DnD Story #121 – A productive day in the underdark


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Hi guys, just wanted to share a recent D&D story with you.

We’re a level 11 party consisting of a Tiefling ranger, half orc barbarian, half elf bard and a human Warlock (that would be me).  Our campaign takes place in the underdark and our current objective was to align something called a maze engine that would make the labyrinth we’re in less horrible somehow.  The engine is a giant mithril sphere wedged halfway down a chasm above a river of magma.  The bard dimension doors inside with the ranger, I spider climb my way in leaving the barbarian to abseil down.  Inside we see a bunch of levers used to operate the engine, only problem being that we don’t know what the engine does exactly or how to work it.  My warlock doesn’t have the strongest grip on sanity and decides he knows what he’s doing so I approach the levers and pull one.  We go into initiative.  In 12 rounds time we will have successfully aligned the maze engine but until then I have to roll a d100 each round as the engine expels surges of wild magic; some beneficial, some that have no real effect and some that are harmful.

We get off to an interesting start.  All extra planar creatures within 100 miles of us (including our gnoll guide) are banished, our ranger is almost disintegrated and every member of the party except me is turned into a flying snake for an hour.  Oops.  We get a brief respite when I roll a 41 (remember that number) and we each get to increase one ability score permanently by 2.  Then I conjure a slaard into the maze engine with us.  Our ranger, being a flying snake, decides to poo on the slaard but it takes exception to this and attacks her.  The damage reverts her back to tiefling form.  Her joy is short lived though, as the slaard’s remaining attacks take her to 0 HP.  I eldritch blast the slaard out of the doorway and into the magma. Then I roll highs/lows to see if I notice/care that the ranger is down and only just make the highs roll I needed.  I stabilise her then go back to my precious levers.  Seeing damage turn the ranger back in her original form the barbarian snake and bard snake start to attack each other and eventually turn back too.

At this point I ask the DM if I can make an investigation check to try and ensure a positive result.  He agrees and if I roll high enough on each check my next d100 roll, if not a positive result, will move down the list to the next positive outcome.  I have pretty decent investigation but immediately fail the check.  Nothing untoward happens, there is just a flash of orange light.  A couple of rolls later I somehow get 41 again (the odds of which are ridiculous) so we all increase an ability score by 2.  Again.  Hurrah.

As we get closer to the final round the maze engine starts to shake violently, wearing away the walls of the chasm that are holding it up.  The bard starts to get worried and dimension doors the hell out of there with the ranger, leaving the barbarian and my warlock inside. Appearing back at the top of the chasm, the bard finds a magical staff – apparently conjured by that flash of orange light earlier, and claims it as his own.  I pass my next investigation roll and so, confident that I’ve secured a beneficial result, I roll.  I get a 38 and the DM sighs as the next beneficial result is 41, meaning the barbarian and I both get to add another 2 to an ability score.  The bard and ranger are fuming as they are out of range of the effect.

It’s time for my last roll.  I fail the investigation check and roll the d100…  99 – ooh a roll that high can’t be good.  The DM smiles (never a good sign) and explains the effect: the maze engine plays some nice calliope music for us and that’s it – phew!  The barbarian and I get the hell out of there before it falls into the magma and rejoin our companions just in time to level up to level 12.  Hang on, that means another ability score increase…

So, in summary, In just one hour of gaming I banished all extra planar creatures within 100 miles, obtained a much needed staff of healing for our bard, gained a total of 8 ability score points and made the labyrinth we were in a safer place for the rest of our journey.  I only wish I was that productive in my real life…


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