Unexpected turns of event

For me, as a GM, the Good Stuff™ is when you’ve put the players in a sticky situation, they come up with some totally oddball solution, you say “sure, let’s try that out,” and the results end up outperforming any of the possibilities you might have expected.

Maybe it totally demolishes the scenario you had planned. Maybe it creates new opportunities you couldn’t have cooked up on your own. Maybe the results are just hilarious.

This is a thread for celebrating those moments. If you’ve got a favorite memory of when things went sideways, share it here. If you play a session and one crops up, document it for posterity here.

(As a sidebar, we can also discuss how to foster unexpectedness at the table.)


I run a lot of Play-By-Post. Well before I came upon the NSR or anything like that, I was running Pokemon Tabletop United. During the game, one of my players said, “hm, this class looks cool, but it requires GM permission.” Long story short, they took it. It was “Glitch Bender,” a class about harnessing the code of the world for glitchy effects. Fast forward to present day, about 3 years later, and the entire central conflict of the story involves the impending collapsing of reality due to the spreading Glitch energy. We’re now using my own Pokemon Zero, and I couldn’t be happier with the game. It was the same game I made a 10-minute lore dump about the Glitch and its opposite, Intuition.

Wow, three years is a really extended snowball effect.

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Thanks to one roll in Burning Wheel an entire ten year campaign world spawned.

Someone made an NPC make a Steel (Morale) roll. The NPC failed and got his head lopped off. The NPC was mind controlled by his sword.

A PC picked it up.

And it’s ten years later.