The Net Book of Plots
The plots of this book were collected by Phil Scadden
and edited by Phil, Tom Zunder and Alexander Forst-Rakoczy, that’s
The complete collection of the Net Book of Plots is available at
All of the plots are tagged, see the file “plot-tags.txt” or go to the
HTML version of the Net Book of Plots at
You can also find submission guidelines there at
We have permission of Qubrak Shata
to include the adventure ideas from his AD&D.com web pages in this book.
The plots are marked with “(AD&D.com)” in the title. The AD&D.com site is
located at AD&D.com
(1) and AD&D.com (2)
Another set of plot ideas (namely non-monster wilderness encounters) was
posted to the newsgroup “rec.games.frp.dnd”. These plots are marked with
I hope all enjoy this new collection and
dont forget to tell the authors how it went if you run a plot.
On the Island of Ro, there are four countries – the Olven Woods – inhabited
by the Olden Elves, Arabica – a nation based on arabian culture, Arthuria
– a culture based on Arthurian Culture and Musketterland – based on the Three
Musketeers – just no muskets 🙂
Olden Elves – these are a bunch of stuckup elves that would love to
destroy all the other races on the island and recover all the elven
Normal Elves – these are elves that live freely amongst the humans.
Dwarves – dissapeared hundreds of years ago into their mountain
strongholds – after defeating the elves in battle – basically giving the
humans space to conquer the world.
Gnomes – allied with the dwarves – nobody knows where they now are.
Halflings – very secretive and seldom seen – similar to leprechauns.
About 50 years ago the Arabics and Arthurians were at war – by the time
they stopped fighting the arabics had conquered one of the arthurian
provinces (neighbouring the Olven Woods). The elves have now decided it
is time to recapture the lost territories – so how to do it 🙂
Decimian – High Priestess of Elventia (The goddess of Elves) has
undertaken a journey with a few followers to get the Arthurian and
Arabics to go to war – their first stop was in Arthuia where they managed
to steal a missive from King Arthur to a fellow. They then proceeded to
Mussketter land where they aim to get a letter copied by a scribe, the
letter will be forged in King Arthur’s script, the letter will be
addressed to Sir Lancelot – Captain of the Arthurian Army – and be an
order to attack the captured province in full force. – Decimian is hoping
that this will spar a war between Arthuria and Arabica.
Dacimians idea is then to get Arabica to attack Musketterland as well so
that all the enemy cultures are at war.
The party is in Musketterland when they are approached by the local
Parchment Maker and asked to find his daughter – she disappeared the day
before while looking after his shop – without leaving a note or anything
– and taking only her brushes and parchment with her….
This becomes a detective adventure where the party need to find her
In the same street as the parchment maker are a Pottery – Potter and
Apprentice, and a blacksmith.
If asked what they saw – the blacksmith saw
1. 10:00 A hunched up man in a brown cape – went into the shop and came
out after 30minutes
2. 12:15 A young woman – also about 30 minutes
3. 16:45 A Knight (Soldier of the Cardinal) – stayed only 5 minutes
If asked the Potter saw
1. As above
2. As above
3. did not see the knight
(The potter is very difficult and insists that he never left the front
desk – if pushed he admits going out for lunch at about 13:00, when the
apprentice was in charge)
The apprentice saw – a beautiful elven woman go into the shop – but never
saw her leave. By description the elven woman is obviously an Olden Elf –
rarely seen in these parts – but the Apprentice swears she never left.
The man in the brown cloak is in fact the girls boyfriend and (could be
carrying flowers) just came to visit her.
The young lady came to have a love letter written for her boyfriend. Her
money – 1sp is actually in the till – she will be coming back the next day
to collect her note – only the girl knows this.
The Knight – a soldier in the cardinal’s guard (the bad guys – allied
with the Arthurians) – he was also coming for a love letter but there was
nobody in the shop and he left without placing his order.
The Olven Lady – you guessed it – Decimian – she offers the girl 100gp to
copy the note – (an elf can’t copy the note – elves cannot forge human
script well enough – and also it could be scried by magic that it was
touched by an elf). Decimian has taken the young girl to an ancient olven
temple about 50 miles outside of town, where she will do the work
Notes : The elves do not want to hurt anyone and would rather let the
party see what they are doing before hurting them.
The girl will want to finish the note – and earn her 100gp – (5 years
income) so will insist on staying – the best the party will be able to do
is to let her father know she will return soon.
Clues to where she has been taken – going out the back entrance there
are two sets of prints, an olven foot and the girl’s bare feet.
Decimian is wearing the symbol of her church (a red circle) seen by the
potters apprentice and with research it can be found that an old temple
exists in the woods….
* The Party must warn King Arthur and Lancelot….
* But too late – Arthuria has invaded Arabica
* Now the party must make peace….
* But too late, an Arabican noble has been assassinated – by an Arthurian
* Who killed him……? An Olven Assassin, An arthurian Archer
* NO! – A Musketter – a member of the cardinals guard
* Arabica threatens Masketter
* Musketter King Louis wants peace
* The Cardinal tries to kill the king….
Well this is my current campaign – the first adventure laid out above has
just been done 🙂
Any more detail you want let me know 🙂
The Quest For The Magnus Lexrota (summary)
Here’s a little bit about my campaign: I call it THE QUEST FOR THE
The characters get word that an ancient evil is about to come back out
into the world after being asleep for about 500 years. At the same
time, they stumble into an old mage lair and find a triangular piece
of decorated gold with a curved bottom. It turns out to be part of an
ancient holy relic called the Magnus Lexrota or Great Wheel of Law.
There are seven other pieces the characters have to find to put it all
together. Since this ancient evil being possesses the Talisman of
Chaos, they must put it together in order to even combat him.
The seven other pieces are really just a thread that you can use to
string together a series of otherwise unrelated dungeons and
adventures. But at the same time, you can throw in some intrigue from
other groups who want the Magnus Lexrota for their own, and will do
anything to get it.
In my world, the Holy Imperial Church of Hyperion wants the MLR to
validate itself. Many of the great Orders of Paladins want the MLR to
launch a crusade against its enemies. Minions of the Great Evil want
it so their master can take over the world. The gods of Mondalith
want the MLR back so they can restore order to the world.
You get the picture. It’s really an easy way to use existing dungeons
and adventures without going to much trouble. All you need to do is
plug in extra-curricular interplay….
Hope that’s some help!
The Quest For The Magnus Lexrota (Campaign)
“The Magnus Lexrota.
So long destroyed.
Find it and bind it.
His next reign avoid…”
– poem by Brother Askalon of Callanmay Abbey
The QUEST FOR THE MAGNUS LEXROTA (or the Q4MLR for short) is really
nothing more than a thread. It is a simple yet effective device you can use
to string together a series of otherwise unrelated dungeons and adventures.
Depending on your personal needs, the Q4MLR can be a simple adventure to
last your player characters only a short time, or, in my case, can become a
huge campaign around which your PC’s lives revolve. The only thing you need
to create to make the Q4MLR more interesting is an aura of mystery and
intrigue surrounding it as more and more NPC’s become aware of its existence
and in turn desperately want it. You will also need a pantheon of gods to
make this work, but which one is entirely up to you.
Here’s a quick look at how I plug in the Q4MLR into my campaign.
First, here’s my background. This is subtext that the players get in a
handout before the game begins:
More than 2000 years ago, the kingdom of Abydos flourished and
prospered on the banks of the Great River which wound its way through the
vast deserts known as the Tempest Wastes. Its ruler, Cheops the Mighty,
however was not content. He eyed the rich coastal city-states of the Great
Crescent Sea with greed and lust. Though there was little doubt his
charioteers could win the small city-states, victory would not come without
great price. So Cheops ordered his court magicians to create a device
which, when wielded by his army, would crush its enemies. They created a
device called the TALISMAN OF CHAOS (TOC for short). Through its most
powerful magic, the talisman created chaos and turmoil wherever it went.
But what they didn’t know is once unleashed, no man, not even a great
pharaoh, could reign in the unrelenting chaos. Cheops’ enemies did indeed
fall, but the magic was so powerful, it also eventually destroyed Abydos as
well, and cast all of the world of Mondalith along with it.
For 500 years, chaos reigned supreme until a new pantheon of deities
decided to take action. The pantheon of Zeus arrived on the slopes of
Olympus. They quickly and easily dispatched the old abydosian gods and
began plans to restructure the world. One day, Zeus looked down from
Olympus and ordered his blacksmith Haephastus to construct something to
reign in the rampant chaos.
The great misshapen god fired his forges deep underground. He and
his minions fashioned a wheel made of gold and mithril. It was called the
Magnus Lexrota, or Great Wheel of Law (I use a barely passing form of Latin
as my ancient language. I think it gives my campaign an authentic feel).
Worn around his neck with an adamantite chain, Zeus was able to halt the
chaos and begin the rebuilding of society. That rebuilding took form
primarily in the Imperium.
The Imperium sprang from the city of Myrrh. Its borders stretched
far and wide across the world, and its culture formed the basis of life in
Mondalith. At its height, Imperium centurions patrolled from outposts as
far north as the Clywiddan Mountains and as far west as the Rhyder Pass.
Imperium engineers brought water to deserts, elaborate villas to the
frontier and strongholds to wild lands. The Imperial drachir became the
standard coinage. And most importantly, imperial judges issued imperial law
with a cold and impartial hand. “All roads lead to Myrrh,” the old saying goes.
But just as Rome, Myrrh too grew fat and complacent. Perversions
and greed chewed away at the empire’s foundations. With most of the
frontier under the imperial standard and few lands left to conquer, the
Circus Maximus became the favorite of the mob. Gladiatorial games and brutal
executions seemed the only way to satiate the hunger of the people. Zeus
himself grew fat and perverted; known then as Obese Zeus.
Into this mix, a small cult began to form on the streets of Myrrh;
the church of Hyperion. Hyperion the Lionhearted was a noble figure of
goodness, honesty and chivalry. He attracted a mix of other deities and
together formed the basic tenets of their religion: Paladur, god of
knighthood and noble combat, Azariah, god of learning and justice, Ulfyn,
god of the harvest, etc. These gods and others in the new religion appealed
to the a populace weary of a constant diet of dessert without ever having a
main course. Soon Hyperion and his pantheon of noble gods challenged Zeus
upon the very slopes of Olympus. The War of the gods had begun. It raged on
for years on Olympus until Hyperion came to a realization.
The only way to defeat Zeus was to snatch the MLR off his neck and
cast it down Olympus. In a great final pitched battle, Hyperion ripped the
MLR off Zeus’ neck and threw it down the mountain where according to legend,
it smashed into eight equal pieces and vanished into Mondalith and history.
Hyperion was victorious. He and his pantheon took their rightful
places as the deities of Mondalith. But with the MLR destroyed, the evil
gnawing chaos began creeping back into the world. Despite Hyperion’s
valiant efforts, the Imperium, just as Abydos, collapsed into anarchy and
During the empire’s death throes, a man named Viriditus Acies, third
son of a Myrrh noble, sailed with some companions and formed a kingdom far
away from the collapsing land. Joining with the native clans of Gaels,
Vajars, and Goths, he conquered the land later known as the Kingdom of
Argandel. The kingdom seemed to be mankind’s last best hope in the face of
the dead empire and rampant anarchy.
But not more than 100 years after Acies, his descendant, King Robert
III, hired a court magician named Tallok. Tallok lived with Robert and his
family in the king’s magnificent underground palace called Green Castle.
Built by dwarves, Green Castle was the envy of dukes, sultans, emirs and
archbishops. But Tallok was a schemer and conniver, and unknown to anyone,
has obtained the long lost Talisman of Chaos. Soon, “Bloody” Tallok used it
to usurp the throne and grip the land in an iron fisted reign of terror. He
ruled without mercy for 11 years, using his demons to destroy villages,
churches, tribes, and the all-important knowledge of the past centuries.
Finally, an army of Robert’s former knights and men-at-arms defeated
Tallok’s dark minions and forced him back into the castle.
They sealed off Green Castle with Tallok inside, but they never
could recapture the glory of the House of Acies. Each succeeding king was a
more impotent shell of a monarch than the last. 23 years ago, the last one,
Thomas the Weary, abdicated the throne leaving no heir.
Chaos has once again asserted its hold. Without the MLR to reign in
the TOC, anarchy grips the world again. The once grand Kingdom of Argandel
has been reduced to a chaotic mishmash of duchies, counties, diocese and
principalities. No one recognizes anyone except the Holy Imperial Church
Here’s how things begin in my campaign:
The characters meet on a rainy night at a small but very cozy little
inn called the Virtuous Knight at the crossroads of the Southguard and
Callanmay roads. It’s located in-between the Duchy of Ulwyn and the
Diocese of Callanmay Abbey in the old Kingdom of Argandel. There they meet
a hospitable innkeeper named Dorin Tavernmaster.
After they go to sleep, they hear a commotion in the common room
below and the stable area outside. A band of marauding orcs has attacked
the inn. They characters fight valiantly, but the orcs make off with the
innkeepers horses and life savings.
He begs the characters to retrieve the things, offering a lifetime
of free lodging at the inn in return. The characters agree. Dorin tells
them he thinks the orcs are based in a dungeon located in the nearby hills
of Tors Brendyrs. Sure enough, the marauding orcs are from there.
This is where you can insert any dungeon (low-level if this is part
of a large campaign, or any dungeon if this is a small diversion). I
created my own called Delvingrim; an old sanctuary for a group of wizards
called the Grim Alliance. The orcs killed them all and decided to move in
some years ago. The lair is a series of rooms built around a great hollow
Whichever dungeon you use, you need to insert two things: Piece #1
of the MLR and a mysterious letter. The letter is written in a strange and
ancient tongue which needs to be deciphered by a sage in a nearby
village. The letter orders the orcs to carefully guard the piece. It goes
on to state that within five years he will be ready to leave Green Castle
and re-conquer the world.
So begins their quest to find all eight pieces of the Magnus
Lexrota. At barest minimum, all you really need to do is place pieces of
the MLR in a string of dungeons (handmade or mass produced). You could make
the quest last a short time (reducing the number of pieces to six or four),
or do as I have done and turn it into a full fledged campaign.
Each piece found bestows a powerful gift to its user and grows even
more powerful when used in conjunction with the other pieces. I’ll leave it
up to you to describe those powers. Only when completed can the wielder
attack Tallok and his Talisman of Chaos. Otherwise, Tallok remains
impervious to assault.
But with that power comes ultimate responsibility. It will not take
long for the characters to realize just how coveted the MLR is. I try to
shroud it in ancient mysteries and wrap it in enough court intrigues to make
the entire campaign more interesting.
In my Q4MLR campaign, the following groups try everything from
begging to bargaining, bribery to thievery, chicanery to murder to separate
the MLR from the characters: Fishtown Rats Thieves’ Guild, Chivalric Order
of Paradigms, Holy Imperial Church, Druids of the Darkling Vale, Duke
Aethelred of Ulwyn, Archbishop Germanicus of Beechanmoor, and the gods
Paladur, Morvidus, and Demetia.
In Mondalith, I have built my whole campaign around the idea of the
MLR. Try to imagine the Holy Grail turning up in Medieval Europe in the
10th or 11th centuries, and you have an idea how I handle the MLR.
At the end, of course, the characters must fight Tallok. Once they
are finished and wind up at the end of the campaign, they return to the
Virtuous Knight and Dorin Tavernmaster. Dorin, as it turns out, is really
Hyperion. He was testing his world and his own pantheon. He takes the MLR
from them, granting them wishes in return. It is up to them to decide what
to do next. The possibilities are endless.
I hope this is what you need. If not, just let me know and I’ll
You drank what?!
revise it. By the way, my new e-mail address if firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks again for your interest. If you hear of anyone using it, let me
know. I’d love to hear about it.
Unknowingly to anyone, supply of drinks (or water) was poisoned with
unknown substance. Anyone who drinks this drink/water is intoxicated
(PCs may be more resistant). The substance causes acute paranoia and
xenophobia – victims believe that everyone is plotting to
kill/destroy/hurt them and take “protective measures”, including killing
The party is hired/ordered to investigate a number of strange incidents:
crazy killers, sudden suicides, people locking their houses shut and
shooting at anyone getting too close. These incidents should be
unrelated and seemingly random.
Every time there is a clue, that killer, suicidal person (etc) drank one
specific brand of drink (e.g. Old Joe’s Lemonade).
Cause of poisoning may be changed to fit campaign or be simply strange,
e.g.: drink manufacturer built new installation and didn’t clean it –
artificial colors used in drink reacted with remains of anti-corrosive
paint solvent creating highly active neurotoxin.
Copyright 1996 Michal Szokolo. Free for noncommercial use.
I come back with a nice plot idea!
In the last campaign, my DM let us find people travelling in the desert.
It was an expedition sent by the Arch-Mage for investigate about some
strange magical accidents. Our PCs joined the expedition, but 2 days
after we realized that the people we met was evil and they weren’t sent
by the Arch-Mage, but by someone else (we haven’t discovered it yet). We
had a nice fight, we won, and found some papers in a box. Here come the
genial idea: the DM really gave us about 7 papers. They were a previous
group’s notes about some different dungeons, maps of forests and
inventories with notes about how to use some powerful magical items; and
he burned them a little, put part of them in the water and also put some
red paint on them. So that papers weren’t completely readable because
of that treatment but also because they were just notes written during a
game session by another group. We continued our quest, we eventually
found the other party’s skeletons (very old) and other papers. The DM
treated them like the others, but they were written in another alphabet
(probably he wrote those papers with his computers and then he changed
the normal letters with Greek letters). Obviously the mysterious papers
contained vital information about traps, monsters and so on…, so we
translated them (it took 1 hour and an half)
This adventure was really beautiful and it passioned all of us (we spent
hours examining the papers… it was exciting!).
Gabriele Ferri – email@example.com
Uh, sorry for my bad English! I’m sure I’ve made a lot of mistakes!
My current campaign (Draekera) consists of the following (I think I’ve
already posted this in another thread, but…). Startup information
is first, followed by some campaign background.
Kalah Shadar is a Sargothi nomad (horse tribes); her tribes has been
virtually flooded with Landmar refugees (Germanic-type tribe from the
south) bearing tales of tall, vicious man-like creatures that have
been attacking their villages, killing and eating all the dead (even
their own). Kalah was part of a group of Sargothi tribesmen from
different tribes sent to investigate. After reporting back to their
tribes, it was decided that they should be sent to neighboring nations
to pass the word and ask for military assistance against the Beastmen.
Kalah was sent to du’Chade, where the Chadian command decided to send
a team led by Stage (Bandisalian scout ‘doing jobs’ for Chadian command)
to investigate. Jadow (desert mercenary) had been traveling with Stage
and hired on for the job. Hayden is a Chadian crystalmancer sent along
for communications support.
The party is going to examine the Beastmen, transmit the information
back to du’Chade and be told to investigate further; they will find
that the Beastmen were caused by the corruption of the Beast Law
upon the defeat of the Beast Lord (more about that below). The
party will then have the task of restoring the Beast Lord to power.
So far we’ve had two sessions and they are about half-way to the keep
nearest the pass to Landmar. Stage was fairly seriously wounded, but
was about half-healed by some salve.
Dwarves haven’t been seen in this area of the campaign, although they
are present in the Northern Mountains (near the Norse culture). There
are Logston elves (much like wild elves) in the forest of Tirebanil,
although only the Followers of Saint Laris get to see them; other
people entering the forest tend to sprout arrows. There are Pini elves
in the forest and mountains to east of Sargothian Plains. The Sindaar
(high elves) haven’t been seen in forty or fifty years. To the best of
my knowledge there are no halflings or gnomes. This is a very
When the world was created, the gods bound the Land Law into Great
Dragons. On each continent there is one Dragon that maintains a
particular Law – there are Sun, Storm, Beast, Wood/Forest, Sea, Sand,
Shadow, Magic, Faerie (these last two are probably the same) and
probably others. The Beast Lord was defeated in combat by a human
warrior about forty or fifty years ago (hmmm….;). Normally when
a Beast Lord is defeated his power goes to the one who bested him;
the human was unable to handle to power and was destroyed. The Lord
regained some of the power but is in a coma, unable to restore the
Beast Law. The party is going to gain possession of his mind crystal
and will have to travel to the other Lords to repair it.
There are several possible endings to this. The first is that the
Get Out of Town!!
party restores the crystal and returns it to the Beast Lord, enabling
him to rebuild the Beast Law (although the Beastmen will remain
afterward – they are now part of the world). The second is that the
party will restore the crystal and one of the members will take on
the mantle of Beast Lord by using the crystal – there are currently
two characters that this option may appeal to. The third is that the
party fails, in which case the Beast Lord will be replaced by another
from another continent – probably a hundred years from now, after the
continent has been more or less overrun by Beastmen and the cultures
drastically changed. There are other dragons on the continent, but
they tend to be much smaller and weaker than the great dragon; they’re
kind of like the great cats of the reptile world.
To actually get characters together, I’ll tell about another campaign
I was running:
The original party went into the Temple of the Snake Demons (yuan-ti),
where a couple of the characters died while cleaning the place out.
They limped back to town to recover. While in town a couple of the
slaves they had freed asked to join their rescuers. Dave was really
unhappy playing a ranger, so I allowed him to restart with a mage.
The ranger was found face down in an alley, obviously robbed. Seamus
(I forget his character’s name) was a thief who wanted to get in some
practice, so he went to rob a house – incidentally, the house of Therat
(Dave). He was captured, apparently blood-cursed, and released. He
went back to his inn, where Ramirez (6’4″ Moorish Blade (bard)) was
sitting in the common room and thinking about joining a game of dice.
This fellow coming through the door with a bloody and a rune drawn
on his forehead in blood looked interesting, so Ramirez followed him and
tried to talk his way into their (Seamus and Mike (warpriest)) room.
He failed and was walking back to his table when the innkeeper passed
him in the hall – obviously going to check on his guest. The different
voice saying he was the innkeeper got Mike’s attention – there was
obviously something wrong. In order to protect his interests, Ramirez
threw a dagger and killed the innkeeper.
Other events occurred that involved lots of running around, getting
picked up by the guard (Seamus lost three sets of lockpicks to the
guards in two days :), and being ‘encouraged’ by the Thieves Guild
to leave town the party was high-tailing it for the hills – not to
avoid the guard but to escape the guild – Ramirez killed one of the
Guild representatives escorting Seamus out of town.
In short, arrange things so that the party (even the innocent members)
Ray A. Reaux (rayzer)
end up fleeing the city with the law/guild behind them. They will
be forced to work together in order to stay alive…
I ran a short plot that works well for low level characters,
say below 3rd level, went like this:
A bard or minstrel PC wanted to purchase a new musical instrument.
When he gets to a shop, he looks them over and sees a really
nice one in the back of the shop made by a well known instrument
maker. He asks the shop keeper how much and the shop keeper
asks for a price, which isn’t very high for one of such quality,
especially one made by an instrument maker of such repute. Anyway,
the shop keeper really wants to sell the instrument, and at any price
(should play this out so the player gets that hint but it isn’t too
obvious), for his own peace of mind.
After the player gets the instrument and gets it home, he should
be happy. Then after a few days (you might want to make this after
some intervening adventure to not make things too obvious to the
player), he starts having bad dreams. He dreams of a fat man with
a knife in hand who is laughing down at him, as he experiences the
vertigo of falling. Of course, he never hits the ground but always
wakes up before he hits the ground. You’ll want to start these dreams off
murky, but elaborate on them as you go. You might also have another PC
wake up one night to see the PC playing the instrument (let’s say a
mandolin) and singing in a totally different voice. When the player
wakes up, he remembers nothing. Then one day, the other
characters in the party will find the PC is missing. They should find
him walking down the road, singing in that foreign voice.
The mandolin is the focal point for a ghost, not really a malevolent
ghost but one that wants revenge and restitution from the burghermeister
of a nearby town. The ghost was once a chaotic good bard who liked
to poke public fun at corrupt people and who was a little too free
with women, especially married women. He died when fleeing from the
bedchamber of the irate and corrupt burghermeister, who caught him
with the burghermeister’s wife. Now his death was really an accident
since the burghermeister did not knife him, and the bard fell from
the window and broke his neck. But the ghost wants to humiliate him
nevertheless and drive him from his comfortable office. He isn’t
interested in killing the burghermeister, just
wants to show him up for what he is, a corrupt and petty man.
That’s why he “borrows” or possesses the body of the owner of the mandolin
to lead him to the town to exact his revenge on the burghermeister.
Hopefully, the other PCs of the adventuring group would be drawn in
to this effort.
Since the ghost is not evil, a detect evil would not show the mandolin
Staggered Time Startup
as evil. Destroying the mandolin would destroy the link with the ghost,
but any attempts to do so would make the ghost extremely angry.
I’m doing something new with my player characters…I’m starting them at
different times. The first players village is raided by Death Knights,
and the townsfolk pack up and get out. The players parents and family are
killed, and the player is stuck with a group of soldiers travelling to
Cormyr to speak to King Azoun.. The player REALLY wants to find out why
the Death Knights raided their village after they’d been gone for a
couple hundred years, so he enlists the aid of player 2, maybe player 3.
They set out, hired hands, with player 1, and end up meeting player 4 in
an adventure. Player 4 joins them after MORE Death Knights show up, this
time led by Gondegal, who I’ve recreated as a Doom Knight after his loss
at Arabel, and they flee, only to get to WaterDeep, and meet players 5
and 6. Seven, a drow psionicist, will join them when they venture into
*Lord Xian of Silverblood*
On the Run
Brent G. Davis
This adventure was originally created to bridge the retirement of some
rather munchkinish high-level characters with a starting party. The players
had been playing good characters for a long time, and wanted to try evil.
This is the result, and IMHO it turned out quite well. If you need an
intro for a new party with evil characters this may work:
A group of high-level good characters arrives in a town known for its seedy-
side. In short order, they end up wiping out the Thieves’ Guild, Assassins’
Guild, and all the evil temples and magic schools there. They also replace
the former puppet government.
As this is going on, the new characters (who were members of those guilds,
temples and schools) escape. (It is possible that some of the characters are
friends or relatives tagging along – this allows for some non-evil characters
in the group.) This is where the adventure begins – with them “on the run”
from overwhelming forces. They join up after fleeing from the city.
Where do they go? They aren’t prepared for overland adventures or the
dangers beyond the city walls. Yet returning to the city means possible
capture by the new government. Rewards are being offered, so former contacts
might very well turn them in.
The party may resort to stealing some horses and equipment. After a while,
some bounty hunters will pick up their trail. It is easy to turn some of
these bounty hunters into recurring characters that almost catch them between
various adventures. (In the original campaign, one known as The Inspector
was always hot on their trail. The players never realized he was just an
illusionist using his spells to appear as a large garrison tracking them
down.) With prices on their heads, the party will need to be extra cautious
when dealing with shopkeepers who will eagerly turn them in for a quick
profit. All those things that good characters normally take for granted
now pose huge risks for this group.
The surrounding territory is heavily populated by humanoids and other beasts
which makes escape from the city quite difficult. Just because they may
have a common enemy doesn’t make these creatures any less likely to view the
fleeing party as food. If they do make deals with the monsters, word of
this may get back to the city further ruining their reputations. As the
characters become more powerful, their names and faces will appear on
wanted posters in the towns they visit. Other adventurers may also try to
track them down to make a name for themselves. Rumors of the party’s
evil-doings can get wildly exaggerated to the point that orders for their
capture keep coming from higher places of office and further away.
>From a DM stand-point, it is easy to convert and use any common adventure
Port of Death (The Plague: Part 1)
Brent G. Davis
type with this ongoing plot. For example, instead of the typical
dungeon-delve, the party explores and secures a new hideout. Instead of
guarding the caravan, they attempt to steal goods from it undetected.
Many DM’s will likely have a blast converting parts of their old adventures
for this one…
The party hears rumors of a plague that is ravaging a nearby seaport.
No healing methods have been successful at treating its effects. Some
say it may be the result of a magical curse while others suggest that it
is a plague sent by the gods.
Obviously, the party probably will need to be lured into the city – possibly
some of them have relatives there, or they are hired by someone to rescue
family members from the city. (Otherwise, they might just as well stay away
to avoid contracting it themselves!) As they approach, they encounter a
few of the dying attempting to flee from the city. They have lost motor
skills, they sweat profusely and are completely disoriented – hallucinating.
As they die, the party’s efforts to help them will be unsuccessful.
It is interesting to note that the farms just outside of the port city have
been mostly untouched, with only a few young males that frequented the city
having been afflicted.
In the town, the party will encounter more plague victims. Most seem to be
from the seedier parts of town, but there are also a number of high-ranking
officials and shopkeepers that have died. With the number of dead bodies
piling up, there have been a number of problems such as giant rats and
ghouls feeding on the dead along with the problems of burying them all.
(These can be turned into mini-adventures.)
As the party investigates, they learn that the plague started within the last
month. None of the clerics or healers have found a way to treat the dying.
Plus, spells that raise the dead don’t even bring them back. Priests are
convinced that this is a sign, and that “The gods are punishing us.”
One of the main links appears to be money: many victims are thieves, harlots,
shopkeepers and city officials while the poorer people in the same areas
(beggars, workers, etc.) have been largely untouched. If they pursue this,
they will learn of a mage in the port that believes this is due to some
cursed coins being passed around the city. (He’s wrong, but it can lead to
some rather interesting side adventures.)
While the records are a bit sketchy, the party will find that most of
the early deaths occurred close to the docks, and have since spread
throughout the rest of the city. The party will also discover that a few
of the once popular taverns near the docks are fairly deserted. Many of
the former patrons have been hit by the disease. If they check these
places out, they will notice that one particularly rich-looking fellow
frequents most of these places. He stops in, talks to a couple people
briefly and then leaves. If watched carefully, he will be seen exchanging
small pouches under the table with those people.
He’s was once a thief, but is now a rich drug-dealer. If confronted by
the party, he will try to bribe them to leave him alone. If searched and
then pressed about the drugs, he will reveal that he received a new type
of drug “Drax” from a ship that arrived about a month ago. It has been a
big seller for him, but recently a number of his distributors in the city
have fallen victim to the disease. Thus, he has been forced to leave his
fancy dwelling and go back onto the street to do the dealings in person again.
He’s been having to lower his price, for it seems that the drug’s demand has
been dropping off. (This is because the customers are dying, but he doesn’t
realize this.) His greed and low wisdom prevent him from making any kind
If the party convinces him that the drug is causing the disease, he will be
very upset and try to help them as best he can to avoid a certain death at
the hands of the local officials and populace. (He is chaotic, but not
evil.) He will turn over all the Drax he possesses and a fair amount of
gold to the party. He will also provide them with the names of the ship
and his contacts, but then he will attempt to slip out of town permanently.
The drug does tremendous damage to the brain producing a spectacular high
and hallucinations in the process. Eventually the entire brain is destroyed
preventing any type of healing or raising from working.
Note: If this adventure were placed in modern day, the characters would
Dragon Island (The Plague: Part 2)
Brent G. Davis
probably figure out the drug source very quickly. Staging it in a fantasy
campaign creates many more “believable” dead ends for the investigation
such as cursed coins or a god-sent plague. DM’s should feel free to take
advantage of this by possibly spinning off various mini-adventures before
the true source is determined.
The party can bribe a dock agent to see a list of ships that arrived about
a month ago. The ship identified by the dealer came from a small island.
They will either be sent or feel obligated to put a stop to this operation.
A ship can be hired to take them there. (DM’s can use this as an opportunity
for a sea battle with one or more of the drug-lords ships.)
Drax is made from the dragon flower which is only found on Dragon Island.
The drug-lords know its effects, and hope to use it to build income and at
the same time wipe out the mainland population.
The drug-lords are non-human but employ human operatives for distributing the
drug. DM’s are free to use whatever creatures would best fit the party and
the campaign. Originally, this adventure was used for a low-to-mid level
party and had ogre magi as the head of the operation with a number of
humanoids (mostly hobgoblins) in their employment. For higher level parties,
the head drug-lord could easily be a dragon. (This is Dragon Island
The dragon flowers can be wiped out using a variety of methods. However,
Raid on Rokin (The Rokin Chronicles, Part 1)
Brent G. Davis
completely eliminating this species may be frowned on by any druids in the
area, as the flower does have other beneficial uses and is quite beautiful.
Beginning: The party hears tales of a large humanoid attack on Rokin, the
capitol of Drucinia, a lawful nation. The raid included flying creatures
such as griffins, hippogriffs and even a blue dragon along with a humanoid
army. For a tie-in, one of the characters or NPC’s should have ties to
Rokin, thus leading the party to investigate. The rumors make it sound
like the city has been burned to the ground and all the people are dead…
After the party gets to the city, it becomes apparent that the rumors of
Rokin’s near-destruction are greatly exaggerated. In fact, to someone
unfamiliar with the city, they might not even know that an attack occurred.
There are only a few damaged buildings, but the townsfolk are really rattled –
so rattled that their tales are already ballooning way out of proportion.
“I swear it was 5 dragons.” “No, it was 10 if not more.” “And 500 orcs.”
“More like 5000.” “We’re just lucky to be alive.”
In fact, the force was only about 100 creatures total…
In Rokin, posted notices and town criers announce that the King of Drucinia
died a few weeks earlier leaving no heirs. In his place, the acting regent,
Agral Tymart has been convening with the Rokin council to select the next
ruler. However, as this was transpiring, a powerful warrior, Dreth Caldan,
and his forces raided the city, and stole the Drucinic Crown and Scepter.
Until these are returned, the next king cannot be appointed. After
consulting the Law Scrolls, the council has selected the next king, a
half-elf (who is neutral and a strange choice as most Drucinic kings have
been extremely lawful). Agral Tymart has offered a reward for the return
of the royal items as well as the capture of Dreth Caldan.
Arrange a meeting between Agral and the interested party. He will give as
many details as he can. He knows the force wasn’t that large, but he
doesn’t know why Dreth stole the items. Agral knows Dreth somewhat and
pleads with the party to capture him and bring him back for judgement as
opposed to killing him. Agral suspects that Dreth had a good reason to
take the items. He will explain that Dreth believes humanoids and other
monsters are acceptable forces; they just need more supervision. These
views are part of what makes him evil. His troops consist mostly of orcs,
hobgoblins a handful of giants along with his flying mounts: griffins,
hippogriffs and his personal blue dragon steed. These forces are extremely
well disciplined due to Dreth’s skilled leadership.
One of the councilmen, Akelor, will also meet the party as they are leaving.
He will be much more vindictive saying, “This man must be punished. He has
defiled the throne, sitting upon it as if he were the king. Do not hesitate
to kill him.” (Akelor is the only one to witness Dreth’s throne room visit.)
The party will presumably set out to deal with Dreth. His base is a
mountain keep at the eastern edge of Drucinia. It is heavily defended.
The mountain terrain along with the defenses make a frontal assault nearly
During the overland trip, the party might catch glimpses of a grizzled old
woodsman that might be following them. If they investigate, no trace of him
will be found. If and only if a party member is seriously injured, he might
emerge suddenly from the nearby trees and heal them. He will just as quickly
vanish into the growth. He will not do anything else. This character is an
addition to the original 1st adventure and will return in various forms
throughout the Rokin Chronicles.
Near the mountains, the party will meet a (very) helpful elf who knows of a
secret way into the keep. Below it is an ancient crypt occupied by
various undead. Dreth knows about this, and has left them there as guards.
He doesn’t care if the party wipes out the undead. Once they get past the
crypt, either allow the party to be captured or fight their way through
Dreth’s forces to meet him. His guards have orders to capture first, and
kill only if necessary.
Dreth is powerful, and should be difficult (even impossible) for the party
to defeat in combat. But, if they role-play the situation instead, he can
be talked into returning to Rokin. He is somewhat evil, but he is also
extremely lawful. His raid on Rokin was extremely selective, as he
targeted the 2 items (which he believes are rightfully his). He is upset
that some minor damage occurred during the raid. The guilty humanoids have
been punished. He insists that he left a scroll on the throne explaining
his actions. In fact, one of the councilmen was there…
According to Dreth, The Law Scrolls in Rokin prove he is the next king.
(And he is right! This is due to a number of obscure laws and the order
of titles in the situation of a king leaving no heirs.) One of Dreth’s
agents in Rokin notified him that something was amiss. But, the agent was
discovered and killed before learning more. Dreth seized the crown and
scepter to avoid losing the rightful title, since if another was crowned
first, he would lose the claim. He returned to his keep to wait for vital
information from other agents throughout Drucinia that will hopefully
expose the plot. Fearing the party might be part of this, he will not
reveal any information concerning the plot or his agents. However, he
trusts Agral Tymart, so he is willing to accompany a group sent by him.
(The crown and scepter are hidden in his keep, and he will not reveal their
location. This is his only insurance at the moment.)
At some point after Dreth has agreed to return with the party, the elf NPC
will attempt to kill Dreth. He is really an assassin, and part of an
elaborate elvish conspiracy to seize the Drucinic throne. He will make an
attempt on Dreth when the opportunity presents itself (i.e. he is alone
with Dreth or with only 1 other party member plus Dreth). It is up to the
DM whether the attempt succeeds. Regardless of the outcome, the elf will
If the party returns to Rokin, and then questions Akelor via truth spells or
similar means, the truth will come out. Akelor removed Dreth’s scroll as well
as hid and forged the Law Scrolls that would prove Dreth is the rightful
king. If pressed, Akelor will reveal that he did not act alone, but doesn’t
know all of the people involved. He does know that the half-elf king-to-be
is aware of the conspiracy. The death of the former king was also
orchestrated by someone involved (the elf the party met earlier).
The conspiracy also involves some of the elvish ambassadors in Rokin.
If Dreth was killed, he will be raised from the dead by priests in Rokin.
Dreth will send messengers to his keep and his dragon mount will return with
the crown and scepter. Then he will be crowned as the rightful king.
Note: Both the Crown and Scepter of Drucinia are artifacts. Their true
Words of War (The Rokin Chronicles, Part 2)
Brent G. Davis
nature will be revealed in Part 4.
Much to the chagrin of the neighboring elvish empire, Dreth Caldan is now
the King of Drucinia. After uncovering the plot to seize Drucinia’s throne,
Dreth has ordered all of the elvish ambassadors out of the country. In
response, the elves have done likewise. Both have also increased their
patrols along the Drucinic/Elvish border. The situation is very tense.
Then Councilman Akelor escapes. (He is aided by the elvish assassin.)
He also steals some important defense plans. Fearing invasion, Dreth Caldan
summons a large humanoid army from the east. All the pieces are set for
In Rokin, the people are turning on anything elvish. “Elf-compatriot.
Even if you say you’re half-human, you’re still half-elf.” Two thugs are
seen beating up a helplessly obvious half-elven shopkeeper.
Agral Tymart sends for the party. There might be another way to avoid this
war. In his research, Agral has found notes from an ancient elvish prophecy
about an “evil” warlord wearing the Drucinic Crown and the war that would
follow. The prophecy also mentions a specific event that will stop the
fighting, but its translation is unclear. There are only a few other notes,
but they seem to fit closely with current events. The original text is
somewhere deep in the elvish kingdom.
What follows is a difficult infiltration into the now-hostile elvish
kingdom. After the party sets out, they learn that the original prophecy
is carved into stone in a sacred vale tended by a reclusive order of elven
priests. Along the way, you can allow the party to encounter Akelor & the
elvish assassin. They will attempt to kill the party rather than capturing
them. Very few elves know the truth about the former conspiracy, and they
don’t want to risk the party spreading it around the kingdom. As it stands
now, most elves view the human claims of a conspiracy as rumors meant to
cover their real goal of conquering the elves. If the party does try to
expose the truth, they will be laughed at by most elves.
This is an extremely difficult adventure to undertake. However, with the
help of some allies they will encounter (which includes some druids and
the elven priests) they can make it. Not all of elves want to fight this
war either. A few fights are likely, but the majority of this adventure
should involve role-playing. (One of the druids that will aid them is the
same person as the grizzled man from part 1, although in this adventure he
looks much different, so the party will have no idea…)
The text on the stone is quite lengthy, and it is written in an ancient
Star of the Prophet (The Rokin Chronicles, Part 3)
Brent G. Davis
tongue (even older than elvish, but somewhat related to modern druidic).
A few of the elvish priests that tend the vale can provide a loose
translation. All of the text up to this point fits exactly with the current
events (albeit, in that wonderful “prophet-speak”). In various places the
text refers to an ancient land in the far east where a star once fell. That
land is now a vast desert! The text near the end is difficult to translate,
but it seems to indicate that this war will end when a star falls on the
battlefield. It also mentions something about Havoc’s Day (the apocalypse?).
The party returns to Rokin with the texts from the ancient prophecy.
Meanwhile, the situation is getting worse in Rokin. The humanoid army
is camped outside the city, and everyone expects a battle will soon occur.
Dreth has calmed fears of the council about the humanoids turning on
them after the battle. “With their ancient hatred, the humanoids and
elves will attack one another first leaving our forces nearly untouched.”
With the impending battle, Agral urges the party to go to the ancient
eastern land to look for help. He is able to convince Dreth to spare some
of his winged mounts for transport.
The party reaches the desert and soon finds ruins amidst the sand. In one
of the buildings is a detailed map showing the once lush land. There is a
great pyramid shown in the map that has a star-like symbol. A nomad will
emerge from the sands as the party finds this map. He will not speak, but
will drop a number of wooden staves and clubs along with suits of plant-
based armor in front of the party (one for each member). He will turn and
leave, vanishing as the sands pick up in the desert. (This is once again
the grizzled woodsman & druid from parts 1 & 2.) The party will be pretty
perplexed about where these came from – certainly not from this desert!
The plant-based armor may not be worn with other armor.
With some searching, the party locates the pyramid indicated on the map.
Within the pyramid, the party encounters strange skeleton-like creatures
that have the abilities of mid-range fighters and mid-range mages.
Inside each ones skull is a glowing gem. Anyone that touches this gem
is charmed into placing it against their head. The gem burrows into
their head and the creature is turned into another of these skeleton-like
creatures within 1 turn. Before that time expires various magical methods
may be used to stop the process.
When a gem-skeleton is hurt and about to die, if there are none of its
kind nearby, the gem explodes sending out tiny fragments (equivalent to
a 6-dice fireball). Bystanders killed this way rise up as similar skeleton-
like creatures within 1 turn due to the shards that are embedded in them.
The gems appear to be alive and growing, and each skeleton is able to
produce basically unlimited number of shards from their skulls to create
more from fallen or captured enemies. The gems do not affect plants or
plant-based creatures, and weapons made from plants (wood or otherwise)
such as staves or clubs do extra damage against the skeletons. Plants are
also immune to the gem-detonation. In fact, any plant material nearby
seems to make the gems cringe. If the party is wearing the plant-based
armor that the nomad dropped, they are immune to gem-detonation, and they
will notice that the shards bounce off of it. The gems and shards can
easily be crushed by the staves and clubs, turning to dust.
The pyramid is filled with various traps, both magical and mechanical,
plus a few other creatures besides the skeletons. There are also odd piles
of treasure, metal bands and locks, but no wood. In fact, there isn’t any
wood in the entire pyramid, and any that once was here is completely gone!
The gem-skeletons have destroyed all of it over the years.
Along the way, the party will find more ancient texts. These are a warning,
but the party won’t be able to translate them. The party will encounter a
small “harmless” creature that can speak to them. It claims to be an agent
of their deity sent to witness this blessed event. It will lead them to a
room where an object glows brightly (like a star) and beautiful singing
is heard. The glowing object is a sword (sunblade), hanging in the air
above a magical circle. The creature will urge the party to take the sword to
complete their destiny. It is arranged as part of an ancient magic circle,
and unfortunately disturbing it will have nasty effects (but that won’t be
revealed until later). As the sword is grasped, the little creature will
vanish (teleport away). The creature is actually a powerful demon that was
trapped here. It uses various magical means to conceal its identity.
The sword is lawful good and will be in telepathic communication with
anyone grasping it. The sword will reveal that the demon has just been
freed, and be very upset. This type of spell will never work against this
demon again and so the sword will feel that its purpose has ended.
Returning to Rokin by air at night, the party sees the battle fires raging
below. If the character with the sword explains the situation to it, and then
hurls it down, it will blaze brightly and sing a loud chorus in elvish,
destroying itself in the process. From the ground it appears as a
Clerics among the warring elves will call back their forces upon seeing this
Havoc’s Day (The Rokin Chronicles, Part 4)
Brent G. Davis
sign. It fulfills an ancient prophecy handed down for generations.
For now they must join this enemy to defeat an even greater one…
The texts copied from the pyramid are translated by one of the elven priests.
They indicate that a powerful demon was imprisoned there. It also notes
the gem-skeletons and tells of a huge controlling master gem that fell from
Far to the east, a great cloud rises up. The demon that was freed by the
party in the previous adventure has summoned the godstorm – basically a
huge growing cloud of acid rain that continues to grow outwards. This
is what turned the lush land into desert before. At the front of the
storm, marches an army of gem-skeletons. Both are swelling…
In Rokin Castle, the party once again meets with Agral Tymart and Dreth
Caldan. All appears hopeless. “Havoc’s Day is upon us!”
A hawk will fly into the throne room window, and suddenly change into an old
man, a man that the party almost recognizes. He combines features of the
grizzled woodsman, the druid and the nomad from parts 1-3. “It is time.”
He is one of an ancient order of heirophant druids that were in hibernation
for thousands of years. He will tell the story of the ancient land. The
demon came to them as a god hiding behind his illusions and promises. The
demon tricked the mages and priests to cast a great spell that caused a
star to fall – the gem. Once it began to work its evil, the demon loosed
the godstorm. This was a 2-pronged attack: the gems to wipe out animal
life, and the storm to destroy all plant life. The demon sought the
destruction of the planet. But a group of priests, mages and druids were
able to trap the demon in the pyramid and stop the menace using the
sunblade that they crafted. The price was terrible. That land was
destroyed along with most of the people. Worse, the demon was only
trapped, and the location of the master gem was unknown.
The survivors set out to find it, and did, but were unable to penetrate its
defense. The wards the demon placed on it were meant to prevent any but an
evil druid king from touching it. Druids can’t be evil, so this was an
apparently fool-proof ward. However, the wording on the ward was not
perfect, and as a result, the survivors from the old land devised a plan.
The druidic nation of Drucinia would need to be slowly transformed. They
would make it a lawful nation, and one day, when a lawful evil king was on
the throne (they didn’t trust any other type of evil king to help them),
they would have their evil druid king. For the ward implies a Drucinic king
as opposed to a true druid king, but at that time, ages ago, the two were
synonymous. They also crafted the crown to prevent the terrible mind-
influencing affect of the gem. The scepter is a living tree transformed
into a pointed scepter which can penetrate and destroy the gem. Eventually,
the nation would be transformed and these items would be given to its kings.
However, their plan would take thousands of years to reach fruition…
The surviving heirophants went into hibernation. Their prophets revealed the
dates when they would need to awaken, and now they have. The druids have
methods to halt the spread of the godstorm using various weather spells.
But they need the humanoid, human and elvish armies to halt the gem-skeletons.
To prevent the gem-detonations from turning these armies into more skeletons,
he reveals that the gems cannot penetrate plant-based armor. And weapons
made from plants deal extra damage to them as well. Realizing there would
be no time to craft enough of these items, their agents have been secretly
stockpiling them over these thousands of years and putting them into stasis
all over the world – a cave here, a grove there, etc. The armor and weapons
will be delivered to the armies shortly.
To put an end to it all, both the demon and the gem must be destroyed. It
is up to the DM where they are hidden – could be another continent or even
another plane. The heirophant will take Dreth and the party there. The
defenses consist of more gem-skeletons as well as a few lesser demons and
other creatures as well as many tricks and illusions placed by the demon.
The party will likely want to wear the plant-based armor to ensure that
they don’t succumb to gem-blasts. It can’t be worn effectively with other
armor. Also, it is much less effective compared to other armor vs. other
creatures, so the battles will be difficult. Eventually, they will reach
the hall where the gem is kept. Only Dreth can reach it, but when he gets
to it, the demon will be gated there too. The party will need to engage it
while Dreth sinks the scepter into the living gem. As he does, it will
revert into a tree and its roots will consume the cracking gem. When the
gem is destroyed, all the gem-skeletons everywhere will fall to dust.
The demon will be hard to defeat. The ancient druids, mages and priests
The Cost of Doing Business
Wayne J. Rasmussen
were unable to kill it last time. It is up to the DM if he wants to give
it an Achilles’ Heal that the heirophants learned over time, or if he just
wants the party to be heroic enough to defeat it on their own. When the
demon is defeated, the godstorm will also end. The heirophant will return
them all to Rokin and again vanish (perhaps until his next calling…)
This scenario can be adapted to any level or size of group. Just adjust
the opposition accordingly. I feel it would be best for 4-6 characters
of lower-middle to mid-middle level.
A family member of a noble, Lord Ansi, has been kidnapped and held for ransom.
Lord Ansi needs a party to deliver the ransom and return the family member.
The kidnapper Reaver is very greedy and is only out for money. Reaver
has gotten a better offer from an enemy of the noble lord. The enemy, Lord
Takemiya, has given the kidnapper a bonus to mislead the would-be ransom
droppers. The party must figure it out.
Places in the scenario
Lord Takemiya’s Tower: This tower is located east of the Kidnapper’s Keep.
A mounted party would take 3.5 days to travel there while Lord Takemiya’s party
would take 7 days.
Lord Ansi’s Castle: A modest castle where the good and noble Lord Ansi lives.
It should take the party around 10 days to travel from this castle to the
Reavers’s Keep: The central point to this adventure. Never will you find a
more wretched hive of scum and villainy. It is the home of brigands, bandits,
Eastern Road: The Eastern road is the road that heads East from the
Kidnapper’s Keep. This is the route that Takemiya’s party takes.
Southern Road: The Southern road is the road that heads South from the
Kidnappers Keep. This is the route that kidnapper will say the Takemiya
Lord headed off in with the kidnapped family member.
Western Road: The Western road is the road that heads west from the
Kidnapper’s Keep. It continues to the Noble Lord’s Castle.
NPCs in the scenario:
Lord Ansi: A good and noble man who loves his family as well as his subjects.
This love has been perceived by the Lord Takemiya as a weakness to exploit.
Currently, the two lords are vying for power and it is a critical point in
Lord Takemiya: A repulsive man who will use almost any means to achieve his
ends. Unfortunately this tendency often forces Takemiya to do the job
himself out of fear or distrust. He will use the Lord Ansi’s family
member to gain political advantage over Lord Ansi.
Reaver: A former bandit, brigand, and professional thief, Reaver has now
gone “ligit”. Instead of shaking down merchants for protection, Reaver
has gone into the insuring “noble person’s safety” industry. This includes
returning kidnapped family members, stopping blackmailers, safeguarding
merchant caravans. When he does this, he extracts a toll from those he is
“Helping”. Recently, a member of Lord Ansi’s family got kidnapped and
conveniently found their way into the Reaver’s hands.
Rumors are a buzz around the castle. Some say that Lord Ansi’s son has been
kidnapped by brigands. Others say that Lord Ansi’s son has run away after
a long lost love. And even more say he has gone off to join the war. In
any case, you are talking old times with some of your friend’s when you get
the message. Lord Ansi would like to speak with you.
1) If the party doesn’t accept the offer then perhaps some other adventure
will drop in their lap. If they accept, goto 2.
2) Castle: When players arrive at the castle, they treated very well and
with great respect. They are offered food and wine while servants fuss about
their persons (Brushing off clothes, polishing the old boots, combing hair,
3) The meeting: The setting for the meeting will be very formal yet
very personal. I recommend describing the castle as having good quality
trappings and many items are simple yet elegant in appearance. Quality
over appearance. Lord Ansi is polite but frank with party. His son has been
kidnapped by the scumbag Reaver. He demands 10,000 gold pieces for the safe
return of the son. Lord Ansi can’t dare to send official troops or ranking
members of the clan to “ransom” the son. Therefore, Lord Ansi is asking if
you are willing to answer the call. Character’s volunteering for the
expedition will be given a excellent light war-horse to carry out the mission.
If player’s haggle, the Lord will almost be forced to submit. He doesn’t have
magic to give to the players, but, gold, weapons, horses, land, and rank are
available. Players may be much better off volunteering as word will get out
about their demanding payment. Lord Ansi will extract a vow from each
character as follows: “I, your name, vow to return Lord Ansi’s son at
whatever the cost.” After the vow has been made, a chest containing 10,000
gold pieces will be given to the character’s to pay off the Reaver. The
character’s will be asked to leave right away. Lord Ansi will warn the party
to be careful in the Reaver’s land. The Reaver considers himself a Lord.
Reaver’s Keep is east of Lord Ansi’s castle.
4) The Reaver’s Land: While in the outskirts of the Reaver’s territory, the
party may run across the local “watch”. They will approach that party and
demand a “toll” to cross the land. This should be 10-50 gold pieces per
head. The idea is to get the party use to paying through the nose for
everything in the Reaver’s land. Every watch the party runs into will make
5) The Reaver’s Town: There is a modest town surrounding the Reaver’s Keep.
The town is surrounded by a tall stone wall. Nobody is let into the town
unless they have a pass that has been signed by the office of the gatekeeper.
The gate guard’s will say they can’t come into town without permission and
will charge the party 100GP+ to tell them how to get permission. It will
cost 200-300GP to have the guard arrange to get the gatekeeper to see them.
The gatekeeper will charge 500GP for the pass.
6) The Reaver’s Keep: Once inside the town, the party must arrange to see
the Reaver. It should take the paying of several officials to arrange the
meeting. The meeting will be scheduled for the next morning.
7) The Meeting with the Reaver: The Reaver will have a large entourage
escorting him everywhere. When he enters his throne room many horns blow
tribute to the king of thieves. Many servants run about performing small
duties and unimportant tasks. The character’s will be allowed to sit on the
floor while the king towers above in his tall throne. Finally, the Reaver
will announce that Lord Ansi’s son is no longer visiting the “castle”. If
asked for information, he will uncharacteristically give the party free
information. He will say something like, “I really shouldn’t tell you
where the son went to, but, you may find it interesting to take the road
South of town.” Now this is not a lie or a deception in the sense that he
really isn’t saying anything specific. He doesn’t know that the party won’t
find the road going South as interesting. Also, it is truthful that he feels
that he shouldn’t tell the party where the son went to without getting paid
Note: The Load Takemiya has paid the Reaver 15,000 gold pieces for Lord
Ansi’s son and an additional 2,000 gold pieces to misinform the party about
heading South to get the son. The Reaver will keep this promise unless
offered at least 5,000 gold pieces or more. An observant party should quickly
reason that the information could be false and offer money for the real deal.
Note: I highly recommend describing the Reaver’s Keep as gaudy looking and
fake. The Reaver and his servants where brightly colored clothing which is
of poor quality. Basically, the Reaver isn’t royal and is projecting what
he thinks a king should look like. He is smart enough to know when people
are sucking up to him. He loves it! If the party tries to trick him into
giving up information by catering to his ego, he will still give the false
Movement: Lord Takemiya’s party will move at a rate of 1 movement factor (MF)
per day. The party should have horses and no wagons, and will get 2 MF per
day. Lord Takemiya is one day ahead of the party in the Eastern direction.
It takes 7 MF to get from the Reaver’s Keep to Takemiya’s tower. So Takemiya
will arrive at his tower in 6 days from today. If the party takes the South
road, they have to travel back to Reaver’s Keep if they want to head East.
This is due to the mountain location of Reaver’s “kingdom”. If the party
wants to travel over the mountains, cut their movement to 1/4 to 1/2 MF per
Before leaving the Reaver’s Keep, the party can find out the following
information if they search for it and pay for it.
Rumors found in Bars:
1) Lord Ansi’s son left town yesterday (alone).
2) Lord Ansi’s son was taken by an enemy of Lord Ansi.
3) Lord Ansi has sent an assassin to kill Reaver. He is a member of
a supposed “ransom” party.
4) Someone who recognized Lord Ansi’s son saw him shackled to a wagon
yesterday. Not sure which direction they were going.
Rumors found in Reaver’s Keep:
1) For a LARGE amount of gold a staff member will reveal that Lord
Takemiya took Lord Ansi’s son and made some sort of secret deal with
2) A staff member will sell the party a map to the location of where Lord
Ansi’s son is held hostage. NOTE: This is a false map that could lead to
either a building within Reaver’s Keep or somewhere outside of town.
Rumor found by asking the Guards at the South Gate:
The guards don’t remember anyone leaving the South gate recently who matches
the description of Lord Ansi’s son, Lord Takemiya, or the wagons.
Rumor found by asking the Guards at the East Gate:
The guards do remember someone leaving the East gate recently who matches
the description of Lord Ansi’s son, Lord Takemiya, or the wagons. For an
additional sum of gold they will say that this happened yesterday.
Closing notes and possible outcomes:
1) The party goes South and doesn’t figure it out until it is too late.
Lord Takemiya arrives safely to his tower. The party may try to assault
the Tower or try negotiation. The GM should choose the best ending to either
situation. Lord Takemiya will want assurances and concessions from Lord Ansi.
Remember, Lord Takemiya is not trusting and can’t be trusted.
Assault should be very tough.
2) The party catches Lord Takemiya and his party. A fight may/will happen
unless they can convince Lord Takemiya to give it up. The fight should not
be too difficult for the party. You should figure out what to do if the
party captures or kills Lord Takemiya. Perhaps Takemiya has a trick up
his sleeve to escape capture or death. If the players manage to kill the son
watch out. Lord Takemiya will use this to his advantage and against the party.
He may go as far as mending the fences with Lord Ansi in order to appear
innocent. He may imply that the party was working with the Reaver and even
offered to ransom the son to Lord Takemiya.
Should the party save the son, Lord Ansi will be grateful. He will follow
A Mission in Late December
any commitments he made to party members, but, the word will get out that
they forced him. Party members who volunteered get to keep the light
war-horse and are given letters of mark against the Reaver and his kingdom.
To Be Played in Late December
In December the characters are contacted by a mysterious stranger, a contact
from an anonymous person wanting to hire them. He takes them on a half
mystical journey through the polar ice to the North Pole. Here they meet
their employer between his fairy staff and toy making facilities. It is,
well, Santa Claus himself.
The gentle, old, but powerful entity has a quest for them to accomplish. He
needs a small Christmas present delivered to Eridian Rashor, also known as
The Blood Red (or take some infamous villain of your world, a Warlord and
evil Sorcerer. The self-proclaimed rules of Eastern Skandia (or some very
distant province of your world) currently resides in the High Castle, an
ancient fortress he seized from the elves. He is known for some of the
vilest acts in recent history, like the Massacre of Wingholm, where he had
2000 elves slaughtered during negotiations, the Unholy Tuesday, on which he
had 200 nuns performing sexual acts in public or the Midsummernights
Sacrifice, during which he sacrificed 300 children to attract the Dark God
Daimor only to trap him and relieve him of his powers. You get the idea. He
is the natural enemy of anything that breathes in Skandia.
The idea behind this quest is, as Santa explains, that if there is someone
who is not likely to get any presents, like the Blood Red, but another one
desperately wants to give him one and absolutely cannot, it is Santa’s duty
to bring him one or he hires others to do so, when he has no time to deal
with customers as difficult as the Blood Red, like this year. The present is
a shoebox sized case in plain white silk paper with a nice, red ribbon (it
is also immune to scrying magic) and they have to deliver it exactly on
Christmas eve (or on Julfest, as it is called in Skandia). He wont tell what
the present is or who the subconscious donator is. Of course, when you work
for Santa Claus, you are allowed to write a Christmas list with a present
for yourself and presents for other characters and NPCs as well. They are
allowed to use Santa’s reindeer sleight to fly to Skandia and, of course,
also some magical red and white cloaks if they want.
When they reach Skandia, they have to realize that their mission is much
more difficult than it might have sounded. Unfortunately, the High Castle is
under siege by the combined forces of order. Gathered in five camps around
the fortress are an army of the Brotherhood of the Ring, Paladins, the
Seventh Imperial Legion, including some silver dragons, an army of Elves
from Eldylon, including griffin riders, the army of Iron Fist, a dwarven
thane, with lots of siege engines and, if you like cannons and the army of
the Duke of Skandia. Neither will be happy about some strange guys who
deliver goods into the besieged castle and will shoot down any reindeer
sleight trespassing their siege. On the other hand, they will probably
welcome a group of adventurers willing to aide in the attack.
The castle is held by the Blood Red himself, who doesn’t expect any
deliveries, his guard of well equipped and experienced Black Ogres, the
weird Necromancer Tuchlon and his undead legion, Chim One Eye, a savage and
cruel barbarian and his men, the dark elven Weapon Master Tridon Talass and,
last but not least, the enslaved god Daimor and his priesthood. His orc and
human troops have deserted before the siege began. Only two human servants
are still in the castle, Dai, the old butler and Irina, a kitchen maid. She
is secretly in love with the Blood Red (don’t ask ME why) and is, though
unknowingly, the cause for the present.
The player succeed if they get the present (a musical clock with a romantic
tune from the Blood Reds childhood) to the Rashor on Christmas eve, but they
could also get him to flee with the kitchen maid (Hey, a Christmas adventure
HAS to be romantic !) and thereby crushing the evil alliance and winning the
war for good.
The following celebration and especially the exchange of presents should be
nice (“Huh, what a nice sword ! I hope its more magic than my old one.”,
“Hey, isn’t that my old lance, that my character lend to yours 3 years
ago?”, “A book? Who of you ****** expects my Assassin to read a book?”,
“What a nice statue. What do you think is its retail value?”, “Warm
socks? MAGES do not wear warm socks! “, “Oh no. Not more magic ginger bread!”)
Also look for SNOWBALL on IRC and don’t forget to visit #Gurps !
Ambush at the Toll Bridge
This adventure is very good to use as a startup, and to show
overconfident PCs that they can be beaten.
The party is hired to deliver some important object (sword, tome,
whatever) to a guy in a nearby city or town. On the way, they must cross
a wide river. When they arrive at the bridge, they are stopped by 2 men
with weapons, and asked to pay a toll (a big toll.) While they are
getting the money, or if they refuse, they are ambushed by about 10 more
thieves hiding in the woods surrounding the bridge. The 2 tollmen also
attack. The enemy’s weapons are poisoned so that the victims will fall
unconscious very quickly. When the PCs awaken, they are at the bottom of
a deep pit in the forest. All their possessions are stolen. Once they
get out (it shouldn’t be too hard), they are lost. After a lot of
searching, have them come to a path. If they follow it, it will lead to
a ruined cottage. The men who ambushed them are there, either sleeping
or awake (depending on whether it’s day or night.) The PCs will
recognize them and (hopefully) plan to ambush them to get their stuff
back. This time they outnumber the bandits, and have the element of
surprise, but are unarmed. If the bandits are asleep, there is only one
on watch, and the party should win.
This is a short fantasy adventure for a low level group of characters,
preferable low-level. This adventure works best is most of the players have
nature loving characters, like elves, druids and rangers. As the players pass
through a small village they are asked to help hunt down a wyvern in the area.
The wyvern has lived in a nearby forest for decades, but has recently started
hunting cattle. Unknown to the PCs, a dam has been built nearby and has flooded
the wyvern’s hunting grounds. The wyvern’s lair is behind a waterfall.
Campaign Ideas For Middle-Ages Europe
Jay Knioum (The Mad Afro)
Mike Rhoads saith:
>Just wondering if anyone could give me some good campaign ideas in the
>middle ages, with very limited magic and human NPC’s. I’m stuck,
Assuming it’s middle-ages Europe that you’re after, there are plenty of
things to draw adventures from….
Problems of Feudalism: Nobles rule the serfs, exploit them mercilessly.
The serfs could be tired of this crap, and the PCs may find themselves in
the middle of an insurrection.
Intrigue: The middle ages were rife with all sorts of intrigues, both
between nobles, and with the Church. There was backstabbing, jealousy,
infidelity, infighting, inbreeding, and all sorts of other nasty behavior
Crusades: The Church is powerful, and needs to get rid of a few nobles.
Send ’em on some religious errand with huge armies and the Grace of God
Plagues: It’s the Dark Ages! Disease is rampant, and makes one hell of a
backdrop for PCs to get stuck in! I did this once, and it was a very cool
game, and the players actually had fun! 😉
War: If all else fails, go William Wallace on their ass! 😉 Wars offer
all sorts of adventure hooks, and they happen for an infinite variety of
Land: Ties in nicely with War, as it tends to be the prime reason for
violence. Perhaps one or more of the PCs inherited (or shall inherit) a
title and the lands to go with it. Since, in the Middle Ages, land =
power, the PC will probably want to do everything in his/her power to keep
Social Injustice: The Mid-ages were not a fair time. Women were
frequently treated like dirt, as were ethnic minorities, pagans, children,
the underprivileged, etc.
Incidentally, I read a very good book (entitled “Shield of Three Lions,”
by Pamela Kaufmann), in which a girl disguised herself as a boy in the
hopes of keeping hold over her father’s land, after he is brutally
murdered. The whole thing takes place during the Crusades, and I highly
recommend it for the historical backdrop, as well as the excellent
dialogue she writes. The girl is trying to reach King Richard to
validate her claims to the land. However, this girl is far from worldly,
and the reader learns about all the “interesting” facets of medieval life
as she does.
Also, I don’t know if White Wolf’s World of Darkness games are your thing,
but the Vampire: the Dark Ages main rulebook may be worth at least a
cursory thumb-through for ideas. You’d have to decide for yourself how
useful it is, though. Other games, such as Pendragon by Chaosium (IIRC),
and Ars Magica make use of the time period, as well. V:tDA and Ars
Magica are a bit more magically-inclined than you seem to want, though.
There is a historical AD&D supplement called “Charlemagne’s Paladins” that
may be of some use, and the “Celts” supplement may also be a fun read,
even if a bit before the time period you want. These supplements may be
out of print, these days, however.
Finally, if you keep on being stuck, you may want to give some thought to
Run for your life!!!!!!!
changing campaigns. Think about it. Are you fresh out of ideas PERIOD,
or only for this particular campaign?
Your players are in a small inn when a group of priest (good) are
yelling to everybody:”If you want to save your life run outta here!”.
The adventurer, curious see that an army of skeletons, death knights,
ogres, orcs and evils giants are starting to enter in the city. After
their observation the small group of priest are starting to go in the
melee when skeleton enter in the inn.
Skeleton are arriving from everywhere, the priest are starting the
battle with them but after a little time all of them are dead or
seriously injured. The players have a chance to exit by the window,
now they are obligated to make a saving throw vs. magic. If they failed
they are staying if success they can go out of the window with another
When they are out of the inn it, skeleton are running after them to
make sure they go out of the town after 30 minutes the town is burning
when they are out of the town they see a small fortress that was not
already there yesterday so they were wondering how to enter when the
portal open wide to let them enter…
After they enter in the small castle they see a pile of dead warrior
weapon, armor, helmet and blood are everywhere. If they lost a weapon they
find out in the pile. The most intelligent in the party see a large trace
of coagulate blood crossing all over the piece and ending at a large
stairway were two humans are there he see that their blood has been
sucked by a huge creature because of a teeth live there by the
monsters. After that a very big shadow enter in the piece :”A blood
sucker worm”. After the battle they enter the stairway to the next level.
After 3 hours pass in the dungeon (where you can put monsters to make
fun) a Skeleton in armor is looking at them on a pile of bone. “You
little worm cross my territory in the 400 years I’ve pass killing people
to make my valorous army your the only one who see mee…” A huge sword
(two handed) appears in his hands by magic, the final combat starts.
Here his stats:
Hit points: 46
Magic resistance :90%
Special power: disintegration once by three rounds
Damage: sword +5 (1d100 / 3d6)
special defenses: -2 to enemy attack roll (if good alignment), +2 or
better magical weapon to hit.
If the party survives one of the group member can take the sword +5 and
the fortress explode so every group member receive 1d6 point of damage.
After that they see that nothing have been passed and the town is like
when you entered the inn…
This synopsis is available for the use of private
individuals, anyone wanting to make a profit off it should contact Lance
Berg regarding some sort of reimbursement…The characters are recruited
to do a job, but the job screws up and dumps them in the middle of a
hijacking. They are on their own as to whether they try to stop the
‘jack, go along, try to join, or take over (the last is what my players
ended up doing…)
This mission is designed for a group which doesn’t have a ship of their
own. Other than that, it’s fairly adaptable. It would really help when
you are asking for this sort of thing if you could be more specific,
although perhaps you are really looking for a campaign starter, and don’t
have any preconceived notions to work with.
1) Getting hired. Make up a job involving a covert government operation
which needs deniable assets to perform a scouting mission. The
characters are to board a luxury liner, travel several jumps down the
line, then take over a very stealthy small craft being shipped on board,
use it to travel to a moon of a separate planet in one of the liner’s
destination systems and do their mission, then return to another liner
going the opposite way for pickup. This should be attractive to the
characters on a variety of levels. The job itself pays well, which may
be enough. It involves a weeks long cruise on a luxury liner, which is a
nice fantasy. They can easily expect to jump ship and dump the mission
at any point along the route; if you start them out down and out, stuck
on a hellhole planet with no way off this itself could be sufficient.
They might reasonably expect to get away with keeping the stealth
2) Getting sent out. They meet their employers at a shipping terminal in
the local port, before it opens for the day. There they find their
contacts pulling open some large shipping crates. Inside are autodocs,
and nearby are some smaller crates. They are instructed to put their
luggage in the smaller boxes and affix labels off a sheet, then to get
into the autodocs. Examining the sheets show stickers with a bogus
passenger bio and address down the route past their destination. The
autodocs seem perfectly functional, a model without ‘glass port, all
slick chrome exterior. Once someone gets in (and it turns out one of
their contacts is going along, so he’ll go first if that’s what it takes)
one of the party may notice that the “occupied” light and all the
monitors seem to be malfunctioning, the ‘doc shows condition nominal.
Turns out that the group is being smuggled in low berth, using the
autodoc freezer capability. These units are marked as being transshipped
from a high tech planet, with plenty of routing detail available to
anyone checking up on them; they are posted as replacements for emergency
systems aboard the liner they are traveling on. This may confound those
who were looking forward to the luxury ride or to jumping ship, if they
figure out that they are going to be kept frozen the entire voyage (not
every group of players will…) and your plot may even fall apart at this
point. If you have set up sufficient back story, you may have the germ of
a new plot line, in which the party tries to figure out what was really
going on, or the employers try to eliminate the party as “knowing too
3) Rude awakening. The autodocs open, releasing the PCs from freeze into
an emergency bay, with lights blaring and an general order to go to
lifestations running. Their contact knows nothing about this, it was not
part of the plan. They were supposed to be awakened slightly before
coming out of Jump space while everyone was in their quarters or at duty
stations for the transition, make their way to the cargo bay, and pick up
their things and get into the small craft, preparing to launch just after
coming out into normal space. They seem to be where they were supposed
to, in a large room full of other freezer bays. All the others seem to
be occupied, though, and the alert system is cycling through a variety of
languages announcing life support failure… All the berths except their
own read full, if anyone takes a look.
4) Another Jolt. There are two exits from their chamber, taking the one
they were supposed to leads them through a double lock (door, space, door
door space door) into a corridor. The other door has large labels
reading Crew Only. Oddly, although anyone familiar with the anti-hijack
programming on shipboard knows how difficult it would be to get through
it, and probably disregards it, they will open easily, to reveal a
cramped small craft flight deck, unoccupied, view ports showing the
roiling gray of hyper space. Too, characters who are interested can
easily get full access to the ships computers through access points along
the wall or so forth. A list of running software will not include an
anti-hijack program… At any rate, hopefully the party will (perhaps
with prodding from the NPC) get moving too quickly to get seriously
involved. They have a tight schedule, after all, have to make it across
the ship to their craft and ready to launch, which is going to happen at
a specific time unless someone overrides it; less than half an hour form
now… The message on the intercom will change to “transition eminent”
warnings and then the group will go through jump transition, a very bad
one. Their contact will go completely useless at this point, a victim of
transition lapse. Shortly after this, the warning will go to “abandon
ship, catastrophic drive failure eminent!” Hopefully the group will be
through the locks by now, as there will be a shudder, and the lifeboat
they were in (probably unawares) will launch, along with others along
their corridor. At this point (although they don’t know it) they and the
hijackers are the only people on board the liner. If they stayed on the
boat, the scenario is going to go differently of course, you are on your
5) Now What? Here the party really takes control of its destiny.
You’ll need maps of the ship, locations and schedules of the hijackers,
and so forth; but there is no knowing what they’ll try. They may even
manage to ignore things completely and make it to their craft, which is
really there and set up for their mission. Since you’d rather they deal
with the scenario you worked on, try to make sure they encounter at least
one hijacker on the way… The idea here is to engender a “Die Hard” or
“Under Siege” scenario. Have fun
6) What really happened. The “government” which hired the group was
really an interplanetary corporation. They arranged through other
disreputable contacts to have the anti-hijack program aboard the liner
sabotaged, and for the experimental stealth craft being shipped to a
government testing area to likewise be hijackable. Unfortunately, the
agent they set up to actually insert the Anti-hijack disabler decided that
this would be the perfect opportunity to take over the ship for himself.
He brought aboard a number of confederates as passengers, and when the
Anti-hijack routine shut off, they put in place the emergency alerts,
planted false reports and readouts, and generally got the entire crew and
all passengers into emergency freezer bays. Once the ship breaks out of
jump, it launches all lifeboats and transmits a distress signal, with
full (doctored) logs and telemetry indicating runaway drive failure, and
consistent with what the occupants of the boats believe was happening…
All the people in on the plot are listed as being on one of the boats,
along with the purser who started everything. This boat floats nearby,
drive apparently malfunctioning. In reality, the hijackers have loaded
it with explosives and scrap pieces identifiable as being from the liner,
including the “black box.” They are busy ramping up the capacitors to
jump as soon as they can. When able, they plan to dump more explosives,
and have everything go off just as they jump. When authorities arrive,
they should find debris, the hijackers all lost in the explosion,
everyone else safe in their lifeboats headed for the main planet in the
system. A very close investigation may eventually show insufficient
mass/energy to account for the liner itself, but that could take months,
if it happens at all.
7) Hijacker’s plans. Part of a separatist movement, they plan to take
A Missing Heir (AD&D.com)
their entire group on the liner along with colonization gear, and head
out for a distant colonizable world, there to use the liner as their
first home. This is a complex plan, with clandestine fueling stations,
the pickup of the group, and all sort of other details which need to be
worked out, if things ever get that far. Since the scenario revolves
around the PCs and the hijacking itself, I’ve never had to go into too
much detail as to what will actually happen, but it is important that you
have some ready answers as to what the plan is, since the PCs may very
well try to find out. Who knows, they might even decide to go along!
The PC’s are traveling to a major city, housing the main temple to a high
standing church. On the way they are ambushed by three to six bandits or so.
They can be of whatever level or skill the DM chooses, but the players
should be able to defeat them without too much trouble, but still get
dinged up in the process. If the PC’s take a prisoner, then they might be
able to influence him to take them to their hideout–an old abandoned watch
tower a few miles into the woods. They might be able to find some nice
treasures. On the leader they will find a brass necklace with a strange
twisted symbol, and will also find that the leader has a extremely
expensive and ornate sword. The players will obviously take this, and
should for the adventure to work.
When the PCs reach the city, then they learn rumors that a high standing
lord, high in the church hierarchy, has had his ten year old son abducted.
A detachment of royal guards sees that the players have the sword (which
really belongs to the lord) and ask them (or force them) to accompany them
to the church. They take him before the lord and they discover that the
lord’s stepson was believed to have abducted his true heir, also escaping
with the sword. The bandit leader was in fact the lord’s stepson. If he
is still alive (escaped or the players left him tied up if they were not
the slaughtering types) then they can return him (preferably alive, but
acceptable if dead) for a reward. (and of course the lord will want his
sword back, which is a +2 magical weapon.
If the players apprehend the stepson efficiently, the lord hires them to find
his missing heir. They will have to question the stepson and other
person’s involved if they are still alive, and do some probing around in
the lords manor (the DM can think up details, but don’t make it too
difficult. When they start making headway on the investigation, they are
attacked in the street by black-robed clerics with magical picks 1d4+1. If
these picks even touch bare skin, the character must role a save vs. magic
or suffer 1d4 points a round until cured with a Curse Disease spell. If
the hitpoints fall to zero then the character only falls unconscious. They
loose one point of constitution an hour until it reaches zero and they
die. If they are cured then they regain a point of Con a day.
If they kill the clerics, then the discover they wear necklaces identical
to the one the lord’s stepson wore. The necklaces are the symbol to an
evil order of spell casters (mages, priest, and their henchmen) and they
magically serve to protect the wearer from the touch of the
disease-enchanted items of the order. They also serve to locate
each other. Priests and mages above fifth level in the order, can sense
each other when they wear these. Which could add some complications for the
players if they wear them. If they have any mage of cleric identify the
necklaces, they will learn its powers, and the identifier will be able to
sense a large concentration of the order half a day’s journey away from the
city at an abandoned temple.
To basically sum it up, the evil order is attempting to sacrifice the
lord’s son to their god during a holy night that will increase their power
and doom the church based in the city. Many things could happen now. The
players can rush in a save the day, maybe with the help of some of the
lord’s troops, and gain a huge reward… Whatever you do, give the players
a chance to save the heir, but also make it a huge challenge. If they fail
to stop the sacrifice, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are dead. When I
used this adventure, the character’s success depended on an initiative
roll. They failed, and the heir was sacrificed. It turned out that the
Second hand Priest of the church participated in the ceremony, and the evil
order invaded the city through ancient hidden tunnels, and took the whole
church, capital, and palace.
Basically, they took the whole city. The lord died as well and the players
got to keep his sword. I took this little adventure and even turned it
into a huge campaign, where the forces of the church had to flee from the
capital, and seek help from other nations to regain the city. The evil
order was also in league with a nation of orc’s in the north that had been
warring with the nation for years. The order would weaken the nation, while
the orcs rushed into attack. In exchange, the orcs would give the leader
of the evil order a powerful artifact that they possessed, which could cause
major problems for the players latter on…
Of course, the DM can take this wherever he wants, and there are plenty of
A Squire’s Message (AD&D.com)
options and other adventures that can spring from this. Hope you like it.
One day some PCs are just relaxing in a Inn (dm’s choice) and a squire
rides into town. He nails a message up all through out the city/town.
The PCs see the page and quickly rush outside to take a look at the
message. It’s a invitation for all elves to King Krondin’s Keep.
Note: if the PC/PC’s aren’t elven then this adventure can’t be played. Once
everyone is in the keep’s Banquet hall, King Krondin begins his speech
about how the elven race is the best among the hole world. But later into
the speech, his eyes start to glow bright blazing blue and he then commands
for the guards to block the exit and then to kill them all. The guards rip
their helmets off and reveal their razor sharp teeth that they later on use to
rip the elves limb by limb. The King sees the PC’s and orders the guards to
capture them and keep them for the next meal. That’s where the DM has to get
creative and make the rest up because I am tired.
You know that very fine line between reality and fantasy that we’re not
supposed to cross? This adventure crosses it. Before playing, find out
exactly who will be playing. Make up a character sheet for each of the
players that represents the player him/herself. Don’t roll their ability
scores; just assign what you think is fair. Remember that they will have
lower scores than regular characters–especially Strength. Don’t worry
about gear; whatever the players have at the table is their gear, including
dice–I’ll explain the importance of dice later. Proficiencies are
important, however. Whatever the player knows, his/her character will know
(however, languages like French and Spanish, or knowing how to change a
car’s tire won’t be too useful, unless trying to impress NPC’s with stories
of the future). You’ll have to use discretion with this.
Start the adventure by sending the party on some quest, like recovering the
Amethyst Orb of Karnin Daganh or something. Be creative. Have them
recover it and get it to where it’s supposed to go. Just when they think
that they’ve found out what the Orb does and the adventure’s over, have an
NPC wizard get into a fight with them and cast a spell on the Orb (or
whatever creation you have come up with). Something will happen to it–it
glows, vibrates, sings, whatever. Then there will be a bright flash of
light, and presto! Now is when you bring in the new ‘player’ characters.
Each one will be standing with their respective ‘regular’ PC’s. Tell the
group that there are some people with them now. The people are dressed
funny, and look weak–they have no weapons or armor (unless one of the
players actually was wearing armor. I doubt it, though. . . ). Describe
them as looking like the people gathered around your table. If someone
asks if they do anything, reply by saying, “I don’t know. Do they?”
There will no doubt be tensions between the two groups of PCs. They will
probably form two groups, and one will tag along behind the other.
Here’s where the dice come into the game. Suppose the normal PCs get into
a fight. The new ones will probably hide behind a tree or something. The
normal PCs will miss every attack they make, unless the new guys get smart
and realize the connection between the game rules and the game world–they
must roll the dice in the game world to make the regular PCs attack! Same
goes for ability checks, saving throws, etc. So, to recap: if the regular
PCs (the ones that started the adventure) want to do something, the new PCs
must roll dice IN THE GAME WORLD! You (the DM) can roll to determine the
outcome. If the new (player-specific) PCs want to do something, the player
rolls for real, in the real world, just like it always used to be.
Now the adventure really starts. The wizard who attacked the Orb in the
Zombie City (AD&D.com)
first place has it. With it, he can take over the world. Then the Prime
Material planes. Then the Ethereal, the Astral. . . you get the idea. The
group must stop him. If he manages to get control of something, all the
creatures living there become his personal slaves, and will sacrifice
themselves and others to stop the PCs. Sounds like fun, eh? An adventure
like this could span months of playing time, so be ready.
The players would start in the inn the heal their wounds when the inn
peoples begin to act strangely. As they look around they would find
peoples acting like zombies and the whole city would be roaming with
undead! The leader could eventually be a spectre or a lich depending of
the characters strength.
A Rocky Start (AD&D.com)
B Michael Bevins
I was reading the adventure ideas section of the page and I thought I
would send one of my favorite adventures for begging characters.
Okay, so the characters grew up around each other in a small farming
village. They have known each other all their lives. Make one of the
characters the son/daughter of the town leader. Anyway, an evil army is
slowly creeping over the land, destroying and burning cities etc.,
slowly moving from the north. One day, a maimed and bloody hunter
returns to the village after a weekend trip and states that the rest of
his friends were killed by the army (the army could be any evil race, or
a bunch of races) and they are within 3 days march of the town. The town
leader summons his/her son/daughter and tells him/her to head south with
the other characters to reach another town and bring back the militia
while the village tries to hold off the army. The DM could put anything
between the characters and the town, and make anything happen to the
village while the PC’s are gone.
The Ghost House (AD&D.com)
The characters are wandering in a desert road when it starts raining. As the
raining gets worse, the road is turning into mud and the characters can’t
continue. In the distance they see a great house standing, where lights can
be seen… As they knock the door, a sinister voice answers: “Enter!” (or
something like). But when they pass through the door, it closes. In the
first room, sits a round table with five candles (these maybe impossible to
light off) forming a pentagram on it… So there’s apparently no one in the
house. The master should select some undead to inhabit the house, and some
sinister plots like this: A spirit locked in a lantern, a amputated arm in
A Summoned Party (AD&D.com)
A high level wizard on a different plane uses a monster summoning spell and
captures the party. Instantly the party is transported to their new master
involuntarily for a time. As per the monster summoning spell the entities
which are summoned (the players) have to obey every command the wizard
gives. This twist could be used and adapted very easily to any campaign.
A Dangerous Cave (AD&D.com)
You come to a town after a long walk through some dry lands. Inside are some
people roaming the street. You walk in and hear a couple people talking
about a cave up north a couple miles. They say there’s gold and stuff
inside (up to the DM) but anyone who went in never came out! It starts to
get dark. The inn is to the right. In the tavern part (down stairs) of the
inn, they can get something to eat/drink. When they ask for a room the inn
keeper calls for his/her assistant, and they take you to your room. On the
way the assistant tells you they are going to the caves the next day and
would like some company, or something like that. The rest is up to the DM to
figure out. I use this adventure for new people and call it “intro to D&D”.
In mine, the cave goes into a large circular room about 30″ in diameter. It
can have an open, or closed ceiling. (I prefer open) and the treasure/items
are in chests around the room. You can put traps or undead or whatever on
the way in/out. something to make it challenging. You can also follow the
cave through the mountain and end up god knows where!
Magical Item-Stealing Cult (AD&D.com)
I have been toying with the idea of a cult that goes around stealing magic
items. They are draining the items to power a portal that will allow their
demon (deity, whatever) into our realm. They hit a town where the pc’s are
staying and naturally everyone accuses the thief with the party. I think it
could be turned into something interesting but have never had time to
Dragon Strike (AD&D.com)
I recently tried to put a friend of mine on a little quest sponged from
Dragon Strike (a truly exceptional learning game). He was hired to kill the
wizard named Teraptus, I gave him the first name of Shion, by his son,
Gilmar, who was teaching at a wizards school. But the whole thing is as
They were hired to kill him by some strange man. They had to find a weapon
Adventure Anthology (AD&D.com)
that could kill Gilmar and then go kill Shion, but when Shion is dead, they
find that Gilmar is quite well and wants them dead, because he is now going
to ascend the throne of Havis (The dragon strike planet).
How about the PC’s are hired to garrison some piddly little outpost on the
border with a neighboring kingdom when A) that neighboring kingdom decides to
come through that area on a raid/conquest/other B) hostile monsters in the
area attack the outpost, looking for loot/revenge/some item or artifact
rumored to be somewhere in the outpost but never found by previous
explorers. Catch: The obvious catch would be that whatever the situation,
the PC’s would have to be either high enough levels to face it, or have
enough diversity of characters/terrain/options for magic.
How about the pc’s are hired to pilfer a certain item, any item that could
have a real or perceived value to the pc’s or their employer. When they get
there, the item is already being stolen or they’ve been set up and now must
try to get out of the situation without losing face or their lives. Catch:
Having a thief in the party would be really useful, but parties that don’t
have thieves can have and npc thief come along, which could make for a more
interesting plot twist if it turns out the ambush is set up to catch only
the thief, and the rest of the party shows up!
How about the pc’s are implicated in the destruction of some item with real
or perceived value and now must get out of town or find the real culprits
before time runs out. Catch: Players can get disgruntled real quick if this
happens more than once or twice.
How about the pc’s, while sent on a mission (could be almost any)
accidentally come across an item which takes them into a labyrinth or maze
of some sort. For higher levels, the maze could be some sort of reality
displacer, taking the through time at various points, or perhaps space. They
exist at that point in time though they are not from it. However, they do
not exist in that SPACE in time. They are still in the maze, and it’ll take
cunning to figure the trick out and get themselves home. Catch: Besides not
being able to do this very often, a plain maze can bore players quickly. Add
a minotaur or a Gorgon for flavor.
How about the pc’s are hired to guard a caravan that carries a secret item
which becomes subject to several raids and more subtle inter-caravan
subterfuge. It may turn out that members of the caravan are also out to get
the item. Catch: This has to be played for flavor. If the item has real
value, make sure the players can only get their hands on it if it turns out
The PCs arrive at a small town on an island in the middle of a lake. The
distance around the lake makes it a pain to go around. However, during a
particularly nasty storm, one of the bridges that links the town to the
other side of the lake has been destroyed. The mayor has launched a
competition to find the first group to operate a crossing to the other side
of the lake. He asks the PCs to ensure fair play in the competition. There
are several groups…. the dwarves are building a tunnel, the elves are
building a boat, the gnomes a bridge… etc… Each individual group
attempts to bribe the PCs to sabotage the others… Particularly good for an
evil group of characters!
Gnome Attack (AD&D.com)
PC’s have been wandering looking for adventure for months. They enter a
tavern (D.M.’s choice) and are assaulted by an angry mob of gnomes! the
characters are captured and are taken to the gnomes kingdom. the characters
must escape back to the realm of sane and TALL men!
At the end of the times of crusades, an evil king send his best men to the
ultimate crusade. Zweihander, the fighter with his two-handed sword (15th
level), Krieg, the barbarian with his two-handed axe (15th level) and
Galadorff, the cavalier with his claymore (17th level). This elite soldier
are the generals of the Osker Army (1,2,3 rd level soldiers) who have the
missions to destroy and take London in the U.K. and they can. The player
characters have to stop them after they reach U.K. (the Osker Army are
Germans). It’s a quest of very, very rare magic, so the players character
must be fighter characters or thieves between 10 to 12 level.
Rich Dead Dad (AD&D.com)
One of the PC’s has a wealthy heritage. The PC has joined a group of
adventurers and they set off. He learns of his father’s death and that he
will be receiving a large portion of his father’s wealth. Other NPC’s in the
adventuring party try to steal or kill the PC for having the wealth. You
can work it sort of like a inside corrupt process of team members
backstabbing each other.
Un-Identified Driving Object (AD&D.com)
The party founds a weird, oddly shaped metallic red object with four wheels.
It has some sort of windows, made of glass. The party cannot break into or
enter the object. It is, of course, a car. If the DM wants, he can send the
party on a quest to find the key, their reward will be a red cadillac.
Amazing Discovery (AD&D.com)
The party is following a river when they discover a waterfall which if
falling up. The party needs to get up the cliff on which the water is
falling. If they choose to ride the waterfall up, they discover the hard way
that it is an illusion and really is falling down. They fall, taking 10d6
damage. If they scale the cliff, they will see a man (illusionary) ride the
waterfall up, making them wonder why in the world they didn’t get the free
Shrunken Party (AD&D.com)
You have been summoned by a high level wizard to his keep. He must leave for
a meeting but is in the middle of a very delicate experiment. He needs the
party to find a specific fungus which a species of ant uses for food. He has
transplanted some of these ants into his basement. He will shrink the party
down to roughly 1″ in height so they may enter the walls of his basement to
search out this fungus. Mice become the size of horses and the common spider
turns into a monstrosity. Also, look out for his cat!
In a dream one of the characters dreams about a strange man (a Psioncist)
who requests their services on a short mission. Journey can only be done
while asleep the Characters will notice as they travel in the day they seem
to only move about 1 km (truth) when they make camp they wake next morning
20 km in the correct direction to get to the Psionicist.
Evening of Terror (AD&D.com)
I think the characters should all be able to meet in a small quaint little
village….around dusk maybe….Then suddenly all Hell breaks loose and they
have two choices…1: Fight and save the day….2: They join the forces of
evil and destroy the world….Or they could just whistle….
Trick or Treat (AD&D.com)
The Party somehow (up to DM) ends up in small city. A noble notices them and
asks them to clear out a local mine. It is apparently full of niggling
little monsters but it turns out to be full of much much more….
Hopeless Wind (AD&D.com)
The party is trapped in a cave or other small, stone room. There are no
exits they can find. However, there are lots of cracks in the walls. From
one of this cracks is blowing a small stream of air, which implies that the
outside is right through that wall. However, this is completely false. A
cruel DM would make no exit from the room, laughing as his players while
they try everything they have to enlarge the crack. A nice DM would make an
exit somewhere in the room, just not at the crack where the air is coming
PCs are asked by a rich merchant/patrician (someone in a power-position) to
burn down the house of a concurrent. Make sure the party-wizard’s got
fireball, burning hands and/or levitation. Throw in a couple of bodyguards
living in the house and presto! an adventure.
October Fest (AD&D.com)
PC’s discover secret information marked “The Days of Chaos”. Evidence points
to the existence of an underground organization working towards a downfall
of organized life as we know it. Plant evidence in houses of powerful NPCs,
making it harder to get every adventure to get it, and, after 2 or 3
sessions, spring the trap; PCs are invited to a ball at which the Prince(ss)
King (Queen) or Emperor (Empress) will attend!! Then they get to hear that
the Oktoberfest is starting as of today! To make the joke a little less
harsh, throw in a couple of magical items. (The evidence should be
suspicious, but should also point to a big party, such as Octoberfest).
The PC and the members of his party are travelling through the woods at
night. They all walk onto the roof of an underground mining cave. Scattered
throughout are jewels and magical items, but, unfortunately, they are
guarded by a powerful Lich. Now they must fight for their treasure!!
Winter Stalker (AD&D.com)
This scene takes place in a cold harsh winter. Suddenly the PC’s see a
snowstorm at the horizon gaining on them, they end up in a snowstorm. This
snowstorm is really an air elemental, but invisible to the PC’s (the best
you can use is the Wind Walker from the MC-annuals, volume one) so they can
hardly hit is because it’s all over them. If the DM is pissed off he can put
some wood, weapons or other objects in the storm to weaken the PC’s even
more. This encounter can be used to take away some item’s the PC have and of
which the DM don’t want them to have. You can also use this as an
introduction of a new (N)PC, which was blew along in the storm.
Dungeon crawl starter (AD&D.com)
The party is walking in a town district with a lot of wealthy inhabitants.
As they walk along the street, they (only 1 person will probably do this)
step on a sewer cover, which breaks, plunging the unfortunate PC into the
depths below. The actual distance he falls is 250 feet, or, in the case of a
munchkin party (i.e., that isn’t enough), the distance is 10′ more than the
farthest infravision of the party. No magic is detectable. The sewer is
really a trap by cunning thieves hoping to catch a rich merchant after a
large bank withdrawal. From here, the party should go down and help the PC;
they can discover a tunnel down there, and they start the typical dungeon
There is a small town called Malister which is ruled by the local mage who
the town is named after. Malister is a neutral necromancer who is slowly
drifting towards evil. When the town was created there was much wildlife.
Now everything has died over the many years. There is also a forest south of
the city that is said to drive wizards mad. There is a lot of logging that
happen there but recently loggers have been disappearing. The forest seems
to be immune to the “disease” that has affected all other wildlife 10mile
radius of the small town.
DM’s note: Of coarse the magic that Malister practices draws its necromatic
energy from the surrounding life. The forest is of a wild magic zone and the
logger are being captured by wood elves! I had many adventurers with this
set up. email me back for full details.
The wishing room (AD&D.com)
The characters end up somehow (up to DM) in a totally white room where
anything they say will immediately come true.
This can be used as a porthole to another plane of existence when the
characters say “I wish I could go into the Ethereal plane” or something
King for a day (AD&D.com)
The characters can be hired as soldiers for a certain king. The king leads
his army into battle many times, the characters being unaware that the king
has grown fond of one of them. During one battle, the king dies and, having
no heirs, leaves the throne to one of the characters.
Fake property (AD&D.com)
A merchant in the town is offering property for pennies on the dollar. If
the characters buy a plot, it turns out to be non-existent (50%) or unusable
(25%) such as a swamp, or having a curse (5%), or being ancestral land
(10%), or containing any treasure the DM wants to give away (10%)
One night while sleeping in a forest near any town, the characters hear a
thunder-like BOOM that awakens them. They see a glow off to the south. If
they investigate, it will turn out to be a space meteor containing a very
valuable metal that makes exceptionally strong weapons. The meteor is much
too heavy for them to lift, but fortunately, a Gold Dragon was also drawn to
the scene. The characters notice him as soon as they arrive on the scene.
The dragon will help them carry the meteor to the town for (up to DM) about
50% of its value (up to DM).
This adventure works really well in the event that a PC has a child. The
school in the local town has been taken hostage by a group of Barbarians.
The children are held for the town officials to be forced to let the
Barbarians get their goal.
THE BARBARIAN’S GOAL: is to stop the town from expanding into the
surrounding wilderness, which is their home. Last week the town voted to
build homes in the nearby forest by chopping trees. This would also provide
the town with firewood.
The PCs find a weird, metal object. In reality it is a gun from the future.
It is loaded with 12 bullets, or 12 “charges”. Imagine what you could do
The lost sword of Palaodrin (AD&D.com)
The characters find an old scroll which describes a city called Palaodrin.
In it, it says that the city had ties to the magics of the universe, as it
was in the very center of the prime material plane. Surprise! After a lot of
research, the characters find out that [pick a city in your campaign] is
right on top of the old city of Palaodrin. If the characters explore [the
city that is listed above]’s sewers, they eventually will discover the sword
of Palaodrin. Make up a bunch of stats for it, find the original stats for
it on the net, or I can send you mine if you ask for them.
Princess trapped in tall castle (AD&D.com)
PCs hear of a princess or some damsel in distress (NOTE: I am not implying
that women are not capable of escape. For those so inclined, replace damsel
with Hunk) The tall tower cannot be climbed and there is no way to scale it.
There is one window on top. The PCs must consult many sages to discover
rumors that the damsel/hunk has long hair. (like in the classic story of
Rapunzel.) This adventure can have a villain to defeat before the damsel’s
rescue, but it is mainly intended for DMs who have players who do not like
to use sages and never remember about them until too late. I used this
adventure to help my players use sages, as they were not doing so.
Moving Hole (AD&D.com)
An enemy that the characters are battling throws a black something under one
of them. It is a hole. The PC affected by it falls through. Fortunately for
him, the rest of the party manages to defeat the enemy. Now they can keep
the hole, but should try to find a way to “dig” their companion out from it.
Oh my GOD, it’s BUNNIES!!! (AD&D.com)
The PCs are tramping through the countryside, when one of them notices that
there is a rabbit following them, about 100 yards back. Whenever they try to
approach it, the rabbit flees. Nothing they do will keep it from following
them. If killed, it is replaced by a rabbit bearing different markings.
After a few days, they notice that now they have TWO rabbits following them.
Then three. At no point should they be followed by more than 3 rabbits. They
soon come upon a town of halflings, who at some point inform the PCs that
all of the “trackers/hunters” of the town left a while ago, on a monthly
food-foraging trip, but that they are expected back within a day or two.
After spending the night in town, the PCs wake to fact that they have been
robbed of all monies! No other items were tampered with, except those that
contained money, of which all money is gone. Come up with a way for the PCs
to get their money back, shortly after which, a runner comes into town
shrieking “The trackers are all dead!!!” After calming the runner, he will
say that the trackers should have been back by now, and that they are
certainly all dead! (Now all this time, the Inn in town has been serving a
rabbit stew to all of its patrons, because that is the only game that the
non-hunters could catch, and all other food sources are depleted, which is
why the hunters are out hunting! (heh heh)
The rabbits ARE the trackers/hunters, after being polymorphed by a mad mage
A “magic” weapon (AD&D.com)
living in the hills around where the hunters were hunting. They intruded
upon his land, and he enacted an amusing (for him) vengeance upon them. yes,
the PCs get this info, after going looking for the hunters the villagers
remaining are VERY generous with offers of rewards, finding the wizard, and
reading his notes after the battle.
The characters are walking along a beach (or any place filled with sand will
do) when a lightning bolt strikes the ground a couple feet in front of them.
This works really well when the PCs are fearing divine retribution. The heat
from the bolt is hot enough to melt the sand into glass. When the PCs
investigate, they find 1d4 pieces of glass that deal 1d12 damage on
unarmored opponents and 1d6 on armored ones. Each piece will break on a
miss, on a critical miss, and on a critical hit due to the glass hitting
metal (armor on a miss), or hitting bone beneath flesh.
Hall of Tiamet (AD&D.com)
Adventurers are faced with the need to save their world. They enter a portal
and jump from world to world collecting magical items, a love potion, a suit
of magical armor, ring of true seeing, etc. Each represents a great attribute
which will supposedly save the world. To gain each item they must overcome
an obstacle. eventually they gain the seventh item and then find themselves
in the home of the great platinum Dragon. They walk down the hall, guarded
by golden dragons and stand before the Platinum dragon, who suddenly
transforms into Tiamet. The golden dragons transform into evil ones, the
whole thing had been a plot for Tiamet to take control. He gives them a
choice to either join him or be destroyed….
A Party Starter (AD&D.com)
For those of you who are always trying to find out an original way to bring
the party together in a realistic fashion when starting a new campaign
rather than “Well you’re all in an Inn,” or “You see a sign posting a reward
on/hiring armed escorts for,” this one was a classic for me:
Wherever the PC’s might be, say they are all travelling to town, or they are
in town, they see a commotion somewhere around the limit of their sight
(spread the PC’s out) which turns out to be a bunch of Kobolds attacking an
old man who seems to have some Alzheimer’s.. frisky but weak, and have the
guy be something of a nutcase mage who accidentally cast an illusion of
kobolds to attack him (he denies this) level 3 or so.. And while the PC’s
are together start an adventure; presto! a party.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 1 (News)
I’m creating a wilderness encounter chart for an upcoming adventure
and want to spice it up with things the part can come across that
are interesting and eventful, but not a monster. For example, I
have a small pond and a stream (too small to put on any map, but a
good place for replenishing water), an abandon campsite, some animals
that might be good for hunting, a mysterious stonehenge like structure,
etc. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 2 (News)
how about a weather event? say a sand storm, hurricane, thunderstorm,
rainbow without any rain. totem sticks stuck in the ground to mark out
ancient hunting territories, a permanent illusion left by some wizard,
a personal favourite: a fairy ring, a ring made of toadstool which
supposedly moves anyone standing in it to fairy land. could be an out
for the truly wild: maybe fishes that swim in air…
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 3 (News)
I one time put up a fountain in the middle of nowhere.
Mine was a key to a dungeon (in the middle of an other adventure), but
you could change it to whatever. It’s also fun if it does absolutely
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 4 (News)
Jacob L. Sugar
In response to this I’ve come up with a few ideas. For the pool, have
the PC’s look into it to find the reflection one of their inner self.
For instance, a thief who is forced to be an outlaw might see an honest
man staring back at him. At the abandoned campsite, the PC’s can find
evidence of a struggle. For instance, blood marks, items broken, a
bloody dagger etc. At the stonehenge type- place, there could be
ancient runes which gives a riddle. A quest can be made from
discovering the answer to the riddle.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 5 (News)
Leonard P. Zaikoski
A deep gorge with a stream at the bottom, just too wide to jump across.
The site of a previous battle; Who was fighting? Who won? Is it important?
A ring of trees growing in a perfect circle.
A huge, spherical rock.
I intersperse unusual but sometimes meaningless things throughout my adventures
to give my players that ‘part of a world’ feeling where not everything
revolves around them or happens because they take some action.
Interesting and unlikely geological and natural structures can make for a few
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 6 (News)
Lawrence R. Mead
minutes interesting role-play as the characters try to figure out if the ring
of trees is a clue, a lair, a portal, or just some trees….
A small town or village is also fun.
Graveyard, perhaps of some non-human race.
Unusual grove of plants, some dangerous (black lotus) some not (berries).
A lonely, but talkative Ent. (I have one in my world called the “tree of
high wizardry” ; guess why).
An old house with a still usable well.
Herds of various animals; bison, emu, even horses.
A gallows with a hanging skeleton.
A wise man (Sage) on a hill top.
A witch coven of benign witches (i.e., three old crones in a hut)
An occupied farm with some interesting problem to solve.
A burned out patch of forest,
A live volcano.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 7 (News)
1. A druid of group of them.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 8 (News)
2. One or more rangers.
3. Friendly band of adventurers
4. Friendly band of demi-humans.
5. Merchants, a caravan
6. Wandering bard or minstrel
7. Natural, real-world animals
9. Gypsies or the equivalent
10. Friendly faerie – leprechauns, brownies, etc.
Animals you hear and not see. (wolves howling is a good one, makes PC’s
Spears stuck in the ground with skulls in the end. A candle in the skulls
make the eyes glow.
The sound of wardrums in the distance (goes good with the previously
A small pool that is actually a magic potion.
bizarre yet harmless animals that nature (as we know it) never intended.
Ants, hundreds and hundreds of ants crawling away from the PC’s creating
an open path. (if the PC’s move into or in front of the swarm this
becomes a monster encounter) only to disappear underground further up
Mushrooms the size of trees.
A forest of treants
Have every plant be edible or have a useful purpose.
a deer with a birds nest on its antlers, a turtle with an alchemy bush
growing off its back, etc.
Puns, treant truant officers, an am-bush (a shrub that jumps out in front
of you) etc.
A giant grasshopper (possibly with riders)
An elephant the size of a cat.
A group of adventurers who are the exact doubles of your PC’s.
Goblins racing using chair with three wheels, the front wheel is hollow
and rats run inside of it to power it, he steers the chariot with his
feet. The PC’s may even bet on the races.
Weird animal variations, (green rabbits, scaled mammals, feathered
reptiles, furry birds, horned squirrels, winged fish, etc.)
Having a thing a PC accidentally ask for/wish for happen.
Have an NPC say, yeah right when pigs fly. Then use a space swine for an
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 9 (News)
A chalk figure, cut into a hillside; a riverboat – perhaps crewed, perhaps
abandoned and grounded on a shoal; and abandoned habitation.
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 10 (News)
Timothy P. Coyle
(1) The PCs are in a rocky area, a day or two after torrential rains cut
large gashes in the thin soil. If one is observant enough, one may notice
that _something_ is buried under a thin layer of mud–something with
suspiciously straight lines and sharp corners.
If the party decides to excavate, they will find a flat stone slab some 10′
on a side, inscribed with strange glyphs, some magic, others mundane yet
exotic; whatever its nature, its extreme age is obvious. If the PCs put
their minds and spells to it, they will realize that it’s some sort of AD&D
“transporter pad” (for those Trek fans out there).
Can they figure out how to operate the device? Does it still work
normally, or is it damaged? Where will it take them?
(2) The PCs’ camp is raided during the night; only food is missing, no one
is harmed, and a single pair of ogre footprints are found. The PCs decide
to track the ogre (to investigate, not to kill, at least for the moment).
If the PCs stay their weapons long enough, they will discover the
Non-Monster Wilderness Encounters 11 (News)
ogre’s lair–filled with cages holding sick animals, both natural and
fantastic. If the PCs play their cards right, they can gain the ogre’s
trust, help him with his charges–and gain a wealth of information and
perhaps some treasure from the good-hearted but simple-minded ogre.
a clearing in which stands an empty cottage. It looks as
though the owner has just stepped out. Needless to say,
said owner will not return . . .
An encounter with an animal who looks at the party
members with a notably intelligent look, waits for
and lets the party (or an individual to) follow for
a One-line while, and then disappears.
Will o’ the Wisps whom the party never manages to
“The forest here is dark. A silence so heavy that
you can feel it seems to drape over you. Nothing
is moving, singing, chirping . . . nothing.”
You can almost HEAR the spooky music, huh?
Stereotypical encounters that turn out other than
A woodsman walking through the woods with a bag of heads.
A lost dwarf, down to his last wineskin
A philosopher, out pondering the wilderness.
A madman, who tries to convince the party that he is
A large gathering of small children, with no adults in
A virgin tied to a tree for a dragon sacrifice.
A dragon, muzzled and chained to the ground.
The vanguard of an army
A group of bandits.
An animal who “adopts” a party member.
A sound of crashing through the trees, going away
from the party.
A very old blind woman with a raven on her shoulder. She
walks without bumping into anything.
A rainstorm of frogs.
A young goblin girl, eating a raw squirrel haunch. She’s
An incredibly peaceful nature scene… a waterfall, the
Adventures at Sea
C. M. Sanyk
pool of which is surrounded by trees. The only thing
marring the area’s beauty are the various bones scattered around
the pool. Cause? An old hill giant, living in a cave behind the
waterfall. He’s peaceful and somewhat articulate.
Jared Dahl wrote in message <firstname.lastname@example.org>…
>What are some house rules/resources that you use/reference
>when you are running a campaign that takes place mainly at
>sea? Anyone have modules or mini-encounters that take
>place on the high seas?
It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with some good ones here… there’s
lots and lots of sea-folklore. The ocean is a dangerous, unforgiving, and
mysterious place. These are minor in themselves, but could develop into
something big if the party shows interest and pursues it…. Off the top
of my head…
1) Someone spots a strange looking creature(s), which no one has seen
before. Bigger things it could lead to… attempts to capture,
communicate with, observe, or learn more about these creatures… perhaps
they are just ordinary animals, or perhaps it’s a dangerous sea monster
that’s best avoided (if so you’ll probably find out the hard way)…
perhaps they have their own language, maybe even a civilization, maybe they
can offer information or advice, who knows. Perhaps the information gained
from studying/communicating with these things can be of value to a
naturalist or sage… Maybe some of the old sailors know of the things,
but are superstitious and afraid of them, don’t like talking about them,
and act strangely when they’re even mentioned… what’s going on?
2) Some debris is found floating in the water. bigger things it could lead
to… mystery: what is this thing, where did it come from, and how did it
get here? perhaps a nearby and recent shipwreck or attack–by a monster?
or by pirates? is there bad weather or a hidden hazard sinking ships in
the area? perhaps more is found, a location of a wreck, or a life-boat
with occupants, or a ship’s log. can a salvage operation be attempted?
can the danger be stopped?
3) bad weather storms, high winds and high seas… ship could risk sinking
or be damaged, people could wash overboard (and perhaps drown, perhaps be
rescued by dolphins or sea elves)…. or dead calm and a delay in travel.
crew grows increasingly bored and uneasy, supplies dwindle dangerously low
and rationing becomes stricter. perhaps magical weather control attempts
fail–strangely. what’s going on? have the gods been offended? do they
demand a sacrifice?
4) funky weather–you’ve just entered the twilight zone. Natural laws seem
to run backwards, sideways, and in spirals. Strange lights, sky is an odd
color, eerie silence and stillness, the stars move in ways they shouldn’t,
the sun sets on the wrong horizon, or doesn’t set at all, for weeks…
compasses behave strangely (if they exist) Direction-sense is scrambled,
navigation hopeless. Odd fog, rain falling up, water spouts… a rain of
mice, beetles, toads, serpents or fish… but they’re all inland or
freshwater species that live thousands of miles away(!) Sky does Van Gogh
things, Lucy with Diamonds things… Visions (meaningful? Omens?) in the
clouds that only some people can see… Then, strangely, and with no
explanation, everything returns to normal. Or does it?
could lead to…. Perhaps you find yourself to be way off course… or
that the trip has taken much longer than it seemed to.. felt like a few
weeks, but you arrive years late for your rendezvous at the destination, and
were presumed lost. You don’t even notice until the bard sings of your lost
ship’s “final voyage” and of the bold adventurers (you) “who never were to
be heard from again.” Or perhaps upon landing on the far shore, you realize
that you’re no longer even on the same planet you were on when you set
sail… your longitude and latitude are right, but nothing fits with your
maps… or maybe the geography’s all correct, but where human settlements
had long stood, there are now sand dunes… or perhaps strange (alien?)
creatures living there, and who claim to never have seen your like before.
5) ships crew becomes restless–the captain has made some questionable
decisions lately, and the crew is growing to resent him. Perhaps a mutiny
is likely. Who’s side are the players on? Is the captain a liability to
the ships safe passage? Or are the crew members right?
6) ship encounter–pirates? a fellow traveler? a ship in need? lost? low
on supplies? without a rudder or broken masts? Perhaps they have news…
7) The entire ship is *swallowed* during the night by some IMMENSE beast.
Everything’s fine and nothing’s damaged. If anyone is on deck that night,
all they see are the stars being blacked out, as though something MASSIVE
has come between them and the ship. The ship continues to sail as normal,
and there’s even weather in the beast’s belly, and no shore is in sight…
Then, perhaps a few days later (who can tell?) the sky reveals itself again,
and now it’s a bright, clear day. Maybe the ship is completely lost (or was
it *brought* somewhere?) or perhaps it’s just outside the port of its
original destination? No matter who you tell your story to (and everyone
on the ship swears it to be true) no one believes a word of it. Could it
have all been a mass-dream or hallucination?
8) Minor mishap–a mistake in navigational measurements has put you off
course. Or perhaps someone fell from the crow’s nest, or was crushed by a
yardarm, or fell overboard and drowned. could lead to… if there’s a
fatality, there could be a ghost… especially if the body’s not put to
rest properly. maybe the ghost won’t let the ship find land again until
things have been set right, or perhaps it just makes its presence felt and
9) Stow away found on board. Put on trial. What will happen to him?
What’s his story?
10) Someone has committed a crime on board, and everyone is a suspect.
It’s a mere minor theft, but the captain reacts harshly and turns everything
upside down looking for clues to see who’s the guilty party. People begin
to get paranoid, accuse each other. Maybe fights break out?
[Not a plot as such but setting ripe with many possible plots…]
Thoughts on Pheruccia, Jewel of Peronia
The city of Pheruccia is an ancient and elegant city. Once ruled by
the Dragon Kings of Ancient Queg, it has been a free and independent
city-state for some thousand years. Rulers have come and rulers have
gone, conquerors have invaded and stayed as loved kings, elders and
princes. The spires and domes, crenellations and battlements are
carved from black and yellow sand, foreign marbles and local granite
sit side by side. In the streets peoples and races from all of the
Worlde mingle in the Bazaar and the Grand Plaza.
Beneath the ground of Pheruccia lie the ruins of hundreds of years of
habitation, the ruins and foundations of buildings demolished by war,
fire and religious turmoil. Deep within these catacombs lie burial
vaults, underground temples and complexes abandoned and their very
The current ruler of Pheruccia is the Benevolent Elder of the Guilds
of Ancient Feruc, Salvatore di Luccia, aged, feared and respected
ruler. As the elected ruler of the Guilds High Council, di Luccia is
the hereditary Guildmaster of the Guild of Glovemakers, traditional
organizers of labour in the city docks. Of the seven Guilds of Feruc,
the Glovemakers and the family of di Luccia have held power in the
city for 157 years now, and their Guild Hall overlooking the Grand
Plaza is filled with the sumptuous glory of centuries of trade and
The artist Renaldo di Capelletto is currently painting an epic mural
upon the ceiling of the Glovemakers Chapel of Balanced Repose, a task
he has been employed upon for some 7 years to date. The vast domed
ceiling of the new rose marble temple, erected upon the ruins of the
previous Matchmakers Armoury, (a noted brothel and trading house), was
completed 23 years ago. It is expected that another 2 years work will
be required before the full glory can be consecrated and revealed.
People have many long standing wagers as to whether the Chapel will be
finished before Magdelena do Lattia’s epic Tower of the Balancing
Resonance is. The Tower, a Matchmaker Guild project, is pointedly
placed on a hill overlooking the Plaza. Giuseppe di Catalan has never
forgiven di Luccia for engineering the demolition of the Armoury in
The Seven Armies of Feruc, the forces of the Guilds, are an impressive
and grand site in their dress uniforms, feathered helmets and full
pikes. The musketeers of the Candlemakers’ Guild are particularly
fine, in tune with the dominance of Signorini di Malfoso’s in the
world of society couture. In their battle dress the colourful Armies
of Feruc inspire awe and strike fear into the hearts of disorganised
rabbles as they advance with their bright jerkins, proud banners and
expertly made pikes, flintlock muskets and rocket batteries. Few other
states in Peronia can withstand a pitched battle with the brave
condotterrie of Feruccia. Sad indeed that they often face each other
down in the streets of the city itself.
Feruccian merchants are the widest traveled and canny of all the
known Worlde, venturing forth in galleys, caravan trains and the
wonderfully artificed flying machines of Leonardo the Great. Exporting
the wonderful glass, artifices, meats and wines of Feruccia and the
other states of Peronia, Feruccian merchants import spices from Queg,
silk from the Southern Shore and hemp, furs and wood from the far
north. Their great skill and wisdom has allowed them to balance trade
in matters material to trade in money itself and the banques of Feruc
are famed for their fair and even handed treatment of all. Many a
princeling or potentate has kept the forces of law and order well
equipped with Feruc muskets after the beneficent loan of funds from a
Peoples of other races are welcome in Pheruccia, and many of the
diligent and hardworking miners, sailors and tanners of the city are
from far away. Philbians delve deep beneath the Hills of Gold, mining
the coal that keeps city folk warm in winter and drives the steam
engines that run many an artifice. In the docks many a boat is loaded,
unloaded and manned by Uth’ka’len often with the help of their loyal
six-legged Ukken beasts. It is true that many people in Pheruccia are
of indentured service, but all can strive to complete their term of
service and take their place as free citizens, subject of course to
the guiding laws of Guilds, Churches and Inquisition.
Fashions always change in upbeat Feruccia and yet some things stay the
same. Ferrucian women of decency wear their heads shaven with a simple
pony tail elegantly grown from the crown.. Men wear their hair in a
crest across the skull, often shaving back the front and back of the
head. Silks, cottons, and lace are the favoured colours of all well
born citizens. Purple is a colour worn only by nobility, in the Quegan
fashion, but reds, yellows and greens are common and loved at the
moment. Perfumes, tobacco and coffee mingle with other scents in the
meeting places and bistros across the decent parts of town. Even the
meanest street will have the fulsome scent of good Peronian wine
competing with the midden.
Food in Pheruccia is the widest and most cosmopolitan you will find
anywhere. Staples such as cornbread and rice are served by street
sellers, often with a sausage of porc or boeuf innards. At the great
feasts of the Guilds whole Sand Dragons are roasted and served with
curried Purple Moulds and deep fried Poison Mushrooms. Many a
Pheruccian table is graced with oranges, lemons and kumquats from the
Southern Shore, and the marvelous grapes of Peronia are eaten and
drunk as raisins and wine.
I have dwelled in this great city, this paragon of the city politic,
for some fifteen years now. It is a great honour that the Benevolent
Elder has suffered me as Ambassador of the City of Lattia and it is my
great pleasure to share with him this my fond memories of the city
upon my departure home.
Giacomo di Funghi,
Ambassador to the Guilds of Ancient Feruc,
Moonday of Rat in the Month of Turtle in the 1673rd Year of Feruc
Leonardo the Great
In the year of 1636 of Feruc, a young clerk in the Guild of
Glovemakers returned from his day at the docks where he recorded the
rice imports for tithe calculation. A young lad of 19 he had another
24 years left to work from his father’s indenture, inherited when his
father had died young at the age of 43.
As he sat in his mother’s kitchen waiting for his nightly gruel, he
watched as the lid on the gruel pot clattered and lifted, forced
upward by the steam from the boiling fluid. Intrigued he began to
doodle on his slate with his marker. Everyone knows the story from
then on, Leonardo had begun his career as the great artificer of Feruc
by designing the steam propellant artifice.
Grateful as any master would be, the Benevolent Elder manumitted
Leonardo’s indenture by 12 years once the Glovemakers’ Artificery had
begun the make the sophisticated steam propellant devices which power
fans, drive water screws and perform other needful tasks in the city.
Elevated now to working in the Artificery Leonardo’s skills grew
greater and greater. Combining the ancient Feruccian skill of
gunpowder with the steam propellant artifice and with the Floating
Bulbs of the Burluvian Bush, Leonardo made and flew the first
Feruccian flying artifice across the Bay of Snakes.
Now a treasured servant Leonardo invented the Cyclopedic Travelling
Engine, an interesting circus novelty, and began plans for an Undersea
Galley and a Cyclopedic Flying Ship. Sadly these and many other
devices were not completed when, in 1641, Leonardo met with an
untimely end when a Witchfinder of the Chapel of the Inquisition of
Fire mistook Leonardo for a known Chaotician. His ashes are now kept
lovignly in a corner of the yet to be completed Chapel of Balanced
Michael Gondorosso, Guild of Buttonmakers
Of lesser note but of great satisfaction to Leonardo himself are his
paintings, his poetry and his rumoured love of redheads.
[Not a plot as such but setting ripe with many possible plots…]
Fraggia is the most northern city state in Peronia. It’s lands border
on the Forest of Night, with their enclaves of Kerren, to the West and
the Ogre Hills to the East. The city is ruled by the Mask of Passing,
an anonymous figure elected from within the ranks of the Masks of
Balance, the Prelacy of the Balance in Fraggia. There is a strong
guild structure in Fraggia and the Mask of Passing holds council with
the guildmasters on city business. The Mask of Passing does have
absolute power and should he require it he can declare an Imbalance, a
time when prelate rule is declared and prelate troops may act under
sole control of the Prelacy.
The Mask of Passing, as do all Fraggian prelates, wears a full mask
at all times. The Mask of Passing is a Death’s Head, and this focus on
Death and Endings has coloured Fraggia since it’s founding as a Quegan
outpost some 900 years ago. Fraggia is a city of tall dark granite
buildings, black marble temples, gargoyles and death motifs. Like all
Peronian cities the Temple of Air is on the pre-eminent hill, the
Temple of Water in the lake created by the damning of the river and
the Fire Temple smoulders to the East of the city. The Earth Temple is
as tradition dictates, to the West of the city. In Fraggia the Earth
Temple is the Necropolis, a funerary complex of low lying dark tombs,
burial mounds and temples. The holiest temples to the Earth are deep
within the Earth, and catacombs and tunnels run through the Necropolis
and to Fraggia itself. The Necropolis itself lies outside the city
walls, and many a visitor has been pleased to find it so, it’s area is
equal to the city itself, and in the moonlight it is an eerie and
frightening ghost town. Fraggians are both feared of, embrace and
dismiss death. They both revile ghosts, spirits and ghouls and yet
also have many folk tales of how clever Fraggians have tricked the
Despite this cultural affinity with death, Fraggians are quite capable
of enjoying themselves, and once their initial formality has passed
they are friendly and welcoming. They have a strong self deprecating
humour, and practical jokes and black humour are commonplace. The
current Mask of Passing has been known to pull dark jests on the
ruling council before now, and most Fraggians are quite puzzled that
outsiders think they have no sense of humour.
Fraggian prelates all wear masks, representing their resonance’s with
the Balance. Most also have some death motif interwoven with the
symbols of fire, water, earth or air. Many lay people also wear half
cut masks, women usually only venture out in public veiled and black
is a common colour all year around. White sepulchral makeup and bone
motifs are common for both sexes, and throughout the year are many
festivals and ceremonies of the dead.
Fraggian food is rich and fulsome. Beer is drunk here, unlike most of
Peronia. Roast porc, pastries, strudels, sauerkraut and fried potatoes
are common. Fraggians adore cream and most of the shokolatt imported
from the Southern Shore ends up in Fraggia.
Fraggians have a rather egalitarian view of the worlde. They often say
edward michael white
‘all men are the same under the Mask’ and there is a strong sense of
unity and purpose. With ogre and Kerren raids and common occurrence
Fraggians have a strong and well funded military structure, run by the
prelacy and manned by Mask commanders. Military uniforms are dark
greens, blacks and browns, skull and bone motifs are common. Fraggian
rocketeers, who launch themselves over enemy lines riding a back
mounted rocket and then descending into enemy camps by parasol, are
the elite of the army and also the most often killed in action.
This dungeon is made for low to mid-level characters with at least one mage
and maybe one thief. The characters are summoned by the local lord to take
a look into the murders that are happening in town. Parents are being
killed and children are being orphaned. The players can investigate any
place they wish in town. The only clue at each murder is a dagger with the
hilt being the shape of a baby with a tear in it’s eye. If the players
question the children, they will see that the kids are not sad. They tell
the players they have no idea who did this deed, but they are glad that
someone has. If the players persist, they find out that the children all
have something in common. They were abused. Looking into the dagger, they
can interview the blacksmiths of town. After many interviews they come
across the lord’s blacksmith. He finally admits that the daggers are being
created by the commander of the high guards. Gortoth. When the players
approach Gortoth, he denies everything. That night another murder happens
which proves his innocence. The players can wait for another order of
daggers to be made or they can scan the town during the night. Either way
it will be many murders and many nights before they can find him. The
secret is to ask, “How is he getting info about all these kids?” Another
thing they have in common is they all go to the same church. The players
can then question the priest of the church. When approached, he gets VERY
nervous. Its obvious that this is the man. If interrogated or spells are
used, they will find out that he is working with a thief. The thief is
going in disguise and purchasing the daggers. He uses them to kill parents
that abuse their children, who the cleric finds out from the children while
they are in school. Both men are brothers who were abused as well. The
thief killed their parents causing them to be split up when young.
Good mystery dungeon. If your players like fights, throw a few bar brawls
in the campaign.
Three kings meet to negotiate an alliance versus the common foe. That foe
employs the services of three witches who curse the kings as they meet.
Each king loses his senses save for one, one can still see, one can hear
and one can speak, but none can move. The adventurers, preferably one each
from each king’s bodyguard or retinue, must set out to lift the curse.
The sages and priests can divine (either NPCs or PCs if powerful enough)
that no army can meet this threat but that only by blinding, deafening and
rendering mute each of the witches will the senses be restored.
The location of the witches must first be divined, and a possible option
is: Entering the plane of the gods and requesting a boon from the Fates
(Norns) the three crones who weave the fate of all beings, even the gods.
They will be able to read the threads of the witches, who they see as
somewhat impudent counterparts. The Fates will require three gifts to
grant the locations.
1: A ball of thread left by a hero in the maze of a minotaur. Sad to say
the minotaur still lives and will challenge the PCs in mortal combat.
2: A golden apple dropped by a goddess when squabbles broke out over who
was loveliest. Sad to say the apple has worms, and as a giant apple the
worms are giant wyrms. Once recovered the apple will shrink to a normal
3: The head of a gorgon, left in the desert and now used as a toy by a
giant sphinx. the sphinx will, once the authority of the PCs is revealed,
only release the gorgon’s head after 3 riddles are answered correctly.
(see the netbook of riddles). Note this is a gorgon’s head, don’t look at
it…. (Oddly enough it doesn’t affect the Sphinx)
The Fates will then divulge the positions of the witches. They will finger
the threads of the witches and reveal that the time has not come to cut
these threads. They will explain that the adventurers must complete their
quest without killing the witches.. They will give the adventurers the
thread, the apple and the gorgon’s head.
In a flash the PCs will return to the castle, no time having passed, ready
to hunt the witches.
Each witch’s lair lies three days from the castle and may be visited in any
order. The witches are:
Frankel, Witch of Sight
In a tall tower atop a moor, Frankel is guarded by harpies, gargoyles and
giant birds. The tower can only be entered from the roof and within it are
mirror traps, illusions, mists and other optical trickery. Frankel uses
magicks that can create multiple copies of her herself, invisible creatures
and spells of light and dark. If Frankel is killed then the Fates will cut
the thread of the seeing king and he will die. If Frankel is blinded in
some way (and chaining her in a dungeon with the gorgon’s head on display
would force Frankel to keep her eyes shut….) will restore sight to the
two kings who are blind, restore full senses and movement to the seeing
king BUT blind him too. (no it’s not going to be a totally happy ending is
Josel, Witch of Hearing
In a dark forest Josel is guarded by wolves, boars and howling banshees.
Living in a giant tree, Josel will use silence spells, spells of great
noise to burst eardrums and giant spiders which creep up on PCs almost
silently. She will use ventriloquism, diversions, trumpets and noise to
keep the adventurers confused. If Josel is killed the Fates will cut the
thread of the speaking king. If her hearing is taken from her (stuff the
thread in her ears and tie it to her arms so she cannot remove it?) then
hearing will be restored to the two deaf kings, restore full senses and
movement to the hearing king BUT deafen him too.
Carnel, Warlock of Hearing
In an amphitheater left by the ancients, Carnel is guarded by mages and
wizards who will cast magicks of command and control. The power of the
word will be used against the players. The drill is much the same as the
others, the apple will fit neatly into Carnel’s mouth, and the usual
effects will apply to the kings.
The kings will now be restored, although one will be blind, one dumb and
one deaf. They will unite to forge an alliance and the struggle against
the foe will continue. OR one or more of the kings are dead, and
factionalism and disunity may emerge. Either way the witches will
eventually get themselves free, (the magical curses will not return) and
the adventurers will have three foes not at all happy to let them continue
Of course the Fates may be the witches and the whole thing was a way of
Paladin’s Dark Day…
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moulding heroes and unity. The Fates may or may not continue to ban the
deaths of the witches.
Dungeon for 4-6 players, 6-10 level.
As the party is walking along on the country side, they come across two
paladins fighting side by side. As soon as the players take up arms to help
them fight these two fire giant, one of the large hammers meets the head of
one of the paladins’. The blow kills the paladin instantly. At that time,
the other paladin goes into a flying rage. After the Giants are dead, the
live paladin rips off his helmet and grabs the limp body. The person he is
grabbing is his wife. The head is completely crushed and there is nothing
they can do. If the players have some way of getting her back, have it
fail. Failed system shock or something like that. At that time the players
can help the paladin finish his mission, which was to stop a group of
trolls from harming a nearby village. During the mission, the players will
see a change in the paladin’s attitude. He starts to pout, gets short with
the players. He walks off into the woods alot alone. One day he attacks the
mage with full force. The players can try to subdue him, but it’s taking
more time to get him down and the mage will start to need healing. At that
time, a final blow will kill the paladin. Right when that happens, a laugh
is heard and a pit fiend appears. He nods and thanks you for doing his job.
The pit fiend was forbidden to get close to the paladins. But since one of
them is dead and the other started to turn to the dark side (sorry could’t
help myself) he was able to convince the paladin that he could bring back
his wife if he could get rid of the mage in your party. An impossible feat
due to the parties’ power. He takes the limp body and dissappears. The
players will feel bad, but what can they do? They continue on and meet up
with a group of three. The one in the lead is Tara. She is a paladin. She
is also the wife of Esgar, paladin that the players just killed. The
paladin they thought was her, was not her, but a doppleganger. She was
taken by a group of priests who worship the vile creature that took Esgar’s
body. She escaped with the help of these two comrades and now is looking
for her husband.
You’ll love the way the players will sqirm. They can explain and she may
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respond with a little anger, but she understands. She would like your help
on getting him back. The people she is with has the ability to get to his
body. The players can join them, but they won’t have alot of fun.
This is a high level dungeon for players that are 12th level plus. The
number of players can be anywhere from 4-6.
The players are called to help a town from a dragon that has been attacking
with terrible force. The players are known as heroes throughout the land
and of course will help the player. They spend the next few days waiting.
Nothing. They spend a few more days searching. Nothing. They begin to
wonder if the dragon has gone away. They come across finally on a large
cave. Inside the cave is a group of men sitting around a fire. The cave
smells horrible. Rotting behind the group is the dragon that has been
terrorizing the town. Seems like someone has beatin them to the punch. They
approach the other party and find out that they are thieves. Why did they
kill the dragon? Why would they care about the town? Maybe the dragon has a
large hoard of treature? But, where is this treasure? The thieves scatter
as the corpse comes to life. The players are introduced to a Draco-Lich for
the first time.
The thieves were hired by the dragon to take certain items in the city
Bottle in the Sea
C. M. Sanyk
while he attacked. The dragon caused the confusion, and the thieves did
their job. The dragon will attack without regards to the thieves. If they
get hurt in the crossfire, oh well.
This goes along the lines of finding floating debris. Instead of
wreckage or junk, however, a bottle is discovered, floating in the water.
This could just be an ordinary bottle, of clear, colored, or opaque glass,
and it may contain a clue in a mystery or small item. It could have an
S.O.S. or other sort of message inside, or a treasure map, or something more
exotic, such as a bound spirit, demon, or djinn. Perhaps a wizard has
cursed an entire ship, shrinking it magically and placing it in the bottle,
and then casting it out into the ocean, doomed to float about at the mercy
of the tides until such time as it is discovered and some means of rescue is
devised. At this point, the PCs may have a new vessel in their fleet, or
else great gratitude and reward from the sailors, should they still be
alive. This may also be an effective way of introducing a spelljammer
vessel into the campaign, if one uses that setting.
It could also be a magic item… suggestions for an bottle of endless
smoke or endless water might be good (if it’s a particularly *ancient*
decanter of endless water, this item could in fact be the *source* for the
body of water the party is currently travelling on… if so, they may need
to find a way to shut the water off, so that the flooding does not cover the
entire continent. Of course, shutting off the water source may also result
in major geographical changes over the long term (if all the water runs off
from a large, artificially-created river or lake for example, revealing an
unexplored bed, possibly with all kinds of ruins to be discovered… along
with *deep* mud
Karl Foederl Str. 3