Dungeon Humour

It happens, don't deny it. You the DM has built up the tension. Got the players on the edge of their seats sweating over the next move. Do they edge out of the cavern silently, do they cast one last spell at the wizard or cut their loses and run? The player picks up the dice and prepares to roll ... Two things can happen at this point. The brave fighter can single handedly take out the wyrm or he can say or do something something so completly stupid that at best it causes all around to collapse in paroxisyms of laughter or at worst get the lot of them killed. Here are a few of those classic moments that I can remember from sessions I have played or DM'd in. They include Classic Quotes, Crazy Actions and Comedy Deaths. If you have any of your own e-mail at the address below. I can't wait to hear from you! The names of the players have NOTbeen changed to protect the innocent. Sorry Phil!

Classic Quotes

This first quote comes from a soon to be published chapter of the The Trials Of Trimus.
Standing on the wing of the crazily bucking skyship Jodotha the thief edged his way towards the darkly armoured fighter clutching a hemispherical object to his chest. Against the wind the thief shouts:
"Give me the tortoise - don't be a fool."

This next one comes from another episode of The Trials Of Trimus yet to be completed.
The cleric sat looking at the ring in his hand a puzzled look furrowing his brow.
"What does my ring of memory do? I've forgotton".

This next one comes from yet another episode of The Trials Of Trimus yet to be completed.
It is morning and Ako the cleric has just finished his morning meditations.
Ako - "I'll go and arouse Cain".
DM - "I think he might object to that."

This one comes from The Trials Of Trimus campaign while Trimus and the others were in Serraine on a mission for Rintrah, Trimus' mentor. They were trying to enter the building of an evil Nagpa mage without attracting thier attention. They had staked the place out and noticed that a Giant often bought deliveries in large chests Jodotha and Cain decided to pay him a visit. After much haggling, trying to bribe him to give them information Jodotha blows his top. Jodotha - "Look here's 4 gold pieces nail us in a box and damn well deliver us there!"

Crazy Actions

This is one that comes from my campaign which is currently set in Thyatis. The 'Heros' are ransacking, sorry searching, a villa for a member of the Chancellor's family. They find thier way into a hidden crypt. After encounters with many powerful undead they fear the worse when they enter the temple itself. Do they then take the utmost care to check everything before doing anything rash? No of course not.....
Yarrin (A thief) - "I'll climb the wall so that I am above that evil font" The font is made from fused human bones and contains unholy water.
DM - "Ok you make it - what now."
Yarrin - "I'll turn round carefully and pi** into the font."
DM - "It explodes in shards of bone. Make a saving throw vs wands"
Yarrin - "Made it!"
DM - "Damm!"

This action took place in Serraine. The party were still trying to glean information about the evil Nagpa. They had been staking out the entrance to a fine hotel and trying to avoid attention. Ako (a cleric of Normanus, God of Wisdom) and Rellan (a much put upon elf) sit around pretending to drink. Unfortunately Ako gets drunk, very drunk, and makes a scene in the lobby just as the target of thier attentions enters. He then tries to follow him, throwing up on the way. Needless to say he ends up spending the night in the cells!

Comic Deaths

Strangely the entries so far for this section don't actually contain any deaths so perhaps this section should be renamed 'Comic Near Death Experiences'. In a very, very early adventure in which I DM'd the following incident occured. The most surprising thing is that the mage, Raistlin is still around and doing very well thank you in the same campaign....
DM - "You open the 20 foot square chamber and before you, stand 3 skeletons, their bony feet tapping on the floor like castenets"
Raistlin (A 1st level mage) - "I'll cast sleep."
Dekion (A Cleric), Zimheaho (An Elf) - "No ....."
DM - While your friends slump to the floor snoring the skeletons move towards you ...."
At this point I caused a reality shift to prevent the other players from beating the mage to a pulp!

The next example also involves a mage (what is it with them?) This time an Chaotic Neutral mage called Prince Sewandt played by me in an adventure run by the master of all Dungeon Masters, Rupert.
The other PC's had gone into a large chamber while I waited outside to protect the rear. (Yeah! As if!)
Prince Sewandt - "I'll wait until all the noise of fighting's stopped."
DM - "It might be some time"
.... Several rounds of action later ...
DM - "It's Stopped"
Prince Sewandt - I'll step into the room and say 'All done then?'"
DM - OK. As you enter you have brief second to notice two things. 1 All your friends are cowering behind a low wall that surrounds a stepped pit. 2. In the centre of the pit are several manticores. They have seen you and have let off a volley of spikes. Jeepers! 3 critical hits, 2 to the head and one to the chest."
...Prince Sewandt flies backwards out of the room decorating the passage as he goes. Fortunately there was a very high level cleric in the party who was able to help. So he lives to fight another day.

This next example comes from Bob M. Cooper
Our earstwhile adventuring group had decided that they were going to burn the vile temple that they had entered to the ground. Lacking the means to produce a sustained fire magically, they resorted to purchacing some 60 (!) flasks of oil and emptying them all into the Elf's backpack. Eventually, a slow drip developed...so much the better, or so the PC's thought. When they were done killing everything, they'd simply light a torch, toss it onto the oil trail, and watch the entire place burn.

The one thing they hadn't counted on were the Hellhounds.

Rounding a corner, they discover that there are a pair of Hellhounds in the room before them. Realizing that these nasty little puppies would probably get them very dead, they immediately turn tail and run. At which point, I start asking some...interesting...questions.

1) Who's in back? (The Elf)
2) What's his Move (12!)
3) Ok. He's carrying HOW much weight? (oh crap...realizing what 50-some-odd flasks of oil weigh...um...he's moving at 6).

Well, the rest of the PCs outdistance him quickly. The Hellhounds catch up with him easily. One of them breathes....

And that was the misfortunate end of their companion. A legend in our group without a name, history only remembers him as "The Exploding Elf".

Thanks Bob!

Brian Langford wrote to me with another example of why oil and adventurers just don't mix. Hi, back when I used to run AD&D adventures a low lvl mage having exhausted his spells in a big melee in a field decided to throw a flask of oil at an enemy. Here's what happened... DM (me) : Ok segment 5 who's acting? Player : Ackar will throw the flask he lit last round at the nearest enemy fighter DM : Ok, roll to hit Player : (Rolling) Oh f**k, a 1! DM : Right roll on fumble table (Did I mention I used critical/fumble tables!?) Player (Rolling) Damn! Dropped the flask at my feet! DM : Ok roll a saving throw for Ceramic vs Normal blow to see if the flask breaks Player : (Rolling) Damn! Flask broke! Saving for oil vs normal fire (rolls) S**t! oil ignites from burning rag DM : Ok 2D6 damage - 8 pts now save for your backpack! Player : Missed it! DM : Now for the other 4 flasks of oil in the backpack.... Player : Oh come on! 3 failed. Oil vs fire... all go up. DM : lets see another 6d6 thats 23 pts which reduces you to -11 hp! DM : Ok on segment 5 Ackar manages to blow himself up! Bits and pieces of charred flesh rain down on the field!

Robby Dittmann wrote with the following two events: We had a party with a thief who was trouble waiting to happen. Every roll had gone against him that day, and he was getting rather low on HP (and a bit paranoid). We we were marching single file down a narrow hallway that ended at a door. The thief was hiding at the back, whining about not wanting to open the door lest something on the other side killed him. Of course, the fighter at the front ignored him and threw open the door. Standing in the doorway was the largest bugbear we had ever laid eyes on. The theif panicked, and set off his bracers of chain lightning. Now, you have to remember that he's at the back of a line of adventurers. So the lightning takes off down the line, hitting everyone in the party, then the bugbear, then bouncing back down the line of party members. The only one killed? The thief himself!

This one happened to me personally. I was playing an illsuionist. and the party was surprise attacked by goblins. My character was quickly driven into negative hit points. A fellow party member saw me fall and ran over to see if I had a pulse. The DM responded that I had a very faint pulse. This guy decides that if I have a pulse I must be OK, so he returns to the battle. While everyone else fought the goblins, I started rolling a new character. "Does he have a pulse" is still a running gag in our campaign.

Some classic DM comments:
101 Things You Don't Want Your DM To Say.

The Usual Suspects!
RV - Frrrppp AJ - Suits You Sir! PK - 3+2 = ?

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