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The Architects of Betrayal (TAB) 42: The Construction Benefits of the Brachiosaur

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Wait, why are YOU the one wearing the helmet?
This is why you don't let gnomes watch cartoons.

Believe it or not, after last week's constant and unrelenting debacles, the group had no problems finishing the train. At which point Quagrim declared himself the conductor. This included having his hat change from an engineer's hat to a conductor's hat and demanding tickets from everyone before they could board.

For some reason the group ignored him. I'm not at all sure why.

But finally they were off! The spells used to enchant the engine dictated a top cruising velocity of 60 MPH. Showing uncharacteristic caution, Minerva suggested sticking to 50 MPH. Quagrim vetoed.

In other news Zornesk declared himself lookout. For the whole trip. They only spelled him for the two hours he was asleep. I'm not sure what they were doing with all that time. Perhaps playing cards? I'm sure there was more than one 'are we there yet?' issued. Whatever they were up to, it certainly was not helping.

Now anyone who's ever been on watch for a while knows it is booooorrrrring. Boredom leads to sleepiness. Its the brain's petulant way of saying if your not going to use it then its going to power down. Whether you want it to or not.

Anticipating a quandary like this, I'd set up a series of obstructions. Obviously, the smaller creatures they'd been fighting were no threat to a train with a healthy cow catcher, but there were some bigger creatures out and about. There were also fun environmental effects like cave ins, broken tracks, missing tracks . . . you get the idea.

I tied all of these fun events to a simple reflex save to see and stop the train before collision. At first Zornesk made his checks with ease. But I'd deliberately set up the rules so that whoever was on watch would get a -1 penalty for every 10 MPH the train traveled and a -3 penalty for every hour they'd been on watch. By the end of the day not even Cthulhu could have spotted an obstruction in time. Of course that analogy begs the question of what exactly Cthulhu would be doing standing watch, but lets put a pin in that for the moment. And for fun, the group rolled the missing track outcome. The train crashed off of the track, fell on its side, and got wedged in the tunnel walls. It took quite a bit of damage, which kept Globat busy casting make whole until he was hoarse.

Now you would think that such a quandry would represent a serious task. First they had to get the train unstuck from the wall (no mean feat), then they had to somehow right it. Lastly they needed to get it back on the track. You would assume several days of work for the group, in which they would be vulnerable to attack.

You've clearly never had a gnome in your party.

One of them figured out that they should dismantle track from further back to create a bridge to the track ahead. But that didn't fix the heavy lifting issues.

But never fear, the gnome is here! Quagrim summoned an enlarged Brachiosaur. As it turns out the thing had more than enough strength to unstick and right the beleaguered train. It took little more than a gentle headbutt from the thing in all honesty. And they were back on their way. I swear to the great god Ghu I will kill that tricksy hobbit one of these days!

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