Page 81 - A Study in Pragmatism

11th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM in Friendship is Magic, Part 2
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A Study in Pragmatism
Average Rating: 4.67 (3 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 11th Feb 2012, 5:00 AM edit delete
Tell a story about breaking a player - that is, the DM throwing such a hard curveball that a player's mind is blown.

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



Kaleopolitus 11th Feb 2012, 5:36 AM edit delete reply
Poor Twilight. Poor, poor Twilight. That look in the last two panels can break hearts ;_;

Is it just me, or does NMM look WAY to happy-happy in the sixth panel? I can understand crazy-happy, but she looks like a foal getting a candy apple in that screenshot.
Random Dude 11th Feb 2012, 6:10 AM edit delete reply
Well she was trying to take over Equestria. I'd be pretty happy too if I just destroyed the last thing in my way of doing so. But does that mean Twilight's victory was like taking candy from a baby?
Torg 11th Feb 2012, 6:12 AM edit delete reply
Of course she looks like a foal getting a candy apple. For a supervillain, that's what getting the chance to destroy Good's ultimate weapon feels like.
Kaleopolitus 11th Feb 2012, 6:27 AM edit delete reply
I'd more likely be smirking and laughing nefariously rather than smiling happily with puffed up cheeks (example) if I just won against all my adversaries.

Either way, it would definetly be distinguishable from a normal smile.
Akouma 11th Feb 2012, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
Personally, I'd magically put a mustache on my face, just so I could twirl it. Then throw in my perfectly-practiced evil laugh. Just remember, if you're going into villainy, don't forget the laugh. A lot of villains forget the laugh.
evilauthor 11th Feb 2012, 7:06 AM edit delete reply
Frankly, I think Nightmare's laugh is the laugh of someone who just dodged a bullet. It's euphoria from narrowly avoiding certain doom combined with the realization that Celestial had NOT boobytrapped the Elements.

That's right. Nightmare Moon didn't grab the Elements earlier because she thought Celestial might have rigged a trap for her.
Darkside 11th Feb 2012, 4:28 PM edit delete reply
Evil Overlord List Item 20:

"Despite its proven stress-relieving effect, I will not indulge in maniacal laughter. When so occupied, it's too easy to miss unexpected developments that a more attentive individual could adjust to accordingly."
Akouma 11th Feb 2012, 7:36 PM edit delete reply
To be fair, even when it's of vital importance to NOT be mid-evil-laugh during an important event, she did just kind of win outright two seconds before that. I think a hearty chuckle was well earned, especially since it didn't wind up having any bearing on what's about to result in her defeat.
Skula27 12th Feb 2012, 9:40 AM edit delete reply
That Comment ^ Is Full Of Win. Good Job, Fellow Troper.
ArcaneMonkey 17th Apr 2012, 5:28 PM ArcaneMonkey edit delete reply
evil death whinny
Bronymous 11th Feb 2012, 9:48 AM edit delete reply
That face is dead on what my face would look like in that situation.
Akouma 11th Feb 2012, 6:26 AM edit delete reply
I've actually got nothin' for this particular story time, mostly because I try to avoid throwing curveballs that big at my players.
Masterofgames 11th Feb 2012, 7:59 AM edit delete reply
Well... One of my players did this to ME once, and the rest of the players. We were playing a god tier game, literaly, the players were gods, and were trying to talk down a sort of anti-god who had destroyed a town that ultimately led to his mortal death. They were actually doing an okay job, but then just when he was calming down, one of the players who had just been listening so far blurts out that they had been to the town, and it was a lot of trouble to heal and rescue the survivors before they died.

The anti-god did not take this well. Neither did the other players.

Que completely unplanned boss battle.
Kiana 11th Feb 2012, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
I don't have a story about breaking a player, but I do have one that's the EXACT opposite.

I was playing a swordmage who had, after the death of her brother, joined the army. Well, we had to go into a cave to clear out some orcs and in one of the battles, these Shadowfell creatures attack us. One of them was a revenant that was implied to be her brother, resurrected. Clearly, this was meant to be a pretty powerful scene, since my character wound up being the diplomat trying to talk him down...

Except that my character was so single-mindedly focused on ending the orc threat that she completely glossed over EVERYTHING that didn't directly relate to it. (Earlier in the adventure, she had been the only PC to say they should keep following the orcs instead of stopping to bury their deceased allies. Mind you, these allies were people she grew up with.)

So she winds up attacking the revenant, who starts using Assassin powers to try and kill the party... And she winds up KILLING the revenant... Without ever learning that he was her brother. (Some of the players even pointed out that she had just re-killed her brother, as I recall. But hey, I was just playing her as the blood knight she was...)

The DM was, naturally, pissy about that.
Bronymous 11th Feb 2012, 9:50 AM edit delete reply
Damn, I used my "Completly break a chracter story" on the last page.

I have nothing to contribute.

I really need to start playing again.
Nezumi 13th Feb 2012, 3:45 PM edit delete reply
Wait, what? I went back to the previous comic, and I don't see it...
Bronymous 13th Feb 2012, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
Oh damn, it was actually three pages back... when did that happen?

Anyway, I got the details wrong so ill repost. Our Barbarian, level 4, who due to some bad luck had an Intel of about 3, ate some magic mushrooms, rolling up the Deck of 52 Things. First one he ate dropped his Intel to Zero. Second one took all his stuff. Third summoned a Dread Wraith, which he had to defeat or be dragged to hell and be turned into a wraith himself. This wasn't necessarily the DM trying to break him as much as it was bad luck, but it was pretty fun to watch.

Later on, we found our way to a courtyard outside a ruin literally filled with wraiths. The barbarian was there, trying to move through a wall but failing because he couldn't figure out how (Intel=0).
Ranubis 11th Feb 2012, 6:35 AM edit delete reply
NMM: "Whew, that was a close one! Now, I think I have a few more rounds to finish this wizard off, I just need to weather their attack and keep them away from the elements. Then I can...

Hold on, what am I doing? I've got the plot devices RIGHT HERE, right? Maybe I can use them against these little foals!

... Ok, note to self: Artifacts of pure goodness tend not to react well to an evil overlord trying to use them."
kriss1989 13th Feb 2012, 6:24 PM kriss1989 edit delete reply
NMM: "Wait, this is even better. Now the only thing that can stop me is destroyed! ...why didn't I do this sooner?"
Ally Haert 11th Feb 2012, 8:28 AM edit delete reply
Ally Haert
One time I was DMing for my group of regulars. It was a brand new campaign, so they spent the first half of the night rolling for stats and building their characters. They were having a great time coming up with more and more elaborate back stories.

I announced that I was starting them out in a relatively large city, and that each of them would have tons of gold to spend on items. They went buckwild, choosing primo starting gear and potions and weapons -- everything they could think of.

When we were finally settling down and ready to start, my team was in incredibly high spirits. They had the most tricked out, overpowered lvl ones we had ever started with before.

My opening description went something like this:

"We start our adventures late into the evening, at a humble inn -- The Careless Merchant. You've all booked separate rooms, though none of you travel together. At dinner you notice each other in the dining hall, but none of you bothers to introduce yourselves.

As you all enter your rooms and finally crawl into bed for the night, something strange overtakes you.

You all feel a deep pulling sensation. You're being pulled forward, deeper, deeper. This is unlike any dream any of you have experienced before...."

As my narration continues, each player starts looking more and more pale.

When I finally reach the part "....To your horror, you all regain conciousness in a large, dark cavern. You are all naked. Your gear is nowhere to be found..." the players all looked ready to faint.

I had transported them to a nether realm without any of their supplies.

They spent the rest of the night gathering supplies, sewing loincoths and trying to find suitable weapons.

Our barbarian took it particularly hard though. For an hour he wouldn't even look at me. And for weeks after that game he would bring up the gear that he spent half the night picking out.
MirrorImage 11th Feb 2012, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Dude... that's evil.
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 12:35 AM edit delete reply
Ouch. I agree with Hardway, I probably would have walked out myself. At the very least, you should have left them some *basic* gear.

I am reminded of the intro adventure for the old Star Frontiers game, though. The intro notes tell the GM to suggest the players not spend their starting money on weapons. The reason for this is that the plot has them on a civilian space liner, with their weapons locked up for security--and after pirates take over the liner, they discover that the locker that their weapons were kept in has been completely destroyed. Later on when they have to use an escape pod, they discover that the survival packs in the pod include a basic laser pistol (as well as a rather costly translator device that can provide a rather nice bankroll if the group is small enough that there were spares...)
Kaleopolitus 11th Feb 2012, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
You are perhaps the best and most demonic DM I have ever heard of.

You could challenge Satan for his throne, holy hell. (Pun not intended)
twad 11th Feb 2012, 8:56 PM Have something similar happen to me.. edit delete reply
In one of our easrliest game we played with our group (back in second edition), the DM allowed us to pick whatever gear we wanted (had some limitations, cant remember what, budget i guess). Basically, the party took a lot of low-level magical gear, but i didnt want to bother to "shop" though the books so i just took good quality, mundane equipment (i was playing warrior or cleric, so i had a fullplate armor).

Game start, we sleep somewhere with a bunch of NPCs. We wake up, all the magical gear and gold is gone. Im the only one with intact gear, since none of it was magical in the least.
Tilmer 12th Feb 2012, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
My first DM pulled a monkey's paw on us once. We were all granted a single wish before gameplay. Out Fighter/Magic User (this is 2nd Edition, naturally), wish for 'Elven Chain Mail'. Much to his surprise when several male elves appeared, arms interlocked
Hardway 11th Feb 2012, 2:09 PM edit delete reply
If I had known you for ten years before that incident, I would still have walked out on that game and never come back.
Cain 11th Feb 2012, 3:24 PM edit delete reply
Maybe I should use that for a campaign, it would be hilarious to see them react to it.
Tanuki Tales 9th May 2014, 8:25 AM edit delete reply
Oh grow up; that kind of player entitlement isn't healthy and any reasonable player should be suspect when a DM/GM suddenly goes all Monty Haul at the beginning of a game.
Tanuki Tales 9th May 2014, 8:26 AM edit delete reply
And I can't edit without having an account. Blah. My previous comment was aimed at Hardway.
Burke 11th Feb 2012, 11:54 PM edit delete reply
Honestly? Why would you have them spend so much time picking out gear if the first thing you're going to do is take it away?
darkwulf23 17th Feb 2012, 2:58 PM edit delete reply
To Bruke

Because it's funny
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 12:37 AM edit delete reply
Having your entire group getting p***ed off at you and walking out is 'funny'? If you say so...
Tanuki Tales 9th May 2014, 8:27 AM edit delete reply
Vulpis, I'd want them to walk and never even call me again if they were that damn entitled.
Iscelces 12th Feb 2012, 1:31 AM edit delete reply
You... are evil. So evil, that good itself looks evil by comparison. You are the blackest reaches of the abyss, where no mortal may ever travel without great risk to his life or mind. I think I'm in love.
KFDirector 11th Feb 2012, 8:41 AM edit delete reply
By this point, apocalyptic changes in setting no longer break my players' brains, although they at least throw them for a loop, but I had the most success the time I faked them out on an apocalyptic setting change.

Which is to say, I leaked them a prophecy before the adventure which indicated that entering a particular part of the dungeon where a (basically optional) boss dwelt would subject them to massive amounts of flowing time ("age you six years for him a single second" or something close to that). They filed that away, and then entered that part of the dungeon later anyway, because c'mon, a boss to fight. And I was true to my word: when they left the dungeon after about a minute and a half of combat, centuries had passed, the moon was broken into pieces, and the world they knew had been covered in a sea of magma.

I got to enjoy a good few minutes of panic, as they thought this might actually be their fault for ignoring the prophecy (often the in-game apocalypses I spring are pretty obviously beyond their ability to have averted). Once I'd had my fun, I pulled down my Chekhov's Gun and gave them a portal back to the present, so they could prevent this future.

Other fun brain-breaking moments include the two occasions on which there were countdowns on massive bombs and they actually failed to defuse them - they found ways to save themselves at the last second, but not their allies, followers, support structures, or home bases. Their character's catatonic reactions were well role-played.
BadHorse 11th Feb 2012, 8:56 AM edit delete reply
In this one, the DM & I combined to break me.

In a game where our job was to escort 50 settlers and occupy an abandoned keep, which turned out to be crawling with hobgoblins who tax local humans, my neutral half-ogre was willing to deal with them. In battle 1, he encouraged non-lethality and by liberal application of shield, speed, and intimidation, kept their casualties to 1. The body was buried and we split the party - most took the prisoners (which we'd not have had but for me, since the rest would willingly have killed) back to the city to ask for help, while I & a gnome went to scout the keep.

Upon reaching a crossroads, we find bloody tracks heading back the way we came (ish). Following them we found a crippled, badly wounded kobold. My buddy spoke their language, luckily. It was asking us to kill it before we ate it. My gentle giant began to cry, and we picked him up & hauled him to the local village to be healed.

Returning to our task, my mate & I spot a couple hobgoblin-sized guards on the road and duck off into the trees to go around them. Moving through the woods, we find an empty watchtower from which we can scout the keep. Unfortunately we are unable to make a good head count and go back to the village to wait for the rest of the team.

On the way back, we duck off the road as six mounted hobgoblins (and a cart) slowly return from the village (where we left the kobold). I toy with the idea of jumping them, but I still thought we could work something out & they seemed in good spirits, etc. so I let them ride past.

Quickly returning the last leg to the village, we find that the hobgoblins had found the shallow grave of the one casualty from the earlier fight, and the only nearby people being the village, blamed it on them. The only reason the village wasn't laid waste (and our settlers with them) was that the kobold had stepped forward, claiming he & a band of his kin had killed the hobgoblin, but he'd been wounded & left behind. The hobgoblins brutally tortured him for hours in front of the villagers (while the settlers hid in a barn) before cleaning up and leaving happy as you please.

My ogre picked up the gnome and ran full blast into an ambush. (On the way back, I had knocked some trees down across the road for some reason. When we returned to the spot, the logs were still there, but horses & cart were missing. My ogre tried to stroll casually down a small trail, where he found two hobgoblins lying on the ground. The other 4 came from the other side into the street, 3 with crossbows and one melee to protect them.)

We killed them all.

When I leveled, my barbarian took a level of ranger and grabbed favored enemy: hobgoblin (even though he one-shots them on minimal damage already).
Guest 18th Feb 2012, 9:28 PM edit delete reply about emotional, that actually had me feeling sad for the guys. That's coming from me, an insane, sociopathic person. T'is the stuff of great stories.
BadHorse 25th Nov 2014, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
He got re-broken later. Before the old settlement failed, they had used giant eagles for transport. Our party stumbled on an old stone tower with no door, and an eagle nest on top, surrounded by rusted caltrops.

Some of the party wanted to waste it, but my ogre stopped them. Now a Barbarian/Ranger, he attempted a Wild Empathy check, managing to touch the eagle and getting it to Indifferent. Figured he could keep at it, and over time get it on our side, and our fighter with loads of Handle Animal could train it to be a mount.

A bunch of other stuff happened, including re-splitting the party and new party members.

In the end, my ogre and the animal-handling fighter waited by the eagle, while my gnome buddy, our magical fighter, and a new gnome, brightly colored, returned with a shifter/archer they had just met.

Our magical fighter warned the others - briefly - about the eagle being dangerous and that we had gained its trust, while my gnome buddy failed to do the same.

As soon as the eagle saw the bright gnome, it swooped at him. My gnome hid, the other gnome defended himself, the archer apparently didn't process the part about trust, and the MFer who had *just* said that part decided that it now had a taste for people and had to be put down.

The bright gnome shifts to look like mini-me, the MFer hits the eagle with acid and says "save me a drumstick", and the shifter shoots an arrow at it.

My ogre shouts "No!" at the MFer, dumbly thinking he'd listen, then rushes over to the shifter and threatens her, but doesn't attack. The gnogre wags its finger at the eagle, the archer retreats, and the MFer says it's "Eagle for dinner" and zaps it with lightning, grounding it.

My ogre smashes the MFer to 1 hp.

Our fighter calls for me to stop, and the archer to back off, while attempting to approach the eagle to heal it. My gnome buddy freaks out as the eagle is waddling in his general direction, and captures it with magic tendrils. The archer nocks an arrow and calls for everyone to stop, and she'll shoot the next person to swing. The MFer readies a spell and shouts at my ogre, who shouts back.

The bright gnome shoots the trapped eagle with a crossbow.

(The archer doesn't keep her word and shoot him.)

My ogre rages, abandon the MFer, and attack the gnome - who now is IC saying gamespeak orders to the MFer and calling my ogre an "evil murderer" (both false at this point, but he's influenced by knowing that my roll will down him... except he forgot his +4 AC vs giants which saved him). The archer shoots my ogre, my ogre misses.
BadHorse 25th Nov 2014, 9:38 AM edit delete reply
The MFer tries to explain his rationale and why my ogre can't go hitting people... and then zaps the crippled eagle with a magic missile, downing it. The archer again fails to shoot someone who's aggressing, but again nocks an arrow and claims to be ready to do just that. The fighter is confusedly running about with her shield on total defense, trying to separate people.

My ogre could do nothing but break again. His best friends had stood idly by or defended those doing wrong from him. Two murderers stood free while joking about eating their victim. Someone kept shooting him with arrows. He cried, felt like vomiting, the rage was boiling him alive.

When the tendrils released, he told the archer she was in no danger from him, the bright gnome to leave and never see him again or he'd eat him, and then walked over and killed the MFer.

Except of course he didn't.

The archer shot him again, and his gnome buddy trapped him in the tendrils, preventing him from doing anything. Suddenly held fast, unable to move, he wails and cries out to the fighter for help. She tells the gnome to release him and tells my ogre to try to save the eagle (he's trapped and the only PC with no healing), and for the rest to run away. Luckily the MFer doesn't blast him with the spell he had ready, and the bright gnome walks off as well.

My gnome buddy used a wand of fast healing on the eagle, and the shifter offers a healing potion which my ogre uses to save the bird, getting a bad wound from it for his trouble.

With the eagle still pretty wrecked and the bright gnome gone, my ogre walked over to the archer and handed her back her arrows.

Sadly, the game died soon after this. (It had already lost several players and two of the three new players were now out of the party - we still had a 4 person party but one that would involve lots of rancor between me and the MFer, and the DM was going through life as well...)
Crazy DM 11th Feb 2012, 10:04 AM edit delete reply
This isn't a case of breaking a player, but I have thrown a curve ball that made my players all have to pause and reassess the situation, when they learned the Binder who consorted with questionable shadows and death lords, and was the daughter of a heretical evil cult leader was also the daughter of... Pelor, God of the Sun, and they'd all been unknowingly adventuring with a demigod. Naturally the cleric of Pelor did the only logical thing and entered a romantic relationship with her.

My games are weird. Oh. And there was also this one time an archdevil burst out of the thief's back. That caused a few "what." faces.
Kaleopolitus 11th Feb 2012, 10:41 AM edit delete reply
You live up to your name, that's for sure.
Guest 11th Feb 2012, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
Can't argue there.
Urthdigger 11th Feb 2012, 10:21 PM edit delete reply
I've had a situation where the players were travelling with a god. Though, in this case it was a god recently formed out of the beliefs of a new religion (Basically, they believed so hard that their faith gave him form), and he was trying to help his people while remaining incognito so the other gods wouldn't force him to ascend to the outer plains (Directly meddling with the prime material is against Da Rules). Theoretically, he was more powerful than the rest of the party combined, but since using his divine powers was like a signal flare, he used his powers sparingly at best, and for the most part was weaker than the average party member, save for usually being the person to have a "hunch" about what might be a good idea (Basically, his omniscience)

Only two players (out of 5) were in on it: One player noticed something was fishy and investigated with his character and found the truth, and the other was the player who controlled the god during the occasional session where I turned the DM NPCs over to player control.
Guest 20th Mar 2013, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
I once played a campaign in which one PC had a similar story. He was pretty much a normal guy, but went around telling people he was a god, and converting people into worshiping him. Eventually those peoples' faith spawned a godly version of him, who, while doing nothing of import, has made appearances in several other campaigns.
Kingkirby 11th Feb 2012, 10:16 AM edit delete reply
No curveballs, but my DM did decide to put my favorite character (a scout/dervish that was level 10) in an unwinnable situation against an illithid ghost. Oh yeah, and he decided to use a homebrew "disease" that started slowly turning my character into an illithid himself.

While it may not have been a story twist (since the damn thing showed up out of nowhere with no explanation ), it still blew my mind that he would do something so incredibly cheap to a player character. :P
Grrys 11th Feb 2012, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
No wall of text from me this time, sadly.

But one time, I had a perfect trap set up. The party had come across a door that you couldn't look through the keyhole of, under the crack at the bottom, and it was kinda stuck. Naturally, they open it.

They all suddenly find themselves in the room, which, quite literally, had absolutely nothing inside of it before they opened the door and let good old O2 in. Needless to say, damage was taken and players were thrown for a loop.

I've also got some homebrew stat modifying pee!
John Walter Biles 11th Feb 2012, 12:45 PM Blowing a PC's Mind edit delete reply
Prince Moriya of Amber is out on an adventure with his mother, Rimururu, who is an ice elementalist. She's depressed because her husband is in prison (long story).
So depressed that during their scouting of a place she suddenly asks, "Moriya, do you think I'm pretty?"

Player stares mindlessly.

Mission accomplished.
Guest 11th Feb 2012, 1:43 PM edit delete reply
Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.
Guest 11th Feb 2012, 8:34 PM edit delete reply
Cause I'm pretty?
Kaleopolitus 11th Feb 2012, 1:53 PM edit delete reply
DAYUM. I'll have to remember that one! Nah, I don't steal stuff :P But well thought of.
Lyntermas 11th Feb 2012, 3:56 PM edit delete reply
As I already commented on Twi's reaction quite a while ago, I will go with this:

NMM: Hahahahahaha! Oh, to see the look on your face. And you were so close too. Princess Celestia should have known better to ask a feeble mageling to fetch the Elements.
Twilight: I'm sorry, Princess. I failed you.
Fluttershy: Well, actually, Princess Celestia never asked us to get the Elements.
NMM: Surely the daft old thing must have at least told you that the Elements, these broken relics right here, were the only way to defeat me.
Pinkie: Wait a minute, she never mentioned them. She did hint that NMM would be a problem, but her main emphasis was to make some friends.
NMM: ...Oh, that silly sister of mine. I suppose you've trained for this all your lives, haven't you? The "Official Friends"? Little trust exercises, keeping up appearances, lobbying for Celestia's favor, while a deep resentment grows between you, from those you feel far exceed you to the ones you feel only hold you back. We tried training new Bearers before, but when push comes to shove, all your petty squabbles, rivalries and grudges you've built up over the years will be your downfall.
AJ: ...What in tarnation are you talkin' about? We just met earlier today.
NMM: WHAT?'re not friends?
RD: Well, I thought these guys were lame at first, but I guess they're alright.
Twilight: I've come to trust these ponies with my life after surviving all the obstacles you've thrown in our path.
GM: The shattered remains of the Elements start glowing.
NMM:...That clever b****.
Ranubis 11th Feb 2012, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
So much this. I only realized after this that Celestia never did mention the elements. She left that part to Twilight, so that she would draw the others together as being the o e with the answers.
Kobrakin 12th Feb 2012, 12:22 AM edit delete reply
Celestia had a thousand years to plan for her sister's return. She clearly put it to better use than Nightmare Moon did. :p
Akouma 12th Feb 2012, 5:51 AM edit delete reply
Actually, even though it worked, Celestia's plan looks like she threw it together the night before by writing it down on a dinner napkin. The entire plan boils down to this:

"Have my best apprentice and five completely random ponies she met earlier that day and has no guarantee of developing a friendship strong enough to use the Elements in to use the Elements and deal with the problem."

Whereas Nightmare Moon's plan was:

"Kidnap primary rival the moment I return. Go to my fortress in the most dangerous area in the known world, putting lethal hazards between me and my pursuers. Then destroy the one weapon capable of stopping me."

Her plan is actually ruthlessly efficient (ignoring the points where she stopped to gloat, but it didn't change the outcome much), while Celestia's plan comes off as having completely forgotten about it until the last second and she needed a last-ditch effort.
hackbarth 17th Feb 2012, 9:42 AM edit delete reply
I think Celestia is much more scheming than that. She had prepared for a millennium. She was aware of the coming of a bearer of the elements and should put all of equestria on watch for a pony with the "Magic" cutie mark for at least a century. Since such a pony appeared she put her under her wing and took care that the other ponies who shared the strange circunstances of her appearance in a close-by village, awaiting.
Note how exactly the bearers of the elements where responsible for the millennial sun celebration preparations. (minus pinkie, since her was very isolated on the sonic rainboon day, she could have evaded the radar of celestia searches for the bearers.)
Bronymous 12th Feb 2012, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
I like to assume that Celestia's planning was much deeper and went farther back. Through her pull as princess, her demigod powers and her 1000 years rule without Luna, she was able to orchestrate the involvement of Twilight and the others from the very beginning. I also like to think she had a bit of Prophecy on her side, in that she knew there would be six ponies to come wield the Elements, and once she began to see the signs, she knew to gt them together.

Then again, in my off time I like to imagine a world where Celestia was assassinated the night of the Grand Galloping Gala, but its ok because it was just a supernatural doppelganger that took her place when the real Celestia died of suspicious causes nearly 800 years prior.

And that's how Equestria was made.
Lyntermas 12th Feb 2012, 11:21 AM edit delete reply
Oh wow. I just had a thought. Ponyville wasn't around 1000 years ago. It was set up comparatively recently (100 years if we're generous with Granny Smith's age). Celestia set up a semi-rural place relatively near NMM's castle specifically to be the "staging area" that would have progressed enough to allow the diversity of all the Bearers, but without the "stuck-up" attitude of great prosperity seen in most Canterlotians. When the Sonic Rainboom revealed the clear candidate for the Element of Magic, she sent agents into Ponyville to find who else had recently gotten their cutie-mark. Set them up to be part of the "preparations" for the Summer Sun Celebration, send one clueless student, factor in the adversity of NMM as a unifying force, and the rest writes itself.

They were the "Official Friends", alright. It's just they were the last to know.
Guest 12th Feb 2012, 10:56 PM edit delete reply
Actually, since Granny Smith mentioned that she knew Diamond Tiara's great-grandfather, most fans agree that she's more like three hundred years old. Sure, not on Celestia's tier, but still pretty old.
Chakat Firepaw 14th Feb 2012, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Great-grandparents are only three generations, 60-100 years for humans[1]. Furthermore, it should not be a surprise that the grandparents of a given generation know the great-grandparents of that generation: Those great-grandparents are their parents!

[1] I even met one of my great-grandmothers. Well, for a small value of met, (I was a baby, she was senile enough that she thought I was my uncle).
Panoptes 13th Feb 2012, 8:17 AM edit delete reply
Does this imply that NMM is being played by someone other than the GM? Because that is an amazing idea: one PC is the villain scheming against the other PCs, GM is mostly just referee.

Has anyone ever run or participated in a game like this?

[And Granny Smith 300 years old? Great-grandfathers would only be three generations back, and besides, the episode never said she was the same age as DT's great-grandfather.]
MirrorImage 13th Feb 2012, 9:37 AM edit delete reply
So if we're going to play the "Celestia is Omnipotent" card like this, then we take it to know that she knew which bloodlines would give birth to the various Elements. As the ruler of the land, that would mean she had the ability to subtly manipulate things to work in favor of this working - a centuries old Xanatos Gambit, if you will.

--Granny Smith establishes the town of Ponyville near the Everfree Forest, which conveniently holds the Elements to be wielded by her granddaughter, Applejack.
--Celestia establishes Dash's Flight Camp close to this settlement decades later (as evidenced by Applejack's rainbow pointing there, which implies that Dash flew near Ponyville after booming). Fluttershy falls from Flight Camp and it can be guessed that she might get discovered in Ponyville. From there, she decides to settle near the Everfree Forest, a honeypot of natural wildlife, and sets up near Ponyville for the access to civilation.
--Rainbow Dash, ironically, provides the spark that brings Applejack and Fluttershy (back) to Everfree. She knocks Fluttershy off to discover the ground and creates the Rainbow that brings Applejack back. From there, it could be argued that either Celestia used her influence to ensure Dash got assigned to Ponyville or Dash decides on her own to work there because of Fluttershy, since they appeared to become friends at Flight Camp after that incident.
--Rarity discovers her "dumb rock" on the outskirts of Ponyville, or at least near Flight Camp, as evidenced by the size of the Rainboom as it washed over her. From there, she later sets up shop there to be close to the Gem Fields.
--Pinkie says she grew up on the outskirts of Ponyville on a rock farm, so from there it becomes a question of how her parents ended up there. We haven't heard enough of the Cakes' or the Pies' back stories to get that answer yet.
--As for Twilight, hers kind of worked itself out on its own. The Summer Sun Celebration to me sounds like one of those experiences that you have to see "at least once in your life in person" kind of things, especially for Unicorns, (like the pilgrimage to Mecca, though I'm certainly not implying it's religious in nature) so it was probably inevitable that Twilight would get the display. From there, her own drive to learn Magic got her to Celestia in person, who later directly assigns her to Ponyville on the appropriate date.

...That makes sense, doesn't it?
Shikome Kido Mi 14th Feb 2012, 2:14 AM edit delete reply
It doesn't have to go that far, though. If it's personality, rather than bloodline based, she just needs to set up a social environment that will help produce the right personalities, observe the people in it to see who best fits the archetypes, and make sure she hires them to do things related for her Summer Sun Celebration... Then send her apprentice in to 'supervise' them. It's possible (even likely) the Elements and their bearers have some kind of natural affinity for each other, so just that much contact will ensure they act together when the worst happens.

And honestly, I prefer to think she's manipulative rather than dumb. Plus, she's had a thousand years to plan.
darkwulf23 17th Feb 2012, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
I wanna play, I wanna speculate. OK here it goes. Celestia didn't pick them because they had the right personalities, she picked them because they are the reincarnation of the founders. We assumed that the episode of hearts warming eve were the six playing a part in a play, but what if it was an actual flashback, and the founders did look like them. If princess Celestia recognized the main six, then she probably figured, "hey the founders defeated the windigoes with nothing but friendship, maybe the reincarnations can fair just as well." And the rest is history.

That makes sense right? Right???

Hey it's no worse than the rest of the left field suggestions you guys keep throwing out!
NeutralDemon 22nd May 2013, 1:32 AM edit delete reply
Mind Blown
Binary Toast 12th Feb 2012, 1:16 AM edit delete reply
Mind breaking curveballs, eh? I've actually got a couple of those. The first was when our party barbarian found out that the pommel of the sword he'd gotten in the very first dungeon was in fact the phylactery of a lich, who we would later meet.

The second, was from the one campaign I actually got my crap together to run. I decided to take ye old "nice job breaking it, hero" for an opener, and instead of going the standard route of making it the player's fault, I'd have it be some other party, well off screen. Campaign then went into post-apocalyptic mystery, as they tried to figure out how the sun god, and by extension the sun, died.
Had this whole gods with physical bodies thing going, the sun god was the sun, ect. I'm leaving out a large number of things that happened because of that, but I still remember their reaction when they figured out that the sun bled out onto the sky, and was now casting darkness, while the night sky glowed.

Still haven't gotten around to the sequel campaign, the "fixing it" arc.
darkwulf23 17th Feb 2012, 4:27 PM edit delete reply
The favorite sword is the Lich's phylactery. Mind if I borrow that idea?
Cliff Snowpeak 12th Feb 2012, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
The campaign I'm currently DMing is all about breaking my players, or at least creating as many "WTF" moments as possible. I think my favorite moment was when I had the party battle a draconequus.

They were on their way to the capital city and had stopped in a small town for the night. They woke up to find the river rainbow-colored and flowing backwards. Chunks of land were floating all around, and a dire bear with pink wings danced through the town square. So, being adventurers, they headed out to investigate, and as they entered the forest, gravity began to shift in different directions. They eventually arrived at a cave where they found a creature chained to the floor; it had the body of a yak, four different limbs, the head of a dog, and three horns. To make a long story short, it asked them to kill it, which they obliged, and as it was zapped to the Outer Plane it had sprung from, it released a wave of chaotic energy. When the dust cleared and the party got a look at themselves, they saw that they had all been fused with their mounts.

The looks on my players' faces as I handed out the stat sheets for their current situation were priceless.
Nezumi 13th Feb 2012, 4:00 PM edit delete reply
How to run a pony game, the evil bastard way.
Guest 12th Feb 2012, 3:01 AM edit delete reply
Not a complete breackage, but I had a player stunned into silence for about 10 seconds.

The party s being stalked by mechanical animals (4ed conversion of the 3.5 'Effigy' template, which turns things into golem/warforged-like constructs) and believe that the creator of them has set them up for murder (actually, they didn't. The Drow engineered this). They locate the Effigy Master's lair, having encounter effigy: birds, rats, cats and small dogs.

Inside the warehouse, they discover effigy dire-wolves, swarms of effigy animals and a wizard. I describe the wizard as cutting a dashing figure, with fine robes, a metal-capped staff, broad shoulders and a beard that dwarves would envy. The wizard calls the party 'assassins', tells them to leave or die, then takes cover.

The stunning-a-player part of this happened when the ranger got past the effigy animals and went for the wizard... and the wizard charged and beat down the ranger with his staff (damage+thunder damage+knock prone). (one factor that adds to this, is how the fight was actually swinging well in the NPCs favour, and the PCs did actually surrender in the end, with two deaths)

So, guess why the wizard was charging into melee?
Nezumi 13th Feb 2012, 4:02 PM edit delete reply
He was an Effigy... I guess? Really, literally forcing us to guess why takes a lot out of the story.
Aurabolt 12th Feb 2012, 4:33 AM edit delete reply
Wait a second; in D&D 4th edition, aren't Artifacts completely unbreakable outside really really really special means of destruction? I think they were given even more so than the normal kind from 3e and 3.5.
Kiana 12th Feb 2012, 6:42 AM edit delete reply
And "Alicorn, princess and mistress of the night personally shatters them" isn't special enough?

It's up to GM fiat.
Akouma 12th Feb 2012, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
#1 rule of DMing in ANY system:

"If you don't like a rule, change it or throw it out the window."

For example, I really, really hate the stupid ruling about getting a saving throw to avoid forced movement into dangerous terrain (my best explanation as to why is to just imagine how lame the most famous scene from 300 would've been if the Persain messenger had passed his save, and that's roughly how dissatisfying literally every forced movement effect becomes because of that rule). So one week I tell my players "Okay, from now on, I don't care if its player or monster. If you get force-moved into dangerous terrain, you get NO save."

Roughly ten seconds later I also made a ruling that if you have a fly speed, you are assumed to take to the air the moment you would be forced into otherwise falling. It might seem like I was arbitrarily trying to keep a monster alive, but I was actually aware that that WASN'T the case, took issue, was like "F that," and said it was. I mean seriously if you throw a WINGED animal over a pit, IT'S GOING TO FLY. Besides, I still let the strongest monster in the encounter get instagibbed by being thrown into a pit.
Kiana 12th Feb 2012, 7:54 AM edit delete reply
Oh! The situation is EVEN MORE specific than what I already said: It's during an unnatural night, 1000 years after the elements were last used AND the party just removed them from their pedestal.

If that doesn't suit you, "Rule 0" should.

And I know the feeling, Akouma. I still allow PCs to make a save when pushed over a ledge (because really, you're going to TRY grabbing the ledge), but if they get pushed into 'rough' terrain? Big deal, the creatures I use with knockback effects either 1. Can only use them as encounter powers or 2. Have very little in the way of damaging powers.

...And in my pony game, HALF THE PARTY can fly.
Akouma 12th Feb 2012, 8:29 AM edit delete reply
If I ever wind up knocking a player over the side, which is unlikely since I almost never have pits or anything like that on my maps, I'm just going to assume they grab the ledge and have to spend their next turn climbing back up (if they have a climb speed then just a move action) while the baddies try to edge them off some more.
Aurabolt 13th Feb 2012, 12:37 PM edit delete reply
Yeah, there's a huge problem with GM Fiat which everyone here should understand, and another important part about Rule Zero; Its only okay if the group agrees to allow that unlimited power to the GM. I would not be shocked if Twilight's player got very angry with the GM; he forced the situation and allowed her to do nothing to prevent it.
Vulpis 23rd Jul 2012, 1:03 AM edit delete reply
....I think you're misintepreting what happened in that movie, actually. The messenger not only failed the save, he was in a situation where he wouldn't have had one in the first place, since he was caught by surprise (or flatfooted, or whatever).
As you say yourself, a *flying* creature moved that way will reasonably attempt to fly in that situation. Why wouldn't someone on-foot at least try to do something similar, presuming they have the opportunity?

Heck, to counter your example, think how bad it would be in all those movies where a Hero is in the messenger's situation, and had that same 'no save' rule applied to *them*? They're called 'cliffhangers' for a reason, after all.
Shikome Kido Mi 14th Feb 2012, 2:09 AM edit delete reply
It'd be pretty impossible to be more unbreakable than they were in 3rd, since you usually had to research the exact method needed and go on an epic quest to be rid of the things back then.

That said, I always figured those crystal spheres weren't the real elements, being at most containers holding their "essence" (which was now free to enter appropriate ponies) or perhaps even decoys.
dzamie 12th Feb 2012, 5:45 AM edit delete reply
One time, we were fighting a Large monster (ogre, I think), and it couldn't get across a one-wide bridge. So we just shot arrows at it from the other side. The DM then has the ogre pick up some of the nearby dire wolves and THROW THEM AT US.
We still killed it with arrows after we dispatched the dire wolves, but we didn't win nearly as quickly.
Kaleopolitus 12th Feb 2012, 3:28 PM edit delete reply

You should have recruited that Ogre. Clearly it's a 20 wisdom ogre.
Ariamaki 12th Feb 2012, 7:06 AM Breaking the Tank edit delete reply
Alright, so, our setting is a long-running Hunter: The Vigil campaign wherein everyone is playing a World of Darkness version of themselves-- Their own history, but twisted and damaged by the setting. In the end, their relationships were much the same, including our party's social face (a law student) and tank (an exceptionally buff Argentinian martial artist) being best friends.

In a series of impossible Rasputin-esque events stretching across an entire session, the social face manages to scrape past death over a dozen times, leaving him, despite his enormous Stamina and enhancements, at a tiny sliver of health... As he cobbles together a home-brew bomb and levels their house to take out the enemy.

The corporation who owned his bodily enhancements came in with stretchers and took what was left of him away to reclaim their property.

The trick?
He had survived. Again. On the ABSOLUTE lowest health possible, the very cusp of death. And we proceeded to con the rest of the party, both in-game and out, into thinking the company-assigned "replacement" was his new character.

When we finally revealed he had been alive all along, the tank -wept-. And then beat the tar out of his buddy. Whether that last bit was IC, OOC, or both, I leave to you.
Ariamaki 12th Feb 2012, 7:07 AM An adendum edit delete reply
To clarify, that con? Tricking them into thinking he was dead?
Four months IRL, longer in-game.
Digo 12th Feb 2012, 11:21 AM Player Breaking edit delete reply
I had one time run a modern RPG based off the TV show "LOST". The players awaken on the beach of an unknown island during a plane crash. They rescue the few survivors left and then go over what supplies they gathered for survival.

First, the players are not on the passenger flight manifest. So how did they get here?

Second, the island has a hidden series of experimental facilities run by a group called "The Masters". These facilities include experiments on people, aliens, technology...

So, The Masters send their minions to capture/kill the players and the crash survivors. As the party travels through the island, they learn of the horrors that The Masters have done here. Sirvivors eventually get killed and experimented on, but the players keep most of them alive. However, The Masters' identities are not known, and most of the minions don't know the identities either, operating on a 1984 "Big Brother" method.

At the climax the players break into The Masters' private meeting room and confront them... but The Masters aren't there. Instead, they find chairs around a table. Chairs that each bear the Players own names!! :o

The players suddenly realize THEY were The Masters and that they were going to blow up the island and escape on a plane, erasing their memories of their wrongdoings to get away from it all.
So with that knowledge the players just sit down on the chairs, and let the self-destruct timer reach zero...
Kaleopolitus 12th Feb 2012, 3:36 PM edit delete reply
I like those players. A stylish end to a campaign.
Akouma 13th Feb 2012, 7:29 AM edit delete reply
Gotta' say, I really wish I had a campaign end with that much AWESOME.
Shikome Kido Mi 14th Feb 2012, 2:05 AM edit delete reply
For some reason that reminds me a bit of the Prisoner, too. Although he went out differently.

Good, dramatic ending, though.
Chakat Firepaw 14th Feb 2012, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
Did he go out, or is he just in a larger Village? Remember how his door closed after he returned home.

(dem bones dem bones dem dry bones....)
GRFX 12th Feb 2012, 11:24 AM edit delete reply
Oh, I have a good one. I wasn't the DM here, it was a friend of mine. This was D&D 3.5.
But we were traveling, looking for the relic of an ancient bard of legends (Solin was the name); in reality, we were more or less accompanying the guy who wanted to find said item (Han "Indie" Jones... yeah).

We get to the tomb, deal with all kinds of silly (and I really mean silly) challenges, traps, riddles and what not, we get to the heart of it. To the bard's resting place. The rogue (Han "Indie" Hones) is ecstatic, he's about to achieve his lifelong wish, and he approached the tomb.

He opens the tomb and... and an illusion of Solin appears doing a Rick roll. I shit you not, my friend even played the song in his laptop as this happened. The rogue, both IC and OOC was STUNNED. Mouth-agape, veins almost pulsing. It was so crushing that he trashed his whole life profession (archaeologist and stuff), burned everything related to it and I swear he was going to multiclass later on. We had a total party-kill two sessions later, anyway. XD

That particular joke had been set up by the DM, and my friend who had played Solin (who was doing a Ranger Drow in this campaign) since like... at least 6 months ago. It was priceless.
The punchline? The flute was buried like a feet deep in dirt RIGHT OUTSIDE the tomb. Yes, that bard was crazy. XD
Akouma 12th Feb 2012, 4:24 PM edit delete reply
Oh man, that sounds like it actually would've actually been a really fun moment. Even during the serious bits, I'm always up for a laugh! Sounds like you guys were just a little too wound up!
Guest 12th Feb 2012, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
For some reason all I can think of is the "Card Crusher" meme.
Element Crusher NMM.
Stairc 12th Feb 2012, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
Newbiespud, you know the best story - about when we broke Graeme.

Newbie and I were co-dming and we'd created a dungeon called The Temple of Madness. The premise was an indiana-jones-esque dungeon constructed by druids to protect a bastion of natural power had been taken over by a beholder - who had added further horrors to it and turned the already insane dungeon even MORE ridiculous... And the heroes had to go through it.

Well, as they went through it they learned everything was trapped to kill them. A golden skull of replenishing magic had a swarm of poisonous magical spiders to kill them... Which it 'replenished' regularly. A +5 Dancing Blade rose into the air and attempted to kill anyone who touched it. A potion of healing had a more insidious poison hidden inside it...

The players quickly learned not to touch ANYTHING.

Then... They get tot he final chamber before the boss battle and it's absolutely FILLED with treasure. Heaps of it, mounds of gold that covered so much of the room it actually would take an acrobatics check to slip through it without touching any of it.

And of course, none of the treasure was trapped at all. This was the vault where the druids kept their culture's treasures... But the players were TERRIFIED of it. Absolutely TERRIFIED. When one said he wanted to at least take some of the treasure, the most experienced DnD player immediately shouted, "NO! Haven't you ever seen Aladdin?! No, you DON'T TOUCH IT."

"But just a little-"

"No, I tackle you!"

And we had to have them roll opposing Athletics checks and all that jazz. It was hilarious. When the other player won, he stepped forward and picked up the biggest gem at the center. Not only was he not hurt he learned that it was a Gem of Everlife - which when shattered could bring a character back to life even if his corpse wasn't present.

At this point Graeme, the arguer who cited Aladdin, collapsed onto the table - sobbing into his arms and whimpered, "Everything I know is wrong..."

And thus had we broken him. Still one of his favorite DnD stories to relate too. :)
Pteroid 12th Feb 2012, 10:29 PM edit delete reply
I personally think these stories are great in entertaining one's self while waiting for the next update. Very entertaining.

It's like /tg/ except without the cursing, horrifying pictures, and people calling BS on every single thing. (Also no Brony hate, hurrah!)

I love it! ^_^
Sharp Note 12th Feb 2012, 11:23 PM edit delete reply
There's one curveball from my second campaign that lingers to this day.
First you need to know about the prequel campaign. The system was homebrew where characters leveled in cybernetics, magic, geneboost, and psionic quadrants.

I was Kyne, a fire mage. We had ended up on a necromancy world with a very high level NPC, Cyril who was a master of geneboost and technology, and psionics.(The GM brought him in from several previous campagins he had.)

We didn't know what was going on, but after meeting the master necromancer we were led to, we agreed to work with him against all the other necromancers on the council. One quantom bomb later, we were on Cyril's ship being attacked by a unknown ship and losing.
Cyril got the necromancer to grant access to the ultimate magic power, the pool of souls, to his ship. And with this power, Cyril effectively became a god. He blew up the enemy ships, and granted each of us our own planets to rule over. That was the first campaign.

The second campaign, we had new characters(Mine was a psion, Saffron) and after all out glactic war breaks out over extradimensional beings from a rift, the powers that be gain opressive new technology to replicate anything, including star class battleships and their crew, and become almost unstoppable.

Our new characters end up working for Cyril, researching tech, blowing up armadas, attacked by phantom forces that were actually real illusions sent by a powerful psion..

Finally one session, while we are level 11, has us face a level 25 'angel', live, and find our way to Cyril's new ship. He talks to us, saying that all the elements are in place, and there is only one thing to do.
There are certain 'scions', who will eventually become the greatest power in their quadrant, and he knows that in the end they will be the only threat to his power.

Then Cyril, this level 40 god with maxed out quadrants who has guided the entire campaign, tells us to fight him.

We were still level 11.

The geneboost lasted 2 rounds looking for an escape, not really believing what was happening. I took him down to half with status effects and luck, then he used a once per fight power to restore himself to full. We somehow whittled him down, constantly bantering back and forth. Then he took us seriously, and cast a ruination spell.

Yeah, that was the end of the campaign, and DMing for that guy for a while. I'm still not sure if he's a bastid for TKPing us out of frustration, or a awesome for when he decided to end the game, doing it in a way we would never, ever forget.
Mitchell Bonds 13th Feb 2012, 12:10 AM The Great and Powerful edit delete reply
I broke one of my players one time. During the first real session of the DnD 3.5 game, I dropped a CR3 Cloaker on his head when he tried to get a magic book off a pedestal without making a spot check. It fell on his head and the other PCs almost killed him trying to get it off. He finally got rid of it with a clever and unorthodox use of the Create Water spell.

From session one until about session 12, whenever I asked for marching order, the PC would say "I'm in the back. Watching for cloakers."

He stopped doing that entirely at about session 16 since they vastly outclassed Cloakers by then. But then I threw the curve ball at him. They'd been tracking an infamous Death Knight for a couple of sessions, and finally pinned him down in his fortress. The first move the DK does when his initiative comes up? He takes off his cloak and throws it at the PC. And the cloak? Is an advanced Cloaker. He literally snapped his pencil in shock and sat there gritting his teeth until it was his turn. I'd never seen his face so pink, and haven't since.
Hennith95 13th Feb 2012, 4:29 PM edit delete reply
I don't blame him for freaking out. My party got pretty wreaked by a bunch of Cloakers, and that was with the DM being *nice*.
NekoLLX 13th Feb 2012, 10:58 AM edit delete reply
In the cooperative storytelling that is Just a Game Melody had been teaming with a high level warrior who was helping her through the ropes, since it uses a MMO esk dynamic the high level player was geting XP helping the lobie from crafting things like food, and as a tank got xp for well taking a beating its slower then grinding dragons but safer.

Until she got hit with lycanthropy, now normally she could shrug this off in a few our due to her constitution but due to Melody's remorse she was trying to find a cure, all her avanues were blocked and at one point she almost gave up completely.

In MLP: Roleplaying is Magic there was a full stop even a comment by a player when Daymare Sun appears at the Summer Sun Celibration by Blowing the roof clear off City hall and countering th guards by flash frying them in their armor, then she turned her gaze on Cheeraliee when she DARED call her a tyrant
HalfTangible 13th Feb 2012, 4:36 PM edit delete reply
The party wizard and I were separated from the rest of the party to buy supplies in town (the other members of our party needed to leave for about thirty minutes, but we made a quick ruling that this was because they were all criminals in this town - the rogue committed sodomy with a noblewoman, the Paladin saved a man from execution and our cleric served a heathen god.) when the following conversation took place

Wizard: "I cast Sleep on [me]."
DM: "Uh... ok, [my character] falls asleep in the middle of the road."
Wizard: "Alright. Now i take the poison i borrowed from [the rogue] and pour it down his throat."
Me: "WHAT?!"
DM: "WHY?! He's on YOUR side!!"
Wizard: "Because I'm Chaotic Evil and Somebody on my side is still worth XP."
DM: "... Fine. He dies."
Wizard: "WOOT!"

I was too angry to stay, but I'm told that right after that DM had a nearby house morph into a LG great wyrm to kill and eat the wizard and teabag his bloodstains. He then forced our party wizard to either roll a Good-aligned character or f*** off.
kriss1989 13th Feb 2012, 6:56 PM kriss1989 edit delete reply
Or just have the guardsmen shoot him. He did it out in the open in the middle of the street. That's not Chaotic Evil. That's Chaotic Stupid.
Guest 13th Feb 2012, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
Agreed, the wizard is CHAOTIC STUPID to the max...

...At least wait until the rogue has mucho moneys before out-cutthroating the cutthroat.

Also, I agree for guardsmen.
"Stop right there, criminal scum!"
Shikome Kido Mi 14th Feb 2012, 2:03 AM edit delete reply
That's such a horrible plan I can't even begin to imagine why he thought that was a good idea. The dragon thing was poor DM reaction, though. Players get mad (and it'd poor form) when you throw random junk like that at them to force them to go your way. It's much better (and more fun) to punish them with the consequences of their actions. Like "Congratulations, you're now under arrest" or "displeased with the fact you let the rogue die on your watch, the party forces you to pay for resurrecting him (at which point the truth comes out and they kill you) and if you can't pay it yet, sells all your stuff, and forces you to go first to check for traps until enough money can be earned. You can try to slip away and go adventuring solo but you're squishy and the dozens of witnesses have already spread word to all other adventurers that you're untrustworthy. If you're lucky they'll just turn down your membership. Otherwise, they'll pretend to let you in just long enough to murder YOU for xp out in the wild."
Beard 13th Feb 2012, 5:19 PM Dark Heresy edit delete reply
In my Dark Heresy I bust this out occasionally.

Just recently I had a player realize he had been working with his long lost mother for like three adventures, just after she escaped to resume a life of crime.

On a broader scale I had a long time ally of the PCs turn out to be manipulating them into giving him access to...well its all kind of complicated and comicfury ate the story once already but tldr I got away with a guy named "Loac Rhak" secretly being Erasamus Haarlock for like three years.
Fulcran 13th Feb 2012, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
In a Dark Heresy campaign my friend was running, we were tracking down a local mob boss on a Hive spire, who was suspected of having had contact with agents of Chaos. After infiltrating a large trade by jacking a truck, we break open its load on the way to the meet and find an assault cannon. The tech-priest was practically orgasmic. We packed it back up for the meet, but marked the crate, and when we got to the meet everything went according to plan. Our assassin blew off the mob boss' leg with a well placed bolter shot w/out killing him, and me (the Scum) sprinted into his personal guard and got his pet psycher with an electro flail. Then the mob boss, still bleeding out on the ground, plays a pre-recorded binary cant.

The nearby warehouse explodes, and a god damn dreadnought climbs out. Its Chaos for sure, and proceeds to tear the party a new hole, kills our assassin and cripples our psycher, before dying to our Inquisitor, who has to die himself to take it out.

That's right. The GM killed his plot device character, just to watch us squirm because everything was going to well.
Shikome Kido Mi 14th Feb 2012, 1:55 AM edit delete reply
Well, there was the time the players were looking for an evil cult that had been kidnapping people lurking in the sewers of a large city. After fighting a couple random monsters lairing down their, they found a frog man in a lit area, carrying spears. Sneaking up on him, when they got close enough that they were spotted, he gave a loud croak, which carried a minor debuff effect but was also a call for reinforcements.
So, they killed him as the reinforcements arrived, killed them, busted in the door of their lair... and were really confused when the remaining frog person yelled that "You deranged cultists aren't getting any more of us" before pulling the lever that dropped them in the pit. When they got out they discovered he'd fled and some empty cradles in the next room for baby frog people. Turns out that assuming people are hostile just because they're weird looking and armed without trying to talk to them at all isn't always the right idea.

The evil cult, when eventually found, turned out to be 100% human.
Demonu 15th Feb 2012, 6:43 PM edit delete reply
A game where the DM tried to break the players' mind, where I (a player) broke everyone's mind except the DM's and later on, I broke the DM's mind while breaking the other players' mind as well. It's a bit convoluted but stick with me.

So we were on a quest to eradicate some evil cult that was trying to summon some evil entity but needed a couple of "worthy" sacrifices, aka the players.
So the DM tries to break everyone's character and turn them to evil by summarizing everyone's flaws, how the party looked down on them and promises of whatever they wanted if they betrayed the party. Of course, nobody was falling for it so everyone turned the offer down. Except me. I basically screwed everyone over, betrayed the party and joined the DM as his foremost general. Cue faces of disbelief on the rest of the players.
Some sessions later, we were at the summoning ritual and the DM's plan was to stall until the ritual was complete and let the evil entity (can't remember if it was a god, demon or something but whatever) loose on the party, including me.

Ever since I betrayed the party, I had been sitting at the DM's right hand side and exchanged notes with him so I was in on the plan, except for the part where he planned to sacrifice me as well. I did suspect it so it was time to double cross the DM. The moment the evil entity entered our world, I murdered the cult's high priest, assumed command of the cult and struck a bargain with the evil entity. I would offer it all the members of the cult if he would make me his top agent/enforcer/avatar in this world and retreat back into his dimension because, well, he would get annihilated when the entire world (mostly lawful good) would unite against him. A couple of skill checks later and cue the surprised look on the players' faces who were now under the impressing that I didn't really betrayed them after all and was working from the inside. Of course, the DM couldn't comprehend that I sacrificed his entire evil cult and had struck a bargain with the Big Bad.

But the part where everyone's jaw dropped was when my character did turn against the party and basically proclaimed himself the Big Bad Evil Guy. So in order to keep up with the story, I exchanged places with the DM. Yes, I overthrew the DM and became the new DM for the remainder of the adventure.
darkwulf23 17th Feb 2012, 5:01 PM edit delete reply
You just outgambited your DM, the one guy who has the most control over the world and then took over his throne? That has got to be the best D&D story I have ever heard. I tip my hat to you good sir.
Zeeth 18th Feb 2012, 4:52 PM edit delete reply
Best. Gaming Story. Ever.
darkwulf23 17th Feb 2012, 5:36 PM edit delete reply
I was once part of a campaign that lasted the full 30 levels where our party's ultimate goal was to find the Truth. No description of what truth, why we need to find the truth, or what we can do with the knowledge of the truth, just the capital 'T' ruth. After months of campaigns and an epic battle against an arch devil and his posse we finally came across an angel who told us this.
"You are not real. Everyone who you have ever met are not real. This entire world is not real. It exists only on paper and a computer screen, and when the creators get bored enough, they will abandoned this world, and it will cease to exist."
Every player at the table just sat at the table trying to wrap their heads around the fact that their epic story just ended so anti-climatically while the DM just pinkie pie squeaky grinned at us. Of course none of us could let it end that way.

My ranger went mad from the revaluation. Full on batsh** learned all I can about the chtulhu mythos trying to figure out the damn weather report while discord was in office insane. Our paladin decided to screw his oaths and share this knowledge to every body he comes across and cause the collapse of civilization. Our bard figured if she is a pawn of somebody else, then she is not responsible for her actions and decided to open a brothel. With male and female slaves of every race, animals, monsters and inanimate objects. To this day the bard is still trying to teach the mind flayer how to use his tentacles properly. Our wizard, his head exploded.
Guest 21st Feb 2012, 1:20 PM edit delete reply
Your characters gaze into the abyss...

And the DM waves "Hi!" to them.
Cain 28th Feb 2012, 1:59 PM edit delete reply
Semi example, but Ranubis switched to DM for one session, and decided to write his character Davven out of the encounter, but the players decide to tie a rope to him when he goes to check something out, and then he falls into a sinkhole. Cue to the Minotaur to pull him up, and pulls up a torn rope, with the comment that the sharp crystal in the cave had cut it. Humorous reaction from the players, and after the encounter Davven enters the room back from where they had come from dripping wet.
Xander Cruize 24th May 2012, 10:24 PM edit delete reply
It was me, my cousin, and my best friend, who was DMing a d20 modern setting. I was running a dex-based hero, light guns and the like, while my cousin played a charisma-based character who tried to talk her way out of everything.

We were in the middle of a fire fight, and (since I had a 'twitchy finger' flaw,) I had lowered my gun. Why? My cousin had stepped in the middle of the action to talk everyone down. She's talking, I'm flat-footed. A guy decides to shoot. Three natural twenties later, and I'm on the ground. No, sorry. My body's on the ground. My brain matter is on the wall behind me.
My cousin cried.
Not Me 24th Jul 2012, 3:40 PM edit delete reply
I'm running my first game and at one point I did a little railroading to pick up a new player. The party ends up in hell and I take everything from them. No equipment, no skills, HP is 1. And I make them find a way out.

The face for the group is the normally the DM and he has been running the game more than I have. His character has also made a lot of enemies in my game, which I reminded him of constantly.

Half way thought the night they get out of hell and get their powers back. A little girl comes up to them as they enter her town and asks, "Hi, are you ok?" The face, who is looking more and more worried, one-shots her out of panic. The party in now wanted and the face go quite whenever he encounters a 'nice' NPC.
Ecarohnara 24th Aug 2013, 2:30 PM edit delete reply
Well, it wasn't the player, cause they're used to my insanity, but i broke one characters monk with one revelation. They had just gotten to hell, fought their way to a bustling city, and witnessed an angel try robbing a food cart. Later, at the bar, the succubus they were working with basically said something along the lines of 'yeah, i'm lawful good.' They were in a backwards hell, where demons and devils were chaotic and lawful good types, while angels were evil.
Steve 20th Dec 2013, 8:27 PM edit delete reply
"The 'candle' you just lit suddenly morph as the illusion dispels briefly showing its true form of <TNT like explosive> before the fuse burns down and it detonates. Boom, you dead."