Page 699 - Apology Stunts

14th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM in The Last Roundup
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Apology Stunts
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 14th Jan 2016, 5:00 AM edit delete
I think we can all safely admit it - sometimes, as a DM, you put up a difficult skill check as a not-so-subtle indicator that a player shouldn't do something and that the risks for trying outweigh the potential rewards.

Which causes problems when they keep clearing them.

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ANW 14th Jan 2016, 5:06 AM edit delete reply
I usually put up a poll or story idea.
Today's my day off though.
Besides. Newbiespud already gave a good one.
Captain Bacon 14th Jan 2016, 5:21 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, Newbiespud's is good. Silly skill checks put in the path of the player to indicate that you are doing a dumb. When you succeed, hilarious things happen. When you fail, occasionally hilarious things happen. One story for each!
Specter 14th Jan 2016, 12:17 PM edit delete reply
So, one for hard dc but success, and one easy, and a fail? ok.

I had a player call out a three percentile out of a hundred, cause in this game, I got too lazy to determine whether messed up stuff would happen or not (no matter how unlikely it wouldn't happen). The roll would determine if they would fight their rivals in a tournament, or some really lucky fools who somehow out beat them. Not only did he succeed that roll, but there was more then enough evidence as to how their rivals lost (two of them, for example, were drunk after some of the players placed a bet over alcohol against said rivals not two hours ago).

As for the ironic fail, I and one other player were task in finding where a fallen meteor had fallen, massively disturbing the local wildlife. We eventually found it, and it was described as a tall pole made completely out of obsidian. To top it off, it was in the center of a quarter-mile circumference crater, and all other vegetation was utterly destroyed. I made a roll to see if I had any clue if it could be made from nature.

*Nat. 1 Nature Knowledge roll*

DM: "You think it's a tree."

I ended up hugging the "tree", believing it just watched all of it's neighbors be completely destroyed. Bad things happened soon afterwards.
Digo Dragon 14th Jan 2016, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
LOL, that's a great fail. Reminds me of the US Civil War campaign where the PCs met Oliver Winchester in passing. The gun expert of the party rolled a Knowledge check to identify what business the man deals in.

*Nat 1 on Streetwise*

Player: "Oliver Winchester is a pharaoh!!"

It took a half hour to get the game restarted because we were all laughing so hard. I miss that player, he was a crack-up good actor.
Dragonflight 14th Jan 2016, 11:46 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of an old Mekton 1 campaign I was in. The GM had us chasing the enemy force while our mecha were strapped to these first-generation rocket boosters. Think of mecha wearing small Saturn rockets, with no guidance other than what's in our mecha to steer them. Meanwhile, the enemy force has found the allies' lost flagship, which is armed with a prototype superweapon. And they're going to get there first.

My character grew up in a Dyson sphere, so I decided she suffered from Agoraphobia. She was terrified of open spaces. On a planet's surface, she'd always be holding on to things, in fear of falling off the planet and out into space. She was definitely the timid one, and didn't like fighting if there was a way around it. But just like Roll Kran from Dangaioh, when she got into the cockpit of a mecha, she was a totally different person. Ace pilot with buckets of pure confidence all the way.

So here we are, our squadron of mecha burning toward the flagship, while the alien dropship has a massive lead on us, will get there first, and likely turn the guns on us as we approach. I look at the GM, and tell him, "I'm going to line up my booster rocket on the enemy dropship, hit the release trips right after maxing the throttle. Then I'm going to launch it at the alien dropship in the hopes it knocks it off course."

The GM just sort of gives me The Look, and says, "I'm not even going to bother calculating how impossible that is. You'd need a critical success to make it work." (In Mekton 1, that was 1-5 on a percentile check.)

I won't be dissuaded, even when he tells me that all it's likely to mean is I'll be left behind when everyone else gets to the ship. I launch the booster pack, and roll the dice.


The GM blinks, and takes a slow breath. Then he tells me that the rocket flies this crazy-ass corkscrewing flight through space, and somehow manages to ram the wing engines on the enemy dropship, causing it to skew off course and slam into a the side of the derelict battle fortress. They still get in first, but they're nowhere near the command section, and will have a much harder fight on their hands.

That was just one of the stunts I pulled off in that game, but it was easily the most fun. :)
Lightning Flicker 15th Jan 2016, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Once told my player that even if he rolled a D30 he couldn't roll high enough to succeed. He had absolutely no idea why because 'his bonus was so high'. Can't remember what I wasn't letting him roll for though.
Lightning Flicker 15th Jan 2016, 8:31 AM edit delete reply
Oops, wasn't finished and hit the button.

Another one I've got was with the marvel heroic roleplay system. The player wanted to tinker around with this cool suit he found in the lab that had created the players. I told him that it was so unstable that I'd be rolling ALL OF THE DICE against him. (Because the system is all opposed checks all the time. It's weird, but can be fun.) Well, he goes for it anyways. Well, they didn't have to look for an exit anymore because he blew one for them by, oh, right, FAILING the roll that he was informed was definitely impossible. They only survived because I didn't want to vaporize my players in the first session of the game.
Kaze Koichi 14th Jan 2016, 5:07 AM edit delete reply
Apolodize? Come on! It's not how we solve things. Obviously the only solution is a mud-wrestling!
Winged Cat 14th Jan 2016, 10:10 AM edit delete reply
Is "apolodize" anodizing in crystallized (or otherwise solidified) apologies?
Raxon 14th Jan 2016, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
You poor fool. I think you mean wrestling in a pool filled with jello and glitter, to accentuate every curve.
Kaze Koichi 15th Jan 2016, 12:29 PM edit delete reply
@Raxon: Hell, no. I maybe a sick person, but I have standarts.
Guest 17th Jan 2016, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
"Roll the apolodice!"
Joe the Rat 14th Jan 2016, 5:42 AM edit delete reply
The problem with giving hard but not impossible targets is that you will have someone try. You can specifically set it to their absolute max, and he or she WILL roll a 20.

This is how my setting's history formed. Damn mist elf keeps pegging those DC 25 History checks. I have, on the fly, invented a bronze age civilization with cursed burial mounds, the lineage of several families, and the ruling factions of the Hobgoblin Hegemony over the past thousand years.

Any more, I just assume he's gonna pull that nat 20 on any history check.
MWS 14th Jan 2016, 6:58 AM edit delete reply
Sometimes a critical success should just reveal a task actually is impossible. For example, in a modern game Einstein's last words are simply unknown. No roll will reveal them.
terrycloth 14th Jan 2016, 8:47 AM edit delete reply
This is especially true for perception checks. No, I'm sorry, a natural 20 on a perception check does not create additional treasure for you to find out of thin air.
Crisis 14th Jan 2016, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
Player: I search for more treasure!

DM: There is no more trea–

Player: Woot! Nat 20!

DM:... Fine, you find two copper pieces that fell out of your pocket earlier.
Winged Cat 14th Jan 2016, 10:30 AM edit delete reply
Otherwise, you'd have peasants tasked with looking around all day, generating as many Perception tests as possible...until the "treasure" they generated crashed the economy and stopped being worth much. Though perhaps they could spend an hour a day looking for enough food and water to feed their families, then the rest of their working day looking for whatever luxuries appealed.
JSchunx 14th Jan 2016, 11:46 AM edit delete reply
Nah, man. Peasants don't have the DM's attention. Unless... Quick! I need the leadership feat and as many 1st level rogues scouring the dungeons as I can get!

I, personally, do actually have a tendency to reward random nat-20s. Just, y'know, 'cause it's funny sometimes.
Guest 17th Jan 2016, 9:39 AM edit delete reply
Rule my DM taught me: crits *always* matter. Based on a crit on a perception check to search an area for any more enemies, our DM invented an entrance to a nearby cave system, which we followed down to find a demon-summoning ceremony in progress. (Didn't go well for the summoners, but it did for the demon.) He made the whole thing up on the fly, purely because someone rolled a 20 on Perception and he wanted that to matter.
Digo Dragon 14th Jan 2016, 5:53 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Didn't realize how many awesome expression AJ had in this chase scene.

In the RiM pony campaign, our team pegasus Autumn has been rolling a lot of 20s in this recent adventure, clearing pretty much every physical test there is... except one.

Which was to catch my character when he fell off the ships mast in a thunderstorm! XD

That will never not get me to chuckle even though I took damage. The damage I took was minimal anyway, so it's all good. I also nearly kicked it when we were fighting a villain on a moving train and my character nearly fell off. Same adventure too. My pony is some kind of combat sandwich maker or something who just keeps tanking the damage despite not being designed to do that.

Luck is funny that way.
aylatrigger 14th Jan 2016, 7:58 AM edit delete reply
GMs need to remember that the true god of their world is usually the Random Number God.
Digo Dragon 14th Jan 2016, 8:21 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
More of a demonic trickster in my world. :3
Someone 14th Jan 2016, 9:44 AM edit delete reply
Praise RNGesus!
albedoequals1 14th Jan 2016, 8:34 AM edit delete reply
I haven't set up an impossible skill check as a deterrent, but I did make a super-strong enemy to encourage a diplomatic solution. You can guess how that turned out.
Winged Cat 14th Jan 2016, 10:31 AM edit delete reply
Gunboat diplomacy?
albedoequals1 14th Jan 2016, 12:58 PM edit delete reply
Pretty much. I ended up making it a "taunt-and-run" villain because the only alternative was a tpk.
Digo Dragon 14th Jan 2016, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Taunt-and-run... yeah I've seen that happen. Heck, I've done that a few times. :3
Raxon 14th Jan 2016, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
I've set up a dex roll where the minimum to succeed was 220.

It was a chest covered in warnings in every conceivable language, and several I made up. They had to shove aside an old man who begged them not to approach, lest the box strike them down. The rogue attempted to disarm it, and... Lost both hands, was peppered with darts, and impaled on a spike from below. 36d20 damage. I had honestly thought they would know better, since in a previous campaign, they put the damn thing there!

The chest was designed to protect the world from a cursed, evil relic.
you know that guy 14th Jan 2016, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
No, bad Rarity! No planning to steal from other players!
you know that guy 14th Jan 2016, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
No, bad Rarity! No planning to steal from other players!
Venseyness 14th Jan 2016, 2:24 PM A supernatural dragonborn edit delete reply
"I try to use the grapple to hook onto him!"
"The supernatural dragonborn currently 200 ft in the sky and about to be barreling down at a speed that would obviously hurt you if you fell with him?"
"I'm not so sure that-"
"It's a twenty!"
"You grappe onto him and follow him to his peak hieght of ~300 feel, before he drops like a comet, and the chain drags you to the ground. Take 2d8 for the pulling of the chain on your leg and 8d10 for the falling damage."
"Abup, you rolled a twenty!"
"Yeah, so why did something bad happen."
"That came after the good part. You looked awesome while doing it. Until, of course, the whole ground thing happened."
"I... fine. *roll*"
MWS 14th Jan 2016, 2:46 PM edit delete reply
You did something profoundly stupid exceptionally well.
Iy13n 14th Jan 2016, 7:07 PM edit delete reply
"Stop rolling so *well*." FTFY
Silver Guardian 14th Jan 2016, 8:51 PM edit delete reply
My master has given up on the "difficult skill check" thing, because she knows that we know how the best and most obscure ways to either boost our skills beforehand, ensuring our success anyway, or assist the one among us who happens to be best at that particular skill.

So, instead, she skips right to the "difficult saving throw" thing, and then when we fail THAT, tells us exactly how badly we've screwed up our bodies in the attempt. She's been very inventive with the results. :)
dzonewolf 14th Jan 2016, 9:11 PM edit delete reply
Okay, one of the characters in my Fallout Equestria game is a grenade rifle slinging Pegasus. The group was in a cave system fighting a bunch of radscorpions, when the player pipes up with this.

"I shoot at the ceiling above the big one." He's talking about the big ass albino, which are twice as mean and three times as deadly. I start to tell him the odds, but he's already rolling. Critical success on targeting, I make him roll to see how much debris there is. 10d10 dice, and every last one of them stops on 10.

The albino is in the center of the cavern, 100' away, there are stalactites on the ceiling, all over.

"You have caused a cave in. Everyone roll dexterity." Everyone but him succeeds. When they got back to town, they assembled a small feast in his honor, and toasted his bravery. I had the character roll Luck. Nat 1, critical success in this system. He wasn't dead, he was trapped in a gap between rubble. This started a series of solo games that led to him being the new big bad, but that's a story for another time.
Grand Silver 15th Jan 2016, 1:19 AM edit delete reply
One of my player recently solo killed a boss that was meant for the whole party. He used a poisoned lure and then bogged it with Statues issues before getting a super powerful crit.
Broken Gear 15th Jan 2016, 2:29 AM edit delete reply
We actually had 3 impossible challenges in one game.
In the Witcher game, my character and my friend's character were stuck on the roof with mildly annoyed Frightener out for blood of our rouge (who was in a basement and badly wounded).
So the thing starts destroying the house and my friend starts following exchange
"Is there any way down?"
GM: "The only one you can see is to jump down. And even with good acrobatics roll you'd hurt your legs."
"Hmm... How high is Frighteners back?"
*GM blinks in surprise* "About halfway to the ground."
"Would I break something if I jumped on it?"
", but you it's a tough acrobatics roll. Not only do you have chainmail armour but it's moving."
*rolls critical* "Oh, and I want to put dagger in it's back."
So he jumped on a thing and... legged it as far as he could. Meanwhile I was still on the roof and the Frightener was now attacking trees behind which my friend dissipated (about 120 meters away).
But I had a bow.
"I shoot the Frightener."
"You know its exoskeleton will stop the arrow?"
"But I shoot it in the eye!"
"Dude, you've got 2 out of 5 in bows. From that angle and distance it's near impossible... unless you use glory point."(Glory points essentially allow you to do some almost impossible things easier)
"Nah, I'm just shooting *rolls critical* *grins*"
"Bullseye, erm, Frightenerseye!"
Afer that I fought it on the ground and rolling success again I might have castrated Frightener.
Akouma 15th Jan 2016, 4:03 AM edit delete reply
I remember once I was running a session of my homebrew RPG. The party druid decides for this fight he wants to turn into a dragon. Dragons are living creatures that exist, and that's all that's required for druids in my system. So I give him an outlandish DC that I didn't think was even possible on a 20. Turns out he had exactly enough that on a 20 he had it. So naturally a 20 was rolled, and suddenly I have to DM around the fact that the party now has a freaking dragon!
Specter 15th Jan 2016, 6:18 AM edit delete reply
Rainbow, have you learned nothing about your group? They're eccentric, stubborn, and surprisingly lucky when it comes to rolls, but they're not warriors. Especially not the bard, talking to the ranger. Then again, even the DM seems surprised by Pinkie's actions, which I guess can be understandable since I've seen some people expect to be killed, but receive a completely different ending.
j-eagle12212012 15th Jan 2016, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
is it a bad thing if my mind has Xencarn and Tibbs trying to figure out who should do the skill check while Tempered is offering up a destiny roll and Javolt is working out how to use his spelljack to break the game again....... Actually I think this must be what Spud thinks when he is creating skill checks
Skorzah 15th Jan 2016, 6:24 PM edit delete reply
So, we did this thieves guild campaign (short lived, unfortunately). So, we'd literally JUST joined the guild, and we get shown to the training area. In the training area, there is a door. We are told never to talk about, look at, or even think about that door. So naturally, our sorcerer, being completely insane, takes the thieves tools from the training area, and tries to lockpick the door. The amount of damage he takes nearly knocks him out. That sorcerer was an idiot.
Delicious Taffy 16th Jan 2016, 2:25 AM edit delete reply
Delicious Taffy
As my current Living Legends game is set in the world from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, I occasionally have a character from the game appear in a supposedly routine encounter. The players are confused as to why these people are so resistant to their Intimidation and Persuasion skills, despite everyone in the party having plenty of points in those skills. It's never impossible, of course, but they've only succeeded outright once or twice. Every other time, they either fail or have to pay the person to go away.