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Author Topic: She bows politely and then explodes  (Read 3633 times)

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Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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She bows politely and then explodes
« on: December 05, 2013, 08:24:17 PM »
I expect anyone who has spent any time on either side of the GMs screen has a story or two they could share, those around the table moments that brought everyone to a stunned silence, or collapsed them in howls of laughter. So, pull up a chair around the table, and break out your best, funniest, or simply most outrageous stories.

The title I chose for this thread is perhaps my own favourite moment .. its one of the top ones at any rate. My tabletop group was playing the City of Lies campaign, for Legend of the Five Rings. For those who don't know it, it's a fantasy version of Samurai Japan, with a handfull of other influences tossed in here and there. The players have been chosen to become Emerald Magistrates, sent to the second city of the Scorpion clan with a twofold mission ... find out who killed the last Magistrate, and shut down the illegal opium trade. The city in question, Ryoko Owari, is home to both the legal (medicinal) and illegal (recreational) opium trade. It's run by three different families of the Scorpion clan.

So, things have been getting tense. Relations between the three families are deteriorating. A mysterious bandit is ravaging the countryside. Oni (demons) have popped up a time or three, and the PCs have been run ragged trying to fight all these various fires, before the city goes up in flames.

Because of their run ins with Oni, they've taken to protecting their headquarters with an Evil Ward spell. This causes any Shadowlands tainted creature (Oni, goblins, undead, and tainted humans alike) to burst into flames when they cross the boundary of the spell.

Now, in an effort to defuse the tensions in the city, they've invited the heads of the three families to visit them for a little conference. They turn up, escorted by about 50 samurai retainers, who are ordered to wait outside the walls of the Magistrates compound.

The three nobles walk towards the Magistrates home, the least important one a few yards ahead of the other two. One of the PCs is at the door to greet them. As they get to polite range, he bows in greeting. What the PCs don't know is that this particular noble is Tainted, which means when she bows, she crosses the Evil Ward, which triggers.

Now L5R uses an exploding dice mechanic. You roll the d10, and if you get a 10, you roll again, adding it to the total. Theoretically, if you kept rolling 10s, you could get insanely high results. Guess what happens here? I think I roll enough damage to overkill her 3 or 4 times.

She bows politely (in return) and explodes.

My PCs kinda look like this

 :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o  :o

The two other family heads have just seen their peer explode a few feet in front of them.

So have the 50 heavily armed and extremely tense samurai just outside the gate.

PC dialogue
"What the hell?"
"What happened?"
"Oh fsck!"
"Shit! The Evil Ward!"
"She was tainted?"

PC on the door has about 5 seconds to act before all hell breaks lose in the courtyard.

"Governor!" (The head of the most powerful family was also Governor of the city"

"Governor! Due to the sightings of Oni, we established wards that would destroy any Tainted creatures. You are not Tainted. Please come inside where it's safe"

In L5R, face is VERY important. The Governor has now been put on the spot. If she doesn't go ahead, she opens up the possibility that she's Tainted, and the PCs declaration was loud enough that all those samurai at the gate heard it.

The Governor, being a typical Scorpion, points out her duty to protect all members of the city, and 'invites' her remaining rival to enter first. Both safely go inside, averting the crisis (for the moment).

The look on my players faces in that scene is one I treasure to this day  >:)

Who's up next?

Offline Oniya

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2013, 08:40:20 PM »
I had a similar 'exploding dice' scenario as a player.  My good friend (and later, Mr. Oniya's best man) was running a campaign with a Native American theme, and he had reworked all the weapons damage on an exploding d6 scale (so, for example, a crossbow was 3d6, but any 6s rolled got re-rolled.  Made you reeeeeeally think about whether you could soak that damage), with 'to hit' rolls on a d20.  A natural 20 did full damage and a re-roll.  I was playing a Scout - essentially a ranger with a sling - and our first 'mission' was a sacred buffalo hunt.  The young men and women of the tribe had to go out and kill (or help kill) a buffalo to earn our 'adult names'.

So, being basically 'hero-support', my plan is to throw rocks at approximately one ton of angry hamburger to distract it so that the warriors with spears can do the 'real' work.

I roll.  Natural 20.  Six points, roll again.  Natural 6.  Roll again.  Natural 6...

By the time I was done, the ruling was that the rock had gone through the buffalo's ear and out the other side, carrying the brain with it.  And that, my friends, is how I got the name 'Strikes Like Serpent's Shadow'.

EDIT:  I should add that during the hunt, Mr. Oniya's character was badly injured when a buffalo ran over him.  He got the name 'Lies on Ground and Makes No Noise.'
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 08:48:36 PM by Oniya »

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2013, 09:22:54 PM »
Re: Hairy's story

My dragon shugenja cast that evil ward spell.. and I totally didn't see it coming. :)

Somehow, I feel like I played a part in gaming history (at least within our old tabletop group), because it's a story that keeps on being told.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2013, 09:26:30 PM by AmberStarfire »

Offline Primarch

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2013, 09:41:26 PM »
I was running a game of Deathwatch, we had certain characters that the group interacted with relatively routinely. One of these characters was a Dreadnaught that had been both a source of wisdom and insight...not to mention fire support.

In one mission they were sent to track down an Eldar Farseer that had been sighted and neutralise him. They find him atop a pyramid like structure and the Eldar springs her trap, with a pile of warp spiders springing out (because an Eldar Farseer was going to be caught on top of a pyramid in broad daylight, yeah right!) the team defeat them (with our Black Templar Assault Marine taking great satisfaction in taking out the Farseer in single combat) and as if cue Tyranids start rushing out from the nearby forest. The team are told extraction is on route so they prepare to try hold out. When the Nids are about to get into attacking range a drop pod comes crashing down and out comes Mr. Dreadnaught, blasting everything to bits. A ship comes down to extract and they start pulling back, all the while the dreadnaught is holding the line.

This was perhaps the best moment. Every one of them is looking at me with the exact same face and none of them seem to be aware they are all going through the same thought process. Every one of them was shocked and resisting the urge to say "I jump out of the Thunderhawk!" After a few moments of letting what was going on sink in I revealed the dreadnaught was equipped to be teleported and it did so. The collective sigh of relief was very amusing. The group doesn't play together anymore, but when those games come up in conversation someone always brings up that story.   

Offline Oniya

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2013, 11:23:58 PM »
Somehow, I feel like I played a part in gaming history (at least within our old tabletop group), because it's a story that keeps on being told.

The group doesn't play together anymore, but when those games come up in conversation someone always brings up that story.   

In the circles I ran in, telling stories like this was almost mandatory when a group of gamers reached 'critical mass' (which varied depending on the situation).  We referred to it as S.M.O.G.ging (Supreme Master Of Gaming) with appropriate city-air-quality references.  'It's J's birthday and the gang's going for dim sum.'  'Remember to bring eye protection - the SMOG's going to be so thick, you won't be able to see.'

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 01:26:05 PM »
In my urban fantasy campaign, there was an NPC chick that only had the basics of fighting and decent physical conditioning, but was more than willing to put her life on the line in order to protect her mistress. She almost never missed an enemy with a punch, often striking like a truck, and at least once she hit someone for as much damage as a roadside bomb that had exploded in the same session ;D!
In game, she was also red-headed, so some NPCs started to suspect she's actually not a wizard, but some kind of Irish fairy creature >:)!

Offline alxnjsh

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 08:03:29 PM »
I was GMing a Star Trek game and a writer was no longer returning and we were given the privilege of killing the character. You never see any really odd technology blips that have nothing to do with the plot on the show so I had the transporter malfunction and only take 1/2 of his body.

That mess was something to clean up.

Offline BraveEarth

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 09:25:12 PM »
I play in a FATE game with a few of my friends, that is based on the Dresden Files off shoot that they Kickstarted, it's set in our own city so it's easy to come up with content. I play a Muggle Blacksmith RISD Professor who doesn't know that much about the supernatural. In the previous to last mod we ran we had to deal with a Magical Thief who was stealing things of my Student's. In a unfortunate method she was waiting in her dorm room ready to take the last of the pieces, but My character saw her grab her from out of thin air and he thought Kidnapping. Queue Grappling, and her disappearing into the ground my character quickly developing a vendetta against this woman. When we caught her (And My character broke her arm for no real great reason.) We searched her place and found a Very Very nice Spear imbued with Summer Court Magic, I decide that this is far too nice and potentially valuable object to leave in the hands of the thief who tried to hurt my student and others (She was another Professor who I didn't quite know but it was another mark against her.) So I did the good thing and took it so my more Lore minded friends could analyze it and tell me what to do with it essentially.

So come the next session I realize the Spear is The Summer Spear, owned by the Summer Knight a new character in our game but an established character in this Universe (This game is part of it's own small collective my GM plays with another GM who created the setting.) And we are introduced to him when he is fighting with a Faerie Gorilla who is trying to drag him back to his Spring Court Mistress.  So what do me and my best gal pal (/ person who doesn't really like me) do when we realize this? Quietly back away into an alley with the spear on my back Cunningly hidden in a Poster Holder. (I really rolled well so it stays hidden for a while) So of course the fight moves to the alley and our third party member who is the resident Spaz joins us while taunting the Fae Gorilla asking for the very fancy vest he is wearing. All the while this is happening our other new player's character woke up from a bender on the top of a roof so he can see the entire episode. There was a great deal of trying to keep the Gorilla from the spear, but then the ghost dog who had been a problem in our campaign for a while returned trying to grab the spear thinking it was a stick. So we have the dog running away with the spear only to be stopped by an Evocation Wall that won't let the Spear through, the Drunken Man is casting a Teleportation Thaumaturgy and suddenly our Spaz gets the bright idea to take out the spear (which she didn't know was the spear.) I flipped and then 2 turns later Our Drunken Friend finishes his spell and the Spear gets sent lord knows where.


We know where it is now and the Big Evil Brother has it now.

Online HairyHereticTopic starter

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2013, 04:44:07 PM »
The most entertaining thing I ever got a kill with is a humerously shaped turnip. For those of you who've never seen Blackadder, here's the inspiration for that.



We were playing 3rd ed D&D, and my GM made the mistake of letting me play a Kender  >:) . For those who don't know Kender, they're possibly the most annoying race in the Universe, and have a racial ability to insanely piss off other creatures. My GM also found out why letting my Kender know ventriloquism and combining that was with said racial ability was fun for, well, me mostly  ;D

But I digress.

Kender have a tendancy to find things and stick them in their pockets, bags and pouches. Sometimes they're other peoples things, and the Kender find them before the other person even realising they've lost them. At any rate, pretty much all Kender have a random collection of junk. One of the items I decided I would have would be the humerously shaped turnip. Both the GM and I were Blackadder fans :)

We get attacked by goblin wolf riders. I try my staff. Swing and a miss. I try my sling. Not even close. Getting bored with those whole fight thing, I pull a random item from the pouches to throw at the goblins. Out comes the humerously shaped turnip. Meh, what the heck.

Naturally it scores a critical.

Pegs a goblin right in the head, catapulting it off the goblin and it dies in the impact.

Death by humerously shaped turnip.  ;D

Offline Thorne

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2013, 10:44:05 PM »
That reminds me of something I did with my very first character.

It was 2e, and I was playing an elven wizard. I was having a good time, bopping around, when the town is attacked by goblins. I don't remember why.
At some point in the combat, I ran out of useful spells. So, I cast Cantrip. Now, the book was very specific - the spell could not be used to directly injure anything.

The GM reminds me of this, and I nodded my head and said, 'no, no. Just undoing his belt so I can run away faster than he can follow.' The GM snerks and allows this. Now, the goblin in question was standing on a cart at the time, and he slipped right about the time the spell takes hold. His loose pants catch, the cart rolls away, and the goblin gets crushed underneath the wagon wheel.

Offline Oniya

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2013, 01:42:11 PM »
I was recently reminded of one that didn't happen to me, but has become part of the gaming lore among my group.  This dates back to the original release of Deities and Demigods - you know, the one that didn't ask Leiber or Moorcock for permission to use their copyrighted mythos.  I'm not sure if they asked the folks in charge of Lovecraft's creations, but Great Squiddly himself was also in that edition.  During a campaign, one of the PCs got hit with a random insanity effect.  The dice declared that it was a 'suicidal mania'.  The player whose character was affected responded by having his character run around the room yelling 'Hastur! Hastur! Hastur!' over and over again.  Per the sourcebook, every time the name was uttered, there was a percentage chance that said Old One or one to four of his minions would appear, and hilarity ensued until the chant was finally stopped.

I don't remember if it was stopped by death by Byakhee or death by PCs - but I'm pretty sure that the insane character achieved his goal.

Offline mia h

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2013, 02:16:01 PM »
Once upon a time during a Shadowrun game that I can't remember most of, we ended up in what might be considered a typical situation. We'd just extracted a valuable item from a corporate research lab, the item in question turned out to be a highly geneticly modified child. The team gets a message through it's fixer that the corporation is willing to cough up some serious cash if we hand her back, they didn't want to risk the child getting hurt\damaged by sending a Spec Ops team after us.

So the GM takes each player aside in turn and asks us if we want to hand the kid back or let her go and have a 'normal' life. What happened next was entirely predictable or pure coincidence depending on your point of view, the GM revealed what each player wanted to do with the kid; the only person who wanted to hand the kid back to the corporation was a player that nobody really liked. A brief look passed between the rest of players before we all turned the "traitor" into a pink mist

Offline avorae

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #12 on: December 25, 2013, 10:17:28 AM »
There have been many a wondrous stories that have happened in the twenty some odd years my group has been together but one of the best was in a WEG Star Wars game which had an exploding die rule.
 
In this particular game I was playing a noble who had no combat skills. Now I don't remember the details but we ended up getting pinned down by a group of merc's that was sent to capture us and our Gun Bunny was out of commission.

GM: alright the mercs just took out your best gunner and they are closing in on you.

Group Jedi: Going to try to heal them to get them back into the fight.

Me: I pick up the Gun Bunny's blaster and try to provide cover fire.

GM: Roll your blaster skill.

Me:  :-[ I don't have any skill in blaster so I am just using my base stat.

GM:  ::) Sure That's fine

Several dice rolls later....

GM to the group:  As all hell is breaking out around you all notice that the noble jumps up blaster in hand and with laser precision gun down every last member of the merc team.

Me:  :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o But I was just trying to provide cover fire.

GM: Did you set the blaster to stun?

Me: >:( >:( >:( >:( My character has never held a fucking blaster in her life how the hell is she supposed to know that there is a stun setting.

GM:  >:) Exactly....

Group:  XD XD XD XD XD XD

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2013, 10:19:26 AM »
Love it!

And it makes perfect sense.

Offline Oniya

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2013, 08:37:27 PM »
Princess Vespa:  He singed my hair! *lays waste*

Offline Yugishogun

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #15 on: December 25, 2013, 08:53:16 PM »
Princess Vespa:  He singed my hair! *lays waste*

I love that movie!

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2013, 06:34:01 AM »
It brings back memories.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2014, 05:33:06 PM »
Heh. My 'exploding dice' story is from Deathwatch, the Space Marine Warhammer 40K RPG - specifically, right when it first came out. We were playing through the introductory module, pregens and everything, and I had a Space Wolf Assault Marine (melee specialist). Included in my gear was a melta bomb (anti-tank explosive), because that's the sort of thing an Assault Marine should carry. Everything went fairly swimmingly, the Librarian (psychic) character being the all-star and blowing up entire clusters of Genestealers (nasty six-limbed alien monsters) in single blasts, up to the end of the module and the final battle against a giant Tyranid Warrior (even nastier alien boss monster). It has a lot of health, and is doing a lot of damage, then I get the bright idea to jetpack onto its head and drop my armed melta bomb into its mouth.

Now - under the initial rules, the Righteous Fury (exploding dice rule) said that if you scoring a natural 10 on any of your weapon dice, you rolled all the dice again. A Melta bomb does 6d10 damage. I proceeded to RF a total of 5 or 6 times, adding a full 6d10 additional damage (which could also explode under the same conditions), doing something like 200 damage to a 50-health monster in a single blast.

Less than a month later, the first official errata for the game clarified that only the dice that actually rolled a 10 would explode, so clearly we were not the only group to discover this problem.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2014, 05:26:23 AM »
Well, given that 6d10 have an average damage of 33 without the exploding divce, I think we can safely say that with just a couple explosions, you would be most likely to kill the monster even without the mistaken rule >:).

Offline Major Major

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2014, 05:46:28 AM »
In my case, I was in a Homebrewed Star Wars game where the main characters from Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 end up on WWII Earth; it featured such madness as Otto Skorzeny as a Dark Jedi, and Wookies ripping into Tiger tanks.

I was playing a fairly standard WWII British Army officer, one Captain J. Morrison of the Lincolnshire Regiment (turned out he was in fact Force Sensitive, but remained untrained until after the game had ended). Somehow, I don't remember how, I ended up in one on one combat with a Sith Lord, on board a ship in orbit over Earth. I'd had seven different kinds of hell beaten out of me by the gloating Sith Lord, was unarmed, and could barely stand upright. In the final moments of the fight, I think I was on the ground about to be skewered, when I blindly groped around and found a loaded Luger pistol that had been left on a seat. In a last act of defiance, I shot it at the Sith Lord.

Blew the guy's brains out with my first shot.

Offline Thufir Hawat

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2014, 05:48:14 AM »
I guess deflecting solid projectiles doesn't work all that well when all you've got is an energy blade ;D?

Offline Major Major

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 05:52:12 AM »
I guess deflecting solid projectiles doesn't work all that well when all you've got is an energy blade ;D?

I think he did try, but the bullet didn't lose much speed, and only just melted. So.... yeah... a molten blob of whatever they make bullets out of, traveling at high speed, right in the face.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2014, 05:52:27 AM »
I had run a long, long term Spelljammers game.  Spelljammers is a high-fantasy space opera, with magic taking the place of technology.  This game had been going on for 7 years at the time, and the players were all 15-16th level, after starting at 1st level.  Naturally, they have come across powerful magic items, glorious devices, world-shattering materials, and incredible weapons that could even be called artifacts. 

And then they found.......IT. 

The most fought over, coveted, rage inducing magic item in their entire 7 real life years of adventuring under my auspices.  I had thrown it in as a lark, a simple, amusing little toy.  It was not powerful.  It was not destructive.  It was not even that complex.  Yet this one item brought the party and the players nearly to blows with how desperately they wanted it. 

It was a simple black cloak, with a skull brooch.  If you put it on, it cast the illusion of you being a tall hooded figure with a scythe and gave you a whispering, raspy voice.  It conveyed no mechanical benefits, gave no bonuses of any sort, and was so weak a simple dispel magic always shut it down for minutes at a time. 

That little item almost self destructed my party a half dozen times when major demons, swarms of beholders, ship eating dragons, and malefic warlords and their lich-wizards could not.

They STILL consider it the coolest magic item ever.  It's been 15 years and three iterations of D&D later.

Offline Oniya

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Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2014, 12:48:41 PM »
Another story from my friend's Native American campaign:

We were on the trail of our 'series antagonist' - a character that we all referred to as 'Mage Face' to the character's great annoyance. (To be fair, he was a mage, and had never given us an actual name...)  We'd learned that in order to defeat him, we had to attack him between two mirrors in a given hall.  There was much mayhem, and many of the mirrors had been broken, but there were still a couple intact when Mage Face tried to charm my character (the one from my earlier story) into joining his side.  That, or he needed a sacrifice for something - not sure which.

Regardless, I made my save as the GM gets all dramatic in his portrayal of Mage Face and makes a beckoning gesture saying 'Come to me, my child...'  (Think of James Earl Jones's voice at that point.)  I look at his gesture and say 'M - is his hand between the mirrors?'

M looked down at his hand - still extended towards me - then slowly brought it up and smacked himself in the forehead.  The dice were good to me that day, too.  ;D

Offline alextaylor

Re: She bows politely and then explodes
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2014, 01:15:50 AM »
Haha, I remember one of my first AD&D games, with my brother and sister, where I was the GM. We were playing it off a series of D&D generators from some software I bought at the time.

So we started it off with a generic story. The PCs were hired as caravan guards for a wizard's shipment. The caravan contents were randomly generated - a bunch of potions, some gold, an unidentified wand. The NPC guards were rather around lvl 3; PCs were just lvl 1 fluff.

There was a random encounter - a bunch of level 2 bandits. The NPCs and PCs slaughtered a few easily. Some of those bandits went to steal the caravan goods and run. One of them picked up the wand and was shot to near death. In a final desperate act, he pointed the wand at the group of caravan guards.

I rolled to decide what kind of wand it was - it was a rod of rulership. All of the caravan guards and PCs were charmed by it.

We scratched our heads and decided to just end the game there and create new characters, turn those PCs into NPCs (since they had 0 xp anyway). That bandit ended up a major villain throughout the rest of the campaign, later on using the former PCs as his lieutenants and starting a raiding force with wyvern riders.

Ever since, I've been hooked on procedurally generated storylines XD