Be me, part-time DM for a group of friends. Party consists of a cat druid (human who shape shifted into a cat and forgot her original form), a Yuan-ti paladin/warlock (he's not a very good paladin) multi class, an elf ranger with PTSD from a past war (and sadly the voice of reason in the party), and a fox-like demon (canid barbarian/sorcerer multi class.)
The party is heading to a "dark and spooky"™ forest, in search of a magical artifact. They stop in the last town before the forest for supplies and a night's sleep. They enter the city's only inn and tavern, finding it empty save for the bartender.
The ranger fails a constitution check and becomes blackout drunk after one drink of dwarven whiskey. She is dragged upstairs to bed.
The cat and the fox demon decide they're more comfortable sleeping in the cart outside.
This leaves the paladin and the bartender alone. They get into a poker game. The paladin is a bit of a con-man, and he decides that this is a nice bar and he wants it.
However, some failed persuasion checks later, the paladin has failed to convince the bartender to gamble away his tavern in a card game. However, the bartender says he has a son who is looking for work. If the paladin agreed to take him on as a squire, he'd consider it.
The paladin agrees to this, and proceeds to wipe the floor in the card game.
FAST FORWARD TO THE NEXT DAY. Everyone wakes up at the crack of dawn to a rooster crowing (and promptly stops crowing, as the fox demon kills and eats it). Everyone gathers back in the tavern for breakfast.
The paladin walks downstairs to see a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 12-year-old dwarf with an oversized backpack.
"Oh, gee mister! I'm so excited! I've always wanted to be an adventurer! Thank you so much for taking me on this quest with you! I'm really eager to learn everything I can about adventuring …"
Meanwhile, at a table in the very center of the room (important detail) the ranger is trying to cure the worst hangover in history with a plate of scrambled eggs.
The fox demon sees the ranger isn't feeling well. She decides to help cheer her up … By repeatedly poking her in the face and saying "Hey! Do you feel ok? Hey! Do you feel ok? Hey! Do you feel ok?"
The ranger deals with it for about five minutes. Then she reaches into her quiver and pulls out a slightly home-brewed item I gave her: A wild magic arrow.
Ranger pokes the fox demon back with the wild magic arrow to make her go away. The arrows have been comically useless in combat up until this point, once even healing an enemy slightly.
This time, the arrow casts Fireball.
A 20-ft. radius explosion consumes the tavern. The bartender and the child are dead instantly. The party survives thanks to being high-level and having decent armor.
Almost instantly there's shouts outside from the town as people start running towards the inn, as it's now on fire.
The party decides it's time to leave. The paladin grabs as much alcohol as he can before kicking open the tavern doors. The entire village is out there staring at him.
"Run! Dragon attack!!! Save what you can!"
Frickin' 23 deception check, to the village's collective 18 insight check.
The village panics. Everyone scatters and runs for the hills, screaming about dragons.
The rest of the party escapes the now-collapsing tavern, hops into their wagon, and continues their journey to the forest.
FAST FORWARD A FEW HOURS LATER, everyone is just riding along in silence, not sure how to deal with what just happened. The elf decides to sleep off her hangover. The fox demon decides to get drunk off the stolen liquor and passes out. The paladin decides to spend the trip sorting and divvying up the remaining booze.
Guess who that leaves driving the wagon? Yes, the cat.
It goes as well as you'd expect. Better, even. A couple failed animal handling checks later, the cat has lost all control over the wagon.
The paladin becomes aware there's a problem when the horse suddenly takes off at a sprint, going off-road. He climbs back into the driver's seat to see an extremely flustered cat trying to bat at the reins to make the horse stop.
The paladin takes the reins … and proceeds to fail his animal handling check.
The ranger wakes up and immediately sees that the wagon is careening straight towards a cliff.
Realizing this, the paladin jumps off the cart to save himself.
The ranger grabs the reigns and tries to stop the wagon … And there's another failed animal handling check.
The ranger decides the paladin had the right idea and dives off the wagon.
The cat makes one more attempt to stop the wagon. Nothing doing. The cat abandons ship.
The party all rolls and bounces to a stop. They watch the wagon speed towards the cliff as they all collectively realize the fox demon is still asleep in the wagon!
There's nothing they can do. With a shriek, the horse and wagon go over the edge of the cliff … And hit the ground three feet below.
The fall is short, but far enough to break all the wheels of the wagon. The fox demon is jolted awake as all the bottles of stolen alcohol shatter and cover her in booze.
She peeks out of the wagon groggily (haha see what I did there?) and looks up the three-foot cliff at the rest of the party.
"Uhh what's going on?"
The party just decides to embrace the suck, and they continue their journey on foot.
The journey to the forest was supposed to only be like 20 minutes of game time, at most. This took the whole night. Love these guys.
- First time DM and I am so confused
- “What can go wrong?” Everything. Everything can always go wrong.
- A PC died. Should I have metagamed or provided a deus ex machina to save them?
More about Dungeons & Dragons OnlinePost: "Firebombing a tavern and a runaway wagon. Or, the worst/best my party has ever gone off the rails." specifically for the game Dungeons & Dragons Online. Other useful information about this game:
- Dragonheist of Frost Maiden for seven players? Lengthy post
- How do I handle law and order now that my player has been thrown into jail?
- Legends of Osiria: A D&D Podcast
- [GURPS][Adventures in Harkwood] The Reptile Men arc, Part 4: Aftermath
- [GURPS][Adventures in Harkwood] The Reptile Man arc, Part 3: Mist-eggs Have Been Made
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