View Full Version : Funniest miscommunication story?

2007-02-23, 06:59 AM
Some of the funniest mess-ups I've seen in games have come from players not understanding each other. Sometimes their characters aren't able to talk, sometimes a detail gets misheard, and sometimes players just can't be bothered to listen. What's your funniest story of players not understanding/misunderstanding each other?

My one comes from our current D&D group, a few sessions back. Our resident munchkin was playing a Druid/Master of Many Forms. Trouble was, since he was level 5, he could only wild shape once a day, so he spent nearly all of each session in bear form. The player is also one of those who has to chip in with advice and suggestions whenever the party's discussing something. Naturally, the GM ruled that he couldn't talk in bear form - but he could make any noise a bear could.

Me: Okay, I guess we'll go down the tunnel, then.
Bear: Growl!
Me: What was that?
Bear: Growl, snarl, *points*
Me: What's that, boy? Timmy fell down the old well?
Bear: Snarl! Graargh!
Me: I know, let's use a code! You growl once for 'yes' and twice for 'no'.
Bear: Grargh!
Me: So does that one growl mean 'yes'?
Bear: Grargh, argh.
Me: Wait, you're saying 'no'?
Bear: Argh? GRAAAGH! Graagh, argh!
Me: Wait, that was two nos? So you mean that you're saying no about whether you're saying no, and then no again?
Bear: *stops to think* Garrrgh?
Me: So that's a yes, then?
Bear: *hits the wall in frustration, points again* ARRRRRRGH! Grarrrgh, arrrrgh!
Me: Oh, I think I know what he's trying to say. Is it a book, a play, or a movie?
Bear: ?
Me: How many words?
Bear: Gar? Gragh!
Me: Two words. Okay. First syllable?
Me: Something about being angry?
Bear: GRAAAAAGH! ARGH! *points, gestures*
Me: You're angry with the corridor?
Me: . . . No, I'm not getting it. You're going to have to give me a hint here.
Me: Hey, there's no reason to lose your temper. It's not my fault you can't speak Common.

I stopped around this point, since I think the druid's player would have killed me if I'd kept it up much longer and I was laughing too hard to talk straight anyway.

- Saph

2007-02-23, 07:23 AM
Well, that only happened because he wasnt a MoMF yet... but still funny.

Not really miscommunication, but I played a barbarian once who was embarassed about his illiteracy. So much so, that when doors came up that were labled things like "Barracks" or "omg Danger big bad thing" hed shrug and either bash it down or walk right in (depending on his mood) instead of admitting his illiteracy, so none of his party knew that he hadnt paid the points to learn it.

The other Barbarian in the party and I had gotten split off from the rest of the group and were in a dungeon. We went down parallel passages, looking for a way out (the walls were thin, working together we couldve bashed through in 1-2 rounds, so no real danger of splitting up). Both of us found a door. Both of them had writing on them. I said, "Whats your door say?" He said, "I dunno, I cant read!" I said, "Well, mine says its safe, so I'll open it and you catch up." Me: "ARRRRRRRRGGHH!!" Open door, get attacked/eaten by the Spider Swarm the door warned about (in kobold, which I actually spoke, tho obviously couldnt read).

2007-02-23, 09:41 AM
Not really a miscommunication, Just a lack of listening.

BBEG had stolen merchant's daughter and was holding her in his keep. We spent nearly 45 minutes coming up with a sneaky plan involving every tool skill and specialty we could. (it was a 9 person party). Just before enacting our well thought out plan, one character pipes up with "I bash the door in yell 'We're Here' and throw my torch at the nearest thing that's flammable."
He then proceeded to beat us all at initiative checks. (the Dm ruled he had a bonus cuz we were busy planning.)

2007-02-23, 12:18 PM
For an OOC miscommunication... We were adventuring with a first-time player. Can't remember what the specifics were, but we were facing a very confusing scene, and weren't sure what to do. After a little bit, she looks at her skill list, and smiles broadly. "Ah, this'll help!" She rolls a d20. "I appraise the situation!"

2007-02-23, 12:45 PM
This is sort of an intentional miscommunication. In a modern day game, a fellow I know failed his heraldry check when trying to determine the origin of a signet ring. The DM told him that it was the signet of the Beefeaters. It was, in fact, the signet of the Prime Minister or someone else high-ranking, but this guy was a really good gamer, so he ended up sidetracking the campaign for weeks in a quest to take down the Beefeaters.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-02-23, 01:08 PM
Similar to that, I had a bard in my campaign that saw a bunch of Lamias rushing at them and made a terrible bardic lore check. He decided they were centaurs and thus fell right into their trap by sending the caravan they were protecting in the opposite direction while they stood and fought. The caravan ended up half eaten by purple worms by the time the bard realized his crucial error.

2007-02-23, 02:09 PM
We once relied on our hard of hearing Elf who always wears his eyepatch over his good eye for the information. We were sent into ruins to fetch the children of a local lord. So we're down in the dungeon, slaying a baby dragon and punching kobolds and bashing goblins like we just started it. Then some people come in, cause a load of commotion and get killed. Doesn't both us too much, they weren't the kids we were looking for. Deeper into the dungeon do we go... but oh! after four sessions, we looted the bodies of those adults. Turns out, they were the children--he forgot to tell us that they were grown up. We'd spent days in that place looking for the little kids. I went off on him for wasting my lower levels kneedeep in goblin.

2007-02-23, 02:21 PM
The wizard said hit the fighter, so I manyshotted our charmed PC fighter.

"At least I don't have the better version of that attack yet, stop whining an' drink the potion. It's your fault I lost sight of the sorcerers anyway."

2007-02-23, 08:00 PM
One of my players, a rogue, meets a pretty dancer with a sad story about how her father's tavern was taken over by a thieves guild, boo-hoo.

Well, the rogue goes to the temple of the thief god to get information (the clergy are known for their spy network, bonus to Knowledge (local)!) and the clerics tell him to head east to such-an-such city to learn more.

Well, now that the characters have reached the city (6 months in-game, 1 1/2 years out-of-game), the rogue is convinced that the tavern is in the city somewhere and he wants to find it! Unfortunately, the tavern is not in the city but very, very far away. (Dancer got teleported away.) The clergy told him to go to the city because the guild that took over the tavern is part of a larger group that has recently made in-roads into the city's thieves guild. Wait until the rogue finds out that all of his efforts are not going to earn the gratitude of the dancer!

2007-02-23, 08:36 PM
I remember one highly annoying miscommunication.

We were faced with a hostage situation in the middle of a high society party, with nobles and government officials, as well as their bodyguards, everywhere. Of course, we were also hostages (my character was a noble) so we thought we'd break out and blow the hostages into atoms with magic. The bodyguards of course heard us planning and told us not to be fools, that the other people could easily pay the hostage takers the money they wanted.

Our DM decided to grace us with some OOC info. He told us that the guards would attack if we did. Of course, this put a damper on our plans, as there were a lot of guards, and we thought he meant that the guards would subdue us to prevent us from doing something heroic! Of course, I learned some 3 days later that he meant that the guards would help us.:smallfrown:

2007-02-23, 08:46 PM
Heres one that happened entirely OOC between me and my players. Half the party is old 2nd ed players, which spawned the misunderstanding.

DM (me): Ok, you enter the cave and theres a Purple Dragon sitting on a pile of gold, asleep.
Sorceror (old 2nd ed player): Oh, guys, its a Deep Dragon. They arent very strong and the breathe a line of acid.
DM: No, Im serious, its a Purple Dragon.
Ranger (also old 2nd ed player): Deep Dragons are purple. We used to play 2nd edition so we know about a bunch of monsters that are only just now getting put into books.
DM: Seriously, its a Purple Dragon.
Rogue: I attack it with my rapier!

At that point the dragon wakes up and then uses its first breath weapon, a blinding flash of light. The rogue fails his fortitude save and is permanently blinded. The 2nd ed players are like 'wha!' as the dragon commences to shoot bolts of force out of its mouth.

Sorceror: What the hell! They changed deep dragons between editions.
Me: No! Its a Purple Dragon!

*Shows party the sourcebook with the Purple Dragon in it.*

Sorceror: Oh. Why didn't you just say so?
Me: I DID!

2007-02-23, 10:30 PM
I've never heard of Purple Dragons either, I'm not surprised.

2007-02-23, 10:38 PM
Yet being repeately told "No" kind of makes a starement.

2007-02-23, 11:18 PM
I've never heard of Purple Dragons either, I'm not surprised.And if you haven't heard of them, your character probably shouldn't charge at an unknown dragon due to metagame knowledge about the wrong thing. That's the lesson here.

2007-02-24, 12:23 AM
More like, your character shouldn't charge at ANY dragon, regardless of the situation, unless they have in-game knowledge about that specific one.

It's always nice when the party finds out that kind old gold dragon they were helping was actually an ancient black in disguise. Who then proceeds to eat them.

2007-02-24, 08:39 AM
For an OOC miscommunication... We were adventuring with a first-time player. Can't remember what the specifics were, but we were facing a very confusing scene, and weren't sure what to do. After a little bit, she looks at her skill list, and smiles broadly. "Ah, this'll help!" She rolls a d20. "I appraise the situation!"

. . .and the worst bit is, that isn't really a bad idea. Wisdom check, maybe. (WoD has the cheap merit Common Sense to give a "nudge the game's leader for help" mechanic.)

Glossolalia is fun for the speaker, not so much fun for the listeners, and a source of unbounded glee to the Storyteller who keeps telling the glossolalia character plot-points.

Fualkner Asiniti
2007-02-24, 11:28 AM
About "Appraising the Situation..."

Whenever we get stuck, we ask a hobo that looks like the DM.

Fun, Fun times. I have a game today, there is sure to be miscommunication, so I'll post it later.