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Didn't go as expected...

So I am a fairly new DM, and I recently started my first campaign in the Exterian Republic, ruled by a Lawful Neutral bureaucracy. There are some Chaotic Good rebels called Malacrats trying to take power. A few adventures in, the PCs were asked by the mayor of Lockston to deal with some raiders in a sandstone fort in the Forsaken Lands desert. They were to be captured and treated badly, and it was revealed that this was the Exterian army they were sent at. A little later there was a jailbreak and some Malacrats had saved their buddies locked up in the fort. The PCs followed them to their estate, and was offered a position in their ranks. The Malacrat escort offered to take them to the leader of the bunker. It was a simple underground place with a pit and bridge near the beginning and a few Malacrats playing rapier boulder pickaxe, the medieval type of rock paper scissors. They complied and this was to be the part where they decide whose side to take, the Exterian's or the Malacrats. They decided to jump in the pit. The first one in was the escort which the charismatic guy convinced to jump in just for kicks. The lawful good guy used his cloak as a parachute and jumped to save him, trusting that the 3 remaining guys would get a rope and fish them out. Instead of a rope, they shaved to beard of a dwarf in the party and made a string one hair thick, and the dwarf actually tried to climb down it. Needless to say, it snapped. One of the two guys left was pushed in my the last player who jumped in to be like the rest of the group. An entire hour was spent trying to figure out a way out, and nobody considered calling for help. The best idea given was climbing up, taking pickaxes, and digging their way out. The adventure ended here, and I'm really not sure what I can do for next weeks adventure.

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level 1
10 points · 6 years ago


You, um... look, the system doesn't always solve the problem, but have you considered playing Toon?

level 2
12 points · 6 years ago · edited 6 years ago


Your players are already playing Toon, you might as well make the system match the setting.

Or, since the campaign has taken 20 levels in ridiculous, you might as well just follow the following rule (which should work admirably):

Anything the player attempts require a skill check as normal. However, instead of failing, the DM takes the difference between the task DC and the result (if lower) and creates an utterly ridiculous scenario based on how far apart they are.

For instance, tunneling out of an underground cavern of solid rock with a few people and pickaxes in only 2 days is a DC 40 Athletics check. Say the players have 12 athletics and roll an 11. Now they're off by 23. Normally this difference of 17 would cause failure. But in this campaign, instead they burrow into a cavern filled with giant spiders that were frozen in time by a wizard who was trying to escape them. Too bad the PCs burrowing in has damaged the magic and the spiders are starting to wake up...

level 3
DM7 points · 6 years ago

Or perhaps you make that rule go both ways and the parties Dwarf with 12 Athletics rolls double 20's for a total result of 52 (Or 62/72/84 depending on your rules) and says "Tunnel through the rocks? That's a wonderful idea!" as he lifts a pickaxe and throws it into a wall at an upward angle, where it spins furiously, rapidly digging a tunnel up and out of their rocky prison without anyone ever having to swing a pickaxe!

level 4

Hey, we're embracing the ridiculous, so why not?

level 4
Original Poster2 points · 6 years ago

This is beautiful! Thanks!

level 5
DM2 points · 6 years ago

No problem.

level 1
Sorcerer6 points · 6 years ago

I would say that the few people playing rapier boulder pickax would have seen this and would be able to assist in some way. If the PC's forgot about them , doesn't mean you have to. Have them laughing at the PC's for being stupid and jumping in the pit.

They could either be persuaded to help the PC's out, or made assist in more creative ways.


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