Tabletop Games are RADch

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    In our Eberron game I settled on Dragonborn mostly because no other race was calling to me louder. I was like "yeah ok dragonborn works I've never done that before"

    I could write a page or two of history of the dragonborn in this game now. I just had to wait for it to click into place

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  • OghulkOghulk Registered User regular
    Two of my players have already come up with excellent backstories that really insert well into the world and also could lead to some really interesting roleplaying given the Big Beats I've wrote out. And my significant other is gonna play a barbarian which, alongside the other two, will also be interesting to say the least

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  • gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    I'd like to introduce my new character: Cloud Lightning Noctis the Third, heir to the crystal regent Erdrick (Loto in the original Japanese), holder of the Wild Card, he who wields the Sword of Mana, sage of the Fifth Fleet to research the Elder Dragons, and holder of at least three SSRs of that character you really wanted to pull.

    First level fighter.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Is this a good enough reason to post someone’s take on a black Cloud? Eh, it’ll do.

    7zl3chjgqi57.jpeg

    I really wanna run a one shot that is just dungeon crawler X hip-hop.

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  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    so in a couple of levels my Artificer gets to turn a Spell Focus into an arcane firearm. Gotta carve some runes on it, spells cast from it do more damage.

    Artificer is really playing into The Tinker's secret history (he was basically an OMAC that an ancient, or possibly future, civilization lost in transit.)

    oh also The Tinker has taken on male pronouns and is contemplating a name.

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  • OghulkOghulk Registered User regular
    I have an irrational hatred of bards and I really hope one of the other two people don't pick that

    Already have an artificer a sorcerer and a barbarian

  • OghulkOghulk Registered User regular
    so in a couple of levels my Artificer gets to turn a Spell Focus into an arcane firearm. Gotta carve some runes on it, spells cast from it do more damage.

    Artificer is really playing into The Tinker's secret history (he was basically an OMAC that an ancient, or possibly future, civilization lost in transit.)

    oh also The Tinker has taken on male pronouns and is contemplating a name.

    Arcane firearm is legit kind of amazing for spellcasting.

    I also enjoy that the flavor text says a "wand, staff, or rod"

    Just ya know one big tube of steel that you use to throw fireballs

    Depressperado
  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    could use a cleric in that ol' party

    Artificer gets Cure Wounds, but their spells slots are spare and precious.

  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I feel like at some point there has to be a confrontation with at least one other living weapon at some point in that campaign. Preferably on a high platform with something else at stake. Potentially with the ‘Winter Soldier appears on screen’ sound effect.

    Depressperado
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    5e clerics fit into just about any party because you can build them to be alternatively a tanky smacky melee character, or a healer/support caster, or a damage caster, and they have some of the best spells in the game no matter which of those you choose.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    This isn’t exactly a full on setting, but here’s a thing I might run some time:

    Mass Expansion Tectonic Area 4 (META4 to the locals) is a huge chasm that opened up 70 years ago, and due to the sheer concentration of magic down there it’s even bigger than should be possible.

    A whole city is built around this drop, with the poor at the precarious edge and the rich up high in shielded towers.

    Only those blessed with the power of the Beat can protect them, but they must offer their services to the rich in order to afford better equipment to delve deeper and deeper.

    Also it is just Final Fantasy 7 X Jet Set Radio.

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  • OghulkOghulk Registered User regular
    One of the things about my world is that divine magic is very extremely rare and basically its only users come from far away. The usual person that plays a cleric decided to sorcerer, so we'll see

  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    This isn’t exactly a full on setting, but here’s a thing I might run some time:

    Mass Expansion Tectonic Area 4 (META4 to the locals) is a huge chasm that opened up 70 years ago, and due to the sheer concentration of magic down there it’s even bigger than should be possible.

    A whole city is built around this drop, with the poor at the precarious edge and the rich up high in shielded towers.

    Only those blessed with the power of the Beat can protect them, but they must offer their services to the rich in order to afford better equipment to delve deeper and deeper.

    Also it is just Final Fantasy 7 X Jet Set Radio.

    There's a Dubstep joke in here somewhere, but It's too early for me to figure it out. It does sound very cool though. I love magically enhanced areas.

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  • DepressperadoDepressperado I just wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rainRegistered User regular
    I make a dubstep joke every time I cast Shatter or Thunderwave

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    20 sessions in, Black Cloud in on one knee, oversized blade stuck in the floor yards away as a figure approaches... it’s President Mo’money himself.

    “You thought you could save everyone?...”

    Two armed soldiers grab Black Cloud under his armpits and lift him up to face the president.

    “Gentlemen... let... the beat drop.”

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    I make a dubstep joke every time I cast Shatter or Thunderwave

    I wanna play a Psi Knight and use the Chevy Chase Million Dollar Man sound effect every time I use a psionic talent.

    Except for psychic leap. For that I will follow a success with yEET!

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    In the world of META4 whenever you level up the take your money montage from Paper Planes plays.

  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 1
    YaYa wrote: »
    I am not sure some 5e lifers have ever considered an alternative to prep heavy

    During my first (and so far only) 5E campaign I was probably spending somewhere around 30 hours a week brainstorming and 5 hours on game day condensing those ideas and getting together maps, miniatures, and hand-written index cards of monster and NPC stats that had not been officially yet been published as Monster Cards by WotC (my crunch time) for 3 hour weekly sessions.

    Granted I'm a super nerd who was working a shitty job at the time, had nothing in common with my co-workers, and wasn't allowed to wear headphones to listen to podcasts or whatever. I was desperate for anything to occupy my mind (I once was so bored I recounted all the different ways Pokémon can evolve in my mind just to have something to think about). I was working in an industrial plant but just so happened to have a space next to my workstation where I stood all day; that's where I would lay a clipboard, pen, and scrap paper, so whenever I had a few seconds I would write ideas (while trying to keep grease and grime from my work gloves smudging the paper). I also spent some time at home brainstorming (towards the end of the campaign I spent one night trying to very roughly guesstimate how battles between legions of various kinds of demons, devils, elementals, undead, and fey would pan out by comparing their game statistics).

    My teenage step-sister once commented that, while she had a friend who was a DM herself, in comparison to her friend I seemed like I was investing my whole heart and soul into what I was crafting.

    I probably generated hundreds, maybe thousands, of pieces of scrap paper with brainstorming notes for my year long campaign. Most of these have been discarded due to the sheer volume (though it would have been nice if they could have just organized themselves into an orderly tome for me to peruse as a self-indulgent monument to my own creativity), but I've kept a few as a reminder of unused concepts.

    Plus one time I made a chart detailing the relationships of about a dozen ice mephits in an ice dungeon. The mephits almost all ended up getting ganked by the party Rogue, who found them annoying. Afterwards I handed her the little ice mephit relationship chart I had made; her response was basically "huh, so there was a full-blown soap opera between these things going on that I was unaware of. Oh well."

    I don't regret any of the time I spent. It was extremely creatively fulfilling, helped me through a shitty job, and I made a campaign that I was largely satisfied with that I've recently decided to summarize the events of in PDF form.

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  • Rhesus PositiveRhesus Positive GNU Terry Pratchett Registered User regular
    I make a dubstep joke every time I cast Shatter or Thunderwave

    I describe those spells as power chords on my violin

    As I pick up more and more sound-based spells, I'm gradually becoming a quasi-Medieval Valhallen

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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 1
    Of those of you who have played them; what do you consider to be the best, most balanced Unearthed Arcana classes?

    The only one I've played was the Way of Tranquility Monk, and that was for an all Monk one-shot.

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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    I'm not going to lie if a 'prep heavy' game doesn't let me easily chuck about right stats into a mook I'll never run it.

    It's something Infinity does really well in house (with simplified NPC skill groups and a large example group to draw from) and Shadowrun does pretty okay once you learn to just use raw dice pools for mooks not detailed "but where do the dice pools come from?" set ups.

  • GrogGrog My sword is only steel in a useful shape.Registered User regular
    I can't sit myself down and prep for a game. Anything I prepare before hand is due to brief flashes of inspiration while I'm in the middle of something else.

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  • Albino BunnyAlbino Bunny Bad Opinion Haver Registered User regular
    Grog wrote: »
    I can't sit myself down and prep for a game. Anything I prepare before hand is due to brief flashes of inspiration while I'm in the middle of something else.

    I'm pretty similar where I spend a lot of mental energy mulling over sessions while doing over stuff and then the like, hour before the session I work it into something that mechanically groks with the system.

  • StraightziStraightzi Here we may reign secure, and in my choice, To reign is worth ambition though in HellRegistered User regular
    My prep changes depending on the system, of course

    But my standard is to have an act structure laid out with major plot beats I want to try to hit

    And then a series of notecards that have any NPCs I need on them - a name, potential occupations/roles, a couple personality traits, and a list of things they know and/or care about (specifically anything that corresponds to the major plot beats, of course, but also any sidequests or personal relationships with other NPCs that could be used or exploited)

    I specifically say potential occupations because for many of these I'm not sure what their exact role is going to be, so I'll have like miller/farmer/carpenter written down and when the players first encounter any one of those, that's the one on the card

    If I need specific stats for any of those NPCs (which is game dependent, but planned antagonists and such), I'll write those out on the back of the card, but I don't play a whole lot of games that require me to stat out NPCs and I'm very used to just making it up as I got along and did that most of the time even when I did play more numbers intensive games

    Maddoc
  • HellboreHellbore A bad, bad man Registered User regular
    Is this a good enough reason to post someone’s take on a black Cloud? Eh, it’ll do.



    I really wanna run a one shot that is just dungeon crawler X hip-hop.



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  • Hexmage-PAHexmage-PA Registered User regular
    edited August 3
    To reveal another aspect of my nerdiness, I've been trying to listen to a podcast called "Vacation Bible School" for the past couple of days while doing chores only to be sidetracked by how the differences between Catholicism and Protestantism remind me of Law and Chaos in D&D, leading me to pause the podcast over and over to contemplate this.

    Early versions of D&D had a secret "Lawful" language, while Catholicism had its own secret language, Latin (which may have been the inspiration for D&D's Lawful language in the first place). The Catholic Church used Latin for 1500 years to keep anyone other than approved priests from reading the Bible and coming up with their own interpretations. Mass is a highly ritualized affair that local leaders have little agency to alter, with most alterations coming from the Pope himself.

    Catholicism, in D&D alignment terms, is extremely Lawful.

    Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation, in conjunction with the invention of the printing press, increasing literacy rates, and translations of the Bible into other languages, led to the Chaos inherent in Protestantism (BTW, the first guy who translated the Bible into English had to flee for his life).

    I'm posting this not to start an alignment debate or a religious debate, but to get these ideas out of my head so I can listen to this god damn podcast while I paint the front porch.

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Nice.

    Rolling with the idea that The Church / The Man is keeping the populace ignorant, I think it’d be cool if in Dungeons and Hip-Hop being an unsanctioned magic user is illegal, and people have to smuggle spells on vinyl, or make their own rough spells with backfiring aspects.

    DJ as wizard seems pretty cool, come to think of it.
    Sorcerers are graffiti artists, since it’s all from them, their vision.
    Warlocks get possessed by rapping ghosts, ala that one character from Gorillaz.
    Clerics don’t worship the city’s god (Capitalism), instead they’d pay homage to an ideal, which may have a summonable (stand) muse, but are beyond that, being pure idea given power.

    I don’t think there would be fighters without magic of some kind in this setting, because, you know, they’re Cloud from FF7.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Nice.

    Rolling with the idea that The Church / The Man is keeping the populace ignorant, I think it’d be cool if in Dungeons and Hip-Hop being an unsanctioned magic user is illegal, and people have to smuggle spells on vinyl, or make their own rough spells with backfiring aspects.

    Magic is institutionalized. You gotta be able to afford to be trained as a wizard. Only then are you allowed to practice magic.

    Sorcerors, aka indigenous/native/cultural magic users, are frowned upon heavily.

    I could dig the hell out of that

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  • TynnanTynnan seldom correct, never unsure Registered User regular
    edited August 2
    Continuing with the game of D&D 5e Tomb of Annihilation Misadventures in Chult that I'm DMing, I had a fun breakthrough on some background detail that I'll hopefully get to reveal to my players in the next few weeks. This takes a specific bit of imagery that's present in TOA, namely the labyrinthine surface engravings on many stone surfaces in the region, and tries to make it more interesting than "Ubtao likes that."

    This draws from some ideas in Robert Jackson Bennett's books, Foundryside and Shorefall. I'll toss it into a spoiler for those who want to read those books first, but what I'm drawing from is central stuff that gets introduced in the first chapter of the first book. Nothing here that spoils the actual plot.
    The way magic works in Foundryside is kind of a combination of fantasy magic and computer programming. Essentially, mages create magical effects by writing a library of magical definitions, and then they scribe intricate sigils in a specific order onto an object. Those sigils convince the object that the rules of reality are locally different and that it needs to obey the sigils' interpretation of reality instead. Stick to that stone block next to you. Only unlock when someone wearing a specific sigil comes near. No no, gravity goes a few degrees in this direction now. That sort of thing. Small individual commands, strung together in a way that constructs a complicated argument out of adjusted base principles. There's more to it and Bennett writes it a lot better than I'm doing here, but that's the gist of it.

    What I'm thinking is that normal, player-scale arcane and divine magic work the way the players expect. They get spell slots, they can spend them, bing bang boom. What's different here is that there is also another category of, so to say, infrastructural magic. Things that hold structures and empires together. The labyrinthine engravings on stone surfaces that the players have been encountering (sans context), are actually magical arguments that refute the existing reality and impose rules of their own - a programming language constructed out of the widths and twists and turns of a linear carving. These were made by an empire that's been dissolved for a hundred years. Related, the carvings are unfilled. Empty. Nonconductive. The players, sometime in the next few encounters, will discover a facility (I'm thinking a lighthouse, currently) from the old Chultan empire of Mezro that had been sealed and protected, with those tracks still intact and working. Looters will have carved away the gold inlay from part of the tracks, which will be a clue to help unravel what's going on: magical effects in the looted part of the lighthouse will be going haywire.

    Elsewhere in Chult, someone is working on a massive project to return an ancient primordial to Chult. They've constructed a massive dike, using carved arguments on stone blocks to stick them fast against the weight of the sea. In the cleared area, they'll have carved a massive set of sigils that await a flood of conductive seawater. Once filled, what arguments might they be able to impose on the world?

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Hip-Hop & Hydrae

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  • mrpakumrpaku Registered User regular
    Beats & Beholders

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  • Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I’m thinking I might actually make this after I’m done with New Zellatia (my current setting idea). I might give it a really obnoxious manga-sounding name, like:

    Rhythm & Rhyme: This Ain’t No City

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  • gavindelgavindel The reason all your software is brokenRegistered User regular
    For today's Sunday (4e) run of MOUNT GHIDORAH:

    Last time the party defeated Lady Mothra. She fought with sword sheathed and seemed to accept her death as inevitable rather than show her true strength. The party did not question this stroke of good luck - who would have known the lieutenants of GHIDORAH were such push overs?!

    Today's game opened with them stealing her airship for a gaunt to her manse. The party had just leveled to 7th level, but, crucially, forgot to long rest.

    Then they opened the wrong door in the hangar and got dimensional whiplashed right into an old school dungeon maze. Pit traps, fake walls, "only step on the white tiles or else get the poison gas". You know, old school. I set a former pet ooze named Jelly - now a towering, hallway filling Gelatinous Ooze - as their dungeon timer, slowly inching after them.

    If the party had been at full? Easy fight, take it down in the hallway and saunter on.
    But for a party with no healing surges, no daily powers, and nobody above half even before they started triggering all the traps? Pretty damn dangerous.

    And that's why rests - or the lack thereof - are a critical pacing mechanism for a GM.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    GMing 4e games is so much better, and so much more rewarding as a player, when various hooks are used to disincentive taking rests after every encounter.

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  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    edited August 2
    Tox wrote: »
    Nice.

    Rolling with the idea that The Church / The Man is keeping the populace ignorant, I think it’d be cool if in Dungeons and Hip-Hop being an unsanctioned magic user is illegal, and people have to smuggle spells on vinyl, or make their own rough spells with backfiring aspects.

    Magic is institutionalized. You gotta be able to afford to be trained as a wizard. Only then are you allowed to practice magic.

    Sorcerors, aka indigenous/native/cultural magic users, are frowned upon heavily.

    I could dig the hell out of that

    Careful of stepping on the "non-white-people culture is specially different and magic" rake of exoticism there though

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  • webguy20webguy20 I spend too much time on the Internet Registered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    GMing 4e games is so much better, and so much more rewarding as a player, when various hooks are used to disincentive taking rests after every encounter.

    I'm a fan of 13th Age's scheme of going out and being badass and you get a "rest". If you press forward and persevere, you'll heroically be able to push through and get access to your spent abilities again.

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  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited August 2
    Tox wrote: »
    Nice.

    Rolling with the idea that The Church / The Man is keeping the populace ignorant, I think it’d be cool if in Dungeons and Hip-Hop being an unsanctioned magic user is illegal, and people have to smuggle spells on vinyl, or make their own rough spells with backfiring aspects.

    Magic is institutionalized. You gotta be able to afford to be trained as a wizard. Only then are you allowed to practice magic.

    Sorcerors, aka indigenous/native/cultural magic users, are frowned upon heavily.

    I could dig the hell out of that

    Careful of stepping on the "non-white-people culture is specially different and magic" rake of exoticism there though

    Oh yeah no believe me I'm not the one to write that game. And I was more suggesting an approach to magic where "if you don't do it the way white culture does it, you're weird and/or looked down upon and/or treated with suspicion" as a potential theme for the game, much like how hip-hop and rap are often derided as "not real music" by fucking white people.

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  • OghulkOghulk Registered User regular
    Slowly getting more backstory from my players

    Oh boy oh boy I might end up pitting them against each other depending on how they decide to RP based entirely on the like one paragraph of plot I had written

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  • FishmanFishman Have fun storming the castle. Registered User regular
    So I'm playing in a friend's fantasy jungle-western campaign, which has been going since just before lockdown.

    This is the third or fourth time I've played in one of his campaigns, and owing to our long association I have a particular talent for inadvertantly 'breaking' his campaigns. The time I ran a forger and skipped straight to the final boss battle by creating fake transport documents past all the encounters, the time I took a Book of Nine Swords Warblade into his high-lethality campaign and slew the Aspect of Tiamat BBEG with a single blow in the first round, multiple times I ran a bard and bullshitted my way through entire adventures... any way, any time I play in one of his campaigns, he's primed for me to turn up and just completely bring down entire chunks of his campaign like so many Jenga blocks.

    Anyway, we were resuming the current after a natural in-story break, having just defeating an Ophidian jungle cult last session. Everyone's coming back newly levelled up and he's had a month to prepare this brand new adventure arc, which apparently involves a mysterious killer and puzzling murders for the party to investigate their way through.

    The very first scene we came back to was my Warlock walking back into town after a couple weeks in the wilderness only to be greeted by the sounds of a struggle and the crash of glass as a body is thrown into the street from a second story window.
    I saunter over and the Sheriff turns up just as I reach the body. He looks at the body. I look at the body.

    "So..." I say, ".. did you want me to ask him who killed him?"

    There was a slow look of dawning realisation on my DM's face as he grasped the implication that I had gained an ability to Speak with Dead during my level up immediately before his elaborate murder mystery and you could almost hear the tumbling Jenga blocks of planned preparations going out the window as fast as the first victim.

    This has now been added to the list of 'times Fishman broke my damned campaign'.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus premium Registered User regular
    Fishman wrote: »
    So I'm playing in a friend's fantasy jungle-western campaign, which has been going since just before lockdown.

    This is the third or fourth time I've played in one of his campaigns, and owing to our long association I have a particular talent for inadvertantly 'breaking' his campaigns. The time I ran a forger and skipped straight to the final boss battle by creating fake transport documents past all the encounters, the time I took a Book of Nine Swords Warblade into his high-lethality campaign and slew the Aspect of Tiamat BBEG with a single blow in the first round, multiple times I ran a bard and bullshitted my way through entire adventures... any way, any time I play in one of his campaigns, he's primed for me to turn up and just completely bring down entire chunks of his campaign like so many Jenga blocks.

    Anyway, we were resuming the current after a natural in-story break, having just defeating an Ophidian jungle cult last session. Everyone's coming back newly levelled up and he's had a month to prepare this brand new adventure arc, which apparently involves a mysterious killer and puzzling murders for the party to investigate their way through.

    The very first scene we came back to was my Warlock walking back into town after a couple weeks in the wilderness only to be greeted by the sounds of a struggle and the crash of glass as a body is thrown into the street from a second story window.
    I saunter over and the Sheriff turns up just as I reach the body. He looks at the body. I look at the body.

    "So..." I say, ".. did you want me to ask him who killed him?"

    There was a slow look of dawning realisation on my DM's face as he grasped the implication that I had gained an ability to Speak with Dead during my level up immediately before his elaborate murder mystery and you could almost hear the tumbling Jenga blocks of planned preparations going out the window as fast as the first victim.

    This has now been added to the list of 'times Fishman broke my damned campaign'.

    Dead person: "I don't know, they were wearing a mask." Or "They attacked while my back was turned." Or so many other things...

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