2012-08-27, 01:23 PM (ISO 8601)
Re: More Funny D&D Stories
Reading a thread about rebalancing the Diplomacy skill reminded me of this one. A little background before we being: there was a fair amount of overlap between the various geek cliques at my school, and several of the D&D players are also anime fans of varying degrees of obsession. This will be relevant later.
- a div-specced wizard (this player always plays the exact same build, and somehow never gets bored, whereas I get bored just playing WITH him)
- Me, a fairly standard arrows-of-death ranger
- A halfing kleptomaniac rogue (nothing unusual so far, the next two characters are the important ones for this story)
- The most munchkin-esque member of our group is slowly being banned from the entire game, one class at a time, and is rolling as a bard this time around.
- Our melee tank is a female player playing a male fighter, and trying her very best to prove that cross-gender roleplay doesn't work no matter who does it
Our group was playing as the vary standard set of murder-hobos, going from city to city, killing monsters and taking their stuff, and the bard/"leader"/party-face was complaining that all his Diplomacy and synergy skill-points where going to waste. Our kill-everything, ask no questions model of business had worked so far, but we don't want him to get cranky and upset, so we agree to let him give it a go on the next intelligent creature we see, providing it's not undead or some other abomination of evil (talking down the BBEG instead of fighting tends to upset the DM, since once of us inevitably ends up sneak-attacking them at the first opportunity anyway).
We've just left the small town we are using as our current base of operations, following the rumors to the local
monsters-and-treasure outlet dungeon, and our DM asks us to make some listen checks. We fail miserably (an all-to common occurence, it seems), and he gets a wicked grin on his face. The DM makes a few rolls of his own, and his grin turns into a frown. A few "minutes" later, and our party walks around a bend in the trail to come face-to-face with a large party of orcs proceeding in the opposite direction. Everyone is too surprised momentarily to react (the orcs had apparently failed their listen checks as well, which was odd since our bard had been singing traditional dwarfish drinking songs while we hiked to keep moral up).
The orcs outnumber us more than 4-to-1, are well equipped, and at least a few of their number look to be casters of some kind. If they have more than 2 PC levels apiece, it'll be a close fight at best, and an outright slaughter (of us) at worst.
In our games, a fight significantly outside our challenge level usually indicates we've gone WAY off the rails, and are straying too far from the DM's prepped plot. It's hard to tell if this is the situation or not, since much of it comes down to what classes the orcs have, and that isn't something we can easily discern at a glance.
Our wizard nudges the diplomancy-maxed bard forward. "Well, here's a your chance; see what they want".
The bard checks his character sheet and winces. "I, uh, ...don't speak orcish."
How do you like that? A dozen obscure languages, and he hadn't bothered to pick up orcish. It was one of those things that so many characters get as a bonus language that we are used to just having it available as standard practice, and no one in the party actually bothered to learn it. Like buying yourself a fancy new crossbow and leaving town without any bolts, or not stocking up on rope and 10-ft. poles. (guess how often both have happened? hint: it's more than once)
Do the orcs speak common, maybe?
No, they do not.
Well how about giant, draconic, abyssal, sylvan, ignan, aquan, dwarven, goblin, or undercommon?
Nope, none of those; looks like the orcs don't get out much.
It would probably be a bad idea to try any dialect of elvish, right?
The orcs are starting to look shifty, so our party fighter takes things into her own hands, without consulting the rest of us. (remember, this is a female player, male character; we'll call her "Sam" for simplicity) Sam strides purposefully forward, stopping just a few feet from the orcs, who draw back slightly in anticipation. The fighter draws "his" sword, slowwwwwwly, and holds it out in front of "him" before dropping it to the ground
The orcs all glance at the weapon briefly, then back at the fighter.
One other house-rule in our games: the DM is known to give circumstance bonuses for good roleplay, so Sam begins to describe in exquisite detail how "he" pulls off his surcoat and tunic, chainmail armor, and shirt, dropping them all the ground one by one. (IRL, Sam is still very obviously female)
All the rest of us male players are pretty much listening in far-too stereotyplical rapt silence, except for the DM, who is bracing for another BAD attempt at seduction. Remember how I mentioned anime early on? The female player is a known yaoi (male-male romance) fan, and all the orcs are most definitely male. (hey, we TRY to roleplay; it's not our fault it it makes the DM die a little inside each time)
In one motion, Sam rolls a d20 across the table and then stands up while declaring in a loud voice, "I make a DIPLOMACY CHECK! WHILE FLEXING!" She proceeds to strike her best muscle-beach pose, and attempts to looks all squinty-eyed and fierce.
There is nothing but silence for a good 30 seconds. Sam glances at the dice, and with even with an ability penalty and no ranks, proudly announces she managed an 11.
The silence thunders onward.
The DM, having slightly more presence of mind than the rest of us, recovers first (somewhat).
"The orcs, uh.... are too confused and surprised to react".
(the DM is obviously scrambing to buy himself some time, while he figures this out)
Sam scoops up the dice, and makes another roll, and takes a new pose. "I make a DIPLOMACY check, while FLEXING!" Sam's face turns red as she strains to looks as buff as a 90 pound girl can look "....14 that time!"
The DM catches on first, with the wizard and myself following a moment later. Sam is attempting to roleplay a scene from a certain anime, which shall remain nameless. You know the one I'm talking about.
The DM mutters under his breath "god help you if this doesn't stay PG" and proceeds to describe the orc's response.
"The largest orc in the group pushes his way to the front, flings his greataxe to the ground, and peels off his leather armor. He makes an INTIMIDATE check...*sigh*....while flexing."
*rolls, dice* "...15"
Sam picks up the dice again "...while FLEXING! ....13!"
(since normally we find new and interesting ways to fail at the unfailable, this is the longest string of double digit skill checks thus far in the game)
DM: *rolls dice* ...9
Sam: "WHILE FLEX-XING!"..."OMG! NATURAL 20!!!"
DM: *puts his head in his hands* "I can't ****ing believe this.".
Bard: "I can't believe she wasted a 20 like that!"
DM: "Congratulations, you've made friends with the orcs."
Sam: "WOOHOO! I win!....so do I get XP for that?"
(hey, our group may be barely competent, but we know what's important)
DM: *throws his hands up in the air* "Sure, you get all the damn XP you want"
DM: "No, you get 100 XP."
The bard, who has been cowering in the back up until this point, eventually redeems himself somewhat by bartering with the orcs, trading some uncut gems we hadn't been able to spend for a selection of very useful potions.
We part ways, waving goodbye to our new collection of orcish brothers-in-arms, and having learned a valuable lesson about not murdering every humanoid we come across just because they have different color skin, or tusks, or their entire race treats women like garbage.
Two sessions and "three days" later, we return to the small mountain village, laden with treasure and new tales of derring-do and failed knowledge checks ("how was I supposed to know it was a rust monster and not a demon? I'll buy you a new silvered-sword with my share of the loot as soon as we get back to the city, I promise").
In our absence, the village has been looted, pillaged, and mostly burned to the ground by the orcish raiding party we where supposed to fight.
Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2012-08-28 at 08:31 AM.