March 19, 2024 at 7:46 am

Friends Play Dungeon & Dragons And The Dungeon Master Thinks They’ve Got Them Trapped, But They Use A Clever Semantic Trick To Escape

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

The people who Dungeons and Dragons represent a small but mighty subculture – one that people dive into with full gusto.

So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they enjoy getting their maliciou compliance inside the game.

OP is a high wizard and plays with a good group of friends.

Our D&D group has been playing for years, and we love delving into the nitty-gritty of spell mechanics and rules.

This story from our latest campaign is a prime example of how a deep understanding of these mechanics led to an epic moment of malicious compliance.

Background: Our party, consisting of myself (a high-level wizard), a cleric, a fighter, and a rogue, was on a quest to retrieve an ancient artifact from the lair of a powerful and cunning Ancient Red Dragon, known as Pyrothraxis.

One game, a dragon presented with a puzzle to solve.

This dragon, being both intelligent and devious, proposed a challenge: we could take the artifact if we could “entertain” him without resorting to direct combat or obvious trickery.

If we failed or fought him, he promised a fiery demise.

It took some time, but OP thought he figured it out.

The Setup: Knowing the dragon’s penchant for riddles and technicalities, I devised a plan hinging on a very specific interpretation of the spell “Evard’s Black Tentacles.”

This 4th-level spell conjures a mass of tentacles that can restrain and damage creatures within an area. However, the damage only occurs if a creature enters the area or starts its turn there.

The key here was the term “restrain,” which doesn’t inherently imply harm.

Only time would tell if the dragon would agree.

The Execution: As we entered the dragon’s lair, I initiated the plan.

I cast “Evard’s Black Tentacles” to cover the area around the dragon, careful not to include the dragon in the spell’s initial effect radius, thus avoiding direct aggression.

The tentacles writhed menacingly but didn’t harm the dragon. They formed an intricate pattern, almost like a dance, around Pyrothraxis.

Simultaneously, our bard began a performance, using his Bardic Inspiration to enhance the visual spectacle, while our rogue used his Sleight of Hand skills, augmented by the bard’s performance, to stealthily navigate the tentacles and retrieve the artifact.

The Dragon’s Reaction: Pyrothraxis, expecting a direct assault or a simple magical trick, was both amused and intrigued by this display.

He realized too late that our actions, while aggressive, did not directly harm him or violate his conditions.

The tentacles’ dance, combined with the bard’s performance, was indeed “entertaining,” but not in a way he anticipated.

The storytelling is top notch!

The Outcome: With the artifact secured and the challenge technically met, Pyrothraxis, bound by his word, allowed us to leave.

He applauded our clever use of arcane semantics, acknowledging that we had found a loophole in his challenge.

I just know Reddit is going to love it!

The Rule of Cool.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Sometimes the answer is right in front of you.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Others just really wish they had a group to play with.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And a few had alternative suggestions.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Of course, a couple of purists had to show up.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I just love to listen to passionate people talk about the things they love.

And fantasy world malicious compliance still counts.

If you liked that post, check this one about a guy who got revenge on his condo by making his own Christmas light rules.