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21 Times Dungeon Masters Were Caught Off Guard By Their Players

List RulesVote up the most stunning actions and statements made by players.

Every now and then at the D&D table players will manage to come up with something so outlandish and unpredictable that it'll knock the socks off of not only their party members but their illustrious dungeon master. Stunned silence, followed by panic, flop sweat, improvisation, and hopefully something that satisfies the overarching narrative will come about and usually uproarious laughter and disbelief that creativity and ingenuity overcame every obstacle of the day. 

Whether it's literally eating a fistful of mud, remembering you have a spell that everyone else seems to have forgotten is in your toolkit, or even asking a seemingly simple question that comes out of left field, these players have managed to catch their dungeon masters off guard and make some lasting memories for their table. 

Have you ever experienced this at your table? Vote up the most stunning actions and statements made by players at their Dungeon & Dragons games!

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  • 1

    Just Squirrel Them Away

    From Redditor /u/El_Braun:

    2 players got petrified by gorgons Cleric can't help yet because he doesn't have 5th lvl spell slots "can they feel, breathe or need to drink/eat?" "roll for arcana" 18 "they don't, but if they suffer damage, their bodies will crumble to dust and you won't be able to bring them back" "cool, let's bury them so they're safe until we come back"

    The party was in shock for 30s (which is a lot when staring at people), clapped and proceeded with the plan.

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  • 2

    We Mean Business

    From Redditor /u/TheFriendlyLich:

    I should preface this by saying that this campaign was, tonally, fairly down to earth. A LOT of funny stuff happened, but I didn't cultivate any kind of slapstick atmosphere- any laughter that happened was in between serious drama and mystery.

    My party arrived at a town that was so heavily laden with Lovecraftian signposting that everyone at the table was jokingly referring to it as Innsmouth before they even arrived. I described the strange, bug-eyed glares they received, the empty thoroughfares, the strange sensation that they were being watched, low fog rolling in from the famously cursed and totally not aboleth infested lake, the works.

    The group approached a market stall, looking for information. The warlock got tired of the owner's refusal to offer the group anything useful- so, she told me she wanted to attempt to Intimidate the shopkeeper.

    This character is an 11th level Fiend warlock, tiefling, with an imp follower. I got very excited at the prospect of getting to see her intimidation attempt! So I asked what it was she did to intimidate the store owner. Thaumaturgy, maybe? Darkness? The imp breaking things?

    Warlock: "I take a fistful of mud from the ground, and I eat it."

    A long moment of silence.

    Me: "I... like, you literally just eat the mud? You don't do that as... like, an illusion?"

    Warlock, without a trace of humor or sarcasm: "Yeah, I do it for real. I want him to know we mean business."

    Not a joke, she was deadly serious and certain that her eating a fistful of mud would intimidate the cultist into revealing information. To this day, the single most baffling thing any of my friends have ever said to me.

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  • Photo: Captain America: The First Avenger / Paramount Pictures
    3

    Curses! Foiled Again!

    From Redditor /u/My_DnD_Account:

    Running LMoP for a newbie group, and they make a point to knock out the Drow in Cragmaw Castle (revealing the Doppelganger). End of session.

    I spend the next week debating the best way to avoid the interrogation, and settle on the classic false tooth full of poison.

    Me: You hear a violent crack as the Doppelganger bites down hard, before starting to foam at the mouth.

    Cleric: I cast Spare the Dying.

    Me: ...

    Completely forgot he had that spell, probably because the player was barely using magic. Took me a minute to rally from the surprise.

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  • 4

    Excuse Me, Do You Speak Rat?

    From Redditor /u/My_DnD_Account:

    In a recent game, my players were approached by an evil druid accompanied by a giant rat. The druid started a villain speech on how she was going to kill the PCs when one, a gnome, interrupted her.

    "Excuse me," she said. "Are you a rat speaker? I'd like to ask your rat a question if that's alright."

    At this point, I was pretty surprised but as the druid could in fact speak with animals, I had her cautiously agree.

    The PC then said, "Hi Mr Rat. Would you like a refreshment or something?"

    I was pretty much entirely at a loss for words on how to respond to that and had to take a minute to figure out just how this druid would react.

    What stories do you have of times the PCs have reacted so strangely that it entirely threw you off script?

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