D&D 5E Share your Dnd "Moments that Matter"


After years of playing and DMing dnd, I have found that plots fade, campaigns become fuzzy, but there are certain moments in the game that become immortal. Those moments of incredible luck, or brillance, or just plain hilarity that stick with players for years. Its the moments that turn into the campfire stories your players still tell all those years later.

So in this thread, feel free to share a few of those moments.

I had one recently with a group of newer players to the game. They came into a town, and through some hilarious incompetence from the players (who still smack their heads at how foolish they were) managed to fall into a deadly ambush by the BBEG. Now the BBEG is the adopted father of the lady rogue in the group, who basically enslaved her into a life of crime, of which she escaped recently.

The party is sweating, they are completely surrounded, and there is even a shield golem in the mix. The rogue takes a big gulp, and tries to talk her way out of it with "Papa". She goes into a teenage girl hissyfit, complaining to daddy how he never lets her have any friends, etc. Rolls a nat 20 on the persuasion check!

So Papa goes into dad mode, tries to console his "little girl" by agreeing to let her keep a few of her friends, and he'll just kill the rest (a very fair deal in his dark evil mind). She now blows up on him, screaming as only a daughter can (some great roleplay from my player). And....rolls ANOTHER nat 20 on the second check!

Papa relents, not only sparing them all, but making them guests at his house while he attends to his business (aka the dark plot the party is here to stop). The party is brought to the house, finds an opportunity to escape, and ultimately wins the day with the lady rogue killing her father in one of the final battles.

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This was a sequel campaign, so many of the PCs were siblings and the children of previous campaign PCs. This meant there was a A LOT of history at play.

One of the PCs - a monk named Ash - engaged a dragon in an epic battle, holding on tight when it flew into the sky. Eventually, the monk was tossed, unconscious to the ground and died.

As the PCs returned to their home town, an NPC sibling -- the youngest child -- rushed out to see them return from their adventures, as she always did. When she saw them coming solemly down the street, she (I) asked, "Where's Ash?"
The eldest sibling -- and most invested player -- simply looked at her (me) and said, "Gone."

It is the only time I can think of being so completely emotionally invested in a game that real tears came. We had to break for dinner and compose ourselves.


My players were storming a castle that nestled in two towers between a raging river. Rope bridges connected them. After crossing the PCs find themselves in some type of storage room lined with crates and a lone sarcophagus. OF coruse, they decide to go mess with it because... of course they did. Sure enough a mummy is inside and they are not really in shape to take it on. I mean, they can probably survive it but it will be a costly combat.

So, the dirge bard says he will charm the mummy. Which he does, barely. The mummy wants to know which way its home is. The PCs point across the rope bridge. As the mummy reaches the halfway point, they frantically hack away at the bridge with their daggers. Just as the mummy is about to reach them it plunges into the raging river. Never to be seen again, for a couple of levels...

Same castle storming. The PCs locked themselves in a guards tower with hammocks to get some rest. Middle of the night the Sorc starts screaming as he is being eaten by a mimic. After surviving that encounter, the sorc would frantically hack away any hammock he saw after that night.


So I ran a solo campaign with my best friend. She was someone who had been thrown forward in time from a previous bad personal situation at the jump. Because it was a solo game, I decided to give her someone to talk to in the form a a magic weapon that could transform into any handheld object.

She really played up the stranger in a strange land, isolation aspect and talked to the snarky, blood knight weapon all the time. It became a really great friendship.

Then there was a super-traumatic fight that hit on a lot of the character's past issues and how she was raised to be a living weapon. She's left surrounded by the people she saved who appreciate her, but now see how dangerous she is. Depressed and on the verge of breaking down, she retreats to her tent and confides in the weapon, wishing it were a person because she really needs someone there for her now.

So. Unbeknownst to her, the weapon had a backstory. It was actually an evil shapeshifting wizard cursed to be the servant of whoever wielded the weaponry he was ensorcerelled into. Not only was he literally a the living weapon she was being made to feel like, but the friendship they had formed was the first genuine one he'd had in thousands of years.

Back to the present, she makes her wish and the wizard is able to interpret that as a command to take human form for the first time in a very long time-- so he can give her the hug she so desperately needed.

This was a major shift in the game and turned it from a lone hero drama to a buddy cop style adventure.


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The party was exploring a subterranean necropolis and after fighting tons of undead, decided to check a locked stone sarcophagus they had found earlier and wisely left alone (until now).
The party and their NPC allies lined up and prepared to fight whatever emerged. They unlocked the sarcophagus and as they began to push open the lid, it explodes outward and suddenly hovering there is an ancient but emaciated vampire, who has not feasted in an age and whose pain was magically keeping the place from collapsing (a punishment from his own master).

First round of combat, the half-orc cleric/ranger, rushes forward and scores a crit and since we were playing with a crit table, rolls 99. . .. DECAPITATION!

In my homebrew, decapitation was one of the ways to permanently kill a vampire of this kind, so the big bad evil thing was killed in one blow before it got to do anything!
The cheer around the table was deafening!

Of course, as soon as it was killed, the place began to collapse, leading to an epic harrowing escape before they were all buried and trapped forever.


No rule is inviolate
Stumpy the 3-legged dog

What began as simple background dressing in a Kingmaker campaign (a foreign agent with bardic skills was doing his daily bad-mouthing of the PC rulership of a barony and used animal friendship on the town's 3-legged dog to generate sympathy while having the dog growl at the PC baron), became a local legend.

Stumpy's legend was built out of absolutely nothing, but since the players seemed to like hearing about him, Stumpy kept showing up during major events. During an invasion when the enemy breached the walls of the town, the guards fled, but Stumpy charged in barking and rallied the guards who felt shamed a dog was braver than them.

Eventually I ran a scenario where the PCs controlled their NPC friends in battle while they were away from town, and Stumpy became an NPC hero with his own stat block. He never had a home and always refused one, roaming from house to house and inn to inn. The party considered casting Awaken on him but reconsidered, figuring he looked like he enjoyed his life as a dog by the inn fire, and despite one day casting a spell to talk to him, Stumpy never revealed how he lost his leg.

In the end, the townfolk ponied up the gold for a statue of Stumpy in the town square, making him more a celebrity than the PCs who actually governed the barony.


As a GM I keep fond memories from most campaigns, often about how players change the course of the campaign or show amazing creativity that I can develop to whole new plot archs.

In my latest campaign, finished a month ago after two years, I had planted a few plot hooks around the little starting town. One of them was about drug smuggling on the river. I thought it would last a few sessions. But my players turned into Miami Vice and spent nine months of weekly 4-hour sessions eradicating the whole drug syndicate. As a GM I just sat back and riffed on their often bizarre conclusions - a great example of co-creating a fun story.

But I couldn't resist letting the hyper addictive drug - "The Salt" - be a psychotropic planted by Illithids from realmspace - part of my original very loose overarching campaign plot - as a way to slowly leech mental energy from the addicts.

I dearly love my players!


So the end of my last campaign. The bard had been given a wish from a wishing imp (which notoriously always twists a wish to its most evil effect). However, unbeknownst to the imp, the bard had the vizier card from the Deck of Many Things. So the bard used the vizier to gain the knowledge of "how to make a specific wish in a way that could not be twisted or misunderstood". The player and I worked out a wish for the Bard to become "the greatest bard in all of Taranya"....Taranya being a legendary city in my multiverse. To keep the game fair, I gave him a performance check higher than even a 20th level bard could get (but no other bardic powers), so it was more an awesome flavor element.

Fast forward to the endgame. The party is facing Victory, who was a living weapon forged by the power of all the gods together (to fight the primordials, but that's a story for another day). Victory's power is simple....he always wins, in any competition he literally just wins. As Victory is heading to Taranya, battling and slaying gods, the Bard challenges him to a BARD OFF!

And so the epic forces clash. Victory cannot lose, but the Bard is the greatest bard in all of Taranya...and so must be better than anyone currently in Taranya. And so the two forces compete in the greatest bard off ever seen in the multiverse. Ultimately the mortal magic of wish cannot compete against a power created by the gods, and so the wish is drained dry.... but it buys the party enough time to institute the master plan....finishing a Mirror of Opposition crafted by Moradin himself (with a lot of plot stuff that the party had collected over several sessions). The mirror was turned to Victory, and now two Victories grappled each other. Neither could lose, and so they remained there in a stalemate....for all of eternity.

Had one of my players surprise the party at the end of the campaign by revealing his warlock character was trying to get his hands on the Book of Vile Darkness the whole time. This was revealed while the party was fighting the BBEG. Warlock got his hands on the book, opened a vortex that tried to yeet the party into oblivion. Party was saved by a buff surfer bro and his buff CrossFit peasant entourage.

Warlock became the villain in the “sequel” campaign.

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