Note: Only Encounters this week due to Thanksgiving.
Trigger Warnings: Spoilers, Cultural Appropriation, DMs suffering from PTSD
I do not envy Steve Harvey. Not one Iota.
While I’m not a big fan of the newer versions of Family Feud. (To me, it ain’t Family Feud if the game board doesn’t rotate or flip mechanically. Rest in peace, Richard Dawson) I have to say that the most recent incarnation has its own twist: Game Show Network does not censor the players’ answers at all, and they focus on Steve Harvey’s reaction. More often than not it’s this expression above, of him looking like he’s constipated. And if you look at the above youtube video, you will not blame him.
That’s the same kind of expression I make every week at Encounters. No fail.
Here’s what happened last time (25 Nov): I whipped up a harder dungeon to take the party to Entemoch’s Boon, a Summoning Circle for Earth Elementals, they’re going to use in the upcoming Battle of Blingdenstone. In this dungeon, I had a locked gate to the circle that needed a key, a key that is in the stomach of one of the ten Rust Monsters in an adjacent chamber. (I borrowed the idea from DDO. It was made in some indigestible cheap plastic.)
One of the players had enough smarts to use the rust monsters to their advantage, and use bags of caltrops and ball bearings to lead some of the rust monsters to the gate to eat the lock. This guy then decided that spider climbing to the roof of the chamber. Where six giant spiders pop up to cocoon him.
However, that’s not the part that drove me into a combination of laughter and tears. Two of the party members were petting these Rust Monsters. I’ll pause here to keep me from blue-screening. One of those was Kyle, the one who likes to caress basilisks. That’s all the foreshadowing you get this week.
The other one, Cakecore, was the one who triggered me so: He tried to stuff one of those rust monsters into a Heward’s Handy Haversack.
Cue five minutes of me laughing and crying at the same time. As a Dungeon Master, I didn’t even think that was possible. Of course there was that lizard section in my brain that was loving moments like this, and he got out to play. I had that Haversack get ripped during the process, creating a small black hole to the Astral Sea. I didn’t send anyone to get spaced, though I wanted to, but it did manage to blow the rust monsters out of harm’s way. And the party loses one Haversack.
But that doesn’t make my next session all that more appealing for my blood pressure. It has basilisks in it. The module officially calls for them. They even have basilisk eggs. Do you ever walk up to someone and you just flat out know what they’re going to do, because they have that look….you know that look….
Welcome to the 5th Circle of Hades, ladies and gentleman. My name is Dungeon Master.