We finished off the halloween episode last night. Cool game. I understand that Brett is publishing this on Reddit, it’s kind of an experiment for him at authoring D&D modules.

Last week, we chose not to finish because we were one player down, and it seemed a bit of a shame. So last night the DM padded out the game with an extra encounter. The goal for the scenario was “find X pieces of candy”. We had already found X pieces, so this week the DM said “you win 6 pieces of candy at apple bobbing. You put the candy in your candybag and Oh Noes! All your candy has been stolen!”

Now, there are two ways for players to handle this. One is to go “Nuh Uh! I have a perception of a gazillion and my character would totally have noticed!”, to bitch and moan and object.

The other is to go “Cool. Plot hook. Let’s play some D&D.”

Needless to say, we are all grown men, so naturally we chose option 2. Kids – don’t be a dick to your DM just for the sake of being a dick. Unless it’s one of those sandbox games: “hey players, you write the game as you go”, the DM has something prepared.

So. We pursued the candy thieves, fighting them in an alleyway. The thief holding the bag escaped into the spooky woods surrounding the town. Brus Reckoner, inquisitor of the church of Yog-Sothoth, using his magically enhanced voice from the previous episode, stood at the edge of the woods and called:

‟I don’t know who you are. I don’t know why you have taken our candy. But I do know that I have a very specific set of skills. Skills that make me a nightmare for people such as you.

If you return our candy: there will be no vengeance, no recriminations. But if you do not: I will track you. I will find you. And I will enact judgement!”

It was a moment.

We tracked the final candy thief to a cave. There was blood and fresh fragments of candy thief all over the walls, and some candy scattered about – although not all. There was a big bear trap in the room. About 8 foot across. It activated, and conjured – a bear! (Get it? The bear trap was a bear. I didn’t get it until Brett pointed it out after the game, which is why I am explaining to this to you now. Sometimes I’m a little slow.)

Fight fight. A couple of Yeti came out of a deeper cave – a parent and child. Brus approached them with a lucern hammer and a fist full of candy wrappers and menacingly explained to them: “Candy! (grrr)”. Meanwhile everyone else finished off the bear. We went into the cave, recovered our candybag, and gave the Yetis a few handfuls as we had well over the 240 that we needed.

I kinda like where Brus is going, character-wise. Definitely a split personality: the mopey, somewhat goth/emo Yog-Sothoth side and the “Rarrrgh!” fighty orcish side. But he’s not a beserker, and not a bad guy.

Anyway. Before that candy thief episode, the guys went trick-or-treating. Brus sat out, because trick-or-treating is far too jolly. In the unmarked house was a dude, who – it transpired – has a tatoo on his belly with arrows pointing in and the word “Candy!”. The dude also was somewhat more indefinably real than the rest of the contents of the plane. The party elected not to open him up for candy, and promised that we would take him with us when we got out of the plane.

Chaotic, but not evil. And – again – we recognise a probable plot hook when we see one.

Oh, and we saw the graveyard. The graveyard was a logic puzzle (with zombies interfering with you while you solve it – nothing is ever easy). But we have two players with advanced math degrees (I think – haven’t actually asked) and a lowly computer programmer, so that side of the task was straightforward. The zombies were a fun game of whack-a-mole.

So. Having enough candy, we went to the castle. We put the candy in the barrels. The mad wizard appeared. “Congratulatons”, he said, “you have gotten enough candy! Well done!”. “Cool, so we can leave?”. “Ha ha ha! Leave? Leave? Why – no! No-one leaves!”

Roll for initiative.

There was a bonfire/firepit thing between the wizard and us. But Brus is an inquisitor with travel domain.

Agile Feet (Su): As a free action, you can gain increased mobility for 1 round. For the next round, you ignore all difficult terrain and do not take any penalties for moving through it. You can use this ability a number of times per day equal to 3 + your Wisdom modifier.

Brus activated his Judgement of Profane Resistance, his happy feet, and charged straight through the fire at the wizard.

Fight fight. Minions, who had a touch attack that didn’t do much. Backstabbing, bardic song. Dust of Twilight did nothing, because most of us have darkvision. Deeper Darkness was dispelled by our cleric’s racial Daylight. But then the barrels of candy vomited forth sticky sweetness which assembled itself into a golem.

The Candyman.

Now our bard, William, has an ass whose name is “Bottom”. Mostly he carries the party’s gear. There were various crude innuendoes about protecting William’s bottom from the candyman, but it was never really in any danger. The mad wizard – his main plan having failed – was in serious trouble. The golem went down to a massive double critical by the brawler (Andrew found a very fine feat: if you crit while flurrying, you get another crit. We will all be looking for an amulet of mighty fists: improved crit.) I think the rogue kill-stole the wizard.

And the whole halloween plane faded into featurelessness. We recovered a key. I forget what happened to belly-man (it was late, I was packing up. A little rude of me). We went though a door, found a magic painting and spoke to, well, apparently Coin.

Perhaps he will exposit somewhat, next time.

We have a bye, and we also have our Dwarven Forge kickstarter caverns being shipped. If they arrive this week, a little painting might be in order.

5 Responses to Candy!

  1. brettwitty says:

    GM here. Interestingly, all the encounters were written in from the start, but I wasn’t expecting you to do them all. You were either going to get bullied by the four guys, or they were going to steal your candy.

    I was disappointed that the final fight wasn’t as entertaining as the rest of it. A bunch of that was prep on my part (dancers didn’t do enough and candy golem should have been front and center and doing more damage earlier). I need ways to throw obstacles at people, without utterly shutting people out (fascinate is great, but makes the combat boring for those hit with it). Oh well! Next time, gadget, next time!

    • Paul Murray says:

      The pumpkin patch was definitely the best. Although the creepy doll house – that was also the best. Who knew that rat swarms could be such a problem?

      The dancers – when you said “what’s your touch AC?” I was like “Oh, shiiii”, but their touch attack didn’t do anything. Brus and Faugh basically ignored them.

      One way to go would be to have the wizard throw a few spells then retreat into his castle. I was looking at a candy-themed
      but it’s 6th level. Still. Instead of fog – fairy floss. Instead of webs – taffy.

      But for the wizard fight outside, wizards need to get away from their enemies and throw spells at them. Crystal sugar caltrops. Pools of taffy. Black tentacles of liquorice. Part of what made those other fights so deadly is that the effects that hindered us did not hinder the big-hitters. So caltrops or sugar barbed wire, and the dancers have a good enough acrobatics to ignore them.

      Another thing thematic for dancers is rogue levels – they coordinate their movements, you see. Give them all a level of rogue (or ninja? Ninja would be cooler) and “outflank” feat, or “Feint Partner”, or (Hello! Here’s one for a group of rogues!) pack Flanking

      For a higher level encounter, making them (what else?) Shadowdancers might be thematic.

      • brettwitty says:

        Technically the wizard was a Dark Servant, and the dancers were Dark Dancers. They had a permanent curse effect, but you guys seem to ignore charisma damage. They also had poison and bardic performance. The candy golem also was supposed to have about 4 more attacks per round, so I might have obliterated the rogue.

        To be fair, I needed to set up the situation a little more. It was a flat fight with very little terrain obstacles and heaps of room to move. Just a combination of late night, very complicated combats that got stomped through, and poor planning.

        Maybe a better version would lead you guys into the grounds of his haunted mansion, you dump the candy into the barrels, then he showboats from the window (“Leave? You can’t LEAVE!”). The candy golem basically forms in the middle of you and the dancers try to block any attempt to run into the house. Given your lack of ranged attacks, that might have challenged you guys sufficiently.

        Oh well, I’ll learn for next time.

        • Paul Murray says:

          Charisma damage! I missed that. Brus has a low charisma, and enough charisma damage would have taken him out.

          It’s actually not a bad way to deal with Mr Big & Dumb. Enough Cha damage will also knobble a bard or sorc, but they have a high Charisma to start with. Will has about 17, I think, so seven points means he can’t cast anything but cantrips. That’s 3 * 1d4 hits.

  2. Happy Thanksvegan!!! says:

    Replied to you at Black Pill. Yes, cooking and abstract thought (which gave rise to religion, god, etc) are both uniquely human.

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