View Full Version : Your GM screw-ups (and how you wormed your way out of them)

2011-03-29, 04:44 AM
Hi all, I was reading an advice thread for new GM/DMs and the most pertinent piece of advice was; "you will screw up, don't panic" I realised this was very true and I have screwed up many times so here's a thread to share the unintended, frustrating, disastrous or hilarious moments when us GMs have made a mess of things.

My story takes place in Fairhaven in the Eberron campaign setting, fighting a rogue house Deneith captain (kind of like legally sanctioned mercenaries for those unfamiliar with Eberron), the PCs had reduced him to just a couple of remaining HP and as I wanted him to be a recurring villain (at least for a time) when his turn rolled around I had him utter a quip and then leap dramatically out of the window. Unfortunately I was reminded that they were all fighting on the second floor and after a couple of D6 falling damage the PCs looked out to see their foe lying dead on the street below.

Luckily with some quick thinking I announced the villains public death had attracted the city guards! His death went from being a comic fall to an insidious plot to implicate the PCs in his murder.

2011-03-29, 04:49 AM
I accidentally read the wrong description for a room, so I made up something about the room the text was for, the orignal other text wouldn't have fit, that it was an ancient elven bathroom with teleporting waste disposal. I am not sure if they bought it, but they seemed amused.

2011-03-29, 05:01 AM
I had a trap set up. I announced that they just walked through a pool of sticky glue and that the walls are now closing in on them. (a classic, but I thought the glue would be the twist)
players: Are we glued solid or can we move?
Me: with great effort, you can put 1 step as movement.
players: Ok, we take our boots of and, with great effort, we pull them of the floor and run barefoot.

2011-03-29, 05:51 AM
Not sure I'll ever be forgiven for mine, but it was back when I'd first started DMing D20 and had only played a couple of times before (having dotted about a bunch of other systems). Somehow, I managed to completely misinterperet stats and thought that strength=strength modifier. So, I pitted my unwitting Lv5 PCs against wolves which dealt about 50 points of damage each turn.

I didn't manage to worm my way out of that one. Sure, I lied about how much they were doing, but by the end of it, the only person standing was down to about 5hp and the rest of the party was either dead or unconscious.

...To be honest, considering they were stuck in the middle of a forest in Russia, it was probably more realistic that way. :)

2011-03-29, 02:26 PM
Had written something up before we started generating characters.

Elder signs in church.

Plot items in church.

Party sans 1 = vampires.

Sans 1 shoots self in head after terrors.

Solution, introduce insane mortal NPC who defaces the church, and attacks the party, providing both an encounter and a solution to my problem.

2011-03-29, 11:07 PM
Forgetting that my half-vampire NPC was a bard and having her detect as non-magic [houserules: casters themselves detect as magic, and spellcraft lets you tell whether they are arcane or divine casters] was a pretty big one.

Fortunately, the person keeping her captive was an illusionist, so I could BS my way out of it with a simple cross between magic aura and a single-person antimagic field that broke when the illusionist went out of range.