Game Masters can be nit-picky sticklers with wands up their butts. It’s a respectable mode for navigating the endless charts and dice rolls and idiosyncratic mechanics of tabletop RPGs. Seriously, I respect you, stickler GMs. Without you, I wouldn’t know the difficulty class for reaching across the table and grabbing a Cheeto. Is that a Dexterity check?
Anyway, last Saturday, an honest, upright Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master couldn’t find a by-the-book approach to a comically specific role-playing scenario: drinking a potion underwater, one-handed. Puzzled, he asked a role-playing forum what to do:
Ah, come on man, just fudge it! Whatever!
As any good Dungeon Master knows, sometimes you’ve got to wing these fussy scenarios to keep the story moving. A player wants to spin plates on a dire rhino’s horns while it’s moving at approximately 15 feet per second Northeast? While the moon is a waxing gibbous, can the necromancer delight in the blood of ambidextrous dark elves resistant to tree sap if her Charisma modifier is below 3? Chill. Seriously. Let’s just say it’s a Constitution check with a DC of 12, for all of it.
Dungeon Master Eikre, a self-proclaimed “huge dumb nerd,” decided to go the opposite route. Using a bath tub, a bottle of Red Guitar wine and just one thumb, he discerned exactly what mechanic was necessary in this highly specific scenario:
Eikre added that there was a strong possibility that those gulps of Red Guitar weren’t the first of the night.