Illustration by Jose Siam
We now return you to the epic finale, already in progress:
...and anyway she was already dead and I had grabbed the wrong briefcase by mistake, which is how I ended up with a copy of The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos for D&D4e. I know, I know. Things happen when you drink Wild Turkey. Anyway, it's got a random chart on pg. 26 called "Reasoning With A Slaad". It only has six entries, which sucks, but entry number five is "The Slaad's head explodes, attacking in a [some 4e jargon]; 2d4+5 damage. The characters do not gain XP for "killing" the Slaad. It re-forms it's head after a short time".
That's pretty awesome, but we can leverage the power of the D30 for a better chart. Ergo, I give you the following:
Talking To A Slaad
Roll thy d30 and despair:
1. Dirty Joke: Slaad makes an off-color remark. Saves vs. Paralysis or be overcome by nervous laughter for 1d8 rounds.
2. "Say, Where Did You Get Those Shoes?": Slaad takes a shine to a randomly determined character's gear. Turn it over (all of it) or duel to the death!
3. "Stop Me If You've Heard This One": Slaad offers a week of mindless servitude to anyone who solves the Riddle of the Gelatinous Tesseract.
4. Deus Ex Medusa Machina: The Slaad shares an important secret about the campaign, then turns to stone.
5. Cutting Out The Middle Man: The Slaad opens it's mouth and motions the adventure to climb inside.
6. Mating Ritual: Slaad attacks until opponent is wounded. On a subsequent successful attack, an unfertilized Slaadpole egg is inserted into the wound. Nothing short of a Remove Curse cast by a 10th level Cleric can remove the egg. 1 week later, 1d6 Slaads begin following the victim, hoping to fertilize the egg.
7. Toadliquor: Slaad invites adventure to collect 1d3 drops of Slaad-sweat. If consumed, the sweat induces Tasha's Hideous Laughter with a 10% chance of permanence.
8. "It All Makes Sense Now": The Slaad decides that the Modrons have been right all along, begs forgiveness.
9. Frog the Bounty Hunter: Slaad pulls out a Wanted Poster depicting itself holding a Wanted Poster depicting itself holding a Wanted Poster... offering 5,000 gp to anyone who can turn the Slaad over to itself, dead or alive.
10. "The Game Of Life": The PCs offer a convincing argument. The Slaad agrees to grow up, act right, settle down, and start a family.
11. "Sim Sim Sala Bim": Slaad agrees to grant a Wish to each PC who willingly accepts Slaadpole insemination. (Note-Slaads have no ability to grant Wishes).
12. Business Proposal: Slaad claims to have "insider information" that Roddy Vile is going down in the 5th round, but lacks funds to bankroll the action.
13. An Invitation To Tea: Rare and expensive teas are served. Unfortunately, they keep coming and the Slaad commands that you drink each one. 1d3 damage per round. Break out the Drowning rules after the 4th round.
14. X-treme Scavanger Hunt: Slaad unveils the location of 3 fabulous magical treasures then threatens to kill the adventurers unless they find and sell each item within 72 hours.
15. Conspiracy Theory: Slaad admits that all politicians are really shapeshifting reptilian aliens and gives the PCs a powerful artifact to see them with. The artifact, called the Hoffman Lens, looks like a pair of dark earthling sunglasses circa 1988. They function as a Gem of Trues Seeing, but only work on shapeshifting reptilian aliens.
16. "Shall We Play A Game?" Slaad invites PCs to enjoy it's favorite hobby, a game with strange dice whose arcane, minutiae-obsessed rules are bewildering and exceedingly difficult to master. Save vs. Death Ray or become hopelessly bored. Anyone who becomes bored raises the ire of the Slaad, who steps out from behind a paper screen and attacks, then retreats behind screen. Note- Slaad is AC-2 and has complete cover while behind the screen.
17. "Can I Have Your Autograph?": The Slaad is the PCs biggest fan and offers to help in anyway it can, but is too star-struck to be anything more than an annoyance.
18. "Like, OMG So Sad!": The Slaad has lost it's pet, one of those little yippy dogs that starlets carry around in Louis Vuitton purses. The Slaad offers to be the PC's BFF if they help find the lost dog (who has tired of the Slaad's attention and would prefer not to be found).
19. "Dude... This Shit Will Blow Your Mind". Slaad shares it's recipe for an intense psychoactive powder. Anyone imbibing this drug has nightmarish hallucinations, but Magic Users double the number of spells available for the next 2d6 hours. The powder is highly addictive and requires rare ingredients.
20."Yarn": Slaad is knitting a turtleneck sweater out of humanoid intestines. The Slaad only needs a few more feet of intestines to complete this project, and demands a volunteer. If no one steps forward, roll for Initiative...
21. Your Lucky Day: Slaad is depressed over the tedious meaningfulness of life, and is too despondent to fight today.
22. Crisis on Infinite Middle Earths: The Slaad puts forth the theory that the infinite number of universes comprising the Multiverse was recently reduced to a mere 52 universes due to editorial fiat. The concept is complex and difficult to comprehend and each PC must tell the origin story of a DC superhero to avoid lethal brain melt. 25 XP bonus for characters other than Batman and Superman.
23. "Wait, What Were We Talking About?": Roll 1d4. Every [resulting number of rounds] the Slaad completely forgets what happened on the previous round.
24. "See You In Hell, Mister Darwin": The Slaad is convinced that the PCs are planar biologists in search of it's Slaadstone. It attacks without mercy and fights to the death.
25. "Are you sure that's what he said?": The Slaad forces the party, under pain of death, to help him decipher the lyrics of Samudio Sham's smash hit "Woolybullywug".
26. Pon Farr Madness: The Slaad uses an oddly shaped halberd to beat the PCs into unconsciousness (1d12 +6 damage, subdual damage only). PCs awake 2d6 hours later in the Slaad's tacky boudoir, amid silken sheets, lava lamps, and leopard print wallpaper. The Slaad serves Mimosas (brunch only) and Bloody Marys. The Slaad smokes silk cut cigarettes and has mysteriously grown a pencil mustache over night.
27. The Frogemoth Whisperer: The Slaad teaches a random PC a surefire way to befriend Frogemoths.
28. "Search Your Feelings, etc.": The Slaad delivers a pitch perfect rendition of Vader's "I am your father" speech from Empire Strikes Back to a randomly determined PC, then attempts to bite off the PC's hand. Surviving characters are plagued by nightmares of that awful Dagobah cave sequence (you know the one) for 1d4 weeks.
29. Double Jeopardy: Roll Twice. Both events play out during alternating turns.
30. Veteran of the Edition Wars: Roll 1d6 and consult page 26 of the 4e manual "The Plane Below: Secrets of the Elemental Chaos". Cross fingers for the exploding head result.
Illustration by J. Maddison Bond