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Paseo H
2011-02-05, 11:23 AM
Are there those of you who just love to mess with the heads of your players, and see their reactions to massive curveballs you put in their way?

I'm thinking of one to do to my player, based a little on what happens at the end of Blazblue Continuum Shift

One word: Saya.

I'll need time to work out how to do it though.

But in the meantime, any other tips on how you DMs like to troll your players?

faceroll
2011-02-05, 11:27 AM
I get drunk, pretend to be their friends, then make backhanded complements about their SO's and/or profession.

Xyk
2011-02-05, 11:30 AM
My players once spent about an hour and 500 gold acquiring an elephant. Little did they know, their goal was across a rickety bridge.

Quirinus_Obsidian
2011-02-05, 11:46 AM
Yes, I am trolling the troll post with a troll. :smallwink:

I thought it is over CR'ed, but the Fell Troll from Unapproachable East (FR) makes for a good shock trooper. Sending them in a'la Stormtroopers makes for a happy fun battle. Maybe with an Ogre Mage running the show.

Fell Troll
Huge Giant
HP: 16d8+112 (184)
Init: +0
Speed: 40'
AC: 19
BAB: 12
Grapple: +31
Attack: +21 Melee
Full: 2 claws +21 melee / 2 bites +19 melee
Damage:
-Claw 2d4+11
-Bite 2d6+5
Space/Reach: 15'/15'
Special: Rend 4d4+16
SQ: Darkvision 90' , Double Mind (like an Ettin) Regeneration 10 (normal damage from fire and acid), Scent
Saves: Fort 17 , Ref 5 , Will +5 (2 saves)
Skills: Listen +11 , Search +2 , Spot +12
Ability scores:
STR 32 , DEX 11 , CON 24 , INT 7 , WIS 11 , CHA 8
Feats: Alertness, Cleave,. Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack, Track
CR (over CR'ed) 14
Treasure: Standard
LA (not a PC race)
Advancement: Character Class (fighter or Barbarian)

Quirinus_Obsidian
2011-02-05, 11:49 AM
My players once spent about an hour and 500 gold acquiring an elephant. Little did they know, their goal was across a rickety bridge.

DM did something similar to that when we got our hands on a war wagon. :smalltongue:

FMArthur
2011-02-05, 11:50 AM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

faceroll
2011-02-05, 11:54 AM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

That's worse than the Lost-style count down display.

hangedman1984
2011-02-05, 11:59 AM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

i am so stealing this

FMArthur
2011-02-05, 12:00 PM
I don't even know how long it actually works for. I used it on my group when we were in high school and played during lunch hour. It took up the whole hour.

DragonBaneDM
2011-02-05, 12:06 PM
Running a dungeon at two o clock. Using that. Oh so using that.


I had something similiar in Cyan Bloodbane's dungeon. It was an hourglass that, when it ran out, opened the door on the other side of the room. While it counts down though, they hear this terrible clanking noise and the roof begins to shake.

So I got a couple little one minute hourglasses and put one in front of my players. Took two hours for them to get past that room.

Gnoman
2011-02-05, 12:11 PM
Heh. I once gave a 5th-level party an absurdly easy puzzle door into a dungeon. (The door was engraved with "The courteous man shall pass". The solution was to knock on the door, or use a knock spell, which the PCs had.) 4 hours later, they gave up on the door and climbed down a chimney.

Boci
2011-02-05, 12:17 PM
Have your PCs face a wand wielder artificer, using their ability to substitute MMís level increase by burning extra charges on the wands. Write up the gp value of his gear at the beginning and adjust it accordingly each round.

Yay, I can type normally in Microsoft.

Amnestic
2011-02-05, 01:00 PM
Are there those of you who just love to mess with the heads of your players, and see their reactions to massive curveballs you put in their way?

I'm thinking of one to do to my player, based a little on what happens at the end of Blazblue Continuum Shift

One word: Saya.

I'll need time to work out how to do it though.

But in the meantime, any other tips on how you DMs like to troll your players?

Damned Arc System Works forcing me to buy their next (extremely enjoyable) game to get answers :smallfrown:

Put trope-like aspects into your game (eg. extremely friendly and helpful DMPC who the party expects will betray them at some point) and then don't fulfill the trope (he doesn't betray them).

Any Xanatos Gambit tends to be a pretty decent troll too.

Zaeron
2011-02-05, 01:09 PM
I used to DM for a very cautious group. One week, I'd promised a dungeon, but due to RL circumstances I didn't have a dungeon.

So I sent them down a series of corridors, which finally terminated in a large, circular room. Darkness was cast all along the ceiling of the room. They moved through the room, and triggered the 'trap'.

First, the doors on either end of the room closed. Second, the darkness spell was dispelled, revealing hundreds upon hundreds of vials of alchemist's fire suspended by rope from the ceiling. Third, a small pedestal with a button rose up in the middle of the room. Fourth, a countdown began, from ten.

So, thinking quickly, they try to shoot some of the alchemist fire down. There's a wall of force. Countdown at 7. They run through spell lists, nobody has Dispel Magic (we're noobs!). Countdown at two. Dwarf barbarian (played by a highschool sophomore with anger issues irl) finally just hits the button. The countdown resets to ten. I pass the player a bottle cap.

I start counting down from ten, and every time the PLAYER presses the bottle cap, I go back to ten.

The characters begin to deliberate.

Finally, an hour and a half of real time later, they finally come up with their plan. They use their Ice Wall spells to create a kind of igloo around the exit, and hide inside it, planning to run through the door when the trap resets, after hopefully not burning to death. The dwarf's player is enraged, since every time he stops pressing the button, I start counting again. So FINALLY, they let the countdown run out.

And the doors open.

I swear to god, two other people had to physically restrain the kid with the bottlecap - I've never had a player actually come across the table at me, before or since.

That dungeon also featured my famous 'pit of oil with a fire elemental summoning pillar at the center' combat. Don't fail those balance checks, guys!

Ravens_cry
2011-02-05, 01:31 PM
Heh. I once gave a 5th-level party an absurdly easy puzzle door into a dungeon. (The door was engraved with "The courteous man shall pass". The solution was to knock on the door, or use a knock spell, which the PCs had.) 4 hours later, they gave up on the door and climbed down a chimney.
I would have thought some kind of bowing would have been required. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to the players. Conversely, something you think is devious as all get out may be a simple chestnut to the players. Its the same problem with making puzzles for a video game, especially old school adventure games.

2xMachina
2011-02-05, 01:37 PM
Knock on a lock always works, barring DM fiat. It's the FoM/Mind blank of locks. Nothing stops Knock (baring perhaps Epic magic who's sole purpose is to stop Knock).

Naturebane
2011-02-05, 02:02 PM
I was kinda mean to my players 2 door related problems:

First was a door in the dungeon the was made of iron and had a dwarven carving on it with a door handle and so on they did there detect magic and search the door for traps and locks they find nothing then they go to open it and *gasp* it doesn't open they push and they push but it still wont open it took them about an hour and a half with a 1/2 made battering ram to try to get past it till the rouge in the party tried pulling the door open the look on their faces as it just swings open

second was a wooden door that just sits in the middle of the road no one can see it but the party and trying detect magic is kind of useless in the magic capital so they search the door till they finally try to open it it doesn't open (then they remember the first problem) and open the door and now there's an open door in the middle of a street that no one can see or touch but the PCs this took about an hour

LOTRfan
2011-02-05, 02:41 PM
Just so you know, I am stealing all these ideas. :smallwink:

Ernir
2011-02-05, 02:46 PM
Heh. I once gave a 5th-level party an absurdly easy puzzle door into a dungeon. (The door was engraved with "The courteous man shall pass". The solution was to knock on the door, or use a knock spell, which the PCs had.) 4 hours later, they gave up on the door and climbed down a chimney.

I would have asked the door to please open itself.

Then I would have Knocked it open. How can they have not used that? :smalleek:

Jay R
2011-02-05, 04:33 PM
Deep in a dungeon they come across a room with a jade pillar. It is impervious to all their attacks. They go through a door, and the flash of a spell goes off, but nothing apparent happens.

Back through the door, and the pillar in the room is now clay, and easy to break.

If they continue, they will eventually discover something is wrong with their map.

The kicker is that nothing is wrong with their map, the jade didn't turn to clay, and the chunks of clay they are now carrying will never turn into jade. The flash of magic didn't turn jade into clay; it was a teleport, into another area identical for 60 feet in all directions, except that it has a clay pillar.

They will go through all sorts of gyrations trying to turn their clay chunks "back" into jade. But they will likely never realize that there were two pillars, since both areas looked the same.

TheCountAlucard
2011-02-05, 04:39 PM
Design the campaign such that after thirty sessions, the entire setup of the entire game thus far was so that you could make one "Purple People-Eater" joke, or something similarly-silly. :smalltongue:

Okay, I didn't do that, but... :smalltongue:

rayne_dragon
2011-02-05, 04:55 PM
Maybe, I'm rather predictable, but these kinds of things are standard in my dungeon design. Any room that doesn't have an encouter, trap, treasure, or secret passage has something bizarrely weird there just to freak out players. Strange glowing objects are a favourite. For some reason players always get so caught up examinine such objects and/or trying to figure out how to take them with them. Or just throw in weird lights or strange pools.

The other things I like to do is hand out potions or rings of delusion from 2nd edition. Or take other weird stuff from AD&D like the there, not there spell from tome of magic. I've never seen anyone spend so much time walking in and out of a door because of a chair.

I may have to steal liberally from this thread in the future.

randomhero00
2011-02-05, 05:00 PM
Have them wake up free falling next to flying vicious looking birdmen that aren't attacking.

Keep describing the ground getting closer. But give them plenty of time to think about what to do (obviously a party under the level of fly spell, someone might have feather fall, but not all). Sometimes I make it so this is actually how they meet each other initially.

Well turns out the flying vicious looking birdmen were trying to help them.

If they simply let their character fall they create a huge crater but take no damage.

Reasoning for either of the above depends on campaign and plot hooks and what we're playing. But its always silly to watch their faces as they think they're about to lose a character they just made.

Amnestic
2011-02-05, 05:08 PM
Have them wake up free falling next to flying vicious looking birdmen that aren't attacking.

Keep describing the ground getting closer. But give them plenty of time to think about what to do (obviously a party under the level of fly spell, someone might have feather fall, but not all). Sometimes I make it so this is actually how they meet each other initially.

Well turns out the flying vicious looking birdmen were trying to help them.

If they simply let their character fall they create a huge crater but take no damage.

Reasoning for either of the above depends on campaign and plot hooks and what we're playing. But its always silly to watch their faces as they think they're about to lose a character they just made.

That's a really cool way to start a campaign off I must say. I might have to steal it at some point.

Kaww
2011-02-05, 05:19 PM
Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=173273)

I prefer my players shaken, not stirred...

mabriss lethe
2011-02-05, 05:56 PM
The tale of "Pretty Pink Princess":

My players in an evil campaign had recently botched an assassination attempt that was unsanctioned by the Assassin's Guild. The guild was upset and the players were about as subtle as a burning city, so they decided to leave. The guild trailed them for a while and eventually caught up with the party on the shores of a neighboring island chain. The assassins pulled a scry-and-die teleport attempt as soon as the party made it to shore. The party wiped the floor with them without breaking a sweat and then looted the bodies. They got a ton of nice gear that they immediately began using (Didn't even stuff them away for a later identification.)

I let them play with the new toys for a few sessions and then sent the next batch of assassins. Instead of gear laden mooks with a little extra sneak attack damage, I sent a wizard partnered with a Hexblade and a Hexblade/suel archanamach. They came in under the cover of large scale illusion spells when the party was just settling in to sleep. They worked their way into position and popped off a good number of defenses and buffs before attacking. (the lone man on watch had managed to spot them and nudge the rest of the party awake, springing the ambush early. (they were waiting for exactly dawn to take the vampire in the party out of the combat equation.)

It was a long, tough fight that initially had the party on the run, but they eventually turned the tides. They were just about to mop up with the hexblades when they heard the wizard shout as loudly as he could.

"Pretty Pink Princess!"

It was a trigger word for a custom spell. The spell was called "subdue curse." All it did was make a cursed item under its influence act exactly like the magic item it pretended to be even after it should have revealed its cursed nature.

Yes, all the gear they picked up from the first wave of assassins was cursed. There were boots of dancing, a helm of opposite alignment, bracers of defenselessness, a few cursed weapons... and they all triggered at once. Yeah. they were pretty much boned until a cleric under the the effects of a feeblemind spell decided she wanted to "hug the nice man who thought she was a pretty pink princess"

DragonBaneDM
2011-02-05, 06:17 PM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

I followed through with my word. Just got done using this. The were stalled in that hallway for a good twenty minutes. :smallbiggrin:

Rhuadin
2011-02-05, 06:40 PM
Design the campaign such that after thirty sessions, the entire setup of the entire game thus far was so that you could make one "Purple People-Eater" joke, or something similarly-silly. :smalltongue:

Along those lines:
An old, wizened sage needs the party to retrieve a reagent for his next spell. In particular, it is the stomach of a specific white dragon who lives on a mountain in a continent far away.

When they finally return, you can then inform your players that they've delivered the wizard's blizzard lizard gizzard.

KillianHawkeye
2011-02-05, 06:46 PM
I once ran a Christmas-themed adventure which culminated in rescuing the city's children from the snow demon's extradimensional lair. (His lair was inside what was basically an oversized bag of holding.)

Anyway, the only way back to the real world was through a stone archway containing a portal and a riddle about "only he who knew the true meaning of Christmas could pass." In order to activate the portal, someone had to find and press the correct symbol in a series of 12 pictographs. There were pictures of a lamb, holly & mistletoe, carolers, dumplings, turtledoves, lovers, etc. The portal would only activate if the star symbol was pressed.

The star was the only picture of something that didn't contain an L.

No L.

Noel.

For those that don't know, the word Noel means birth and at Christmastime refers to the birth of Jesus (AKA the true meaning of Christmas).



My players only got by through a process of elimination, and it took them over an hour because I was heavily implying that the ceiling would collapse on them if they made too many mistakes. None of them got my obscure referencing and I had to explain it to them afterwards. :smallsigh:

Beelzebub1111
2011-02-05, 09:54 PM
If my players decide to essentially go "SCREW YOU DM!" and walk off to a random country. I have an adventure planned...It will not be pleasant. Standard Kobold dungeon, with a catch. Only one kobold, and she must be brought out of the trap infested holy ground ALIVE AND UNHARMED as she is the chieftan's daughter.

FMArthur
2011-02-05, 10:02 PM
I followed through with my word. Just got done using this. The were stalled in that hallway for a good twenty minutes. :smallbiggrin:

Were they angry afterwards? I wasn't allowed to DM for a short stint.

Rainbownaga
2011-02-05, 10:37 PM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

One of the OD&D starting beginner sets had something like this: a rope connected to a log above a treasure chest. If you cut or untie the rope it breaks the chest, otherwise it's completely harmless.

Volos
2011-02-05, 10:37 PM
If my players decide to essentially go "SCREW YOU DM!" and walk off to a random country. I have an adventure planned...It will not be pleasant. Standard Kobold dungeon, with a catch. Only one kobold, and she must be brought out of the trap infested holy ground ALIVE AND UNHARMED as she is the chieftan's daughter.

That is a terrible way to handle your players. While I am all for messing with them, if they were upset enough to want to walk off in a random direction rather than to deal with your plotline, I doubt they would willingly deal with that dungeon. If my players get pissed off or fed up and walk off in a random direction I already have that part of my world designed and ready to go. I let them do whatever they want and let them enjoy/siffer the consequences.

As for trolling, I had my players fight a green dragon of their CR. It was a tough fight but they ended up winning in the end. As they were going through the treasure they realized it was a rather large haul for their level. So they did a few survival checks and realized the green dragon they killed wasn't the only one living there and there were three more dragons living there. They dropped the loot, and ran for all they were worth. Later on they heard about the some adventurers finding three green dragon wrymlings guarding a huge treasure and how rich they all were now. I was nearly strangled by my players but they had to admit that they never asked how old the other three dragons were. They missed out on sooo much gold. :smallamused:

Necro_EX
2011-02-05, 10:58 PM
One of my favorite techniques to use in dungeon design is to sort of...'age' the dungeon a bit. This obviously doesn't work if it's going to be some place no one's ever been to before, but some times they're going to be going to a place after someone else has, correct?

So, not every room is necessarily going to be consistently dangerous.

An example:

My group's going into a small tower out in the woods. Here in this tower is a captured pyrohydra that they know they must face. The tower has six floors, and they know the hydra's at the top.

They enter and find the first floor to be relatively empty, it's got some nice carvings in the walls, but that's really it.
The second floor has a large brazier in the middle. As they begin to pass it a fire elemental rises from it and begins to attack them. A couple of turns later another one pops up and begins attacking. A couple of turns in one of my players figures it out and knocks it over.
Up to the third floor. This floor has a couple of long jumps they'll have to make in order to make it to the other side, with seemingly infinitely deep chasms to fall into. The first couple of them make the jump fairly easily and the others make use of a rope to get across. After the rope is caught, the little halfling cleric leaps...and falls just short of it. Good thing he brought the rope, because he's now suspended by it.
All this commotion wakes the air elemental in the room that begins to attack the ones holding the rope, putting our little halfling friend at risk. Eventually they kill it and make the second jump to the other side.
This fourth floor is the one that really trolled them.
You see the room is basically empty, except the middle of it looks like a mostly dried up river-bed. The floor dips down and there is still some water in there, but not a whole lot. The cleric and the wizard are freaking out and don't think they can just trust the water, I believe they both thought it might be acid or spawn some water elementals or somesuch, but neither really said just what their concerns were, just that they didn't want to go through it.

The duskblade and the swash?
The just go right through it and nothing happens.

Then they go on to have the most pathetic fight with a hydra ever.
You see, the swash happened to have come across a firebane cutlass in a previous adventure, making two of the three fights in this little adventure pretty damned easy.

Seriously, though...the fear of shallow water was just hilarious.

jguy
2011-02-05, 11:10 PM
My favorite way to screw with my players is to simply smile at them. Especially when nothing is going on. It freaks them out. The biggest groans are when I am not intentionally trying to scare them. I am usually looking in the Monster Manual or PHB or some other book very intently. Usually they are talking between one another but slowly it gets quiet as they realize I haven't said anything. They are staring at me when suddenly I see something I like and a big 'ol smile blooms across my face and I look up at them. The terror on their faces is delicious.


I also like to screw with their metagame knowledge when it comes to AC andsaves by saying "You're attack hit, but barely," or "Manages to hit" on absurdly high rolls. The funny thing is sometimes I am completely serious.

TheCountAlucard
2011-02-05, 11:24 PM
My favorite way to screw with my players is to simply smile at them.Smiling is a great trick, coupled with other GM tools.

Another fun tactic is to mess with the Law of Conservation of Detail. :smallamused:

jguy
2011-02-05, 11:26 PM
As in going hyper detailed about a completely benign and harmless object but in doing so makes the players obsess over it for like 20 minutes? Yeah, I love it.

TheCountAlucard
2011-02-05, 11:37 PM
As in going hyper detailed about a completely benign and harmless object but in doing so makes the players obsess over it for like 20 minutes?Not even "hyper" detailed is necessary - just describe it in a way that indicates that it's even the slightest bit out of place, and the players will be bugged about it forever. :smallamused:

Or, contrariwise, take something that's extremely significant (like the dragon attacking them), and don't detail it that much. :smalltongue: Make sure you have a reason for doing so (for instance, maybe it's generating a mental field of ignorance that subconciously makes you think it's someone else's problem).

MeeposFire
2011-02-05, 11:49 PM
Not even "hyper" detailed is necessary - just describe it in a way that indicates that it's even the slightest bit out of place, and the players will be bugged about it forever. :smallamused:

Or, contrariwise, take something that's extremely significant (like the dragon attacking them), and don't detail it that much. :smalltongue: Make sure you have a reason for doing so (for instance, maybe it's generating a mental field of ignorance that subconciously makes you think it's someone else's problem).

I had this happen in an adventure. I described a tunnel leading to rubble. The party thought I was trying to say it was special and searched forever. Eventually they gave up but later they talked so much about this corridor that later I had them be able to clear the rubble which led to a binder library which was not part of the original plan at all. They loved it. Morale of the story is "players hate random dead ends".

Ajadea
2011-02-05, 11:56 PM
On the forum, my players in The Wrong Guys have been stalled for 5 days RL, about 16-17 minutes in game (and mind you, they're hunting a sorcerer who can dimension door places), and through 41 posts in the IC thread by a slimy hole they can't see.
I wasn't trying.
Law of Conservation of Detail meant they spent 3 of those days/minutes trying to figure out who should wade through first, when in fact, said hole is at least 10 feet deep and therefore impossible to wade through. Do you have any idea how many times a sorcerer can cast dimension door in 16 minutes?
This one can do it 10 times before she runs out of spell slots, and so she is over a mile away at the moment.
Of course, this is after I took pains to make them paranoid enough not to trust the random damsel in distress or the nice healer lady (admittedly, both of them attempted to kill the party, and one of them nearly did kill the paladin twice, in a roundabout way).
She's still a damsel in distress. She's still a nice healer.
And the convenient presence of a half-elf druid in the party prevents them from getting help from the people (refluffed, slightly tweaked, paladins) who are equipped to handle this, on account of the fact that those people would also kill that character. I warned them about this fact. They thought it was interesting.
It has a good chance of killing some, if not all of them.
Paranoia will destroy ya.

alchemyprime
2011-02-06, 12:02 AM
I had a goblin band fight a group of players. The goblin band had a bard. I have a lot of celtic music, drinking songs and Appalachian mountain music and Zydeco on my computer, and so every time the bard cast a spell, I'd change the music.

The bard cast a spell that summoned a Water Elemental, and he played a sea shanty. He healed an ally and sang a drinking song. I followed patterns like this as he cast (Bone Fiddle used the Forest Temple from LoZ:OoT. I HATE that music for it's screechy violins!).

Then he cast Hideous Laughter. The player failed his save.

The goblin began to sing, after doing his own hamboned drum intro "We're no strangers to loooooooove..."

Cue the whole table bursting out into Hideous Laughter except the cleric, who has been RIckroll'd more than any other man in the world.

Ernir
2011-02-06, 12:36 AM
Or, contrariwise, take something that's extremely significant (like the dragon attacking them), and don't detail it that much. :smalltongue:

I've deliberately done this once.

Me: "The dragon casts a spell at you. Roll a fort save."
Wizard: "22."
Me: "You die."
Wizard: "Wait, what?"
Me: "You failed the save, and you die. Druid, you're up."
Wizard: :smalleek:


I went into the (in)appropriate details of describing what happened when the wizard got Imploded afterwards, but the few seconds of "whatdidhejustsay!?" are somehow much more memorable. :smallbiggrin:

RipperOfShirts
2011-02-06, 12:56 AM
Every now and then, I'll roll a random dice, make a sound like something bad happened, and when asked, just say 'don't worry about it... yet.'


Or, halfway through a dungeon, when a player says 'we open the door' or something similar, I pause, roll a few dice, frown, reach for a calculator, a sheet of paper and a pencil, a few random sourcebooks, then say 'ok guys, I think it's time for a lunch break while I work this out.'

Jarawara
2011-02-06, 12:57 AM
You put a huge boulder above a narrow corridor in plain sight, held up by decrepit-looking supports. If knocked down it blocks the corridor.

That is the full extent of this dungeon feature. It's not a trap unless they make it one. Guaranteed to stall a cautious group for a hilariously large amount of time.

I did this, and I didn't even intend it.

After a particularly vicious fight, players come across a hallway, statues on either side. Players are certain the statues are animated, or trapped, or trapped and animated. Party refuses to go down this hallway, spend weeks looking for alternate paths to reach to the other side, and finally give up and simply never enter the hallway again.

Statues were... decorative statues only.

Hallway led to a big treasure room. They had already fought the big fight, this was their treasure reward for it - but they never went there again.

Volos
2011-02-06, 01:17 AM
Sometimes I use an online dice roller for my DM rolls for my games. My players tend to freak out when I click the mouse a few times and then lean in toward the screen as if I'm trying to get a better look. It's more effective than rolling random dice for my groups. They don't know if I'm rolling dice, looking up monsters, or trying to figure out which square the character is on and if that is the one with the save or die trap.

One of my favorite tricks to pull on my players is the passing of notes. I pre-print out notes that I will give to people based on their saves vs certian spells or whatnot. Those who fail get certian results while those who make their saves get other results. And I love tricking players with traps that don't do what you expect. If you fail your reflex save you fall into the pit, but take next to no damage. If you make your reflex save, you're up top when the arrows start flying. I never make it too deadly when I mix it up, but it keeps them on their toes and has thrwarted a few cheaters before. My favorite was the spinning wall trap. If you fail your reflex you are sent to the next room. If you succeed you're stuck in the room that is now filling with poison gas. The gas is thick and reduces visability, making it hard to find the switch that reactivates the wall and saves you.

Shatteredtower
2011-02-06, 02:03 AM
With one group, I only have to say, "large bay window".

They were once stuck in a house surrounded by thugs. Not wanting to be bottle-necked at the door, they asked their DM about alternate exits. She mentioned a large bay window. They tried to open it.

"It doesn't open," she told them.

Freaking out, the rogue squeezed through a drain pipe in the basement in order to reach them from the sewers, while the wizard took a fey step past the glass.

After watching the wizard take a thorough beating for two rounds, one of the players finally asked, "Couldn't we just smash the window?"

The group tends to get a bit full of itself at times, so it gets mentioned regularly. The best part is that the realisation didn't come to the group's self styled "tactical geniuses".

JaronK
2011-02-06, 02:07 AM
This was two players interacting, but the Sorcerer was running from the Fighter and had few spells left, so he ducked through a door and then cast Magic Mouth on it. When the Fighter got to the door, it asked him a complete nonsense riddle. He spent 20 minutes trying to solve the door, until he finally just hit the door in frustration... and smashed it open. At this point he realized it was unlocked the whole time. He was pissed. The Sorcerer had escaped.

JaronK

Paseo H
2011-02-06, 03:47 AM
I came up with a way.

There is a special sort of empathic weapon that my player just became familiar with.

This person he is about to meet will seem to have one herself, but the truth is, it's a lightsaber.

She's part of some Jedi cult.

Combat Reflexes
2011-02-06, 05:37 AM
How to annoy the hell out of your players? Very easy. Give one player some kind of weapon (arrows work best) that explodes for high damage whenever someone says the command word. The command word is, of course, Noe.

No, my players haven't read Goblins :smallamused:

Jamini
2011-02-06, 06:05 AM
My personal favorite is simply having summons remember their summoner.

Nothing quite beats having the wolf you just summoned sit down and absolutly refuse to help you in combat because you sent it off to trigger a trap a fwe days prior. It adds a whole new level of complexity to the "Summon Monster X fix" problem.

Also, I'm a huge fan of being a stickler about a character needing eight hours of rest to regain spells. It's a minor detail so many casters forget (pre-rope trick, though I tend to houserule around that as well.) that matters a hell of a lot when a well-optimized spellcaster shows up.

TroubleBrewing
2011-02-06, 01:38 PM
A few years back, I ran a campaign with another DM. Both of us are pretty experienced players, and we ran the game together with the intention of introducing a party of six players to the game. We started at level 1, core classes only, and went from there.

One of the first adventures we ran was a dungeon that was filled with equal parts D&D tropes and complete player trolls. One of the aforementioned trolls went as follows:

The dungeon was (as the backstory for the place went, unbeknownst to the players) designed by a powerful wizard who was a former adventurer. He hid the majority of his wealth at the end of the dungeon, intending for the dungeon to be a test for his eldest son. The son, however, was a complete idiot and utterly failed to complete the dungeon. As a result, the treasure remained untouched until the players arrived.

One of the puzzles was simply a door that, when approached, began to speak to them. It was a simple enough magical contraption, basically just a permanancied Magic Mouth on a stone door. The speech we prepared began "Welcome, my son to the Cave of Trials! I have decided that this shall be a way of testing you to gain your inheritance." It continued onward for three whole pages. I read this entire speech in the most annoying, grating voice I possibly could, and if any of the players interrupted, I would begin the whole ordeal over again. Finally, they heard the end of the speech, which ended like this: "This door shall be a test of your wits! Answer the following riddle to continue: What goes on three legs in the morning, wears fur in the afternoon, drinks ditch water for tea, and hates geese?" The riddle was designed to be impossible; it has no answer. The actual solution was simple: the door wasn't even locked. The players never bothered to check the door. Every answer they gave to the riddle started the whole speech over again. I must have read that speech a dozen times, taking over three hours of real time before the party wizard got sick of waiting and attempted to fireball the door. I told him that "the force of the blast caused the door to swing inward just a few inches, and upon examining the door frame, you find that there wasn't even a lock mechanism."

There were books thrown that night. Many, many books.

EDIT: Ninja'd, apparently. This idea is just too funny for us to have invented it first. :smallamused:

Ryu_Bonkosi
2011-02-07, 04:44 AM
One of my favorite little things to do is the belt of giant's strength that is really a cursed belt of gender bending. Players get so uptight when their character's genitalia change.

fortesama
2011-02-07, 05:32 AM
Our DM pulled this one once: after detonating the newly joined conjurer's spellbook, the wiz tried to buy a blank book and copy off spells from the local wizard shop. Thing is, the only publicly available spells were all Evoc and Enchantment (his banned schools) and the wiz's grimoire is, naturally, off limits. The player replied by rolling an StP erudite.

faceroll
2011-02-07, 06:04 AM
Not mine, but in an AD&D game, the party was going through a dungeon crawl. Pretty big party, savvy players. Anyway, they're getting to the end, having to pull all these levers and chant instructions to open doors, killing some monsters here and there. As they think they're about to exit the dungeon, they come to a large, empty room. A dead end. Some checks are made, etc, as they examine the room. However, as soon as the cartographer crosses the threshold, he falls over, dead. More checking for traps, saves vs. illusion, looking for hidden traps. You name it, they were doing it.

Finally, they decide they'd just take the body back to town for a raise, so they pry the map from the cold, dead hands of the stiffening corpse of their former comrade. And that character dies. It took another character death to realize the map was killing them, and two more to realize that they couldn't actually look at the map. Finally, one of them picks it up, holds it to the light, and looks through the paper to see the map.

The entire dungeon crawl was an elaborate ritual to create a death rune, which was now on the piece of paper they had. It was almost a TPK.


Our DM pulled this one once: after detonating the newly joined conjurer's spellbook, the wiz tried to buy a blank book and copy off spells from the local wizard shop. Thing is, the only publicly available spells were all Evoc and Enchantment (his banned schools) and the wiz's grimoire is, naturally, off limits. The player replied by rolling an StP erudite.

That's trolls trolling trolls....

supermonkeyjoe
2011-02-07, 06:22 AM
I once trolled my players by having them spend a couple of adventures dealing with a shadowy organisation that had an NPC called Brina hiding in her wardrobe due to fear that she knew too much and they'd come to kill her.

Long story short the PCs wipe out the organisation and tell Brina the news and she is understandably overjoyed, they came back the next day to escort her back to SHarn as they had been hired to do and she was...gone!

Cue half an hour of PCs combing her house for clues, interrogating the inhabitants of the surrounding houses for information and frantically searching for any trace of her, utterly convinced she had been kidnapped or killed.

Just as they give up she comes strolling back into the house, arms full of groceries, she'd gone to get some food to make them all a packed lunch for the journey
My face (http://myfacewhen.com/71/)

Jay R
2011-02-07, 12:41 PM
I only pulled this off once, because I knew the PC's stats and saving throws. (This was original D&D. Spot checks were made by a low roll against INT. Saving throws were made by rolling high against a number from a table.)

I said "Everybody roll a 20-sided die, and tell me what you got." They each announced a number, and I was able to see that worked out perfectly.

"OK, who rolled under their INT?" Everyone with a low roll raised their hands. "You all see a group of archers at the edge of the woods, preparing an ambush. There appear to be more than thirty of them. The rest of you only see bushes swaying in the breeze."

In fact, they hadn't made an INT roll; they had failed their saving throw against illusion. But by phrasing it that way, I convinced all of them that the ones who had failed were clever enough to see a trap in advance, and they retreated and tried to circle around and ambush the archers, who, somehow, they never managed to find.