I’ll free admit that I stole this idea from Evereaux’s “Megadungeon” campaign journal over at Dragonsfoot.
Blue Team (Gildred the elven warden, Addama the eladrin paladin, Ransook the human ranger and Seamus the dwarf warlord) are traveling down a long passageway in an underground crypt when they come across a stone arm protruding from the wall, palm up.
After some discussion, Gildred drops a gold piece into the palm, which closes. After a minute, the palm opens, the coin still within. Addama also drops in a gold coin, and the hand closes, then opens once more. Ransook does the same.
Seamus says no dwarf would be separated from his gold so easily, and just walks by. At the end of the passageway is a door, and the PC’s open it to find a room filled with skeletons.
At this point Gildred states that the stone arm is a ripoff, leaves the front line of the team, and goes back to snatch up the three gold pieces.
As Gygax fans would expect, the arm immediately clamps onto Gildred’s wrist.
The other three players are now shouting at Gildred’s player as they back up along the hallway, waiting for the skeletons to pursue. They don’t, and so they spike the door. Gildred, however, is trapped to the wall until he finally manages to pry the stone arm free from its socket. He can’t get his arm free and moreover every time someone hits the stone arm its grip tightens.
So the other three send Gildred back into town alone to talk to the old cleric at the temple who tells him that a Remove Affliction ritual will cost him 930 gp.
“How much is a ‘regenerate arm’ potion?” asks Gildred.
Realizing that he doesn’t have that much money, Gildred returns to the group and settles on wielding a longsword with his off-hand rather than the two-handed greataxe with the penalty for a stone arm. It’s worth noting that the following puns were made during the game:
Need a hand?
That seems really heavy-handed?
I always wondered what a coat of arms looked like.
I’m not surprised the ritual would cost you an arm and a leg.
After making it through the last encounter the rest of the group chipped in to pay for the ritual, although it bit heavily into their funds. Good way to bleed off the group, if you ask me.
This seems a bit disarming.
What a hands off approach to punishing the players!
I have to say that I like it a lot.