Page 1249 - Take the Sky from Me

20th Jul 2019, 6:00 AM in School Raze
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Take the Sky from Me
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 20th Jul 2019, 6:00 AM edit delete
D&D is a fantastic game that lets you live out wonderful fantasies! Like <checks notes> facing the possibility of a slow, painful death in a dungeon's trap deep underground where no one will find your body.

Notice: Guest comic submissions are open! Guidelines here. Deadline: January 27th, 2023.



ANW 20th Jul 2019, 6:31 AM edit delete reply
You guys have any stories about being trapped underground?
Binary Toast 20th Jul 2019, 7:26 AM edit delete reply
Ooooh have I got a story, it's even *topical*, in multiple ways.

So off and on over the last couple years, my sister has been running a Pony Tails game for myself and our siblings (we're all various degrees of brony). It kinda makes 4th Ed D&D look like calculus, but good company and lols made up for its flaws.

So to set the stage, the rules meant each character had a personality quirk, which could be something minor, or something as big as a phobia. My pegasus didn't trust the ground.

This came about from a combination of my nephew's first impression of the ocean (the constant roar of the waves freaked him out), and the idea that cloud-born pegasi might not see the ground up close for the first time until they were five or six. So you finally get down there, and the ground isn't soft like clouds, it's got all this weird stuff growing out of it, there's bugs EVERYWHERE, and it smells funny. Most would grow past it pretty quick. Sunsinger didn't, and the dice always seemed to find a way to reinforce her "the ground is trying to eat me!" mentality. Grabby plants, gaint burrowing monsters, you name it, Sunny would somehow end up in its sights.

So this quirk came up from time to time, but it didn't find itself front and center until one particular adventure module, Umberfoal. Think My Little Underdark crossed with the Crystal Empire, and you'll have a rough idea of the place and plot. Yes, the borderline claustrophobic pegasus got sent on an adventure that took place entirely underground.

So various things happen (giant spiders, talking shrooms, slimes, caves inside caves, so you cane be in a cave while you're in a cave), big bad got defeated, Not-A-Crystal-Heart-Festival happens, ect. The local leader tells us that damage to the MacGuffin has caused a failsafe to activate on the door to the surface, and it would now only open a few days a year, during this yearly festival. She had barely finished saying that, when Sunny bolted for the exit, and nope'd her way back up to where we'd left the wagon, where she waited for the rest of the party to finish up and say goodbye.

I decided that Sunsinger earned a new quirk in the wake of that adventure: Claustrophobia.
Enigmatic Jack 20th Jul 2019, 8:08 AM edit delete reply
Sure do. My grandfather was a coal miner in West Virginia and got caught in a mine cave-in.

Oh, wait. You mean GAMING stories, don't you.
albedoequals1 20th Jul 2019, 9:35 AM edit delete reply
I had a player running a claustrophobic pegasus cleric who would chant "think like a dwarf" to herself every time she was forced to go underground. It didn't help matters that giant rock worms were attracted to her the same way mosquitoes are attracted to some people in real life, so every time they burst out of the wall to eat someone, it was always her. She ended up inside their mouths on more than one occasion, but got pretty proficient at blasting her way out again.

A few months later, they went to a carnival, and one of the other players won a rock worm plushie at ring toss and gave it to her as a "good luck charm" :p
TheStratovarian 20th Jul 2019, 6:40 PM edit delete reply
Our big session is us delving into a Ruminant (Deer) Ruin, to stop and reseal a god turned demon thats devouring all life, all souls, and the world at large.

The first part was getting near to the place, via a teleporting black obelisk. Halo dropped in, fought our arch for the campaign, snuck in before the horde of demons attacked.

No idea where we are, how deep, nothing save the gods even have trouble reaching here, the stone walls are slowly turning to bone, and bleeding acid if we try to cut through.

After more than a few harrowing moments, and a sadly missed chance to acquire a demonic waifu free of charge for the sorcerer.

We entered a literal dungeon that could be described as "The Cube" for the movie with shifting planar parts, resetting dangers and traps, and only a vague vague idea how to reach the seal. All the while the demon is rampaging through the world above, as our party of 5 and 4 npcs are trying against time to reseal the god of life's heart that they used to make themselves immortal.

We've had pcs nearly killed by trapped teleporting chests. Walls that try to seal and gas us, encounters with not mind flayers. Giant skeletons made of bones. Lawn darting the paladin on the ceiling. Beating mimics with other chilled flaming mimics. And horrifying visions of wendigos too.

It's been fun!
SilverShadow4 23rd Jul 2019, 12:54 PM edit delete reply
I'm playing a Warforged in our Monday game. He's 7ft 450lbs and he's INCREDBLY claustrophobic because his backstory was that he was buried for just over 1000 years before someone finally found him and dug him up.

I basically write short stories as my character's backgrounds, here's the Story of Bruce if anyone is interested:
Queenie 18th Sep 2019, 3:50 AM edit delete reply
So one of the two campaigns my friends have been running (we bounce between the two every week) had an instance where we were all in this massive cave deep underground, thousands of feet, exploring on behalf of the Guild. We were trying to figure out what was going on down there with some kind of creatures or monsters or something, and in this world there's no such thing as the Underdark because there's a barrier after a certain point that prevents you from going any deeper.

Anyway we get all the way down into this massive cavern with an ancient city of dwarves and other humanoids with one leftover individual who was an ancient king of the place. He had this sacred flower protected in a tower in the city that we happened to climb. My fiance's character and I wandered up there. Now I must preface--this was the first D&D character I'd played in over ten years, so I requested to play as a pegasus (transferring rules from Pathfinder to 3.5 and then taking away the fey attribute because fey in this universe are very special and thus I wasn't allowed to be one). This pegasus had been classically getting into massive trouble, repeatedly causing huge problems despite having a high Wisdom score because I the player didn't know WTF I was doing most of the time so I just leroy jenkins'd things.

We took the flower from the stand it was on, and it started to die, so being a pegasus, I did something that no one ever expected. Instead of placing it back, or just pocketing it, or SOMETHING, I said three words that are now legendary in our group:

"I eat it."

This one act broke our DM for over twenty MINUTES as he kept sitting there, empty-eyed and occasionally laughing, because this was such a fundamentally stupid act. Now fortunately my character realized this and allowed the ancient dwarf king to cut this flower out of my character, because if my character had not done that, the flower would have caused the entire cavern to collapse and we would have had a complete TPK minus one character who GTFO'd a while ago because as far as she was concerned we'd already finished the mission. (Even though we hadn't.) As it is this character got slapped with a mark of "Heretic" on her that meant she was basically unplayable because any Eldest Fey would have tried to murder her on sight, and that meant she couldn't really participate in any real quests. That's not to say this is the last we'll see of her though...
Composer99 20th Jul 2019, 7:25 AM edit delete reply
The author's notes remind me of the disclaimer WotC added to 'Tales from the Yawning Portal'. (For those who don't own 5e books, they put amusing disclaimers at the start of each one.)

"Do we really need a disclaimer to tell you that it's not our fault your character died because you decided to climb down into a monster- and trap-filled hole in the ground?"
Akouma 20th Jul 2019, 10:17 AM edit delete reply
This whole thing reminds me of a meme I saw forever ago that was just a smiling picture of Holo-Twi saying something like "Hello, children. It is good to see you again. To demonstrate our friendship, allow me to present all your favorite nightmares!"
Malroth 20th Jul 2019, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
You mean the one where I'm drafted back into the Navy and my hair is out of regs and I can't find a barber?
Borg 20th Jul 2019, 10:47 AM edit delete reply
You know, I've never been in a situation that made me claustrophobic (not even that time I fell down a hole in the snow), but I can certainly imagine situations that make me feel claustrophobic.

I guess I feel more powerless in my imagination than in real life, for some reason.
jdb1984 20th Jul 2019, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Our group ended up in Tatarus, where Neighsay was also holding Princess Celestia. We pretty much did a mass jailbreak and collapsed the place.
CrowMagnon 20th Jul 2019, 1:19 PM edit delete reply
Recent Pathfinder session, my group decided to go on the hunt for a serial killer. We found out where he was hiding out soon enough, but got into a fight with demonic minions that split the group in half. It was SUPPOSED to be just for a round before we reconvened, but then the killer himself showed up.

We'd been expecting a human killer, but what we got was an invisible demon who could teleport at-will. My character had True Sight on her, but that just meant that once he realized he wasn't hidden, he teleported behind her and paralyzed my character with a sneak attack to the spine, trapping her inside her own body while he toyed with the other member of our party who was still with me, our Oracle.

The Oracle actually did a really good job of protecting me while I was stuck unable to move, but unfortunately didn't have Cure Paralysis prepared, so what followed were several brutally harrowing rounds of watching him desperately set up defenses to buy time. At the same time, our Warpriest got taken out by a demon alchemist's bombs, so when our Brawler got back to us, it was basically just in time to watch the killer bamf through Oracle's magic walls and stab my character so hard that she crumbled to dust.

The good news is that Oracle was able to blast the killer hard enough to make him run away to recuperate, giving him and Brawler enough time to collect the remains of the fallen and escape so we could be resurrected, but it was seriously terrifying.
Xelmon 20th Jul 2019, 1:54 PM edit delete reply
"... to collect the remains of the fallen and escape so we could be resurrected, ..."

Oh pheu, I was expecting that your character's ash was blown away by the breeze.

That actually sounds like a great session!
CrowMagnon 20th Jul 2019, 2:51 PM edit delete reply
It was, but believe me when I tell you that the fear was real. We've had what feel like several close calls in this campaign. It wasn't the first time we've had characters need to be rezzed, and it wasn't the first time we had to run away in the hopes of coming back stronger and more prepared, but there've also been several times when things started ugly and we were still able to take back the momentum and turn it into a victory.

This time, even though our Brawler was able to finish off the vast majority of the minions (that we knew about) and was eager to track down the killer to get revenge, by that time half the party was dead and the Oracle was practically begging her to let it go and escape while they could before they ended up dead, too. And as much of an invincible monster as our Brawler is in most fights, I was siding with the Oracle there.
Xelmon 20th Jul 2019, 5:57 PM edit delete reply
Spooky spirit sounds; "Weee caaan battle again anotheeer daaaay..."
Digo 20th Jul 2019, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
I got trapped in an open desert once. It can be just as creepy to stand in the middle of nowhere, sand rolling out as far as the eyes can see...
Guest 22nd Jul 2019, 7:11 AM edit delete reply
The other day I found a Twitter discussion where the original poster's position was that D&D 5e was essentialy a "kill-loot-repeat" game that was trying to do more character interraction/exploration stuff because of the Live D&D podcasts that have gotten popular, despite being unsuited for it and not incentivising it.

OP notably asserted the "kill-loot-repeat" gameplay was at the core of the Tomb of Annihilation module (despite the fact pretty much all encounters that are not with animals or with undead/constructs can be resolved via talking and/or subterfuge) and that the relatively silly humor of Dungeon of the Mad Mage was a sign of 5e trying to push more interraction stuff (despite the fact D&D has always had silly humor and and been proud of it, as anyone who has seen any of the MMs can see).

It's the kind of things that make me wonder if it's worth trying to argue or if it's better to save me the headache and not engage at all.
CrowMagnon 22nd Jul 2019, 9:46 PM edit delete reply
Generally, no it isn't worth it. People who make posts like that tend to already have a set idea in their head and they aren't going to back down from it. Maybe post one response with your counterpoints for the sake of others, but don't expect to work any miracles and don't get bogged down in an argument that isn't going to go anywhere.
Alice 22nd Jul 2019, 7:12 AM edit delete reply
So it's not undergound, but I have trapped players in the sky. A floating cloud-city lost to the ages that sort of meanders on a general path around the world once every decade or two. A couple could fly, but outside a winter storm raged and visibility was basically zero. Trapped in a quickly failing sky fortress full of cultists and monsters on its crash course with the ground. Good times!
Guest 22nd Jul 2019, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
You know, like Terry Pratchett pointed out in "Lords and Ladies", "wonderful" and "fantasy" doesn't mean "good".

Technically you lvl 1 PCs getting robbed by a gnome illusionist who makes you believe he turned into a bear is indeed wonderful.