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 The Mace that Disrupted my Game
Trust me guys, I didn't come up with this.
I got this from a youtube video recounting pen-n-paper RPG stories.
Unfortunately, no names were attributed.

The Mace that Disrupted my Game

I had a campaign set up for a Halloween One-Shot a couple years ago. My brother, wife, daughter, and my best friend from high school all joined the campaign which I thought was going to be hours of dark, gloomy, Halloween fun.

Towards the climax of the One-Shot, I had a banshee sorcerer, an eldritch knight bride of the vampire BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy), and the vampire BBEG himself, all surrounding the characters. This was supposed to be the preamble to an epic battle betwen the characters and the villains of the one-shot.

The vampire started in on his BBEG monologue, and my brother, who was playing a Gloom Stalker/Assassin build used sleight-of-hand to reach into his bag of holding to pull out the Mace of Disruption they found while searching the Vampire's mansion

Now... when they first found the mace in the mansion, they all laughed and said a mace was a terrible weapon choice and planned to give it back to the town as a trophy from their upcoming victory. After seeing this responce to the mace, I naturally forgot about it.

But now, Mister 'Kill, Kill Kill, Die, Die, Die', ala the Gloom Stalker/Assassin, said to me and the rest of the table, "... Keep the BBEG talking, I have a plan".  They agreed, and the monologue wasn't finished, so I said okay, that's easy. And then my brother said he was going to ready an action to attack the vampire when the vampire turned away from him.

My wife, daughter, and best friend all had their characters lunge to the opposite side of the vampire, creating a distration and causing him to turn.

The Gloom Stalker sprung into action at that moment.  And rolls a Nat-20 on his attack.

Of course he did.  And its naturally a critical hit.

He then rolls the damage. But while it's not enough to kill the BBEG, he reminds me about the disruption property of the mace. After taking the mace damage, the radiant damage, and the sneak attack damage, the BBEG vampire had just 20 HP left.

I built the vampire to survive that mace, or so I thought.  Confidently, I rolled for the save, and I rolled a one.   ACK!  CRITICAL FAIL!!!

I don't do critical skill checks and saving throws, but even with magical buffs, items, and bonuses I didn't have enough to meet or exceed that DC 15 save. It was a terrible oversight.

The vampire literally turned to dust right in front of everyone.

I never rolled initiative, attack rolls or damage rolls with him. The only thing I got to do with my overbuild, uber-Vampire was fast move to block the party's escape and give a monologue!

The Gloom Stalker/Assassin, without missing a beat, turns on the other tooth monsters while flashing a toothy predator grin. "Now that you've realized you're in our trap, who'd like to the the next person to meet my mace...?" He growled that while gently stroking the mace's head.

The banshee flew away, leaving the bride to her face!

And nope, the bride didn't make it. In a panic, the bride used gaseous form to escape to her coffin which the party nailed shut and carried back to town. The town decided to have a sunrise service for her to release her trapped soul, and that was it for Mrs. Bride.

Well, the party wasn't finished. They weren't going to stop until they got the banshee too. They tracked her back to the ruins she prefers to haunt because it's where she was murdered. They set the mood by casting spells to make it easy for the Gloom Stalker to sneak up on her, things like fog cloud, longstrider, jump and pass without trace... if I remember correctly.

The banshee was pleased that her ruins were especially dark and gloomy that night as it would make for easier hunting.

At least until she hear, "... LAST BUT NOT LEAST!"

The Gloom Stalker jumped out of the gloom and hit her with the mace in mid-air. It was a perfectly timed, perfectly executed assassination attack. After we calculated damage, I failed her saving throw too, and rolled a two or something... And "Poof!", she winked out of existence.

The party gave the town the mace they used to kill the three terrors that plagued the town, like they said they would. As the party left the town, and was out of earshot of the watchmen, the Gloom Stalker/Assassin made everyone swear that they would never disclose he had used a mace to assassinate anyone, ever.

Of all the things I built into Team Big-Bad-Evil-Guy, I didn't include anything for bad dice rolls.

Live and learn, I guess.
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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