As the party walks through a town, they come across something that looks like a Hollywood backlot. The buildings are gigantic and as they peer into each they see what seem to be giant soundstages with flashing lights, dinging noises, and all other sorts of bells and whistles. Inside each, there also seem to be bleachers for an audience and a host standing at the front with a few other individuals. From the rigging, described however the DM sees fit or based on the world, the party recognizes that there is also a broadcasting component of this studio, with either audio-only or some form of video able to be transmitted broadly.
Exploring a bit further or asking around, they learn that they have stumbled upon the epicenter of game shows within the realm. Each of the game shows is then broadcast externally to the surrounding areas through some form of magic. What exactly it is is not super important and can be left out entirely if preferred.
Continuing through the lot, they bump into a half-elf female that appears to be extremely busy. She looks up only half-apologetically and introduces herself as Anne Hobinson, Director of Operations that oversees each and every show created on the lot.
Anne needs to check in on the game shows currently taking place and offers to escort the party as she does her rounds. At each stop she will also offer for the party to participate if they like. This is more fun if she asks before explaining the game itself.
She has heard of your adventuring party across all of the realm and is willing to put them on any show that they’d like to be on, due to their tenacity and capability (based on what she’s heard).
Wheel of Tortion
“This is one of my favorites!” Anne remarks.
On stage are three peasants standing at podiums, each looking extremely bewildered as Rat Majak, the charismatic ratman host, asks them to spin the wheel. Behind them is the typical “Wheel of Fortune” board with wooden rectangles that are then spun around by a Flail Snail who whacks the appropriate tiles to reveal a correct letter.
On the wheel, you have standard Wheel of Fortune sort of things:
- Silver piece amounts to varying degrees, awarded for correct guesses
- “Bankrupt” where a Bandit Thug comes out and physically mugs you and takes everything from you minus clothes that cover private areas.
- “Travel” sections, where if you land on the section you are instantly teleported to whatever that location is, for however many days were previously determined.
The party also realizes that there is a man tied to the center wheel, similar to a rack of some sort, that gets spun around any time the wheel spins. Anne explains that the loser at the end of the game must lay in the wheel the following day.
Applause from the crowd as Contestant 2 lands on 50sp and correctly guesses an “E” updating the puzzle for “Thing That Can Kill You” to “T_E D_EAD GA_EBO.” As an ushers the party away, Constestant 2 says they’d like to solve. As they finish the puzzle, the crowd applauds again as the puzzle completes and The Dread Gazebo instantly attacks the guesser. The crowd loses their minds as the party exits.
He’s Just Hangry
Anne rushes ahead to the next studio, waving for you to join. She introduces the next game as Hangle, a much simpler game that also assists with the overwhelming number of court cases that have come to the town as of late. She asks if any of the party would like to join.
Either way they watch a contestant approach a large wooden stage. Five men stand on stage with a three large piles of rectangles in front of them. As the contestant guesses a five-letter word, each of the men holds up a tile that represents the letter in the guessed word. Some tiles are white background, some yellow, some green. The letters are placed in front of the guesser.
Three men also run out onto the stage, one carrying construction equipment, and one ushering the third man in. The third has his hands tied behind his back and a sack over his head. For each round that the contestant has not guessed the correct word, they build a stage of what appear to be a gallows and with each round, the tied-up man visibly shakes more and more.
The game is exactly like Wordle, but with the pressure of Hangman added on.
If the contestant guesses correctly by the sixth round, the two men cut the rope off the third man and take the sack off as he runs away, out of the studio, swearing off whatever put him there in the first place.
If the contestant has not guessed correctly by the end, well, up to the DM as to what happens, but everyone knows the implications.
The More The Merrier
Anne will size up the group to see if they’re having fun or getting bored and will offer up a few additional options for them to see and participate in.
- A man in a stone mask asks participants to wander through a temple in order to find the Silver Monkey, a rare artifact that he claims will change everything. The temple itself is actually cursed, but the host plays it down so folks won’t worry to much while competing in initial challenges to see who gets to enter. When the contestants are taken by temple guards, they are never heard from again.
- A booth of judges have set up an elaborate obstacle course to see who is the Ultimate Samurai Fighter (Ninja Warrior). Below the obstacles is not water but pits of snakes, spikes, lava, whatever flavor the DM wants to add. What the contestants don’t realize is that whoever wins this contest ends up being conscripted into the nearest army and given a high rank immediately.
- Another “spinning” type game called “Squeeze Your Lucky Points” where a magical highlight circles around a board at high speed, slowing down and stopping on cp, sp, gp, or Werebear (“no werebears, no werebears, no werebears”). If it lands on Werebear, the spinning contestant must fight the werebear before the game can continue.
At this point, Anne will look at the party and ask all of them that haven’t participated to pick a game. If they refuse, she will ask them to at least play rock, paper, scissors. If they end up going with that option, it’s best of three. If the party member loses, they vanish to another plane of existence. This particular plane of existence Anne banishes them to is pure whitespace. In the infinity of pearl, the only thing outside of the party member is another party of adventurers.
The other party will explain that Anne and her “hosts” are secretly a new form of entertainment that deals with all of the criminals in the realm. While only 10% end in death (other than The Hidden Temple), the banishment is for anyone attempting to thwart them.
Not sure how best to end this one, so we’re going to leave it open-ended for you! Let us know how you’d end it for or with your party.