Jaime Jones – artpad.org
A D&D skit with legs.
How it happened: Russ “Morrus” Morrissey and Peter Coffey recently began asking for user submitted skits (or “sketches”) on the Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk podcast, and they threatened — er, promised — to perform select submissions to the delight and edification of all and sundry.
I submitted the following piece, and to my pleasant surprise they performed it on Episode #26 – Top 10 Most Anticipated RPGs of 2019.
If you’re an RPG fan, I really do recommend Morrus’ Unofficial Tabletop RPG Talk podcast (and have done so often, even before I had content appear therein 😁). Morrus and Peter along with their editor Darryl Mott do a great job providing current RPG news and discussion in an entertaining format.
Not Your Garden Variety Giant Spider
Brian (answering): Roll Power RPG Hotline, now you’re rolling with power.
Brian: Brian speaking, how may I help you in your adventures today?
Caller: Erm, yes, well you see, spiders.
Brian: I’m sorry, did you say fighters or spiders?
Caller: Spiders. Eight legs, fangs, webs. Inordinately frightening.
Brian: Ah, right. Fearsome creatures of the arachnid persuasion. Not actually insects, you know?
Caller: Er, what?
Brian: Because of the amount of legs. You see–
Caller: Yes, yes, we know that. What we DON’t know is what we actually have here.
Brian: I’m sorry?
Caller: Well, the thing is we don’t actually know what we’ve just defeated and there’s no small amount of debate amongst the party.
Brian: Ah, Defeated Arachnid Antagonist Identification and Classification. Let me just check your account…. (humming) ah, excellent, you have the Electrum Package which includes that service at no extra charge.
Caller: (more to himself) I *knew* that would pay off, the cheapskates. *scoffs* “Anything above Copper Package is a ripoff”, indeed.
Brian: Indeed, sir. Now, tell me more if you you don’t mind.
Caller: Well, we’ve defeated some sort of spider creature and as I’ve said we’re not sure–
Muffled voice in background: Ask him if it’s an ettercap!
Caller (replying off phone): Listen I tell you it’s NOT an ettercap, but just to shut your annoying piehole…
Caller (to Brian): There’s no chance it’s an ettercap, is there?
Brian: Is it sort of a humanoid-spider hybrid?
Caller: Erm, no. Definitely 100% spider in shape and form.
Brian: Not an ettercap, then. Or as some say it an attercop. Although there’s some dispute as to what they are, most scholars agree an ettercap is–
Caller (talking off phone): He says its not an ettercap. Now will you shut up about it?
Muffled voice in background: What about a phase spider? Those are cool.
Caller (talking off phone): I’m not asking him that. Did it phase at all while we were fighting it? Well, did it? Now go help Barak with the ropes and harnesses to the horses.
Brian: Right. Ok, next question: how big is the spider?
Caller: Oh, it’s big all right. We all agree it’s a giant spider but can’t agree on whether it’s your garden variety giant spider or something else.
Brian: Can you give me an idea of how big?
Caller: Well, I mean, big. Really big. It–
Brian: Wait. Sir, did you say something about ropes and harnesses and horses a moment ago?
Caller: Yes. They’re rigging it all up right now.
Brian: And are these ropes and harnesses and horses… for the spider corpse?
Call: Well, yes. We’ve had to unhitch our wagon and get the horses sort of harnessed to the spider, it’s too big for the wagon you see. How else are we going to get it back into town for the bragging rights? That’s why we want to know exactly what it is, for the plaque on the statue they’ll erect for us. We’re all betting we’ll get a nice big statue.
Brian (sounding worried): Sir, I don’t think you’re actually dealing with a spider.
Caller: What, what do you mean? It’s obviously a spider.
Brian: Well, yes, I understand it has the *aspect* of a spider but I think you’re dealing with an ancient dark entity in arachnid form. It’s rare, but it *does* happen.
Caller: Oh, EXCELLENT.
Caller (talking off phone): It’s even better than we thought, you lot. He says it’s not a spider but an ancient dark entity in spider form. That statue just got bigger I bet!
Muffled voice: Which ancient dark entity? You know, for the plaque.
Caller: Er, any idea of knowing which ancient dark entity in spider form we have on our hands, so to speak?
Brian: Sir, I am legally required to say at this point that it’s the Roll Power RPG Hotline’s best advice that you end this translocation communication spell and leave the vicinity of the spider corpse immediately… although I rather doubt it’s a corpse.
Caller: What?? That’s ridiculous. It’s dead. You poor corporate sods and your lawyers, always so jumpy. Anyway, understood. Now, which entity is it? For the plaque, you know.
Brian (sighing): Well, chances are high that it’s either (making reading noises briefly), right, either the primordial Ungoliant that most ancient of spiders known as the Gloomweaver, her offspring Shelob also known as Her Ladyship, or the goddess Lolth the Dark Mother, Mother of Lusts, The Lady of Chaos, Queen of the Demonweb Pits.
Caller: Fantastic! What a statue this will be! So how do we narrow it down?
Brian: Sir, I really–
Caller: Yes, yes, you’re legally covered. You’ve told me. Please continue.
Brian: Well, are you in a Tolkien setting, or a Dungeons & Dragons setting like the Forgotten Realms? Hopefully it’s not homebrew.
Caller (absolutely flummoxed): What?
Brian: Hm. Let’s try it this way. Are your little plump folks with hairy feet called hobbits or halflings?
Caller: Halflings. Annoying buggers but good at sneaking.
Brian: Do you call giant underground fire demons with flaming whips balors or balrogs?
Caller: Search me, never heard of either.
Brian: Probably for the best. OK… are your wizards regular folk who studied for a long time to learn how to cast spells, or are they a small group of mysterious doombringers who show up and meddle during important events and who may not in fact be mortal beings at all?
Caller (talking off phone): Eh, Zyrtec, are you a regular guy who studied to learn how to cast spells or are you part of a small group of mysterious doombringers who show up and meddle during important events and who may not in fact be mortal beings at all?
Muffled voice: Studied. Well, partied a lot, too, but went to wizard school and got my degree. Made my mom proud. Those other guys are in a book about rings and dragons. We had it in a class.
Caller: The first kind.
Brian: Right, well you’re not in a Tolkien setting then.
Caller: Which means..?
Brian: Which means if you’re not in a homebrew campaign then it’s Lolth most likely. She’s an evil goddess, real nasty one. You really should–
Caller (talking off phone): He says it’s something called a Lolth! No, I don’t know how to spell it. Hey, what’s wrong with that cleric?
Brian: Did you happen to fight any other creatures or humanoids in this encounter?
Caller: Yeah, bunch of weird looking elves with a spider fetish. They seemed more scared of that big beastie than us but tried to protect it.
Brian: Listen, you really should end this translocation communication spell and run. Assuming you’re on the prime material plane–
Caller: Ah, not sure where that is. If it helps we just wrapped up the Caves of Chaos, said our goodbyes to the Keep on the Borderlands (nice folks, really), and set off for the Isle of Dread because we hear it’s the hip new spot with something called “wilderness adventures”.
Brian: How in the world have you encountered Lolth??? Does your DM even understand– you know what, it doesn’t matter. You’re on the prime material plane. If you had truly defeated Lolth, she would have disappeared because you banished her back to the Abyss. Not that you would actually be able to defeat her if I’m guessing your level correctly.
Caller: What exactly are you saying here? No statue?
Brian: Forget the statue. She’s toying with you because she’s bored. You need to–
Caller: Ah, this service is rubbish. I called for advice not for you to act like a hysterical grandmother. We’re downgrading to the Copper Package right after we end this spell.
Brian: What? What???
Caller: Those evil red eyes just opened. And now there’s a… is that a woman’s face???
Brian: Oh no.
Caller: Erm. Ha. Well. Ha. Any advice?
Brian: Frankly, if you don’t happen to have a Phial of Galadriel handy I’d leg it, mate.
Caller: OK, I see, thanks. Wait, was that a… pun? Did you actually— AAARGHhhh*
Muffled voice: Does this mean we’re not getting a statue?
LINE GOES DEAD