so yesterday I played my usual friday night DnD campaign. my least favorite DM ever is still running his campaign so of course it was ridiculous. only 4 of us showed that night, 1 of whom had any range and 1 other with a really, REALLY crappy javelin for emergencies. so the party enters a cave. the cave is full of bats and one bear. the bear was not so bad, outside of dealing ungodly amounts of damage, but at least we could attack it. the bats however all had swooping attacks that they used to attack from out of melee and still end up outside of melee range. being a paladin this meant there was nothing I could do because I could not "engage" them in order to keep a mark up, and even if I could it wouldn't matter much.
by the time the bear died, I was low health with no second wind and our leader had used both his heals already. I noticed that the bats were always ending their moves 2+ squares above the ground. in light of this, I decided that I would sit down and start playing solitaire when it got to my next turn, since there was nothing else to do. once my turn rolled around the DM tells me that my goal is to get to the exit of the cave, hooray. so I start walking over there in full defensive, move my 5 squares, THEN sit down and play solitaire. on my way over there one of these flaming bats manages to light me on fire, giving me ongoing 5 fire with 20 HP left. I failed to save 4 times in a row, and collapsed. now this DM is, of course, the most gracious of DMs so the fires searing my flesh suddenly stop upon my falling unconscious. wouldn't want anyone to actually DIE from these ridiculously contrived encounters, they might feel BAD if THAT happened! so I made some comments that it was always very annoying to the witch burners that their victims would just get snuffed out as soon as they lost consciousness, forcing them to go and stab the witch to death.
sometime around here, I had pretty much decided to stop playing because it's pointless. my character was completely useless, and in fact ANY defender would be useless in this campaign no matter what. so once we managed to drag ourselves out of that encounter I decided to just amuse myself anyway. my paladin was now very sad that his playing cards had been burned to a crisp and he clutched their ashes dejectedly as we moved into the next section of cave.
this cave area was covered in moss that was very slippery. this meant that it made an attack vs reflex EVERY TIME YOU MOVED, which slid you back 2 squares and possibly knocked you prone and oh, by the way, it's difficult terrain. realizing that 5 movement would get me exactly nowhere unless I was just really lucky, my paladin began analyzing the situation.
"can I draw pictures in the moss?"
"is the moss toxic?" (I had to argue this out with the DM and make a nature check before he'd even admit that I could determine this in the first place without trying to do some kind of double blind 10 year study or something. his answer was that it was toxic if inhaled)
"so I probably don't want to start a moss-ball fight then huh?"
"I play solitaire by drawing cards on the cave wall"
"I squat down and begin drawing cartoons that amuse me, like smiley faces and people praying to Kord (my pally's deity) and nothing happening." (almost all my attempts to use religion in skill challenges have been denied up to this point. I guess the god of storms doesn't care about his devout followers at all.)
"I use bluff to convince the moss that I am a friend" "the moss thinks you're friendly"
"I use diplomacy to ask the moss out on a date... I crit. the moss and I are now in a committed relationship."
DM:"as you move into the room, the moss is starting to ooze more and more slime" me:"of course, that's because I'm near it"
and it went on. I basically spent the whole time going on about this saga with the moss and my relationship with it, since the one bat in the room never came down enough to make a difference. by the time all was said and done I had broken up with the moss over it cheating on me with our ranger, fell into a deep depression, lost my will to live, and was saved from suicide by my deity who finally answered a friggin prayer for once and gave me the strength to live on.
I think my epic soap opera saga was annoying the DM though. shortly after I didn't kill myself, I decided to try using my sword as an anchor while walking to prevent slipping back 10 feet into my ex lover, face first. this apparently was just too much. the DM started asking me EXACTLY what I was doing with the sword, so I told him. I was using it to balance on by driving it into the ground, piercing the moss, and using it like a walking stick. he seemed to think I was like seriously jamming it in there so that it would be hard to remove, thus making it hard to move very far. I told him no, that's not what I'm doing. he began lecturing me about how I shouldn't get upset and he needs to know what I'm doing because it matters and he didn't plan for this and blah blah blah. so I told him, again, what I was doing: using it to balance on, like a walking stick. he kept telling me he had to adjust now and it mattered because driving it all the way into the ground was different than not and blah blah. I told him to just tell me how far I can move, because I didn't care if he thought of it or not I just want to know if I CAN and if so HOW FAR CAN I GO? well, this made him very irritated and he got all pissy, "will you let me figure out what going to happen?!" and such. I said sure, just tell me how far I can move when you know. apparently that was the last straw. "fine! you fly to the end of the room, HAPPY NOW?!" I told him that I was, in fact, happy now.
there were other stupid things about these two encounters as well. for instance, the first encounter had these mushroom traps. I used nature to try and ID them, rolled a 22 at level 4, and failed. I didn't know I failed though, instead he told me they were something else which was beneficial. so we went to pick one and it exploded in a shower of acid. that, in and of itself would have been ok I suppose. 22 being not enough to at least know it looks dangerous is a little iffy but OK. he went with it, my char made a mistake, it happens. it adds flavor and stuff, I can deal with that. later, I wanted to know if the shroom would explode (there were more than one) when I got close to it. I was not allowed to make a check to find this out. turns out, they DO explode, in a burst 3, when you get near them. thanks, DM.
in the next room, the slime emitting moss was just stupid. the whole point was to get across the room. exciting. there was a red flower near the other side that seemed to be related. our warlock shot it with eldritch blast, and the DM says something to the effect of "it doesn't seem to have much of an effect, it's not even singed", that's it. no indication as to why or anything, just "lol nope". turns out, it was immune to ranged attacks, and if we had melee'd it, we could have then cleared the moss. of course there was no way to know that because whenever we make skill checks it's either not allowed, or DC 50 at level 4. GG DM guy, you're super awesome.