Party Pranks and Teasing
Before I start, I want to make it clear that I don’t condone anyone causing harm to fellow party members. Neither do I encourage people to create and nurture negative feelings within a party.
Pranks are a fun way to spice up party interaction. Under the right circumstances, you can stop a game for a short break so everyone can stop laughing. Do it wrong, and you can break up a group. So when and how can you pull these off right?
Be sure that everyone is good friends first. You shouldn’t pull a prank on someone you don’t know well, as that often ends in resentment and hurt feelings. Also, be sure that they know you are going to do it and they are okay with it. Knowing it is coming, but not knowing when or how is part of the fun and suspense of it all. Lastly, choose times that are not filled with tension, emotion, and plot. You want to pull them when everyone is more concerned with splitting and spending treasure then how to raise their fallen companion.
How to do it? Well, if you are a spellcaster you already have plenty of tools at your disposal. Prestidigitation is going to be a go to spell for the simple pranks. Making food taste extra spicy, changing the color someone’s clothing to be hot pink, making them smell foul no matter how much soap they use are all fun and short lived pranks. If you have message, you can pester them in almost all of the most private places, or if you good enough you can convince them that there are voices in their head. Ghost sound, dancing lights, and even mage hand are fun 0-level spells that can be used in pranks.
Without spells, you just need a little skill and planning. You can’t be as spontaneous, but you can be just as effective and funny. Most of these pranks are easily found in collage dorms and modern teenage lifestyle. Tying up equipment in high trees, writing on sleeping people’s faces, piling up stuff in front of doors, pasting embarrassing posters all over a tavern room, are all great examples.
Want some suggestions? Okay.
- Hang weapons and gear in high places
- Grease the ground right in front of a tent
- Salt in the sugar shaker (change the flavor something drasticly)
- Alarm on a backpack or belt pouch
- Draw on the faces of sleeping party members
- Sew the foot closed on someone’s pants
- Squirrel or something unexpected in bedrolls
- Warm mud in a sleeping person’s hand, tickle the face
Be warned though, because you can end up starting prank wars. If you do, stop and establish some ground rules. Make sure that none of the pranks are going to cause harm or put anyone in danger. Have an agreement to stop it if someone feels it is going too far. Allow the GM to veto pranks by running them by him first. And last of all, don’t take it personally and don’t make it personal.
Now, of course the character you are playing needs to have a certain personality to pull pranks, but they don’t have to be a juvenile delinquent. Even intelligent, holy, and well mannered people enjoy a laugh and could pull off a prank. It is more about tailoring the pranks to fit your character then making a character that fits pranks. So let go, try a few, and have some fun. You never know how much you can add to a game session until you try it.