As the party hangs out at a local tavern, they begin to hear strange noises from beneath the floor boards. If they ask the other patrons what’s happening, no one will seem concerned and non-chalantly note it’s just the pit of despair.
More crashing from beneath the floor boards. The party can find the door with detect magic, or by checking in with the bartender. She will ask for a fee to enter, and ask for the size of shoes the party wears.
Opening the door reveals a long stair case leading down into a well-lit basement. The crashing noise gets louder, and the party begins to hear many voices, each having separate conversations. Some cheering, some angry. Getting all the way down the long stairwell, it comes into view, a bowling alley with lanes full of every race and subclass in the Realm.
They are greeted at the shoe rental by Smarsmar Shoegrar, a goblin wearing a vest, beat up fedora, and a white shirt with rolled up sleeves. “SHOES,” shouts Smarsmar, citing the lack of bowling shoes the party is wearing. Once that is all sorted, he will bow gently and yell, “WELCOME TO THE PIT OF DA SPARE. Biggest rule, NO MAGIC. We catch you cheating, it’s straight to jail.”
Smarsmar points to a sign that shows crude drawings of someone breaking the rules and getting hauled off to a prison.
At this point, there are many different things the party could do:
- They can enter a bowling league, with the first match against a group of cocky Kobolds (played by the DM
- They can be sent on a quest to track down a team that was supposed to be there for a game, but never showed
- They can be the muscle for an upcoming tournament with a rough group of individuals and keep the peace as the tournament moves forward
- They could also earn some extra gp working the counter or becoming a pin setter (the person who resets the pins after each frame)
Thems The Rules
The rules for The Pit of Da Spare are based on an obscure DnD Reddit post from 4+ years ago. As the post says you start with a base roll. Per frame you get a max of two rolls. Each roll score is calculated by the following:
Roll: d20 + Strength or Dexterity + Proficiency bonus (if proficient)
Nat 20 – All remaining pins knocked
Nat 1 – Miss
From here the roll lets you know how many pins you managed to net in the roll itself:
There are additional rules in the Reddit post around splits and cheating, but base rules, past the above include:
1st Roll – Straight roll
If the roll knocks down 6-8 pins, roll a d100 to determine whether the hit was a Split.
2nd Roll – Straight roll, but the DC goes higher by 1 per 1 pin hit during the 1st roll
(Ex. 1st Roll is a 17 – 5 pins hit, second needs to be 21+ (17+5) to hit the remaining 5).
During a Split the DC is calculated the same way, but only a 23+ or a Nat. 20 guarantees a Spare. Otherwise the ball hits only one side of the Split. If the Split is a result of 3 pins remaining there’s a 33% chance of the ball hitting the 1 pin side.
You will also need to know how to keep score in bowling. If you’re not sure, hey, just fudge it. Or, check here for the basics of scoring in bowling.
The Many Jobs In The Pit of Da Spare
If the party is looking for some additional gp, there are plenty of roles available, they just need to talk to Smarsmar.
- Pin Setter – More dangerous, get 5gp per shift, but risk taking bludgeoning damage.
- Ball Buffer – 3gp
- Concessions – 2gp
- Shoe De-smeller – 2gp
- Break up a dispute over a foot fault between two bullywugs
- Fill in for a Cleric on The Holy Rollers, who had a bad stomach bug
- A wizard has gone rogue and is attempting to use magic on every roll, the party must prove his crime and punish him accordingly