Jumanji (3.5e Encounter)

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Encounter: The Cursed Game[edit]

  • CR 5
  • Integration This encounter is based on the adventurers finding a cursed artifact. This can be found anywhere and at any time. This is a stand alone encounter that will highly resemble the movie Jumanji (Tristar 1998). Wherever the characters currently are, they can encounter this game. On the shelf in a library; in someones home; a child starts playing it in the common room of a tavern and asked one or more of the players to join; in the nook of a tree or in a river wedged between some rocks. It really does not matter as long as at least one of group plays it. All of them should play for best effect.
  • Prep Time 30 minutes for a review of flood and quake effects, 40 minutes to search for a few of each creature that is at least 3 above the CR of the group.]
  • Play Time [This game can go for as little as 3 hours to as much as 10. It really all depends on how many spaces the game is and how the players play the game. A DC 15 cold be used to help them figure out how the game works.


If you are unfamiliar with the game, it runs like this. The instructions indicate the following: You must reach the end of the game to win. The player that reaches the end first calls out the name of the game. When the player calls out the name of the game everything that happened during the game resets to how it was before the game was played.

DM note: Exact wording should depend on the comprehension level of the group. The characters that had played, keep their memories (and exp.). Because of the Exp issue, it is best if all of the players agree to play the game.

It is a basic board game in appearance with at least as many pieces as players needed. The number of squares needed depends on how long you want the game to go on. I recommend around 4 full rolls per player (24 squares). The board comes with two dice and the pieces needed. The pieces can not be moved by the players on the board, but they move themselves as the players roll. Any roll, either off or on the board counts. The board should be able to close up on itself for easy carrying (they will need it). Any attempt to cheat results in very negative effects. You, as the DM, decides how to handle this.

On each roll the black colored dome in the middle of the board will give a clue as to what it coming at them and maybe a suggestion in dealing with it.

The beauty of this adventure is that everything but memory resets at the end. Dead players, destroyed castle/ecosystem/etc.


What comes out? Well, just about anything.

Environmental disaster (earth quake, flash flood, etc), natural predator (tiger, lion), Monster, Humanoid (elf/dworf/orc), aberration, insects (poisonous/neural toxin), plants(poisonous/neural toxin/strangulation), ooze, or something (person or area of effect) gets teleported away. If it is a single player the time away should have a end time (die roll on the game or sent a specific distance away and needs to run back. If the teleportation is an area of effect it could have some interesting descriptive effects if they were in a tower, and now that section of tower suddenly goes away with them.


The tactics vary depending on what comes out and who it targets. A group of medium sized spiders could swarm through the windows forcing the group to leave the room or stand and fight. But why are they in the room? Did they just lock themselves in that room to protect themselves from something on the other side of the door? The DM needs to be able to adjust quickly and be very open to the chaotic environment.

Be ruthless though. You know that the game resets, and a smart player will know it as well. The characters may be able to reason it out as well. Dont just try to make it hard, try to kill them ALL. That is the only way the 'game' can win.

Whatever comes out is considered a congeration. Simply by playing they have rendered dispelling effects useless.


Well, this is a hard one to swallow, but there isn't any treasure..... that is right, no treasure. At the end of the game, everything resets to how it was before. The dragon that came out, gone, the beholder, gone, poisonous insect swarm, gone, the Litch, gone. The trade off is clear though, all the party members that may have died, are now alive again. The river that over flowed into the town is not overflowing any more. So it would stand that there was no treasure available. The treasure is the experience points themselves. Because you, as the DM, knows that as long as one player finishes the game, the rest will come back, so you can throw real tough things at them. Who knows, maybe they will want to play the cursed game again, voluntarily.

If no treasure is a deal breaker, you can assume that there were other victims of the cursed object, and maybe the last group or two died. When the board game ends and everything resets, the previous dead players appear next to them with all of the equipment they had on them when they died. So actual treasure could be possible. This option would only happen once though, since your "players" didn't all die playing the game. They would only get what the game 'collected' during the other games.

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