Tales from the Table: Light at the End of the Tunnel 3

We were playing AD&D (1st edition) about two years ago and Bill was running the game. We had progressed to somewhere around 4th or 5th level and were getting along quite well. We had built a great party rapport and we all liked our characters. Things were finally starting to move along quickly and we were getting into the swing of things…. until….

Bill drew out a long, straight, five-foot-wide passage on the battle board and asked for a marching order. We did our best to put the biggest fighter in the front, followed by the cleric, followed by the other spell casters with our thief in the rear to guard that direction. Bill then pulled out a few miniatures and placed them about 50 feet down the hallway in front of us. We knew something was up. Bill always uses chits for monsters unless they are special, and then he pulls out the miniatures. In this case, there were no chits on the board. We knew we had run into another adventuring group.

That either means parley and trading, or bloody war. We were prepared for either eventuality, and then we heard the chanting. Our wizard recognized the spell as lightning bolt, and we were trapped in a straight line! Bill called for an initiative roll, and we ended up losing poorly. The other group got to go first. Their wizard unleashed his lightning bolt and Bill required all of us to make our saves… We collectively rolled: 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2.

Yep. Nothing higher than a 2. No saves for us! With the rattle of his dice, Bill rambled off the damage and asked who was still standing. The math was easy for us. No one had anywhere near the maximum HP of the damage done by the spell. We were toast. Literally. The brief campaign ended with a TPK (total party kill.)

Now, you may be thinking that Bill is a hard-ass for killing us off that way. I’ll always defend Bill because he showed us the stats on the group after we were all dead. We should have been able to take them had the dice rolls not gone the way they did, and Bill does not fudge dice rolls. In the end, we rolled about as poorly as we possibly could have, and he rolled about as well as his dice had ever allowed. The combination of the two strokes of luck brought doom to our party.

We still laugh and cut it up when someone mentions the numbers “1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2” because we all know what they are talking about.

Good times, indeed….

3 thoughts on “Tales from the Table: Light at the End of the Tunnel

  1. Rev. Lazaro Nov 16,2009 3:12 AM

    A friend of mine was running us through a RIFTS game once, and I told him I was rolling to see if I could find a fallen soldier’s dead body. He told me I would have to roll a 2 to NOT see it; but the die was already tossed. Lo and behold, the twenty sider rolled a perfect two. We deemed my cyborg marched up, stomped on the poor lad’s face, and looked around going “Gee, where’d that guy go?”

    I love bad dice rolling sometimes.

  2. Hungry Nov 16,2009 2:21 PM


    I totally agree that bad dice rolls can create just as many role playing opportunities as good die rolls. I would even go so far as to say that bad die rolls create MORE role playing chances.

    Glad to hear you had a good time with Rifts. It’s one of my favorite games out there.

  3. Rhianni Nov 16,2009 10:59 PM

    Bad dice rolls can be fun. My group will sometimes just say screw it they fail and want to miss a die roll to create fun.

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