Gaming catchphrases, expressions, and idioms--what are yours?


First Post
Player Critical Fumbles...or just really bad rolls

I have a player who every time he makes a failed roll (spot, search, etc), he doesn't tell me the number he rolled. Usually, it goes something like this...

"Wow. I have really cool shoes."
"Oooooooo. Pretty."
"Damn, I look good."


Needless to say, they all end up being exceptionally funny and deflate what could be a really bad situation.

log in or register to remove this ad

Doctor Doom


-sound effect made whenever a fighter type hits with multiple attacks and cleaves.

Just then a giant Roc swoops down and grabs (character's name) and flies off.
And at that moment, (character's name) falls from the sky and lands with a thud.

-This is when a player isn't at a session, to explain where their character goes off to (it works even in dungeons or caves).

player: Can I (something dumb)
DM: (Pause)... wait for it... (pause)... (pause)... no.

Ow! My liver!
-uttered after being critted. Stolen from Beavis and Butthead

-Throws weapon- Eh, I didn't need that (+5holy defender or super power weapon) anyway.
-in our game fumbles mean you've dropped your weapon.
Last edited:


Glaurung said:
"there are no rocks in the forest" ... this quote ensued and is used whenever the DM describes a patently ridiculous situation.

There is a fairly famous short story by, I think, Henry Lawson, about a traveller who goes into the pub at Walgett and runs on at leangth about what a pathetic river the Barwon is, about how it wouldn't even count as a creek on the coast, etc. One of the locals bets him five pounds that he can't throw a rock from one bank to the other. The traveller accepts the bet and spends a whole afternoon trying to find a rock....

When I went to Walgett in 1985 I carried a rock with me, and spent a whole fortnight of afternoons trying to taunt a local into repeating the famous bet. No soap.

There are places with no rocks. And if they get more rain than Walgett, most are good places to grow forests.

Think alluvium!

Last edited:


Cold porridge.

See, we had this halfling, who was in charge of breakfast, which he was supposed to cook while he was on third watch. So for some reason the player decided to roll a cooking skill roll (which he had quite a good score in, for some reason). He rolled a 1. So he decided that breakfast that morning was burnt up.

When the rest of us awoke, we were rather pissed. So we searched our character sheets for anything else we had in the way of breakfast rations (this party was rather "into" their inventories). It seemed the dwarf had a large keg of beer in the wagon. Of course, beer is cold, and made from grain. The halfling quickly dubbed it "cold porridge" and dished it out.

So we had "cold porridge" for breakfast.

In turn, now, whenever something looks suspiciously inedible, we say "I'll have cold porridge instead." Or we offer it to people, who turn it down in disgust, and then we go have a drink.



House Ruler
Now where did I put my foam rubber baseball bat?

Said by me when my players are being particularly obtuse. Picked up by them when one of their number is particularly dense ("Get out the foam rubber baseball bat."). Until, finally, one of my players actually brought a foam rubber baseball bat to the game!

La Bete

First Post
Werewolf Pants.

Problems with ripping up all your clothes when changing form? Wear Werewolf Pants. (which are just sweat pants with really stretchy elastic waistband)

The Honk of Derision.

One player, when someone else did something dopey, would do this freaky honking/hooting sound. Whats bizzare is that after a while we all started doing it, or trying to, IN the game. One session we used it to find each other when the party was separated.... (werewolf again)

Lay on the healing tongue.

(any paladin using laying on of hands ability. juvenile, yes, but funny at the time)

Because.... I'm the man!

Response when another player queries how your character hit/made a check, did lots of damage because of special abilities the GM has secretly given your character.

Generally provokes intraparty violence.


First Post
I've got a plus # to drown.

Considering our first few 3e games, where most the characters wore heavy armor, we had huge penalties to swim, so we looked on the bright side.

Crap, Init 23, I'm gonna die.

Said by the half orc fighter Scrag, cause he usually rolls bad init, but when he rolls well, he gets severly injured. Additional: there was this one time when we faced a barbaran, he rolled the best init in the party, and instead of attacking, he chose to defensivly assist my barbarian, but the second character to act was our foe, he charged me, criticaled with his mercerial greatsword, and nearly killed me. I was giving the orc the evil eye the whole night.

Don't go down the well.

During a dungeon hack, there was a well that we were repeatedly told led to a more dangerous section of the dungeon. When we got to level 9, we decided to attempt it, and after our first fight down there, with a pack of displacer beasts that we completly owned, our monk sarcastically said "don't go down the well" later that night, after going thru a teleport maze, we got into a fight with some Minotaurs that could go etheral, and we were almost wiped out, if it had not been for my bard cohort turning the cleric invisable and the cleric keeping me and the half orc alive with heals. after the fight, the monk said "don't go down the well" emphaticly. Used since for times when we scoff at danger only to come near to death.

"Never lie to Jimmy"

I was playing a dumb Fighter(int 9), who was discovered in the travels of the group (I had just lost a character and this was my replacement). They were on a quest to recover a treasure that had been lost in the local mountians that belonged to Jimmy, a gnomish king. As we recovered the treasure, my fighter found a shiny ring, which he took a liking to, so he kept it. When we returned to Jimmy he asked if we had turned in all the treasure. I of course said yes, and making a decent roll on my bluff, as well as Jimmy's reaction which was to say, "ok" and then hand out our rewards, I was satisfied I had fooled him. Later that night on my character's watch I was asked to make a spot roll, which I failed, then a reflex, which I also failed. So the DM informed me I was now a pincushion for about 20 arrows. I said "Ok I make a gurgling noise", the DM had the rest of the party make listen checks, the only one to awaken was our druid, who saw a group of darkly clad men walk forward, decapitate my character and take the ring. They turned to the druid and simply said "We weren't here, you didn't see us, and never lie to Jimmy"
after that the phrase "Don't lie to Jimmy" became the thing to say when some one was about to do something very stupid.

Where's my nerf stick...

A line used, in reference to the wiffle ball bat that's normally in my living room, to discourage the use of stupidly powerful home brewed rules.

Slowly raising your right hand to cover your eyes.

In one game I played, we had a monk played by my friend Alex, who wore artifact level gloves. We had a wizard who never payed attention to the game, but the DM told him we were in a battle and he cast his signature spell called Death Marshmellow, which summoned a slowly falling flamming marshemellow that would explode in a nuclear blast. The monk, seeing the falling marshmellow and knowing he was in range, slowly raised his hand over his eyes. After the explosion, the only parts of him with flesh were his hands, in the gloves, and a hand shaped area of his face. Now slowly raising your hand over your eyes means that you accept your incoming doom.


First Post
Good times, man, good times.

Total newbie, I had to register JUST for this thread.

Reading all of these brought back some great memories of years past, playing and DM'ing (mostly AD&D2e. Here's a few of ours:

"Magical Dogass"
Whenever we would encounter a terrible creature that could easily kill us all, the Barbarian in our group would always "dog-ass run" away. "I'm going to run away, in fact, I'm going to DOG-ASS run."
Eventually, the DM gave the player an item for his dedication to the phrase; a magical strip of leather headband that increased his movement rate by a negligible amount.
Any quickly souring encounter with a "boss" would have players chiming, "Time to strap on the dogass!"

"Get the Phone!"
Once, during a serious and heavy roleplaying scene in which my cleric was communing with his Goddess, our DM launched into a terribly dramatic speech. Everyone was silent, as the DM recited a speech he had obviously memorized for the occasion, ignoring the noises from an adjacent room...until the telephone rang... and in the middle of his speech, without a pause, he shouted, "GET THE PHONE!"
This immediately shattered the mood, and I shouted, "Yes, my lady! I will get the phone for you, no matter the cost!"
After the laughter subsided, the DM realized the damage had already been done. For the rest of that character's tenure, it was a semi-OOC joke that he always asked the local parishes about an artifact called "the phone." (He never found it.)

"Johnny Ranger and Damyu"
One of the groups I gamed with included a tall, mostly silent player, whose Ranger character was named Johnny.
Johnny Ranger, as we called him, wasn't known for his eloquence, but he could make dice rolls that would turn vegas pros green with envy. With a bastard sword in one hand, and a magic long sword in the other, he was our primary offense, and when his turn came up to fight, the entire table would chant, "Johnny RAAANGERRR!!" The DM had to make battles harder, because he was so ruthlessly efficient and had the devil's own luck.
Games later, the player might be a drow mage or a half-elven bard, and yet he would always be called to bat by a chorus of "JOHNNNY RAANGERRRR!"

Johnny Ranger also had a large warhorse that was contractually obligated to him, as per the rules of the game; but being the quiet, largely unimaginative sort, Johnny didn't name his horse for quite some time. The horse would constantly balk at his orders, and each command was invariably followed by "Damn you!"
After a few gaming sessions of, "Get over here, Damn you!" or "Attack that thing, damn you!" The horse began responding to the name "Damyu." In successive other campaigns without Johnny, whenever someone would say, "Damn you." Someone else at the table would mutter an imitation of a horse neighhing, and the DM would look around conspiratorily.

OUR solution to the whole absent player problem was a curse that had been placed upon us by a god of mischeif, so that occasionally, one of our ranks would turn into a cockroach. Of course, this only happened when a player was absent, but it was easy enough to have a cockroach scurry into one of our bags and wait for the next game.

"Piffed and Splapped"
Like all groups, we had our own little pet phrases for attacks and damage...
During a gruesome battle with an archlich, our DM puncutated a hit on one of the PCs with a loud "pfff!" sound, and announced that the pc was now a pile of dust. After killing the lich, scooping our comrades up in baggies, and appropriating his "Rod of Disentegration", "piff" became the verb and the sound effect for a successful disentegration.
One battle, Johnny Ranger dropped his handful of attack dice, and ended up delivering damage equal to at least three times the monster's HP to said monster, to which one of us players leering over his shoulder cried "AWWW...SPLAP!!" After that, any hit that severely damaged an enemy, or in the case of Johnny Ranger versus a Kobold, splattered its entirety into a greasy puddle, would be punctuated by a visceral "SPLAP!"
Like Piff, Splap is a verb and a sound. :)

"Minty Green Incense Sticks"
In some old "Dungeon" magazine somewhere, I read an article where someone wrote about players deviating from the storyline, and sarcastically mentioned something about the theif sneaking into the church to steal minty green incense sticks.
During a game I DM'ed, I had to corral my players who all-too-frequently broke out of the adventure and ignored the plot, and I strongly advised them to stop hunting for Minty green incense sticks, and get back to their room.
They got a kick out of the phrase, and from then on, any game I ran or played with those people, the term "Minty green incnese sticks" became a synonym for aimlessly wasting time, seperating the party, distracting other players, or any other personal endeavor detrimental to the plotline.

(As a side note, In a later campaign, illegal trafficking in minty green incense sticks became a major part of the game, and the focus for quite a few adventures...)

Thanks for the memories, you've made me want to start up a game all over again.


Here's one from today's gaming session: The current party consists of a human fighter, an elven sorcerer, and a half-elven druid with a dire wolf animal companion. We've never really bothered detailing the specifics as to who in the party is actually mapping out the dungeons as the party goes through them; I just draw out each room and show the players what they see, and we assume somebody in the party's actually taking the time to draw it all out. (They keep their maps after each adventure, and sometimes return to do further exploring.)

Today, the PCs were checking out a multi-level, domed building in an abandoned kuo-toa city. The building is circular in shape, with a spiral staircase in the center leading up to each level. As I was drawing the third level, the circle I had made as my guideline for the building's exterior was really sloppy and not very circular at all. When I was called on it, I merely replied, "Well, that's what you get for letting the wolf draw the map."


thg jim

First Post
A few old ones:

Save the cleric!

Our party, while very powerful, was small and always in need of healing. The cleric even started wearing the Red Cross as his sign.
We once fell into a river. The dwarf's descent, who was wearing full plate and completely loaded down, was described as:

The Dwarf falls.
The river opens up.
The Dwarf hits the river bottom.
The river closes over the Dwarf's body.

Jim Govreau
Director of Thunderhead Games for MEG


Mad Scientist
"wrong bag":
In a mage game (in the near future), we ended up in a templar's headquarter. Of course we were found: to cover our exit I threw my backpak (all our packs were equipped with 1lb of C4 and a detonator for this purpose). It's after I threw the bag than I realised than my backpack also contained 30lbs of experimental unstable explosive...
Now we use this sentence to mean "RUN, FAST, NO REALLY RUN!!!"


First Post
1. "Dibs on the armor!"

In the early days of my gaming group, I had a player who ran a typically sticky-fingered rogue. In their first adventure, the party joined forces with a very elderly knight on his last quest. Keep in mind I had already informed the party repeatedly (in response to repeated questioning) that the knight's gear was extremely old, battered and rusty, and had about as much life left in it as the knight himself. At the end of the adventure the heroes confronted the main bad guy, and in the course of the battle the old knight delivered the final blow at the cost of his own life. As I described the villain's last desperate sword swing landing with such force that the knight's helmet was knocked off and the old man crumpled, the rogue, sensing the knight's demise, yells "dibs on the armor!" before the guy could even finish hitting the ground. Since then the term has applied to any party member prematurely grabbing for fallen "loot," or making a grab for any obviously worthless item.

2. "meat shield": any character being used as cover by another character, whether intentional or not. Also used as a reference to hostage-taking ("meat shields up!").


First Post
Players when they don't believe what they are facing:
"I want to roll to disbelieve"

It all sprung out of one fast adventure where the PCs were expecting to fight something around every corner only to have the party dwindle one by one to their 'fantasies'. Basically whenever they would look into these mirror-like walls they would start to see lots of riches, a large castle, beautiful women, etc. that would draw them closer... and the more the player looked the harder the save became. So they caught on quickly and realized that the sooner they rolled the easier it was to disbelieve, they would automatically ask to roll to disbelieve even when faced by the BBEG.


Wigga-Wigga -- when you're going to cast a spell but you're not ready to say what spell exactly. You wiggle your fingers like a wizard when you say it.

Thinka-Thinka -- same as above, but for psionic powers.


My Living Greyhawk group has a few catchphrases:

"We Greyhawk the bodies." - This comes from the fact that in the first year of LG, you only got any loot in the game if you stripped the bodies of your enemies down and took everything. Refers to the fact that LG is the only game that one really does this...

"It's the Vampire Lich King!" - The first mod the group played involved lots of undead. The party decided that the leader must have been a "Vampire Lich King". It turned out to be a ghast with cleric levels, but everyone one convinced otherwise. Now if the the big bad of an adventure is ever in doubt, someone quips, "This looks like the work of the Vampire Lich King!"

Doctor Doom said:
player: Can I (something dumb)
DM: (Pause)... wait for it... (pause)... (pause)... no.

Consider this "Yoinked" :)


"Ah, Screw It!" has become an official expletive for any mages in our parties with fireball prepared, due to one particular player's habit of using it as his version of, "Fire In The Hole!"

"Picture it!" I still hear this phrase echoed back to me. I used to run a WEG Star Wars game, and used this phrase to start about 4 sessions in a row, to open with a cut scene. It somehow became my players' great amusement. :)


After checking the start date on this thread, I'm beginning to like the phrase that Chronosome coined:

"Thread Necromancers!" :D

An Advertisement