It’s been a bard’s day night…

So, based of a discussion on my facebook page, I was encouraged to run a game of fifth edition dungeons and dragons. I then posted a suggestion in a forum I hang out in and I got signups

This is going to break my brain in new and innovative ways. Because, well, D*D can get ridic, and when you combine some of the folks that hang out in that forum with Ridic.. You get.. well.. what’s left of Foz’s sanity going PING as it breaks into a million little pieces.

And lucky you guys, you get a front row seat to the carnage.

And why the title? You’re about to find out.

So, the core idea of the game was to use the new Acquisitions Incorporated book for fifth edition, which drops the “heroic” part of D&D. Acquisitions Inc used to be a podcast run by the penny arcade folks, that can be described like “Office Space meets Dungeons and Dragons”. They now run games at major con’s and it’s a huge ticket to get.

The comedy can be pretty Office Space-y indeed.. things like “Remember, what you’re offering your unpaid interns as you send them into horrible danger and possible death and dismemberment (not necessarily in that order) is much more important then just a pittance of a wage.. you’re offering on-the-job experience!”.

So, I wondered what a cut-rate, nearly MLM level of Acquisitions Inc would look like. And I came up with the Eye of the Collector.

What is the Eye of the Collector? 

I’m glad you (didn’t) ask:

Throughout the Realms, and indeed, across the Planes of existence (if you’re one of those hippies who claim there’s other worlds than Faerun), there are many organizations that are well known, for one reason or another, for weal or woe. The Zhentarim. The Lords Alliance. The Cult of the Dragon. But today, we speak of none other than the Eye of the Collector. 

Who, you may say? Wait, aren’t they a tiny little organization of know-nothings and do-even-less? The only reason they’re at all known is their relentless advertising, and willingness to lend their name to any group of ne’r-do-wells that are willing to pay a franchise fee? Well. That’s their cover, and it has fooled many. But not those in the know.

You see. the Eye is, in one way or another the greatest procurer of flim-flam artists, con men, thugs, and various flavor of murderhobos Faerun has ever experienced. They have had their hidden hands in events that have shaken Faerun to its core, that not more than 12.43% of Faerunian large-scale commerce does NOT have the stamp of the Eye in one way or another. Their cover guise has served them well. But even the most resilient of groups such as the Eye of the Collector needs fresh blood. They are ruthless in weeding out those who don’t fit their exacting standards. Sure, there are groups that claim to be Eye-affiliated, but you wouldn’t trust to guard a tent, never mind search for an artifact of world-altering power.

But that is part of their grand facade. While people sneer at these “Eye-wannabes”, true members of the Eye of the Collector can earn great amounts of respect amongst people who see them for what they truly are, the elite of the elite in a world full of elite. With that comes great compensation, of course, but for a lot of their members, it’s the ability to change the world that draws them to us.

And you, my friend, have been drawn in. We sense the seeds of greatness in you and your companions. Normally, we would send you out on many seperate quests of great danger before we reveal ourselves to you. But.. we sense that you are different. That instead of proving yourself to us, we need to prove ourselves to you.

So. We would like to offer you a franchise of the Eye of the Collector, and instead of the normal 40% for the first 10 years we would receive, we will reduce it to a mere 15%, plus your various monthly fees, of course.

Greatness is calling, my friends. Are you going to answer the Eye and assume the greatness we see in you?

(Warning: We are not responsible for giving you missions that result in death, dismemberment, and vast amounts of property damage. Nor do we assume any responsibility for any cursed items,cursed party members, or cursed payment.)

So, the original idea is various ne’er-do-wells and wannabees and never-weres that somehow ended up doing good. All in the name of profit, of course (and good can be subjective)

The original idea for one person’s character was a moon-shiner who was in debt to a criminal boss , who had dispatched a half-Ogre named Tony Kneecaps (because that’s what he collected from his victims) to recover his money..

But then things got… weird.

SackAttack had rolled pretty average for his stats (nothing great, but nothing above like a 13 on 4d6 drop lowest, arrange to fit), so he decided to be a half-orc bard (only because full orcs are not PC’s in the four books that we are using).

Then another player rolled up his character, and said something like “Maybe I should be a bard too, do you mind if we do a duet, SackAttack?”

And then a third of my players, who still hasn’t gotten over the hell I put him through in the X-Com Werewolf game that I ran, chuckled over the idea, and decided that he was going to make MY life a living hell.


Originally Posted by Coffee Warlord
Entire party of bards!
We can have a full band.
….that…..actually sounds hilarious.
C’mon guys. Full Bardic Party.

And CrimsonFox, who should’ve known better than to encourage CDub in this cockamamie idea, chimed in.


Originally Posted by CrimsonFox
hmmmm we could form a band
that travels from town to town solving mysteries
and we have a dog

Cue the Fozzie Facepalm.

But that’s ok. That’s only the beginning of the shenanigans that are going to happen.

You see, I had already decided that I was going to give them a traveling base of operations. They just decided that it was going to be their version of the tour bus.


It’s a single horse carriage. Doesn’t look like much. I mean, when the players will first see it, it doesn’t look like much. But.. it’s magical.

Well, of course it is, a carriage of traveling bards is going to be something garish and over the top right?

Oh, they have NO idea (the characters that is)

You see, it was created by a Mad Mage (no, not that Mad Mage who lives Undermountain, besides, he’s copyrighted). This was to be his personal vehicle. As such, it’s got a few surprises under the hood

Xortl placed a bag of holding inside another bag of holding, and then simultaneously turned both bags of holding inside out (Hint: DON’T TURN A BAG OF HOLDING INSIDE OUT. BAD THINGS HAPPEN. UNLESS YOU’RE A POWERFUL ENOUGH MAGE, THEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO OTHERS, BUT NOT YOU)

In short, this ripped a hole in reality, and created a link to the Plane of Portals. Then he sent folks (mostly that Unpaid intern thing), to map out the rooms that were linked to the tear in reality (which he cunningly hid as a floor hatch inside the carriage to the belly cargo hold.) Those who returned with their sanity intact were widely feted (and then had mindwipe spells cast on them, so they wouldn’t know what they were being feted for).

He then created a supernatural servant to serve all his needs. He named his creation Bob. Bob runs the entire carriage, as needed. He’s the carriage driver He’s the stevedore. He’s the stable boy who looks after the horse. The horse also is Bob. That’s right, Bob is everywhere. This can be rather disturbing. We did mention that Xortl was a mad mage, right? So, it can be rather unusual to eat breakfast (cooked by Bob), clear the table (so Bob can clean the dishes), and then on the way out, pass by a pair of Bobs who are unloading cargo, and then when it’s all set, have Bob nudge Bob into a trot at they head to the next town.

It’s confusing. I know. I wrote that sentence, and I still can’t figure it out.

Xortl has supposedly long since moved on to other experiments (rumor has it that he was going to place a Font of Everlasting Creation inside an Orb of Annihilation. Thankfully for reality, there’s been no record if he actually did so.), but the Carriage of Xortl awaits our party, if they can recover the last parts of it. Bob’s quite insistent on being properly fixed before he allows them to use Bob.

Wait, I’m getting caught up in Bob-dom, again.

Just know that our party will need to fix Bob before they can use Bob for whatever reasons. (Probably, knowing my players, it will involve smuggling). And there are a whole bunch of doors left to explore. Most of them are like Sesame Street episodes, if they were brought to you by the letters T, P, and K.

(that’s a D&D reference, TPK=Total Party Kill. What I should Have done the second this idea was proposed).

But, who knows. I’m pretty sure the adventures ahead will be interesting, filled with Bob and treasure, and may or may not involve Goblin Firedancers (who dance with fire thanks to the help of Magic Mud), lich cosplayers, kobold encyclopedia creators, and copious alignment violations.

Something’s gotta give. Odds are it will be my sanity. 

But I’m taking them with me.