The Lucky Gnome Taphouse Incedent

The birth of the most uncoordinated party I have ever had the pleasure of DMing


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HOMEBREW WARNING: Some of the races in this story are homebrew.

I had just begun seriously dming 4th edition D&D and had put alot of work into my own campaign setting (including balancing a number of new player races), a few of my closest friends at the time approached me about running a campaign and I agreed.

Each created their own character, a neraphim (3.5 race) ranger, a Shadar-kai Assassin/Executioner, a Gandrid (Homebrew Race) Storm Sorcerer, a Sydaki (Homebrew Race) Warden, A Krosian (Homebrew Race) Stonefist Monk, and a Krosian Ardent.

The players had no knowledge of each other ahead of time, with the exception of the two krosians and each entered the same town at different times. The Town had a few inn and taverns but the Lucky Gnome Taphouse was the cheapest. It was also run by a Halfling who was the leader of a local thieves guild, information only one player knew. Other than that the bar was mostly just known for their frequent drunken brawls.

The meeting between these six characters begins with the Neraphim who enters and orders a bowl of Jalapeno Poppers (or similar), quickly acquiring his picy treat he pays the nice barkeep and find a ceiling rafter to hop up into (Neraphim are frog-like, similar to slaads but not as evil or chaotic). Shortly afterwards the Gandrid (think spiny lizardfolk with lightning theme), lost and insane, walks in. He came here on a bolt of lightning accidentally and has been having trouble coping with reality since. He is skittish and off his rocker but manages to order some tea to setle his nerves.

The shadar-kai enters next. She quietly avoids the rowdy people of the taphouse and sits at the bar. She speaks in code with the Bartender, the halfing. She knows the thieves guilds headquarters, which the guards have been searching for, is in the back room. She wants in. The bartender, seeing her outfit notes her potential skill in the trade.

With that, half the cast is set. Next, in comes the Sydaki. A crocodile man, standing nearly 8 feet tall. He boated into town earlier in the day from a swamp further south and has been peddling hide armors and bone weapons of his own make. Such skills are natural to Sydaki, think Lizardfolk in 5e but before 5e. He is tired, and hungry. A fat sack of coin is dropped on the wagon wheel sized table at which he sits. He orders one of everything, and despite his frightening appearance, he is courteous, or more so than most, with the wait staff.

Outside the taphouse, the two Krosians (like blue elves but less snooty) are chattng, the monk, more of a martial artist really, has heard the taphouse is known for their drunken brawls and is intersted in partaking, to which the more level-headed ardent strongly disagrees with. In the end though there is no talking down the monk and he enters the bar, sits down and orders a pint.

Thi entire time I had been silently rolling percentiles to determine if, or when, a bar fight would actually start, and start it did, just after the monk got his drink. Two npcs get into an argument and one clobbers the other with a mug, to which the other retaliates with a chair before the entire bar begins to fight. The monk is ecstatic and imediately enters the brawl. With his dex he is easily dodging the blows from the inebriated guests. He manages to square up with one and knocks their lights out before throwing them in a random direction.

-dice roll-

At this moment the Sydaki had just finished receiving his order of food. It is a glorious display of delicious meats, soups, breads, produce, cheeses, and beers. His stomach grumbles hungrilly. He picks up a fork to sample a cut of meat when a man flies across the room in random direction and lands on the wagon-wheel table scattering the food around as it clatters to the floor, spoiled and uneated. For a moment the Sydaki is stunned, covered in soup, and beer and in utter dismay and disbelief. These feelings are then exchanged for a bloody rage. He hurls the unconscious man from the table as two more approach him, one with a club, the other a chair. He bites the chait to pieces, catches both men, slams their heads together and spins, releasing them into the crowd in whichever way they fly. He is not happy and the bar will feel his wrath for disturbing his meal. To which the Monk is suitably intrigued.

A random dice roll later and a man charges the Sorcerer. He dodges with his AC backed by a high dexterity, and then out of madness looses a bolt of arcane electricicty into the fray at random.

-dice roll-

The bolt leaps over the bar striking the back wall, lined with kegs of ale and beer, the Shadar-kai and bartender duck as precious alcohol explodes everywhere, part of the back wall is charred by the bolt. Noting the potential safety of the bar the sorcerer dashes through the crowd and hides under the bar. The halfling looks over, as the two cower before the utter chaos.

The Sydaki is hurling men this way and that and, to make a point, decides he wants to though a table. Strenght Check, Nat 20. He hurls a wagon-wheel table as though it were a discus. Dexteriy Check, Nat 1. It goes flying in a random direction.

-dice roll-

It flys over the bar, barely missing the shadar-kai as it crashes throught he back wall. I look at the map I had drawn. Not just the back wall, but a load bearing support beam.

-dice roll-

The structual integrity of the wall fails and so do some of the rafters connected to it. One of which was the one the Neraphm had been sitting on enjoying the chaos. Acrobatic check to land, Nat 1.

The neraphim rolls backwards down the rafter through the back wall and into the back room, the same place that the Shadar-kai has escaped to to avoid the fall out of the brawl. The back room is filled with thieves counting coins. Not wanting the outsiders to blow their secret the thieves engage the two in combat. As this combat is starting, the brawl itself is winding down, only the Monk and Warden remain standing and the two are about to cross fists when the town guards burst in.

The Ardent, who had not partaken of the bar fight and noted to the guards that a fight was likely to break out at the taphouse and had sent them to the bar preemptively. They quickly arrest the thieves and carry out the wounded and drunk patrons. The Halfling is arrested on incriminating evidence and the thieves guild is shut down. Each of the six intidivudals are given letters of recognition from the Lord of the town acknowledging their unusual, but effective, tactics in rooting out the local thieves guild which had been plaguing merchants for some time. The party was not being arrested or charged despite the damage they had done to the people of the town and the taphouse proper.

The ardent, at which point, saw fit to ask what damage the guards meant. The ardent had been out of the room for the rest of the fight as she had not partaken. When the monk told her about the load bearing wall she asked how the building could even still be standing at all.

I shrugged and rolled. Strucutal intergirty critical fail, the entire building collapsed on the spot before the part and the guards. The monk, capitalizing on the moment, responeded with "So we're not being arrested and we dont have to pay for damages? Sounds good to me!"

This was the beginning of a short-lived but fun party and I still tell this story to all my new players and friends that want to play.


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