Highlights from last night’s DnD game:

Me: You see 3 housecat sized CE shadow drakes. They have average human intelligence and speak common and draconic.
Wizard: *proceeds to negotiate having them work for him in exchange for gold*
Me: They agree to work with you until they get 700 gold. Then they’ll reconsider if they want to stay or leave.
Wizard: No, I want to pay them upright. And they have to do whatever I say no arguments.
Me: They’re never going to agree with that.
Wizard: So here’s how it is. You can come work with us and I’ll still pay you but you never get to leave. OR, we’ll kill you right now and take your gold too. Your choice.
Me: Dude. You just shifted a little hard toward chaotic evil yourself.
Wizard: *shrugs*
Barbarian: So much for that prestige class you were looking at that required you to be good aligned.
Me: They agree but are still -obviously- extremely wary of you.

Me: You see a Manananggal.
Players: *blank stares*
Cap: You’re making that word up. That’s a fake word.

Me: The Manananggal casts Darkness on the Barbarian’s sword. *gets Lego Batman’s Darkness song stuck in head*

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THE SEWER SOLUTION

Sometimes I GM myself into a corner, I can’t help it.  I have never been the meticulous type that plans in detail or crafts elaborate set pieces; although, occasionally I wish I was.  I am the kind of game master that flies by the seat of his pants and relishes in batting the curveballs pitched by others at the table. Unfortunately, sometimes that means I GM myself into a corner.

In the ongoing Dungeon World campaign that I run my group of players traveled to a desert city, Lambatar, to seek out a forgotten treasure trove beneath the city. My mistake was giving the city an extensive sewer dungeon crawl. Nobody at the table said anything, but it wasn’t long before I started thinking about it. How does it work? Where does the waste go? It isn’t getting flushed out into an ocean or river. They can’t be sending it into their drinking water supply. Is there some kind of gigantic, thousand year old septic tank?

I scratched my head over this for a while. I couldn’t go back on this city I had created. I had told my players there was a sewer and they had already spent some time exploring it, I was stuck with it. Naturally, I started looking for a way to make it work. My solution? A link to the elemental plane of water. That’s right, Lambatar was exporting their waste to another dimension. It was a good solution, one that explained how the sewers worked and where a city in the middle of the desert was getting their fresh water. It also allowed me to mix in some non-standard encounters into the sewer environment. I was riding high on my fix all week while gleefully imagining the fun I could have with unusual dungeon stock. Unfortunately, players always have a habit of throwing those curveballs.

The dungeon crawl began smoothly enough, the PCs battled their way through thieves, traps and collapsed tunnels. Everything was going my way until a chuul I had placed in the sewage managed to drag two characters into the water. They defeated it, but lacking any kind of swimming skills they were soon swept up in the increasingly strong current as they rushed towards the hole that lead to you know where. Before long they were swimming in much larger waters and I needed to do something unless I wanted to drown two player characters in order to justify my desert sewers.

Enter the tritons, roman inspired, militant and none too happy about the waste that has been pumping into their territory for centuries. They saved the drowning PCs in exchange for their aid breaking into Lambatar. This is where things started to go off the rails. The players were happy to aid the tritons, having no real attachment to the city or its inhabitants and even once they realized that the first wave of triton tidecallers were up to no good they made no effort to stop them. What is a GM to do, and how do aquatic monsters invade a city in the desert?

The tidecallers brought in the tide. They widened the rift between planes and let loose the waters of their home dimension. All said, something like 1000 cubic kilometers worth of water came pouring through and that was more than enough to allow the tritons to go about their grisly revenge. The players? They were fine, caught up in getting their own revenge on a drug lord and were lucky to be high enough above the city to avoid getting washed away.

And that’s the story of how one simple decision on my part lead to a city in the middle of the desert being flooded and invaded by mermaids.

*Discussing a homebrew Dungeons and Dragons 2e god of love, lust, and sex*

Cap: Oh and one of his tenants is that orgasms are sacred and his people should have as many as they can in a day.

Me: Can you imagine adventuring with a priest like that? Like, what if they don’t have a tent?

Cap: *cackles* Well if it’s a male priest, there’ll always be a tent. Oh! And specialty priests get a bonus non weapon proficiency in butter churning.