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Dragon of Life ([personal profile] dragonoflife) wrote on August 7th, 2015 at 08:41 pm

It’s the wacky game of the DM who rarely DMs OH WAIT NO IT ISN’T, THE DM IS JUST A JERK! A BIG JEEEEEEEERK! Last time, they had beaten up their thri-kreen attackers and killed… some of them. Balisar opens up with an Investigation check to examine the bugs for some sign of what caused their madness, and he and Elkus determine it’s some sort of disease or infection with a magical origin.

Balisar: “I’m not certain we should return these to their comrades. They too might become infected by whatever it is. We have no way of knowing it is not contagious… though I hope it is constrained merely to these insectoid creatures.”
DM: Based on what he said about magical, something magically sort of… you could say injected. It seems very similar to the spores, but a little more directed/
Balisar: “Perhaps this too is related.”
Valan: It’s like that episode of Transformers where all the affected robots turned red.
Balisar: I release the wisdom of the Matrix, problem solved.
Valan: Yeah, but it empties out the Matrix.
Balisar: We’ll make more.
Valan: Nooooo.
Balisar: More wisdom, not more Matrixes!

The group speculates that destroying the source of the infection may free the thri-kreen, and since they’re expecting to find an egg in here, they admit they need to venture more deeply anyway. They keep going on, as the tunnels become higher-quality and better lit. And with writing on the wall!

Elkus: “At least they were kind enough to tell us the way. If we care to read it.”
Balisar: “If we could read it.”
Valan: Concentrate on a language for what, ten minutes, and try to decipher it!
Elkus: “You seem to have a knack for languages.”
Balisar: “Yes, with the arts of magic behind me, but for hearing them.” Oh, no wait, this does let me understand any written language that I see. Give me ten minutes!
DM: As he begins to cast…
Valan: He needs exactly as long as it’ll take us to wipe out the adds. As soon as the last one falls. ‘Okay, I have it.’
Balisar: ‘A triptych of thri-kreen runes.’
Valan: ‘Said to be uncrackable.’

The DM calls for Perception checks, of course, although no one bothers to roll except Aurianna.

Balisar: ‘I don’t mean to alarm you, but I’m tracking the kreen by the CR of the adventurers it’s killed.’

The DM abruptly remembers he’d failed to give them experience from the last encounter, and considering the difficulty of this one he has planned, he bumps the PCs up to 4th level. Leveling ensues! It ends up with Balisar being arrested for crimes against humanity for abusing his level 14 illusionist power. At last they finish!

Balisar: So I’m going to be out of this entire battle.
Valan: Oh, ‘cuz you’re – oh.
Balisar: I’m ritual casting.
Valan: He cast… whaddya call it…

Valan can’t think of what he’s got in mind. Valan also has other problems.

Valan: Olive juice?
Balisar: Yes, that’s what I said. Olive juice.

The DM re-calls for Perception checks! Since some people obviously succeed, they spot something on the ceiling crawling their way from both side of the junction! They begin positioning themselves on the drawn-out map.

Elkus: I’m gonna need a map of the town, I’m gonna put myself there…
Balisar: Damn it, Elkus! Man, if we weren’t in a tunnel, I was gonna do some roleplaying with you guys. Can’t do that now, can I? No roleplaying for me.
Valan: For you.
Balisar: For meeee! FOR MEEEEEEE!

Like walls of orange, the creatures take up the narrow hallways, advancing towards the PCs in a pincer maneuver. For some reason, the DM and Balisar begin talking about the failed sitcom, “Heil Honey, I’m Home”. Roselia, acting firsts, casts Thorn Whip!

DM: What type of damage is it?

A very long pause.

Roselia: Ummmm…. What is the question?
Balisar: Piercing. If the attack hits, it does 1d6 piercing damage and if it’s Large or smaller, she pulls the creature up to 10 feet closer.
Aurianna: Get over here!
DM: You hit.
Roselia: I need to figure out damage…
Aurianna: 1d6…?

Roselia whips the Thousand Island monsters 10 feet closer, as the group worries.

Valan: So does that mean that any weapon we strike it with is…
Elkus: The piercing didn’t make it split in two like the old rules did, so I don’t know the new rules for slimes!

They promptly find out, as Tyr steps forward and slashes one of the oozes in two. Now he’s facing two oozes. Valan and Balisar busy themselves talking about the Herculoids.

Balisar: You guys are okay with being cloned when I get to 8th level spells, right?
Valan: You’re going to turn us into oozes!?
DM: Tyr, is there anything else you want to do on your turn?
Elkus: Cry.
Tyr: Do I have the opportunity to step back?
DM: If you have movement left.
Balisar: Provoke an attack of opportunity.
DM and Valan: TWO attacks of opportunity.
Tyr: I’ll choose not to do that then.
Elkus: Face it like a man and get enveloped by the slime!
Valan: Yes, get eaten by oozes.
Elkus: …I have nothing to attack these things with…

Shrugging, Elkus whips out SUNBLADE! And slashes the opposite ooze in half as well. Aurianna casts Guiding Bolt.

Valan: Are you gonna cast Shatter? And end this?
Aurianna: No.
Valan: No. Damn it!
Aurianna: I don’t think I CAN cast Shatter as this character.
Elkus: I knew I should have picked that spell up.
Valan: 8 damage?
DM: The one she hit with that bolt?
Valan: Well – yes.
DM: All right, take one of them off.
Valan: And the followup…
Balisar: Here he goes, here goes monk Valan, he’s a demon on feet! He’s a demon and he’s gonna be kicking and punching someone!
Valan: 5 damage to the one that’s left.
Balisar: Go monk Valan, go monk Valan…
Valan: Ki point, Strength save! Pushing it away so we can get our AOOs if it’s not dead.
DM: It fails.
Valan: O—oh! Elkus, SUN—wait.
Elkus: No… can I just pommel it?

This is in fact a rules error, in retrospect – forced movement doesn’t provoke AOOs. The group should rightfully blame Balisar, who knows better than to let this happen. A mini falls over.

Elkus: I’m going to destroy that mini.
Valan: The two of them should never be together.
Balisar: Muum, muum, muum. Make out. Muum muum muum.
Elkus: Is that how you make out?! That’d disgusting!
Balisar: That’s how MINIS make out.
Elkus: I have never thought that in my head, I would describe someone making out as ‘mealy’.
Balisar: They’re minis, I keep telling you!

The oozes roll forward to attack. Tyr takes 16 bludgeoning and 7 acid, which is a fairly alarming number. Balisar makes soda cans make out; they are phenomenally loud.

Tyr: What is that, popcorn?
Elkus: No, they’re idiots!
DM: Elkus, the first night when they fall asleep, we’re farting all over them.
Balisar: Aurianna, the first night we move in, I am feeding you so much broccoli. And then I am sleeping anywhere but that house. I will go to a Motel 6.
Valan: You guys could just all get in a car and drive off a cliff if you didn’t want to survive. It’d probably be easier to die that way.
Balisar: We wouldn’t make it to the cliff!
Valan: It’s a hotbox!

Roselia rolls a Flaming Sphere into the battle, driving Balisar into a state of incoherent madness as he tries to explain how the spell works in this version.

Roselia: …how good is your Dex, Tyr?
Balisar: Don’t kill Tyr!
Tyr: Not good enough…

She drops it behind the slime on the far side of Tyr. Tyr, desperate to tank, rages for the resistance and then uses the Dodge action. Aurianna mumbles her action.

Valan: Casting Fear on Tyr?!
Aurianna: No, Cure!
Balisar: I heard Fear too…
Valan: Tyr runs! Nowhere to go!

Aurianna can’t reach him, though, because she never looks at the map. Despite the fact that she’s in the kitchen and could easily see it…

Balisar: Did you just put a big chunk of butter in the bread?
Aurianna: Mhmm.
DM: She doesn’t have butterbetes.
Balisar: She’s not supposed to eat excess carbohydrates! Because of her diabetes!
Valan: Butterbetes! (giggling)

Valan nearly laughs his own stomach out as he imagines Balisar’s ritual just being ten minutes of him shoving butter into his mouth. Aurianna does some damage, I think with Sacred Flame, while Valan unloads into an ooze. The ooze on Tyr’s side fails to attack him, so he Withdraws to avoid the attack. Roselia attacks from a distance… but then they move her into melee so she can actually attack, and she crits! Elkus hurls a dagger into the fray, then Aurianna throws out another Sacred Flame and Valan punches it into the ground.

Valan: Just say I stomped it a lot afterwards to make sure.
DM: And the battlefield is yours.
Valan: Meanwhile, Balisar’s like, “What’s going on over there? Can’t you hear me trying to concentrate over here?!”
Tyr: Heal please…

Balisar completes his spell, and they read the directions – Breeding Rooms, Throne Room, Housing, etc. There are far too many options to easily explore.

Elkus: “The breeding area does not sound like a lovely place, let’s go to the throne room.”
Balisar: “Certainly not, but if you were a creature that was attempting to influence these other creatures, would you not start with the young and most vulnerable?”
Elkus: “This is certainly true. It’s just going to stink…”

Tyr gets healing, and so chooses to take the lead. They head down the tunnel, following the trails, to find two thri-kreen standing in front of a closed door. These kreen have the same coloration as the mad ones before, but though they spot the PCs, they don’t advance, only draw their weapons.

Elkus: “Hail, friends! We are here and we mean you no harm!”
DM: “Friends? Step forward so we see you better!”
Elkus: With my hands outstretched, I say, “Yes, of course!” Step forward several paces.
DM: Give me a Wisdom check.
Balisar: I ready an action to cast at the first sign of hostility.
Elkus: Wisdom? Why Wisdom… that’s an 8.
Balisar: Would Insight be applicable for this?
DM: There’s something else going on.
Balisar: Aaaah, he’s charmed.
Valan: It’s Animal Handling.
DM: You can use Perception for this.

Elkus spots the thri-kreen equivalent of a smirk, and then something pushes at Elkus that he didn’t see. A gelatinous cube! Initiative results!

Balisar: I’m a failure at initiative today, 6.
Tyr: Hey, you’re faster than me, 7.
Balisar: No, I’m slower than you.
Tyr: Sorry, I’m thinking wrong…

A discussion in the background goes very weird…

Aurianna: My question is, did you let it break? We needed to have it, like…
Elkus: Soldered to your groin.
Balisar: What did you break?!

The DM angrily sweeps aside the miniatures to set aside different miniatures, while Elkus uses Suggestion to bid the smirking kreen approach him. For some reason this doesn’t work right, so Elkus retroactively changes it to Hold Person and locks that guy down instead. Roselia drops a Flaming Sphere behind the cube, washing its fire over all the kreen and the cubes. Aurianna throws Sacred Flame on the cube, and a kreen botches his attack roll so badly he’s busy juggling his weapon for a while instead of attacking.

Valan: I don’t really relish the notion of trying to go punch the ooze.
Balisar: Someone’s got to do something about it.
Valan: Okay.

Completely a pawn of peer pressure, Valan steps up and promptly crits the cube with a mighty staff blow!

DM: Slamming your staff against it, goo flies everywhere as it breaks apart, but the size remains. But you can see the harsh amount of damage you’ve done to it, it’s more visible than it was before with gashes and chunks missing. Cube, it is your turn. Dex save for you.
Balisar: Oh no! Cube 2: Hypercube!
Valan: Fail. Unless 6 passes…

Valan and Elkus get sucked up by the cube – they are restrained and cannot breathe! Tyr whacks it, and then Balisar flings a Chromatic Orb into it!

DM: Elkus’s hand is free!
Valan: His hand freezes off.
Elkus: (miming struggling, then poking his head out) IT’S COLD NOW!
Balisar: Not cold enough, if that’s what you can do.
DM: Right now you have disadvantage on attacks.
Elkus: With a 6 AC, I don’t think it matters, unless I roll a 1. (gargling) “S-u-u-nglaaaabe!”
DM: No. (speaking and miming a bubble coming out, which then pops) “Sunblade!”
Balisar: Quickly cast Message.
Elkus: Everybody got it? It’s six turns later, I’m melting…

Elkus slashes the cube from the inside, bemoaning that it’s like eating a giant booger. Balisar helpfully brings up Sonic drowning music, which makes everyone realize they need to go look up the drowning rules. In the meantime, Aurianna unleashes a devastating Guiding Bolt that shatters the cube, and the party launches into melee with the thri-kreen! Elkus takes a blow for 8, and then Valan misses his staff but connects his kick for 6 and knocks it prone.

DM: I’m glad you didn’t do that against the slimes. They cannot be prone.
Valan: I knew that…
Elkus: It’s the same no matter what.
Tyr: I’m gonna slash the darkness… that’ll be a whopping 20 damage.
DM: Wow. You walk up, not even taking your sword out, and just stomp on its neck. Crushing it instantly.
Tyr: You don’t screw with me.

Balisar, up next, fires off an Acid Splash, which everyone immediately interprets as a treacherous attack on Tyr for some reason. Elkus doesn’t want to get Flaming Sphered, so he whips out a dagger and tosses it. Roselia sends her sphere out of the way, but its damage finishes the final one off.

DM: The field is yours.
Elkus: “Smirk at me, will you.”
Valan: Ha ha ha ha! No one smirks at Elkus. And no one screws with Tyr!

The players walk the seasons from spring to winter, then wander into the final battle of the campaign, thanks to a soundtrack that has gone a bit awkward. Elkus takes a Perception roll at the door, and hears voices!

DM: “They are out. They have killed the guards outside. Ensure they do not get to the chamber. Once we have secured this one, our plan will continue as scheduled.”
Valan: Cobra!
DM: “With the thri-kreen out of our way, it’s one less obstacle.”
Valan: Popsicle?!
Elkus: Obstacle.
Aurianna: Popsicle.
Balisar: Maybe you should throw open the doors so we can dramatically engage them before they get away?
Elkus: Oh yes, that’s what I was just about to do. We ask about keyholes, no, there’s just a few glory holes here… anyway. “AAAAAH!”
DM: Strength check.
Elkus: Aww. Not too bad, 17.
DM: Sadly, the door was blocked. You do manage to break the lock, but the doors do not swing open as dramatically as you would like.

Elkus strikes a dramatic pose and Balisar casts an illusion to give him a halo of light as the doors slowly swing open. It is awesome and intimidating!

DM: Let me see… Perception.
Balisar: They don’t notice, they roll natural 1s on their perception.
DM: He is not impressed.

The DM shows them a picture of a Helmed Horror to describe their foe, while all around them chutes deposit eggs into the room. Two heavily-cloaked people are tampering with the eggs, hatching infected kreen! Initiative, immediately, as the players demand they put a stop to this at once!

Balisar: There it is, the most aggressive thing we’ll ever do in this campaign. I Comprehend his Language, let’s see him stop that.
Valan: He assumes another Mai Thai stance to counter yours!

Striking ridiculous poses, the group flows into motion! One of the thri-kreen reveals itself to be wearing a crown, just a band with a gem.

Balisar: Excellent! These ones have treasure!
DM: I will roll loot for you guys, I forgot to do that… you guys WILL get look for the other encounters, just…
Valan: They’re all rolled into this crow. It’s a psicrown.
DM: He pull out a small, familiar weapon.
Balisar: A dildo.
Valan: Why is it familiaaaar?!
DM: Sure, if that’s what you want thrown at you, that’s find.

The group considers this, given the general harmlessness of a thrown dildo, but it gets rapidly horrible. Tyr charges into the fray, landing a solid hit for 17 damage, and the wound seems to briefly knock the free will back into the thri-kreen!

Balisar: I know how to derail this encounter. “Thri-kreen, would you kindly attack that guy?”
Tyr: “What the hell’s up with your eye colors?”
Balisar: “A man chooses! A kreen obeys! OBEY!”
DM: You are just giving me all sorts of free rights to complain and bitch about your game every time you complain and bitch in my game.
Balisar: That’s fine. I’m running a module, it’s not MY creative endeavors that went into it.

Roselia discovers the hatchlings have terrible ACs, and strikes one a vicious blow.

DM: It is not dead, but the cloaked one next to it… “No. We can still save them.”

The DM said this in a weirdly lackluster tone and with a funny accent, so everyone gets a good laugh out of it. Aurianna deals 11 points of damage with something, while Balisar angrily challenges them to a game of Three Dragon Ante, whatever THAT is.

Elkus: Why did I write that down?! Decanter of Endless Armor!
DM: (miming pouring) MORE armor!
Elkus: I must have been thinking something subconscious about armor…

The suit of armor slashes at Tyr, dealing 7 with one and missing with the other – and his resistance soaks down half of that, so not bad. An ancient copper dragon appears for no reason. Valan leaps into the fray with a flurry of attacks and a shove attempt that fails. Balisar wastes a cast by trying to affect the boss with Phantasmal Force.

DM: Based on your knowledge of what this creature represents, you figure this is probably a shell transmitting an intelligence from a great distance. A spell’s been placed on it, I guess almost like… a divinity, cast through something so he can act here but not be here.
Balisar: “This is merely a projection! The true horror lies elsewhere!”

Elkus unloads Thunderwave into the fray, while Tyr takes 6 points before resistance and misses his own attack. Roselia drops the crowned kreen with a blow that shatters said crown, the game tortures the transcriber mercilessly with the DM’s cheerful blessing, and Aurianna puts 19 points of damage into the construct with Guiding Bolt.

Elkus: Pacifists no more. We tried to talk…
Balisar: It doesn’t count, he’s not actually there.
Elkus: That’s true.
DM: “Enough games!” He crushes his fist –
Elkus: “OWWW, WHY’D I DO THAT?!”
DM: And the other ones fall to the ground for a moment.
Balisar: We’ll be blamed for this.
DM: A bright light flares out.
Elkus: Con save for all.
DM: Yes.

Most people succeed! Balisar, who has been rolling terribly all night, does not. The armor collapses and deteriorates, so the PCs who don’t suck judge themselves to be victors.

DM: You can see now, Balisar.
Elkus: “Balisar, open your eyes!”
DM: Your character’s dead now, Balisar.
Elkus: “Balisar, noooooo!”
DM: I’ve killed him. When you play this game you don’t do anything. You sit there and stay quiet – No, you must SIT THERE and stay quiet! The game’s over. We can’t play unless Balisar is sitting there and being quiet.
Balisar: Oh, so I’ve got all the power now, that’s what I’m hearing.
DM: I don’t care, I don’t have to run the game.
Balisar: Elkus, you’re up!

The uninjured thri-kreen begins to rise, and the players quickly debate what to do. It begins to beg, promising they mean no harm as Elkus holds it at swordpoint.

Elkus: “No harm! No harm! I was stuck in a giant booger, man!”
Balisar: “Balisar. …is me.” I don’t know what I’m thinking any more!

Elkus and Balisar crack up helplessly, taking the rest of the group down with them. Balisar finally manages to persuade Elkus to hear out the thri-kreen.

Elkus: “Perhaps you are right.” I’ll sheathe my SUNBLADE! And I hold a hand out for the thri-kreen. “Let us get you up then.”


DM: I was like, I might as well roll up loot. You guys gone back on track?
Elkus: I was roleplaying!
Balisar: I apparently introduced myself!
Aurianna: ‘Balisar is meeeeee!’
Elkus: Even though he’s giggling, I was trying to roleplay.

Elkus repeats his actions more effectively, and the thri-kreen tells them that they might be able to recover the others given time.

Balisar: “How long do you require? Says I, Balisar!”
Elkus: “Him Balisar. Me Elkus.”

The kreen tells them the boss probably went back to the central room, as the group explores to determine the layout of this room. Another set of doors leads further into housing areas.

DM: “He plans on moving the object.”
Balisar: “The object?”
DM: “Yes. When he came… a few months ago, we had discovered something. A large egg.”
Balisar: “We know something of these creatures, these eggs. If it is here, it is truly a high priority for us to seize.”
DM: “The creature we met there was friendly at first, but then when he came along, that’s when the sickness started. He took some of us and captured this area, then everything else fell into place. The queen managed to get away, but it’s been a battle since.”

The group gets information on how to get to the main room, and a helpful book of translations from the thri-kreen. And on this dramatic note, the DM awards experience! And loot!

DM: A sopping bag of 450 gold you found in the large cube…
Valan: Sopping bag. It’s all wet and useless.
Balisar: And mustardy…

They find a weird assortment of stuff! A handaxe +1! Weird slippers!

Balisar: Trident of Fish Command! Trident of Fish Command!
Elkus: It’s not a trident! …Slippers of Fish Command! Slippers of Fish Command!
DM: Ha ha ha ha! You find a headband.
Balisar: Woohoo, I put it on!
DM: You feel your muscles burst within your chest!
Balisar: Awesome!
DM: Your heart muscles!
Balisar: A—awesome…?

And on that dark note, the game ends!
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