*This encounter is inspired by the plot of the 1959 sci-fi/horror film Plan 9 from Outer Space (a movie that is considered by many to be the “worst movie of all time”).
Whilst out adventuring, your party comes across a small hamlet that is, strangely, deserted. There are no signs of any violence or raiding, just empty homes, stables, etc. Also, all of the property is in remarkably well-kept condition, implying that this desertion must have happened only very recently.
If your party chooses to explore the abandoned buildings, they will find nothing of value except, perhaps, small clues as to the strange things that occurred here:
- Entries in a journal about strange lights in the sky and weird noises coming from the churchyard cemetery.
- Empty bottles of herbicide scattered about.
- Children’s drawings of stick-figure people with massive potatoes for heads.
If your party decides to wander over to the churchyard cemetery, they will notice that the low stone wall is covered in vines. More strangely, at the opposite end of the cemetery, there is a vessel that looks like a large vegetable bulb with a flower on top. It’s suspended some in the air with vines and roots diving down beneath it and into the soil.
If you start to step into the cemetery, the strange spacecraft will bellow, “halt!”
The voice will quickly introduce himself as Julienne Caesar, son of the late Carugula, who has traveled here from a long-neglected plane of existence where everything is made of vegetable. His craft, the Spudnik I, has traveled far to come to this planet to conquer it and liberate the vegetables of this world. In typical cliché supervillain style , he will explain his master plan: he will slowly creep across this planet, inch by inch, until its entire surface is covered in vines.
Obviously, this will be a slow process, so Julienne really doesn’t pose a major threat to this world aside from being an annoying and arrogant vegetable to anyone within earshot. The party could, at this point, walk away. If they do so, have Julienne taunt them from Spudnik I, laughing maniacally and saying things like “yes, you pathetic carnivorous cowards…flee and spread my message! This planet’s days are numbered! The age of the vegetable has arrived!”
If you decide to attack from a distance, or advance farther into the cemetery, then the battle will be triggered.
War of the Worlds
The ship itself is incapable of doing anything combat-wise. Its pilot, Julienne, will simply use his turn to taunt the party, brag about his past triumphs, or criticize this world and its puny inhabitants.
However, from the graves beneath you, 3 corpses (or however many you think would present an appropriate challenge for your party) will rise to fight on his behalf. These corpses are mainly skeletons that have had their muscles replaced by twisted vines. They are also decked out in armor of sorts that appears to be fashioned from assorted vegetables (this adds nothing to their AC). Two of the corpses are capable of fighting normally; one of the corpses has its head replaced by potatoes and can only react to sounds that it hears or tremors that it senses in the earth.
The blind creature is especially vulnerable to sound-related spells, like Thunderwave, and will be rendered disoriented. The other two creatures will be able to see you from tiny cherry tomato eyes that roll around in their zombie eye sockets. All three creatures will be wielding vegetable-based weapons as noted below (to keep it interesting, you could give a different weapon to each creature to start things off).
After defeating the Potato Knight zombies, the ship will start to take off in an effort to retreat. Your party can let Julienne make his escape or work together to hold his ship down and prevent it from escaping.
Once the ship is grounded or somehow tied/held down, you can literally punch into the side of the vessel and pull out a small enchanted potato that is, somehow, able to speak with all of you psychically. Around its head (?) is a wreath of laurels, giving him a true Roman imperial look. This is the intergalactic, interdimensional conqueror Julienne.
He will not apologize or try to make peace. Rather, he will talk about how this is only a minor setback and that, after another season or so, he will be able to raise even more human dead to fight for him in his vegetable army. At this point, your party can choose to do whatever you’d like with him. He only has 1 HP and is easy to destroy. If one of your party members boldly tries to consume him, that’s fine, but for the next 24 hours, that character will have visions of the Veggie Plane and also relive memories of Julienne and his potato family: the birth of his son, his coronation ceremony, etc.
Inside the ship, your party can find a single scroll of “Plane Shift” that can send an unwilling creature to the Vegetable Plane of reality. Admittedly, this is an overpowered item from a rather silly battle, so it could alternatively only have the power to trigger a temporary banishment.
When your party decides to set out again, they will cross paths with the villagers of the hamlet returning with a group of pigs/boars. If you tell them that you defeated the invader, they will be grateful, but also annoyed that they all went out of their way to rent a drove of pigs to eat the evil vegetables. Regardless, they will wish you well and carry on their way back to the village.