Content of the article: "One of my players ended a fight that I had spent 7 sessions building up to in 2 spells and I didn’t see his perfectly laid trap coming"
After several sessions of investigating a town, followed by at least 5 sessions of delving into its immense sewer system and becoming trapped by a ravenous horde of intelligent ratmen (Skaven), the party was looking worse for wear.
They had fought their way through 5 different maps, and they had found themselves trapped by a gate. The gate had a mechanism with a counterweight, Through sheer luck the party had already retrieved the item they needed to open the locking mechanism to open the gate, but they knew when they did this old and rusty set of weights gears and chains would make one hell of a noise.
All of the maps had been similar in design, usually a 5ft wide walkway either side of a channel of water. This map was no different, however upon entering this map the druid did something odd, something he had not done in any other map so far. He cast Waterbreathing on the party. I tried to get my head around what he might be planning with that, in the end I had come to the conclusion he thought I would try and drown them at some point with a large tidal wave, this made sense….. we had joked about it previously.
They started the crank, and I started a 10 turn timer for the gate to be open enough to get the party to safety on the other side, this was meant to be a great final stand against an unrelenting tide of vermin with various abilities and weaponry at their disposal before they escaped from the city. As soon as the Skaven were in visual range the druid ran forward and ruined every plan I had laid….. He cast control water. It suddenly made sense why he had cast Waterbreathing in the last session, he described how he would like to raise the water level to the ceiling of the tunnel. This didn't seem too bad until he reminded me that vision is cut to 10ft in murky water, so the party can't see anything, but neither can the Skaven.
I try and play my enemies accurately, so this was the game over moment for me. The casters were too far away to counterspell, none of the Skaven wielding heavy rifles could see anyone to shoot at, and most importantly of all…. Skaven are cowards, any of them that happened to be inside the water when it rose panicked and attempted to run from an enemy they would drown trying to reach.
I asked my players for a brief minute and took my headset off to sit with my head in my hands…. What the hell was I going to do with the last 2 hours of the session?
- The Bridge of Jumping Sharks.
- Help building the middle of a campaign
- How can I DM with an inconsistent party?
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