This past Thursday evening, I had the rare opportunity to play D&D as a player rather than a DM. My wife has been feeling unwell for a while, so I try to mostly stay home with her in the evenings, but on this particular night she was getting together with another friend. A new-to-me Living Forgotten Realms module was being run at the friendly local game store, Enchanted Grounds, so I headed on down for a game.
Spoilers ahead for WATE 2-4 Stage Misdirection
The particular adventure we were playing was set in Waterdeep, the hometown of my beloved bard Factotum. This was the first time I had gotten to play an adventure with Factotum in Waterdeep, and I was excited.
I learned that the adventure begins with the PCs having various jobs in an opera house. “Star of the show” wasn’t an option, so Factotum settled for a spot in the orchestra pit with his horn, while the rest of the party either served as bouncers or sat in the audience. I asked the DM if Factotum could be an understudy, and he was fine with it. Excellent!
Imagine my delight, then, when the opening scene of the adventure involved an opera where a man was about to duel his sweetheart’s father, and the man fell to the stage – apparently dead after drinking poisoned wine. The poisoned wine was not part of the show, and it was soon accompanied by an angry crowd being riled up by some thugs. While the rest of the party sprang into action fighting the thugs, Factotum did the natural thing for him:
He jumped on stage, picked up the fallen actor’s sword, and continued the faux sword fight with the actor playing the love interest’s father.
He feinted and twirled, finding the time to shout words of majesty to his ailing compatriots and to sing powerfully to push interlopers off the stage (Majestic Word and Staggering Note), but largely focused on entertaining the crowd.
Yes, this adventure was tailor-made for Factotum.
The rest of the evening was a fun investigative romp, ultimately culminating in a fight with other actors. Factotum attacked one man who hadn’t directly menaced anyone yet, simply because the man was a terrible actor – an unforgivable offense.
WATE 2-4 is an adventure that definitely benefits from having a bard in the party. I’m sure it could have been fun without one, but I was really glad I’d brought Factotum to the table. It’s an opportunity for his fame to grow!