Page 791 - Critical Planning Failure

16th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM in Intermission 8
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Critical Planning Failure
Average Rating: 5 (1 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 16th Aug 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Author: Space Jawa

Newbiespud's Note: I got a few guest comics for my 24th birthday – a total of about 11! That mean regular comics will be back around September 10th. Until then, enjoy these offerings!

Guest Author's Note: "If you try to mess with the rules, don't be surprised if the rules turn around and mess with you.

"This comic was inspired from my time playing as Tempered Steel in Fallout is Dragons, with the Destiny Talent I had that let me pre-roll and pick up dice I could then turn around and swap in for non-combat rolls. The fun part was not just when I got Nat 20s I could use, but Nat 1s as well. While I never actually tried the above trick (which is something I'm sure that Newbiespud is very much thankful for), I did actually consider the idea of trying to take one of the spare Nat 1s I occasionally rolled and trying to parley it into a de facto Nat 20 by trying to fail on purpose and then reversing the obvious result with a well-placed Nat 1.

"The above is one of the reasons why I never actually attempted said trick.

"Anyway, story time prompt! Name a time you or a player in a campaign you were in tried to exploit a loophole through some seemingly well thought-out rules lawyering, only for it to backfire and bite that player in the butt."

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



Masterweaver 16th Aug 2016, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
Never underestimate the ingenuity of fools.
j-eagle12212012 16th Aug 2016, 8:06 AM edit delete reply
Especially when they are a cybernetic donkey that somehow manages to pull off the seemingly impossible and literally shift the entire direction of the DM's plans
I miss the Dragon Mawlers
TrueZero2 16th Aug 2016, 6:29 AM edit delete reply
Got to admit, the logic was there at least.
Digo Dragon 16th Aug 2016, 6:34 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
I remember a rather amusing episode of Duck Tales where Scrooge McDuck told Launchpad McQuack to purposely crash a plane. And then Launchpad made a perfect landing and was upset that the one time he was allowed to purposely crash, he screwed it up. XD

For the story time~
A party of adventurers were fighting an elder dragon in her lair. I added a small looping tunnel between the east and west sides of the main cavern to give the players ideas for hit-and-run tactics. After all, getting into melee with a dragon that could strike four times a round is not the best way to handle a boss fight. Unfortunately, that was exactly what the party did.

One of the mages in the party used a specific combination of abilities that allowed him to attack with a spell in melee and then turn invisible. This combo caused half of the dragon's attacks aimed at him to miss. The flip side is that the other half of the attacks aimed at him were hitting just fine.

Low on hit points, the mage had a brilliant idea-- the small tunnel loop in the cavern was too narrow for the dragon to fit into. He would strike the dragon, then turn invisible and run into the tunnel. He then would come out, strike again, and turn invisible again and run back into the tunnel. The other players noticed this trick worked, so they all ran into the tunnel as well, feeling safe from the dragon.

Well that's their fatal mistake; you are NEVER safe from a dragon. The elder dragon inhaled and then spewed a deadly gout of flames into the looping tunnel. The fires traveled through the loop, engulfing the party and dropping half of them out for the fight. This included the mage, who was still invisible and undetectable by the team healer.

And that's when the party learned you never hide in a literal loophole. The backfire travels.
Space Jawa 16th Aug 2016, 7:34 AM edit delete reply
Wow, the ending for that, the lesson, that is BRILLIANT. X^D
Winged Cat 16th Aug 2016, 11:15 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, nice ending.

And that "strike four times per turn" reminds me of a PC of mine that, by the end of his campaign, was getting 4 actions per turn, on top of dual-wielding, allowing him 8 attacks per turn.

The counter? Some monster with a Bide-like ability, where - so long as it survives all the attacks - counterattacks with an attack based on the number of times it was hit. Once you know what to look for, it's easy enough to simply not hit it while that ability is up, but when you're not expecting it and you've just piled on more attacks from one PC than a normal party gets per turn...

Fortunately, that campaign allowed plottish ability of powers. Like, say, running at nearly Mach 1 away from an expanding sphere of destruction that is carving out quite the crater.
Kaze Koichi 16th Aug 2016, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
I'm sure the leson here is "Don't try to imitate someone's success without knowing why it worked" and "Never underestimate a fool."
How did they notice wizard did it? He was invisible! I hate metagaming.
Digo Dragon 16th Aug 2016, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yeah, there was a bit of metagaming involved with the players, but I didn't say anything because I could see where this was going-- Bunching up all in one spot with an enemy that had an area attack. XD
The_Hittite 16th Aug 2016, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
Reminds me of when Arthur Dent learned to fly in one of the Hitchhikers Guide books. The trick is to throw yourself at the ground and miss, then distract yourself so you don't remember to keep falling. As long as you don't think about what you're doing, gravity won't notice either.
redwings1340 16th Aug 2016, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
To add variation on the Hitchhikers Guide quote, To fly, all you need to do is try to hit the ground and roll a nat 1.
Space Jawa 16th Aug 2016, 6:12 PM edit delete reply
I think that's actually a surprisingly accurate description of what Poinsettia TRIED to invoke here.

And it worked. Mostly.
Digo Dragon 17th Aug 2016, 4:46 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
Yeah, it wasn't the ground she hit. :3
Jennifer 17th Aug 2016, 1:41 PM edit delete reply
It's also a good way to explain how orbiting a spacecraft around the Earth works. You're literally falling towards the earth, but so fast that the ground curves away before you hit it. You are throwing yourself at the ground - and missing.

It does remind me of a DM of the Rings strip where Aragorn rolled a 1 to fall off a warg and was carried over the cliff, but in that case the DM failed to explain how a 1 stopped him from falling off. Even though the DM could easily have said "Your foot catches in the stirrup" or something.
The_Hittite 17th Aug 2016, 5:40 PM edit delete reply
And to keep flying you have to keep consistently failing Perception and Knowledge (Physics).
Specter 17th Aug 2016, 10:43 AM edit delete reply
Well, at least they didn't fly too close to the sun.
Digo Dragon 17th Aug 2016, 4:21 PM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
You know, this has potential for trolling considering they have a princess that can move the sun around.
Space Jawa 17th Aug 2016, 8:15 PM edit delete reply
That would have to be epic-level Trollestia right there.