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!
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...
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.
Unconquered Kingdoms, July 2016 CotM
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
Lesson: When the GM says 'are you sure?' re-think your decision.
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.
And I agree Jim, that's pretty fantastic.
I have never tried so hard to kill a pair of characters in my life. Got 'em with a dragon.
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.
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.
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!