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You better not eat manticore!

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The group continued to the mountains and found a trail up the side of one into a pass. Early in the game night when the group reviewed the game journal to refresh themselves on last week's game, the comment I had Og say about hating the taste of manticore and 'viciously' warning them not to eat it was joked about quite a bit.

They were heading through when out steps a group of a dozen brigands. A few hiding in the rocks, let loose some arrows to show they were serious. I informed them that this looked like a rough encounter. These guys were skilled.

Lead Brigand: "Well well well... looks like somebody decided to use our pass without paying their air tax. So what say you leave your fancy equipment here and we'll let you keep breathing it?"

Garion: "I don't think so."

Heinrich: "Yea, don't you know who we are?"

While the group was somewhat known in Waterdeep, they were a far cry from being (in)famous. Dave was a damned good roleplayer when he was sober and had a mind like a steel trap.

Lead Brigand: "Can't say I have. Let me guess, you were the prize in last month's gnome tossing competition! Ha ha!" The crowd of brigands chuckle.

Dragon: "I'll give you people one chance to move or you will die."

Heinrich: "Hey Dragon, this dumbass don't know who we are!"

Dragon: "Huh?.. er... Oh, he doesn't? Well it'll be the last thing he'll know."

Lead Brigand: "All you peons look like to me; is a group of morons who are outnumbered two to one and who are mistaken because they're going to be the ones dead if they don't drop their gear and go back the way they came."

Heinrich: "Really... well even though you don't know us, I know who you guys are!"

Garion: "What? You know who these scum are?!"

Lead Brigand: "Oh, perhaps our reputation preceeds us. So gnome, who do you think we are?"

Heinrich: "Hey Og!"

Og was standing like a post behind Heinrich. He didn't even have his weapon drawn.

Og: "Err?"

Heinrich: "You know who these guys are?"

Og: "Uhhh.... ... ... ..."

Heinrich: "These guys are 'Those who eat manticore!'"

Og: "WHUT?!!?!!?!!" Leaping into rage and starting initiative.


Three arrows hit Og but not before he kills the brigand leader in a single blow; rogues just don't have the hit points to take massive damage. Garion fires arrows and kills one of the entrenched archers. Dragon sweeps into battle his usual Cuisinart self with paired katanas. It's Heinrich's turn...

Heinrich: "Nahals! Cast a fireball with it at those punks on the rocks!"

I roll on the huge d1000 table of wild surge results I downloaded from the internet and get the surge results.

DM: "Metamagical transformation. You can make the spell look, sound, and appear however you want. The effect is amplified for either 150% damage, protection, number of targets or duration, your choice of one."

He tells me the effect he wants...

DM: "Heinrich finishes casting his spell and this massive fireball that looks like a huge yellow smiley face launches from his fingertips and audibly screams up to the rocks where the brigand archers are. When it goes off the ground tremors slightly, the sky briefly turns red and you see a massive mushroom cloud erupt. The charred remains of the other archers fall to the pass below."

First round of combat and the brigand's morale breaks. Double penalty for
shock and awe' (Og and the funky fireball... the name Dave gave it for the rest of the game), penalty for their leader dying, additional penalty for him dying in the first round before he could even get a turn in initiative... sadly, I tried to design this encounter as tough one...

Og grabs the next brigand and pins him one handed against a rock.


Brigand, wetting his pants: "NO! I DON'T EAT MANTICORE!"


He then throws him against a rock opposite him where Dragon promptly kills him. None of the brigands made it. The group slaughtered them as they tried to take off.

Og, panting from exertion: "Why dey eat manticore? Don't dey know it bad for dem?!"

Heinrich: "Yea Og, you sure showed them exactly how bad it can be for them!"

Og holds his stomach in remembrance and groans.

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  1. cplmac's Avatar
    Oh yeah Frobozz, you never know just how and when the party may get crafty on you. In my Tsojcanth game, I had an encounter that had 2 werewolves and their regular wolf followers. Had figured that it would be a good long battle with the party trying to keep from being bit by either of the werewolves. They made quick work of the encounter.

    First spell thrown by a mage (level 8) is Grease and none made the saving throw, so both werewolves and all the wolves are slipping and sliding. Second spell thrown by a mage (level 4) is Web. Since they can't dodge out of the way due to the grease spell, all are caught within the web. Now forward steps the 9th level mage and hits them with his Fireball. Damage from the spell itself. Damage from the webs burning. And Damage from the grease burning. The whole encounter was done in 5 minutes.
  2. Frobozz's Avatar
    That's great. In the current game I'm in, our mage did something similar; grease followed by web. Vile combination.