Page 777 - Jackpot

14th Jul 2016, 6:00 AM
Jackpot
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Jul 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
I wonder if different DMs have a preferred method of throwing a wrench in the works, as it were. There's several ways to throw a Bad Thing in your players' path, but I wonder if, after a long enough period of time, there becomes a favorite or a default.

Looking back on Fallout is Dragons, I was apparently very fond of the bad guy looming on the horizon. "This guy isn't a problem yet, but will be soon; it's only a matter of time," that sort of thing.

30 Comments:

redwings1340 14th Jul 2016, 6:37 AM edit delete reply
redwings1340
Hmm...

Looking back at my campaign, I was apparently a big fan of, "Out of the frying pan and in to the fire". I would often give players goals, let them succeed a these goals, then immediately put a bigger boss in their path before giving them a break. Examples include revealing they were trapped in an entralink after they broke in to steal the amber fossil, and letting them escape an outsider forest through a portal that led straight to the center of a guarded evil government facility. I also enjoyed manipulating their loyalties, they would defeat an NPC who is trying to kill them, then realize that NPC's efforts is only trying to save the world, and the fact that they failed means an even greater threat is over the horizon.
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 6:41 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
The GM in our Fallout Equestria game has a preferred method of introducing NPCs that want to be friends with one PC in our group, but at odds with another. This causes friction within the group and creates the internal obstacle serving as the wrench in the works.

Kind of effective, but does lead to the group not liking many NPCs and thus having few, if any, allies.
ANW 14th Jul 2016, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
We can all agree that getting a 20 is good.
However, sometimes it's just not enough.
Ever rolled a raw 20 and still failed, or when it was just not enough.
Example: I don't care if you do roll a twenty, your level one mage is not jumping over a 100 foot gap.
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 8:48 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
[Scene - Three Runners, Blackwolf (elf infiltrator), Hugo (ork physical adept), and Snowfire (street-sam dragon) stand on the roof of a downtown office building. They have a prisoner tied to a wooden chair, a member of the terrorist group "Terra First!"]

Blackwolf: "Alright, tell us who sold us out to Terra First! or Snowfire throws you off the roof."
Hugo: "Snowfire wouldn't do that."
Snowfire: "I look at the traffic down below, what's the biggest vehicle I see driving by?"
DM: "Uh, a semi-tanker carrying gasoline."
Snowfire: *Picks up the prisoner and throws him at the semi below*

Snowfire needs to roll 8 successes to hit the semi. A success is rolling a 5 or 6 on a d6 die. He rolls his Throwing skill, adds his Edge dice (a bonus pool of d6 that allow additional rerolls if a die comes up 6), and obtains 13 successes. The prisoner (still tied to the chair and screaming all the way) hits the semi windshield.

--> The truck driver is killed.
--> The semi crashes into oncoming traffic.
--> A gasoline fuel fire ignites on the street.
--> The resulting fireball engulfs the street, piling up the crash to a total of 27 involved vehicles.

Hugo: "Uh..."
Snowfire: "What? I just proved that I'd do it."
Blackwolf: "Yeah, but I wasn't done interrogating him!!"
Snowfire: "Oh yeah... do all cars burn that quickly or just the imported ones?"


Morale of the story: When Digo DMs, there's no such thing as not enough 20s.
Specter 14th Jul 2016, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
Specter
Party's goal is to keep an ancient relic of the gods from being stolen. We are in a publicly available museum where even the homeless is allowed to be (during business hours). The session we were given this job ended when we got an announcement that some bad guy was going to steal it on a certain day. We were allowed to email/text the GM what we wanted to do to prevent the relic from being stolen.

I however did not partake in trap setting as I knew I would be late that session, and just told the GM what my character did to start the session.

When everyone returned for the session the GM asked everyone to roll to see how effective their traps were. We had 3 natural 20's, an 18, and a 9 (before bonuses). Sadly none of the traps worked because the bad guy had set up a portal rune under the relic's pedestal to take the relic and it's container.

The GM was sorry for doing that to them, letting the players keep those rolls they had for a later use.
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Wow, that rune portal was just mean. :3
Grant 15th Jul 2016, 12:04 PM edit delete reply
They were given the opportunity to do whatever they wanted to try to stop the theft. Plus the villain has to actually get away with things or they're pretty bad at their role.
Godzfirefly 14th Jul 2016, 1:58 PM edit delete reply
I don't recall the exact circumstances anymore, but fairly early on in my GM career (shortly after D&D 3.5 was released) my villainous half-ogre brute was trying to steal some McGuffin from a PC via brute strength. I started by allowing the PC a perception opposed by the villain's stealth to see the theft coming...a tie, which gave the PC a reflex check to try getting the held McGuffin away from the villain's attempt to grab it. (So, an opposed melee touch vs the PC's reflex with a bonus for succeeding on the perception.) Another tie, meaning the half-ogre got a tenuous grasp on the object. This was bad for the PC...he had great perception and great reflex compared to the brute, but now it came down to an opposed strength check...where the half-ogre had an obvious advantage. The PC rolled first...a natural 20. I don't recall if it's in the rules that a nat 20 beats all other rolls in an opposed skill check in that system, but we certainly played that way...except for another nat 20 with a better bonus, of course. So, the only way for the half-ogre to successfully get the McGuffin away from the PC before combat started was to also roll a nat 20...which he did.

If I hadn't stepped out of my noob-GM bad habit of rolling behind a screen and rolled the die in plain sight for that roll, I'm convinced my PCs would have called BS and revolted on me there. They were already pretty upset that only one of them had seen the 7+ foot half-ogre sneaking up on them, after all.

Still, initiative ensued, even with a surprise round's head start on most of the PCs, the villain couldn't quite get away from the archers or casters in the crowded street (not even after leading the PCs into a failed ambush,) and the McGuffin was reclaimed 7 or 8 blocks away.

Even after getting better at GMing, I still get comments about being a luck-trolling half-ogre when I roll a nat 20 during opposed checks. :-D
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 6:42 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Dueling 20s? ;)

aylatrigger 14th Jul 2016, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
aylatrigger
...I can't help but think of times when getting multiple 20's did the trick. 1 20 might have, but multiple worked better.

-(2nd Edition) Party encountered Young Adult Blue Dragon in the forest. Fighter (who worshiped the goddess of luck) attacked first...2 Scimitars, 4 20's. 2 20's is an insta-kill... The DM decided that the blue dragon was now demoted to random encounter.

-4th edition... My character's attempt to seduce a racist magistrate...so we could get a half-elf to take over the barony by getting the dying baroness to sign on it. I was the only female, and my character worshiped the god of insanity and 'making the world more interesting', so I decided to do the seduction. But my Diplomacy was bad. My Acrobatics, however... And so with the help of a pheromone that our fake-German Mad Scientist made (with the first 20), I pole danced to seduce the racist magistrate. And got another 20, bringing the total up to 54. I am the champion pole dancer.
dzonewolf 15th Jul 2016, 10:32 PM edit delete reply
I'm gonna share a stour where a 20 was BAD.

Okay, so we have a fairly standard group of adventures, halfling rogue, tiefling mage, dragonborn barbarian (me), and a dwarf paladin.

All of them have their weaknesses, the rogue fled in terror from anything with more than four legs, the mage was scared of the dark, and the paladin once jumped fifteen feet straight up out of her sleeping bag and into a tree after waking to find a gartner snake had found its way in to join her. The barbarian... loved anything small and fluffy.

So, we come across this village of small, fluffy, fox-rabbit-things. The running gag was that I had to roll wisdom whenever I felt the urge to do something I knew I shouldn't. 1. So this seven foot tall dragonborn, sites his massive war axe on his back, and charge the closest of the fluffy, cat-sized critters, and pulls it up into a hug.

DM: Roll strength.

Me: 20.

DM: Roll 2d6.

Me: 12. -rolls again because exploding dice- 11. -rolls again, and again, and again-

DM: Stop, just stop.

Me: But I just hit 78!

DM: You crushed it's ribs and popped its internal organs at 40.

Me: Oh. I'm rolling wisdom to see if he notices. 1. He is completely oblivious to what he just did. He looks at the next closest. Rolling Wis-

Paladin: I ROLL TO RESTRAIN HIM!

It took a sleeping draught from the rogue, copious amounts of muscle from the paladin, and finally a paralysis spell from the mage, but they eventually had me safely restrained. They did regret it later, when the adorable fuzzies turned out to be ultra carnivorous monsters under the moon.
j-eagle12212012 14th Jul 2016, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
I got the impression that you held back on that Spud, specificly because the first combat enconter the group had resulted in the first of Many NPC addoptions. You where a generous DM and that made the campaign more enjoyable, towards the end you had just the right amount of uncertainty looming over the players, I honestly thought things where headed in the direction of "Nobody wins, some die, war never changes, etc..."
I look forward to seeing how you do your next campaign
Jennifer 14th Jul 2016, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
I find it interesting that apparently the GM has "Beehive" on his chart of "things for a character to accidentally fly into." He's crazy-prepared.

Me, I don't think I've really got "it gets worse" enabled in my session-planning, but my sense of humor and my need to keep teenaged players engaged leads to a lot of "That didn't entirely solve the problem, here comes something else" scenarios. This was why this week's session was set in the royal menagerie - the intent was for them to catch a rampaging salamander, but for other escaped critters, fleeing customers, etc, to get in the way. In the event I mostly forgot about it since I had their attention with the salamander anyway.
Draxynnic 14th Jul 2016, 7:17 AM edit delete reply
It's possible that the GM doesn't have tables at all, but adlibs based on the roll. A natural 1 is the worst reasonably probable outcome that the GM can think of on the spot sort of thing.
Joe the Rat 14th Jul 2016, 9:06 AM edit delete reply
I explicitly use a d30 for this. One a 1, something really good happens. On a 30, something really good happens. The rest is meh.

I should specify that a 1 is "Something good for the GM, which means your character is hosed."
PC: Is there something in the bag we found?
GM (1): The bag of holding you found has a troll in it. He grabs you by the head and pulls you in.

A 30 is "something good for your character, which I can use at a later date in some horrible way, but at least you get an immediate benefit."
Rogue: I start chatting up a tree. You never know, there might be a Dryad.
GM (30): There is one. After... things... she gives you a trinket to make up for the utter lack of outdoor survival and orientation abilities in the party.
terrycloth 14th Jul 2016, 10:46 AM edit delete reply
I use a d20 from that. Copied it from an old DM who moved away.

If a character asks a question where the answer isn't already fixed,

1 = worst possible no
10 = best possible no (often a no, but)
11 = worst possible yes (often a yes, but)
20 = best possible yes

"Can I find any magic armor? I'm really sick of being the only one without any."
[roll: 11]
"Well... remember that silver dragon scale mail that the Dwarven King agreed to give back to the leader of the metallic dragons in return for their help? It's up for auction."
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 8:07 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I had a GM who found a crit chart for getting hit by a couch throw pillow. Effects ranged from temporary stun to having your throat torn out by the pillow zipper catching on you.
Guest 14th Jul 2016, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
I remember seeing that in KODT!
Digo Dragon 15th Jul 2016, 8:18 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I used to read KODT. ^_^
Don't remember seeing the table there, but I could believe it!
Mordenheim 15th Jul 2016, 10:20 AM edit delete reply
Mordenheim
Actually, it's in the Munchkin Guide to Powergaming from Steve Jackson Games.

It's a fun book with silly, but possible advice for twinking out your characters to outright CHEATING at dice-rolling (see Dam Busters, rolling your handful of d6's one by one, using later dice to knock into or flip over low rolls.)

However, the back of the book also gives advice to GMs on how to DEAL with the sort of things presented in the book, all very tongue-in-cheek.

Worth a read if you can find a copy. :D
Ref 14th Jul 2016, 9:19 AM edit delete reply
No one is going to comment on how nicely the page number and page title go together?
Digo Dragon 14th Jul 2016, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I thought it goes without saying. :3
Winged Cat 14th Jul 2016, 11:56 AM edit delete reply
Now you've got me imagining a slot machine that gives bees instead of coins.

...and the type of gamblers who would prefer that. (Insectivores, for instance.)
Someone 14th Jul 2016, 12:09 PM edit delete reply
Apparently when GM-ing, I'm very fond of suddenly remembering a detail from earlier on everyone forgot and bringing it up. You know, things like "Oh, and you were supposed to answer directly to this guy, weren't you? Beacause, you know, boxed crrok and all that." "Oh, you do remember the van is rental, right?"
Blueblade 14th Jul 2016, 8:39 PM edit delete reply
What else is he supposed to test?
Your combat skills?!?
Pfffft!
XD
Ryvaz 15th Jul 2016, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
I was playing an alchemist wizard of 5th edition in an adventure called "Out of the Abyss" basically Underdark with demons screwing with the area and making everything crazy weird. Anyways had to make a wisdom saving throw got a nat 20 yet suffered madness in the form of requiring repeated actions. Cast a spell? Cast it again till you either can't cast it or you have quenched your need to repeat the action. Chose to use cantrips till the end.
Blueblade 15th Jul 2016, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
I just realized why the title is jackpot...
Clever.
Grant 15th Jul 2016, 11:59 AM edit delete reply
On throwing wrenches, I find environmental hazards are useful. Thunderstorms making the archer useless, crumbling bridge with strong gusts of wind lets a villain get away. Just always be careful to make sure that this sort of thing causes problems for the enemy as well, otherwise your players will feel cheated.

For 20s, normally that's supposed to be a success of some kind. So if you try to clear a hundred foot jump with a roll of 20, I'd either have the PC miraculously grab onto a hard to see outcropping of rock or a strong gust knocks them into a crevice of rock on the other side below where they were trying to reach. Not what they were trying to do, but still a success of a kind.
Space Jawa 15th Jul 2016, 2:41 PM edit delete reply
Am I right in my assumption that you named this comic entirely after it's number, rather than anything in the comic itself?
Waffle 14th Dec 2016, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I do wonder about that roll. Was it just for Seabreeze's recovery, or was there some relevant (if hastily-constructed) list that included "crash into beehive"? Or was it, as I often do, more a tool to help the DM focus than anything decisive?