View Full Version : Help me come up with a big lipped alligator encounter!

2019-08-04, 11:11 AM
During my next session a group of unseelie fairies is going to happen upon the party and, rather than a traditional fight, I want to come up with an encounter that is completely random and trippy, but still has mechanical elements, possibly but not necessarily including combat.

So, any ideas, either mechanically or conceptually, for how I can run a really wierd and unexpected encounter that comes out of nowhere?


For those of you who don't get the thread title: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BigLippedAlligatorMoment

2019-08-04, 11:55 AM

Or, I had a PC-run NPC convince an Unseelie Lord that a normal fight would be too boring. He agreed, then picked the two combat monster PCs & told the scoundrel to pick one as his champion.

Then the Unseelie Lord turned the 2 PCs into Rock-em Sock-em Robots and had them fight each other for the right for the entire party to escape.

2019-08-04, 12:11 PM
Just pull up the group's favorite non-rpg game and play that. My favorite would be Monopoly where you tear each other apart only to realize the bank is the Unseelie Fey queen that is actually winning.

If you go a bit more classical, you could play Yahtzee or Poker for the victory.

2019-08-04, 03:19 PM
Random Limbo contest. Let's see how many in the group can pass those dexterity and balance checks.

2019-08-04, 06:20 PM
Does the party need the fey queen's cooperation? If so, she expects them to each first prove their mettle against her champions. In front of the gathered crowd of fairies of every shape and form (some quite disconcerting), the Queen's champions step forth, and ask who among the PCs is a match for each of them. Make each of them seem a perfect rival to one specific PC, although the players may choose to mix up who challenges whom. Perhaps there is a tall, severe fey lord in gleaming mithril with a razor-sharp blade, a beautiful entity with shifting features clad in flowing silks with a pair of jeweled scimitars, a trio of iridescent-winged pixie archers (yeah, there are three of them, but they're tiny. Certainly it's a fair match!) An ogre-mage with a Go board under one arm, crackling with reality-distorting dwoemers to match any magic the party's wizard can bring to bear. And so on.

So the players, if they want the Queen's favor, choose their opponents. The Queen offers them whatever gear or other boons they require for the fight. And to an odd blend of solemn formality (from the opponent and the Queen) and raucous, vulgar cheers (from the assembled onlookers), the first combat begins...

...and is nothing the players were prepared for. The fey swordsman challenges his rival to a cooking contest. (His sword is superb at chopping exotic ingredients that are wheeled in, and his shield makes a mean wok.) The scimitar-wielder is a sword-dancer (not a warrior archetype, an actual dancer), and their challenger had best be prepared to match them shimmy for shimmy. The ogre-mage expects to meet the wizard not in a game of wits or a contest of spells, but in a wrestling match. (Or if the barbarian PC was prepared to wrestle, the ogre wants to play Go.) And the little sprites, with their speed and hallucinogen-tipped arrows, are likely to leave any larger and clumsier opponent perplexed about reality itself.

Continuity and logic are optional to fey, so feel free to have them retroactively prepared for whatever contest would be most hilariously inconvenient for a given opponent. Fortunately for the players, victory is judged by audience approval, and this audience loves a spectacle. The players don't actually have to cook, dance, or wrestle better than their rivals, just to do so entertainingly. Better yet, cheating is both allowed and encouraged, as long as it's an entertaining cheat. Fellow PCs can intervene to help their comrades, but so will the fey spectators. (The first clue that this is allowed might be when audience members do join the contest, not necessarily to help their champion win, but to ham it up for their fellow fans.) But bear in mind that these are fey, and unseelie court at that. Their morality is alien, and their idea of a good prank can be bloody. They will laugh at a good slapstick routine, and they will laugh just as hard at someone getting bisected, whether it's a champion, a challenger, or a meddling audience member.

If a character loses decisively, their opponent will offer a rematch to all comers, and any new challenger can again petition the Queen for equipment. (Do they want shoes of dancing? She has a pair...probably with a troubling catch.) Against the tiny drug-dealing archers, a bee-keeper's suit and a butterfly net might fare better than a sword and armor.

In the end, the players "win" if they manage to entertain their fellow players in the real world as well as the Queen and her cronies in-game. Of course, what they win is an open question, and the gifts of the fey are never without complication...

2019-08-04, 10:52 PM
Not what you want now.

Years ago a module had you come up on a group of bugbear. They were making lots of noise and in an open clear field of dirt with a 2 foot wall where they could be seen. Two of them are hunched over the other 6 are cheering. The two hunched over appear to be throwing something at the wall.

The something are beanbags. Against the wall is a large skull. You toss the beanbags into the open sockets.

A.C. 22 to make it through Thac0 was A/C -2.

The bugbears upon seeing new players invite you to join. If you win they give you small tokens one of them is a scroll tube inside is whatever the DM wants a map most likely.

2019-08-05, 10:30 AM
I would stick them in a shared mindscape (https://www.d20pfsrd.com/alternative-rule-systems/occult-adventures/occult-rules/mindscapes/#Immersive_Mindscapes) (you can call this a "dreamscape" or a "Fey bubble" if you want something less "new-agey".) That should give you the freedom to go ham with visual or mechanical oddities, like the fighter flying around or everything being sideways.

Alternatively, you can have them somehow snare the parties in a planar breach to the First World (feywild.)