I love the ingenuity players can have

So several weeks ago, I started writing a mini-campaign specifically with the rules for Next in mind. Last night, I got a chance to run it with some friends, and I love how they came up with ideas to use things I had written into the adventure in ways I never anticipated.

I won't go into all of the specifics of the adventure, but I got inspiration for one area while I was at work. I'm a network technician, and I also end up building all of the servers we have. I had just ordered an HP rack mount server, and I was adding an extra processor to it, which requires additional cooling fans. The "blank" fan bays have these little black boxes that are place holders in case you aren't adding additional processors/fans. The little black "blank boxes" are the perfect size to place over D&D minis to make a "cell" that can fit about 3 minis standing up inside.

So I added a trap to the room that had a couple of trigger points in the floor that would cause these "cells" to drop from the ceiling. When the characters (3 of them) triggered the traps, they all made dexterity saves (all 3 of them rolled natural 17s, and the DC was 10 since the traps made noise while they were falling).

One of the corridors from that room led to an enclosed room with 8 skeletons inside. The skeletons were standing in front of a carving on the rear wall of the room that the characters couldn't quite make out without getting the skeletons to move out of the way (presumably by fighting them). Instead of fighting the skeletons, they came up with a brilliant plan.

The dwarf paladin successfully snuck down the corridor until he had a clear shot at one of the skeletons. The skeletons as a group failed their wisdom check to detect the approaching dwarf. At that point, he threw his light axe at the skeleton that he had a clear shot at and nailed him. He just happened to pick the skeleton that I had rolled the lowest HP for (only 6) and he took him out in one shot.

Then he retreated back to the room with the cell traps (which had been reset), while the other two characters hid in tunnels just outside the room. The skeletons caught up to him before he could get completely away, so he took some damage, but after that, he took an opportunity attack to move further in and draw the skeletons further, at which point the elf wizard ran across the room and jumped onto one of the trigger points, causing the cells to drop again. I loved their plan, and since they knew the cells were dropping, I gave both PCs that were in the room at the time advantage on their Dex save to avoid the cells, and they both easily made successful saves and got out of the way. 4 of the remaining 7 skeletons did not make the Dex save and ended up trapped in the cells, while 3 remained outside. It took about 3 or so rounds for them to finish off the last 3 skeletons (I had rolled pretty high HP for them, and there were also a lot of missed attack rolls on both sides), and they finished off the 3 skeletons with the elf wizard down to 1 HP (he had 8 to start with and stayed in the action rather than away from it), the dwarf paladin at about 8 HP, and the female elf wizard shooting arrows from atop one of the cell boxes.

When I came up with the scenario, I never imagined that it would go down like that. I kind of figured they'd go in and fight the skeletons where they were, get the message from the wall and move on, but they made it so much more fun that I could have written it for them

Great players helped me to have even more fun as a DM and I just thought I'd share.
That's great.  I love when players do that kind of stuff too.  

Part of the praise should also go to the DM.   If the DM (you in this case) designs an encounter with a number of interesting features, the DM will give players more to work with.   This was one aspect of 4e rules and guidelines that really shined.   I hope that when WotC writes the final version of D&DNext they also make it abundantly clear how good DMs design adventures that have variety and enough "stuff" for players to work with.   I also hope that the support material (adventures and adventure paths) that WotC develops capitalizes on design theory too.

A Brave Knight of WTF - "Wielder of the Sword of Balance"

 

Rhenny's Blog:  http://community.wizards.com/user/1497701/blog

 

 

That sounds like a lot of fun! May I borrow your trap?

I know 4e got flak sometimes for being too constrained, but I agree w/ Rhenny. It had some great improv ideas which I hope next encourages (runepriest throws a metal door on a gargoyle, then climbs on top).
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
That sounds like a lot of fun! May I borrow your trap?



Absolutely!

I forgot to mention another fun thing, which is probably more typical, but was still fun to watch. When the female elf that was shooting arrows from the top of one of the cells figured out that the piercing damage of the arrows was only doing half damage to the skeletons, she jumped down and grabbed a piece of wood from a barrel that they had previously smashed, and then she used it to do bludgeoning damage to the skeletons for double damage.
Yes! Improvised weapons! :D
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
great story, thanks for sharing Alienux
Im glad Im not the only person looting trash from work to make weird 3d feature for my game great idea with the trap and kudos to your players for thinking outside of the sheet.
Im glad Im not the only person looting trash from work to make weird 3d feature for my game great idea with the trap and kudos to your players for thinking outside of the sheet.



Yeah, there are definitely lots of good spare parts/items that can be turned into environmental items.

I actually had forgotten that I took a picture of the area that we left off in so that I'd know exactly how to set up for the next session. Here's that picture showing the "cells" in use. They're both hollow, and the leftmost cell has 3 skeletons in it, while the other one has a single skeleton.


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