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11th Nov 2015, 8:00 AM in Zabuza Arc
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RandomRex6 11th Nov 2015, 8:00 AM edit delete
There are times when an encounter is a lot less of a big deal than you think it'll be. Leaving a GM in the glorious place between pride and sorrow.

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Otaku 11th Nov 2015, 10:29 AM edit delete reply
Otaku
I think I'll start the story time for this strip... and of course it is on this exact topic. Share of those times when an encounter went far more quickly and/or was less challenging than the GM originally intended.

Otaku 11th Nov 2015, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
Otaku
...and yes some examples from my own history of gaming because I won't remember until everyone has already read this to come back and share them. ;)

*A super-powered ninja assassin takes the bait but escapes the trap set by the government backed team of supers. At first he humiliated the group by slipping through their fingers but after the team's potent psychic focuses just on driving while the teams jack-of-all-trades high functioning non-super adventurer throw caution (and pride) to the wind as one drives a shared motorcycle through the city streets and the other fires shots from an ultra-tech blaster rifle on loan from their government backers, a few fast, smart calls and crits on their part plus a critically failed dodge on the part of the ultra-tech ninja assassin ends their second confrontation quickly as the baddie botches his dodge and jumps into a shot for triple maximum damage.

*The same group of players (and all but one same PC) are getting back from a long adventure after a mishap with an experimental space shuttle and the adventure ends with some encounter rolls when someone rolls up something bad; the GM's "close enough" version of Star Trek "Borg". Instead of getting slaughtered (while rested up from the big boss battle, our ship was no where near as good as theirs), we manage to handle them by rolling a critical success after ripping off a different sci-fi feature... Space Balls! We'd tried to run and they were able to follow (and catch-up) with us so we altered course, made a short hyperspace (or whatever) jump away from Earth and thanks to another timely critical success, we timed it correctly so that they tried to intercept us along an overly distant projected course instead of where we actually stopped (after having barely started). This allowed us to safely make it back home without facing them directly or leading them to Earth.

*Our GM really, really wanted to set-up a game based heavily on the original Final Fantasy from the NES but with mechanics setting details from later games as well. Without thinking he kind of backed himself into a corner; in the original FF healing effects did not damage the undead monsters, but in later games (like FFVI) even a boss undead monster could be "revived" to death with a single Phoenix Down (not too pricey or rare of an item that revived a fallen PC). There was the temptation to try and spring this on him once we were facing the first major undead baddie from the game (and one of the five major villains) the Lich... but not wanting to break the game we brought it to the GM and instead the scheduled first encounter with a vampire (which acted as a midway boss in the NES original) became an almost non-event while the Lich (and any other undead that were supposed to be a major challenge) were immune to such things.
Darkening 11th Nov 2015, 11:16 AM edit delete reply
Well, there was one time we had a player playing an ozodrin, a homebrew class that's pretty lovecraftian. He was captured, talked at by a major villain started enough levels above of to supposedly be a challenge for the whole party, let alone one player. The player ended up grappling the guy with his tentacles and eating him in a handful of rounds. Soooo, that was a sudden anticlimax for that antagonist.
m2012e 11th Nov 2015, 11:39 AM edit delete reply
Out DM keeps grossly underestimating what will actually be a challenge to us.
-A golem in a room full of zombies that can heal itself by eating said zombies? It can't fit through the doorway and the wizard has a spell that prevents it from healing.
-General of the military with his super fancy armor, electrolance, and allosaur? The allosaur got beaten up by aforementioned golem, the monk used his waterbending to get him soaked, then we electrocuted him with a first level spell.
-Gelatinous cube? Expeditious Retreat
-Pirate ship? Blow up their gunpowder.
Most of these would have actually been challenging if we had only used regular attacks/cantrips.
Otaku 11th Nov 2015, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
Otaku
It does seem like the GM is not giving your group enough credit. Are these highlights from a short period or the three major example from years of gaming?
Grand Silver 11th Nov 2015, 1:38 PM edit delete reply
Yup that happened. Slaughter the boss without it ever getting to show off it's cool tricks.
CV12Hornet 11th Nov 2015, 11:35 PM edit delete reply
This was in my second D&D group, shortly after the debacle that our previous session had been (more on that another time). Anyway, after everyone else rolled up new characters, we were hired on as a caravan escort through a desert region.

Needless to say, the caravan gets attacked by a slaving group. The party pursues, both because our employer had been kidnapped and also because the boss had kicked our asses.

When we get to their hideout, an old building carved into a cliff, most of the party decides to just dick around outside with the giant bugs they used as mounts. My character, a half-orc barbarian, decided to go inside. Alone.

What greeted me were the prisoners held in a pen and either two or three insectman guards. The GM couldn't decide on the number, as he expected the whole party to be there, not just me. In the end, he decided to start with two and put in the third if I did better than expected.

Anyway, since I managed to sneak in, I get a surprise round. I attack, roll- and lo and behold, a crit! I chop the first guard in half with one shot, and since I had just gotten Cleave, hit the second guard, too. One normal attack later, and both guards were lying in pools of their own blood.

Cue up the third guard - who takes one look at my character and flees.

So, yeah, kinda soloed what should have been a full-party encounter.
Srgt.Grif 12th Nov 2015, 1:00 AM edit delete reply
5th Edition D&D, we were doing a small bit of Ship-To-Ship combat.we had one about 10-15 feet to starboard, and one about 20 feet in front of us. My arrogant, blue-blooded, kinda racist high elf warlock was on the bow of our ship, took one look at the one to the front and the troops on it, and cast Shatter on the enemy ship at the waterline. I crit, and managed to basically blow open the ship there. It sank, and I started easily picking off the swimmers with my repelling eldritch blasts.
Kefkaesque 12th Nov 2015, 4:02 AM edit delete reply
Kefkaesque
In my first ever campaign (a heavily house ruled 2e) the party I was in was clearing out a fortress looking for a specific treasure. We eventually found said treasure in a secret room on a pedestal next to a giant pile of gold, jewels, weapons, etc. The room was also covered in a foot or so of water. Naturally we sense a trap and so one of us calls for a perception check. DM says we notice some slight movement within the treasure pile.

Now, of the 4 member party, 2 of them had long range weapons handy, and the other 2 were wizards. Both wizards had a cast of shocking grasp still available to them (we were only level 2, so that was our main damage spell at the time). It was decided that everyone would take up positions just outside the room's entrance and that the wizards would use shocking grasp on the water.

The tentacled monstrosity that was meant to be an epic boss fight for us was almost dead by the time it reached the room's entrance (and the DM later admitted that the only reason it reached us at all was because he decided to fudge the numbers to try and keep things interesting).
Sheepking 12th Nov 2015, 12:30 PM edit delete reply
My first time DMing, I ran the Tomb of Horrors. So the party got to the mutant four-armed gargoyle fight, which I had heard horror stories about, where even the nerfed version caused TPKs...
The cleric stood in the only exit to the room and spammed Turn Earth (she had the Air domain) and everyone else wailed on it until it died while it cowered in a corner.
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