A Christmas D&D (mis)adventure for the Tyrants

I had been asked to run a Christmas themed D&D aventure for my fellow Tabletop Tyrants staff members on Christmas Eve, how could I pass up such an opportunity.

I enlisted Jack to create the characters for them, with the proviso of 2nd level characters, non-evil, and either elves or gnomes – now many of you will know I have a huge dislike of gnomes but I promised not to take this into the game (well sort of, as you’ll see later on).

Our intrepid band was therefore made up of:-

  • Jack – elf fighter (archer specialist)
  • Dustin – gnome paladin
  • Kurt – gnome warlock
  • Alastair – gnome cleric

As the last customer left the store the tyrants spied a dark hooded figure seated at one of the gaming tables, and cautiously approached it. It announced itself as the spirit of Christmas and needed their help. A horrid beast named the Grynch had captured Santa and unless the Tyrants could rescue him there would be no Christmas!

The Tyrants were looking forward to the festivities and so readily agreed to go save Santa, but how would they get there (wherever there was)? The spirit waved its hand the store melted away from them and they began falling through the air to land in a snow bank. Not a cold, wet snow bank, but a fun soft one just like the best ones we had as children when we could play for hours in them without feeling cold. The Tyrants found they had been transformed during their fall (into the forms of their characters) and the Spirit gave them four present to aid their quest.

  • Santa’s sack of wonder (reskinned Wand of Wonder), point it at your target and yell “Merry Christmas”
  • Santa’s boots (Boots of the Winterlands), resistance to cold damage and able to endure the wintry wilds
  • a pair of Baubles of Restoration, potions that would make the imbiber feel as if they had just completed a long rest
  • the Mistletoe Bow, a +1 longbow that could fire a Magic Missile on a roll of a natural 20

As they distributed the gifts they noticed a trio of blue skinned goblins watching them, when they called out to them the goblins began to shoot at them. The Tyrants returned fire and as the first goblin fell it shimmered and changed back into a gnome (note – I did not kill the gnome!) Dustin shouted to the others not to kill the others and so they tried to subdue them (although Kurt’s eldritch bolt still killed another one). Once they revived the subdued former goblin it revealed that he was one of Santa’s workers and that the last thing he remembered was working in the workshop when a large present had been delivered, then he was here.

He led the heroes towards the only two buildings in sight, a large barn and what could only be the workshop. Unfortunately as they marched on they could see a group of black and white striped flying creatures coming towards them “Argh! Bah Humbugs!” cried the gnome and dove headfirst into a snow bank and disappeared.

The humbugs attacked, trying to suck the festive spirit out of the heroes (reskinned stirges) when one of them recalled somehow that they could be warded off by singing Christmas Carols. Dustin broke into song (I actually made them sing out loud) and despite having 2 humbugs latching on to him Alastair blasted the remaining humbugs with holy radiance.

Approaching the barn they saw four more goblins guarding the door and a pair of wolves patrolling around it. Despite Dustin’s protests 2 more of the goblins were slain (transforming into an elf and a gnome) before the other 2 were subdued. and the wolves were also dealt with swiftly. rather than investigate the barn they headed to the workshop.

The door was flanked by a pair of 8 foot tall toy soldiers holding large candy canes, one had an E on its chest the other had an N. The door had no visible handle but four large stone buttons engraved with letters.

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After much debate they discovered further faded letters on the soldiers, revealing they had formerly said Egg and Nog respectively. While Kurt and Dustin continued to puzzle about the door, Jack and Alastair headed back to the barn and entered. Inside were 8 stalls, each with a reindeer inside. Jack picked up a hay-fork and they investigated the door at the far end, hearing more goblin voices. They decided to whip to door open as Alastair cast Burning Hands, catching the surprised quartet of goblins in the blast and incinerating all of them.

Regrouping they had still not worked out the puzzle so Kurt decided to just press one of the buttons and chose the third one down. He heard a grinding of gears, and then the soldiers whacked him with the candy canes!

In desperation Kurt pressed one more button, plumping for the first one and once again heard the grinding of gears, but then the doors opened and the heroes could faintly hear the tune of the First Noel playing.

Following the corridor they come to a room with a checkerboard floor and four large chess knights placed around it. Alastair carefully plotted his route across the room though one slight miscalculation caused a Knight to swing its mailed fist at him. It was then they realised that there was absolutely no sound in the room. Jack decided to just run across the room and despite the knights all turning to face him he passed through unharmed. Dustin copied Alastair’s route and that left Kurt. Kurt chose to move as a chess knight would and progressed around the room taking each of the knights off in turn before finally getting out of the room.

Finally they came to the workshop proper. A massive christmas tree stood in the centre with four ruby-red baubles hanging from it, on either side wall were racks of toy parts and between them and the tree was a pair of conveyor belts running towards the far end of the room. There was also a half-dozen goblins who began grabbing toy parts and throwing them at the heroes.

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A loud voice came over a speaker system “15”, as a large green-skinned figure in what looked like Santa’s jacket stalked around the tree into view.

Grinch

Behind the tree they spotted a massive sled with a warming up rocket booster (no-one said it had to make sense) and Santa’s unconscious form, hands tied to the sled and legs tied to the conveyors. “14” announced the voice ominously.

With a battle cry the heroes charged forth. Kurt used the santa sack against the Grynch and blasted it with lightning as Dustin prepared to attack it with his warhammer. Jack engaged a goblin as Alastair tried to sneak ahead and free Santa. The goblins continued to attack so Kurt turned his sack towards those nearest to Alastair, this time causing a fireball to incinerate them. “13” intoned the voice.

The Grynch engaged Dustin and was also close enough to pose a problem to Kurt too and called upon the Arms of Hadar, tentacles of tinsel burst out and attacked the pair of heroes, dropping Kurt unconscious! But thankfully Dustin was able to use his lay on hands to revive his comrade.

Alastair continued to free santa from his restraints as Jack tackled the last of the goblins, knocking them senseless. “12”, the Grynch cast another spell this time healing a little of his own wounds but not enough as Kurt stood back up and turned the sack towards the green meanie, once again yelling “Merry Christmas” and loosing another lightning bolt that staggered the beast backwards into  the tree, before it could recover Dustin dealt the final blow though chose to subdue rather than kill.

They freed santa and revived him but the countdown sounded again “11”, so Santa calmly reached in to the front of the sled and switch the ignition off! Looking around at the devastation he looked saddened and walked over to the prone form of the Grynch, removing a ring from its hand and causing the body to morph and shrink until a weasley looking gnome remained.

Santa thanked the heroes for there help but was saddened at how many of his little helpers had been killed in the process. With a wave of his hand and a flurry of snow flakes the heroes found themselves back at Tabletop Tyrants once more, safe in the knowledge that they had saved Christmas………for now!

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