Picutre by dekarogue
Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Halftime Guns, Psychotic wastes of Ooze. Psychotic waste to the Force, Psycotic Child Abducting Santa Clones. And a Spoiler to Episode VII. Bring back the Fucking Books, Disney.
Han and Lea should’ve never had a kid. Their genetics created a spurg-headed utter waste of midi-chlorians. Not even pre-trilogy Anakin was ever this spergy1. Truly, you will never find a more total disgrace of all that is Sith. J.J. Abrams should be ashamed. That’s all I’ll ever say about Episode VII in this blog until everyone seen the movie. (Oh, and before you ask, I loved everything else about it. I’ll say more, but you know, spoilers.)
Last week in Encounters, the gun for Halftime in the Out of the Abyss campaign went off. The party went through the Battle for Blingdenstone. I focused on the main party doing the tip-of-the-spear push to attack the Pudding King while everyone else took care of the ‘trash’ (An MMO term there, meaning everything else that wants to kill you in the boss scene, or anything that would be following you wanting to kill you on the way to said boss scene.) I managed to throw them a good assortment of Black Puddings, Gray Oozes, Ochre Jellies, and even a Gelatinous Cube in the mix, before I popped up a set of columns for the Pudding King to barricade behind for a spell or two. I had their weapons and armor acid-proofed—a quest reward for completing one of the tasks earlier—and even called “Climax Mode” where you can use more than 1 Action Point in an encounter (but only one per turn, however) since this is a boss fight.
Of course, the battle was won, and the party was granted safe passage up toward the surface, and eventually to a new city in my Forgotten Realms: Westchester. After Bruenor Battlehammer’s (temporary) death, the dwarves at Mithryl Hall discovered the cave that lead to Blingdenstone, which at the time was still vacant. They teamed up with House Neo-Durdren (A renegade Chaotic Good-aligned Drow House of Drow outcasts and Renegades inspired by Drizzt Do’Urdren, their “Patriarch Emeritus”), and built a small village on the site, with a temple that houses the entrance of the passageway.
That’s what the party arrived to, and was met by some rather friendly—and sane—surface dwelling dwarves and drow, and especially, the High Noon sun, which had its way with all Drow-made material save for some magical items and what not.
Cue the Halftime gun. Just in time for the holidays.
I’ll be working on the next session—as well as the second half—this coming week after some well-deserved time off over the weekend (which I’ve seen Episode VII. Save for one character, I loved it.) and I’ve already have a Holiday-themed session prepared for the party, which I’ve already tested out.
Every Winter in the Realms, you hear a story of what looked like a Jolly Old Giant Fat Man in a Red Suit….taking wayward kids away where they’re never heard of again. Many kids here have heard of the story of Krampus but usually don’t give them much mind; if you hear of one such “You be a good child or else X will get you” story, you’ve pretty much seen all of them. Until of course you see him actually appear. Most kids, when they catch wind, combine their efforts and drive Krampus away, who leaves behind stuff from his sack (Presents used to lure kids) as a ‘drop.’ Most Adventuring groups in Faerun begin this way.
In my Holiday-themed session, which will take place between the two halves as far as my Encounters group is concerned, the party finds word of a Gingerbread-style house on top of a mountain where Krampus is found, they find the group to find, not just your stereotypical workshop, but also a bunch of caged children hanging from a ceiling. And a large present-covered box where Krampus takes one kid and—to the party’s horror—turns them into a stereotypical Christmas Elf with no memory of who they were and a compulsion to start working with a singsong chant in his-or her-lips.
Then Krampus looks at the party and….we can just roll for initiative now.
I got my inspiration from Worldbuilder Blog, which I combined with the upcoming “Krampus” movie about the evil twin of Santa Claus, who pretty much did what this Krampus did. I tested it on my Dreams of the Red Wizards crowd and they loved it. (I even have the elves transformed into Dwarves for them to kill, although I won’t do that for the Encounters table.) It should be for a really interesting Nightmare Scenario I usually throw on the Holidays.
Also, even after this session, the effects will be felt. This campaign world is persistent, after all.
1 I make a distinction between having ASD and being ‘Spergy.’ People with ASD have a mental condition that isn’t in sync with the general population, and most of them are well aware of this. It comes in several factors, such as the inability of nonverbal cues, being socially clumbsy, not able to communicate appropriately or not at all, not being able to focus on more than one thing at a time, having one or more senses that are either hyper-sensitive or not sensitive at all, problems with priproception, and countless other things that would make you seem ‘off’ to the general public. People who are ‘spergy’ are those who are deliberate, be they consciously or subconsciously, in being different by accentuating what makes them so with the volume knobs somewhere in the teens, and will fly off the handle if anyone ever questions them on it. They might incorporate a game or cartoon as part of their personhood, be on a constant prowl for a proper mate by being utterly creepy on it, be so focused on something to the point of it becoming their religion, and doing any single item that Chris W. Chandler has ever done in his life. My first paragraph shows a prime example of someone who’s ‘spergy.’