I was a young DM, just doing my best. I was confident I knew the rules well, but previously I had only lightly dabbled in item creation, while mostly following pre-made books and adventures. However, this was a holiday session, so I wanted to step out of my comfort zone to create a fun and interesting session. Candyland was created!
The regular group had been left in the bottom of a dungeon during their last session. They had spotted a massive rat wearing a strange outfit, chased it, and ran into another character, Dana. Dana did not normally play D&D, but wanted to join our Friday night escapades.
Elvu, Zirq and Wuufy quickly grouped up with Dana and followed the rat into a dark cavern. They emerged in a Willy Wonka-esque Candyland.
Zirq: I make sure I still have all my equipment.
Wuufy: I prepare my spells.
Elvu: I climb a nearby tree to spot the rat or anything else.
DM: You easily climb up the somewhat sticky branches. The smell of chocolate and mint fill your nostrils as you realize it’s made of candy!
Elvu: I break off a branch and take a bite as I continue to climb.
DM: It’s delicious chocolate. You make it to the upper branches. As far as you can see, there are candy forests. You catch a glimpse of the rat heading towards a massive castle in the distance!
Elvu: I climb down and let everyone know what I saw.
Zirq: I prepare my…
Dana: Are there any animals?
DM: Uh… Yes!
Dana: Can I use befriend animal? I’m supposed to have one it says.
DM: You spot a gingerbread bear – it comes up to you and licks your hand, clearly it is willing to be your…
Dana: (Almost frantically) Are there any gummy bear hamsters?!
Dice hits the table… Nat 20
The group giggles
DM: You sit down on a nearby fallen candy cane log and just happen to find a pink gummy bear hamster.
Dana: His name is Edwin!
Elvu: Okay… So now we all gear up and…
Dana: What does Edwin do?
DM: Oh, uh… He’s more of a familiar, he can’t really attack…
Dana: Does he poop?!
Wuufy: He probably poops jellybeans!
DM: Hm… Yes! Yes, he does. He poops jellybeans.
Dana takes notes.
Dana: Can I eat the jellybeans?
DM: Yes, you can! And if you roll a D6 it will give a random stat boost +1 for one round. He creates five a day, and it’s a free action since they are so small. (Yes, I gave her a sheet for enchanted hamster jellybean poop.)
Dana: What’s a free action?
DM: You can use it as much as you like.
Dana: I eat one! I gain +1 charisma!
Party takes a few minutes to calm back down, giggling continues through the game, a bowl of jellybeans sitting on the table does not help.
The party regroups and carries on through the candy cane forests, battling nutcracker trolls and assorted rat-men, while unveiling a darker side to the candy kingdom. After several weeks of adventuring, they eventually reach the castle itself. Dana has learned how to use her spells more and more efficiently, and the party is ripping through the castle… until they meet the big bad. A giant rat turns out to be an evil sorcerer (I know, cliché…). The final battle is going on, when Elvu and Wuufy both take an over-calculated hit of pink candy fog and go down.
Zirq: I think we need to run, come on Dana!
Dana: Here, take this.
Dana hands Zirq her backpack with a note, and turns to the big bad.
Dana: You big meanie, you hurt my friends – now you will pay!
She uses her charisma to distract the big bad with a nat 20.
Big Bad: HAHA You are pathetic! (Queue bad-guy speech)
Zirq starts rolling dice, and then attacks… backstabbing the creature with a questioningly high roll.
DM: What was that?!
Zirq: She gave me a note to eat all the jellybeans. My str and dex are both over 50.
And that is how they defeated the Big Bad of Candy Land… A game breaking item I created…
A side note, everyone had a great time – and even today when I hand out a magic item the phrase “So is this one of those jellybean items or…”