So, the frog prince restored by the heroes is to marry the damsel rescued from dragon #3? The tycoon, who was kidnapped by the mole men, proposed to the scientists' daughter during the attack of the giant shrews? In any case, some important (N)PCs are getting hitched, and the party has a chance to make a difference. This can allow the heroes to meet NPCs that would otherwise have been out of reach, or foreshadow their influence. This event, as already elaborated on in the two links following, can be a useful abutment for a successful campaign, and a launching point into new directions.
As noted by Steven Marsh in "Mawwaige", a wedding is one of the few universal celebrations of an individual, and is the only one that a person can actively participate in (the other being a funeral). Players often enjoy being able to make a difference. In this scenario, the heroes may not materially profit, but the political connections and reputation they gain may be significant. For an order of proceedings, see With This Power Ring .
This article will address an over-the-top occasion. While presented as a wedding, it could almost equally apply to a commendation, a graduation, a victory celebration, or a funeral, provided it is paid for by a millionaire of the times.
A Discworld wedding: friends of the bride: trolls, friends of the groom: dwarfs.
A Banestorm wedding: friends of the bride: elves, friends of the groom: orcs.
- With a Banestorm Kobold on the guest list, there will be pranks pulled. A few even pushed.
A Nearly Anywhere wedding: friends of the bride: devout Muslims, friends of the groom: devout Christians
- At an outdoor wedding, around the bushes there are some muddy pigs/dogs that are chased through the area. "Boy you should have seen their faces!"
- A prankster puts dabs of super glue on each of the chairs/pews.
- A mouse released by a youth just as the bouquet is being thrown to the eligible women.
"Gag" gifts may also be found amid expected gifts, given by any of an assortment of characters, be they jokers, close friends, or even enemies. In this scenario, consider the evil witch who didn't receive an invitation, or relative who doesn't like the union. Other "dud" gifts may be tacky, tasteless, and volumetric. Consider a hot air balloon with the words "have a gas" to be middle-of-the-road.
A relation of the groom gives the couple a handmade Swiss grandfather clock with gold and platinum works and cesium timer. Then the bride's immediate family gives the traditional gift of a simple locally made handmade grandfather clock (as given to every couple since time began). Was it a simple mistake, or intended as an insult?
- Someone spiked the punch.
- Someone spiked the food.
- Someone poisoned the food/drink.
- Someone has a peanut allergy, and someone forgot to make sure all the caterers knew.
- The victim is the bride or groom.
- Combining Beer/Wine and the existence of the Purify Water spell can mean many disappointed guests. "Laugh, it's funny. ahhh, you're no fun."
- Offensive gifts: "What lovely... dragon skin armor" "Thank ya', I made it me self" answers the King of the Dwarves. At this, the Dragon Lord storms off from the back of the room (perhaps literally). Other equally controversial ideas include an orc/elf-bone flute, or lizardman-skin suitcases.
- Hot Potato: An insulting wedding gift among nobles might include the land that was gifted by the family of the wedding party less than a generation ago. It may interest the players if one of their characters has feudal obligations tied to this seemingly undesirable land!
With a billionaire footing the bill, it could very well be that the ceremony itself will take place in an exotic environment, be it on the world's largest airship, on the ocean's floor, over Victoria Falls, in orbit, or on the Moon. If time travel or gateways to parallel worlds are available, why not travel to Camelot, Rome, a land of Dinosaurs, or witness the Big Bang?
- A weak Repel rug in the aisle where the bride and bridesmaids will go, just enough to lift the dresses up...
One of the most crucial arrangements to make is that of an officiant. Depending on the origins of the couple, and the local customs, they could be seeking a priest, bureaucrat, or shaman! The officiant may insist on the couple filling out forms that detail birthplace and lineage, and require medical proof of genetic compatibility before agreeing to the process. Some officiants want to ensure the long-term viability of any marriage they conduct, and may insist on clear commitments by the parties involved. In the eyes of the law, the ceremony itself is superfluous, the real act is the signing of the papers by the couple, the officiant, and the witnesses. Religion, on the other hand, may accept a blessing and consent of the officiant and witnesses. A cautious celebrity may perform the "real" legal or religious ceremony privately, and sign mock documents on "stage"... (A villain might sign the papers at his mansion at eight in the morning, just in case the heroes find out that the official ceremony is in the cathedral at noon...)
A memory emerges that causes problems for someone in the wedding party, either as just a random flashback or fainting spell, or a trigger placed to cause problems for someone. In an over-the-top campaign, a supervillain could have planted a memory or personality in a guest. It could be triggered at the time when a certain phrase is spoken (e.g. "Speak now or forever hold your peace"), and the victim seizes a conveniently planted loaded pistol. It triggers a hypnotic suggestion to start a rampage and kill randomly, starting with the Senator to his/her left.
The PCs realize that, at the last minute, their officiant has been switched with
Folger's Crystals-- a homunculus, duplicate, shapeshifter, or body double. Now they must quietly sequester the fake and find the original.
A starchy food dish overheats and flash-burns, setting adjacent foods and floral arrangements aflame. The tablecloth spreads the flames quickly, igniting the clothes of a few guests. The PCs are the nearest individuals to the fire extinguisher... will they save the already burning guests, or extinguish the table, which is threatening to become an even greater conflagration?
The police covertly contact the PCs and their security liaison. A suspect who held up a bank is thought to have infiltrated the guests. If the quarry is spotted, the police should be notified so they can surround the individual. If possible, he should be innocuously detained within a public area.
An anonymous tip has come in: one of the wedding gifts holds a bomb powerful enough to destroy the building. They threaten that the bomb will explode if the building is evacuated, or will otherwise go off in 1 hour, unless demands are met.
Wish on One's Worst Enemy?
So the arch-villain of the campaign is getting married. If it is possible the couple may actually love each other, will the heroes attend? Will they trust an invitation? Will they try to stop or disrupt it? The heroes must keep their plans quiet, as the throngs of variably inebriated celebrants would likely oppose someone who is against their benefactor...
Links to What Can Go Wrong
Special Thanks to Bevan Thomas and Dustin Tranberg for helping to make this a blast!