The story of a wizard battle, theme and setting 100% original and in no way stolen from Thor: Ragnarok.
An adventure starring Jaxxo the Lizardfolk Monk, Jim Clocks the Half-Aquatic Elf Rogue, Brubax the Goliath Barbarian, Tidus the Triton Cleric and L’Eau D’ur the Genasi Warlock. Featuring: A big blue crab man named Miek.
I’m in black and Jon (the DM) is in blue.
If this is your first time checking out our little D&D Adventure Blog, you might want to check out this post that explains the setup and format of the game. You can check out all “Big Fish” content on this nifty landing page. And if you’re enjoying our little GameTale Adventure Blog, please tell your friends on whatever platform you interact with them. If you think Jon and I are at all entertaining please consider checking out the geek-centric podcast we do every two weeks “9ES” right here.
I suppose it is only fair that we point out that this session took place in the midst of Eric’s (the player of Tidus) bachelor party. Substances were in various degrees of abuse. My notes are only a few little pages and are largely incomprehensible. Eric’s real-world brother was along for the ride and he played Meek, a big blue crab man. Dungeons & Dragons!
Jon paints the following word picture for us: Our heroes are in an arena, surrounded by easily over 30,000 spectators. In the sky above, a loose ring of spaceships are docked low in the atmosphere. Each of the heroes is collared and chained to another in pairs. Except Jim Clocks, he is chained to a big blue crab man.
The sky was neon orange.
There is no other explanation given.
I feel like this would piss off a lot of players, but I’ve always been a fan of being dropped into the action and rolling with it via roleplay. One of the characters straight up asked Jim Clocks if this was because of something he did and Jim answered, “I don’t know, maybe… probably.” I mean, is it that important? We’ve got a character prone to getting into sticky situations and now we’re in a sticky situation.
Frankly I have not succeeded at my goal of having the adventures all start in the action. I don’t know if the ‘repeat flashback’ explanation mechanism I use below would always work, but I really liked how it turned out here. The trouble (as it often is) is making sure that the PCs don’t feel too much as though they’ve had their agency usurped. Plenty of people would find this an unacceptable start to a session, but I think for Big Fish it should have been the model.
Tidus, being the hero that is, puffs up his chest and demands to know what is going on and that he refuses to fight.
A man, who for some inexplicable reason (since this is in no way ripped off from Thor: Ragnarok), looks and behaves just like Jeff Goldblum addresses the heroes from a throne overlooking the arena:
“Ooooh… Objectors! Give me my big black stick I want to vaporize them!”
I think I hammed Goldblum up a little more but this was basically it, some commoner or something got melted. Maybe one of the other rando gladiators?
So, in place of being vaporized, our heroes decide they should probably fight. A few armor clad Ettins and Trolls lumber into the stadium and it’s on.
Previously… Jon jumps back a little in time. The team is on board their spelljamming ship and they see what looks like an asteroid that is full of gold. It doesn’t take much convincing on the part of the Rogue to check it out.
We’re a pretty combat heavy crew, so with a Monk, Rogue and Barbarian skittering around we make pretty quick work of the enemies. There is the occasional random jet of terrible fire that seems to spurt out of nowhere, but we can probably take care of that later. Also, the Warlock discovers that teleportation magic is pretty damn painful to try and also doesn’t work.
Back in space, we find out that indeed, the asteroid seems to be made up almost of gold.
The blue crab man reveals that his name is Miek (original creation, copyright Jon) and boy has he got some stuff to show us. It seems like most of his offense is based in secretion. I don’t remember the exact description the player gave us but it was incredibly gross and contained the phrase “my crablike proboscis jizzes”. The target was blinded.
Brought a tear to my eye how much Eric’s brother rolled with my command to him: “Miek has secretions. They are very powerful. To balance the power they must be as gross as possible. I need you to get creatively descriptive with just how gross this bug is.”
Dude nailed it.
At certain points, Jon has given us players little phrases that we can utter to sort of provide a little story swerve. Kind of like a unique social spell almost. Anyhow, Brubax the Barbarian screams out “Here Comes Muscles!”
Right… this is my attempt at non-treasure rewards. I could probably write a whole post about this, but the goal is giving the players the ability to bring in effects/NPCs from their downtimes in spectacular fashion. Brubax made friends with this guy (I think in the Underdark maybe?) and now here he is in the Arena. How did he end up in… shhhhh.
So here he comes.
A shirtless, one armed Dwarf stands up in the crowd and yells “Brubax!” His one arm? It’s very muscled. In addition, he’s here to help!
Earlier…But how will our heroes transport this gold? Jim Clocks has an idea: Strap it to the ship!
Remember those devastating spurts of fire? Well, it turns out they are being spat by, wait for it, a two-headed fire-breathing invisible giant space hamster. This may surprise you, as it surprised us, but Giant Space Hamsters are fully part of D&D lore. If you check out that link you will see there are a wide variety of Giant Space Hamsters for a DM to choose from and it seems like Jono combined the following:
- Fire-breathing phase doppleganger giant space hamster
- Invisible giant space hamster
- Two-headed Lernaean bombardier giant space hamster
Jono mentioned that this was basically the entire reason he wanted to run Spelljammer in the first place.
Since highschool I have been waiting for a two headed fire breathing invisible giant space hamster. I have achieved a life goal, here.
Somehow, even rolling at disadvantage, the Warlock manages to blast the fuzzy bastard and the moment he becomes visible, Muscles catches him with a brutal headlock and Miek viciously rakes at it with his crab claws.
Let me say that again: A two-headed fire breathing invisible giant space hamster is put into a headlock by a one armed bodybuilding Dwarf named Muscles then clawed at by a giant blue crab man for the amusement of Jeff Goldblum.
We may have just won at playing D&D.
Living the dream.
Meanwhile, in the past: So with the gold strapped to the ship it’s smooth sailing at first but then, we fly a little too close to a planet. The Spelljamming ship might be able to resist the pull of gravity but the gold? A little less so. We crash land into a junk planet and get captured by Jeff Goldblum. We will fight for his entertainment!
Looks like it was kind of the Rogue’s fault after all!
What a twist.
A Victory, But What Now?
With the non-heroes all dead, Jeff Goldblum really wants the heroes to fight each other. A little fast talking has him convinced that we would make a much better attraction as a group. But more importantly, we’ve got a Wizard (Warlock, but Jim Clocks does not know the difference).
Which is good, because Jeff Goldblum is looking for a challenger for his marquee event: The Wizard Battle!
As champions we get invited up to his palatial estate for an orgy party.
We decide to mingle and try to find out what we can about this place and also who L’Eau Dur’s opponent might be in this upcoming Wizard Battle. Also, Miek the crab man keeps complaining that he’s hungry so we feed him.
Turns out that feeding him lets him produce an anti-magic spooge from his thorax! That will definitely come in handy in a Wizard Battle! TOP LEVEL THORAX BASED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS BAABBYYYYY.
You guys pretty much stumbled into this. The Miek antimagic-poop was supposed to be kind of a surprise (obviously also an important objective to win Wizard Battle). Again, props to Eric’s brother’s performance.
Also, we find out that the current Grand Wizard Champion is none other than Elise herself, but she has been driven mad by donning the crown of Glacius Rex. Elise is kind of our Princess Bubblegum and Glacius Rex is our Ice King so if you know Adventure Time you can kind of know how bad this is. Basically the crown gives you ice powers but also drives you mad. Elise also flies around on Glacius Rex’s derpy White Dragon.
We also find out that Miek is very resistant to cold and magic attacks. Looks the perfect partner for the Warlock to go into a Wizard Battle with against a very magical, ice based opponent!
Wizard Battlefield Earth
The Wizard Battle itself is actually pretty anti-climatic, mostly as a result of a series of completely absurd successes.
In about 3 rounds of combat (maybe 2) the following happens in short order:
- Miek aggros and soaks up a massive amount of White Dragon based offense.
- The Warlock rolls an absurd success on throwing a vial of anti-magic goop at the Dragon and nullifies its magic abilities.
- He casts Remove Curse on the crown and Elise is back to herself.
My notes are damn near gibberish at this point (remember, bachelor party). But I can make out “fuck this arena”, “star map” and “home sweet home.”
Pretty sure we got a star map from Jeff Goldblum and found our way back into the Crystal Sphere that contains our reality.
It’s called Realmspace.
Thanks Spelljammer! You were a lot of fun!
Oh, but we still have a Spelljamming ship so maybe we haven’t seen the last of Spelljamming silliness?
I really hope not. Lot of interesting option out there, including the disappearing second Ice Crown. I mean…
Ok, but the playing out of the actual Wizard Battle. This was one of those situations where it looked easy because the team actually prepared right. You were nice to Miek and got his boost. Investigated the enemy. Choosing Miek over a party member to accompany L’Eay Dur was brave and the correct decision. And then…
The Remove Curse was extremely clever, can’t stress enough how really surprised I was by that. Why the heck would a Warlock have Remove Curse as a spell?! Anyway, you guys did everything right, L’Eau Dur won all his rolls non-stop, and then legit went outside the box and surprised the GM.
Check back in two weeks where the Ne’er-do-Well Cads find themselves trapped, on a Ship of Horror!
Keith does all sorts of things here on 9to5.cc, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.
Thor Ragnarok Images obviously from Marvel, Space Hamster images from the Forgotten Realms Wiki, copyright Wizards of the Coast. Wizard Battle title card from the Adventure Time Wiki. You can buy that Blue Crab on Etsy.