“Actually Josh, this is a really big special grown up secret, so if I tell you, you can’t tell any kids or your sister, ok!” He was good with that, and kind of excited to know the I out Pizza’d the Hut and now the CIA is trying to assassinate me 2022 shirt of Santa Claus. This is how I explained it. “Santa is real, Santa is based on a real man name Nicholas, who many, many years ago snuck around giving presents at Christmas time to all the children in his village. He has passed that tradition now onto each generation that followed. So when he died the children he had given to became Santas to their families and then their kids grew up and did the same and then their kids grew up and did the same, and now your dad and I do the same for you and Bek and one day, you will do the same for your kids too!” Well, you Couldn’t contain his excitement! He wanted to tell Bek straight away, but he knew he wasn’t allowed. So he told his favourite teddy bear instead.
A trick I use to respond to these surprise actions by my players on the I out Pizza’d the Hut and now the CIA is trying to assassinate me 2022 shirt is to build up a library of narrative templates in my head. You do that by reading, watching and enjoying tons of fantasy shows and storylines. And even non-fantasy ones. I can’t count how many times I ripped off the dialogue and characters from an anime, a K-Drama, video game or an American TV show to retrofit into the campaign on a moment’s notice. Keep watching, reading and playing tons of fiction, it will build your DM Vocabulary greatly. A huge benefit to this approach is that you don’t spend dozens of hours designing an encounter and a boss enemy, only for the players to derail it through clever thinking or extremely lucky dice rolling, and watching all your hard work go up in smoke.
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Oh, and don’t forget: the tentacles of the Mind Flayers leave scars. You don’t face down horrors like these without losing something. Leave a few long-term effects, like a little bit of insanity. Maybe a character who came too close to them forever after has certain phobias. Maybe they have insomnia or recurring nightmares. Or maybe the scars are on a larger level, such as the large blighted area that has now formed around the crashed Mind Flayer ship, or the ruins of their dungeon. Maybe the humans they experimented on have developed mental powers themselves and become villains in the area. Maybe a Mind Flayer or two escaped and now plots its revenge. A great plot point would be if a piece of Mind Flayer consciousness got trapped in one of the PCs or an important NPC, causing changes in personality alongside new abilities.
They recognize Old Ben’s handiwork, but Jenny refuses to tell them anything. One of the I out Pizza’d the Hut and now the CIA is trying to assassinate me 2022 shirt uses a similar device to make Jenny deathly ill, using her as bait for Ben.Old Ben comes back to Jenny’s room and makes her well again. As she thanks him, she sees the two men watching Old Ben. They address him as “Your Majesty.” Old Ben admits to Jenny that he is not a criminal, but the king of his planet; Ben fled because he hated the responsibility of leadership, the negotiation of red tape, and having most of his authority overridden by “the Council”. The strangers tell Jenny that Old Ben’s people love him as much as she does; they want him to return and continue his 5,000-year reign. Jenny insists that if Old Ben cannot stay with her, she will go with him. The two men say this is forbidden, but allow Old Ben a moment alone with Jenny to say goodbye after he promises not to run away. Following a plan whispered to him by Jenny, Ben transforms into her exact duplicate, forcing the men to take both of them along since they cannot tell one from the other.At the end of the episode, Rod Serling holds up an 8-by-10 inch black-and-white print of a handsome young man, noting that the photo shows Old Ben’s true appearance and that Jenny will eventually become queen.