Author Topic: Anecdote Megathread  (Read 202693 times)

Rygel

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2009, 02:46:26 PM »
Awesome story!  Hope to hear more for sure.  And yeah, using his own birthday candle to light him on fire was definitely the "icing on the cake"  aaaaahahahaha.  Oh god, I'm going to hell.

Dawnsteel

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2009, 10:38:53 PM »

That was great!  GREAT!
I really really wish I could've played that.
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Boyos

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2009, 11:55:46 PM »

That was great!  GREAT!
I really really wish I could've played that.

i for one am glad i was not there, haha, great story would hate to be in it.

Maze

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2009, 10:07:52 AM »
What the hell? How can you even talk so dismissively about Erik like that. He's a genius!

Maybe he made it last too long, but it's a really good prank to play on your players. Your story is hilarious. Welcome to the forum. (Uoy llik lliw I)

malyss

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2009, 12:54:41 PM »
I have been enjoying the RPPR podcasts for a couple of months now, and I too enjoy the anecdotes. With that said, I figure my first post should be one of my own. I will post several, but this one I feel deserves to go first. It comes about from one of my best friends for almost 2 decades.

We had been campaigning for a few years by this point and were middling level, just really starting to fight demons. We were working in a city on the border of Tethyr and Amn called Riatavin, trying to restore some order to the area as the city was in a struggle after ceding to Tethyr from Amn. One of our compatriots, a half-elven ranger who I will not name to protect his identity... had broken off during a patrol looking for an assassin as I recall and encountered several minor demons. He fought off and chased a group of the little ones and was pursuing them when he encountered some of the noble city guard. Since we were all sworn special constables of the city, he enlisted the two human guards to head down into the sewers with him to finish fighting these demons.

The trusting human guards immediately followed him into the dark and scary sewers to battle unknown demons, so bold and brave were they. Since they were both armed with swords and shields, our archer ranger held the torch so that they could see in the dark, lonely, scary sewers. As humans, their eyes were not as good in the darkness as the bold half-elf's.

So off they go traipsing through the fetid darkness, whence they encounter a somewhat larger and scarier demon. The brave and loyal and trusting human guards immediately engage the foul creature, counting on the support of the brave hero of the city. The brave hero who shoots the demon to no effect with his rather normal arrows. The brave hero who realizes that he can not readily harm the demon. The brave and good-aligned hero who sees another demon approaching from the other direction. The brave hero who takes the torch and flees up out of the sewer... leaving the two brave and trusting and loyal human guards to be swallowed by the absolute darkness of the sewer that would quickly be their bloddy grave.

To this day, I still won't let him carry the torch.

JonHook

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2009, 01:10:29 PM »
Nice!!!  ;D   :D
"Isolation on a ship like this can breed heresy in the dark unwashed corners. I won't find evidence of heresy here, will I?" - Festor Sorebol (an Imperial Psyker in Tadanori's Dark Heresy game: House of Dust & Ash)

clockworkjoe

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2009, 01:38:39 PM »
Ah, the mark of a true player character. Discretion is the better part of valor.

JonHook

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2009, 01:41:19 PM »
A wise man once said that it is easier to be a coward than it is to roll a critical hit.
"Isolation on a ship like this can breed heresy in the dark unwashed corners. I won't find evidence of heresy here, will I?" - Festor Sorebol (an Imperial Psyker in Tadanori's Dark Heresy game: House of Dust & Ash)

jak7890

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #23 on: August 06, 2009, 01:06:24 AM »
A wise man once said that it is easier to be a coward than it is to roll a critical hit.

Well he obviously hadn't gone out and bought his loaded dice yet. He should get on that.  :o

IDaMan008

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2009, 12:25:22 PM »
Rule number one when you're heading into unknown territory to face a foe of undetermined strength: bring along someone expendable. Or, in this case, two someones.

I'll bet that guy caught hell from the captain of the guard, or at least some of the other guards, who I imagine wondered what happened to their two friends that had followed him into the sewers and never trusted him again.

Great story, malyss. I enjoyed it much much.

IDaMan008

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2009, 12:43:14 PM »
What the hell? How can you even talk so dismissively about Erik like that. He's a genius!

Maybe he made it last too long, but it's a really good prank to play on your players. Your story is hilarious. Welcome to the forum. (Uoy llik lliw I)


I don't mean to sound dismissive of his sense of humor, but from what I've heard, The Birthday Game was not a prank. Erik was genuinely confused about / upset by the players' violent reaction to his well-meaning NPC.

And besides, there are stories I could tell that are much, much worse.

Holy shit! That was hilarious. How old were the players in that game?

They set him on fire with his own birthday candle!!! I love it!!!

At the time, Erik would have been 14, and the players would have ranged 14 to 17 or 18. This was that oft-lamented subgenre of horror games known as The High School Game. I've run a few myself. In fact, maybe I'll start a thread about that.

Glad to see that everyone enjoyed my story. And thanks for the warm welcome!

IDaMan008

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2009, 01:53:50 PM »
A few days ago, a friend of mine, who is a new DM and wants to start up a D&D 4E game, came to me seeking advice about how to run a successful campaign. I thought back to my experiences as a novice GM, the mistakes I made and the games I botched, and told him to be receptive to constructive criticisms (rare as they are), adjust his style to fix the problems that he sees, and keep trying, even if the results initially discouraged him.

You see, he asked me for advice because I've been running a pretty well-received campaign for nearly two years now, but it wasn't always so easy for me. If I had gone with the feeling I had after the first time I ran a game, I probably would have quit roleplaying all together. It was a disaster of epic proportions, but it taught me a lot about how to run a game, so I think it's worth relating here. If you'd like to skip the story and get right to my question, scroll down until you see the red text.

I started playing old WoD Mage when I was fourteen or so, having been dragged into it by my friend Erik, whom I've mentioned in my thread about his notorious Birthday Game. After playing a few sessions with him (which were sort of abysmal) and a few others with another friend of ours named Chuck (which were really fun, albeit rehashed episodes of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer), I decided it was time to strike off on my own and take a turn behind the screen. I got my mom to drive me down to the local comic and game shop to buy a Storyteller's Screen and some D10s, and I got rolling on my very own plot.

The planning that I put into this game went something like this: "The game will begin with the characters sitting around a table at a speakeasy in gangster-era Chicago, having drinks. They have no memory of how they got there or who they are. Suddenly, the place is raided by police, and a gun battle erupts. Beyond that, well, I'll drop some hints that they're really time travelers from the future who have to somehow find their way back...somehow...and...IT'LL BE GREAT!"

Armed with that, I invited a group of friends over and had them roll up some characters. There was Erik, whom you already know, Chris and Bill, who are nice guys, if a little crazy when they get together, and Joe, the worst possible person I could have invited. Joe couldn't follow the plot of Road Trip because of his short attention span. He saw The Blair Witch Project seven times in theaters because he couldn't figure out its complexities.

The problems with the session began during chargen, when Chris decided that he couldn't come up with an original name for his character without help. So he asked me to come up with one. This was basically how our conversation went:

Me: Why don't you call him...Douglas MacDougal?
Chris: No, I don't like that name. It's a stupid name.
Me: What's stupid about it?
Chris: MacDougal is too boring...I want to be called Douglas MacBougal.

He then wrote the following on his character sheet:

Quote
Name: Douglas MacBougal
                             ^
                             l
                      Not a "D"

The fact that this seemed to irritate me pleased him immensely. Eventually, after about forty-five minutes of living chargen Hell, the game began.

Before I brought in the cops for the shootout, I asked the players what they wanted to do, now that they've found themselves sitting in this speakeasy. Once again, Chris pipes up.

Chris: I want to conceal my submachine gun.
Me: Well, it says on the chart that it cannot be concealed. How do you plan to do that?
Chris: I use my magic to make it look like a lap dog!
Me: Ummm, okay. You're in the middle of a crowded room, remember. You'll draw some Paradox for this.
Chris: Douglas MacBougal doesn't care!

He rolled and failed.

Me: Okay then. You end up with something that looks disturbingly like the deflated skin of a stuffed dog with the muzzle of a Tommy gun sticking out of its mouth. Take two points of Paradox.

He then picked up my dog, a Westie, and began to aim her around the table, as if she were a gun and he was about to open fire.

By this time, Joe's focus had meandered away from the game; he had begun writing The Gospel According to Pancake on the back of his character sheet, an imaginative take on The Bible that involved a divine flapjack suffering for the sins of man. He shared this with the rest of the group, much to my dismay.

The rest of the game wasn't really memorable. It took about an hour to get through two rounds of combat because nobody was paying attention, and I eventually decided to call the entire thing off due to pure frustration. Still, I took something valuable out of the ashes of my first attempt. I learned to think about group chemistry before I went and invited everyone I thought would be interested. I learned that beginning a game in the middle of a scene with no explanation of what happened before it can put the players off, and I learned that I needed to give the players a clearer idea of who they were and what their objectives were. And with that, I took my first steps toward not being a sucky GM.

Lazy people, continue reading here.


So I was thinking about all this, and I got to wondering...do any of you have stories like this? Tales of failures that inspired you to try again, imploded games that helped you to grow as a storyteller? If so, what did you learn from them? What about the experience(s) made you want to try again? And what advice would you give to a neophyte GM?

Just curious.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 01:55:55 PM by IDaMan008 »

malyss

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #27 on: August 06, 2009, 02:09:55 PM »
Play with people you trust the first few times. People that you value. People that will be honest but not hurtful with their criticism.

And try to have at least a framework of a story, from beginning to end. It may never go anywhere, but if you have at least some thought as to what the goal is, you have direction in your own mind and can bluff your way through the parts you haven't written down much easier. You don't have to stick to the parts you have, but if you at least have something, that is better than completely winging it in my opinion.

I had a reasonably successful 3.5 eberron game a while back with only 2 players. I didn't know exactly what they would do, as they were given a lot of latitude, but I at least had an idea of where the part of the city they were was going to go through. They did a whole bunch of things that I hadn't anticipated, but since I knew where they were and what the game-world and its players were doing, I had a framework to play with.

I also find it easier to give the players more of what they want in the beginning - not railroad them down my story but work out one with them as we go. I provide the world; they provide the voice of the world.

I know it is of limited value, but it is what I am comfortable with anyway.

ethan_dawe

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2009, 02:13:54 PM »
This anecdote comes from my current gaming group. They are a great bunch of guys but tend to shoot first and ask questions later. We were running through the Expedition to Castle Ravenoft super-module. A lot of helpful information is around in various NPCs, many of whom were potential encounters.

*********************************************************************

The party sure showed that Green Hag a thing or two! While she was babbling on and on about "go away" and "the Green God," all it took was a quick cast of Ghoul Touch and a Coup de Grace. After searching the area for the artifact they were told would be here and finding nothing, our intrepid heroes stand staring down at the body of the hag.

Player1: "Maybe we shouldn't have killed it"

Player2: "We can use Speak with Dead to find out if she knew something important."

Player3: "Rebecca doesn't have it memorized, we'll have to cast it tomorrow"

Player1: "Should we try and camp here for the night?"

DM (me): *smiles*

Player3: "I don't think that would be safe. We should head back to town."

Player1: "What if something happens to the body during the night"

Player2: "I take the hag's body back to my room at the Inn to keep it safe for the night"

DM (me): ?????? !!!!!!! ???????

Player1: "You can't take a body to the Inn!"

Player3:  (Flipping through PHB) "Maybe we only need the head"

DM (me): ?????? !!!!!! ????????

Player1: "I don't think the Inn is a good place to try and stash the body, what about the church?"

DM (me): ?????? !!!!!! ????????

 

Another day. another hag. Staring at the body of Madam Eva the Annis Hag they've just slain.

 

Player1: "I don't understand why she attacked us?"

DM (me): "Maybe it had something to do with the "Charm Person" wand you tried to use on her."

Player1: "Maybe we shouldn't have killed her"

Player2: "We can use Speak with Dead to find out if she knew anything important."

Player3: "Rebecca doesn't have it memorized, we'll have to cast it tomorrow."

Player2: "We just need the head, right?"

DM (me): *sigh*


JonHook

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Re: Anecdote Megathread
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2009, 02:59:57 PM »
I've got several Call of Cthulhu games going at Role Play Online, including the new John Wick CoC scenario, "Curse of the Yellow Sign: Act 1 - Digging for a Dead God".

To give a brief set-up for this scenario, the players are all Nazi officers stationed at a Nazi diamond mine in north Africa. Their orders are to dig for diamonds to fuel the war machine. It is in one of the mines that they discover something interesting... a door!

So, fast-forward a bit, we have our group of PCs in the mine, in front of the door, and no one wants to touch it. How do you open a door no one will touch?

The game quickly became a series of spats, dares, and orders against each other. At one point one of the PCs had his officer draw his pistol and point it at another PC's officer!

This is all going on via a play-by-post forum setting. Me and the two players in question were all online at the same time, and I think we racked up more than 100 posts in under two hours!! If these two guys were in the same room, I think it could've boiled down into physical blows, but by being online, they both had to creatively channel their energies in their posts.

At the time of this writing, they have STILL not opened the door!!!! Ya gotta love Call of Cthulhu paranoia!  ;D  :D
"Isolation on a ship like this can breed heresy in the dark unwashed corners. I won't find evidence of heresy here, will I?" - Festor Sorebol (an Imperial Psyker in Tadanori's Dark Heresy game: House of Dust & Ash)