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5E The crab that got away...

BookTenTiger

Adventurer
Last night I threw a few "swarms of crustaceans" (insect swarms) and a huge Chuul at the group as they sailed across a foggy, driftwood-strewn lake.

I expected the huge Chuul, known locally as the Driftwood Giant, to be the most interesting part of the combat.

Instead, a single crab stole the show.

After the Giant Chuul ran off (it will return to hound them as they search for treasure on a lake island), the crab swarms jumped overboard. Our Goliath Barbarian got an opportunity attack on one swarm and, due to his Sentinel feat, prevented it from leaving.

All four party members surrounded the swarm. It was quickly reduced to 1 hit point, and I think I'm in the norm in that I describe a 1 hp swarm as one remaining critter.

The characters could not kill this crab!

It rolled incredibly well on Wisdom saving throws (with a 7 Wisdom!). 1s were rolled on attacks. It dodged, it ducked, it scuttled sideways.

Finally the crab took the Disengage action so it could join its crustaceans brethren overboard. Ah, but the Goliath Barbarian reminded me: Sentinel! He got another opportunity attack. He swung his greataxe down and... Missed!

The crab leapt into the water and waved with a claw as it sunk down into the depths...

It just shows, you never know what part of an encounter or an adventure is going to create a great story.
 

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Warpiglet-7

Explorer
Last night I threw a few "swarms of crustaceans" (insect swarms) and a huge Chuul at the group as they sailed across a foggy, driftwood-strewn lake.

I expected the huge Chuul, known locally as the Driftwood Giant, to be the most interesting part of the combat.

Instead, a single crab stole the show.

After the Giant Chuul ran off (it will return to hound them as they search for treasure on a lake island), the crab swarms jumped overboard. Our Goliath Barbarian got an opportunity attack on one swarm and, due to his Sentinel feat, prevented it from leaving.

All four party members surrounded the swarm. It was quickly reduced to 1 hit point, and I think I'm in the norm in that I describe a 1 hp swarm as one remaining critter.

The characters could not kill this crab!

It rolled incredibly well on Wisdom saving throws (with a 7 Wisdom!). 1s were rolled on attacks. It dodged, it ducked, it scuttled sideways.

Finally the crab took the Disengage action so it could join its crustaceans brethren overboard. Ah, but the Goliath Barbarian reminded me: Sentinel! He got another opportunity attack. He swung his greataxe down and... Missed!

The crab leapt into the water and waved with a claw as it sunk down into the depths...

It just shows, you never know what part of an encounter or an adventure is going to create a great story.
thats just funny
 

That's why I'm a firm believer that there is such a thing as over thinking things when creating an encounter. You never know what's going to happen, how the dice will roll or what your players will do. When you over-prep as a DM you tend to lose sight of the spontaneity of the battle as you expect, or worse, you want it to go a certain way. Sometimes unplanned, random encounters are even better. Its hilarious that the party was stymied by one little crab. Reminds me of a Spelljammer encounter where a party that landed on a moon to replenish their air envelope was murdered by a few giant space ants because they landed too close to their hive.
 

Warpiglet-7

Explorer
That's why I'm a firm believer that there is such a thing as over thinking things when creating an encounter. You never know what's going to happen, how the dice will roll or what your players will do. When you over-prep as a DM you tend to lose sight of the spontaneity of the battle as you expect, or worse, you want it to go a certain way. Sometimes unplanned, random encounters are even better. Its hilarious that the party was stymied by one little crab. Reminds me of a Spelljammer encounter where a party that landed on a moon to replenish their air envelope was murdered by a few giant space ants because they landed too close to their hive.
So right. I am starting to remember how many beer fueled late night AD&D sessions were emergent play and just how fun it was! Murder hobos at times sure. But the game creates moments we cannot create with planning!

what a great game D&D is...
 

So right. I am starting to remember how many beer fueled late night AD&D sessions were emergent play and just how fun it was!
Definitely. When we were younger nothing was better than drinking a bunch of beer and getting a few friends together for a pickup D&D game. These games would last for hours, 8-12 at times. I read and knew the system so well back then that we just improvised games. My one friend at the time said to me, "If you put this much time into school you'd be a rocket scientist".
 




DMMike

Guide of Modos
All four party members surrounded the swarm. It was quickly reduced to 1 hit point, and I think I'm in the norm in that I describe a 1 hp swarm as one remaining critter.

The characters could not kill this crab!
. . .
The crab leapt into the water and waved with a claw as it sunk down into the depths...

It just shows, you never know what part of an encounter or an adventure is going to create a great story.
Please tell me there was an NPC staring at the party when they finished, who 1) witnessed their failure to kill a single crab and 2) had a dead crab in hand, and said, "jeez. Take mine, already!"

Also, the invici-crab should be on the giant chuul's shoulder/back, when next they meet.

what a great game D&D is...
I'd file this under "Only in D&D!"
 


Finally the crab took the Disengage action so it could join its crustaceans brethren overboard. Ah, but the Goliath Barbarian reminded me: Sentinel! He got another opportunity attack. He swung his greataxe down and... Missed!

The crab leapt into the water and waved with a claw as it sunk down into the depths...
And now the crab has a level of Fighter or Monk and it's coming back for revenge!
I prefer a few levels of Bard:

1598983805805.png
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
And now the crab has a level of Fighter or Monk and it's coming back for revenge!
You should look into Yoon-Suin. Crab-men are a playable character race (they can't speak, but a number of people house rule it to make them poor speakers instead).
 

pukunui

Hero
Last year, I was running the Tyranny of Dragons AL season as an episodic campaign. The group finished one of the adventures early in the evening and were just a few XP short of gaining a level, so I suggested they could go for a patrol around the countryside and have a random encounter. I was like, "What could possibly go wrong?"

The dice decided that they'd disturbed a nest of giant wasps. It was very nearly a TPK.
 



Unfortunately I didn't know about murder hornets back then.
I actually saw a show on Discovery about them around 2000. Thats when Discovery, TLC and the History Channel were relevant and didnt show 30 hours of Pawn Star or Cake Wars. Those things were terrifying looking, and it described how they attacked both man and bee alike. Back then they were only in Asia and Japan I believe.
 

Skip ahead to the end of the campaign.

DM: At last, this is the end. The final encounter. Countless foes you have bested, and at last the party confronts the final adversary. The one foe who has schemed against you for these many months. Before you is a wide stairway leading up to a massive seat of power. As you approach, you hear ominous music begin to play....

DM: <begins playing music from his phone>

DM: The mighty throne turns... revealing your ultimate nemesis!

MudCrabTopHat.jpg
 



COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

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