The ACME Special
Do you enjoy derailing your DnD campaign with bonkers overpowered combos? Well let me tell you about a maneuver I created called The ACME Special, and how it worked a little TOO well in my campaign. STRAP IN!
So, you’re going to need four items to pull this off:
1. A Bag of Holding
2. A heavy object no more than 500lbs which can fit in the Bag of Holding, such as a safe filled with cannonballs.
3. An intelligent creature which obeys your commands and can fly (a Homunculus is ideal. Mine is a steampunk spider-robot named Bobbert. [art pending. Bobbert substitute from “Meet The Robinsons” below])
4. A Ring of Spell Storing or lesser-powered equivalent.
Now, if you’re an Artificer, you can instantly build your own Bag of Holding and the Homunculus yourself at level 2. Getting an object of nearly 500lbs is easy enough; find a rock, or chunk of a pillar (though a safe is the best option, for comedic value).
Ring of Spell Storing is trickier, but you might persuade your DM to give you the opportunity to buy one from a magic vendor or such. You don’t even need a fully functional Ring of Spell Storing as written: you just need something that can store and release a level 2 spell (specifically, Enlarge, which an Artificer can learn at level 5) (Also, the Artificer can build an equivalent Ring at level 11, but the earlier you pull this off, the more epic).
Now, how do you unleash the ACME Special?
1. Put heavy thing in Bag. Heavy thing is light while in Bag.
2. Charge Ring with a casting of Enlarge.
3. Give Bag and Ring to Homunculus.
4. Instruct Homunculus to fly 200ft above target you wish to absolutely obliterate.
5. Instruct Homunculus to flip Bag inside out, ejecting the safe,
6. and as it’s falling, have the Homunculus use the Ring to cast Enlarge on the safe, doubling its size in every dimension, and more importantly OCTUPLING ITS WEIGHT, to 4000lbs!
7. Argue with the DM that as per falling damage rules, a falling hero takes 1d6 damage for every 10ft they fall, to a max of 20d6 (which I interpret as terminal velocity after falling 200ft), and surely whatever the hero hits will take equal damage, so off the bat, the falling safe will deal 20d6. BUT, I argue that heavier objects should naturally deal more damage, surely that makes sense? So let’s assume that the 5e falling damage rules were built around the “average” hero weight of, oh, let’s say, 300lbs. Given our Enlarged safe weighs 4000lbs, it should deal (rounding down) 13 times the normal damage a falling hero would, meaning that The ACME Special should deal 260d6 falling damage to whatever player, monster, or other poor unfortunate soul it lands on!!!
8. Watch target magically lose its 3rd dimension.
have I unleashed The ACME Special in game?
Yes I have.
Did the DM let it play out as I designed it?
Yes, but no.
So, the scene: I’m a level 7 goblin Artificer working with a band of stoned misfits on a mission to assassinate a king to stop a war. Along the way we manage to charm a giant sea serpent, which we later cast Enlarge on to basically turn it into a kaiju.
We attack the capital city, leading with the kaiju. I instruct my Homunculus Bobbert thusly: “Bobbert! Guard dog mode! Follow kaiju! If encounter Omega-level-threat, deploy... The ACME Special.” Bobbert flies off with the Ring and the Bag and hovers a comfortable 200ft above our kaiju, ready to obliterate anything that might threaten our beastie.
The kaiju wrecks merry havoc, distracting the king’s army and citizens, and we break into the castle and begin searching for the king. We run into two boss monsters, but they would quickly become irrelevant.
Outside the castle, very much in a Godzilla vs Kong type encounter, a second kaiju has emerged from the sea to challenge our kaiju. The enemy kaiju is a beast we had encountered previously, and was well established as this universe’s version of Godzilla, and this is a territory / alpha male dispute type thing. The kaiju immediately clash, with the poor city citizens caught in the crossfire. The battle is fierce and epic, so huge that it’s changing weather patterns. In any case, this definitely qualifies as an Omega-level-threat, and so Bobbert diligently unleashes The ACME Special, which I’m confident will one-shot the enemy kaiju.
As I explained the mechanics of The ACME Special to our DM, there were a couple things I did not factor in, all stemming from our DM liking my clever idea a little TOO much.
I failed to factor in:
1. The DM decided the “max of 200ft” rule of terminal velocity was silly. The higher the fall, the more damage, period.
2. Unbeknownst to me (that is, my goblin, currently in the castle), Bobbert had been swept up by a tornado and lifted to the whopping height of LOW ORBIT.
Bobbert unleashes The ACME Special.
A 4000lb safe, the likes of which would make The Looney Toons themselves weep at its beauty, plummets from the sky, catching fire and melting into a molten ball of slag and kinetic death as it does so.
The DM has me roll my original damage calculation, from which he would multiply his own numbers.
This number is meaningless.
The safe lands; it misses both kaiju but strikes the ground between them. The shockwave manifests as both a kinetic blast and heat, knocking behemoths across the city. Buildings are obliterated. Streets buckle, shatter, and are blown away. Once nigh insurmountable defensive walls are reduced to so much gravel. The king’s castle is blasted apart as if it were made of glass.
Through a combination of accidentally taking shelter in the castle basement and plot armor, my goblin and the rest of the team survive by the skin of our teeth.
One-point-five million civilians are not so lucky. There are zero other survivors within the city limits (other than the boss monsters, who wisely surrender immediately).
Bobbert hath become death, destroyer of worlds.
My character is now a mostly-accidental terrorist who has committed a war crime of magnitude never before seen in this universe. He is trying to keep this under wraps, which is thankfully possible due to the very limited pool of surviving witnesses.
But hey! The king (and the rest of his bloodline) is dead! Mission accomplished! I guess!
take with you this forbidden knowledge, the DnD blueprints for a tungsten-rod-drop. Use it wisely.
The wisest move might be to never use it at all.
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