View Full Version : Weird or funny pre-game traditions:

2012-01-03, 03:42 PM
Based on a sort of running gag a player was using against one of our DMs, we have developed a pre-game tradition that I feel, is fun enough to share.

(S)He Who Rolls 20,000 Wins:

You roll a d20, a d% and a d10 at the beginning of each session. If you roll 20, 00, and 0 (or 20,000) you win the session... which is to say, all rolls come up 20 for the session.

Of course, no one ever wins, and many of us jokingly cheat (rolling more than once, placing the dice down with the 20,000 facing up, or just hiding our rolls and saying over-dramatically, "Yeah! So I won! Yeah! Got the 20,000, so I win! Oops, no, you can't see because I already picked up the dice."), but it's kind of fun to watch the DM squirm as we all taking turns putting our specific "mojo" on the dice to get that magic number, or roll one dice at a time for added tension.

It got me thinking; does anyone else have a weird of funny pre-game traditions?

2012-01-03, 03:53 PM
We go to the pub and only leave when the last person arives, which can be anything from 20 mins to 3 hours. I'm not sure if this odd, but it is fun for everyone appart from the last person to arive, but it is there own fault!

2012-01-03, 05:29 PM
LOL! I pity the DM if he's the one to come in last, after the rest of the group has had plenty of time to get properly sloshed.

DM: You enter a quaint village -
PC1: I set it on fire!
DM: I wasn't finished! You enter -
PC2: Don't worry, I got this! *zip* I cast Create Water! ROFL! That'll put out the fire.
DM: *shocked* You're going to pee on the village?!
PC3: I'm going to start a fight with the next peasant who runs out of the burning village, screaming.
DM: But it's just a vil-
PC4: It's hot in here. Is it hot in here? I don't feel so good. Where's your toilet?

2012-01-03, 06:05 PM
Hmm. We used to play a few rounds of Super Smash Bros. Melee before games a lot. Had no impact whatsoever on the game, but our DM was super disorganized...

And playing SSBM was better than playing "where's the DM's _____? It's really important for the game tonight."

It almost always ended up with me trying to make Link fight against Sheik. I usually ended up switching to Young Link instead. Kind of a fun tradition that was never really verbally acknowledged; it just materialized very frequently.

2012-01-03, 06:07 PM
Before a game we all order food in the pub that we play in. Then we eat the food. :smalltongue:

If you're late then you have to order and eat while also playing, but that's not all that terrible a penalty really.

2012-01-03, 06:13 PM
Ever since we changed locations, we watch one guy play some video games on his 72 inch tv connected to his laptop. Or watch some videos [Bushcraft or something on The Escapist] just until we all get comfy and ready to play.

2012-01-04, 11:33 AM
And playing SSBM was better than playing "where's the DM's _____? It's really important for the game tonight."

That sounds like everyone's game when I DM... :smallredface: That's why I always try to have food ready when friends arrive for D&D... so they have something to munch on while I get my notes together.

I'm kind of a mess.

Vespe Ratavo
2012-01-04, 11:37 AM
I was briefly in a Marvel Super Heroes RPG campaign run by a teacher at my high school. He would play the theme song from Megas XLR before every game, although the game had nothing to do with giant robots, or indeed New Jersey.

2012-01-04, 12:03 PM
I was briefly in a Marvel Super Heroes RPG campaign run by a teacher at my high school. He would play the theme song from Megas XLR before every game, although the game had nothing to do with giant robots, or indeed New Jersey.

1. Sounds like an unusually awesome high school teacher!
2. I've never heard this song before, but thanks to YouTube, I now have, and I am amused. You have amused me. :smallamused: It's true... we dig giant robots. :smallredface: Have an internet!

2012-01-04, 12:11 PM
I'm not sure if this falls under pre-game traditions or between-game traditions, but in a previous campaign I would have my players keep character journals. This would earn them bonus XP and chances at side quests themed to their character or their background. Most of the players were reluctant at first, but once I created a webpage where they could easily post their journals they all got into it. It evolved from a between-game tradition to a pre-game tradition as the players would read aloud their journals to the rest of the group and I would give some commentary. Not surprisingly this got each of the players thinking about each other's motives and emotions within the story; which in turn gave a greater depth of roleplay for me to work with. I haven't brought this back in more recent campaigns, but I very well may do so.

2012-01-04, 02:36 PM
HAIL DUNGEONMASTER! (http://www.neighboursepisodes.com/index.php?year=2005&episode=4720)


None of us watched Neighbours, but hearing about the 'local D&D group' on teh show greeting their DM (who wore a spiffy robe, as shown above) in such a fashion was too awesome to pass up.

Another one is I tend to do portraits of the main characters - PCs and NPCs - of the campaign as we go.

One we had, but is now gone was the GM hosting and never successfully cooking anything as it always got burnt. One time I walked in to his house and into a smoke haze. I asked "what's burning?" to which I recieved the reply "that's what cooking smells like". Everybody else was sitting down on the floor so the haze was above their heads.

Delvin Darkwood
2012-01-04, 06:41 PM
our play group has a "tradition" of playing the Stephen Lynch DnD song to christen each session. It gets old sometimes, but it certainly help get everyone focused by letting out the last bits of that loose energy in the form of silly song making and get down to the game. Or at least it does for me at least.

2012-01-04, 07:17 PM
The G.M.s girlfriend cooks us all dinner. Best tradition ever :smallsmile:

2012-01-04, 07:27 PM
Another one is I tend to do portraits of the main characters - PCs and NPCs - of the campaign as we go.

We have a player like that but he takes it one step further and draws whole scenes as they are happening. It is awesome! Especially because you can see how well what you imagine matches what the players (or at least what he) imagines. My favorite is when we were fighting on the top floor of a living tower. The middle of the floor was one giant mouth and a sorcerer chained to the wall with flesh was controlling it and all the tentacles sprouting from the floor and the walls. It's one awesome picture.

I guess our pre-game ritual is figuring out that a certain member of the group is going to be late (again) and decide on who will be the one to force him to hurry to the game this session :smalltongue:

Dusk Eclipse
2012-01-04, 08:56 PM
We just usually browse the gaming shop we gather to play, usually ending with someone buying something from dices to heroclix miniatures.

2012-01-05, 07:53 AM
The G.M.s girlfriend cooks us all dinner. Best tradition ever :smallsmile:

Now. That's. Awesome. :smallbiggrin:

My players have the pre-game tradition of rolling their dice and picking out the ones that roll high to use for the game. Of course, this never works for them and often my 3-year old daughter can roll better than they can, but I let them have their placebos.

When I was running Shadowrun (4e), I used to have a tradition of picking out a TV or movie theme song that hinted at the style of that night's session and play it before starting the game. It helped get the players in the right mindset, but they eventually learned to hate the Doctor Who theme. :smalltongue:

2012-01-05, 08:25 AM
Usually my players spend our pre-game time asking me for crazy items that they know I'll never give them (like a +44 Vorpal Longsword of Universe Destruction) to which I usually reply, we'll see how it goes in-game. That and also thinking of funny stuff to do to the guy who's late literally every time, not that we start every game session at 1700 but whatever. Usually making his character walk around with "I farted'' wrote on his head for a while and making the player sit in the crappy chair or go get drinks for everyone or whatever. And also, we usually spend a small amount of time getting inebriated.

2012-01-05, 09:27 AM
Not something we do every time, but frequently we go out to get some sort of food before playing, then sit around the gaming table and eat it.

We never game during this time, just sit around the table and eat like a family.

The Glyphstone
2012-01-05, 10:27 AM
Does 'always starting 30minutes late' count as a tradition?

2012-01-05, 11:15 AM
The first person to show up orders pizza, the last person to arrive gets the bill (we generaly meet at a player's house so that player is already there, but it rotates every sesssion who's house so everything stays fair)

Dusk Eclipse
2012-01-05, 11:19 AM
Does 'always starting 30minutes late' count as a tradition?

That is more like a requirement for any type of game :smalltongue:

2012-01-05, 11:34 AM
I play online now, but back when I was in college the people who were early would play something else to determine who got to choose dinner (and not chip in for it).

Usually it'd be a quick board game, a brief Magic: The Gathering session, or a few rounds of whatever fighting game or FPS we all enjoyed at the moment. Whoever won could choose where we'd order dinner from, and would have their food paid for by the others.

This began as a way for the early people to kill time while we waited for others, but it turned out to be a great way to ensure no one was late. Being punctual = chance at free food!

2012-01-05, 12:20 PM
Not exactly a tradition, but at one time we had some players who were always on time who would play magic the gathering while we waited for the others to arrive, this continued throughout the spelljammer game we did, until we switched to a different campaign where they played the inquisition in a city where arcane magic was banned.
near the start of this campaign one of the players came in put his cards on the table and asked who was up for a game, only for the others to turn on him in horror declaring that Magic was illegal in this campaign.

Lord Tyger
2012-01-05, 01:01 PM
I've got a pound of dice (in a bag. It's a pound of dice. They sell those- how cool is that?) so I bring them for anyone who doesn't have them. One of my friends will, every game, roll every one of my D20s multiple times in various combinations to determine which one is luckiest that night. One of my other friends, who has since got his own dice, used to wait until this was done, and then grab a d20 completely at random and try and explain statistics to the first friend.

2012-01-05, 01:18 PM
My friday game, until recently, consisted of one of the players cooking us gourmet food. Every time, in vast quantities and fantastic quality. I miss this tradition. It's just not the same gaming without a buffet.

2012-01-05, 01:49 PM
Does 'always starting 30minutes late' count as a tradition?

Not around here. LOL. We tend to start around 2 hours late... thanks to the same guy who has the same excuse... every time. "I got lost and then I got stuck in traffic." How do you get lost when the game is at the same place every week?

LOL. I guess it's more of a catch phrase now. Maybe it's another tradition we have. I like how INDYSTAR188 deals with this issue. Maybe it's time to start punishing the late one. :smallamused:

2012-01-05, 01:59 PM
Does 'always starting 30minutes late' count as a tradition?

I'm so excited when we actually start on time. It's always been a good sign when everyone shows up on time; normally something game-changing happens. Normally the end of a chapter.

Gemini Lupus
2012-01-05, 03:54 PM
My group has a few traditions, when I'm playing, I pick out my dice and roll each of them until the highest number comes up and One of my friends holds his dice in his hand for a few minutes, focusing energy into them. Since we play at my house, we generally eat before the game and those who are early/on time, we spend watching Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. Like everyone else, there is a habit of starting late. We also begin every session with a Dragon Ball Z-style narration of what happened at the last session.

2012-01-05, 04:07 PM
One thing I tend to do before a game is arrange my dice into neat patterns.
most people probably think this is just fidgeting, but in fact it serves a very useful purpose, as I can tell at a glance whether I have the same number of at the end as I did at the start. and quickly work out which it is i'm missing if not.

the down side is I sometimes end up buying more dice so that all the d8 arrange into a square, or so I can make a triangle with the d4's only for that to change a few months later, when I pick up some more dice for some other reason.