Monday, March 22, 2010

One Of The Stupider Moments of Yesterday's Game

The Party bickers a while before settling on raiding a nearby tower with the intent of slaying it's masters and taking ownership of the fortification.

The party had previously raided the tower, slew the guardian beast, trashed the living quarters, and stole 7,000 gp and five bottles of expensive Earth Whiskey. By now the tower masters had hired some guards from their nearby allies

While the party observes the tower at dawn they see a group of soldiers from the nearby allies of the tower-masters visiting the tower at dawn to perform a changeover of the garrison of hired guards.

During the night they invisibly snuck up close to the tower and sent the thief to scout it out.

I make a roll on my Random NPC Trait table, to determine the "personality" of one of the guards, and come up with the result of "Does not travel during the night due to fear of Nightgaunts."

Improvising with these factors I tell the thief that he hears someone saying "I wish they didn't make us travel to the tower before sunrise, we could get taken by Nightgaunts"

Another Voice: "Don't be ridiculous, that's never going to happen. Do you know anyone who has seen Nightgaunts?"

"We don't know anyone who has seen a Nightgaunt because they come for you in the dark, and besides once you see them it's already too late!"

"You're a fucking idiot, do you know that! Shut up and listen for intruders."

The thief returns to the party and they discuss how they could manipulate the guard's fear of Nightgaunts to their advantage.

At this point my mind starts racing as I imagine the players coming up with some madcap scheme involving improvised nightgaunt costumes, illusions, sound effects, tickling and I get really excited and maybe even pee myself a bit.

The entire party attempts to invisibly sneak up on the tower.

One of the guards: "We can hear your armor intruders! Go away, there's lots of us and we're well armed!"

One of the players to me "I take out my waterskin and shake it..."

Me: " shake your waterskin?"

The player "It's the only thing I have that I could flap to make the sound of a Nightgaunt's wings. I wish I had a cape..."

Me: "Your waterskin..slooshes."

The Guard to another guard: "I hear them drinking water!" to the party "Yeah, well we've got water too! Fresh, purified water that's way better than your water!"


  1. That's so rad. I love the swearing, too. Swearing in games always makes me happy. I can't explain it. Probably because I teach kindergarten and no one uses potty language. ;)

  2. Well, they tried.

  3. Funny, but if I may...

    This is hilights a real problem I have as DM. I'm a "logical, analytical, programmer, geek" type. Most of the schemes players come up with are down right retarded with no chance in hell of working and I shut them down. Which directly conflicts the "say yes to players" principal I want to follow.

    Not saying you should have in this situation but If I was DMing I would have wanted to say "yes" to their plan but would have probably been a snarky bastard instead.

    It's a balance I don't know how to yet.

  4. I guess I'll never have a character try to improvise any sound effects on the fly ever again.

    Stupider is trying nothing.

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  6. HAHAHA!! Hijinx, I love hijinx. Must be from all the Three's Company I watched growing up. You did 'say yes' to the players, nothing here shows you disallowed an action. Getting jazzed up about PC capers shouldn't mean turning your NPC's/monsters stupid.

    Encourage your players to keep on trying after the game with discussion. Maybe next time they will think of the sound effect and send the thief to pull it off. A cut-down bedroll may have worked...I know, I know, hindsight is 20/20, but now they know.

    Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other! :P

    P.S. - Nice improv with the NPC trait!
    P.P.S. - HAHAHA!!

  7. Norman: What the Basic Fantasist said. "Say yes" is all about letting players try whatever they want, but certainly not letting them succeed if their plans are completely ass-backwards.

    Hijinx galore!

  8. @sirlarkins

    Good point, I forget/mix up. When players suggest an obliviously fail plan I tend to tell them it aint gonna work (partially cause I feel their characters know more/are "smarter" than the players). I need to let them try it and provide for that infinitesimal chance of success and opportunity for hijinxs.

    Thanks and sorry for semi-hijacking thread.

  9. @ Sean: I should have used the term "Absurd/Coen Brothers-esque" instead of stupid! I'm on the JRients Awesome-Stupid vibe. I'm fully in favor of improvised sound effects!

  10. I appreciate the adjustment of term. I should've realized that was the case.

    Nobody else jumped on making wing flapping sounds and after scouring my equipment list that was the only viable option without trying to whisper it to another character while the guards were listening. I obviously need to do some equipment buying because there wasn't even a bedroll on Radar's equipment list. Major oversight!

    Such a stellar session full of hilarity and brazen S&S anti-heroism.

  11. Rodan the Scrounger and Radar O'Reiley, sleeping on rocks or wadded-up piles of dirty clothing!

    Whenever I imagine attempting False-Nightgaunt Reverse Mental Torture, I keep thinking about how useful a pack of garbage bags would be.

  12. >What's a Nightgaunt?

    Armored undead horrors filled with water that make clinking and then sloshing sounds when they try to sneak up on you.

  13. All I could remember clearly was that they have wings. Forgot about the tickling.