Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A-to-Z Challenge Day 8-"B"
Theta (Θ) Revisited: Three Theater Thrones

I know I've already made my A-to-Z post for today, but going back through my notes, I realized I had another Theta (Θ) entry. I figured, what the hell, I'll make a 2nd post and put it out there an alternate to the previous room. Honestly, in looking at the two now, I think this room is more interesting (and a real nuisance of sorts).

Entry 8-"B" for The Lost Catacombs of Kadmos

This room is shaped vaguely like an amphitheater, and on the “stage” are three thrones, each featuring a face on the crown of the back of the seat. After a moment, one of the faces on the thrones begins to speak—

“I’ve arrived here in the land of Thebes, I, Dionysus, son of Zeus, born to him from Semele, Cadmus’ daughter, delivered by a fiery midwife—Zeus’ lightning flash. Yes, I’ve changed my form from god to human, appearing here at these streams of Dirce, the waters of Ismarus. I see my mother’s tomb—for she was wiped out by that lightning bolt.”

At first, you think a clue is being revealed to you, but as the throne continues to jabber on, and then the three thrones join as a chorus, you realize they’re putting on a play.

The play which the thrones are “performing” is The Bacchae by Euripides, a play based on the mythological story of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agauë, in which they are punished by the god Dionysus for refusing to worship him. In the play, Cadmus (Kadmos) denies the young Dionysus a place of honor as a deity. The performance of the play (in its entirety) lasts approximately 1-1/2 hours.

There is a magical door in the room that will be opened based on the following criteria: 1) once the characters have entered the room and the play has begun, at least one character must remain in the room and awake for the play to continue; 2) when the performance is complete (and only after the entire performance has been completed), all the characters in the room must applaud.

If all the PCs exit the room or if all PCs who remain in the room fall asleep, the performance will cease, only to start over when the PCs re-enter the room or awaken.

When the performance is complete, the following text may be read (at the DM’s discretion) to prompt the PCs:

Finally, after 90 minutes of what seems like incessant droning, the play seems to be coming to an end. The three thrones join together in the final words of the play...

“The gods appear in many forms, carrying with them unwelcome things. What people thought would happen never did. What they did not expect, the gods made happen. That’s what this story has revealed.”

There is suddenly silence, as if the thrones are waiting for you to respond to their performance.

If only some of the PCs in the room clap, one of the faces on the thrones will smile and the other two will look at those PCs who aren’t clapping (or are asleep) with grimaces of disapproval and disgust. Once all the PCs in the room (including those that may have been asleep) have clapped sufficiently (at DM’s discretion), the magic door will open.

If no one claps upon the completion of the performance, the play will begin again after 1 turn (assuming there are PCs awake in the room). Once started, the play must be completed entirely for the chance of opening the magic door (from applause).

EDITOR'S NOTE: It is highly suggested the DM actually read the play in its entirety, placing the the same requirements of the actual players in the room as the PCs in the game (i.e., they must remain awake and in the room, applaud at the end, etc.) for the play to complete and the magic door to be opened for the PCs in the game.

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