We suck at RPGs part 1

This is intended to be a series of short stories/anecdotes of me and my friends trying to play RPGs, both pen&paper and computer/videogames. I’ve got a ton of these stories, but many of them require you to see my body language, and how lividly pissed I am at my friends for fucking everything up, to truly enjoy. Those that can be expressed purely as text, I will attempt to transcribe here.

One time I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with a bunch of friends, and we were kind of stumped about what we were supposed to be doing next (because we had like 12 wildly diverging theories about what the next best course of action should be.)

The mage in our party had a spell which would summon an omniscient hand. The way the spell worked, he could only cast it once, and when he did, the hand would appear and answer the next 3 questions asked. It can’t actually speak, so any answers would take the form of hand gestures. It’s omniscient, so it knows the answer to any question we ask it, but if you asked it a question that it couldn’t answer with simple gestures (e.g. thumbs up, thumbs down, pointing in a direction, etc.) then it would do a sort of shrugging motion, and that would cost you one of your three questions.

Anyway, our mage got impatient (what kind of a mage gets impatient?! If you’re an impatient player, don’t play as a mage!) and cast the spell, despite me shouting over him “DON’T CAST THE SPELL YET!”

When he did cast it, I called him a fucking moron, and told him we shouldn’t have cast it, because we’ve got 12 possibilities, and we need to formulate our 3 questions to give us as much info as possible. So someone asks “Okay, fine, so what should the first question be?”

“You mother fucker…” I mumbled as the hand shrugged. An argument was building up, when I shouted “OKAY EVERYONE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP.” They tried to protest, but I persisted. “SHUT IT. SHUT THE FUCK UP. Look, if you keep talking, it’s easy to accidentally ask a rhetorical question or some shit like that, and we only got two questions left, so just shut up and think, okay? Give me… FUCK!”

The hand shrugged again.

We stayed silent for a while, pensive.

Then I said “I got it. Okay, look. We can just talk normally, but whenever you find yourself accidentally asking a question, just immediately append to the end of the sentence ‘is what I’m thinking about asking.’ That transforms your question into a statement. So like, instead of saying ‘What do we do next?’, say ‘“What do we do next?” is what I’m thinking about asking.’ and now you haven’t actually asked a question. Got it? … is… um… what I’m thinking about asking…”

The DM was generous enough to allow this to work, probably taking pity on our party for being so dysfunctional and having wasted 2/3rds of the spell already. Unfortunately, one of my friend’s didn’t “get it”, and so we lost the 3rd question as well.

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