This could be a fun (and wholesome) skill challenge for your party.
While visiting [Small Town] (or a neighborhood if your party is in a major metropolitan area), learn about the annual town footrace. Your party members can sign up at a table in the local tavern. The older woman sitting behind the table is bright, smiley, and confidently wearing a pair of bunny ears. She’s a spirited local volunteer who tells you all about the town tradition: all participants gather at dawn, don their bunny ears and large, cumbersome bunny slippers, and compete in a footrace around the city limits.
Signing up for the event will cost each party member 5 copper. Like real-world bowling alleys, they will also receive their rented bunny-feet shoes (big flipper looking things that are painted in garish shades of pink) as well as a pair of fabric bunny ears.
While the woman is handing these items to the party, she will speak warmly of the symbolism:
- The large rabbit ears represent the community listening to one another’s concerns and doing what’s best for each other.
- The large rabbit feet represent the great strides that the town is taking to make life happy and prosperous for all of its members.
She will then wish the party luck.
The Favorite to Win
Just then, Bruno Boarsly comes stomping into the tavern and up to the table. He is a barrel-chested, brutish-looking man. He has a broad forehead with a single curly coil of hair plastered to it. Around his neck appear to be an assortment of golden chains with large golden carrots dangling from them. He is loud and obnoxious; immediately, the other tavern goers either roll their eyes (including the woman behind the table) or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, begin squealing in delight and/or whispering about Bruno: “Do you think he will win again? He’s been the champion for something like 6 years now! What a true definition of rugged manliness and athleticism!”
Bruno will sign himself up and eye your party, commenting on their lack of physical prowess and kissing his own winner medallions in a gesture of self-worship.
As your party meets early the next morning, they will see a large crowd gathered, sitting in chairs, draped in blankets, and sipping warm coffee/tea, excited to watch the race. The other competitors are also gathered and can be whoever you’d like, but don’t worry about keeping track of all of them.
Bruno Boarsly will arrive fashionably late with a gaggle of fans following him. All of the fans have Bruno’s horrendous curly-cue of hair painted onto their own foreheads as a sign of total devotion to their idol.
One of his fans will bring a small chest, kneel before Bruno, and open it, revealing Bruno’s own pair of large ugly pink slippers and bunny ears.
He will put these items on after removing his past medallions from his thick neck and placing them into the chest for safe-keeping. The fan will then immediately close the chest and cradle it close, hugging it like a small child.
The contestants will line up and, at the sound of a small gong/bell/horn, the race will begin.
To successfully win the race, or at least stay in the running (pun intended), each party member must pass the skill challenges listed below:
- Athletics check with a DC of 10+. Passing this check will allow the character to sprint up to the front of the pack. Failing will result in the shoes just being way too cumbersome and difficult to run in, causing them to trip and end up sprawled on the ground while the rest of the pack rushes by.
- Acrobatics check with a DC of 15+. After a stretch of track, have the first obstacle: a shallow, but choppy, river/stream with stones that your party members will need to hop across. Failing this check will result in them slipping and falling into the water. The flippers will become waterlogged and super heavy, preventing them from moving very quickly again.
- Performance check with a DC of 10+. Getting tired now, the party will notice a group of Bruno’s fans (clearly indicated by their curly-cues) shouting insults and criticism from the sidelines. If you have a bard still in the race, they can use a watered-down “vicious mockery” to shout something back and silence them. If you fail this performance check, you will become painfully aware that you do look ridiculous in your bunny shoes and ears, slow down to a trot, and sadly contemplate your choices.
- Finally, at this point, everyone is out of the race (or so far behind that they aren’t in the running anymore). All that remains is the party members who have passed all their checks and Bruno himself. Rounding the final corner, more of Bruno’s fans will “accidentally” spill a barrel full of ball bearings across the track (courtesy of Ed and Ted Biggle of Biggle’s Balls). Your players will need to pass a final acrobatics check with a DC of 15+ OR think of some clever way, that they can do while still running, to clear the track of ball bearings or somehow fly over them.
- At the finish line, whatever party members are left will win the race and beat Bruno (if you have multiple party members remaining, have them each roll a D20 to determine the winner of the group).
The town will be super excited to see a new winner cross the finish line, ending the arrogant Bruno’s winning streak.
As the winner of the race, your party member will receive:
- A large crate full of carrots
- An item called “10-Karat Medallion”, which is simply a fake gold chain with a fake gold emblem depicting a bundle of 10 carrots. When this is presented to you and put around your neck, the audience will collectively laugh and enjoy their “karat”/carrot” joke (the same joke they tell every year); roll a CONST save or become red and die of embarrassment.
- While wearing this medallion around town, earn a +1 on all charisma checks because everyone finds you so impressive. While wearing this medallion around other towns, others will be embarrassed for you taking pride in so pathetic a prize. As a result of this earned pity, you will have advantage on all persuasion checks against them.