Flaming Rage Monkey

Posted on April 04, 2018

I’m DMing for a group of eight people. This leads to some rather interesting situations, as they are all slowly warming to their characters and thus making their backstories more complex and detailed.

A couple weeks ago, our Half-Elf Ranger sent me a text asking if he could have been cursed (ostensibly by our BBEG). I'm running a homebrew, so if someone wants to do something interesting I will do my best to make it work. So after some talking back and forth, we decided that he would turn into a Balghura (a demon that strongly resembles a 10 foot tall ape) whenever someone he cared deeply for was threatened. That person happened to be the party's Bard.

Last week we were Dungeon delving and came to an abandoned bathhouse, which happened to be inhabited by four rather angry water elementals. They sloshed their way into the party, and within the second round of combat our Bard had taken double digits of damage. The Ranger was at the back of the party, still in the hallway and behind the Dwarf Cleric (who became rather perturbed by the loud roar from immediately behind him). But the Cleric did his duty and healed the Bard, trusting the Ranger to deal with whatever had roared.

In the wake of the Bard’s injury, the Ranger had transformed into a Balghura. Having utterly lost control of himself, he took the shortest path to the elemental that had hurt his beloved Bard—which happened to be straight through the Dwarf.

After smashing his way past the Dwarf and throwing the Bard from the whelming grasp of the elemental, he proceeded to beat it to nothingness in the space of a single round with his fists, which happened to be on fire due to a feat he had. The Bard was next on the initiative order and cast Crown of Madness, gaining control over whatever the Flaming Rage Monkey attacked.

At this point the only person who knew exactly what was going on was the Ranger. The rest of the party was utterly confused and frightened. Our Chaotic Neutral Rogue decided to keep his head and fled the room. Luckily for the remainder of the party, the Flaming Rage Monkey failed his wisdom save every single time until after the last water elemental was destroyed, and he could be subdued until he changed back.

Since then I've been getting player's backstories emailed to me in preparation for the next session.

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