View Full Version : How The Grunch Stole Presentfest 2: The Grunch Returns

2010-12-23, 01:27 PM
Last year I ran a 4e D&D one-shot Christmas special titled How The Grunch Stole Presentfest. This year (tonight), I'm doing it again, but in E6 3.5 with a focus on psionics (for no particular reason). Posted here is the information the players have acces to. After the session I'll post a report of what happened, and reveal all of the secrets the players don't know.

Across the Continent of the Question live a variety of people. The Whos, the Whats, the Whens, the Wheres, the Whys, the Hows, and the mysterious Whiches. The Whens are the most powerful of the people, mostly made up of elves and ruled with an iron fist by the elven lich The Saint of Claws (a wen is a large city). The Whens are an industrial people, but most are poor due to no minimum wage laws.

The Whats, made up of duergar, exploit this situation, and have become fabulously wealthy as a people. Every year they hold a celebration known as Presentfest, where the Whats give gifts to each other, and the many visitors they have on that day, in order to show off their wealth. Whats are curious amd military minded, often asking "what's over here?" and calling out their battle cry, announcing their presence, "Whats over here!"

Last Presentfest, a horrible mutant creature known as the Grunch attempted to destroy Presentfest, bringing with him monstrous reindeer dogs and seasick crocodiles. Unfortuneately for the Grunch, he did not realize that Presentfest could not be destroyed simply by stealing and cursing some presents, as the Whats had enough money to buy entirely new gifts. The Grunch then suffered a massive heart attack, his mutant heart bursting from his chest.

Now, one year later, rumors have begun to spread about the Grunch returning to life, or possibly unlife, and allying himself with rebel forces that wish to bring down the Saint of Claws and spread chaos throughout the land. The eve of Presentfest approaches, and conflict is brewing as a group of travelers approaches the town of Whatsitville, capital of the What nation.]

Additional setting information:

Psionics plays a large part in the land of Question. Magic is also common, but psychic abilities are for more so. The level limit in the world is 6, so nothing is extremely powerful.

Whos are kalashtar. They often struggle with their identity, but have managed to remain prominent with their diplomatic skills. Wheres are Xeph, always moving. Whys are Githzerai, the wisest of the races of Question. Hows are half-giants, always innovating and creating new technologies. Whiches are dromites, and the most mysterious people, always sharing with each other for the benefit of the whole.

A Ladder
2010-12-23, 02:13 PM
sounds super fun. Do you have a writeup for How the Grunch Stole Presentfest 1? this looks interesting and I'd like to know what happened last year.

2010-12-23, 03:48 PM
Same here.

This looks great by the way.

2010-12-23, 04:03 PM
Aha. I had it posted over at the WotC forums: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19621862/How_The_Grunch_Stole_Presentfest

When I actually ran the game, the Grunch died rather than becoming jolly like in the description.

2010-12-23, 04:30 PM
That is amazing.

2010-12-23, 05:01 PM
Ahem... *points over to the PbP fora*

Also, Presentfest? Sounds like Decemberween (http://www.hrwiki.org/wiki/Decemberween) to me.

Admiral Squish
2010-12-23, 05:21 PM
I've made Grinch campaigns each year for the last three. But I homebrewed them, not using some cheap 'grunch' knockoff.

The first time, he was a trogoldyte. The second, he was a feral gargan. This year, I homebrewed my own grinch (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=9888602#post9888602).

Generally speaking, the one-shot starts with the PCs as caravan guards. They come into a gnomish town to take shelter from a winter storm, just in time for the annual celebration of Greasemas, which is a three-day celebration of the year's creativity and inventions culminating in a competition that determines the mayor for the next year. The PCs wake up to find the current mayor torn into a dozen pieces and skewered on the pipes of his steam-powered mechanical organ. Eventually, the PCs are to climb mount crumpet and put a stop to him and Cindy Loo Hoo, a gnome girl who he's tricked into becoming his mole.

2010-12-24, 12:19 AM
Session complete!

So, the game opened with the players coming to town and discovering that there were three good places for people of their abilities. The Saint of Claws was looking for more guards, as he was visiting Whatsitville and enemies were about, the Whats were hiring mercenaries to hunt the Grunch, and the Grunch was looking for more allies to fight the Saint.

As it turns out, the Saint was not happy about the Whats sending mercenaries to hunt the Grunch. The reason: the Grunch was a phthisic created from the neurosis of the Saint himself (the rumors of the Grunch's demise were exaggerated), and further worked as the Saint's phylactery. If the players killed the Grunch, then the Saint would die as well, and his minions would be enraged, especially Krampus (a demon assassin fanatically loyal to the Saint). If they attacked the Grunch while guarding the Saint, the Saint's minions would turn on them. If they joined the Grunch, he would betray them as soon as the Saint was dead (temporarily; he would deal with that later).

The players decided to hunt the Grunch, as it paid well and fit their personal goals best. They defeated some of his minions, and convinced the minions to bring them to the Grunch, who they killed in combat. With some Diplomacy, they discovered that the Grunch and his minions knew about the phylactery deal, but rather than killing the Grunch to take out the Saint, they were planning to usurp the Saint using the Grunch (who was essentially the same person, and thus could command the loyalty of Krampus, among others, once the Saint was weakened). Before the town descended into chaos, they collected their reward for slaying the Grunch, and escaped before Krampus got to them.

All in all, pretty good.

not using some cheap 'grunch' knockoff.

It's not like I can't come up with my own names. The idea is to be a reference and parody for everyone to laugh at. Plus, all of the stats in the 4e one were created by me, and the story was built purely as parody, which is pretty homebrewed in my eyes. I used more out-of-the-box stats for this year's 3.5 since I didn't have much time to prepare.