Not All Puzzles Require Solving

Even though I was unable to play my normal Sunday Adventurers League game (I had to travel again yesterday), I was able to play my Sunday evening Discord game.

I’ve talked about this group before (how the wood elf Elren befriended the tarantula named Benjamin), and it’s a good group. Currently, it’s made of Elren (wood elf monk), Momon (half-elf wizard), Claa P. Trap (warforged artificer), Calla (human paladin), and Gotrek (dwarf barbarian). Last night, Claa and Momon were unavailable, so it was just the other three.

Before you get comfortable, I just want to say that this isn’t a game summary, as such. It’s more of a treatise on the puzzle that they came across.

They came to a room with a corridor leading out of the other side. In the room were three pedestals with objects covered with a cloth, the center one being larger than the others.

As of note, the entire dungeon has been a mishmash of randomness, with corridors and rooms changing haphazardly. Different corridor materials with the most random assortment of creatures. Nothing coherent. Nothing cohesive. Other than the randomness.

So back to the three pedestals.

Three pedestals. Three objects covered in cloths. A corridor beyond, with a stone door bound in iron with no lock and a simple handle (the same make of door that they entered the dungeon through) down the corridor. And the paladin says with a sigh “We’d better go fiddle with these shouldn’t we?”

The first question I asked in my mind was…Why?!

There was, and I made sure to reiterate this, a clear way to bypass the room!

They lift up the center cloth and come face to face with the disembodied head of this (less the mandibles):

Umber Hulk

Of course, as you may have guessed at this point, they get hit with the gaze attack. One of the three didn’t make their save, so the others divert his gaze for him, while not looking at it. While holding the cloth. With it uncovered.

The paladin decides to use his divine sense ability and found that the right cloth covered something undead. Wonderful.

They checked the left one and found that the hair was…bulky. Like they were large braids or possibly thick dreadlocks. Strange. The elf groaned and turned the object underneath towards the umber hulk head. They held a mirror up so that whatever was underneath the cloth on the left would also see itself. You can probably guess what was underneath the cloth…


Yeah…That. And because of the mirror, turned both the umber hulk head and itself to stone. Sweet. Maybe.

Then they check the third cloth and found that, underneath…it was smooth.

This was problematic for me. I had, in this dungeon, deadly encounters that the party was not supposed to fight. They were supposed to run away from some things. I was trying to teach them a lesson that no everything was meant to fight.

But NOOOOoooooo. They decide to lift the cloth.

Why, Dear Readers, does every single mystery have to be solved now? Why do they have to be solved at all? Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, why do players feel that they have to do everything? Please let me know YOUR reasoning in the comment section!

In any case, they lifted the cloth.


Yes. It is exactly what it looks like: a demilich. One of the most insanely powerful critters in the book. And they were only 6th level. Yeah. But here’s the deal. The paladin has a +5 Charisma modifier. And is 6th level. And most saves are going to be Con based. Versus a monk with a high Con, a Barbarian, and a Paladin. Con heavy dudes/dudettes (the paladin is a female).

We ended on a cliffhanger where they beat the tar out of the demilich (everyone has magic weapons, the monk’s hands are magical weapons, and they were rolling very well for the most part, particularly their saves versus the life drain and the howl abilities of the demilich), but decided that, finally, discretion was the better part of valor and headed for the door. Now they are going to see if it will give chase or not.

So, what do you think, Dear Readers? Would you have walked on by? Would you have decided enough was enough after the first head was uncovered? Would you have left the heads uncovered?

Well, we’ll see what happens next week!

Until next time, Dear Readers…

P.S. – Don’t forget to Like, Subscribe, and comment!

Published by The Daily DM

I'm just a DM telling the stories of my tables.

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