How a Rogue Nearly Ended a Campaign in Just the Third Session

See the meme? Yeah, that was our rogue's face in our most recent session.


My husband and I are part of a DND campaign with some close friends of ours. We had been doing a campaign together for about half a year before our DM requested to put a hold on the current campaign to try out a new one he had created for us, taking place in the same timeline as the current one. We all agreed, excited to try something new, and rolled new characters. Our first session of this new campaign started us on a ship heading to Chult, a notoriously dangerous island that offers challenge, adventure, and treasure to the curious souls traveling there. While on the ship, we were attacked by a crew of pirates. After a combat in which we killed the pirate captain, beheaded his first mate, and left only three prisoners, we gained two small pirate ships and recovered the treasure chest that the pirates were trying to take from us. Obviously this treasure chest piqued our curiosity and we tried to see what was inside, but the captain of our ship stopped us and sternly asked that we return it to him. We did without a fight, but our curiosity did not settle. In a daunting interrogation with one of the pirate prisoners, our bard learned that one of the islands right next to our ship had a cave in which the former pirate captain had stored his treasure. Not one to pass up any amount of treasure, our bard made a plan to trick the captain using prestidigitation on the water supply to make it seem like it was undrinkable. He convinced the captain that the druid in our party would be able to find an herb on the nearby island that can purify the water. The captain was much appreciative of our helpfulness, unaware of our true intentions. We went to sleep for the night on the ship. My husband, the rogue, woke up in the middle of the night, and in typical rogue fashion, he stealthily made his way to the treasure room. He easily picked the first lock to enter the room, and just as easily he cracked open the safe bolted in the wall. What he found was gold pieces wrapped in paper and stored neatly, the payment that the passengers had made which would be given to the crew upon reaching our destination. There was also the paperwork of the charter to the ship and a ledger of how many passengers and crew were aboard and how much each passenger paid. On the side of this paper there was a note written that read “Aremag tribute 160gp.” He failed his history check to try to recognize the name, but no matter. He decided to empty out  5 of the rolls of gold pieces and place two coins back in the rolls with an iron piton in between them, gaining 144 gold pieces. He didn’t have any copper coins to replace the gold ones, which is why he chose to use the iron pitons. “Thank you for your tribute, Aremag,” he said. Our DM stated that under close inspection, they wouldn’t pass, but under a brief look they would. The chest that the pirates had tried to steal also sat in the safe, but our rogue simply said “I’ll come back for you another night, sweetheart.” Our rogue was very particular about placing everything neatly back where he had found it, zeroing out the combination lock, and replacing the locks so as not to leave a trace of his presence. The next day, our party took the rowboat to the island and with our ranger’s help, we easily found the trail that led to the treasure cave, which was decorated with three life-like stone statues in an arc around the front of the cave. We had already been informed by the pirate prisoner that the pirate captain and his first mate would enter the cave wearing blindfolds, so we had an idea of what might be in this cave. I’ll spare you the details, so as not to make this story too long, but essentially, we came up with a genius plan to head into the cave and fight the basilisk we found inside. We killed it, and our DM stated later that he did not expect us to get into a combat with it since the creature was chained up. After killing it, we found the treasure chest hidden in the back room of the cave. From the treasure haul we each gained 58 gold pieces, 155 silver, and 406 copper as well as a few items of high value. Having emptied the chest, our rogue said that he wanted to keep it, and asked our druid if he could place it in her bag of holding, to which she agreed. We found a random but harmless and impressive looking plant to take back to the ship as the “purifying herb.” Back on the ship, the captain and the crew were impressed with our skills and blissfully unaware of our treasure excursion. That night on the ship, our rogue awakened, ready for his next business with fate. He took the bag of holding from under the bed where the druid was sleeping and stealthily made his way to the treasure room, but this time he failed his first attempt at picking the lock. He waited an hour to try again, this time successfully. Since he remembered the combination of the other lock, he managed to easily open the safe. With a NAT 20 roll, he picked the third lock, the one on the treasure chest sitting inside the safe. It was completely full of gold. He carefully stuck his hand in to see if there were any items buried in the gold, but the DM informed him that all he felt was gold pieces. The rogue opened up the bag of holding and located his chest that he placed inside. He took about 40 gold pieces from the chest and placed them into his own. Once again, he was very particular about replacing every lock back as he had found it. Another successful heist for our rogue. In the next five days of travel at sea, nothing happened. We were then approaching our destination, sailing through a storm with choppy waters. Suddenly we heard a rumbling from the ocean and a voice calling out in a language most of us don’t understand. The captain called for the sailors to get the tribute for Aremag. A massive reptilian creature, a dragon turtle, rose from the ocean. The sailors presented the tribute chest to Aremag, but he was unsatisfied and cried for more. So the captain told his crew to go get more. The sailor returned with the paper rolls filled with gold. One paper roll had a tear in the middle, revealing an iron piton where gold should be. My husband’s face dropped, all of its color drained, as he realized what he had done, fearing he had ended the entire campaign after only three sessions. Aremag, deeply offended by the attempted ruse, loomed over the ship and spat boiling water onto the captain. The captain was essentially boiled to death, his skin melting off. Our DM informed us later that the captain had actually made his saving throw  so he took only half damage. Still boiled alive. Another passenger, someone we had thought would be an important aspect to our adventure on the island of Chult, had hit Aremag with four arrows, which angered the dragon turtle. Needless to say, this other character did not make it. We rolled initiative. Luckily, our draconic speaking ranger went first. She ran toward the creature, opening up her own pouch and yelled “more” while offering her own gold. The rest of us did the same, offering our own gold to satisfy Aremag and save our lives. He approved, took our gold and left. Saddened by the loss of the captain and the other passenger, the crew returned to their posts to continue the voyage toward Chult. After the session, our DM informed us that he was terrified for us since we were not supposed to get into combat with the dragon turtle. My husband profusely apologized, having been unaware that his actions would lead to such a terrifying consequence. He had meant to replace the iron pitons with his newly acquired copper coins during his last heist, but had forgotten about that plan until it was too late. The DM said that if he were to have exchanged the pitons for copper, then the captain and the passenger would probably still be alive. I’d also like to note, serious props to the DM for not metagaming, but allowing the events to play out. A couple of the players were not present that night, the bard’s girlfriend and the druid’s husband, so their characters were played by their respective significant others. We all discussed the intense story that would have to be told the next time we get together for a session. And that’s the story of how a rogue nearly ended a campaign in just the third session.


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