Hello! I’m Tyler, or TJOmega across the internet. I thought I’d share a tale from a recent D&D session where I managed to pull off the craziest thing I’ve ever attempted. The campaign I’m playing has had no shortage of good tales, but this one just has all the right elements. Hope you enjoy!
I play in a custom 5th edition campaign setting, as a human Druid named Mirari. This isn’t your typical nature-loving mage, as he can usually be found masquerading as a bard, keeping his true nature a secret and generally being the party’s mouthpiece. We have a pretty experienced DM, but a Druid with a +9 Deception AND advantage was new to him and he loved it. What he failed to realize was Mirari’s player was just as good at hiding his real intentions.
The first big threat of our campaign was a Rakshasa, who appeared among a group of cultist lizardfolk we were fighting. The DM chose this as a challenge because at the time, our party was very caster-heavy, with my druid, a wizard, and a warlock. With our levels, we couldn’t deliver a spell strong enough to actually hurt the demon. Fortunately we had a Paladin at the time, who did enough damage with her mace to send the cat running, but it was a wake-up call that we couldn’t just blast our way through every fight. Fast forward several sessions and after dealing with the baddie of the wizard’s backstory, the Rakshasa reappeared, the mace scars across it’s face assuring us it’s the same one. He got away, but now we were on alert; eventually the Rakshasa is going to reappear, and thanks to a change in her work schedule, our paladin would not be there to bail us out. I went home from that session and began to hit the books, figuring out what my options were going to be. From my own history with D&D, I knew nothing short of a level 7 spell was going to hit this cat, and it was likely we’d encounter him again before I had more than one spell slot that high, so I had to make it good. I found a spell I liked well enough, but it was the additional rules behind the spell that made a plan formulate in my mind.
During the next session the group begins making some preparations for the eventual encounter with the Rakshasa. I make a purchase that I’ll describe later, but for now I’ll say when I bought this, the DM had no idea what I thought I was going to do with it. Months of weekly sessions go by without a sighting, our party’s lineup changing along the way, but as we go along I keep building up more elements to pull off this stunt. Some of it comes to me naturally, as treasure I find along the way or material I gather off of enemies slain, such as a Staff of Withering and the hides for a Robe of Displacement. Other parts I seek out myself, and these I intentionally space apart, or wait for excuses to make these purchases, just to keep the DM from connecting the dots. I only buy a Potion of Speed after our Wizard bought and used one, so it looks like I was following suit. I eventually have a shop make me a small bag of holding, another of my DM-confusing purchases. We had just dealt with a phoenix and had to dispose of the egg it left behind, eventually deciding to empty a bag of holding, drop it in, and bury it, in hopes that the phoenix hatching would rupture the bag and banish it to the Astral Plane. This plan worked, and I claimed that after that incident, I wanted a disposable bag around just in case. The DM said that actually made sense, so with my pouch of holding, my plan was ready.
Eventually we find ourselves walking a short path between towns when a convenient distraction left us with our wizard inside his own Forcecage and the Rakshasa approaching from behind. It was powered up now, brandishing an otherworldly parasitic tendril he got from the wizard’s main villain. We roll initiative, and I’m pretty high in the order, right where I need to be. Normally in combat, my tactics are to keep my distance, throwing lightning bolts until I see an opening for a heavier spell, but as I expected, this was happening when I was at level 14, and I only had one spell slot strong enough to get passed the Rakshasa’s magic immunity. For context, every time I have attempted melee, the results have been comedic gold, so there is an audible shock in the group as I announce “Bonus action to cast Shillelagh.” I down my Potion of Speed, and take my hasted movement and action to attack. “Look at the balls on Mirari!” was the DM’s exclamation. Shillelagh makes my attack role just good enough to connect with the Staff of Withering. The weapon holds three charges of necrotic energy, and I can pump one into each successful hit for some more damage. What I really want is the staff’s other effect, if the target fails a Constitution save, they get disadvantage on Strength and Constitution saves. He makes the save, so I end my turn and wait impatiently. The rest of my party does not fair so well, as the wizard fails a save to get out of the Forcecage, our fighter misses with three spear throws, and our barbarian so far from the fight it takes her a dash action just to get close. The only other hit is from our bard. On the Rakshasa’s turn it lashes it’s new tendril at me, missing thanks to my Cloak, but he ends up charming our barbarian, who he orders to kill me.
On my next turn I take my bonus to activate a Bead of Smiting, then attack. Again Shillelagh gets my roll just good enough to connect, and this time the Rakshasa fails the save. I want the DM to think melee is the plan here, so I attack again, a miss, but I’ve accomplished what I needed to do and back off, easily dodging an attack of opportunity on my way out. There’s just one piece of the puzzle missing, and all I have to do is wait for it to fall into place. The second round goes about as well as the first for the rest of the party. The barbarian’s orders change, attacking the bard on her turn for a ton of damage, and after the fighter finally gets a shot in, the Rakshasa banishes him from the fight. Meanwhile our poor wizard is still stuck in his cage, trying to roll against his own charisma to escape. Then the Rakshasa takes his movement to get some distance from the combat. This was the DM’s critical mistake, as my target is now well away from my allies, and the puzzle is complete. I only have one shot, from this point on it’s all down to the dice.
On my third turn, I cast the spell that caught my eye months ago; Whirlwind. I’ve had it prepared since I gained my level 7 slot, but I never used it, knowing the DM would piece things together and make sure I couldn’t pull a stunt like this. He looks up the spell to double check it, and once he reads it, profanity followed. It hits for 10d6 bludgeoning and it stays on the field, letting you move it with an action, but the best part is it can restrain a target if they fail two saves. The first is Dexterity for the damage roll, which the Rakshasa fails. The second roll is Strength, one of the saves the Staff of Withering just nerfed. Thanks to that, he fails the save, and is trapped by the pounding winds. I take my hasted movement to stand in front of the whirlwind, and with my hasted action, I announce that I was taking my pouch of holding and turning it inside out, unleashing the anti-Rakshasa purchase I had made all those months ago; 50 blessed daggers. These had been moving around a lot, first in my proper bag of holding, then into a quiver of holding, which made it seem like I actually intended to fling these for what would likely always be a single digit of damage per round. I knew the quiver wouldn’t work for this application and needed a reason to switch it up. Fortunately when we dealt with the phoenix egg, it was our warrior who gave up his bag, mostly containing spears and long weapons. I gave him the quiver to pick up his stuff and dumped the daggers into my own bag. They would remain there until the beginning of this very session, where I moved them to the pouch. You see, the part of Whirlwind that interested me were the rules for small and medium objects inside the spell. As long as they weren’t held down by something or someone, objects of that size were sucked up by the winds, and I wondered what happened to something trapped inside the whirlwind when those objects started flying around. This is when I found out.
The DM was completely off guard, and took a bit to figure out exactly how to play this since there’s no rule in the book for turning Whirlwind into a holy blender. I left no room for error, I made sure the Whirlwind wasn’t centered on the Rakshasa, telling the DM I wanted the winds beating him in the face. When I made my movement, I intentionally placed myself upwind of my victim, leaving no doubt of where the Rakshasa would be as the daggers flew. Finally he told me the roll, 50d20 to see how many hit, and adding up successes and occasional crits, the damage rolls were 27d4 piercing and 27d6 radiant damage. Along with the damage from the Whirlwind, I dealt 190 damage to the Rakshasa in a single turn, a record for the campaign and myself, easily killing it and sending it back to hell to lick it’s wounds. I found out later the DM almost played it like a Cloud of Daggers spell, only to conclude it was way, way too big to score that way. Waiting for the dice to drop during this fight was the most my heart’s ever pounded at the table, as I watched months of planning come down to the one shot I could take, and step by step, the dice gods reward my efforts, and the DM never realized all my efforts were toward this one Hail Mary play that he never saw coming. Being a Rakshasa, I know getting rid of it permanently isn’t that easy, but Mirari’s done his part, so it’s someone else’s turn to come up with a crazy plan.