I have the good fortune of playing with a gaming group that has a great deal of terrain and miniatures for combat encounters. The host of our game has been collecting such items for many years, and members of our group continue to add to the collection; most notably, we have numerous sets of Dwarven Forge terrain, which is simply spectacular. I realize such tools are a luxury for me as a DM and player, and I try not to rely on the terrain too much in order to have a memorable session. I continue to search for simple and low-cost props to enhance the enjoyment of a game or emphasis a specific dynamic on an encounter.
Last session, the party finally got to meet an important NPC in the campaign world – the leader of a religious/military order, High Priest Adamar (name blatantly stolen from A Knight’s Tale). Adamar was slowly built up over the course of two years in my campaign. The players have assumed the NPC was corrupt, mostly because of the name I choose to give him. Other documentation provided to the players asserted that he was a villain. However, they players did not have an opportunity to meet with him face-to-face before the session. With such a high-profile meeting, I wanted the non-combat encounter to be memorable. Below, I discuss how I attempted to accomplish that outcome with a rather simple request, “Take this and drink it.”