Ran a one-shot for my last game with my players and our +1 newbie. I came in with ZERO plan beyond seeing what they wanted to do, though I expected maybe to run them up against a dragon or a band of ogres or something.
Except just for fun, I opened my Dropbox folder full of custom playbooks and let them go nuts. Which is how I wound up with an Artificer, a Spellslinger, a Fae, and a Thief, starting the session in a Workshop Sanctum atop the Flying Cathedral of the Artificer’s former Order.
I’m frantically searching through the codex for ANYTHING “clockwork,” as they prepare to steal the enchanted, indestructible diamond gears from a…. Giant Clockwork Prototype! “Ah ha!” I think, expecting them to trigger its alarm klaxon and bring the 6 Clockwork Templar stationed around the Sanctum down upon them…
…Until the Artificer reprograms one of the Clockwork Templar to go smash the others, which wouldn’t activate until the alarm went off. The Thief uses a glove-gadget from the Artificer that allows him to reach through the Clockwork’s armor and manages to steal one of the two gears… And THEN they awaken the Giant Prototype, whose klaxon summons all of the cathedral’s security teams. The gear winds up being smashed through the floor and into the pipeworks below, while the Spellslinger disarms the guards as they rush into the Sanctum.
The Thief is clinging to the Giant Prototype’s back for dear life and frantically pulling out gears and wires; the Artificer has jumped onto its arm to reach an access panel and reprogram it to regard EVERYONE as a target. The Prototype bull-rushes across the room at the guards… Who don’t see it coming because the Fae casts a reflective glamour in front of them. The Prototype winds up tackling all of the guards straight out the side of the tower, leaving a giant gaping hole.
Mind you, this is all happening aboard a giant airship. The Prototype tumbled into a forest a mile below, still in possession of the other gear.
The Artificer wants that gear that fell through the deckplates, and fires his Cryogenic Propulsion Cannon into the floor in an attempt to blow apart the pipeworks below and open it up enough to reach the gear. He winds up blowing out the floor of the entire sanctum, hurting nearly everyone, and destroying the coolant system for the entire airship, which begins tumbling out the sky. He turns on his gloves of wallwalking and botches the roll, leaving him constantly sinking through the floor a mile (and falling) above the earth. Eventually he reaches the hangar bay, where he commandeers a transport zeppelin and swoops up to rescue the rest of the party, which exits through the hole the Giant Prototype left as it tumbled out.
We took a midsession break to let them level up, because it got even more ridiculous from there. I’ll leave that for another post.
tl;dr: Be careful giving all your players a blank check to pick off-the-wall classes without review; it might be the most taxing GM session of your life. But it might also be a hilarious, amazing time.