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RPG errors you've made


Local Baby Eater...
First gurps session after buying the main book.

After reading about half of it,my players wanted me to run it.
so, i threw them into a transdemensional travelers campain. we misread karate, and instead of 2/3 or their skill, we read it as all of it. so punching damage damage was 5d if your skill was dex+5.

They killed my beautifull little cyborgs.

Ian Absentia

Angry gigantopithecine
Back in the early days of 1st ed AD&D, my friends and I tended to choose our weapons based upon the To-Hit modifier chart, but seldom looked at any other statistics. We noticed that Glaive/Gisarme had truly kick-ass mods, so one or two of us took them with us on our dungeon crawls, not really knowing what they were. One day, in the middle of a pitched underground battle, someone decided to read up a little further on this fantastic weapon and pointed out to us that the damned thing is a polearm anywhere from 10 to 15 long, effectively preventing us from even taking it into a twisty-turny dungeon, much less actually use it in battle.



Old Yeller
Validated User
Feel My Pain!

Two come to mind....

About ten years ago, when I started running Vampire instead of Torg (*) a few of the PC's decided to try Diablre. One particularly lucky SOB managed to knock the Juggler into Topror and drained him dry.

So of course I assumed that he gained the dead vampire's generation.

Things quickly got out of control...

Another famous mistake I made was when I as running a Lords Of Creation game. I misjudged the stregnth of the Dire Wolves and killed the entire party in the first encounter.

Of course the Players deserved it but that's another story... :)

(*) Ten years? I am so freaking OLD!!!!!!


Still Here... On Occasion
RPGnet Member
Validated User
CCamfield said:
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.
---> That's what I thought... then I got in a game and someone called me on it. When I looked it up, I could find it nowhere in the book. (1st printing PG, pg 191 is Init & Held Actions). Made a lot more sense the way i originally read it, so it may be in there somewhere...

. . . . . . . -- Eric

Harlequin Jones

Coordinated attacks in Champions.

The way the rule reads: when two characters coordinate their attacks, they roll damage normally, which the target subtracts his defenses from. Any Stun damage that gets through the defenses is combined with the Stun damage of any coordinating character who also got through the defenses for purposes of seeing whether the target is Stunned.

We certainly misread this one. We were combining all of the Stun damage before defenses were ever applied, effectively slashing the target's defenses by fifty to eighty percent for every attack.

It was brutal.



Atmospherium Junkie
Validated User
Ah, memories......one of my players still won't let me live this one down.

I'm running my first game of Vampire: the Dark Ages, without having had the benefit of looking at the rules in depth. Or, in fact, hardly at all. Fo some reason, I had it stuck in my mind that any "0"'s rolled meant a botch. Never mind that this mechanic makes no sense whatoever...

The resulting combat scenes were far from pretty.


Registered User
Validated User
In 1982 I was in the high school and, after have read all the 1st ed PHB and DMG, I was ready to run my first RPG adventure. My previous experience was as a player with the red D&D boxed set. As expected, I made several mistakes, the one that took more time to correct was my misunderstanding of the time counting in rounds and segments. We were replacing segments for rounds, as such, it would take three full rounds of preparation before the casting of a fireball. No wonder people were not very thrilled with playing with spellcasters.

Marius B

Validated User
Monkeys with guns.

Get After the Bomb (I'll get around to writing a review, I promise!), and play a monkey with a cat and a gun. Or frog with a chainsaw. Or a sheep with voulge-guisarme or something!

And speaking of monkeys with guns, one of my rules mistakes was with AtB's prdescessor TMNT. Somehow I missed the bit that said you can only take one HTH skill. The "non-combatant" characters had HTH Martial Arts and HTM Expert. The true fighters, of course, had every HTH skill. They had some pretty astronomical bonuses to 'roll w./ punch or fall'.


Validated User
Star Wars - West End games...

I was sick with fever and I completly forgot the difference between full dodge (not sure it's the exact term though) and normal dodge. As a result, I kept adding the dodge result to the target number, but only for the players... Go figure why, I never did it for the NPCs, but I told you I was sick...

The Stormtroopers never landed a shot all evening... Some elite troops you got there, Mister Vader !


Actual Size
Validated User
Some famous screw ups from campaigns I've been in:

In Rifts, a character had automatic dodge. This means that he gets a free dodge against any melee attack (like automatic parry), but the GM thought it meant against ranged attacks as well. He was impossible to hurt in any way, because he was a Juicer with great reflexes.

In D&D, I had a player who thought the spells-per-level table was cumulative. Once I told he was out of spells, he wanted to sit down and memorize more - right there in the middle of the dungeon!

When I first played D&D, I though going up in levels was a physical transformation. Everytime summon would jump up a level, they would suddenly scream in agony and grow a bit bigger. It was like Dragonball.

In Shadowrun, our GM though the Panther Assault Cannon had rounds that exploded like grenades, rather than be explosive like explosive bullets were. A shell goes off and it causes an explosion with an 18 meter radius. Basically, one shot and the party would be gone. On the plus side, one of group members had one as well, but the moment anyone on their side whipped out a flamethrower, it was over for us, because every shell in the clip would automatically explode.

Another D&D screw-up, this time in second edition: the healing skill. We thought it let a person heal someone else like the heal a person any time after they were hurt (instead of 'the must be used with in one round' rule) and could be used multiple times per day.
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