Give Us Your Best Tabletop Moments

Give Us Your Best Tabletop Moments

As the pantheon-blessed people at Out of Context D&D Quotes have shown us, moments from tabletop campaigns can be inspiring, poignant and weird. Mostly really, really weird.

Hi, readers. I'm Mary, I'm doing some weekend work for Kotaku, and I've been playing tabletop games since college. I've written characters, worlds, and lots of ugly fights (sorry, player friends), but my favourite part of tabletop RPGs has always been the weird non sequiturs you can only get from gathering people around a table to play pretend.

I'm starting a weekly roundup of the best (read: my favourite, in a totally subjective way) moments, quotes, character backstories and loot from tabletop games. All are welcome — be ye Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Fall of Magic, whatever.

I'll start!

I ran a Pathfinder session in which our plucky heroes battled a massive astral dragon. As the plane-hopping lizard neared death, the attacking paladin rolled a natural 20. He asked that every party member strike, finishing the beast off together.

The paladin stabbed; the magus's staff flared; the barbarian cleaved; the rogue's sickle sank into its flesh.

And the gnome bard summoned weasels. Right into its throat.

The astral dragon choked to death on weasels.

Bonus points if your story is shorter than mine, and a thousand Mary points (which are worthless, but shiny) if you include an image. Post your moments, quotes, backstories, and loot in the comments.


    I eat off tabletops all the time, good tabletop memories.

      Ah me too. The Adventure of eating your food while trying not to spill any.
      I once used a coaster for my drink and finished my meal too.

    I suplexed my brother through a tabletop once and thats how I became the world champion and got grounded for 2 weeks.

      An ex wrestler suplexed his room mate and killed him in a nursing home. Dementia....

    I ran some 40KRPG games way back when we only had fan rules and WFRP 1st edition to go from. It was great fun. I remember when we came close to wrapping up the group (people changing schools etc) I had them encounter a single Genestealer. It very nearly wiped the whole party and was very reminiscent of Alien/s.

    Fondly remembered as after the session everyone said he awesome it was and how scared everyone got. That's always a plus when you DM.

    I've been getting into board games a bit with a 'game night' run by some friend and have discovered Dominion. That's probably as advanced a non computer game that I've played.

    I have no idea how other tabletop games run, and can't really comprehend how they work. Maybe one day.

    Successfully convincing a society gathering that Leviathans have ADHD and are easily distracted, so the best way to deal with them is to simply stand still and they'll lose interest.

    I'm helping! \o/

    Last edited 06/06/16 10:50 am

      What about Becky Hardcastle?

        It's funny, I don't tend to think of Fiasco as tabletop, even though it is. It's more like facilitated improv.

        That said: Playing a racist politician on talkback radio so convincingly that the facilitators wife thought he was listening to the real thing... that's got to rate pretty highly.

    Every D&D character I roll has pitons in its pack.

    Played a one-shot scenario once which I rolled a character for, and had money left over at character creation. On a whim, I threw some pitons into his pack.

    Cut to the end of the scenario, and we're fighting an evil wizard on the top of an ice covered tower with no safety rail, our barbarian falls four stories to his death, and my character survives to defeat the villain nearly solo by driving pitons into the tower's edge and anchoring himself.

    Every character since then has had pitons

    So, it's not mine, and hell, given the source it's probably not true, but this has always been a favourite DnD story I always get a chuckle from.

    (for people familiar with it, it is the Sir Bearington greentext)

    never played DnD, but in warhammer one memorable moment was my tomb kings catapults causing panic in a friends orcs and goblins and causing nearly his whole army to run off the board first turn.

    Dark Heresy 40k RPG:
    Had SOOOO many highlights from this game - but this is the one thing I affected personally with hilarious consequences.
    My party was hot on the trail of an assassin who was tryin gto escape us down alleyways in a crowded hive. She had information vital to our mission and we were to capture her at all costs.
    She made a wrong turn and we cornered her.
    She pulled a mofied krak (anti armour) grenade (modiefied to have an explosive radius) and held it ready in her hand, primed - finger on the pressure switch.
    She couldn't be talked to so i made the call.
    I was going to shoot her hand off at the wrist with my lasgun.
    I took aim. I fired.
    I rolled a critical failure. Instead of missing completely, i shot the grenade.
    She was vaporised. The guardsman in front of me took fatal damage and was knocked out, needing to burn a fate point to survive.
    I was almost insta-killed and lost half of my face and right eye. Also had to burn a fate point.
    The contact was reduced to slag.

    But i eventually replaced my eye with a bionic eye that shoots lasers.


    Smashed the back of my head on a tabletop, required stitches, Maccas and an extended stay away from school to play Settlers 2.

    Won a game of Arkham Horror in just over 2 hours.

    Pretty good considering most games last about 4-5

    Many years ago during a D&D game, we were having a particularly difficult encounter with some pirates. Most of us were either bleeding out or on our last legs when we heard a loud snore from the corner where a mate (let's call him Bob) had crashed out on a beanbag.

    We pretty much all yelled "Bob! Get up! We need help!".

    Bob didn't even open an eye as he slurred "I'm saving my spells for a dangerous situation", whereupon he rolled over and went back to sleep.

    Last edited 06/06/16 11:37 am

    I was running a D&D campaign that involved unholy rat creatures mixed with other monsters as the main enemies. To foreshadow a monster the group would encounter later in the dungeon, I cut up two minis to create a small ratman with tentacles. As the group passed through the 'surgery' room, they found this creature floating around in a tank in the corner - a tank I advised the group was securely built into the wall and which their blows to the glass caused no effect. The bard and the magic user were desperate to liberate this random mini I had only done up as foreshadowing, so I gave them one last chance - the magic user could roll once at extreme difficulty to see if they might happen upon a spell that might help. So she did, and of course it was successful.

    So I advised that without realising it, the magic user had managed to perform a teleportation spell and had pulled the creature from the tank. The bard befriended the unholy abomination, whom they dubbed "Mr. Cuddles".

    This became a running joke throughout the game, and continued when I used a witch mini in a later encounter. The witch mini had a small bear on the base, obviously to give the mini a bit of flavour. I ended up adding the bear to the witches attacks, as a ranged attack she could use (ie, throwing the bear at a player character so that it could try and chomp on them). Again, the magic user and the bard teamed up to get this bear. We ended up with everyone fighting the other enemies while the bard and the magic user spent their turns trying to first capture and then befriend the bear. I can't remember what they called it.

    I once used haste to cheat in a pie eating contest.

    D&D: Warrior spots sleeping dragon in cave at bottom of well shaft. Rather than fight way down through dungeon, rides a spear down the hundred feet well using bodyweight to add to the damage of the spear to the dragon.

    D&D: Warrior spots sleeping dragon in cave at bottom of well shaft. Rather than fight way down through dungeon, rides a spear down the hundred feet well using bodyweight to add to the damage of the spear to the dragon.

    I'm the guy with the really bad luck with dice. Doesn't help that I'm normally the one that plays the healer in the group. Playing Pathfinder, it doesn't matter if it's a Cure spell or a Positive Channel Energy, my d6s or d8s will roll 1s and 2s.

    However, that's not the epitome of my luck. I finally got my sister to come play in my weekly session and she enjoyed it enough that she bought a large amount of dice. On the opening night for her dice, I tried to give her dice some "luck" by breathing on them in front of the group as she was about to cast a Fireball. 9 six-sided dice went rolling across the table, and in front of the whole group, landed ALL 1s.

    I had to buy those dice from my sister and she got herself some new dice, but totally worth it :)

    Our groups D&D 5.0e goblin valour bard pseudo pally (100% thinks he is a pally, sparkly hide armour at the time and all) convinced Dagger-keep guards that our negative charisma gnassi ranger was just special and not actually a threat to every one, but after the player (that was new to the game) made a joke his ranger got thrown in prison. As our party joked about wounded gazelles and our DM rolled on whether the ranger was in immediate danger (not of the sexual kind) our ranger decided to take it upon himself to try and molest the other prisoners (to scare them into not attacking him first)...

    This ranger had zero strength and all the occurred was a stalemate between a wind bag that could not grapple and a bunch of starved prisoners. When he was released the next day, the valour bard had to promise that the gnassi would not sexually assault any one else.

    Moral of the story is that no matter how bad it gets, don't ever "joke" to your mates that your character is not the wounded gazelle in jail.

    The same goblin bard deciding that it was a good idea to "persuade" his group that taking the black dragon egg with them would not end horribly at all (he had that internal time clock going hard). Thankfully for every one the goblin was attached to the mount that was carrying the egg and after a few rounds of rather average combat he decided it would be better to actually mount up and leave the egg behind... which was in turn eaten by a lurker. The goblin player was very disappointed while every one laughed and thanked RNGesus.

    Back in D&D 3.5 was had a elf ranger whose out of combat party role was both checking doors for traps and getting us rations from poor creatures that had encountered our party. The problem was the he had obviously spat in the eye of RNGesus because the kid was only ever giving us rat paste and opening door by accident without checking. About half way through a campaign we were getting a little restless with the amount of traps that we hadn't seen and yet had still had to watch our ranger bumble through the door. Our barbarian (who at the time was pretty much god tier meat grinder) decided that pushing through one random door by himself would be fine... except that one trap had a major fireball trap attached. We had some squishies that had rolled abysmally during level ups and this trap pretty much one shot 2/3 of our group instantly and the ones that survived were forced to roll against the barbarians feat that causes all characters to make a wisdom save or flee. Needless to say everyone failed their saves and burned to death.

    Moral of that story is that sometimes your DM is a dick and mercilessly nukes your squad while bored. And that maybe its a good idea not to take abilities that don't care about friendly fire.

    Took a turn running a SLA Industries session and at one point one of my mates playing was interrogating a suspect NPC. After a few volleys of "I don't know!" and "Bull$&&%, tell us the truth!" back and forth, I used the Voice of God (HE DOESN'T KNOW!!) to confirm that the suspect NPC was indeed telling the truth.

    Also played a Star Trek RPG as a Captain and found myself physically jumping up and down on a warp core desperately trying to eject it... Failed that roll spectacularly. And years before Into Darkness tried it.

    My favourite memory of playing a tabletop game was when a group of friends and I started a campaign in Star Wars: Edge of the Empire (for those who haven't heard of it, think Dungeons and Dragons: Star Wars edition). We were a group of rebels that was tasked with freeing prisoners from an Imperial prison barge. Our only contact was a drug lord called Pask, who to this day is my most hated character in any campaign. When we arrived at the space station which acted as an imperial outpost and trading hub we met Pask. Without our knowledge, the rebels promised him money in return for his help. One deception role later, we had convinced him that we would give him the money after the job was done and had to give him our stolen imperial shuttle as a warranty. We went off individually to figure out how to get on to the prison barge when it docked the next day. One of my friends met with Pask and got addicted to the Star Wars equivalent of heroin, the other made chemical bombs which drove people insane which he tested on an unsuspecting Cantina, me on the other hand, decided to drug the imperial governess of the outpost and convince her to love me so she would give us all the info (and money) we needed. We didn't let our contact in the drug industry go to waste.

    The next day, I promised the governess that I would come back for her once I had finished freeing the rebel prisoners. So, a drug addict, a psychopath and a gold digger decided to finally get on the prison barge. we Had to try to find a way to get onto the supply ships that lead to the barge but the psychopath wasted all of the bombs he had made on innocents so it was up to me with my leadership skill. The people working on the docks getting supplies for the barge were all slaves so I decided to go the Braveheart method and start a riot. A critical hit! All of the slaves including some civilians passing by started beating to death the stormtroopers near them. We boarded the cargo ships ready to take down the prison barge. We flew there and decided that because none of us knew how to fly a ship properly we would crash it into the hanger. We crawled out of the wreckage, amazingly unscathed and with half of the slaves dead. The slaves were still under my command so I said for them to pick up as many weapons as they could and shoot whoever they see. This went horribly wrong. The slaves started shooting each other and what was an army of 300 was now a squad of 20. After the brutal killing of other slaves, we soldiered on to the bridge of the ship. It was a relatively easy affair due to the majority of who was on board were killed in the hanger crash. We stormed the bridge and killed all of the officers but not before one of the officers summoned more troops from the barracks. One of the slaves just so happened to be a computers expert and shut down the ship except for the bridge, leaving the rest of the crew and the prisoners, which we had completely forgotten about, to suffocate to death. It was only fitting that we decided to play over the coms "what a wonderful world". It was a job well done, but then I remembered the governess. As a man of my word, I boarded a TIE fighter, not bothering to wear any life support equipment and flew off back to the space station. As I left the hanger I slowly started dying of lack of oxygen and cold. Just as I was about to land I passed out and crash landed into the middle of a market square, killing hundreds. Miraculously, I managed to survive and crawled out of the wreckage, my whole body covered in 3rd degree burns. I had to first find a way off the station and remembered Pask, the one who got us into this mess in the first place. I approached him in his office and went to shake his hand on a job well done. As we shook hands, my robotic arm cannon sprung out and shot him in the chest. I stomped on his head and left him to die. Covered in burns and blood and with only burnt rags as clothing, I approached the governess. She didn't remember me due to the drug I gave her the night before so I gave her another dose and kidnapped her. We then boarded my Imperial shuttle I had left with Pask and flew away. Mission accomplished.

    In D&D 3.5 I had a wizard with a rod of empowerment. Since ray attacks can crit I casted a empowered disintegrate which turned out to be a critical and the monster failed its saves. So I then had to roll 120 d6 worth of damage :P

      Haha, disintegrate. I skipped a major encounter for my party against a large group of hill giants by taking advantage of the cubic-footage of disintegration to cause a huge landslide.

    My group; still laughs about the time our group leader got eaten by a giant frog. While it was hopping away with him still alive in its stomach our wizard panicked and got it a lightning bolt, killing the frog, and the leader. This was while it was swimming across a river above a massive waterfall. So away the corpse goes as well, no rez for the unlucky.

    Can I get a link to this? This sounds hilarious.

    I rolled 5 natural 20's last week. Up until that moment my character was a dud.

    I ran a session where the Paladin of my party skewered the party's Bard (who was also the second tank of the party with 16 Constitution) on their trident while charging at the Half-Dragon boss.

    Rest assured, the Bard died,

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