You guys remember the time a T-Rex tried to eat my party’s treasure? Well part of that particular hoard was a jewel-encrusted longsword. The party had grabbed it from the corpse of a Planet of the Apes style interdimensional gorilla after they’d bribed the local volcano god to burn down his fort and free the human prisoners. That’s not the interesting part though. The interesting part had to do with penmanship.

I like to keep my magical items written down on index cards. Usually I instruct my players to jot down a brief item description and a room number from the megadungeon complex (e.g. “+1 breastplate, Room #203”). That way we can easily reference where the item in question came from if we’ve got after-the-fact rules questions. Unfortunately, no one had bothered to write down “Lord Darrulm’s sword” on that particular card. Instead, as we shuffled through the big stack o’ loot, oohing and ahhing over the bottles of rare wine and silver ingots and other pirate booty, we came across this oddity: “tlkeen longsword.”

The game ground to a halt.

Where did this strange thing come from? Where had we picked it up? It was important enough to warrant its own card, so surely it must be an item of significance. The group passed the card around, looked through our notes for an explanation, and tried desperately to remember what the hell a ‘tlkeen’ was. I told my players to price out the rest of the haul and move on to a nice session of pencils and paychecks while I dug through my binder, trying to track the origins of this bizarre weapon. MFW.

It wasn’t until the last of my pals was heading home that I made my breakthrough. I ran out of the house as he was pulling away, shoes and wintry conditions be damned. I made the international sign for “roll down your window” like a crazy person.

“It was a plus symbol!”

Dude looked at me like I’d been hit with the “does nothing but babble incoherently” result on confusion.

“The tlkeen longsword! It wasn’t a ‘t’ at all. It was a +1 keen longsword!”

He laughed. I laughed. My toes lost feeling. As a group, we collectively resolved to be more careful of our penmanship in the future.

How about the rest of you guys? Have you ever had any trouble with inventory management in your groups? Any rings of animal influence making dire boar piglets rich in your games? Let’s hear your clerical errors down in the comments!


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