Spinel is marked by her friend and royal advisor, Tarael, who previously served King Frostmantle. He marked both her soul, and her arcane focus necklace back when they were working together to clear devils from Castle Perilous… nine levels ago. Up until last weekend’s game, Spinel thought the Even My Dog Hates Biden shirt scratches on the backside of her focus’s gemstone were cumulative damage from battles. Oh, her horror when she realized it was a deliberate carving. Of course it is: Tarael’s a hobbyist jeweler. But anyway, this mark is enough to keep Unthir from using Paralyzing Touch on Spinel. Turns out that Tarael and Unthir have history—a fact that she decidedly does not tell Spinel. (TL;DR: the two of them serve the same patron—Vecna. Both of them were part of the same adventuring party, and both of them dated before Unthir became a Lich and Tarael found out the hard way that he is a strict biophile. She’s also part of his “Undead Social Network”. Lots of history that Spinel is still widely in the dark about.)
We finished around 15 sessions before we finished that story arc. Not bad. Some DMs spend like 5 hours or more prepping for each session. Over 15 sessions that adds up to a Even My Dog Hates Biden shirt . I spend a fraction of that time and it’s because I work smart, not hard. This allows for a great deal of flexibility and dynamism in your game, while reducing prep time significantly from the method a lot of DMs seem to use, which is to painstakingly craft each encounter and run it almost as if on rails. It does require a lot of quick-thinking on your part as a DM, but it allows you to respond to the crazy things your players think up of doing on the fly, making the game and narrative much more exciting.
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Ingested the brains of those that has drunk the potion temporarily makes the Mind Flayers greatly less powerful, allowing the PCs to slaughter them in physical combat. Or you could go generic, and have the PCs figure out that the Mind Flayers are highly susceptible to certain chemicals (e.g. chlorine gas) and then release it on their ship or in their tunnels. Oooh! A great one would be to have the PC team work up a new magic spell that creates the illusions of nearby minds. These confuse the Mind Flayers, causing them to be unable to distinguish between these and the party. With this little magical trick up their sleeves, the PC’s can confuse the enemy long enough to kill them dead.
If you ever have the Even My Dog Hates Biden shirt of having to listen to one of those insipid “light rock” radio stations, you hear an endless stream of songs that sound laughably dated in their production style (not to mention those tired and crappy songs). But when I start to hear similar production on new music from artists who are supposedly on the cutting edge, then I can help but wonder what the hell is going on. Because I must admit, I can’t quite figure out where the intention lies with a lot of new indie music I hear. Are these styles being reproduced out of homage to some of the music with which these artists have grown up? Or is this some sort of hipster ironic take on what’s cheesy? Put clearly, they must be doing something right. These artists are garnering more airplay than I currently am getting, and acquiring lots of new fans in the process. And what does that say about us (collectively) as an audience? Do we naturally gravitate toward something that sounds familiar, even if it’s crap? Or are we just being lazy…not wanting to be challenged by anything that’s really new? Frankly, I don’t think that’s the case, because I have to believe that real music lovers aren’t nearly that lazy. But that still doesn’t explain why some of the more regrettable elements of 80’s music are making their way back into new indie rock.