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Reflections on The Wild Sheep Chase

Back in 2018, I organised a 24 hour charity D&D marathon. As part of that event, I played The Wild Sheep Chase by Winghorn Press as a player. It was a quirky little adventure featuring a talking sheep and a Dragon formed from a polymorphed bed. It stuck in the memory.

Recently, I’ve been running one-shot adventures on Roll20 and The Wild Sheep Chase seemed to be an ideal candidate.

It certainly was an enjoyable romp. A large part of that was down to the group that I ran it for. They were really bought into the quirky, humourous nature of the adventure so that really helped. However, like all Winghorn Press adventures, the adventure itself is really well written.

I did however learn a few important lessons from running it:

It’s bigger than it looks but it could be shorter than it looks as well.

I tend to aim for 3 hours for a one shot. It’s always seemed like the optimal time. 2 hours doesn’t scratch the itch and 4 hours can lead to twitchy, bored players.

At first glance, it doesn’t look like it will take too long to complete. There’s an initial encounter with Shinebright the Sheep and his pursuers then it’s straight off to the Wizard’s tower to confront his tormentor, Ahmed Noke.

If the party decides to take the non-combat route through this then retrieving Shinebright’s wand can be fairly quick. I made the mistake of allowing the party to interact face to face with Ahmed Noke fairly soon after they arrived at the tower. The Warlock cast charm person on him (an event I failed to foresee). Only a fortunate saving throw saved my game from disaster and a quick finish.

On the other hand, if they decide to battle their way through all of the encounters then it can actually take a while. There aren’t a lot of potential encounters but their opponent actually have a fairly big stack of hit points. It has the potential to become a lengthy war of attrition. I made it worse by adding a “Desk Dragon” with the same stats as the Bed Dragon.

The “Bed Dragon” is a TPK machine.

As humourous as it might be for the party to be completely wiped out by a Dragon made out of a bed and bed sheets, the reality is that it’s not a lot of fun for the players, especially considering they could encounter the Bed Dragon early in the adventure. The splinter breath ability does an astonishing 7d6 of damage and took down two players in the first round, including the party’s main healer. It also recharges on a 5 or a 6 on a d6 so there’s a fairly high chance of it being able to use the ability again fairly quickly. It’s a highly effective TPK machine and you need to be careful with it.

The sheep is a pain in the ass.

I let my party lug the sheep around with them. It was an utterly irritating, additional NPC for me to run. What’s more, there’s always the risk of it getting killed, especially with all those splinters flying around from the Bed Dragon. If the sheep dies, the entire premise of the adventure goes up in smoke so make sure the party leave Shinebright the Sheep back in town if they can.

All told, this was a fabulous adventure but it could be pretty overwhelming if not handled properly.

Return of the DM View All

I am a 40 something DM/GM located in Scotland. In 2016, I rediscovered the joys of tabletop role-playing games. This blog documents my journey back into the fold.

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