Monday, December 4, 2017

Monday Recap: Muscle Magic

Now that's what I'm talking about!
I've been trying to play more games recently, rather than just running them all the time. It good to see things from the other side of the screen, and really dig into a single character's personality and choices rather than playing the rest of the world. Plus, DMs can be the worst players, so I will always take the opportunity to work on my player etiquette. Things like "don't rules lawyer" and "give other players a chance to talk" are norms for players but don't always apply to the Dungeon Master.

Also, I really am into the system of 5e, and I want to make cool characters to play. I've talked a bit about my pacifist monk character, and I'm also in a Tomb of Annihilation game (no recaps on that one though!) playing an archeologist.

But for this game, I wanted to try and build the classic Muscle Wizard - basically, a melee wizard that only uses spells with the range of touch and self, and prefers physical combat. I managed to make a very solid build using only the Player's Handbook rules. Unsurprisingly, having a tankload of hit points is way more important than having high Armor Class in a game with bounded accuracy. My Muscle Wizard was as tough as I could get him while using the wizard's pitiful d6 hit die.

But enough technical talk! It's time to hear the amazing exploits of Brick Flexington, Professional Bodybuilder and Adventurer!

Monday Recap: Muscle Magic

Cast of Characters
Makayla: Dungeon Master
Jon: Brick Flexington, Human Abjuration Wizard, punches things with lightning and doesn't believe it's magic
Tom: Willem Dotsk, Human Rogue, in a bad spot with his thieves' guild, trying to make some cash

Our heroes began in the small town of Lakeport, in a tavern called the Smashed Halfling. Willem and Brick were discussing how they could make some gold, since Brick was looking to gain glory in the realm of professional bodybuilding, and Willem was just greedy. They discussed doing a bodybuilding performance for the town's nobility, with Willem acting as Brick's manager. Willem said he needed a code name for his managerial work, and Brick suggested Beef Wellington. Somehow, it stuck.

Look at my muscles! LOOK AT THEM!
The pair knew they would have to make a name for themselves well before they could get invited to the big time galas to perform. While they were talking, a band of adventurers came into the tavern, discussing a goblin attack that had taken place on the road south of the city. Oddly, the goblins had used an upturned wagon for their base. Willem suggested that becoming heroes would be a great way to gain renown, and Brick agreed.

After travelling out of town along the southward road, they came across said upturned wagon, which also featured a small moat of thick black bile. Brick simply rushed the cart, dodging the goblin arrows that began to fly towards him. Willem, still hidden in the trees, pulled of an amazing shot that struck and killed a goblin from between the gaps in the wagon's planks. He then dashed forward to catch up with Brick, and the duo pressed themselves up against the walls of the wagon.

Brick decided it would be best to overturn the cart, so together the two lifted up the wagon and revealed the goblins inside. Their cover destroyed, the goblins fled into the nearby forest, except for the one that Willem had shot. The wagon didn't have much in terms of supplies or loot, so the pair of adventurers decided to follow the fleeing goblins to their goblin-hole hideout.

They delved the hideout, Brick climbing down a ladder while Willem stood on his shoulders. It was dark in the cave, so Brick flexed so hard his muscles shone. He barrelled forward, setting off a goblin trap that smacked him in the face with a garden hoe.

The goblins were huddled nearby, and they laughed at Brick's stupidity. Their leader, a tough Goblin named Dib, challenged Brick to a wrestling match. Willem explained that wrestling meant no fists, so Brick couldn't use his lightning fist. Nonetheless, he agreed to the match. His opening move was a Flying Double Thunder Kick, which killed nearly every single goblin in the cave. The only survivor ran past Brick and Willem, fleeing once again. Willem shot at the goblin, hitting it in the knee, but the little creature still managed to escape.

After looting the cave, Brick and Willem returned to Lakeport, sharing their looted barrel of apples with the patrons of the bar. Willem told brick that he might be able to crush an apple between his pecs and make apple cider, which could be a very profitable business model. Brick obliged. Apple cider for everyone!

The next morning, Brick was doing a small street performance when a group of wizards stopped by and asked him how he was casting spells. Brick showed them his eldritch exercise manual, where he had learned all of his amazing techniques. The wizards tried to convince him that he was just casting Shocking Grasp, but Brick would hear none of it. He didn't believe he could do magic at all.

The wizards left, and Willem decided to tail them for a bit. He caught up with them and asked them if Brick really was doing magic. They said he was, but that exercise manual was very concerning to them. They worried it might be something evil or dark in nature. Willem made a mental note of that and returned to his friend.

The pair decided to head down to the city docks and do more performing. While they were carousing around at the Wooden Duck tavern, they learned that some of their loot belonged to local merchants that had been ambushed, and that there were still goblins in the area they had been at the previous day. They went to the city watchmen, turned in their looted goods in exchange for a small reward, and got the descriptions of more goods that had been stolen. The pair hoped to get some leverage with a local noble for their string of heroic acts.

They ventured back southward, and tried to follow the trail of goblin blood left by the wounded goblin from the previous day. However, they quickly became lost. Willem had to climb a tree to figure out which direction to go, and they ended up finding an abandoned mine shaft.

Muscle lights activate!
They explored the mine a bit, Brick providing his muscle shine lights. There was a mine cart track leading downwards, which they decided to follow. After traveling some distance, they saw the dim outline of a goblin at the edge of Brick's light. Willem tried to tell the goblin they wouldn't hurt the creature, but the goblin said "nope!" and fled.

They chased the goblin all the way down the mine track, with Willem firing arrows into the darkness and Brick struggling to keep up with his fleet-of-foot friend. It took some time (and an accompanying video of Yakkety Sax) to capture and kill the goblin, and when they did they found themselves surrounded by 8 more of the buggers.

Time for yet another Flying Double Thunder Kick! 6 of the goblins were blown back into the walls and to the floor. Willem sniped the other two, one just barely as he tried to run as well.

The heroes explored the mine a bit more, and found a room with light coming from behind some rocks. Brick cleared them away, and they found themselves surrounded by barrels of stolen goods! Unfortunately, they also found themselves face to face with a very angry Goblin Boss.

Willem tried to calm the Boss down, but after a quick exchange it was clear that talking wasn't going to cut it. Brick launched himself forward with a Flying Double Thunder Kick, but this Goblin proved to be much stronger than the ones they had faced thus far. Willem loosed some arrows, and the fight was on.

The Boss struck hard, actually breaking through Brick's seemingly impervious skin and cutting his beautiful muscles! Brick responded with a powerful lightning fist that homed in on the Boss's metal armor. The boss collapsed under the electric punch, his last words a stammer: "I-i-it's sho-o-ocking!!!"

Their safety once again assured, the duo inspected the barrels and found the stolen goods. They found another goblin and captured him, demanding he tell the pair where the rest of the treasure was. The goblin lead them to a small stash of gold and items, including a mysterious potion. Brick used his exercise book to identify it as a Potion of Enlarging, but he gave it to Willem. He preferred natural muscle growth, and didn't want anything to do with that "magic" nonsense.

The pair rode a minecart back up to the top of the mine, travelled back to Lakeport with their goblin prisoner in tow, and handed over the stolen goods and their captive to the city watchmen. In return, they got another reward, and a bit better reputation - which they would need if they ever wanted to make it to the big time.

Thus ends the exploits of Brick Flexington, Muscle Wizard, and his stalwart manager, Willem Dotsk a.k.a. Beef Wellington!

Don't anger the Muscle Wizard
I had a lot of fun with this game, if you couldn't tell. It was Makayla's first time running a game, and she did very well! A big part of D&D is just going along with the various shenanigans your players come up with, and she responded to our ideas very nicely.

I might be playing in a campaign run by her in the future. As I mentioned above, I'm not doing recaps for my Tomb of Annihilation game, but since Makayla's game would be set in Ahneria, I'd definitely want to recap those here on the blog. Maybe I could even get her to write these articles for me.... a man can dream, I suppose.

Thanks for reading!

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