The Points of Light Campaign (D&D 4e)
Adventure #2 WOTC H2 Thunderspire Labyrinth (Level 4)
Encounter #49 W3: Practice Hall.
Click on the Links to see the Monster/Skill Challenge Stat cards.
Dire Boar- Mr. Grumpy (Brute 6), or
Making Friends with Mr. Grumpy Skill Challenge (Level 6 Complexity 1)
Encounter Level 1- 250 XP
Starday, 1st of Readying, 2000.
For fun, and because a fair amount of booze had been drunk by the players at this point (although not to excess you understand- and just to note the kindly DM is teetotal, so there’s really no excuse) I decide that the guys have to act out their various interactions with Mr. Grumpy. Dirty is leading the efforts in this Skill Challenge, which must be the first time I’ve ever written that sentence- Dirty tends to specialise in insulting folk as part of any (social style) Skill Challenge- if Intimidate doesn’t work then Dirty, usually, doesn’t want to know.
There’s a bit of chatter around the table (OOC), this after I handed out a picture of Mr. Grumpy- as I’ve stated previously he’s a ferocious looking Dire Boar, anyway the chatter is coming mostly (exclusively) from Dirty’s general direction, in summary it boils down to- ‘why walk when you can ride’. After bad mouthing Ulthar Deepgem for his love for Mr. Grumpy, Dirty has- now faced with the beast, had a sudden and dramatic change of heart, it seems he’d like to be Mr. Grumpy’s new best friend.
We start with Dirty, Phrenic and Winstanley helping Kaspard to heal the Boar, by pointing out the parts of the creature they believe are poorly- a small matter of looking for Hyena bites or else arrow wounds. The Boar however resists all efforts to be either examined, or in fact- touched. Kaspard however is resolute, after a Healing Word and some ministrations (Heal check- success, 1:0) Mr. Grumpy is now merely… well, grumpy.
The next debate centers on finding something suitable to feed the Boar, in the end it’s Grey that shows his mettle- after some helpful hints of course (the guys are trying Aid Another checks- and volunteering ideas). Grey fishes around in his pack and soon after (Nature check- success, 2:0) Mr. Grumpy is chomping on the Wizard’s fresh (rather than iron) rations.
Next come the soothing words- again it’s Kaspard that leads the attempt- although under Dirty’s tutelage (at least that’s what he said at the time). This section of the Skill Challenge basically involves the players having thirty seconds or so each to perform their best ‘soothing noises’. For two of the players this involves mostly making cooing sounds- you know who you are- its not a bloody bird. Remarkably Mr. Grumpy is calmed (Diplomacy check (adjusted because its a bloody Dire Boar not a pigeon or a drunk in a tavern)- success, 3:0)- the Boar stands statue in its cage, every now and then snorting, or lowing, not in anger- perhaps just a little frustrated, it’s no longer nervous- and now suffers the adventurers to gently pat or stroke it.
Dire Boar- Mr. Grumpy- All Dirty’s birthdays have come at once…
The next step is to get Mr. Grumpy out of the cage, perhaps the most dangerous stage of the process- let’s skip to the chase for a moment- it doesn’t go well. Grey is given the responsibility of coaxing the beast out- and for his troubles ends the manoeuvre wedged between the wall of the chamber and the Boar- and down several Healing Surges (I can’t remember how many but it was definitely more than one). It seems kind words and good (or selfish- see Dirty) intentions are not enough (Nature check- failure, 3:1). Things are desperate, the mage is getting crushed- it’s either kill Mr. Grumpy, or else find another way to ‘befriend’ the Boar.
Step five, or as it will be forever known- the Dirty technique. The aforementioned ‘Dirty technique’ takes a lifetime commitment to master, or so I’m told- in essence it involves Dirty attempting to throttle Mr. Grumpy while shouting (amid expletives) threats and offers of extreme violence. Those Aiding Another (Dirty) in this tactical master plan include- Winstanley grabbing and holding on for dear life to one of the Boars hind legs, Phrenic like Dirty wrestling the great beast, Kaspard preying loudly to her deity while brandishing her magical mace and not getting too close to the great wild beast, and lastly Grey screaming like a little girl that he doesn’t want to die. The mage loses one Healing Surge every round while Mr. Grumpy continues to crush him against the wall.
Miracles happen, or else a series of five dice rolls adjusted by suitable (and mostly comic) role-play, are all average or higher- it works (Intimidate check- success, 4:1). It always boils down to Dirty screaming in someone (or some thing’s) face, who needs social skills when you’re the surliest bugger on the planet.
A little while later Dirty climbs on board, and Mr. Grumpy stands stock still. You would need a chisel to chip the smile from Dirty’s face.
Grumpy & Grumpier- You decide which is which.