Grounded In Fantasy

by Frocto

Rocks Fall, Everypony Dies

"Ehem... Well, having battled your way through various demonic patrols thanks to Hayttori's handiness with his sword Bladenyght, you now stand before the Tengu and his treasure pile. He speaks as follows: "Foolish adventurers! You dare intrude upon my lair? Now face the wrath of my strongest, most powerful minions!""

Sunburst paused to put some models on the table, one a rather large Oni and the other a giant Tengu. "Two granite statues in the room, hitherto unnoticed, both roar to life with a terrible grinding of stone.”

“They’re both about 20 feet tall. The first one is a horned Oni wielding a great stone club... The second, a Tengu Statue that soars through the air on great wings of magically-enchanted stone about 50 feet overhead. Watch out!”

"This isn't good, you guys. I'm down to 3 HP," groaned Starlight

Maud doodled on her sheet with a pencil. “I'm still half-full..."

Twilight looked sheepish. "Well, full HP here, but I don’t know what good it will do... I seriously didn't know this adventure was going to be all fighting. Maybe I can persuade the Tengu to go easy on us?"

"Fat lot of good that will do us,” said Trixie. "And I'm on full HP as well."

Sunburst rolled some dice. "Well, it's looking grim. The Tengu Statue hits Roku for 13 damage and the Oni Statue hits Sakura for 9 damage... It might be curtains unless you have a back-up plan."

"Hmm..." murmured Maud.

Starlight Glimmer shrugged. "Oh, the statues are demons, right? I just need to put more Sealing Circles on them to banish them."

Sunburst clucked his tongue. "Unfortunately, that won't work. The Sealing Circle is designed to work on human-sized opponents... As most you'd only be able to stop it using a limb for a few seconds, like an arm or a leg.”

"Oh..." Starlight groaned, slumping in her chair. "Well, I give up then, unless anyone else has any bright ideas."

"Alright," said Maud, after some heavy thought. "Roku draws Nyghtblade.”

Starlight looked over at her: "Oh, sure, now you give it back... Little late for that now, Maud!"

"Roku lifts the sword back over his head and targets the Tengu Statue's wing."

"Wh - "

"... Then he throws it at the spot where the Statue's wing joint connects to its shoulder.”

“Alright...” said Sunburst. “With that roll, you’re able to embed the sword in the Tengu Statue’s wing. It reels from the blow, losing a few feet of height, but recovers quickly enough. Now what?”

“Now, I’d like Hayttori to put his sword in the other shoulder joint... If you would, Starlight?”

“What are you... Well, not like we have anything else to do at this point. Fine, I hit the other shoulder.”

“Well...” said Sunburst, exasperation creeping into his soft voice, “If you two are done goofing around, maybe we can...”

Maud took a deep breath. “Earlier, you said the statues were made out of granite, defined under the rules as a heavy-category substance... Falling from a height of 50 feet, multiplied by granite’s weight category, works out to... here. I went ahead and calculated it.”

“32d6 damage...?” asked Sunburst.

“To the object itself, and anything it falls on. When is convenient... since the Oni Statue is directly under it.”

“But it’s not falling.”

“Only because Hayttori hasn’t activated his Sealing Circles yet. You said that would disable a limb.”

“...” said Sunburst.


When the dice were done clattering across the table, Sunburst surveyed the damage. "Right... Well, as the demonic magic flowing into the stone of the Tengu's wings suddenly falters, it, appropriately, drops like one. It plummets out of the sky and lands on top of its brother..."

"When the dust clears, both statues have shattered apart into a dozen pieces each, making a carpet of crudely-scattered arms and legs and beaks and horns. The Tengu looks appalled that his minions have been crushed."

“Woo, Maud!”

“What in the hay, Maud?! That was unbelievable.”

"We close in and finish the job," said Maud.

"Wait!” said Sunburst. “Before you can do that, the Tengu turns to implores you to spare him. He says no reward is too high if you're willing to let him go."

“Great!” said an exuberant Twilight. “Leave this to me, girls. I’m gonna work him over, take him for everything he owns... First, make an Oration skill, with a +4 House Bonus for Tea Ceremony, to negotiate the terms of his surrender. Then a Seduction roll to pump him for the location of a secret storehouse or treasury ro - ”

Deeeeaaaath Bloooow!” shouted Trixie, scattering piles of dice across the table, and with it Twilight’s hopes and dreams.

When the storm of dice was over, a very ruffled Twilight was, for the first time since the game had started, speechless.

“Auuuugh...” She buried her face in her hooves. Suddenly, Gamemastering again didn’t seem so bad.

Meanwhile, Trixie grinned ear-to-ear as Sunburst went on at length about how badly she’d messed the Tengu up. When he was done, she glanced over to Maud. “Hey, Roku killing me earlier turned out to be pretty helpful... Wanna bop Trixie on the noggin with that pickaxe again once we’re out of here?”

“Sure,” replied Maud. "... I meant to ask... Do I get experience points for that?”