Genre Savvy

Posted on April 20, 2018

You know those moments in movies where the solution to a problem seems really obvious and simple to you, and the characters on screen proceed to try everything EXCEPT that, and you wish you could just jump in and do it yourself? Well, I had my chance to do exactly this during one of my earlier campaigns.

It was the end of a multi-session 3.5e campaign. We'd been playing these characters and chasing a particular lich for months through some pretty cool situations, and we finally had him cornered… in the Underdark. Within a room with a gaping chasm filled with mist. In the middle of a ceremony that would turn him into a god, by using the lives of the citizens of the imperial city directly above us.

You know, no pressure or anything.

In any case, we’d just entered the aforementioned chasm-room the ceremony happened to be taking place in. Directly in the center was a short pedestal upon which our enemy's phylactery rested, the obvious focus of the ritual. It was like a scene straight out of a movie or high fantasy novel or something—the sort of scene wherein you're screaming “Get the [dang] phylactery, you morons!” but they never do.

But not this time. No, this time I had my mid-level Halfling Bard, one with decent intelligence who specialized in storytelling, and thus had every reason to be just as genre-savvy as me. She also had Mage Hand (because telekinesis is cool).

Thus, before the attack could even begin, she bounded forward into range and used Mage Hand to shove the phylactery off the pedestal.

We then had a tense fifteen minutes wherein our DM got very upset with me for ruining the big finish to his campaign. We begged him to let us do the fight anyway, and I apologized for ruining his big finish. He finally conceded, and we went on to have the massively epic final battle the campaign deserved.

But the fact remains that I still nearly beat the final boss with a Halfling Bard and a cantrip.

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