Sea Turtle nearly wipes party

This is a story about how 3 members of the party I was DMing nearly wipe by a small sea turtle.


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(Hello so this is my first time sending something like this. Hope I did it right and that you guys enjoy the story)

    A few months before this story took place I was extremely new to D&D. I had a burning desire to become a good DM and to fit my world I have built into a playable tabletop RPG using D&D rules and mechanics.

With the help of one of my best friends who introduced me to the game, we fit my world into D&D and started an entirely homebrew campaign.

The campaign consists of 5 people, Hilda the werebear shaman using the warlock mechanics. And my friend who introduced me to the game. Frederick the human Ranger, Torbin the centaur paladin, Raith the weretiger fighter, and me as the DM.

Skipping forward to our fifth session of the campaign. It starts off with the party and an NPC named Bartran. He sailed the party to the Empire’s shores, escaping their encounter with the BBEG.

Bartran helps smuggle the party into a coastal city and by extension into the empire. Bartran takes the party to a tavern he knows, after the party agrees that they want to stay in the city overnight. He has them enter the tavern through the back entrance into the kitchans. The party watches Bartran approach a woman giving orders to her cooks.

“Oh Amelia it’s great to se-” He is then promptly slapped across the face by Amelia.

While Batran is on the ground sulking and being yelled at by Amelia. Frederick jumps in and tells her the party’s situation, Amelia then states.

“You expect a favor from me? After what Bartran had done to me the last time we met?”

The party persuades Amelia into letting them do work for her in exchange for letting them stay the night. She watches them with her arms crossed for a long moment, then a wide smile spreads across her face.

The party is sent to the beach to kill certain animals for her cooks to use for tonight’s feast. While Bartran is dressed as a waitress and is ordered to serve paying customers.

After slaying a few coastal beasts and kritters they finally find the last animals on their list. They have found a large group of adult sea turtles moving across the sands to the ocean.

Torban, Raith, and Frederick immediately charge the first sea turtle they see and roll initiative to attack it. 

(I should mention at this point that everyone is still level 1 and has already lost health from their previous encounters.)

While the Centaur, Tiger, and human swing their weapons down on a single sea turtle. Hilda the werebear approaches a different sea turtle.

Hilda says “I roll grapple to try and pick up the sea turtle.”

I replied “No need, you just simply pick up the sea turtle.”

Surprised Hilda picked up the flailing sea turtle. She then flipped it over so its stomach was facing the sky. Rolled to slice its neck with her claws, and successfully sliced open its neck. It died on the spot.

(these sea turtles are homebrew, and upon being picked up they are essentially prone. I made them take critical damage when flipped upside down. But resistant to physical attacks when right side up.)

Hilda proceeded to pick up sea turtles one by one and killing them instantly almost every time. The rest of the party meanwhile were struggling to kill a single sea turtle. Their characters were so busy trying to kill this single turtle that they didn’t notice Hilda making a pile of dead sea turtle corpses.

The single sea turtle was slowly killing the three party members. Until finally they were all near 0 hit points and Raith had fallen unconscious. Being a new DM and not wanting my first party to die so soon in the campaign. I told them that they were able to just pick up the turtle and kill it.

But Frederick replied “No i want vengeance upon this turtle’s head for attacking me this way, I will slay it with my bloody sword!”

Frederick rolled to hit the sea turtle with his blade, yelling an angry cry. He promptly rolled a nat one. We all burst out laughing as I described what happened next.

“Frederick, you swing your blade down at the sea turtles neck, hoping to slice off its head. But in your haste to attack the turtle you slip because of your crappy stance. You are knocked prone, your sword also falls into the mud, and will take an action to pull it free.”

Frederick was at one hit point, and next up was the sea turtle. It rolled a nat 20,

The turtle extended its neck and bit through Frederick’s leather boot biting off his big toe. causing Frederick to fall unconscious.

Raith and now Frederick are unconscious, and Torbin is below half his hit points.

Hilda let out a sigh and rolled her eyes. She walked over, picked up the turtle and flipped it over. Then she sank her claws into its neck, killing it.

We are all laughing our butts off as Torbin stabilizes and heals Raith and Frederick. Frederick to my surprise is dismayed and horrified that his hand crafted boot that he had made himself now has a hole in it. He was more concerned about his damaged boot than the fact that he had lost a toe.

After the fight they return to the tavern, along with all the animals they had slain. Amelia, happy with all the food they had brought. And with Bartrans performance as a waitress. cooked the party up some food and allowed them to stay the night.

As Frederick took a big bite out of his cooked sea turtle I had him roll a Con save. He said ok in a very concerned voice. I wanted him to roll a Con save to see if he noticed that his toe was now in his mouth.

He didn’t roll high enough and ended up eating his own toe, reuniting it at last with his body. We ended the session there with tears of mirth. Now Frederick’s missing toe is a constant joke in our campaign. Hope you all enjoyed the story of how the party nearly died to a sea turtle.


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