A Lizard at a Fancy PartyHere it is! The first “official” Adventure Blog from Jon’s new D&D campaign! Unfortunately we missed the first few sessions since we didn’t think about doing this until a few weeks ago. Get to know the setting and characters in our Prologue. You can also check out our mini-adventure it Tragidore hereYou can check out all “Big Fish” content on this nifty landing page.

In this week’s adventure: Our resident Lizardfolk Monk, Jaxo, decided that his adventure would be “that time we stumbled into a room we shouldn’t have at a fancy party.” That was my suggestion for an adventure! We should have a little bonus if our pitch gets selected. That would be a fun incentive.

That’s a great idea.  Maybe they start with inspiration?  That’s pretty appropriate.  We’ll start that in phase 2.  Remind me.

I’ve kind of decided to try and pitch adventures where combat isn’t evident. I’m sure Jon will probably work combat in most of the time since it’s D&D and people love them some combat. I think it’s fun for the starting point to not inherently resolve with a fight. Last game I suggested “that time we played baseball in the rain.” I realized as I made that suggestion that it was a scene in a Twilight movie. The shame.

What we ended up with was being trapped in a pocket dimension by Ice King Glacius Rex. The pocket dimension had us being bodyguards for a Dwarven princess at a fancy party and time seemed to reset every 30 minutes. Like Groundhog Day. But every 30 minutes instead of 24 hours.

Was this your first fancy party idea? Anything on the cutting room floor worth mentioning?

I stole every bit of this. A couple of games had party type scenarios like Dragon Age or FF6, there’s some fundamentals there. I think the 2nd edition Strahd module (Root Of Evil) had a time reset party scene. They’re usually slow affairs with lots of descriptions of NPCs and long discussions. That’s good RP, but I felt like things hadn’t been madcap enough in the game.  When it came to me it kind of fell together… who doesn’t want to play a Groundhog Day D&D session?

So the adventurers are basically serving a bratty self-important Dwarf princess and our main goal at the outset was to make sure that the party she is throwing goes off without a hitch.

Our Lizardman Jaxo is the star of the show and after consulting with another awkward Lizardbro attending the party decides that the Dwarf princess could be of assistance with curing his people of the genophage that is killing off the Lizardfolk.

So he’s like “Ok, I will convince her.” Convincing her for some money becomes his main priority for the rest of the adventure. My happy-go-lucky pirate character promptly tries to pocket some silverware since it’s made of fancy silver.

After about 20 minutes of game time the world swirls around us and we’re back at the start of the session, our characters seemingly the only ones aware of what has transpired. I no longer have pockets full of silverware. This saddens me.

The party splits up (it’s not as bad as it sounds, it’s a small map) to scope stuff out. In rapid succession we stumble across a Bulette (also known as a land-shark, which is exactly what it sounds like) which mauls and kills a few party members instantly and a creepy enchanted sex room. As some of us are devoured time resets again and it’s back to the beginning of the party.

Groundhog Day!

In subsequent timeloops we managed to find some kind of magical focus stone hidden in the house and also stumbled across a Mindflayer, a Hydra and I think some other ridiculous badass monster that I am forgetting.

My character (who is not very Intelligent, but is actually pretty Wise) had a bit of a mental breakdown at this point. I find it kind of a fun challenge to play the difference between Wisdom and Intelligence and I’m pretty sure I miss the mark a lot of the time, but it’s still interesting to try.

A D&D Bulette (a land shark by any other name)In this case, old Jim Clocks got a little heated because he knew that it was not normal to have a Bulette, a Hydra and a Mind Flayer all just hanging out a few feet away from each other under someone’s house. He didn’t have the Intelligence to figure out what was going on, but just had a very strong (and scary) realization that the characters were  probably not in reality.

I feel like this took us way too long to discover.

I wasn’t sure you would.  The pocket dimension thing was sort of planned to be a twist.  You also could have confirmed it by jumping over the walls or trying to leave the party.  I wanted the Groundhog Zone to be claustrophobic.

Also, I was possibly the only one of us who never died in one of the timeloops. I just decided that my character did not want to experience death, even if it was temporary.

I stand by this decision. Dying is scary.

Eventually, we figured out that the “trigger” for resetting time was not a fixed amount of time passing, it was any time that someone tried to open a pantry door.

I’m happy with how the sleuthing turned out.  There was a plan at one point where you kind of had to run from one location to the other, block one conversation, catch the girl as she falls down the stairs, etc.  Would have been excellent but really tough to pull off in play.  Stopping the various people who triggered the timeloop to extend the reset time was what came out of that.

After some more sleuthing, we figured out it was one of two guests at the party who were to blame. We tailed both of them, time stopped looping and we had a showdown with the culprit. An evil little Dwarf in the service of, who else, Glacius Rex.

Glacius Rex has popped up with a fair amount of frequency in the campaign so far, and basically serves as the nemesis for the party as a whole. His whole “thing” as far as I’ve figured out is that he is good at casting scary looking spells that are ultimately easy to disrupt or destroy.

He’s basically the perfect villain.  Just wait till he tries to freeze up the ocean!  This isn’t a game about the end of the world, right?  A dumb dwarf wizard who wants to be king of ice.  I try to keep him out of it directly so much.  He’ll be too much if he shows up every game.

We whipped that little Dwarf pretty hard and it got to the point that he kept trying to turn invisible and run away. He was dangerously close to escaping (at which point I don’t really know how the session would have resolved) while being invisible when I did something amazing.

Let me have this.

I play but a simple pirate. With no magical means of seeing through invisibility. What I did have, was 1000 ball bearings. Why? Because that is somehow part of a standard issue Burglar’s Pack.

I had a rough idea of where he was standing. 1000 ball bearings were tossed in that dude’s general direction and for a brief moment, it was pretty clear where he was. So the Lizardman dropped him.

I was pretty hyped for my plan of action guys. Throwing 1000 ball bearings out of  a window saved the day. As it always should.

I forgot to mention that while we were endlessly looping time back on itself, our Lizardguy was slowly working out through trial and error the exact sequence of words it would take to convince the Dwarven princess to provide assistance to his people. When we slipped back into reality, he knew precisely how to convince her to come to the Lizardfolk’s aid.

So there’s that too.

One thing that never seemed to be addressed was how we ended up in that pocket dimension in the first place, or is that a secret?

That’s foreshadowing!

Consider me foreshadowed. I think this was a 2 Star performance. We didn’t get a downtime again so I still can’t train my pet monkey more.

Join us again in two weeks where our heroes follow a treasure map! That’s my story! Check it out here: “The Treasure Map”.

The Bearded Dragon Tuxedo is a real thing you can buy on Etsy. So, if that’s a thing you want to do you can do that. Life your truth.
The Bulette was the work of “Waterbear” on DeviantArt. Check out her other work!

Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

Jon is a Master of Dungeons of the highest caliber. He podcasts with me over on 9to5 Entertainment System and occasionally blogs here in Jon’s Junk.

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