2 THE RUNNING OF THE SHRUBS. This rectangular stretch of lawn is inhabited by numerous two footed shrubs running about. One area is clearly marked off as a gaming field with white chalk.
This is the home of King Shrub and his subjects, a dozen walking shrubs. King Shrub is a very old and overgrown treant who likes watching games. His favorite game is called 'Shrub Ball' and unless he is attacked immediately he will invite adventurers to play a game “For all the marbles”.
If the adventurers agree to play a game they and a matching number of shrubs (up to 6) will line up at the start line. The idea is to race to one of three flag poles near the north end of the field, grab a flag (there is only one per flag pole), chase down a kiwi bird (the ball) and then cross the finish line with a flag and the bird.
Upon reaching a flag pole, it takes a hit vs AC 10 to grab a flag. It is possible to steal a flag or the ball from another contestant. Doing so requires the attacker to succeed on a “to hit” roll vs the defender's armor class. Then the defender still gets a chance to save vs paralyzation. If they succeed in making this saving throw they retain possession of the flag or the bird. A player can only try to steal one or the other from another contestant.
A contestant may hand off the bird or a flag to another. This takes slowing movement down to 3” by both contestants to pull off properly. Walking shrubs will not cooperate like this (because they are very competitive and want to win individually) but it is not against the rules.
Complicating factors include the walking shrubs, who will try to knock characters over, and the kiwi bird, who tends to wander.
12 Walking Shrubs (AC 6; MV 15”; HD 3; hp 10, 8, 16, 8, 13, 18, 8, 14, 11, 10, 13, 12; #AT 1 hand; D 1-8; SA Knock prone; XP 125, 117, 149 117, 137, 157, 117, 141, 129, 125, 137, 133)
Walking shrubs are chaotic good, have average intelligence, have two green hands and two green feet. They can attack with a fist, but will not do so during Shrub Ball. Instead, they will try to run into characters in order to knock them over. Characters of size S or M attacked in this way must save vs paralyzation or be knocked prone (and must spend their next round getting back up). Size L creatures are immune to this attack. Shrubs will not always try to knock over characters, they will also attempt to grab the flags and win the game. The Dungeon Master will control their movements.
Walking shrubs can move at a speed of 15”, but cannot sprint. Adventurers can move at their normal speed (removing armor to make on faster is allowed) and can sprint up to three times at twice their normal speed before being winded.
The Ball (Kiwi Bird) (AC 2; MV 12”; HD 1 hit point; hp 1; #AT 0; D Nil; XP -)
The kiwi is dressed in a sweater with the word 'ball' written on it. It will move one square (ten feet) in a random direction each round (use grenade template) but has been taught to stay within the boundaries of the field of play. In order to pick up the kiwi, an adventurer or walking shrub must move on to the same space as the bird and succeed in a “to hit” roll.
King Shrub (Treant) (AC 0; MV 12”; HD 12; hp 62; #AT 2 hands; D 4-24/4-24; SA Control trees; SD Never surprised; XP 5144)
King Shrub will fight if the shrubs or the kiwi are attacked or killed. If a player wins the game of Shrub Ball he will keep his word and give his marbles to the winner. The royal marbles include:
4 pearls (1000 gold crescent base value each)
1 scarlet and blue spherical ioun stone
15 normal marbles
If the adventurers lose, they will owe him 20 marbles. If the adventurers don't have any marbles he will ask them to retrieve some from the witch at Area 23, who stole some from him some time ago.