Last time Sorcerer tried to apply fire directly to the problem, I defended the guy. “A limited spell selection can be a good thing,” I said. I still think that’s true in an increase-your-creativity kind of way. However, as Druid is no doubt about the yell at the top of her lungs, some situations really call for a water spell. I found myself in one of those situations not so long ago.

So no shit there we were, tunneling through solid rock a good sixty feet beneath the dragon’s lair. We were making good progress until we got close. Once we came within 15 ft. of breaking through we had to take it in short bursts, casting silence and then digging like madmen so as not to alert our mark. We were thieves you see, and there are few prizes better than a dragon’s hoard.

Call us overly ambitious — foolish even — but we had spotted an opportunity. This dragon had served as our employer for some time, sending us out for a bit of knife work as the need arose. We knew that it kept a schedule, leaving its lair each day regular as clockwork to patrol its territory. Sure we were only 6th level mooks matching wits against an adult red, but we were being careful. We’d put my imp familiar on lookout duty. He’d be able to spot the resident flying blast furnace from a mile away in the unlikely event that he made a premature return. Even better, I had voice of the chain master online as an extra line of defense. In other words, we had a rock solid early warning system down in our tunnels. We could turn around and skedaddle if things got hairy, and there was no way that hulking brute could follow us through our rinky-dink escape route.

Unfortunately, we didn’t count on the dragon keeping an alarm spell on his hoard. We broke into the chamber, the dragon banked hard, and we had mere moments to scoop loot. If you guys have ever seen Supermarket Sweep, it was like that, just with more magic items and pant-loading terror.

We’d gotten ourselves into a full on Bilbo burgling Smaug situation, and every round meant more money in the bank. That’s when I made my critical error.

“Slow him down!” I ordered my imp.

“You got it, Boss!” he replied.

We took the money and we ran, and even then it was a close thing. There was a near-lethal amount of fire damage as Big Red blew his nose down our tunnel. We managed to escape without any casualties (accept of course my imp), and we made off with a pretty penny despite the setbacks. It was a modest success, even if we didn’t come away with the haul of the century.

“Sorry, Boss!” said my perky little familiar when I re-summoned him from death. “I did my best, but he didn’t even slow down!”

“Well hey, thanks for making the effort. You’re a trooper, little buddy! What did you do anyway?”

And that’s when he handed me the empty strand that once held a fully charged necklace of fireballs. He’d thrown every single one at the dragon. The red dragon. The immune-from-fire red dragon. We’d managed to pocket a respectable number of magic items during the heist, but I’d have traded any three of them to get that necklace back.

So what about the rest of you guys? Have you ever followed in my imp’s footsteps and seen your one big trick blanked by a bad situation? Let’s hear it in the comments!


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