Monday, January 24, 2011

Quick Quiz II

Just making sure I wasn't being a hardass unfair Ref tonight.

Having a bit of fun with my "totally goofy" side rather than the "grimdark" or "standard dungeon" sides.

A Leprechaun appears to the party. "Do you want to take a magical test?"



I hand each of the players a scrap of paper. Secret ballot, each must choose Earth Air Fire or Water.

Fire wins, and that's what the test is about.

So they are dumped into a pool of sparkling oil in the great outdoors.

Still saturated with oil, they come upon a cabin... inhabited by a man with licks of fire instead of hair, and fiery fingertips. He wants to touch them, he likes seeing things burn. He's terribly polite about the whole thing.

What do you do?

What one of the players at tonight's game did was volunteer to be touched. Flat out said "You can touch me!"

The player was a bit upset three rounds later when fire damage finally kills his character (giving him saving throws for all three rounds for the things he was trying to do to put the fire out, failed all the saves and damage rolls finally got to him).

Just checking that the "Hey Mr Fire Fingers, touch my drenched-in-oil self!" fatality wasn't just me being a cock.


  1. Natural selection, it's only natural.

    No, you're not a cock, your player is a moron.

  2. LOL. Maybe he didn't see what happened to Ewan McGregor's character in "Angels & Demons." Flame on!

  3. When you get idiots playing games, that is what happens. The first thing intelligent players would have done was avoid playing games with gremlins.

    The second thing they would have done was to wash the liquid off, then test it to see if it was flamable (testing it to make sure whatever they washed off with didn't set it on fire...)

    Three year olds at the table, or what?

  4. *sigh* there's one in every party. and I though killing a dragon with your foot was bad.

  5. Perhaps they merely thought that it was a test of faith, that the fire would not be real. They obviously forgot who was DMing.

  6. When players make bad decisions (and that was a very bad decision), you have to let it play out. Considering all the rolls you let him have, it sounds like you played it fair.

    I do hope you got a good laugh out of it even if he didn't.

  7. So the PC party was wandering about outside (since there is a cabin in the tale) and they didn't think it would have been prudent to get the oil off themselves before encountering anything else dangerous?

    A good dirt bath would have cleaned or at least neutralized a great deal of the threat of the oil.

  8. I wise man once said in a module called The Grinding Gear:

    "Yes, we had a few PC deaths up in the attic, but that setup was so obvious that I consider those to be mercy killings."

  9. Forget good judgment and player skill. Let's talk metagaming: has this person read *anything* that you've written?

  10. I'll hazard the unpopular opinion that sometimes your players maybe over-thinking what they should do in a Raggi universe. Maybe they're trying to out-Raggi the Raggi, after lots of weird things happening to them. It always seems obvious to you what folks should be doing (hence this quiz and last week's quiz), but I'll be honest that in last week's playtest I was constantly thinking "Raggi thinks combat is worst way to solve a problem ... I'm going to hang back", "Raggi is going to kill us if we look in places that aren't relevant to the goal", "Raggi rewards smart players, I'm not going to act on any not-totally-clever idea". And it was partially paralyzing.

    I could see how, as patently ridiculous it might seem, someone getting too wrapped up in out-thinking themselves might think the best approach is to be touched by flame guy. It's the mentality of two goblets, one we know is poisoned, but did you poison your own thinking I'd take yours to be safe or .... and so on, never fight a land war in Asia, etc. And then you keel over because they were both poisoned.

    Just a theory.

  11. darvin award winner!

    spawn of endra probably has a point, but this was just stupid. whatever the player was thinking, how could he be upset afterwards?! what did he expect?

  12. Sounds like the player was taking one of those weird, metagaming gambles that some players indulge in and no real-life adventurer would even consider. He lost the gamble. That should learn him!

  13. I imagine the player thought that the winner in the test being "fire" was a clue to trust the fire guy? Or to assume that the fire guy was something different than he appeared?

  14. I hate leprechauns.

    Boy am I glad I didn't decide to sit on on today's session.

    Yes, the guy had it coming. I don't think he tried doing the clever thing. Rather I think he is one of those players who are too used to referee's bailing the players out of fatal situations. You know the type: "This is a dream thing. No way is the referee going to let my character burn to death. That would be silly and make for a poor story."

    Yep, cracks me up every time.

  15. Is game...your

    I don't think I have ever set up a situation even remotely like that and if I have I don't think I've ever encountered a player foolish enough to do what yours did.

    I don't know if I want to pat you on the back or be sick.

  16. Jim, having played your games, I know for a fact that oil shouldn't do that. Otherwise the party would've been carrying -hundreds- of flasks of oil.

  17. Volunteer to be the human torch? People play funny in Finland.

  18. If I valued my character, I simply would have told the leprechaun, "No", thus avoiding the entire problem. I don't see any possible rewards to justify taking the risks.

  19. I'm somewhat surprised, around here I would have expected it to end in a TPK...

  20. It is hard to know out of context like that, not knowing the details of what happened that session or what your game has been like lately.

    It seems to me like a totally non-sensical situation put there just to muck around with the players. Like Gas Spores, Trappers, Piercers etc. Did you tell them that they had been teleported or is there a chance that they could have been dreaming? Does the fire guy make any sense? What is he and where does he fit in in your campaign world? Does the lake of oil make any sense? How far from the lake of oil was this guy who likes to burn stuff living? If it was close, why hasn't he burnt it yet? What was the terrain like? ie What were the players walking through to get to this guy (trees?) and were there signs of the devestation he caused? What was his cabin made out of?

    Aside from the in game aspects there are out of game aspects as well. If I was put in that situation I would probably rebel against the DM for putting me in that situation in the first place because it makes no sense and I would likely do it by letting my character be burnt. Why put us in that situation if not to be burnt? If there is no point other than to see if one of us does the stupid thing then what is the point? Imagine a string of these type of encounters one after another. If the correct response each time is to do nothing then that is a really boring game. I would want to do something, that is why I am playing the game. I enjoy discovery and interacting with the world. If you presented me with encounters where my option were do nothing or have something bad happen that were as non-sensical as the one described then sooner or later I would touch the guy, defile the shrine, steal the gem, pull the lever etc, just to make my character do something, just to make something happen, to have some control and so my actions have consequences for good or bad.

    You haven't told us the most important thing, what did the player think? In the end you are playing with him not us. Different players will have different play styles and expectations. If he thinks you were being a dick then you were, it doesn't matter how many other people tell you otherwise.

    All the best,


  21. >>If he thinks you were being a dick then you were,

    While the rest of your response does bring up good points, I have to say that I disagree with the sentiment in this last line. There are people that are just more sensitive to certain things and that is their problem to deal with, not everyone else's to tiptoe around them.

  22. You are right. I guess what I am saying is that if he had a problem with it then it doesn't matter how many people don't think it matters, it still will to that person. At any given table you will have a range of play styles and interests anyway so you won't be able to please everyone all the time. I think it could also be good to deliberately push people out of their comfort zone sometimes to give them a different and challenging experience. They might not like it but they might also thank you later.