Page 83 - The Soul Still Burns

16th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM
The Soul Still Burns
Average Rating: 5 (4 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 16th Feb 2012, 6:00 AM edit delete
Believe it or not, THIS is the moment I've been looking forward to for this episode. Twilight's lecture.


Mr-bacon 16th Feb 2012, 6:04 AM edit delete reply
HAHAHAHAHA! Not even the DM expected it!
gindranis 16th Feb 2012, 4:25 PM edit delete reply
I can see the DM's response now:
well, this way is even better than what I had thought out. I guess I won't need the cliff scene with the oddly placed stick and lavapit after all.
Kyronea 16th Feb 2012, 6:16 AM edit delete reply
Newbiespud, if I may, I would like to suggest that those in the comments regale us with tales of other cases where the players did something so completely unexpected yet still drawn from the mechanics of the story, a sensible jump that the DM may not have anticipated but that still works.

I'm curious to know how often it occurs.
Newbiespud 16th Feb 2012, 10:54 AM edit delete reply
I make a point of keeping my hands off the comments most of the time, but I actually have a story for this I want to share.

It's a bit long, so I'll just put it on my blog and link to it.
Kyronea 17th Feb 2012, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
T'was an awesome story at that!
Slide_Potentiometer 17th Feb 2012, 2:54 AM edit delete reply
I was playing a campaign set in what amounted to a big steampunk city. Our DM was all about throwing loops, running with things, and keeping us on our toes. As for our party shaking it up I can name a few instances:

Our bard had to leave for about a month IRL, so in-game the DM had him going on tour with a band. When he returned to the party he had his band in tow and was acting like a primadonna rockstar. When we were invited into a big hotel for a large gathering, his first statement was 'I trash the room'. No kidding, he just wrecks the room. Every inn after that he wrecks the room just for the hell of it, because he's this rock-star now.

Later in the campaign we've just defeated a fairly high-level NPC who owned an airship. My character declares he's now the captain, and after some convincing the party and bluffing the crew I take it. This isn't where it gets nuts though. The rest of the party splits off to fight a guy they think is the final boss - this guy took control of the city government through the proper process (a battle of the bands - like I said, this is nuts), and then declared anarchy. I concluded he was trolling, but the rest of the party wants him dead. While they prepare for a big fight, I travel to the 'magical university' in the city and blow all my coins on fliers, which I distribute to the city from the airship.

The battle starts against this trolling NPC in the atrium of city hall - some of the party is active, some are conflicted, but they all wind up fighting. Turns out this dude is tough. I pass a note to the DM, and a round or so later everyone has to roll saves to avoid falling glass - I yell "OH YEAH" while crashing the airship through the glass front of the town hall. Couple volleys of ballista bolts from the ship (including a shot that missed and hit one of my party members) and the bad guy is down.

Then our DM turns it around on us. The spirit of the city didn't take kindly to us killing the dude who had declared anarchy, so CITY HALL stands up and attacks us. Yeah. 300 foot building boss fight. We eventually defeat it, having some near-death experiences, and then the reveal about my fliers- I had been campaigning. I united the confused city enough to wind up mayor at the end of the campaign.
Rugsrat 17th Feb 2012, 6:22 AM edit delete reply
Not the BEST example for this kind of story, from a plot perspective, but in a very character-driven, more episodic game, I think this could count:

I'm playing in a Pathfinder game in the Iron Kingdoms setting (the same setting that the Warmachine table-top miniatures game uses) where our characters are mercenaries that are the founding members of a mercenary company that just got our charter... and inherited the 220,000gp debt on the charter from the previous owner.

Anyway. We're escorting some refugees from city A (Corvis) to city D (King's Landing). We've reached village B along the route, where one of our recurring NPCs is originally from. So my friend's character starts to party.

And he parties HARD. He woke up the next day in the basement of the soap-maker's shop with the soapmakers dog. And as he's leaving, their's a girl he can't really remember thanking him for the night before.

Character is confused, and leaves. We later find out that she's engaged to some guy she doesn't really care for.

Because there's a very angry middle-aged man yelling at us for tarnishing his fiancee's honor. Character rolled some amazing bluff checks, and instead made it seem like he was just walking her home, because where we're from (Corvis), that's what you do. The prospective groom leaves, still angry.

But our characters are pretty firmly in the "Good" spectrum of things, and that dissuades us from being a homewrecker. We THEN find out that the girl is our recurring NPC's sister.

Well crap. Now we REALLY don't want to be homewreckers.

And then the NPC tells us that he doesn't like the guy either and would rather see his sister with one of his friends.

So, our characters kind of look at each other, and we determine the best course of action: We need to wreck this home.

Our DM was a touch shocked actually, since we were due to leave at pretty much that exact moment for point C, and this had nothing to do with our larger mission.

So we wrecked a marriage. Marched right up to the guy in his office (he was some kind of merchant), and told him. Right in front of the fiancee.

She's now free to marry who she likes, but we're probably not going to get invited to dinner by her parents.

One of our funnier sessions to date.
Colin 20th Feb 2012, 7:43 AM edit delete reply
A small one.

I'm a beginner GM, so I rely more than usual on the players to come up with cool stuff to do. In one session in my "Trapped in haunted house campaign", the warforged fighter's player was absent, and one of the other players suggests handwaving it as "the WF has deactivated and won't wake up". Okay, good idea; there's no way for him to go on a quest.

They're left with a problem - how do they take him with them? He's a big hulking WF in full plate that weighs 300lb. The dragonborn sorcerer wants to carry him on his back; I say it would slow him down (10 strength, not quite enough); all the rest used Str as their dump stat. One of the rest suggests building something out of the bones the room they're in is decorated with. Impressed, I say they construct a standup cart out of the bones to wheel him around - then one of the players suggests he could be used like a riot shield.

Zwei the mobile riot shield was used for the rest of the campaign (it ended the next session, and the player couldn't make it then either). He had the same AC as the real player, but was indestructible. They used him to block attacks and to set off traps by wheeling him in first; I made sure to do a squeaky-wheel sound effect every time. :-)

The last encounter before the boss was four gnolls attached by umbilical cords to a hideous blob of zombified flesh. The abominations were completely nonplussed at the sight of a WF being wheeled in, Hannibal Lecter-style - so much so that the players had a free round.
Afrohawkman 16th Feb 2012, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, the /lecture/. Roleplaying at it's finest! Excellent work dude!
Jonshine 16th Feb 2012, 6:27 AM edit delete reply

I think my DM was pretty surprised when I told him I was going to murder the Priest of Pelor who'd just informed me that the good portion of my soul had been stolen by an evil god, and locked up in the Fortress of Eternal Elemental Evil on the Plane of Shadows.

I'm not sure why he was surprised. I mean, it was him who'd told me my alignment had been changed to evil in the first place.


SaddlesoapOpera 16th Feb 2012, 6:55 AM edit delete reply
Ranubis 16th Feb 2012, 6:57 AM edit delete reply
NMM: "No! It can't be! These spheres were fake, and you had the real Elements all along? Celestia, you devious mare..."

Twilight: "What? Oh no, you destroyed the old Elements, I'm saying that the personalities of my friends mirror the Elemnts, and with their help, we can beat you!"

NMM: "Really? That's what your going with? Pfft, I'm outta here. Buck this Power of Friendship nonsense, you all are clearly insane."
Big Mac! 16th Feb 2012, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
Big Mac!
yes!!!!!!!! speech time awesomeness
Ranubis 16th Feb 2012, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Time to fast talk the DM! Always fun to watch.

As for a leap of logic story, our last session had us come across a group of Leprechauns. Now, my character is a Lawful Good Dwarf Paladin, and usually the only one keeping our Chaotic Minotaur party member from killing everything we come across. Only in this case, I started thinking:

What do Dwarves like? Gold.
What are Leprechauns known for, besides talking in #%*!# rhymes? Hoarding gold.
Where do Leprechauns get all this gold?
... Aha! They must steal it from those hardworking Dwarves!

So now my dwarf is telling the Minotaur not to kill the Leps, only this time it's so we can follow them back home and take their- I mean, get the Dwarven gold back.
kriss1989 16th Feb 2012, 11:06 AM edit delete reply
Good point. They go around dancing and singing and all that, how DO they get that gold?
Consumer Unit 5012 16th Feb 2012, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
Unlike most fairies, Leprechauns actually _work_ for a living in folklore. They make shoes, for one thing. Which is probably why they're the sort whose gold doesn't turn into leaves and pebbles at sunrise.
Akouma 16th Feb 2012, 5:41 PM edit delete reply
One of the few fun things about Encounters: Crystal Cave for me was threatening the Leprechauns we came across with death unless they gave me their gold.

That, and literally every time a new NPC showed up my only words were "I ready Arc Lightning." I wound up toasting a few leprechauns during that campaign. The look on our DM's face was priceless.

In other news, I made an account with this site because I wanted an avatar.

EDIT: Also, being able to go back and edit my posts rather than double posting when I have a new though is sweet.
^Case in point.
Cain 18th Feb 2012, 12:33 PM edit delete reply
The look on his face was priceless "Aren't you supposed to be a good character?"

Let's not forget how you finished the second to last encounter last campaign. "I'm going to roll to knock the crown off."
Panoptes 16th Feb 2012, 8:03 AM edit delete reply
This is definitely breaking the DnD theme here, but I can't resist:

Twilight Sparkle uses Lecture. It's super effective!

Alright, you can start hating me now.
Kiana 16th Feb 2012, 11:35 AM edit delete reply
Actually, I kind of love you. Just a little bit.
leafia6 16th Feb 2012, 8:20 AM edit delete reply
Rainbow Friendship Laser Incoming...
Kiana 16th Feb 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
Target sighted...

Locked on...

T-minus 5...
Bronymous 16th Feb 2012, 2:47 PM edit delete reply
Im telling you guys, OFC! I WANT THEM TO SAY IT!
Masterofgames 16th Feb 2012, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
Twilight: "And THAT is why WE are the new elements of harmony!"

NMM: "... You honestly expect me to believe that?"

Twilight: "No, but I DID honestly expect it to distract you long enough for the rouge to get behind you."


Rarity: "You know, red really isn't your color, and I would normally NEVER dress a client in something that doesn't fit with them, but I'll make an exception just this once if it's running down your shoulderblades."

NMM: "Urk... W-where did you get a river serpent scale?"
reynard61 16th Feb 2012, 7:18 PM edit delete reply
Love this!
Ranubis 17th Feb 2012, 12:45 PM edit delete reply
Friends stand with you against the Big Bad.

REAL friends will distract them while you sneak around and blindside the villain, then back up your claim of self-defense when the guards show up.
Zeeth 18th Feb 2012, 6:10 PM edit delete reply
From Schlock Mercenary: "The best use of a monkey is to make people look at the monkey."
Lyntermas 16th Feb 2012, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
Huh. Most of my "predictions" were based on the whole "Bearers" angle actually being a "thing" used by the DM. So how were the Mane 6 SUPPOSED to deal with with NMM? Or maybe...?

DM: So, just to be clear, you've never heard of this scenario before.
Twilight: No.
DM: So the idea of each of you representing the Elements just popped into your head.
Twilight: Yep.
DM: And you guessed the Sixth Element, whose name would only be known by the Desert Oracle, was Magic all by yourself.
Twilight: Well, I kinda stretched for that one, but...wait, Desert Oracle?
AJ:...Oh lordy, Twilight. This was supposed to be the first encounter where we lose horribly, but you guessed the final answer right away. But why didn't the DM just lie and say it didn't work.
Rarity: Because otherwise the rest of the campaign wouldn't have made sense.
RD: What rest of the campaign?
Rarity: Let me guess. We were supposed to lose horribly, gather up the broken Elements, get them reforged, complete some Trials to prove ourselves worthy or somesuch, find the name of the Sixth Element, then come back here and face the accumulated armies and defences of NMM, as well as NMM in her full glory.
Fluttershy: All under the oppressive sky of eternal night?
RD: Oh, so that's why all the enemies were lame. They were gonna ramp up over time.
DM:...You didn't even get to meet the friendly Bushwoolies.
RD: Bushwoolies? Ugh, sound like helpless annoying furballs. I'll pass.
random encounter 16th Feb 2012, 9:13 AM edit delete reply
That makes me think of Samurai Jack >_>
kriss1989 16th Feb 2012, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
And that is how you make DMs cry, using simple logic to derail the entire thing.
gindranis 16th Feb 2012, 4:31 PM edit delete reply
Actually, instead of derailing, you take the interstate express, rather than your local little puffers with 5 stops in doohickeyville. Technically you stay on track, but you get to where you are going way faster than the dm expected.
Stairc 16th Feb 2012, 10:34 AM edit delete reply
Newbiespud, not even I saw the DM's surprise at Twilight's inspiration coming. That's absolutely brilliant.
Derpmind 16th Feb 2012, 3:42 PM edit delete reply
"Not even I" you say? Why so humble? I and lots of others saw this a mile away. Er, no offense, but it's kinda funny anyways.
Derpmind 16th Feb 2012, 3:44 PM edit delete reply
Er, that didn't come out right. Sorry.
Newbiespud 16th Feb 2012, 4:17 PM edit delete reply
Because, Derpmind, I personally know Stairc very well, and we're familiar with each other's writing styles and abilities. (Spoiler: I look up to him.) Coming from him, this is quite the compliment.
Derpmind 16th Feb 2012, 4:46 PM edit delete reply
I know "Food in Mouth" is supposed to be bad, but mine actually tastes quite salty and tangy. It's delicious! I should put my foot in my mouth more often.
Stairc 16th Feb 2012, 8:40 PM edit delete reply
*grins* It's fine Derpmind. All good.
Starcloud 17th Feb 2012, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
I don't know about where you're from, but here "Food in Mouth" is the proper way to eat. =p
Joe England 16th Feb 2012, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
I remember once I was playing a game of Mage: The Ascension as a Hollow One. He wasn't overly interested in the "romantic" aspects of goth culture, being more like a skeevy cynic. But he had a way of finding unorthodox solutions.
One of my fondest memories was of a showdown in this big computer lab (cyberpunk future setting, y'know). A kind of super-magic virus ghost had suddenly shown up and was infiltrating the machines, wires coming to life, its face appearing on screens, that sort of thing. The local scientist was being attacked by cables drilling into his head. It was shaping up to be a real big deal and it was just me and some other guy, so I found myself a sparking wire and rolled to detect a sprinkler system. I succeeded, and then threw the wire up to the ceiling to make contact with the sensors. It worked. The sparks set off the water and everything in the room was electrified. Me and my party member took minor damage, but the "ghost" was destroyed. To this day I wonder what the GM had in mind for that thing.
My other fondest memory of that campaign was contacting a party member who was meditating in her apartment by finding a stray cat and hurling it through a closed window. Folks got a kick out of that.
Chakat Firepaw 19th Feb 2012, 2:02 PM edit delete reply
Given that the bit of defeating the mad computer by setting off the sprinklers[1] has been around for decades, I would not be surprised if the GM had at least considered it as a potential solution.

[1] Which wouldn't actually work in most cases, there's a reason why computer centers use halon fire extinguishers.
Deriaz 16th Feb 2012, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
It's not too big of an unexpected thing, but once in some Minotaur ruins, our party ended up stumbling across a group of about 30 orcs or so, in a room that we needed to get through. Since we were in some Minotaur ruins, and my character was a Minotaur, our wizard gets a brilliant idea in his head.

Our DM was expecting us to go in and either start a large fight (4th edition, so they were minions, mostly), or RP with the leader. Instead, we backtracked through a few rooms to grab a very large, old banner hanging in a hall.

With a few spells (I can't recall the names, sadly), we made the banner at least appear like it was brand new. And we had me, the tankiest member of the team, strip down and wear only the banner. We through on some little minor spells on me like Light, stuff the DM allowed as little flavor spells, to try and make me glow and appear holy.

So I walked into a room, completely naked, unarmed, and wearing only a makeshift toga. He had to make up a skill challenge on the spot to see if the spells would hold, and if I could talk my way through the group. There were tons of orcs, so the bar was high, since he figured a "hivemind" would be hard to persuade.

15 of them ended up fleeing when I began threatening to bring down a holy wrath. Of course, then we started failing the rolls, but at that point the fight was a pushover. Still had to do it naked, of course, but the DM was a little surprised that his large encounter was undermined by a naked Minotaur spouting nonsense. Not the scene he had in mind.
Kiana 16th Feb 2012, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
Sounds like a Make Whole ritual to fix the banner.

And that's the funniest and coolest scene I have ever heard of with a naked minotaur.
Kaleopolitus 16th Feb 2012, 4:06 PM edit delete reply
The fact that you have to specifically mention the 'naked' part of the minotaur is distressing.
Izandai 16th Feb 2012, 4:59 PM edit delete reply
Adventuring parties are civil groups. He probably wears clothes most of the time, barring the odd strip-to-the-fur-and-dress-up-in-a-moldy-moth-eaten-banner incident.
Kiana 17th Feb 2012, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
...Naked people are funny?
Deriaz 17th Feb 2012, 4:47 PM edit delete reply
@Kaleopolitus: Izandai has it right -- we had clothing and armor on, despite being in the ruins. I probably could have used some other term, but "naked" came to mind for no bonus to armor class, no weapon in hand, etcetc. Seemed quickest to use. Sorry if it was an un-necessary detail -- story-telling isn't my strongest trait. Heh.
Raxon 15th Jun 2012, 6:25 PM edit delete reply
I completely agree. If you have to specify that you're naked, you're doing something wrong.
Bronymous 16th Feb 2012, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
But the banner wasn't moldy and moth-eaten. It was restored.
kriss1989 16th Feb 2012, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
In one Mutant and Masterminds game I used a McGuffin my character had but never uses to save the day. Since my character is from another universe he had a special gauntlet that let him travel between universes. It was a backstory element. My character never used it and there was never a reason to.

Fast forward several sessions and I was alone on the ring-world of the CURATOR, a super computer intelligence that was the ring-world. Surrounded by large numbers of combat drones I started doing what I do best. Talking. After a bit it was revealed that since the Curator ran on pure logic and fact, it had no emotions to play with. So, with his full attention on me I initiated plan umlaut. I used my dimensional bracer that I have had the ENTIRE CAMPAIGN to swap my mass with the negative mass from another universe. So not only did I remove mass and energy by my disappearance thus violating the first law of thermodynamics, by adding NEGATIVE mass to the universe I double broke it.

The end result was half the ring-world breaking down as it tried to figure out how I broke physics.
Kiana 16th Feb 2012, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, any entity of 'pure logic' in a super hero campaign is... well, doomed to THAT, frankly.
DanielLC 16th Feb 2012, 11:33 AM edit delete reply
But you didn't break physics. You just used sufficiently advanced technology, and showed its knowledge of physics was wrong.

Having a breakdown after realizing your idea of how the universe works is flawed seems to be a pretty emotional reaction. The logical thing would be to either try to figure out how it happened, or ignore it for now because it would be too hard to figure out given its benefit.
kriss1989 18th Feb 2012, 12:39 AM edit delete reply
Except the rules of physics still applied and are unchanged, my gauntlet just literally allows the fundamental breakdown of the laws that govern the universe. It is literally anti-physics. The reason half the ring-world shut down is due to the sheer amount of processing power it is taking it to figure out how it all works.

The secret it it can't because the gauntlet is from a fictional universe where it was created as a plot device with no regards for the laws of science because the creator thought it was a neat idea. In other words there is no 'secret law' or 'physics loophole' that it can figure out.
Bronymous 16th Feb 2012, 2:53 PM edit delete reply
The CURATOR obviously has never met Pinkie Pie, then. I'm pretty sure she could make the emotionless machine CRY if she wanted.
Kiana 16th Feb 2012, 11:28 AM edit delete reply
I could listen to Twilight lecture all day. <3
Frampton 16th Feb 2012, 11:37 AM edit delete reply
Ok, I have to post this one. Our GM once put us into the sewers were rumor had it were-rats had been hiding. We needed to go through so that we could steal some things from the kings brothers mansion. We encountered the rats of course, and the DM readied all the NPCs of the group to attack. Then our bard goes up and deplomacies them so hard they instead join us and help us take over the mansion and infect ever singe one of the inhabitants (including the kings brother) instead of just sneaking in and getting what we need. Suddenly we had an army and when he did the roll to see how many were actually in the were-rats group, we got somewhere around 400. The DM looked dumbfounded and just told our bard to go fuck himself.
Limey Lassen 16th Feb 2012, 8:16 PM edit delete reply
Limey Lassen
magewolf 16th Feb 2012, 11:44 AM edit delete reply
ah have allready pulled a story or 2 ah would have brought out here, but ah still say the campain aint over till the dm say's WHAT!!??!?

Erin Palette 16th Feb 2012, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
"I'm going to do what I do best: LECTURE HER!"
Colin 20th Feb 2012, 7:48 AM edit delete reply
I laughed mightily at that.
terrycloth 16th Feb 2012, 12:08 PM edit delete reply
I was running a high level module in 3.5 D+D (it was one of the ones intended to bring the party into epic levels) and there was a minor combat encounter disguised as a diplomacy check where an entity that was sympathetic to the party's mission couldn't actually give them what they wanted because it was the last vestige of his godhood. Sooner or later, the party has to give up and attack him, or else you'll just end up talking in circles forever (because he's not hostile). It's supposed to be a big moral choice -- do you murder a pathetic, repentant being in cold blood, or do you let the entire multiverse die?

...or, the party thief can roll a 50 on stealth and a 60 on his pick-pocket roll, and steal the McGuffin from the imprisoned god while the rest of the party is distracting him with diplomacy.

This was the same party that did aerial bombardment on the army of giants besieging the drow empire (meant to be part of the backdrop of the module, which had you going up against the drow), then used Wind Walk to quickly transport the spoils to the surface where they could teleport to various cities all over Faerun to sell it all without flooding any given market.
Wayra Hyena 16th Feb 2012, 12:21 PM edit delete reply
First compliments, then stories. I've commented a few times now, but never really commented as much on the progresson of the comic. I love what you're doing with all of this, I really do, and I am excited for these next few pages (hell, I'm excited for EVERY new page). I love the different take on the show, and may this comic run for a good long time, and continue to entertain both pony and gamer geeks like myself. You are awesome.

Now, story... Throwing something at the DM that he didn't quite expect? I've got one of those.

Tabloid. He is a bard. No one knows if that was his real name. His perform skill was Oratory. He was a doomsayer with a pet turkey vulture.

The vulture (named Professor) was pretty much just cosmetic because my bard was an initimidator, so no one really expected me to use it. Into the Sewer we were tasked to clear out, we found our pathway blocked off (a closed gate and the lever to open it was on the others side). I can't remember if the barbarian either failed to lift the gate or didn't lift it, but that's when the squishy doomsayer bard got to step forth and make himself useful.

Me: "I use mage hand on the lever. Five pound telekinesis."
DM: "Okay, the gate lifts a little bit, but you can't get it further than that."
Me: "Hmmn… how far up did the gate lift?"
DM: "About five or six inches, not enough for you all to get under."
Me: "I send professor under and have him land on the lever."
DM: "..."

Apparently I kept us from bumbling into right into a gelatinous cube in a narrow hallway with that.

There's another one I want to do with my rogue/alchemist, Aki... During the most serious scene with a big bad guy I can find, have her stealth and sneak her way around behind the ranks, behind him. Cut his belt and yank his pants down as a distraction. I don't care if my rogue gets pummled, (She'd wake up from that beating grinning and saying "TOTALLY WORTH IT!") and it would distract them for the classes who've actually been able to deal reliable damage. She's been described as the Pinkie Pie of the group multiple times. I love this show and I love this game~!
theguyindarkglasses 16th Feb 2012, 12:52 PM edit delete reply
recenly, my players became the most wanted of all the realm. one of them turned against the team and put the rest in jail, the others replied in kind, caught, him , left him in a cell forever. he eventually escaped and began his vengance. sadly he was taken down later, but i would have loved seeing how that went along.

all this happenes out of my master power
Digo 16th Feb 2012, 1:01 PM edit delete reply
The adventure had my players travel into an old mine to stop a powerful foe. The mine was filled with an explosive gas, but other than one small explosion, the players didn't find it too difficult.

At the bottom in a side room was the Vampire Ogre Mage the party was looking for. The fight was tough, but the players managed to defeat him.
Of course, vampires turn into a gas and often escape if they're killed without a steak through the heart. At the vampire was about to escape up the shaft the party monk had a brilliant idea-

"I use my Flaming Fist ability!"

I wasn't prepared for such a crazy sacrifice, but what the heck. Roll with it! One impressive explosion later and the vampire's future second encounter went up in flames like... something flammable. As was half the monk's fist.

But that's what Regeneration spells fix.
montrith 16th Feb 2012, 1:37 PM edit delete reply
My players actually manage to render me speechless on a fairly regular pace, but the first campaign I actually ran is probably the best example. I was GM a campaign where the PCs (a barbarian and a werewolf, should have known this would end badly) were supposed to find a lost artifact for a dictator who'd threatened them into doing his bidding. After some detours, they finally managed to track down to artifact and the thief who had taken it. And then everything went wrong.

The villain was supposed to be this Bond-style megalomaniac who'd receive them politely before climbing into his stone mecha and heading towards the nearby village in order to trample it. I had provided various hints about the nature of his plan and the means to destroy the mecha, so I assumed they'd be ready when the time came.

Except they decided that instead of following the mecha, they'd stay and search the house. No problem, I though. I can use this. They found the evil guys lab, which I had conveniently stocked with various explosives to make taking down the mecha even easier for them. I also provided a giant scribble on the wall saying basically "I'm going to destroy the village! No, really. This is happening NOW!"

So my players decide that their first priority destroy the house. They argue a while how this could best be accomplished, them my barbarian suddenly says something that amounts to "I start tossing around the vials and things in the lab".

Let me just restate that. She thought that the best way to destroying the building would be to start throwing around highly volatile explosive mixtures in a room full of gunpowder while STILL IN THE HOUSE.

So by some miracle, they actually manage to survive said ordeal, mainly because the barbarian was sturdy as hell and the wolf had the good sense to leave. Now, my players start looking around for another way to defeat the villain, and manade to stumble upon his pet T-Rex (long story). It's obviously agitated and angry from all the noise and explosions.

So naturally, they decide to let it out. By opening the gate to its pen. While it's looking. While standing directly in front of said gate.

So needles to say, the dinosaur tramples them a little (they got lucky again), and when they get back to the village it's not so much a village anymore rather than a greasy, smoking hole in the ground.

They did recover the artifact though.
Guest 16th Feb 2012, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
This sounds almost like an episode of "Dirty Pair"
Chakat Firepaw 19th Feb 2012, 2:15 PM edit delete reply
Nah, much of that was clearly the PC's fault.

As you know, it's never the Lovely Angels that are to blame for the collateral damage: They didn't toss the wine bottle, they didn't ask for a derelict ship to be jumped into the basement of the tower, it wasn't them who decided to set off a half-dozen different doomsday devices at once, etc.
montrith 16th Feb 2012, 1:46 PM edit delete reply
It wasn't the sensible thing to do by any stretch, but since their only mission was to recover the artifact, it didn't really matter they did it in a most destructive way possible, technically it was still a success.
Winged Kitsune 16th Feb 2012, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
Gotta love Twilight. Throwing the DM a Curveball that even he didn't expect.
techogre 16th Feb 2012, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
If my players ever pulled a stunt like that... It would be the most awesome moment in my gaming lifetime!
Bronymous 16th Feb 2012, 3:01 PM edit delete reply
You mean They were the Elements all along?! I'm so surprised! Were you surprised? I was surprised.

Honestly, I've tried the logical derailing on one or two DM's, but I don't think I'm doing it right. Usually it comes down to me saying "just hear me out" and then a few minutes later the DM responding with "Quit making shit up, that's not how it works."

Maybe one day...
Quietkal 16th Feb 2012, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
I'm in a WoD zombie apocalypse campaign, and one of our PC's just completely cut off a story arc.

I'm playing a pre-med student who's now essentially a doctor, and the campaign's been pretty quiet for me. We've split the party, and I'm left in base tending to wounded with one other PC wandering the base. I'm told by one of the NPC doctors that the chief of staff hasn't been seen for a few days, and that I should go check it out. (Because I'm a PC) So I start to head out, and run into the other PC en route. I tell him about where I'm going and what not, and he just stops me mid-sentence with, "No. She's a zombie." He then walks over to a group of soldiers, super-succeeds on a presence/intimidate rolls, and gets them to go check the situation out instead of us.

The GM just facepalmed.
Kaleopolitus 16th Feb 2012, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
*Slow clap*
Derpmind 16th Feb 2012, 4:04 PM edit delete reply
Cantdrawatall 16th Feb 2012, 4:23 PM edit delete reply
There comes a time in every DM's career where a player/group comes up with an absolutely brilliant plan that you are struck aghast by the sheer awesomeness of it. You will have two choices then, let them throw the big bad into the sun on a 3 person/stage grapple rocket, or quit DMing forever.
gindranis 16th Feb 2012, 4:33 PM edit delete reply
Always go with the rule of cool.
Izandai 16th Feb 2012, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Let them have their fun, then quit DMing.
IntergalactiGuy 16th Feb 2012, 5:10 PM edit delete reply
Player does something unexpected but logical, DM rolls with it?

Wow, after typing it out, it's quite a lot. If, by some amazing coincidence, my fellow player of this campaign read this, hit me up some time again!

Well, there was this one WoD chronicle.
Two players, on GM. The other player played a Promethean who was a monster in battle but pretty much useless when it came to other things, I was a Fairest Changeling with some combat skills (Strenght 3, Brawl 3 and Contracts of Mirror 4, to do lethal Damage). This was because our GM runs combat-heavy campaigns and recommended at least a way to fight back. The plot was basically: Strange creatures who look like the Grim Reaper show up and steal everyones lifeforce (lifore in game terms). By coincidence, both the Promethean and me get this power. You could use Lifore as experience points, have it heal you or hurl it against an opponent, damaging him (one point of Lifore = one lethal damage), and two or three other things. Another thing that came up was that unknown benefactors seemed to let us bargain with them, so I could, for example, sacrifice Attribute dots to get a Contract.
At the end, both of us had siphoned quite a lot of this stuff (ca. 40 Lifore, most from Reapers). The Promethean had used most of it to buy Transmutations ("I can cause earthquakes!") and almost always took the opportunity to sacrifice something for something else. I didn't do much. I was wary of the "get one thing, lose another thing" game and used it only once or twice, and had no real idea for what to use my Lifore, so I hold on to it.
No, the final confrontation: We find out that all the stuff with the Reapers was just a game set up by two powerful (reality-warping, True-Fae-in-Arcadia-powerful) entities, who each wagered on one of us to "win". Well, it's a stalemate, so we have to fight, on top of a skyscraper, if we don't, they'll subject us to an eternity of torture. There's also a giant meteor coming down, so we have to hurry. The fight began quite mundane (with me saying that "It shouldn't end like this", and my friend having the upper hand, being a physical Promethean), but grew slowly ever more crazy as we bargained (mainly the Promethean, again; I only got Eternal Summer 5 and the ability to teleport in line of sight for one Glamour, and once a full pool of Glamour) for more power from our "patrons". Eventually, we stand face to face, in 15 meter distance from each other. The Promethean decides to hurl one point of Lifore against me. I have an idea.
32 points of lethal damage, in a system where the average mortal has 7 health levels, is quite a lot, even for a pumped-up Promethean. But our GM goes with it, stating that he can try to push the ball of necrotic energy in my direction again. A mental arm wrestling match ensues, each one trying to push the ball towards the other. But no one came up ahead, so the GM decided the ball would explode violently. So, both of us are beaten and barely concious, leaning against each other, peacefully, as the meteor draws closer and closer. Our patrons are furious, but we don't respond. We don't want to kill each other, and as the meteor is only dozens of meters above us, the last words are "It should end like this."
The last words? Not exactly. It turns out that the meteor was a third entity who wagered on Friendship overcoming and such. We won. Together.
Kaleopolitus 17th Feb 2012, 3:51 PM edit delete reply

I literally just dropped a soda can, spilling it ALL over the place when I got to the end. God d*mm*t! That is probably the best GM move ever.
Brainstorm 17th Feb 2012, 11:24 PM edit delete reply
I hope that nopony I know reads the comments in this comic because I want to use this twist in my own campaign someday!
Gden 16th Feb 2012, 11:17 PM edit delete reply
The only story that I can really think of, was back when I was relatively new to D&D (back in early 3.5). Well, the dm we were playing under had a habit of annoying the dm when he was playing by coming up with ridiculously off kilter plans that work out perfectly, so I think it was the other players' way of getting back at him. Anyway, he had created a guy that had 99 DR, because, well, because we were to find a way past it. Well, the cleric in the group decided to not even bother with it. He cast enlarge person on my character (monk, and told him to grapple him, and dump him in a bag of holding, and just poke the bag of holding, thus destroying it, and him (well wiping him from existence is still destroying, right?), in the process. Needless to say the dm was flabbergasted (wow don't get a lot of chances to say that)
Gden 16th Feb 2012, 11:22 PM edit delete reply
I learned from that guy earlier a little too late, but the cleric wasn't so much a cleric as he was a paladin/wizard/follower of the forgotten (PRC that got 9th level cleric spells by 10th level, aka good Ur priest)/mystic Theurge. Also, anyone else on here just completely avoided 4th ed. and now play Pathfinder?
Dragonflight 16th Feb 2012, 11:25 PM edit delete reply
A player plan so awesome it floors the GM? Yeah, I've got one. :)

The 3.5 D&D game I'm currently running is set in a customized continent based on Gary Gygax's very first rpg environment known as Calandia. I cleaned it up a bit, largely due to the fact that the capital city literally had evil temples just across the street from the paladin's fortress, and no one was the wiser. So yeah, it had to be cleaned up a little. But anyway...

It's four years into the adventure (real time,) and the players are almost finished collecting an ancient artifact known only as the Armor of Chaos, which apparently destroyed all life on the planet over 100,000 years ago, and event which also killed most of the Thousand Younger Gods (who are being reborn now, which sort of heralds Something Important Is Coming.) This armor, according to legend, is designed solely to destroy the world. But if they can invoke it's power in Hell, they can stop the impending demon invasion for the last and final time.

The Armor is part of a backstory element which has to do with the universe not being entirely finished being built. The ancient Elder Gods made a little mistake, and left out Chaos and Law. They exist, more or less, but there's no "anchor" for these concepts in Reality. So the story is largely about the PC's being part of a legendary quest to fashion one of these foundation stones for all of Creation.

But the player who's managed to bear the Armor, and has known for several years now that the moment the Armor is assembled, it's going to kill its owner (but that fact has never been officially confirmed in-game, so hasn't been shared with the others,) suggests that maybe the Armor of Chaos, once it fulfills its true purpose, will become a "wandering armor". Instead of killing its owner, it'll become the essence of Chaos itself, never settling with a single owner, but always roaming the world, winding up with important people at important times.

Sure he was saving his character, but it was such a wonderful idea, and SO much more fitting for a device which physically becomes a representation of Chaos in the universe that I just HAD to let it ride. Ironically, the player's changed the nature of the armor, but the *character* is still convinced it's going to kill him. But hey, it's that talented a play group.
McBehrer 17th Feb 2012, 2:06 AM edit delete reply
So, in this campaign I was in, we were supposed to infiltrate this watchtower. The door was locked and barred from the other side, so we couldn't open it.

What we were SUPPOSED to do was find a tunnel and follow it in, to get ambushed by a dire bear and 2 earth elementals.

Instead the druid used shape wood and turned the door into a chair.
Ethan 18th Feb 2012, 4:59 AM edit delete reply
All I have to say to this: damn druids.

I've actually had to start SPECIFICALLY taking druid powers into account in a campaign I DM, because our druid player is also the kind of person who likes hacking the game world.

Recently, for instance, I presented them with a stone tower that I wanted to pose an actual challenge, so I made sure that the walls had a wooden core, with a layer of ceramic around it to keep out water, a layer of glaze (glass) around THAT to keep it watertight, and then the actual stone. The players still made holes in the walls, of course, but at least it was non-trivial for them to do so.
Rusty 17th Feb 2012, 4:30 AM edit delete reply
Best one that comes to mind was my first Eberron campaign (3.5). It was the introductory scene for me and another new player to join the group. She played the Changeling rogue, and I played her muscle - namely, an eight-foot walking mass of meat that was a gnoll barbarian.

The objective of our task at hand was to nick the Holy Relic of Saint So-and-So from a Church of the Silver Flame in Sharn. Now, the obvious flaw to this plan is the slab of muscle and fur that had the brains of your average pear... my barbarian, that is. The rogue, to her eternal credit, had given the poor thing a primer on how to behave and hopefully evade too much notice. He was to wait outside, munching noodles from a shop and wait for her signal.

Well, her signal took too damned long, so my gnoll decided to try to sneak into the church. Naturally, this was sort of the exact opposite of "being inconspicuous," and some poor acolyte immediately demanded to know what my character's big stinky butt was doing in the pews.

Like I said, the rogue had given this... thing a primer of how the church worked. So, thinking very fast (but not very hard,) the gnoll claimed to be a paladin in service of the church!
The acolyte was skeptical.
I passed a bluff check.
The gnoll continues his story. Okay, what else is the church known for... hating lycanthropes, there we go, perfect angle!
"I've been fighting were-rats. In the sewers," my Gnoll growls out.
Problem is... were-critters are nearly extinct. Te acolyte is again dubious, and calls over the bishop.
My gnoll repeats his enormous, stupid, unbelievable-in-any-circumstance lie about being a paladin back from fighting wererats in the lower city of Sharn.

Unbelievable in any circumstance except a natural 20 on another bluff roll.

TIme passes. The rogue is worried; she's not meeting any resistance, nobody's in hte halls, and even the monk she expected to be guarding hte reliquary isn't there. She pockets it and hurries back out...

To find my gnoll there in the pews, surrpunded by the clergy of the church, telling stories of glory in his battle against the resurgent wererat populace in sharn. Oh yes, it's just TERRIBLE, and so hard to fight the good fight alone!

Somehow, SOMEHOW, my enormous, rock-stupid gnoll managed to fool a rather clever church heirarchy into believing him a hero, creating enough of a distraction for the rogue to get her job done with a minimal fuss, and, as it turns out, started another crusade against the supposed wererat threat in Sharn.

Whoopsie daisy.
Guest 17th Feb 2012, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
These moments are one of those things that make DnD fun.
kriss1989 18th Feb 2012, 12:57 AM edit delete reply
A GOOD DM will eventually have this return to bite you in the bum. Impersonating a paladin? False crusade? Aiding in the theft of a relic? There is going to be a bounty so massive on your head...
Rusty 18th Feb 2012, 3:33 AM edit delete reply
Actually it was set up to - the DM sicced an actual paladin after the gnoll.

It was one of those "you're supposed to lose badly and run away" scenarios. The Paladin had my gnoll downed, and leaned in to be all intimidating and threatening. You know, the line about "Hah! You thought you could escape, beast? I'll show you what your blasphemy against the Silver Flame has earned you!"

So the gnoll... bit him in the face. Yeah, I don't know, maybe the DM forgot the logistical problems of getting eye-to-eye with a bestial hyenalike creature with 22 strength or something, because the reaction was "you what?"
"I bite him. I have that feat from Races of the Wild, remember?"
*Roll* "Oh goddamn it."

So now, we have a dead paladin on our hands (and a little bit on our chin) it turns out there really ARE were rats... and the group as a whole is VERY wanted (you can tell the character of the group by the fact the neutral evil changeling rogue who steals from churches wound up being our moral compass)

Sadly the game fell apart en route to the eldeen reaches. But not before I got to use those awesome biting powers again, when the lightning train was hijacked. Biting off the wand-arm of the lead bandit apparently gives a +5 circumstance bonus for intimidate!
Jaeflash 17th Feb 2012, 5:14 AM edit delete reply
Had a player completely ruin my Shadowrun campaign one time. It was my fault, honestly. I decided to let a player roll and see if his fixer could get him a sniper rifle, something you don't usually start the game off with. Basically he had to roll a 6 on a die four times in a row to get it, so I figured, why not. Somehow, he managed to do it.

Fast forward to the big meeting. The player with the sniper rifle sets up a half mile way from the meet, and listening in on the meeting, determines the Johnson is lying and plans to double cross the group, and headshots him. Nothing I could do could make the shot miss, and being a headshot with a sniper rifle, the damage was catastrophic. My main baddie went down, along with my carefully crafted story.
watergod159 17th Feb 2012, 6:14 AM edit delete reply
I love it, I must read the next one...MOAR I demand to see twilight's rant, I mean monologue, plz o plz o plz o pleeeeeeeezzzzzeeee put the next one up so I can read it
Steel Zephyr 17th Feb 2012, 11:52 AM edit delete reply
In one of my nWoD chronicles, I played a Changeling while the other player was a Hunter.

While out searching for dreams to gather Glamour from, my character found a large hole in the Hedge leading straight into the house of a powerful True Fae. The Hunter had also detected it, so I proposed a temporary truce until the hole in reality was sealed up. We got a quick Pledge made, and proceeded to enter.

Using a Goblin Contract to trick the house into thinking we were welcome guests, we made it to a room where the only safe way across the floor was to dance. We got an exceptional success, and the ST ruled that we were brought directly to the owner of the house.

The owner was an imprisoned Fae who needed the desire of mortals to break out, along with the three parts of an artifact. The Hunter decided to hide one of his parts, and I decided to hide my part in my Hollow. For the third part, we couldn't just leave it with the Fae, as he'd be able to track it.

The idea I came up with was to have the Hunter bore the Fae to sleep with lecturing, then I'd enter it's dream with the artifact, then use Contracts of Dream to have it appear as if there were an infinite number of me, each with a copy of the artifact. Each duplicate would bury the piece they had, then disappear. Only one of the artifacts was "real", so to speak, so the Fae would need to search through his entire subconscious to find it.

The Storyteller looked at me angrily.
Winged Kitsune 17th Feb 2012, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
I like how the other five are going "What??" in the last panel, but they're all grinning.
Thisfox 17th Feb 2012, 9:57 PM edit delete reply
Not sure if this counts:

A few years ago, half our party was sneaking through some huge mansion (Okay, we'd escaped from the dungeon due to spurious methods and were utterly lost trying to find the way out is the honest truth... And meanwhile the healer and the other half of the party were busy breaking into the dungeon to rescue us. Comedy of errors.) and we ended up in some sort of mages study type area. I found some little marbles which generated forcefields when hit with force. But I was warned if I stole them then someone would eventually find out...

So I promptly knocked over the jar of them, left three on the table, a few more on the floor, and pocketed the rest. We never did get repurcussions from that....
Ethan 18th Feb 2012, 4:36 AM edit delete reply
Coming up with plot twists that surprise the DM? That seems to be somewhat of a running theme with my groups, to be honest :P.

For instance, in one game I was DMing, a village maiden got turned into a succubus via a Wish, early on in the game. Now, I had planned on having that girl travel with the party for a while, subtly corrupting them and sowing chaos, until they became strong enough to handle a succubus with bard levels (and the Charisma boost that's implicit in that), at which point she'd betray them dramatically, and they'd have to choose between trying to save her, or just destroying her.

Needless to say, I had to heavily revise my plans after the druid's player reminded me that druids can turn into animals with good senses of smell, such as wolves.
Hennith95 19th Feb 2012, 12:33 AM edit delete reply
Oh man, I can think of so many times when my group has done something the DM wasn't expecting... (Sorry about the wall of text.)

The first session of my first ever campaign, some of the players accidentally let some monkey-like monsters out of their enclosure in the training room of a monastery. We were expected to fight them, but the bard decided to use Ghost Sound to imitate the mating call of a female monkey-monster, supposedly coming from inside of the enclosure. The bard tried the same trick on some monkey-monsters we met in a later session, but this time the DM had specifically included female monsters.

Another time, I was in a group of three that was wandering in a tomb. We came across what appeared to be a pile of clothes in the corner, but were wary about approaching it. The wizard then pulled out a wand of Acid Arrow that we had found in a previous room, and used it to disintegrate the pile. The DM rolled, and said "Dang it, that was supposed to be an encounter."

I think I've mentioned convincing a group of troll guards that we were at their tower for a pizza party to get in without fighting. The cleric even used Conjure Food and Drink to make pizzas to back up our claim.

But I think my all-time favorite was when my group foiled a minor villain's plans to capture one of our party members twice in the same session.

Right at the start of that session, when we entered the town, two of the guards came up to us and told us that they had been ordered to arrest our wizard and take him to the prison. Before anyone else could decide to get violent, our bard (not the same guy from the first story) started agreeing with the guards. "Oh yes, this man is clearly a threat to society," he says. "He's so dangerous, I should probably just arrest him right now and take him over to the prison for you." The bard rolled well enough on the Bluff check that the guards decided to just go on break and leave their job to us.

Of course, that only delayed the inevitable capture of our wizard, so we eventually had to storm into the dungeon where the villain was torturing him. There were runes around the cage our wizard was trapped in, so we couldn't just run up and free him, and he couldn't get himself out. Most of us went straight to fighting the villain, but our factotum threw a potion of Stonebreaker Acid at the base of the cage, deactivating the runes and giving our wizard a chance to teleport out. This meant that the DM could have the villain go completely on the offense, but it was worth it to have the wizard in play a few rounds earlier than expected.