Balance – Episode 51: The Suffering Game: Chapter One

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What a devilish twist! What adventures await us down the winding path toward... the Adventure Zone!

—The Announcer

"The Suffering Game: Chapter One," as it appears on the MaximumFun website, is the 51st episode of The Adventure Zone: Balance.

Synopsisedit | hide all | hide | edit source

Full transcript available here.

After a summer spent tirelessly training, our heroes are finally prepared to take on their next, harrowing mission. What horrors -- or fortunes -- await them in Wonderland? I mean, this arc is literally titled "The Suffering Game," so you can probably piece it together yourself. Merle hangs ten. Taako's like a bird. Magnus drops in on an old friend.

The episode begins a couple of days before the Midsummer Harvest Festival, though little preparations for the festival have been made. Magnus, Taako and Merle have spent the two months since their last adventure doing intensive training under Lucretia's supervision in order to prepare for their next mission. Though by this point they have a deep relationship with Lucretia, she has been distant for the last month.

Finally, she has called the boys to her office to begin their next mission. She looks tired. She tells them that before the Bureau of Balance, she attempted to find and destroy the Grand Relics on her own. After months of fruitless searching, she received an invitation to Wonderland, a place which promises whatever prize a person most desires, though it is a "death trap" that changes with each new visit. Her invitation promised her the prize of the Animus Bell, a Grand Relic she knew almost nothing about. Though she doesn't go into details about what she encountered in Wonderland, she tells the boys she lost 20 years of her life in a wager over a game of chess, and is very concerned about the mental and emotional trauma they may endure there.

The players establish that none of their characters told the others about the solo adventures they took during the previous Lunar Interlude.

Before they leave, Taako takes a moment to run back to his room and grab the Flaming Poisoning Raging Sword of Doom from under his bed.

Catchin' up with Pringlesedit | hide | edit source

Magnus heads to the Brig to talk to Robbie/Pringles. After failing to secure permission from the Director to visit, and failing to convince the two elevator guards that he had secured permission, he knocks the guards out and puts them in his pocket workshop. Robbie tells Magnus he was imprisoned because something took over his body and he woke up somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. The last thing he remembers is being alone in the room he shared with the boys, when his vision went red. The next thing he knew he was in a dark room near a large vault door, in the Director's "personal space," and the Director immediately had him thrown in jail for being a traitor.

After meeting up with the rest of the party, Magnus asks if they have any kind of mind-erasing magics (they don't). Avi walks in and sets up a sphere, which they use to descend to the Felicity Wilds.

Adventure time!edit | hide | edit source

While flying through the sky, the boys see some familiar sights, like the black glass circle that used to be Phandalin along with the road leading to it. The balls starts to descend onto a couple of pine tree. Taako pulls the brake and the ball lands safely on these trees. The boys realize they're stuck 40 feet in the air, and they start planning how to get down. Merle steps onto his Vroom Broom and, says the command word "Hang-Ten", and surfs down to the ground. Taako jumps out of the ball, throws his Umbra Staff to Magnus mid-air so he can use it to float down safely, and he transforms into a bird. The Umbra Staff shoots out of Magnus' hands and lands next to Taako, so Magnus uses his Grappling Hook to grapple onto a nearby branch and lower himself down to the ground.

Upon landing, Magnus attempts to discretely send the two still unconscious guards back up to the moon base in the sphere, but it is knocked back to the ground by a three headed beast, killing the two guards in the process. The chimera turns its sights to the boys and it dives down directly at the three of them, revealing itself to be a chimera.

BATTLE TIME!edit | hide | edit source

Enemy's Turn!

Chimera uses flame attack. Magnus quickly switches the dial on his Champion's Belt to flame, reducing future fire damage. Dragon Head shoots a burst of flame at the boys. It succeeds! Merle and Taako take 28 damage! Magnus takes half damage!

Chimera uses bludgeoning attack. Goat Head rams into Taako with its horns. It succeeds! Taako takes 11 points of bludgeoning damage!

Chimera uses piercing attack. Lion Head takes a bite out of Merle. It's a critical success! Merle takes 22 points of piercing damage!

Hero's Turn!

Magnus uses two-handed RailSplitter. Magnus attacks the base of Dragon Head's neck. He misses! He succeeds! Dragon Head takes 11 damage! Magnus uses Goading Attack. He succeeds! Chimera now has disadvantage on any attacks that aren't against Magnus. Magnus uses Action Surge. Magnus throws Chance Lance at Lion Head. He succeeds! Lion Head takes 9 damage!

Merle casts Mass Cure Wounds. The party regains 19 hit points each! However, something feels a bit off when he casts it...

Taako casts Ice Storm. A hail of ice falls towards the Chimera and Magnus. Magnus saves! Chimera fails to save! Chimera takes 30 damage! Magnus takes 15 damage!

Enemy's Turn!

Chimera uses piercing attack! Dragon Head snaps at Magnus. It succeeds! Magnus takes 13 damage!

Chimera uses bludgeoning attack. Goat Head charges at Magnus. It misses!

Chimera uses piercing attack. Lion Head tries to bite into Merle, but with disadvantage. It fails!

Hero's Turn!

Magnus switches to one-handed Railsplitter. Magnus attempts to climb up onto the Chimera's back. He succeeds! Magnus attacks the base of Dragon Head's neck. He succeeds! Dragon Head takes 14 damage! Dragon Head is unconscious.

Merle casts Insect Plague. A swarm of bugs gather at the Chimera's feet. Magnus saves! Chimera saves! Chimera takes 16 damage! Lion Head is unconscious. Magnus takes 16 damage!

Enemy's Turn!

Goat Head attempts to knock Magnus off its back. Magnus fails to save! Magnus is thrown onto the ground. Goat Head attempts to escape. UNKNOWN shoots Goat Head in the head with an arrow. They succeed! Chimera is slain!


The boys see that this arrow was shot by a Half Elf man with a longbow. He is traveling with a Wood Elf carrying a staff, and a scrawny, but very well-dressed human man, who turns out to be Lord Artemis Sterling, Ruler of Neverwinter.


The Money Zoneedit | hide | edit source

Sponsored by Nature Box

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Featured NPCsedit | hide | edit source

Featured Musicedit | hide | edit source

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