Friday, March 28, 2014

D&D Campfire Stories: The Weirdest.

Here’s one of the strangest stories I have in my collection:

So I announce to my group that we are going to be starting a Waterdeep campaign and one of my players comes to me with a request: He wants to know if he can be a rogue/assassin Minotaur. My first instinct is: “There’s no way that’s going to work out!”, but I keep an open mind and tell him that I’ll give him a chance.

He rolls it up and gives it decent Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution, but very poor Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. Pretty standard for a Minotaur and not bad for an assassin, but then he adds in some very interesting and ingenious add-ons. First, he invests some starting money in padded hoof-covers so his feet are silent; next he goes and buys some weapon-black (this is a kind of dark oil that players can coat their weapons in so they don’t shine/glint) and uses it on his horns so they don’t stand out when he is hiding in shadows; and finally he puts in a request for a magical item, a Wand of Shrinking (this was not unusual at the time, as it was common practice for me to give every PC an item to start with).
“Why a Wand of Shrinking?” I asked him. “You’ll see,” he replied with a mischievous grin. Me, being young and foolish, gave him the wand.

As the campaign got started he mentioned that he wanted to work for someone with “more than a few enemies” so he would have lots of work. I obliged him and paired him with a tavern owner attempting to kill his way up the ladder and one day become a Lord of Waterdeep. He was thrilled with this and his first target was assigned to him within a few minutes of playing.

After making some inquiries and paying off a few beggars, he managed to track down his target. “What now?” I asked expecting him to charge in and attack. “I’m going to shrink him,” he said confidently. Suddenly, it dawned on me what his plan was and I obliged. He walked up to his target and used his impressive Charisma to get in close and then the wand came out! As soon as this happened, the target shrunk down to roughly the size of a one year old. According to the effects of the wand, the spell would last for 1 hour and I figured my player would use the size advantage to squash the target like a bug. But then he did something I didn't expect, he ATE him! He picked up this shrunken man and gobbled him down like Hannibal Lector. “What was that for!?” I exclaimed. “No body, no evidence,” he answered. I was both horrified and impressed.

Now, I had to work out in my mind the physics of it all. A Minotaur’s stomach can easily handle a shrunken man, but what about when the spell wears off? Well your average cow’s stomach can hold 50 gallons worth of material and that translates into roughly 400 pounds of weight. So, giving my Minotaur friend the favorable end of the calculation, even when the spell wears off he could digest two fully grown human men at a time. Amazing and disgusting, no?

Anyway, the shrinking of targets and chowing down went on for a few sessions until one faithful night my Minotaur friend ran into two targets, a Wizard and his apprentice. To his doom, the Minotaur went after the apprentice first. As the Wizard watched his young elf ward nommed down like a Big Mac, I had an idea. I had a wonderful, awful idea. It was the kind of idea that puts a smile on a DM’s face. Just before the Minotaur could take his final swallow of his late-night elf, the Wizard casts disenchant on the elf, bringing him back to normal size, and then pulls out a Wand of Enlargement, causing the elf to grow four times his normal size. Do the math: A 150 pound elf x 4 = 600 pounds inside a container that can only hold 400 pounds. The end result was a Minotaur going boom from the internal pressures.

My friend wasn't very happy with the result but, in the end, he realized that his character had become a bit too gruesome. I can easily (and thankfully) say that this was the weirdest PC I've encountered to date. 

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