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RPG errors you've made


Repairer of Reputations
By which I mean errors you've made in understanding or playing a game, whether because you misinterpreted a rule, there was a typo, you remembered stuff wrong, whatever.

As long as it's moderately entertaining and wasn't what the designer meant to happen.

Here's one to kick off with. A while back I downloaded Octane by Jared Sorensen. It looked cool, it had lots of character templates you could play, pulpy over-the-top fun.

One of the character types mentioned early on that you could play was a capuchin monkey. Now I have not the faintest idea what capuchin means but I figured this must be kind of like a spider monkey or something, except intelligent and maybe talking given it was a post-apocalypse wierdness game.

So I got really buzzed about being able to play a capuchin monkey, with a gun and a really cool car. I searched through the book for the rules on capuchin monkeys... Couldn't find anything.

Eventually I discovered several references to capuchin monks and realised that the monkey reference was just a typo. I still don't know what capuchin means but I'm betting the monks aren't cute little guys with fur and a tail. My dreams of capuchin monkeyhood bit the dust.

Which is a shame since I still want a game where I can play a talking monkey with a really cool car.

Anyway, have any of you ever done this? Misread a rule, guessed what something meant and been totally wrong? If you actually played it so much the better.



GAMMA Clearance
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Y'know, I'm fairly sure you were right first time. While there are Capuchin monk and capuchin monkeys (who presumably have fur that look likes a monk's robe, 'cos that's the sort of wacky jape that sent 'em rolling in the aisles in 1621)...in OctaNe, the monks are little furry guys who eat bananas and live in monasteries.

(Jared, meet editing. Editing, this is Jared Sorenseon. He is your enemy. :))

My classic rules f*ckup was with old red-box D&D. You got xp by getting gold, right? And you spent xp to go up levels, right? So...(and watch as the transmission falls out of the train of thought as I make the mental leap....)...so....if I'm a level 1 fighter, and I get 2000 xp, I turn into a level 2 fighter with ZERO xp. If I get another 4000 xp, I can spend it to become level 3.

Now, because the rulebook (D&D Cyclopedia) said that characters should go up 1 level every three sessions or so, and because I'd messed up the xp rules, I had to give out a lot of xp - and in old D&D, that meant giving out a lot of gold. Like, in the millions. One PC had more gold in his BACKPACK than was in the entire economy of the COUNTRY.


David Goodner

Validated User
Ok, this wasn't anybody's fault but mine, but it's a good story.

In my Now is the Winter Vampire chronicle, I had one encounter with Lupines. Obviously, I could have dragged out my copy of Werewolf and used it to stat out the Lupines, but I had already decided to make some severe changes in the cosmology, and I'm lazy, so I decided to just use Dicipline equivelents.

I wanted the fight to be hard, so I made some pretty tough Lupines. The fight started predictably, and then the PCs proceeded to smear my big, tough werewolves into a fine red paste.

Shortly after the fight ended I realized I had forgotten to give my Lupines the extra actions their Celerity 2 (or 3 in some cases) should have given them.


David G.

S. John Ross

Husband • Cook • Writer
Validated User
When I was just getting started (using a pregen somebody handed me in an ongoing game), I thought my cleric's "Turn Undead" numbers were what I needed to roll to TRANSFORM into the types of Undead listed.

"Wow! If I roll really high I can turn into a Lich!"

Radical Authority

Rainbow Peace Hippy
Well, last night we played D&D and figured that we'd been playing the critical rules wrong for a year and a half. The way we were playing was that damage dice were multiplied and then bonuses were added, when in fact you multiply the bonuses, too. Makes HUGE difference. I had suspected something was up, because criticals didn't seem that effective the way we played them.

We played Dying Earth wrong for pretty much the whole session when we one-shotted it. In persuasion contests we were playing that you got a free roll in every round of persuasion, rather than just the first. Contests lasted for ages, hardly anyone spent points and I figured that the game must be totally broken. Nope!


PS - capuchin means "white cap", I believe. The monkeys got their name because they have a white ruff around their faces that looked like the white trim on the monks' robes. "Cappuccino" is also a reference to capuchin monks, with the frothy white milk being the point of comparison.


Current game: In Nomine
Exalted quickstart.

I ( Storyteller ) mist the rule that the defender gets a defense role.
PC killed about 29 guards in 9 rounds, before I noticed it... ( I normally do not let my players see the rules ).



The Best Legionnaire
Validated User
Let's see.

The first time I played a wargame (Battle of the Bulge), I missed the rule that said each unit could only be moved once per turn. The Germans broke through the allied lines and off the board before the US even had a chance to move.

In roleplaying, though, I'd say the worse one was in a Justice Inc. campaign. The GM let us choose our air transport, and based on the size of the group, we went with the Dornier Wal. Which we flew all over the place. Mountain airstrips. Desert expeditions, Meso-American rain forests. It was great. With only one tiny problem...you see, the Dornier Wal (Whale) was a flying boat. It was utterly incapable of a dry landing.


Still Here... On Occasion
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I tend to write house rules unintentionally and without realizing it. The first time somone complained about the Vampire 1E system being broken because of botches, I couldn't figure out what they were talking about... <B>I</B> had never played it that way! Similarly, in 7th Sea, I was shocked when I found out people were having problems with everyone saving all their actions to phase 10, and then having a huge flurry of actions. After all, you can't hold more than one action,... right?

. . . . . . . -- Eric


Registered User
Validated User

When 3E D&D came out, I ran the one Introductary adventure that was posted on the WoTC website. Unfortunately, since I was still fuzzy on a lot of the rules, I ended up giving them EXP for each creature in the encounter (there was 4 skeletons) with the EL of the encounter instead of the CL. For each creature. Ouch. Let's say that they were around second or third level by the time they were ready for "The Sunless Citidel."

Speaking of "Citidel..."

Remember the statue that spew'd firebreath potions?

I didn't see the part in the text until too late where it said there was enough for one or two potions. They pulled out a couple of kegs that the Orc in the party was carrying (it was full of beer, I believe), and filled two up with potion. Then, they went back to town and sold it all for a tidy profit. D'oh.


Validated User
Pyske said:
Similarly, in 7th Sea, I was shocked when I found out people were having problems with everyone saving all their actions to phase 10, and then having a huge flurry of actions. After all, you can't hold more than one action,... right?
Right. If you have action dice showing 2, 5, and 9, and delayed as much as possible, you'd be forced to act (or lose actions) on 5, 9, and 10.
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