12 Practical Jokes to Increase Your Game’s 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!