As the party is wandering in [town name here] they are approached by a man that identifies himself as Cian Brollins, a local reporter for the town newspaper. He was assigned to go cover the Boomblocks games in the nearby mines. “It’s an annual event the dwarves put on to show off their prowess for explosives. It’ll be a blast!”
If the party opts to go with him he’ll pick up his bag of papers and writing utensils and lead the way. As they walk, the party can begin to fill bigger and bigger rumbles beneath their feet. Cian looks visibly shaken with each rumble, gritting his teeth and wincing.
Reaching the entrance to the mine, the sunlight begins to dwindle and the make their way into the first tunnel where they are met by Whiskerflap Blastbeard, Assistant to the Mining Manager. His big brown beard is singed on the edges, but the singeing looks unintentional. Another rumble throughout the mine as the party walk toward a mining shaft. Whiskerflap notices Cian trembling and stops him. “Listen ‘ere laddy, if yer shaky up here, you best prepare your boots for down below, it’s only gon’ ta get worse.” Cian gulps and nods.
Whiskerflap slaps a lever and the shaft begins to hum. Smoke and dust rise from the shaft and the dwarf disappears around the corner. He comes back with an odd contraption with two circles and a curved stick connecting them. “Here ye are. Try these.” Cian puts on the earmuff contraption and smiles. Whiskerflap leans toward the party and says, “I’ve seen his lot before, they go deaf during the games and blame us. Not today! Those thingamajigs don’t let in a single sound.”
He laughs as the elevator reaches the top of the shaft. “Olright, everyone in.” Another slap and the elevator descends back into the earth.
Boom Blocks Bumpin’
As they reach the bottom of the shaft, they open into a huge area of the mine that has been dug out, at least 100 feet in each direction and a ceiling that is 50 feet high. There are at least 200 dwarves crammed into shoddy bleachers at the edges. In the center of the room are two dwarves in colorful suits, staring each other down.
The two competitors are Blastheart Burstbottom and Explodestone Emberaxe. Before each of them lie 5 blocks, each further away than the last. They are trying to blow the blocks up to see whose explosives are best and who can do so the fastest. The competitors stare at each other, trade some insults, and toe the line.
A deep foghorn sounds and they begin throwing the explosives, blowing the blocks up one at a time. Explodestone squeaks out a narrow victory and throws his fists in the air as onlookers cheer. Blastheart roughs him up a bit, but both laugh and head back to the starting point.
Cian runs out and asks a few questions as a dwarf acting as the referee asks the party if they’d like to participate in the next round. If so, they will replace Blastheart. If not, they’ll go back to the crowd. Rolls for this will primarily be Athletics checks, with each becoming progressively harder. DC 10, 12, 14, 16, 20. If the party hops in, they will square off with the DM, OR they can go head-to-head themselves. Feel free to give them a few rounds of this if they’re into it, otherwise move on to the final paragraph of this section. Players take turns going roll for roll with their opponent.
Once satisfied with his interviews, Cian sarcastically smiles, sighs, and gives an unenthusiastic thumbs up to the party. He yells (way too loud) “I think I’ve got what I need, let me just write some of this down!” He goes and sits facing the elevator, his back to the games, and begins to write.
The competitors toe the starting line and begin again. As they go through the motions, one of their explosives ricochets and explodes at the far wall. Silence falls throughout the area as the wall begins to crack. Chunks of rocks fall away, leaving a pile of dust and rubble. As the party look on, the heads of several four-winged beasts fly out of the obscured area.
Passes It To The Dwarf, And Boom Goes The Dyno Might
DM Note: At this point you can decide how many and what kinds of dinosaurs you’d like to throw in. There’s a great little bestiary from u/TotalMetaFuelCandy with 32+ dinosaurs to choose from. The suggestions in this encounter were selected from the linked doc. If there is a Druid in the party or someone highly in tune with nature, they can attempt to Speak With Animals, or get them to calm down through animal handling. Herbivores will need DC17 checks, while carnivores will need DC25 checks to prevent battle. As the dwarves were using explosives already, scatter explosives throughout the battlemap for the party to use.
“WHAT HAVE WE DONE?!” screams Whiskerflap as he blows out a small hole in the perpendicular rock wall.
The four-winged beasts (microraptors) emerge and begin swooping on the dwarves, causing them to scatter. Most hide behind rocks, or blast small holes for themselves to hide in. The party is left to fend for themselves as out of dust emerge a pair of Parasaurolophus.
While they are herbivores, the pair will not take kindly to a wall of their domain being destroyed. Unless a member of the party attempts to calm the beasts, they will attempt to destroy the party.
After a few rounds another rumble will be felt and a final dinosaur(s) will emerge. Up to the DM for quantity and CR, but always feels good to toss a T-Rex in there for any dinosaur battle. Even better if you mix it up with some Terror Birds or Diabloceratops.
They Started Off Good
Once the chaos has subsided, the dwarves emerge from their respective hiding places. Cian turns around and looking at his papers says “Whiskerflap I had one more…” Cian looks up, jaw dropped, as he witnesses for the first time the carnage in front of him. He looks at the party, removes the ear contraption and asks what happened.
If the party can come up with an excellent retelling of the events, Cian will write an amazing feature on what took place, good enough to get promoted, but if the party can’t tell it well, Cian will be demoted back to obituaries (totally the DMs discretion here). Cian will offer up the ear covers he was wearing regardless, The Headstones of Deafening.
While worn, the Headstones completely deafen the wearer, rendering them immune from any verbal spells that may be cast at them. They also cannot be communicated with in any verbal form (even better if you put earplugs in at the table).
Whiskerflap and crew will reward the party with one set of Dwarven Plate Armor:
While wearing this armor, you gain a +2 bonus to AC. In addition, if an effect moves you against your will along the ground, you can use your reaction to reduce the distance you are moved by up to 10 feet.
They will also offer them a spot at the next year’s Boom Blocks event, though they need to rethink the sport itself after what has transpired.
Super side note, the title of this encounter is loosely based on a legendary Internet clip. If you don’t remember poor Brian Collins and his first ever on-air performance, you can check it out again here: