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The Rule of Cool! (Game Master Tips)

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Come hither as Critical Role’s Matt Mercer tells you how to be a better GM / DM. In today’s episode he shows you how to roll with the punches, and suspend player's disbelief. Catch these tips a week early on Vessel, and on GeekandSundry.com every Friday! For more on RPGs, go to http://bit.ly/GS_RPG Visit us on http://geekandsundry.com Subscribe to Geek and Sundry: http://goo.gl/B62jl Join our community at: http://geekandsundry.com/community Twitter: http://twitter.com/geekandsundry Facebook: http://facebook.com/geekandsundry Instagram: http://instagram.com/geekandsundry Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GeekandSundry/
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TigerKirby215 (10 hours ago)
One good way to do the rule of cool is to cut down on dice rolling. If a player wants to jump off a wall onto a horse rider, knock the rider off, and ride the horse after the BBEG don't make them roll an athletics check followed by fall damage followed by an attack roll followed by an animal handling check. Just the Athletics check is fine and you can choose how successful they are based on the role number. We roll D20s for a reason. The difference between a 19, a 17, and a 15 could be a lot. For example I'd rule that a 17 would only be a bit of fall damage while a 15 would also cause some damage to the horse and maybe make it buck around for a moment.
Mouvofa _ (6 days ago)
Oh would you look at that... ITS HIIIIIIIIIIGH NOOOOOOOOOOON
MinniMaster (6 days ago)
If you’re a Dragonborn Paladin with a mace and a bomb and a giant mechanical beetle is charging towards you, always throw the bomb into the air, smash it with your mace, and send it flying towards the beetle.
Rivers RPG Channel (10 days ago)
Good points
Jesse Cosgriff (14 days ago)
i use poker chips as a way to track victories and losses of the party. they started out lvl 1 with 2 chips each, a level up gets them 3 chips and if something important happens to a character(very good or very bad), i handed them a a proportional amount of chips. it is a literal bargaining chip, if they fail a roll, they can cash in five or more chips to turn it to a success, if the roll succeeded they can cash in one chip and they can do something cool. alternatively, at a long rest/ end of session, they can cash their chips in for bonus xp or feats. they can also wager chips when receiving loot to attempt to get better rewards(typically on after boss encounters). i like doing it this way gives the players a bit more agency in the story while also putting a limit on the "rule of cool" without having to really make a judgement call myself. i also worked it into a narrative. these adventures turned fate so many times that eventually the cultists of the god of fate start attacking them every so often, this led them on a quest to dissolve this cult and confront the actual god (they were level 19/20).
Lucas Areias (16 days ago)
Just finished playing bard in a campaign, still waiting for my share of foam noddles...
F Huber (19 days ago)
You can take the rule of cool too far... into the realm of absurd and stupid.
Chris Kemp (19 days ago)
My favorite use of this was when my party had to stop an ancient black dragon. They swatted the dragon off a magical focus skyscraper made of crystal (thing holding back dragons) with a deer corpse and a nat 20 to throw it, then they proceeded to fight the dragon mid free-fall as the tower was collapsing and an army of dragons flying out of a portal in the sky. It ended with the barbarian rolling to take less fall damage (reducing 1000 damage wouldnt do anything to save him). He got a nat 20, and fell at mach 7 and goomba stomped the dragon as it hit the ground, killing everything in a 100 foot AOE from the sheer force of the stomp.
Chris Kemp (19 days ago)
Does it make sense? Does it have to? Basically the only questions you must ask for this rule.
Thomas Boden (20 days ago)
there is an phrase (with variants) I often use to signal the limits of the rule of cool, ans that whilst they might have pulled something awesome off this time don't bank on it being easily or frequently repeatable. It goes something like this. "As the dust settles, your chest swells with the knowledge of a job well done. You have done what was thought impossible, and performed feats few could have imagined. It was as if the hand of your god was on your shoulder. But as you recall from the tales told to you as a child, the gods can be fickle."
Cayden Anthony (21 days ago)
In 2e you have a kool with a k you have to roll to whether or not your character freaks out or not
SwiftFate (1 month ago)
Fluffernutter will make it's return. That is all.
PyjamaMC (1 month ago)
My players were battling some skeletons and one thought of cutting an arrow in half and shooting at 2 skeletons.he was getting into it and acting it out so I let him. He rolled a 19 and he was proficient in survival so I let him succeed and he then rolled a hit so I gave a smaller dice as the damage of each (half) arrow. He felt cool and that was what I intended. Then another person at the table kind of exploited what I allowed by just saying by what I allowed he could just throw 3 daggers and hit 3 skeleton. He is one of those players who only really likes to win and he hasn't gotten the concept of the game yet, he even begged me to make his character a higher level than everyone else's. Returning to my question. Does anybody know how I can reward creative players while keeping other people from exploiting my leniency.
toastedbagels (1 month ago)
Our party was forced to the edge of a cliff by a band of attackers, hails of arrows dropping on our heads and pursuers on horseback- our only means of escape was jumping into the mist and praying it was safe. Our alchemist had his laboratory on the back of a donkey and none of us could spur it to jump. It would have crippled him and at our level he couldn't afford to replace either. Suddenly, our sorcerer takes the reigns and nat 20's the handle animal. As arrows cut through the mist you see our party falling on a blind leap of faith screaming... than moments later a woman sitting on a donkey gently slowfalling down the chasm.
adamushu (1 month ago)
Matt's mention of the creative use reminded me of my second session of dnd ever we fought a basalisk and i was a cleric that was out of spell slots. So I waited for my allies to turn to stone and i would cast mending on their stone bodies to heal them.
Psiberzerker (1 month ago)
"You can certainly try..." This is gold.
Psiberzerker (1 month ago)
It's a game guys. We're here to have fun? IK, it's not exactly on topic with The Rule of Cool, but that quite often gets shoved asside for Game Lawyering. "You can't do that!" (Also, do not reach for my GM guide. It's bad for your health.) IDGAF what it says on page 56, it's cool, and I'm going to allow it. However, there's also the rule of once: "It only works once." Kinda unofficial House Rule, because by the time you try it again, I've figured out how to counter it.
Canadian Nightwing (2 months ago)
I’m running a campaign right now and the cleric of our group at lvl 1, wanted to cast thundersmite on his hand and bitchslap a bugbear. He rolled a nat 20 and 1 shot him.
Lore Books (2 months ago)
I've been running a game for my Dungeons & Dragons club at school and these groups are usually really big because there are only two DM, including myself and it's just been a wild ride. A lot of the players are new to the game and I'm fairly new to being a Dungeon Master, honestly, these videos have been helping me upgrade my game so it's more fun. For my first game with them (second time DMing for me,) I unintentionally gave them a Deadly Encounter for their first fight. The Dragonborn Paladin wanted to save the Forest Gnome Rogue from a couple homebrewed Clockwork Golems by launching an enemy into the chandelier above. Long story short, he rolled a Nat 20 and completely demolished the chandelier by slamming his shield against the enemy midair. Listening to the players shout with glee honestly makes my day.
LordAddiqute (2 months ago)
What if a certain player all ways asks for rule of cool moment, and he rolls really high?
uberchops (2 months ago)
A great way I've seen the rule of cool enacted is to have players roll with disadvantage to do something a bit beyond their actual capabilities. Then players only attempt it when the stakes are high, nobody's creativity is stifled, and there's potential for a great story moment whether they succeed or fail.
darkbunny 999 (2 months ago)
I once was doing a special Halloween encounter and had my party go through a dungeon. One encounter was a room of 6 skeletons (low-level party). The gith sorcerer walked right up and started dancing. Most of the party joined in, so I had them roll performance and persuasion checks to see how well they danced and if they could get the skeletons to dance. They succeeded. They eventually walked out without drawing a weapon. (Though another sorcerer did defeat one of the skeletons in a 1v1 dance battle)
ben richardson (3 months ago)
we have done this in the camping am currently in by chucking our gnome sorcerer in to the rafter for him to then rain fireballs down to cover us as we fought hordes of undead
V Star 1300 Adventures (3 months ago)
you can do any creative thing you want in game as long as you roll high. Trying something spectacular..and rolling a nat 1 can be almost as entertaining.
Rohann van Rensburg (3 months ago)
3:30 Hey modern day AAA film makers, have a listen.
that one guy 500 (3 months ago)
For instance a paladin and his crew is surrounded by an army of magic armor when the palladin uses a max level dispwl magic and while keeping it in his concentration uses all his spell slots to get rid of the magic holding together every suit. Or what would happen if he dispelled magic on a artificer who has mechanical lungs, as such mechanisms function through magic.
Scott LaLiberte (3 months ago)
Thank you so much for these tips, Matt! I am intimidated by your DM skill set, as I start my own personal DM career. Your videos are helping me transition from the “player” to the “DM” side of the screen.
dyllock105 (4 months ago)
Was playing pathfinder. And my half elf ranger had stolen documents from some castle during a ball while the party was getting the guards drunk. However I could not walk out without being caught so I tried to jump off and use my bastard sword on some rope like a zip wire. The Nat 1 caused me to become a Eunuch..
Jordan Hope (4 months ago)
Had this happen in an encounter I did with some Wooden Golems. Party of 3, main person we're talking about is a Kenku Bard. Whilst fighting it, he decides to take a crossbow bolt from a teammates holster and jumped onto the Golems back to bury it in the back of the Golem. Rolled a strength check, 2, didn't get in at all. Tried again next turn, 18, got it pretty deep. Golem was too busy attacking Vamp rogue to notice. He backflips off the Golem (Acrobatics check, 17), casts 'Heat Metal' on the bolt in mid-air, and does a superhero landing as Golem takes FAR above lethal damage from the bolt lighting it on fire inside it. Loved the creativity, because I hadn't expected it from him at all. :D
OriginalTharios (4 months ago)
I'm a pretty hardcore hater on "The Rule of Cool." I'm not one to say reality is shit and you'll always fail. Hell, I tend to think most things will work out just fine. I'm not really into grimdark stuff. The real world has plenty of amazing and heroic moments all by itself, and when you throw that into a fantasy world with gods, monsters, and magic...it only makes it even more so. There shouldn't be any reason to bend anything to make it even more so. That said, for things like "finishing moves" and such, I do think some flexibility is good. Or, say, when in an encounter and a player takes a stand and delivers a pretty epic speech (a la President Whitmore's pre-final-battle speech from ID4..."Today, we celebrate our Independence Day!"), I see no reason to call for any kind of skill check or whatnot. It has exactly the intended effect (or maybe more) and life goes on from there. I generally use "The Rule of Cool" anyway, simply because players expect it to some degree, and at that point a GM just doesn't really have a choice. But even so, I definitely use it in moderation, and I encourage players to be subtle. Don't just dump shitloads of seasonings and herbs in your stewpot. Taste that stuff first, see what it's missing, add only a little at a time, until you get the flavor just right. People who pull Michael Bay/Fast & Furious shit around me get a thorough, but polite, discussion about it, and why it's not acceptable. A second infraction generally ends up in a ban at the end of the session. As a player myself...I tend to quit groups that have it as a running theme.
bringotiger (4 months ago)
The "Micheal Bay" film aspect... if too many happen in succession it kills the story and becomes boring. Said no Transformers movie.
Pedro Xavier (4 months ago)
My cool rule: if the enemy is with 1hp everyone in the table that has the vicieous mockery cantrip can speak out loud their mocks to explode the enemy's head off.
I'm two videos into this channel and I already know I'm going to watch 200 more this month
Chris LePera (4 months ago)
How would you go about creating a maguffin device or an essential character without drawing attention to it. Example, I'm writing an encounter with a semi-sentient, non-humanoid vampire, and I want to set up a round counter that will introduce an npc with a 3 turn charging one shot.
0% Imagination (5 months ago)
I'm a total newbie when it comes to DnD so I haven't played much but when the rule of cool is used right it can be awesome or even hilarious. In one campaign that hasn't fully started yet we have a book of necromancy that has a spell which essentially allows a soul to possess the person who reads it. We've planned with the DM that as soon as the first character dies we're going to trick something into reading it and bringing back the character, preferably as something much worse than what they started with.
Skamegeddon (5 months ago)
Shoot that was rule of survival for most of our sessions. Intentional or not our games became OP and our GM would allow whatever as long as it adheard to fundamentals and you understood there could be ramifications, either good or bad. Even in insane situations they were tons of fun but it also let us enjoy that quieter moments so we could mentally recoup for the next bit of insanity.
M Balazs (5 months ago)
I used this today :D My wizard shot a vampire Lord in the face and than moved back, so that our witch used holly bow and arrow just to shoot it to the Vampires face. It looked so cool I decided I ignore the fact the vampire had the initiative after my wizard :D (my wizard rear magic item with daily on time usable item that lets him com first to cast a spell XD)
Gershom Ellis (5 months ago)
Does anyone else think at the start he sounded British for like a split second
Christopher Thompson (5 months ago)
Had my players against a lich and my wizard knowing the rule of hand movements with magic summoned his familiar in the form of an octopus and bound the lich's limbs using two tentacles on each and made sure to describe binding the fingers as well and the party just went crazy like "this is our chance" and the cool fueled them on in the fight then I set the tension next round by having the lich and the familiar roll opposed strength checks lich rolled 19 verses a 5 and cast thunder wave and just eviscerated the familiar as it went off
Cassie Barns (5 months ago)
This one time, My party and I were being pursued by high level guards in a narrow corridor, so I tried to cast "Knock at 3rd level" to untie the boot or undo the belt of the guard who was leading their line. I knew the idea was too stupid to work but then our DM said: "Well, they are technically 'mundane locks'. The spell also doesn't specify if the object shouldn't be worn, and since you're willing to spend a 3rd level slot for this..." he made the guard make a DEX save with disadvantage and... ...She stepped on her shoelace and fell face flat on the floor, causing the other guards behind her to trip on her. Some got distracted by her glorious butt since her belt was also undone. And with that ruckus~ they completely lost sight of our party The rule of cool saved our character sheets from being turned to bonfire that day :D but I had a high level NPC hunting me down for a quite while for exposing her glorious butt.
Razanon (5 months ago)
My favorite Rule of Cool moment was in the last session of my second campaign of D&D. My character was an Ancient Red Dragon that was stuck in the form of a human through a god's curse (basically to teach my character humility). At the end, the god lifted the curse and I got to kick ass as a Dragon (with the other players riding on my back and sniping enemies. Luckily, everyone had ranged options). I know the DM threw several rules out the window to let that happen. Everyone thought it was a great ending to a campaign.
J.C. Ingledue (5 months ago)
Our dm does this quite well. Being chased by a swarm of angry spiders, we asked the accompanying military men for their gunpowder bags. One player, mid run, used his action to tie them together, natural 20. I cast prestidigitation, holding the release of the spell until ready to be thrown. The rogue tosses it, allowing me to cast it, lighting it on fire. Our makeshift incendiary device takes out a good amount. Perfect for a bunch of level 2s in an overwhelming encounter.
Garrett Seaton (5 months ago)
Once I had a barbarian who while the rest of the party was fighting a giant scorpion and right when he saw it he yelled I want it as a pet and rolled a nat 20 and had a giant scorpion companion as a barbarian
texteel (5 months ago)
you know whats NOT cool? Searching for traps at every turn, even if you are outside of combat, simply because the DM spent way too much time on an Indiana Jones boulder trap, and wants to make sure you trigger it.
Paranormal Encyclopedia (6 months ago)
In many years of gaming I’ve always had one rule as gm.... you can try it. I make no promises it’ll work but if it’s at least theoretically possible I’ll let you roll for it. I was, recently, running Deadlands and setting up a version of the legendary gun fight at the OK coral... up to one player opting to feed the enemy horses laxitive laden apples while another lobbed dynamite... the results may have been the most literal shit storm in gaming history but while there were consequences, getting blown up and dragged behind the horses for the apples guy, and getting dragged was his idea, it did happen.
Knackeldi Bumbum (6 months ago)
On this thumbnail your face looks exactly like Jack Shepard's, the character from Lost!
Lindsey Prodin (7 months ago)
This is excellent, but is it bothering anyone else that those torches aren't even??
Kristy Griffin (7 months ago)
My favorite rule of cool moment: we'd hit a brick wall in hunting down our target. Our GM had no easy answer for us, preferring instead to see what we came up with. So I used an idea I'd been sitting on from the beginning. My rogue had long since been established as a devout follower of Olidammara. I stopped outside the tavern, prayed... then stepped inside and proceeded to lose 1000 gp, via gambling, buying drinks, etc., as a sacrifice to Olidammara and an invocation of Chaos. I DESCRIBED IT IN GREAT DETAIL. The GM had me wake up laying flat on the bar with only a fuzzy memory of the night before. In one hand was a map to where we needed to go. And I had gained a level... in Favored Soul, a class I did not want and did not need, but which was entirely reasonable given what I'd done!
Jeremy Schneidt (7 months ago)
I turn a web spell into something like a bug net, between two trees next to a tunnel entrance. the goblins jumped across the little creek in front of the tunnel entrance. they got stuck washed down the creek or bounced off to land back on the side they jumped across.
Jai Carlson (7 months ago)
My favourite example of the rule of cool was in the "Dungeons in Places" series on the Game Grumps. ProJared was DMing, and one of the characters rolled a 1 on their attack with an axe. ProJared had them roll another attack, which succeeded, leading to said axe flying out of their hand, missing the enemy they were aiming for entirely, bouncing off the wall, and hitting an enemy behind them. It's really a great example of how to handle both high and low rolls, and also just a great campaign all around.
JKoby99 (7 months ago)
Does someone know the background music?
Kuda Mutamba (7 months ago)
Here's a question What do you think of skill challenges in 5e
Onymous (8 months ago)
My first time running a campaign I had a player who by some weird stroke of luck would fairly consistently roll natural 20s to last hit creatures. He became known as the Sunderer. The first time he did it, he rolled a natural 20 with max damage against a goblin, so I said he split it right down the middle from head to foot. This continued to happen until I wound up giving him a feat that let him roll another d20 to see if he got a second crit which would apply special effects to his sundering. I'll never forget the poor soldier who was sleeping peacefully in his cot until he was so cataclysmically split in twain along with the cot, and a section of wall behind said cot after a surprise attack by the Sunderer.
Josh Perusse (8 months ago)
Rule of cool moment that we had before: We were in a cavern with a bridge over a deep ditch on either side. My orc, riding a plated wolf, was blocked from combat behind the party. I rolled some public nat-20s for my wolf and Orc's athletics, and my wolf and orc jumped to the wall, across the pit, and ran along the wall to the other side of the pit and into the combat.
John Smith (8 months ago)
My suggestion is if a character is doing a rule of cool moment. Do a rule of cool check. Have them roll a D20 then if you don’t want these moments to happen often only natural 20’s will allow it to succeed on-top of a few skill checks. Want to allow these moments to happen more often increase the amount of numbers will allow this. 15-20 will allow you to pull off this moment.
Gary King (8 months ago)
So some cult guys were going to set off a devastation orb in a town that my party and I were in. We had just gotten a bag of holding and me being new to d&d didn`t know the limits/rules to the bag. As the main cult guy was yammering on about the cult being pure and saving the world yada yada I ran in, yelling at my team that I had a plan while whispering sh*t sh*t sh*t to myself, and scooped the devastation orb into the bag of holding. I thought it was a great idea until the more seasoned players all had a hand to their foreheads explaining to me that the bag was about to implode with me holding it. Everyone at the table expectingly looked at our dm to deliver the bad news of my colossal mess up but you could tell he was pondering something. After a minute of him thinking, and me thinking of a new character, he shrugs and goes "Nope, rule of cool, I`m going to allow this. You just stole their devastation orb and are standing right behind two of them, now what do you do?" I ran away with my bag as about 6 or 7 cultists started chasing me as my team mates were trying to kill them. Later our dm told me he allowed that to happen because my solution to the problem just came out of nowhere and sounded so interesting he wanted to see how it played out instead of his original plan. I'm really looking forward to more moments of rule of cool in the years to come.
Cassie Barns (8 months ago)
"You know what... I'll let you do that" -Matt Mercer, Rule of Cool
Mokona (8 months ago)
My characters are always crazy thats my rule.
Romane Stringfield (9 months ago)
Cool my players are trying to use water to conduct electricity enough to destroy demons water content and explode them
Io Wolf (9 months ago)
'' It's fine. We are gods'' she said while falling down a cliff
Matri noxe (9 months ago)
I put my characters in a bar fight using only fists. They asked to do a completely bad ass combo move together that would instakill. I said "only if all of you get 20s. If one fails, so does the maneuver and you're all vulnerable." No doubt they all got fucking 20s
Timothy Creighton (9 months ago)
Once had a ranger who hadn't been keeping track of arrows run out in the middle of a battle while holding up half way up a steep snowy cliff. He used his last arrow to start an avalanche and asked if he could use a shield to sled on it. I told him he could roll to see if he could. Rolled 18 with +6 aerobatics. He asked if he could try grabbing a quiver off a dead enemy as he sledded past "role a straight dex check with disadvantage. Rolled well enough to grab it. Got an arrow an said he wanted to shoot the boss. Roll with disadvantage. Missed. Tried to use the second attack to jump with the shield and aim for the boss. Told him to roll for attack, improvised weapon 1d6 damage, with disadvantage. Rolled 2 nat 20s rolled max damage killed the boss I'd been settling up for three sessions
Charles Crawford (9 months ago)
I remember a time in one of my earlier GM days (I was fortunate enough to get taught how to GM by someone who had the pleasure of playing a couple sessions with GG) I was taught about this concept and if the 20's fly!? Let them! Conversely, if a 1...it is done. A rogue using a crossbow to attack rolled a 1. I said ok...thats bad..."Roll Reflex."...1 again..."God help you." The drawstring snapped, lacerating his wrist and disarming him. I chose that route because the party had the means of first aid and could prevent a death. For the remainder of the campaign he had a fear of crossbows though!
I was a player at that point and i had a half-orc shadow monk. I love orcs, my main race in D&D. So, we were swimming on a ship across the sea and an enemy ship started shooting at us. We have like 6 people on board and our cannons are pretty much disfunctional. I tied myself to the ship and dropped off the side of the ship. Swinging, i found the ship side with my legs. GM: - What are you doing? Me: - I will try to capture cannonballs! GM: - Lol, well, give it a shot. So, the very next time cannonballs shot - "you captured two!" Me: - Yay! :D GM: - 28 hit the ship tho.
3djooboy (9 months ago)
ahh the "Rothfus" effect
ExtraSpicy Memeball (10 months ago)
My character managed to stop a pendulum axe with his bare hands so his partner could get to him and resulting the entire thing coming apart. it was amazing
Idk Something (10 months ago)
"You can certainly try" -Matthew Mercer
amedeus40k (10 months ago)
For me, as a GM of 20+ years, I find that players and GMs alike sometimes let the rules of a system drive their game rather than the story, and I think this can, and often does, severely limit the game experience for everyone. Knowing the rules of a system is great, but if you center the game around the rules only, the storyline will soon suffer because of it. For my group our motto has always been “story, story, story,” and without that mindset, those “cool” moments that everyone loves will be few and far between. If you find your players chatting about an event that took place in your game many months or even several years ago, and they still remember how cool it was, then in my opinion, you know you’re on the right path as a GM. Just my 2 cents.
Devilboyking (11 months ago)
let me just say...the Beavers in Force Grey season 2...Dude was being so creative that it was cool.
LadyDaemontus (11 months ago)
My DM style is Rule of cool. If it sounds logically possible and you pass the skill checks/rolls involved, you get to do them. While they get hate, Tiberius & Keyleth bent their abilities for these purposes even though the rulebooks say otherwise, logically if you can manipulate things such as air, one should be able to push themselves away from a wall etc.
Caitlin Shelbourne (11 months ago)
I had my ranger tell her velociraptor to bite people around her so she had enough space to fire her bow in a crowd. Got a 21 on an animal handling check, so DM let it happen...lots of spectators walked away with dino bites that day...
PaleoFisher The barrionix (11 months ago)
I made it so they can do any wacky thing as long as they have the items in the aria or in their inventory.
Poetwarrior (11 months ago)
Sadly few DMs are Matt Mercer and few players are Vox Machina the rule of cool is generally applied as the rule of indulging the player's power fantasies. You can just look at some of the examples people are giving in the comments. Level 2 sorcerers casting wish spells my lord nothing like unearned power. Matt gives a couple good examples of an appropriate use of the rule of cool but in actual practice it's mostly used for the players to kick everything ass. Creative use of spells and abilities equivalent to the relative power of the spell or ability cool. Just using the rule of cool as a vehicle to kick the monsters asses bad are throw some unearned reward at the players bad..
Panda Bum (11 months ago)
Talking about the suspension of disbelief, in a recent game I rolled a nat 20 to throw a stick. It broke the sound barrier
Gary Fantastica (11 months ago)
My favorite was when my DM let me use create or destroy water inside an enemy's head causing it to explode.
Ricardo Rodriguez (1 year ago)
Like seducing gravity
Kevin McKinley-Czup (1 year ago)
This is one of the most overlooked opportunities I've experienced in campaigns. This can really make a climatic moment for that character in a specific session, that really made them stand out as truly heroic intentionally throughout your story. These memories are the real reward of role playing.
Daniel Gordon (1 year ago)
One battle I DM’ed had two very cool and creative moments: the bard charming two duergar, turning them against the enemy, and the arcane trickster blinding an umber hulk, basically siccing it against its allies due to its sudden reliance on tremor sense.
Michael Winter (1 year ago)
And sometime make nat1 into critical fails like an 80s movie - they fail in the most spectacularly helpful way possible.
Have a really beefy character (High Strength) throw a sizable object that is light enough, while being long/wide, say a wooden door, up into the air at an angle. In the daylight, one side (the bottom one) is now blocking the light, and functions as an area of dim lighting, teleport to it using Path of Shadow Teleportation (Monk), then leap off it downwards, to create darkness where there is none, to pass an obstacle.
John Crum (1 year ago)
It's also important to make sure "cool" moments aren't discouraged so much that everybody either does nothing interesting whatsoever, or else tries to do cool things by getting too meticulous with the rules. The first just plain stops the fun, and the second makes every little thing take an hour.
TheOldManBob (1 year ago)
Doing a Deathwatch 40k campaign, I was playing a Carcaradon Chaplain, I threw a baneblade into genestealers. it went well XD
Andre Stensaas (1 year ago)
once i was playing a gnome wizard and i was riding on the back of one of the other pcs. we were climbing in a big statue that had a lot of traps and things but we got to the final room and in it there was an alchemy jug and when we took it the whole thing started to collapse so i casted feather fall and we drifted through the whole statue riding on another PC's back holding an alchemy jug while it was collapsing, that was prolly the most memorable thing about that character to this day
This Guy (1 year ago)
How much crazy? All of it. That's what we did. I regret nothing.
daisyfairy42 (1 year ago)
My most fun experience with the rule of cool? I was playing a tanky paladin, and was the only person in the party capable of healing. Now, mind you, our thief was a dumbass and constantly got into trouble. So, the next time they asked me to heal them, I looked at the DM and asked if I could bitchslap them using Lay on Hands. Yep. I bitchslap healed people. It was great.
curtis brown (1 year ago)
I generally will say that something cool works once.. maybe twice. but more than that an it's kinda the opposite. imagine if indiana jones always in every situation tripped the bad guy with his whip. it's cool maybe the first two times. then as he begins to litteraly take everyone out in that way it becomes less an less cool the more he does it. he never does anything but leg sweep with a whip. (a little bit like spamming a move in a fighting game) thus the rule of lame. don't let your players be lame if you can help it.
TonyCream (1 year ago)
It's funny that Matt mentioned the fog scenario. In my first ever DnD session we were confronted with the typical fort/goblins/wolves/Orc Overlord type of setting. Our GM had littered the entrance to the stronghold with enemies and it was within his intentions to make some of us fall. We attempted to sneak in but were caught and so one of our party members decided to cast fog, as a way of concealing the vision between us and them on the battle field whilst the enemies were running towards us. A character had the ability to cast lightning strike and so asked the DM if he could cast the lightning into the fog and have it create an AoE damage. The DM allowed it and it was extremely successful; this opened my eyes to the possibilities of DnD and made me want to play so much more!
StealthClassicZ (1 year ago)
My charecter got pissed off at a bugbear and i only had 1 hp and he was almost dead so i grabbed his head and casted burning hands to burn his skull it was fucking epic
Will in New Haven (1 year ago)
"Be sparing" is key advice. I introduced an idea into a campaign years ago and the players kept trying to trigger it over and over again until I had to tell them that it didn't work that way anymore. https://sites.google.com/site/grreference/
BlackHangola (1 year ago)
In a game I'm currently in, I do notice the Rule of Cool being overused a lot, so we might take this into comsideration next session.
Jessica Lee (1 year ago)
He touched on it a bit, but I was thinking, "BE VERY CAREFUL about any ONE player always bending the rules or taking the spotlight, or getting all the cool moments." Naturally, some players are more outgoing, better at improv and thinking creatively, or just better at knowing the rules inside and out, and it's important to keep balance in mind. If the scene-stealing player is not a douchebag, Matt's right, take them aside some time and talk about it - encourage them to use those spotlighting skills to give _other players_ cool moments too, or just tone it down sometimes. If they are a douchebag, don't play with them. Matt suggests rewarding players who do something cool. I'd say be extra careful with that. In my experience, it's good to reward the whole group when the drama was really on point - then more anxious players can come out of their shell and know that no one will resent them for being the center of attention. If everyone stands to benefit, players may encourage each other to go big.
ToastyLo (1 year ago)
Our group's warrior tried to do a flipping double axe attack by jumping off of our monk's shoulder. He rolled a 1 and ended up slicing off both of the monk's arms. I asked if I could try to magically suture his arms back on. The DM said I could try. Natural 20. The monk got his arms back and proceeded to strangle the warrior. Hands-down the most epic thing i've ever done as a cleric.
Pearl Vesper (16 days ago)
What an emotional roller coaster.
Ironkroug (1 month ago)
Remove Talos (2 months ago)
*most epic thing you all did both individually and collectively I don't care about anything else you did, it can't top that
Einomies (1 year ago)
Your line on that shirt I think also goes very well along the rule of cool. I only recently started watching Critical Role and "how do you want to do this?" quickly became my favorite recurring phrase. Like, really damn quickly.
Grandiflora (1 year ago)
id attempt really awesome and insane feats all the time, half the time it would make my PC the laughingstock but the other half it was EPIC, once i actually failed..... and accidentally did more damage to the enemies! the funniest one has gotta be crashing into a wall while glide flying.......
Miles Ried (1 year ago)
Every time Matt says something about derailing or going off the story line I think of "for the 20th round in a row, I roll to kiss my orc girlfriend" "I spent 2 days writing this campaign please just fight the kobolds" "for the 21st round in a row I roll to kiss my orc girlfriend"
leonhardtz5 (1 year ago)
Is this from an episode? I don't remember it if it was.
Mad Hatman (1 year ago)
Had a player that played back in 2e with a critical homebrew that when he rolled a 20 he got an extra attack instead of double damage the guy shooting a bow rolled 5 20s in a row it was a legolas moment ...very memorable.
BigPapa Shamrock (1 year ago)
Tell my friend that I can take an early attack to vampire bite a zombie that's latched on to me (biting me)
Phalanx S (1 year ago)
I think the coolest moments in the game I played in college were twofold. The first was not even a "rule of cool" moment, but my character, an aasimar named Shane, was able to successfully bribe a hobgoblin necromancer into leaving a dragonborn tomb he was occupying. The other was when, as the party was fighting a demon queen, my character and a warlock (basically a PF magus) literally bombed half the field with an explosive, killing half the bad guys in one swoop.
Whydow (1 year ago)
DM rule of cooling in my (I think) 4th or 5th session of DnD ever (playing 5E). We have a paladin who's been sponsored by the local lord in a jousting tourny, and we still have time before the tourny started and wanted to check out a mine and bring back samples for a mining Co. Fast forward we're chasing lesser vamps through the mines, Pally jumps into a minecart, lance in hand and yells for our fighter (next in initiative) to shove him down. DM Rule of Cool's it to let the fighter shove him on Pally's turn and try to joust a vampire off the ceiling down the railway. It would've been fun... sadly he missed the AC of the vamp by like 1. Still a pretty fun moment though!
Andrew Westfall (1 year ago)
I was playing Magus/Alchemist in pathfinder, our DM was using mechanical creatures to attack us, and one of them had a flamethrower. I asked if I could use a spark spell to ignite the fuel, I had to roll a knowledge check to see if it would work; of course Nat 20. A couple checks and some damage calcs later and I oneshotted what was supposed to be a boss I have a reputation in my group for coming up with odd strategies sometimes taking advantage of real world logic, sometimes game logic. I'm supposed to ask permission to try things now

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