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12 Practical Jokes to Increase Your Game’s LOL Factor

Written by Janna - Published on April 17, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

12 Practical Jokes to Increase Your LOL Factor
Picture by Ralph Hockens

Maybe it’s because April Fool’s Day was so much fun. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time thinking about tricky little gnomes and leprechauns. Maybe the introduction of wild magic into 4E has scrambled my brain. Or maybe I’m just weird. (I’m completely willing to entertain that notion.) Whatever the reason, I’ve been pretty nostalgic for retro D&D in all its clunky glory. There was just so much potential for humor in the old days.

So, in the spirit of retro-LOLs, let us journey back to the days of yore, and to that most fearsome tome known as the Net.Book of Practical Jokes and Pranks by W. Eric C. Ferguson (1997). Here are 10 of the book’s juiciest pranks, along with some pranks inspired by the book, to set your inner trickster in motion. Enjoy!

“After seeing how overwrought players got during extremely exciting points in an adventure, I decided to start lightening the mood. Practical Jokes and Pranks are a great way to do this, while not being too malicious.” – W. Eric C. Ferguson

Tricks for Fighters

  • During the night, leave the inn and purchase a broken-down nag that’s the same color as the paladin’s spirited warhorse. Take the paladin’s saddle and bridle and transfer them to the nag. Place his old horse in a nearby stable. Be sure to be there in the morning to see the look on the paladin’s face!
  • Wait for the fighter to pass out in a drunken stupor. Then haul him into bed. Move his bed into the town square and let him ‘sleep it off’ in public.
  • Whenever a bar wench walks by the fighter, use Cantrip to pinch her backside.
  • Sovereign Glue the ranger’s arrows to the inside of his quiver. Watch the look on his face when he tries to draw one.

Tricks for Rogues

  • Pour Oil of Slipperiness onto the bottoms of the rogue’s boots.
  • Give the rogue a potion of healing which is actually a Potion of Truth. Get ready to learn some interesting facts about the rogue, his exploits, and which items he may have stolen from you.
  • On a warm night, sprinkle powdered milk onto the bard’s bedsheets. His sweat will liquefy the powder — and his high Charisma score won’t mean much when he reeks of sour milk.
  • Forge a letter from the local judge informing the rogue of a mandatory court date. When the rogue arrives, he’ll be turned away. The next day, forge another letter demanding his presence at another next court date, since he didn’t see fit to attend the last one. Again, he’ll be turned away. Then forge a final letter informing the rogue that he’s now wanted by the law and will be arrested on sight. The fun begins…

Tricks for Spellcasters

  • Charm a small creature and order it to guard the wizard. Conspire with every party member to ignore the creature’s presence and, if pressed, to completely deny its existence. “Bat? What bat? I don’t see any bat.”
  • Cast Hold Person on the wizard. Then pull his robes up over his head and walk away.
  • In indelible ink, scrawl the symbol of Asmodeus across the back of the cleric’s robes.
  • Slip an Amulet of Protection from Good into the cleric’s backpack, then invite them to come with you to the Temple of Healing and Justice.

Have you ever played a wicked prank on a PC? Maybe your PC was the butt of the joke. Share your LOLs in the comments section!

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.



18 Responses to “12 Practical Jokes to Increase Your Game’s LOL Factor”
  1. Craig says:

    Gotta say – I just love this! I love practical jokes and including it into the game sounds like good fun. I was picturing these things in my mind as I read, and they really cracked me up! :)

  2. Ameron says:

    More games need this kind of merriment. Too many of my players are all about the mechanics. They claim they’re having fun, but I’m sure it’s not ha ha fun. Great post.

  3. GroovyTaxi says:

    Remembers me of my ”10 inventive ways to use caltrops”. Everytime I was a player in a friend’s game (since I’m usually the DM), I kept buying caltrops and used them in a different way. For one gold, a bag of endless fun can be yours.

    1. Put caltrops in a sleeping orc’s bed, then wake him up. Laugh at him when he tries to get up by pushing himself off the bed.

    2. Put caltrops around this same orc’s bed.

    3. Put caltrops in someone’s shoes.

    4. In a banquet, shove a caltrop in a bread loaf or a slice of meat and put it back on the table. Try accusing a member of your party of trying to assassinate the host for ever more fun.

    I’m not on my computer right now, and I don’t have the other six ways. Still, these four are the funniest ones. Just make sure there’s a priest in your party before doing them.

  4. Seth says:

    I always enjoy going to the local mill (in game) and buying a sack of flour, dump out half of the sack in the trash, then take the bag to one of the inns, find a room near a window, slip the open end of the sack under the door and jump on the other end. Then duck out the window. The flour covers the room in a fine white dust and anyone else in the room. :)

  5. Swordgleam says:

    “Take the paladin’s saddle and bridle and transfer them to the nag”
    If the paladin is leaving his horse tacked up overnight, he deserves everything he gets and more.

    Slipping other party members potions is always great fun. I imagine some havoc could be created by rearranging a spellcaster’s ritual supplies, though that would require cooperation from the DM.

  6. Jon Thompson says:

    After killing some particularly nasty slimes (which were animating corpses) my character sleight-of-handed a party rival’s canteen, filled it with corpse ooze and sleight-of-handed it back onto their belt. The following “short rest” was memorable. >:)

  7. Craig says:

    LMAO@Jon – I love

  8. Melchior says:

    My DM trick of choice for higher-level parties is “Goblins over the Hill”. Goblins may be substituted for other fodder as appropriate, just keep the HP above one-magic-missile-means-death. It goes like this:

    1. Describe a boring walk through the landscape, maybe throw a few skill checks for wilderness survival, with nothing happening. When the players start stacking their dice, go to 2.

    2. Describe the goblins cresting the top of a hill above the adventurers. The hill is too steep for a good countercharge. The goblins are poorly armed, scattered, and running full speed towards the adventurers.

    3. Watch the bored magicians’ eyes light up with the prospect of light exercise and the lamentation of the goblins. Keep adding goblins until the wizards are out of fireballs. The hill is now crested by the hill giant hunting pack who where chasing the goblins in the first place. Savor the look on the faces of your victims as they realize they’ll have to muscle their way through a random encounter.

    Disclaimer: Some players might actually be too smart to fall for this trick seven times. If you’re DM’ing such players, you have my sympathy, they can really mess up your jokes.

  9. TrueNeutral says:

    I have been recently given a potion by the groups’ artificer (Eberron 3.5 rules) with “drink me” written on and he refuses to tell me what it contains, only that it should only be consumed “in dire circumstances”. I’m torn between bufing myself up and having it in the safety of an Inn or actually waiting until I’m facing downa horde of goblins single-handed and trying it then.

  10. Noumenon says:

    Great post! You should get some links for this one.

  11. Petty says:

    This is more of a fun prank against the DM’s NPC’s.

    First, make sure that one of the PC’s has a deck of many things…. preferably a rogue or someone of the neutral or chaotic alignments.

    Now, when confronted with a tight spot or situation with NPC’s the DM throws at you (you know… the stuck-up noble, the bothersome guard, town checkpoints…) have the rogue make a simple diplomacy and bluff check against the obstacle, asking them if they would enjoy seeing a magic trick. If the NPC’s fail their checks, have the rogue invite them to “draw a card” and he assures them that he can correctly guess the card they pick.

    Watch the hilarity ensue.

    This also works with a rod of wonders in a “spin the bottle” type deal. Be aware of the consequences though. ;D

    As for jokes I’ve been on the receiving end of… our ranger once thought to make an ingenious trap that she could load crossbow bolts into. it was spherical and meant to be rolled into a room and teh springs would release on timer.

    Now, we entered an NPC’s house and were practically froce-fed this absolutely vile gelatin-like substance because “it was good for us” (she was an overprotective mother). Our ranger sleight-of-handed the jello into the trap he made and rolled it under my feet. I crit-failed the reflex save to avoid the jello trap.

  12. W. Eric C. Ferguson says:

    Wow… Such a compliment that the NBPJP even still exists in the ether… Much respect to the 2e players still “keeping it real”

  13. miklas says:

    The last one is very evil. I’ll gona try iton the next session.:D

  14. Chris says:

    Ha ha! I’m the rogue in my campaign, and I feel compelled to lighten up our campaign with a few of these tricks.

    After rolling a nat 1 while trying to steal from one of my party members, most of my party decided to lock their bags beyond the regular Arcane Lock spell. Instead of paying a sizable amount of money to unlock all those bags, I just placed another Arcane Lock on their bags so they ouldn’t get into them, either. Coupled with a recent encounter with merchants who were selling cursed items as regular magical items, they never suspected me. ^_^

    The best part was watching our bararian try and punch his bag open with brass knuckles of Dispel Magic.

  15. Ed says:

    I’m the rouge,and secretly like the god of mischief. Plan is simple, some thin wire (fishing line or piano wire) from the back of someones saddle, between the horses legs and to the reins in a slip knot. Keep it loose, but when they go to stop the horse by pulling the reins… well that’s how they get bulls to buck for the rodeos.

  16. tomd says:

    I am currently playing a thief/cleric who prays to a god of mischief.

    We have a MU in the party that keeps destroying cloaks.

    I recently bought a purple cloak (for Cormyr his home area), and had another MU put a dwoemer on it so it would ID as a cloak of displacement.

    Broke into his room, and “hide it” so that the end was visible.

    He found it, ID’d it with a wand and immediately put it on.

    It took about 20 minutes of people who could and could not hit him (depending if they were on the joke) for him to figure it out.

    Warning you might want to let them know BEFORE a real fight.

  17. Penny says:

    With the help of your DM,
    As the party sleeps… Swap everyone’s prayer books and spell books around, so that the paladin of Iomedae ends up with a prayer book of the dwarf god Austri… Give the wizard’s spell book to the cleric…

  18. Danny says:

    While the group was resting & I had watch, I pooped in another player’s backpack (he was being obnoxious…) He didn’t find it for hours, even though the DM went on and on about how badly he stunk…

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