January 4, 2006

Gronde Mondre Arena of Death

Yesterday I played in the Gronde Mondre Arena of Death at CONduit in Salt Lake City.

The Gronde Monde arena is a high-stakes battle royal for honor and swag. Contestants try to obtain some of the five rings available on some 12 platforms spread throughout the arena. Most of the platforms are guarded by fierce monsters and the rest by fiendish traps. This was slated to be a high level Arena match and the other contestants had an average level of 6 ½. I entered in my 1st level Half-Ogre fighter known as “Big Guy”, who was a dishonored PC who wished to die an honorable death. Since the odds were stacked against him, Big Guy made changes to his Will and bet 1,000 GP on a Troubleshooter he thought might win. Insurance was made available to try to cheat death, but there was no point in that. Big Guy had the best odds at the betting table: 10 to 1 on winning. It was a sucker’s bet and only one person took that bet.

Right off the bat I played a game effect card that gave Big Guy 1d20 base honor and rolled a natural 20! Unfortunately the GM didn’t allow for penetration (which was fine by me as I just hoped for a 3 or better so Big Guy would be out of the dishonorable Honor window. At the start of the match, all of the contestants ran off towards different platforms. Big Guy ran towards a teleport stone that would place him on a very tall pedestal over-looking the entire arena. Three contestants managed to get onto another elevated pedestal together to face a beholder-like creature, while two others faced different elementals. I lost track of the last contestant.
In the second round several elementals went down (facing a 9th level fighter with a Ring of Elemental Resistance) and that beholder-thing got in some good blows, totally obliterating one 5th level Cleric. Big guy made it to the top of the pillar and didn’t become disoriented, allowing him to search the pedestal for one of the rings. As he placed his hand over the pedestal, a wall of force roughly pushed him over the edge of the platform to almost certain death. As I wanted Big Guy to go out in a blaze of glory, I beseeched the GM to let me grab my second two-handed sword I had tucked under the other arm while searching for the ring. He had me make a DEX check, which I made. Now Big Guy was 120’ up in the air, swords in each hand and spread eagle staring death in the face with a big ‘ol grin. The GM picked up 12d6 and with an evil chuckle (these dice can penetrate!) managed to roll a whopping 38. Oh, by the way, don’t forget that Half-Ogres have Dense Skin and only take ½ damage from crushing blows. Sixteen points of damage later (the now-shredded leather armor absorbed 3 points) and Big Guy was brushing himself off and showboating for the crowd. That stunt managed to get him some favor from the crowd.
The next round had Big Guy making a mad dash to the same platform in an effort to find a ring, since he didn’t get a chance to search for it before his impromptu flying lesson. A little more wary this time, Big Guy wrapped his arms and legs around the pillar (from the backside, putting the pillar between him and the edge he “fell” off of before) and groped his way upwards until he could search the top. Again the force tried to propel him from the platform, but he managed to hold on tight. Unfortunately there was no ring to be found and Big Guy was stuck up there for two rounds until the force subsided.
As soon as he was able, Big Guy ran for the random teleportal on the edge of the platform and found himself in the middle of the arena on a checkerboard surface which held four smaller pedestals. These pedestals had a 25% chance of delivering healing when touched and a 75% chance of randomly teleporting an individual to another area. Big Guy went to touch a pedestal on the way to running over to the opposite side of the arena to the other 120’ tall platform and just before he touched the pedestal, he was shocked by a bolt of lightning, which dropped him down to 6 HP. Unfortunately the pedestal didn’t heal him but instead transported him to a small platform surrounded by fire.
The arena game ended before Big Guy could take any more actions. There was a three way tie for first place, with one of the three being the Troubleshooter he had bet on. Unfortunately the crown decided to choose another as champion. Technically Big guy lost 1,000 GP, but since he expected to die, it was more like “winning” the other 3,000 GP he still had. All-in-all a good day.

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