by Sue Cook
Will Jozan meet his fate the hands of a tribe of stone giants? Will Tordek survive his attack on a T-Rex? Well, survival was less important than having fun at Cliffhangers Live, held Sunday afternoon at the Gen Con game fair.
About 30 people came to experience the adventure live with hosts Skip Williams (Forgotten Realms codesigner and author of the new Monster Manual) and Stan! (designer of The Bestiary and author of the new novel The Crab). Players picked up character sheets and took turns coming up to roleplay one hilarious cliffhanger encounter after another. Each one lasted only three minutes... just enough time for the players to get their characters into hot water before the DM called out, "Switch!" and a new set of four players popped up to take over the scene.
At times it got a little difficult to remember who was playing whom, so the hosts handily provided props: a shawl for delicate elven Mialee, a yarmulke for cleric
Jozan, a hefty (plastic) sword for Tordek the dwarf fighter, and a fez for Lidda the rogue
(because, as Stan! said, it's always funnier when you're wearing a fez).
Skip and Stan! wrote this adventure, titled "The Lost Tomb of the Jenn's Khan" (get it?), especially for Gen Con. The action began with the characters literally on the edge of a cliff and continued through raging rivers, ferocious forests, collapsing caverns, and terrible tombs. The heroes survived (or didn't) encounters with giants, dinosaurs, mummies, myconids, and tiny ankle-biting undead. But don't fault the DMs for all the danger ... some of these hazards were dreamed up by audience members, as the hosts asked the crowd for suggestions of new terrors to throw at the hapless party.
If you'd like to bring home some of the fun, download the character sheets from the event now (20k PDF files):
Get your weekly dose of adventure with D&D Cliffhangers serialized modules! Every week read a new installment of a continuing adventure -- just stay one week ahead of your players!
to find out more about what happened at Gen Con?
Check out our online coverage in Virtual Gen Con.