THE GM HAS GOT TO BE BLUFFING
Let Sleeping Dragons Lie
Ever wanted to see what a dragon looks like up close? A sleeping dragon is an open invitation to all stupid adventurers, like our hero, Dan, whose solution of how to tell if the dragon was really sleeping or not was to hurl an axe at its head.
Abandon Dice All Ye Who Enter Here
The party was in an adventure titled Legacy of the Wizard. They crossed a swamp where his failed experiments writhed and rose to attack. Then they came to his cave. Above the grand, no-obstacles-visible archway was writing, which spoke of being worthy to pass. Skeletons of fungus lay clotted on the top step, forcing one to step over them if he wished to enter the archway. The partys decision? All five of them waltzed right in. And, of course, not one of them had any kind of spell resistance ability, giving them no chance to roll or make any kind of save. Dawns light revealed approximately five more fungus-skeletons on the top of the stairs.
I Wish I Knew What That Rings Magic Was!
The party defeated a mighty dragon, but among the expected masses of gold, silver and copper coins, there was nary a magical item, and only a few pieces of jewelry. By lot, Peterson got the plain, gold ring. Suspecting that its actually magical, he puts it on. No apparent effect. Proves nothing. But Peterson is a seasoned dungeoneer, and he knows all the magical rings in the GMs book. So, he sets himself to the arduous task of testing them by name, one effect at a time.
He reached into the campfire to see if it a ring of fire resistance, and suffered severe burns and loss of health.
He tried breathing underwater and nearly drowned, and contracted some disease at the same time. Hey, two down at once! Hes on the fast track to his own demise!
Effect after effect was tested. Finally deciding that the ring was indeed worthless, he sold it to a merchant it town for 50 gold. Walking away, he said, quote: "I wish I knew what magic that ring really had!" The merchant, however, could only snicker. Peterson heard him, turned around, and tried to get the ring back by force. Alas, the merchant had already used one of its TWO wishes to be king and have an army of guards at his call . . .
Sailing down a wide river through a salty swamp, the party came upon a hut on stilts. A mile later, they came to a very similar-looking hut. Immediately, the sorcerer of the party cast detect magic, and the entire areafor a mile aroundlit up like Vegas! Trapped in a mile-wide repeating section of wilderness, 3 hours and 50 frustrating minutes followed, with the party trying everything from mangling the hut and themselves, and all but laying the foundation for condos with all the earth-moving they did to either riverbank. Eventually, their frustration led to a battle of wills, or rather, "How long can the GM just sit here and look at us before he gets bored and gives us the answer?" These players must never have been GMs themselves, for while a GMs job can be a doleful, rather boring one at times, it also has its perks, such as hiding a mile-wide grin behind your poker face as you watch just how many foolish mistakes and casualties a party can endure before the sorcerer looks at the second spell on his list: dispel magic. Not that he arrived to that conclusion on his own, but asked the GMs brother during a smoke-break, who casually suggested it.
Fight Fire With Fire
Why do players do what they do? Who can say? How many times have you, as a GM and a concerned friend for the players, asked with any degree of sarcasm "Is that what you REALLY want to do?" Why do you bother? Such questions only seem to encourage players. Now, clever GMs with a good poker face might roll dice on occasion for no real reason in order to hide such game mechanics, or ask questions in the same tone as an hour before when their meaning was different, but when a GM says "If you do that, Im tellin ya, outright as the GM, you WILL regret it", why would a Wizardsupposedly known for his intelligencetry to use his fireball spell on a lava lizard? And then argue about how it healed the beast?
Men In Green
The superhero game we were always playing had funky little markers for characters, which was cool, but a lot of them wore green, which was strange. Whatever the cause, it certainly caused a lazy-minded GM to prefer using green NPCs for everything, which brings us to this tale from the Supertown neighborhood of Manhattan (the few blocks of city on the one map that came in the boxeverything takes place there).
The hero of the story we shall hereafter refer to simply as Hero because he was not only too embarrassed by the subsequent events to reveal his full name, but the trauma has caused him to retain three separate identities, none of which can decide on who they want to be. Anyway, Hero spent many days and pulled many strings to learn that something fishy was going on at the one abandoned warehouse on the map where every past supervillain had been captured. But the GM was in a comical mood today. Heros barging in and repeatedly pointing an authoritative finger into the chest of the biggest, "most suspicious-looking" worker led to a series of intelligent replies; "Dunno . . ." and "Dunno . . ." and yet another "Dunno . . ." This led the cocky Hero to cross the line to the dark side (of the brain), a path to the Hall Of Shame that would forever dominate his destiny. Frustrated, he decided to have some fun with this slow-minded, albeit very large, worker. "Are you gay?" "Dunno." "Are you stupid?" "Dunno." The questions continued until finally the worker said something altogether different and very succinct: "Hulk getting mad!!!" Hero was thrown through the wall, and subsequently sailed through several city blocks, until finally hitting his own super-vehicle and causing it to explode.
As Hero lay unconscious amidst the debris, "Mr. Modern Art Dealer", a known NPC antagonist who carried a Wall Street Journal everywhere because his green-trenchcoated miniature had one, collected the wreckage, boarded his stretched (and bendable) 3-block-long limousine, and went back to his secret studio. There, he took a movie screen canvas, threw a massive blotch of red paint on it, followed by a massive orange blotch, and finally a massive yellow blotch. The shards of wreckage were then thrown onto the drying paint, stuck to it, and "La Explosian" was sold for $2.5 million, the same price it cost Hero to rebuild his vehicle.