Rocks fall, everyone dies

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"Rocks fall, everyone dies" is a method of ending a campaign commonly used by angry DMs who have gotten fed up with their players' bullshit. In this situation, the characters are arbitrarily killed by some unavoidable fate such as an avalanche or a cave-in (the eponymous rocks falling) and the DM declares this the end of the game.

This was used in the ending of the NWN2 original campaign. And at the beginning of the first Icewind Dale game, killing everyone that isn't the player party. In theory, this may have been inspired by Tomb of Horrors, in which entering the wrong room CAN lead to "Rocks Fall" everyone dies... if you don't leave within 10 seconds.

Another variant on this, used as a tactical strike against That Guy, is the "Rocks fall, you die. Everyone else levels up." as in D&D players can earn XP from witnessing events that no one has ever seen before. So you bullshit the players with a story about how magic is created by meteorites of pure magic falling through the atmosphere and as they burn up the microscopic dust suffuses everything and creates magic.

So players are walking along, one player is being a cock, magical rocks scream out of the sky and flatten them and due to the beauty and amazement of seeing something like that everyone else in the party levels up.

Another take on the meme.

Might also refer to the Orkish tradition of using hollowed-out asteroids, coated in guns and filled with orks, to be hurtled from SPACE and thrown onto a battlefield on the planet below. The resulting collision (if it hits anywhere near its intended target) will kill lots of enemies and cause the surviving orks to pour out and kill everyone in sight. TV Tropes also considers this an appropriate saying for any cheap bastard who's performing orbital bombardment with kinetic weaponry. Like rocks.

But most probably originated in previous versions of D&D, where there was no Save vs Rocks Fall.

Best known example was performed by Games Workshop during the well received End Times event for Warhammer Fantasy.

The best known IRL example killed most of the dinosaurs.

See Also[edit]

  • Rock of Doom
  • FATAL: If you're feeling particularly cruel then you can force everyone to play FATAL as a substitute for making rocks fall.

External Links[edit]

The original appearance of the "Rocks fall" phrase, according to Twenty Sided Blog.

TvTrope's page about the topic

Grumpiest DM.