Narrated D&D Story: How I Ran An Epic One-Shot For 13 Players And Lived To Tell The Tale

Narrated D&D Story: How I Ran An Epic One-Shot For 13 Players And Lived To Tell The Tale


[Channel Teaser] How I Ran An Epic One-Shot For 13 Players
And Lived To Tell The Tale A group of friends and I recently had the
idea to create a one-shot for 12 players. The idea was that we would split the players
into 3 groups of 4, have 3 DMs that could run the groups simultaneously, then bring
them all together for a massive boss battle with 12 players and 3 DMs at one table. In the end, we ran for 13 players as someone
else wanted a part of it. This is, at first glance, a terrible, horrible,
no good, very bad idea… but it worked surprisingly well! Stage 1: The Hero’s Ascension So we met each group 2 days before the event
to build characters. We had decided to build at Level 14, specifically
because one of the DMs wanted the possibility of someone playing Abserd. No one played Abserd. A few players already had characters in mind;
some had done up character sheets already. For those players, it was mostly rolling stats,
enjoying the atmosphere, and helping other players with their characters. Some of my favourites included:
A Shadow Sorcerer using the spell point variant A PAM-Sentinel Eldritch Knight with a Scottish
Accent An Arcane Archer who dual wielded hand crossbows
A changeling Arcane Trickster/Moon Druid multiclass A firbolg Grave Cleric of Concordia (a Homebrew
goddess in my campaign setting, goddess of all Clerics)
A centaur Swords Bard from the player who has made 3/3 of his characters centaurs. They always have the same name, but a different
personality and class. We think they must be related, despite not
living in the same campaign worlds. The DMs had also made 3 backup characters
in case we had over-tuned something and the worst happened. Once PCs were made, it was nearing 6pm, the
session having started around 4. Not wanting some of our first-time players
to leave without getting to play, we had designed a few shorter basic quests to bring the parties
together. The kingdom of Isselnier is at war. Resources are spread thin. In this hour of desperation, an agent of the
crown has approached each group to deal with certain supernatural incursions that cannot
be otherwise dealt with in this time of conflict: A duke has revealed himself to be a powerful
vampire, and the players have tracked him to his castle where they must kill him before
more people are turned or killed. The demons of the abyss have opened a gateway
into the material plane at the most opportune time, and with no other defence available,
the party must stop the invading fiends. A group of corrupted celestials are rumoured
to have desecrated an ancient temple in the desert and taken up residence within. This is the quest I DMed, and I can honestly
say that people do not get to use celestials’ stat blocks enough! A deva, a ki-rin, and a planetar were under
the command of a devil named Hassatan, who was just a normal lizard stat-wise. He escaped alive… Each of the groups made it through 2-3 encounters
themed around this challenge. The environment and progression was left to
each DM themselves. Afterwards, each group was given a selection
of magic items: 1 common, 3 uncommon, and 1 rare per person in the party, to be split
as they saw fit. Stage 2: The Victory Feast Having completed their respective goals, the
parties returned to the capital city of Isselnier, which shared the same name. A great feast was to be held in the central
courtyard of the city, open to prince and pauper, hero and healer alike. Among those attending were King Siegebert,
a loud man that I can’t imagine as anyone other than Brian Blessed; Lady Tania, advisor
to the king and adventurer enthusiast; and Professor Gambledore, archmage of Maremole’s
University of Pact Magic and Lizardfolk Druid Practices (a.k.a. Horsewort’s School of Eldritchcraft
and Lizardry). During the festivities, some of the more perceptive
folk began to notice strange phenomena occurring. Electrical sparks shoot off of metal cutlery,
corners of tablecloths rising and blowing in a nonexistent wind, and a faint rumbling
that grew louder and louder over time. Soon, this rumble caught the attention of
all as it aggressively rose in volume. Everyone braced themselves, expecting something
– anything – to happen… and then all went silent. Ominous though the silence was, one attendee
had yet to notice. King Siegebert finished his joke at the high
table: “… and then I said, ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?!'” With a loud crack, a Githyanki skyship appeared
over the city, and red dragons began to disembark in droves. Gambledore cast what appeared to be Meteor
Swarm, but it had no effect on the ship as a psionic shield absorbed the blast. The players and nobility began to brainstorm. There were 4 clear tasks that needed to be
completed: defend the city, get the shield down, get up to the ship, get inside the ship. The chief priests of the Cathedral of Concordia
had the idea that ringing the mithril bell that hung in the tallest tower may disrupt
the shield (it would, because *plot* (emphasise this word). Lady Tania claimed to have a method of transport
to the ship, but required a special item from her quarters at the castle, at this point
cut off from them by Gith. She claimed there was a secret passage to
the castle that they could use. Gambledore announced that he owned an artifact
called the Cannon of de Rolo that he won off a bespectacled, silver haired man in a game
of chance, as well as an Apparatus of Kwalish to fire out of it, which were both at the
University. Tasks assigned, the group split into 3, the
guards and mages took up defensive positions, and the game was on. Stage 3: The 3 Quests Now, I was DMing Lady Tania’s quest, and I
only got vague details about the other 2. But I was involved in the planning, so I know
what was supposed to happen, and I did hear some of the highlights. Stage 3a: The Fat Lady Rings, a.k.a. Take
Me to Church On the way to the Cathedral, the group is
waylaid by a Young Red Dragon and two Githyanki Warriors. The centaur Bard I mentioned earlier did his
bardliest on the dragon, rolled a Natural 20, and was quite unsurprised when it did
not work anyway. Standing in the shadows, anyone with a Passive
Perception>25 notices a solitary Drow standing in an alleyway, staring motionless at the
skyship, waiting for something, though the party has no way to reach them. They also see a flash from the shield as if
something just tried and failed to break through it. Travelling on to the cathedral, they meet
some priests carrying the bell away, trying to save it from possible raiders, and convince
them to give it to them to use. Once at the cathedral, the party is confronted
with a statue that had stood on the site since before there was even a cathedral there: a
statue of a badger-headed angel, that on their entry comes to life, announces itself to be
named Kethis, and accuses them of stealing the bell. Immune to reasoning and logical thought, the
angel attacks. The party runs. They get the priests to the bell tower and
send them up to start ringing, while they ran for their lives and drew Kethis away from
the priests. Kethis is a homebrewed creature by one of
the other DMs; not sure what he can do, but I hear it is probably for the best that they
ran. Stage 3b: The Cannon of de Rolo, a.k.a. Ook
Before they leave, the party is told the way to the School, that the Apparatus of Kwalish
is in his office, and that the cannon is on the top floor of the library tower. He warns the players not to anger the librarian,
and not to kill him if he attacks them — only subdue, as he is the only one who knows where
some of the oldest books are. The party fights through hoards of Githyanki
on their way to the University. Once inside, they seem safe, as it is not
being attacked yet. They get the apparatus, spend a minute or
two learning how to use it, then head to the library. On the ground floor of the library, they find
an Arcanaloth and a Mezzoloth stealing arcane tomes. The shadow sorcerer goes for the “You seem
to want these books, what would happen if I burned them?” method of negotiation, and immediately gets
hit with a Finger of Death. Professor Snadagast, a lizardfolk Druid hiding
on a higher floor, tells the party that the librarian is not currently in one of his rages,
not having heard about the attack. At that moment a crashing of glass is heard
as a red dragon flies in through the roof of the library, before being absolutely destroyed
by a creature on the top floor. Afterwards, an ape-like screech echoed throughout
the library. When the party arrives on the top floor, they
were confronted by Hairian Scarrian, the librarian: a 10ft tall giant gorilla spellcaster. He. Was. Angry. He used an Androsphinx’s stat block with a
few spells changed out, and spellcasting ability switched to INT (with the actual score numbers
also swapped). We got all 3 roars off! One of the party members actually died fighting
the librarian. The shadow sorcerer had a Wand of Wonder,
and became charmed. The wand created a cloud of butterflies around
his ally when he targeted them with it. Though seemingly harmless, when Hairian knocked
him down with a Legendary Action, no one could see that he was dying until it was too late. The player did not actually mind his character
dying, as he was quite happy with the backup character he got to use: a Githyanki Barbarian/Fighter
that was on that dragon that just died, and has suffered severe memory loss due to impact. He remembers he was fighting, but not his
name, or what side he was on. Two of the party members squeeze into the
Apparatus and fire it out of the Cannon de Rolo. The others have magic items that allow flight,
so they can follow. Stage 3c: The Cloak of Mordenkainen, a.k.a.
Slime Time Broadcasting Yay! My quest! Here we go! My group had a 5th player, which was fine;
we hopefully had the encounters balanced for 5 players + the NPC. The players followed Tania to an unassuming
wall which, once she muttered the command phrase formed a glowing circular glyph, shattered
into several pieces, seemingly having developed a fault after a long time out of use. I pulled out a few cut up pieces of paper
with parts of the glyph on them and the players solved the puzzle in real life. This caused the glyph to open. Loudly. A doorway into a small chamber with a ladder
leading down underground was revealed. Once down there, the players were ambushed
from behind by a Githyanki Supreme Commander who heard the noise and, frankly, did not
think this ambush through. The wall closed behind them on the 3rd round,
plunging the room first into dim light, then into darkness. But she was dead already so it did not affect
the fight. Going deeper, the tunnel became slimy. The ground and walls were slick, and the terrain
difficult. Some of the higher-Intelligence members of
the group began to receive mental messages, snippets of musings on the presence of a powerful
mind, an alliance, a long awaited opportunity, and 6 little mites to be dealt with first. They arrived at a long, metal bridge, across
an open cavern, so long that even with one of the party members holding a bullseye lantern,
and bright and dim light each covering 60ft. They could not see the far end. Nor could they see the walls, the ceiling,
or the bottom of the pit below. The Eldritch Knight lit a flask of oil and
dropped it. After several long seconds, they saw the light
go out. They never heard it hit the bottom. Tania told them that this bridge was over
an underground reservoir that the city used for drinking water. The bridge had no rails or walls, and was
also covered in a similar slime, though this was more sticky than slick. The party cleric, who had obviously watched
the episode of Critical Role where something all too similar occurred, suggested a rope
to tie the group into a people chain. Insert Jurassic Park reference here. Using full movement and dash on a bridge that
was difficult terrain meant 30ft per round. Each round the telepathic voice, seemingly
amplified by the bridge, rung out as sound and psychic energy, as the party heard the
megalomaniac-style ramblings of whatever was down here. Wisdom saves all round! Every round! It was a lowish DC, so they were mostly fine. But eventually, one cracked. And so the goblin Rogue stood catatonic for
the round, and had to be carried by the Paladin. There was only one other failure crossing
the bridge, right at the end. The goblin booked it off the edge of the bridge
5ft from the other side of this 200ft long trek. PSA: ropes are a good investment for any adventuring
party. The next room had a gargoyle in it. Not the monster, just the water feature. Water poured out of its mouth down through
a grated area of floor. Or rather, it did, until an Aboleth tentacle
broke through the grating and ripped the head clean off. Then it climbed into the room, accompanied
by 9 sahuagin of varying types as the room began to fill with water. The Eldritch Knight cleared 4 sahuagin with
a single Fireball, then succumbed to the Aboleth’s Enslave ability. The wizard then cast Banishment. So long Aboleth, we barely knew thee. All the enslaved Sahuagin and the Eldritch
Knight were released, not that it mattered much, as the party had just incinerated half
of their companions and were going to pay. A massacre of various fishmen and fishwomen
swiftly followed. Each round, the water level rose by 5ft, but
the party got through and climbed the ladder out. At which point, I heard that the others had
completed their quests, and went full cutscene mode. Quick explanation of safety mechanism that
stops the water flooding the castle. Quick explanation of how Banishment left the
Aboleth stranded in the Plane of Water as the wizard held concentration on it for the
full duration. Quick description of dash up to Lady Tania’s
quarters and grabs a sparkling robe of stars and blue and red. Quick answer to the question “What is it,
what does it do?”: “The Cloak of Mordenkainen. He was a great wizard, the cloak is said to
grant incredible spellcasting prowess. This one is a replica though. But, y’know, aesthetics is important for these
kind of things!” Quick run up to the castle roof. Tania transforms into her Adult Silver Dragon
form, the human-sized cloak still visible tied around her neck, cue “Aww!” from some
of the players. Quick description of chaos in the city below,
and of the badger-headed angel who they can see chasing the other party through the streets,
cue a “What the hell?” from the players, and a “That’s what I thought!” from me. They swoop down and save the others. Quick description of how a cannon goes off
behind them, and a metal barrel flies through the air and smashes a hole in the ship, pursued
by a Broom of Flying and whatever else the party is using to fly up. ON TO THE FINAL BATTLE!! Stage 4: It’s the Final Beatdown! (kazoo music)
We get everyone into the same room. It is crowded, but not too bad. The players are reminded of how they all got
to the ship. We tell them that the Apparatus of Kwalish
is basically unusable in its current condition, then describe how as Lady Tania in her dragon
form lets the party down, she is ripped from the edge of the ship by an Adult Red Dragon,
and they fall spiralling until they smash into the bell tower below. The bell stops ringing, the shield comes back
up. We tell the players that if anyone has Catnap
prepared, now is the time to use it. About 6 players take a spell-assisted 10 minute
short rest. Now is probably a good time to mention that,
throughout the quest, any time someone was incapacitated, we have been taking note of
it. Those 6 players now join the ranks of the
Rogue who went catatonic on the bridge, and one other character from a different group. As I hastily wrote out sheets to track all
the HP in the battle ahead, the other 2 DMs described the scene. Bodies of Githyanki warriors strewn across
the floors of corridors, no real resistance as they delved deeper into the ship towards
its power source. As they arrived at the entrance to the room,
they saw a group of 2 Drow warriors; and 5 Mind Flayers – one with a much larger mass
of facial tentacles, a Ulitharid, and one with much paler skin in a dark robe, an Alhoon,
the last seemingly under the distrustful gaze of the Ulitharid as it completed some rituals
around whatever was powering this particular Gith ship. The ritual complete, the glass covering shattered,
and up rose an Elder Brain. After a brief telepathic Big Bad Evil Guy
speech, something something destruction domination etc, all the Illithids simultaneously spun
around and attacked. We collected initiative rolls and had everyone
sit in that order for ease of management. We asked everyone if they could plan their
turns in advance, then turns would have a bit of a time limit on them if too much umm-ing
and ahh-ing happened, and if they would keep talking as quietly as possible when not taking
an action so we could hear each player on their turn. And so the battle began! An early Hold Monster from the Wizard was
cut off with the Elder Brain’s “Break Concentration” ability. A lot of Mind Blasts went off, and several
people got stunned. The Paladin’s summoned Griffon steed died. When the Drow were killed, they released 2
Intellect Devourers. Some Greater Invisibility was cast and Sneak
Attacks were had by all. Yes, someone got their brain eaten by a Brain-Dog. We brought the player behind the DM screen
to run his now Intellect Devourer-controlled body as an enemy. When the Elder Brain believed the party near
defeated, he seized the opportunity to turn on the Alhoon. Unfortunately for him, the players had not
damaged the Alhoon even once that fight, and he immediately made a Star Wars: TFA reference
and cast a 5th level Scorching Ray into several Mind Flayers. A couple of other players were knocked unconscious,
the Gith Barbarian/Fighter backup character failed 3 death saves. I think the Shadow Sorcerer got a Natural
20 on one of his. The Brain-Dog controlling the PC crawled out
of its host once it died and was hit through the base of the ship by one of the party members. We noted that it hit Gambledore in the head
as he finished off a group of Githyanki on the ground. Eventually, the Elder Brain was brought down. Seeing this, the Alhoon tried to Plane Shift
away. But the Wizard got the Counterspell; we forgot
that Innate Casting has no components, but it did not matter. The Ulitharid got his Plane Shift Countered
by the centaur Bard, and in the end, only one Mind Flayer made it out alive. The Grave Cleric got a Revivify off on the
character who died to Brain-Dog. Yay! At this point, Kethis, the badger-headed angel
from earlier burst through the ship’s hull. After a loud proclamation that he would destroy
them all, he was smashed through the opposite side of the ship by a Red Dragon that was
chasing him. Then since they had a diamond left over, he
went over to their dead Githyanki backup character, used Revivify on him, and pushed him out of
the ship at the same time. And so it was that that player died 3 times. Stage 5: The Out of Character After Party
Once we ended the game, and everyone calmed down from their celebrations, we gave out
some slips of paper we had printed off, with a space to vote other players for certain
awards we had created. They each had a little disclaimer on the bottom,
in the style of the ones in the front of each official book. We had told the players there would be prizes,
but to avoid metagaming, the only one we told them the name of was “Best Roleplaying”. We had some of the prizes available as per
party, awarded by the DMs. Others were determined by player vote. A few of the categories were:
Best “How-Do-You-Want-To-Do-This” Worst Luck
Most Likely to Seduce a Dragon Least Likely to Go on a Quest Again
Most Likely to Cast Fireball on Themselves Most Likely to Overthrow the Governing Monarch,
Establishing a Communist Regime and Ruling over Isselnier with an Iron Fist
Most Likely to Become a Lich MVP of the Final Battle
The prizes came in the form of plastic drinking cups with a label stuck to the side of them
in Rainbow Comic Sans, filled with various sweets. Overall This is the kind of thing people are quick
to point out is not going to work. In general, I agree, for a normal campaign
this would have been hell. But the amount of fun I had as a DM running
this mess was the most I have had in ages. All the players loved it, some have asked
when the next one is?! And I am considering it! Even the first time players picked up enough
rules to play, have fun, and not really get outshone by the ones who have been playing
longer. I would encourage anyone who wants to try
something of this scale to do so if you can get enough people to run it! 10/10, would DM again. Thirteen players and three DMs, amazing. Despite the challenges of that many players,
the DMs managed to craft a game for new players and veterans alike. Have you ever played in a huge game like this? Please let us know and comment below! Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel,
All Things DnD. Our next video will be posted in 2 days, so
stay tuned for more amazing Dungeons & Dragons content!

100 thoughts on “Narrated D&D Story: How I Ran An Epic One-Shot For 13 Players And Lived To Tell The Tale

  1. This D&D session was honestly the most fun and inspiring session I have been a part of (I was the cantaur bard called titysios 2nd otherwise known as Tyson) all of the DMs allowed for an amazing atmosphere and on behalf of the group I would like to thank all things dnd for deeming this story worthy of the privilege to be on his channel😁👌

  2. How this, Astoshan's story & a lot of Puffin Forrest's stories, need to be animated… It's allmost ABSERD, that it hasn't been done yet 😉

  3. For anyone wanting more information on the "fat lady" adventure here you go 😁👌 (it is quite long) I only know about our side mission because it was like a month or two ago but here I go. So we were told we needed to go and get the bell from the church called "the fat lady" we all decided it would be best to get there asap so we dropped everything and went. On the way we encountered I think it was 4 human priests carrying a large bell with the heart missing going in the direction of the bell tower. At the time we didn't realise and decided to kill of them. Me being the bard cast bigbys hand and tried to shake them off the bell but failed miserably. More enemies turned up ( can't remember what exactly) so we had to fight them all off to secure the bell. We were then told that we could find the heart of the bell in a chapel down the street so the group took the bell there. We got there and the door had collapsed meaning we couldn't walk in but there was an entrance to the cellar down an alley way so we followed. We were presented with three flasks of blood from a demon, vampire and Ork I believe. The room we were in there was a huge mirror with the heart of the bell inside (not in the room aka a puzzle) so our rogue decided to drink all of the flasks of blood and surprisingly somehow didn't die from poison. But after drinking the vampire blood her reflection wasn't in the mirror. She proceeded to walk through the mirror and grab the bell. We then ventured into the church where we met kethis (as mentioned in the video) he said he was going to kill is so we booked it out the cellar but of course he followed. As we were running me being the bard I was whipped out the beater for my drum and started playing Tokyo drift with the bell as we ran (announced to all of the groups that they heated screaming and a bell in the distance as we entered the room playing the song) while we were running one of our team members was downed and had a perk on that allowed us to spawn 4 creatures of our choice (we chose 4 giant eagles.) Everyone except me jumped in the bell as 2 eagles took it and I was picked up by the third and the forth was just there. Kethis decided to attack me as we flew away (he can fly) and I was downed meaning someone had to jump onto my eagle to stabilise me. The rogue rolled a nat 20 (thank god) and saved my life but was quickly charmed by kethises charming looks and was turned into a badger with no intent on killing kethis. This went on for a while and kethis killed one of our eagles untill we arrived at the town centre and began to ascend towards the ship (which is why kethis ended up there in the first place((we were supposed to kill him but couldn't be bothered))) and then the main battle begun

  4. My University Role Playgroup had a game bigger than this called Athesia reborn https://athesiareborn.fandom.com/wiki/Athesia_Reborn_Wiki too many players to count and about 13 DM with one chief DM. The game ran twice a year for a full long weekend each time (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon) It started as D&D + kingdom building on top transitioned from 3.5 to 4th where I joined in players started at 10th level. 5th edition was not a thing at the time so when the players got fed up with combat causing games to overrun or be split over multiple quest slots the DMs made a homebrew system that went through many changes. Each day quests would be put forward in the in-character council room and then DMs would volunteer to run them. Each weekend also had the main questline. Players would then sign up to quests. Saturday also included and in character bring and share lunch. My fondest memories from Uni and I joined the group of Alumni players who returned to play even when they had left uni and move away. My character was Gill Gem Flametounge a dragonborn sorcerer

  5. Ah yes abserd I do enjoy that video by puffin forest making a character of every class seems really fun

    And the moment I heard vampire I thought of the tank cleric of Ragathiel

  6. Have I ever played in a massive group? Yes. I do this in the meetup group I organize… every two weeks. This, for us, is normal. We have four DMs who run their own campaigns, and, depending on the weather for travel, tend to run each table in excess of 8 players, give or take. Some tables are larger, some are smaller. Mine is usually 10 players bare minimum. I am one DM running a campaign for an average of 12 players every two weeks, as do a couple of other DMs for their independent campaigns.

    As you might imagine, combat can take a while… but I have discovered, and use, a simple way to speed up combat (Prop's to Professor Dungeon Master, on the Dungeon Craft channel, for that). What used to take two hours for a regular combat to resolve over three rounds, now only takes 15 to 20 minutes. Our space is limited at our venues, so we tend to pack'em in where we can.

  7. The Cannon of De Rolo. I wonder if Percy somehow has a secret cult. If so then I would not be surprised if he somehow becomes a deity later on.

  8. Literally just played table top War Games with each DM acting platoon commander and each group of players, squads. Sounds awesome as hell to coordinate and play I wish I had enough people to try this!

  9. "because one DM wanted the possibility for someone to play Abserd… Nobody played Abserd"
    Sad Abserd noises in every class

  10. Wait

    Cannon of de Rolo?! you mean our lord and saviour Percival Fredrickstine von Muselk de Rolo Kloswosski the Third of Whitestone?

  11. Last I knew, he was Brian Blessèd as in Bless-ed. Yes, without the accent above the letter you'd normally pronounce it "blessed" but it's a proper noun and proper nouns often have different pronounciation rules from the default.
    Brian Blessed is the man who single-handedly broke the Ham Barrier. That's where ham acting stops being bad and starts being good. 😉 Brian Blessed didn't only break through the Ham Barrier; he then went sailing straight on to MAGNIFICENT! 😀

  12. I once ran 9 people and I was the only DM. It was okay, but players had a bit of downtime since they decided to split the party. Hard but fun.

  13. As soon as he said to play absurd I wasn't and then he said nobody play absurd and then I got sad on the Puffin Forest has played absurd

  14. I subscribed to Puffin Forest back when he had less than 100k subs, and it makes me so happy that he's becoming well known enough to get references from other videos/channels <3

  15. nice Star Wars reference XD. (first time Dm) I am chaotic with my group of 4, how is it possible with 13!? Amazing job

  16. I was one of the three DMs, specifically the one that ran the Fat Lady quest. I have the full account of what exactly happened during the session.

    – The four in the party had to run to the church in order to retrive the Fat Lady, with one going assassin's creed style across the rooftops, thabkfully not falling off.

    – On the way, they had to make a passive perception check, which only two managed to pass (it was somewhat high, due to the sky already being filled with chaos).

    -Those who passed were able to dodge out of the way of an approaching red dragon's breath attack as they see it coming down, the rest got roughly scorched by the flames, the only casualty thankfully being the warlock's pet rat. One charred rat was added to his inventory.

    -They make it to the plaza outside of the church, which is surrounded in panicking civilians and flames, including a group of four priests and nuns carrying away a large bell from the church.

    -The group tries many different attempts to stop them, ranging from the bardic centaur trying to rile up the civilians to 'save his baby from inside the bell' and the rogue threatening them with dagger-point diplomacy.

    -Before they could even respond or co-operate, the dragon from before landed in the centre of the plaza, two githyanki disembarking from its back. The group knew what was coming next and got out if the way of another breath attack, the priest and nuns however being reduced to ashen bones.

    -The fight commences, and throughout the plaza burns in magic flames, leaping across the cobbles. The Bard makes an attempt to use Charm Monster, which fails but was themed as too much of a success, a hurtful, damaging success with 'love taps' as the dragon now focuses the bard.

    -The fight is finished and the bell retrieved, but the ringer, the Heart of the Fat Lady is missing. They enter the cellar of the church and find it in a large mirror, but it only seems to exist in the mirror. Around them lay many potions, ranging from vampire essence, demon blood and out of date chicken soup. The group tries to grap the heart out of the air, dosent work. They try messing with the mirror surface, feeling not glass but their own hand pressed against another….

    -They go through drinking much of the potions before getting to the vampire essence, which causes their reflection to vanish. Putting their hand through this time is met with no mirror-flesh resistance, and they pull the heart back out of the mirror.

    -Reveling in their success, the group explores the church a bit more, going upstairs into the main building, much of the stonework and glass destroyed from the siege. It is here they meet the entity the church accidentally created, the Angel of the Statue, Kethis the Indomidable, a large resplendant angel whose beauty emanated from their badger head.

    -Misfortune seems to follow the group as the Angel seems to be utterly demented, proceeding to attack the 'Bell Theives' as it called them with an appropriately badger themed arsenal, wielding the Blades of Badgerism to knock one of the members out and turn another into a badger with the Marked for Badger ability.

    -For once they make the reasonable choice to book it from the church, bell, heart and badger-member in tow. Kethis is too large to go through the cellar after them, so it summons its own avatar. Running from the church into the blazing plaza, the group sees a very, very large stone fist punch through the collapsed front of the church, growling loudly and second only in volume to Kethis' screeching of accusations of theft.

    -The chase begins as the party take to a side street to avoid the rubble thrown by what is revealed to be a Stone Colossus, made in the likeness of Kethis, both of which lock on and chase after the party. A long distance of running and the Marked for Badger wearing off, the druid of the party is taken down, triggering her Faithful Summons as four Giant Eagles. After a very quick stabalisation of the Druid, the decision is made that they cant outrun Kethis and the Colossus forever, so they can at least try to outfly them. Three eagles take hold of the bell like a gondola and the fourth carries the Pimp Daddy Centaur (an achievement for attempted dragon seduction, pleasing the Bard Gods).

    -An airbattle ensues, Kethis trying time and again to knock out the Eagles only to be shooed away by the party, managing to successfully Charm to rogue to ease the bombardment of annoyance. Below them the whole time, the Colossus never gave up its slow pursuit, waddling through the city buildings and growing larger by the second with every block of rubble absorbed into its mass.

    -The group make it back to the feast area, the eagles finally giving out to spill the party out of the bell to the ground before vanishing. Kethis lands, triumphant that she now has them at her mercy. This is extremely short lived as before the final blow is struck, she is carried off by one of the attacking red dragons, clearly the best target it couldve went for by sheer stroke of luck.

    -The bell is given back to the Father, Heart installed, and taken to the bell tower to ring. Upon its chimes, the ship shields are torn asunder and the party is taken away by a new form of transport, a large silver dragon from another part of the Epic, to the final battle.

  17. Everybody is talking about Abserd but did someone notice the reference to the Disc-World of Terry Pratchet (the Ape-Librarian) ?

  18. This story is awesome.

    D&D stories are much better when they're about people having fun and doing cool stuff than when they're just complaints about bad groups.

  19. I'm currently playing a goblin bard who has a thick Russian accent and is about to convert a goblin village to communism…..

  20. Reminds me of a gaming event i went to called SCARAB.
    I played in an epic they ran. It was awesome. We tried to burn down a hell-wasp nest using an invisible raven with fire breath(long story).
    I ended up making a deal with Bel, and got a special boon thats for that character(i trade hit dice for special abilities).

  21. I am currently running a 2 years long campaign for 10 player, you are actually telling me that the normal number of players is less than that? (I am joking of course except the 10 players and the 2 years long)

  22. Hey how do we submit stories to be featured in the series. A week ago I had my players start a campaign that I had planned to go for at least three months. However, instead in the session zero they murdered three thousand innocent people, as well as the BBEG and her forces. I think the story would fit perfectly on the channel.

  23. biggest game i've ever been a part of if the game i myself run with 6 players. and i've only been playing for about a year now and still consider myself a novice.

  24. I actually have. The park about playing in Adventures League is going to a con and playing in the epics which usually have 12-20 tables ranging all tiers of play. They are usually designed where each table has a mission, a lot of times they get to choose which section of the area they want to go to. When a table succeeds or fails a mission, it will affect a table usually in another tier. Eventually everyone will fight a BBG, usually it's a tier appropriate creature that will go from table to table each round until it is slain. The bad guy probably has 3 or 4 times the amount of HP as a normal monster of that type, judt to make sure it doesn't go down in the 1st or 2nd round.

  25. Oh god! You did not just pronounce Brian Blessed like that! It’s pronounced Bless-ed. Not Blest (rhymes with best)

  26. This session was phenomenal. And probably my favourite session I've ever been in. (I was the dragon born killed by the brain frog). The three DMS were inspiring and did so much work that paid off so well. Congrats to all involved!!!

  27. These types of game have been done many times before and even campaigns similar to this kind have happened. They can be really fun

  28. I master a campaign played with friends, and it's nearly impossible to refuse a new player as all of them were newbies and we decided to play mostly to spend time together.
    This lead to a 10 players group.
    And it is the first campaigned I mastered.
    I turned it into some kind of open table series of one shots and it worked.

  29. This makes me think that if you DM a bad one shot everyone will be like "Nah, dog. You know the rules." and they all draw their handguns and gun them down.

  30. The title is completely misleading. It should say "How I took part in a small but epic organised play".

    To ran a one-shot for 13 players is a completely different experience – I know, I did it more than once.

    On the other hand I make an organised play event with joined storyline and reshufling of PCs between teams for 20-30 players at least every two months (up to 11 a year in 2018). It is not a big deal and not so different from "normal" game sessions as far as GMs are concearned.

  31. I have a mechanism in place to take care of players that do not show up for games. There is a blue Flash and the character disappears. Only to reappear when the player returns. The location is based on the location of the nearest NPC or player character when you disappear. There has been cases where players appear Over the edge of a cliff. Good luck. You should have showed up. At any one time I tend to have 6 to 8 players. That is a nice size group for me. Until everyone in my world showed up for one night at my house. That consisted of 28 players each one with two characters for a total of 56 characters. It was decided that we were going to Denny's and using their conference room For D&D that night. That was a stroke of Genius. A quick phone call later. Reservation in hand! If I made it to you, and you said huh? You were skipped And your initiative was reset to the end of the line. If you were not ready the second time you stood there. Drawing with a dumb look on your face. As things hacked away at you. Very labor-intensive but worth it.

  32. Anyone else notice a skip? It's happened with several of their videos recently. Wondering if it's my phone. It doesn't happen with any other of your earlier videos.

  33. I was the part of something similar, but with five groups of players and each group played with different game systems: there was dnd 5e, 4e, FATE and a pair of none-system

  34. Ok whatever you do noone mention the M word around the librarian. In fact never say that word anywhere, he will find you and clobber you. Nice Discworld nod there.

  35. Currently.. though not overwhelming.. it is slow. I have 12 players at my table in our local gaming hub. Most tables capping at 4. Teo experienced dms capping at 6.
    Now, usually this.. is a horrible idea. It is still a horrible idea. I have my world setup with the amnesiac kidnapping premise for a dungeon that is self aware that it is part of a mad gods game.
    Fights.. are hillarious. As rather than masses of enemies.. I give them clever monsters, damage immunities and traps
    First fight.. was an illusion. The party members almost killing each other as a few of the smarter ones worked on solving the puzzle.
    Second fight.. wasn't supposed to be so big, but the paladin knocked over the were rat kings trash castle ans all of his guards climbed out of the sewer trash.
    The third was the first lost fight as a member of the party tried to force a 'crazy old blind lady who refused to evacuate' to follow him. Dragging her against her will as she flailed about.. which was her stabbing at him with disadvantage and using a posioned stilleto.
    The fighter in question was already low hp from.. distracted mishaps and mental traumas. He is now the plot hook for party members who saw his blood smeared up to a rug that housed a trap door.

  36. The one shot I've been brainstorming for a while now is basically dropping the players into the trailer for Magic the Gathering: War of the Spark

    Ravnica's tenth district is under siege.
    The ziggurat of Nicol Bolas has apeared in the middle of what used to be Ravnica's largest shopping mall.
    The Immortal Sun is blocking all attempts to planeswalk away.
    An army of a hundred thousand death knights, twenty thousand liches, and hundreds of zombified hippos, crocodiles, sphinxes, manticores, and other beasts, all coated in blue metal, are pouring out of a portal at the base of the ziggurat.
    All hell has broken loose.
    The citizens of Ravnica's tenth district are furious.
    The streets are crawling with thousands of armored undead, each one dedicated to the task of ripping your soul out of your chest.

    Everyone make 3 level 20 characters. Let's see how long they last as they each get dropped one by one into the war zone.

    It's a one shot because at the end of the evening either the dragon will be dead at the base of his ziggurat, or a thousand CR 25 undead will overrun the building the party is standing in.

  37. Heck, DMed Albedo once for 12 at a convention. Was expecting 6 or 8 at best. Ended up with double that. Chaotic. But everyone had fun and against all odds everyone made it out alive. Albedo's combat system is quite deadly.

  38. Awesome one-shot. I have my own campaign world. I had only a few who knew how my campaign world works and each of them had at least a couple of friends that were interested in gaming with me. I told them to tell their friends to create characters for their campaign worlds, start them at level 5, give a primary mission history for each level and two side-mission histories for each level, and I gave a pool a system for their starting gear (some points for magical, some for wealth, and a conversion to trade magical allotment for wealth, all must be portable on the character), and they can have any status they wanted their characters to have in their campaign world. I heard that all loved the idea. They all did it.
    Then, it came to their characters entering Loom of Magus. I described how they were gated in by a single wizard. Some knew each other while others were complete strangers. They suddenly realized that all they were and all they had were only relative to their own abilities and what they carried. It was originally meant as a one-shot but became a whole summer of regular gaming with almost a dozen gamers. The first session was nothing but role-playing in the wizard tower. It was a couple of hours of game time but about six hours of real-world time. What I created as a one-shot became a mini-campaign that was based upon one mission, help the wizard that summoned them and go back home. Based on my player's actions, I had to keep creating more content. That mission was essentially TSR's Eternal Dagger 80s computer game in AD&D form but it became a lot more. It was fun but it was a f^ckton of creativity and intellectually taxing-draining work. It was then that I decided no more than 5 players per session after that.
    Why am I calling this story an awesome one-shot and then giving the above summary? I am impressed to the max in how so many players were kept on-mission and it stayed a one-shot. Mine had an awesome structure, including players that were exceptionally skilled at pretending to not know things when playing characters while also being assistant DM's… often crossing into being co-DM's.
    I think my glitch was I based my one-shot on a really long C64 computer game, a very interesting one, and had that combined with about twice the players I was adapted to doing. I also had no AD&D tournament experience to give me organizational skills, I had my own system… a system I was really confident in… but I disallowed nothing that was within the rules to do. You can do anything but break the core and house rules.
    This one-shot had more players than I did and they never eventually wandered off on their own things. I'm an expert on reversing a derail or adapting to a derail of a handful of players, not about twice that. It's like herding cats.
    13 players…
    THAT
    IS
    EPIC!

  39. Fun fact the kings joke is a line the king of england something the bastard if someone can remember his name pls say

  40. We played an adventure like this called Vault of the Dragolich. It was amazing. Each of 4 groups of 6 players had to get a key and started from a different entry point. Once all keys were got we had to get to a central point to deal with the dragolich. Once everyone was gathered we broke up into new parties to deal with different tasks needed to defeat the dragolich once and for all. Nearly everyone died at least once with a mechanic that if you died you had a random permanent debuff. This was only my second time playing and my original party was the only 1 not to be TPKed with 4 members of our party (including myself) living through the whole thing. MVP was our half ork wizard. When any group got their key the dragolich would appear acid breath the party in a flyby and disappear. With everyone at lvl5 this is usually what caused the party wipe with everyone making death saves till death or stability only to be killed by roving monsters. Well our half ork used his endurance to pop back up to 1 hp and went around stabilizing characters and used a potion on our cleric to get everyone up again. Because of that we were the only group to not suffer any deaths and most of use survived our respected encounters at the end. The only thing I might have changed was a moral choice of if we destroyed the artifact keeping all the undead alive would have included our dead as well, creating a moral dilemma. That could have been an interesting end with either noble sacrifices or a continuation of the undead order. I recognize it could have ended in pvp and that some players might have been upset so that we didn't was fair but I still can't help but wonder. It was a one shot and while I have brought back that character, at the time I wasn't that attached even after over 8 hrs of play.

  41. Closest thing I have for a story was a 6v6 players versus GMs epic battle where our main GM enlisted the help of friends to help him run a battle that involved close to 100 NPCs defending a border fortress from a literally limitless hord of goblins and orcs. There was a kill count the DM used to know when to increase the difficulty of the battle and when the final boss would appear.

    This was back in D&D 3.5, so infinite spells weren't a thing, but epiclly broken characters were. All of us were pretty godly powerful at this point so the GM with the help of his friends mapped out the entire course of this battle to give us some degree of challenge. Even our characters knew to save all our abilities for the long battle so we did, and after 24 hours of weekend spent at the same table the boss finally showed up.

    If was a fire giant in armor that can only be described as relic quality made from the amalgamation of the other armies he'd beaten on his way over.

    It was the shortest boss fight in the history of our characters. The Arcane Archer made a called shot on one of the eye sockets of the giant. If hit extra critical damage multipliers came into effect. There was an argument of the legality of the call and the difficulty level that should be applied, but it was decided that the eye slits were roughly the side of a dwarf and that became the target difficulty. Our Archer was stat maxed and feated out for sniping, and it paid off. He sunk an arrow with a delayed fireball attached into the eyeball of the giant. And when it finally went off the explosion inside the helmet was enough to reduce the giant's head to goo. The helmet fell to the ground and the hords fled in all directions.

    The logistics of the battle was epic, and as anticlimactic as the final boss ended up being the path to get there had all of us as tired as our characters were. All in all it's one of my favorite game sessions in my life.

  42. I've personally never played in a huge game like this. Instead I DM'ed one. It was a one-shot for 10 friends of mine. So a total of 11 people on 1 table. It was pretty intimidating, especially because it was my first time behind the DM screen. I had planned way too much so the party only got through half of the things I had set up before we had to end it. Nevertheless, everybody seemed to have fun. The party consisted mostly out of character I prepared myself (lostoff homebrew) and I let the party pick and choose from the ones I created.

    The party consisted of a: Dwarven Demolitionist, Elnade Chronomancer, Kajask Mechromancer, Human Dragonrider, Fallen Angel Warlock, Chimeran Juggernaut, Alu-Fiend Bard, Draco-Elf Arcane Archer, Polar Owl Spatial Summoner and lastly a Lycanthrope-Human Shade.

    Their quest involved going through the lair of an old wizard who's pet Red Dragon had gone on a rampage. But as to be expected most encounters took a lot longer than I planned for. I spend months preparing by making characters (I made like 15 and 2 players made their own), creating my own maps in Adobe Illustrator and planning an entire one-shot advanture. In the end they only completed half of it and we never planned a follow-up session because the advanture just wasn't fleshed out enough to be a coherent story. Though everybody had fun and that was most important to me.

    The things I planned didn't go to waste. I still have them in my back pocket for the future and I'm very proud of the maps I made.

    PS. If anyone is interested in the character sheets or maps, I'm more than happy to share them with you all.

  43. I once did a game like this, 11 players, 10 hours straight, 1 DM (me) they were all new except one, damn it was organized chaos

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