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USS Sorceror
2016-04-13, 11:19 PM
What times have you had where you outsmarted a particular canny DM or player (or someone who thinks they're clever)?

My story!

In one campaign, our DM got so busy he started outsourcing monsters to other people. One of those people is a guy I'll call X. X thought he was very clever and could build characters with a lot of abilities that exploited 3.5's system. He had to build a sorcerer a few levels higher than our level 3 or 4 party.
In the actual dungeon, the Druid, the Cleric, the home brew Fighter I was running for a friend, our Bard, and my actual character the Barbarian face him down. He starts by casting fog cloud, then casts a spell that can blind adjacent targets while turning invisible. The goal was to use concealment bonuses to make the battle super frustrating.
However, we easily beat him when we let the Druid's wolf loose on him and summoned a couple more. He complained that we didn't beat him, our summons did, but the guys still dead either way.

TL,DR: Sorcerer turns invisible, did not account for a tactic that's been around since the beginning.

Lycanthrope13
2016-04-14, 01:06 PM
I've got one that's really just a lesson in logistics.

Setup: basic dungeon crawl through some creepy temple of death. Party enters a room and sees an undead cyclops. We were still pretty green at this point, and it was supposed to be a challenge.

I asked the DM, "How big is that door we just came through?" He looks at me funny and says, "I don't know... regular sized?" I just smiled. The zombie-clops was too big to fit through the door. We pulled back through the doorway and just peppered it with arrows and spells while taking no damage at all.

The lesson: If you put a monster in a dungeon, make sure that it fits.

Quertus
2016-04-14, 01:29 PM
Speaking of logistics...

I was in a 2 DM, good vs evil game. We met weekly. The DMs set it up where all the towns / encounters were a week apart. Since it was a race, I had our party use forced march and double time rules to speed through the towns / encounters / investigation. We may have been ready to drop, but we got there in under half the time.

ComaVision
2016-04-14, 01:34 PM
One of my previous DMs had our group fight two Bodaks, with the intention of killing my character. He had forgotten that I purchased Soulfire armor (immune to death effects) the session prior. I think there were 7 of us that night and I was the only survivor.

USS Sorceror
2016-04-14, 03:28 PM
I've got one that's really just a lesson in logistics.

Setup: basic dungeon crawl through some creepy temple of death. Party enters a room and sees an undead cyclops. We were still pretty green at this point, and it was supposed to be a challenge.

I asked the DM, "How big is that door we just came through?" He looks at me funny and says, "I don't know... regular sized?" I just smiled. The zombie-clops was too big to fit through the door. We pulled back through the doorway and just peppered it with arrows and spells while taking no damage at all.

The lesson: If you put a monster in a dungeon, make sure that it fits.

I had a similar problem with an ogre zombie in a Medium sized house.

Kid Jake
2016-04-14, 04:30 PM
This is less an example of me outwitting anybody and more just exploiting a player's knee-jerk behavior for my own evil ends, but here we go:

In an M&M game the PCs (a psychiatrist with mind control powers and a petty thief that could turn into diamond) brought down a supervillain with enhanced intelligence. Considering that the way they beat him was the mind control guy just asked for the villain's weapon and rolled better than his will save, I thought it was sort of an anti-climatic way for somebody touted as the smartest man alive to go down. I didn't want to invalidate his success by fudging rolls or anything like that, so I just started describing all of the tantalizing buttons on the thing while IC the villain was talking about how they could never control the power of his staff.

The player cut me off by saying "I don't care, I'm not a toddler. The kind of people that just push random buttons usually don't make it through med school."

With a sigh of disappointment I turned to his girlfriend, playing the brutish diamond lady, and was like "Well damn, now I guess you'll never know what all it does."


Before the player could even finish shouting out "Wait, he's playing us against each other!" her greed and curiosity had her clothesline him IC and while they scuffled the, now unopposed, villain just brushed himself off; picked up his power-staff and walked away.

Out of all the games I've ran over the years, that session gave me the most amusement by far.

jinjitsu
2016-04-14, 05:33 PM
I was a half-iron golem barbarian/frenzied berserker. I was in a one-on-one arena match against a mage of some description when the floor started shifting, making a checkerboard of lowered and raised blocks. Once I'd crawled out of the block I got dropped into, the mage tried to slow me down by dropping a wall of fire in front of me across the block I was on. I declared that I walked right into the flames, and the DM gave me a confused "...ok." I then pointed him to the iron golem and half-iron golem's special interaction with fire damage - that mage had dropped a 4th-level spell to heal me for 5 hp.

raygun goth
2016-04-14, 06:14 PM
TL,DR: Sorcerer turns invisible, did not account for a tactic that's been around since the beginning.

Wait, what? The wolves still have at least 50% miss chance.

Pex
2016-04-14, 07:12 PM
2E game

The party is traveling to a destination. We have minor encounters. During all this the DM gleefully boasts about this large forest we'll have to cross. He's all excited about all the natural hazards and denizens we need to face. He literally, and I mean literally, mocks the players we have to struggle through it. We come to the edge of the forest. I happen to be playing a druid. I cast Giant Insect. In 3E it became Giant Vermin. In 2E Giant Insect worked a little bit differently. Because of my level I am able to enlarge a number of bees capable of being mounts for the entire party. On the bees we go and fly over the forest avoiding all the natural hazards and denizens the DM was all so smug about.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-04-14, 07:37 PM
Wait, what? The wolves still have at least 50% miss chance.

1d4+1 wolves can still surround him and bite him to death, even if each of them misses every other round. I am betting the Sorcerer had abysmal AC and counted on miss chance and concealment for his whole defense.

USS Sorceror
2016-04-14, 11:07 PM
1d4+1 wolves can still surround him and bite him to death, even if each of them misses every other round. I am betting the Sorcerer had abysmal AC and counted on miss chance and concealment for his whole defense.

Correct! Get the party's fighter and some fairly good d100 rolls in there and you're gonna have a bad time.

KillianHawkeye
2016-04-14, 11:34 PM
In a recent adventure I ran for D&D 3.5, I had an aboleth BBEG and his small army of orc and goblinoid minions take over a small village. Now, between the aboleth's ability with mind control and a ton of mid- and high-level illusion spell-like abilities, I was able to keep up the mystery of who the PCs were really fighting for quite some time.

In the penultimate fight of the adventure, the PCs went to rescue the village blacksmith who was being forced to smith for the bad guys, and who happened to be guarded by the BBEG's enforcer, a troll with class levels. Like all of the aboleth's minions, this troll was disguised by an illusion, in this case it was that of a fire giant. Basically the idea was to trick the PCs into not attacking the troll with fire, and it worked. One of my players was even about to use a burning hands spell to hit the giant along with some other guys standing next to him, but I managed to dissuade him with a casual, seemingly off-hand remark: "So, you're gonna use burning hands against a fire giant?" :smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin:

He was pretty mad that I had managed to trick him like that after the identity of the troll had been revealed.



Also, this isn't a relevant part of the story, but I really LOVE using mind control against the PCs and getting my own players to fight each other. :smallwink::smallamused:

raygun goth
2016-04-14, 11:49 PM
Correct! Get the party's fighter and some fairly good d100 rolls in there and you're gonna have a bad time.

Ah, I see, the saturation gambit! Sweet deal.

Linken
2016-04-16, 01:45 PM
Keep it up, this is gold.

fallensaviour
2016-04-16, 02:17 PM
Grippli trapper ranger in a pathfinder game, and the party's trap finding guy. I start down a hall and apparently miss the trigger for an arrow trap at 3 ft so aboutmid section on a medium creature. Dm goes to roll damage and my response: I walk underneath it because I'm 2 ft tall

Gallade
2016-04-16, 02:45 PM
Correct! Get the party's fighter and some fairly good d100 rolls in there and you're gonna have a bad time.

The almost exact same thing happened in my campaign. Except it was a PC and not an enemy. And it was giant ants instead of wolves.

Velaryon
2016-04-16, 03:34 PM
I've got one that's really just a lesson in logistics.

Setup: basic dungeon crawl through some creepy temple of death. Party enters a room and sees an undead cyclops. We were still pretty green at this point, and it was supposed to be a challenge.

I asked the DM, "How big is that door we just came through?" He looks at me funny and says, "I don't know... regular sized?" I just smiled. The zombie-clops was too big to fit through the door. We pulled back through the doorway and just peppered it with arrows and spells while taking no damage at all.

The lesson: If you put a monster in a dungeon, make sure that it fits.

I have been the DM in a scenario just like this one. In my very first D&D campaign, the party was exploring a cave. I drew out the whole cave on our grid mat and uncovered it as they explored. When they found a side chamber containing some loot I had predetermined for them, they found it was also occupied by a huge monstrous spider that dropped down from above to attack them. The problem was, the opening into the side chamber was only 5 feet wide. So the party just scrambled back out of the opening and pelted the spider to death with arrows before coming back in and gathering up the loot.



My favorite moment where a clever tactic turned a difficult encounter to easy mode has to be a Forgotten Realms game I played in about 8 or 9 years ago. I was playing a mountain spiritfolk Ninja. He was at best the third strongest member of the party, but he had a couple of things going for him. Number one, he was insanely good at jumping. Number two, he had a pair of Immovable Rods that I had splurged on (we were level 8 or so, but way below WBL. I had those two rods and a pair of +2 shortswords).

We were after some sort of MacGuffin that could do some pretty powerful fire magic. So was this big red dragon, unbeknownst to us. As we approached the tower where it was located, the dragon swooped down from the clouds and attacked. We did our best to fight it for a couple rounds while it flew by and sprayed us with its fiery breath, but it was looking like a very difficult encounter... until I had an idea. My ninja went invisible and then sprinted for the tower. While the others kept up their attack, I leapt onto the side of the tower, scaled it for a couple rounds, and then waited for the next time the dragon flew by. Using my ridiculously good Jump check, I leapt onto the dragons back, kept my balance as I ran up its neck, and jammed both my Immovable Rods up its nostrils.

The dragon was more than strong enough to push the rods, but with them up his nose he couldn't exactly deactivate them. His speed was cut down to basically nothing while he tried to work his head free of the rods, and my party members moved out of the arc of his breath and pelted him to death with arrows and spells.

KillianHawkeye
2016-04-16, 07:06 PM
I've got one that's really just a lesson in logistics.

Setup: basic dungeon crawl through some creepy temple of death. Party enters a room and sees an undead cyclops. We were still pretty green at this point, and it was supposed to be a challenge.

I asked the DM, "How big is that door we just came through?" He looks at me funny and says, "I don't know... regular sized?" I just smiled. The zombie-clops was too big to fit through the door. We pulled back through the doorway and just peppered it with arrows and spells while taking no damage at all.

The lesson: If you put a monster in a dungeon, make sure that it fits.


I have been the DM in a scenario just like this one. In my very first D&D campaign, the party was exploring a cave. I drew out the whole cave on our grid mat and uncovered it as they explored. When they found a side chamber containing some loot I had predetermined for them, they found it was also occupied by a huge monstrous spider that dropped down from above to attack them. The problem was, the opening into the side chamber was only 5 feet wide. So the party just scrambled back out of the opening and pelted the spider to death with arrows before coming back in and gathering up the loot.

These stories remind me of a game I was in where the DM had misread the dungeon's map scale. He was drawing everything out on our grid as if each square was the typical 5-feet on a side, but the map was actually set up for each square to be 10' x 10'. We had a lot of random encounters with Large-sized creatures who were forced to squeeze if they wanted to get anywhere. :smallamused:

TeChameleon
2016-04-16, 07:22 PM
These stories remind me of a game I was in where the DM had misread the dungeon's map scale. He was drawing everything out on our grid as if each square was the typical 5-feet on a side, but the map was actually set up for each square to be 10' x 10'. We had a lot of random encounters with Large-sized creatures who were forced to squeeze if they wanted to get anywhere. :smallamused:

Seems like every DM falls into this trap at least once.

Was doing an encounter in an ancient Dwarven city that more-or-less disabled teleportation (you could punch through, but you risked bringing the entire mountain down on your head), and ran across a small structure in a much larger cavern. Inside was a tamed rust monster (friggin' sadist DM :smalltongue:) that got in and out via a specialized form of teleportation- it couldn't even squeeze through the medium-scaled door.

Anyways, the party was investigating this, and the ranger got knocked out through the window, without the rust monster even having to leave its shed. Right there we figured we were in for a tough encounter, especially when the next thing the DM said was 'and now the rust monster teleports out and comes after you'.

Whole thing was a bit derailed when the ranger player said 'no it doesn't'.

Turns out he was carting a Dimensional Anchor around in his backpack. Why, I have no idea- we knew we couldn't teleport inside the mountain going in, and I'm not sure why he even bought the thing in the first place- another PC depends heavily on teleportation shenanigans in combat (Deva Swordmage), so having the Dimensional Anchor wasn't going to help much under normal circumstances either. Anyhow, turns out that the ranger had been knocked out while the Rust Monster was in range of the Dimensional Anchor, so my wizard stripped off most of his gear and slowly plinked the thing to death with Magic Missile through a window while it sat helplessly in its tiny prison.

It was a fairly hilarious anti-climax.

Pex
2016-04-16, 11:09 PM
Not an RPG, but I love this scene.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ag0PtH3g-s

SimonMoon6
2016-04-16, 11:28 PM
This was a superhero RPG of the GM's creation (supposedly based on V&V). The GM had made some really tough supervillains for the PCs to deal with. But he couldn't resist bragging about his creations, so he showed them to me long before the session when we would fight them. (Secretly, the GM had planned to kill us all off as he was tired with this campaign.)

So, I planned how to beat them.

For example, one villain could be noncorporeal. However, he couldn't pass through a certain metal. Well, the villain carried a sword of that metal, meaning that he could hurt us, but we couldn't hurt him. So, I made sure to purchase the ability to disarm people well.

Another villain was a speedster. So I had a robot that could squirt slippery liquid, so that he'd run into a wall at full speed.

And so on. So, we won.

Inevitability
2016-04-17, 01:06 AM
This was a superhero RPG of the GM's creation (supposedly based on V&V). The GM had made some really tough supervillains for the PCs to deal with. But he couldn't resist bragging about his creations, so he showed them to me long before the session when we would fight them. (Secretly, the GM had planned to kill us all off as he was tired with this campaign.)

So, I planned how to beat them.

For example, one villain could be noncorporeal. However, he couldn't pass through a certain metal. Well, the villain carried a sword of that metal, meaning that he could hurt us, but we couldn't hurt him. So, I made sure to purchase the ability to disarm people well.

Another villain was a speedster. So I had a robot that could squirt slippery liquid, so that he'd run into a wall at full speed.

And so on. So, we won.

I'm not sure this level metagaming is something to be proud of, even if the GM in question did stupid stuff.

Anyways, on to my own story:


The party had taken to 'adopting' random kobolds. Don't ask me why, it was just something they started doing. Being the evil DM I was, I decided to use that against them.

When they returned from a quest, they found their questgiver's house in ashes, with a single, barely-living kobold below the wreckage. Of course, they ended up adopting it.

They then went on with regular adventuring business, with some strange incidents happening. The barbarian died when a presumed-dead villain suddenly appeared, the enemies seemed to know the party's every move, and an air of paranoia emerged. Yet the party mistrusted each other rather than the kobold.

After finally reaching their home, they wanted to leave the kobold there, but after receiving a threatening Sending ended up taking him with them.

It took them five more sessions to figure out they'd been carrying the shapeshifting main villain around for weeks, with the strange events being a combination of illusions and him shapeshifted with an illusion taking his place.

Raimun
2016-04-18, 11:29 AM
There was this one time when the GM thought I couldn't literally punch the monster to death. Little did the GM know that I was perfectly able to literally punch the monster to death. And that was exactly what I did. I sure pulled a fast one right there and then.

Of course, I'm kidding. This has happened more times than once. In fact, more times than I can count.

Nerd-o-rama
2016-04-18, 12:52 PM
There was this one time when the GM thought I couldn't literally punch the monster to death. Little did the GM know that I was perfectly able to literally punch the monster to death. And that was exactly what I did. I sure pulled a fast one right there and then.

Of course, I'm kidding. This has happened more times than once. In fact, more times than I can count.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11111/111112234/5069227-3646851898-47449.jpg

Raimun
2016-04-18, 01:21 PM
[One Punch Man saying: "OK."]

Hahhah... and I wasn't even making a reference to this comic/show.

slaydemons
2016-04-18, 06:58 PM
I must point something out before I tell this story, we have people who plan and scheme, and those who go with the flow, I'm somewhere in the middle and the planners do a damn good job, cunning all the way through. My plans tend to make them a bit nervous because when I plan its sort of watching dominoes fall.

A player thought he was being clever and pulling wool over everyone's eyes, and tried to get my character to read a message. however my character believes in intel is key to playing the game. he read the letter to his superior, then got a Master forger to rewrite the letter and got an entire faction kicked out of a city with one letter. out of character that went much better then expected as I was going to use it as a starting point and finish with getting the faction kicked out in time, it happened in a week. a year later from this game and my gm informed me my remade letter was cunning on several levels even she didn't think about until after the letter. Even the player I had outwitted wasn't mad, they gave a clap for the impressive play. While I can't take entire credit for it things went perfectly to my plan using someone else's plan.

MrZJunior
2016-04-19, 07:09 AM
The party had taken to 'adopting' random kobolds.

So they would just kidnap random kobolds? That is creepy.

Joe the Rat
2016-04-19, 07:53 AM
So they would just kidnap random kobolds? That is creepy.

Probably more like they wipe out the rest of the tribe, then adopt the surviving orphans.

Like Batman.

Segev
2016-04-19, 11:27 AM
I must point something out before I tell this story, we have people who plan and scheme, and those who go with the flow, I'm somewhere in the middle and the planners do a damn good job, cunning all the way through. My plans tend to make them a bit nervous because when I plan its sort of watching dominoes fall.

A player thought he was being clever and pulling wool over everyone's eyes, and tried to get my character to read a message. however my character believes in intel is key to playing the game. he read the letter to his superior, then got a Master forger to rewrite the letter and got an entire faction kicked out of a city with one letter. out of character that went much better then expected as I was going to use it as a starting point and finish with getting the faction kicked out in time, it happened in a week. a year later from this game and my gm informed me my remade letter was cunning on several levels even she didn't think about until after the letter. Even the player I had outwitted wasn't mad, they gave a clap for the impressive play. While I can't take entire credit for it things went perfectly to my plan using someone else's plan.

I'm not sure I follow; what did re-writing the message accomplish? What was the not-as-clever-as-he-thought-he-was PC trying to achieve? How did he plan for this to work, and what did you actually do to change it?