RPGBOT.Podcast Episode 20 – The Winter Solstice Special

Show Notes

In this very special holiday episode of the RPGBOT.Podcast, Randall DMs a light-hearted holiday one-shot for Random and Tyler. Join us as we travel to the wintery wonderland of the Feywild on a quest to ask a guy named Klaus why he’s spying on us.

Transcript

Randall 

Welcome to the RPGBOT.oneshot. I’m Randall James, your dungeon master and with me is Georg played by Tyler Kamstra

Tyler 

Hi everybody, I’m replaying Georg my fourth level of Dragonborn Battle Master Fighter.

Randall 

All right, and we have Amiable Jack played by Random Powell.

Random 

Good evening. Yes. Once again, I am a Satyr Bard. I’ll be honest, I forgot what college I am. Oh, eloquence. There we go. Talking good. You can tell because I’m doing that.

Randall 

Yeah. No, it’s It’s brilliant. It’s great. Yeah, so we’re going to do an actual play one shot tonight and we’re gonna hop right into it. For folks who maybe didn’t listen last time or it’s been a while since they’ve heard it. We did a Halloween one shot with these characters where they’re adopted father, because they’re orphaned brothers. That’s important. Maybe. Their adopted father had died and sent them on a journey to rescue his most prized possession. And it turned out that they were more or less sent to the Village of the Damned in the middle of nowhere. And they saved a bunch of children from the blood war, the eternal battle between demons and devils. And in so doing, they found themselves with a bunch of kids that needed homes and parents and them being orphans themselves, they did have some sympathy. Luckily, there was kind of a maternal figure already embedded within the group. Celia. Celia was the woman that they interacted with. A young woman they interacted with. And so they find themselves on the eve of the winter solstice in their home with these orphans in tow. Celia, Jack, and Georg are sitting by the fire as the snow falls outside the window. All the kids are in bed for the night in honor of the marish tradition. Some say that if you are extra kind, extra helpful on the eve of the winter solstice, that a jolly wise giant will visit you in your sleep and leave treats and toys. The orphans rescued from Port Averna were unfamiliar with this tradition but adapted easily. As Thomas put it: “We’ve seen weirder.”

Random 

Wonderful

Randall 

Before bed, Georg and Jack dressed in their adventuring gear to put on a show for the orphans about the great battle for the sun to celebrate the winter solstice, a tradition that dates back to their own youth, when Malikai needed to convince his own sons to go to sleep. Even as adults, you continue the tradition, sometimes hopping into the act alongside Malikai with no one left in the audience to admire the silliness. There was a bit of melancholy this year, performing for the first time without your father. So now you find yourself sitting around a fire with Celia.

Tyler 

Well, that was weird. I haven’t done that in a while.

Random 

I have to say. I certainly appreciate having a competent set of arms while I do some narration so I’d say you did good. Thank you.

Celia 

No, I um… I I found I found the whole event… wonderous? Wondrous. I’m going to use the word wondrous. I thought it was fine.

Random 

It grows on you. The more time you spend here I think you’ll become both accustomed to and come to enjoy it. It definitely took us a while but Malachi was a character.

Tyler 

I think it gets just a little weirder every year. So you know, good introduction this year. Next year expected to be a little weirder. It’s going to be great.

Celia 

Oh, yeah. Oh, well, that that sounds quite special than I’m not trying not to change the subject. But to change the subject quickly. I bought you gifts for the Solstice.

Random 

Oh! Thank you.

Celia 

Celia approaches each of you and makes a big show pulling out just this giant box and dumping it into the lap of Georg, and then reaches into our cote pocket and pulls out the smallest box like smaller than a tiny purse, then flicks it over to Jack.

Random 

Thank you. This is unexpected.

Celia 

Open them, open them!

Tyler 

I’m already halfway through opening mine. I wasn’t listening.

Randall 

Okay, good.

Random 

Perfect.

Randall 

Okay, so get over fines inside the box, a pair of winged boots that are exactly Georg sighs

Tyler 

That explains what she was measuring my feet in my sleep.

Random 

Not just weird Port Averna tradition, apparently.

Celia 

I didn’t I didn’t think you’d notice. But I had no idea how to get them.

Tyler 

You could have measured my boots

Celia 

What would have been the fun in that?

Tyler 

Yeah. Okay.

Random 

I think you’re gonna fit into this family very well.

Randall 

And then, Jack, have you opened your present yet?

Random 

Yeah, that I’ll undo the box a bit. peek inside,

Randall 

You see something that you’ve seen many, many times before. It is a deck of illusions.

Random 

Oh, all right.

Randall 

But as you look harder you realize it is not just any deck of illusions. It is a holiday deck of illusions.

Random 

Excellent.

Tyler 

Wonderful.

Randall 

And just to give a bit of flavor, so I’ve got, I’ve got a table over here. Everybody loves tables. I’m gonna keep the table my back pocket. But to give you an idea of what’s there a couple of things: an animated knit sweater and a snow column with a sweet top hat.

Random 

If I can’t use him to sled down hills at like 60 feet per round, I’m going to consider myself ripped off.

Randall 

Why did you give me the stupid present? And so yeah, you you’ve been given this these gifts, Celia sits down and starts to sip her brandy issues wont to do, especially this late at night?

Random 

14 year olds. Brandy. Alright, good.

Randall 

It’s yeah, it’s fine. It’s great. It’s the holidays, what are you going to do?

Random 

It’s the holidays.

Randall 

All of a sudden sylius sits up.

Celia 

What is that? Pointing at Amiable Jack’s chest. What is that?

Random 

And I’ll kind of tug unconsciously at the leather thong or that is tucked down into my shirt. I’m surprised you noticed this i i haven’t thought about it in a while. And I’ll pull it out and you see on the end like where a pendant would be a chunk of bone. Clearly bone, but not really anything like… it’s it’s like cut into a cube basically and then strung through this leather. And on it there’s a rune and I’ll sort of play with it a little bit and I’ll say that’s a good eye you’ve got. I couldn’t really tell you what it is. I know that I was wearing it when I was found and I know that it says “Jack.” can’t tell you how I know that, but that’s why I… That’s why I always took this name.

Randall 

So she she approaches you and leans in as if she’s going to touch it. Do you allow her to touch it?

Random 

I will poorly conceal a start to shrink back and then stop.

Randall 

Okay, so you do let her touch it.

Random 

I do.

Randall 

And so you do. After like just a moment basically makes contact with it and then she pops back and she says

Celia 

they’re they’re spying on us.

Randall 

She looks each of you in the eye one by one.

Celia 

They’re watching us.

Randall 

And just as you’re trying to comprehend what Celia is saying to you, to each of you, it feels like Celia’s face is receding. In fact, the entire room is receding around you and suddenly you feel cold. As the world takes shape, you are struck by vertigo and all you find yourself in a forest. It is nighttime, the moon hangs brightly in an impossible crescent almost reaching point to point touching. The woods that surround you are full of evergreens. The canopy sits high with clear visibility to the sky, to the starry night sky and through the forest around you. The forest feels as if it’s lit by daylight. You notice flowers growing out of the evergreens surrounding you. Each of them is light blue with petals of violet shaped like the crescent moon above

Tyler 

That is a very strangely shaped flower.

Randall 

Good eye. I’m gonna have each of you roll an Arcana check. Random, you can roll with advantage.

Random 

All right, let’s see how this goes.

Tyler 

16 somehow. How?

Randall 

No, that’s not terrible.

Random 

That’s that beats my 14.

Randall 

Okay, good. Good. So somehow, Georg, you to figure it out. You do not believe that you are on the prime material plane. In fact, you believe that you have found your way into the Feywild.

Tyler 

Well, Jack… You know, the whole the fairy place thing. The fairy… land?

Random 

I’m just gonna casually point at my lower legs. Yes?

Tyler 

I just think it’s neat.

Randall 

Good. Also, uh, choose a survival or nature. But make me a survival or a nature check.

Random 

I will do you survival.

Tyler 

I’m equally bad. Oh, wait, no, I’m… okay, fine.

Randall 

I’m bad. All these things. But I’m worse than one.

Tyler 

8.

Random 

10.

Randall 

Okay, well, you notice that the air isn’t that cold and you think that you’re going to be fine in your current clothing.

Tyler 

Oh, yeah. Okay, I assume we’re just wearing like pajamas or whatever.

Randall 

No, luckily, almost as if somebody had the forethought for it. You were dressed in your adventuring gear for the show that you put on.

Tyler 

Oh, cool.

Randall 

Yeah.

Tyler 

All right.

Randall 

It’s almost like I didn’t want to deal with that plot hole.

Random 

Thanks.

Tyler 

Alright, I put on I put my Solstice cap on top of my full plate helmet. And, I don’t know if you know what a solstice cap looks like, but it’s got a white fuzzy brim, and it’s kind of red and conical. And then there’s a white poof ball on the end.

Randall 

I’ve seen that.

Random 

Perfect.

Tyler 

And I think that’s pretty novel. Because there’s no real ,there’s no real world hat like that.

Randall 

No, I think you’ve you’ve created something wonderful and I think we should all wear them.

Random 

I’ll just try and… I mean, I I know that Derrick has told me that we’re in the Feywild. But I’ll try and just gather my senses. See, like, where we are. Is there anything that immediately makes sense? That’s maybe a place where I can find out what the heck just happened.

Randall 

Yeah, so, so something you do notice as you’re still gathering your wits about you. The snow is actually fairly high, but you’re in a, almost like a trough. Like you’re you’re in a valley in the snow that is a little bit wider than your own person. And as you look harder you don’t notice, let’s say, any footprints or anything like this.

Tyler 

Okay.

Randall 

I’ll also for for those playing at home. I know. So I know Jack has a passive perception of what like a 17?

Random 

15 but yeah.

Randall 

15. Okay, yeah, he notices these things. That’s fine.

Tyler 

Okay, so we’re we’re in a low area and the snow snows piled up around us, but there’s no footprints, which means…

Randall 

But it’s it’s clearly like a path.

Tyler 

Yeah, but it snowed since the last group of people came through most likely.

Randall 

Yeah, maybe.

Tyler 

I conveniently have these cool boots that let me fly. So I could just like pop up and look around.

Randall 

Okay, I’m into that.

Tyler 

Now, Georg, having never flown before. Randall. How do these boots of flight carry me aloft? Is it a, like, I stand up right and just kind of like move upright situation?

Random 

Please say they drag you buy ankles.

Tyler 

I’ll accept it. Yeah, I’m, like, just upside down.

Randall 

I forget what movie it is. But there’s some movie, I’m pretty sure it’s, like, Pauly Shore hanging upside down by boots in a doorway trying to do like inverted situp, but he can’t. That’s what you look like.

Tyler 

Perfect.

Randall 

Okay, so the boots obey the command. They go up. You’re… you know, the world is inverted. Other than that, I think things are fine. Let’s say you go 10 foot up. 20 foot up. 30 foot up. You see along the path that you are eyeing something that you have never seen before. You see what you can only imagine to be the largest snail that has ever existed.

Tyler 

Well, that’s definitely not what I was expecting you to say.

Randall 

And unfortunately for that snail, there appears to be some creature attacking it.

Tyler 

Well, what’s what does the creature attacking it look like?

Randall 

So you look. It’s cat-like, but it’s quite large. It’s has sleek. Solid. You can’t quite place it. Is it like a black fur or like a bluish fur? It’s almost if it’s like scintillating in front of you. It’s hard to really hard to pin down.

Tyler 

Okay. Is Celia with us?

Randall 

No.

Tyler 

Oh, okay, good. We didn’t drag a we didn’t drag a literal child to the Feywild by accident. Okay, that’s good.

Random 

No, no, that’s the Feywild’s job.

Tyler 

All right. I’ll, I’ll flying boot back down to Jack and just hang upside down at eye level. There’s a snail fighting a giant cat over there. You want to go check it out?

Random 

Uh, yeah, I mean, from what I do know about the Feywild, there’s probably some metaphorical shenanigans that would happen in our world if we let this play out a certain way. So let’s see if we can intervene. Trot, trot trot trot.

Randall 

Okay. All right, you run over. And well, folks, let’s do it. Let’s roll for initiative.

Random 

Ooh, finally a decent number. 17.

Randall 

All right.

Tyler 

I’m rocking an 9.

Randall 

Whoo! That’s, uh…

Tyler 

that’s less good.

Randall 

It is more bad.

Random 

I really enjoy that. You got a cursed winged boots that like will make you pass out after five minutes of use.

Tyler 

That’s fine.

Randall 

Well, she got them on a discount so…

Tyler 

Well, so I have to use it in one minute increments. So I have to land.

Randall 

And then pop back up.

Tyler 

Yeah.

Randall 

Okay.

Tyler 

Boy, the vertigo.

Randall 

Jack, you are up first. And so you see, let me now that you’re closer to the creature and you see it. You stop you come like through the trees. And finally you can see it about 20 foot away.

Random 

Okay.

Randall 

All the description I gave still stands. The other thing you notice, which is quite monsters is that there are these weird tentacles coming out of the shoulder of the creature. And it’s actually that which is attacking the snail which is, and you hear this just clack clack clack. You also notice that the snail has retracted into its shell. And so you can’t quite see any of the soft body of the snail.

Random 

Okay,

Tyler 

So it’s just like beating on the shell?

Randall 

Yes.

Tyler 

And how is that working out for it?

Randall 

Let me check. Well, it appears snails can’t speak so snails can’t scream.

Tyler 

That checks out.

Random 

Nailed it. Or, perhaps, snailed it.

Randall 

Disadvantage on next roll.

Random 

It’s funny you mentioned that, because why would I roll?

Tyler 

The suspence is killing me.

Randall 

Yeah, I mean, some people would argue it’s a critical part of the tabletop experience. But…

Random 

I’m going to… as I’m running over, am I within 60 feet of this tentacle cat?

Randall 

Yes, you are. You’re 20 feet away.

Random 

Oh, that’s closer than I would like to be. Alright then. I will back up a bit. Back up 10 feet or 20 feet.

Randall 

That’s fair.

Random 

And as I’m backing up, rather than drawing a weapon, I’m going to draw my Doss Lute.

Randall 

Okay, good.

Random 

That’s the name of the item. Man. I don’t make this up. And I’m going to pluck a little melody, as I say, “Now now. Be in a cage.” And I’m going to cast phantasmal force at the cat. So the Doss Loot, since I am using it as part of the verbal or somatic components to cast a… oh, that’s only for charm. Well, it still sounds neat. Anyway, basically, I’m going to ask it for an intelligence save.

Tyler 

Nice.

Randall 

And so to do an intelligent save, I’m going to roll and then use my modifier. Okay, that’s not bad. 14.

Random 

That is unfortunately, the DC for this.

Randall 

Okay.

Random 

So I think at that point,

Randall 

is it half-caged?

Random 

Let’s see. So I create an illusion… why did I use this one.

Tyler 

What a great question.

Random 

On a failed save, blah. So, yeah, like it sees like a cage shimmer into place around it for a second. And then when it realizes, Hey, that’s not real, then the illusion dissipates.

Randall 

Nothing happens. And that’s, that’s what I’m hearing. Okay.

Random 

Yes, nothing happens.

Randall 

Cool. Cool. Cool. And just to nail it down. So the phantasmal force, the idea of it is that you you bring this illusion to life. And then not only does, whatever, not only does the creature have to honor the illusion, but you can also use natural mechanisms of the illusion to deal psychic damage to the creature. Right?

Random 

Correct. Yeah. So basically, I was going to craft a cage, and then if it proved that it was going to be resistant to negotiation, then I was going to say, “ah, that’s weird. This metal cage is suddenly getting hot.” And it was just going to take psychic damage every turn.

Randall 

Yeah, that sounds… Yeah. That sounds terrible. And also effective. Unfortunately, this cat is smarter than it looks. Okay. Uh, Georg, what are you gonna do?

Tyler 

Has it noticed us yet?

Random 

It certainly noticed me.

Randall 

Yeah.

Tyler 

Let me rephrase. Would you describe it as “surprised”?

Randall 

No, it isn’t.

Tyler 

That’s fine. I’m gonna throw net anyway.

Randall 

That’s fair.

Tyler 

Yes. So he said, we’re about 20 feet away. So I’ll walk like five feet closer and then throw a net at it. I’m gonna have disadvantage no matter what. I might as well go long. Oh, that went… Well, it’s 17 on the first die and nine on the second. So that’s probably not going to go great. Let’s see. So plus three, so 12. That’s almost certainly not going to do it. So I’m going to use one of my combat maneuvers. I’m going to use precision…

Randall 

Of which he knows many.

Tyler 

of which I know many! I’m going to use precision attack and I’m going to roll a d8 and add that to my attack. Okay, seven. Nice. So 19 to hit.

Randall 

That will hit.

Tyler 

Cool. The cat is now restrained.

Randall 

Oof. Okay, so you have tossed a new and restrained to the cat?

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Okay. What does– Oh, go ahead.

Tyler 

Then I’ll pull out a hammer and walk up next to it.

Randall 

Yes, I’m imagining it exactly like that, that you literally just hammer comes out slow stroll. Okay, cool. So it is now the cat’s turn. And I think, given the players that we have here, I think that they have figured out they are facing a displcer beast.

Tyler 

Yes.

Random 

Indeed.

Randall 

I’m seeing nods. Yeah, okay. All right. So, luckily you were already rolling with disadvantage. So how does my cats become not restrained?

Tyler 

Well, let me double check. Okay, a large or smaller creature hit by a net is restrained until it is freed. A net has no effect on creatures that are formless or creatures that are huge or larger. A creature can use its action to make a DC 10 strength check, freeing itself or another creature within its reach on the success, dealing five slashing damage to the net, which has AC 10, also frees the creature without harming it, ending the effect and destroying the net. So basically, it has to waste its turn.

Randall 

Okay, well, let’s see how that goes. He is not going to attack the net. He’s simply going to try to free himself. Alright? And a 13 meets the check?

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Okay. So, out of the net. And also very angry to be near you.

Tyler 

That feels right.

Randall 

Jack, it’s back to you.

Random 

Superb. Given that he seems to be unwilling to participate in my shenanigans. I’m going to strum a little quick, like, won’t want and say, “Wow, you just spent your whole thing getting rid of a four silver net. I’m so proud of you.” And I’m going to ask him for wisdom save.

Randall 

Alright. Doo doo doo doo doo. I don’t think he’s wise. How does an 8… How does an 8 do?

Random 

You know, that’s not a 14.

Randall 

Okay.

Random 

So, step one, is you’re going to take the three psychic damage.

Randall 

Okay, now this display series has avoidance. So it’s subjected to an effect that allows you to make a saving throw, it takes only half damage, and no damage on success.

Random 

Really?

Randall 

Yeah.

Random 

Does that cover every save? Is that how it works?

Randall 

I’m going to show you text.

Random 

Okay. I mean, if that’s the way it works, subjected to an effect allows it… Okay, so this was not an effect that allows it to make a save for half.

Randall 

Oh, okay.

Random 

Basically this is to cover for previous editions evasion, which I think has also made it into fifth edition.

Tyler 

Sure has.

Random 

Just just differently than…

Randall 

okay,

Random 

No longer a core rule.

Randall 

It wouldn’t have taken half damage had it succeeded, it actually would have taken no damage.

Random 

Correct. And so it does not get to evasion Vicious mockery, which is what has happened to it. Okay, and so it will then also have disadvantage on the next attack roll it makes before the end of its next turn.

Randall 

All right, so three damage you said.

Random 

Three damage. Three psychic damage, and please don’t mess up my brother.

Tyler 

He did ask nicely.

Randall 

He did. I heard it. I saw it. Alright, Georg. What are you gonna do? It has shed your net.

Tyler 

Okay, it has shed my net. I think, yeah, I think I’m just gonna hit it with a hammer. That feels right. Alright, so I assume I’m taking disadvantage because displacer based?

Randall 

Correct. Correct.

Tyler 

17 on first roll 19 On the second okay, so…

Randall 

That hits!

Tyler 

Yes. 21 total. Cool. All right, and a d8 plus some damage. 4?

Randall 

Oh!

Tyler 

Just, just 4.

Random 

Do you not have an 18 strength?

Tyler 

I do not.

Random 

Why?

Tyler 

Cuz I took a feat.

Random 

Okay.

Randall 

Opportunity cost.

Tyler 

Yeah.

Randall 

Okay. All right. It is now the beast turn and the Beast has just been hit by a hammer after being smothered by net. Super not into it. And so one of the tentacles is going to attack Georg.

Tyler 

I feel like I deserve that.

Random 

As a reminder roll that a disadvantage because of the cantrip I hit it with.

Randall 

Okay, well I’m gonna guess that an 11 does not hit.

Tyler 

No.

Randall 

no need for the second roll then. But then a second tentacle comes at Georg! Does a 21 hit?

Tyler 

Ah, just barely. Yes.

Randall 

Okay. Just barely. Wow.

Random 

Fighter things.

Tyler 

Yeah.

Randall 

You will take eight bludgeoning damage plus one piercing damage.

Tyler 

Okay, nine damage.

Randall 

Cool. All right. Because, you know, tentacle. Like, it hits you but it’s also got the pokey bits and it makes sense. There’s logic there. Okay, Jack it’s your turn.

Random 

I will continue strumming and say “Wow, you’re so good at being in two places. You got hit by a hammer in both of them” and ask it for wisdom save.

Randall 

Okay, well, he’s he’s catching on your shenanigans. I 19

Random 

That’s gonna do it. That’s a lot. Okay, I will move around try and get it to, like, I want to still be able to see both, you know, he and… both the cat and Georg. But then I also want to get a little bit closer to like, where the snail might have a head.

Randall 

Okay, that sounds good.

Random 

And that’ll be me.

Randall 

Okay. Georg?

Tyler 

All right, I’m gonna keep beating on this thing. And if… if I can hit it. I might Oh, actually, you know what? Hey, let’s let’s try out my breath weapon. I’ve got the the cool new Fizban’s Dragonborn breath weapon. Let’s give that a shot. Okay, so I breathe a 30 foot line of cold which… I know it’s snowy. Can I get a dexterity sa,e, please?

Randall 

Yes.

Random 

I love that we just talked about how this thing has evasion and you’re subjecting it to an AoE.

Tyler 

I’m vaguely regretting my life choices, but I really wanted to try this anyway.

Random 

I don’t blame you.

Randall 

Okay, you said that was a Dex, Right?

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Okay, so 17.

Tyler 

Oh! Well, I’ll just put this die down. Your turn.

Randall 

That’s fair. Okay.

Tyler 

It does do half damage, but we did establish that it takes no damage on a successful save, but here. It’s fine. I rolled a 1.

Randall 

Okay. I’m glad you got that out of the way. Okay. Uh, all right. Well, you know it, you love it. A tentacle in the face! And… a 13.

Tyler 

No.

Randall 

Okay. A second technical also to the face. A 19.

Tyler 

Nope.

Randall 

All right. Okay, Jack it is your turn.

Random 

Unstoppable rolling, etc. Do I want to…? Let’s see, five and then… seven or 7d8? That would that ever reach out to 7d8 is… so two would be 9. 27. So, like, 30? 30, 31-ish.  Eh, we’ll wait on that. Oh, actually. So…

Randall 

You’re gonna hang on to that elixir, just in case?

Random 

Here’s, here’s a question. So it’s, you know, it’s taken a couple of our attacks. Does it look like it’s, well, I know it’s hard to get a read on but does it look like it’s feeling that hammer? Feeling that that mind bite?

Randall 

It looks like it’s having fun in both places. Oh, great. All right.

Random 

Well, then, yeah, we’re. We’re gonna go ahead and just keep mocking him. “Boy, my dumb brother hold still for you. And you still can’t hit him. Get it together.” Wisdom some save, please.

Randall 

Right, uh… 15 .

Random 

That’s good enough.

Randall 

Okay. I wish it could talk back to you.

Random 

And as I’m done with that all kind of, like, leanedown and whisper into the snail’s shell. Hey, are you? You alright?

Randall 

It says nothing back. Okay. Roll me a nature check actually real quick.

Random 

I will… hm… Oh, 19!

Tyler 

Nice.

Randall 

In your experience, you’ve never had a snail talk to you. You suddenly feel silly.

Random 

This is the Feywild, man! Caterpillars talk! No, wait, that’s Alice in Wonderland

Tyler 

We’re fighting a blurry cat!

Randall 

Yeah, that doesn’t feel like real life to you? Anyway. Okay. All right. Yeah, Georg it is your turn. There’s a cat. Some here, some there.

Tyler 

All right. Yeah, I’m I’m gonna hammer it again. 18 and 16. So it’ll be a total of 20

Randall 

That will hit

Tyler 

Cool. d8. 9 damage. Okay. Rolls are going surprisingly well today.

Random 

Right?

Randall 

Yeah, we’re doing great I think okay, awesome. All right now it is the displacer beast’s return. The Displacer Beast has had enough attempting to tentacle Georg, having had what basically is no success and is going to run and attempt to attack Amiable Jack.

Tyler 

No, stop, don’t?

Randall 

Okay. So I think…

Tyler 

Can I have an opportunity to act as runs away from me?

Randall 

Absolutely, you can.

Tyler 

cool and I imagine this one will still be a disadvantage. Well, I started with a 3, so I’m just gonna call it there.

Randall 

Okay. That went worse for you than I thought that it would. And now Jack, you find yourself with a a large cat. A little here, a little there. And… ooh, good roll. Does a 9 hit you?

Random 

No, it astonishingly doesn’t.

Randall 

Okay. Once again reaches around with another tentacle. Does a 16 hit you?

Random 

That one will connect.

Randall 

Okay. All right. Let’s roll. All right, you’ll take six bludgeoning damage and two piercing damage.

Random 

I sure will. For a total of eight. Damage tracked.

Randall 

And Jack, it is back to you. There is a cat in your metaphorical face.

Random 

There is a cat in my character’s literal face. So I am suddenly much less okay with this. This time as you hear the the lute strum it feels just a little richer. It feels like it’s almost like honey in his words, as he says, “no, no, no. You’re standing on a forever pit.” So I’m going to use Cutting Words as a bonus action to use one of my inspirations. You roll a d6 and subtract it from the next save you make.

Randall 

5.

Random 

Ooh, great. So, subtract five from an intelligence save please.

Randall 

Okay. Okay, great news. Great news. I’ll go until you the intelligence modifier is a -2.

Random 

Uh huh.

Randall 

I rolled a 1.

Tyler 

Oh! Wow!

Randall 

And then minus five, minus six, something like this. Okay.

Random 

Yeah, it sure does. I mean, I think that wraps around and just kills it it outright.

Tyler 

Integer overflow!

Random 

Okay. Yeah, the short answer is, uh, he is going to believe that he is encased in a… it can only affect a 10 foot cube, but he’s gonna believe that he is encased in a 10 foot cube basically, like, hand reached up from the ground and like, pulled him into the earth and he’s now trapped in the earth and being crushed by it. So it says it because there’s a ton of text for this spell. I’m not going to try and read the whole thing.

Randall 

You haven’t explicitly said What spell you’re casting. I assume this is, again…

Random 

Sorry, it’s the same one. Yeah, phantasmal force. The phantasm includes sound temperature and other stimuli also only evident to the creature. Basically, it treats the phantasm as if it were real, it real it rationalizes any illogical outcomes are interacting with the phantasm. For example, a creature attempting to walk onto a phantasmal bridge that spans a chasm falls once it steps onto the bridge. If it survive, the fall it still believes the bridge is there and just, like, it messed up and stepped wrong or something. Yes.

Randall 

Okay. I do want to stop for a second. I love this spell because I’m reading it and it it reads as if, as the DM I really should honor this effective grapple that you have imagined.

Random 

That’s what I’m hoping and you would therefore say yes, restrained and I’m going to casually back away.

Randall 

Okay. Yeah, I know. I’m gonna take it we’re going to do we’re going to do this later on. I’m going to look this up to see if anybody smarter than I am has, uh, has ruled on this. But yeah, it reads is it basically the creature is supposed to completely interpret what you’ve described as real. What you have described feels in bounds of the spell. So let’s party on.

Random 

Awesome.

Randall 

Do I take the 1d6 psychic damage this turn? Or does that start on my turn?

Random 

That’s a great question.

Randall 

Each round on your turn.

Random 

On my turn, so it’s going to take 2. 2 points of psychic damage. As it, you know, the illusory fist squeezes and yeah, then I will back away and say, Alright, Georg it’s confused. Go.

Tyler 

Do I hit it? Do?

Random 

I certainly hope so.

Tyler 

I feel like we should have talked about this one beforehand. I’m just gonna hit it with this hammer and hope it’s fine. Can it still like see me, or am I…?

Random 

Yeah, I mean, it’s it… Pretend that it’s like earth fisted. Because that’s, that’s what it’s experiencing. So you know, grappled by a hand made of the ground and pinned.

Tyler 

Okay, so is it restrained? Like…?

Random 

I think that’s what he’s saying

Tyler 

I’m fishing for ways to get advantage, basically.

Random 

I think that’s what Randall’s giving me is restrained.

Randall 

I’m going to give restrained, but I’m actually going to say not with advantage. We’re just going to call it an even roll. Because it would have advantage due to the restrained, because of the displacer it would have had disadvantage. Call it even and we’ll have a roll.

Tyler 

Cool. All right. Straight roll. Let’s do it. Well, 8. Total.

Randall 

Yeah. 18 you said?

Tyler 

8. Eeeeiiigght.

Randall 

Oh! Okay. Do you? You don’t have a maneuver for this?

Tyler 

You know, it feels silly using it at this point.

Random 

No, It doesn’t.

Randall 

I won’t. I’m not gonna hold you.

Random 

Hit it! Alright, come on, hit it like you mean it!

Tyler 

All right. We’ll use precision attack and I roll a d8. I got a 2, so it’s a 10.

Randall 

Okay. That was a bad idea. I don’t even want to rolled that.\

Random 

Disappointed.

Randall 

I feel like you basically wasted a maneuver on this.

Tyler 

Well. That’s fine. I’ve got several more.

Randall 

Okay.

Tyler 

That went fine, I think.

Randall 

I think it is now it is now the creatures turn.

Random 

Here’s the fun thing. So you do have a way to break out of this spell. You don’t get to retry the save. You have to make an intelligence (investigation) check against my spell DC.

Randall 

Yeah.

Random 

Good luck!

Randall 

And your DC was 14. You said it starts with a minus two, as I’ve already given up the ghost on. There’s a, I do want to say there’s a little bit interesting about this spell that the creature is supposed to honor it completely and believe and even rationalize irrational things that are happening due to the spell.

Random 

Yep.

Randall 

But also has the wherewithal to be like… Yeah, okay. And that’s what’s gonna happen because that’s what the mechanics say. Fails. So that’s it. That’s round one. You have nine more rounds this last one minute.

Random 

Yep. It’s actually technically speaking concentration up to a minute, but I am tracking on my d10. Round one.

Randall 

I appreciate that. Thank you. All right, I have some great news for everyone. Seeing that the cat is on its back and freaking out. The giant snail pokes his head out. The giant snail sneaks a little closer, a little closer, and then all of a sudden slams into the cat on the ground.

Random 

Wonderful.

Randall 

Gets a critical strike.

Tyler 

Whoa!

Random 

Oh, no.

Randall 

Let’s see how this goes.

Random 

Much shorter than you might have imagined.

Randall 

Okay, and deals an amount of damage. I don’t know if sticky damage is a type, but anyway. All right.

Tyler 

There’s custard damage. It exists.

Randall 

That’s fair. Okay. Jack, it’s back to you.

Random 

A cool thing that is perhaps a bit confusing. You can maintain concentration on a spell and cast other spells because this is not 3.x. So yes, I will maintain concentration on the phantasmal force. I will deal with a another six points of psychic damage. And then I will say “you can’t even tell what’s real and what’s not. That just makes you the dumbest cat I’ve ever seen” and ask it for another wisdom save.

Randall 

A 12.

Random 

That’s not a 14. Take another point of psychic damage. Aha!

Randall 

That’s rough.

Random 

d4’s, man. And that’s me.

Randall 

All right. Gerog, what do you what do you want to do about it?

Tyler 

Hammertime continues. Boy, 22!

Randall 

I think that that hits.

Tyler 

I think I got it this time, guys.

Randall 

Have you considered using a maneuver on this one?

Tyler 

I don’t have… Let’s see. So…

Randall 

Nah, just make that roll a little better. That’s all I’m…

Tyler 

Just, what if my attack bonus was higher?

Randall 

Okay, keep going.

Tyler 

Alright, damage. 8. I can make it frightened of me, which will… Probably not worth the effort at this point.

Random 

No, dude, are you kidding?

Tyler 

That’s true.

Random 

It has to make skill checks to break by spell.

Tyler 

Okay. Yeah, it only lasts one round, though. So, like, is it worth the maneuver? Yeah, let’s find one of my d6’s, which, fun fact: if you have, if you have superiority dice from the fighting style superior technique, and from the Martial Sdept, they’re not always as big as your regular dice. So I’m just going to use one of my d6’s. Roll that. Technically, you don’t even have to roll it just makes a wisdom save DC 12.

Randall 

Okay. It fails. Whatever, whatever the DC was.

Tyler 

It’s excellent. And apparently I do actually have to roll it because it gets added to the damage. So five more damage. Total of 13.

Randall 

Okay, this cat’s looking real bad.

Tyler 

And also scared.

Randall 

Also scared. It is a scaredy cat. Keep going.

Tyler 

That’s it for me.

Randall 

It is now the the snails turn again. And the snail is once again going to basically just you know shell slam. And that is a hit. OK, you have no idea how close we are to me saying “what does it look like when a snail kills your enemy?” But anyway.

Random 

Wonderful.

Randall 

Jack, your turn.

Random 

As much as I would love for it to be my turn. I’m reasonably certain it’s the cat’s turn.

Randall 

Oh, yeah, actually, you’re 100% right. My bad. I just assumed he’s a failure.

Random 

Well, so And here’s here’s why I wanted to call this out. Because it is afraid of Georg and it can see Georg it has disadvantage on skill checks. Like the investigation check it has to make to break out of my spell.

Randall 

Okay, that was the one where it also had a penalty to roll.

Random 

Yes,

Randall 

Yeah, okay.

Random 

Yeah, so you’re trying to hit a DC 14 with disadvantage with a minus two to your roll. It’s fine. It’s…

Tyler 

You can do it.

Random 

You could do it.

Randall 

He didn’t do it.

Random 

Spoilers.

Randall 

Like I said a second ago. Jack, it’s your turn.

Random 

The earthen fist that only the cat can see will squeeze for three points of psychic damage.

Randall 

Yeah, okay, that’s a that’s real.

Random 

It is to it. So you’re saying it looks pretty badly beat up.

Randall 

it is having the worst day of its life.

Random 

Superb. In that case, I’m gonna switch from the kind of aggressive melody that I’ve been playing on the lute, and just do like a few real light picks. Kind of trailing off.

Randall 

Does it sound like my cat has fleas?

Random 

Exactly. Well, no what it what it sounds like is I’m going to find a way to place a 20 foot circle, so that it only covers the cat. Because we’re theater of the mind right now, I’m just gonna have to pretend that I, you know, can can make that work. I am going to roll my d8 five times

Tyler 

As we nuking the cat?

Random 

No, I’m putting it to sleep.

Tyler 

Oh!

Random 

6. 10. 13. 21! There we go. Does it have 21 hit points or less?

Randall 

It do.

Random 

It falls asleep.

Randall 

Okay, now let’s make it clear for everyone at home. You’re casting sleep and what gives you the right to roll 5d8 and some of the stuff?

Random 

That is the description of it. This spell sends creatures into a magical slumber. Roll 5d8, the total is how many hit points of creatures this spell can affect.

Randall 

Okay, and what level spells that?

Random 

A first level spell. If you upcast it, you get to do two additional d8 per level. And sleep doesn’t have a safe because basically it’s just it’s sort of a save-or-suck on its own. Because if you hit the hit point total, things fall asleep. If you don’t hit the hit point total, your spell doesn’t do anything yet.

Randall 

Nothing happens. It’s like power word kill, but kinder.

Random 

But level one. Yeah, it’s great. Okay, so yeah, so I strum a little melody. And when I see that the cat has stopped thrashing against the invisible hand. I will release concentration on that invisible hand.

Randall 

Okay, you do it and the cat is asleep. How long will it be asleep for ?

Random 

A minute.

Randall 

A minute. Okay. Bold move. You do that and as you do it, to halflings hop out of the tree near where the snail was previously being beaten.

Random 

Hi, I’m surprised I didn’t see you earlier. I’m usually very observant. My name is Jack. This is my brother Georg.

Tyler 

I wave politely.

Randall 

Yeah, so one of them immediately runs to the snail and start to, like, touch cracks in the shell. And it’s like really attending to this nail. The other looks at the crystal ball in his hand and looks up at you folks and looks back at the crystal ball. And it looks up at you folks.

Halfling 1 

It… it worked! It worked! It’s the village people!

All 

Y M C A

Randall 

The the other pulls off glasses and like starts cleaning the glasses and puts glasses back on.

Halfling 2 

I love you guys. Boss and the Mistress have been watching you folks for years. You’ve got to come back to the workshop with us.

Tyler 

Should we, uh… should I hammer the cat?

Halfling 1 

It’s, it’s not dead?

Random 

No, it’s It’s just asleep. I I try and make a habit of…

Randall 

The two halflings have immediately just hop back in the tree. Like, they’re out. They’re done.

Tyler 

Um, I’ll two-hand hammer the cat.

Randall 

Okay, so I think you roll that with Advantage? Or is it an automatic hit?

Random 

It’s an automatic crit because it’s, if you, if you make an attack on a sleeping subject.

Tyler 

If you hit it’s an automatic crit. I rolled a… I rolled a one.

Random 

Yeah.

Randall 

It’s a displacer beast though, so it makes sense.

Random 

Here’s the good news. That means you miss which means you don’t do damage, which means it’s still asleep for a minute.

Randall 

So, well, for 54 seconds now because it takes him six seconds to pick his hammer back up.

Random 

That’s true.

Randall 

Okay. Do you want to try again, Sir?

Tyler 

Yes, please. Okay, 17?

Randall 

That hits.

Tyler 

Okay. So I will roll my dice twice. 9. 11 damage total.

Random 

Now, maneuvers.

Tyler 

It’s… so maneuvers specifically say that it’s “extra damage,” which means that does get multiplied on a crit.

Random 

Okay, yeah.

Randall 

Yeah, so, to be clear, it’s a dead cat. I’m gonna cut you off. I’m not gonna let you use any maneuvers on the sleeping cat in front of you.

Tyler 

Alright. I executed a helpless animal.

Randall 

So you hear “aw… oh, well, anyway.” You you hear from the trees, like

Halfling 1 

Is it dead yet?

Tyler 

Yeah. I think I got it.

Halfling 1 

Good news!

Randall 

And they, they hop out and they come back down. It’s like,

Halfling 1 

yeah, no, you you’ve got to come. You gotta come to the workshop with us. It’s gonna be great!

Randall 

And I’m now going to declare, so I want to use something we talked about in the show. We’re gonna travel. And while we travel, I want to constrain that we’re going to do a solid, three minutes of RP.

Random 

Perfect.

Randall 

And as opposed to just implicitly doing it, I’m explicitly doing it. Because we talked about that it’s a good idea. Let’s see how it goes. And now…

Random 

Okay, first off, I introduced myself, Who am I speaking to?

Halfling 1 

Oh, that’s a great question. I’m Grandpa Notoni. And this is my good friend, Bush de Noelle.

Tyler 

Okay. You want to… you want to spell those for me?

Random 

Are you serious? It’s, it’s tow Christmas.,like ,desserts.

Tyler 

Oh!

Random 

Grand Panattoni and Bush de Noel. I’m…

Randall 

That is correct. So Panatone is, it’s like an Italian preserved cake. It’s aged. It’s aged cake. It’s delicious. We have a couple that we hang out with who are Italian. They promised me… Okay, so let me take a step back. We’re gonna do this live. In a pantone contest in Italy, there’s a company that took second place in the panatone contest, which is pretty good I would say. They have committed. They’re going to Italy next week. When they come back over the holidays, they’re bringing me back a panatone from that company.

All 

Cool.

Randall 

And because it’s panatone, a month from now, it’ll still be good.

Random 

Okay, I will respond. That seems fascinating. And I have to say, your doughy cute little faces just fill me with joy.

Halfling 1 

Thank you.

Tyler 

Anyone else hungry? Anyone?

Random 

No, no, Italy. You said that we’re village people. And it seems like you’ve been watching us.

Halfling 1 

Yeah. You’re the people from the village when the demons and the devils. Yeah, no, we were, we were totally ah, we had so many popcorns that day. It was fantastic!

Random 

Why? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I am magnificent. But there’s many beings for you to have been watching particularly if you’re bothering to look across the veil

Halfling 1 

And we watch so many of them!

Randall 

So at this point, they they take the crys– er Bush Noelle takes the the crystal ball that he was looking in and puts it into a leather satchel attached to the side of the snail. And when this happens you notice there’s actually, you know, 10s, maybe even hundreds of crystal balls in this satchel and it’s like

Halfling 1 

Ah! We do we watch them we use we use the balls.

Random 

Oh, is this entertainment for you? Is there some purpose?

Halfling 1 

No, no, no, no, no, no this is this is of course for purpose. We we watch the special children to keep our lists updated on who’s naughty and who’s nice. And every year on the solstice we can use the crystal ball to visit the children and the nice children they get they get these special toys.

Tyler 

Georg has a very visible, like, just realized that Santa Claus is real moment. Guys, are we going to meet the solstice giant?

Halfling 1 

Yeah, Klaus. He’s back at the workshop. We should go. He probably needs to talk to you, I think.

Random 

Klaus. Yes, this this sounds fascinating. Also. Why a snail?

Halfling 1 

It’s difficult–

Tyler 

Don’t question the solstice giant you’ll end up on the naughty list.

Halfling 2 

Oh yeah, you wouldn’t want to be on the naughty list. You don’t… you don’t want to know what those kids get.

Randall 

So Bush says this and grandpa Notoni let’s that hang for a second. Then he’s like ‘

Halfling 2 

bludgeoning damage

Random 

Imagining that, you know, giant dropping down a chimney into a People’s Elbow on a kid.

Randall 

It’s basically just like that.

Halfling 1 

No, yeah, we use… Shelley Shelley here has been with us for decades and she’s wonderful, asd I’ll hear nothing of it.

Randall 

You you talk a little bit and you find out some of this information, you realize you’ve been moving closer and closer to a mountain range. And finally you arrive at what can only be described as a keep carved into the living stone of the mountain. It’s well lit and there are creatures walking along

Random 

What kind of creatures?

Randall 

You see many more halflings

Tyler 

Now what are the size of the doors here? Is this like a… they’regiant sized doors and halflings are using them? Or is this like a giant sized door and also there’s like halfling sized doors in the doors? Like what’s the what’s the mode of entry here?

Randall 

We’re gonna have to go with a latter. It’s definitely the latter.

Tyler 

Wonderful.

Randall 

So as you approach you hear a booming voice call out “who goes there?” And and Grandpa Notoni like steps toward

Halfling 1 

It is I, Grandpa Notoni, along with Bushed de Noelle. We brought the village people!

Randall 

You hear a voice in the background go. “I love those guys. Open the gates. It’s the Village People. Let’s get them clean. Get them a good meal.”

Random 

No!

Tyler  

What?

Random 

Seriously? Have you ever listened to YMCA?

Tyler 

Yes I have.

Random 

I wonder if I allow myself to be taken along and called “young man.”

Randall 

So do you, do you go through the gates do you enter?

Tyler 

Yes.

Random 

Absolutely. Wonderful.

Randall 

So you’re pretty quickly brought into halls. You see various automatons. You see glass baubles, wooden baubles, bone baubles. Wooden toys, lining shelves. Grandpa Notoni notices you eyeing these things. Halflings seem to be running in all directions, like, putting down toys, replacing toys along the walls, but you kind of have this general impression that despite all the effort being expended, there really isn’t a lot of work actually happening. It’s just chaos. Grandpa leans in, he says,

Halfling 1 

Time, time passes differently here. We usually get the toys out to the children over the next two weeks. Once we talked to Klaus, I expect we’ll be able to get right on with it.

Tyler 

Great. Do we get to, do we get to be Klaus now? Like, right now?

Halfling 1 

Yeah, there’s

Tyler 

Can we do it now?

Halfling 1 

There’s there’s a meeting. There’s a meeting in the meeting room where we have our meetings and we’re gonna go to the meeting.

Random 

I look forward to meeting Klaus.

Halfling 1 

Yes, we will meet in the meeting room.

Randall 

Okay. So he brings you into a room and you notice there’s lots and lots of halflings. Like, a sea of halflings in front of you and you’re kind of trapped at the back. There’s a, what appears to be a meeting table at the center of it in the meeting room. A halfling stands on top of the table addressing the others.

Halfling 1 

Let’s have a well timed recap.

Random 

Perfect.

Halfling 1 

We were attacked. They appeared to be coming for the Looking Glasses, perhaps for nefarious purposes. Perhaps because they too have a love and a passion for making kids happy.

Randall 

You hear someone call from the back “and bludgeoning damage!”

Halfling 1 

Yes of course, bludgeoning. Klaus managed to feed one of the displacer beasts a cornish hen stuffed with a target. He gave instructions before he pursued that if he wasn’t back in an hour to wait another 30 minutes. But then if he wasn’t back in 30 minutes, maybe you give them a few more. Well, team, it’s been a bit over an hour and a half and Klaus has not returned.

Randall 

And you hear somebody call from the back “what are we gonna do?”

Halfling 1 

I don’t know I’m not in charge. I was just the one standing on this table. When you all came in!

Randall 

The entire room goes into a panic, like these halflings are just like literally like, they turn one direction they bump the one they turn the other direction they bump it on the other just…. it’s terrible.

Tyler 

Hey, okay, I’m going to use one of my maneuvers. This, this is gonna sound surprising for people who haven’t spent enough time reading Tasha’s, but I’m going to use commanding presence, which lets me add a maneuver die to a charisma intimidation performance or persuasion check. I’m going to use intimidation. So I’m going to roll a d20 plus a d8. So I got a an 18 to intimidate. I just jump up on the table and just just shout “AH. QUIET.”

Randall 

All of them. Absolutely quiet. Just everybody is staring at you now. And you hear a quiet voice in the back. “I love those guys.”

Random 

I will jump up next to Georg. Please excuse my brother’s methods. Although I will have to admit that this time they were quite effective. You seem to have lost your Klaus.

Halfling 1 

Yeah.

Random 

my name is Jack. This is my brother Georg. We will track him down. If you point us in the direction we will return your giant to you.

Randall 

That’s great. So there’s kind of like a rustling is the only way I could describe it but kind of a Red Sea parts and a particular halfling comes up holding a crystal ball. And he says

Halfling 1 

okay, we know that klaus followed the target. So all you have to do is just, uh, well, you’ll you’ll look into the crystal ball and then kind of, kind of lean in. You know? Just lean into it. And then you’ll figure the rest out.

Tyler 

Do we have time for a short rest real quick?

Randall 

Ah, yeah. Hey, let’s uh, let’s get them a good meal.

Tyler 

Yeah!

Randall 

You know, cornish game hymns come in front of you. Pickled pears because people were into that for some reason. There’s an entire dish of yams covered with sugar covered with marshmallows. Nobody knows why this counts as a vegetable, but it does. And so that’s in front of you. There’s there’s like a jello marshmallow paste, which again, is part of the main meal and nobody really unserstands why all these things are made available to you. Also a pheasant.

Tyler 

Well, this is great. I’ve been abusing the food rules and haven’t eaten in several weeks. I’m gonna reset the timer now.

Randall 

Good news. Okay, so you folks successfully take a short rest. During a short rest, do you, do you engage at all? Is there anything you want to know more about?

Tyler 

Just I ask dumb questions about Klaus. Just the dumbest questions. How tall is he? How does he fit down chimneys if he’s so tall?

Halfling 1 

I mean, he’s he’s he’s tall like you’re tall. But maybe taller. I don’t know. You all, y’all look really tall to me. That that’s all I’m… What’s this business about chimneys? We already explained to you. We use the crystal balls and boop! Because, Oh, so maybe this is important. So the crystal ball, like, we can watch all the time, right? All the time.

Tyler 

That’s weird, but cool.

Halfling 1 

But what we can only we can only visit on winter solstice.

Random 

Oh.

Halfling 1 

So that’s the reason we bring the presents, because like we accumulate all this time we’re like, okay, you’re doing good. You’re doing good. And luckily, because I mean ever, you know, the Fey… in the Fey, the time. Time’s weird, right? Time’s really strange compared to the material plane. So sure, it’s a night there. But we can actually, we can basically cover the entire plane in two weeks, we got enough, you know, halfling power here. We can we can totally take care of it.

Random 

And now how is it that you, you managed to turn that around and bring us here?

Halfling 1 

That’s a that’s that’s a good question. There was a risk was a lot of risk. There was a lot of risk for you. And we’re glad you’re here. We really are.

Random 

That person having answered the question just kind of flees the room. Leaves? Yeah, perfect.

Tyler 

So reassured.

Random 

All right. After after a little bit when there’s kind of a lull. We’ve eaten whatever, I’ll just start kind of idly playing with the the bone charm on my neck and pull it out.

Halfling 1 

Oh, it’s Hey, it’s your target.

Random 

My what

Halfling 1 

Your target. No, that’s…

Randall 

 so at this point. Grandpa’s doing you and grandpa starts like digging through the satchel they took off the snail. Finds a particular crystal ball. And when you look in the crystal ball, you get this like eerie vertigo feeling because you’re actually looking from the thing around your neck.

Tyler 

Wait. I have very Spaceballs moments, looking at the monitor looking over my shoulder. Looking at the thing.

Randall 

When is now?

Random 

Soon. But I’ll just like just turn and look at grandpa. This is how you watch this? This is my name.

Halfling 1 

Yeah, no, absolutely. Klaus and the Mistress, especially they love to stare at you. I don’t know. I mean, it just so happens so you’ve done a lot of really cool stuff. So at this point, it’s kind of become a thing. We enjoy. We like to, we… Jack, we know a lot about you.

Random 

You described Klaus and the mistress as giants.

Halfling 1 

No, no, the mistress isn’t a giant. Klaus is a giant. But, you know, I say best not to dwell on it. I am measuring time and I feel like you’re pretty well short rested.

Random 

Yeah, let Yes, let’s let’s track down Klaus.

Halfling 1 

Okay. All right, I gotta go bye!

Randall 

And then at this point, grandpa’s like fleeing the room. I don’t want to answer uncomfortable questions.

Random 

I’ll just sort of like distractedly pass the first orb we got over to Georg. Brother, you you need to pull that one out so that you can fall in and then we can

Tyler 

Oh. Oh, the first one. I was thinking the second one that was watching us. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah, I’ll hold it up and look into it very intently.

Random 

Okay, put a hand on a shoulder.

Randall 

Roll me and arcana check, Georg the Fighter.

Tyler 

Oh, no. 6.

Randall 

You’re staring into it and you you tried to do is described to you of, like, falling into it. And you basically just go like *thump* crystal ball against… Okay, I’m gonna suggest that you hand it to your brother and let’s see how this goes.

Tyler 

This feels right. Very on brand for Georg

Random 

One of these days we’ll teach you something. And I’ll look at it. Get a, I mean, does it like can I see a being on the other side of it.

Randall 

You see snow and you see bits of something but it’s kind of hard. It’s almost like a cloak has been shredded across the ground.

Random 

I’ll concentrate real hard on that cloak. Try and, like, do what I remember cold fabric to feel like and try and fall into it.

Randall 

Roll me that are Arcana check.

Random 

I’m only very slightly better than Georg at arcana. I am very convincing and not very smart. But… 12?

Randall 

Okay, so you managed to fall through, and I’m going to hold for a minute. I’m not going to describe what you experience. The crystal ball, like, Looney Tunes it for a second. Just kind of hangs in the air for a moment. Georg it what do you do?

Tyler 

I, like, cartoon style, try and dive into it like a pool.

Randall 

Okay, brilliant. Well, it’s floating in midair. Nothing could go wrong here. I am going to let you roll an Arcana check with advantage. Okay, because you’ve just seen that thing successful used

Tyler 

16 and 15.

Randall 

Brilliant. That’s great. Okay, so your your Scooby Doo dive totally pays off. You basically swan dive into it, and you land prone in the snow. So let me describe to you what you see. You feel the same receding feeling that you felt as you were pulled into the Feywild, you find yourself once again in the snow outside with the same moon hovering overhead. You’re surrounded by what you suspect maybe bits of Displacer Beast. The light next to you has an eerie reflection. Not of the moon ann the stars, but of a bright sun and puffy white clouds hanging in a perfect blue sky. You hear a voice from behind you. Hey, can one of you twos come untie me? I ain’t got no opposable thumbs. It makes the ropes real hard. Your turn around to see a reindeer.

Tyler 

What an adventure we’ve been on!

Random 

Wonderful.

Randall 

You notice it seems quite larger than any reindeer you’ve ever seen. It stands at least eight foot tall at the head. But its most remarkable feature is its bright nose casting light for at least 30 feet in every direction.

Tyler 

I just marvel at it for slightly too long.

Random 

I’m going to start walking over. As I do, are there multiple sets of ropes binding it?

Randall 

It’s it’s like one rope wrapped around the neck. But also the head. Actually, I’m going to ask for a couple of things, right quick. I am going to ask for a perception check.

Random 

Oh boy, I’m gonna fall back to my passive of 15.

Tyler 

I’m also gonna fall back to his passive.

Randall 

Perfect. Okay, cool. The other thing that I’m going to ask for is I am going to ask for a insight check.

Tyler 

Okay. Oh god.

Random 

I will give you another total 15.

Randall 

Another total 15 Georg, I’m curious

Tyler 

4?

Randall 

Oh, okay. Well. Alright. Georg, you notice nothing and you feel nothing in the lake is beautiful. And you wonder about those clouds.

Tyler 

That feels right.

Randall 

Also the renders pretty cool, very exciting. Jack, you… a few things strike you all at once. One is that you notice the back of a big red sled further in the woods. The…

Tyler 

*sneezes*

Randall 

Bless you, Georg. You also feel like the voice… you got the creeps a little bit. Like, you know this “hey, can you please come untie me.” Like, it’s a little weird. You’re not so sure about these things. What do you want to do?

Random 

As I’m wandering over, I’ll just ask. Hey, so how’d you end u[ tied up like this? Who did this to you?

Randall 

This this lady. She looks like, I don’t know. It’s like the Grinch’s ma or something. You know, big green. Okay. She stuffed Klaus in a sack and then jumped in the water. I think, I think we got to go after them. So come on. Let’s get this rope off. I think we can save him. Because they ain’t got no gills. I don’t know how long is gonna do down there?

Random 

Does he sound like he’s telling the truth to me?

Randall 

I see you rolling your die.

Random 

I start, you know. I’m assuming you’re gonna ask me for an insight check.

Randall 

Yeah, no, that’s right.

Random 

19

Randall 

Something. The truth. Like, you feel like it’s the truth. But also something just feels weird. Yeah, it just doesn’t feel right.

Tyler 

Can I make a history check? Is having a red nosed reindeer part of the solstice giant mythology? I got an 8.

Randall 

You’re pretty sure you remember this.

Random 

Nailed it.

Randall 

Let’s, look,lLet’s say “Yes.”

Tyler 

Cool.

Randall 

I’ll say… oh, boy.  So are you approaching to untie this reindeer?

Random 

I was. I’ll say “Georg, mind the reindeer for a moment. Would you?” and I’ll start walking towards that sleigh that you mentioned.

Randall 

Hey, hey what are you doin’? I’m over here.

Random 

Yeah, my my brother is much stronger than I am. Don’t worry. You’re in… hands.

Randall 

But you need some dexterity to do the knots. She seemed like a boy scout. I think she’s got some real tough stuff over here.

Random 

Great. Yeah, we’ll we’ll deal with that in a second. And I’ll just keep plugging.

Randall 

Okay. All of a sudden, all of a sudden, the reindeer bursts free. Is no longer tied and begins to trot towards the the sleigh. Right as as the reindeer approaches the sleigh, the facade of a reindeer disappears. And you see a green woman like figure, do like a standing handspring into the back of the sled, and then yell, “Yah! Yah!”

Tyler 

Is there anything pulling the sled?

Randall 

From your initial standpoint, you couldn’t tell. But all of a sudden, you see a pack of reindeer take to the air with a sled following behind it. Now the reindeer are in flight. And the sled is in flight. And the Green Lady is also in flight.

Tyler 

Oh, crud. Okay, I’m going to think quickly I’m going to switch on my winged boots. And I’m going to scoop Jack and just fly after it as fast as I can.

Randall 

You hear a voice from down below. Hey. Hey, Is anybody out there? What yet? Yes. Can you can you untie me? Wait a minute.

Random 

I’ll look around and see if, like, is that voice?

Randall 

Yeah, with your passive perception, you see another reindeer in front of where the slide was tied up. And this one appears to have a bag over its head.

Random 

Okay, Georg, I think that’s the one we need to help.

Tyler 

Okay, I’ll I’ll about face which is very unsettling because we’re upside down so it’s like… then just plummet straight towards the ground face first. And then stop. And then just drop Jack.

Randall 

Brilliant.

Tyler 

Another happy landing.

Randall 

Yeah. So there’s there’s a reindeer with the bag over its head and huge antlers, so, like, it’s a big bag. What do you do?

Random 

I will pull out my rapier and just kind of skillfully do a few quick cuts through the cloth to uncover its face.

Randall 

Bright red nose. 30 foot of light. Ooh, am I glad to see you guys. Yeah, there’s this like green hag lady. Knocked, knocked Klaus out. Stuck on the back of the sled, which parked it, oh god, where’s the sled?

Random 

It flew away.

Randall 

Okay. All right. No talking. You with the legs and the look like my legs. Hop. Hop on. I’m gonna give you a ride. You upside down vampire man. You do you. Let’s go.

Tyler 

I chase the flying reindeer, I guess.

Random 

Perfect.

Randall 

So, fortunate for us. If you had to estimate, you know, kind of lick the thumb. Stick it in the air. It seems like this sled is only traveling at like 15 feet per six seconds. That’s a weird unit of distance to use. But I think you follow me. So I think I think you’re gonna be able to close just fine. Jack, you’re you’re on the back of this reindeer.

Random 

Indeed.

Randall 

Now let’s go and cut to the chase. Oh, yeah. I’m Rudolph who’s you’s two guys.

Random 

My name is Jack. This is my brother. Georg.

Tyler 

Hello.

Randall 

All right, well, uh, so we’re going to be doing some mounted combat, which is the thing that I think that you talked about in the past? So maybe it should be pretty familiar.

Random 

Wonderful.

Randall 

I am what you call a large creature. So you’re gonna have to sit like either up on my shoulder or on like…

Tyler 

Left rear hoof.

Randall 

Yeah, no, I mean, that’s an option. You could do that. So I want you to be conscious of that as we do the fighting. Sounds good. I’m, I’m what you call an intelligent mount.

Random 

It would seem so yes.

Randall 

But we’re gonna use these house rules where I will do whatever you want as motion on your turn. But after your turn, I get to have some fun.

Random 

I appreciate it.

Randall 

All right. You know everything you need to know Let’s go catch the hag.

Random 

Perfect.

Randall 

All right. And with that weird bit of exposition from our, our, uh

Random 

Our very gruff reindeer friend.

Randall 

You, uh. We’re gonna roll for initiative.

Random 

15.

Randall 

That’s pretty good.  I’m going to, uh…

Random 

Bards are famously very good at initiative because, So, Jack of all Trades, the Bard ability where they get to add half their proficiency to anything they’re not already adding proficiency to as long as it’s an ability check. Well, initiative is, in fact, a dexterity ability check. So I get to add half my proficiency to it.

Tyler 

And I rolled a 3.

Random 

Nailed it.

Randall 

I, you know, this doesn’t do any good for anybody sitting at home, but I’m going to go ahead and show, uh, that’s not going to show up. You you beat the hag. So..

Random 

Delicious nat one.

Randall 

Great news. Yeah, it literally couldn’t have been worse. All right, yeah. So Jack, you Where are you positioned on your reindeer friend.

Random 

You know, I want to be as close as possible to this hag to get within range. So I’m going to be riding, gripping for dear life onto one antler in the top right hand corner.

Randall 

You know, my right antler is shaped like a scoop. You can just sit in it.

Random 

Perfect. I will be alladined by this reindeer.

Randall 

A whole new world.

Random 

Thank you. All right. Well, speaking of I know that we’re closing up on this, this hag. How far away are we?

Randall 

You tell me how close you want to get before you start slinging stuff.

Random 

Most of my cells have a 60-ish foot range. But for the one that I’m going to open with, it’s not 120. We’re gonna start there.

Randall 

Okay, cool. And so then just to be clear, we’re gonna keep the initiative order as we have it. We’re starting at 120 foot out. The travel speed per turn is 15 for the sled, I think eg if you have 30, I’m going to tell you that you’re into your has 30. And then I think you’re flying. Yeah, is also 30.

Tyler 

Beautiful.

Randall 

And so we’ll we’ll use that as we go.

Tyler 

Awesome. Okay.

Random 

I’m going to pull the lute back out. And I’m going to strum something that’s just really kind of really enchanting. A really soothing, pleasant sound. I’m going to call up another bit of inspiration for cutting words. And I’m going to cast crown of madness.

Tyler 

This will be fun.

Random 

Targeting the hag. So, first off, this does inflict the charmed condition, so she’s going to roll it disadvantage. She’s also going to roll that d6 and subtract it from her save. So would you kindly make a wisdom save under the conditions I just described?

Randall 

Okay, wait, why does she roll with disadvantage?

Random 

So this is a capacity of the Doss Loot. Das loot says

Tyler 

DOSS LOOT!t

Random 

you can, you can play the instrument while casting a spell that causes any of its targets to be charmed on the field saving through thereby imposing disadvantage on the save. This effect only applies if the spell has a somatic or material component, which in this case, crown of madness, I’m reasonably certain has a somatic. Yep, it sure does.

Randall 

Okay. All right. So roll with disadvantage, and then also roll a d6 and take that off. Okay, exactly. So let’s do the d6 first, because I feel like that sets the tone.

Random 

Agreed.

Randall 

I rolled a five.

Tyler 

Great start.

Randall 

It’s a big number, but in this case, it’s actually worse. And what kind of save Did you say we’re gonna make?

Random 

A wisdom save.

Randall 

Wisdom save. Okay. Well, alright. And with disadvantage. Okay, well, we’ve struck gold. The first role is a 5.

Random 

Bueno.

Randall 

So we’re done. Okay.

Random 

Okay, so now, I’ll tell you more about what’s going to happen when we get to her turn. Carry on.

Randall 

Okay. That’s ominous. Continue.

Random 

Yes. And and then I will ask Rudolph to fly us 30 feet closer. And there we go.

Randall 

All right. I’ll do it. Actually, so he’ll give you a dash. And so you are…

Random 

60 feet closer.

Randall 

Yeah, so you’re 90 feet away.

Random 

We should be 60 feet away, because I had to be 120 for the spell

Randall 

That’s what I said. Yeah, you’re 60 I was thinking 100 inches at 120 All right, we’re 60 feet away.

Random 

Perfect. That’ll be me

Randall 

Alright, Georg you are somehow next.

Tyler 

Oh, well, seeing my friends speed off into the distance ahead of me. I have a brief moment where I realize, hm, if I had been riding on the Mount, I could have climbed off the mount still at half my move speed and then use dash and gotten really close to the the sleigh because that’s how movement and mounted combat work. But I wasn’t thinking that far ahead, so I’m just gonna dash and get 60 feet closer.

Randall 

Yeah, Rudel turns his head back toward you is like Yeah, but you feel like a real idiot now, huh?

Tyler 

Just give him a look. Most days. That’s it for me.

Randall 

Okay, so you dash and now you’re in parallel?

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Like do you do you want to get on now?

Tyler 

I’m out of movement.

Randall 

Oh, okay. So…

Tyler 

I want to.

Randall 

The magic of movement is that you can’t?

Tyler 

Exactly. If only I had cunning action!

Randall 

No, you’re upside down anyway. It would have been a really awkward. Okay.

Tyler 

Yes.

Randall 

Okay, it is now the hags turn so tell me. Tell me what things happen.

Random 

Superb. They hag must use her action before moving to make a melee attack against a creature other than itself that I mentally choose. Now, I hope you’re gonna let me stretch “creature” here a little bit because I would like it to break the sled.

Randall 

Alright. Okay, we can do this. All right. A DC 10 feels like a good thing that the sled should have as an inanimate object

Random 

Yeah, an AC 10. Yeah, absolutely.

Randall 

That’s what I said. That looks good. Wow, okay. She hits. And I’m gonna pick a number, I’m gonna say that this whole slide has like 20 health. Okay. Basically, the entire back of the sled gets like ripped off.

Tyler 

Oh!

Randall 

So the sled is still intact, but like you can clearly see kind of everything that’s happening in the back and the hag is kind of just, like, “ah!”. And all of a sudden, like, you know, you see a figure and the figure sits up like, “ho-ho-holy shit!”

Random 

And, perfect. And does this look like a kind of large giant person?

Randall 

Yeah, to your eyes it looks like a Goliath wearing velure.

Random 

That’s wonderful. And my headcanon for Santa for the rest of my life. So there we go. That was her turn.

Randall 

Does she also get a saving throw against?

Random 

Yes, now, so she’s gonna get a another wisdom saving throw. It is frustratingly unclear in the Doss Lute if it implies disadvantage, if it applies the disadvantage to every time she makes the save against this spell. Question mark?

Randall 

Right. I’m going to say “no” now and then we’re going to look harder and we’re going to agree to something later.

Random 

Agreed.

Randall 

Okay. Hey, good news. She failed. Didn’t matter.

Random 

Lovely.

Randall 

So we are back to Jack and Rudolph.

Random 

Okay, super. So I would like to ask Rudolph to not just move, but get me very close. So a dash. Basically, I want to end up like 10 feet.

Randall 

Okay. Okay. Yeah, you can do that.

Random 

Great. Now, the first thing I’m going to do is actually use my bonus action. So at fourth level, I took the feat telekinetic.

Tyler 

Nice!

Random 

So I’m going to ask the hag for a strength save. Oh, actually, you know what, hold on. Let me… let me read unsettling words real quick. Creature, subtract for the next save… Okay? So I’m actually going to use my action to do unsettling words, which is normally a bonus action, but it’s, you know, I’m using it this. So once again, roll a d6, subtract that number from the strength save you’re about to make,

Randall 

That’s a 6.

Tyler 

Nice.

Random 

Lovely. Now make a DC 14 strength save.

Randall 

8 fails.

Random 

Superb. I pull her five feet towards me, which now that the sleigh has no back, it presumably means into air.

Randall 

Yeah, no, that’s right. And you are about… let’s see… about 150 feet in the air. So what’s fall damage per…?

Tyler 

d10? d6 per 10 feet.

Randall 

So that’s 15d6. We’re gonna go to the Google roll.

Random 

At least that’s what it was in 3.x. If they’ve changed it for fifth, I don’t know.

Tyler 

I think I’m pretty sure it’s d10s. Now. Oh, no.

Random 

It’s d6’s.

Tyler 

Okay, something else was d10’s.

Random 

In the DM screen, it suggests like environmental damage and it suggested something is deadly. It’s like 3d10. But yeah, so 15d6. There we go.

Randall 

Okay. 15d6. I have rolled it. I have applied it. Let’s describe the situation that we’re in. Klaus is in the open back of the sled. The reindeer are flying forward. Now that you’re closer, you can see the Klaus is kind of all tied up. The hag fell 150 feet through the air to the ground. But you now have Rudolph and Dancer and Prancer and Blitsen. You have Klaus!

Random 

You see me just like concentrate on her for a second and pull. And then as she falls, I turn and say to Klaus, I apologize for your sleigh. But let’s get you home, sir.

Randall 

Klaus notices who it is that has just done the rescuing and you kind of hear an under the breath, like, “I love these guys.” And yeah, do you do you help untie Klaus?

Random 

I am. Oh, I guess I do. I mean, I’m out of action, but I have enough movement that I can. Oh, actually, you know what? So Rudolph has enough movement left to get me to the sleigh and then I can use my half of my movement to dismount into the sleigh. Now, I can’t do anything else as far as like starting to untie him, but I’ll certainly like, I will show my intent to undo his rope.

Randall 

Okay. All right, well, here’s what I say. Let’s actually, for the moment, we’re gonna exit combat. Superb. You notice once you’re in the sled, that in the front row of the sled, there is another type of creature. It’s a satyr. Your presumption is that this is the mistress that everyone keeps talking about. And, you know, she sits up and it’s like, “Oh, Jack! thanks.” So do you… is the goal now you’re gonna guide everybody back to the workshop?

Random 

Absolutely.

Randall 

Okay, so you say back to the workshop and all the reindeer know what’s up, like, Rudolph iss like, Alright, let me get up front. Let’s make this thing happen. And you ultimately are able to return to Klaus’s workshop.

Tyler 

And the hag was never seen again.

Random 

150 feet of fall damage will do that to you.

Randall 

Yeah, I’m gonna go and do a spoiler. Actually, the 150 feet of fall damage did not kill the hag.

Tyler 

Called it.

Random 

Highlighting yet another bizarre fallacy of dungeons of dragons. Like, yes, a fall from terminal velocity just won’t kill…

Tyler 

Most things.

Random 

I think you made an article at some point doing the math and it’s, like, an eighth level adventure on average will survive a terminal velocity fall.

Randall 

Yeah, although in this case, right, like, she fell into soft snow. So there’s something for that.

Tyler 

That’s true.

Random 

There you go.

Randall 

Probably the trees with a pretty flowers broker fall so that’s great.

Random 

There you go.

Randall 

Yeah. So yeah, to maybe to put a bow on this little adventure. You arrive back at the workshop, and Klaus says immediately it’s like, okay, problem solved. We got rid of her. What you learn is that hags are famously carnivorous, and the hag thought that magical balls that could bring you to food on the winter solstice would be a great thing to have in her possession. And so her and her displacer neast broke into the workshop and tried to steal them. And luckily, in the collected actions of everyone you’ve managed to foil this, yet again proving that the village people truly are heroes. You get to go with Klaus on his sleigh to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls. Also, bludgeoning damage.

Tyler 

Yes!

Random 

Georg particularly enjoys that part.

Randall 

You you in particular got to go to your own orphanage, and mixed bag there. Some presents, some not. At one point when when you happen to be pummeling one of the little bad children, Thomas peeks his head up and looks, looks at the three of you, the Goliath Klaus, Georg, and Jack and immediately pretends to go back to sleep and having seen nothing. Because he knows what’s what. You go back and at the end of it all, you’ve covered the entire world delivering some amount of joy everywhere. Throughout throughout the plane. And finally, you get to talk and sit with the satyr mistress. And… I think that’s where we’re gonna end it.

Tyler 

Ah, perfect cliffhanger.

Random 

Beautiful. Perfect.

Randall 

All right. All right, what’d you think?

Tyler 

I think that’s a good place to leave it for a long hiatus.

Random 

And also, that was a ton of fun, thank you!

Tyler 

I am of course kidding about the hiatus. Don’t do that to me.

Randall 

Which we’re gonna wait. You know, I think what’s the next holiday that we have coming up with any real meaning? uh…

Random 

New Year’s.

Tyler 

Oh, yeah. I’m kidding. I make that joke on Twitter every year. Like, like, the… New Year’s Eve. I say, “Well, folks, I’m taking the rest of the year off to spend time with my family.”

Randall 

Brilliant.

Tyler 

No one gets it. It’s never funny.

Randall 

They get it. They just agree with the latter.

Random 

Right.

Randall 

No, way to, yeah, way to solve that combat. Like, a little bit behind the scenes. We did want to keep this to a reasonable time. And I think we’ve already kind of punched it. I’m looking at Producer Dan. Producer Dan has a face. I love you, producer Dan, and we thank you. I was like the first combat took long enough that when we got to the second combat, I’m like, Oh, God, this is gonna take forever. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Way to use your surroundings to your advantage. In particular, gravity. Who knew?

Random 

Gravity. I, like, honestly, I mean, if you’ve if you’ve read my Artificer handbook, the armor Artificer handbook. I talk about telekinetic because honestly, it’s just, like, if you are a caster, it is one of the best feats that exists. It’s so good did it like even if it didn’t have bonus action push or pull whenever you wanted to, which is brilliant and good all the time. It also just gives you mage hand. Or if you already have mage hand, gives you 30 more feet of mage hand, which is the only feat that does anything like that. And also you’re mage hand’s invisible, because you’re telekinetic.

Randall 

Nice. Nice. Hey, go. Alright,

Tyler 

If that hadn’t worked I was just going to shove her out of the the wagon.

Random 

Thank you.

Randall 

Yeah, that’d be a great way to solve it. Alright folks, well, thank you for joining us for this special holiday RPGBOT.oneshot. We hope you enjoyed it. And yeah, looking forward to our next episode whenever we arrive at it. Thanks folks.

Random 

I’m sorry, but like, angry Jersey Rudolph Clippy is the best.

Randall 

Every time you see a reindeer now, that’s what’s gonna be in your head.

Tyler 

That voice.

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