So I've always been interested in Dnd, but never had the opportunity to play. Recently, my best friend was able to come to visit for a few days, and one thing led to another and we were throwing something together quickly to mess around with. For whatever reason, I was landed with Dming the first of our three little one-shots while he was here. I've always loved making stories, but thought it would be fun to take interesting directions with the classes that I had my best friend and roommate play. Together, we homebrewed a Half-elf Mage and a Tiefling Cleric of the Goddess of Misfortune, complete with a homebrew spell loadout. I did my best to apply restrictions to the spells that wouldn't make them too broken, but little did I know that I maybe should've been a bit stricter with a certain clerical spell we called Unfortunate Soul.
The two players met in the capital of a small nation called Lindora, both recently having become adventurers. The two had known each other from the introductory quests and were beginning at level 3; which ultimately only influenced their hp pools at this point. After receiving the quest stub to find an ancient pot from the Oz period with a reward of 100 gold, the two set out to look for a horse and cart, along with some provisions. The Tiefling Cleric immediately went to the nearest whorehouse to spend a half-hour with some courtesans, while the Half-elf Mage tried unsuccessfully to use her womanly wiles to get a better price on a cart stocked with provisions. A few shenanigans and a doe-eyed stable boy later, the pair were off with directions from the mapmaker to Sole Cove.
No troubles befell them on the several hour trip, and they remained vigilant as they descended into the small water-carved passageways. Seeing two Bullywugs before they saw the adventurers, the Cleric wearing heavy plate had grand ideas of sneaking near the two frog people before attacking. With a near-critical failure, the enemies were instantly alerted and just before combat can begin, the Cleric uses their spell Unfortunate Soul for the first time. In this iteration, it caused the target to experience a traumatic memory and take an initial 1d8 psychic damage. Having just been discovered, she throws out a hand to the smaller of the two bullywugs, who is immediately caught up in the horrible vision. Incapacitated, the frog takes some damage and falls limp to the floor. The mischievous Tiefling Cleric asks her god to show her the enemy's vision, seeing the Bullywug's memory of watching its siblings being butchered and cooked. The larger bullywug now has time to close in on the Cleric and thrusts his crude spear at her. With an AC of 20, it would have taken a miracle for much of anything to hit her, and the Bullywug very horribly fails. The Mage then takes the opportunity to cast a homebrew spell called Cavernjaw, causing five stone spikes to impale the smaller bullywug and killing him. For either kicks or giggles, after a bit of back forth the Cleric casts Unfortunate Soul on the larger bullywug as well, causing him to immediately fall to the floor and curl up in the fetal position as he remembers watching his clan and family being eaten alive by a Hill Giant. With the foe indisposed, the Cleric then kicks and practically snaps the frog's spine in half and launching him across the cavern room with a critical hit. A short rest, some looting, and meditation later, the pair again begins heading down the hallway.
Being a new Dm and because it was one-shot meant to be for fun, I ask if they want to use perception in the hallway rather than wait to see if they do so themselves. The Mage can see some scrapes on the ground, and a crit success on investigation from the Cleric allows them to very easily find the chest hidden behind a false wall. Another crit success allows them to open the chest like it was never locked, and they find inside some gold and a dagger with a blue magical aura. Moving on down the hallway, the Cleric decides to roll for perception at the entrance to the next cavern, finally receiving a critical failure. As a bit of roleplay, I say that her goddess has given her the gift of misfortune and nearly blinded her for 15 minutes. They wanted to wait out the time so that she could see just fine, but I decided to warn them that the danger they would face up ahead would be far worse if they did so.
The Ozzian Pot that they were looking for had been stolen or recovered by a Kuo-Toa Archpriest, who was currently praying to the pot. I had set it up to where if the two failed to defeat or verbally incapacitate the fish person, then a new god would be born and they would have to either fight it or convince it to come with them. All my plans were for not as it turned out, because the Cleric cast Unfortunate Soul yet again, barely succeeding. The Kuo-Toa Archpriest falls on his face as he is foisted into a memory of watching his sister marry his arch-rival. The adventurer's take that opportunity to grab the pot and run, nearly escaping the tunnel before the Archpriest can successfully save against the ability. Also, as the Archpriest continued to take minor psychic damage from the ability, more and more memories were brought to him and the Cleric to see. After his sister married his arch-rival, his mother joined her in the harem after his father was mysteriously killed. Finally breaking free of the spell, the Fishman is now enraged and only wishes the death of the two meddling adventurers.
The Cleric and Mage manage to get into the cart and start booking it to the Wizard's tower north of Lindora just as the Archpriest emerges from Sole Cove. As they approach the tower, they notice a river passing by the town and the tower, suggesting the route by which the Archpriest may chase them. Even so, they traveled faster and reached the somewhat eccentric and senile wizard to turn in the pot and cash in on the reward, which just so happened to also have included a favor from the wizard. In a moment of inspiration, they asked to borrow the wizards giant stone golem servant. They then rode the golem some ways down the river to encounter the bloodthirsty Archpriest. The two adventurer's entire gameplan hinged on the use of a homebrew spell I gave the mage, called Tempest. It took a whole minute to cast, but created an area directly around the caster that would be bombarded with very powerful lightning damage. Their goal was to get the fish in the water, to maximize the damage. Unfortunately for them, the fish had already crawled out of the water to face them, having sensed them approaching.
The ensuing fight was as one-sided as it could be, chipping away at the remaining 70 HP of the Archpriest with the assistance of the golem. The Cleric, by necessity, fought with the Archpriest while the Mage channeled her spell. To his credit, the Archpriest did a fair bit of damage with his spiritual weapons and spirit guardians, but was ultimately handicapped due to his solidarity. Throughout the fight, the Cleric tried, again and again, to cast Unfortunate Soul on the Fishman, failing due to his blinding rage and hatred for the pair. With a critical success and use of duplicity, the Cleric managed to drop kick the Archpriest into the river. The golem very soon after followed up with an overhead slam that shoved the Kuo-toa down to his knees in the mud, though it still had its staff. As the only safe area from Tempest was directly around the caster, the Cleric climbed up onto the Golem and ordered her magical duplicate to try and wrest the staff from the hands of the Archpriest, to further incapacitate him. Another slam from the golem after a successful strength check against the Fishman left the Archpriest down to his waist in the mud and without a way to cast his spells. Just before tempest would be cast, the Archpriest still at about 30 HP, the Cleric tried one last time to cast Unfortunate Soul. The spell took hold and Archpriest nearly foamed at the mouth with rage and sorrow as he remembered the two adventurers stealing the pot. Tempest took effect and the fairly short Tiefling hugged the body of the Half-elf mage, lightning being thrown about with intense ferocity. By some miracle, the Kuo-toa Archpriest survived the first barrage with only 2 HP left, Unfortunate Soul still active on his mind as his charred and slashed body writhed in pain. Just before his imminent demise, as tempest lasted a few turns, he was given his worst and most painful memory to view. With ridicule from every side, his family turned against him for his mortal foe, the Archpriest was exiled from his tribe and village. In hatred and some twisted form of hope, he had gone in search of a power to help him regain his standing. At first, he helped to save a tribe of bullywugs, using them to assist him in his search for power, more and more of them dying off as he pushed on. Finally, he found what he was looking for, a worthy vessel that must surely contain a god. In his moment of ultimate triumph, it was all taken away with the casting of a single spell; and how truly Unfortunate must his Soul have been.