Acquisitions Incorporated has become the main event at all PAX Conventions, and this year at PAX East was no exception. Hours before the game began the line was already filled to capacity with fans anticipating the most popular live Dungeons & Dragons game in the world. The main players—Omin Dran (Jerry Holkins) and Jim Darkmagic (Mike Krahulik)—would be joined in this session by Morgaen (Morgan Webb) and K’thris Drow’b (Chris Straub). At the head of the table was the world’s hardest working Dungeon Master, Chris Perkins. You can watch the entire event here before reading my summary below.
Spoiler Warning: The following is a summary of the adventure
The story begins as an extension of the adventure at PAX South. Omin Dran has just found out that his two sisters are dead and he decides to attempt to re-animate them at the Tower of Luck in Waterdeep. Things quickly go awry as we find out you cannot re-animate a body that no longer has a soul. Omin had recently become 9th level and was given the ability to re-animate by the goddess Timorah. After the re-animation fails, Omin questions his faith.
The team decides that they need to find the missing souls. The first try fails miserably as K’thris Drow’b critical fails a DC-15 wisdom save for the Contact Other Plane spell, which causes him to go insane. Perkins rolls the insanity type from a table to reveal that Drow’b now finds all things hilarious. This was an omen that the dice would not be with the adventures today.
To resolve the problem, the adventurers learn that they must meet a giant named Harshnag to get the Eye of the All-Father. Harshnag gives them a ring to take to the Oracle in hopes that it will pave the way to the Eye of the All-Father. On the way to the oracle, we find out that Jim Darkmagic’s arm is necrotizing, basically wasting away. No one in the group has a solution for the curse and they continue on. While they are heading up a mountain, Margaen notices a white dragon following them. Nothing happens but this may play out in future games.
Once they reach the temple, the AI team is mesmerized by the statues of every type of giant praising the All-Father. Omin Dran fails a stealth check, which catches the attention of a frost giant wielding a massive ice puck. The puck kills Omin Dran, who is later revived due to some skillful dice. Luckily, Jim Darkmagic, with the help of some fire spells, saves the day. All of the adventurers come close to death, but in the end, the Oracle Giant comes to take away the guards, leaving our team to lick their wounds in preparation for PAX West.
I had been a longtime fan of the podcast and YouTube series, and I was looking forward to seeing the event live. I have to say that I was not disappointed in any way. The audience and the team were completely in sync. Considering the event lasted close to three hours, I never felt as if it were slow or that it lost any of the audience’s enthusiasm. Perkins does a masterful job of building a story and Holkins and Krahulik have taken their role-playing to an improvisational art form. If someone had told me 30+ years ago that Dungeons & Dragons would make a perfect arena event, I would have never believed it, but the passion and creativity of all those involved with Acquisitions Incorporated have taken it to another level. If you Love Dungeons & Dragons, role-playing, or just entertainment in general, this is a must watch.
On a personal note, I would like to thank the members of Dungeons & Dragons‘ PR team as well as the members of Acquisitions Inc. for their time and generosity. Holkins and Krahulik, along with Scott Kurtz, all remained after the events to meet and greet the fans. They signed my daughter’s Player’s Handbook, which meant the world to her. Chris Perkins took the time after this show and the Binwin’s Minions game to sign autographs and take pictures for everyone who wanted one. I go to many conventions and you almost never see this kind of interaction. Perkins may be the best ambassador that Dungeons & Dragons has had since the originator Gary Gygax. Greg Tito and the other members of the D&D team also deserve kudos for bringing this game to the next generation of players.