The Blood Arena (DnD Story)
From D&D Wiki
My uni was having TTRPG month and I was lucky enough to get a slot after I had missed the openings for a Call of Cthulhu game (sigh). This level 5 one-shot took place about a month after I signed up, and I had nearly forgotten I even asked. The DM was busy with some summer work. I put together a character only about three days before the game was to take place. Druid was a class I never played before, and loxodon was a race I never played either. Moon druid also has a reputation, so I wanted to feel that power for myself. We didn't hold a session 0 and started largely not knowing each others characters or the setting.
Player 1: Reid, Rogue (Inquisitive)
Player 2: Bertram, Fighter (???)
DM: King, servant, all other people, you get the point.
Now Onto The Story
We, the players, found ourselves in the city of Serdor, before a gigantic arena. The arena is enclosed in a magnificent coliseum with history splattered prominently on its walls. The three of us are approached by a civil servant, and the three of us just happened to be standing next to each other.
"You three seem able, and we have a spot! How say you? Join the Blood Arena!"
Bertram seemed to need money to find someone, and Reid was just also in it for the money. Brozh is here to see new and fantastic creatures, so he has no need of the money. The prize is 2000 gold and the chance to become the Blood Champion. The promise of fighting many beasts is what lures me in. After we agree, the three of us do introductions. It turns out Reid is an investigator. Bertram offers to give his share of the prize money over for his services to find his loved ones, who were kidnapped from his village by slavers. Keep in mind that Bertram is an OLD MAN human, with no points in constitution. Then they finally turn to me, literal elephant in the room, and I tell Reid he can have my money too. I'm just interested in Bertram's predicament since there is a chance always that slaves are sold to experimentation.
So we got to know each other after an hour of banter, and then we get called into the arena. The competition takes place over the course of 3 days, 1 fight each day. Last day we face the champion. Each round begins once the king claps, tells the servant.
Here, I ask, "Claps his what?"
The servant replies, "His hands."
"Oh," I say, "I was assuming something sexual."
Out of character, the DM immediately asks me WHY I ask this. Well, an elephant interested in biology and experimentation wouldn't assume the king couldn't clap his other parts or whatever he had. I was going to go into a spiel about the use of various body parts by fantastical creatures to signal to mates and whatnot but we were on a tight schedule so the DM moved us on.
Our first challenge was about 8 goblins and 2 giant spiders. I just 3rd-level moonbeamed my way out after 2 missed shillelaghs. Reid was sniping with his pot shots the whole time while Bertram was getting traumatized by spider webs (but being a very good sponge!). We survived that and I was really impressed that my elephant skin AC did so well. The king did not seem impressed. We bought some potions and went to go sleep in the lobby of the arena.
Second day, we watch a couple of fights since we're early to our match. We see a team get ripped apart by a hell hound and some other team fought off an owlbear. We have to fight a minotaur. Out of the gate, I use entangle, which surprises the DM. The minotaur passes the save, but it still can't do anything after using all its movement. I retreat a bit and Reid does too. He's a very ranged rogue. Long story short, even Bertram does pretty well this fight despite needing his second wind, screaming
COME AT ME!
I did try setting the minotaur on fire with create bonfire, but that is way too weak of a save. Reid shot the minotaur with a crit in the nipple and Bertram beheads the darn thing. We won, yay. But I was admittedly horrible and ineffective at ranged fighting without using my higher spell slots, so I decide I would stick to melee next time. This time, the king seems impressed and claps.
The DM tells us he expected us to take more damage but the entangle spell screwed up the minotaur's moves entirely. Well, I was pretty happy.
Last day, we watch some matches again. All other challengers are ripped and smashed to bits by the champion, who is actually a stone giant. The smell of fresh blood and fire painting the walls of the arena is a bit much for my sensitive trunk. Nonetheless, we end up being the final challengers. Unfortunately, the stone giant gets a high initiative (in previous rounds, I ended up with highest initiative usually). It lobs a broken pillar and topples me to half health. It would have reduced me to near 0 if Bertram hadn't used his protection fighting style to negate the crit. So I'm knocked prone and groaning as the giant now comes over.
Reid, flighty fellow he is, makes a run for cover and does small sniper shots at the giant, relying on his insightful fighting + sneak attack. They hit, but not to a lot of effect yet. The giant makes two club attacks on Bertram and hits, making a looootta screaming. I figure if we're gonna die, I should wild shape. I choose a brown bear, and make a lucky crit hit with my claws in one go. The giant knocks Bertram unconscious on death's door ("My family, I'm coming to see you now!"). The DM allows Reid to use his potion, which heals Bertram from a distance with a throw. The giant sees this sneaky flubber and goes to get a rock. Me and Bertram land two opportunity attacks, but that doesn't stop it.
So, Reid gets nailed by a crit rock. He used his rogue evasion to avoid dying and limps back into cover. Me and Bertram luckily finish it up in melee while Reid does more sniping. In total, the battle was only about 5 or so rounds. Very adrenaline-pumping though because of the dice rolls.
We become champions and I'm assuming we go on the adventure with Bertram to find his enslaved loved ones.