How I Accidentally Turned Our First Boss Fight into a Tragedy

5 points

This was my freshman year of college, and I had joined a DnD club with a friend of mine. I was a player in a sci-fi campaign that used the rules of 5e DnD but had a whole host of new races and classes to play. One that caught my eye was an amoeboid, a bipedal intelligent slime that could take the shape of any living creature it touched. Note it only took the shape, not the color or appearance, and I couldn’t change in size, but it came with a lot of benefits and I decided to pair up this interesting ability with an arcane trickster and make my disguise spells even more convincing. Thus my amoeboid rogue was born. 

Our party started with some low stakes missions, and in the middle of a routine delivery job we (along with many other civilians) were suddenly stranded on a distant moon that had inexplicably gained a forcefield surrounding it. Wanting to investigate further, our search lead us to the center of the moon to discover an enormous egg with tentacles and eyes that immediately attacked us, letting out horrific screeches as it did so. We’d found a gigapod seed, an egg of a lovecraftian squid that was so incomprehensibly large that just their relatively tiny eggs destroyed entire planets upon hatching. And this gigapod was about to hatch and take this moon, along with everyone stuck on it, with it if we didn’t stop it. At first it was just a really cool boss battle for a low level party like ours, but my character wasn’t really built for combat, more stealth and diplomacy. In a desparation to help the team I kept scouring over my features and abilities between my turns to see if there was anything I could do to be of better help as the egg continued to screech at us and clobber us with its tentacles. I’d already exploited the heck out of the amoeboid’s shapeshifting abilities prior (such as when the rules stated I matched the creature’s movement speed, I took that to mean I could fly as well if I copied a flying creature), but it was only this battle I noticed one more detail about the shapeshifting. At the bottom of the description, my features stated that I could understand and speak the languages of whatever creature I copied. I turned to the DM once it was my turn and said that I had a dumb plan. I told my DM that I was going to touch the tentacle of the gigapod seed as it attacked me to shapeshift into it and maybe understand what it was saying, considering it had been screeching at us this entire time. The DM was clearly not expecting this, and the party was intrigued at the idea, but someone pointed out that we were all wearing space suits (learned our lesson after the last time I left the ship without one), and the shapeshifting required direct, skin-to-blob contact. The DM said I would have to roll to briefly slip off my suit and time it to the attack, and warned me that it would be difficult with an “are you sure you want to do this?” tone. I said absolutely, and rolled.

It was the only natural twenty rolled that night, and the everyone at the table lost their minds. It was an amazing feeling, but that energy quickly turned into something more somber once my character started to actually talk to the gigapod seed. It was confused and scared, its sentences barely coherent, and we suddenly realized that this thing was essentially a child, albeit a very destructive one. My character spoke very gently with it, demanding the party stop attacking the gigapod, and carefully explained the situation. After all, from the kid’s perspective, it was simply trying to hatch – a very natural thing – and we had just appeared out of nowhere and started hurting it. The kid genuinely didn’t mean any harm to us, in fact it was so shaken by this whole situation that it kind of attached itself to my character, presumably because I was able to speak to it. Everything was calm for a moment, but suddenly the gigapod seed pulsated and started increasing in size once more. It still needed to hatch. The gigapod child, now understanding that its hatching was a threat to us, was desperately pushing its tentacles back into its body in an attempt to suppress its growth and keep us safe. I had made this child feel terrified and ashamed of being born. 

I was desperately trying to see if I could direct the child’s growth to minimize damage, asking the party if we could get it to the surface of the moon so it wouldn’t have to hurt anyone. But neither of them were options, and our party was quickly losing time, as the gigapod child continued to grow while saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry” over and over to us as it did so, still trying to keep itself small. That was when the only other amoeboid in the party lifted his gun and fired the finishing shot, taking off the gigapod child’s last bit of hp and saving the moon and everyone on it in the process. None of us felt heroic after the victory, and it only felt worse when NPCs came up to thank us for rescuing us from the “monster.” 

My character never forgave that other amoeboid for killing the gigapod, and stayed very hostile with him for the rest of the campaign. The body of the gigapod dissolved and vanished after it died, but in the remnants we found a tiny, dark stone that looked like the child, one that let me shapeshift into a baby gigapod when I touched it. Afterwards, the DM took more care in constructing encounters around my shapeshifting, and I couldn’t blame her. 


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