Welcome to Ridiculous Encounters, a series of short stories that transform menial tasks and everyday situations into exciting adventures. We make the benign exciting, the humorless fun, and brighten your day. Included with each story are the specifics of the encounter so that you can incorporate these circumstances into your own homebrew campaign.
Recommended Player Level: This encounter is designed to be hard-to-deadly for a party of 5 characters at seventh level. To scale this difficulty up or down, your Dungeon Master can change the number of monsters in the final room, and/or adjust the level of the NPC enemies.
It happened again. I can’t believe I let them out of my sight. I know better. We ALL know better. These stupid things are going to be the death of me.
As you take inventory of your supplies and prepare to head out after breaking camp, you find that, yet again, your Trickster Gloves have wandered off. You are usually good about only removing one at a time so they don’t leave you, but after the week you have had, it just slipped your mind.
“You lost them again, huh?” Herzog chuckles as he asks. “It would be a lot easier if we didn’t have to keep going after these things. And for what? So you’re slightly better at picking pockets?”
“Some of us bring more to the table than an ax and taking a punch,” you snap. “If I remember correctly, my skills got you out of prison after the incident with the mayor’s son at the ‘Twisted Tankard’.”
Herzog considers you for a moment. “Fair enough. Where do you think we should look this time?”
“Only Pelor knows where they could be.” You consider the question for a minute. “On our way here, we passed by a valley of reeds. I felt oddly drawn to it. It seems as good a place as any to start.”
Herzog lets out a long sigh, and rolls his eyes. “I’ll grab the others.”
Trickster Gloves are magical gear that will give the wearer a +5 to Stealth and Sleight of Hand checks. If the wearer ever removes both gloves at the same time, they will travel to a place within a half mile of where the adventurers have visited before. The gloves have an innate attraction to places marked by tricksters or trickster magic, and this desire is felt by the attuned wearer. The gloves will not travel if only one is removed at a time.
Upon returning to the valley, your party discovers an edifice carved into a cliff face. On either side of a massive door stands a rectangular stone obelisk. Affixed within the center of the door is a large round glass window. From deep inside, you hear the roar of rushing water.
Within the valley of reeds is a temple that was once dedicated to Tyde, an ancient goddess of cleanliness and restoration who has been lost to the ravages of time.
With a DC 15 Religion check, the players will know that Tyde’s symbol is a circle containing an image of an arm grasping a striking hammer on a swirling background. Her abandoned temples still contain magical whirlpools with no apparent source. Pleasant fragrances emit from this whirlpool in an ever shifting tapestry of lavender, mango, and clean linen.
As the party approaches the entrance, the sound of the whirlpool grows more powerful. If any player succeeds in a DC 20 perception check, they hear heavy footsteps approaching them. Otherwise, they are surprised as two humanoid creatures flank them after they enter the temple.
Before you stand two humanoid machinations you have never seen before. Their bodies appear to have been put together using pieces of metal that were tossed aside. They are old and decrepit; as if someone had abandoned them in a basement long ago and just now rediscovered them. One, a male, appears to be dripping with liquid and bubbles escape its joints as it moves. The other doesn’t appear to have joints at all; its components must be connected with a magical force since there are no attachments between each body piece. Both humanoids bare a tattoo on their upper arm of an arm and hammer.
They slowly turn towards you and your party. “Look, Mei-Taag,” says the male. “Friends to swim with.”
Mei slowly smiles. “Lucious, they look ready to be hung out to dry. I can make that happen quickly.”
Mei-Taag is rash and quick to act. She attacks head on while drawing the attention of the party. Her “Mantle of Flame” feature emits light which can be used to draw in attackers.
If Mei-Taag is reduced to 0 HP, her “Phoenix Spark” ability allows her to teeter on the edge of death at 1 HP. Additionally, each creature within 10 feet takes 13 fire damage if Mantle of Fire is active, otherwise those same creatures take 6 fire damage. This ability can only be used once.
LG is much more level-headed than his counterpart. Due to the Sea Sorcerer’s ability to breathe underwater and enhance swim speed, he will often stick close to the whirlpool – jumping in when he needs to put some distance between himself and the party.
When LG hits an enemy with a cantrip, he places a curse on them which has different outcomes based on the damage type elicited by future attacks. These details can be found in the Sea Sorcerer origins section in Unearthed Arcana: Sorcerer.
The sorcerers will play off of each other in battle. When one takes a significant amount of damage , the other will bring attention toward themselves. Mei-Taag is very protective of LG, and will do whatever she can to protect him.
When either sorcerer’s HP falls to half their max, they will deploy one of their elemental gems, buying them time to fall back while the party is distracted. Mei-Taag summons an Air Elemental (Monster Manual pg. 124), while LG calls forth a Water Elemental (Monster Manual pg. 125).
The battle rages on for what feels like a lifetime. Balfemog delivers a devastating blow to the flame sorceress that you are certain means her end. Instead, Balfemog gets blown backward by an explosion which emanates from Mei, and falls unconscious from her wounds.
Damn it! Now I have to protect the healer, on top of everything else!
You knock an arrow and let if fly, hitting your mark true and delivering the fatal blow. Elsewhere, you see Herzog and the Thri’Kreen caster take down Lucious.
Silence fills the hall as you survey the scene. Herzog begins looting the bodies of your enemies, as you tend to Balie. You’re able to stabilize her, and after catching your breath and consuming some of your health potions, you hear scratching and shuffling from a darkened doorway in the back of the chamber.
You race into the next room, but stop short as you take in the sight. You expected to see one pair of gloves, but instead, you see piles of gloves strewn across the room.
Crap… I really should have written my name in those gloves. “Guys, be wary,” you call back.
“Boccob curse this temple! Which ones are they?” clicks the Thri’Kreen.
Your eyes scan the room until they find one of the Trickster Gloves buried in a pile of other gloves. Excitedly, you reach in the pile to grab it. Suddenly, the pile shifts as the other gloves separate. Each glove grows in size and slowly surround you and your party. A couple of them reveal mouths baring teeth.
This room contains Mimics (see Monster Manual page 220) disguised as the Trickster Gloves in separate piles across the room. These Mimics excrete adhesive while in their disguised form and use this adhesive to stick to the Trickster Gloves. The players will not be able to separate the gloves from a Mimic unless they make a DC15 strength check. As the players spend time investigating the piles around the room, they can make DC 20 perception checks. If the adventurers succeed at the check, they will find one of the Trickster Gloves in one of the piles of Mimics. Pulling out the glove will cause the pile, which is actually made up of 10-12 Mimics, to attack in a surprise round. If the adventurers succeed on a DC 20 investigation check, the Mimics are revealed to the players, and they do not get the surprise round.
“GOOD PELOR! Was this worth it?” Herzog spits at you while peeling a mimic off of his ravaged arm.
Rolling your eyes, you turn your head away from him and pocket your Trickster Glove. “Ok guys, I am guessing that the other glove is in one of these other piles. And I am also guessing that the other piles are Mimics too. Let’s just be more careful this time?”
Time spent searching eventually reveals the second Trickster Glove. Using a series of well-laid, premeditated traps and the Thri’Keen’s magic, your party manages to defeat the mimics much more smoothly this time.
Finally, reunited with your magical gear you slip them onto your hands. The lining within the gloves hug your fingers and pulse with warmth. Curious, you think. You slowly bring your gloved hands up to your nose. They smell… wonderful. Like lavender.
As you pull the gloves away from your face, you notice symbols embroidered on the backs of the gloves. An arm holding a hammer is now on the right glove depicted in red and you find the same symbol in blue on the left glove. Suddenly a sensation fills you, and you instinctively point your left hand towards Herzog. A splash of water releases from your open palm and hits Herzog in the chest.
“What the-,” he exclaims but stops short as he notices the blood and guts on his armor slowly receding into nothingness as his clothes are drenched. Instinctively, you raise your right hand as a warm energy escapes your hand towards Herzog yet again. Your eyes widen as the liquid retained in his armor evaporates.
“Huh, I guess Tyde gets the stains that others leave behind!”