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Many Alternate Doors, No Exits in Sight (MADNES) 28: Expectations

Updated: Aug 3

{Player's Note: Nebula's player had been a first time D20 player. As in, she'd never played any D20 system. But she was interested. So she gave it a shot. And she stuck with it for more than a year. But, it just wasn't her cup of tea. (In all honesty, it wasn't really the best starter campaign to begin with) So she asked to be released from this interminable madness of a campaign. The DM obliged, although he refused to say how.}

The Cupcakes, having finished off one of four heads, were left with a quandary: which one next? In the end they decided (completely randomly) on Head West. They retraced their steps past the floating fountain and continued on.

It wasn't long after they'd cleared the fountain that they began noting obvious signs of battle. As in, rent and destroyed gremlins, pieces of gremlins, and pieces of other unidentifiable things that may at one time have been gremlins. They crept forward, on high alert.

But, as it turned out, there was no nasty surprise awaiting them at their destination, this time. The tracks of ruin they'd been following had simply been the leavings of a Gnoll war party that had beaten them to their objective. Gnolls that they recognized from the Greatest PUG Ever.

After a quick exchange of information the groups decided on the divide and conquer strategy: the Gnolls would head south, the Cupcakes North. Because you should always divide the expanded party right?

{Player's Note: I mean when, in games, have you ever needed everything the developer gave you, right?}

This plan was put on hold as they reached the fountain. Three short figures, dressed in all black, were awaiting them. Their faces were covered, but that did not hide their bulbous noses. These were definitely Gnomes. But that did not necessarily mean they were here with good intent.

{Player's Note: Remember, we knew Nebula was leaving. Now, we'd been handed reinforcements and were being confronted by three masked characters. Personally, I fully expected one of them to utter some command word that would unlock some programming in Nebula's implants; programming that would most certainly turn her on the rest of us, probably while adding a few levels to her character.

Now let's face it: a monk is a dangerous foe versus anyone but a ranged character that they can't get to. Well played, Nebula would have hopped onto Hazel's broom and taken her out in a round or two. Next up would be the squishy, yet high HP Frank Castle. She'd have most likely needed two rounds to deal with that. Meanwhile her high HP and AC would have kept her going against the two melee characters. Not to mention three Gnome ninjas. It could have been a stiff fight right from the get.

And here the DM was giving us a Gnoll war party. In other words, we were awaiting that second falling shoe. This was the expectation. The reality:}

The two groups eyed each other for a moment, before the closest black clad Gnome spoke. He addressed Nebula, telling her that they needed her help. More specifically, they needed to examine her arm more closely. A very rich person was interested in duplicating it, and was willing to pay exorbitant sums of money for the opportunity.

Never having been really close to this chaos infused band of misfits, Nebula agreed and headed off with them. Which wasn't suspicious at all . . .

But, it was what it was.

{Player's Note: Personally, I'm fully expecting her to show up, as a completed experiment, and BBEG at some point in the future.}

The group then shrugged and headed north. One block from their destination, they came to a roadblock. It was as if someone had relocated everything not nailed down in the erection of a ten foot long, ten foot high barrier.

Expecting that this was designed to keep the group from fleeing whatever was on the other side, Thor and Steve set about clearing a path through the rubble. Meanwhile, Hazel and Frank flew over the barricade on Hazel's broom and scouted the other side. Once there, Frank tossed another lit sunrod away from the barricade.

Where they saw a large Gibbering Mouther right at the edge of the lit area. In hindsight, not one of his best moves. Clearly the barricade had been to keep this thing in, not them from retreating. Frank immediately sent Hazel back to warn the others while he kept watch on the thing.

{Player's Note: About this point we're all thinking TPK, right? A Gibbering Mouther with the giant template is no joke. But even worse, Frank only had a 4 in his will saves. Between that and my legendarily bad rolls, if it used its Gibbering supernatural ability, there was a very good chance that the Trench Fighter would open up on his own allies.}

Meanwhile, the Mouther had also noted the light source, and moved closer to investigate. It didn't move far before it noted Frank, also illuminated by the light, crouching on top of the barricades that had clearly been erected to keep it in.

Fortunately, before it could attack, Hazel arrived with the cavalry. Steve was riding her broom, and Thor was flying (a new ability that he was quite proud of).

Hazel started things off with a Siphon Might, lending the Mouther's strength to Thor. The Bloodrager swelled with newfound power. She also gave Frank a Hex that would hopefully help him resist madness.

The former effectively wrecked the entire encounter. The mouther could not hit anyone as the group descended upon it. It could barely move. Thor and Steve advanced in their patented Tank and Spank maneuver. Frank peppered it with fire. And Hazel was bored.

The latter ensured that, when the Mouther started Gibbering, everyone made the save. It did not last much after that.


#ManyAlternateDoorsNoExitsInSight #MADNES

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