Patron: The Great Pumpkin

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Patron: The Great Pumpkin

Post by bizarrojoe »

This is a work in progress that I'm having too much fun writing that I can't help but share it with you all. A week or so ago I had the thought, "What if The Great Pumpkin from Peanuts wasn't in Linus' imagination?" And I began to craft a little L1 encounter that could be inserted into any campaign:

You groggily awake in a dimly lit room. You have no clear memory of where you just were, what you were just doing, or where you were going. You find yourself connecting distant thoughts in your head. Weren't you just in a cave together? No, surely you were just navigating your ship into a fog bank. Or were you nodding off around a campfire? Who are these other people? They seem familiar, but not quite... You feel a kinship with them, a comfortable fellowship, but at the same time their faces are foreign to you. You are also alarmed to notice that your weapons are missing.

Your instincts turn to the room you find yourself in. The walls are made of stone. They curve around you in a circle about 40 feet across and 20 feet above you, forming an impressively built dome. The floor and walls are covered with a multitude of vines, though they appear to be somehow sculpted out of the same stone as the walls and floor. There are no doors out of this room, and although you do not detect a light source, your eyes have adjusted well enough to see everything around you. In the middle of the room is a circular dais made of the same stone as the rest of the room, sculpted to look like a tree stump. It rises four feet off the ground, and is three feet across at the flat top.

On the dais rests a medium-sized pumpkin.

The adventurers need to find out why they are in this room, and how they can get out. There's more to the adventure, but I won't recount it all here. Suffice it to say, The Great Pumpkin wants the party to avenge the wrongful deaths of millions of pumpkins that have been trampled, burned, and rotted away by the forces of chaos.

Of course, there's a chance the PCs will attack the pumpkin, so there are some nasty stats for it in case that happens. But if the PCs take on the crusade, there's also a chance that a wizard may invoke the patronage of the Great Pumpkin.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

Wizards in the group can call upon The Great Pumpkin as a patron. TGP is the Grandmother of all Gourds, and demands that her servants protect pumpkins and their kin from the forces of Chaos. To form a bond with TGP, a wizard must reside in a great pumpkin patch on the Festival of Samhain and sustain himself on pumpkin seeds and flesh for a week in a rite of purification. At the rite’s completion, the wizard will be enveloped in a cocoon of vines and emerge Champion of the Patch.

Invoke Patron check results:

12-13 The Great Pumpkin hears the pleas of the petitioner, and telepathically reassures him that all will be well. The caster temporarily regains the use of a spell that was lost during this encounter (Invoke Patron cannot be regained in this manner). If no spells have been lost, the caster receives +3 to his next spell check.

14-17 The Great Pumpkin shields you and your companions from harm. For a number of rounds equal to the caster’s level, the caster and all allies within 10’ gain a +3 bonus to attacks, damage, and spell checks against attacking creatures.

18-19 The caster and his entire party sense the healing warmth of the pumpkin patch. Each round the PCs (regardless of their proximity to the caster) do not move, they heal 1d4 hit points. This continues for each PC until he moves, is moved by an external force, or returns to maximum HP. Each round the caster does not move he heals 1d4+CL hit points.

20-23 1d4 miniature helper pumpkins (5” across) appear hovering around the caster. The pumpkins have AC 10, HD 1d8 (6 HP), MV 20’ (flying), and obey the caster’s mental commands. After a number of days equal to the caster’s level, they lose all magical properties and fall to the ground. In combat, commanding all available pumpkins counts as a single action, otherwise they simply hover at their last known location. They can perform the following tasks:
1. Move. A pumpkin can fly up to 100’ in any direction (including around corners) and report back to the caster what it saw via telepathic imagery. It can also land on a spot up to 100’ within line of sight of the caster.
2. Attack. A pumpkin can attack an enemy for 1d4+CL bludgeoning damage. The attack never misses. However, there is a 20% chance (roll a 9 or 10 on a 1d10) that the pumpkin will critically hit the enemy for additional 1d4 damage and explode on contact. Multiple pumpkins can be commanded to attack the same or different enemies in a round.
3. Defend. A pumpkin can protect the caster from harm by hovering between an enemy and the caster. The pumpkin will automatically take damage from the next successful attack made on the caster by an enemy. If the pumpkin dies this way, any remaining damage from the attack does not transfer to the caster; the pumpkin bravely sacrificed itself. Multiple defending pumpkins each block a different attack.

24-27 The Great Pumpkin senses your dire need, and delivers her envoy unto you. From out of the shadows (after 1d3 rounds) emerges Dirk Pumpkinhead! Dirk appears as a tall, wiry scarecrow with baggy overalls, loosely fitting scrap armor, and a large jack-o-lantern for a head. He is armed with a comically oversized battle-axe. For the duration of the current battle, he will fight by your side until his body is killed. If he is summoned outside of battle, he will offer to obey your commands for an hour (within reason). But then he has to split, ‘cuz there’s important work to be done elsewhere.

Dirk Pumpkinhead: Init 0 (acts at the same time as the caster in initiative order); Atk axe +6 melee (2d8) or fire breath +3 missile fire (3d8, range 30’); AC 15; HD 3d10; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +3; AL N.

28-29 The caster is granted the ability to transform 2d4+CL creatures into pumpkins. The caster stretches out his arms, and a writhing mass of pumpkin vines erupt from his robes, extending out up to 30’ plus 10’ per CL. Each creature targeted by the vines must make a Fortitude save. The target turns into a pumpkin if it fails the save; however, all of its clothing and items remain. If the target passes the save, it is trapped by the vines unless it chops free of them (must do 20 points of damage to the AC 12 vines). The transformed pumpkins are of a size proportional to that of the original creatures.

30-31 The Great Pumpkin’s wrath manifests as a gigantic Pumpkin of Doom. If the party is outdoors, a great shadow appears over the heads of their enemies. If the party is inside a room or cavern, a great rumbling sound can be heard from behind the nearest portal. In 1d4 rounds, the PoD crashes into a circular area 30’ across, dealing 3d6 damage to all creatures automatically. Judges may decide just how the PoD appears, what collateral damage it causes, and whether it moves on depending on the circumstances of its appearance.

32+ Respite of the Patch. A portal opens to the home of The Great Pumpkin. The portal closes as soon as 1d4+CL rounds pass, or as soon as the entire party enters; enemies are barred from entrance. Once the portal closes, the PCs may stay in the chamber as long as they wish to recover. As soon as they are ready to leave, the portal opens once again to wherever and whenever the PCs left their native plane. One round after the portal closes behind the last PC to exit, time resumes to normal.

Patron Taint results (these are more loosely drafted at the moment):

1. First offense: Everything stinks of rotten vegetation after a spell is cast. Second offense: The stink never goes away, and the party is nauseated by it. Third offense: The stink is so bad that there's a chance that it attracts monsters.
2. First offense: The caster gets orange-colored skin. Second offense: The caster grows vines off of his head and body. Third offense: The caster’s head becomes a jack-o-lantern.
3. First offense: The caster only sleeps well with a pumpkin, otherwise he cannot regain HP or expended stat points. Second offense: The caster begins to take a spell check loss unless he rests in a pumpkin patch. Third offense: The caster begins to grow sick and rot if he cannot rest in a pumpkin patch. *This becomes a routine problem in the winter.
4. First offense: Pumpkins start to appear in the caster’s peripheral vision, only to disappear when looked directly upon. Second offense: The caster is fairly certain he is being haunted by the ghosts of dead pumpkins. They begin to appear everywhere, and have a chance of distracting the caster from casting spells. Third offense: The caster cannot easily distinguish between illusion and reality. Everyday people, creatures, and objects look and feel like pumpkins; the caster’s irises turn orange.

So that's what I have so far. I still plan to expand the Patron Taint, as well as come up with some Patron spells. Ideas are welcome!

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Jobe Bittman
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Re: Patron: The Great Pumpkin

Post by Jobe Bittman »

Hilarious. I love it. Why a medium-sized pumpkin though? If my patron is a pumpkin, I want it to be the biggest bad ass pumpkin with warts and fat knotty stem.
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Re: Patron: The Great Pumpkin

Post by bizarrojoe »

silver wrote:Hilarious. I love it. Why a medium-sized pumpkin though? If my patron is a pumpkin, I want it to be the biggest bad ass pumpkin with warts and fat knotty stem.
The Great Pumpkin is modest. She doesn't want people aware of her presence, especially when she's visiting her children on holidays.
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Re: Patron: The Great Pumpkin

Post by bholmes4 »

Love it. Good reminder for me that not all patrons need to be Cthulhu-esque creatures.
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Re: Patron: The Great Pumpkin

Post by Raven_Crowking »

Very cool.
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.
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