Saturday, July 12, 2014

Mandy Morbid Interview, Hatter, Random Stupid Tax Table, Actual Play Report

There's still a lotta drama in the wake of 5th edition D&D being released with me credited as a consultant.

But since all the drama just makes my publisher money, it's kinda stupid and the people involved do seem to slowwwwwwwwly be realizing that. Anyway:

Here's the group getting shot for some magazine….
Heads clockwise from top left: Laney (halfling ranger and viridian knight, Connie--half elf thief, Charlotte Stokely--tiefling wizard, Mandy Morbid--tiefling cleric, make-up by LaneyBabes)

Here's an interview (with a lotta barelySFW pictures) that Mandy did. It's mostly about Mandy and her illness and how smart she is, not D&D, but maybe people wanna know, so there it is.

We're rolling tomorrow, here's what happened last weekend:

The Hatter is a guy with a cylindrical hat in which he has a hare. An Al'Mi-Raj actually. It has a horn.

They are agents of The Pale King, and like all his agents, they collect his taxes.

Roll D20:

1. Leg tax--d100gp per leg.

2. Pie fee--d100gp per pie. If the party has no pie, 4d100 fine for pielessness.

3. Motion levy--d100gp per foot moved in tax agent's presence.

4. Picture toll--d100gp per image carried, tattooed on skin or inscribed or sewn on the party's clothes or armor.

5. Smile tithe--d100gp per happy party member.

6. Consumption tax--d100 per party member with tuberculosis, or anyone looking wan and withdrawn.

7. Smuggling toll--d100gp per non-local item.

8. Pulchritude fee--d100gp per point of charisma.

9. Confiscatory tax--d100gp per gp taken by party from any defeated foe.

10. Inherit ants tax--Pale agent smears honey on party members, demands d100gp per ant attracted.

11. Cap and hole gains tax--d100gp per piece of headgear in party and for every opening or hole in equipment or clothing carried by party.

12. Poor tax--d100gp for each member unable to produce d100gp.

13. Knuckle fee--d100 per knuckle.

14. Income tax--d100gp from each party member for entering any interior.

15. Sails tax--d100gp per party member able to pilot a watergoing vessel.

16. Proper tea tax--d100gp per party member unable to produce a decent cup of tea. The Tea Party strenuously objects to this tax.

17. Valuable adder tax--d100gp per party member carrying a useful snake.

18. Ex-eyes tax--d100gp per missing eye in party.

19. Pole tax-d100gp per pole arm.

20. Lie sensing fee-d100gp per time the party notices anyone lying.

I was hoping the Hatter and his weird watch would get to reign some chronal havoc on the party, but they played it cool and made a deal: in exchange for an "intercepted" message allegedly sent by the Colorless Queen, the party made 10,000gp. They then had to pay 10,000gp in consumption taxes (the Hatter had some big scales). However, since the payment was new it got them xp. Which, hey: Wonderland, ok?

They retrieved a rusty box with a face inside, an old lady used it to fix a skin condition Laney'd managed to acquire.

They spoke into the ear of a corpse to summon The Pseudoturtle and give it another copy of the "message".

Then some overland travel and an encounter with a Pale Rook: (think big hydrocephalic tweedledum) he demanded a Motion Levy.

The best part was:

Ok, last time Laney rolled a 1 to hit a vampire and hit Tyler, then the Mome Rath she was riding also rolled a 1 and knocked him out. The exact same 400-to-1 shot happened again today.

They kept trying to throw a shrinking cake into his mouth, it didn't work--but eventually he did get ganked. Mandy--playing a shrunken Alice--did take a lot of falling damage, being an inch tall and all.

Then it was off to Castle Poenari to seek the Red King and deliver him another false message from the Colorless Queen. One of his three red brides received them--and offered the players a mountain of gold to kill him for her.

I think she ended up sounding like the dwarf's whore (Shae?) from Game of Thrones.

GMing Principle

NPCs with who look players right in the eye and talk verrrrry slowly freak players out.

Anyway they were like about 45 minutes worth of uncomfortable with her, trying to figure out what to do and who to trust. 

After much argument, they remembered they were D&D PCs and so walked into the vampire king's palace where he waited with a bride, 4 vampire pawns and 6 vampire knights, said hello, negotiated with the doddering and beardo weirdo, then tried to kill him and take his stuff.

The wizard had a clever plan to trap the king in with them in a wall of force.
Ok, would-be-clever because the king just turned into a bat and flew right through it, leaving the party surrounded.

Which is perfect, really--it's so hard to engineer that "archvillain gets away" moment. And there we left it.
For more pictures and stuff about the girls and the group, click the tag "players" for more actual play reports hit the "actual play" tag, for more about the unending 5E D&D consultant drama just scroll past the last few entries, for more random tables hot the tag "New Random Tables/Charts", for more about the RPG book the Hatter is from, hit "Eat Me"


  1. How do you get players to agree to have their characters pay taxes? My players run away or kill the bastard.

    1. They were playing the long game. To be fair, they did immediately set upon the Rook

    2. Ah. Get smarter players. Roger that.

  2. I have similar fun with passports and customs - sometimes every city gate does this - i am always trying to trap players on huge bridges so i can keep them there for a few years so now they always get ferries

    1. Zak love the tax table.

      Have you D100'd these Konsumterra, I did a quick search on your blog and couldn't find them? Or is that going to be a future post? I would be interested ins seeing them.

  3. So, i showed the picture of mandy and her friends to my gaming group and asked why they didnt look like that, and they said that if they looked like that they wouldt ever bother to put clothes on or leave the house, which is fair I guess, since even the girl in our group agreed.

    Just sayin....

  4. And, yeah, that is a pretty cool interview.

  5. I was just flipping through a monster manual to keep a toddler entertained yesterday & she found the Al'Mi-Raj HILARIOUS. "It looks friendly, but it is dangerous! Look at the drip drip drip of blood! Ha ha ha!"


  6. YaY! new book! can I preorder it yet?

  7. Zak: A point of interest regarding the "shrunk creatures take extra falling damage" thing. Something about that bugged me at the time so I went and found a refresher on the physics which led me to this quite interesting and charming article called "On Being The Right Size" by evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane:

    Pertinent quote: "To the mouse and any smaller animal [gravity] presents practically no dangers. You can drop a mouse down a thousand-yard mine shaft; and, on arriving at the bottom, it gets a slight shock and walks away, provided that the ground is fairly soft. A rat is killed, a man is broken, a horse splashes. For the resistance presented to movement by the air is proportional to the surface of the moving object. Divide an animal’s length, breadth, and height each by ten; its weight is reduced to a thousandth, but its surface only to a hundredth. So the resistance to falling in the case of the small animal is relatively ten times greater than the driving force."

    The whole article is worthwhile regarding the advantages and problems of size-altered creatures.

    1. My immediate reaction is: Well, it's Wonderland physics--I mean, tiny creatures don't immediately gain the ability to speak to other tiny creatures just because they're tiny, either.

      However: I will read the article and think about it.

    2. Yeah, it is magic so I have no real beef with that call (esp. the wonderland variety of magic which acts particularly weird). And I think you'd have to make some "it's magic" exceptions for physics no matter what--for example with a standard growth spell it would silly to have the characters legs break every time he tried to run due to the exponential increase in weight vs size.

      That said, I think it creates opportunities for fun and cleverness when spells interact with real-world physics. (Some examples: tiny creatures can survive falls better, large creatures are resistant to cold, insect-size creatures can become stuck in water, etc.)

    3. There is a good argument for your position on this. I just didn't happen to make that call & I think everybody would agree it worked out ok (after all, in wonderland you shrink and the shrunk world is just a new normal-sized world in many cases), however, if you shrink _outside_ Voivodja, I may well take your research into account.

      Does that make sense, adam?

    4. Totally. Oh, and just to be clear (you know how internet misunderstandings can go) by "bugged" in my initial comment I meant that it stuck in my head and not that I was personally aggravated. Thought you might find an unpacking of the topic interesting.

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