22 July 2015 @ 06:55 pm

The DM bemoans his inability to play 5E instead of run it, but he’ll have his chance. So begins the game, with one player down but a very good IC reason for his absence already in place…

Valan: Are we gonna RP this as Tyr late to the party because he was incarcerated for carousing? He did roll it.
DM: The next day rolls around – was Tyr the only one to end up in jail?
Valan: I lost all of my money.
Balisar: You lost SOME of your money!
DM: You don’t remember much of last night, but you hear stories of two great heroes of the gambling world. Money won, spent – you find your money pocket heavier than it was.
Balisar: It’s just like, “Aww man, what a good night that was. I hope I didn’t spend too much.” I sit up, money just streams off of me. “…Huh.”
DM: Getting yourselves in order, you do find that you are short a party member!
Valan: Do we all live in the same place now?
DM: You all fell unconscious in the same inn, so you can get yourselves back together.
Balisar: No, he woke up in the streets, remember? He slept in an alley behind the bar.
DM: Oh yeah.

5E carousing tables are great. Eliza, that town square girl who gives missions, has sent a note to them about meeting with her to explore the undercaverns. Balisar offers to pay for breakfast.

Valan: Wait, a dragonborn is drunk?
Balisar: No. Hung over. I’m immune to acid, not poison!
DM: The innkeeper serves quite the meal, or the hangover cure, as he’s come to call it. Serving prepared chicken eggs, meat, and bread, toasted.
Valan: Chicken eggs. (scoffing) Where’s Cheltenbourne… We should play the greatest NPCs from other campaigns, so like Dirk, Benar, Cheltenbourne. They’d be the party, we should just fill those roles. Matthias.
Balisar: Quirion, apparently, by that standard.
Valan: Quirion, who else… Golbez, for DPS.
Balisar: The doorman from the inn, you all remember him! “I’m afraid I have one hit point more than his strike is able to deal.”
DM: Golbez can only do massive amounts of DPS but only when no PC is looking at him.
Balisar: It’s like that one guy from SaGa Frontier who can transform into his hero mode but only if everyone was blind or a robot…
DM: I usually purposefully put people to sleep so he could transform.
Elkus: Faldoun, head of the church. The most ‘meh’ guy in the world. He comes forward, he looks upon the army, cape blowing in the wind. “…Let’s go.”

The DM relates of how their prestige is growing, but the game rapidly loses focus as the players discover Elkus’s notification sound is the Wilhelm scream. Elkus bombasts it up bombastically, which only seems redundant if you haven’t heard just how much bombast he’s putting into these opening lines. Loud opening lines. Directed at the hungover Balisar.

Elkus: “What! A! Night! Was that not… HA HA!”
Balisar: Poison Spray!
Elkus: “Ah, a simple breakfast this morning sounds delicious! And what to cut the edge of the hangover off with but a bit more beer, bartender, please?”
Valan: Conjured Alka-Seltzer.
Elkus: “That night itself, my friends, deserved a song of its own!”
Balisar: “…barely remember it…”
Valan: “A funeral dirge.”
Elkus: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha – where’s Tyr?”
Balisar: “Why?”
Valan: He doesn’t speak much when he IS here, so…

The bartender, weaving in and out of a weird accent, lets them know that Tyr was arrested and tossed in the drunk tank. With Tyr actually absent, the group can’t proceed, so they downtime it up – Balisar, for his part, inquires about local wizards and hears that a powerful one had set up shop to study the magic of the land and its uses. Balisar heads that way.

DM: Doesn’t take you long to see his laboratory of sorts. The building looks like a combination of a brewery, an alchemy lab, and half a tower. It’s like he was going to build himself a magic tower, got about half of the way done – the first floor, the second floor, a makeshift roof – and got caught up in his research and never got around to finishing it. Occasionally you see a worker try to finish it, but he leaves due to some magical accident.
Balisar: (knocking on the door)
DM: “One moment, one moment! People always bothering me when I’m about to make a great, great breakth—“ The sound of a small explosion goes off. (coughing) “Oh! Oh. Okay. Probably – better stop that.” He opens the door. Roll Con.
Balisar: That’s not so good…
DM: As the smog and smoke of the recent explosion comes washing over you, you can’t help but to cough a bunch. The combination of thick smoke and a stench you can only describe—
Balisar: Damn you, acid resistance, you’ve failed me!
DM: You do not feel the burning sensation of the chemical mixture but it’s definitely not helping you to take in the normal amount of air you want.
Elkus: Acid, not acrid resistance.
Balisar: No kidding!

Balisar and the DM quickly establish terms: Balisar has the Noble background, the perk of which allows him to be at home among nobility. With much more roleplay than the exposition would indicate, Balisar inquires about wand formulae, while the mage hints at some important backstory – the land’s magic is like many lands squashed together.

DM: “It makes experimenting and making magical items here quite treacherous. You go to make yourself a simple Wand of Magic Missile, you end up with a Wand of Magic Fireballs, and then it blows up when you try to cast it.”

Out of nowhere, Valan knocks on the door – which confuses everyone because Balisar and the wizard are still standing there talking. This at least reminds the mage to invite them in.

DM: “You’ve brought a friend along!”
Valan: (whose growly character voice makes it impossible to tell if he’s actually annoyed) “I was hoping you were just leaving.”
Balisar: “I—I asked for a minute, you said all right…”
Valan: “Did I?”
Elkus: ‘It’s been several minutes so far.’
Balisar: “I promise you, what I do here will only aid us in the long run!”

The wizard and Balisar continue to roleplay, as the players hear some more of interest – the wizard is establishing magical barriers to protect the town.

Balisar: “I’ll speak to you once we’ve returned.” (looking unsubtly at the other players) “My comrades are growing impatient now.”
Elkus: (singing) “It’s time to leave now! We’ve had our breakfast!”

For some reason, they do the Mario. Balisar has some basic wand formulae and some notes, not in terribly usable condition. New wand mechanics are discussed, along with other things Balisar could create at 500gp and 20 days a pop.

DM: You find yourself back in town, Eliza waiting. “Ah, you’re all – wait a minute. Where’s your friend Tyr?”
Balisar: “We believe he, eeeeruh, encountered a spot of trouble.”
DM: “Oh… Oh, I was hoping he was not the one I had heard that was..”
Aurianna: “Sleeping it off in the drunk tank?”
DM: “Yes! On a good note, it seems that one of the other groups went off with one of their mates. They overslept.” What race are you?
Creed: Creed.
DM: “Young Creed here overslept and is looking for something to do.”
Valan: “What CAN she do?”
DM: “I believe she’s a ranger. Her group, while not as famous as your own, has been able to do its own few adventurers, but it seems the other group is a little bit hasty, rushed off on their own adventure.”
Valan: “Perhaps they’ll all die and she’ll be stuck with us.”

Balisar cheerfully pretends to be Tyr but with a Bane voice, for no reason at all. The group sets off! With the zombie threat diminished, the jungle seems less wild already, reaching the ruins in excellent time despite the arbitrary interruptions of NPCs and magical berries.

Valan: We’re so hungry!
DM: After a short walk you’re able to reach the edge of camp. Down a hill. And just inside the hill, a gaping maw, with a hole leading to some caverns below.
Valan: But the berries were poisoned! Berries – Fight, Run, Magic? Flee. You fled from Berries, but was blocked in front. Berries attacked! (suddenly noticing the rest of the group) I’m sorry. Just tell me to STFU.

The trip took till evening, so they settle in at the scout camp to rest for the night. The next day, the scout gives them the names of three scouts who had fallen into the caverns.

Elkus: Let’s see here, Vicks, Wedge, and… Cid. Aww crap.
Valan: Well we know Cid is okay.
Balisar: Depends on what kind of fish he got fed while he was down there.
DM: Jack, West, and Ray, were the names of the three guys that went down.
Valan: Jack Burton?
Balisar: At least it wasn’t Tanis, Sturm, and Flint.

The group travels down into the caverns, finding themselves in an area of worked stone that bears strong resemblance to the ruins. Map drawing and mini obtaining occurs! The room they enter, clearly a purposeful structure, is full of bones and decayed bodies, long with sluggish and decaying creatures rustling through the corpses. Initiative is rolled!

Balisar: We’re pacifists except where the infected come in.
Elkus: Fuck the infected!

Valan surges in with attacks a-flyin’, and knocks one prone now that he’s picked up Open Hand powers. Creed attempts to shoot, rolls terribly, changes her mind, and provokes squabbling.

DM: Let her go! Please! You guys have so much stuff to do. So much to do. I actually prepared this.
Creed: Okay, so I told my panther to run up to them, to do… claw thing? A pounce?

Panther derps thanks to the aforementioned bad roll, and then Elkus zips forward to cast Bane. Balisar stops him from burning his spell slots on mook encounters, so he switches to Vicious Mockery, but it passes. Balisar casts Acid Splash, dealing 4 to each, and then Aurianna misses a Sacred Flame. Now one of them goes, provoking an AOO from the panther.

DM: It dies. “Rrraaagh!” It falls to bones.
Valan: No saving throw?
DM: No, these are different. Against the panther… oh no. Crits you just roll your damage twice?
Creed: Oh god.
DM: Damn it, I don’t have enough of these. I’m gonna have to roll this a lot.
Valan: 10d6. You thought ‘owlbear’ was a good encounter for you guys!
DM: 13 points of damage—
Creed: Fuck. That is just enough to 0 it out.
DM: Oh, well, then the rest of this doesn’t matter… Wow, this guy rolled perfectly. 10 points of damage to you, Valan, and roll a DC 10 Constitution saving throw.
Valan: Get out the fumble deck!
DM: No, it’s a save. You are paralyzed for one minute.
Valan: It’s a slaving throw! They’re Inferian dice.

The group debates whether Valan stays standing or falls, while Valan immediately blows his on-turn save to break the paralysis. Creed heals her pet, while Elkus wades in with his Sunblade for 14 radiant damage. Balisar misses his Acid Splash, but Aurianna lands Sacred Flame for 8. Elkus takes a hit from one, then Valan promptly breaks his paralysis.

Valan: Have a dose of staff, you fuck! And then I’m gonna take a nap on the panther. I’m gonna ride the panther.
DM: It’s down.
Elkus: It should be named Lightning. Then you could ride the lightning.

Valan’s efforts punched the creature’s head off, while Creed misses. Elkus is up!

Elkus: “SUNBLADE! Slash at my enemies!” That’s a hit…

They cleave through the foes, thanks to radiant damage, then begin advancing into the room they cleared. But all is not safe – the DM questions Balisar as to his AC!

DM: You look up in horror as a small, almost slug-shaped creatures comes crashing down on you, doing 8 points of damage. It slams into you from above. But immediately after striking you, it begins to slither away at a slow pace!

The transcription breaks at this point, and we pick up a bit later as the PCs attempt to address more of these slug-creatures, or possibly some oozes, I’m not entirely sure.

Elkus: What’s the range on a staff…
Balisar: Normal!
Valan: Five feet.
Elkus: FIVE FEET?!
DM: I guess he wants to throw it you. So you’re not really trying to throw accurately at him—
Elkus: It’s a long stick, it’s pretty damn aerodynamic!
DM: It should be easy enough to throw it.
Elkus: I roll a 19. Right through his temple. Fucking Balisar.
DM: Roll your Dex to see if you’re able to catch it.
Balisar: Yes! I am!

Balisar clobbers a slug-creatures with his attack, then misses an AOO as it moves. Aurianna clobbers the slug as well. Creed follows up and squashes that one, while Elkus debates whether he should aid Balisar or Aurianna.

Valan: Don’t move further this direction, might cause another one to fall on you.
DM: (laughing) Damn it.
Valan: That’s a little on the meta side, but hey…
Balisar: ‘Why are you moving in zig-zags across the entire map?’
Valan: Jehovah is spelled with an I!
Balisar: Only the penitent dragonborn may pass… penitent… pentitent dragonborn…

Elkus Viciously Mocks a slug, then Balisar clubs a slug to death. Aurianna blasts the creature, as the DM explains they have terrible movement once they fell. With all their fallen foes smashed, the group peers cautiously at the ceiling to look for more of these bastards, and spot one left pretty much exactly where Valan was predicting. Elkus uses his one ranged attack.

DM: You guys are easily able to defeat him. This room appears clear.

Their loot amounts entirely to rubbish, though with a History roll, Balisar determines that they might be in the sewers of a larger civilization. But that’s all the information he’s getting.

Balisar: “No time for delay, comrades.”
Elkus: “I need my brownies, Balisar, give me a moment.”
Balisar: “That’s a sewage brownie!”
Elkus: “A brownie nonetheless.”
Balisar: (through his own bite of brownie) “You make a compelling argument.”
Valan: As he stuffs one into his orifice.
Elkus: Mmm, this is fecalicious good.
Valan: Oh god.
Balisar: Frosted Lucky Crap, it’s fecally delicious!
Aurianna: Balisar!

The transcription fails again, and we pick up with Tyr on the way to rejoin the group, narrowly avoiding being shot by the rest of the group. Meanwhile, somehow a battle with giant wasps has erupted, for reasons I can only hope will become more clear as the transcriptions continue. Aurianna rolls initiative from the bathroom, as is her wont. The transcription dies one more time, coming back to the group giggling about a line Balisar had delivered to their absent player.

Balisar: It’s like I said to Elkus, I hope he takes that in the joking spirit I meant it in and not, like, me being an asshole. Because I was intending it to get right on the line… I was like, okay, I should have thrown in something about his ethnicity, there, that would have made it clear.
Valan: Cruelly personal, then you know it’s okay.

Valan charges across the battlefield to deliver a pair of misses, then complains about monk running true to form. Elkus gets poisoned, but saves! The last wasp goes for the PCs as well.

DM: “Bzz bzz bzz, bzz bz-bz-bz-bz, bzzzz!”
Elkus: My Vicious Mockery. “Bzz BZZ bzz bzz!”
DM: It IS your turn.
Balisar: “My bzzer was a SAINT!”

Elkus cuts through a wasp, one-shotting it to his delight!

Elkus: “Sunsword! STRIKE TRUE!”
DM: “Good, friend! My name is Jack!” He seems awkward when he says it. “I’m… Jack, yeah! I fell in one of the holes, I’ve been running around!” He runs over and attempts to attack the guy now that he has aid –
Balisar: AIDS.
DM: “Please help me! My true friends, they’re nearby. They’re in hiding!” He misses.
Valan: The wasp stings him, and he dies!

Insight, unsurprisingly, gives Aurianna a sense that something is wrong even though the guy seems to be telling the truth. Tyr moves forward, but can’t get into melee.

Tyr: My javelin shall save the day! 21.
DM: That hits!
Tyr: And I actually don’t know what the damage of a javelin is…

His three damage is enough to slay the wasp! The remaining one makes a beeline (ha ha) for Valan, who passes his save and takes meager damage. Balisar hurls a Poison Spray, after which Aurianna finishes it.

DM: These wasps were not nearly what I was hoping for. Hopefully the other guys will do more. “Ah, thanks guys! Listen, the other two are just down the hall. But there’s more creatures ahead. I need your help. Please! There’s also treasure there. When we went to get it, that’s when these things came out!”
Elkus: “Quick! Lead the way!
Valan: Yeah, stab him in the back…

The DM, who has set up the caverns modular-fashion, moves them from one exit on the drawn map to another.

DM: You guys came here, got there…
Elkus: Man, these caverns look the same!
DM: Leave me alone. It’s a lot easier to do the battles this way. Jack is with you guys, he’s leading the way. “There they are! Those are the ones that chased me out!”
Balisar: Jack? Jack?! He’s a Lego maniac…
Valan: (disgusted grumble)
Elkus: Wasn’t that Zack?
DM: And just as described, ahead of you are two giant spiders.

Creed, swift to act, doesn’t really actually do much – just hems and haws about panthers and an inability to do anything, until the panther actually makes it to the spider against all odds. The DM, not willing to pick on Valan the way everything always does, openly rolls randomly to see who the spiders will attack.

DM: …he rolled a 2.
Elkus: Of course it’s Valan.
Valan: I’m paralyzed for how many rounds?
Balisar: I guess you’re taking the brunt of the aggression here.
Valan: Ah, get lost.
DM: Make a DC 12 Strength check to break the webbing – you’ve broken it, good job. Elkus, it’s your turn.
Elkus: Umm… Guess I’m going to viciously mock.
Balisar: Use the ranger as a shield!
Elkus: “You’re ugly!”
DM: Wisdom? It fails… Jack is shooting them…
Balisar: It was Jake, briefly.
Elkus: Jack ain’t doin’ shit.
Balisar: His name is Jack A. Jake.
Valan: Is this some kind of jape?
Balisar: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Is Jack… handsome?

A silence punctuated by many sighs. Balisar casts Chromatic Orb on a spider, which takes gratuitous cinematic damage without dying. Tyr throws a javelin for four, Aurianna fires Sacred Flame, and the damage keeps getting more lethal in description, but not in practice. A spider misses Creed. Elkus swings.

DM: If you hit, you kill him.
Valan: (cheering at Elkus’s roll) Let him crit! Let him crit!
DM: Y—okay, you crit. Look, you killed him, Elkus. Unless you really just want to see the damage you do…
Balisar: How’d you roll a negative, Elkus?! Oh come on!
DM: The spider’s more healthy than it was before! You hit it in its healing spot.

Jack calls for them to keep running ahead, and they do just that, popping into yet another identical cavern. In the next cavern, they find his alleged friends!

DM: “Wesk – Ray! Yeah, Weskray! Come on guys, we finally got our friends here, they’re here to help us!”
Valan: Oh, we’re going to help someone named Wesk. I don’t think so. No. Uh-uh.
Balisar: His middle initial is ‘R’.
DM: There is a treasure chest in the back.
Valan: He’s more concerned about that than his friends, isn’t he.
DM: No, he’s going over to help his friends, he just pointed at the treasure. “Hey, thanks you guys, for helping. We’re gonna make our way out, but the treasure’s right there. Why don’t you get it?”
Valan: “Because that’s not suspicious.”
Elkus: “That sounds fishy.”
Valan: 20 on my Insight.

Ray and West introduce themselves, trying to deflect suspicion off their obviously evil scheme, and the PCs’ Insight rolls, despite being awesome, come up with no deceit but just still something suspicious.

Balisar: “Wait! Before you go, I’d like to know EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED HERE!” (miming the presentation of his Rod of Rulership, which charms)
Elkus: Is this our boss battle?
DM: Talk about opposites-attract, the fuck? They all seem to look at you, as if expecting something. “We told you what happened.”
Balisar: “In detail!”
DM: “Yeah, I’ll tell you what happened. Some fools dropped down, and we just took ‘em out.” “What are you doing?! Stop!” He’s like screaming at him.
Balisar: “TRAITORS! I bid you surrender yourselves and we shall take you back to justice!”
DM: “You’re probably right, I probably should just give myself up.”
Balisar: “I’m your trusted leader…!”
Tyr: Can someone please clue me in as to what the hell is going on?
DM: “You fools, felled by silly magic.” You see before you as they all transform. Their skin transforms into a grey hair, their snouts pull out. Ahead of you is three were-rats.
Valan: Oh god. This IS revenge.
DM: “I can’t believe they saw through us. Your shitty acting is the reason why. Just go ahead and kill them. More meat!”
Balisar: “It WAS very poor acting, however, you will find our combat EXCEEDS your dramatics!”
Valan: Well, they should know that already.
Elkus: “Well said!” I go over, shake your hand. “Very well orated.”
Balisar: Someday the DM will award me inspiration for roleplaying…

Subtly prompted, the DM gives Balisar inspiration. Initiative erupts, and everyone rolls stupidly high as normal. Tyr acts first.

Tyr: I think I’ll just go with a javelin throw to start with.
DM: Move forward, throw your javelin. Roll an attack!
Tyr: I don’t want to move forward. I don’t want them to hit me first.
Valan: Oh. Okay.

Tyr discovers that at this range, he’ll be enduring disadvantage on his missile rolls. Unwilling to take this, he simply draws his axe and readies against a charge.

Elkus: Craven!
Valan: Guess what – I’M moving backwards! I’m not gonna run forward and tank when I’ve been getting wailed on this whole time.
Auranna: I step forward, throw down my Staff of the Python, and speak the command word.
Creed: “Moses!”

Balisar lobs a Sleep spell into the wererats, taking one down as the group enjoys causing feedback to piss off the transcriber. Aurianna’s Staff of the Python is vigorously mocked. They dive into the Monster Manual, looking for the stats for a python.

Balisar: Giant Goat?!
Creed: Satan’s gonna love that.
Balisar: This is the greatest thing ever. Giant Owls speak Giant Owl. They have their own language. Everyone should learn Giant Owl…

The snake constricts a wererat, leading to the DM cursing that he can’t roll well for his NPCs ever. It totally blows the damage rolls. A wererat smacks his friend to wake him up, while the other one slashes the snake for 8 damage. Tyr moves forward and NOW throws his javelin.

DM: That’s a hit. That detects AC on the snake – on those guys.
Elkus: On the snake?
Aurianna: Not my snake!
DM: It’s for the snake too, but…
Tyr: 4 damage!
DM: The javelin strikes true, hitting him in the shoulder, dealing minor damage, but damage nonetheless.
Balisar: Aren’t these guys immune…?
DM: Oh wait. God damn it. I forgot all the extra rules for these assholes. No… so the javelin pierces off.
Valan: Immune to what, ranged?
Balisar: They need silver or magical, probably.
DM: Oh wow, never mind, even the constriction was not able to do any damage.

Aurianna casts Spiritual Weapon while Elkus lands a Hold Person. Disabled by the wererat damage immunities, the group struggles for ways to harm their enemies; all Creed can do is pull back her panther. The snake tanks a rat bite, which relieves everyone because the snake can’t really become a wererat.

Elkus: You want to become a wereranger?
Valan: Wereranger. Not a wererat ranger.

They discover abruptly that Tyr has a magical weapon which everyone had forgotten about, but he promptly misses the wererat. Aurianna manages to deal 19 points of damage on a crit with her Spiritual Weapon, then recalls her staff and Sacred Flame’s the held guy. Balisar lobs a Chromatic Orb into the one trying to get into the squishies.

Balisar: Does a 16 hit him?
DM: Yes it does.
Balisar: Then he can eat…


Tyr: Delicious!
Valan: A miss!
Balisar: That is pathetic, he takes 11 points of acid damage.
DM: The acid burns many hairs, you’ve almost turned him into a hairless rat. He screams in pain.
Balisar: “Only death awaits you if you persist!”
DM: “We will consume you and make more!”
Valan: So… 7 total.
DM: That’s enough to finish him off. He crumples to the ground.
Balisar: (watching Valan acting out this death) I question the ragdoll physics!
Elkus: Blame the Havok engine.
Balisar: “One has fallen, will be you the next!”
Elkus: “You can give up now if you wish to stay alive!”
Valan: It turns out wererats speak Wererat, so he doesn’t understand you now.
Balisar: He forgot how to speak.
DM: The moment he transformed, it works that way now.

Creed hurls acid into the fray, literal acid from a flask, making the wererat completely hairless.

DM: “Nooo!”
Balisar: “Yeeees!”
Elkus: “You can back down now and still save your own hide!”
DM: “And go back and be killed for being what I am? No! We killed those pesky hunters, we’ll kill you, and we’ll kill everyone who comes in here!” He goes to strike at you.
Tyr: “You guys are idiots.”

Elkus, who acts first, whacks the wererat with his SUNBLADE. The wererat attempts to bite, threatening infection!

Elkus: Constitution, don’t fail me now!
Balisar: Werekus… Werekus…
Elkus: Not this piece of shit werecreature! Let me get bit by a werebear or something! (rolling) …Whew.
DM: You are fine.

Elkus mocks Tyr for hanging back and throwing javelins, which sets off Valan into peals of laughter. The Spiritual Weapon drops one for good, while Valan clobbers a different one and Elkus lops one in half.

DM: Before you, the chest they so raved about.
Valan: Uh-oh, that’s a trap.
DM: What do you do?
Valan: We will let Tyr open that chest.
Tyr: Yeah yeah, sacrifice the barbarian…

Creed determines the chest is both locked and trapped, to no one’s surprise. Balisar proposes sending in the python to eat the damage.

Elkus: Obviously, in meta terms, it doesn’t have enough to kill one of us in one go…
Balisar: Probably.
Valan: Sacrifice the snake!

For some reason, the trap is on a several-minute delay, which incapacitates the people around the trap for several moments when it goes off. The wererats’ plan is now obvious. Balisar, confident, opens it.

DM: A bright light flashes out. DC 10 Con check.
Balisar: Con?! Oh, I wasn’t prepared for this! I thought it was going to be Wisdom!

Balisar passes despite everyone laughing at his reaction, and they loot the chest for money and items. Magical boots and gloves, Striding and Springing and Thieving respectively. The wererats have a magical shortsword and each of them has a silvered weapon, probably stolen from the scouts. Speaking of the scouts, they find their effects as well! And their… mostly-whole corpses.

Elkus: I don’t have a blanket… I have a bedroll.
Valan: You want to put a dead body in your—
Elkus: I can buy a goddamn new bedroll!
Valan: Why don’t we just give them a Jedi funeral…

Elkus has a bizarrely large bedroll, and so wraps up the bodies – leading to the image of his bedroll in fact unfurling into an automatically-assembling four-poster bed. It quickly becomes a rotating heart-shaped bed with a porn riff playing in the background.

Elkus: Don’t judge me.

The group takes a needed short rest, but as it reaches the end the DM calls for a Perception check! Tyr, at least succeeds.

DM: You watch all the walls, coming out of little holes and little spaces, as swarms upon swarms… from all sides they surround you, they skitter and skitter, as hordes of insects of innumerable numbers. Swarms of insects!
Elkus and Valan: We are going. To die.
Balisar: We’ve woken the Hive!
DM: Balisar, give me a roll.
Balisar: What kind of roll would you like?
DM: Initiative.
Elkus: Con?! I wasn’t expecting that!

Balisar attempts to find a background sound of bugs to accurately convey the horror of this encounter. Three invocations of ‘What’s up, Doc?’ eventually have him throw the phone aside in disgust.

Valan: I’m glad for bugs because we’d have no chance against Bugs Bunny.
DM: Yeah, Bugs Bunny doesn’t lose.
Valan: He just puts some lipstick on and we’ll just be all, “Ah, she’s a real looker, I’ll just do whatever she says.” Walk off a cliff.
DM: Your class is not Elmer Fudd.
Valan: Bugs pulled that on anybody! Every male got completely stupid as soon as he put on a dress and lipstick.
DM: Yeah, he did.

Balisar, first to act, fails to land a Poison Spray. The group speculates on what the swarm rules are like now!

DM: Hold your action if you like. Let’s see what they do.
Balisar: One round later, as our skeletons fall to the floor. “THAT’s what they did!”
Valan: Sunsword, give him fight beyond fight
Elkus: …I need a… failure card, please.
Balisar: That’s bad. You take 1d6 points of damage and 1 point of bleed damage. You used the wrong end.
Valan: “Sunsword, kill me!”

Swarms clamber onto the PCs, while Tyr slashes at one with an axe… terribly. The PCs inflict non-entertaining damage on the swarms, whittling their numbers down gradually.

DM: Bugs all over your hands! And your staff!
Valan: I’m taking them in this hand and then I’m going, smack!
DM: You see a small man with chopsticks. You remember your master, and you failing this test many times.
Valan: He told me I wasn’t ready for that.
DM: “You are ready now.” Your master appears in a bubble over your head.
Valan: No, he had me painting his house and washing his car.

Elkus detonates a Thunderwave, while Tyr gets swarmed ruthlessly. Balisar takes one down. The group mocks the transcriber for causing feedback, despite their own immense and unwavering joy in causing feedback to make him suffer at all times. The combat drags on long enough to get a bit silly.

DM: Uh-oh. Give me a critical fail.
Balisar: Natural attack. It’s fatigued.
Valan: Tired swarm? Oh, they’re on the ground, I can step on them now.

Balisar furiously pummels a swarm on someone with his quarterstaff, and the DM howls as first he, then Aurianna, fail to kill the swarm. Valan almost exhausts himself with a critical failure, but negates it with a save.

Elkus: “SUNBLADE!”
DM: Is the Sunblade the new Moradin’s Stormhammer?!

Creed, finally, wipes out a swarm! Valan, however, gets taken down by a massive surge of damage.

DM: Balisar, it’s your turn. Most of the swarms are gone, but one of your allies is down, the swarm is trying to nibble on his remains – on his unconscious body.
Balisar: Not much I can do about that, but he’s got three rounds.
Elkus: ‘When in Rome!” Om nom nom…
DM: “He’ll understand!”

Balisar finishes the swarm with Poison Spray, and they quickly heal Valan back to conscious status.