This tale comes from one of my earlier gaming experiences, but always brings a smile to my face when I think about it. A few years ago, our gaming group was playing some Dungeons and Dragons in a rather unique world created collaboratively by our DM and his fiancée. In this world, instead of the traditional races, the races were all blends of humanoid and animals (kinda like the stuff you see in Greek myths). I was playing a race called lupis, which is similar to a centaur, only a wolf makes the lower half of the body instead of a horse. My friend Ben was playing a humanoid dragon which had wings.
Anyway, our group came across a rather large cliff while traveling. We figured we needed to get down in order to continue on. My friend, Jack, had convinced Ben to climb down the cliff when he could’ve easily used his wings to fly down. Ben thought that he’d be harder to spot if he was clinging to the cliff. Anyways, he failed his climb checks horribly and fell down the cliff, taking massive damage. Well, we couldn’t leave him like that, but only a few of us had the capacity to climb down after him (my character, being a quadruped, wasn’t one of them). Two of our party made it down and tried to heal him. Then one of our other players remaining on the top of the cliff had the brilliant idea to check for the presence of monsters. That prompted our ever-so-generous DM to roll up a random encounter and the severely wounded character and the two people trying to help him at the bottom of the cliff had to face...a troll!
For those unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons trolls, they are rather nasty creatures. Not only are they bigger and stronger than you, they have the annoying habit of being able to regenerate from virtually any damage, with the exception of damage from either fire or acid-based attacks, neither of which the poor people at the bottom of the cliff had access to. By the time this happened, I was temporarily taking control of one of the other PCs since the player had to take off temporarily (she was a sorceress). I looked at her spell list and the troll was just out of range for most of the attack spells, so it was time to be creative...
I used Summon Monster I and summoned a dire rat..right over the precipice of the cliff. While the troll was busy fighting our poor stranded party members, he was unaware of the giant rodent that was about to fall on him. When it did, we discovered something new...if you impale a troll with a dire rat, it can’t regenerate where the rat is sticking out! So now they’ve got a severely weakened troll with a dire rat sticking out of its chest to deal with. Eventually the party was able to hack the troll to pieces and burn them with good old-fashioned torches, but all this trouble could’ve been avoided if the dragonoid had just flown down instead of climbing down.