Today's story comes from way back in high school, where I did most of my gaming because I actually had friends back then. Anyhow, I was part of a Dungeons and Dragons group doing what adventuring groups do best: delving into a dungeon and hunting for monsters and treasure! Do you remember the scene from Saving Private Ryan in which the wall gives way and our heroes are suddenly faced with an entire squad of Germans? Well, it was about the same for our merry band, but we were suddenly beset by goblins! Being a level one party and half-dead besides (our "We don't really need a rogue for traps" mentality had bitten us in the bum, almost literally), this was a bit of a bother for us. So, what did we do?
Not having much of a game plan and being caught scattered in the corridor, we decided to do the most logical thing: argue. We went through every conceivable situation, from running away to begging for our lives to dying in the blaze of glory (against goblins). In the end, we went with a complicated plan to fling our lantern at the goblins. It would explode into a fantastic spray of oil, dousing both the goblins and the stone floor. Then, our mage would set the oil on fire with Burning Hands, creating a napalm-like inferno which would deter most of the goblins from charging us while we dealt with the ones the flames missed. Shockingly, it worked.
It's not one of my proudest moments, looking back. Not only did we have the benefit of what I like to call "OOC-induced Time Stop," but what really should have happened was a crash, a small splash, and a wasted spell, followed by having our heads attached to spikes at the entrance to the cave.
It seems to me that this story has actually two lessons: the first is that sometimes even insane creativity, coupled with a forgiving GM, can work. The second is that an ambush situation really shouldn't include a panel discussion by the Joint Chiefs.