Humour in a DnD campaign




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  1. #1

    Humour in a DnD campaign

    I am running a pretty serious DnD campaign, but I'd like to feature some lighter moments, just to add some elements of humour. I'm not looking for anything crazy, like having everyone in the game world suddenly turn into dogs or something like that. But I would like to have a few side quests or encounters that end up making my players laugh (or at least chuckle a little), but without making the whole campaign silly.

    Any suggestions? Anyone done anything like this before? Any and all input would be helpful. Thanks!

 

  • #2
    Iron Fist of Pelor
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    NPCs can be tremendous fun. I run a city-based campaign, and every now and then the characters have a really tense moment in a crowded neighborhood. The reactions of the terrified populace -- ranging from cowering fruit vendors, to little girls who think it's the coolest thing they've ever seen, to little old ladies who refuse to open the door and threaten to brain any PC who knocks the door down -- can be great sources of humor.

    Other ideas:
    -An NPC who thinks he's much wilier than he is. Imagine a hill giant who prides himself on his Macchiavellian negotiation skills but who's slightly dumber than a brick; with a bit of work, the PCs can scam him for all he's got and still make him think he got the best end of the bargain.
    -The king's toady. During negotiations with an important NPC, an unimportant NPC keeps interrupting to show her agreement with the head honcho.
    -The Pessimist. Someone who provides an important service to the PCs (a local priest, an alchemist, a blacksmith) thinks their mission is doomed to failure, and takes nasty joy in telling them how hopeless their efforts are. The players will have a great time coming back to him after they're victorious, watching him sputter and try to spin their successes into failures.

    Daniel
    Last edited by Pielorinho; Thursday, 4th April, 2002 at 05:55 PM.
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    The DM gave us a side trek where we had to return a necklace to an elven noblewoman. The twist was, when her chest fell off her carriage, it landed on a skunk. We had lots of fun trying to make our fortitude saves to stand the stench long enough to open the chest and search it. Her reaction upon finding out the fate of her chest full of fancy silk dresses was priceless.

    Our halfling rogue got into a bar brawl with a gnome fighter. Instead of the usual punching and kicking, he embarassed the gnome. Pulled his nose, gave him a wedgie, tumbled past him and kicked him in the butt, poured jam down his pants, that sort of thing.

    Have a truly atrocious bard follow one of the players around. Choose the most unlikely player possible to be fawned over. The lovestruck/starstruck bard is always trying to do favours, sometimes useful ones, or giving them things to curry favour. The bard gets details wrong when composing new songs and gives totally the wrong impression to other NPCs.

    An incompetent spellcaster is performing on a street corner to raise money and pulls a PC from the audience. Whatever spell they're trying to cast backfires and instead casts a random cantrip or first level spell. For example, the bumbler could accidently cast continual flame on the PC's hair.

  • #4
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    One means of injecting comedy via NPC's hasn't come up yet. The mistaken identity gambit. A pair of twin NPC's that keep being mistaken for each other, or an NPC with a striking resemblance to a PC, can provide hours of fun & laughter!
    -Christian
    The psychic warrior's player, after watching my character disarm an opponent with a whip after blinding him with glitterdust: "That ... was the coolest thing I have ever seen a bard do."

  • #5
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    Geez, in the campaign I play in, we generally have too much humor. The challenge is getting everyone to take the adventure seriously!

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

  • #6

    "Lucky"

    The party IMC hired a guide at one point named "Lucky". He was missing a hand, an eye, a leg, and quite a number of teeth. He was the sole survivor of six previous expeditions, so he knew where all the most dangerous spots were. He spoke with a Maine drawl, and his only action in combat (except occasionally drawing his longsword so he could use his expertise feat) was to make pessimistic remarks.

    "Aye, that's goin' to leave a mahk."

    "Aye, the reinfossments should be heah shoahtly."

    "A kobahld... a soacerah, most likeleah..."

    They loved him. One of the PC's decided to take him as a cohort.

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    Re: "Lucky"

    Originally posted by Vaxalon
    The party IMC hired a guide at one point named "Lucky". He was missing a hand, an eye, a leg, and quite a number of teeth. He was the sole survivor of six previous expeditions, so he knew where all the most dangerous spots were. He spoke with a Maine drawl, and his only action in combat (except occasionally drawing his longsword so he could use his expertise feat) was to make pessimistic remarks.

    "Aye, that's goin' to leave a mahk."

    "Aye, the reinfossments should be heah shoahtly."

    "A kobahld... a soacerah, most likeleah..."

    They loved him. One of the PC's decided to take him as a cohort.
    We didn't universally love him, or at least our affection didn't always completely outweigh our jovial hatred of the man. There were more than a few occassions where the only thing that kept me from turning to fill him full of arrows was a more pressing problem in front of me, like an Efreet, Kyton or Chiaelite priest.
    Last edited by Storm Raven; Thursday, 4th April, 2002 at 07:55 PM.
    I don't know if I would consider being smashed into a pulp by a giant mace to be a "good result".

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    I had a group og gnomes trying to kill a high level party. The party was good and couldn't figure out why the gnomes were trying to off them. However, the gnomes were just too low level to pose any kind of serious threat. So, the gnomes would try (and they really tried. Some ingenius ambushes that would work and anyone not high level) and the PCs would fiol the plot and the gnomes would run.

    One encounter had the gnomes rolling boulders down a narrow staircase to the party who was climbing up. Wizard casts Anti Gravity and the boulders started rolling up the stairs (sure the spell techniucally works differently, but this was more fun). THe gnomes scatter yelling of "Too much backspin!!".

    The whole thing was more of a running gag. The gnomes would show up and complicate things. The gnomes, never targeted anyone outside the group and they even went out of their way to make sure there was never any inocent bystanders. Once the gnomes made a road block to keep pedestrians away from the party. It gave up the surprise, but it was funny.

  • #9
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    Think of a movie like Die Hard, or Lord of the Rings. While the movies were mostly serious, there were was still humor injected. I find that humor gives the players something to laugh at, so that when a serious moment arrises they've already laughed.

    Least to say, my campaigns are usually very humoruous.
    Previously known as "Tsunami".

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  • #10
    Crothian, Vaxalon and Madriel:

    ROFLMAO !!


    My suggestion also relates to an NPC, but one that is physically a part of the group. I played in a campaign a few years ago under 2E, wherein the DM casually inserted a halfing bard (using a combination of the Jester and Acrobat kits) into the party...as a guide initially IIRC. He wasn't much use in the way of combat or spellcasting, but he was masterful at taunting our foes and distracting them long enough for us to regroup. He carried a quarterstaff and tied to the end was a sack of flour with small holes ripped in the fabric. Whenever he did score a hit, a little burst of flour dust coated his opponent. It had no effect other than to make us laugh...and occasionally enrage his foe .

    Bottom line: NPC's are the path to in-game humor.
    LIVE STRONG

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