Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Dreaded Door [actual game play]

[warning this post may not be work safe or an example of mature sanity, sensitive people probably shouldn't read this]

Last night an awful lot of play involved a door. A horrible dreaded door. The type of door that gets so much more attention in a dungeon delving game then anyone ever gives a door in real life.
this door sent the party fleeing from this dungeon months back and they just recently returned to it (and the dungeon).

In the expedition months earlier in real world time the party lost an underling "Jimmy the Shimmy" to the dread door. This door is very elaborate and has exquisite handles that look like snakes , poor Jimmy the Shimmy was bitten and poisoned to death dying in but moments when the handles animated as he was trying to open the door. The PCs being the veteran adventurers that they were looted the corpse, left the remains in the hall for a while and then dragged it along to throw at doors and other suspicious spots as a trap triggering device (not that there were many at all ,but one set of animating poisonous door handles was enough for them to reveal their "heroic" natures). they abandoned the abused corpse in the dungeon before moving on to other adventures. Jimmy the shimmy has been seemingly haunting his former master for a few weeks now and for other reasons the players imagined it was essential to get to the chamber beyond those doors the past two sessions.

back to last night:
On the way to the dungeon one party member was mauled by a bear in the woods and the party expended three healing potions to get him back on his feet (never a good sign at the beginning of an adventure). One member of the group actually remembered what the dungeon looked like and could navigate to the dread door by memory and the party got there with little trouble. We spent the next hour and a half dealing with the door.
The PCs poked and prodded at the door. They did everything they could to avoid the handles. Mysterious compulsions were compleling them to move beyond the door so they sure weren't leaving it alone. After extensive examination the players decided they needed to secure the door handles by covering them with something, but what ?
Why the answer was obvious said the player of the Druid in the party..."Let's use my Ettin scrotum and drape it over the handles"...

Yup, an Ettin scrotum ...

Now as a DM I have to say this is the most novel use of a bizarre battle trophy I recall. Even more bizarre is everyone (but me) at the table thought it was a good idea...
after much backslapping and discussing the size and nature of an ettin scrotum (which involved one player of 42 years in age putting a plastic supermarket bag over his head) the party all confirms they are all behind the idea.

Now I could have slapped this down in the name of good taste but I fear good taste has left this group a long time ago (they did nickname themselves the Flatulent Desperadoes in our last Mutant Future campaign). I figured if they wanted to hang their fate on this I'd let them.
Following the revelation of the tool at hand it was decided they party would add some alterations to draw the ettin scrotum tightly around the door handles.

(This whole time I'm rolling wandering monster checks resisting the urge to simply kill all the PCs via DM fiat.)

With the device in hand the magician in the party spiderclimbs up and over the door with the ettin scrotum in hand. So there he is hanging there as a PC on each side grabs a line attached to the scrotum, the scrotum is lowered over the handles and drawn tight with the tied lines. The handles animate but don't rip through the worked!

So after a few moments the players realize they've just tied the doors shut, with the ettin scrotum. So they set to prying the sealed chamber doors out of the frame with a pry bar and simply succeed in bending one of their prybars. Oh isn't working.

(still rolling those wandering monster checks resisting the urge to simply kill all the PCs via DM fiat.)

The players realized they weren't getting in that way. this caused the players to flounder in anguish or confusion for a while.
(still rolling those wandering monster checks )

The druid decides to retrieve his Ettin scrotum and is frustrated to discover they have tied it securely to the door handles (you know the animated snake biting door handles) so he decides to fetch the bag heedless of the risk and surprise surprise get's himself poisoned. The druid manages not to die as he is a good bit tougher then Jimmy the Shimmy was. The party still isn't past the door.
(still rolling those wandering monster checks )

After the party helped the druid recover a little the barbarian in the party begins hacking away at the door from the side out of reach of the snake handles. Lo and behold he slowly but surely is making way through the very tough but wooden doors. I of course am rolling even more wandering monster checks the some nearby goblins now know where the party is and is spying on them from a distance, the players don't know this. The barbarian manages to hack through the door...what followed was all very exciting and fantastical a bit significant for the campaign but pretty humdrum in the world of fantasy RPG and nowhere near as time consuming as a door and an ettin scrotum.


  1. Hahaha, OK, now the idea of an ettin scrotum (as disturbing as that may be) has been indellibly etched into my brain. Once something is discovered, it can't be undiscovered and all of that ;).

  2. Some things you just can't un-think or un-see.

  3. Hilarious, and now I have to start thinking about more fun door traps like this one! :D