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Dervag
2007-04-03, 11:53 PM
In response to a post on the "PC Stupidity" thread, I am creating this thread as a place where you can brag about your characters' clever improvisations and resourceful plans.

NecroPaladin
2007-04-04, 12:00 AM
See, there aren't nearly as many things to add here as to stupidity because idiots are more common than geniuses.

That said, I'm proud of a while back; my scout climbed up a wall in the middle of a big battle, and put (with his magic ring) silence and darkness both on the mountain path that the evil gnoll army was firing with bows down on party members from. When the party members 80 or so feet below began to move the fray with the gnoll melee types along the bottom of the path, the archers were forced to move through this dark, silent area. They were a bit confused, but not overly worried, as they tried to move along the path (they assumed our druid, below, had cast it to protect himself). This was because they didn't hear me bull rushing them off the ledge, one by one, while they were flat-footed and couldn't see what was going on. I got well over 50 kills without any of them hearing the silent screams/realizing what was happening. It was like an assembly line of destruction.

Dervag
2007-04-04, 12:08 AM
See, there aren't nearly as many things to add here as to stupidity because idiots are more common than geniuses.Yes, but each feat of genius is more likely to become a conversation piece.


This was because they didn't hear me bull rushing them off the ledge, one by one, while they were flat-footed and couldn't see what was going on. I got well over 50 kills without any of them hearing the silent screams/realizing what was happening. It was like an assembly line of destruction.How did you know a gnoll was coming in the silenced dark?

NecroPaladin
2007-04-04, 12:10 AM
I was waiting at the end of the line, before they could turn around. So I could see and hear them fine as they emerged.

JaronK
2007-04-04, 12:21 AM
My Whispergnome spellthief took out 30 orcs by himself at level 5... by sneaking into their camp while they were all asleep, killing them off under cover of the Silence spell with a series of Coup De Gras (In D&D, no one can hear you scream!). The gaurds were harder, but I managed to get them by surprise too.

It was amusing, anyway.

JaronK

Destro_Yersul
2007-04-04, 12:22 AM
*Ahem* BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That is awesome, Necro. I, unfortunately, don't have any genius stories. My group does silly things a lot...

Jade_Tarem
2007-04-04, 12:37 AM
At one point my PCs were locked into mortal combat with a party of werewolf adventurers - tournament style. The arena was a bit odd - they had thier choice of arena, and picked a setting from a different game of mine, which was a multistory affair that mimicked a modern hotel (with magic replacing technology.)

I expected them to go hunting through the rooms and halways. They didn't. Instead, they went for the kitchen and turned it into a massive deathtrap in the style of Home Alone while the other group searched for them. They had flaming oil traps, a falling (swinging!) chandalier (a big one), Tables with silverware stabbed through them as barricades, boiling water, and an exploding gas can. When the other party found them, the hunting group lost half thier effective strength before the PC's even had to fight them. As a final insult, the bard played the Phantom of the Opera "chandalier dropping" music when they dropped the chandalier on the other group's barbarian.

brian c
2007-04-04, 05:00 AM
My favorite moment in D&D of doing something smart (not gonna say it's genius, but I was proud of myself) was in a one-shot campaign, so I didn't have time to get too attached to the character.

The DM premade characters (level 5 I think) and we all got to choose from them; I picked the Half-Orc Wizard (that week's theme was anti-stereotypical characters).

At the end of the dungeon, we ended up in a huge room with sloped floors. Once we were inside, the door closed behind us and barrels of oil (flammable mind you) rolled down towards us. Most of us managed to avoid being knocked down by the barrels, but enough of them broke to cover the floor and make balance checks necessary just to walk. Then the bottom of the room (the part that everything sloped towards) broke away into a pit of lava; then the archers started shooting at us from alcoves on the opposite wall: 6 archers, 2 in each alcove 20ft above the wall. The rest of the party died pretty brutally, but I was quick enough (and strong enough) to climb upto the alcove and bullrush the archers into the firy pit below (much easier than killing them directly, since they also had longswords). Since there was too much smoke to stay in that alcove, I buffed myself a little and then climbed over to the 2nd alcove and did the same thing. Finally at the third alcove the very last archer killed me on his AoO for my bullrush :( I died, but gloriously. And if for some reason I had been a Wizard with Improved Bullrush, I would have done a lot better.

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-04, 05:21 AM
My party once had a plan (which we unfortunatley never got to put into action) to kill a whole river full of crocodiles (its like killing a basement full of rats, for higher level characters) using high-school chemistry. We had an alchemist in the party, so we had an Ic excuse. The plan was thus: Get a sphere of Cesium, and (using magic. duh) coat it in glass, using magic to stop it exploding. WE had more specifics at the time. We then drop this 3ft sphere of class-coated cesium to the bottom of the river, sorceror casts shatter on the glass coating. Every crocodile within a couple of hundred feat gets killed by the shockwave, the ones further away get severely injured and probably deafened. And the whole river gets turned alkali, dissolving the rest of them.

The one problem was that the water was supposed to be drinkable afterwards. This killed the plan. and most of the others, which involved poisoned meat.

Edo
2007-04-04, 06:12 AM
I was a swordsage 3, facing my doppeltwin. There wasn't room enough for the two of us.

This was a perfect doppeltwin: the stats were identical. Which meant that we really didn't have any way to hurt each other barring dumb luck.

My challenge? A one-round match of Roshambo. Whoever was more badly injured at the end of that was the winner.

I hit first. He hit second. I countered with Fire Riposte.

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-04, 06:25 AM
poetic.

10 charactersz

Susan
2007-04-04, 08:21 AM
Here's one from a group back in my college days (ah, four months ago, good times...).

The Level 5 party I was in was lying in wait for a patrol of some pretty beefy orcs scouting the area on horseback. The Ranger and Rogue were hidden in a treeline waiting to snipe, the Barbarian was standing on the road dressed in beggars rags, and the wizard and cleric were 40ft up on a ledge hanging directly over the road waiting to provide spellcasting support while staying out of harms way. We spotted the patrol about 500 yards out; 4 huge and well-armored orcs riding powerful warhorses. Any one of these orcs could go toe-to-toe with our Barbarian, might even come out on top. Everyone was holding actions to attack (Rogue and Ranger with bows, Wizard with a fireball, Cleric with a Summon Monster). We were not feeling confident. This is (more or less) the conversation that followed:

----------------------------------------

DM: The four scouts trot up to the Barbarian and tell him angrily to turn around.

B: I don't move, gripping my axe a bit tighter, try to give the snipers a clear shot.

W: Where did they stop?

DM: [Puts four horse figures on the map grid next to the cliff, about 20 feet away from the Barbarian.]

W: Alright, I'll cast my readied fireball in the center-

C: Wait! I grab his shoulder, tell him to hold.

Group and DM: :smallconfused:

C: I summon a Celestial Bison.

DM: You aren't waiting for the snipers and the fireball?

C: No, I'm summoning it now.

DM: *shrug* OK, place it on the map.

C: [Places Bison on map, on edge of cliff next to him and straight up from the scouts.]

Group + DM: :smallconfused:

C: Is it the surprise round?

DM: Yep. You casting another spell?

C: Nope. *shoves Bison off cliff*

Group + DM: ...

:smalleek:

Rogue: ...How much does a bison weigh?

Ranger: Uh... 2000 to 3000lbs. From 40 feet up.

Group + DM: ...

:smalleek:

DM: ...That's like... 100d6 damage.

Group: ...

:smalleek:

...

:smallbiggrin:

--------------------------------------

In the end, the DM ruled that the Celestial Bison only landed on two of the scouts, but those two scouts (and their horses) were turned instantly into smooth dog food. It was a good encounter :smallcool: .

Bagera
2007-04-04, 09:24 AM
My group was playing in a large battle and it was like the 5th encounter that day and we were all beat up and didn't want to fight too much, so I just manifested astral constructs that grappeled with them and dragged them underground with their burrowing ability.

ExHunterEmerald
2007-04-04, 09:35 AM
Three ECL 5 characters taking down an eighteenth-level fighter comes to mind...

Dervag
2007-04-04, 09:46 AM
My party once had a plan (which we unfortunatley never got to put into action) to kill a whole river full of crocodiles (its like killing a basement full of rats, for higher level characters) using high-school chemistry. We had an alchemist in the party, so we had an Ic excuse. The plan was thus: Get a sphere of Cesium, and (using magic. duh) coat it in glass, using magic to stop it exploding. WE had more specifics at the time. We then drop this 3ft sphere of class-coated cesium to the bottom of the river, sorceror casts shatter on the glass coating. Every crocodile within a couple of hundred feat gets killed by the shockwave, the ones further away get severely injured and probably deafened. And the whole river gets turned alkali, dissolving the rest of them.I'm not sure whether that plan would actually work, from a chemistry standpoint. Cesium doesn't explode like dynamite on contact with water; it just burns very violently. Sodium does too, for that matter.

So you wouldn't get a big shockwave to create a 'depth charge' effect. Moreover, the result of the reaction wouldn't produce water alkaline enough to dissolve the rest of the crocodiles, though it might make the water nasty enough that they'd flee much as you'd flee a room full of tear gas.


In the end, the DM ruled that the Celestial Bison only landed on two of the scouts, but those two scouts (and their horses) were turned instantly into smooth dog food. It was a good encounter :smallcool: .And of course, the party simply had to put up a DANGER! Falling buffalo! sign to commemorate their victory.


Three ECL 5 characters taking down an eighteenth-level fighter comes to mind...How?

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-04, 09:50 AM
I'm not sure whether that plan would actually work, from a chemistry standpoint. Cesium doesn't explode like dynamite on contact with water; it just burns very violently. Sodium does too, for that matter.

But did the DM know that?

JackMage666
2007-04-04, 10:20 AM
I'm not going to call it genius, but I think I came up with a pretty good plan for a 1-shot we had the other day.

There were only two player, ECL 15 - A Human Rogue, and a Silverbrow Human Sorcerer (Me, with about 10 Draconic feats backing me up, but that's not the point).

We were sent to an island to figure out where so many of their citizen had been disappearing to, and the island doubled as a lawless, pirate base.

My character suspected it'd be someone higher up in the food chain causing the damages, so the first thing I did when I arrived in town was demand that anyone with any superiority in the town would be required to bath in Holy Water and Charcoal, siting that it was most likely Demons causing the problems, and the Holy Water would destroy them. The charcoal, of course, was to dye the skin so that we would know who was in charge. Of course, they feared death, so they complied.

Over the next few nights, I used my Heartstone (and my high UMD skill) to go ethereal and keep watch over the town, unseen by eyes. I managed to follow a woman and learned she was a Sea-Wolf (basically, a Wolf/Shark lycanthrope) who was behind the events. However, this was after a few days of the baths, and the locals were starting to question me.

So, rather than reveal a highly respected member of the group with no proof, and rather than try to kill her and her people single handedly, I decided a different tactic.

The next day, I declared my mistake - It was not demons causing the problems, but instead a Corrupted Guardinal, who turned to evil and now must delight in the slaughter of innocence... The kicker was, instead of the holy water and charcoal bath, I decided they needed a Unholy Water and Rose Petal bath, and they were forced to comply.

That night, I caught a Sahaguin, and Baleful Polymorphed it into a puppy. When the sun came up, I handed the puppy to the leader of the town, and triumphantly explained that I had instead Baleful Polymorphed the Guardinal, and that they were free from the tyrant.

The Sea-Wolf obviously thought I had no idea, and believed me to be a crazy man who was only seeking the fame and glory. The locals believed the story, as I had high bluff checks. The Sea-Wolf had her attacked planned for the following night.

Now, the trick was making her think we had left. The rogue disguised herself as me, and I as her. The reason for this was simple. I had flown into the town, while she, unable to fly, went on a boat. She pretended to be me and lfet mysteriously (hid, actually), while I went on the boat and flew back, and hid as well. The townspeople were none the wiser.

So, when the Sea-Wolf and her five buddies walked up on shore that night, they were awfully suprised to see me still there, and were even more suprised when the rogue sneak attacked and killed one. It was a short battle, especially when I killed the head of the Sea-Wolfs with a Phantasmal Killer because she failed both saves. The rest were her support, and fell easily.

This careful planning not only saved the town, but pissed off the DM who thought she'd planned it perfectly to get the jump on us. Didn't count on me being able to spy on her villian.

blacksabre
2007-04-04, 10:27 AM
Most proud and sinsiter at the same time...
After 4 of our 6 players went on hiatus for 6 weeks (vactions etc) The DM decided to run a duo campaign...(ME) a CE Thief/Assasin and a CE Barbarian bounty hunter..basically bring 'em back dead or alive team up ...

At about level 9 , we were sent to eliminate a CN wizard about level 12....but his home was heavily trapped

Spent about 4 days looking around the city to purchase about 2 dozen of our "special" items in 4 large bags.. 4 haste scrolls and a Rock to Mud scroll..

We arranged to have the wizard visit another city for about a day..while he was away..

Rock to mud scroll puts a small hole in his homes wall..(inconspicuos place around back, behind a bush..)

Caste haste on the items in the four bags, empty the contents into the hole in the wall..

Special Items?= 2 dozen hasted puppies...running around the trapped wiazrds home setting off traps left and right...we waited about an hour for all the phoom, bang and yelp sounds to die down..then entered, the remain traps we dealt with..

Cleanup the mess, wait for wizard to return...as expected, teleporting right into study at the markings on the floor for a teleport spell..

JackMage666
2007-04-04, 10:31 AM
..... Did you really have to Haste the poor puppies?

The Glyphstone
2007-04-04, 11:10 AM
I was pretty impressed with what my group pulled off in one of the earlier meetings. They were all...4th level, I think, and exploring a classic haunted house, complete with skeletons, zombies, and a dining room filled with possessed food (yay, swarms of animated objects). Once they finished off the flying silverware and strangling sausage links, the somewhat kleptomaniac rogue decides he's going to loot all the silver spoons/forks/knives. They get shoved into his pockets and they keep exploring. Fast forward a bit to the basement, where they confront the low-level vampire wizard who owned the house. He might have been low-level, but the Fighter and the Wizard both got Dominated early on, and the group didn't have any silvered weapons. The Warlock's blasts were trading with his Fast Healing, while the rest of the group (Warlock was Spider Climbing on the ceiling next to the Vampire) run from the Fighter.

Rogue: "That silverware - can I attach them to my crossbow bolts?"

Me:...???....!!!

I let him do it, a full-round action to attach a few forks and treating them as improvised weapons for a -4 penalty.

Next turn, he promptly rolls max damage and puts the vamp to 0.

Diggorian
2007-04-04, 11:29 AM
My 10th level Dwarven cleric and 9th level Fighter PC got seperated from the party and were trekking across a frozen mountain to rejoin them. My higher level and most mid-level spells were tapped plus the fighter was still badly hurt after my healing. I strapped him to my dire-dog mount Farfle (a large St. Bernard with Dwarven whiskey around his neck :smallbiggrin: ) I'm leading the way when a gargantuan Remorhaz (15HD) pops up out of the ground!

*rolls initiative*

DM to me: "You're first against the hungry beast."

My Cleric: "... what constitutes food?"

DM chuckles: "Delicacies, rations, anything edible. To this monster any warm meat it sees. Heehee."

Cleric: "OK ... I cast Create Food and Water to summon a pile of steaming hot horse, cow, and pig parts enough to feed five large creatures 30ft behind the monster."

DM shocked: "... the Remorhaz roars at you ... before diving into the pile of meat. It watches you defensively as it feasts"

Cleric gives thumbs up to fighter: "I lead Farfle slowly, nonthreateningly away from it."

Then, the fighter not wanting to get jipped on XP for doing nothing got off the dog and charged it! We lived, but my dog got swallowed! :smallfurious:

ExHunterEmerald
2007-04-04, 11:29 AM
How?

We started by charging as soon as we saw him--didn't even give him a chance to talk. See, earlier the half-giant fighter challenged the town guards to a fight and they said the Captain of the Guard would fight. This was him.
So we got ourselves a surprise round.
I, the wizard, hang back and pummel him with save-or-sucks, drain his strength, slow him, if I'd prepped grease I bet I'd have knocked him prone...
While the dragon shaman and the fighter pummel him.
The fighter is doing severe damage, and drops the fighter twice, but I revive him with potions of CSW.
The giant gets a crit with his scythe. It still didn't kill him, but it brought him to five HP.
We actually were captured here because we were attacked by our other party members. ...but then the dragon shaman puts on his aura of vigor and we start healing, and he breathes fire in the guard captain's face, twice. (He'd taken a healing potion by now.)
Then the giant's healed up and, since they didn't have manacles his size, isn't cuffed. He jumps up and makes one final hit, and he kills the captain of the guard!

...and then our party finishes us off with a spark shower. Asses.

Jannex
2007-04-04, 11:39 AM
I recall one occasion where my friend and fellow player was absent for a session, and being the player who knew him best, I was given the task of playing his Bard-barian in addition to my own bard. This worked out well, as he and the other PCs managed to get themselves picked up by the city guard for questioning relating to (I forget what), while my character was off elsewhere. Eventually the PCs were left alone in an interrogation room, and decided to try and sneak out the window. The Bard-barian was the last one out the window. Unfortunately, I rolled abysmally on his Move Silently check, and almost immediately a guard was in the window, shouting for him to stop.

Now, the thing to understand about this character is that he's almost pathologically impulsive, spontaneous, and generally Chaotic. So, while I'm trying to think up some way of getting my friend's character out of the mess I've gotten him in, a flash of inspiration hits me. I have him pull a Bugs Bunny. He reaches up, grab the guard's head, and kiss him right on the mouth, then run the heck away while the guard tries to recover.

It worked. :smallbiggrin:

Jayabalard
2007-04-04, 11:42 AM
I'm not sure whether that plan would actually work, from a chemistry standpoint. Cesium doesn't explode like dynamite on contact with water; it just burns very violently. Sodium does too, for that matter.I'd say that's quite incorrect. Cesium can indeed cause an explosion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCk0lYB_8c0) (though I've heard conflicting reports on whether that was faked for the episode)

Very rapid combustion, causing a rapid increase in temperature, which is pretty much a textbook definition of an explosion. In this particular case, the reaction generates an exothermic reaction that also produces hydrogen gas, and it's the hydrogen gas that is explosive. Even a small amount of Rubidium or Cesium can generate enough hydrogen to be explosive, and large enough enough amount either could be enormously explosive.


Reference (http://pubs.acs.org/cen/80th/cesium.html)
the reaction of alkali metal with water forms alkali hydroxide and hydrogen. The fireworks are created from the exothermicity of the reaction igniting the hydrogen gas. This occurs much more rapidly as one goes down the column of alkali metals, since as size increases the ionization potential decreases. Thus, cesium is the most reactive of the alkali metals. Note that the alkali-in-water experiment is carried out wearing safety glasses and with a clear plastic blast shield to protect the students.

that said... even with an alchemist I don't think that this plan was very in character. Cesium isn't something that can even be easily detected, as it was discovered using spectroscopic means (the first element to e discovered that way) in 1860.

factotum
2007-04-04, 11:45 AM
It's not a story of genius, but one of blind luck. We were playing Rolemaster, which has a "roll and add" system--e.g. you roll d100, and if you get 96 or greater (I think) you roll again and add the totals. Somebody in my party once managed to roll a natural 352 using this system, which actually annoyed him a lot because it was for some completely unimportant skill check--if he'd done that on a combat roll it would have been "You kill the giant armoured knight with a blunted toothpick" territory!

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-04, 11:59 AM
I'd say that's quite incorrect. Cesium can indeed cause an explosion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCk0lYB_8c0) (though I've heard conflicting reports on whether that was faked for the episode)

Very rapid combustion, causing a rapid increase in temperature, which is pretty much a textbook definition of an explosion. In this particular case, the reaction generates an exothermic reaction that also produces hydrogen gas, and it's the hydrogen gas that is explosive. Even a small amount of Rubidium or Cesium can generate enough hydrogen to be explosive, and large enough enough amount either could be enormously explosive.



that said... even with an alchemist I don't think that this plan was very in character. Cesium isn't something that can even be easily detected, as it was discovered using spectroscopic means (the first element to e discovered that way) in 1860.
yay, it would have worked!

blacksabre
2007-04-04, 12:39 PM
..... Did you really have to Haste the poor puppies?


No..but for sadistic comic relief it was funny as hell

brian c
2007-04-04, 12:51 PM
I was a swordsage 3, facing my doppeltwin. There wasn't room enough for the two of us.

This was a perfect doppeltwin: the stats were identical. Which meant that we really didn't have any way to hurt each other barring dumb luck.

My challenge? A one-round match of Roshambo. Whoever was more badly injured at the end of that was the winner.

I hit first. He hit second. I countered with Fire Riposte.

I had a campaign once at level 6 or so we all faced our perfect twins; well, when i say we all I mean together. I was a half-ogre barbarian with a fullblade, ridiculous damage, but dumb as a rock. Dumb enough to have put on the shiny anklets that I found earlier without getting them identified: they ended up being anklets of Otto's Irresistable Dance (10% chance or so to activate for d4 rounds). The DM ruled that our twins even had the same gear as us, so luckily my twin's anklets went off and mine didn't :)

Tengu
2007-04-04, 01:02 PM
When my players went after a mad (not really evil) scientist (who also happened to be a moogle) who stole their airship, they didn't expect to find him piloting a steamtank with added crab pinders in his lair. What I planned as a tough combat was avoided by my players by making him surrender with threatening to destroy his diploma, which they sto...acquired basically moments before.

Nowhere Girl
2007-04-04, 02:06 PM
Finally at the third alcove the very last archer killed me on his AoO for my bullrush :( I died, but gloriously. And if for some reason I had been a Wizard with Improved Bullrush, I would have done a lot better.

Fun fact: per RAW, you are not entitled to any kind of AoO using a ranged weapon. :smallsmile:

SpatulaOfDoom
2007-04-04, 02:43 PM
I play in a shared campaign setting (Think Living Greyhawk and other Living series) known as The Great River. With shared campaign settings you often find very unusual parties getting together for an adventure, their levels might be far apart or they may wind up with odd class combinations.

The wind up:
In the DM's homebrewed world the draconic kingdom is having trouble with dwarves preparing to invade (In this setting Dwarves are more cruel and violent than normal) and the dwarves have sent a strong scouting party (Known as the Maulers) to have a look around and kill any enemy scouts and informants they might find.
The dwarves: 1x 10th level cleric, 2x 5th level clerics, 3x 5th level barbarians, 3x 5th level rogues, 3x 5th level fighters.

Looking to ingratiate themselves to the local rulers our plains traveling party offers to capture or destroy the Maulers to send a message to the dwarves.
The PC's:
10th level Diviner/loremaster who has few combat spells but a massive list of divination spells prepared at any given time.
10th level Generalist Wizard/Sun Mage (Light/Undead killing specialist who is empowered by sunlight) the party's combat caster.
6th level Slythen: (Similar to a Yaun-ti half-blood) Barbarian/Fighter, the trip-master fighting with a halberd since he moves like a snake and can't really be tripped.
3rd level cat-girl wizard: The ubiquitous cat-girl in a witch outfit.

The pitch:
The council knows roughly where the dwarves crossed the border but not really where they are. Never having been to the area before we use a creative combination of Spot buffing spells, dimension door, featherfall, a spyglass, and teleport to get into the general area. (Note when the diviner can wind up with a spot check bonus of +47 and a spyglass it's no stretch to think he can see well enough to teleport 30 miles).
Once in the general area the diviner casts prying Eyes to create a 1mile radius sphere of eyes looking for the dwarven encampment as we slowly canvas the area, after a few hours of wandering around a one of the eyes returns to reveal the location of the dwarven encampment, it further shows the dwarves spotting another of the disembodied eyes and destroying it. This means that the dwarves are alert.
Rather than attempting to teleport (both 10th level wizards had taken teleport so we had a 2nd left) straight in and fight them we backed off and the Diviner used Scry on a dirty dwarf with a great axe (barbarian) to get a good idea what we were up against and managed to identify the leader. Next we backed away from the camp as far as we could then climbed up a rope trick to rest until dawn next morning. The Diviner used Scry again to find out that the dwarves had sensibly moved their campsite.
Then we buff up right down to round/level spells (like haste), since we know exactly when the fight will start, and teleport right into the middle of the camp.

The home run:
From this point on the Diviner had pretty much done his job and it was the Snake Man and Sun Mage's show, with the cat girl and Diviner with very few combat spells offering support.
The dwarves tasted the back of the PC's hands. The DM ruled that they were all awake and armored but it took a round for the clerics and barbarians to get their weapons and out of the tents but it didn't matter.
Under the 20 foot umbrella of the enlarge/ bull Strength/ Hastened, combat reflexes/trip crazy snake man even dwarven stability didn't help much and he was knocking them down like ninepins and chopping or biting them for good damage.
The Sun mage summoned up a pair of celestial tigers to keep the rogues and one of the fighters busy, entangled the clerics in Evards Black Tentacles, and used Suggestion and Id Insinuation on the barbarians, and Wall of forced off a few others to keep them back.
The only ones to get close to us were a pair of barbarians that popped out of a tent right beside where we'd teleported in, one of whom had to attack unarmed because the sun mage "Suggested" that his hands were covered in grease and he'd never be able to hold anything. The armed Barbarian managed to knock out the Cat Girl (Who'd run out of spells anyways) and both were promptly taken out, one by the snake man chewing him to pieces and the other by the Sun mage's will save or suck spell.
The Clerics had little luck against the Black Tentacles +20 grapple check and the 10th level Cleric fumbled his concentration check to cast Freedom of Movement in the grapple, they were pretty much out of the fight from that point on.
The Rogues did ok against the Tigers until the Tigers finished off one of the fighters and one of the rogues and the remaining rogues had nothing to flank with and found out what sucked so hard about a large creature with Improved Grab.
The breaking point came when a Barbarian was tripped and Id Insinuationed down to a move action and tried to crawl away while the snake man sank his fangs into the poor guy's back.
At that point the Sun mage called for the Dwarves to surrender and they complied despite the fact that only 5 out of the 12 were unconscious. We allowed the Clerics to heal their fallen and in the end not a single Dwarf died, they were all frog marched in their skivvies back to town.
The DM was left with his mouth hanging open.

We tallied the number of rounds and found out that the whole thing had taken only 6 combat rounds +1 surprise round. It seemed like much more because of the Sun Mage's having to run the Tigers, the Black Tentacles, and himself (with a lesser rod of Quicken to boot), and because of the Snake Man's large number of Attacks of Opportunity.

We likened the whole thing to a Shock and Awe type SWAT team busting down the door and stepping on the perps head before he knows what the hell is going on.

After a careful tally of the events we picked up which factors contributed to us turning what should have been a very difficult encounter into a cakewalk.
The main thing was the Diviner allowing us to scout out the fight beforehand and teleport us into the middle of the whole thing fully buffed.
Also the Sun Mage selecting the right type of spell for the right enemy was a big thing, Grapple checks for the clerics, fangs fury and claws for the rogues, will saves and touch no-saves for the barbarians and fighters. The Snakeman's ability to keep the baddies from closing with the oh so squishy wizards AND deal damage at the same time completed the deal. It helped that we stopped the Clerics from casting more than 3 spells as well.

brian c
2007-04-04, 02:45 PM
Fun fact: per RAW, you are not entitled to any kind of AoO using a ranged weapon. :smallsmile:

I know I wrote a lot, but one of the things I said before is that they also had longswords. I just called them "archers" for convenience.

Green Bean
2007-04-04, 02:46 PM
I was playing in a group which consisted of me (fighter), a ranger, a CN rogue, and a LG telepath psion. Now, for one particular mission, the psion cast mindlink on the rogue (we were breaking into an enemy fortress, and there was a part only the rogue could handle). All was well until our next downtime, when the rogue said his head felt odd, and asked our psion if she was sure that there weren't any side effects. This wasn't that odd of a request; the DM is very fond of the 'magical accident' plot hooks where ordinary spells occasionally have unintended consequences, and the rogue and the DM were passing alot of notes back and forth. Anyways, over the next few sessions, the rogue kept saying he didn't feel like some of his thoughts were his own, accidently talking about 'manifesting his...oh...nevermind', talking in his sleep in the psion's voices, ordering the psion's favorite foods (which he previously hated), and on one occasion stating that he was the psion while in a zone of truth. Now, this psion was lawful good, and a 'Xavier-style telepath' in that she didn't use her mental powers on unwilling individuals unless necessary. After about five sessions she's feeling so guilty for messing with the rogue's head that she gives half her gold to the rogue to 'pay for his cure'. The rogue goes to the local cleric, makes the donation, and is pronounced cured.

A few sessions later we find out the truth. The whole thing was the rogue's scam. He planned out the whole thing, from UMD-ing a scroll of ghost sound while the psion was on watch for the 'talking in his sleep' effect, to slipping a cleric 500gp to fake a zone of truth, to getting 'cured' and hiding the several thousand gold pieces so that the party didn't discover who it really went to. While IC we never really trusted the rogue again, OC we loved the whole thing.

Viscount Einstrauss
2007-04-04, 02:56 PM
A bard and a half-dragon rogue convinced a goblin army that the rogue was a sort of goblin god king by making and wearing a disguise made out of the skin of a dead goblin and a clever use of Ventriloquism, Reduce Person, and bluff (since the rogue didn't speak goblin, but the bard did). After a mission, the rogue proclaimed in draconic that the "dragon gods had smiled upon him", and so he ripped the goblin skin off of himself while he grew to normal size at the end of the spell's length so that he could command these goblins henceforth as a loyal army without needing to wear a dead goblin skin or speak their language.

I spent much of the next several weeks devising clever ways to kill off his little army, but goddamn if that wasn't brilliant.

NecroPaladin
2007-04-04, 03:35 PM
VE, you always find ways to outdo us...bravo.

Lolzords
2007-04-04, 04:10 PM
Yup. Doused a mummy with whiskey and set it on fire.

Knight_Of_Twilight
2007-04-04, 04:29 PM
A couple of Weeks ago, My paladin and his group were wandering in a dungeon when we were assualted by like, 10 assasian vines. ( And, unfourtunatly, we were all 3rd level) First Round, Myself, The barbarian, Our Kobold Thief and our Wizard get grappled. The other two players, a knight and a halfling scout manage to escape unharmed.

The grapple proceeds to kill the Rogue and Wizard horribly. In the next round, I manage to free myself, but the Barbarian can't. The scout runs like hell, and the Knight cuts down one of the vines.

In the suceeding round, its just myself, the knight and the barbarian. The barbarian hasn't yet freed herself, so the knight goes to cut her down, due to his high intiative. He and I have the same thought at the same time.

Me ( Paladin) : Cut her down, make sure you'er straight in front of me so-
Knight: I know!

Knight Cuts her down. He tells her to dash, she goes next, so she does. I make the first bullrush in the campaign, ever, against the Knight, who doesn't try to resist. I barely make it out of thier range, and he goes flying.

The Scout now appears again, and throws some vials of burning oil, while I give a sort vigil for our fallen comrades.

Dervag
2007-04-04, 05:58 PM
I'd say that's quite incorrect. Cesium can indeed cause an explosion (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCk0lYB_8c0) (though I've heard conflicting reports on whether that was faked for the episode)OK, I'm wrong.


that said... even with an alchemist I don't think that this plan was very in character. Cesium isn't something that can even be easily detected, as it was discovered using spectroscopic means (the first element to e discovered that way) in 1860.How about sodium?

Kel_Arath
2007-04-04, 06:35 PM
buy 16 hollowed out tubes. have a blacksmith make some springs. put a release mechanism (any char with 12-14+ int can figure it out, just a pin and string). buy some rope and lash them all together. buy a small cart. buy 16 spears...

ocato
2007-04-04, 10:31 PM
So, myself (Bard) and the Dwarven Barbarian, Sannix Coppercleave, have made our way into one of the outlaying towers of a small military fortification that is headed by a General who has a slight case of "dracophobia" (fear/paranoia concerning dragons). We're at the top of the tower because our good friend, Arman Sollas, the party's wizard, was so kind as to drop us off there while he was flying about like a crazy person. Invisibilty+ Fly + night= interesting.

He heads back to join the rest of the party, consisting of a Paladin, Rogue, and Druid who's names you probably aren't interested in. So we're at the top of this tower doing that which we are most commonly chosen to do: Create an obscene diversion. The dwarf uses his potion of invisibility to maintain his effect while I choose the less subtle method. I am strolling down the stairs of a rather large tower that is pretty much a stone cylinder with a staircase inside and a little guards quarters every so often. I'm spotted and the guards begin to chase me to the top of the tower. It's almost dawn and the person we've come to save is to be executed soon. So Sannix and I run up the stairs and I turn and stop. The DM ruled that the relatively small space would couple with my cloak of cacaphony (homebrewed magic item that increases my sonic damage) to make my Shout (5d6) do the damage of a weakened Greater Shout (5d6 +1d6 from the cloak +4d6 extra from the situation). He's very kind about things like that when you are calm and have a reasonable reason. Also he figured what was coming would be very interesting.

At this point the Barbarian (who was invisible) pulls a very special attack, including a lit torch and spitting his mouth full of dwarven gasoline.. I mean ale. This is a sort of signature action that he used a feat to perfect. The guards are stunned by a massive sound reverberation, then a dwarven barbarian appears infront of them and spits fire into their faces. So the dracophobic general hears a booming roar, and looks up to the tower it came from and A. hears a whoosh of fire B. hears the screams of his guards and C. sees flames shooting from the archer slits. He proceeds to almost have an accident, then led almost his entire platoon up the tower to defeat this dragon. Drata (the paladin) and the gang sweep in, rescue the man slated for execution, and breeze out like they own the place.

Wouldn't you know it, we waited on the top of that tower for them to fly back around and pick us up for quite a while before they actually did. Fortunately the top of the tower was sort of a bottle-neck so we had a pretty good advantage. The druid used some spell to make her animal companion (eagle) bigger and pretty much rode it supplying cover fire while the Wizard cast fly and protection from arrows on us for our daring escape. The bad news is that we sorta started a war. "Try to be sneaky." the Baron told us. Oops.

Kultrum
2007-04-04, 11:22 PM
A friend of mine was playing a druid, they were fighting the big undead guy (He was intelligent and needs his brain) anyway the archer shot him in the eye (cthe big guy) but did not kill him. so he druid thinks for a second. Shape wood the arrow becomes an eggbeater, grapple, scrambled eggs.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-04, 11:57 PM
My paladin of all things evil and greedy carries a bag of holding around with several hundred gallons of lantern oil in it. So far it's gotten us out of a couple very sticky situations involving monsters we were having a lot of trouble with.

Hunter Noventa
2007-04-05, 08:56 AM
One of the groups I currently play in did this some time gao, but I think it's worth mentioning.

We had encounter brown mold inside of a tomb (and had no standard arcanist with ray of frost to deal with it) so we had to go back to town to get some Alchemist's Frost from a crazy gnome...who wanted us to harvest some for him into a speciall insulated box that kept it from growing. We did so using an unseen servant.

Later on, we had a need to clear out a nasty dungeon full of cultists, the party rogue had the brilliant idea of drpping brown mold on them. We went back tot he crazy gnome (who was rolling around in the sutff in an insulated suit) and got some in another insulated box. We strapped alchemist's fire to it and dropped it down the mineshaft.

BAMF, 3 encounters taken care of, and non-magical biological warfare is introduced to Eberron.

Were-Sandwich
2007-04-05, 09:07 AM
Brown Mould can kill stars. Its the ultimate bio-weapon.

Penguinizer
2007-04-05, 09:22 AM
Not familiar with eberron. What is the brown mold. But that strategy was smart :D

Did any kingdoms adapt the technique afterwards.

Jayabalard
2007-04-05, 09:29 AM
My paladin of all things evil and greedy carries a bag of holding around with several hundred gallons of lantern oil in it. So far it's gotten us out of a couple very sticky situations involving monsters we were having a lot of trouble with.Estimate: 100 gallons of kerosene (lantern oil) weights ~680 lbs. Isn't the limit on the top bag of holding 1500 lbs? So ~220 gallons, tops.


buy 16 hollowed out tubes. have a blacksmith make some springs. put a release mechanism (any char with 12-14+ int can figure it out, just a pin and string). buy some rope and lash them all together. buy a small cart. buy 16 spears...I'm not sure what this is supposed to do; unless you're claiming that a pre-renaissance-tech blacksmith can forge springs both powerful enough and small enough to be useful for some sort of projectile weapon.

Diggorian
2007-04-05, 12:28 PM
Thirteen years ago in 2nd Ed. Darksun, a fellow player with a gladiator trained in weapon improvisation and multiple non-weapon prof. slots in Rope Use tied his sword to the end of 10ft of rope.

He ran out of cover and killed four archers pinning us down from behind a corridor's T-junction by swinging the sword around the corners using the wall as a fulcrum.

I believe this new weapon, Sword-on-a-Rope, was the martial ancestor of the D&D Spiked Chain. :smallbiggrin:

Jannex
2007-04-05, 12:37 PM
I believe this new weapon, Sword-on-a-Rope, was the martial ancestor of the D&D Spiked Chain. :smallbiggrin:

No, it's the ancestor of swordchucks. :smalltongue:

okpokalypse
2007-04-05, 12:54 PM
We were playing the Shackled City Adventure Path, at the Pit of the Seven Jaws...

Our Beguiler scouted out the Hydra and provoked it. When it came out of it's niche and exposed itself to us from above, our enlarged Knight (2500+ Lbs of Body Weight + Equipment) cannon-balled it from 50' up. 20d6 Damage - decent rolling one-shot killed it.

Diggorian
2007-04-05, 12:55 PM
No, it's the ancestor of swordchucks. :smalltongue:

He did end up tying another sword to the other end of the rope once he got dual-wielding. A weapon may have more than one descendant :smallbiggrin:

Still, it worked mechanically just like how a Spiked Chain does: 10ft range, trip bonus, but no AoO's and slashing.

Jannex
2007-04-05, 12:57 PM
One, are sword-chucks thirteen years old? :smallconfused:

I imagine that swordchucks are as old as rope, swords, PCs, and terrible ideas.


B, things usually have more than one ancestor. :smallamused:

If you really want to get into what would have needed to be crossbred with sword-on-a-rope to spawn swordchucks, you're more than welcome. My brain is squishy and vulnerable, so I will decline the experiment.


He did end up tying another sword to the other end of the rope once he got dual-wielding. A weapon may have more than one descendant :smallbiggrin:

Aha! I knew it! :smallwink:

Diggorian
2007-04-05, 01:00 PM
I imagine that swordchucks are as old as rope, swords, PCs, and terrible ideas. *snippy snip*

I misread your first post, deleted my first response, my post before this one is the official :smallwink:

Jayabalard
2007-04-05, 01:13 PM
OK, I'm wrong.

How about sodium?sodium reacts much slower; it's enough to burn or even explode but isn't going to be as large of a bang as rubidium or cesium. They produce more hydrogen in less time, so you get a bigger bang all at once rather than burning hydrogen over time.

Jannex
2007-04-05, 01:13 PM
I misread your first post, deleted my first response, my post before this one is the official :smallwink:

Ah, fair. It happens. :smallwink:

okpokalypse
2007-04-05, 01:51 PM
Estimate: 100 gallons of kerosene (lantern oil) weights ~680 lbs. Isn't the limit on the top bag of holding 1500 lbs? So ~220 gallons, tops.

You are correct. It would be more efficient to use Naphtha (Greek Fire) as it weighs 5.5375 Lbs / Gallon, and burns much nastier. 100 Gallons is only 553.75 Lbs, and you could put 270 Gallons of it in there.


I'm not sure what this is supposed to do; unless you're claiming that a pre-renaissance-tech blacksmith can forge springs both powerful enough and small enough to be useful for some sort of projectile weapon.

Yeah, I agree with ya. I think if it's something that's even remotely difficult today from an engineering standpoint (not considering precision equipment) then it should be all but impossible in a D&D setting.

okpokalypse
2007-04-05, 02:27 PM
sodium reacts much slower; it's enough to burn or even explode but isn't going to be as large of a bang as rubidium or cesium. They produce more hydrogen in less time, so you get a bigger bang all at once rather than burning hydrogen over time.

Actually, for purposes of the original exercise of clearing out the Crocs, wouldn't Thermite work perfectly?

Iron Oxide (rust) has been known about for millenia, as has alum (The Ancient Greeks/Romans used it). They just never thought of using them together (which is probably good).

It "Burns" at 4000+ F - so it would essentially super-heat the body of water, and cook the crocodiles. It would leave an in-tact water source as well once it cools. It weighs quite a bit more at 9.2 Lbs per 1000 cc, but in terms of reaction it's far more potent.

The_Blue_Sorceress
2007-04-05, 02:35 PM
The Setup: Our gestalt tenth level+ party was assaulting the headquarters of a defunct trade consortium in a d20 Modern Urban Arcana game. The main builing was essentially just a place to house a series of portals that connected to different locals all over the world, a central hub if you will. It had been abandoned after the trade consortium's leaders tried to do some very, very bad things and were stopped. It had been more or less empty for about a decade (our game took place in the late 70's) but there were still alot of very wierd things going on, since it was next to impossible to clear out all the different interconnected rooms.

The Party: I was running a smart/mage//charismatic/glamourist character, who combined elements of blaster-caster, illusionist and diplomancer. My party members were a fast/gunslinger//smart/builder class, and more or less useless martial artist; I don't remember his classes because, really, he didn't matter.

The first room that we entered was a sort of library/information storage warehouse, in which all of the books were constantly being updated by some form of magic. After poking about a bit and being creeped out by the books, past and future, that were literally writing themselves, we met the room's caretaker, a very old man who seemed very fragile. After a little talking we figured that he wasn't really a real person, per se, but more like a magical program that took in the information that was going into the books and made sure everything stayed in order. Thing was, real person or not, he was extremely lonely and a little unstable, an so when we tried to leave he wouldn't let us. We all had to make will saves and those that failed were rooted to the spot and had to converse with the guy. We all failed the save and the longer my we stood there, the weaker we became. OOC we all began to get a little anxious, and tried to come up with ideas to destroy this guy since we weren't able to physically damage him.

The Genius: My character noticed that the more information the old man took in, the more real he seemed, and the more the books in the room began to fill up. At the same time as seeming more real, however, he was also getting fatter, or not precisely fatter, but more bloated. So my character begins spilling his lifestory in minute detail at a very fast pace, which got even faster as the old man forced me to continue. I had to make some Con checks, because the more he talked the more my character was drained of energy. I became tired, then exhausted, in very short order, but at the same time the scribbling of invisible pens became louder and louder and the old man became more and more bloated, so I called out to my companions to lend a hand. They began to follow my lead and after a frantic while the old guy grew so large that he just popped like a balloon. The room began to disintigrate around us, so we high-tailed it out of there.

-Blue

Jayabalard
2007-04-05, 02:44 PM
Actually, for purposes of the original exercise of clearing out the Crocs, wouldn't Thermite work perfectly?

Iron Oxide (rust) has been known about for millenia, as has alum (The Ancient Greeks/Romans used it). They just never thought of using them together (which is probably good).

It "Burns" at 4000+ F - so it would essentially super-heat the body of water, and cook the crocodiles. It would leave an in-tact water source as well once it cools. It weighs quite a bit more at 9.2 Lbs per 1000 cc, but in terms of reaction it's far more potent.Thermite does indeed burn at ~4500 F ... but the ignition temperature required to start the reaction is ~4000 F, which makes actually using it in a non-tech environment not an easy proposition.

Any society that can come up with this is going to be renaissance tech level or higher, since inventing black powder is easy by comparison.

Ryacko
2007-04-05, 03:03 PM
Thermite does indeed burn at ~4500 F ... but the ignition temperature required to start the reaction is ~4000 F, which makes actually using it in a non-tech environment not an easy proposition.

Any society that can come up with this is going to be renaissance tech level or higher, since inventing black powder is easy by comparison.
Depends how hot the fireball spell is.

Druid
2007-04-05, 03:16 PM
One time my group was moving through a hobgoblin camp to rescue some kidnapped children. The DM was getting annoyed with my repeated use of readied actions to knock the goblins out as they moved into melee (go gestalt monk cleric!). When we got to the end we found a tent which obviously had the leader in it. I knew that the DM was waiting for me to poke my head in and get a taste of my own medicine, so I instead had the party gather around the tent corners, then all at once pull them up and wrap the gut inside in a bundle. I then beat the bundle until it stopped moving. While I wouldn't call that a genius idea, it was pretty fun to piss the DM off.

Ulzgoroth
2007-04-05, 05:37 PM
Actually, for purposes of the original exercise of clearing out the Crocs, wouldn't Thermite work perfectly?

Iron Oxide (rust) has been known about for millenia, as has alum (The Ancient Greeks/Romans used it). They just never thought of using them together (which is probably good).
Erm...you can't make thermite with alum. Alum is a (usually) aluminum-containing complex salt. For thermite, you need genuine aluminum metal. All the energy in the thermite reaction is coming from that metal oxidizing. If it's already oxidized, as in alum, nothing is going to happen. And unlike alum, aluminum isn't something readily accessible in a preindustrial setting. It takes expensive chemistry or a fairly odd (and high-powered) electrolysis process to produce.

SpiderBrigade
2007-04-06, 04:26 AM
All of this debate on making/ igniting thermite is pretty moot, isn't it, due to the high specific heat of water? The quantity of thermite you'd need to heat such a large body of water to lethal temperatures would be prohibitive. The point of the "cesium bomb" was to produce a concussive force, much like "dynamite fishing."

I also think, even if you got this working, that a lake full of boiled crocodile would NOT be okay to use as a water supply...eww.

Closet_Skeleton
2007-04-06, 06:24 AM
Thermite only deals 6d6 damage in a 10 ft. square anyway.

In the most recent game I ran the PCs (a rogue/ranger and a swordsage/scout) killed a CR 4 character by stealing his stuff, turning off their trackless step abilities and burying his stuff in the woods. The ranger hid up a tree while the scout merely hid behind one. When he followed the tracks they hit him with sneak and skirmish attacks.

The enemy escaped with by using a Quaal's Feather Token to create a tree underneath himself, putting himself out of the scout's reach.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-06, 03:28 PM
Estimate: 100 gallons of kerosene (lantern oil) weights ~680 lbs. Isn't the limit on the top bag of holding 1500 lbs? So ~220 gallons, tops.

224, actually.

Jayabalard
2007-04-06, 03:39 PM
224, actually.
1 kg / (cu m) = 0.00834540449 pounds per US gallon
kerosene density is 817.15 1 kg / (cu m)

6.8194472790035 lbs per gallon, which is 681.94472790035 per 100 gallons (~680)

1500 lbs of kerosene would be 219.95917537457512513547345910379 gallons (~220)

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-06, 03:53 PM
Ah. That was rounding error on my part. I didn't consider the 8 digits after the third significant.

Jayabalard
2007-04-06, 04:07 PM
If you really want to be a stickler, there are 5 significant digits in the density number that I dug up (http://www.simetric.co.uk/si_liquids.htm), so you can use 5 significant digits: 1500lbs/ 6.8194 (lbs/gallon) = 219.96 gallons

I personally didn't really think that it needed more than the original 2 significant digits that I used (hence the ~680 and ~220 in the first post about it), but if you're going to correct someone, you should at least make sure that you're correct.

brian c
2007-04-06, 04:58 PM
I hate significant digits.


Also you guys just slaughtered some catgirls right there.

Bauglir
2007-04-06, 06:00 PM
We were playing an epic campaign in a dungeon. This was my second character ever, so it wasn't very well optimized. It was, however, a level 21 Warlock with the Dark Discorporation invocation. So, we come into a long chamber with holes drilled in the sides. The rogue searches for traps, but doesn't find any. We go in, still very suspicious. Once we're in, the doors slam shut (magic trap with a really high Search DC, apparently), and air begins hissing out of the holes. We have discovered the world's first vacuum chamber. Our first thought is to dimension door out or something, but then we remember that all the walls have Walls of Force behind them. The rogue has a Bottle of Air, but it can't replace the atmosphere fast enough. Then it hits me; I can turn into Diminuitive bats. So, I do so, and promptly use the hundreds of tiny bodies to plug up the holes. You can't shape a swarm that finely, but I figure that if I just go to the holes one by one, I can plug them up. This works, and we've got the time to figure out how to open the doors.

In the same dungeon, we come across a room that begins to shrink slowly in on us, in the standard crush the occupants way. The rogue manages to get the door open before we're in any real danger, and then goes and tries to disable the trap so that we can head back out this way. He fails by about 15, due to rolling a 2 or something. He breaks the trap mechanism in such a way that the walls cannot be stopped and are moving in even more slowly. Well, we figure there's bound to be another way out (villain must have a private way out), and keep going. In the next room, there are 4 Death Slaads. First thing that happens, we all get a Blasphemy and a Word of Chaos. Everyone is confused, except the Chaotic Evil rogue. Now, I've taken my one turn to turn into a swarm of bats, and due to a nice collection of circumstances, I'm all but invulnerable to their only method of attack that can hit me, since I move faster than them and hover about the ceiling, though I occasionally get to do something and swarm down to hit them for the swarm damage. Meanwhile, the rest of the party, save the rogue, gets taken down. The rogue runs back into the room we just came from, gets the slaads to come in after him, tumbles past them into the corridor back to their room, and locks the door, leaving the slaads to die in the crushing chamber. And the one Slaad left that he killed with a Death Attack had, for some reason, a folding boat. Which managed to come in handy (through sheer coincidence, not DM planning), actually, but that's another story.

NecroPaladin
2007-04-06, 10:03 PM
Okay, new story from my first game in a long time, featuring Gygax's Tomb of Horrors. Since it's notoriously difficult, the DM gave us each a second chance should we die. Or, in the case of the Barbarian or Rogue, a third chance, considering they both fell for the Sphere of Annihilation-in-the-statue's-mouth trick. Now, here's the cool thing-I'm submitting this to both PC Stupidity and PC Genius, because we had one event of each.

Teh Parties-

DM: Giantitp User Realm of Chaos-he's a RL friend.

Me: Lawful Evil Dread Necromancer, with a lot of minion-based feats. I have an adorable Slaymate, and my undead cohort; Igor, an Evolved Spellstitched Entomber. He was REALLY useful.

My Brother: Neutral Good Halfling Rogue / Fortune's Friend; he had like a billion reflex saves and even more near-death experiences.

The DM's Brother: Played as "Gulk." Gulk is a traditional character, a feral Barbarian/Frenzied Berserker with Weapon Proficiency [corpses]. He doesn't know how to talk. He only says "gulk." He thinks of the Rogue as his master, like a dog.

Note: During this adventure, our second chances (3rd?) were designed to make us each more powerful; I became a Lich, the Rogue became a Sepulchre Thief, and Gulk was reincarnated as a hill giant (?).

SMART HALF
In a section with three chests (one wood, one silver, one gold), the first, wooden, chest opened to reveal a bone golem. The bone golem made short work of our rogue, thus meaning he had a quick and not-very-painless transferrance into his role as an undead creature. He came back to life just as we, or, more accurately, Igor, was opening the second (silver) chest. At this point he screamed "NOOOOOOOOOOO," which caused Igor to step away. He then detailed plans to what Igor should do-open the chest very slightly, and then slam it shut again. He did so, and we watched in morbid fascination as to what happens when a fusillade of darts trap hits the interior of a chest at 5-inch range. There were a lot of interesting richoceting sounds, and the chest was peppered from the inside out with points. It looked like a porcupine after. A big, silver porcupine. And, as was just, the trap was entirely avoided.

STUPID HALF:

After the, erm, quills were picked out of our little silver porcupine-chest, we found a transluscent crystal box with a ring inside of it, resting (undamaged by the needles, amazingly) inside the chest. Our now-sepulchre-theif of a rogue was having a lot of fun with shadow jump. Our DM let him find out just how fun it could be, when the Rogue jokingly said that he was going to put the box in the shadows, and see if he could jump into it (remember, light, or lack thereof, goes through the crystal of the box). The DM took his demand entirely seriously, wedging him in the box. He tried to roll his strength check to bust the box...a 1. And his shadow jump for the day? Expended. Because he had kept a fairly trivial piece of loot from him, my now-lich necromancer swiftly moved the box into the light. And thus, I decided to, rather than releasing him, carry our poor rogue (who only survived because he was undead) around me for the rest of the adventure, trapped in a little crystal box, to remind him of how utterly stupid that maneuver was. He was able to threaten me as a player, but his character could not, as his mouth was crushed to a small hole roughly five millimeters in diameter. Consider that the box was originally made to hold a RING. I briefly considered using him as a Pokemon, and then finally released him out of guilt.

Realms of Chaos
2007-04-06, 10:23 PM
That was indeed a fun adventure, for me as well.

One part, completely by accident, caught me at a real loss. I acted like a real idiot and, I suppose, DM idiocy is like player genious. Either way, I think it was hilarious.

Anyone who knows the tomb of horrors really well knows of a single teleporter that separates characters from their items. Actually, I found out the hard way that it separated living and nonliving matter.

Necropaladin, already a lich, qualified as the latter and was transported directly to Acerack's Treasure room, the supposed last room of the entire friggin dungeon.

I was ready to sick the construct placed in the room upon him before I realized, once again, that this was impossible through my own stupidity. The Lich, lacking keen or vorpal weapons, lacked any way to overcome "Acerack's" damage reduction. "Acerack's" only attack form, soul trapping, would not work on the lich (I may well be wrong on this point but that is how I interpreted it. After all, the Lich's soul was stored in a phylactery that was held by his minions in a completely different room).

Rather than have an endless clash among immortals, I simply had "Acerack" come out and talk. The Conversation

Acerack: YOU CHEATED!
Necropaladin: Oh, uh, sorry (as a aspiring necromancer, he was pretty starstruck. In addition, "Acerack" was the one who granted him lichdom on his way to the afterlife, for no greater reason than boredom. Not in the Gygaxian spirit, but I feel that I'd do it again.)
Acerack: So, uh...should I send you back to your friends?
Necropaladin: Could I take their stuff with my?
Acerack: Meh, why not?
*Poof*

My only regret, throughout that entire "encounter", is that Acerack not once threatened to eat Necropaladin's soul. :(

NecroPaladin
2007-04-06, 10:26 PM
I play D and D. I have no soul.

Tor the Fallen
2007-04-07, 03:40 AM
you guys just slaughtered some catgirls right there.

Catgirls love me. I would never hurt a catgirl. I'm like catnip to them.

Laurellien
2007-04-07, 12:43 PM
Not genius so much as heroism this one, performed by my retiring wizard (I was playing two characters and we had a third joining the group).
We were evil, and were tasked with destroying a village. The last 18 seconds of my wizard's life were as follows (we were level 1).

Me: My wizard walks into the tavern and hands two flasks of alchemist's fire to the barkeep. "That's a good new drink, you should try it."
DM: "Looks like alchemist's fire to me".
Me: "It should cool you down after this". The wizard then walks into the cask room (full of huge barrels of whiskey) and casts burning hands.
DM: The explosion is heard several miles away, and everybody in the vicinity dies.

I had to explain to the rogue that he was included in this.

Abstruse
2007-04-07, 01:18 PM
In the category of "that was an unusual solution"...

We'd been confronted with, and captured, a BBEG mage. It was known, from past experience, that were we to actually kill him, his death would cause the manifestation of a horrible swarm of otherplanar beings as his body and soul were consumed.

So the smarter characters are at an impasse. They know they can't kill him, and keeping him imprisoned for eternity was problematic. Right around then, then 8 INT, 14 WIS fighter holds up a bag of holding and asks a non sequitur. "Hey guys. If I pop a hole in this with a dagger, whatever's inside is lost forever, right?"

Ultra-intelligent PC wizard: "Um... yes. Why?"

Fighter: "I upend the bag of holding to empty it out. Then I break the evil mage's collarbones, shove him headfirst into the bag of holding until he's all the way inside, and puncture it with my dagger."

*jaws drop all around the table*

DM: "That... would actually work."

Ikkitosen
2007-04-07, 04:36 PM
In a game of Star Wars (the old D6 game, not the new D20 one), my character was under cover as an imperial officer on an imperial ship. His purpose was to gather intelligence and plant misinformation, but whilst on operation 3 of the other party members got captured and put in the brig on said vessel.

So, with zero party or player support I have to come up with a way to free these guys before they are interrogated (and thus reveal the location of our rebel base in the system). My only resources are sneakiness and the authority of my low-level officer cover. However Stormtroopers are made to obey, so...

Detaching 3 troopers from one of the roving patrols that you always see on imperial ships, we head for the detention centre. "I'm here for some preliminary interrogation" I say with my best evil grin. I post one 'trooper outside each cell, and one after another go in, guarded by my trooper each time.

Of course as soon as the doors are closed I slip my vibroblade just under the helmet of my trooper and replace him with my captured colleague. Stormtrooper armour is even wipe-clean so the blood wasn't a problem. Repeat three times and my 3 buddies and I march off, the smuggest goose-stepping you ever saw :)

Matthew
2007-04-09, 10:18 PM
buy 16 hollowed out tubes. have a blacksmith make some springs. put a release mechanism (any char with 12-14+ int can figure it out, just a pin and string). buy some rope and lash them all together. buy a small cart. buy 16 spears...

I'm not sure what this is supposed to do; unless you're claiming that a pre-renaissance-tech blacksmith can forge springs both powerful enough and small enough to be useful for some sort of projectile weapon.

Yeah, I agree with ya. I think if it's something that's even remotely difficult today from an engineering standpoint (not considering precision equipment) then it should be all but impossible in a D&D setting.
I think he was referencing Baby Cart / Lone Wolf and Cub.

Good story Ikkitosen. I had an espionage / intelligence gathering Star Wars D6 Adventure like that set up once, but one of the Jedi players used all his Force Points and Character Points to take the damn Star Destroyer out with his X-Wing - I don't think we understood the rules properly.

JackMage666
2007-04-09, 10:43 PM
I once played a Favored Soul of Kord who believe in certain things of nobility and such - Namely, fair fights and not stealing kills. So, the wizard, always trying to prove himself better than me, decided to steal a kill from me. I don't like that.

So, I purchase some black onyx and revive several Orcs as Zombies. I decide, as a punishment, the wizard should face these 8 zombies alone, and, if he survives, all is forgiven. He, being a wizard, does. Then, he ignores my reasoning and trys to kill me (horribly, might I add, consider I was a Favored Soul with good stats all around).

After failing multiple times and the others stickung up for me (they didn't like him much, either), he says "Fine, but this isn't over", and retreats (like a coward), to his Rope Trick hole. I dislike threats, so I follow up by throwing a bag of holding up there with him. Oops, multiple pocket dimensions. Bye-bye annoying wizard.

Ninja Chocobo
2007-04-10, 09:02 AM
It's not a story of genius, but one of blind luck. We were playing Rolemaster, which has a "roll and add" system--e.g. you roll d100, and if you get 96 or greater (I think) you roll again and add the totals. Somebody in my party once managed to roll a natural 352 using this system, which actually annoyed him a lot because it was for some completely unimportant skill check--if he'd done that on a combat roll it would have been "You kill the giant armoured knight with a blunted toothpick" territory!
Friend of mine did this in MERP (Pretty much the same as Rolemaster, but less book-keeping). He was casting a Light spell. He, essentially, created a portable sun.


Thermite does indeed burn at ~4500 F ... but the ignition temperature required to start the reaction is ~4000 F, which makes actually using it in a non-tech environment not an easy proposition.

Any society that can come up with this is going to be renaissance tech level or higher, since inventing black powder is easy by comparison.
Magnesium. That's how our Chemistry class did it.

Lapak
2007-04-10, 09:19 AM
Of course as soon as the doors are closed I slip my vibroblade just under the helmet of my trooper and replace him with my captured colleague. Stormtrooper armour is even wipe-clean so the blood wasn't a problem. Repeat three times and my 3 buddies and I march off, the smuggest goose-stepping you ever saw :)OK, that was legitimately clever. Very well done.

Ikkitosen
2007-04-10, 09:54 AM
OK, that was legitimately clever. Very well done.

Cheers! :smallsmile:

Yiel
2007-05-15, 07:18 PM
Our party was in a dungeon crawl in the Underdark... and after capturing, interrogating then killing some drow scouts who had been spying on our camp, we found that a small army of drow headed by one of the higher clerics was planning an attack against us.

Unfortunately for us, we were hiding in a tunnel that looped back on itself. They could attack us from both sides and break us between their forces. Without much time to plan we decided to keep the squishy-yet-vital NPCs at our camp, and to split into two groups to attack and hopefully save those still at camp from fighting.

How were we to split up the party of a cleric, totem druid, ranger, illusionist and rogue with only one accomplished healer? (Our druid and ranger had only prepared one spell each.) This is where we decided to grant the druid her wish. :smallbiggrin:

At one end of the loop, a small group hid silently in an invisibility sphere behind the illusion of a cave-in. In this group hid the cleric, ranger, rogue and obviously the illusionist. At the other? The totem druid crouched, thornskinned and buffed, with a spell prepared.

As the forces came rushing towards her the druid shifted into her dire wolf form blocking the tunnel, but held her spell. As the first wave hit her she released her spell and charged down the tunnel as a blazing ball of fire. (Body of the Sun). This, followed up by her jaws finished off the infantry and archers as the other party members attacked the high drow cleric and her body guards.

Though we lost the rogue, the army was defeated. (and so was our irate DM) However, the rogue did insist on the illusionist spending time to transport his body back to a temple on the surface for a true resurrection.

Penguinsushi
2007-05-15, 11:04 PM
This really isn't a single particular story, but I've noticed my players tend to have the uncanny ability to guess my plotlines or elements within them. I think I should point out along with that the fact that my plots are not exactly what you'd call normal. I intentionally make them bizarre and with so many twists, turns and odd quasi-related facets that they're nearly incohesive - and they still freakin' guess them!!!.

It doesn't happen all the time, and usually they don't get it *exactly* right, but it happens enough and it's close enough that I've actually pulled the incredibly evil gm trick of changing stuff around after the fact so they wouldn't have such an easy time of it.

I guess we've just been playing together for that long. Almost 7 years now, I think...

~PS

Lemur
2007-05-15, 11:39 PM
From the second campaign I ever played in (which was also back in 2nd ed.):

Two of the PCs were wizards who had the same teacher (I was a fighter from the town guard). Their teacher was an old man, and greatly respected by the community. One day we entered his room to discover he had been murdered.

We start to look for clues and figure out what's going on, but then I have an idea:
"Why don't we just have him resurrected? Everyone loved the guy, so I'm sure someone would be willing to help."
The party stops what they're doing and thinks. "You know, that's a really good idea."

Ultimately I don't think his resurrection altered the course of events much, but it was one of those obvious ideas that people somehow don't usually think of.

Dervag
2007-05-16, 04:26 AM
Detaching 3 troopers from one of the roving patrols that you always see on imperial ships, we head for the detention centre. "I'm here for some preliminary interrogation" I say with my best evil grin. I post one 'trooper outside each cell, and one after another go in, guarded by my trooper each time.

Of course as soon as the doors are closed I slip my vibroblade just under the helmet of my trooper and replace him with my captured colleague. Stormtrooper armour is even wipe-clean so the blood wasn't a problem. Repeat three times and my 3 buddies and I march off, the smuggest goose-stepping you ever saw :)This bit of genius can best be addressed by two quotes:

"Is there any problem that can't be resolved by sufficient expenditure of minions?"

and

"Aren't you a little short...?"

DamienLunas
2007-05-16, 08:48 AM
...
I blame BAHRAM. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44144)

Jannex
2007-05-16, 12:32 PM
I'm not sure whether this counts as "PC genius" or "PC spookiness," but here it goes...

I was running an Exalted game, and one of my players was a Night Caste Solar who was something of a gypsy. At the end of one session, wherein the PCs began to discover that creepy things were afoot, she decides to try to gain some insight into the situation, and in-character, the player pulls out her tarot deck, shuffles, and begins a reading. I then proceed to watch her tarot cards tell her the entire plot. It should be noted that she shuffled honestly, that I had no contact with her cards before this, and that my interaction with her during this was pretty much entirely limited to observation. With just a tarot deck and a few good questions, she figured out pretty much my entire (reasonably elaborate) plot all by herself. It was kind of eerie.

ClericofPhwarrr
2007-05-16, 01:09 PM
I'm not sure whether this counts as "PC genius" or "PC spookiness," but here it goes...

I was running an Exalted game, and one of my players was a Night Caste Solar who was something of a gypsy. At the end of one session, wherein the PCs began to discover that creepy things were afoot, she decides to try to gain some insight into the situation, and in-character, the player pulls out her tarot deck, shuffles, and begins a reading. I then proceed to watch her tarot cards tell her the entire plot. It should be noted that she shuffled honestly, that I had no contact with her cards before this, and that my interaction with her during this was pretty much entirely limited to observation. With just a tarot deck and a few good questions, she figured out pretty much my entire (reasonably elaborate) plot all by herself. It was kind of eerie.

:smalleek: Wow. How did you end up responding?

Jannex
2007-05-16, 01:18 PM
:smalleek: Wow. How did you end up responding?

I think my reaction was something along the lines of, "...All right, so now what're you going to do about it?" The game started pretty close to the end of the spring semester anyway, and knowing about her demon-corrupted ex-boyfriend from the First Age and his swarm of magic-eating shadows didn't mean that she didn't now have to deal with them. Still, though. Creepy.

Arbitrarity
2007-05-16, 02:23 PM
Fear the foretelling of the tarot cards! :smalleek:

Mad Wizard
2007-08-19, 11:47 AM
Well, there was the one epic level campaign I was running where one of the players (a force dragon) managed to really get Tiamat mad at him. So, she swoops in, and uses all her breath weapons on him (I don't have deities and demigods, so I basically made up her stats on the spot). On his turn, he opens a gate to the infinate ocean of holy water on Celestia. This creates a geyser shooting out from above her head. I gave her a reflex save, but even half of the (I believe several billion, we figured it out) damage was enough to completely obliterate her. The holy water affected her because she was technically an evil outsider. From that point on, I decided there was no longer an ocean of holy water.

Anxe
2007-08-19, 12:16 PM
My favorite story is how my 5th level party took out a Clay Golem without any magical weapons.
The idea for taking it out came from the weapon we knew that dealt the most damage, so we could get past it's damage reduction.
The Golem was guarding a Castle filled with undead. The castle had a clearing outside of it's front gates with a path leading down a hill through a forest. My thief went in to flush the golem out by making a bunch of noise. The undead didn't come too, because the cleric had cast invisibility to undead on me before I went into the castle.
Earlier the party had made a cone shaped niche in the clearing. We set up 2 battering rams on ropes opposite each other with the two fighters holding them apart. The two mages were waiting by them with magic weapon spells preped to cast as soon as the Golem was in sight. I led the golem towards the niche and the spells were cast. As the golem walked into the cone the fighters let the rams loose and killed the golem.

Arceliar
2007-08-19, 12:45 PM
This happened last week to my group, though I was unfortunately absent while at a convention.

To make a long story short, a series of traps and puzzles had lead the PCs into a cave while leaving almost all their equipment at the door or various points throughout the labyrinth.

In the final room within this dungeon, they came across a fiend. Significantly higher level than they are. They weren't supposed to fight him, but as always, they weren't acting particularly rationally.

The fiend of course noticed they had entered the room. They were about to get TPKed.

That's when the bard got an idea.

Fiddle contest. Rolled a 36 (30+ = extra planar beings notice, we're pretty sure his deity was listening), winning their freedom and a solid gold fiddle.

And I missed it.

Curmudgeon
2007-08-19, 08:07 PM
I had a bit of inspiration once playing Mage: The Ascension, right after White Wolf changed the rules so that Forces was pretty much the only effective approach to magical combat, and my Mage was an Entropy specialist. We'd been put into an encounter with a Vampire, which is part of the White Wolf system but was completely unfamiliar to our group. Somebody else in the party had tracked the Vampire (using Spirit or Mind; I don't remember the details) to its resting place in the soil of an unfinished basement room. We knew the Vamp wasn't going to come out of the soil until dark, and it was early in the day.

The old Victorian house the Vamp owned was just up the street from a hardware store. My Mage had good Stamina and a knapsack full of money, so I went to the store and bought a wheelbarrow, Portland cement, a hoe, and 100' of garden hose. We started mixing up "soilcrete", which is basically concrete using soil as the aggregate instead of gravel. I kept making trip after trip until we'd bought all the hardware store's cement (almost 2 pallet loads) and thoroughly mixed it and the right amount of water into the top few inches of the basement's soil. An Entropy Mage is excellent at making cement cure faster than normal.

When the Vamp awoke at sunset, it tried to get its gaseous body out of the soil -- and couldn't. It expended nearly all its energy in repeated attempts to break through the soilcrete. When it finally got free it was so weak our party killed it easily.

UserClone
2007-08-19, 10:36 PM
One time, the DM of a particular group of mine was unable to make it to our (weekly) sessions, so for a while, it was a PBEM game.

The situation was this:
Prince Therron, a Warmage PC, was being Grappled by one of the Advespa minions of an Amnizu, and was being gripped in her clumsy claws about 20~30 feet in the air. My Bard(Yallos) knew that this (really strong for a mage, I think a 15 Str) noble was toast soon, so the emailing went something like this:
DM @ ALL:
Ok, Yallos, your turn.

[email protected] ALL:
For anyone who can see him (we were in fairly thick forest), Yallos reaches into the pouch at his waist and produces some yellow goo. He makes a smearing motion up towards the sky, and says some arcane incantation. Then he shouts something Prince Therron's way, in what you think may be Auran (The prince was an Elemental Savant [of Electricity], and it seemed unlikely the fiends spoke this language).

[email protected] Therron:
(Auran)-"Wriggle free, my Prince! I've given you the power!"

[email protected] DM:
Yallos produces some butter from his spell component pouch and casts grease on Therron's robes, and shouts in Auran, "Wriggle free, my Prince! I've given you the power!"

DM @ Yallos:
That was genius, Joe! I'm giving you a bonus XP award, whether this plan works out or not!;)

Needless to say, the best part was that he survived the fall, and the remainder of the encounter.

Iudex Fatarum
2007-08-19, 10:41 PM
So one time I was an aquatic elf monk with a monk's belt on. My Dm allowed me to add my speed bonus to my swim speed. I then had a large carry capacity. So the party is on the boat of a known evil empire that we just agrivated into starting a war with the good country (we were from the third country that just profitiered) So we want to get rid of the people on the ship we are on and yet also take over the other one so we can get to land safely. Now what we do is get the sorceror to do is convince the leader we can teleport him, his second, and his best men to fight with us, we explain i can swim fast and we will drop them off on the other ship's deck with a well placed teleport and take the good ship by surprise. needless to say as we are a good party we don't do this, instead we teleport them 100 ft off the bow of the good ship, come back and take 3 more loads of men to the water. Now we told them they would be on the center of the deck so they are all wearing full plate. In the water. 400 ft from their ship. and we did this in 4 rounds, (I had a swim speed of over 400 ft with haste, monk bonuses and run action and this is while the mage is riding on my back)

In the same campaign we had a few stupidities right afterwards (i left after this session as the boat was getting blown sky high)
As the ship is sinking i dive in, no problem for me and i'm happy as we had just come out of a desert. the druid can shape himself so the only problem is the mage. baleful polymorph is a nice spell our druid had preped. so baleful polymorph into a fish. fine so far but we don't want any chance of our sorceror making the will save so the druid says don't resist. and he doesn't resist the transformation or the loss of his mind. so now we have a fish trying to swim away from me while i try to catch him with my hands without hurting him. lets just say it was bizare.

sophosbarbaros
2007-08-20, 04:08 AM
Our Group consisting of the Illusionist wizard, the ranged ranger, the low, low INT barbarian, and my char, the rogue con man, came out of a dungeon tomb discovered in a mine being worked by a guild needed a way back to the nearest town. The Guild had hired us to clear out the nasties from the tomb and tried to double cross us, the fight in the tomb with some of the guild leaders had been so intense that we ended up staying in the now empty tomb another week just to rest and heal up. On coming out of the tomb the miners and lower guild officials were giving us the eye but not doing anything overtly aggressive. We are pretty sure they know the score but are gonna let us leave to avoid tangling with us and risking further damage as long as we don't cause a problem. We dont' realize that while we were in the tomb word of a plague in the town has come to the camp and the mining camp is worried that it will spread there and they are also worried about resupply matters and such.

Our party steps down to the docks (that camp was on a river) and look for a boat to hire out of town. The only docked riverboat (there were a few rafts) is fairly empty but we strode on board and accost the first sailor we see only to find out the ships are not sailing back to town. Not waiting to here why i begin to threaten the sailor while the wizard "calms" me and offers the sailor a giant ruby we had found in the tomb as payment for a trip downstream. The sailor is so unnerved by these crazy adventures who threaten and offer payment for a ride to a plague town that he backs away and when he notices the barbarian and the ranger he fears the ship is about to be hijacked. He runs screaming off the deck yelling "thieves, thieves"

so there is our party standing on the flat deck of the only docked river boat looking down at the gathered crowd now watching us and our wizard is holding a giant ruby in his hand.

the player playing the wizard looks at me across the table and says get rid of this and mimes handing me the ruby. I look over at the DM who grins as if to say "lets see what your maxed bluff skill can do here"

IC I immediately adopt a circus ticket seller persona and call out to the crowd. "Hurry hurry hurry... ladies and gents look up here. As you see our associate has got your attention" I point to the sailor pushing through the crowd "we are a band of performers who will be doing a show at the main hall tonight. Palm reading" I tap the wiz on the shoulder, "axe juggling" point to the barb, "a dance for the gentlemen" gesturing to the female elven ranger, "and of course magic tricks" With that I attempt a sleight of hand trick to make the ruby disappear and drop it into my sleeves"

*rolls*
DM: a bit clumsily you do a variant of a disappearing coin trick and some of the people in the crowd gasp

"so be sure to come and see us tonight"

We step off the boat and step away from the crowd who begins to loose interest in us

Ranger: lets just steal a raft!