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Any examples for this must be taken from published Dungeons & Dragons material, not your personal experiences in a game.
- The 3rd edition Dungeon Master's Guide had a table titled One Hundred Personality Traits for the purposes of quickly coming up with descriptions for random and minor NPCs, however entries #26 and #100 were accidentally omitted. In the 3.5 revision the table was reprinted adding in trait #100: No sense of humor (See #26). #26 was still missing (intentionally this time).
- The 3.5e Expanded Psionics Handbook has two entries for the spell deja vu.
- The "On the set of D&D 4th Edition" cartoons had quite a few gems, not the least of which was the infamous, "I'm a Monster, Raar!"
- The first edition Monster Manual includes a picture of a man with his upper half inside a giant frog. The man is bend 90 degrees at the waist and not struggling, so the result reminds one of a lion tamer putting his head in the lion's mouth.
- From the Giant Lynx (which are intelligent) entry in the same book, we have a cartoon of some adventurers encountering one. One adventure says to the other "Whaddaya mean we gotta talk to this lynx?? The last monster we talked to ate half of the party!"
- The "Leprechaun" entry depicts the fey in question wreaking havoc around their page with their magic, including tearing down the text in the upper right corner and riding the "Giant Leech" in the adjacent entry like a horse.
- This illustration◊ of a mind flayer.
- In Fiendish Codex: Tyrants of the Nine Hells, there's a section detailing Deals With The Devil, as well as how to get out of them. It's possible to do so legally, in Hell's actual court, but only if the bargaining devil actually broke the law (such as by actually lying to the mortal). Then it ends with this gem:It is also possible for a defendant to win her case on merit, only to suffer condemnation to the Nine Hells on unrelated grounds. Much diabolical laughter ensues.
- The third edition Dungeon Master's Guide has two gems both related to naming: first, when speaking of whether to make the game style serious or humorous, it notes, "If the king of the land is a talking dog named Muffy or if the PCs have to find a brassiere of elemental summoning rather than a brazier of elemental summoning, don't expect anyone to take the game too seriously." Then under naming conventions it suggests, "Although any character name is fine in and of itself, a group that includes Bob the Fighter, Aldrorius Killraven of Thistledown, and Runtboy as characters lacks the consistency to be credible."
- The fourth edition mentions the following "In a group consisting of Sithis, Travok, Anastrianna and Kairon, the human fighter named Bob II sticks out. Especially when he's identical to Bob I, who was killed by kobolds ... Travok and Kairon don't want to visit Gumdrop Island or talk to the enchanter Tim." This excerpt is a textbook example of Aerith and Bob.
- The comic book by John Rogers opens with the line, "On the bright side, they're orphan zombies, so nobody's gonna miss 'em," and only goes on from there.
- The Forgotten Realms sourcebook Races of Faerûn contains this gem: "Human legend has it that the centaurs are the result of some mad cross between a wild elf and a wild mustang, but both the wild elves and the centaurs take umbrage at this suggestion. (The mustangs have no particular opinions on the matter.)"
- Player's Guide to Eberron: After several paragraphs of incredible smugness from an elf and a half-elf, quoted from a play:
- The disclaimer on the 5th Edition Player's Handbook, on the credits page.Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequenses of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?"
- The disclaimer on the Monster Manual of the same edition, also on the credits page:Disclaimer: Any similarities between monsters depicted in this book and monsters that actually exist are purely coincidental. That goes double for mind flayers, which absolutely, utterly, and completely do not exist, nor do they secretly run the D&D team. Do we really need a disclaimer to tell you that? You shouldn't use your brain to consider such irrational thoughts. They only make the mind cluttered, confused, and unpleasantly chewy. A good brain is nice, tender, and barely used. Go ahead, put down this book and watch some reality TV or Internet cat videos. They're really funny these days. You won't regret it. We say this only because we love you and your juicy, succulent gamer brain.
- And following the tradition, here's the Dungeon Master's Guide disclaimer:Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast does not officially endorse the following tactics, which are guaranteed to maximize your enjoyment as a Dungeon Master. First, always keep a straight face and say OK no matter how ludicrous or doomed the players plan of action is. Second, no matter what happens, pretend that you intended all along for everything to unfold the way it did. Third, if youre not sure what to do next, feign illness, end the session early, and plot your next move. When all else fails, roll a bunch of dice behind your screen, study them for a moment with a look of deep concern mixed with regret, let loose a heavy sigh, and announce that Tiamat swoops from the sky and attacks.
- All D&D 5th edition books have these. From the Starter Set:Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throws, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.
- From Hoard of the Dragon Queen:Disclaimer: The following adventure contains chromatic dragons. Wizards of the Coast cannot be held liable for characters who are incinerated, dissolved, frozen, poisoned, or electrocuted.
- From Rise of Tiamat:Disclaimer: Tiamat does not apologize for TPKs.
- From the Elemental Evil Player's Companion:Disclaimer: For safe utilization of elemental magic, remember the following guidelines. You can drink water but not fire. You can breathe air but not earth. You can walk on earth but not on water (unless you have the right pair of boots or spell). You can do a lot of things with fire, but almost all of them are bad ideas.
- From the Princes of the Apocalypse module:Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast urges adventurers to remember that not all rock creatures are earth elementals. A talking rock that controls boulders is a galeb duhr. A talking rock wearing jewelry is a dao. A silent rock that's resistant to non-adamantine weapons is a stone golem. A rock with wings is a gargoyle. A rock without a K is a giant bird. A rock that sits there and does nothing could be just a rock or a balor disguised by an illusion. In all cases, proceed with caution.
- From the Out of the Abyss module:Disclaimer: Before you take on demon lords, consult a physician. Do not drink alcohol while taking on demon lords. Taking alcohol and demon lords may increase your risk of death. Other side effects of demon lords may include hallucinations, mindless rage, gluttony, greed, paranoia, self-delusion, bestial urges, nihilism, hedonism, megalomania, a messiah complex, cannibalism, multiple personalities, and homicidal psychosis.
- From the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide:Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast cannot be held responsible for any actions undertaken by entities native to or currently inhabiting the Forgotten Realms, including necromancer lords of distant magocracies, resident mages of any or all Dales but especially Shadowdale, drow rangers wielding one or more scimitars and accompanied by one or more panthers, mad wizards inhabiting sprawling dungeons accessible via a well in the middle of a tavern, beholders who head up criminal cartels, and anyone with the word Many-Arrows in their name. In the event of a catastrophic encounter with any or all such entities, blame your Dungeon Master. If that doesn't work, blame Ed Greenwood, but don't tell him we told you that. He knows more archmages than we do.
- Curse of Strahd, anyone?Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast cannot be held liable for any lingering side effects of venturing into the dread realm of Ravenloft, such as lycantropy, vampirism, a fear of dead things, a fear of living things, an inability to sleep without a nightlight and a +5 holy avenger under your pillow, and the unsettling suspicion that Strahd is too clever to be so easily defeated and that this is all just part of some grand scheme of his to extend his power beyond Barovia. You didn't think you could escape unless he wanted you to, did you?
- Volo's Guide to Monsters:Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast does not vouch for, guarantee, or provide any promise regarding the validity of the information provided in this volume by Volothamp Geddarm. Do not trust Volo. Do not go on quests offered by Volo. Do not listen to Volo. Avoid being seen with him for risk of guilt by association. If Volo appears in your campaign, your DM is undoubtedly trying to kill your character in a manner that can be blamed on your own actions. The DM is probably trying to do that anyway, but with Volo's appearance, you know for sure. We're not convinced that Elminster's commentary is all that trustworthy either, but he turned us into flumphs the last time we mentioned him in one of these disclaimers.
- Elminster is editing the book, like he has with all of Volo's previous Guide books. The sheer amount of snark from the venerable archmage at times just oozes off the pages.
- A pair of notes in the mind flayer section:Volo: I wonder what a Mind Flayer's brain tastes like.
Elminster: Volo, ye are the fool of fools. Illithid brains are poisonous, and drive humans insane with a flood of memories at every bite. Er, ask me not how I know this.''
- Also during the mind flayer section, Elminster, a 1200+ year old archmage that can teleport to other worlds, thinks Volo's been loafing in an opium den after he talks about illithid ships that travel between Planes via the cosmos.
- Some of the Lizard Folk personality quirks are real winners.1. You hate waste and see no reason not to scavenge fallen enemies. Fingers are tasty and portable!
5. You have learned to laugh. You use this talent in response to all emotional situations, to better fit in with your comrades.
6. You still don't understand how metaphors work. That doesn't stop you from using them at every opportunity.
- The Tales from the Yawning Portal keeps it short and sweet:Disclaimer: Do we really need a disclaimer to tell you that it's not our fault that your character died because you decided to climb down into a monster- and trap-filled hole in the ground?
- And joy, now we have the disclaimer for Tomb of Annihilation to remind us of what is waiting in Chult:Disclaimer: This adventure will make your players hate you - the kind of simmering hatred that eats away at their souls until all that remains are dark little spheres of annihilation where their hearts used to be. PS Don't forget to tear up their charater sheets.
- Xanathar's Guide to Everything...which completely nosedives into Suspiciously Specific Denial:Disclaimer: No goldfish were harmed in the making of this book. Especially not Sylgar. Sylgar definitely did not die because we forgot to change his water. If you see Xanathar, make sure it knows that. Be perfectly clear Sylgar was not harmed. And we had nothing to do with it. Better yet, don't bring it up, and don't mention us.
- Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes dives straight into Meta territory.Disclaimer: We asked Mordenkainen to write a humorous disclaimer for this book, and we got this response: "The day I start writing frivolous disclaimers for game manuals—particularly one riddled with text stolen from my notes—is the day I retire from wizardry and abandon all self-respect."
- Mordenkainen is of the opinion that halflings have survived for so long because they're so annoying that no one wants to deal with them.
- And now the Waterdeep Dragon Heist reminds you exactly what your newly created characters are up against:Disclaimer: The Lords of Waterdeep cannot be held responsible for the flogging, banishment, incarceration, or execution of adventures who violate the Code Legal, nor are the Lords responsible for the actions of beholder crime lords, unscrupulous nobles, drow swashbucklers, and evil clones. Also don't be alarmed by the colossal statues scattered throughout the city. They're quite safe and haven't gone berserk in years.
- Speaking of Waterdeep, there's the disclaimer to Dungeon of the Mad Mage:Disclaimer: The Mad Mage of Undermountain is not seeing visitors right now. Don't come down because, uh, we're renovating and everything is a mess. You won't find any treasure, and the buffet is closed until further notice. Ye gods, where did all these githyanki come from? As if the mind flayers weren't bad enough. What's that? You think you can plunder my home and get away with it? Ha! You don't have the experience points.
- Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica:Disclaimer: The Living Guildpact is not responsible for the fate of those arrested by the Azorius, beaten by the Boros, dodged by the Dimir, grossed out by the Golgari, gored by the Gruul, imploded by the Izzet, outwitted by the Orzhov, rousted by the Rakdos, subsumed by the Selesnya, or sickened by the Simic. Join or leave a guild at your own risk, and get involved with guild politics at your peril.
- Ghosts of Saltmarsh adds a stealth nod to the next adventure module to be released after it...:Disclaimer: After battling dragons, elemental cultists, vampires, demons, and giants, you deserve a relaxing ocean cruise. Please keep all limbs well within the ship's confines. We are not responsible for valuables, hit points or lives lost during your voyage. In fact, perhaps you'd prefer a more relaxing vacation option. Can we suggest a voyage to the Nine Hells? They're quite balmy this time of year.
- Descent into Avernus has a nod to the good ol' days of the Satanic Panic.Disclaimer: This adventure is a work of fiction aimed at providing you and your friends with many hours of fantastic entertainment. Although devils and the Nine Hells play prominent roles in this story, the evil they represent is meant to be fought and overcome. Wizards of the Coast fully endorses the kicking of evil's butt. Let darkness fall and light prevail. We strongly advise that you not play this adventure backward, lest Asmodeus appear in a puff of smoke to talk politics, as archfiends are wont to do.
- Eberron: Rising from the Last War goes for Gameplay and Story Integration:Disclaimer: Published by the brilliant gnomes of House Sivis, this illustrious volume exposes truths you won't believe about the Last War! You might think that's enough to satisfy you, dear reader, but there's more! The book also contains dice-fueled rules for reenacting thrilling events in the world of Eberron (dice not included). Also, don't forget to. recharge this book's magic with a dragonshard about once a eek. If you don't, the book will turn back into a potato.
- The third-party rulebook The Book of Erotic Fantasy:
- The Voyeuristic Seer, a prestige class that specializes in using divination to watch other people have sex. The spell section contains a lot of other silly things, like the anti-clothing shell and the Disrobe spell.
- The book has a section on ooze reproduction: "One Ooze. Idiot Damages Ooze. Two Oozes."
- A lot in the various Planescape books, including most entries penned by Xanxaost the slaad:
- Forgotten Realms books contain some hilarity more often than not:
"Two types of chimerae stalk Cormanthor: the mean ones, and the really mean ones. You can't tell one from the other, except for their lips.""As if keeping an undead ferret in her tunic weren't enough to drive civilized company away, she spent her last social gathering explaining the disparate relative effects of falling damage on living and undead rat squirrels to two decidedly uncomfortable apprentice mages with good prospects."
- Elminster's Ecologies:
Once the focal stones are safely hidden inside a hollow statuette out behind her privy, Volo: As I was saying, wizards tend to be a mite suspicious of the world around — and not always without reason.
- Volo's Guides, with his and Elminster's footnotes: Elminster: Delusions this grand are the final frightening stages of the descent into babbling idiocy. Hmmm, perhaps the lad would've made a good mage after all...
- Portable Hole Full of Beer, and its remakes Son of a Portable Hole and Bride of Portable Hole: The Book of Neurotic Fantasy. Complete with Flumphonomicon, mockery of weirdly specialized prestige classes and dumbed-down flavour text of some late D&D products, stats for monsters like Marshmallow Golem, "12 Year Old Gamer Girl" template, a handful of spells and items—some of which are usable in a sane game, but have outstanding Power Perversion Potential—and so on. It's downloadable for free.
- There are prestige classes for becoming a Pokemon master, becoming a chef who specializes in cooking the monsters the party defeats, and metagaming more and more until the character becomes fully aware they are in a roleplaying game, turns into a real person, and moves in with their player.
- Book of Oafish Might has much the same style as Portable Hole (only a bit more... oafish), presenting things like mock templates "Redundant Creature" or "Really, really Evil Creature" and enough slapstick material to make The Loonie stand and hear... hear...
- A couple of guys (Frank Trollman and his buddy Keith) wrote some articles which had some houserules to iron some of the wrinkles out of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 (Like Polymorph or Wish). One of these, the Dungeonomicon, has almost all of its section headings end in an —nomicon name and a pithy quote. Highlights include: The Constructanomicon: "How does that even stay up?" Other articles include such memorable quotes as: Character Backgrounds: "I I'm a fighter. I stab people. In the face." Not even feats are safe, with the feat Giant Slayer having the flavor text Everyone has a specialty. Yours is miraculously finding ways to stab creatures in the face when it seems improbable that you would be able to reach that high. and Zen Archery reading You are very calm about shooting people in the face. That's a good place to be.
- Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes has a table that explains the demonic/tana'ri mindset perfectly, and why they haven't gotten past the Blood War stalemate despite being advantaged in numbers and sheer unpredictability:Demon Bonds, 1-6: I am a perfect product of creation, destined to one day shape the cosmos to my whims. Everything I do verifies my destiny.
- The same chapter tells a story about how Asmodeus, lord of devils, was accused of various crimes by various angels. Asmodeus, defining his character as a Magnificent Bastard, responded to these accusations, demanding a fair trial. The angels, utterly confused, agreed, and (after having the entire heavenly host look over the contract to make sure there were no loopholes) met up in Mechanus, where Primus would serve as an unbiased judge. Asmodeus said his case, and then it was the angels' turn. Their lists of accusations ran on for weeks, that even Primus eventually ran out of patience, and told the angels that only a limited amount of them could present any more accusations. The angels started fighting over who got to go first, and had thus broken the sacred neutrality demanded by Primus, making the entire trial null and void. It's unclear why Asmodeus did this, other than For the Evulz. It didn't help that all the infighting started when Zariel, who was still an angel at the time, shoved her way to the front.
- Waterdeep: Dragon Heist has some fun with one of the villains, the flamboyant Jarlaxle Baenre. He becomes in one part of the module, one big, and hilarious Shout-Out to Sean Connery. Players have a chance to actually meet him in disguise (well, they have numerous opportunities...) on his ship. When they meet him there, he's described as "a well-built, scantily-clad man, his scarlet apparel designed to accentuate his trim figure and bountiful chest hair." His cover name? Zardoz Zord. Later, the party has a chance to discover his personal submarine, which he named the Scarlet Marpenoth. In the Forgotten Realms calendar, Marpenoth maps to October, meaning — wait for it... Zed is the captain of the Red October.
- Part of 5e character creations is picking backgrounds. Each background has four parts: a personality trait, an ideal, a bond, and a flaw. Some of these options can be amusing. For example.
- Flaw number 5 for the Noble background:
- I was, in fact, Raised by Wolves. is a possible personality trait for the Outlander background.
- The Archaeologist background from Tomb of Annihilation is full of shout-outs to Indiana Jones. You can start with a whip, hat, or medallion as your signature item, possible flaws include being afraid of a common wild animal and having no time for friends or family, and That artifact belongs in a museum. is an option for an ideal.
- Bond number two for the Marine background, introduced in Ghosts of Saltmarsh: "I. Will. Finish. The. Job."
- Spell components are often punningly related to a spells effects. Examples include Detect Thoughts requiring a copper piece (a penny for your thoughts) and Feeblemind requiring a handful of clay or glass spheres (losing your marbles).
- The Exhaustion status in 5e comes with six, increasingly debilitating levels, and the levels can only be removed one at a time. That's not funny. What is funny is that dying while exhausted and being brought back with a Raise Dead or Revivify spell will not remove more than one level. Death is apparently not very relaxing.
The Eye Of The Beholder
The Hall Of Bones
Valley Of The Unicorns
In Search Of The Dungeon Master
- In "Search for the Dungeon Master," Presto demands of his hat something to stop a charging monster. His hat produces a Stop Sign. Presto's sheepish grin as he plants the sign and runs away sells it.
Beauty And The Bogbeast
Prison Without Walls
Servant Of Evil
Quest Of The Skeleton Warrior
The Garden Of Zinn
The Lost Children
- When Eric learns that the titular children mature into the very bestial looking Alfor, "You guys grow up to be Wookies?"
- Sheila tricks a couple of lizard men into trapping themselves.
P-R-E-S-T-O Spells Disaster
The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow
- Quite a few from the first half of "The Girl Who Dreamed Tomorrow."
- First, Eric, in a panic over the Bullywugs, tries to warn his friends, while they ignore him, resulting in him grabbing and shaking a Lizard Man to try to get his point across, only to realize a moment later who he was talking to.
- Sheila then volunteers to retrieve him from the Bullywugs and Lizard Men, all of who are fighting over who gets to capture him. Invisible, she slaps a Lizard Man on the ass, and then calmly retrieves Eric, still gibbering, from the ensuring chaos.
The Treasure Of Tardos
- When Dungeon Master tells them there is great danger ahead, Eric can only reply, "What now, Oh Terrible Tour Guide?"
City At The Edge Of Midnight
Day Of The Dungeon Master
- Facing off against Venger, Eric attempts to make a Badass Boast, telling old hornhead, "Only one of us will survive this, and it's not going to be me!"
- There's just something amusing about seeing Eric, now more comfortable with his new powers, casually zapping the tentacles that are trying to drag their boat under.
The Last Illusion
The Dragon's Graveyard
Child Of The Stargazer
- Eric pulls a Well, Excuse Me, Princess! on Bobby after telling the pint-sized Barbarian that Uni is off hanging with Kosar.
- Eric and Bobby tell Kosar that taking out the Demon will be a piece of cake, and that the Queen will probably thank them. Kosar then explains that the Queen IS the Demon.Eric: Hold the cake.
- Eric points out to Hank that even if Diana and Kosar can see his flares, they'd have no way of signaling back, and then rebukes Presto for pulling a map of Pittsburgh from his hat. The others, tired of his negativity, ask him what he thinks they should do. He fumbles for a second, then gives us this gem:Eric: WHY ARE YOU BUGGING ME! ASK HIM! (points offscreen to reveal Dungeon Master, who wasn't there a second ago.)
The Dungeon At The Heart Of Dawn
- The beginning of "Dungeon at the Heart of Dawn" includes a common background shot of Hank and Sheila leaning against each other. But this time, when she sees a falling boulder apparently crush Bobby, a frantic Sheila jumps up and runs off... and poor Hank topples over.
The Time Lost
Odyssey Of The Twelfth Talisman
Citadel Of Shadow
Cave Of The Fairie Dragons
The Winds Of Darkness
- In a scene often quoted by the Game Grumps, when the main characters arrive in the D&D world, the man they meet says "ranger, wizard, and... acrobat."
- And when he says "thief!", stating one character's new class, the newly-minted thief says "What?" and people shout "GET HIM!"
- Everything Jeremy Irons says and does. Literally Everything
- Bruce Payne also adds his raw supply of ham to the movie, and evvvvveeerrrry tiiimmmmee heee exxxtteeeenddsss his sentancesssss counts as a moment in its own right
- Snails' opinion on his and Ridley's plan to break into the magic school as there in the middle of climbing an extremely tall tower.Snails: Why it gotta be so high up!Ridley: Quiet!Snails: Can't we just rob the first floor next time?Ridley: Shush!Snails: Why don't we just rob God while we're up here!
- A few minutes later, Snails is calling Ridley out on how he had said the heist would be 'easy', to which Ridley retorts that he said it 'wouldn't be impossible'. Snails launches into a tirade about the time one of Ridley's bright ideas got Snails a Groin Attack from a halfling they were robbing. What pushes it into hilarious territory is how Ridley mouths along with Snails: clearly it's not the first time Snails has brought it up!
- Snails getting relationship advice from Elwood.Elwood: You gotta be kidding! The problem with elves is they don't got no meat on their bones! You gotta get yourself a nice 250-pound dwarf, huh?! With hair on her chin you can hang onto!Snails: (dashes off, looking like he's about to puke)