DM: As you will recall from our last adventure, the Crimson Cleric has risen to be the Supreme Leader of Unigard. He has cast many crafty and sinister spells and has drawn away many of your retainers and followers. The battle lines have been drawn, and your small force of Professors stands arrayed against the forces of the Crimson Cleric. Dawn approaches, and the battle will soon be joined. There have been two weeks of downtime since our last adventure. Did any of you do anything that might sway the outcome of the battle?
Psychology Professor (5th Level): I cast Social Media Appeal and argue passionately for rationality and human decency.
DM: You make a bold and convincing argument, but the Crimson Cleric’s Misinformation spell is very powerful and few people hear your pleas.
Criminal Justice Professor (19th Level): I don’t think we can win this one. I cast Early Retirement.
DM: That’s a pretty good strategy, but the material component for that is 1,250 Gold Pieces. Do you have that?
CJ Prof: Ugh. No. Guess I’ll have to stay and fight.
Political Science Professor (Level 6): I give a stirring oration at the largest public venue I can find, appealing to civic unity and human decency.
DM: You manage to win over a few of the town’s folk, but in the main, they can’t understand your arguments because of the -10 penalty to their intelligence checks due to the Crimson Cleric’s sinister spells.
Right. All of you make valiant attempts to sway the people, but you accomplish little. The power of the Crimson Cleric is seemingly limitless when it comes to charming the masses. You hear dark incantations drifting across the field between your forces and the armies of the Crimson Cleric. He has summoned a swarm of plague rats.
Biology Professor (8th level): I cast mass immunization to counter the plague rats.
DM: The spell description says that those affected must be willing, and only about half of them choose to be involved.
Bio Prof: Fine then. I cast Summon Scientists and have them explain how terrible the plague is to the people.
DM: A worthy attempt, but your spell fizzled when it encountered the Crimson Cleric’s Anti-science Shell.
CJ Prof: Okay, it looks like battle can’t be avoided. I’m going to cast Distance Learning on all of my classes.
DM: That’s a high-level spell. Do you have the spell slots for that?
CJ Prof: Yep, I’m pretty high level. I’ve got tons of experience in the classroom.
DM: Right. You cast your spell, but your Grand Potentate has been charmed by the Crimson Cleric, so only half of your online classes get approved. You still have two face-to-face courses. Oh, and by the way, defections on your side result in your summer classes and extra fall classes being canceled.
CJ Prof: That sucks. I certainly don’t have the gold to cast Early Retirement in that case. Okay, I cast Polymorph on those two, making them as small as possible. Also, I invoke seniority and schedule them at unpopular times.
DM: Good strategy. You hear further incantations off in the distance. The Crimson Cleric has cast Befuddle on your people. Many are wandering around in circles confused, several have wandered off into the woods, and a dozen or so have captured 6d6 plague rates are trying to teach them tricks. Is there anything else anyone wishes to do?
[All players look dejected, shaking their heads in the negative.]
DM: The sun has crested the horizon, and a distant bell signals that 8:00 AM has arrived. Roll initiative.