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Narm / Tabletop Games

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  • In the Mekton adventure Operation: Rimfire, Lord Dremmond's death scene description is, and I quote: "Tough as nails, he gets one dying speech" (followed by twenty-seven lines of said speech) before any PC can finish him off. That would be not a Rasputinian Death but a vanilla Final Speech, were not his death in the middle of a frantic close-quarters battle with the whole Rimfire flight crew gang-banging him with all sort of weapons, including lightsabers, in an alien spaceship full of monsters about to be psychically awakened by him — which really gives the PCs no reason at all to cease fire until well after he is Deader than Dead. Which every group of players, routinely, does. After that, he detonates a hard-radiation nuke. And survives.
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  • One DnD supplement introduced the Vigilante prestige class, which is essentially Batman IN FANTASY! So how does this end up narmic? The sample vigilante's name is Beasley Bigums. He sounds less like an avenging vigilante and more like a minor P.G. Wodehouse character. And he's a halfling, for that matter.
  • Speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, the Gelatinous Cube, while specifically evolved to absorb unwitting adventurers via its translucency (which apparently amounts to invisibility under DnD rules), generally just seems hilarious, earning it a special place in the hearts of many DnD fans.
    • With a special item or ability, you can use them as mounts. You can use them as MOUNTS.
    • Bonus points for having seemingly evolved to exist in a world with an Invisible Grid.
    • Atropus. It's the stillborn severed head of a godling the size of a small planet, made of undead flesh and corrupted elemental matter. It flies through the galaxy trying to eradicate all life. Some people still find him pretty scary, but others just find the idea of a flying head planet a bit comical.
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  • Exalted: the map at the end of Return of the Scarlet Empress shows how the world will look if the Yozi Reclamation goes off without a hitch. The order-obsessed She Who Lives In Her Name gets the largely oceanic West... and forms the islands into perfect squares, arranged in sets of four that make it look like the Reclamation was sponsored by Microsoft. (On the other hand, one could imagine that to be the point - SWLiHN is more than a little obtuse.)
  • In the Wraeththu RPG, there is an Uigenna war chant with the most ridiculous threats. "I want to be your scream of agony / As your damned soul goes foom!"
  • Magic: The Gathering: There are a lot of potential terms for Phyrexian zombies... Why in the name of Freyalise did they choose to have a few Mirrans refer to them as "rotters"? It's a plane made of metal, not a plane made of random Britishness.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • While the game as a whole tends more towards Narm Charm than straight up Narm, its 3rd edition ruleset was infamous for being so Grim Dark that it became difficult to take seriously. The fanbase coined the useful term known as Grimderp to describe the result: something so focused on being grimdark that it just lands squarely in darkness-induced narmish territory.
    • The original Rogue Trader edition of the game (not to be confused with the Fantasy Flight Games RPG of the same name) has not aged well. As 1d4chan's article on the game put it:
      "Warning: Contains dangerous amounts of 80's"
    • The Dark Eldar went twelve years without an update. Naturally, their models... didn't age well.
    • If a book is written by C.S. Goto or Matt Ward, you can count on it being filled to the brim with narm. C.S. Goto alone managed things like turning a Razorback into a Land Raider (and back) in the turn of a couple pages, claims that Eldar steal Imperial tanks because their own are somehow inferior and generally writes in ways that either make the reader uncomfortable or have them on the floor laughing for all the wrong reasons.
  • Spawn of Azathoth, a campaign for Call of Cthulhu contains a moment where the investigators go diving in Florida where one might encounter a... KILLER DOLPHIN
  • Changeling: The Lost has this one line in its Rites of Spring sourcebook: 'But anywhere the juice ran, the wound tightened, puckered up like a nervous butthole...'
  • As scary as it is, Wraith: The Oblivion has a kinda hard time keeping a sufficiently bleak mood going when there are alternative-rock quotes at the top of every other paragraph.

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