap as a golem made of the dark material appeared and proceeded to beat the ever living hell out of him. He almost died, but managed to escape the paralysis and get back down through the rubble. He didn't poke around too much after that.
Digo 20th Nov 2014, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
Did you ever explain what the dark material was or no?
Crazy Tom 20th Nov 2014, 12:51 PM edit delete reply
Crazy Tom
Eventually I did, because it was apparently something that had really piqued all their interests. Long story short, it was a unique material crafted by an epic-level artificer that utilized the inherent entropy of the universe to maintain its form. This made it nigh-indestructible and unobservable, so you could only see the shadow that it left on the material plane.
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
See, this is why I like Rogue Trader and other games that make the party leaders of a larger group; they can leave a detachment of minions to analyze and loot while they move on to advance the plot and/or fight the biggest & baddest foes.
Crazy Tom 20th Nov 2014, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Crazy Tom
Rogue Trader is a love/hate thing for me. The first game I ever played was as a Navigator, and I always got left behind on the ship while the other guys went off to do cool stuff. I ended up having a poor first experience, but subsequent games were at least ok.

That said, it would be nice if the PCs had had a following like that. I had banned Leadership, though... cohorts too strong. Also might have been semi-difficult to get all those minions to the bottom of the ocean. :p
Chakat Firepaw 20th Nov 2014, 8:30 AM edit delete reply
The DM blew his explanation for the lack of candy:

"It seems that the adults who were going to collect it missed the whole 'run from Princess Luna' thing."
StoneCliff 20th Nov 2014, 9:43 AM edit delete reply
StoneCliff
I've been obsessing over small parts of the world i've been it for quite some time, mostly things I can relate to the economy. For instance, a single comment made mention that no one controlled the north, as it was too cold. Another comment, much later, revealed that there were gates at the equator that led to the plane of fire. Cue me contacting every wealth guild and bank trying to get money to fund renovating the artic into beach front property, using a gate to connect the equator to the artic.
Truly Mad Moves 20th Nov 2014, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Truly Mad Moves
Well, I do have a story that came to mind from Applejack's poor Streetwise check.

Couple months ago, I started a play-by-post thingy with a few chat room buddies... we haven't done that in months, I think we should go back to it, because actually, it was the first game I've ever played that showed signs of having some actual roleplaying... even if that was being incredibly mistrustful of the ONE character I'd created who was capable of getting the story started but only if they cooperated with him. :P Players, right?

Wow, I *can* relate to typical things joked about in RPG comics! Okay, that feels good. Very satisfying moment of self-realization. Moving on.

So, we start with our main character, portrayed by my longtime friend and first-time D&D player, a vigilante who patrols the rooftops. I bring in my DMPC, the guy I'd intended as the guy who brings the group together and gives them all their quests until such a point as they can be an autonomous group who doesn't *need* a DMPC. He attempts to recruit her, she replies with snarky and nasty banter that goes against everything I thought I'd understood about the character while we were building her, I fumble a bit but manage to finally convince her to hear the guy out. (side note, all the improvisation I had to do made it almost completely impossible to tell that my DMPC was a caricature of Mitch Hedberg...) She decides to do a double-backflip off the rooftop and land neatly in front of him.

Now, since this was the first non-conversation action she had EVER taken in a D&D game, I thought it was only fair to remind her that that would constitute a very high-DC Acrobatics check, at which she had only a +1 bonus, so that's probably NOT something her character can do with any sort of regularity, and she might want to rethink it. She elected to instead slide off the roof slowly and carefully. Hopefully, that particular introduction to game mechanics won't turn her off from doing anything risky later. I mean, heck, she could've succeeded spectacularly on that backflip. We'll never know.

Ah, memories. Okay, the moment I get back from vacation and can crack open all my rulebooks, we are starting that campaign up again, because that was... magical. It's gonna be the best adventure ever, I just know it.

This same friend who I designated the group leader, after the character generation was more or less complete but before the story started, she told me she still didn't quite understand: "Is it an RP, or is it a game?" ...Is that not the most beautiful question in the history of civilization? "My dear, it is a role-playing game." ...Is what I would have said if I were at all quick on my feet. Which, as I've previously established, I'm not.

I'm not sure what kind of DM I am in a setting outside of by-the-book combat... whether I'm the unyielding railroader of DM of the Rings, or the Darths & Droids type who lets the players walk all over him. Probably the latter, but I'd probably be way too shell-shocked for that to ever work to the benefit of the campaign, you know?
Mykin 20th Nov 2014, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
"I thought it was only fair to remind her that that would constitute a very high-DC Acrobatics check, at which she had only a +1 bonus, so that's probably NOT something her character can do with any sort of regularity, and she might want to rethink it."

Heh, +1 is still good. Though I guess dissuading her from doing something that might break both her character's legs if she rolled low enough is probably the wisest thing to do.

Never stopped me, though. My group was about to go through a narrow canyon when we had the thought that it would be a perfect place to get ambushed. So we decided to climb up one of the canyon walls and see if we could spot the ambush. Considering that my character had a -1 for the roll, it was surprising that I managed to hold on at all with what I was rolling. This lead to the wasp incident I've mentioned previously and all that noise alerted the people who were planning on ambushing us so yea...

It probably didn't help that my attempt to be diplomatic was to ask them if any one of them would like to unknot the rope we used to get up there but I'm getting off topic now...Yes, I did get the universal greeting of getting a javelin thrown past my face, but again, its besides the point.
kriss1989 21st Nov 2014, 7:42 AM edit delete reply
kriss1989
What site were you using for the PbP?
Pseudonym Sam 20th Nov 2014, 10:12 AM edit delete reply
I GM'ed a Victorian-era game where the party was set to explore the center of the Earth, a la the Jules Verne novel. The PCs met outside the mansion of their host, a rich baron. Upon hearing gunfire coming from within the grounds, they panicked and broke entry through the front gate. Once inside the gardens, the players detected a man coming towards them beyond their sight. I mentioned that the PCs were "in the open."

They took this to mean they should hide! Only problem was, none of them had Stealth as a skill, and they all failed. Assorted PCs dived face-first into shrubberies to only bury themselves half-way, or hid ineffectually behind plants too small to conceal them. One realized the futility of it all and stood with his arms straight up in surrender.

The approaching man turned out to be the Baron's manservant sent to collect them.

There was an awkward silence.
Enthusiast#117 20th Nov 2014, 10:50 AM edit delete reply
There was this time when we were rotating GM every session to do a series of one-shots, and I was really looking forward to my turn and put a lot of thought into it.

I was going for a classic evil necromancer story, starting off with a murder they were investigating in a small remote town.

My mistake was giving the necromancer a disposable ninja lieutenant. They encountered the ninja early on, were supposed to kill him, (they did, with extreme prejudice)and then depending on what they did with the body I was maybe going to have the necromancer make off with it, making them face a more powerful undead ninja later on as a mini-boss.

It was only supposed to be a minor quirk. But they latched on to it. They got the idea in their heads that where there is one ninja, there must be MORE. They found hints that they needed to travel outside of town to visit this cave, but I had them on a time limit they didn't know about and they needed to get there quick.

Instead they freaked out about having an entire dojo of ninjas breathing down their necks and ran off into the middle of nowhere to start setting up fortifications and home-made landmines, in order to help fend off the "inevitable ninja assault".

... which never came.

When they eventually just visited the darn cave. They found it empty, save for some mutilated corpses and equipment that they failed to identify as necromancy lab tools.

They finally figured out it was a necromancer they were dealing with when the town was set on fire by a raging two-story abomination of stitched-up corpses.

I had no words.
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 12:41 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
I've got a similar one-shot on the back-burner, but want to practice RP more before I run it so I can do the social interaction justice.
Mykin 20th Nov 2014, 11:34 AM edit delete reply
Mykin
"Any stories about a player obsessing over a small detail?"

Players? No, we've (the group I'm with now) made a unspoken pact to never, ever let that happen. My DM is notorious for getting side tracked at the slightest provocation and it takes no less than 5 minutes to get him back on track with actually DMing the campaign he's suppose to be focused on.

The DM though? The only time I had played a Paladin (stopped playing for the same reason I stopped playing a dwarf, really), we made camp and I had my character pull out a set of scriptures to read as everyone else got their personal stuff setup. The DM looked at me dumbfounded and asked "Where the heck did you get those scriptures from?!" Cue 5 straight minutes of everyone but me arguing about why a minute detail like that matter and the DM didn't budge: I didn't say I had it so therefore I can't have it. He finally saw reason when I spoke up: "My character is a Paladin, the most religious character out there. And your saying that my overtly religious character, who is so embedded in his faith that he has taken up the sword for said faith, wouldn't have started this with a set of scriptures from said faith that he is devoted entirely to?"

After that, he said to just make sure it was listed with all the rest of his equipment and left it at that. Still surprised that even became an issue, though.
Disloyal Subject 20th Nov 2014, 12:19 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Yeesh. I can certainly understand the obsession with rules, but it's a freaking divine character class. Adding it to inventory and moving on seems logical enough to me; I'd imagine temples that train lv1 adventurers routinely provide them with scriptures to take on their adventures.
Mykin 20th Nov 2014, 12:49 PM edit delete reply
Mykin
Yea, that was what I thought as well at the time. I should probably mention with the DM story that this happened a few years back with a different group, lest you think the DM I have now is like that.

No, the time I brought up that my cleric was going to read his scriptures for a short rest, one of the players asked where I got scriptures from. I still remember the DM's face when he turned to the guy and said "He's a cleric. Of course he's going to have scriptures with him. Its like his spellbook!" Given how much of a spellcaster my cleric is, our DM made a pretty good point and that guy moved on to the more pertinent issue of if I could actually just read my scriptures as a short rest. Again, still surprised that that was an issue but I'm glad that got resolved a little bit more peacefully that time around.
Pathfinder 20th Nov 2014, 12:43 PM edit delete reply
Pathfinder
Details are extremely important in our group. All of us have learned hard way, that glancing over small inconsistencies can be fatal. Most recent one character was surprised in bathroom by a visit of NPC while shaving. 4 hours later he thought he asked "How did she sneaked on me when I was looking into mirror". Naturally she was vampire, but this is root of the problem; This time it was planned but many times as GM I make mistakes like this and player obsessed with them. Even when I tell them to not focus on this, they still come back to it. And here is list of things that they obsessed in just few last sessions that had no impact on the plot and where simply my mistakes or adding flavor to story:
-Wrong combination of weekday and date in a diary
-NPC mispronouncing name of one of PCs
-NPC buying new sword
-Map not matching perfectly with description of room dimensions
-Not realistic signs of heart attack (from my doctor player)
And the best one yet:
As example of PCs exhaustion and lack of sleep, when we roleplayed evening meal, I said they forgot to bring spices. Cue to looking for vampire among the team, because someone obviously did this to get rid of powdered garlic.
Kynrasian 20th Nov 2014, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Kynrasian
Well, there was that time when we found crates and body parts in the same room and I asked someone else to stab the boxes because I thought there might be undead hiding in them. Y'know, because there were body parts in the room.

Turned out it was just wine bottles. That said, it did end up luring the goblins in the next room right into an ambush.
DanielLC 20th Nov 2014, 2:33 PM edit delete reply
I was once in a party that spent half an hour figuring out how we could get through a hole in the roof, involving using the Druid's spider-walk spell and the fact that two of us independently packed fifty feet of rope, before we decided to use the door.
Squeak Box 20th Nov 2014, 3:55 PM edit delete reply
my friend and i really like homebrew tabletop games that feature unusual situations in average settings. in one of our earlier games together, when i was still fairly new to the tabletop rpg world, she approached me and a couple other friends at a sleepover to play a horror game set in a macy's after hours. only one of the friends attending agreed to play the first session with me(others joined at a later session). i played a janitor while she played a stocker. our task was simply to tidy up the store and keep it tidy throughout the night, while figuring out a way to survive against a malicious spirit leaving a tar-like substance everywhere. however, being avid horror fans, my friend and i decided to prepare for every trope imaginable, even though none of these tropes ever came into play. this meant doing things like never splitting up and locking doors behind us and finding whatever weapons we could(mainly cleaning equipment). so when we entered the ladies bathroom to unclog a toilet, we immediately decided that all of the stalls and the large mirror in the room had to be watched at all times. so after some back and forth it was decided that we would stand back to back with her watching either the stalls or the mirror while i cleaned the stalls or the mirror. we got really into it too, whenever we had to switch sides we would actually look at each other and go "1 2 3 switch." this wouldn't have been so bad, if we hadn't spent two sessions at two sleepovers cleaning this one bathroom. and outside of a useless note in the toilet and some quickly approaching screams as i cleaned some tar off of the mirror, absolutely nothing happened in that room.
Blueblade 20th Nov 2014, 6:22 PM edit delete reply
Here's one!
*clears throat*
The fallout is dragons group.
That is all.
Specter 20th Nov 2014, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Specter
I applaud you BlueBlade, I did not see that coming, nor did I realize (or remember) what they get into during those "trivial" matters. Spot on.
The old one 20th Nov 2014, 9:30 PM edit delete reply
Hmmm, well there is this one situation, a long, long time ago. It involved one of our players and the lack of knowledge on garden structures. Assaulting a poor gazebo.
Disloyal Subject 21st Nov 2014, 11:31 AM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Didn't it eat him when the DM got sick of his ignorance of what a gazebo is?
Specter 21st Nov 2014, 12:23 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Hmm, it appears Princess Luna isn't going to have a good night tonight. First her subjects come to fear her, then a heckler practically insulters her, then something happened to her offering of candy. This just isn't her night. :(

...

I'm legitimately concerned for the heckler in all honesty, cause it seems like he's going to get tracked down by this night's end (Plot twist if Rarity's own character finds him).
Rooker 21st Nov 2014, 2:01 AM edit delete reply
So I have a player in my Scion games that can't avoid asking questions. Too many questions. About things that must either be addressed later or have no bearing on his future. I sent clay golems to assassinate him. He tries to interrogate one even as its "self-destruct" program forces it to compress and break its own Golem Heart. He then tries to grill his Peri (A human-sized golden skinned Persian Fairy. It almost sounds like they made the name up by the way it sounds. Yes, further study showed that Persian mythology DOES have something called a Peri) and she spends twenty minutes explaining she can't read the inscriptions on the Heart and the only one who had a good chance was one of the Persian Gods whom she had to make arrangements with to meet. Then he tries to get her to set up a meeting right now. Then I cosmically cock him upside the head with a rock (almost used a d10 for realism...) to MOVE THE F*** ON!

Then he tries to interrogate his rival...while getting his ass kicked down a Seattle street. Then he tries to interrogate children about their backgrounds and powers when he has no reason to believe they understand anything more complex than "You go squish now" about their abilities.

Tonight, in our most recent game, I pulled a page out of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with that exploding prosthetic eye trick when I knew he'd try to interrogate the two mobsters sent to assassinate his character for a new game we just started. So he talked them out of killing him and their employer flipped a kill switch to prevent sensitive information being shared. It becomes painfully apparent for me that this will have to be a regular mechanic I use or we will spend an hour longer at every possible scene than necessary...
zorro362 21st Nov 2014, 6:43 AM edit delete reply
I have one, it was just a detail in passing really, one of our members had been captured, and taken to the ruins of a temple filled with gold and gems on the walls and ceilings. (the lost empire that crafted it, was known for their love of such adornment). as our teamate was escaping, the DM mentioned in passing there was a ruby the size of a sack of potattos near the ceiling that was acting kind of like a window. the session ended not long after the escape, and we then missed a few sessions due to various real life stuff.
when we finally got back together we raided that temple and took said ruby, after spending a good 10 minutes reminding the DM about it and that it was in fact the the size of a sack of potatos, as he had forgotten all about it.
PumpkinEater 21st Nov 2014, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
A real simple one. In the middle of a dungeon, the party finds a treasure chest - a speaking one. It asks "Password?" repeatedly in various languages.

The rogue picked it up and was hellbent on figuring out what the password was, and it ended up in the party's inventory for the entire game. Every time the rogue heard a name or a new word he'd take out that treasure chest, and it'd reply "Password?"

Of course, it was a simple 'magic mouth' spell on the treasure chest on repeat. The solution was to get frustrated and break the box open. It was found in the 'Wrath' dungeon (the villains had a bit of a Seven Deadly Sins theme). It was what the rest of the party had suggested all along, but the rogue simply refused to, thinking that the treasure inside would be damaged some way.