member, 1398 posts
 "Hugs for the Hugs God!"
 - Warhammer Fluffy-K
Fri 17 May 2019
at 20:31
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
I love collecting stories about other people's RPG experiences so I thought I could both collect and share.

The biggest twist I ever experienced was in a Star Wars game involving a bit of "light" time travel. We were a group of jedi padawans in the Old Republic who uncovered a Sith warrior who was causing mayhem. During the encounter one of the padawans was captured and tortured before the rest of us could rescue him. Cue lightsaber fights and a harrowing space race. We were fleeing in a shuttle when our ship was pulled into some kind of disturbance in the force. The one padawan from earlier fell out and was apparently killed while the rest of us were thrown into an oblivion.

It turned out to be some kind of stasis (very similar to Half-Life 2) and when we emerged we found out the galaxy was under the iron rule of a Sith Lord. From the description we realized that the sith warrior we had fougth had survived and had somehow taken over the Republic. We go on to have an epic campaign of finding weaknesses in our enemy and recruiting a whole bunch of allies and basically kickstarted another Empire vs. Rebellion conflict.

Finally it's time for the final encounter. We crash our shuttle straight into the throne room of the Sith Lord and who do we find? Surprise, it's the "dead" padawan. That player then suddenly laughed because he had known the whole time but had kept it quiet (he had since rolled up a new character).

Turns out that during the torture scene unbeknownst to us he had gone to the dark side and when he was thrown out of the ship he had survived and built himself up a sith empire of his own. He adopted the trappings of the sith warrior that had "made" him which is what threw us all for a loop.
 member, 284 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Fri 17 May 2019
at 23:50
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
The biggest twists I've experienced are always player driven, like a PC becoming so incensed with an NPCs repeated escapes that he just shoots him in the chest while he's restrained in the brig.
 member, 34 posts
 What to put here...
 At a loss for words
Sat 18 May 2019
at 01:44
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
One of the best twists I've experienced was also one of the most memorable campaigns I've been a part of.

This was a D&D 3.5 E6 campaign where the PCs were part of the city guard, investigating crimes and finding criminals. We had a group of 4-5, but the two massively important characters here were my character - a halfling paladin that was ostensibly working with the guard as a representative of the church in any law-enforcing organization (in reality, none of the other paladins liked him and wanted him gone) - and an orc fighter that joined 2-3 sessions into the game. Classes ended up not mattering all that much since it morphed into freeform where we'd roll dice occasionally to pretend we were still playing D&D.

My character had decent stats all the way around, but I played him as highly impulsive and he liked to think aloud, even the weirdest ideas. For example, he claimed orcs must be vampires because they're both light-sensitive and swap days and nights from other races when he first met our new orc guard. Or that he would become a demigod (presumably serving the Goddess of Life), because that's what all paladins should strive for. To note, he never said he was thinking things or that things must be like this other thing, he'd just say "this is how things are."

The most out-there case that ended up being true based on my guess was that a murder-victim was actually put into a coma years ago by his younger brother, who wanted the inheritance, and only recently had he died of natural causes and a household servant had stumbled upon the body while he was attempting to dispose of it. This was a schlocky primetime TV kind of fantasy-CSI game.

Eventually, things started getting weird. Politics with the church and the Red Elves and the Orcs were getting in on things and my character grew suspicious of the leader of the paladins since he was doing surreptitious things. One night when half the members couldn't make it, the GM let me do my investigation with my mentor - a dwarven paladin - and my mount - Butch the riding dog - as the other two players who showed up. We found the leader of the paladins with a bunch of other people in a weird sex cult with this massive human-sized baby. My character figured something evil and malicious was going on and, after just a bit of urging from the other players playing NPCs, my character murdered the demonic baby.

It turns out that the baby was actually the mortal form of the Goddess of Life and by murdering her I cut off all the divine casting (possibly in the world, but definitely in the city). Priests from other gods could cast spells fine, but paladins were completely shot because paladins only served the Goddess of Life. For some reason my healing still worked, though. And was a lot stronger than before - enough to regenerate lost limbs when I could only cure scrapes before.

Anyway, we end up in the Orc district, which is trying to rebel, and I attempt to quell riots while the rest of my companions investigate what's happening. The leader of the Orcs is actually an ancient vampire and has unleashed this artifact that's essentially an orb of wishes. I get pulled into the conflict when the street falls out from under me and I waste my wish on having the chunk of street become a floating island above the Orc district and that it would become its own sovereign nation, of which I would become king. Some of the orcs that were killed in the conflict floated up along with the land and I moved them into the one house and gave them names and positions of power in my government (Bartholomew a genius diplomat, General Joseph, and Zebediah for a Prime Minister). The GM kept pushing me to see if my character was actually playing with dead bodies (since I was just playing around when I said it... like a lot of the things I said) and I'm the kind of person that doubles down when asked something like that and I never gave an inch. My character was giving these orc corpses positions of power in his government and refusing to acknowledge that they were dead.

The riots got bad and I went down from my new city to help out and it looked like we were going to all die, since the entire district was swarming with vampires (ancient vampire lords tend to have minions). When from the sky comes Bartholomew the Master Diplomat, who calmed everyone down with a speech reminding them that they were all orcs before they were vampires. The speech resolved the conflict, mostly because it was an amazing speech, but also a bit because a lot of the orcs knew him since he was a pretty popular butcher and his name was not Bartholomew...

But it let us confront the vampire lord, and I road him into the ground and burnt him to non-existence with my massive healing power. And end of the campaign.

And after all this happened, the GM informed me (the rest of the group learned as the campaign went on, I was the only one in the dark) that paladins were created through the same artifact that gave us our wishes (via a one-shot in the past we ran early on, which also locked the Goddess of Life in her giant massive baby body), and they all had a bit of ambient wish magic within them. Paladins cannot lie. It is an impossibility.

So when I said that orcs are vampires, all of a sudden all the orcs in the city were also vampires. And they always had been. When I said that my character would become a demigod at the first session, it was inevitable I would kill the Goddess of Life and assume her power (he manipulated me into doing this and had no doubts that I would, and I had no idea). When I refused to acknowledge that dead orcs were dead and instead gave them new identities and skills, they were these new people. When I came up with weird ideas on how a crime was solved, the GM had to bend over backwards and improv that I was right. Without letting me catch on. He did say that my ideas on the culprits of the cases were more often right than wrong, but he refused to tell me any specifics or how far he had to go to make them work when I wasn't.

The only reason the campaign turned the way it did was because I was the only paladin in the setting that wasn't completely stoic and serious, and I was willing to be wrong and didn't know that wasn't possible.
Isida KepTukari
 member, 271 posts
 Elegant! Arrogant! Smart!
Sun 19 May 2019
at 04:20
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
So, I was the Dungeon Master, 3.5 D&D Eberron campaign.

The group is adventuring in the Mournlands (magical Chernobyl), and after crossing many dangerous and horrible areas, finally gets to a central magical laboratory where an injured dragon is being held down with chains on the exterior of a tower and its power being drained to fuel a mad alchemist/wizard's experiments.

I had originally planned for the group to infiltrate the tower and then confront the mad alchemist, with a big, dramatic showdown in his lab, with dangerous alchemical creatures popping up and general havoc going on.  Then the group decides to NOT avoid the roaring, injured dragon, and climbs up the outside of the tower instead.  They found a window that looked onto the lab below, and could see the mad alchemist.  While the rest of the group worked to free the dragon, our fighter/swashbuckler grabbed the nearest broken chain and swung down, Errol Flynn-style, and managed to impale the mad alchemist with his sword on a natural twenty, while uttering a magnificent quip.

...It was too cool, there was nothing I was going to do that was going to top that magnificent moment of Connor the swashbuckler swinging down from the window to dispatch evil as the injured dragon flew away majestically into the glowing sky.

I let them have the victory without a quibble, and gave a bow to them.
 member, 37 posts
Sun 19 May 2019
at 12:11
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
Never gamble on the 'who will DM next' sweepstakes.

In my younger days, we had weekend marathons EVERY WEEKEND.  I just had my wisdom teeth removed and was on pain meds.  I took a nap and the group woke me up to roll on the 'who is next' rolls.

Of course I lost.  So I had them create Oriental Adventures (1st ed) God characters.  Everything was going great..the group was making friends, finding treasure, and at the moment the most annoying thing they dealt with was this crazy guy always getting in the way with his 'I know it all' attitude.

THEN the NINJA get involved.  My historical career of bad rolling combined with their great rolls made what should have been a decent fight into a joke.  SOOOOOOO

out of nowhere, I send that annoying know it all right in the middle of battle yelling "NO NO NO CUT CUT CUT... You're not doing in right, You guys suck and your FIRED"

Then they look around to see a movie production studio.

I went back to bed.
 moderator, 15731 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Sun 19 May 2019
at 13:05
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
I was DMing a long-running D&D 3.0 game.  The characters were crossing a desert, following an old map that showed the location of the legendary Necropolis of Zhund - a city of tombs, reportedly filled with the wealth of an Ancient Egypt type civilisation (long since vanished) and, incidentally, hordes of undead...

They meet some nomads, and are informed that they are getting close, though the nomads can't understand why anybody would ever want to go there.  Anyway, they are invited to stay the night in the nomad's camp (having previously rescued some of the nomads from gnoll slavers).

Everybody eats well and relaxes...

And in the middle of the night an army of mixed undead - skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wraiths, mummies, vampires - attack the camp.  Hundreds of them.  By the time the PCs are awake, half the nomads are dead, and risen again (one of the vampires was a necromancer).

The PCs join the fight, mostly because they need to do it if they hope to reach their mounts... and one by one they fall, slain by this unstoppable army.

At last only one remains.  Surrounded by undead, he takes a moment to catch his breath, and attacks the vampire necromancer with his bare hands (he was a monk).  Only to find his attack blocked by the zombified form of the paladin who had been his friend since the start of the journey.  The monk wakes up, screaming, in his (urine soaked) bedroll.  Sunlight is streaming into the tent, and his companions are outside enjoying their breakfast...

As each character died, I gave them access to a new Group, where they were told, "Don't tell anybody, but the battle is a dream.  Sit back, relax, and watch the rest of them get killed.  Whoever survives longest will be the one who is dreaming.  Feel free to place bets on who you think it will be."

I did. however, give them all whatever XP was earned in the dream battle.
 member, 236 posts
Sun 19 May 2019
at 13:34
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
The most surprising plot twist actually happened to my own character!
The character was a noble wizard (Arch Duke, if I remember it right) in the Mystara's nation of Glantri and he was a member of a Secret Sect that taught him some strange and exotic magic requiring to roll dices to check unexpected spell outcomes. One of the most potent spells of that Sect had, as an unexpected spell result, a 1% chance that, casting that spell, the character was instead transformed in a Screaming Demon (formally under DM control) and that, after ravaging his own dominion, he teleported into some Infernal Plane... well, that actually happened!
The Screaming Demon was kept as an Immortal villain of the campaign, by the way...
 member, 845 posts
 hi all
Sun 19 May 2019
at 16:36
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
Eons ago (when Dinosaurs roamed the Earth) we were still playing 1st edition (told ya...dinosaurs). was in a table top game where we had fairly high level charries at the time.  I think the lowest was a 14th level cleric or some such.  I remember we did have an illusionist with us who could cast up to 8th level spells. this is important later.  Guy running the illusionist was a major butthead at that time.  Anyhow we were contracted by a barony to clear out a castle that was home to not 1 but 3 liches and their minions (including at least 1 vampire).  Well do to a series of blunders, mishaps, in fighting, bad rolls, etc.  we failed.  Part of it was because of the Illusionist (not all but he started it with the in fighting).  Some of us managed to escape and make it back to the town to recouple and strategize (and figure out if we needed to bring in other charries or just walk away, we chose bring some new charries).  So we stopped it there and some new charries had to make it to this Barony (basically level up on the way).  Shortening story, a month later we storm the castle again with better intel and the right people for the job.  Illusionist guy is happy because now we can go get his charries body to loot (said he was a butthead, but he did have some good stuff).  Butthead has gotten worse (he almost got kicked out, but we were having too much fun torturing him0.  Anyhow we storm the place, kill the vampire and are taking on the 3 Lich Princes.  Almost there then Buttheads new charrie is killed by the fourth lich...the illusionist! Our evil GM used our own fallen comrades against us.  played them more effectively and damn near won.  He killed the new charrie our butthead was playing with illusions from his previous charrie.  we wound up having 10 characters in the scene of which 6 survived (1 barely).
 member, 276 posts
Sun 19 May 2019
at 16:59
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
This one was in a LARP. One-shot, horror-based. All the PC's had been invited to an asylum to witness the work curing 'Wendigo syndrome' done by the great Dr. Whateley.

Whateley, of course, got murdered, and the asylum went into lockdown. I, as one of the professors invited, figured out that the head nurse was actually a cthulhu cultist, and decided to convince her I was one, too, just to get some info from her.

We eventually found the secret door that led to Whateley's lab (the couple that ran the game went all-out, building secret doors, traps, etc. in their home.) and the good doctor's journals. The nurse, recognizing the journal for what it was, ripped out a page and ate it, then retreated. I confronted her about it, and she told me that the page had notations on it as to other people Whateley believed were infected with Wendigo syndrome. I told the nurse I'd take care of the fall-out, and had her go on her way.

The rest of the PC's asked me what had happened, and I explained it all to them. When they asked how I got the nurse to tell me, I said, "I lied and mentioned I was probably on the list."
As I turned to walk away, I heard one of the other PC's call out from the secret office, "But you -are- on the list..."
 member, 42 posts
 Hopepunk with a shovel
Sun 19 May 2019
at 23:24
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced
Another ancient one, and a good example of how cultists make excellent antagonists because they're so dang hard to spot...PCs in a low magic/heavily mediaeval-based campaign had got caught up in a town ravaged by a seemingly unstoppable plague. Prayers and offerings at a certain shrine in the garden of a local monestary were rumoured to be the only effective cure/preventative, some of the time, and indeed when a couple of the party members fell sick being two of the lucky recipients of the miracle was a huge relief. We'd prayed the right way, it seemed. There were descriptions of others having died before getting there, NPCs lying in the street, all pretty grim.

Cut to after a lot of investigating as to why this plague is not only so stubbornly incurable but getting worse despite the quarantine measures...turned out those earnest monks at the monestary - the ones running the hospitals and such - had been infiltrated by the cultists of a plague demon who'd rededicated the shrine to their god. Praying there didn't cure the plague, it just made the demon stronger and the worshippers into asymptomatic carriers. The party had been spreading plague into unaffected areas of the town for days.

This led us to one of the most harrowing choices I've seen in any game: if we kept quiet, we could eventually pass quarantine measures and gain freedom, albeit spreading demonic plague across the countryside as we went. If we exposed the cult, the demon would revoke the "blessing" and we'd die, horribly, not necessarily with enough time left to stop the cultists/explain to desperate townsfolk that the innocent, non-cultist monks weren't to blame (we chose the latter, and indeed died horribly, but suceeded).
 member, 543 posts
 I remember when all
 this was just fields...
Tue 21 May 2019
at 16:33
Biggest Twist in an RPG You've Ever Experienced

 Two spring to mind:

 We're playing Star Wars, using the WEG rule set and we're stooging around on Tatooine, trying to close a deal to sell small quantity of spice to one of the minions of this 'Jabba' guy - and getting caught up in shenanigans beyond our pay grade when we notice some flashy lights in the sky, like some sort of space battle.

 Out of character, all of us 'cept the pilot (who's never seen the movies) go 'Ohhhh', but the pilot just assumes it's background stuff and carries on trying to get parts for our crummy freighter.

 Next time he turns up, he cheerfully announces "Hey guys, I got this amazing deal from some Jawas, look... A nearly-new Astromech droid!"

 Much mountain dew was spat over the table.

 The other one's a Mage Sorcerers Crusade campaign in which the Big Bad is a Catholic mage who's been recruiting supernatural creatures for 'The Second Endeavour' to overthrow Protestant England (where we're from) and we've been interrupting his kidnapping efforts, uncovering his plots and generally putting a stick in his spoke for months when we sneak ashore on his Secret Inquisitorial Island Dungeon and work our way down, stealthy socialing-sneaking our way past chained werebeasts and contained ghosts, blood-mad vampires and all sorts of fantastic things.

 We finally get into a room with a dozen or so Inquisition guards and an enormous summoning circle with the mage in it. Mage starts to speak, and our murder-hobo archer (every group has one) promptly shoots him with an arrow he takes great pains to remind the ST 'is poisoned, it's a poisoned arrow!'.

 Evil mage smiles as he goes down, then thanks us.

 Suicide is a sin. Murder is a sin. Summoning an Angel of the Lord to lead the Inquisition forces requires a blood sacrifice.

 Cue a desperate, scrambling 'diving heal' through the guards whose job it was to get us this far safely and other assorted minions as my doctor tried to stop him from bleeding out into the ritual circle. ^_^