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THAC0 the Clown in Witchlight Adventure a Dig at Pundit?

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Mistwell:
I am enjoying reading the newest WOTC 5e adventure, Wild Beyond the Witchlight, in preparation to run it for my 10 year old daughter and her friends. It's a particularly kid-friendly adventure which is fanciful and can be completed with no combat if the group prefers that route.

In the adventure there is an obvious Gorgnard joke. The adventure begins at a magical carnival. While PCs can take many different routes to complete this section of the adventure, it's highly likely the route they choose will eventually lead them to the wagon which houses the people who head the Carnival.

And that wagon is guarded by a sad clown named THAC0. As in, he's the gatekeeper.

THAC0 is not important to the adventure. So this isn't meaningful spoilers. Here is his description:

THAC0:

1) Sits right outside the door to [an important location] blowing bubbles with his bubble pipe.
2) Does not get along with Burly, another guard who is younger and likely to try and help the adventurers.
3) Thaco is the longest-serving Witchlight hand,
4) Nobody knows THAC0's history and scarcely any dare to ask, for he almost never speaks and harbors a malicious streak that is kept in check by Mister Witch (one of the people who controls the carnival).
5) THAC0 paints his face with a grin and puffs on a bubble pipe.
6) THAC0 retired from performing and no longer stages his knife-throwing act due to an unfortunate incident that took place in the Big Top some time ago.
7) THAC0 prefers not to talk and when he must he says as little as possible. He thinks everyone should mind their own business.
8 ) If anyone tries to touch THAC0's bubble pipe they will lose a finger.
9) THAC0 cannot stand children and think's they're like roaches.



Now obviously this is WOTC poking fun at THAC0. And gatekeeping grognards who dislike the kids playing these days. I found it mildly amusing as a silly sort of inside joke (those new players won't even get the joke). Yah gotta be able to laugh at yourself. But your mileage may vary and maybe you find this offensive or insulting or bullying or whatever. And I am not saying that's an unfair reaction.

But the reason I am making this thread is the "bubble pipe" threw people at other places. Everyone was trying to figure out what that was about as it didn't fit any of the other things people assumed were being poked fun at and it seemed like it was taking a dig at someone specific.

And then someone at ENWorld suggested they thought this was an intentional dig at Pundit. Who is fond of smoking a pipe (though I think he's more associated with cigars, at least in my view).

And there are certainly other elements listed here which could be a dig at Pundit. Doesn't like to show his true face. Used to have an act at the big top but is no longer associated with the big top due to an unfortunate incident that they don't discuss anymore. That...does sound like it could be WOTC taking a shot at Pundit.

What do you think? Did WOTC take a direct shot at Pundit with the THAC0 NPC?

Godfather Punk:
I'm not saying it isn't, but

--- Quote ---7) THAC0 prefers not to talk and when he must he says as little as possible
--- End quote ---
Doesn't really sound like Pundit to me. Have you ever tried to listen to any of his YouTube clips?  ;D

Shrieking Banshee:
I don't think specifically at pundit-no.

RebelSky:
This NPC put this adventure as one of the worst written adventures and unprofessional to boot. Pretty much saying that anyone who likes older D&D is a sad clown and a fool.

I personally dislike clowns. Creepy.

DM_Curt:
Definitely a dig at grognards and TSR-era D&D.  The lack of respect for those who made what they're pinching a buck off of is distasteful.

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