Whatever tabletop role playing games (RPGs) you play, you’re bound to have a few memorable stories. Sometimes, these episodes go beyond funny anecdotes between friends and spread across the internet like wildfire, embedding themselves in legend. I’ve dug through the archives and put together a list of five of my favorite stories, that—through comedy, pathos, or epicness in scope—managed to strike a chord with this grizzled DM.
Word of warning, the stories are fairly SFW, but the sites they are linked to can be NSFW.
Told by WaffleHouseMillionaire back in 2010, Old Man Henderson is the story of one Call of Cthullu player’s scheme to get revenge on a supposedly awful DM. The result is Old Man Henderson, questionably Scottish curmudgeon with a 320-page backstory who proceeds to tears through his the Dungeon Master’s (DM’s) campaign with the style, carnage, and humanity of a Tarantino film. Old Man Henderson is a laugh riot for anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of a bad DM and it’s a treat to see just how far WaffleHouseMillionaire manages to take his DM for a ride.
Click the link above to read the whole story, or listen to a recorded version here.
Run from 2009 to 2012, Tale Of An Industrious Rogue is DM Kroft’s memoir of how one Pathfinder player’s decision to create a salt mine led to Machiavellian schemes and a world-shattering calamity. Tale Of An Industrious Rogue feels like a great ping pong match, with the players dipping and dodging every curveball their DM throws at them as the stakes grow terrifyingly high. It’s a great example of how a flexible DM and clever players can turn an off-the-beaten-path moment into an epic and darkly funny saga.
A story from 2013, the titular Desirebro retells how he and a handful of other players set out to transcend from demi-gods to gods within their DM’s homebrew campaign. While the other stories are fairly comedic, Desirebro’s tale grabbed me because of its strong narrative. I grew interested in the world, characters, relationships, and how events would play out. I really want to know about the system the DM was using, but the story never goes into details. If you’re looking for a Tabletop story that feels like it could be its own novel, look no further.
A number of these stories has centered on scorned players going off the rails, but none ever felt as righteous to me as the anonymous player of Edgardo. Thrown into a broken homebrewed online RPG forum with a low tier character against a bunch of immature jerks, “Edgardo’s” tale is a great underdog’s story with a sweet cherry of revenge on top. When you’re having a down moment, reading about this player’s unbreakable tenacity is a great way to get your blood boiling.
The last story on my list. Epic Drawthread is one of the most simple but also incredibly fun. Drawn by anonymous artist, Epic Drawthread shows the progress of a party of adventurers through a series of pictures. While fairly straightforward at first, I had fun watching the artwork and characters grow more complex with each new drawing all while still maintaining a light-hearted simplicity and relatability to them.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted, easy read, you can find Epic Drawthread here.
There are a vast number of popular tabletop stories I’ve missed, so please feel free to discuss and share your recommendations below. Otherwise, happy reading.
Featured Image Credit: Pathfinder/Paizo