Don’t forget to write your questions for Dear DM in the comments below, and come back to see the answers next week!
@Layne: Dear DM, how much cough syrup did you take before answering these [questions]?
Dear DM does not abuse liquid cough suppressants which do not contain codeine. I hope this answers your question.
@Alan: Dear DM, If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, where is the peck of pickled peppers that Peter Piper picked?
A peck is defined as one quarter of a firlot, or equal to four lippies. (Forpets) In American, that’s two gallons. It’s a dry, or volumetric measurement, which would make sense if Mr. Piper were picking plain peppers from a plant, but makes pickled peppers problematic.
In fact, I would suggest that the only probable place Peter Piper might pick pickled peppers was from a grocery store, making the most likely spot for Peter Piper to place said pickled peppers the pantry.
Dear DM: Mr. See owned a saw. And Mr. Soar owned a seesaw. Now See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw Before Soar saw See, Which made Soar sore. Had Soar seen See’s saw Before See sawed Soar’s seesaw, See’s saw would not have sawed Soar’s seesaw. So See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw. But it was sad to see Soar so sore Just because See’s saw sawed Soar’s seesaw
Seesaw: to move back and forth.
@Aikidrake, Dear DM, I used to game with a DM who considered his campaign a success if he was able to kill one or two players out of our 6 character group during the course of an adventure. What do you consider your greatest victory as a DM killing a player? And also, on the other side of that, what what was your greatest victory as a player, getting out of a situation that you were going to die in?
Best kill… I’m really not a killin’ DM. My best experience killing a player actually came as a player, at a convention game where the whole (7 member) party had been forced to stare into a Mirror of Opposition and privately fight their doubles, with the net effect of no one knowing who was good and who was evil. In fact only I and the other fighter were evil, and we managed to kill everyone else in the party. (Most one at a time with the other party members’ assistance!) Good times…
Best survival… The rest of the group was down or dead, and I could only hit the dragon sitting in front of me on a 20. After much screaming, cursing, and taunting I finally managed to goad the dragon into attempting to eat me whole. On the way in, I stabbed him through the palate and into his brain with my longsword, rolled max triple damage, (we were using the I.C.E. critical tables back then) and killed the beast stone dead. I crawled out of his mouth with one hit point left (out of over a hundred) and the permanent jealous hatred of the (unconscious) paladin who had sworn to slay the beast. It remains one of my best gaming moments.
@TSED: Dear DM, despite you likely being far, far out of practice, what are your best pick up lines?
Honestly? “Can I have your phone number?” is my best bet. A girl (or anyone, really) isn’t going to be impressed by a line unless they already dig you, and then it matters a lot less what you say anyway. There are no magic lines… but there is a trick to this.
You may have heard the advice “be yourself” when dealing with the opposite sex. (True for guys and gals.) This is great advice, but it goes a little further. Be confident with who you are. If you’re nervous, you aren’t going to be yourself. If you’re confident then you will be the person you really are inside.
Now why do I think that the person you really are inside is going to be attractive to anyone else? Because that person looks honest and real. (This is why “bad boys” always get the chicks in High School… which conversely is why there are so many single women over 30.) There is a cave-man type response within us all that is looking not just for an attractive mate, but for a stable personality and a good provider. (Of love, food, for kids, whatever. This is all behind the curtain stuff.) Someone who is confident with who they are already likes themselves, and is therefore easier for others to like as well. A nervous person often reads as someone with something to hide, someone who believes that they aren’t worthy of being there, and someone who may unpleasantly surprise you later on. People will tend to believe of you the things that you believe yourself.
So believe that you are worth dating, and the line won’t matter.
@anonymous coward, Dear DM, I have recently been asked to put together a special short-term gaming campaign to make fun of US electoral politics–inspired by the election success of Scott Brown. I’m left in indecision by opposed drives to do it because I think it’s devious enough to make for legendary gaming, and, to avoid it because the amount of effort and research to even make a proper joke about it is daunting. So I have three questions: What excuses, distractions, manipulations and other methods would you suggest I use for evading this GMing call, how would you try to prepare for and run this kind of game if you did it, and, what would you suggest I do with this challenge?
Evasions: Be too drunk, be too naked, be WAY too violent, and if none of that works, make everyone roll their characters up by you throwing 18 nails, 6 times at them from across the room, and letting them have stats equal to however many nails stick.
Preparations: I would make Scott Brown the king of rival nation Teabaggia, and have him raiding into the country of Massachusetts and at the same time convincing all the nation’s merchants to leave and become teabaggers themselves. Queen Coakley, (member of the ruling dynasty by marriage) monarch of Massachusetts and employer of the adventurers is a lazy, overconfident simpleton who will decisively lose the nation without the PCs’ help.
Do With the Challenge: I’d go watch TV instead.
@Kern, Dear DM, being an occasional GM who likes to switch things up when my players are acting a touch too smug, I was wondering: what’s been your favourite pull-the-rug-from-under-the-players moment?
My favorite moments like this are usually when the players are specifically not paying attention and then walk blithely into something I had pointedly warned them about, or the more subtle but equally entertaining bait and switch. (Also much harder to pull off.) This is when you send the party out to kill a man-eating lion that turns out to be a mated pair of manticores, or to find the lair of the dragon when it turns out the dragon has been trailing the party for days just waiting for right moment to ambush them…
Without giving too much away, the best examples of this are situations you set up early in the campaign and allow to grow on their own. If you can wait and pull the trigger at a critical time when the party already has too much on their plate… you can make a moment no one will ever forget.