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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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Text Comments (465)
Noodles are Hot (11 hours ago)
I allowed my Players to drop kick a Cult Fanatic out a window
TaylorZink27 (12 days ago)
During an Adventurer's league game our bard got knocked out by a group of shadows attacking the party. One of the other players decided to use thunderwave even though the bard would get hit and automatically fail a death saving throw. As my barbarian was right next to the bard, I asked the DM if I could jump on top of him and use my body to shield him from the damage. He thought for a second and allowed it, having me make an Athletics check. 19 plus 5 bonus for a score of 24. I took 8 damage and the bard was safe. That move saved our bard's life and bought him enough time to have our ranger heal him with a potion of healing. One of my proudest self sacrificing moments.
Tara Gage (18 days ago)
We were doing a Faux battle in a campaign I'm in. Our fighter has the flame tongue and I was playing a wizard/conjurer. I asked the dm if I could summon a fire elemental from the sword and he allowed it. So I rule of cooled an elemental out of the fire of a sword and that is how you make your wizard feel cool.
Jgpgames (20 days ago)
My fav rule of cool moment wasn't as crazy as some of these others cause we were level one but we were fighting like four goblins in tall grass. I cast thunderwave cause it was the best spell my bard knew at the time knocking all of them into trees killing them, except the one I was directly on top of grappling. He got shoved into the earth with the force of something that knocks you back 30 ft which just turned his body into mush and covered me in blood and ick.
Bøø9 (24 days ago)
Would it be bad etiqette to build your character around having a ton of small rule-of-cool moments? Call him Chakkie Djan and give him proficiency in acrobatics, a homebrewed feat for giving advantage/extra damage on attacks after a successful acrobatics check, improved unarmed fighting, improvised weapon, (and maybe a knock-off "Luck" skill that is named "One more take" just in case the joke wasn't clear yet), and then try to narrate most of your combat rounds as a cool martial arts movie move. (Assuming you get the balance of power right) Would this infringe on the fun of the rest of the table, or is the flavor good enough? Would it get tiring in the long run?
Alex Belmont (25 days ago)
My first "Rule of Cool" moment was from an online campaign I was a part of. It was the Sunless Citadel and there was a group of goblins just snickering and laughing at us trying to get to them. My character was an Scourge Aasimar Fighter (fantastic combination btw; resistance to both celestial and necro damage, including my own Celestial damage from using the Scourge transformation) So we got to a point where there was a group of them hiding in low cover with bows, waiting for us to turn the corner. I was able to catch one before it got to the rest of the group. I asked my DM, "I would like to make a Strength check that would double as an Intimidation check. I want to rip off the goblin's head and use it as a throwable weapon." He said I could try and roll for strength. I got a 21, but he rolled a Nat 20. Despite that he got a Nat 20, he deferred to the Rule of Cool and allowed me to rip the head off, killing the low health goblin instantly. I tossed the head at another goblin in the face, dealing the max damage of 4 and got a 19 on my Intimidation check. All of the goblins failed their saving throws and dropped their weapons out of fear of my Fighter. It was an awesome moment that unfortunately was short-lived when my Monk rolled a 1 on trying to do a Flip Kick and did the splits instead. The goblins realized that I was the only real threat and attacked everyone else. Damn it, Monk.
Connor (27 days ago)
A story my uncle told me once was about when he was my age and he played AD&d (Advanced dungeons and dragons); he was the cleric in his party and they were fighting Lobstosities on a beach for one reason or the other and he got picked up by one so he asked the GM if he could use the spell Purify Food and Water on the creature to basically turn it into giant cooked lobster and the GM said that life-saving line "I'll allow it." and so he did and he saved the day
Elricson (1 month ago)
A Nat 20 can do wonderful things.
Marc-Antoine Girard (1 month ago)
In pathfinder this rule is called hero points and are limited to each PC
Barokai Rein (1 month ago)
2:28 But what if someone wanted to mix that fog spell with holy water or sleep spell for example?
leon6er (1 month ago)
First thing I think of is the flying dwarf barbarian dnd story
ash7536 (1 month ago)
In my group we where being chased by a bunch of guards and we had a furbolg. The DM let the furbolg carry all of us this 100ft wall without rolling for strength.
vazak11 (2 months ago)
Great breakdown!
Daniel Nunya Bidnezz (2 months ago)
Rule of Cool moment from a playtest campaign some friends if mine and I are playing together. Our party is traveling in a vehicle, we are on a road near some woods. Suddenly as we are driving along, some Blink Wolves jump in front of us to attack us. We continue driving and they jump on our vehicle and press the attack. We roll initiative. Our vehicle is essentially a cargo truck and two motorcycles, different in what thwy are composed of, but essentially that is what they are. I am a behemoth character and playing the party's tank. I have heavy armor, a heavy shield, 3 arms (one is cybernetic), a multi-barrel shotgun, and a big ass hammer. I am the party's tank (I even took shield bash as a feat), and backup medic (I am carrying lots of "medical supplies" essentially, and I assist the party's healer if necessary, and patch myself up if the healer is busy with something else). The Blink Wolves are attacking, and I am watching our rear when they attack, the two PC's of our party riding the "motorcycles" are both out front scouting, pulling a traveling overwatch. They attack the wolves first, and until they blink to take on the truck, we did not know they were blink wolves. One attacks the bikes, and two go for our truck. Two people in our oarty are massive creature characters, so the truck is essential to travelling quickly and without lots of fatigue and other boring nonsense. Eventually one of the wolves makes its way to the rear of the truck. The driver, the other massive creature player, is dealing with one that has jumped in the driver's cab, and the third one is attacking me in the cargo bed. I attack it... and roll Nat20... I crit it. I have hit it a couple times already, so the crit-hit kills it. The DM asks me to say what happens. Like a good DM. He has told me I have killed it and wants to know how. "I fall on it... with my shield..." (Keep in mind I weigh around 300+ pounds and am 10 feet tall... plus armor, weapons, etc... I weigh something like 500+ all together.) "... I slam down on this blink wolf (he's already used up his one blink ability Daily), and he splatters all over the bed of the truck. As I stand there are teeth and fangs jammed into the steel of my Heavy Shield. An eyeball is stuck to my helmet. As I wipe it off, the blood and gore only smears. I turn around to help (driver player character) with her wolf problem. (I still have a second attack) As I come around I SLAM my massive hammer down into the cab of the truck and hit the last wolf." The DM tells me I kill it with my strike (it had been damaged already by several attacks). So I describe this kill as well. "I smash it to bits with my hammer, the cab and driver are solattered in gore and blood, GUSHING from beneath my mighty hammer!" Everyone is somewhat grossed out. The brutality of my kills is just a little too easy to imagine. :-P Then, the encounter is over, and we stop for a rest and to check for loot. We find a wolf den close by and we get a baby blink wolf as a pet out of it. We also skin and harvest the wolves pelts. The DM is wondering how we deal with the gory mess and what we do to skin the splattered carcasses. Our driver, who is a merchant, wants the pelts to sell. She is wondering how on earth we skin them. I ask the DM if the pelts are badly damaged or not, and he says that the PELTS are fine, a little scuffed but fine, but the wolves themselves are basically goop. "So they are basically just skinbags full of goo then?" DM - "Yup. "Oh, so just pour them out then. Problem solved. :-D " Everyone is nearly on the floor with laughter. Now, we have a persistent in-joke that comes up from time to time. :-) Rule of Cool.... can be EPIC sometimes. ;-)
KaiserSoze679 (2 months ago)
This is "divisive"? How? Does anyone honestly want to play a game where this rule doesn't exist? I mean, I can see there being a debate about how often it's used, but if your answer is "never" you sound like an absolute bore to play with.
Nightshade Isis (2 months ago)
That's why I like the Plot Point bank in the Cortex system. They get those as rewards and can spend them if They want to reroll, increase a bonus, or redirect a story moment. It gives the GM more control over these changes: "You the bullet to ricochet and hit the ghoul? That'll be three Plot Points."
Dmitry Karelin (2 months ago)
Coleridge?
Taco-Tanner (2 months ago)
Players will remember the times you say "yea, I go ahead and try" more than the times you say "no". So if you want to be memorable as a dm you should say "yes" ever once in a while.
KetsuRosataMalnor (2 months ago)
As a DM I had a rule of cool moment where I let a PC throw another PC as an attack with checks from both for throwing and for the other PC to land on his target. The PC throwing was very strong and the PC being thrown was a small size creature being a goblin. They both rolled well and in kind of an anime fashion the goblin slammed his two rapiers into the target and pushed him back a bit with the force of the hit. They tried to use it several other times after that only ending with them failing, but they still remember the one time it succeeded. So I think of that as a victory for rule of cool.
Brian Cool (2 months ago)
Cool rule!
TigerKirby215 (2 months 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 _OW (3 months ago)
Oh would you look at that... ITS HIIIIIIIIIIGH NOOOOOOOOOOON
MinniMaster (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Good points
Jesse Cosgriff (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Just finished playing bard in a campaign, still waiting for my share of foam noddles...
F Huber (3 months ago)
You can take the rule of cool too far... into the realm of absurd and stupid.
Chris Kemp (3 months 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 (3 months ago)
Does it make sense? Does it have to? Basically the only questions you must ask for this rule.
Thomas Boden (3 months 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 (3 months 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 (4 months ago)
Fluffernutter will make it's return. That is all.
PyjamaMC (4 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months 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 (4 months ago)
"You can certainly try..." This is gold.
Psiberzerker (4 months 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 (5 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 (5 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 (5 months ago)
What if a certain player all ways asks for rule of cool moment, and he rolls really high?
uberchops (5 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 (5 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 months ago)
3:30 Hey modern day AAA film makers, have a listen.
that one guy 500 (6 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 (6 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (7 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 months ago)
Does anyone else think at the start he sounded British for like a split second
Christopher Thompson (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (8 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 (9 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 (9 months ago)
On this thumbnail your face looks exactly like Jack Shepard's, the character from Lost!
Lindsey Prodin (9 months ago)
This is excellent, but is it bothering anyone else that those torches aren't even??
Kristy Griffin (9 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 (10 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 (10 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 (10 months ago)
Does someone know the background music?
Kuda Mutamba (10 months ago)
Here's a question What do you think of skill challenges in 5e
Onymous (11 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 (11 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 (11 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 (11 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 (11 months ago)
"You know what... I'll let you do that" -Matt Mercer, Rule of Cool
Mokona (11 months ago)
My characters are always crazy thats my rule.
Romane Stringfield (11 months ago)
Cool my players are trying to use water to conduct electricity enough to destroy demons water content and explode them
Io Wolf (11 months ago)
'' It's fine. We are gods'' she said while falling down a cliff
Matri noxe (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year ago)
ahh the "Rothfus" effect
ExtraSpicy Memeball (1 year 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 (1 year ago)
"You can certainly try" -Matthew Mercer
amedeus40k (1 year 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 (1 year ago)
let me just say...the Beavers in Force Grey season 2...Dude was being so creative that it was cool.
LadyDaemontus (1 year 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 (1 year 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...
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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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 (1 year 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.

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