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 THE TALE OF BALTHAS
#1
Trust me guys, I didn't come up with this.
I got this from a website recounting pen-n-paper RPG stories.


THE TALE OF BALTHAS

by
luffy316


As DM, I try to make sure the party is having fun in my games above all else. This means lots of insanity and laughter. Was a homebrew campaign before I totally understood dnd, so pardon any rules gaps.

Party Rundown: they liked to multi-class
  • Balthas Giggleberry: 1/2 orc bard/fighter. Alternately femininely skipping and singing or viciously smashing things with a hammer. Self-absorbed and great RPer
  • Lupus: human thief/fighter. Selfish and greedy, but does it in good fun and never totally betrayed the team. Hated Ecko
  • Ecko: half-elf druid/monk. only particularly moral member, youngest player. Often neglected or abused
  • Urith: drow mage/monk. Quite neutral, only in the sense that he’d basically help anybody in the party with anything they tried.

Throughout the game, Balthas has picked up an "I drink it!" stance on things he encounters. He finds a box of potions. "I drink it!" Acid burns his lip off. He finds a magical bottle of white liquid. "[font=Georgia]I drink it!
" Think Spider-man webs attaching the bottle to his face.

Eventually, the gang raids an old castle infested with monsters. They enter a room with a ghost guarding it, which turns out to be a room for blacksmithing. There is a dingy pool of water there for cooling the weapons, which I meant to make enchant whatever item they put in there.

Balthas: "I drink it!"

I blink a few times, then I ask for his character sheet. I bump his physical stats up a point or two each and give him glowing blue eyes, now being authentically magical.

Balthas: "See!? The key to adventuring is to eat everything!"

Lupus: "Hell, can we go back and eat those werewolves we just killed?"

Ecko finds a magical horn that lets him summon a ghost ship manned by undead (who can’t go far from shore). Lupus, at the time Ecko discovered this, has been out with a magical sword he discovered while robbing a royal treasury. After several towns, he finds a wizard powerful enough to identify it as a wishing sword. He very clearly and carefully warns Lupus not to waste it and be careful what he says while he carries it.

Immediately, Lupus screams out "I wish I could never die!"

I agree to this, since I’m admittedly lenient and I planned to permanently cripple him or something later. People say I should have turned him into an unbreakable statue or something, but I’m not big on ironic twist wishes.

Ecko reunited with the gang, introducing his new ghost crew. Lupus enviously tries to swipe it, but Ecko dodges. Lupus’ player looks me square in the eye and goes "I WISH MARCUS WAS DEAD!" (Ecko’s player) in a loud clear voice.

He drops dead instantly, taking nearly a week and a lot of money for a cleric to revive him. Lupus’ pure hate just amused me so.

The group is charged by a Baron to infiltrate and stop a slave ring across seas. He lends them his finest vessel for this cause. Still jealous of Ecko's zombie ship, Lupus firmly goes with the baron’s ship, determined to outrace Ecko's.

Lupus: "So, what’s this boat called anyway?"

Ship captain: "It’s the Sea Saint."

Lupus: "WHAT?! That’s dumb! We need a cool name. Something badass. It needs to say 'We f*** up undead.'"

Me: "That’s necrophilia, Dave."

Lupus: "...I grab some paint and try to write necrophilia on the side of the boat."

The group winds up racing their ships, with Ecko’s (holding Balthas, himself, and Balthas’ slightly kidnapped assistant 8-year old Zach) leading due to a tireless band of zombie rowers. Lupus starts throwing daggers at the zombies, picking them off. Ecko defends himself by firing lit arrows onto their boat. Urith (on Lupus’ boat) casts flaming sphere and begins to steer it in and out of the zombie ship’s hull.

Balthas: "Say... that scroll of enlargement I found before..."

Me: "Yea?"

Balthas: "Does that work on objects too?"

Me: "Yea, I guess so."

Balthas: "Perfect. I cast it on the cannon."

Balthas fires an elephant-sized cannonball into the Sea Saint, Lupus desperately trying to deflect it with a thunderbolt from a magical spear of his and blasting the undead ship’s mast down before his ship has its front half torn off.

They’re left wide open for the pirate ambush (magic-users who Invisibility-ed their ships), who attack the ships as they try to rescue what they can from the Sea Saint. Lupus finally gets on board, attacking pirates left and right but constantly missing or almost falling off deck from poor rolls.

Lupus: "Dammit! I wish I was dead!"

Me: *grins like an ass

Lupus: "What?"

Me: "Remember that sword you had?"

Lupus: "But... but I wished I could never die!"

Me: "Well... but this wish can... it didn’t... ok, Death pulls your soul out to talk this over with you."

We finally ruled that he lost his immortality in exchange for living in the end, but he didn’t seem to mind.

The group searches a dungeon, finding a chamber where a huge skeleton with an axe for a hand lies.

Urith: "Okay... that thing is obviously going to spring to life on us. Lupus, check for traps."

Lupus does so, actually finding a hidden panel with a small chest in it. He grabs it and runs for his life, expecting the skeleton to come to life.

Balthas: "QUICK! HE’S GETTING AWAY WITH THE LOOT!" *grabs and hurls the npc priest Hobs the halfing, hurling him like a dodgeball.

Lupus actually rolled so well on a dodge that I had him deflect Hobs easily, swatting him back like a tennis ball with his bare hand and smacking Balthas in the face with his own projectile teammate.

My favorite example of Balthas’ RPing.

The group winds up at the kingdom where the slave ring they’re busting is centered. The group goes about different approaches. Urith leaves them to handle it, going to the wizard’s guild and doing the group’s shopping. Lupus bribes up the thieves’ guild for info. Marcus uses his wildshape to become a crow and infiltrate the castle via the windows for info.

Balthas walks up to the front door and demands to speak with the king. The guards refuse, so he promptly beats them up and takes their clothes. They’re a tight fit, but they pass. He bluffs past several guards before he reaches the final pair of guards before he’s in. He hides behind a pillar and tells me this...

"I take off my disguise, only to realize I wore nothing underneath it but my warhammer. I pause, shrug, then walk on anyway."

Balthas approaches the dumbfounded guards. "Balthas Giggleberry DEMANDS to see the king!" he announces dramatically, thrusting or posing with every word.

Me: "I don’t care how good your charisma is, you’re a naked, armed half-orc on royal property. They attack you."

The guard gets a lucky roll, and I wind up ruling that his axe takes off his junk.

Balthas: "......BALTHAS GIGGLEBERRY IS NEVER A MAN TO RETREAT! But the situation demands it. I grab Balthas Junior and leap out the nearest glass thing, preferably a window."

Balthas books it to the nearest temple.

Balthas: "I thrust my bloody junk into his face and scream 'HELP MEEEEE!'"

Me: "One nun faints while another priest vomits."

Priest: "Calm down, friend. We can help this."

Balthas: "Can you make it bigger?"

Priest: "No."

Priest 2: "Giggle."

Balthas: "It’s not funny!!"

Priest2: "No, that’s not it... Regenerate is a touch-based spell." (basically stole from classic OoTS, I know)

Tremendous pause by all...

Priest: "Sigh. Let’s get this over with..."

Balthas: "So, uh... do I cough or something?"

Priest: "Shut up."

Balthas: "..." *faint coughing sound

Priest: "Stop that!"

The entire party winds up being arrested or their items looted to force them to come to court (all over petty reasons brought on by themselves, I swear). All except Balthas. The others all show up to prove their innocence while Balthas comes to the courthouse and demands to see the trial. The clerk doesn’t know which he’s talking about, so she lists off a few offhandedly. Balthas pauses at mention of "Cuthroat Bill: charged with 20 counts of murder and rape each," but passes. When they’re about to be found guilty, they make a daring escape from town. Pursued by guards, Balthas insists he has a plan and stays behind.

He lets himself be arrested, taking credit for everything ("The thieving, the killing, the stuff I’d have to have been in two places at once to do..."). Once in jail, he asks the inmates if they know where Cutthroat Bill is.

I’m stunned and say he’s held in a private secure cell elsewhere in the jail, Balthas breaking out using a magic toy horse and riding to free Bill in the next room. I spontaneously make up off the top of my head a 9 foot ogre with a battleaxe picking at a deer carcass. Balthas is set on making him the party’s new muscle, and his outstanding Charisma + Bill’s atrocious intelligence hires him on the spot, despite my emphasis of his evil as they escape ("He knocks people out of his way as he runs. He even stops and turns back a few times just to knock people over anyway,"). Thing is, the group grew to love the cannibal/rapist/imbecilic murderer, and their chaos was a sort of outlet for him that made him a lot less dangerous. Belkar-syndrome, I guess...

I often pointed out to the party their habit of going through its share of NPCS, mostly their clerics. They started with a halfling Hobs, but he wound up leaving the after the arresting incident because of his moral standing with his goddess. They later picked up Andy (short for Andilus), an elf dedicated to a god of true pacifism, apathy, and neutrality. He stayed for a while before their severe infighting and strokes of cruelty blew his nerves and he walked out. When we last played the campaign, they had picked up Laracez, a drow priestess of disease, mischief, and chaos. I pointed out that this was the closest they would get to one that would work with them.[/font]
Up is down, left is right and sideways is straight ahead. - Cord "Circle of Iron", 1978 (written by Bruce Lee and James Coburn... really...)
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