This is the story of a forever DM who finally had the chance to be a player for once while his friend took his first foray into DM’ing a game with a one shot. I was playing a changeling bard that the DM allowed to walk around with a permanent disguise form of a rabbitfolk with gray fur, long ears, buck teeth, and a thick Joisey accent with a banjo, a bag full of carrots, and a penchant for getting into trouble named Elegant Mess. With him was an aaracokra aburist wizard, a human necromancer, a human fighter, and an npc that hired these characters to assist him across the desert to a sunken ruin he seeked for mysterious reasons.
As the team sets out they first come across a rather large and territorial wind elemental that is gearing up for a fight. The first time DM is getting resdy with his dice for a good warm up battle. Unfortunately for me my bunny bard didnt know a language to speak with elementals. However, the aaracokra wizard did. I told him what to say in a pleasant and friendly tone to translate to the elemental and with us working together the DM begrudgingly had the elemental warn us of dangers in the desert to avoid. We accept the warnings and continue along the route suggested by the friendly windfunnel and later make camp. That evening the necromancer is on watch when a large group of about 60 kobolds tries to sneak up on us. The necromancer begins to raise the alarm and tries to plan out a defense with his handful of undead minions. As the DM once again prepares for battle, Elegant Mess once again foils his plans as he groggily and grumpily sits up in his sleeping bag, mutters a few ill tempered magic words, and launches a pre-emptive fireball that slaughters 90% of the oncoming threat in one well aimed boom, and then promptly goes back to sleep. The DM is now looking at me with a little less respect in his eyes, but a lot more caution.
The next day goes fairly well as the aaracokra starts off trying to scout ahead a bit on the wing and instead is spotted by a large and hungry adult bronze dragon. He alights before us politely but firmly voicing his fondness for fried bird meat, but Elegant Mess happily offers his young and healthy horse as an alternative meal in addition to a reasonable share of the treasure lying ahead. One fairly good persuasion check later and the bronze dragon accepts the equine entree and the DM now has an odd twitch in his eye that won’t go away.
We arrive at the ruins at last and find it filled with the usual booby traps and undead, though strangely they only seemed to activate when our sponsor enters the ruins. Hmm… somethin’ smells fishy in here… We continue past the trials with only minimal difficulty, mostly at a Simon Says inspired puzzle trap that took a couple tries to get right. We finally arrive at the imposing doors of a large chamber which our benefactor halts at and tells us to wait out here, and once he is done we may enter and take what we wish. Now, Momma Mess didnt raise no suckers, so as the gentleman enters the room and gets resdy to close the doors I say to the DM, “I cast Mislead.”
He stops for a moment and asks, “What does that do?”
“It turns me invisible and leaves an illusionary duplicate of me that I can move as I wish. Then i have the illusion stay outside of the room while i follow the sneaky benefactor guy into the dark chamber.”
Dude, the DM looked like he couldn’t make up his mind between laughing, crying, shaking my hand, or slapping me across the face. After a moment of resding the spell’s details and allowing the others at the table to see if they spot me cast the spell (fail across the board) he allows me to follow the dude in, where Mess sees him hunching over what turns out to be a mummified angel, and then pulls out a jar with a still beating black heart inside. Mess goes to sneak up but he says, “Do you really think that you can hide from these eyes?” DM reveals that the guy we’re working for is a warlock with the spooky eyes that see through illusions (or he made it up so not to completely lose the climactic showdown he hoped for. While Mess tries to deceive the warlock into trusting him by offering a specially made cupcake (I was hoping for a way to set up a Glyph of Warding but couldn’t think of a way to do it, so instead I got a box of cupcakes laced with high power lacatives instead) while my illusion clone outside is relating everything I’m seeing and hearing. The fighter and aaracokra charge in heroicly, but the necromancer is more interested in helping the dude try and raise an angel mummy with a demon heart so it turns into a fairly impressive fight with one side comprised of an already evil necromancer player and his fresh from the night before kobold zombies armed with spears and arrows, plus an npc with plans to create a dark god of chaos, and the other side being manned by a very tough but dim fighter, a squishy bird wizard, and a bard with not a lot of artillery to throw in this sitch.
The fight starts off rough with the necromancer setting ALL of his archer zombies on Elegant Mess, who takes nearly 40 damage on the first turn and nesrly drops then and there. The fighter goes after the still chanting warlock npc and starts whooping his defenseless keister while the bird boy and bunny bard tag team the necromancer with dual Counterspells, a Hail Storm that wipes the zombies off the board, and a Heroism for the fighter. Necromancer can’t get a single spell off for three turns between the pair of opposing casters and makes a run for it while the three remaining players try to gang up on the warlock. However, the DM, who admittedly had to watch his plans for a grand final boss showdown get tossed into the fire, announces that the warlock shoves a knife into his own throat, spilling his lifes blood on the heart and mummy angel body, immediatelyp finishing the ritual that would have taken 6 more turns to complete. Some sore feelings around the table at that, but we let it slide since it is his first outing as a DM and he was NOT expecting this many shenanigans from a lone bard. The demon/angel/zombie thing starts kicking out collective rumps thoroughly as only one of us can fly, it’s power and AC is substantial, and no one has anything left to really finish it off. It comes to a vote, and 2 out of 3 vote to make a speedy retreat, the fighter trying to stay and carry on the glorious battle but quickly talked out of if by Mess and the bird.
As the undead freak flies off the DM tells us that this is now ancient history for the full campaign he plans to hold later on, and the characters we used will fewture in the story in different ways. We all agree that this is cool and start to pack up for the night. As I pack away my dice and gear the DM comes up to me, looks me in the eye, and asks, “You’ve been waiting to unleash that bard jerk on another DM for years now, haven’t you?”
I merely look at him with a smile on my face as i nibble on a pretzel stick and say, “Yeah.” crunch crunch crunch “Ain’t I a stinker?”