• decayintodust

PP: GNOME BACHELOR PARTY pt. 1

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

What do two drunken monks and an unoriginal bard have in common? They've been invited to the weirdest bachelor party in town. Hilarity is bound to ensue.

(a #playersperspective story)

The Invitation


One of my friends tells the most ridiculous stories about the times when she GMs games. The most memorable of those stories to me was when she told me about the Ultimate Orc Barbarian!! in which her players were transported to an Orc gameshow and had to complete a series of herculean tasks to be crowned the Ultimate Orc Barbarian!!


Ever since she told me about that one-off I have been begging her to GM for me and my boyfriend. I recently got my chance and it did not disappoint. 


The group consisted of my friend the GM, her husband, myself, and my boyfriend. Already we knew it was going to be hilarious and dubbed it “couples D&D”. We didn’t plan what characters we were going to create with each other (like most people do to make sure you have a well-balanced party... wait am I the only one that does that?). So, when I mentioned to my boyfriend that I was thinking about playing a monk, he looked up from his computer, smiled, and said “hmmm... I was thinking about playing a monk. I have this great idea for a drunken master who’s never drunk” 


I knew immediately he hit pay dirt with his character idea, so it was definitely my responsibility to dig elsewhere for the perfect one-off character. Cheerfully I replied, “Okie dokie, I’ll come up with something else”. I love my boyfriend, he was totally willing to do something else, but his idea was so fantastic, and I was just kind of poking around for a character concept anyway.


Thus, I started thinking instead about what race I wanted to play. I haven’t played all of them, in fact I haven’t played very many, but I did play a Kenku once and I felt I hadn’t done it justice.

Kenku are a race of flightless bird people – they are extremely bitter about not having flight by the way – who can only speak by mimicry. Meaning that while they can understand everything in their own language and Common, they can’t utter anything unless they’ve heard it before. It’s an interesting concept that can be very difficult for a player to play. The book suggests you do things like mimic footsteps on stairs to suggest your party searches down below, but if you have a hard time thinking of sounds and things on the fly this can be a difficult race to play.


The last time I played a Kenku I really struggled with finding a means of communication that kept me in character. It’s easy to describe what you do in the third person, but I play TTRPGs because I love acting out my characters as if I’m them. I go full on accent sometimes and will spend days learning how to properly sound like someone from a certain region and then modifying it, so it isn’t quite from our world and fits better in the fantasy ones I’m playing in. The biggest issue I ran into is figuring out what I can say or do that feels like a bird mimicking people.


I have read about some people keeping lists of everything every character has said so they can “build” their vocabulary. Others have lists of common phrases or sayings. Some even work with their DMs ahead of time to figure out what their character can say and what sounds they can immitate. However, they all moan about how hard it is for them to search their list to see if they can say what they want to say. All in all, Kenku seem to be one of those perfect races for a one-off that can get very tiring to play in a full campaign. 

“And then it hit me. Bard. I was going to be a bard. I was going to be a Kenku bard.”

I decided to give the race another try, but to be a bit looser with the rules. My party and I were level 8 so we had been around for a while even if we hadn’t necessarily been travelling companions. Therefore, I figure, I’ve been to enough places that I can speak pretty well, even if it means that every word sounds like a different person.


And then it hit me. Bard. I was going to be a bard. I was going to be a Kenku bard. A Kenku bard who was always getting into trouble for plagiarism because - given the nature of Kenku - absolutely none of my works could be original. Genius!


Our story starts with my character, Stephan Wolf, a female Kenku bard, “Chillin' out maxin' relaxin' all cool” in a tavern. I’m singing some songs while this half-elf monk is dancing around drunkenly and picking pockets. I know this half-elf, we always seem to end up at the same taverns, I figure he thinks that a bright orange and green bird-person is a distraction that can help him in his “extracurricular activities”.  He’s not wrong. I’m a BRIGHT ORANGE AND GREEN BIRD PERSON!

Suddenly, popping into existence before us was a large gnome in bright livery carrying a horn and wearing tights that are a little too tight for his frame. My character squeaks “Tight tights!” before the dwarf blows on his trumpet to get everyone’s attention. With a booming voice he announced,


“Hear ye! Hear ye!


The Noble and Gracious Prince Biddyboy of House Crumplebottom,


First of his name,


Heir apparent to the throne of Globledeepoops, the glorious kingdom of gnomes,


Dost humbly request your attendance in the days of his upcoming nuptuals to the Fair Princess Grog of Argblarg, daughter of King Og the Disembowler, Lord of the Orcs. Tomorrow night hence, a small party shall be held in celebration. The good Prince requests that all of you blessed Lords and Ladies be in attendance for what is said to be an evening of revelry, jollification, and much merriment, the Prince’s final night before he is wed. Please respond via herald or carrier pigeon so the Prince will know how much food to procure.”


The herald shuffled uncomfortably and cleared his throat for the last part of the announcement: “P.S. it’s gonna get crunk, y’all!!!”


Meanwhile, back in the wilds.


A blue dragonborn stumbles through the woods. His prey is close by. He lifts his... fists? He looks at his hands for a moment in a drunken stupor. Then it hits him in stages. First he realizes he has hands. Then he realizes that he is drunk, but it doesn’t matter because he is good at hunting with his hands. The dragonborn crouches down, ready to spring on his unsuspecting prey. He’s lucky he’s downwind. The deer would have smelled the alcohol ages ago and run away had he been elsewhere. 


The dragonborn tenses his muscles, readies his claws, and prepares to spring – CRACK! An oddly dressed gnome appears in front of Dar’gon the dragonborn and in a voice loud enough to scare the deer and all other living things in the area, presents him with the same announcement that was presented to me and the other monk in the tavern.


This was a great scene where the GM’s husband was really in to describing his character and what he was doing and just at the right moment as we were all wondering how this drunk dragonborn monk was going to kill a deer, he gets interrupted by his wife with the announcement. 

Speaking of announcements, that’s right folks, we just got invited to a gnome bachelor party. We all looked at each other and replied “Hell yes! We’re in!”. The herald nodded and then popped out of existence.


Fast forward to the next day, we all meet up and find our friend the Prince and he outlines the evening for us. Essentially we are doing a tavern crawl and he lists the taverns for us:

  • The Busty Bugbear 

  • Screeching Minotaur Pub 

  • The Drow and Goblin 

  • And finally: The Gla*screech*oop*raspberry* Meadery (For reference the screech and the raspberry are descriptions of the sounds that make up the name of the meadery.)

As the last tavern is called out by Prince Biddyboy,  the half-elf monk, Syldan, chimes in “oh... uh... I can’t go there. They know me... I’m banned for life... It’s a long story, but essentially I’m not allowed back in”


Can I just take a moment to appreciate the improv that just happened there? We knew absolutely nothing about this world when we started playing and without hesitation, he just threw that out. And we all rolled with it. It was a great moment.


Okay so the Prince is like “wellllll, we will figure it out when the time comes.” and we start on our way to The Busty Bugbear. This is a lively tavern where all the serving staff are female gnomes, rather scantily clad, well endowed, and wearing bugbear makeup. It’s odd for sure, but I’m playing a bird person, so everything is odd to me and I am odd to everyone. From the players’ perspective though, what kind of a messed-up world is this where busty bugbears are what you fantasize your women dressing as? But then again, I’m not actually a gnome or a kenku, so what do I know about their preferences? I just play one in RPGs so I’m gonna roll with it.


How do our intrepid adventurers fare at the Busty Bugbear? Is there a brawl? What on earth is going to happen at this Gnome Bachelor Party? Stay tuned Dungeons and Dragons fans for our next installment to find out.

{Next installment of Gnome Bachelor Party} - Coming Soon


Credits

  • The World and Story created and GMed by: Anna Panzer. She's awesome! She also makes swords and shields out of wood! You should check out her woodworking skills (and maybe commission something from her) at her instagram: Carpenter's Forge.

The Characters:

  • Syldan created and played by Jonathan Edwards: Jonathan is the GM for the #swarmofscarabs tales on this here site. If you haven't yet, you should check them out. Here's a link to the first post of that series: Swarm of Scarabs First Post.

  • Dar'gon created and played by Joshua Panzer: I first met Joshua because I was playing D&D in the common area at my school and he walked up and asked if he could play. Best. Decision. Ever! He's an awesome guy who has become an amazing friend. He also asked me to be a Groomswoman at his wedding. Obviously I said "YES!"

  • Stephan Wolf created and played by yours truly, Rachael Murphy. Her name is a play off of the band Steppenwolf's name. I thought it would be clever since she spoke mainly by reciting lines from well-known songs. If you want to see more of my stuff, feel free to browse my instagram, tumblr, twitter, and deviantart pages. Yep, I do a lot.

Keywords to Spark Your Interest

#playersperspective #oneshot #oneoff #dnd #dnd5e #ttrpg #dungeonsanddragons

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The Campaign RPG © 2019 by Rachael Murphy.

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