FACEPALM!: Learning from your mistakes

gnunn
gnunn
edited May 2010 in General Discussion
I want to start a thread where people can vent about/plea for sympathy for things that have gone horribly wrong, either in-game, or during game prep & campaign maintenance... Or conversely, laugh at and learn from the suffering of others. Why? because it happened to me last night.

Last night I spent about an hour, after I was done with my game prep, writing up a recap of last week's session. I was about a paragraph away from finishing when my roommate and I started some bonding time talking politics and playing video games...

Then, it's 1am.

I pop back onto my computer to wrap up the last paragraph or so of my session recap... go to click on the tab for it at the top of my web browser... accidentally click the "x", effectively closing the tab and instantly losing an hour's worth of writing.

*Result 1:* NO RECAP FOR YOU!
*Result 2:* Tired and grumpy Gnunn
*Lesson Learned:* Do all future write-ups in Google Docs or some other program with an auto-save feature before uploading to OP!

P.S. I thought about calling the thread Critical Fails... but it seemed cliche and overused for a gaming board... So, I chose to go with a title that is cliche for the whole internet!
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Comments

  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    You know, I have done that in Firefox, then clicked on history, open recently closed tabs, and everything I typed was still in the parser!
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    Gadzooks! I didn't even know such a feature existed!

    Great... now my despair is tinged with distant hope, longing to check my laptop over my lunch break. Perhaps I will feel the soaring relief of a crisis averted... or perhaps I will be plunged to greater depths of despair by my own ignorance. Did I close my Firefox browser, or just let my computer go to sleep!? GAH! well, there goes my focus until lunch...
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Yeah when it happened to me I pulled it back almost immediately. I dunno how long it stays there, or if it will if you open anything else.
  • Hardhead
    Hardhead
    Posts: 65
    Good work, Jim, you made it worse. :p
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    :(

    SORRY!
  • SkidAce
    SkidAce
    Posts: 830
    I type everything in OneNote first.

    My oops moment was my campaign map that I had turned off autosave for. (Campaign Cartographer). Naturally my computer glitched 3 hours later and CC3 loaded the "previous" file. Entire continents gone.
  • Hardhead
    Hardhead
    Posts: 65
    Ouch. I did my first map for my world in CC and was really proud of it. Then I saw Arsheesh's "gorgeous maps":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/age-of-legends/maps/show/7918 and felt like a kid who's proud of his poopy. Don't get me wrong, CC can do some really nice maps, but I clearly didn't know how to use it. He pointed me towards "this tutorial":http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4084-Award-Winner-My-atlas-style-in-PS at the Cartographer's Guild, and I muddled through that to make my "own map":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/world-of-crucible/maps/show/9015 that I'm even more proud of. But I think my facepalm was how much freakin' time I spent in CC, only to end up doing my map in Photoshop.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Haha, nice hardhead. I like the way your map turned out. I recognized the style immediately from the guild. I followed a hybrid of a couple different tutorials on the guild to come up with my "Map":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/melekar/maps/show/8583 and I agree that it's a pretty awesome place.
  • Idabrius
    Idabrius
    Posts: 51
    This is not really relevant, but for more painterly maps there are some pretty good tutorials over at "Zombie Nirvana":http://www.zombienirvana.com/?page_id=67
  • munkybut
    munkybut
    Posts: 16
    My wife once wrote a 10 page story about her character and did the same thing. She got so mad she was screaming and jumping up and down like a monkey. I still make fun of her for that 5 years later. :)
  • Poutine_Paladin
    Poutine_Paladin
    Posts: 285
    First one that comes to mind is kinda similar. Buddy of mine (really, not just pawning it off on someone else to avoid embarrassment) was making a history for an area of the world we're building together on OP and spent his whole lunch break working on it while at school. He was just about to save it, and grabbed the mouse to move the cursor appropriately...and pressed the page-back-on-browser button that he didn't know existed until just then. I'd say it's funny, but for some reason he hasn't been doing a lot of work on the site since...hmmm.
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    Happened to me today. Guess what, the parser trick doesn't work when your 2 year old comes by the computer while you're taking a pee and manages to Select All and hit the delete key.

    Now my player has a pet which had a 3 paragraph description reduced to "A happy, nervous dog." Because I can't really remember all of what I typed.
  • Heyokah
    Heyokah
    Posts: 2
    "A happy, nervous dog." CTRL+Z is a common "undo" hotkey and has saved my butt a number of times.

    In the spirit of the original thread, my current gaming group could now be called "The Company of the Mattress" from the first (and last) time that our GM put real furniture into a dungeon setting. Ever since then, one of us (typically our warden, who is prone to zany ideas) has carried around a mattress and often flung it at the first enemy we've encountered. And out of the first five times we did it, THREE of them were natural 20's!

    The mattress has even leveled up and gained resists, despite the GM's musings on destroying it or various attempts to have enemies flee with it mid-combat after it has been thrown.
    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-icy-coast/adventure-log/everything-starts-in-a-graveyard -my apologies for the HORRIBLE formatting, an attempt to be "in-character" as a Warforged.

    In a later adventure, he learned: Never have a platform, staircase, etc without a sturdy railing. The "boss" of an encounter session was handily dispatched by a little maneuvering and a single successful bull rush. And the resulting multiple-story fall down the stairwell.
    http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaign/the-icy-coast/adventure-log/isle-of-dread-p3-stairs-get-railings

    As for the rest of you - my mantra is "Save Early, Save Often!" - make a text file, work in there, save it there religiously, and make alternate versions as needed. You can always delete logs later and they don't take up much room.
  • Ydeon
    Ydeon
    Posts: 17 edited July 2010
    My most recent facepalm related to RPGs was when I was omw to an L5R game outside the city and half way there in the train I realize that the character me and my friend lovingly put together to save time a few days prior was nice and safe. On my dining table. Not happy.

    But the one I've been most pissed off about was a few months ago when I was still playing WoW. I was fishing out of boredom (or bored cuz I was fishing, I sometimes don't know) in the Orc city for an achievement, the achievement being catching a rare fish there. I'd spent HOURS fruitlessly in this little pond getting killed by Horde every 20 minutes when finally I catch the .1% scaley fiend. Only to not notice that my bags where full and the game get rid of it...which means I didn't get the achievement.

    Woe be on me, achievement obsessed,
    Ydeon
    Post edited by Ydeon on
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    Heyokah,

    I think the mattress idea is pretty genius and in my campaign, that sort of thinking would be rewarded! Come to think of it, one of my players did use a mattress as a weapon of sorts during one session. A necrotic cyst (basically a sentient undead tumor) had cast darkness on itself and was attempting to flee the premises. Our monk tried to throw the mattress over the top to block the globe of darkness (the phb describes the darkness spell as radiating out like anti-light) I thought the idea of covering up the darkness was brilliant... of course the ballistic properties of a mattress are awkward, to say the least.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    "The Company of the Mattress," that's got a nice ring to it. Sort of conjures up images of perilous quests to volcanic mountains. "One mattress to rule them all!" Necrotic cysts on the other hand, now that is just sick man! I like it!
  • Sewicked
    Sewicked
    Posts: 4 edited July 2010
    This is from very early in my gaming career (AD&D & basic D&D were the only editions, just to clue you in as to the age of this story), one guy was running the other 3 of us in some AD&D adventure of his own devising and 1 of the other players mis-spoke. Instead of saying, "How much would it take for you to let us in there?" to the ogre guarding the cave/shelter from the snowstorm, he said, 'How much would you give us to let us in there?' The real face palm? When the GM asked, 'are you sure that's what you want to say?' He stood by his original statement. That was a short, ugly fight. And not in our favor.

    Lesson: When the GM says 'are you sure?' re-think your decision.
    Post edited by Sewicked on
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    My father learned not to try to gyp me out of a natural 20 when I was about 9 years old. We were playing AD&D (1st) and I was party point, a 12th level Halfling thief. I had on an elven cloak and studded leather armor, and I carried a black sword that was a +5 Vorpal blade. I missed the ogre, he missed me, but I heard the party yell right behind me. Sneak attack! At the very least I would get a x6 multiplier to damage! I turn, close, declare my attack and roll, nat 20. With a vorpal blade that means a limb is severed. Since I had done the equivalent of something like 85 points of damage in one shot I said I cut his head off.

    Game stops.

    My dad is like, OK son, I have to keep some semblance of reality here, unless you tell me how a 3 and a half foot tall halfling cut the head off of a 10 foot ogre, I'll have to disallow it. (He had wanted the fight to go on longer)

    I just looked at him and said "I didn't say which head I cut off"

    My dad stared for a second, everyone at the table laughed like crazy, and the ogre was out of the fight.

    The first time I made someone else facepalm.
  • arsheesh
    arsheesh
    Posts: 850
    That's...hilarious Jim. You came up with that at 9 years old?! Man, my sense of humor consisted of "your mother" and "fart" jokes at that age.
  • gaaran
    gaaran
    Posts: 740
    Haha I agree sewicked, "are you sure?" is sort of a freebie that the DM'll give you, don't turn it down unless you've really thought it over :P

    And I agree Jim, that's pretty fantastic.
  • JimTriche
    JimTriche
    Posts: 483
    arsheesh, I grew up in a navy/SCA household. I think I had a more distressing mind than most college students when I was 9.
  • FrankSirmarco
    FrankSirmarco
    Posts: 250
    When I was putting together the banner for my "campaign":http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/cthulhusupremusest, I misread the requirements and made it 700 x 350 instead of 750 x 300. I spent 3-4 hours working on the banner, and when I uploaded it, I couldn't understand why parts of it were cut off. Needless to say, when I went back and reread the requirement, I was quite crabby.
  • infinite_array
    Posts: 1
    Just gonna say this - had some friends try DnD (for fun... never should have done it). One player named his dwarf character after myself (appropriate), and another player named his wizard "(My Name)'s Sister."

    I have never tried so hard to kill a pair of characters in my life. Got 'em with a dragon.
  • dark_hunter87
    dark_hunter87
    Posts: 4
    Here's a facepalm for you. I was running a game intended for six players, but it ended up being a four player party. I had adjusted all my planed encounters, but forgot to adjust the "boss" battle of the adventure. I realized this as the party was halfway dead in the fight. I took an unconscious NPC in the room wake up and assist the group. At the end of the fight he was the only one left standing. Luckily he was a cleric and stabilized the party with heal checks, as no one had healing surges left. This was definitely one of my worst moments as a GM in my opinion.
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    Last night I had a mild facepalm moment that I think only I really noticed. I was really crunched for time planning this week's session, and so I decided to do the super quick-quick prep. I printed stat-blocks for all the NPCs likely to show up in the session using "Dingle's NPC generator":http://www.dinglesgames.com/tools/MonsterGenerator/dnd35/ (AMAZING time-saver btw!) or just printed them from the Monster Manual if they were a stock variety.

    When the fight came up in game, I realized I had stats for the 3 Vampires (1 advanced, 2 stock) The thief master and his sidekick, the vampire spawn, the 2 warforged sentries for the thieve's guild, the 2 rust monsters brought to occupy said sentries... but I had forgotten stats for the 10 or so generic rogues just milling about in the guildhall!

    I ended up having the group take a break before the fight, quickly opened up the DMG and just took the stock Level 4 NPC to hit, saves and AC from the Rogue table... had them use crossbows and thrown holy water and threw any sort of accuracy to the wind as far as they were concerned... ugh! I hate the unprepared feeling more than almost anything. Ideally, I like all my stat-blocks on 1 sheet in front of me.
  • Poutine_Paladin
    Poutine_Paladin
    Posts: 285
    Had another good one last week. I don't do a lot of running games, mainly a player, but I run them occasionally. Right now we're taking turns as a group running different adventures, with different characters, in different parts of a world that we're all working on together, but separately. (if you get me)

    This will sound familliar to anyone who's ever run a game...of any kind, I imagine. Classic example of "the more time you spend dreaming something up, the quicker your players will screw it up for you."

    The characters are protecting the heir to the throne from those who wish her harm, bla bla bla prophesy bla bla at all costs bla bla, and they are: a bard, an ex-knight, a sorcerer with questionable morals, and a pot-head ranger.

    I spend literally days making a battle that they come across between two noblemen's forces, one of which is the known cause of a previous ambush that damn near killed them. I have numbers, and stats, and names, and saves, for a whole lot of the hundreds of people involved in this skirmish. Bard disguises the whole group of them as traveling gypsies, and they simply go around the battlefield and continue on their merry way. Awesome, thanks guys.
  • bevinflannery
    bevinflannery
    Posts: 114 edited July 2010
    May I take the opportunity to commend you for letting their plan work, rather than insisting that they absolutely *must* become entangled in the fight? Because as a player, I for one would have been irked to have my clever scheme to avoid a potentially costly fight thwarted simply because the DM wants to show us all his hard work.
    Post edited by bevinflannery on
  • Poutine_Paladin
    Poutine_Paladin
    Posts: 285
    Thank you, bevinflannery. I'm a strong believer in having good playing rewarded, as I also have come up with "screw your dm's plans" kind of moments as well. Merely pointing out that it does "Facepalm" a guy when he doesn't take into account simple character logic when planning something for a game. Kinda makes you want to kill them next game session, though, just to be spiteful...but that would make you just as big a doucher as if you'd just forced them into the battle in the first place. At least I have a well-drawn-up battle with lots of interesting NPC's for some other time. The time won't end up being wasted in the long run.
  • Duskreign
    Duskreign
    Posts: 1,085
    I am literally laughing out loud at: "bla bla bla prophesy bla bla at all costs bla bla"

    I used to have a GM that treated his entire game world with that same level of verve and ardor. He used to do the lazy/falling-asleep-man's version of the final-fantasy victory jingle whenever we would enjoy a minor success in his game. I call him a black belt in apathy-jitsu.

    I thought of a facepalm of my own. This one is from one of my first times playing D&D with a large group. I was twelve, I believe. I was playing in a 2nd edition game and I had really only a basic understanding of THAC-0 (my blood pressure just jumped to 550 over Sweet Jesus). My character was a cleric/assassin, someone who did wetwork for the leaders of a local church, all in the name of preserving what the DM called the "Holiest of Secrets"

    Anyway, I was introduced to my new party by the Chamberlain of Destera, my contact within the Holy Church of Raelthas, who the DM did a good job portraying as a slimy bureaucrat using recent religious fervor to forward his political goals. My DM had previously, in an earlier session, used a nose-wiping gesture to have the Chamberlain designate a target for assassination. This time, he designated that the team's leader was to be my target.

    Or so I thought. Turns out the DM just had a runny nose. I, being dim, kept seeing him rub his nose, and it always seemed like it was when he was addressing the party leader. So, I took that to mean the Chamberlain wanted him dead, like, right away. So, I shrugged, told the DM that I move behind the party leader, leaning in to get a better look at the map the Chamberlain was showing us. The kid playing the party leader had no idea I was planning to murder his ass, and neither did the DM. It was literally the furthest thing from his mind. Until I said that my character leans in and pierces his carotid artery with my dagger, then breaks for the door. The player got freaked out, the DM said why, and I said "because the Chamberlain told me to."

    After everything was explained to me about the runny nose, we all laughed about it. I loved that character, but on his first big introduction to a large group of players, I embarrassed him, and myself, by making a false assumption. The DM accepted responsibility, but I was the butt of so many jokes from that point forward. Watch out for Flank, especially during cold and flu season!
  • gnunn
    gnunn
    Posts: 423
    Ugh! I clearly haven't learned my lesson. Yesterday, I was working on a past-due adventure recap that has been thwarting me for weeks. I had just finished, hit the schmancy preview feature, but then, rather that closing the preview, I hit my browser's back button. This took me out of the editor back to my adventure log page. When I hit the forward button to return to the editor, everything I had typed in was removed.
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