The Player Who Managed To Outsmart The Dungeon Master And The Entire Party
u/MuffledPhosphor on /rpghorrorstories says:
In our gaming group we continued this general
attitude of weeding out the weaklings. If
you were creating a character and said, “Hey,
can you pass the Pla–“, that’s as far as
you got because the Player’s Handbook was
already in the air coming straight for your
head. If you got hit then you got laughed
at. We did lots of things like that. We were
a very unforgiving group. On the plus side,
things like these kept everyone very focused.
We never had to wait around for people to
make up their mind about what their PC was
doing since everyone was formulating their
plan of action while the DM did his thing
with everyone else.
Now, with everyone having their own agenda
and whatnot, we devised a system of passing
notes to the GM for performing actions which
we were keeping secret from the rest of the
players. Mostly this was mundane things like
robbing random houses in town at night, picking
the pocket of an NPC, popping off to the outfitter
to stock up on arrows, or off to the temple
to load up on healing potions. So notes were
being passed constantly and we kept our private
affairs private, unless your note when awry
and someone else saw it. We didn’t roll dice
to see if other players “noticed” your behavior.
It was simple. “Bob the Barbarian wanders
off. Cedric the Cleric, you’re shagging the
barmaid? Great. Roll a save vs. poison or
get the clap.” And so on.
Another thing that we did, which will become
important later, was that if your character
died the rest of us looted the body and then
we burned your character sheet. Temples didn’t
raise the dead for a modest fee. If the party
didn’t have Resurrection or Raise Dead, your
body would rot where it dropped. That’s just
how we rolled.
In this campaign we had one new player, the
DM’s cousin and the rest of us were regulars.
Altogether there were six of us in our party
playing our tried and true characters. Mine
was the now infamous Roghan the Red, a human
fighter/assassin although nobody knew he was
an assassin. Or that’s how I liked to play
it, anyway. I always thought it was silly
that “assassins” ran around looking like assassins.
That kind of defeated the purpose of being
stealthy and what not. And given the way the
game mechanics worked, I found that trying
to murder people with 1d4 dmg was ludicrous,
so I tended to use a bastard sword. It was
For this gaming session we were starting that
most legendary of modules, the one that every
playing group ran once they got high enough
in level: (S3) The Expedition to the Barrier
Peaks. Everybody liked the idea of having
grenades, power armor, and blaster pistols.
I mean, why not, right?
The backdrop was the default intro. King Genericus
or whatever his name was calls out for brave
mercenaries adventurers to find out where
all the weird monsters are coming from that
are eating his taxpayer base. We were the
motley crew which showed up. That explained
why most of us didn’t know each other.
So it begins.
The DM decided that this module was for a
much larger group, so he let everyone else
make a second character rather than have him
run a bunch of redshirts. I say “everyone
else”, because he had something against my
character in general and me in particular,
I came to discover. Plus I was a fifth level
fighter and tenth level assassin, so he figured
I didn’t need another char since I was already
Everyone else was Good™. LG unless contraindicated
by class restrictions, like the druid or thief
(Rogue wasn’t a thing yet). But since I was
an assassin, I was NE. I played the char as
pretty much pure neutral aside from the whole
“murder for hire” thing, but I never saw that
as any different from what PCs did all the
time anyway. But I digress.
The very first thing out of the DM’s mouth
when we all sat down was to tell his cousin’s
paladin “He’s Evil!” while pointing at me.
Needless to say, I was a bit put out about
this. I’m not one for rules lawyering, but
we’d all pretty much understood that things
like the paladin’s detect evil ability were
conscious effects (*meaning you had to specifically
tell the DM you were using it for it to work),
and that it really only worked when the target
actually had evil intent. Since the new precedent
was that he detected my PC’s general evilness
I realized very quickly that this would completely
overshadow specific instances of evil intent
in the future. This was where he screwed the
pooch. If he hadn’t done this, then the ending
would have been completely different and he
had no one to blame but himself.
Immediately this put everyone else, who each
had two characters at level 10, against me
for no other reason than my alignment. Never
mind the fact that I’d played with the rest
of them for a couple years and we got along
fine. They knew which side their bread was
buttered on, though, and since the DM and
his cousin had their eye on me, it would serve
the rest of them right to keep an eye on my
PC as well. To his credit, however, the DM
neglected to actually inform anyone that my
primary class was assassin. I was, after all,
a hulking brute with an 18/83 strength wearing
plate mail and carrying a Sword of Sharpness,
so my ability to do assassin things was entirely
outside of their notice.
Right from the start they had me on point,
but that didn’t bother me much. We got to
the crashed spaceship, got inside the top
level, and started to explore. There were
a few fights where they made me tank and didn’t
bother helping me with healing. They saved
their spells and made me use up some of my
healing potions. We were poisoned by gas at
one point during which I discovered that one
of the other player’s throwaway characters
had a +1 Periapt of Proof Against Poisons.
I didn’t steal it right away, but I made a
note of that for later. Shortly thereafter
we found one of the keycards that allowed
us access to the elevator. The DM wasn’t at
all clear about describing things, so when
he had everyone open a door with the keycard
and all pile in, I was just happy I wasn’t
on point anymore. Then the doors close and
the rest of the party is hell and gone, leaving
me all alone with no way to rejoin them.
During the course of the next hour or so,
the rest of the party explores several rooms
while I’m left to my own devices. I got into
fights with three random encounters while
the main party didn’t. I survived. Go me.
During my exploration I found a grey keycard,
however, so I’m happy I can rejoin the party.
But I don’t. Instead I try and loot other
rooms where I’m at and that’s when the DM
makes his fatal mistake.
While I was rummaging through what I presumed
to be an alchemist’s lab, I discover a wonderful
powder which grants infravision, a few mild
poisons, some jars of strong acid, and then
the mother of all poisons. It is very important
to point out at this juncture that the stats
of the poison I found were a munchkiny attempt
to permanently take me out. The DM ruled that
the sweet smelling green powder which I subsequently
tasted was a very powerful nerve agent. He
informed me that because I tasted it I had
to make a save vs. poison at a -10. I rolled
a 20 and was very gleeful, then he rolls again
and informs me I have 3 HP left. Yes. You
heard that correct. This poison is so toxic
that if you make your save you only have 1d4
So I’m pretty pissed off at this point, but
I have a ton of this poison so I put it away
for a rainy day, drink the last of my healing
potions, and try and survive until the end
of this module. I really wasn’t paying attention
after this point. Pleading self preservation
due to low HP (which nobody heals, thanks
guys), I offer fire support with my bow and
avoid melee the rest of the game. We played
every day after school for a week to finish
this beast of a module. There was a lot to
it. The Paladin got his power armor. The other
fighter got his blaster rifle and grenades.
And they tried to give me the shaft. And on
the way home I pick one fellow’s pocket of
one item, which I replace with an nearly identical
appearing item. Because I swap a gemstone
for valuable gemstone, the DM doesn’t put
up too much of a fuss when I pilfer the cleric’s
At the very end we were at an inn licking
our wounds and splitting up the treasure.
This is where the DM got too clever for his
Being a somewhat realistic minded bunch, it
was standard practice not to wear armor or
carry heavy weapons in towns. The DM made
a point to bring this to everyone’s awareness.
For the after-party nobody was armed with
anything more dangerous than a dagger and
nobody had any armor. Except maybe the mages
with their magical bracers and wizard robes,
but that barely counts as armor.
I ask very quickly if there is time for me
to buy wine for the party. I had to spend
500gp on a cask of wine enough for all of
us (more punishment for being Evil™, I suppose).
I then hand the wine over to the innkeeper’s
wife and pay her extra not to drink it when
she pours it into jugs and serves it to the
party. Yes. I did that.
So we all write quick notes about what we
are bringing to the party. I pass a note to
the DM about checking the other players but
there are no surprises. Nobody brings any
serious weapons since there are weapons in
the loot on the table anyway, and the last
thing anybody is expecting is a fight. I write
my note and pass it to him and I made a note
on the back which I will point out later.
I had three daggers, all magical, my +2 Ring
of Protection, and my newly pilfered Periapt.
The DM’s cousin’s other character, the same
cleric I lifted the periapt off of, arrives
late with a bag of holding and adds its contents
to the pile of treasures we’re all going to
pick from. I immediately recognize my sword
of sharpness, my +3 Plate Mail, my bow and
magic arrows, and all my other valuables which
I had left up in my room. The DM reasoned
that since I steal from the other players
that it’s only fair they get to go through
my stuff and take whatever they want. Since
I’m outnumbered and outgunned by a dozen level
15+ wizards, clerics, rangers, bards, and
druids, I really don’t have much choice in
Me being me, I make an attempt to point out
the unfairness, but the DM overrules me. Not
unexpected, I suppose at this point. He pushes
on with the party and they plan to drink the
wine I bought while they split up all my money
and things between themselves and have a good
So they toast on it, and we all drink. A few
of the players were a little leery since it
was my wine, but when they see me drink they
all drink as well. I was counting on that.
That is, after all, the purpose of a toast,
to slosh the wine between all the cups so
everyone drinks the same thing.
And I stop everyone at that point and announce
to the entire group, “Everyone make a save
against poison at -10.”
There was a moment of intense consternation,
then the DM reads the back of the note I gave
him earlier and realizes wtf I just did to
everyone. Or, rather, what he did to everyone.
With that nerve toxin in the wine, everybody
needs a very high saving throw just to survive
with 1d4 HP. The Paladin died. His cleric
died. The ranger died. The druid died. The
bard, died (I hate bards, so Yay!), everyone
died. The only ones who made their roll were
the thief and one of the wizards. Everyone
else died instantly.
Then it was my turn to roll a save. The DM
looked pretty smug since he was sure I couldn’t
get another natural twenty. But I didn’t need
to. I had the Periapt, so I only needed to
make a regular save with no negative modifier.
I think I rolled an 11 of something stupid.
Passed easily. He gave me 1 HP left just to
be a dick, I suppose. Before anyone else realized
they needed to do anything, I threw a poisoned
dagger at the wizard and jumped the thief.
Wizard died. Thief died. And that was that.
It turns out it actually is easy to kill people
with a dagger when they only have 4 HP. I
think my STR bonus damage was higher than
their hit points. They never had a chance.
I wish at the time that I knew the phrase
“hoist on his own petard”, because it would
have been fitting. He never expected me to
do anything like that with something he had
made up just to get me.
I wasn’t just a good assassin. I was a great
He never gave me my experience points for
killing all those high level monsters, either.
But I did burn their character sheets. That
point was non-negotiable. They didn’t like
it, but that was how we rolled.
I hope you guys enjoyed the story. I personally
do not like Dungeon Masters who make the party
aware of player’s alignment because he does
not like it. They need to man up and state
it upfront. That’s how you get back at a jerk
DM and party.
We take our leave and promise to come back
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