Have any of you guys ever come close to losing a character? Or even better, have you ever come close to a TPK? If so, then you understand the strange kind of time dilation that comes along with these situations. Moments before you were skipping merrily about the initiative tracker, briskly passing turns and allowing the Rule of Cool to sort the details. But now there’s death on the line, and that jerk behind the GM screen can just wait a friggin’ minute while you look over the fine print on your character sheet. There must be something on there to save you. Some rule. Some forgotten magic item. Look hard enough and surely (surely!) you will find that all-important +1 bonus.

It’s moments like these when I’m reminded how many rules there are in gaming. I like to think I’m pretty good at keeping them all in my brain, but it is truly, staggeringly easy overlook some seemingly minor detail. Trying to use the cover of darkness to sneak around a dwarf is a perfect example. Same deal with creature subtypes in Pathfinder. (If you’ve ever tried to cast “enlarge person” on a tiefling, you know what I’m talking about). Same deal with the grappling rules in any system ever.

This all leads of course to the question of the day: Have you ever forgotten some rule or ability that, in retrospect, could have saved your bacon? What was it?


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