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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Context first. I was running a game were all the players used the Central Casting book to roll random back stories.... and some how miraculously all of them rolled something that gave them all at lest on physical aspect of a snake.
    One player had snake eyes, one had a snake tongue, one player had scales instead of skin you get the idea.
    I looked at the very unlikely out come and decided to write a story about how they all inherited their power from the death of a snake god.... and highlander style any time one died the rest would get more powerful.

    After a long campaign the players tracked down an evil snake cult all the way back to their headquarters.

    and this happend

    GM: "As you journey further into the cavern system you hear the sounds of chanting."

    Wizard: "Does the chanting sound arcane in any way." (Rolls Arcane Knowledge and gets a nat 20)

    GM : "Yes. In-fact as you venture closer you can hear the chanting clearer and it sounds like a ritual you read about once. Taking the time to look through your old books you find
    The book you read about it in... the incantation along with a sacrifice can be used to resurrect a god.... It would seem this cult is trying to resurrect the long dead snake god of destruction."

    Party: "Well that's not good."

    GM: "The chanting increases in speed and volume until it becomes a cacophony of indistinguishable voices. It seems as though the cultists ritual is coming to a head!"

    Wizard: "Well I'm to hurt to get in a fight right now so why don't we go back to the boat and rest?

    Party: "Yeah lets to that"

    GM "................. are you frumping kidding me?"

    and the party took a nap while the cultists brought back to life an evil god bent on the destruction of everything.

    What about you guys? What is the dumbest thing you have seen a party do?
    Last edited by EightBitEngine; 2018-02-09 at 11:51 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    My party took on an entire hobgoblin encampment. At level 5.

    Our mission was to find the hobgoblin encampment and report back.

    I argued that we should at least report back to the city that had an army to help deal with this sort of thing, and got out voted.

    I would have survived, since I was a Barbarian, except I had thought you could chain rages together, but you couldn't (3.5 rules). So I took a nose dive, and that gave enough time for forces to get collected, and I didn't quite make it.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mith View Post
    My party took on an entire hobgoblin encampment. At level 5.

    Our mission was to find the hobgoblin encampment and report back.

    I argued that we should at least report back to the city that had an army to help deal with this sort of thing, and got out voted.

    I would have survived, since I was a Barbarian, except I had thought you could chain rages together, but you couldn't (3.5 rules). So I took a nose dive, and that gave enough time for forces to get collected, and I didn't quite make it.
    Owch that's a good one.

    Oh, another one just occurred to me.

    I remember one time really early on in a shadowrun game when a player tried to report their stolen gun to the police but failed to realize the model of gun he had was EXTREMELY illegal.
    Last edited by EightBitEngine; 2018-02-10 at 01:26 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    In Shadowrun, my party once left the decker behind in an abandoned warehouse before heading into combat without first properly checking if it was empty.

    The decker had no weapon skills, so when a lone devil-rat came for him, he was pretty much screwed.


    In my current 5e campaign, my conquest paladin's reaction to being told about something big, dangerous (and occasionally evil) is to encourage the party to come and kill it with him.

    Thing is, the party has yet to fail, and every dead lich, dragon and high-level wizard makes our party more confident. For the record, the dm often gave us ways out of those encounters, and at least once flat-out warned us that it would be too tough for us.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Me: "This is a roleplaying game so your characters can do ANYTHING!"

    Jim: "So we're at the bar?"

    Me: "At an inn.....there is that shady guy in the corner subtly beckoning you to come closer, likes he wants to talk to you"

    Bob: "I punch the bartender in the face"

    Jim: "Yeah...COOL...bar brawl!"

    Me: "Wait...what? Why Bob?"

    Bob: "Well you told us we could do anything and I want to punch the bartender in the face!"

    Sue: "Jeez, guys you're acting like idiots"

    Me: "Finally a voice of reason, what are you going to do Sue?"

    Sue: "Tell me about it, I'm heading to the mayors place, I'm going to break into his house. Somebody in this town gotta have some money. If I don't find any then I'm going to threaten him to tell me where he hides his stash and then I'm going to cut his throat so he won't squeal.
    Last edited by RazorChain; 2018-02-10 at 05:58 AM.
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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Oh boy, where to start. Let's go with the Altar one. It's kind of a classic.

    So, situation. The party is inside a large altar room an evil temple. And I'm talking REALLY obvious, nearly cartoonish evil. The altar is a slab of obsidian adorned with enough skulls to fit in Warhammer 40K and purple-ish runes, surrounded by a circular groove in the ground where blood flows slowly of its own accord, and chipped, red-tinted swords are stuck on the ground in circles as a monument to war and murder. You know, cozy place.

    So one of the players, dude playing a Fighter if memory serves, gets close to the altar, and the following conversation takes place OOC.

    Player: "I touch a sword to the altar"
    Me: "The sword begins to crumble, and with a puff of noxious, acrid purple smoke, it disintegrates into dust"
    Player: "I sit on the altar"

    I **** you not. All I could do there was... blink.
    Last edited by Drascin; 2018-02-10 at 09:32 AM.

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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    There was the time we all for on a train that we knew was going to crash. After spending half an hour switching between various time trains so or pursuers couldn't folklore us on. We saved lives by stopping it, so it's not the dumbest thing we've ever done.

    That was when we walked up to the front door of the Skaven clan that was behind the anti peace conspiracy, knocked, and asked nicely if we could have a chart and maybe sort this all out and let peace happen. Ten minutes later we were in a locked room with poison gas being pumped in. I tried breaking down the doors, one of which was fake, the other the alchemist has just pot explosive paste on. Then after we bribed our way out the engineer tried to take the fake door with her and the elf stole our money back.

    The next session we got into a debate with Dwarf Hitler. I for a lot of mileage out of that Overconfidence drawback.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    So many possibilities! For now, let me just say, you'd be amazed just how many characters I've seen walk into the dragon's mouth - and not all of said dragons were pretending to be tunnels, either.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    The party was heading to the Gnome clanhold that had not been heard from in a while. They got the hillside it was in, and decided to camp out in front of it. Mind you they saw Orc tracks and knew that a fight had occurred at the gates, plenty of evidence that Orcs stormed and successfully captured the clanhold.

    SO they literally spent hours gathering fire wood and food and setting up camp right in front of the clan hold entrance and were surprised they were woken up surrounded by 25 or so Orcs.


    I do not think I need to explain what happened next.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    So many possibilities...

    Ok, a simple one: Scenario is a flying castle. The players discover that there's a huge giant bomb on the engine level, that's both, extremely deadly and can make the castle crash.

    Now the engine level is one out of eight levels of that damn castle and just the the level that they could reach with their fly spell. Result is that they got totally fixated with that damned bomb, to the point that they didn't have interested in exploring the other parts, as only Da Bomb mattered.
    So they activated it, which obliterated their characters in an instead due to raw damage, alongside the whole engine level and the castle comes crushing down.

    "Why didn't you stop us"? - Eh, folks, I told you that you deal with an A-bomb right then and there....

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    So this happened in a one-off I ran:

    The party has a villain imprisoned in a jail cell. The Lizardfolk Ranger is watching him. He is stripped of his armor, having recently been badly beaten up and burned, and is now sleeping. This PC wants to talk to the prisoner but is afraid that he'll get up and try to fight if he just walks into the cell. So what does he do first? He shoots him. Twice. At this point the villain is bleeding out from his wounds, so...

    PC: I try to stabilize him.
    DM: Make a Medicine check.
    PC: *rolls* 8.
    DM: You botch your attempts to patch him up, and he dies.

    After getting past this hiccup, the Ranger decides, with an accidentally-murdered prisoner in the citadel there's only one thing to do in this situation:
    PC: I eat him.

    To make a long story short, the rest of the party found out at about the same time the city council did -- in fact one of the council members witnessed him holding walking out of the citadel munching on one of the prisoner's arms. The ranger got both fired from his militia and exiled.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    I think my party record for "dumbest" is getting in an intra-party argument that escalated to a shootout. Using tactical nuclear weapons. In close-quarters battle. On board a space station.

    That was a Paranoia game, though, so it maybe shouldn't count.
    Play your character, not your alignment.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Oh boy. I like this story.

    So, sci fi/fantasy setting (similar to Starfinder's setting, actually). The players have their own spaceship, and are generally hands for hire (a better-armed Serenity would be a good comparison). They...immediately make the jump to piracy. Cool.

    So they take down their first target, and then...fly to the closest station, which was in the same system, and then sell their bounty. This is already veering in to stupid, but they got away with selling the stuff with some good rolls. Then, and this is the fun part: they got a little nervous when I briefly mentioned some guards doing generally guard-y things. And by "a little nervous," I mean they bolted to the ship and sealed it up, getting ready to bolt. This understandably attracts the attention of the station's security - not in a "let's go shoot them way," but more of a "let's go knock on the door to see what's up" way. The guards walk up, knock, ask if everything is okay.

    Aaaand the players promptly killed the guards and then blew a hole in the side of the station, venting everyone on board into space.

    The kicker: travel between systems was done via warp gates (no independent FTL). The players had just rather publicly announced their presence with a massive act of terrorism.

    The game wrapped up at the end of that session.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Honest Tiefling's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by CardboardDragon View Post
    To make a long story short, the rest of the party found out at about the same time the city council did -- in fact one of the council members witnessed him holding walking out of the citadel munching on one of the prisoner's arms. The ranger got both fired from his militia and exiled.
    You know, I was going to say that there are worse ways to dispose of a body, but then I read this...

    My contribution is a group hired to protect a caravan. They got attacked, simple enough stuff. Until they decide to go mountain climbing to find the REST of the orcs, leaving the caravan unprotected for several hours...Yeah, didn't survive.
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    Man, I like this tiefling.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Prince Zahn's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    In a renaissance fantasy heist intrigue game (Dusk City Outlaws) my group blackmailed a noble into giving them precious info about they need to pull of this job involving stealing the town's quarterly tax collections. Here's a rough estimate of how it went on.

    2 players: We're going to this lord's house to find out more about the security guarding the tax collections, we're going in disguised as a high class noble and a wealthy merchant.
    judge(me): okay, so you go meet lord (so and so), his servants offer your refreshments and savories as you wait for him to step in.
    player 1: Tea for me.
    Player 2: is there chocolate milk?
    me and others: why would there be chocolate milk? It probably hasn't been invented yet
    player 2:C'mon! There's gotta be chocolate milk! What fun would that be if there isn't!

    (To make a long story a little bit shorter, I caved in, and player 2 got her chocolate milk.)

    Anywhozats, the noble came in, and was starting to act all posh and noble-like.
    Player 2: Let's cut to the chase, shall we, you know this is fine chocolate milk you have, but I'll have you know I'm the top dog when it comes to importing chocolate milk to this town. if you don't cooperate with us fully, and in total secrecy, we can cut you off from the source, and no merchant in this town will ever sell it to you again.
    --------
    I had had her roll an insanely challenging intimidation roll, and against all odds she succeeded with flying colours.

    Together, Players 1 and 2 learned all about the tax contents and security around it by blackmailing the noble in charge with chocolate milk. I don't feel bad about it though, everyone said it was a great time and i'm inclined to agree
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Suttle's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    In a Tower of the star gazer game, the group come across a Wizard sealed away in magic circle for what could be ages.

    He starts begging for help and telling his sad tale, the group starts arguing what they should do and after taking their sweet time deciding the Wizard(who is actually evil) loses his patience, starts shouting, cursing and disrespecting the group, he describes how he's going to kill every single one of them and all the unspeakable things he's going to do with the group, their families and their loved ones.

    And the group still frees the evil demented wizard and get promptly killed by him.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    This wasn't a party wide thing but the single most moment of "... do you know what thought is?" was about a pot of stew.

    You see we were dungeon crawling in was had some definite horror aspects. So we find a kitchen that has a pot of stew over a still cracking fire. Jugging from the surrounding it make have been: made from the flesh of sentient creatures; and/or: infected with the plague. However it was undoubtedly still hot. So in a moment of... inspiration {said slowly and awkwardly} one of the party members decides, no not the obvious way to go wrong here by eating the stew, "I go swimming in it."

    When they say "you can do anything" they don't mean "anything that comes to mind will work." Although how did this even come to mind? Actually don't tell me. I don't think I want to know.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Does the entire party going into the sphere of annihilation in Tomb of Horrors count?

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    Anonymouswizard's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by FreddyNoNose View Post
    Does the entire party going into the sphere of annihilation in Tomb of Horrors count?
    Only the second time. (Seriously, the number of times I've seen players blunder into traps twice in a row... and I sometimes wonder why I don't user then these days.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

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    Guizonde's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    among the sillier things that i've seen or participated in. whfrp2: a party comprised of very boozed-up players that got the hang of the monty python meets looney tunes routine (helped with sanity checks, believe it or not). one rule was: no one is to be sober during play. we'll let that one slide.

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    now, this group was during the best of times comprised of people who tolerated each other and only had good times playing those characters. idiot thing n*1.

    then the dm caved and added a couple of "that guys" to the mix, people who we had no real pleasure in interacting with. idiot thing n*2.

    now, here we are, 6 guys, 4 of which can be considered cordial to each other, 2 others who are obnoxious, and one very drunk dm with a migraine and no qualms about rolling with it. add your favorite popcorn gifs here if you want.

    the party: one estalian diestro who spoke with such cringy spanish imitations that you couldn't help but wince.
    one journeyman wizard whose spells were cast from the rod of wonders. rincewind with an itchy trigger finger, and crazy good rolls.
    one chameleonic skink that called the journeyman "mom".
    an ogre butcher-doctor. because obviously, seriousness was not the aim of the game.
    a wood elf ranger. in friggin' nuln, ie, the middle of a desert.
    a halfling bounty hunter that bordered on a witch hunter.

    do you see the problems abounding already? a witch-hunter hunts mutants (the skink had +30% to hide and move silently, but he was considered a mutant if he was spotted), and hunts arcane wizards (ie, the journeyman wizard). so both the wizard and my skink had to be extra careful about this new guy because one mistep and we'd be in pvp territory.
    the wood elf was your typical mary-sue elf, perfect and elegant in every way, much to the chagrin of actual wood elves from athel loren. he didn't understand why he was treated like snot by everyone, because "elves are too perfect to be hated, this is clearly dm persecuting me".

    the mission: hunting down a cult of nurgle that tried to start a plague in nuln. we had done our research, boxed a few ears, and caroused enough to set fire to 3 inns (ok, one of those was our fault, the other 2 were the work of assassins). eventually we figure out we need to go to this dive joint next to a river on the outskirts of town. we are assisted by the elf and the halfling. the wizard had bluffed his way into the gang, so he knocks on the door and goes bluffing. the halfling immediately proceeds to throw a net on the bandit doorman, and our cover is blown. cue several minutes of bickering between the players, and the demolition of a building (as you do).

    our clues lead us to a hidden dock just out back, and my skink, in typical fashion dives straight into the moonlit river (giving me something akin to +70% to stealth) with his blowgun sticking out like a reed. the elf decides to hide against some ivy, and nearly manages to hide perfectly. the hafling player tosses his net over him, and stands on a beach during a full moon and readies his crossbow, making a loud racket and blowing our element of surprise for the second time. he cursed out the dm for that, saying it wasn't fair i was hidden perfectly and he wasn't, completely disregarding rules, logic, internal consistency, or strategy. cue us setting fire to a few boats, and the wizard's player calling out the halfling player for the 4th time in the session. bad blood was rising fast. it wasn't enjoyable anymore.

    our clues lead us to a horse stable outside middenheim. one hell of a long trip, and in the xenophobic empire, having an ogre, a wood elf, and a lizardman would draw too much attention. obvious solution? go on foot or by boat by night, perhaps using a bandit trail to smuggle halfway across a country. instead? the ogre ate a band of travelling minstrels. there was much rejoicing, because we had our cover! a travelling circus!

    if you're at home keeping score, that's a 0.5 good ideas for 9 idiot ideas.

    we get our cover blown by the wizard accidentally dropping a horse on the elf's player, ripping the elf's leg off. cue the elf's player crying persecution, crying, yelling, slapping the wizard's player, and throwing a temper tantrum. this guy was 26 at the time and just out of med school. awkward didn't begin to cut it. after a bit of inter-party fighting, we manage to kill the bounty hunters after us (destruction and mayhem in nuln, public indecency, zoophilia, necrophilia, and stapling a priest's family jewels to his forehead... the usual trumped up charges). we stop at an abandonned farm that had some pretty big nurgle symbols on it. the elf, out of spite, didn't bother to inform us of that detail. cue a scooby doo moment being chased by giant chickens (chaos spawns). we set fire to the drakwald, kill the things, lose control of our poor battered carriage, and end up in the river reik, having destroyed so much in so little time, the dm had us stop.

    now, here's why you need to play with a team of "professional adults". the core team (diestro, wizard, ogre, and skink) were at best aquaintances. we could almost sort of get along, but we never really hung out except for rp sessions. hell, the wizard bullied the diestro, and the diestro and the ogre later had a falling out about a girl. i had a falling out with the wizard player over him beating his pregnant gf. but once we were at the table, there was only the characters. we left real life tiffs behind.

    the halfling was a parasite. he owed money and never paid it back, he was a lying cheat (we made him roll in the middle of the table otherwise he'd "roll" straight 01's), he stole money, smokes, gear... we gave grief to the dm for even considering allowing that guy at the table for months afterwards. the halfling's player also was really big on playing for keeps. he rarely got to pc-killing levels of douchebaggery, but he always made sure he got two cuts of the loot in any table he played at. he caused multiple campaigns to go tits-up because of his charming personality.

    the elf and i didn't get along. so what? he wanted to play, and i wasn't about to spoil either of our fun by throwing him under the bus. it worked pretty well in the few tables we shared. we made our feelings known, and agreed to a truce at the table. it worked just like you'd expect two grown adults to accept their differences in a shared goal. what we didn't expect was that he was so hyper-sensitive to the usual back-talking and insult-slinging at that table. what we knew were friendly put-downs and call-outs he took to heart, and his elf suffering even the most minor wound (this is warhammer after all. none of us were pristine), and it came to blows. maybe it was the booze, maybe it was maybelline. what started out as a simple drinking game turned so sour that it came to blows. i don't think the dm ever played whfrp2 ever again and ended up selling his book.

    so, long story short, learn from my fail. don't mix booze and roleplaying unless you're with trusted friends.
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    regarding my choice of sustenance:
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymouswizard View Post
    Only the second time. (Seriously, the number of times I've seen players blunder into traps twice in a row... and I sometimes wonder why I don't user then these days.)
    You know I had them roll for imitative when going in!

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    I joined a campaign that a few friends of mine ran once a few years ago, and the DM had one major goal. You see, one of the players had played with the DM for years and years, and was always the first in the group to attempt wacky shenanigans. However, he had never actually died as a result of his actions. He claimed that his tenure in the campaign must have been magically protecting him, and the DM was determined to see him die. But rather than try to fight it, the player actively sought out situations that could lead to his death- and then beat them anyways. Some highlights include:

    The time he told the rest of the party to sit back and relax while he dealt with an army of the dead.

    The time he tried to give a stirge a taste of it's own medicine by biting it and drinking it's blood.

    The time he tried to give a VAMPIRE a taste of it's own medicine by biting it and drinking it's blood.

    The time he killed a dragon turtle by jumping down it's throat and summoning earth elementals in it's stomach until it exploded.

    And finally, the time his tiny gnome wizard decided to challenge a minotaur to a wrestling match for his life.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    In a game I was running, the party was trying to rescue some orphans who were kidnapped by slavers. When they encountered some guards outside the slavers' keep, they told them what they were there for then when the guards offered to take the party to talk to their boss so they could resolve the issue in a friendly manner the party took them at their word. No one asked if they could make an insight check. They let the guards stand at their backs and when the slavers attacked them the party was shocked and angry. No idea how they didn't see that coming.

    As a player it's a toss up between the DnD game where we were helping avenge some ghosts by attacking a yuan-ti camp and the game to a halt because our fighter wanted to know if yuan-ti were evil, even after the DM gave him a rough overview of yuan-ti AND the yuan-ti had tried to eat him. Or the World of Darkness game where a friend tried to make out with a bank robber who was attacking him.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    To Samwitch: When "I'm invincible" means "I admit I have no idea how I'm still alive".

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    I have a few, almost all of which are from when everyone involved was at most 15. Then there's the one recent one, involving me guest-GMing a one shot for my brother's other group. Going in approximate order, with names:

    Suicide By Giant
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    This was a fairly short story of one bad decision. The PCs are a pair of human adventurers, and they get into giant territory and jump the first group of giants they see. They then proceed to get knocked around easily, and pinned by the giants. One of the giants then explains that they'll forgive the attack, that they know that there are various lies about them in human territory that make them out to be threatening and that they'll assume the PCs acted on those lies. He then essentially checks to see if they and the PCs are cool now, and one of the PCs says that they are, it was all a misunderstanding, and that they'll mind their own business. So the giants release both of them.

    The other PC then immediately attacks the group again. This time the giants just kill both of them. The player of the first PC is not even slightly surprised.


    Recursive Assassination
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    The PCs are again fantasy adventurers, this time a bit of a bigger group. They've been in an extended conflict with a practitioner of infernal magic, and happen to brush up against them in the steel market of a city, overhearing them hiring mercenaries to ambush them, along with the location of this ambush. There's a lot of sensible approaches to this (most notably just not being there, it was an easily bypassed area), but these are PCs. Sensible approaches don't become them.

    Instead, they hire a second group of mercenaries to ambush this first group of mercenaries. They do this at the same steel market, within earshot of their foe. So their foe responds, hiring a third group of mercenaries to attack the second group. One of the PCs stealthily tailed them though, and they have a solution - a fourth group of mercenaries.

    Eventually both factions are broke, the chain of mercenary ambushes is about 9 deep, and the PCs leave. Thus far it's seeming like there's still some possibility that this was a well thought through decision towards indirect economic harm. That possibility vanished when the PCs deliberately walked into the middle of this nested chain of ambushes. The result was one of the stupidest and probably the single most hectic combats of my GMing career.


    Fifteenth-hand Smoke
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    In the same game as the recursive assassination plots there was a magic site of great power and interest, a mystical museum with a bunch of viewing portals for magically interesting things. There were strange materials on display, ancient relics, and mystical beasts. Better yet, it was an unguarded ruin - this was a treasure trove that the PCs had worked hard to find, with treasures in it that could change the course of several of the conflicts they were currently losing. All they had to do was take the items and leave.

    On the other hand, one of those mystical creatures were massive, six legged beasts akin to saber tooth tigers, and who doesn't adore kitties? So while most of the PCs were looting the artifacts one decided that it would be a good idea to go into the tiger pen, alone. Said pen was basically a demiplane of large plains with a whole local ecosystem, and quite large; they went well into it, far away from easy escape. Then the tigers showed up.

    Earlier in that game, during the steel market episode, this same PC had decided to look into an organization called The Black Hand, because with a name like that they had to be assassins. They weren't, and were instead drug dealers, working in smoked opiates. Said PC then bought a lot of these. So, they reacted to the tigers in about the way you'd think knowing this: They went right up to the leader of the pack, lit an opiate cigar, and blew smoke right in their face. By sheer luck of dice rolls this somehow worked, leading to a downright stupid scenario where they and the tigers took turns smoking opiates, then blowing it into each others faces as they inhaled, in what was essentially a primitive hotbox without the box.

    This is how the PCs tamed a bunch of vicious tigerlike beasts, to later ride them out against their enemies.


    Ignition Shmignition
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    I'm GMing my Waypoints campaign, which basically boiled down to a couple of explorers in powered armor driving their jeep around South America trying to find El Dorado before the demons do, while getting into firefights against these same demons.

    Among these foes is the demon lord Jenoak, who they've repeatedly engaged in personal combat, with both wins and losses on both sides (PC losses mostly involve going through a few dozen jeeps). These losses included the PCs killing two of Jenoak's previous lieutenants, the right hand demon always at his side. His current lieutenant is Aukchitzi, who to this day is probably my most successful recurring villain. Jenoak was a clever brute with a penchant for swordsdemonship and a knack for really nasty combat teleportation, Aukchitzi was an invisibility specialist with a handful of other tricks. The PCs knew this.

    So it later comes out that in a fight Aukchitzi picked which the PCs have been broadly losing they have what appears to be a clean shot on him. They know full well that he can make objects invisible and will use it in combat, and they know full well that the air around them is full of a highly flammable powder. They even know that he likes baiting them into stupid attacks and exploiting that.

    None of this prevents them from firing a salvo into an invisible barricade from the middle of this suspension. It doesn't even prevent them from using a plasma rifle to do so. Their position quickly turns into a massive fireball, knocking one unconscious and severely injuring both. They then barely escape, and one of them dies in the process.


    Sabotage by Disassembly
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    A few years later I'm running my Schrodinger's Hummingbird campaign, an episodic space opera game about the adventures of the crew of the Schrodinger's Hummingbird. This campaign is where a lot of my stories about exceptional PC cleverness come from, but it's also the setting for this sad little tale.

    Their very first mission was a supply delivery to a space station, Salinor. They've done no legwork, and just trusted their employer for the mission when they described it as a milk run. It proceeded to immediately go poorly, and as the situation broke down the PCs eventually got embroiled in a minor civil war. A central part of this conflict involved them disabling a nasty turret hooked into the main power supply, letting them leave and get paid for having technically distributed the goods.

    So they do so. It's a fight just to get there, there's tank shells coming down with poison gas, and in all the confusion they end up disabling it by disassembling major parts of the power system, but don't remember to actually break the parts. They then leave under fire, and the original controlling faction comes right back in and reassembles it. Then the PCs get to go back in and break it properly this time, against a yet more fortified position and with an inferior level of surprise.

    One Racist Porno
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    I've got a HEX one shot planned, involving a lot of classic pulp elements - conflict between the heroes and imperial powers in remote areas of the world (as defined by said heroes and imperial powers; it's obviously a homeland for the vast majority of the actual population there), occult artifacts, high action, secret societies, and historical mysteries. The core concept is that there is a long forgotten Taiwanese emperor, who had three mystical treasures that when brought together are an item of great power. The PCs then get involved in a conflict between the British colonial office, mainland Chinese troops wary of a growing independance movement, and a Japanese expeditionary force investigating Taiwan as a potential target in their burgeoning imperialism, circa 1925.

    Then it gets stupid. HEX has a bunch of premade characters in the middle of the book, as inspiration and options for people who don't want to do character generation. There's various explorers and adventurers, and generally a greatest hits of pulp collection. Pulp includes King Kong, which means that one of the options is the Imperiled Actress. All but two players picked them, and the other two decided to be the Dying Moneyman and the Motion Picture Director. Fine, I thought. It's going to be a bit odd having zero combatants, but between the money and the excellent bluffing and impersonation skills the group still has resources.

    So the game starts, with them pulled into the action by one of the artifacts floating down a river to where they're shooting the film. The player collectively come up with the nature of the film, and because it's this group* they're naturally shooting a skeevy 1920's porno. This is how "Lesbian Amazons of the Orient" became a thing (a certain level of mockery of the 1920's was also in place). The game then deteriorated from there, with a party full of expert liars studiously avoiding social interaction to the best of their ability while getting in over their head by playing to their weaknesses.

    Sadly, this one is the recent example, involving my brother's other group.

    *They're all banned from that archetype now, and I'm probably never running a game for them again.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Randuir's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalashak View Post
    In a game I was running, the party was trying to rescue some orphans who were kidnapped by slavers. When they encountered some guards outside the slavers' keep, they told them what they were there for then when the guards offered to take the party to talk to their boss so they could resolve the issue in a friendly manner the party took them at their word. No one asked if they could make an insight check. They let the guards stand at their backs and when the slavers attacked them the party was shocked and angry. No idea how they didn't see that coming.
    Not asking for Insight is stupid, but honestly, the slavers attacking them is stupider. Slavers are businessmen, and people trying to recover slaves violently is bad for business. People willing to buy their friends back, on the other hand, is good for business. After all, someone will pay a lot more money for his friend than for random slave number 8.

    I don't know the full context here, of course, but from what you've told me I'd say the party is somewhat justified in being angry with you.
    Jasnah avatar by Zea Mays

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Randuir View Post
    Not asking for Insight is stupid, but honestly, the slavers attacking them is stupider. Slavers are businessmen, and people trying to recover slaves violently is bad for business. People willing to buy their friends back, on the other hand, is good for business. After all, someone will pay a lot more money for his friend than for random slave number 8.

    I don't know the full context here, of course, but from what you've told me I'd say the party is somewhat justified in being angry with you.
    Indeed. Way back when, I remember being pleasantly surprised in the Gold Box game Pool of Radiance when one of the possible solutions to the quest ‘heir of a merchant house has been kidnapped by slavers’ is ‘just go to their base and buy him back.’

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lapak View Post
    Indeed. Way back when, I remember being pleasantly surprised in the Gold Box game Pool of Radiance when one of the possible solutions to the quest ‘heir of a merchant house has been kidnapped by slavers’ is ‘just go to their base and buy him back.’
    ... why don't I remember that? Which game was it in? The original Pool of Radiance? Or one of the sequels?

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Jay R's Avatar

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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    It’s hard to say.

    I’d like to nominate my party of sixth levels who attacked a 134-HD monster. No, that is not a typo. The hydra had one hundred and thirty-four heads. But they are disqualified because they killed it.

    Another possibility is the party of six characters in a non-magic based game who tried to stop a 2,000 person army. But … we successfully broke it up.

    So I think I have to resort to this story, though I did not witness it myself.

    In 1975 or 1976, there was a guy that several of us would not adventure with any longer; he was unsafe. Eventually, he was running his own party, all by himself. His most famed moment was with a party of first levels (because nobody survived to 2nd level).

    DM: Going along the road, you see a sign saying, "Danger! Cockatrice Valley."
    Player: We enter the Valley.
    DM: At the Valley's entrance, there is another sign: "Turn Back! Cockatrice Valley."
    Player: We keep going.
    DM. The valley is filled with many stone statues, all looking up.
    Player: We keep going.
    DM: You hear large bodies moving around the bend.
    Player: We run around the bend.
    DM: You hear a heavy flapping above you.
    Player: We stop and look up.

    Later the DM bemoaned the fact that he was trying to keep this player's characters alive, and he couldn't do it.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Dumbest Thing You Have Ever Seen A Party Do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post

    DM: Going along the road, you see a sign saying, "Danger! Cockatrice Valley."
    Player: We enter the Valley.
    DM: At the Valley's entrance, there is another sign: "Turn Back! Cockatrice Valley."
    Player: We keep going.
    DM. The valley is filled with many stone statues, all looking up.
    Player: We keep going.
    DM: You hear large bodies moving around the bend.
    Player: We run around the bend.
    DM: You hear a heavy flapping above you.
    Player: We stop and look up.

    Later the DM bemoaned the fact that he was trying to keep this player's characters alive, and he couldn't do it.
    Gotta love it when players outright feed themselves to the monsters.

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