I was thinking up new encounters with my new group when I started reminiscing about old encounters that were fun for both the players and me, the DM. I think I might start a whole new feature here. Here's one such encounter that wasn't particularly fun for either...
The part was sitting in a tavern looking for something to do, they were perusing the "Bulletin Board" that was up in the tavern. Great leads always came from there. I had made an actual bulletin board with post it notes for my tavern. Each post-it had an adventure hook on it. It helped the players to feel like they were choosing their adventure path.
They picked one that looked like a simple escort job. Help a wounded man bring his dead adventuring friends back from the cavern they were exploring. Simple job. But things were wrong from the beginning.
The ride to the cavern was about a day's ride. I gave the group ample time to ask questions to the survivor about the place, in hopes to prepare them for the coming battles. They never once talked to him. Bad Move #1
Ok so going into a dungeon without ANY knowledge of what to expect, is never good, but it does happen. it's like being given a book you've never read and told to write an essay on it. AND you're given a day locked in a room with said book and nothing else to do. AND you never actually read the book and then have to still write the essay about it.. AND you CAN read. sheeze. Let me force feed that carrot...
They went into the dungeon. first room i described like this: You see a large 50ft by 50ft room and there seems to be two sleeping cats in the center of the room. they have 6 legs and tentacles coming out of their backs.
The group brings out the bows and starts firing into the cats. THUNK! THUNK!. They cat's don't move. In fact, they don't respond to the attacks. Looking closer, you see they are already dead. Yea, the other party already cleared this room. Still the group doesn't go back and talk to the survivor that stayed with the carts because he didn't want to go back in there because of what killed the group. Did they ask him what killed the group? NO! Bad Move #2
So they continue. they get to a room that has a large black pool in the middle of it. they immediately know it's a black pudding and move in to fight it. STAB! MAGIC MISSILE! no reaction here either. Yea, it's also dead already. So.. two rooms and the party's guard is dropping faster than a virgin's panties on prom night.
Next room, looks clear. the elf walks straight across the room. odd thing is, the dust was never disturbed here. Green slime drips onto him. party takes a good beating from the green slime, and the elf lost a good deal of Constitution. Luckilly they had some healing wit them to heal the elf. they decided to take a different route than the one the original party did. They encountered a room barred shut with a wooden door. they eventually got it open and found lots of treasure piled up in there. Since it was too much to deal with, they decided to leave it and come back to it after recovering the corpses. Bad Move #3
The continued along, fining no resistance from anything else. They entered the final room of the dungeon and saw three dead bodies in the room. the mage sees them and immediately, I said... IMMEDIATELY walks in to get to one of the corpses. FINAL BAD MOVE.
Once the mage got inside, he could not lift the corpse, being a weak mage after all. so the fighter goes in to help. The fighter actually at this point, looks up/dowm/all around. That's when he notices that the ceiling is 50 foot high. very odd when the rest of the place was only 10 foot high, but this one room was 50. Odd. he reaches the corpse and all hell breaks loose.
A huge Earth Elemental puts a hand up n front of the doorway and he "climbs" out of the floor. standing at about 35ft high and 25 wide, he pretty much engulfs the room, blocking the mage and the fighter from any possible escape. The other two characters are out in the hall.
The battle ensues. the mage casting fireball on the elementals head. he gets a fist to the chest that renders him unconscious. I could have remembered that the elemental's strength was higher than it was and it would have killed the mage. but I left it at unconscious. The fighter hacking away at the knees of old Earthy. The elf ranger firing his bow from the hallway. the elf monk, whose constitution was much better at this point, kicking and punching.
The elemental punches the fighter and knocks him back. The elemental moves a little bit away from the door to continue the onslaught of the fighter and this allows the monk to get into the room. The elf, still inside the reach of the elemental, fires off a crit shot to the thing, then ducks behind the wall.
I remember that earth elementals can "see" people standing on the ground, give a punch through the wall to the elf ranger. He hits and promptly places the body of the ranger between his fist and the opposite wall of the corridor. A wet gooey mass flops to the ground. Dead.
The human fighter and elf monk fight the elemental, with the fighter going over to shove a healing potion down the mage's throat. doing so allowed the mage to get up and start casting spells on the elemental. the three kill it and all is well. they pick up their fallen comrade and the corpses of those they were sent to retrieve and take them back to the cart.
Remembering the treasure they found, they head back there. Only to find two rust monsters finishing off the last pile of gold and items....
Yea, I'm evil ain't I?