Do you ever have one of those moments in gaming, especially in D&D or Pathfinder, where you try to do something cool, and it just…backfires on you? I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve had those moments. More than once. In a single game. It can be frustrating as hell, even more so when you are in a dire situation or in the middle of a big fight. But then, there are times where these accidents can lead to some hilarious results. What’s that? You need an example? All right, all right, if you insist!
In the game, the story was that the world was new. As in maybe several hundred years old. Magic was a rare thing, and most certainly was not heavily studied. It was wild magic, not controlled at all. My character was a wild mage (a sorcerer with the “wild magic” origin option) of a homebrewed race. Long story short with her history, she accidentally caused magic to happen and hurt someone in her village and left to try and find someone who could help her control it. She ended up in a town where some festival was going on, meeting our adventuring party in the process.
Fast forward to a session or two, and we’ve discovered that the wife and unborn child of the orc in our party had gone missing. We followed the trail and information to a place where a guy had killed the wife (AND HER NAME WAS ORC CENA–Seriously, her name was Cena). He was powerful, and it took us a while before we could widdle his health down enough to make him manageable.
By this time, the rogue in the party was going to try some silly trick (excuse the mental blank; it’s been about a year or so since this happened) to…I think hang the bad man from the banister? Or something else that would make him look cool if he pulled it off. However, he still had to wait for another round before he could actually go through with it.
My character, trying to be somewhat useful as a sorcerer with no control over her magic, decided to cast Magic Missile at the baddie in hopes of knocking his HP down some more. For anyone unfamiliar with the wild mage, when you cast a spell of 1st level or higher, you run the risk of a wild magic surge. You roll a d20 (20-sided die), and if you roll a 1 you have to roll percentiles and compare it to the Wild Magic Surge table to see what random effect you unleash. With our game, the DM decided to make it a bit easier for WMS to happen. If you use a 1st level spell, you have to roll a 1. For a 2nd level spell, you have to roll a 1 or a 2. 3rd level spells, you have to roll a 1, 2, or a 3, etc. etc. He did it this way because, as stated before, this wild magic is more wild than normal since it’s new.
Now, the spell Magic Missile is a 1st level spell. The odds of me rolling a 1 on a 20-sided die are slim. So we think nothing of it. I roll my d20…
And it’s a fricken 1.
We’re already laughing because obviously, this is the perfect time for a Wild Magic Surge to happen. I grab my percentiles and my chart, and I roll. I got either a 73 or a 74, but still, the effect was that a random creature within 60 feet of me is poisoned for 1d4 hours. So we numbered everyone off who was in range, and the DM rolled it. Cue the immediate groan from the rogue; he was the unlucky winner in this. I forgot how long he was poisoned for, but basically, he was unable to do anything more than vomit in a corner.
That’s a lovely picture, isn’t it?
But wait! There’s more!
The DM tells me that I need to roll my damage for my Magic Missile. What? I thought when a Wild Magic Surge happened, the spell I was trying to cast didn’t go off? I think we all discussed it, and it was decided that my magic missile would still happen. We’ll just call it “House Rules” and leave it at that. BACK TO THE STORY!
I go on and roll my damage for my Magic Missile, enough for three volleys of it. 1d4+1 damage for three missiles. We obviously overestimated how much health this bad guy had; I managed to down him with only one bolt.
At this point, I’m crying from laughing so hard. Not only did I steal the rogue’s kill, but I accidentally poisoned him before I did! And the “worst” part? No one in our party could cure poison. So the rogue was stuck emptying his stomach of its contents while we got to loot the body and get more information about what happened.
Did I feel bad? My character did, but I certainly didn’t. It was, by far, one of the greatest accidents I’ve ever had while tabletop gaming. I killed a bad guy. I poisoned a party member and there were no repurcussions. It’s a win-win if you ask me.
Next time, I’ll talk about another little “happy accident” that I had in the same game, just at a different point in the story. But I’d love to hear from you! Do you have a story where you went to do something, but the unexpected happened and it was better than your original plan? Let me know!
Also, if there is anything you’d like me to talk about relating to writing, reading, movies, gaming, whatever, just comment below!
Until next time!