Moonrise Tower Walkthrough in Baldur’s Gate 3

Moonrise Tower Front Gate

Moonrise Tower Walkthrough in Baldur’s Gate 3

So… Baldur’s Gate 3! What a game! This is going to be the gold standard for CRPGs going forward for a while.

But, there is one battle that is really hard. That is the Infiltrate Moonrise Tower quest line.

Before completing Bathlhazar’s sub-quest in the temple below the Thorn Mausoleum, you can freely enter Moonrise Tower and complete all of the quests here, except for the last final battle on the roof top with the General. If you’re following the temple portion of the quest Find Ketheric Thorm’s Relic, you will get a message asking “are you sure?” Active quests will be changed, or stopped completely.

If you say yes and get the Nightsong, returning to the Moonrise tower will immediately start a battle with all of the NPCs, except for the pilgrims, from the entire first level of the tower. This is not an impossible battle….. but it is EXTREMELY hard. Mages slow you down with their spells and archers in the rafters attack with advantage from the height. AOE spells and lots of them along with concentrating on the magic users are your only hope.

But there is a MUCH easier way to do this. Complete all the quests in the temple below Thorm Mausoleum so you can hopefully level up. Before you take the lift down to the lowest level and the final battle with Balthazar (yes, he is a bad guy! – spoiler!) along the Find Ketheric Thorm’s Relic quest line go back to the Moonrise Tower. Complete all the quests here. Once you’ve got them all it is time to go to work.

What you’re going to do is quietly remove most of the guards in the main level, Jail Level and second levels so that you’re not outnumbered six to one when you come back with the Relic.

Take advantage of group/ungroup feature to maximize your potential by placing PCs near NPCs for quick attacks. You have two problems to contend with here. The Scyring Eyes float around through closed doors. If they see a battle they go off, they alert all the other nearby NPCs and you can become swamped very quickly. The second problem is NPCs fleeing into another room and alerting other NPCs to the battle so you want to take them out quick.

Luckily you should be pretty well armed by now and will finish most of these battles in one or two turns. If you initiate battle though, be aware that NPCs will try to arrest you. Be sure to use the “attack” option. Also note that doing this WILL cause Paladins to become Oath Breakers.

Pro-Tip for gold; While doing this, steal all of the equipment and sell it to Lann Tarv or Rush Moonglow in the main hall.

So starting at the front gate, place Astarion and your strongest fighter on each side of Adept Merim for back stabbing advantage. Place the other two on each side of Zealot Malik. Attack the Adept first, then Malik. With only moderate luck you should be able to take down both of these NPCs before they can even react. Then it is a simple matter of taking down the three ghouls.

Moonrise Tower Front Gate

Then enter the main hall and go through the doors to the left where the Suspicious Sounds are coming from. Close the door behind you and then go into the kitchen with the three gnolls, Barnabus, Tomelia and Timothy. Linsella is the hardiest of the this bunch but shouldn’t take more than three attacks total. Again, place a character near each NPC and take them down in order. Watch this room for Scyring Eyes coming through it.

Moonrise Tower Kitchen

If you go into the room with the Drow poisoner, Araj Oblodra, don’t bother attacking Pilgrim Sul. He does nothing one way or the other. Be aware this room also sees a Scyring Eye passing through it. Araj disappears and the battle ends after the first hit though. This does keep her from being in the final battle, but make sure you get your poison before you do.

Moonrise Tower - Drow Poisoner

In the Throne Room after the cut-scene (and your decision regarding the Goblins,) let all the moving NPCs leave the room. Note that NPCs can see a battle as they go up the stairs, so wait a few seconds for them to be gone. Place Astarion near Adept Nola again, and place fighters near the two Zealots. Watch for Scrying Eyes passing through this room. If you do this quickly there are two guards on the stair landing who won’t interfere.

Moonrise Tower Throne Room

From the Main Hall is a barracks to right. This room only contains two NPCs, but the door is broken to the main hall so you can easily be seen. Unless you can do it silently and very quickly, let Mig and Zealot Iogar live… for now.

Moonrise Tower Barracks

Head back into the Main Hall, then go north. A small room has Stairs going down.

Moonrise Towers - Stairs to Jail Level

Go into the jail level. Again, place your thief near Adept Ghulen to take out magic users first, then work on the two Zealots. Again, keep an eye out for the two Scrying Eyes. Attack it before it can get off an alarm. In this room it is easiest to watch the pattern, attack the guards when it is furthest away, then wait for it to come back, surprising it.

Moonrise Tower Jail Level

If you do this right you can take out the other two guards on this level and The Warden in the Central Tower one at a time, giving you overwhelming odds.

Moonrise Tower The Warden

Go back to the main entrance of the Jail level. Head left through the single door into the Torture Chamber. The two Questioners are the hardest NPCs on this level, but you should be able to take them down in three or four turns.

Moonrise Tower Torture Chamber

Head out of the room, then straight forward. Go through the Heavy Oak Doors that the now deceased Zealots were guarding. This will put you on the docks. Follow Adept Bel down to the end of his patrol route and kill him there.

How to beat Moonrise Tower in Baldur's Gate 3

Return to the Dock, and do the same with Zealot Renan. Go back to the main dock again, talk to Acolyte Marls and finish this small quest. Kill him and Zealot Arden.

At this point, make sure you head back up to the Main Hall and sell all the equipment you’ve taken from your kills.

Note that if you’ve done the Jail level right, you can complete the quest to Rescue Lakrissa and Wulbren Bongle with zero risk to them.

Next step is the second floor. Go upstairs from the main throne room. There will be two guards right here on the landing.

At the top of the stairs you can trigger another cut scene with Z’rell and Radija. After it is done, Z’rell and Glorick will go into the library to the right of the stairs. Wait for them to do so, watch for the Scrying Eye, then kill Radija and the three Necromites.

From here just go through the Library, the Study, the Bedroom and the hallway, killing one by one each guard and the Scyring Eye you come across. Make sure to loot all the rooms and dead NPCs, sell it all on the main level. Go complete the Temple quest, then come back.

This time when you enter the Main Hallway you’ll only have one Ogre, a couple of Zealots, two archers (instead of five) in the rafters, a couple of Adepts and the armourer, Lann Tav to kill before you go up to the roof to confront the General. Clean them up with a couple of AOE spells and targeted range attacks on the Acolytes. You should have the battle done in 4-5 turns.

The Net Book of Plots – Volume 4

———-========== The NET.PLOTS.BOOK ==========———-
Volume IV
Compiled by Phil Scadden

Editors Note:

Here at last is volume 4, the latest attempt to keep GM’s supplied with
inspiration. It contains plot and scenarios for mostly fantasy RPGs but at
last I have some cyper plots. (Now for some more horror and space adventures for
Vol 5). Plots have been presented in no particular order – if it isnt
written for your genre, try thinking of translating the core idea. I have
made only minimal changes (spelling and removal of trademarks etc. of a
certain gaming company) to the material as received. I hope everyone finds
this enjoyable and useful.

The book includes a very large appendix of ideas for starting out campaigns.
(seems to be the theme for this volume). Should be no excuse for the tired
old “you meet these people in a bar” hack.

Authorship of individual plots have been accredited individually with email
addresses. Author attribution is at the top of each plot. Authors appreciate
feedback – if you use any of these try telling the author how you did. IT

Finally, my thanks to all who submitted these plots. You make the
net.*.books possible. Of course my mail box is now open for contributions
to vol 5…

Phil Scadden P.Scadden@GNS.CRI.NZ 7/3/95

So where are we… and who are you…?
M. Taylor


Players are zapped to new low-magic fantasy world minus their memory and
anything metal they were carrying (If you are a kindly GM give magic
stuff a save to make the trip) and sporting a few new wounds (Its fun to
describe their injuries). In this new world they are poor, ill-equipped,
injured, they don’t speak the language(s), their spells don’t seem to
work as well and nobody likes the way they smell or they way they look
(“Why’s that short guy got pointy ears?”).

I ran this adventure by starting them in a cavern that looked like the
start of an underground temple complex and stuck a cave-in at the
entrance to the complex. I then suggested their last memories involved
ransacking an underground temple of some kind. This accomplished a few
important things: * An immediate goal – getting past the cave-in.
* An explanation of their injuries – they’d been set upon by
temple nasties.
* Some additional intrigue – the players didn’t realize they
in a new world until a few hours into the game.
* A justification of their teleportation – temples always have
weird, nasty, magic traps in them.
* Most importantly a reason to get out in the society of the new
world – to get men and equipment to get past the cave-in.
* Finally an excuse for a traditional dungeon bash when they’d
done the hard role-playing stuff.
Once they were past the cave-in I gave the players a fun time exploring
the temple complex as a reward. In short order they found an ancient
magic artefact and an idol that looked familiar. They united the two and
wham-bam they were back in the real-world — in the middle of the fight
they had fled from in the first place 🙂

The reason I made the new world low-magic was to short circuit magical
short-cuts. The cave-in, the language barrier and other fun stuff could
have been circumnavigated by the right spells.

Run correctly this can be a really hard adventure, going into a new
world with little to no resources and little recourse to magic will
really stretch your players inventiveness.

Grishnak the Merciless
Bryce Harrington


This encounter was designed for a group of 4-8 low-mid level characters of
The encounter is intended to be challenging and to scare the pants off the
PCs. If they feel too cocky, they may not complete the adventure, or may
complete it too soon.

If the party includes a psionicist with the psionic blast power then the
part will have a much easier time with the encounter than otherwise, so you
may want to 1) disable the psionicist’s power somehow, 2) beef up Grishnak’s
immunity to psionics, 3) cheat on the power rolls. If nothing else, impose
the -7 penalty for trying to contact a monster, even though a hill giant may
still qualify as a humanoid.

If this adventure is too easy for the party, change the giant type to a
stone or fire giant. This *will* change the flavor of the encounter a bit.
One way to toughen up the encounter without changing the flavor is to give
the giant some helpers. A dozen goblins or orcs hanging around might slow
the party enough for Grishnak to get in a few good blows. Give him a couple
of ogres, too, and the party may have some difficulties. For a very high
level party, you may want to beef up Grishnak as a specialized fighter with
a high strength, high skills, and very high damage resistance.

It would work best if one of the party members is a dwarf; for a low level
party, spell casters or psionicists are a must.


Before starting the first encounter, it is important to build up a little
fear and respect in the PCs. Make them realize how tough this giant is by
rumors of its atrocities. Here are some rumors which I used in my campaign: – The town of Inglesham was attacked by The Giant on Middenmonth 8th. Death
tolls vary depending on the teller, but at least two score of citizens found
their way to Grishnak’s belly. Inglesham is shaken by the event, to say the
least, and is offering a huge bounty on Grishnak’s head. Some say that the
King himself will lead his forces to defeat the brute, others wonder why
their protector has not stepped forth to protect them.

– A young rag-a-muffin boy has been asking in the city of Sherborne for an
organization known as The Giant Killers. The boy says that his entire
family was eaten by a Giant named Grishnak the Horrible. His desire for
revenge is so strong that he will do anything for the organization if they
help him.

[Note: The PCs had just recently decided to name themselves Unar’s Hammer,
but had mistakenly spread several earlier names about, like Unar’s Giant
Foes and such. The townspeople were a little confused as to exactly what
this virtually unknown band’s name was.]


“Around noon you stop at a stream for lunch and a short rest. You’ve only
been there for a few minutes when you hear: “ …. … MEE
MIE MO MORPH, Me thinks me smell a Dwarf! I’ll grind his bones to make me
bread, but first, let’s go and bash ‘is ‘ead! .
Twisting your heads in all directions you finally spot the source of the
echoes as a tall humanoid shape on the top of a hillock several hundred yards
away flings his fist forward to release a huge boulder. Looking around
quickly for a place to hide you see a rocky hill on the south side of the
stream. Across, on the north bank, is a thick and gnarled stand of trees
and shrubbery. Upstream perhaps a hundred yards is a jumble of rocks the
stream flows through.”

Ask each player to write down what they do individually. Then have everyone
reveal their plans and move their characters appropriately. The rock will
come crashing down where the PCs were. Make a to hit roll against anyone
still there.

If the players are stupid enough to attack, then they should suffer the

Grishnak the Merciless.

Grishnak is really nothing more than a semi-tough hill giant. He’s been
ravishing the countryside and causing lots of local trouble.

Mediocre armour, (Many hides sewn together with chain mail, shields, and
metal plates); Good damage resistance; Weapons are: Fist, Club, or Rocks –
range 2-200 yards); Will also try to Grab.

Grishnak is selfish and cunning. He terrorises the local villagers (and
eats them, that’s especially annoying to the villagers). He is oddly simian
and barbaric in appearance, with overly long arms, stooped shoulders, and a
low forehead. He is about 16′ tall and weighs in at 4500 lbs. His skin
color is a dark tan; his hair and eyes are black as coal.

Grishnak carries a bag containing:
3 big rocks (2′ dia boulders)
1 Metal truck with 6lb copper, 10lb silver, 23 crown and
a dwarven gauntlet (copper, worth 100 gp)
3 Children’s toys – toy horse, wooden soldier, and a
wooden dragon, 1 short sword, blood stained,
but not rusty at all

Ideally, the PCs will run for the rocks. Grishnak will close, saying,
“Grishnak, now don’t squish food with rocks.” At the last minute, just
before the giant gets to the characters, he will suddenly stand up straight
and sniff: “Hmm, Grishnak smell pigs. Mmm, pork!” Grishnak will then
stride off across rough terrain quickly outdistancing the PCs.


Wait a few sessions before throwing this next encounter at them. The PCs
should hear a few of rumors about the monster’s depredation’s. Perhaps have
some offers of rewards be offered to them for the creature’s death. Here
are some of the rumors I gave out: – The giant killing specialists known as Unar’s Giant Foes are offered a job
to assassinate Grishnak the Merciless by a group of merchants in Caer
Shert. Grishnak has destroyed several villages in the Caer Shert region.
The organization is asked to report to The Benevolent Protectorate Order of
Grain Merchants in the city of Caer Shert.

– A band of ex-soldiers known as the Troll’s Nightmare were found dead in
the fields near the base of the Castle Oncliff. They had apparently been
stepped on by Grishnak.

– The town of Inglesham was attacked by The Giant on Middenmonth 8th. Death
tolls vary depending on the teller, but at least two score of citizens found
their way to Grishnak’s belly. Inglesham is shaken by the event, to say the
least, and is offering a huge bounty on Grishnak’s head. Some say that the
King himself will lead his forces to defeat the brute, others wonder why
their protector has not stepped forth to protect them.


“There seems to be some kind of obstruction in the road ahead of you and
you approach it with caution. Your stomach knots in horror at the
gruesomeness of the scene: To one side of the road are the crushed remnants
of a gypsy wagon. A horse still wearing its bridle and harness lays dead on
the opposite side of the path, and by the way its ribs have been caved in
and by the way the creature’s intestines have exploded from its abdomen you
figure that it must have been squeezed to death.

“Littering the whole area around the wagon are pools of blood and
assorted human body parts, and the way the skin has been torn and lacerated
from the bones, you realize that they had been physically wrenched from the
bodies to which they once belonged.

“Huge, 3′ long footprints have left indentations several inches deep in
the seemingly hard packed soil of the path. Several nearby trees have been
completely uprooted. A pile of boulders and a tree trunk, strangely
stripped clean of bark and branches, and well rounded on one end, lays a
ways off near the woods to the left. You make out the tracks of a single
wagon leading off to that forest, multiple trails of blood revealing the
wagon’s horrid cargo. Between the ruts are a single set of 3′ long foot
prints. The prints do not look to be more than an hour or two old.”

Grishnak, as the players should well be aware, has struck. A gypsy caravan
has been raided and its members carried off. It is expected that the
players will investigate. The path to Grishnak is 3 miles:

“You hesitantly enter the forest, but move fairly quickly, as a wide
path has been cleared already. You wonder how the wagon could possibly have
made it through the rough terrain.

“Proceeding through the forest you gradually come to an area where the
ground raises into rocky hills and cliffs. You stop suddenly as the smell
of burned hair and bone assaults your nose, followed by the pitiful sounds
of sobbing humans. A deep voice booms out, “Grishnak say shut up! Food
people giving Grishnak sore ears!” The screaming crescendos and then
suddenly stops. You appraise the surrounding terrain. To the right of the
trail is a 30′ high raised hill, to your left the ground is more level. The
sounds of a babbling brook come to you from your left. The path continues
ahead of you and then turns to the right at a point where the rocky hill
comes to an end. You think that Grishnak is right on the other side of the

The players can climb the cliff and view Grishnak from above if they are
quiet. They will be able to see that Grishnak has made a bonfire right
below the hill. There is a cave in the hill at this point and Grishnak
occasionally goes into it to get something. To one side of the fire, not
far from the cave entrance, is the battered remains of the wagon, and inside
of it are the limp (though living) bodies of 16 gypsies. A small pile of
gypsy heads can be seen next to the wagon. The gypsies seem to be in a
state of shock.

Grishnak is stupid, but not dumb. If attacked, he will defend himself
fairly well, but unfortunately he has not left himself a cache of rocks
nearby, and left his club at the scene of the crime to be able to pull the
wagon back. Grishnak will try to flee if he takes over 1/2 his hit points
in damage.

Here are some things for Grishnak to say:

“Where Grishnak club? Stoopid Grishnak lost club when took rolly box.”

“Where Grishnak rocks? No rocks? Oh, yeah, Grishnak empty bag for food


My PCs defeated the giant through a great plan, which took them 3-4 hours to
put together (no kidding!) The cleric cast silence, light, and heat metal
on the giant, in that order. As soon as the silence was on the giant, the
metabolic psionicist snuck in to the giant’s cave and attempted to use
double pain. Unfortunately the giant woke up at that point and the fight was
on. The light successfully blinded the giant, and with the silence as well,
it was mighty difficult for him to hit anyone (I think the only damage came
from the giant randomly backing into the fighter). Most of the damage came
from the fighter’s blows and the cleric’s heat metal spell. The
thief/psionicist kept failing to strike the giant with double pain, at least
until the very end.

The giant finally fell and the party was, to say the least, very excited.
They cut the giant’s head off and proceeded to carry it through the towns
Grishnak had terrorised.


There had been such a build up to the giant encounter that I felt there had
to be some sort of major rewards. Rather than simply giving out treasure, I
awarded fame. The party went around and collected bounties, and as they
travelled they were accepted as heroes throughout the lands. Here are some
of the rumors that the PCs received following their defeat of Grishnak:

– Word of the exploits of Unar’s Hammer has reached the Humber
coast and the cities of Yartshire and Sherborne. The tales of
the defeat of Grishnak the merciless are second only to the
stories of Gipin’s defeat of Navagoras the Magnificent.

– A group calling themselves “Heros of the Dark Fist” has claimed
responsibility for the defeat of Grishnak the Merciless. They say that
Unar’s Hammer had accosted them after their defeat of the giant, while they
were still weak, and stole the giant’s head. They proved their claims by
showing they had possession of Grishnak’s hands and feet.

Loren Miller


This plot assumes that player characters are members of an extended
family, or clan, and all live in the same castle/villa/manse. My
campaign is a RuneQuest campaign set in Carmania, which is a cold and
snowy land that was the heart of a splendid ancient empire conquered
and kept by warfare, and is now the heart of a growing merchant

Strange ship docks at the clan village, word is sent to the clan to
pick up Farwalker, the chief’s half-brother and wandering-merchant/
capitalist-oppressor-pig who has been gone for many years. He is sick,
very cold, and is clutching something in his hands. His hands cannot
be pried apart without breaking his fingers, something the chief (in
my campaign his nickname was Stoneface, but the PCs called him
“chief”) would be very upset about.

Chief installs his brother in a sickroom, and appoints a PC to
watch him, alternating with other family members. A rivalry would be a
good thing to encourage here, because it makes the rest of the plot

Word comes that someone has been killed in the village. PCs are
sent to investigate. Discover several brutal murders. Chase the
murderer around, path leads to the clan house/castle/villa/manse.

While the PCs are out of the room, the rival searches through uncle
Farwalker’s clothes and finds something, half of an ivory idol, and
removes it to his rooms. Then he comes back, pretending nothing has
happened. In the meantime, the murderer has snuck into the sickroom,
put out the lights, and is killing uncle Farwalker as the rival walks
in and lights a candle to see what’s going on. The murderer is a yeti
or some other huge, hairy, tough humanoid (in my campaign it is a snow
troll from the glaciers) which was looking for an idol that Farwalker

The PCs come in about the same time that the rival is being ripped
up by the murderer and join the battle. What happens after this is up
to you, but the PCs will probably discover the half idol, should
interrogate the rival, may want to find where the idol came from, may
want to return it, and may have to deal with more attempts to recover
the idol. And… the idol might be cursed, or blessed, or an
ingredient in a world-shattering magical ritual.

The Borrowers re-visited
Phil Scadden


Ever enjoy “The Borrowers” as a child? Consider the possibilities of suddenly
shrinking the players to say 15 to 40 cm. Cats, dogs, rats become serious
monsters, a 3 foot wall becomes a major obstacle. To get back to normal size
they need say a potion found only on a high shelf. Make this a test of
ingenuity with utilising ordinary objects. Any genre will do!

Jericho Jones and Kruger Bioprime
Colin Steele


A CP2020 scenario follows.
TRADEMARK NOTICE. Cyperpunk(tm) is a trademark of R. Talsorian Games Inc.

Copyright (C) 1992 Colin A. Steele

This document is free. Permission is given to redistribute it and/or
modify it under 2 conditions:

1. My name stays on it.
2. No profit is made from redistribution or modification.

This is not meant to be a fully fleshed-out adventure. There are many
gaping holes, that you, the GM, are gonna have to fill. My intention
was to create a framework which was sufficiently fleshed out to be
useful, but flexible enough to be adapted to your campaign.

Thanks, and enjoy.


Jericho Jones

Rocko, a small-time fixer known to one party member, contacts the
party with a “favor” to ask. He has a client, Malachi Jones, who
needs to have his son returned to him. To emphasize the “favor”
appeal, make one of the characters, preferably a nomad, somehow owe a
favor to Malachi Jones. If the characters are stupid enough to do
this as a “favor”, Rocko pockets a big wad of cash. If the characters
are smart, Rocko makes them the real offer. His client offers 10,000
eb for the return of Jericho Jones, the son of Malachi Jones, the
chief of the Jones Tribe. Jericho is hiding out in Sky Mesa, with the
tribe of nomads living in the area.

The characters accept the job, and travel to Sky Mesa.

They arrive in the middle of a firefight. The tribe of nomads living
in Sky Mesa is getting the shit kicked out of ’em by the local
wastelanders, the Fury. Jericho is nowhere to be seen. If the
characters look *specifically* at the Fury’s tactics, they’ll notice
that the Fury is being semi-methodical, as if looking for someone.
The characters join in on the side of the Sky Mesa tribe, of course,
and eventually chase off the Fury. Again, if the characters are being
careful and keeping their eyes open, they’ll see part of the Fury’s
gang hop in an AV-4. (An extremely odd possession for a wastelander
gang.) But, the AV-4 has no markings, and it speeds off into the night
before the characters can do anything more. The rest of the Fury
takes off in cyberbikes.

The massacre is a sight. Women and children are just so much
lunch meat. Many RV’s and trailers are ablaze. If the characters are
helpful, offering medical aid, etc., they will be taken to see
Jericho. Play the massacre up for maximum compassion effect.

The characters meet Jericho. Jericho explains that he and his father,
Malachi, had a huge falling out last year, and Jericho has been at Sky
Mesa ever since. Jericho was trying to prove to his father that
Kruger Bioprime, a mid-size multinational, is bad news. It’s obvious
that Jericho is a righteous dude. He cares about people, and is
trying to create a better life for the people of Sky Mesa. In fact,
he’s the de facto leader of the Sky Mesa tribe.

You ask, “Why is Jericho down on Kruger, when Kruger Bioprime has been
downright friendly with the Jones Tribe?” As part of a “multicultural
activism campaign” to “improve the public’s perception of Kruger
Bioprime”, they have been helping the Jones Tribe fight to regain some
land titles to property in Salt Lick.

Jericho never bought the corp’s bullshit. He has always suspected
something more sinister, but hasn’t been able to prove anything. To
boot, the corp has been winning some of the court battles, and the
Jones Tribe now has legal rights to some property in Salt Lick. That
makes it even harder for Jericho to talk sense to Malachi.

Jericho lays the cards on the table. He asks the characters to help
him find the dirt on Kruger. If the characters are of the mind just
to collect their money, Jericho will outbid his father – offering to
double their fee. Of course, he’s full of it. The Sky Mesa tribe can
only pay about 1/2 of the 10,000 eb the characters were originally
offered for the job. But anyhow, Jericho’ll play both on the
characters pocket book sense, and on their sense of justice. And, he
adds, if they can indeed turn the tables on Kruger Bioprime, the Sky
Mesa tribe will “owe them”.

Now if the characters just want to bag Jericho, fine. Let ’em.
They’ll have no problem bringing him in to ‘ole Pop. They’ll collect
their fee, and head off into the sunset. What they won’t know is that
the Sky Mesa tribe springs Jericho from incarceration in the Jones
tribe. Much later, they’ll read in the news about what Kruger
Bioprime is really doing in Salt Lick.


The Real Fax

Kruger Bioprime *is* bad news. They’ve got Malachi Jones on the
payroll, keeping him quiet and rich, while they wrestle deeds out of
the legal system and into Malachi’s hands. Don’t even ask what
they’re doing to the unwitting members of the Jones tribe.

The story goes something like this:

With some serious hush money, Kruger convinced Malachi to let them
build a secret R&D/training base on one of the parcels of land. The
base was completed over a year ago and code-named Cadence Canyon. The
original purpose of the base was lost when a violent internal coup put
Katherine Washington in power at Kruger. A smart Kruger exec, by the
name of Charles Marsh, was bucking to get a promotion to associate VP,
and took over as the Candence Canyon project leader. He realized that
Cadence is in the middle of nowhere, and has a more or less captive
population. It’s perfect for dumping hazardous waste, new product
testing, covert op training, you name it! Mr. Marsh sent several
memos around to this effect, which is perfect dirt for Jericho to dig
up. If he can.

Kruger planned to use the Jones tribe for product testing/op training,
and they’ve made good on the plan, so far. Malachi doesn’t know it,
but Kruger has already been testing a new virus on a small segment of
the Joneses. The virus hasn’t broken out yet, but it’s a new form of
anthrax which cannot live in soil. (Perfect for military
applications!) About 10% of the tribe is infected. Kruger plans to
try out their cure on 1/2 of the infected 10%, and let the other half
die to see how effective the virus is. (Kruger doesn’t know it yet,
but their manufacturing process is for shit, and this is the only run
of the virus that will be useful. It’ll take them about another year
to produce a second batch.)

Although Malachi doesn’t know about the virus, he suspects something
might be up. Kruger knows this, and when Malachi reaches the breaking
point, which they know he will, they’ll waste him. Then, according to
some keen legalese, the deeds revert to Kruger. Imagine that! Then,
Kruger can do whatever they please with the Jones tribe.

Through their two moles in the Jones tribe, Kruger learned that
Jericho was trying to dis ’em. Wanting to protect their investment,
Kruger ordered Malachi to “lean” on the Sky Mesa tribe. So, Malachi
hired the Fury. Big mistake. The Fury was too cybered up and
psychoed out for Malachi to control. Plus, their leader is kinda
greedy. So, when Kruger asked them to go ahead and waste Jericho, for
10,000 eb, they didn’t think twice. They took it upon themselves to
*wipe out* the Sky Mesa tribe, and put Jericho’s head on a stick in
front of their leader’s tent. Malachi realized his mistake, and,
wanting to save his son, hired the characters to kidnap him. He
doesn’t know that the Fury are playing both ends against the middle.



So, the characters team up with Jericho Jones! Now the fun starts.
They’ve got to get some dirt on Kruger, ASAP. In the previous
episode, the characters got hired to find Jericho and return him to
Malachi Jones. They landed in a firefight between the Fury and the
Sky Mesa tribe. Little did they know that the Fury were in the pay of
Kruger Bioprime *and* Malachi Jones. Kinda ironic, huh?

The Fury are planning another raid on Sky Mesa, and have some scouts
observing the movements of the tribe. If the characters move Jericho,
the Fury will know about it, and will attack at the first opportune
moment. Otherwise, they’ll stage an attack on the Sky Mesa camp the
night following.

Perceptive characters will know that a) they Fury were using an AV-4,
and b) they were hunting for someone. If the characters make a point
of it, one of the Sky Mesa bunch will volunteer a few digital photos
of the AV-4, taken during the raid. The characters may decide to
analyze these. Another clue: if there are any bodies of Furies,
perceptive characters who make a coupla’ skill checks will find out
that the Furies are sporting some keen *new* cyberware. Finally, if
there are any living Furies, they might be interrogated to reveal some
useful clues.

All of the clues will point the characters back towards a particular
fixer in Night City. From that fixer, they’ll be able to make the
connection to Kruger Bioprime.


A Thousand Words

The photo analysis will yield a vehicle ID number – but only after
some serious skill checks, time and cash. The characters can try it
themselves, using Photo&Film skill a program called DigiDesigner Pro,
and 8 hours. Or, they can call in some contacts to have it done, for
about 2000 eb. Once they locate the contact and upload the photos,
it’ll take 2 hours. If they use a contact, success is guaranteed (but
don’t tell them this).

The vehicle ID can be tracked down to a AV-4 reported stolen from a
Kruger Bioprime branch office in Night City six months ago. Included
in the NCPD files concerning the case are some interesting clues. The
case notes indicate that at the scene of the crime, investigators
found the tag symbol of the gang known as the Icemen. No gang members
could be apprehended for questioning, so the lead was never properly
pursued. In addition, a pattern of vehicle theft was developing,
though not necessarily correlated with the Icemen. AVs and expensive
cars were disappearing at a fairly high rate, for about 3 months
around the time that this particular AV-4 was stolen.

The next step for the characters might be to find and question some
Icemen. This should be fairly difficult. The Icemen are a small
gang whose primary reason for existence is to supply the members with
enough cash to support their drug of choice – ice. Ice is a
little-know, highly addictive hallucinogen. The users can be easily
identified by one of the drug’s side effects – the user’s skin
temperature is significantly lower than normal. With some street deal
and some luck, they might be able to hook up with Frost, the leader,
and chief junkie, of the Icemen. From her, the characters might be
able to find out that Micky hired the Icemen to do most of the vehicle
theft, including the AV-4 in question. Then again, Frost might just
decide that the Icemen need to have some fun, and jam on the
characters heads! GM’s discretion on this one.



If there were any of the Fury still alive, the characters might want
to squeeze a little information out of them. None of the ‘dorphed out
Furies is going to be of much value, but each successful
Interrogation/Intimidation/whatever skill check (average difficulty –
+15) will yield one of the following clues: 1. Zap was in Night City two weekends ago.

2. A bunch of Furies got treated to lots of shiny new cybergear at
a place called Rael’s in Night City.

3. Zap stole the AV while he was in Night City.

4. Zap and part of the gang did a road trip to Salt Lick three weeks
ago. While there, Zap said he had business to take care of and
left for a couple of days.

5. Zap says we’re supposed to kill Jericho Jones.

6. Zap’s input, Jet, broke up with him last week and moved to Night

Clue #1 can be used to search police records to find that a person
matching Zap’s description was picked up on disturbing the peace
charges in a Night City club called the Rainbow Nights. The
characters might be able to find out from a savvy waitress that Zap
was seen talking biz in the corner with Micky the fixer.

Clue #6 can be used to track down Jet, and find out from her that Zap
got a big wad of cash from “some fixer” to “waste Jericho Jones”.


Bright Lights

If the characters check out the cyberware on the dead Furies, and make
an average (+15) CyberTech skill check, they’ll determine that it’s of
local manufacture, and find out its serial number. They can chase
that down by either making the right connections (for 200 eb and an
average Streetwise or easy Streetdeal skill check) or by an difficult
CyberTech skill check. The designer is Rael Sanchez, a Night City
ripperdoc operating out of Rael’s Bodysculpting and Tatoo. (p. 98 in
Night City).

Time to head into the city! Note that the Fury is too dense to report
the characters’ movements to Kruger Bioprime. Their laced-out brains
are filled with only one thought – ultraviolence on Jericho Jones.

If the characters pay a visit to Rael’s Bodysculpting, and make an
average (+15) notice skill check, they’ll see that Rael has some
concealed security cameras. If they grease Rael’s palm enough, or
intimidate, or whatever, he’ll let them take a peek at the footage
taken when the Furies came to visit. After about 2 hours of watching
the Furies bounce around the clinic, harass other customers, and have
black cyberware installed, they’ll catch Zap, the Furies’ leader, say
to Rael, “Good thing Micky gave us cash!” Hmm.


You’re So Fine

Characters who are fixers and are familiar with Night City will
automatically have heard of Micky. Characters with Streewise skill
will recognize her name on a successful skill check of average
difficulty. Micky is a fairly well-known edgerunner who works
primarily out of a dingy gym on the edge of the Zone.

To get info from Micky our heroes will either have to pay, bully, or
hack her data system. It’ll take some serious finagling to see Micky,
in any case. If Jericho is with the characters, she’ll take off and
order her bodyguards to kill Jericho. If not, she’ll demand 12,000 eb
for the information. She can be bargained down as far as 5,000 eb.
Or, the characters can try to intimidate/persuade/fast
talk/seduce/interrogate. But, she’s one tough cookie, and her
bodyguards won’t take kindly to interrogation or intimidation.

The characters could also try to wrest the data from Micky’s data

One way or another, the characters find out from Micky that Charles
Marsh hired her to deal with the Fury. (Jericho’s fears are indeed
true!) Micky has done other work for Mr. Marsh and Kruger Bioprime,
including the vehicle roundup carried out by the Icemen. Furthermore,
she knows that Charles is working on some sort of secret base. She
doesn’t know where. She’ll even reveal that Malachi Jones is paying
the Fury to lean on the Sky Mesa tribe. Micky thinks this is a truly
amusing state of affairs.

Jericho’s reaction to the information Micky provides is a mixed one.
Jericho is outraged at the news that his own father hired the
wastelanders to rough up the Sky Mesa tribe. He also doesn’t
understand why. Jericho is properly justified, and not unsurprised
when he learns that Kruger Bioprime is trying to kill him. It only
hardens his resolve to make Malachi see the light.

The real question is, do the characters think their job is done? If
the characters are of a mind to teach Kruger a lesson, then just push

Of course, Jericho feels that this is just tip of the iceberg, and
that they should try to push a bit further. He’ll try his best to
persuade them to do so, and if he can’t he’ll vow to “do it on his
own” if he has to. Once again, the GM should play this up for maximum
compassion/anti-establishment/potential-monetary-gain effect. If the
characters bag out, fine. Jericho promises to send his brother to pay
them (which he’ll do, but only with 5,000 eb.) They’ll read about the
battle that Jericho, the Joneses, and the Sky Mesa tribe fight against
the Kruger ops at Cadence Canyon.

If the characters want to continue, then Jericho decides it’s time to
tell Malachi. He’ll travel home to Salt Lick, and meet his father,
who is overjoyed to see him. They’ll go have a heart-to-heart. Since
Malachi doesn’t know that the characters are working for Jericho,
unless they told him, he’ll credit the characters’ accounts with
10,000 eb. If they don’t have an account, he’ll surreptitiously slip
’em the cash. Either way, they won’t find out about it until after
the next episode in the adventure.

Malachi and Jericho will emerge a couple of hours later, and call an
emergency meeting. The Sky Mesa tribe will travel down to Salt Lick
to join in.


The War Council

The chiefs of the Jones tribe and the Sky Mesa tribe have decided to
let the cat out of the bag. Malachi will announce, with great shame,
the whole story about Kruger to the tribes. He tells them about the
secret base, and about his suspicions. Jericho tells them about the
Kruger connection to the Fury attacks. The tribes are incensed!

A quick vote is taken by the tribes, and the decision is unanimous –
they must rid Salt Lick of Kruger Bioprime. They begin to draw up
their plans to do so.

Malachi takes the characters aside, and thanks them for returning his
son. He tells them about their payment, and tells them, gravely, that
he is forever in their debt for saving his son. He informs them that
they are not obligated to join in the battle against the Cadence
Canyon base. He offers them a car to return them to Night City, turns
on his heel, and leaves.

Now, what kind of people are the characters? Here’s the real test.
Do they leave the battered tribes to fight alone against the sinister
Kruger Bioprime? They might. In fact, it’s really good theatrics if
they do, and then have second thoughts, and come screaming back into
the middle of the firefight at Cadence Canyon, just in time to turn
the tide against the highly trained Kruger ops.

But, if they don’t, that’s OK too. They’ll read about the horrendous
battle at the podunk town of Salt Lick, and the allegations of the
Jones tribe that they were used as guinea pigs. Jericho will call
them three days later from a hospital bed, and tell them that their
payment is on the way. He also tells them that the tribes discovered
that the corp had infected some tribe members with the virus, and that
they had gotten the cure from a lab in the base. He thanks them, and
hangs up. The next day, an AV-4 – the same one that the Fury was
using – shows up, and a Sky Mesa nomad hands ’em the keys.


Cadence Canyon

The Jones and Sky Mesa tribes may have some difficulty in their
attack, because the Kruger facility is well guarded. Cadence Canyon
is at the end of a dirt road, off of what used to be highway 145.
Highway 145 winds out of Salt Lick to the north, towards the
foothills. It’s a narrow, two lane asphalt road badly in need of
repair. Boulders, rocky outcropping’s, and bare earth surround the
base, and the only cover is a few scraggly trees and bushes.

The tribes plan to attack at 1 AM. The Jones’s weatherman predicts it
will be a moonless night, so the nomads may be able to surprise the
guards and effect a successful breakin. Jericho will lead a
hand-picked band of Sky Mesa nomads in a stealthy rear attack, while
Malachi will take a much larger group and use them in a frontal

There are 6 guards, 2 “Section 7’s” (highly trained security ops), a
research team of 9, 4 administrative personnel, and 2 executives at
Cadence Canyon. A fairly sophisticated electronic surveillance
network monitors the facility at all times, which the nomads will have
to defeat or circumvent in order to get in.

It is a two-floor facility, with the labs on the ground floor, and the
offices on the second floor. There is an AV pad on the roof, and the
security team makes regular patrols in the AV (about every hour and a

The rest of the details are up to the GM…

Cast of Characters


ROLE: Nomad (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 6 REF: 10 TECH: 5
MA: 6 BODY: 8 EMP: 9

LIFT: 320 CRRY: 80

BTM: -3 IP: 0
SAVE: 8 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 20 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

family: +5 ( ) endurance: +4 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +3 ( INT) wilderness survival: +1 ( INT)
athletics: +9 ( REF) brawling: +2 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +4 ( REF)
rifle: +3 ( REF) basic tech: +6 (TECH)

strength feat: +1 (BODY) swimming: +1 (BODY)
interrogation: +1 (COOL) oratory: +1 (COOL)
human perception: +1 ( EMP) interview: +1 ( EMP)
accounting: +1 ( INT) shadow/track: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) fencing: +1 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
AV tech: +1 (TECH) first aid: +1 (TECH)
forgery: +1 (TECH) pick pocket: +1 (TECH)

CyberOptics: Infrared

Armor EV SP EB
Flack Vest 1 20 200

Dai Lung Streetmaster Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+3 12 2 UR 50m 250
H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450


ROLE: Nomad (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 10 TECH: 10
COOL: 5 ATTR: 10 LUCK: 3
MA: 8 BODY: 5 EMP: 7

LIFT: 200 CRRY: 50

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 5 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

family: +5 ( ) endurance: +2 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +4 ( INT) wilderness survival: +3 ( INT)
athletics: +6 ( REF) brawling: +3 ( REF)
driving: +5 ( REF) melee: +1 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) basic tech: +6 (TECH)

resist torture or drugs: +1 (COOL) streetwise: +1 (COOL)
social: +1 ( EMP) accounting: +2 ( INT)
hide/evade: +3 ( INT) library search: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) AV tech: +3 (TECH)
disguise: +1 (TECH) electronic security: +3 (TECH)

CyberAudio with: Wearman
Rippers (2D6 dam)
CyberOptics: Infrared

Armor EV SP EB
Kevlar T-Shirt 0 10 90

Militech Arms Avenger Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+1 10 2 VR 50m 250


ROLE: Nomad (63 Char. Pts)
INT: 6 REF: 10 TECH: 9
MA: 10 BODY: 6 EMP: 7

LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 0 | 20 | 20 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

family: +3 ( ) endurance: +2 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +8 ( INT) wilderness survival: +5 ( INT)
athletics: +3 ( REF) brawling: +3 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +4 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) basic tech: +4 (TECH)

strength feat: +3 (BODY) oratory: +1 (COOL)
social: +1 ( EMP) botany: +1 ( INT)
education & gen. knowledge: +1 ( INT) history: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) system knowledge: +1 ( INT)
dodge/escape: +1 ( REF) submachinegun: +2 ( REF)
forgery: +2 (TECH) gyro tech: +1 (TECH)

CyberOptics: Camera
CyberOptics: Targeting scope (+1 to smartgun att.)
Reflex Boost (Sandevistan – +2 init. rolls)

Armor EV SP EB
Hvy. Armor Jacket 2 20 250

H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700


ROLE: Fixer (53 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 4 TECH: 6
COOL: 8 ATTR: 3 LUCK: 10
MA: 3 BODY: 2 EMP: 10

LIFT: 80 CRRY: 20

BTM: 0 IP: 0
SAVE: 2 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

streetdeal: +5 ( ) intimidate: +6 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +3 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +5 ( INT)
brawling: +3 ( REF) handgun: +2 ( REF)
melee: +3 ( REF) forgery: +4 (TECH)
pick lock: +5 (TECH) pick pocket: +4 (TECH)

endurance: +1 (BODY) swimming: +1 (BODY)
oratory: +1 (COOL) chemistry: +1 ( INT)
composition: +1 ( INT) library search: +1 ( INT)
physics: +1 ( INT) programming: +1 ( INT)
stock market: +1 ( INT) martial art(___________): +1 ( REF)
pilot gyro: +1 ( REF)
CyberOptics: Infrared
CyberAudio with: Wearman
Rippers (2D6 dam)

Armor EV SP EB
Spiked Leather Jacket 0 5 150

Federated Arms X-22 Lt. AutoPistol +0 J E 1D6+1 10 2 ST 50m 150


ROLE: Fixer (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 5 TECH: 5
MA: 9 BODY: 4 EMP: 3

LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 0 | 20 | 20 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

streetdeal: +2 ( ) intimidate: +8 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +4 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +3 ( INT)
brawling: +2 ( REF) handgun: +3 ( REF)
melee: +3 ( REF) forgery: +4 (TECH)
pick lock: +5 (TECH) pick pocket: +6 (TECH)

interview: +1 ( EMP) anthropology: +2 ( INT)
composition: +1 ( INT) geology: +1 ( INT)
hide/evade: +1 ( INT) zoology: +1 ( INT)
archery: +1 ( REF) martial art(___________): +1 ( REF)
pilot gyro: +1 ( REF) cyberdeck design: +1 (TECH)
electronics: +1 (TECH)
CyberAudio with: Radio Splice
Slice ‘n Dice (2D6 dam)
CyberAudio with: Digital Recording Link

Armor EV SP EB
Hvy. Armor Jacket 2 20 250

H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700


ROLE: Solo (49 Char. Pts)
INT: 9 REF: 9 TECH: 3
MA: 3 BODY: 6 EMP: 5

LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 14 | 14 | 14 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

combat sense: +4 ( ) awareness/notice: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +5 ( REF) handgun: +7 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +5 ( REF) melee: +1 ( REF)
rifle: +4 ( REF) stealth: +2 ( REF)
submachinegun: +7 ( REF) weaponsmith: +1 (TECH)

swimming: +1 (BODY) intimidate: +1 (COOL)
seduction: +1 ( EMP) social: +1 ( EMP)
botany: +1 ( INT) chemistry: +1 ( INT)
shadow/track: +1 ( INT) dodge/escape: +2 ( REF)
operate hvy. machinery: +1 ( REF) paint or draw: +1 (TECH)
photo film: +1 (TECH)
CyberOptics: Infrared
Reflex Boost (Kerenzikov – +1 init. rolls)
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)

Armor EV SP EB
Light Armor Jacket 0 14 150

Fabrica D’Armes M2012 Hvy. Assault Rifle +2 N P 6D6+2 30 4 VR 400m1400
Dai Lung Cybermag 15 Lt. AutoPistol -1 P C 1D6+1 10 2 UR 50m 50
Sternmeyer SMG 12 Hvy. SMG -1 L E 3D6 30 15 VR 200m 500
H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450

Rael Sanchez

ROLE: Medtechie (62 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 4 TECH: 8
MA: 8 BODY: 7 EMP: 4

LIFT: 280 CRRY: 70

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 7 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 18 | 18 | 18 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

medical tech: +5 ( ) human perception: +4 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +3 ( INT) diagnose illness: +1 ( INT)
education & gen. knowledge: +7 ( INT) library search: +3 ( INT)
zoology: +1 ( INT) basic tech: +6 (TECH)
cryotank operation: +2 (TECH) pharmaceuticals: +8 (TECH)

stock market: +2 ( INT) teaching: +1 ( INT)
cybertech: +8 (TECH)

CyberAudio with: Phone Link
Rippers (2D6 dam)

Armor EV SP EB
Med. Armor Jacket 1 18 200

Dai Lung Streetmaster Med. AutoPistol +0 J E 2D6+3 12 2 UR 50m 250



ROLE: StreetPunk (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 10 REF: 5 TECH: 8
COOL: 7 ATTR: 4 LUCK: 10
MA: 9 BODY: 2 EMP: 10

LIFT: 80 CRRY: 20

BTM: 0 IP: 0
SAVE: 2 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 20 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

intimidate: +2 (COOL) streetwise: +3 (COOL)
persuasion or fast talk: +2 ( EMP) awareness/notice: +2 ( INT)
brawling: +2 ( REF) melee: +2 ( REF)
rifle: +2 ( REF) stealth: +6 ( REF)
submachinegun: +4 ( REF) pharmaceuticals: +3 (TECH)
pick lock: +1 (TECH)

CyberAudio with: Amplified Hearing
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)
Slice ‘n Dice (2D6 dam)

Armor EV SP EB
Flack Vest 1 20 200

H&K MP-2013 Lt. SMG +1 J C 2D6+3 30 32 ST 150m 450


ROLE: Corporate (51 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 5 TECH: 3
MA: 7 BODY: 4 EMP: 9

LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

resources: +6 ( ) personal grooming: +7 (ATTR)
wardrobe & style: +2 (ATTR) human perception: +5 ( EMP)
social: +1 ( EMP) persuasion or fast talk: +3 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) education & gen. knowledge: +4 ( INT)
library search: +7 ( INT) stock market: +4 ( INT)

anthropology: +1 ( INT) history: +1 ( INT)
wilderness survival: +2 ( INT) athletics: +1 ( REF)
dance: +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
AV pilot: +1 ( REF) submachinegun: +1 ( REF)
cyberdeck design: +1 (TECH) first aid: +1 (TECH)
pick pocket: +1 (TECH)

CyberAudio with: Amplified Hearing

Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Suit 0 4 50

Arasaka Miniami 10 Med. SMG +0 J E 2D6+3 40 20 VR 200m 500


ROLE: Nomad (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 4 REF: 6 TECH: 5
COOL: 10 ATTR: 4 LUCK: 2
MA: 4 BODY: 6 EMP: 9

LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 5 | 5 | 5 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

family: +4 ( ) endurance: +3 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +4 ( INT) wilderness survival: +1 ( INT)
athletics: +7 ( REF) brawling: +4 ( REF)
driving: +5 ( REF) melee: +3 ( REF)
rifle: +6 ( REF) basic tech: +3 (TECH)

wardrobe & style: +1 (ATTR) intimidate: +1 (COOL)
perform: +1 ( EMP) anthropology: +1 ( INT)
hide/evade: +2 ( INT) AV pilot: +1 ( REF)
aero tech: +1 (TECH) cybertech: +1 (TECH)
pharmaceuticals: +1 (TECH)
Big Knucks (1D6 + 2 dam)

Armor EV SP EB
Spiked Leather Jacket 0 5 150

Kalishnikov A-80 Hvy. Assault Rifle -1 N E 6D6+2 35 25 ST 400m 550



ROLE: StreetPunk (35 Char. Pts)
INT: 4 REF: 3 TECH: 4
MA: 5 BODY: 4 EMP: 4

LIFT: 160 CRRY: 40

BTM: -1 IP: 0
SAVE: 4 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 4 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

intimidate: +1 (COOL) persuasion or fast talk: +4 ( EMP)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) brawling: +1 ( REF)
dodge/escape: +2 ( REF) handgun: +1 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +3 ( REF) melee: +2 ( REF)
submachinegun: +1 ( REF) pick lock: +2 (TECH)
pick pocket: +3 (TECH)

CyberArm with: Heavy Pistol

Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Suit 0 4 50

Sternmeyer Type 35 Hvy. AutoPistol +0 J C 3D6 8 2 VR 50m 400
Sternmeyer Stakeout 10 Shotgun -2 N R 4D6 10 2 ST 50m 450



ROLE: Nomad (50 Char. Pts)
INT: 8 REF: 6 TECH: 7
MA: 3 BODY: 5 EMP: 6

LIFT: 200 CRRY: 50

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 5 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 4 | 4 | 4 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

family: +5 ( ) endurance: +4 (BODY)
awareness/notice: +1 ( INT) wilderness survival: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +4 ( REF) brawling: +4 ( REF)
driving: +3 ( REF) melee: +7 ( REF)
rifle: +3 ( REF) basic tech: +5 (TECH)

personal grooming: +1 (ATTR) interrogation: +1 (COOL)
seduction: +1 ( EMP) persuasion or fast talk: +1 ( EMP)
accounting: +1 ( INT) geology: +1 ( INT)
language(___________): +1 ( INT) mathematics: +1 ( INT)
programming: +1 ( INT) teaching: +2 ( INT)
heavy weapons: +1 ( REF) pilot dirigible: +1 ( REF)
electronics: +1 (TECH)
Big Knucks (1D6 + 2 dam)
CyberOptics: Antidazzle

Armor EV SP EB
Heavy Leather Jacket 0 4 50

Uzi Miniauto 9 Lt. SMG +1 J E 2D6+1 30 35 VR 150m 475

Generic Kruger Solo

ROLE: Solo (65 Char. Pts)
INT: 7 REF: 8 TECH: 6
MA: 7 BODY: 6 EMP: 8

LIFT: 240 CRRY: 60

BTM: -2 IP: 0
SAVE: 6 REP: 0
Location: Head|Torso|R.Arm|L.Arm|R.Leg|L.Leg:
: 1 | 2-4 | 5 | 6 | 7-8 | 9-0 :
Armor SP: 0 | 10 | 0 | 0 | 0 | 0 :
:Light Ser. Cri. Mor0 Mor1:
Stun: 0 1 2 3 4 :
:Mor2 Mor3 Mor4 Mor5 Mor6:
Stun: 5 6 7 8 9 :

combat sense: +5 ( ) awareness/notice: +4 ( INT)
athletics: +4 ( REF) handgun: +6 ( REF)
martial art(___________): +3 ( REF) melee: +3 ( REF)
rifle: +5 ( REF) stealth: +6 ( REF)
submachinegun: +4 ( REF)

personal grooming: +1 (ATTR) strength feat: +1 (BODY)
oratory: +1 (COOL) streetwise: +1 (COOL)
gamble: +2 ( INT) hide/evade: +1 ( INT)
system knowledge: +1 ( INT) archery: +1 ( REF)
dance: +1 ( REF) pilot fixed wing: +1 ( REF)
basic tech: +1 (TECH) demolitions: +1 (TECH)
play instrument: +2 (TECH)

Reflex Boost (Kerenzikov – +1 init. rolls)
Vampires (1D6/3 dam)
CyberOptics: Infrared

Armor EV SP EB
Kevlar T-Shirt 0 10 90

Uzi Miniauto 9 Lt. SMG +1 J E 2D6+1 30 35 VR 150m 475
H&K MPK-11 Hvy. SMG +0 L C 4D6+1 30 20 ST 200m 700


Corporate Report: Kruger Bioprime

Industry: Biotech. Custom Organisms for the defense and agriculture

HQ: Dallas

Regional Offices: Night City, D.C., Chicago, Boston

Name & Location of major shareholder: Anthony Linsky, Geneva.

Employees: 1200; Troops: 110; Covert: 6


Kruger is a 10 year old company. Kruger specializes in
hard-to-design, hard-to-produce custom organisms for special
applications. Most of its business is with the US provisional
government. However, it is trying to diversify, hoping to be bought
out by Militech. It went public 5 years ago, and is doing well, but
not well enough to attract much new investment or interest. The Board
is hoping for a breakthrough with the Cadence Canyon project.

Equipment and Resources:

4 AV-4’s (legally owned)
2 AV-4’s (illegally obtained)
The home office and the Cadence Canyon facility have non-surgery
capable infirmaries.


Micky’s Data Fortress

**CV T***
** *** *
*X12 A *
** **

1,2,3,4 = MU
* = Data Wall
G = Code Gate
T = Terminal in Micky’s Office
V = Micky’s MetroCar
C = Security Cams in the Gym
L = Alarm

Data Walls: +4
Code Gate: +2
System INT: 3
System Skills:
Library Search
Stock Market

Defense Location Code Notes
Watchdog M1 A –
Killer IV M4 B –
Stun M3 – In M3

File Type Location Locked?
HomeWare interface questions Inter-Office M1 no
New ACS alias Inter-Office M1 no
C. Bazer address/phone # Inter-Office M1 no
zombie process Inter-Office M1 no
dial-in line changes Inter-Office M1 no
NEW OPTIONS & MORE Inter-Office M1 no
RE: Memorandum ambiguities Inter-Office M1 no

Micky’s Black Book Database M4 yes
Prime Client List Database M4 yes
Shit List Database M4 yes

Memo: creating warez that sells Business Records M1 no
Memo: dialogic stuff Business Records M1 no
Memo: CyDeck performance tests Business Records M1 no
Venn Diagram of Life Autumnal Business Records M1 yes
Q2 financials (draft) Business Records M2 yes

People we have Blackmail on Grey Ops M3 yes
Meeting reminder Grey Ops M3 yes
Did you get my voice mail? Grey Ops M3 yes
Kruger Grey Ops M3 yes

Financials Transactions M1 no
Balance Sheet Transactions M1 yes

Ray A Reaux


Tired of your old campaign? Are the PCs getting somewhat institutionalized,
with no new challenged. Do you want to create a new campaign world, but
still retain the old PCs. These are suggestions for switching campaigns
gracefully, but also spectacularly. The idea is to give a reason and
background for the shift, and make it something more than “Bob, the game
master is tired of his old campaign, so he said that we found a cubic gate
and want to go plane hopping.”

In order to switch campaigns, “kill” the PCs. Actually put them in a no-win
situation where they will all die. Remember, you want ALL the players
DEAD! Leaving one or two alive can cause problems since he or she may want
to resurrect the dead PCs. Also, do not arbitrarily kill them, make them go
out with a BANG, not a whimper. It is kind of unheroic to be told “Well
John, you were walking in a dark ally, and some assassin snuck up behind you
and stuck a knife in you. You’re dead.”

[In my campaign, I had the PCs fight an entire wagon train of vampires and
attendant werewolves. However, the PCs, being their normal perverse
selves, almost destroyed the vampires. They tracked the wagon train back to
the nasties’ lair, which had an entire village of vampire and werewolves.
Even high level characters will be overwhelmed by an entire village of
vampires and werewolves, and the characters did destroy a lot of them in a
knock-down drag out fight, and they went out with a BANG.]

The idea of course is not to destroy the PCs but to give an imaginative way
to shift campaign worlds. So introduce several NPCs before they go to their
doom, and have one of them be a disguised demigod on a recruiting mission.
It would be great if the NPC is introduced early, (not as a demigod but as
someone of moderate competence but not overshadowing the PC), the rationale
being that he or she is scouting the PCs’ abilities. When a PC dies, the
NPC demigod collects their spirit/soul.

The follow-up campaign can start on a different plane or, as in my campaign,
sometime in the future. It is up to them to learn about the new world that
they are in, and the stranger the world from what they know, the more
interesting it will be for them to explore. This is a good opportunity to
“retune” the PCs, that is adapt their possessions to the new campaign by
removing unwanted items.

[I started with the same PCs finding themselves naked on top of a butte.
They saw two bodies near by, an unconscious man, and a summoning circle.
They later found out that they have been summoned by the three into their
future to either redeem or destroy their people. Turns out an evil force
called the Blood God had convinced humans to wipe out most of the other
races, and had then enslaved the humans, all but one nation of “good”
humans. The old gods were no longer worshipped, and forgotten.]

If you shift them into a campaign setting into the future, you can tantalize the
PCs with things familiar from their time. For instance:

[The PCs discovered that there was a “Tomb of Heroes” built just after their
“death” and dedicated to them for their heroic services in the past

History can also provide interesting side plots such as trying to get
information about what happened to their people, or even how to regain what
they have lost. For instance, to regain their favorite magic items, they
might have to look in old dusty tomes to find it, and once they do, how do
they get it back from whoever owns it now, if anyone. And their magic items
may now have history, after all would it not be interesting to know that the
that their +3 longsword named Brightwind was used in the Orc Campaign and is
now known by the Orcs as Crouch Splitter. You can also have the magic items
change, gaining/losing powers. Or else, as in my campaign:

[ The PCs went to the Tomb, where each found their best magic item from past
with a special supplemental power thrown in by the demigods so that they
could meet their god-ordained test. Along similar lines, they found that an
old NPC they knew, a dragon, was now the grandaddy of all dragons and the
only good dragon left alive.]

Prophecies and old histories work well. And what is written is never the
same as what actually occurred. You could have fun with the effects of
distortions on historical recollections. “Hmm, is that the church I
established. Their interpretation of my writings was never what I intended,
I guess I have to set them straight.” Or perhaps their battles have been
exaggerated out of proportion by minstrels. ” Hey, he’s singing about me
when I held the pass at Dragon’s Beak. Did I really hold it against 50
trolls by myself, I thought there were only 7, and I thought you were there

If you are prophecy minded, the PCs might have to unravel prophecies to
figure out why they are where they are. And if you do time translation,
since it is into the future, you don’t have to worry about paradoxes.

[ The PCs had to wade through old books of history they found in the Tomb of
heroes and tomb of kings to find out that their reason for being there was
to be judged by the gods. They found clues in old folk songs which spoke of
them and their deeds, as well as what the gods had inspired prophetic bards
to compose. They had to look at prophecies from the Red Book of Calcalsan
the Mad, an ancient prophet who lived after the PCs time, and was known for
his convoluted, but always correct prophecies.]

If you use this campaign shifting method, you need an epic villain,
something other than that nest of werewolves to kill. A quest format may be
appropriate where everything leads up to a final confrontation.

[In my campaign, the PCs were up against the Blood God who was an ancient
elf who had disguised himself as a human to lead the humans to destruction.
He wanted revenge because humans had destroyed his wife and nation in ages
past. The PC’s eventually got to the Blood God, after wading through giants,
dragons, and his ogre legions, but was at a dilemma as to what to do with
this elf, the last of his race. They chose to kill him instead of showing
mercy. The major gods judged humans as flawed and rabid, with no capacity
for mercy, and decided to destroy the world and remake it.]

This led to another, more spectacular way of changing campaigns.

[ In my campaign, several of the lesser gods, including the one who had
chose them, sided with the humans and took the most worthy of them with them
through a tunnel of light to another plane. So began a third campaign, the
exploration of a new world, rebuilding of a civilisation, and the evolution
of the PCs into demigod hood. ]

Sutekh and Adaz move house or Real Estate, cheap. Adventurer’s Dream
Jeff Stehman


[Editor’s note. What was written below was not intended for the
but as a kind of follow up on Jeff’s great net stories about Sutekh and Adaz
now happily married and living in the temple. The plot idea at end is a great
one and after talking with Jeff, decided that this was as good a way to
present it as any! Hope you find such housing for your PCs]

Now, Sutekh tries to be a reasonable man. Understanding that living on the
grounds of a temple in the boondocks is not his wife’s idea of paradise, he
agreed to quit his job and move to a city. He even went so far as to allow
her to make most of the arrangements for the move, hire the servants, etc.

He finds out, belatedly, that they are moving into a huge mansion they could
not reasonably be expected to afford. How are they managing this, he asks.
It’s being given to us, Adaz replies. Why, he inquires. We promised to
renovate the house and raise the standards of the neighborhood, she replies.
Oh, I see; and how, might I ask, are we going to do that? Don’t worry, she
answers, it will only be a few days work– maybe a few nights, too. Blink,
blink. Are there undead in this house?

Got it in one. It seems ancestors of some rather well-to-do family have not
been resting in peace. Many of them meddled in dark arts and set themselves
up as protectors of their own crypts. Over the years, this trickled down to
those who had nothing to do with light arts, much less dark arts. The
current heir is understandably a little upset, as he would is hoping for a
little peace and quiet upon his death. In order to break the curse, a new
family must take up permanent residence in the house. Naturally, no one is
that stupid, except Sutekh’s wife. The heir claims that the undead don’t
bother anyone as long as their personal space is not violated. (Over the
years their personal space has grown to encompass most of the house.)
Undead, however, are a rather touchy subject from Sutekh. He recently had
the crap beat out of him by one vampire, spent five weeks in an infirmary,
and then got bitten by another vampire. The heir promises that there are no
vampires in the family, but he is rather vague on what all is in there. Oh,
a variety of things, he says. Wee.

Adaz has apparently already taken the time to clear a wing of the house for
living space, while Sutekh is expected to take care of the rest of the
house. (Notice that he hasn’t actually volunteered for anything yet, nor
been offered a choice.) At least she has been kind enough for an old
clerical friend to help in this endeavour, but she sees this as an ideal
opportunity for her husband. You see, while staying at the temple, any
time he was called upon by king and country to use his talents as a spy, he
was gone for two weeks to two months. (Phantom Steed is his best spell;
cuts travel time *way* down.) And that was two or three times a year.
Inconvenient when one has a three year old son whose growth one would like
to witness. But now that is all a thing of the past. When he gets the
irresistible urge to fill his hand with steel, he need only walk down the

Yes, that’s right, it’s an adventurers dream home. What are you up to
today dear? I was thinking about flushing that wight out of the west wing.
Okay, but try not to be late for lunch. Heck, there’s even treasure in
those crypts.

Anyone want to buy a house *real* cheap?

The Changeling Curse
John Hays


The curse of an ancient evil Wizard King of an extinct, or nearly so,
race*, placed with his dying breath against the Human, Dwarven, and Elvan
races begins to rise after several centuries. A wizard, who was but a
young boy at the final battle has finally determined the location of the
Wizard King’s lab. Due to his advancing age and the dangers involved he
needs a party of adventures to retrieve the papers of the long dead King,
so he can determine the nature of the curse, and plan to defeat it.

* The race was a race of Changelings, capable of assuming the form and
specific appearance of any humanoid. The Wizard King planned to have the
Dwarves and Elves annihilate by having his race attack the two in the
others’ appearances. The Elves and Dwarves became so entangled in the
war, that they couldn’t see what was happening until the humans made them
listen and see what was happening. Then the three races joined forces to
eradicate the changelings.

Secret Nation
Alaric B. Williams


Netrunner PC is asked by journalist to intercept terms of treaty/declaration
of war due to be sent from enemy HQ to Whitehouse. PC is to hack into
communications node in the middle of the Pacific, set up a filter for that
message, and basically sit and wait for it. Simple enough.

However, while waiting, with a puff of error messages, a shocked looking NPC
materialises in the Node. He was connected through to his girlfriend on
holiday somewhere when the line broke up and he appeared here. He knows
little about comms and is mostly shocked. When the PC tells him to send a
hangup code, which should clear the problem, it doesn’t seem to work. Just
brings up cryptic error messages that give slight clue:

‘NODE #2342876123@NORTHPOLE – Invalid security access block, request
packet denied’

Typical computer gibberish. Anyway, the message duly turns up, and the PC
flits off to sell it to his journalist, who will publish it long before the
official release date, getting tonnes of money.

Anyway, a couple of missions later, the same NPC who was in the Node is
found in the PCs house – sitting in the lounge when the PC gets home. He is
a mostly cybernetic type, who head butted a speeding bullet a few years ago,
and has lost most of his personality. He is a programmed killing machine
under the control of a secret nation on the North Pole.

Anyway, he is very obtuse in talking, and sounds kinda mechanical and flat.
Answering all the PCs questions, although not very usefully, he takes the PC
outside to a small unmarked van. Any attempts at attack he will simply dodge
with unbelievable speed, thanks to his super hi-tech cyberware. If
necessary, he will pick up and carry the PC. But he will not hurt them.

When he gets them to the truck, inside is a powerful microwave transmitter
and a weird gadget, which is a very advanced network access device – it
scans in your entire molecular structure, converting you to energy in the
process. As you are actually in there rather than having senses fed back to
your brain through cables, the interaction quality is superb, plus the fact
that you can be rematerialised at another similar doorway.

This doorway leads to an assembly hall at the North Pole nation, who are a
secret society trying to sort out the screwed up economic state of the
planet for purely moral reasons. They have several underground bases, and
are alleviated of the problems of cold arctic conditions by having
everything exist in computers. They only materialise in the real world to
fix things and perform assassinations etc. in the real world. They have good
motives, but will kill, lie, and cheat to reach them.

Anyway, their interest with the PC is what was he doing intercepting that
treaty? They are suspicious that if they have successfully kept an entire
nation secret by keeping it solely in a few kilos of computer, another group
might, possibly intent upon world dictatorship, and they suspect the PC of
being an agent.

Which basically leaves the PC with a few choices: 1) Work out a way of convincing them of his purely monetary motives for
taking the data

2) Try and escape, possibly to alert world governments of the secret nation
if they are vindictive

3) While doing one of the above, stumble across a REAL other secret nation
devoted to world power!!!

4) Join the secret nation and get some cool software/cyberware,
becoming one of their real world operatives

UFO Conspiracy
Nils Jeppe


One neat plot idea I have for a Cyberpunk(tm) game, but haven’t tried yet, is
that the players have to uncover the UFO Conspiracy: The U.S. government, in
alliance with some other nations and large corporation’s, has made a secret
treaty with an alien race from Zeta Reticuli. The aliens offer the humans
technology; in exchange, they are allowed to abduct people and cattle and to
perform experiments on them, use women to implant alien foetuses (sp?), etc.
The government is trying to cover up this, of course, so the players will have
all kinds of fun with government, cooperation and later on, alien agents. The
scenario would include interviewing abductees, examining landing sites, or
perhaps even a crash site, breaking into corp/government data bases (to unearth
secret information), infiltrating military bases, and so on. It would probably
work best as a Cyber style games (or even Lovecraft Mythos games); and perhaps
shouldn’t be fashioned into your existing long term campaign, because it has a
VERY large impact on your world. Should be a cool one-shot or short term
campaign. PS, to get ideas I would recommend getting onto the various UFO
related newsgroups/echoes on the various networks.

Sheep killer
Mark Green


A small village named Stonemire is plagued by a series of sheep killings
during winter. A fair has stopped nearby whilst the mountain passes are
frozen. A friendly Troll living underneath a nearby bridge is arrested for
the killings. A Bugbear has moved into a nearby deserted Watchtower and when
vanquished has been feeding sheep remains to his guard dog. However, the
true killer is a werewolf travelling with the fair/circus. A final fight
takes place in an old windmill. I involved a sub-plot about a local Swanmay
living beneath a waterfall and a Kobold bandit group camped out on the
nearby frozen lake. The winter effects (icicles collapsing in the swanmay’s
lair, the frozen lake combat, the effects of snow on tracking) play a large
part in this scenario, which was paced for two start-up characters. They
must trade some maps found at the Kobold camp to their local Sage in
exchange for the loan of silver weapons to defeat the Werewolf. They find
out about this necessity in a book on Shapechangers in the Study of a Zombie
at the graveyard. Other plots abound in this sleepy village!

The Alchemist’s Palafitte
Mark Green

Building A Palafitte (Large wooden construction on stilts) sits out on a lake. It
was the Temple of an alchemist, and is shaped as a large cross. Each of the
four wings has an “elemental” theme; Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The central
Tower cannot be entered until a special elemental treasure has been
collected from each of the four quarters. The Palafitte is filled with
Manikins, animated human dummies who attack slowly, are highly armoured, but
have “strings” which can be severed. The central tower contains floating
globes which are the remnants of the soul of the old alchemist, and cast
spells at the party. This adventure was run for five startup characters.

Graeme Adamson with Karl Kaufmann


Scenario: The PCs have been transported to Earth, circa 1995, either on a
quest, or mysteriously for an unknown reason. They cannot leave until they
have recovered a plane travelling artefact (the Blue Velvet Orb), which is
located at the top of the Post Office tower in London (or city of your
choice), and used it at a particular location at a particular time (the
artefact will guide them there as the time approaches.

Start: They find themselves in a small room, and can hear a lot of noise
behind the single door. Behind the door of this storeroom is a huge hall
currently being used for a Fantasy Role-playing tournament. They will
likely get comments about their great costumes, and will initially hear
things coming from the 100 or so gaming tables like “Fireball! Hit the
floor!”. Feel free to embellish. If any trouble is caused, the police will
be called by the organisers.

Problems: 1: Magic spells and effects have a 25% chance of failure; if a spell
fails, there is a 70% chance of it doing something strange (like a Fireball
becoming a burst of flowers), a 25% chance of it fizzling, and a 5% chance
of it backfiring.
2: The Post Office tower is locked (mechanically and electronically) and
3: The PCs will speak English with a strange (noticeable) accent.
4: The will have to con some jewellers into accepting their gold/silver coins.
5: The appointed time is a week away, so they’ll have to find lodging.
6: The appointed time and place: Wembley Football Stadium at kickoff time
of the FA Cup Final – in the centre of the soccer field (and the tickets are
sold out).
7: All Earth items will disintegrate gradually after they leave.
8: All the usual problems you’d expect when a bunch of D&D adventurers go
wandering around a modern day city.
9: Clerics cannot regain spells. They can however use their learnt spells
(with no chance of failure, but they have to last a week).
This adventure was a classic in our campaign. The GM at the time is now
playing a woman the characters met at a fencing tournament they stumbled
onto, and who accompanied the party back. Some notable events: the paladin
scored a critical hit on an opponent at the fencing tournament, apologised
to the victim, who was badly winded, then did it again! (two twenties in a
row from an 8th level paladin with 18-odd strength – he was disqualified).
The party was arrested, and had to escape from Scotland Yard. The FA Cup
Final was delayed slightly after a Fireball went off (giving us enough time
to get to the centre of the field and go).

The Forgetful Queen
Graeme Adamson


This plot revolves around a low-level female PC. There can be other members
in the party, but this plot focuses on her.

BACKGROUND: The female PC believes she is the daughter of some low-class
rural folk in a small country. She is aware that she bears a resemblance to
the current queen who is married to a young king. The queen disappears,
believed kidnapped, and forces are mobilised to try to find the missing queen.

The PC, while adventuring in other lands, gets attacked several times by
assassins (more than several; more like many), and discovers from one of
them that they were hired to kill the queen by some of the nobles. This
should happen a number of times, making the PC and her companions very
annoyed. She is sure that she definitely isn’t the queen. In an attempt to
find out what’s going on, she returns to her home country (still under
attack from assassins).

There she is discovered by the local Thieves’ Guild, and they fill her in on
some of the details; namely: she is actually the queen, but was mind wiped by
the king’s Grand Vizier under orders from the king, after she discovered
some of the king’s nefarious dealings. She was given the memories of a rural
woman with an uncanny resemblance to her, and switched with her to keep her
in a safe place (ie. out in the country). Later he decided to kill her, so
as to bring suspicion of treason upon some of the more powerful nobles,
giving him the chance to eliminate them. The PC accidentally escaped though,
and found herself adventuring, while the rural woman’s body has now been
found, and all believe it to be the queen, except some nobles, who want to
kill the PC so as to be able to present two bodies and thwart the king’s
plot. The Thieves’ Guild offer to help because of the instability the state
of the country is causing to them.

They can smuggle the PC and her companions into the palace, where she can
confront the king and his crony. During the fight (or whatever develops), the
Vizier should get killed, to prevent him reversing the mind wipe. If the king
is killed, the throne passes to her, or alternatively to the next male heir
(GM’s choice).



A perennial favorite question on the net is ways to start a campaign. A
recent incarnation of this was from Joshua Felsteiner
( who wrote: [edited slightly] ” Hi , I am a
new GM who has formed a group. The problem is how to have the players start.
I don’t know how to tell the story of their arrival to the world! I mean how
they met or born? or are they already formed as a grouped from the beginning
and I should start from that point? I want to make it better than that. Any

Here is collection of responses to this question and similar. Have fun.

Talk about it startups
Brian Trosko


I stick the players alone in a room for 15 minutes to a half an hour at the
start of the first session, and let them ad-lib it out. When I get back from
the store, where I’ve bought munchies, they tell me, and I take that data
and use it for adventure hooks. The only catch it, the players themselves
have to be reasonable about it. It might work for you, but then again, it
might not.

Friendly startup
Mike Masten


The player characters could be childhood friends that decide they want to go
out adventuring together before they settle into permanent jobs or something
in their community.

They all could have known someone that was a mutual friend to them and this
friend was killed/kidnapped/whatever. Therefore, they decide to help this
friend in need or a relative of this friend if the mutual friend is dead.

“The room grows misty…” startup
Phil Scadden


An obvious way to start a campaign, and a mechanism very like that of plots
much loved by fantasy authors, is to simply announce as the party gather
round that they have been transported as of now, as is and as dressed,
straight into the fantasy world. This is probably best for shortish high
fantasy campaigns, as no opportunity to role-play anyone other than
themselves, but many players will enjoy this for a shorter period.

The extent to which they are exactly themselves can be varied. Within the
fantasy world they might suddenly find they have special powers, items on
them (eg pens, house keys, rings, etc) might be mighty items (as in Thomas
Covenant series) in the new world. Can also have tranformations from skinny
literature student to muscle-bound hulk with a innate sword-fighting skills.
I’d stick with personalities and particularly their real knowledge being

Language is special one. What I would do let them be aware that what they
hear other people speak is a strange tongue but within themselves, they can
understand the speech (except for words special to the fantasy setting that
wont translate). Eg “Graco” might be a monster from the GM’s drug-crazed
imagination – they might get descriptions of Graco from NPC or find out the
hard way but it wont translate. With a little practise, they will find they
can speak back but not words that dont translate. Eg “semi-automatic
rifle”, “saltpeter”, and “bidet” might be good words that fail translation!

A typical opening might be telling them, ” the room suddenly fills with
mist, and you feel the chill of an autumn night. Slowly the mist clears and
you find yourselves together within a circle of standing stones below a
bright night sky of strange stars. A eerie green fire licks at the standing
stones but even as you watch it grows dim and dies. You are obviously in a
high place, with deep valleys below you. Small clusters of flickering lights
indicate these are inhabited. As you look around to try and get your
bearings, you eyes are drawn to a dull light hanging over a mountain far
away. Sometimes red, sometimes greenish, the light seems somehow
unwholesome. You become aware of dark figures beyond the stone circle…”

Swinging this on players gathered to plan what do to and stopping the
narrative at that point is probably best way to introduce it. Enough has
been said to rouse the players curiousity. If they like the concept, you can
get into gritty detail of deciding what changes to make in the transition
(if any), high or low fantasy, assigning game values to their own
characters, etc.

Some thoughts on character death needed. Players are playing themselves and
are obviously likely to feel the world events somewhat more personally than
playing a made up character. Re-introducing a PC in another character isnt
quite the same either (but could be done, especially if the player didnt
enjoy playing themself). One option is to have players body slowly turn to
mist. To get the player back again should involve returning to gate,
expending gross power, and some drawbacks for the player concerned.

High fantasy (“we have brought here to save the world”) is probably best
setting but only if player enjoy a little railroading. A much freer campaign
could begin with hearing an NPC beyond the standing stones say: “Oh
(expletive fails translation)! This isnt who we wanted!”. They cant be sent
back but arent going to be persuaded to save the world either.

The real fun in this campaign setting comes from players trying to use their
20th century knowlege and technology in the fantasy world. I wouldnt rule
any technology out but would be very tough on adjudicating whether player
efforts would work or not. Playing fair, they should not bring in knowlege
from reference works that they didnt have in their memory at the moment the
game started. (A good reason for making the start a surprise and then
arguing for it). Ie they would have to know he formula for gunpowder etc.
off top of their heads when the game started to attempt it. Of course, the
GM can make life a little difficult without being obstructive with a little
care about what is in the game world. Eg (on gunpowder again), saltpeter
wont translate. Game world has never heard of it. Even if players knew the
gunpowder formula, do they know how to find or make potassium nitrate?
Likewise, steel (as opposed to wrought iron) may not be a known technology.
Do they really know enough engineering and metallurgy to create a furnace to
produce it? Of course, GM needs to bone up a bit on medieval technology but
since this is fantasy, only what the GM is confortable with need be there.
Consistancy is the thing.

Group Creation startup
Brian W. Gruidl


What I like to do is give my group a brief idea of what is in our world and
let them create for themselves. I’m VERY open to their embellishing, but
will not allow magic items, special powers, etc. I then talk to each player
and “tweak” the character to fit into a certain area of the world. When we
reach agreement, I let him (all men – SORRY) search out information about
his region, politics, etc.

With respect to getting the group together, I have set up an Order of the
Tree (historically significant), whose charter is to seek adventure. This
gets rid of the uncomfortable “you meet in a bar” scenario.

Adventurer’s children startup
Guy Robinson


They are the children, relatives or apprentices of an former party of
adventurers that have by and large retired or have been killed. It
therefore becomes natural that they might be gathered to attempt a to form a
second generation of that same party.

I would have the local survivors of the former party around to act as
mentors, role models and the source of an occasional hand if your players’
characters need to be rescued or ransomed. I would not make them too high
level (4-8 perhaps) so their capabilities are notable rather than

If you adopt this I recommend you work out what ended the adventuring career
of the original party and make up character sheets for them using the rule
book guidelines on creating experienced characters. Perhaps there are some
matters left over that will warrant the new party’s attention at some later

You could have local landmarks bear signs of their experiences like the
place where the houses that the vengeful dragon burned down but which were
never rebuilt or the temple built around a fabulous altar stone brought back
from an expedition.

Treasure Map
Jay S. Robinson


I’m starting a campaign tonight with a group of new players and was mulling
over the same question. I’ve come up with the idea that there used to be a
fellow we’ll call Bob. Now Bob had a lot of gold/treasure/ whatever and
wanted it to be safe so he hid it/buried it/etc. and made a map. He then
tore this map into x number of pieces and got rid of them. (He had x kids?)
Anyway, after generations have gone by, the PC’s find themselves in
possession of the pieces of the map, or at least a few of them. Those
pieces each contain enough info to get them to their home town, wherever
you’re starting them out at. (Let me guess, Shadowdale.) And if this sounds
too bland, have some of the PC’s not have parts of the map, but have vital
knowledge to the missing pieces. There are plenty of ways to elaborate…
Just an idea.

Kings choice startup
Craig L Wigda


The king summons several adventures for a mission (say 50) after a short
question and answer session you are asked to enter the door to your right.
And there is the party. Pick which characters are in the room in which order
and give them some time to talk to each other. Then the king comes in a
briefs them on their mission.

I have used this so I could have characters that were moderately experienced
but had not worked together. I hate it when I’m at a con and the GM says you
are a party of adventures that have adventured together for x number of
years. Then you all fight among your selves or do not act as a group.

New employer startup
Craig L Wigda


You are down and out on your luck or last party of adventures you worked
with are all dead/retired/kicked you out (character picked one) and you are
looking for a new group to adventure with because you are broke/have no home
to go to/have yet to full fill some purpose (again each character picked
one). After spending all day searching out clues to adventure or employment
you return to your room at the inn to find a note with a strange item (in
the adventure I ran it was a coin made of mithril). Note tells you to meet
(location of GMs choice, mine was the bar so the employer could see them
before talking to them, plus he started a fight in the bar to see how they
handled themselves).

I used this so I could have characters that were moderately
experienced but had not worked together. I hate it when I’m at a con and the
GM says you are a party of adventures that have adventured together for x
number of years. Then you all fight among your selves or do not act as a

Wadda yer mean “Are we monsters?”…
Robert Hall


You could just have them all be the subject of a monster summoning spell… 🙂

Lost in a dungeon startup
Daniel Romig


What i have done once or twice is to start the group in a dungeon. Don’t
tell them how they got there just say, you wake up in a 10×10 room and you
see x strangers. Have everyone describe themselves and go from there. You
can make the dungeon large or medium, you must however, make it big enough
so everyone has to work together to get out. This builds trust in the group,
lets them get to know each other and that they can work really good as a
team. When they get out, they can say “hey”, “we did pretty good getting
treasure, magic, whatever and maybe we should stick together”

This is good once in awhile but runs dry after the second or so time. I used
this before and it worked out fine.

“Wrong Company” Startup
Barbara Haddad


One option (that I find superior) is have them all come from the same
town/city. Have a tavern where all the ‘wrong’ people hang out [rebels,
artists] so that they will have a chance to drift together, meet each other
and decide to go out together and adventure. You might have a lot of fun
making their city of origin a fun place in and of itself — have their
families play parts — you can referee it for several games — AND then
they’ll always have a place to return to…………
…..and it helps settle in the player’s mind that their PCs ARE
rebels ….. that the ‘normal’ people live in cities and _stay_ there…

Bail with hooks startup
Chris Bourne


If you have a campaign world/city/town which you’ve worked out in advance,
you should be able to prepare a sheet or two of background info about major
religions, a map of the general area showing major towns, that sort of
stuff. Give this out while they are rolling up characters. It’s something
for the fast ones to read while they wait about 🙂

My favourite way of beginning an adventure is in jail – the party have all
been arrested in a riot/bar brawl. They may not have been involved, but the
watch just grabbed the nearest half dozen citizens and locked them up.

They can then be offered the standard approach by an influential stranger
who can get them off the hook IF they perform this leetle service for them…

Unless your players have played in your world before, it isn’t a bad idea to
have an adventure which demands they travel right outside their own area, so
you don’t have to go into huge detail about their previous life history.
Ideally you want an adventure which takes place somewhere NONE of the
characters will ever have been before.

As for background, any players who don’t want to work out great detailed
backgrounds of their own can be told ‘You are a dwarf from the mountains in
the north’/’You ran away from your farming home and became a thief, because
you didn’t like your stepfather’ etc. If the player doesn’t actively seek a
detailed background, they will be happy with a minimal excuse for existing.

Those who do want a detailed background are capable of inventing their own
as a rule. They will say things like ‘Are there villages in the hills, I
think my character lived on the edge of the wilderness learning to track and
hunt’ To which you reply ‘Uh, yeah, there’s a village called Hillfort that
would do well. I expect your character hunted bighorn sheep, maybe wolves in
the winter, that sort of thing. There will have been orc raids to deal with
too…but only once every few years.’ Then make a squiggle on the map for
the player’s village (which you just invented).

Startup Ideas
Michal Bartek

Any 1.) Everyone meets in a bar and spontaneously decides to trust their
lives with each other. (Heard this one before?)

2.) The campaign starts just after everyone has been kidnapped by an evil
force. The characters MUST work together to save their skins.

3.) Some common goal (defeating evil group) draws them all together.

4.) The PCs are all relatives (brothers, cousins, etc.)

Volunteers? Startup
Joe Savino


The campaign I’m working on now begins with the PCs all being told, in an
announcement by the king, that they’d been selected for the quest to kill
the dragon. They’re gonna be just announced as “the , “.. (ie:
the Cleric, Erasumas)… then, they are gathered together, by the king, and
left alone for a bit in a meeting chamber… this’ll give ’em some time to
interact, and get a feel for each other.

Shipwreck Startup
Alex Oren


In my current campaign I asked the players for a reason to get on certain
ship enroute to the capital city.

Bad weather, angry gods, ship goes down.

PC’s manage to get to some of the life boats, are washed ashore some unknown
island and have to survive with virtually no equipment.

Mini-adventure Startup
Angelo F Benedetto


Whenever possible, and when a player seems interested, I try to run a
_short_ mini-adventure for each character before the main campaign gets
started. In this mini, you can set-up the character’s reason for being an
adventurer, this reason being shown by actual play as opposed to related
background. I find it tends to make the player relate to the background
more, since the events have been experienced rather than just described.

This method also works well for pairs of characters that already know each
other. It also allows for the introduction of special items into the
campaign. In this way, a character can start out with some item he/she
_earned_ in an adventure, rather than was given as background. To me, this
makes the item much more special. Also, it is guaranteed to go to the
character of your choice, as opposed to the character of the party’s choice,
if that makes sense to you.

Escape from slavery Startup
Jason Choi


PC’s are slaves of an evil, upstart empire. They have to cooperate in order
to escape their present predicament. They could’ve been enslaved because
their parents were unable to pay taxes, thus they were kidnapped by the
soldiers of the emperor. They have to combine their abilities in order to
devise a plan of escape.

Country boys Startup
Jason Choi

Startup PC’s are childhood friends living in a small hamlet or village. They’ve
worked hard over the past few summers and have earned enough money to go
travelling to the nearby Big city and follow their dreams and illusions of
grandeur (Ie. want fame & fortune). Being a small town, they are given the
blessings of the townsfolk (maybe a retired adventuring NPC actually lives
in this town, gives the PC’s some advice, and maybe a fine quality sword or
a contact to reach once they arrive at the big city).

Awoken from stasis
Jason Choi

Startup The PC’s are clones or simulacrum of Ancient Gods who are no more, either
having been destroyed, banished, or forgotten about. The PC’s of course have
no Godlike powers, because they were made when the said God’s were once
mortal. They have been kept in temporal stasis in a deep underground crypt
until someone finds them ( a party of adventurers, a wizard, or even a Lich
would be nice).The PC’s have no recollection of who they are or how they
came to be here, all they know is their names and have a deja vu about
everything. Plus a strange sense of kinship with one another. As a
substitute you can have them entombed in a iceberg or a glacier, and have
northmen come across them to chip them out of the ice (this is the scenario
I used once).

Evil character startup
Jason Choi

Startup For evil campaigns, I always find it useful to have good aligned PC’s hire
the evil PC’s to fight off evil. Such as having the evil pc’s in jail, the
only way they can gain freedom is if they perform a task for the ruling
council of the city or such. They can be ordered to track down an evil being
even more evil that themselves. Or to explore a uncharted region of land and
spy on the inhabitants. If the PC’s gain freedom but refuse to carry out
their orders, you can have the authorities after them, or bounty-hunter
NPC’s track them down everywhere they go. Another cruel element would be for
the GM to have a wizard put a quest or geas spell on each PC.

Save the clan startup
Jason Choi

Startup The PC’s brethren, their clan, tribe, race, whatever, are stricken with
poverty and are poor, near the brink of starvation & death. They have to
adventure to: 1) Find a lost or stolen artefact of legend to bring peace & prosperity
2) As representatives of their clan, tribe, whatever, they have to restore
honor, glory, and pride to their people by doing heroic deeds.
3) Perhaps find a new home for their people (Eg. Their race lives in a
secluded valley. Their people are fearful & afraid to leave the comforts of
their home, so the ruler charges the party to see what lies beyond their
isolated homeland.)
4) The PC’s must adventure to find weapons & food for their folk, to help in
a battle against some oppressing force (an orc tribe, an evil empire, etc).
They also take on the role as spies and assassins as they advance in level.

Convict company startup
Jason Choi

Startup The PC’s are imprisoned in the city dungeons for quite some time (they can
be, in this scenario, homeless street urchins). They spend a few years
growing older in jail, where they meet and get to know each other (you can
even have one of the PC’s be a Guard). The ruling council/or ruler has need
of several expendable people to do various tasks for them. They can pick all
the party members and have them trained and outfitted (swords, spell
components, etc) to: 1) Scout out unfamiliar, dangerous land in the name of the government.
Perhaps explore possible trade routes for merchants of the city, or spy on
the inhabitants of a forest, etc.

2) PC’s are sent as spies to a neighboring kingdom, where they are given the
name of a contact to look up. Once there, they find their contact near death
at an alleyway, arrows studded into his back, in hot pursuit, just as he
dies he hands the PC’s something (in this case, a scroll tube full of
parchment). The parchment scrolls can be the report of a nasty plot to
assassinate some king or queen, a list of known spies in other lands, a list
of strengths and weaknesses in the army, etc.

3) PC’s are assigned tasks to perform and are given little or no information
(I’m taking this idea from the movie-Point of no Return).They are simply
given straight forward instructions such as “Kill this noble” or “give NPC X
this note then walk away”. Make their simple actions turn out to be
profounding. Perhaps the note they have to give to “NPC X” is an invitation
to a masquerade ball sponsored by the nobility of the city their in. And the
ball is the staging area for an assassination attempt on the NPC’s life,
etc. The PC’s might even find themselves in the roll of the assassins.

4) Players can be ordered to infiltrate various underground groups that
secretly oppose the government in order to reveal the identities of the
members that comprise such secret orders. Perhaps the rulers need to know if
a thieves or assassins guild exists without their knowing it (and the ruler
thus wishes to enlist their services as spies & assassins). It could be the
parties job as well to set up a meeting between the ruler they are working
for and the guild master. Even more insidious would be that the ruler is
secretly setting up an ambush for the guild master without the PC’s
knowledge (which makes it look like the PC’s did it, which the ruler may
desire because they’ve outlived their usefulness). However, with some good
roleplay the Players might be able to convince the guild’s second-in-
command of the truth of the matter and devise a rescue attempt to free their
guild master.

Going into retirement – interview the new boys startup
Jim Opp


The most interesting start to a campaign I was involved with began with the
GM having us roll up (and write and extensive history for) a high level
adventuring party. The premise was that this was an old party heading for
retirement, and our first chore was to pick successors who could continue
the company. Our GM presented us with a list of 100 possible candidates
(no, he didn’t let us see the stats) and we had to design special tests and
trials to weed out the top candidates. When we made our final picks, then
the GM turned their stat sheets over to us (for better or worse…
fortunately the thief didn’t pick the absolute quickest hands, since that
character only had low wisdom and gave us a specific time period which we
decided what skills/abilities the veteran characters would teach the new
apprentices. Then we spent the rest of the time as the new players, trying
to make a name for ourselves and constantly running into old ghosts/old
scores from the “past” of the original party.

It takes a while before the real “adventuring” starts, but in my opinion it
was worth it! This campaign had the best group dynamics, because it was a
real group exercise, rather than everybody showing up with “mature”
characters who have extensive histories that are just waiting for that final
piece to make their life complete.

Hometown destruction Startup
Jeffrey S. Hanks


Characters all begin after hometown is destroyed by fire caused by
unknown attacker. They group together in hopes of finding out who attacked
and killed all of their loved ones, and destroyed the only home that they
ever knew. The characters would probably be out exploring ruins or caves
when the attackers came so that they were not there.

Rescue from Darklands
Ray A Reaux


I started a campaign where the PCs were people from the same home village,
and all were young and inexperienced (1st level). The PCs were a magic
user, a cleric, a fighter, a druid, a bard, and a ranger. Four PCs had
families in the village, and the ranger had friends. The Mage and Cleric
were brothers with the normal sibling rivalry. All were about the same age
and were friends, or at least friendly to each other. The first game day
was spent on light bantering and role-playing to develop the relationships
among the characters.

Twenty miles from the village was the Darklands, a huge monster-infested
region continuously enshrouded from the sun by darkness. The Darklands was
the home of a malevolent intelligence which had goblin armies to command.
The goblins often raided the frontier villages for slaves. At the end of the
first day of gaming, I had a large overwhelming force of goblins (about 60)
raid the village. The PCs had to try to react from their daily chores to
fight for their lives and family. All the PCs were knocked out (NOT KILLED,
and they later woke to find carnage around them, and signs that some people,
including family members and neighbors, had survived the massacre but were
slaves of the goblins and were being taken into the Darklands. Every
character except the ranger had a family member taken as captives. The Mage
and Cleric had their mother and sister captured. The Mage’s girlfriend had
also been taken. The fighter had a brother captured. The ranger wanted
revenge since his teacher and mentor had been killed by the goblins.
Besides, his duty was to rescue and protect the people. The adventurers had
to find useable supplies from the ruins of the village, and work together to
pursue the goblins into the Darklands.

The adventurers pursued the goblins deep into the Darklands, fighting
roving, hungry monsters until they came to the keep which was the
destination of the goblin raiding party. The PCs had to find out how to get
into the well-guarded keep and rescue their family. A frontal assault was
out of the question, so they had to rely on stealth. They also had to
contend with a “thin man” a low-level lich-like creature that was commanding
the goblins, but who answered to the malevolence that inhabited the

The PCs rescued their family and friends and 30 or so other odd slaves, and
escorted them back out of the Darklands, while being pursued by the goblins.
Once they got out of the Darklands, they had to find a place for the
people. Some of the people that they had liberated had been slaves most of
their lives and did not know how to care for themselves as free people. The
adventurers had to get money to build a new village for them (the old
village was destroyed, and was too close to the Darklands). They had to
raise money to actually purchase land and get building materials. Since
their was no convenient gold-laden dungeon laying around into which they
could fall into, the players had to be creative and come up with their own
money-making schemes. Their money making ventures included beast- catching
and running a small travelling circus, of course with the encounters with
brigands and other hazards of the road. Once they purchased the land, they
had to clear it of some monsters, and also deal with the local Baron who
demanded a tax to “protect” the village. The PCs later ran afoul of the
Baron when they accidentally killed one of the Baron’s men. They had to
leave the village, but not until they had made sure the village was firmly
established. The success of the campaign hinged on role-playing and real
NPCs. These NPCs gave the PCs motivations for what they were trying to do. I
gave the Mage and Cleric’s mother and sister personalities. The mother was
strong willed and became the village matriarch. The sister started openly
dating the Fighter which brought out the brotherly protective instincts of
the Mage and Cleric. The Mage’s girlfriend made the Mage jealous by
spending more time with the loud-mouthed boastful, but cowardly, obnoxious
village jerk that the Mage, Cleric, and Fighter despised (they had grown up
hating him). It was her ploy to get the Mage to quit stalling and marry
her. The despised jerk had the gift of gab with women who thought he was
the next best thing since the invention of baked bread. Even the Mage and
Cleric’s mother often took sides with him. I had several other women
chasing the “heroic” Cleric and ranger, after all they needed husbands.

I had other NPCs help, since I generally add one or two adventuring NPCs to
assist in the PCs with some skills that they do not have or as an avenue for
me to provide suggestions or information to the PCs. For instance, a
grizzled mountain man they encountered and enlisted said, “Yes, I know about
this creature. My grandpappie once told me about a hippogriff that he saw
this Church Knight ride. He said that it was the dangest thing you could
ever see. Bigger than a horse, and …”

Remember that when you are creating campaign, pay as much detail to the
environment as to the adventure. And by environment, I mean factors such as
NPCs and local politics. They add spice and motivations for the PCs and
bring out the role-playing in the players.

Island shipwreck Startup
Craig L Wigda


The shipwreck has a lot of potential. Make the island large. Wild natives,
smugglers, pirates, a small coast town (soon to be under attack). It throws
the party together with a nice starting story line. It could also be setup
such that the entire party is needed to capture a boat/ship and only
(depending on the number of PCs) the player PCs are willing to sail on the

I’ve done something similar to this. It was great fun. I also used the
non-weapon proficiencies. Only one character had sailing/boating so the PCs
made him captain. This was great fun, since that person got into the roll
of trying to command characters that did not know anything about a boat.

Note, a lot of this also depends on the people you are going to have. Are
they roll-playing, or hack and slash? Either way the island could be turned
into either type of game with a limited amount of work.

Empire’s Edge
Jeff Hildebrand

Village I just started running a PBEM and I told everyone to come up with characters
in a small (~200 people) village on the edge of an Empire. Justify what you
do there and you all know about each other because it’s so small. Worked
out pretty well.

Murder Mystery Startup
Jeff Hildebrand

Village In a game where I am playing, the GM set everyone up in a large city,
basically separately. Then, one NPC that we all knew was murdered. We met
at the funeral and found out that we each had one little piece of a puzzle
because he had been asking each of us some pointed questions but didn’t want
anyone to know too much, so needed to ask many people.

Scott’s Startups
Scott Compton


Maybe just start them off all in a crowd of people watching a bard playing a
song or something and the crowd is attacked by evil city guards that ban
music playing in the city. You and the group fights back and escapes: the
typical Robin Hood & gang scenario (outlaw bunch).

Or how about a council meeting… all characters represent some political

Or what about an ‘invitation-only’ party to some exotic tower out in the
middle of a dead forest. The typical Dracula start… 😉

Team Spirit Reference Startup
Ronald Lawrence ROSSITER


There is an article in Dragon #208, called ‘Team Spirit’, that could give
you some ideas for party origins, customs and history. Also, another idea is
to make the players come up with the origin/meeting of the party after they
generate their characters (saves you from the work, as they know what they

The Net Book of Plots – Volume V

The Net Book of Plots

Volume V

Editors Note:
This book marks the first in a new format, made for conversion to HTML
and for indexing. My enormous thanks go to Alexander Forst
( and to Soh Kam Hung (
for their dedicated efforts in designing this tagging scheme and help in
tagging and editing the plots. I hope all enjoy this new collection and
dont forget to tell the authors how it went if you run a plot.

Tim Dickinson

Affliction A character (or a follower, or henchman) receives an “inheritance” they didn’t
know they had from their father or some more ancient ancestor. Note that these
types of inheritances don’t have to be land, wealth or possessions: sometimes
certain _rights_ were just as valuable. For instance the right to own land in
certain places, the right to start a business, or be exempt from taxes, or
whatever. For balance, it probably shouldn’t be something _too_ wonderful. It
may even have problems attached (squatters on land, politicians who don’t like
people exempt from taxes, etc.).

Tim Dickinson

Investigation There’s a killer on the loose in town. Someone (something?) is killing people
and stuffing them down chimneys and fireplace flues. People find out when they
light their morning fires and the smoke backs up. No visible wounds. Is it
poisoning? Demons? Rabid Santa Claus?

Tim Dickinson

Investigation Some washing women (damn, I’m sexist) are down by the river when something
horrible floats to the surface. They run back and tell everyone. Was it alive?
Dead? Is it there when someone goes to investigate?

The Crucible
Tim Dickinson

Quest Some guy off the street comes up to a character and wants to buy an object they
carry (a sword? helmet? shield?). He offers to pay with a small marble

Tim Dickinson

Intrigue Some sages in the city come up with a new higher-order mathematics which they
say is very useful for describing natural phenomena. The local church
immediately denounces it as unholy and sacrilege.

Tim Dickinson

Affliction A medical condition with which to inflict a PC; specifically, the falling down
of a part of the body from its normal position, usually the womb or the
rectum. I kid you not. Look it up.

Get the Acid
Tim Dickinson

Dragon The players must (for whatever reason – debt, magical item required, payment
to a mage, etc.) retrieve, whole and unbroken, the internal acid sac of an
acid-spitting dragon. First kill it (non-destructively), then cut out the
sac (tricky business).

Tim Dickinson

Affliction A nasty personal rumour spreads about a PC. It’s untrue, and quite nasty. Who
started it? What implications will it have?

Insane companions
Tim Dickinson

Affliction Henchmen or hirelings that turn out to be insane. For example, a soldier with
monomania (becomes obsessed with one task to the exclusion of all else, becomes
depressed when task completed), or a megalomaniac blacksmith.

You call this government?
Tim Dickinson


Areas with unusual forms of government. For example, a pedocracy (government by
scholars and the educated), or a syndicracy (rule by a body of syndicates, each
representing some business interests).

Holy water
Tim Dickinson

Quest A cleric must become involved in re-making a holy water font after the old one
is defiled. Several weeks of time, and great cost.

Tim Dickinson

Skunks A quest/magic spell component/item recharging ritual/whatever requires that
the group obtain the intact scent glands of 6 skunks.

Magic toys
Tim Dickinson

Affliction Little magic items that charm or entrap the user. For example, a little puzzle,
made of wood and wire, that you’re supposed to manipulate into some particular
shape (you know the kind – even a Rubik’s Cube, maybe!): if the owner fails a
save, he/she becomes enraptured by it, and won’t put it down. If it’s finally
forcibly taken away, they’ll react violently for a couple of turns. Or one of
them little kaleidoscope tubes: if the person doesn’t save, they’ll continue to
stare through it and giggle. If it’s taken away, same reaction as above.

Haunted item
Tim Dickinson

Magic An item that’s haunted or cursed because it was used in the commission of a
terrible murder. It’ll move a little on its own, or tingle, or drop from your
grasp, or moan eerily, or whatever. If the murder can be investigated and maybe
solved, this behaviour will stop.

Community service
Tim Dickinson

Affliction Character(s) get arrested for fighting/carrying weapons/some other obscure
law, and instead of being thrown in jail they’re forced to perform several says
(weeks?) of community service: * street cleaning
* city storage/library inventories
* stray animal extermination
* litter-bearer for someone important
* issuing summons or assisting in the arrest of particularly dangerous
In addition, as criminals, they’re given a big ol’ tattoo, someplace really

Dyed in the wool
Tim Dickinson

Affliction An accident where a quantity of brightly-colored dye gets poured all over one
of the characters. Takes _weeks_ to wear off.

Curious book
Tim Dickinson

Quest The characters lay their hands on a book that has very curious things written
inside: they may lead to further adventures, or just be teasers. * the history of a land they do not know
* someone’s diary
* an index of animals, with drawings, none of which they’ve seen before
* recipes
* astronomy

“Every Which Way But Loose”
Tim Dickinson

Affliction A friendly orangutan becomes the party’s strong, goofy and unpredictable
travelling companion for a while, whether they like it or not. See Clyde, from
the Clint Eastwood movies “Every Which Way But Loose” and “Every Which Way You

Tim Dickinson


People (not the party) get killed in bizarre ways: * crushed within a grist mill.
* skewered on the walled city’s front gate portcullis.
* struck dead by a falling cheese.
* leg held fast under the rubble of a collapsed wall, eaten alive
by stray dogs.
There can be a reason behind it all (the setup to whatever other adventure you
want), or not.

Wyrd Witch
Tim Dickinson

Magic A wacky old witch in a hut in the woods, who will procure magical potions
of wondrous efficacy for anyone willing to pay the price. Each potion
requires payment of something really odd: 6 turtles, 3 double-yolker eggs,
a painting of a tree, or something equally goofy.

Pick Pockets
Tim Dickinson

Affliction Characters should get their pockets picked more often when they’re in
cities. They’re big and rich-looking, and they’ll be constant targets.

Ethnic Cleansing
Tim Dickinson

City Some locals are being murdered – some of high standing, some common
folk. The local Assassin’s Guild is carrying out the executions, under
order from a secret cult of half-elvan fanatics. Investigation will
reveal that all of those killed were half-orc, although no one knew it,
most of the time. The cult despises the idea of orcs defiling the human
heritage they share.

Demon or not Demon, that is the question
Tim Dickinson

Urban A rumour that a local priest of high standing is a demon. He’s not, but if
your players are like mine, they beat every rumour to death, especially if
it’s demonic. The priest will hear of their investigation, and may even
start worrying and acting suspiciously: this may lead the players on even

Tim Dickinson


The general plot: the characters have to get information about, then
infiltrate a ceremony of an evil religious sect, to save the intended
sacrifice. (Hey, does this sound familiar? Ahhh, so what?)

If the party think they the goodies, then just drop them some rumours
about the cult and its sacrificial doings. This should be sufficient to
draw in properly-played PCs. If they are not inclined to do such a thing
for nothing, then have them hired on to do so (a wealthy parent is concerned
their newly-converted child is going to be a sacrifice, or the established
local religion wants a stop put to this heathen bunch and their evil

In any case, info about the cult should be sketchy. They’ll have to sniff
out rumours about town. They’ll have to pay some snitches (who may or may
not give them good information). They should get a little too close for
someone’s comfort, and they should get attacked for it. Maybe with magic, a
curse or something serious.

Specifically, they’ll want (i) cult background and (ii) location of the next
sacrificial ceremony. The second will be very hard to get.

If some of the characters want to try to infiltrate the cult, this will be
next to impossible. Unless some _very_ convincing magical method is
possible to replace an existing cultist, they’ll be found out. If they try
to “join”, they’ll be turned away and everyone’s guard will be up.

If they manage to locate the ceremony, they’ll witness terrible magic and
nasty rites. An attempt to rescue sacrifices will be met with (i) much
priestly magic (i) moderate armed resistance. If the party is strong, and
they let the ceremony proceed at all before stepping in, they’ll be
confronted wit whatever terrible otherworldly thing the cult was attempting
to summon with the sacrifice (its notice was gained with the beginning of
the ceremony, and it is furious at the sacrifices which it did not receive:
it’ll appear and attack everyone, cultists included).

There’s also a chance that they’ll get captured themselves and get added to
the list of sacrifices. This is a good way to go if the party splits up and
comes in from two different directions, or tries to co-ordinate two
different tasks at once: one group will suddenly notice that the other has
been captured and is being led to the slaughter. This adds urgency to their
task. 😎

If this is the case, a good hook is to have the cultists do something to one
of the characters, pre-sacrifice, that is somehow permanent: a terrible
scar, or a spell, or some such. Something that they have to live with (and
role-play with) for the rest of their lives, preferably.

There’s lots of good hooks from the after effects, if they’re successful in
saving the sacrifice, or even killing off most of the cultists. They’ll earn
the undying enmity of that sect, and they’ll be after them forever. They
may get some nasty curses from the priests before they win. They may have
allowed a terrible monstrosity to be summoned, which will wreak havoc, of
course. They may even get blamed for this. Perhaps they’ll discover that
local officials or nobles were somehow illegally involved (they belong to
the cult, or have struck a black deal with them). Will they reveal such a
conspiracy? Can they really prove it?

Taken in
Robert Underwood

Urban The group is gathered together by Mr. Johnson. The group has a specified
goal, like blackmailing a mob boss, or performing a dangerous extraction.
The characters are promised support, if needed. They go on the job and
encounter _heavy_ resistance. The support that was promised never shows up,
the characters are hung out to dry. It would seem that the job was just a
distraction that the Corp’s solos could perform a job easily, seeing that
everybody was hunting the PC’s.

The PC’s have a reason to hate the Corp that hung them out to dry, and need
to look out for the ones that they crossed. Could even have cops, or CIA
looking for them because of the first run. Makes for an interesting, if
short, life.

Robert Underwood

New Age

The campaign starts with a Corp hiring the PC’s, preferably the PC’s do not
know each other. The Corp is an assistant VP in some Corp. This Corp has
ideals on how a company should act, in a way that promotes the common good.
The Corp has most of the lower echelons in his division agreeing with him.
The company president prefers the traditional style of business, you know
the corporate way. The AVP cannot be removed without causing massive
disruptions in his division. So between the division and the rest of the
Corp there is animosity.

That is just the background, the characters are hired by the Corp for
typical runner purposes. The Corp will provide as much in the way of help
that he can (about level 3 or 4 of resources). Some missions will be
nothing more than “good deeds” for various people. About the third or
fourth mission the expected support will fail, bring the characters to
believe that the AVP betrayed them (he didn’t, it was a traitor in the

Eventually the characters will become involved in a war for control of the
company when the old president is assassinated. The Corp will be split
almost evenly between two factions. One is lead by our AVP, he has gained
more support than he had, because he is better qualified than his opponent.

Good Cops
Robert Underwood


The players start out as a cop group. It is well known that the police
force is quite corrupt. After some missions (with at least one internal
affairs mission) the city decides to scrap the police force and hire
corporate police.

The city can not pay for the police force that it needs (hence the
corruption) and trades some control over policy for police protection. The
trade is quiet, the city would riot if it knew. When the corporation takes
over it fires everybody, including our players. The players should be left
in job limbo for a while. Next let them find out the “cost” of police
protection and encourage them to go public. Before the players go public
have a council member explain why the decision was made that way.

If the players get into lots of trouble, remember that the good cops will do
everything in their power to help. Of course, the players shouldn’t know
which cops are good and which work for other people.

The Magical Land of Ith
Chris Bova

Matt Sernett

Mind-flayer (Ithillid) What follows is a campaign idea worked out for a fantasy campaign, and it
uses monsters found in that setting, but, with a little work, you could use
it for almost any role playing system short of sci-fi ultratech.

The malevolent race known as the Illithid (Mind Flayers) can well remember
when their world Ith was a glorious paradise, when it’s black jungles
bloomed wild, when the warm, primordial oceans washed the unspoiled beaches,
when the Shrouded sunned themselves atop armorlichen spires miles high,
their razor sharp foreclaws glittering the violet light. All the Illathid
race was happy, and lived at peace, with just the right amount of
inter-racial violence to ensure nobody would get bored.

That was long ago, and now strange things are beginning to happen to the
Mind-Flayer garden of Eden. The sun of their homeworld is becoming brighter
and stronger. The seas are getting warmer, the foliage greener, and in time,
the Illathid will be driven underground. Their home planet will soon no
longer support them. Several centuries ago, the grand and glorious Order of
the Ebon Tentacle finally seized the initiative from it’s competitors and
gathered almost a thousand Illathid in the great chamber of council. Heads
bowed in reverence, the multitudes breathlessly awaited the commands of the
great mind. At last the brain pool spoke, and it ordered it’s children to
cast themselves upon the Astral seas, searching for another world, a place
where the ecology of Ith could be recreated down to the minutest detail, and
the Illithid could once again live in the relative peace of constant
interracial war. And so it was done, and not long ago, some fortunate
Illathid began a hive on a world known to it’s inhabitants as “Earth”. The
planet’s measurements seemed exact, slightly larger than Ith even, with a
comparable atmosphere and seas that had the potential to support Ith life
with some modification. But the sun there was too bright for Illathid
existence, forcing the first pioneers to take shelter underground. It was
then that they found the moon. It was worshiped as a god by the local
inhabitants, but the Illithid knew better. The moons of Ith were smaller by
far, and completely unsuitable for the purposes that the Illithid had in

Tunnelling out the centre of the moon, the Illithid plan to create a
perfectly circular chamber that is in effect a giant lifejammer helm. The
life force of thousands of living creatures will be necessary to accomplish
the goal; move the moon to a position in which it will block the sun’s
light, and hold it there. Luckily, the planet beneath is crawling with
living creatures of no particular consequence that will make excellent
sacrifices… The Shrouded would just eat them anyhow, once the ecology of
Ith is transplanted. And so was launched possibly the most half-baked plot
for world domination ever cooked up by sentient creatures that smell faintly
of squid and eat human brains.

Starting out in OverEarth
Carl Green

Any This plot describes how I started characters in a new campaign. I had begun
to envisage my new band of heroes as a weird mixture of technology and
fantasy from three basic ‘periods’, viz: the ‘normal’ fantasy time frame, a
modern (1995) period, and a futuristic, post-apocalypse period (very
Terminator 2 in feel). The characters that could fit into this strange
crossover seemed to step right out of my mind; they could include a knight
on a Harley, wielding a magic bastard sword and an ion cannon, or an elf
with cyber-enhancements, armed with longbow and Uzi machine-guns, or a
robotic warrior armed with a staff of fireballs and a copy of the

I realised that what I was trying to do was to combine all of my
inspirations, from Lovecraft to Scwarzenegger, Tolkien to 2000AD – I’m sure
you get the picture…

Right, the next phase was to design the fantasy world that would be the
starting point for the campaign. I had had the name OverEarth rolling around
in my mind for quite a while, which inspired a setting that was basically an
alternative Earth with the normal fantasy/historical time frame, magic
systems, etc. The starting point would be the island kingdom of Beorsca, off
the west coast of Uropha, and basically an alternative England…

Next I developed my arch-enemy for Beorsca, the usual vicious mage and
power-hungry tyrant, but added the twist that he was the father of
one of the PCs…

Now came the real challenge – how to start the actual campaign, how to
develop the characters, and how to provide the rationale for the ‘jumps’ to
our own present-day Earth and its post-apocalypse future

My solution to the dilemma was based upon two beliefs that I had formulated
over the years…

Firstly, that role-playing a character in a fully developed fantasy world
is almost impossible, because of the lack of frames of reference. What I
mean by this is that if I tell you to role -play someone from Paris, your
mind automatically throws out images of the Eiffel Tower, street cafes, etc,
but if I say role-play an elf from Elshaven, you have no mental images on
which to base your character.

Secondly, I had found that role-playing groups often squabble and argue at
every turn, even when playing fully in character. This arguing always seemed
to spoil the impression that the group was a cohesive whole, and it seemed
ludicrous that they remained together at all…

The solution to the first problem is simple to run, and turns out to be the
‘engine’ that drives the PCs towards their goal. In brief, I decided that
the characters had actually battled their arch-enemy across Beorsca 900
years ago, and then followed him through a gate to present (1995) Earth and
eventually to the post-apocalypse future Earth. However, when they finally
faced him (by then armed with weaponry from all three settings), he once
again stepped through a gate, trying to return to OVEREARTH. The characters
followed, and the trap was sprung. The arch-enemy sealed access out of the
gates, and the characters were trapped in an inter-dimensional limbo…

Time passes, and our PC benefactors (which could either be your campaigns
gods, or some ultra-powerful NPC) stumble/s upon the characters locked in
limbo, strips them of their techno-items, and sends them back to their home
world (in this case OVEREARTH). However, it is now 900 years later, and the
arch-enemy has just about destroyed the PC’s realm, which is now a dead
island dominated by his (expectably) demonic forces. To make matters worse,
and to really spice things up, the characters don’t have a clue who they
are, where they come from, etc. Even better, their 900 year experience in
limbo has caused their skills to atrophy, so that although they were, let’s
say 15th level, they’re now 5th level, or 1st level if you’re particularly
cruel…Thus the players don’t have to try to role-play in what in terms of
geography or history is a totally foreign world, because it is also foreign

And the final twist, which accounts for the usual inter-character bickering,
is that the party’s original leader, a warrior of great skill and huge
personal charisma * is not with them when they return*. They are aware of
his (or her) absence, and cannot function as a unit without him/her.

And so the scene is set for the poor players, aware only of their names and
their rudimentary skills, to…

* find out who they are…
* find out how they got there…
* relearn their skills…
* track down their missing leader…
* track down the arch enemy…
* and pursue him once more across the dimensions…
The great part is that… * they will automatically despise the arch enemy…
* their bickering will make sense…
* their lack of knowledge of the campaign setting will make sense.

No Honour among Thieves

City The captain of the guard is in the employ of the thieves guild. When the
guild receives an item he really wants, he sets up an elaborate system to
get it. He arrests the PCs on false or trumped up charges (a good way to
get them introduced), then offers them absolution if they do him a favour.
He wants them to infiltrate the thieves guild by a secret back door and find
out some info on some item that will be showing up soon. When the PCs get
through the sewers to the guild, the captain’s men will frame them for a
robbery that just took place. The players escape the angry thieves, but get
captured by the town guard. Along the way they have picked up enough clues
to figure out what has gone on, but they can’t prove it. So they must
escape from jail and go confront the captain as he is leaving town with the
item. After this excitement, the PCs don’t have much choice to become
roving adventurers, since the thieves guild wants their heads.

From Rock to Plot
John McMullen


I’ve been GMing for over a decade now. Every once in a while, people ask me
how I come up with plots. I’m not entirely sure, except that I look for
problems and then complicate them. The two most useful questions in
plotting are “Why?” and “How?” (“Who?” “Where?” “What?” and “When?” also get
a work out.)

Anyway, I thought I’d share a technique that I use when I’m absolutely
tapped out or when I can’t seem to come up with anything original. You know
the times — all you can come up with is cliche material you’ve done a
hundred times in the past. The first idea that comes to mind establishes
squatter’s rights on your frontal lobes.

(I want to emphasise that this isn’t the only technique, or the best
technique. It’s simply *a* technique that I find useful.)

The technique is to limit yourself. When you’ve got the whole wide universe
to work with, then you have *too many* possibilities. By setting arbitrary
restrictions, you remove things from consideration and narrow your focus.

You’ve already got a bunch of stuff established which places restrictions on
you. You know what genre you’re working in — that gives you a bunch of
genre conventions you can choose to work with or against. You know what
your player characters are (usually), and you probably have some sense of
location and season. All of these things are restrictions. If you’re doing
a sword and sorcery campaign, the question of aliens doesn’t come up.

That set of restrictions presumably isn’t enough (or you wouldn’t need this
technique). The next thing to do is set some arbitrary restriction: the
entire adventure takes place in a single room, for example, or the entire
adventure is built around what you did last weekend. Other possibilities
include story anthologies and (ahem) a dictionary of cliches or quotations.
The technique really relies on forcing the juxtaposition of unusual elements.

Here’s a (lengthy) example. I have a Dark Champions campaign. I know the
characters, I know the time of year, I know the city (none of which tells me
what the next story is). So I’m sitting here listening to the soundtrack
album for “Dumb and Dumber” and I decide that I’ll create a plot that
incorporates *something* from each song on the album.

Here are the songs on the album:

The Ballad of Peter PumpkinHead – Crash Test Dummies
New Age Girl – Deadeye Dick
Insomniac – Echobelly
If You Don’t Love Me (I’ll Kill Myself) – Pete Droge
Crash – The Primitives
Whiney, Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy) – Willi One Blood
Too Much Of A Good Thing – The Sons
You Sexy Thing – Deee-Lite
Where I Find My Heaven – Gigolo Aunts
Hurdy Gurdy Man – Butthole Surfers
Take – The Lupins
The Bear Song – Green Jelly
Get Ready – The Proclaimers

Hmm. Peter Pumpkinhead and The Bear Song suggest some kind of kid
song/nursery rhyme feel. Get Ready supports that with lines like “Fee Fi Fo
Fum.” You Sexy Thing, Too Much of a Good Thing, and If You Don’t Love Me
(I’ll Kill Myself) all suggest some kind of excess, perhaps emotional
overdrive — maybe a mind control plot? Somebody discovers a *real*
aphrodisiac and starts dumping it in the water? Someone is infatuated with
another person, makes the threats to suicide if he or she doesn’t return the
affection, but the other person’s attitude could be described as Whiney,
Whiney (What Really Drives Me Crazy).

New Age Girl is a sort-of love song to someone named Mary Moon who is (in
fact) a New Age Girl. She’s now an NPC in the adventure.

First plot that comes to mind with this: take the lowest charisma hero who
often complains he doesn’t have a love relationship and give him a groupie
(Mary Moon) who follows him around as the group tries to track down someone
who’s committing a series of thefts (Take) based on nursery rhymes. That
leaves me with Hurdy Gurdy Man, Crash, Insomniac, and Where I Find My Heaven
as plot elements to incorporate.

I don’t like it. So we’ll try again. Instead, let’s start with the
insomniac. Suppose someone has the oft-used psionic power of tangible
hallucinations and dreams. He or she knows it and has started trying to stay
awake (Insomniac). It’s not easy to make a living if you have this kind of
disability, so he or she is living as a street musician (Hurdy Gurdy Man).
That also gives us the street-level feel and makes the psionic harder to
track down. He or she has a tremendous crush on Mary Moon (we’re back to her

The first hallucination is Peter Pumpkinhead, a reasonably nice fellow.
Freaked, she leaves and is pursued by other nursery-rhyme characters.
Although Peter is quite likeable, but the others (the Bear that went over
the mountain, for instance) don’t have to be. Not knowing what’s going on,
Mary seeks out the PCs; if the PCs are too hard to find, they’ll encounter
her, trapped by the Bear. This leads to both Mary and the PCs trapped in
the psionic’s ideal world (Where I Find My Heaven). It’s not pleasant for
the PCs, because he regards them as competition (Too Much of a Good Thing).
This is obvious because Mary has a crush on one of the PCs (You Sexy
Thing). This environment, combined with Mary’s information, lets them know
who they’re looking for. The PCs can get out by moving fast enough and far
enough — the psionic’s powers aren’t all-encompassing, after all.

This, with the uppers, unhinges the psionic (If You Don’t Love Me, Whiney
Whiney). The first evidence is when Peter Pumpkinhead (trustworthy up until
now) turns psychotic.

In the meantime, (1) the psionic, worried, has been awake on uppers long
enough for hallucinations to start anyway, and (2) our villain of the piece
has figured out where these nursery-rhyme apparitions are coming from, and
is also searching for the psionic.

Still to include: Take (a robbery of some kind?) and Crash.

The bad guy catches the psionic, uses hypnosis or mind control to generate
some truly unpleasant hallucinations to perform robberies (Take), including
running an armoured car off the road (Crash) and picking up the money.

The good guys catch up, there is a fight and the problem of what to do with
the psionic. I leave that up to the players.

Now, a lot of the details still need to be worked out, but there’s a basic
setup, antagonist, and conflict.

Not entirely without cliches (to really eliminate cliches, you’d have to
know the characters better), but it’s certainly different than what I would
have come up with otherwise.

Anyway, it’s a technique I find useful, so I thought I’d share it for those
who are having trouble jump-starting their plots.

A ship of fools
Ketil Z Malde

Ship The characters need to cross some ocean. It is difficult to get hold of a
ship, but finally one merchant offers to sell them one. The price can be
discussed – a lot. Now the reason the ship is sold cheap if necessary, is
that it is a ghost ship. The previous captain was killed by the second in
command when he discovered what they were *really* doing (Smuggling?
Worse?) Now, the ghost will control the ship, and no matter how the players
try, it will quietly «drift off» towards the island where the previous
captain was killed. The players will experience his death in their dreams,
some as the victim, some as the perpetrator. On the island, another ship
will be arriving shortly with the murderer abroad, and the ghost will appear
and explain that he must be avenged, and will show them a treasure if they
do it. Of course, what the players do might have consequences for their
social position etc, depending on how they do it.

The characters are ambushed lightly, and when the ambushers run away, they
leave behind a sack. The sack contains a small faerie, gnome, or whatever,
who wants the characters to help them open a gate to Arcadia. The gate
turns out to be a frozen lake, and the only way to melt it is to remove the
church that is being built not too far away…and perhaps a sacrifice is

Returned veterans
Mike Jones

Any I had a team that had played together for about three years. Unfortunately
the team was about to fragment due to people moving for work. We finished
the campaign with an extended and excellent war.

This led to the ideal opportunity to start off the new characters as newly
enlisted men pulled into the system by a “draft bill” This allowed me to let
them all know one another and also it afforded me the chance of letting them
start with more powerful characters for the basic training that they went
through. This pleased the older players who just shelved experienced
characters Additionally it opens the way for reasons why less suited
characters would want to be multi-classed fighter-anything. Now with the
returning heroes of the war they feel inadequate. All of the available jobs
are being snatched by anyone who killed a worm let alone an Orcish
commander. So the party are forced to seek an alternative livelihood. Roll
on adventuring.

“Save the good dragon from the evil princess- pt1”
James Tackett


In the first net plot book, there is a quick adventure idea summed up as:
“Save the good dragon from the evil princess”

Some suggestions

Evil Princess intent on overthrowing her parents, but lacking the needed
backing among the leaders of the army, has managed to locate an Arcane and
purchase (with monies/items stolen from the kingdoms treasury) an
amulet/ring/potion/item which allows her to control the dragon which for
generations has helped protect the (select compass direction) borders and
mountain passes of the kingdom from marauders and invading forces. The
dragon under her control has been attacking outlying areas and the
population is in an uproar. The forces of evil, alerted by the princess
that her plan is beginning to bear fruit, are moving towards the kingdom.
The king has suspicions, the general knows what’s up, but can not take
direct action against the princess, the court wizard is away at the time
(arranged by the princess, false leads on an ancient artefact etc). The only
hope for the kingdom is that heroes will arise and release the dragon from
the princesses control, and bring to light the entire plot so that the king
can banish her and make her younger sister the true and good heir. If the
heroes should fail, the entire kingdom will be cast into a era of darkness
and evil.

“Save the good dragon from the evil princess- pt2”
Rick DiTullio


Just to add my own thoughts on this interesting idea.
“Save the good dragon from the evil princess”

The dragon in question does not have to be full grown. Imagine the evil
princess holding a dragon egg or hatchling ransom to force the local dragon
population to do her bidding.

To adapt this to a forest scenario use a faerie dragon protector of an
ancient forest. Or even have the whole thing be an illusionary romp caused
by the dragon!

Lastly, imagine the evil princess gaining control of the court wizard’s
psuedodragon familiar. This is possibly worse than ransoming the dragons
depending on the wizard’s level!

Behold Such Beauty
John A. Murphy


This scenario is best played a bit light-hearted. It starts with the party
entering a very remote village, Village. This village is far removed from
normal government dealings and as such they have their own small local
monarchy. As the party approaches there is great unrest in the town
square. There are trappings as if a festivity is about to commence, but the
townsfolk, also known as the Village People, are very concerned about
something. Anyone they ask will point them to the garrison commander,
Moostard (a colonel), who can relate the story.

“The town was preparing to celebrate the 16th birthday of the
princess. The country side was invited for a great feast. But
lo, this morning when the princess was not to be found we
checked and found that her room had been breached and she had
been kidnapped.”

(Any clues or ideas who has taken her?)

“We suspect the black robed worshipers of Evil Mackricks. A
hideous band of clerics that terrorised this area decades
ago with the aid of terrible beasts.
We found a black mace in her bedroom. They used a ladder to
climb up to her window. She must have put up a struggle as the
room was in disarray.
[ if there are any optional witnesses they will report of
black cloaked individuals who, if anyone was close enough,
had the symbol of a giant eye on their chest ]

(What was the princesses name?)

[look a bit flustered, look at your notes then answer] Beauty.
Princess Beauty. She was very beautiful, renown for her charm
and demeanour.


The Emaks haven’t been heard from in a long time. From what
little memory I have, they gave sacrifices to their deity (Ram)
on the night of a new moon….that would be tonight! Over the
past few months there have been a couple of others who have
disappeared. We had no clue to their disappearance and thought
they were the victims of monsters or bandits.

(Why us?)

The garrison is not very large. Most of the patrols are out
on multi-day patrols and aren’t due back for at least another
full day.


Over the river and through the woods to grandmother willow you go.
From there its over hill and dale. They came on horses so they
should be trackable.

The party should have little trouble following the tracks and finding the
valley. They should be approaching the temple about sundown. The temple is
in a shallow valley. The clerics should have at least a few guards or
patrols, avoidance is a fine way of dealing with them.

The main temple is a long building built into the side of the valley. The
building has a large set of double doors, a single large eye is centred on
the doors. There is a small stable that is adjacent to the front of the
temple. A small door leads from the stable to the temple. There is a
stable hand that is armed with a pitchfork in the stable along with a few
horses among the stalls.

If the party is able to approach quietly they can enter from either the
front doors, which open quietly and are not currently locked, or from the
stable. Both lead into a small anteroom. The back wall of the anteroom is
covered with a large heavy curtain.

As the party peeks through the curtain they can see the main temple area. It
is dimly lit by several torches and braziers. Several of the pews have
initiates in them. At the far end is the alter. A priest is concluding
some sort of ceremony. The princess is chained, standing on the far side of
the altar facing a statue. The statue is made of stone and is that of a
large round (2 meter diameter) creature with one large eye in the centre.
The creature also has several eye stalks (appendages ending in a small eye)
sprouting off of it. The centre eye is made of a huge ruby, about the size
of two large fists. The eyes at the end of each eye stalk are about the
size of a regular human eye and are of various types including emerald
sapphire, onyx, etc.

The priest at the altar is finishing a ceremony that concludes with his arms
outstretched. The centre eye of the statue begins to glow and the light
slowly begins to extend until it envelopes the princess. After a few
seconds the princess collapses, her pallor now a dull grey. This entire
process takes less than a minute.

If the party doesn’t intercede at this point the priest will continue with
the physical sacrifice of the princess’s body. This will result in the
unalterable death of the princess. What the party must do is intercede and
rescue the body of the princess as well as the centre jewel from the
statue. The ruby is hollow and if held up to the light, the face of the
princess can be seen almost as a reflection or a ghost within. To restore
the princess the party must merely break the ruby with the body of the
princess close by.

Most of the initiates are not well trained and have Mediocre combat
ability. The priest and optional acolytes have Fair or Good combat ability
plus some magical ability. Along the back wall is a concealed door that
leads to other chambers including a jail area (with jailer and optional
prisoners), some storage rooms, and the private quarters for the priest.

Ultimately if the party does not succeed and the clerics continue on their
way, they will continue to steal souls until they can animate their deity.

Fortress of the Sender
John A. Murphy

Castle This works best with a party that contains a thief. The party is in the
capital city of Gunthenor for the first time. It is usually appropriate for
thieves to visit or register with the local guild. Alternately, a member of
the guild may seek them out, make friends and then later try to steer them
with a tip if the party is looking for an adventure or work.

The guild master (or new friend), Nelbin, should eventually meet up with the
party. He isn’t someone to be totally trusted, although this has to be
discovered over time. He isn’t evil, just has his own agenda. He is or has
been a thief at some point in his life. He doesn’t relate all he knows and
tries to paint a picture of a ruthless baron practically kidnapping his
friend. He doesn’t want to tell the party too much, because if captured
they won’t know anything. He is concerned that the baron might become
proactive if he finds out that someone is trying to check up on him.

Nelbin relates the following:

Up in the remote Northlands the local baron has unjustly
imprisoned a friend [maybe]. I ask you to rescue a personal
friend [true] who did no wrong other than travelling through
the area with too many gems in his possession [partial truth].
I have tried to rescue him myself, but failed [lie]. I was
captured, and let go with a stern warning [lie]. I do not
believe I would be so lucky if my face was seen again [true].

(What’s your friends name?)

Leafloc, an elf and a good archer. [a good thief too]

(Where exactly is it?)

An associate of mine, Prelenna, can act as a guide. She is a
good guide, but not much of a fighter. She will take you to the
keep, but will not enter.

This tale is full of half-truths. The baron worries the guild and Nelbin in
particularly. The baron has risen to power in a remote area, the wild woods
of the Northlands. Information and intelligence on him is limited. Nelbin
knows he likes to stay secluded, but has allies within the governmental
hierarchy. He has shun any contact with the guild. Attempts to contact him
have gone unanswered, sometimes the messenger doesn’t return. The baron has
a strong hold on his territory and works both sides of the legal fence. He
conducts raids on some towns or trade routes, while others are protected.
No one is aware of any of this.

Nelbin first met the baron [he thinks] face to face after he was captured
after infiltrating the barons main [he thinks] fortress. He was sneaking
around inside the fortress when something landed at his feet. Whatever it
was caused the immediate area to go completely silent. He turned and saw a
man with bright yellow eyes at the end of the hallway staring at him. Then
he heard strange words in his mind that he recognised as some kind of spell,
soon after he fell fast asleep. When he awoke he was imprisoned.

Nelbin is a Good thief and was finally able to escape. Over time he was
able to collect enough pieces of scrap metal to create a crude pick. He
then slunk in the shadows of night until he reached a small store room.
There he was able to create a secret/false hole in one wall and make his

Unbeknownst to Nelbin is that the baron is of a strange race called the
Senders [ see below ]. Nelbin also doesn’t realise that his run in was with
the barons only son.

The stronghold is in the wilderness of the north. This particular
stronghold is not the barons main quarters, but merely one of several
outposts. The baron is known to maintain patrols over a large area. What is
not known is that the baron maintains odd alliances. The fortress is
currently being guarded by a band of goblins. In other areas the baron has
employed humans, mercenaries, orcs, and even an ogre or two. He tries to
keep racial skirmishes to a minimum by separating races where he can. As
far as the baron knows, his prisoner is a poor thief he caught
investigating. The Sender at this particular outpost turns out not to be
the baron, but the barons only son. The guards at his outposts are well fed
and organised. Usually reporting to a human captain.

The structure is a 2 story keep, two guard towers in the front with a
battlement that runs across the front and halfway down the east/west sides.
There are few windows. The front battlement covers a small courtyard that
doubles as a small stable area. Oil holes and an arrow slit over the centre
aid in the defence of larger scale assaults. If they have hot oil prepared
is up to you. Tree cover makes it reasonably easy to approach.

Size of the structure and the number of guards is dependent on how strong
the party is and how difficult the rescue is intended to be. The storage
room is located in a back corner, there is some shrubbery and undergrowth in
front of the hole.

The stairs in the middle of the structure give an idea of where the stairs
leading down to the jail area are. Obviously the inside needs to be
detailed. If a full lower level is desired it can also be detailed.

+—-( )——-( )—-| |—-( )——( )——+
| | | |
| tower | battlement area | tower |
|__________| _ _ _ _ _|_ _ _|_ _ _ _ _ |___________|
| | | |
| | | |
| b. a. b. a. |
| | | |
^ ^
v | | v
| |
| _ _ _ _ _| | _ _ _ _ _ |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |
| |_| |
| |_| |
|___ |-| |
| | |-| |
|SR| |
| | |
+x—( )———————————-( )——+

If the party is able to make the break out and escape, but does not kill the
Sender, they hear as they are making their break:

“My father the baron will be greatly angered by this….”

The Senders

A race of humans that have the gift of limited telepathy. They can speak
to humans and most intelligent humanoids using their mind. The recipient
can hear the Senders thoughts as if they were clearly spoken in their native
language. The Senders can not read a persons thoughts, just place their
thoughts as if spoken. Senders have a minimum of Good intelligence. It is
unknown if the Senders are a separate race, or a human mutation. The
Senders ten to have been either leaders of men or persecuted by the fearful.

The Party
Jonas Steverud

Forest The PCs, who are travelling through a forest, comes out into a bigger
clearing and finds out that there is a party going on there. What/Who has
arranged the party and if the PCs are welcome is up to the GM.

Jonas Steverud

Any The PCs are contacted in some way (by rich person in an inn? 😉 )
and this is the story which are told for them:

The master, of the one who contacts the PC, has a slight problem. The
master is a wizard and he owns a book, called Symbolica, which has some
*very* powerful spells in it (Ie. the wizard in the team might want it
himself). But Symbolica is stolen! The master knows who the thief is,
another wizard, and where he is. The master cannot pick it up himself
because of reasons the PCs won’t understand. Therefore he asks the PCs to
help him, and he will pay them richly if they fulfil the task. The PCs sets
off and do the quest. But it is one thing they overlooked: the truth!

This is the truth: The so-called thief is the rightful owner! The PCs master has
fooled them! The master has also set out another team of adventurers who’s
task is to follow the PCs and make sure they fulfil their task. The second
team are told that the PCs is doing this task as a punishment for a crime
they have committed. When the PCs finally has discovered the truth they
find themselves in a very delicate situation:

1) Their original master is mad at them (for not fulfilling their task
and/or discovering the truth).

2) The rightful owner is mad at them (quite obviously!).

3) The second team don’t know what they should think and might decide to
fight the PCs (Depending on how much the second team knows.) They
maybe don’t know the truth and continue with their mission – to force
the PCs to deliver the book.

No friends, no money, only wounds and enemies. I think they will think it
over once or two before they says yes to their next adventure…

A Royal Murder
Jonas Steverud

Any The PCs are at the border on their way into a new kingdom. Shortly
after the border, or just before it, they are contacted by a man who
claims he is a nobleman and he needs their help.
This is the story he tells them. “For some years ago this country was
a happy country. There were peace and the people were well fed.
Everybody was happy and it was a healthy kingdom. But there was a
snake in the paradise: Duke Foo (Call him something that’s would make
sense depending on your world). He had an eager longing for the crown
and for three years ago he took it with the help of foreign help. The
old king, and some of the noblemen who where loyal to him [the man
lowers his head in a gesture that means that he’s on of them], were
send in exile.
The kingdom was sent into terror. People with opinions which didn’t
please the king where killed. Good men and women where tortured and
killed for the sheer pleasure of the king. The once happy nation was
now a frightened country!
For two and a half years the rightful king has been abroad but never,
*never*, lost faith in once again come back and making justice! I am
sent forward to make sure that the rightful king can enter his castle
safely and it is in that task I need your help. I need your help to
assassinate the pretender-king!”
The PCs get some extra details (like a map of the castle) and afterwards the
sets off onto their task of justice.
How far they comes before they discover the truth is up to you but
they should get the chance of really, really screwing things up.
The truth is: the nobleman was lying.
For some years ago the country was not happy, it was in terror -the
terror of the king. After a while one of the noblemen was sickened by it
and created a revolution and put himself in the throne. The new king is
not a good king but his intentions are good. He wants to put things
right and to make the country a happy nation. He has succeeded in
some parts and the people love him (they will love anyone who threw
out the old king). The old king was send into exile together with some
noblemen. That part of the story is correct, the fake part is the
parts where the government of each king is described.
What the PCs now are going to do is to kill the good king and to
reinstall the evil one.
Nice plans eh? Just watch out when you tell the players the truth.
They might be angry… 😉
Well, I think they should have a fair chance of discover the truth
themselves, *before* everything goes out of hand. But if they overlook
the evidence…. Make them suffer…

A Mansion Tale
Jonas Steverud


This is one of my better adventures, the problem is that I didn’t
GM it correctly so the players didn’t get scared. 🙁
Tip: Read “The Shadow over Innmouth” (sp?) by Lovecraft first.

On a medium big island (4-6 miles across) there is a village and a mansion a
mile or two from the village. A forest lies around the mansion, which is
next to the sea. The mansion is own by an eccentrically man who only has one
servant. He also have a brother in some big city (who’s a doctor).

One day when one of the people in the village comes up to the mansion for
some purpose he discovers that the front door is partly open. In one room he
finds all the furniture put away up against the walls and a lot of signs is
carved in (with a knife or similar) into the floor, walls and roof. On the
middle of a big symbol there is a body, recognised as the brother of the
master of the mansion dead, sacrificed. The servant and mansion owner are
no-where to be seen. The villager sends for help.

Tahadaah… The players enter the scene from the left… 🙂

During the search in the house they goes into the kitchen and then out of it
(nothing interesting there, they shouldn’t be allowed to investigate too
much here…). After a couple of minutes they find that they are missing one
of the NPCs (anyone you like) who was following them. They finds him in the
kitchen, killed with a meataxe with tremendous force. They haven’t heard
anything! They should realise that someone (some_thing_?) was in the kitchen

It’s the servant (who is 800% insane and lives in the forest on the island)
who killed him, when returning to steal some food.


A letters from the mansion owner’s brother. They are talking about what a
grandfather did to his daughter (married her to a Deep One, but that’s not
said straight out) and in that way “put this curse on our family”. He also
talks about fact that he has found a medication against this (“my eyes are
once again normal and I don’t have to wear sun goggles in the middle of the
winter”). He also says that he “comes home to cure you my dear brother, even
though it seems that you don’t realised what a curse this is”. The last
letter says that the brother arrives the night before the man from the
village finds his body and ends with “Stay out of the water, for God’s
sake!”. You may also give them a unfinished letter from the Mansion owner
saying he is rejecting the offer. He thinks the grandfather did the right

What has happened:

Persons involved: The Mansion owner, who is Deep Ones (or “Deep-Ones-will-
be”); his doctor brother (who doesn’t want to be one); the mansion owner’s

The mansion owner thinks the Deep Ones connection is the best thing
that has ever has happened to him (there are letters telling about this in
the doctor brother’s home and they both write diaries). When the
doctor-brother arrives late at night his brother is prepared. With the help
of his servant (they both completely insane) he strikes down the doctor and
sacrifices him to some Outer God. The servant now extremely insane (SAN=
-[VERY big number] 😉 ) runs away out into the woods (it is he who kills
the NPC in the kitchen when he tries to collect some food. He will later try
to escape to the mainland and run to some place, not even himself knowing
where to (maybe a secret temple, but that’s another story)). The mansion
owner escapes down a tunnel to the ocean, down to a Deep One-City.

Home of the Happy Hobbit
John A. Murphy

17-JAN-1996 11:31:57.71
Cave This is a good initial party get together, that works well for an
initial or first time adventure. Someone needs to be a thief, best if
he is just starting out. Since this is used as a characters initial
adventure it tends to steer and have more of a fixed story line than
many scenarios. (p.s. I avoiding typing he/she in many places, not because
I don’t want to be PC, but rather I think it reads easier.)

Note: Some GM only notes are included at points in [ ]’s, frequently it
bits of text that may be read directly to the player(s).

GENERAL BACKGROUND (optionally read to player(s)):

Years ago in the small village of Dillow, a hobbit named Pilar
(pronounced Pee-lar) retired from adventuring and opened up a small
inn, “The Home of the Happy Hobbit”, a two- or three-storey structure
with basic kitchen & dining services, a bar, and a few private rooms to
rent. While some suspect Pilar used to be an adventuring thief, he
denies it and uses colourful metaphors and ambiguous language to
describe his previous experiences.

“Oooo, if I only had a gold piece for every time I’ve been

In general he is fair with his customers and is more interested in a
relaxing livelihood, than squeezing his patrons for a few extra coppers.

The inn itself was nondescript for awhile, but soon began to make a name for
itself. They have the ability to serve ice cold drinks even on the
hottest of summer days. You can also get cheese, milk, and fruit out
of season; things you can’t even get at the inns in the larger cities.
Pilar is the only one who knows the secret and he has yet to tell anyone.
His part time helpers are mostly members of his extended family/clan.


Dillow has a small garrison, <30 guards, who patrol the countryside in an effort to keep order and monsters in their place. Usually there are no more than 5 to 10 guards in town. The captain of the guard is a human named Wooten. The main player character is the thief. The thief's tutor, Pilar the hobbit and innkeeper, is murdered and the PC is accused of the crime. Unknown to any of the players, Pilar has a basement that leads to some cooled caves. He recently stumbled on a new fissure that eventually led to an ancient finished dungeon corridor. The corridor eventually dead ended at a cave in. There was also a room that looked either unfinished or caved in, but Pilar discovered that the rubble appeared to be silver ore. Knowing little about mining, but knowing from his adventuring days that many dwarves have knowledge of mining, he has been on the look out for a dwarf, or more precisely a miner. He has tried extracting some of the ore himself, but created a small cave in that almost buried him. Pilar's actions were noticed by an unknown adversary (possibly an innkeeper from a nearby city who wanted Pilar's secret of cold drink) who sent a FAIR half-orc assassin (named Ugluk) to Dillow under the guise of a miner named Draggard. Draggard showed up in town and having been briefed on some very basic mining terms, was able to convince Pilar that he could help him. Pilar swore him to secrecy, got him to sign some form of a contract, and then took him to his secret cave. The hobbit explained how he had taken a small bit out, found it to be silver ore of decent quality and had been unsuccessful in extracting any large quantity. As the conversation progressed it started to become evident that Draggard didn't know mining from a hole-in-the-ground (so to speak). As Pilar was just starting to get suspicious, Daggard took the ice dagger he had broken off in the ice cave and killed Pilar with a vicious back stab. What Daggard did NOT know, was that the door to this dead-end dungeon room had a hidden catch that left it locked from the inside. The catch is in the door frame right at floor level. Pilar found it, when he was in a similar situation as the door frame by the catch was slightly worn. Daggard is trapped, scared, and foreseeing himself starving to death, although he thinks that someone will find the way down here sometime today or tomorrow. As he waits he thinks of a plan. CHARACTERS, WITH POSSIBLE STARTING LOCATIONS * Thief, just starting out under Pilar’s instructions
* Warrior, hired member of the guard or even captain of the guard
* Priest or druid, accused defence aid or impartial arbitrator
* Any dwarf or person with mining skill. Pilar will want to meet him
and may have scheduled a meeting for the day of the murder
* Any class, lone patron at the inn
* Any class, resident of the town or nearby countryside
* Any class, just passing through, and/or waiting for the inn to open

BACKGROUND for thief player (optionally read to all players):
[ This character may have grown up in or around Dillow. There are
many farms and large woodlands in the surrounding countryside. ]

Pilar, the local innkeeper, is by far the most colourful individual in
the village. You have always been fascinated by his stories of
adventuring. His stories of adventuring have always fuelled your
imagination. Going into deep dark dungeons, fighting evil monsters,
and finding precious and magical gems seem almost dreamlike
compared to this sleepy little town. Over the years you have found
yourself helping out at the inn and fancy yourself to be a protege of
Pilar’s. He has shown you several “tricks of the trade” including
how to pick simple locks (“I’ve only done this when the owner forgot
his key or if I was curious as to what was inside”, insists Pilar),
how to sneak about quietly in shadows, and even how to scale a wall.

[ Make up an specific tales you feel will appeal to the character,
sometimes explaining why a “thief” is not a bad thing to be. ]

THE STORY (as presented to the thief character):

It is a slow time in Dillow. Pilar’s inn has no boarders.
[ possible exception is to have one of the PCs to be the only boarder ]

Recently, however, Pilar has been noticed to be rather excited about
something. He has been seen around town asking people if they know any

[ Specific individuals may have even been asked if they know anything
about mining. If someone investigates enough they may be able to learn
that Pilar has recently purchased some mining equipment (shovels etc.) ]

You wander into town and immediately notice that the inn is still dark
and closed. Usually Pilar is open by now, serving the occasional
breakfast. There are no lights on inside.

[ If at this point the character asks around he MAY find out that
yesterday Pilar was seen talking with an ugly stranger. ]

[ If one of the players characters was staying at the inn, they
found themselves locked out last night and had to go stay in
a farmers barn. They plan on coming back into town later to
have a word with Pilar, but that is later. ]

[ Hopefully the character will now be asked to do some
roleplaying and try to enter the inn. ]

[ If checked, the door and windows are locked]

Your curiosity is aroused and since Pilar has shown you several
times how to pick the lock, it only takes you a moment to open the
door (after all you help out here, you’re practically an employee!).

Inside, all is quiet, too quiet. You look around, it doesn’t look
like Pilar finished cleaning up last night. There are a few tables
that haven’t been cleared. There is no fire in the fireplace either.
You notice that the kitchen door behind the bar is open, which is very

[ There is nothing else out of place, perhaps some unwashed glasses
on the bar. ]

As you enter the kitchen you notice that the door to the basement
stairs (under the stairs that lead upstairs) is also open.

[ If the character proceeds. ]

You slowly descend the stairs into the darkness. The creak of the
stairs sound especially loud in the eerie silence.

[ There is a lantern hanging at the bottom of the stairs if needed. ]

You find yourself in the basement storeroom. Boxes and barrels
fill the room, in some places from floor to ceiling. The room is
filled with an abundance of odours from the containers. Off in
one corner you see some shovels, torches, and rope.

You are about to leave when you feel a chill. You give one more look
around and notice some boxes in one corner seem out of
place. You look behind those boxes and you see an open trap door with
a ladder
leading down into a rough hewn passage.

[ Assuming the character continues…. ]

You proceed down the ladder, finding it a bit odd as you realize
the rung spacing is intended for someone shorter than yourself
[ OK, so I’m assuming the character isn’t a hobbit ]

You find yourself in a rough passageway. It seems like it
might be a natural fissure, with minimal working to make it
wider in a few places. It slopes down slowly. After 50 or
60 feet of rough twisty passage you come to a crude door.
On closer inspection, it is really a very heavy curtain.

As you slide the curtain to one side you are met by a very cool blast
of air. Inside is a crude chamber with rough walls, a few stalagmites
and stalactite, and yet more containers, some cheeses, and kegs of beer.
The ceiling and walls are very damp. Looking around, you see in the
far corner behind a stalagmite is another crude trap door. This one
is at a 45 degree angle between the floor and the wall. The hinges
are on the top of the door.

[ If they look carefully they will see a hook mechanism
that can hold the door open. ]

Pulling open the trap door, you are met with a freezing cold breeze.
A small opening leading steeply down is revealed. You notice a muddy
rope has been tied to the stub of a stalagmite and has been fed
down the hole. As you start to make your way down you start losing your
footing as it gets very slippery [ check Dex ]. You slide down the rest of
the way, figuring your total descent to be at least 40 feet. The last 5
feet is a drop off, leaving you on your butt, and a cold one at that.
Looking about, you have entered a small underground ice cave. Ice
stalagmites and stalactites abound in this 100 foot circular cavern. A
small pool is visible on the far side. You can hear the sound of dripping
and/or running water. The ice glitters like diamonds.

[ This is what it appears to be, a super cooled cave from an unknown
source. There are no diamonds here. An ice toad lives in the pool,
which Pilar knows of and now knows to avoid. The to/from destination
of the feed stream for the pool is not detailed, nor is the full
reason for the ice cave.

The floor is slippery, rough, and uneven. If the floor is examined
at the entry point, a path/trail (.) can be found that winds through
the cave, avoiding the pool, and leads over to the other opening.

** If the stalagmites along the path are ALL CAREFULLY examined,
** one of the smaller ones can be found to be flattened, having been
** recently broken off. This clue should NOT be given out easily.


You see between the stalagmites a passage that leads back, sloping
upwards slightly. The going is rough as the floor is slick. The rough
passage winds back a little bit and then unexpectedly turns into a
finished corridor. The stone work on the walls seems extraordinarily
good…..and old. The passage way leads straight back for about 50
feet or so, ending in a cave-in of rubble. Oddly enough, there is a
door about 40 feet along the right hand wall.

[ This next part need to be played out carefully. Daggard is trapped
inside. He will probably hear if the person makes any kind of noise
coming down the corridor or checking the door. The following is
only one possible scenario. ]

You carefully open the door. It goes in a little bit and then opens up
into a room. You can see what appears to be Pilar lying face down. You
take a step into the room and are shoved from behind. You fall to your
knees and you are just able to make out someone human sized running out
of the room.

[ If the character takes off after Daggard….. ]

As you come out of the room you see the fleeing person is at the end
of the hall, going out of sight round the bend. His footsteps echo
loudly in the otherwise silent surroundings.

[ At this point you should allow the person to chase, keeping the
culprit in sight, but not gaining ground significantly. If the person
is able to make the proper dice rolls, you might allow them to
grab a foot when going up the slippery chute or the ladder, but
then give Daggard a good chance at kicking them off.

After following Daggard closely, as they reach the kitchen/bar
area they can see/hear Daggard bursting out of the inn and shouting
“Murderer! Murderer!” to the captain of the guard who happens to
be in the street in front of the inn with a couple of guards.

[ If the character takes their time and looks around the room first… ]

The room is long and narrow. One side ends in a finished wall, the
other ends in a caved-in mess of rubble. There is a wheelbarrow full
of wet dirt near the rubble. There are no other pieces of mining
equipment. Pilar is lying face down, between the wheelbarrow and
the door. He is pointed towards the rubble. Upon examination he
is found dead from a some sort of stab wound to the back.

[ At this point they will probably leave to find out more. By the
time the character gets up to the first floor, he will be met at
the door by the Wooten (the captain), two guards, and Daggard.

In either case, something resembling the following ensues.

– Daggard spins a tale which includes the following points
– He had a meeting scheduled with Pilar today, about mining
– Finding the inn dark, but the front door open he proceeded
down the various passage ways, much like the character did
– He found you standing over the body and ran back to tell the captain

– As the character raises objections, Daggard tries to dispel them.
– Daggard is willing to be searched, even suggesting it if no one brings
it up. Furthermore, Daggard suggests searching the inn, passageways,
and the room itself for the weapon.
The results of such a search reveal NO pointed weapons or tools.
There are no spikes or picks among the mining equipment.
Searching the final room and rubble reveals no weapon.
– If the character happens to have a dagger or pointed weapon, Wooten
can examine it and tell that it doesn’t have any blood on it,
and it doesn’t appear to have been used recently and/or doesn’t
match the stab wound.

As this goes on, part of Daggard’s natural personality should come out. He
is a half-orc and is very abrasive and ugly to boot. He is also slippery
and a stranger in town. Wooten would like to believe the character, but
doesn’t trust Daggard. If the character is having trouble figuring out
the puzzle part, have Wooten ask some leading questions, but do NOT solve
it for the character. Have the other characters help if need be. Maybe
the contract between Pilar and Daggard can be found. As a last resort
maybe someone will notice the broken ice stalagmite along the ice cave path.

The key is the wet dirt in the wheelbarrow. That is where Daggard put
the ice dagger after stabbing Pilar. Wooten is willing to take the
characters word especially after Daggard gets a scared look in his eye
when the key piece of evidence is explained.

Maybe the characters will get a reward. Maybe Daggard will confess and
name his employer. Do with it what you will.

If the characters are later allowed to enter dig into the tunnel after
the cave-in, what wonders they find is up to you….

The “The Home of the Happy Hobbit” basic map:

Map Key:
| or – : wall
| | : door in horizontal wall
= : small door in vertical wall
|xxx| : heavy/locked door
< > : window
# : rock, or inaccessible
. : path
% : cave-in or rubble
$ : silver ore
V or > : slope in direction indicated
{ : water, pool or stream
S : ice stalagmite and/or stalactite
m : shovels and misc. mining equipment
w : wheelbarrow
P : Pilar’s body

Ground Floor:

| = =s __| |
| | Kitchen/ =t _ | |
|—raised floor——-| Upper store|a _ | ^
|______________________| |i – |
| B A R ! | |r – | v
|___________________!__|____________|s . | |
| | fire | |
| +——-+ |
| |
^ ^
( various benches, chairs, & tables )
v v
| |
| |
| |
+—-| |————< >—————< >——+

Upper Floor:

+—< >———-< >——————————-+
| | s __| |
| medium = t _ | |
| private | +————+a _ | ^
| room | |############|i – |
|————–| |############|r – | v
| cheap | +——–+###|s . | |
| private = | fire |########| |
| room | +——–+——–+ |
|————–| | | |
^ | = Pilar’s = Pilar’s ^
large | | Office | Room
v expensive | +———–+ v
| private | | cheap | |
| room = = private | |
| | | room | |
+—————-< >———————-< >——+

Lower Level:

############## -|xxx|————+############################################
############## = = |############################################
############## | Kitchen/ +-||-+############################################
############## | Upper store| _ |######## > ### ######################
############## | | – |###### > #######V## #####################
############## | | – |###### ######### | (cool ##################
############## |____________| . |#+—–+############ room) ##################
############## | fire |###| +-+ X|############ ###################
############## +——-+###| basement |############# ###################
############################| storeroom |################ X ##################
############################|m |#################V###################
########################################################## ###################
######################################################### ##################
###################################################### .. ###############
############################################ … S S ##########
##$$$$####################################### S ….. S S #####
#$$$$##——————+################# S S . S #######
#$$$$$$$% w |############### S . S S S ######
#$$$$%$$ P |############# S … S . S S ####
$$$$$$$%% |########### S .S ….S S S S ###
##$$$$$$—–+ +——–+############## .. S ######
##$##$#$#####| |######################### .S S S S S #######
———-%%–||——–###############.S.. S (ice cave) S ####
<-UNKNOWN %%% #### > > ..S S S ###
——–%%%————-## # ############ S {{{ #####
########################## #################### {{{{{{{{ #######
###################################################### {{{{{{{{{{{{{ ########

Colin Steele

18-JAN-1996 09:35:23.44


This is a short (and somewhat hackneyed, but still fun) sci-fi
adventure I’ve run a few times. The results are usually quite good if
you can create the proper atmosphere. Think Aliens, or Outland. I
run it using my own homebrew background and mechanics, called Star
Patrol, which is based on FUDGE. Check out
for more details.


Minions of the Dark have begun constructing a dimensional gate beneath
the Republic outpost on Deju. The outpost’s leader has been replaced
by the minions, who are using the Gift to create a perfect illusion of
the leader. They are proceeding to infiltrate deeper into the
outpost, replacing more key figures. And, they have begun enslaving
part of the outpost’s inhabitants, using them as slave labor to
dig/construct/whatever the secret.

The characters are travelling on the starship Fickle Fate, which is
scheduled to deliver several geolocks and some replacement personnel
to the outpost. The stopover is supposed to be a short one, and the
poor design of the landing bays, which are just next to the garbage
collection/expulsion unit, make the stop seem even longer. But, the
outpost’s only canteen, “the Pit”, is abuzz about something…


This document is free. Permission is given to redistribute it and/or
modify it under 2 conditions: 1. My name stays on it.
2. No profit is made from redistribution or modification.

1. The Pit – melee & social, roleplay

Characters go to the bar, as the Fickle Fate’s entertainment console
is pretty pitiful. They notice that the party in the back, which is
getting progressively louder, inebriated and angry, seems to be
talking about a at the bar.

The largest of the lot gets up, goes over to him, spins him around in
his barstool, and shouting something about “This one’s for Jorick!”,
attacks the surprised .

A fight ensues, with the attackers inebriated buddies crowding around,
cheering him on with phrases like “That’s it, Kitoog, help him find
Jorick!” and “One more for Landers!”.

The is getting his butt kicked, and unless the characters
intervene, will end up an unconscious bloody pulp on the floor. If
they do, they easily defeat the drunks, who are quickly
shipped off to lockup by the local constabulary, which show up after
a few rounds. The introduces himself as Sergeant Thargrim, buys
several rounds, and pours out the story of the disappearances. It ends
with mention of the reward for finding them, and a plea to call
him if they hear anything.


Str – Great (+2 @ scale -1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Good (+1)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Good (+1)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)
Scale -1

Gifts: Longevity, Legal Enforcement Power: Deju Outpost.
Faults: Stubborn, Kinda Ugly, Prefer Enclosed Spaces.
Skills: Mechanicals – Poor (+0), Blaster – Great (+2), Streetwise –
Great (+2), Detect Whopper – Fair (+0), Melee – Great (+2),
Deal-making – Great (+2), Languages – Good (+1), Medical – Fair
(+0), Swimming – Fair (+0), Alien Culture – Fair (+0),
Intimidate – Fair (+0), Tailing – Mediocre (-1)
Weapons/Equipment: Blaster, Comlink, Light Armor (+2).


Str – Good (+1 @ scale 2)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Good (+1)
Scale 2

Gifts: Regal Bearing, Excellent Sense of Smell, Roar, Reputation:
Don’t Mess With Me.
Faults: Farsighted, Phobia of Water, Odious Personal Habit: Licks Fur,
Odious Personal Habit: Coughs up Hairballs, and Code of Honor:
Skills: Hold Liquor – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Streetwise –
Great (+2), Unarmed Melee – Great (+2), Mining – Good (+1),
Blaster – Fair (+0), Technology – Fair (+0), Mechanicals –
Fair (+0), Dodge – Fair (+0), Gambling – Fair (+0)
Weapons/Equipment: Comlink, Miner’s Mate (treat as Buzzsword).

Eventually, Thargrim excuses himself to attend to his duties.

The bar is clearing out anyway, so the characters head back to the
ship. As they do, they run into the somewhat distant and laconic
Director of the Deju outpost, Rath Shiventire, who inquires as to
their enjoyment of their stay, and as to the whereabouts of the
Sergeant (who has just departed).

He bids the characters safe journey and leaves.

The ship’s docking bay abuts the outpost’s garbage collection and
removal depot, which lends a foul aroma to the area. As the
characters hurry past the slimy ramp, one spots a worker, dumping a
load of garbage into the removal robot ship’s container. Out of the
corner of the character’s eye, he/she could swear that there was a
_body_ hidden in the garbage.

2. Victim – non-combat, brains

The characters must stop/override/whatever the garbage robot ship so
they can inspect the contents and find out who the unfortunate victim
is. (As a goad to investigate, maybe they’re passing the garbage heap
and notice the body just as the reward notice flashes by on a nearby
databoard.) Discovering the Director’s corpse is fairly important.
The characters should have some difficulty defeating the droidship’s
security, or mechanically rigging things, or whatever, but should

It turns out to be the body of the Director. (Impossible!!! They just
got done talking to him…)

Turn up the suspense and atmosphere.

3. Sneak a Peek – non-combat, brains, possibly blaster

After the body’s been discovered, the PC who found the body goes to security,
only to find that Thargrim has been murdered, evidently moments before
the PC arrived. The agents of the Dark, posing as security officers,
decided that Thargrim was making too much trouble, and were in the
process of replacing him, when the PC called with the news of the
discovered body. Their plan is to eliminate the PC, and they will
chase the PC through the station.

“With thoughts of Thargrim’s woeful tale and the reward flitting
through your mind, you quickly call the Sergeant up on the comlink.
You quickly relay the details of your discovery, to his amazement and
confusion. Lowering his voice, he asks you (the discoverer only) to
come to Security HQ to make a statement and elaborate. He urges you
to move quickly and to keep a low profile. In fact, maybe a quick
disguise of some sort might be in order…”

When the character arrives at Security:

“The wide blast door to Security is open, although it’s after hours.
You enter, pass through the disorganised and cramped reception
area, and spy a light coming down a darkened corridor – probably
Thargrim’s office. Starting down the corridor, you see a couple of
the Sgt’s men are sitting casually on desks, drinking synthcaf. One
looks at another person apparently sitting in the office that you
can’t see, and then motions you down the hall. You start down the
hall, and one of Thargrim’s men, a bit overweight, and greying at the
temples, stands up and hitches up his drooping shipsuit.”

(Ask the character to make a Perception check, and ignore the results,
before you read this next part. Paranoia is a good thing.)

“You pass a couple of empty cells, making out their cots and holovids
dimly as you walk by. Then you pass a closet door, and notice a dark
puddle seeping from underneath the door. It’s BLOOD! Your head snaps
up, and see the Sergeant’s man watching you. A leering grin comes to
his lips. Your heart jumps to your throat – it’s some kind of trap.
You wheel around as fast as you can, and bolt for the door.”

“A weird wet/metallic coughing noise rings behind you, just as you
turns the corner. You catch a glimpse of a slimy green/black dart
lodged in the door in front of you, just as you duck out of the
office. The acrid smell and the image of the slime melting the
cerametal door jolts you as you tear off towards the Fickle Fate,
running as fast as you can.”

“Behind you, possibly from a cell somewhere back in Security, you hear
a familiar bellow of the bruiser from the bar last night, saying ‘Wot?
Who the Hell? What the blazes is going on here?!'”

Kitoog, who was sleeping off his previous night’s binge, was a friend
of the late Thargrim. Kitoog was a regular in jail, and Thargrim
never locked his cell. So, after the security guys/Darklings go
running after the PC, he lets himself out to find out what’s going on.

“The clomping feet are getting louder and louder behind you, and this
damned outpost must have been designed while under the influence of

Make a few contested Running skill checks. If the heavies win a
couple, they may be able to get off a few shots. Let the character
keep a bit ahead of them, though.

Kitoog figures out what’s going on, and with his superior knowledge
of the station’s infrastructure, saves the character, sneaks him back
to the Fickle Fate. Tells the character about the accident, the
disappearance of the 3rd shift crew, etc.

On a hunch, Kitoog suggests they scout out the “accident” area.

Couple of obstacles like sneaking past wardroid guards, defeating
security systems.

Starlab’s PX-5 Defence Droid

Str – Mediocre (-1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Good (+1)
Tch – Mediocre (-1)
Per – Good (+1)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)

Gifts: Knowledge Skills@Fair, Built-in Blaster Rifle, Built-in Trooper
Armor (+4 DM), Built-in Comlink.
Faults: Must Be Repaired (Can’t Heal), Needs to be Recharged Once per
Day, Can Only Have 4 Skills.
Skills: Blaster – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee –
Great (+2), Dodge – Great (+2).
Weapons/Equipment: Most PX-5’s carry a melee weapon of some kind.
Riot clubs are common.
Notes: PX-5’s are standard warrior droids. They’re pretty hobbled in
terms of skills. If a player wanted to be a PX-5, it’d be
worth 4 gifts. Given PX-5’s low Perception skill, Poor (-2),
they’ve earned a reputation as tough in battle, but easy to
sneak around.

4. Gate – blaster

By way of ventilation grate, arrive at the hellish scene of the
construction of the dimension gate. Characters overhear the faux
Director speaking into a comlink “Tell his Excellency that he may dock
at any time. My research has been an incredible success. We will
open the dimensional gate briefly to test it, before he arrives. Tell
him I look forward to presenting my results to him.” He speaks in
strange, horrible sounding language to the faux security officers.

The enslaved inhabitants of the outpost are mining, smelting, and
generally constructing the gate, which is a weird combination of
cerametal alloys, intestine-like tubes, and twitching flesh-like
panels, all pulsing to something like a heartbeat. Bioplastic never
looked like this.

The Director and his henchmen begin to open the gate – a horrible
shadow creature begins coming through. No time to go back and prepare
– the characters must stop this thing NOW!

Massive psionic/blaster/Darktech weapons battle. Lots of lurching
Dark-Enfolded outpost victims. PCs should be able to Kill off
henchmen, but the Director should escape, screaming in that weird
language into his comlink.

He’s headed towards the landing bays. PCs in hot pursuit, when the
outpost rocks as if struck by the hand of the Maker. The bruiser from
the bar hears on the comlink that some sort of starship is pummelling
the outpost, and that the Director has escaped to join it aboard a
patrol cutter. The outpost’s defences have been sabotaged by the


Muzcuh – The “Director”

Str – Good (+1)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Good (+1)
Tou – Fair (+0)

Powers: the Gift, Enfolded
Skills: Acting – Superb (+3), Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee –
Great (+2), Blaster – Great (+2), Dodge – Fair (+0)
Psi Skills: Telepathy – Good (+1), Psychokinesis – Good (+1)
Weapons/Equipment: DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB: +1, Rng 18/75/180)
Notes: Muzcuh uses his Dark Gift to trick the minds of any who observe
him into seeing him as the Director. This illusion is flawless
to any who see him, but might be detected by someone with the
Gift. He is also an excellent impostor.

Typical Enslaved:

Str – Great (+2)
Dex – Fair (+0)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Fair (+0)

Skills: None. (All at -2)
Weapons/Equipment: Varies. Usually the Enslaved armies carry simple
weapons, like clubs and axes.

Typical Darkling:

Str – Great (+2)
Dex – Good (+1)
Int – Fair (+0)
Tch – Fair (+0)
Per – Fair (+0)
Psi – Fair (+0)
Tou – Great (+2)

Skills: Melee – Great (+2), Unarmed Melee – Great (+2), Blaster –
Great (+2), Dodge – Fair (+0), Sneak – Fair (+0), Perception –
Fair (+0), some probably have starship skills
Weapons/Equipment: Varies. Most carry a DarkTech Rifle (Dam: +5, OB:
+1, Rng 18/75/180) , and wear some sort of armor
(treat as Light Armor – +2)

5. Save the Base – ship

The Fickle Fate is the outpost’s only hope. They have to stop the
Darkship from destroying the outpost.

The Darkship beginning to open up a landing bay for the Director’s
cutter when the Fickle Fate starts blasting it. The Darkship puts up
shields and closes the bay, stranding the cutter, and turns some of
its guns from the outpost to the Fickle Fate. Characters must disable
the guns before the outpost is just an ionized crater. The Darkship
only sustains a few hits before fleeing, leaving the cutter behind.
Characters can destroy it, try to board, etc.

Director won’t let himself be taken alive.


Warp Speed : Good (+1)
Speed : Good (+1)
Manoeuvre : Good (+1)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : ??
Passengers : ??
Cargo : ??
Consumables : ??
Computer : ??
E. Hyperdrives : unknown
Ship’s Guns : DarkTech Disruptor Cannon (FP: +3, OB: -1), 2
: DarkTech Laser Cannon (FP: +1, OB: -1)
Cost : ??

Universal Dynamics 88-V Patrol Corvette

Warp Speed : Fair (+0)
Speed : Mediocre (-1)
Manoeuvre : Fair (+0)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : 3
Passengers : 10
Cargo : 75 tons
Consumables : 6 weeks
Computer : Starship Pilot – Mediocre (-1), Astrogation – Poor
: (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship’s Guns : 2 turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP:
: +1, OB: +0)
Cost : 200,000 Cr. (50,000 or so, used)
Notes : Atmosphere capable

Fickle Fate
(modified Universal Dynamics TF-78a Freighter)

Warp Speed : Fair (+0)
Speed : Fair (+0)
Manoeuvre : Good (+1)
Shields : Fair (+0)
Hull : Good (+1)
Crew : 3
Passengers : 8
Cargo : 80 tons
Consumables : 6 weeks
Computer : Starship Pilot – Mediocre (-1), Astrogation – Poor
: (-2)
E. Hyperdrives : yes
Ship’s Guns : turreted Ranger Weapon Systems Pulse Cannon (FP: +1,
: OB: +0), 2 turreted Laser Cannon (FP: +0, OB: +0)
Cost : not for sale
Notes : Atmosphere capable

All the pretty ladies…
Tuomas Koivu

18-JAN-1996 14:26:37.11
Dragon This plot is intended to be the backbone of a long campaign lasting
perhaps years and requires a lot of continuity. If your players are
the type that gets their characters killed fast and often, then
this one is not for you.

Requirements: At least one high-level fighter, paladin or bard
who always acts like a hero and does heroic deeds (called the
hero later on). The party should use some specific Inn or hotel
as their base between adventures.

During their first or second visit in the Inn the party meets
a lovely, black-haired, tanned young lady who belly-dances
for the audience. The girl should be exceptionally beautiful
and charming, so that the characters are bound to notice her.

After the show the girl dresses up and comes to sit by the
same table with the player characters. She introduces herself
as Alanil (use whatever name you like) and tells that she is
with another adventuring party. It should become apparent that
she is somehow interested in the heroic character (choose a
handsome PC that can’t resist women), but when the hero tries
to make his move, the girl says that she is already involved
with someone else. This someone is Stompur (again, change the
names if you wish), another great hero known for his big muscles
and bad temper. Make it clear that Stompur is someone you
wouldn’t want to make angry.

Every time the party visits the Inn the hero meets Alanil and
gets a chance to spend some time and talk with her. Slowly the
hero gets the impression that Alanil cares for him and the feeling
should be mutual. At the same time between Stompur and the hero
develop a hatred for each other. Anyway, nothing more serious ever
gets to happen. Stompur is out for an adventure most of the time
and his reputation grows steadily – so does the hero’s reputation.

After a year or so Alanil tells the hero that she senses
something bad, but does not know exactly what it is.
Soon after this the party will meet another gorgeous young
woman, Shenadal, who wants to join them. Shenadal is as beautiful
as Alanil, but blonde. Little by little the players should learn
that there is something very similar about these two women, but
they can’t figure out what. Shenadal also likes to spend a lot
of time close to the hero. The two ladies never meet.

Time passes and Shenadal adventures with the party. The heroes’
reputation keeps on growing. One day the two parties (the
players and Alanil’s party) meet accidentally. Something very
strange happens, the girls begin to change their shape…

Both Alanil and Shenadal are powerful ancient dragons who have
polymorphed themselves into young pretty girls, so that they
can easily get close to heroic fighters. The dragons have had
a competition going on for centuries: the one that eats more
and greater heroes in 500 years wins!

This plot gives you a chance to surprise you players in a way
they’ve never experienced. Someone they’ve known for a long
time wants to eat them up! They will have to fight side by side
together with Stompur, whom they hate, against the dragons,
whom they have learned to like or even love.

Have fun.

An Ogre by Any other Name
Wayne J. Rasmussen

1-FEB-1996 20:12:23.98
Quest Scenario Requirements: This scenario has been designed for a single first
level cleric’s first adventure. It can also be used to help build a group
of adventurers.

Scenario Description: A local knight and a score of men have been dispatched
to stop an “ogre” which has been harassing a nearby village. The newly
graduated PC cleric has been ordered to assist the high priest who owns/runs
the church in the village. Shortly after arriving at the church, the high
priest puts the newbie cleric in charge as he leaves on an urgent mission.
Thus putting the cleric on the spot.

Places in this Scenario:

Town: Mid-sized town where the PC has learned his trade. The knight and his
men in this adventure are from this town.

Village: This village is getting harassed by an “ogre”.

Forest: It would take four or more days to walk across this mid-sized
slightly hilly forest. The forest is home to the druid Banoust and many
woodland creatures. Several unusual events have occurred here recently.
A boy from the village discovered a cave which is actually the ruins of
tribesmen who lived here long ago. An ogre, ogre mage actually, arrived and
has been causing the local village problems by killing and eating horses, cows,
and stealing valuables. Yesterday, an evil mage,Yagok Iztzwini, entered the
Ruins and soon died from a curse which came over him.

Burial Cave: This is where the body of the dead wizard Yagok Iztzwini is
buried and where the reincarnation spell was performed.

Church: The church of the high priest Thalpas is located in the Village.
Small attendance during services. Beneath the main floor of the church are
several rooms: master bedroom, guest bedroom, store room, and
secret room which contains the Staff of Life and Soul Returning.

Tribesman’s Ruins: Many centuries ago, tribesmen lived in this region of the
continent. After years of war, they were defeated or chased out of the area.
This place was once sacred to them and its secret location was known
only to a few select individuals.

NPCs in this Scenario:

Banoust – Druid: Powerful member of this class. The druid has figured out
what happened to the mage/ogre-mage and has prepared a scroll containing
the location of the mage’s body, where the ogre-mage’s cave is, and what he
thinks happened to the mage and ogre mage (he is correct). The druid gives
the scroll to a woodland creature and sends it on its way to warn the
knight of what might happen.

Ogre: Unknown to any PC or NPC (except Banoust) in this adventure, the ogre
is a magic-using ogre (Read Japanese Ogre or ogre mage) who has sort of
been possessed by an evil mage. The possession occurred in the last 24
hours. A dying mage forced the druid Banoust reincarnate the mage. Something
went wrong with the reincarnation and now the ogre mage has two souls.
The ogre can use both the powers of the mage and the ogre mage. The
knight Teramore Lightman expected a normal ogre not an ogre mage or an ogre
mage possessed by an evil mage. The ogre mage is using hit and run tactics
on the knights, which means he casts one offensive spell then disappears.

Squire: This newbie fighter is the Squire of the Knight called Teramoor
Lightman. If the GM is trying to bring together a group of new adventurers,
have a fighter play the squire in this adventure.

Teramore Lightman – Knight: The knight is very experienced and has killed a
few trolls in his day. He is both strong and stout. The people of the land
believe that this should be a very easy mission for the knight. They are

Thalpas – The High Priest: A middle aged human who has spent many a year
adventuring and has retired to a little church he built in this village.
The local population respect him, but, they love the local druid. The
attendance at the church isn’t as high as he would like it to be. He sees
the problem with the ogre as a chance to win a few of the locals over to
his church.

Thalpas gets along well with the higher members of the church because he
usually stays out of the intrigue of the upper circles of power. They mostly
leave him alone and he rarely attends any of the annual church functions to
which he is invited.

Yagok Iztzwini – Evil Mage: A moderately powerful mage with slightly evil
side He is very intelligent, impatient, and known for his ability to size up
a person with just a slight glance. Recently he purchased a scroll from a
farmer in the village who claimed his son found it in a cave in the forest.
The scroll was a minor magic but Yagok paid the farmer for directions to the
cave. Yagok discovered that the cave was the ruins of the type associated
with tribesmen who lived in the area several centuries ago. Upon entering,
he was hit by a horrible curse. Yagok managed to get out of the cave and
soon came across Banoust who was picking berries for lunch. Yagok used a
spell to force Banoust to bury his body and reincarnate him. Banoust buried
the body in a cave (different from the tribesmen ruins) and performed the
reincarnation. Something went wrong with the reincarnation and Yagok’s soul
went into the body of a nearby Ogre Mage. Yagok blames the villagers for his

New Items in this Scenario:

Staff of Life and Soul Returning: Touching this item to ANY dead body or
even the smallest piece of a body, will cause the body to instantly return
to a 100% functional state and the soul will return from wherever it might
be to the body. The soul must still exist on some plane of existence. It
is like an unlimited resurrection or golden drops of heavenly essence. If
the soul is contained in some other place or item, it will still return.

The Plot:

GMs Notes/Setup: An ogre has been bothering farmers by killing livestock
and destroying property. He lives in the wooded hills near a village about
a day and a half from this town. A local knight and a score of men have
been dispatched to remove the ogre. The knight is very experienced and
has killed a few trolls in his day. The people of the land believe this
should be a very easy mission for the knight.

Since the church doesn’t want clerics (especially newbies!) just hanging
around the church, they have decided to send a recent graduate out to
assist the high priest Thalpas. Thalpas owns/runs the church in the
village near the ogre. They don’t think the knight will have much trouble
with the ogre but figure it can’t hurt to send someone to assist the
high priest should any serious injuries happen. The cleric will not
travel with the knight and his men and will have to travel on his own.
GMs may want to role-play the journey out or just let the cleric arrive
at the church.

Arriving at the Church: Arriving at the church, the high priest Thalpas
immediately puts the cleric to work cleaning the very dusty church. The
high priest is very much a loner and lives alone in the church. In fact,
the High priest doesn’t have any other clerics around.

The knights will find the ogre but will get into real trouble. Unknown
to them, the ogre is a magic-using ogre (Read Japanese Ogre or ogre mage)
who has sort of been possessed by an evil mage. The possession occurred
in the last 24 hours. A dying mage forced a druidical type priest to
reincarnate the mage. Something went wrong with the reincarnation and
now the ogre has two souls inside itself. The ogre can use both the powers
of the mage and the ogre mage. The knight expected a normal ogre not an
ogre mage or an ogre mage possessed by an evil mage.

The druid Banoust has figured out what happened to the mage/ogre-mage and
has prepared a scroll containing the location of the mage’s body, where
the ogre-mage’s cave is, and what he thinks happened to the mage and ogre
mage (he is correct). The druid gives the scroll to a woodlands creature
and sends it on it’s way to warn the knight of what might happen. The
warning arrives too late.

After the fight with the ogre, A great owl flies over Teramore and drops
Banoust’s warning scroll. The knight reads the scroll then orders the
squire to take the scroll to the church in the village and give it to the
priest in charge. The squire is also told to tell the cleric about the
many wounded men. To make sure the squire gets to the church, Teramore
orders the squire to take a long route back instead of a direct path, where
the ogre-mage may be waiting to ambush him.

Needless to say, the knight runs into trouble with the “ogre” and beats a
hasty retreat back to the village. The newbie cleric has been put in charge
of the church and will have to handle the knight, his men, the villagers,
the druid, Banoust, and the “Ogre”.

The Adventure:

Introduction: Having just “graduated” from school, you were selected by
a high ranking member of the church to go on a mission of small importance.
You are ordered to travel to a small shrine not more than a day or two
journey from this town and assist the high priest as he sees fit. Knowing
your adventurous side, you are told that it is a simple mission and not a
major quest or adventure. A knight has been sent with a score of men to
rid a forest of an ogre which has been pestering local farmers. You are
being sent to help the high priest on the slight chance there will be some
wounded men.

The Journey: The GM may role-play this or just let the cleric arrive
at the church.

Arriving at the Church: When the cleric arrives, he doesn’t act surprised
that he is here. He will show the newbie priest where the broom and mop
are so he can begin cleaning. The church hasn’t been cleaned in many months!
The priest will constantly check the PCs work and be very picky about how
he does the job. He will be watching how the newbie reacts to the treatment.
He doesn’t like yes-men. If the character just puts up with the treatment,
dinner will be bread and a very tasty soup. If he shows some character,
the priest will say he is glad to see him stand up for himself and break
out the good stuff for dinner such as a fine ham, cheese, wine, fruit, etc.

The Tour: Before going to bed, the priest will give a tour of the entire
church. There are several rooms below the church which serve as private
quarters, guest quarters, storage (loaded with many fine foods and wine),
and a hidden chamber. Within the hidden chamber is a holy relic found
during the Thalpas’s adventuring days. He will tell the newbie about the
holy relic (Staff of Life and Soul Returning). He will say “Touching the
staff to any dead body will fully restore life and limb and return its
soul no matter where it might be”. A small room with a straw bed will be
made available for the newbie.

Squire’s Arrival?: NOTE: This may not occur here! If the squire fails to
follow the orders of his knight and proceeds in a direct line to the
village, he will arrive safely. He will give the scroll to the high priest
and tell him of the battle with the ogre-like creature. Thalpas asks the
PC to cure any wounds the squire has and to give him something to eat.
Thalpas will then study the scroll in private and not share the information
with the PC. NOTE: The squire arrived somewhere around midnight.

Thalpas’s Departure: The cleric wakes up in the morning to find Thalpas gone
and a note left for him/her. The note says that PC cleric in charge of the
church and tells him that he will be back in a few days. His reason for
leaving will depend on whether the squire arrived last night. If so, he
claims to be going to the church council for advice. If the squire didn’t
arrive, he claims that he has a strong feeling that he will need the
assistance from a few of his old adventuring buddies.

Later That Day: A few of the villagers will come and go asking questions,
where is Thalpas, where is the knight, why is the squire here by himself,
etc. The villagers seem worried. If the cleric reassures the villagers, he
gets 1 good point. If he makes it worse by saying something stupid, he gets
1 bad point.

The Next Day: The knight Teramore Lightman arrives with his wounded men. He
seems mad and a little frustrated. He asks where Thalpas is and who is in
charge. When he hears that the PC is in charge of the church, he acts very
respectful of the PC and even seeks his wisdom on the situation in front
of his men. Specifically, he want to know if they should go out and try to
attack this creature again. At this point, several of his men cry out in
favour of attacking and getting revenge. If not, what should they do, just
sit and wait? If the clerics god is against revenge and the cleric speaks
against revenge he gets one good point. He gets one bad point if he doesn’t
try to quell any talk of revenge. If the God endorses revenge, reverse the
scoring. If the cleric advises caution and posting of guards and patrols in
the village, he get one good point. If he doesn’t offer advice or just tells
them to do no action he gets one bad point. If he suggests and all out attack
against the ogre, you can expect the men to get wiped out (3 bad points).
NOTE: Teramore will answer any questions the cleric asks to the best of
his ability.

That Night: During the night, the ogre attacks the village. If guards or
patrols were placed by the cleric, one of the guardsmen will be killed and
the ogre will appear to have been driven off by the other guardsmen. If no
guards or patrols were established, one house will be attacked and two
villagers (man & his son) will have died in the attack. The ogre appears to
have hit and run. The villagers will be shaken up by this situation and the
cleric must show no fear to inspire the people. Even the knight appears to
be shaken and will respond according to the clerics actions. He will be
brave it the cleric is and not so brave if the cleric isn’t. If a guardsman
dies, Teramore will say to the cleric “It could have been worse, some of the
villagers could have died. You were wise to suggest a patrol.” If the
guardsman dies, give the cleric 1 good point, if two villagers die, he gets
2 bad points.

The Next Day – Squire’s Arrival?: NOTE: This may not occur here! If the
squire didn’t arrive earlier, he will arrive now. Teramore will be upset
with the squire and he may not be his squire after this mission is over.
The squire does give the scroll to the cleric. If the cleric interferes
with the knight-squire relationship, the knight will listen to his advice
but will act according to his own sense of honour.

Later that Day: Banoust the druid arrives in town. If the cleric has not
been reassuring and/or not acted bravely, they will flock to the druid
leaving him along. If he has been brave and/or reassuring, only a few of
the villagers will rush to Banoust. Banoust will talk to a few of the
villagers then head toward the church. He will relate the tale of the wizard
Yagok and the reincarnation. He will also mention that he was attacked this
morning and the spellbooks he took from Yagok had been stolen. He fears that
the Ogre will be able to get his full range of spells now.

Reaction to Banoust: The villager will be watching Banoust and the cleric to
see signs of strength and weakness. Banoust will make rather loud statements
in public regarding Thalpas’s leaving the village in a time of crisis. The
cleric needs to counter these statements. Whoever wins this verbal fencing
will wins the heart and soul of the villagers. If the cleric wins, give him
2 good points and 2 bad points if he fails.

Solution to the Adventure #1: The Staff of Life and Soul Returning can be
used to bring the life and soul of the wizard Yagok Iztzwini back to his
body. If the cleric figures this out, and mentions this to the knight and
the druid, a plan may be created by the three of them. The druid will help
get the cleric to the dead wizards body. The knight and the squire will
volunteer to go with in case of trouble. The knight may even suggest using
himself and his guardsmen to draw the ogre’s attention while the cleric,
druid and squire bring the wizard back to life. There will be no problems
in either capturing the mage or killing him after the staff is used. The
now weaker ogre mage will be easily killed by Teramore and his men. The
cleric earns 6 good points.

Solution to the Adventure #2: The next day, Thalpas returns with his old
adventuring buddies. They kill the ogre mage without too much trouble.

Other Solutions: Characters always manage to come up with unexpected plans.
So award 6 points for removing the ogre mage/mage problem. Award 1 bad point
for each villager who dies, and 1 bad point for every two guards men who die.
If the squire dies, add 1 bad point, and add 3 bad points if the knight dies.

Since this is an opportunity for roleplaying. The GM may add other encounters
to the adventure such as settling disputes between villagers, husbands &
their wives, parents and children.

Closing Notes:

If the cleric ended with more good points than bad points, he should be
rewarded in some way.
Here are some possibilities. 1) Thalpas gives the cleric a well trained war horse.
2) Thalpas gives the cleric a map. The map “claims” to lead the cleric
to where a magic tome to increase one’s wisdom is hidden.
3) Newbie cleric is recognized by church leaders as an up and coming cleric.
Perhaps you are too challenging to have around? They send you on another
4) If the newbie cleric has earned sufficient experience to advance a level.
His/her training is arranged for by the church at no cost to the cleric.
5) The church grants the cleric special dispensation in a special ceremony.
Whenever the cleric cast a “Cure wounds” spell, add +1 to all dice rolled.
6) The church grants the cleric special dispensation in a special ceremony.
The cleric is granted an extra first level spell per day.
If the cleric ended with more bad points than good points, he should be
punished in some way. Here are some possibilities. 1) Thalpas orders the cleric to a vow of silence and meditation in his temple
for the next week.
2) If the holy relic is some how lost, he will be quested to recover it.
3) The cleric has to tithe half of his money for the next 12 months.
4) In a special ceremony, the cleric loses the ability to cast bonus spells.
This ability will return when “God” feels the cleric has earned it or the
need is great. NOTE: not the cleric’s need!

Getting a group together. The purpose of this adventure was to give an
individual character an adventure for himself with the further goal of
building an adventuring group. Here is how you could start a group from here
by adding other characters. I would suggest exploring the “tribesman ruins” as
a good starting place for further adventuring. 1) The squire could be another adventurer who could join the cleric.
2) One of the knight’s men decides to leave the knights service.
3) Banoust could introduce the cleric to an elf or druidical character.
4) After the ogre, a hunter from the village decides he likes adventure.
5) One of Thalpas’s adventuring buddies has an apprentice….

Dish du Jour: Magic!
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A wizard accidentally opens a gate to a plane of magic-eating creatures, and
the PCs are hired to close it, possibly involving a long and difficult
process or series of quests.

Evils’ Puppet
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A civil war erupts in a supposedly peaceful realm. A dabbling noble has
run across an ancient evil that is now running him like a puppet. After
raising an army of humanoids and worse, the PCs are sent to investigate.

Growing evil
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A different party of adventurers destroyed a horrible evil years ago, or at
least thought they did. It has managed to return again much weaker, but is
gaining power quickly.

Troublesome Artefact
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any An evil artefact has escaped its imprisonment and is causing problems
again, and must be recovered and re-imprisoned or destroyed while it still

Dwarven treasures?
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any Dwarves have found an ancient wealth… and an ancient evil as well.
Blinded by their new treasures, they don’t realize they are becoming
servants. Rescuers are needed before it is too late.

Missing Person File
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any PCs are sent to search for the one man who can help with a problem.

Spot the artefact
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A mage once invented a powerful item that is now needed badly. The PCs are
hired to track it down and retrieve it.

All in days work…
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any An army descends on a nation at nearly the same time the court magician
grabs power. The PCs must rescue the heir, dispose of the wizard, and then
defeat the invading army.

Beat the wicked wizard
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A wizard forces PCs to retrieve a magical item that he cannot get to.
However, he doesn’t realize that this item will break his control over
them. Once free, the PCs must work to stop his evil schemes.

Fetch back that item
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any The bad guys have discovered a powerful magic item, and the PCs are sent to
recover it. Unfortunately they find that it has already been appropriated
by the other bad guys.

Secure that lock on Hell
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any Forces of evil are searching to release an ancient evil power. The PCs must
beat them to the locations of the hidden keys and/or recover the hidden keys
already found.

Undisturbed title?
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any PCs are made nobility, but with the catch that they must first clear the
land they have been granted.

Out, out cursed spot..
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A magical curse that affects only certain good guys appears, and the PCs
must find the source and stop it before the balance is upset.

Assassins at Pumpkin time
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Building At a costume party there is an assassin, and the party must find him/her
before the baron arrives at midnight.

Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any The PCs are the possible fulfilment of an ancient prophesy.
However, there are many who do not wish this prophesy to come true.

You call this shelter?
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Building The PCs are being chased through the wilderness when they come upon an old
wizard’s tower. Their only chance at escape is to enter the tower and try
to survive it.

Goblin war
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Goblins Something is massing the humanoids for an attack. The PCs are sent as
either spies to find out what, or to try to stop this opponent before
another goblin war occurs.

My god is more omnipotent then your god…
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any A third religion is trying to start a religious war between two others. The
PCs are the only ones in the position to recover stolen property and
practice diplomacy to prevent this.

Strike force
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any The PCs are requested for an army’s special strike team.

Time after time
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any An evil archmage has fled through time to escape punishment, and the PCs
must track him down for justice.

Crime war
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Urban A huge underworld crime war is brewing, and the PCs cannot help but choose
sides when they see the damage being done.

Hot property
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any PCs are captured by the bad guys, but manage to escape. In their escape,
they picked up something very important to the bad guys, who will stop at
nothing to recover it.

Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any The king has passed on with no clear successor, and factions strive to fill
the throne with friends. Meanwhile, outside forces threaten, and it is up
to the PCs to fix things up.

Waking dragons
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Dragon The ancient dragon has once again stirred, and it falls to the PCs
to lay it to rest for once and for all. They are sent on a quest for a
mighty artefact to destroy the beast, and then must use it on the dragon.

Extraplanar master
Benjamin Jud Quinton

Any An extraplanar being needs help on this plane, and since he cannot manifest,
he sends the PCs to do the job.

The Tarathan
Alexander T. Knapp

******************* CAMPAIGN LINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES *****************
* *
* This campaign, designed and played over the course of five years, *
* was designed for the concurrent adventuring of four different groups *
* of Player Characters. The plot lines of campaign, five major and *
* five minor, are interwoven as much as possible, but could be run *
* individually. The majority of this material is original, questions *
* and comments will be welcomed by the author. *
* *
* Any use of copyrighted material, explicit or implicit, does not *
* constitute a challenge to the ownership of that copyright. The *
* author/owner of this document otherwise retains the rights to all *
* to all material contained herein. Permission is granted for non- *
* profit reproduction and/or distribution so long as this notice is *
* retained in its entirety. *
* *
* Welcome to The Tarathan! *
* *

This file is set up in the following format:

I. Welcome message, copyright disclaimer and introduction to the

II. Description of the four player groups.

This campaign was designed for, and in my experience was certainly large
enough to have four different groups of player characters adventuring
at the same time. We did this in order to add a little more variety
to the game and to allow for players to experiment with different
characters. A breakdown of which group(s) were responsible for each
plot line is included after each title (see below).

III. Background explanation of names and terms

In the interests of respecting other people’s hard work and copyrights,
some geographical and cultural names have been changed. Also, as the
majority of this material is original, I include a short
description of some of the terms that are used in this document.

IV. Plot Lines and Explanations

The ten plot lines of this campaign are divided into five major
and five minor collections of adventures, which (as much as
possible) have ties among and through each other. The unifying
reference or force behind the campaign is “The Song of Solastin
Ash”, a 6000+ year old prophesy of the greatest elven Spellsinger
(annotated and appended to this document.) I used the “Song”
primarily as foreshadowing and adventure hooks/references in the
campaign, leading characters along from one stanza to the next.

Each plot line has been written in the following format (NOTE –
Numbers in [brackets] refer specifically to the “Song” located in
Part V): – Title [Lines of Primary Reference in the “Song”] Name of
Responsible Character Group

i.e **Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)

– Historical Reference: Background to the plot

– Campaign Goals and Challenges: The general goal that the PC’s
should achieve in this particular plot line, plus three to five
specific challenges or obstacles.

– Specific References: Additional references in other stanzas
of the “Song” and explanation.

i.e. [11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the
Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to
try and contain the damage.

V. The Song of Solastin Ash

The “Song”, here in its entirety, has been annotated for easy
reference to each plot description. Individual lines or stanzas will
be referenced in [brackets].

The “Song” follow a specific pattern (with refrain after each set of

Major Plot Line
Minor Plot Line
Legend or Call of Heroes


“Legend” is an account of some piece of ancient Tarathan history and
“Call of Heroes” is a foreshadowing of many of the NPC’s to be found
in the campaign.


Group I – The main characters who start at a lowly level, however are
advanced rather fast through `parallel adventures’ setting up background
for secondary Groups (II-IV). Although they are ultimately the deciding
force, they play a minor role until Parts Three and Four of the Campaign. 1. Wizard/Sorcerer Student of the Arcanum, future Runist
2. Cleric/Priest Psionic Potential
3. Thief/Rogue “Darkfang” and “Keldarion”
4. Fighter/Warrior Ties to the Northern Reaches/Selidon Keep
5. Other(s) (GM’s Discretion)
Group II – “The Bonded and Fettered, Yet Free to Be Doomed”, a collection
of medium/high level characters with one extraordinary ability
score and a common legacy, the `Golden Shackles’ on their
wrists. Predestined to release the Riders, die in the course of their
trials, return as Servitors and restore Power to The Tarathan.

Group III – This Group of high level characters is based in a
medium-sized castle, part of the Protectorate of Selidon in the Northern
Reaches. Their role is primarily to explore the adventure possibilities
of the `landed’ nobility and provide a show of force within the Campaign
when necessary.

Group IV – This Group is actually made up of a wide range of characters
of varying levels who serve as playtesters for various character classes
and races.


—> NAMES of Geographical Locations (in order of appearance in the
Plot Lines)

Amaranth – a country ruled largely by wizards, also the name of the
capitol city. Extremely unfriendly toward clerics/priests. Political
tensions with the Windlands.

The Tarathan (The Jewel) – the name of the campaign world, also the
name of the collection of planes upon which the Twenty Immortals

Windlands – a broad expanse of wind-swept plains east of Amaranth.
Home to a wide variety of nomadic tribes. Political tensions with

Northern Reaches – largely untamed wilderness north of the “Southern

Underworld – the network of tunnels, chambers and caverns below the
surface of The Tarathan.

Develin – a prosperous country south of Amaranth. Ruled by a
consortium of Merchant-Princes.

The Heights – the forest-state of the Elves

Warren – a particularly excavated and populated area of the Underworld
directly below Develin and The Heights. Supported by four massive

Sand Lords – the nomadic rulers of the desert on the eastern coast of
the continent. Particularly unfriendly toward wizards.

Selidon Valley/Protectorate – The main center of population in the
Northern Reaches.

Cloud Mountain – a singular, massive mountain in the center of the
Windlands. Site of pilgramage and prophesy for the nomadic tribes.

Adatia – a county beyond the eastern sea, populated and ruled by
wizards. Unofficial patron of Amaranth.

—> NAMES of Gaming Terms (in order of appearance in the Plot Lines)

Power – all magical effects, including arcane (Wizards), holy
(Clerics/Priests), and those produced by items and artifacts.
Excludes Psionics and Rune Magic.

Rune Magic (Runic Heiarch) – Old Earth Magic, captured and controlled
by runic inscription. A secret society lead by five Heiarchs
(representing four elements plus Spirit/Balance.)

Heart of the Tarathan – a large ruby, the primary collector of Power
on The Tarathan.

Chamber of the Spheres – a massive Dark elven magical construction
designed to restore Power to The Tarathan bypassing the Arcanum.

Sol – the authority over the Tewnty Immortals.

Protocols – the edicts of Sol passed down at the Reckoning. The
First Protocol states that “no Immortal shall walk the face of The

Erdefount – the first source of water in the Underworld.

Stone-Father’s Tome – Agathon, Patron Immortal of the Underworld,
wrote this history of the his ‘children’, who eventually broke among
themselves and became the different races of the Underworld.

Celarion – the secret political organization of Shadogodon, Patron
Immortal of Strife. Led by the “Rose” (highest political title.)

Orbs of Cymid Dar – three silver orbs, an artifact of great power.
Cursed to drive the user slowly insane.

++++++ PLOT LINES +++++++

-=-=-=-=-= GREATER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-

**Arcanum [7-14, 25-32] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – The Arcanum, the magically active remains of a
star summoned in battle by the Nameless One (a pre-Reckoning Sorcerer-
King), rests thousands of feet below the city of Amaranth. The impact
of this comet killed the Nameless One’s rival, Hanel, and shifted the
planet, plunging it into a global cataclysm. Millenia later, in the
current era, the emanations given off by this star, deep in the earth,
act as a magic- enhancing `aura’ in and around the country of Amaranth.
This aura, however, consumes a significant deal more Power than it
creates and is slowly draining Magic from The Tarathan.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s must identify the Arcanum and
its nature, locate and find a way to stop it or its effects. – I. One of their members is a member of the Brotherhood of the Arcanum,
the ruling (albeit secret) political power in Amaranth.
– II. All other members of the Brotherhood will stop at nothing to
prevent the destruction of their `free’ source of Power.
– III. The ongoing war with the Windlands requires more and more magical
investment, draining The Tarathan’s Power even faster.
– IV. The extremely inaccessable location and unfathomable power of the
Arcanum itself makes it extremely difficult for mortals to reach it and
impossible to touch or affect it in any way.
Specific References –
[11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the Runic Heiarch of
Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to try and contain the
[13-14] Agathon, preoccupied for several thousand years with his search
for the Heart of The Tarathan, will return after its discovery (see
“Tokens”) and transform the surviving Dark Elves into his new Chosen,
banishing the Illithid.
[22-23, 72-73, 76-77, 99, 103-104] Finsternis (c.f.), trapped in his
rise to Immortality in a nether-plane and neither mortal or immortal, is
the only person capable of completing the magical `circuit’ – the Heart
of the Tarathan – in the Dark elves’ (c.f.) “Chamber of the Spheres”,
however, the act, while restoring Power to The Tarathan, would also
fully elevate him to the Twenty.
[9, 50] The Dragon of Ash, a work of ritual magic, using the Arcanum
against the the Windland’s horde, and the death of Prayle (c.f.) in the
Northern Reaches both signal the final vestiges of Power on The Tarathan.

**Riders [34-41, 116-123] Group II (Bonded)

Historical Reference – Before the Reckoning, The Tarathan was divided
only between Light and Dark, the two `Bastions’ of the Age.
Approximately six thousand years before the current campaign takes
place, the Vangaurd of the Bastion of the Light, led by the Psionicist-
Mage Kry the Just and his four knights, faced the Thirteen Riders of the
Vanguard of the Dark. The battle raged on the edge of a chasm in the
center of Trynnia, Kry’s kindom. The Riders were eventually banished
and bound, but the knights were killed and Kry was lost as the edge of
the chasm gave way beneath him. It was at that point that Sol called
the twenty surviving Immortals to the Jewel, issued the Protocols and
the new Age was begun.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s, having released the Riders,
must find out their weaknesses, track them down and destroy them. – I. The only effective way to combat the Riders’ auras is to possess one
of the Treasures of Old, the weapons of Kry and his knights.
– II. The Patron Immortals of Strife, Domination and Death each have a
vested interest in the freedom of the Riders, and the advantage that can
be gained by the chaos that the Thirteen create.
– III. Kry’s tomb has been used as the foundation for the Seers’ Obelisk
(c.f.), drawing on the psionic energies which are still associated with
his spirit.
Specific References –
[18-19] Finsternis (c.f.) corrupts one of the original members of Group
I, who later bears his child, the future the leader of the Celarion and
the bearer of the First Treasure of Old.
[36] In the early years of the final battle, Kry’s knights numbered
eight, however as the Riders became more powerful, four of the knights
joined with the weapons of their `brothers’ to better protect them.
[75] The Dark Elven kingdom falls prey to a plague unleashed by
Scourge, which slowly decimates the populace and threatend the
completion of the Chamber.
[118-119] These three points outline the former borders of Trynnia, at
their center lies the valley of the Obelisk and the tomb of Kry the

**Flood [61-68] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – The “Master”, a heretofore mythical monster of
the Underworld, with the help of Agathon’s Chosen, has begun a slow
process of weakening the `Cornerstones’ – four massive, natural pillars
which support the kingdoms of Develin and the Heights above the `Warren’, a
giant region of the Underworld. If the pillars are completely destroyed,
the entire region will sink, flooding it entirely and killing millions.
Unfortunately, the plot isn’t discovered until two of the pillars are
destroyed, necessitating a replacement of the underground supports.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find four saplings in Agathon’s `Granite
Forsest’ to replace the lost pillars while preventing the Master from
collapsing the remaining two. – I. In order for the saplings to grow outside of their natural habitat,
they must be planted in soil from `the Deep’ and watered with from the
Erdefount itself.
– II. The followers of Agathon, faced with the Illithid conspiracy to
collapse of the Warren, have begun a rebellion against the Chosen.
– III. The Dark elves, in a move to hide their plague-induced weakness,
and protect the Chamber of the Spheres, close their borders and
ruthlessly kill any trespassers.
Specific References –
[44] An accurate copy of the “Stone-Father’s Tome” lies in the archives
of Casteln Mists, detailing the true history of the races of the
Underworld, which would further incite and ultimately justify the
revolution against the Illithid.
[13, 16, 31, 43, 72] The Underworld can easily provide access to any
number of underground locales, information which may be useful to other
Groups as well.

**Scelectious [88-95] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – Over two thousand years ago, the Patron Immortal
of Thievery was vanquished by a new, young Initiate named Denethor [c.f.
Evolution]. The son of Sol and the Runic Heiarch of Lagur (Water),
Denethor is not bound by the Protocols, allowing him to roam The
Tarathan at will. Now, a host of villians have nearly succeeded in
returning the `Immortal Who is No More’ to the Prime Plane. For the
past thousand years, the priests, Chosen and Servitors of Scelectious
have maintained a hidden temple in the Onyx Keep, dominion of the chief
campaign antagonist, Finsternis. They have finally neared the point
where they are ready to try to break the binding that holds their

Campaign Goal and Challenges – The PC’s must identify the threat of the
Scelectious’ minions, and find a way to either stop the shattering of
the Barrier, or face and kill the Immortal on this plane. – I. Supported by Finsternis, the remaining Priests, Chosen and Servitors
of Scelectious, will fanatically defend their Temple and the coin which
is the key to breaking the Barrier.
– II. For a variety of reasons, most of the Twenty fear the power of
Scelectious upon the face of The Tarathan and have commanded their
Chosen to cooperate in preventing his return.
– III. In infiltrating the Onyx Keep, PC’s will be confronted by the
spectre of one of Kry’s Knights, and “Yesterday’s Son”, bearer of the
First Treasure of Old.
– IV. Finsternis, seeking a easy path to Immortality, hopes to vanquish
the weakened survivor of the imminent battle between Sceletious and
Specific References –
[18-19, 125] The son of Finsternis (the `Outsider’) and Elsavin (the
`Scion of Willows’), aged through the blood sacrifice of his mother’s
life, bears the First Treasure of Old [c.f. Riders] and has been raised
to be the first leader of the Shadgodon’s Celarion.
[52] Deramis ip Baccus (the `Assassin Invisible’), one of the few
surviving Scarael Excalibur and servant of Finsternis will infiltrate
the PC’s Group and strike from within.

**Seers’ Obelisk [115-122] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – The Seers’ Obelisk, made from Power-receptive
Shadowstone, is in fact a massive psionic beacon created to contact
creatures with active and potential psionic powers, and draw them to it.
Once it has contacted all of the minds within range of its `call’, it
will siphon off their ability and channel it to Alain, the Patron
Immortal of Fate.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Locate and destroy the Obelisk before it
completely drains all psionic potential from The Tarathan, raising Alain
to a position far beyond the rest of the Twenty. – I. Kry’s spirit, fully awaked by the last of the Four Treasures of Old
being used once more against the Riders, will draw Penumbra to the
Obelisk for their final battle.
– II. The Obelisk is virtually invulnerable from physical, psychic
and magical attack, with the exception of it’s base [“It’s four corners
are weaker than the one.”]
– III. The `Armies of the North’ will be forced to engage in the battles
sundering the Southern Lands, culminating in the Call of the Obelisk.

Specific References –
[74-75] The Seers, in need of massive quantities of Shadowstone, enter
into an agreement with the Dark elves, who control the remaining
sources of the mystical rock. However, after receiving the Stone,
betray them to the Rider Scourge, who unleases a devastating plague upon
in the Underworld.

-=-=-=-=-= LESSER LINES =-=-=-=-=-=-

**Finsternis [16-23] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – Finsternis, an ancient, evil black dragon,
shapechanged into a High Elf, becomes the chief campaign antagonist in
his quest for Immortality. Lord of the Onyx Keep high in the Amaranthan
Alps, he can be found througout the Southern Kingdoms in the service of
the dark Immortals.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Oppose Finsternis’ aims. – I. Finsternis will be instrumental in formenting dissent among in the
most volitile areas of the Southern Kingdoms, inter alia the Windlands –
Amaranth conflict and the Sand Lords’ Jihad.
– II. The `Temple Prime of the Banished Immortal’ is housed in
Finsternis’ keep, which will be the staging ground for the battle
between Denethor and Scelectious.
– III. Finsternis’ son, the new Rose of the Celarion, will seek to avenge
his father’s “death”

Specific References –
[77, 104] In his quasi-immortal state, Finsternis will be the only
person capable of placing the Heart of The Tarathan in the Dark elves’
Chamber of the Spheres.
[125] `The Scion of Willows’ , Elsavin, will betray the PC’s and marry
Finsternis, giving him a son.

**Prayle [43-50] Group III (Castle)

Historical Reference – Hundreds of years ago, a renegade arch-mage was
sealed into a mountain crypt in Selidon Valley. Opened and awakened by
an earthquake, the insane mage, Prayle, now seeks the remaining keys to
his power and revenge on the Council Arcana, who imprisioned him.
Unknown to him, the entire Council is in stasis under the watchful eye
of the Northern Elven kingdom, awaiting the Call of the Seers’ Obelisk.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find and kill Prayle, before he regains
his full power through the Orbs of Cymid Dar. Also, fulfill the
prophesy returning the Councils Arcana of Casteln Mists before the Call
of the Obelisk. – I. The discovery of Casteln Mists will prompt Selidon’s Keep to
mobilize, which will trigger an orc and troll offensive in the south of
the Protectorate.
– II. Prayle’s death will signal the first major failure of Power from the
– III. Vladyen the lich, Prayle’s mentor, will haunt Casteln Mists after
the Council returns and the castle becomes a part of the Protectorate.
Specific References –
[108,109] “Spinner of Falsehood” names Prayle, “Archmage of Sleepers”
names Chelic, of the Council Major

**Dark elves [70-77] Group II (Bonded)

Historical Reference – Driven from the surface by the Earthshaker wars,
one Elven clan survived in the shadows of the Underworld. With their
sensitivity to the flows of Power in the world, the elves recognize the
danger of the Arcanum and have begun construction of the Chamber of the
Spheres in order to restore Power to The Tarathan.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Find the Heart of the Tarathan and
assist the Dark elves in the construction of the Chamber. – I. Shunned and misunderstood by most races, the Dark elves are
extremely defensive and wary of strangers, especially after the outbreak
of plague.
– II. The Illithid and Seers both will seek to prevent any contact with
the Dark elves and the completion of the Chamber.
– III. In its final stages, any mortal approaching the Chamber will be
destroyed by the Power already coursing through it, necessitating a
quasi-divine intervention (Finsternis).
Specific References –
[11-12] As the magical drain becomes more drastic, the Runic Heiarch of
Lagur (Water) increasingly uses her powers to try and contain the
[13-14] Agathon, preoccupied for several thousand years with his search
for the Heart of The Tarathan, will return after its discorvery (see
“Tokens”) and transform the surviving Dark Elves into his new Chosen,
banishing the Illithid.
[63] The growing revolution against the Illithid complicates movement
and completion of the Nucleus.
[22-23, 72-73, 76-77, 99, 103-104] Finsternis (c.f.), trapped in his
rise to Immortality in a nether-plane and neither mortal or immortal, is
the only person capable of completing the magical `circuit’ – the Heart
of the Tarathan – in the Dark elves “Chamber of the Spheres”, however,
the act, while restoring Power to The Tarathan, would also fully elevate
him to the Twenty.
[108] “Shaman Below” names the High Advisor Teranis of the Dark elves,
who will first accept the PC’s offers of help.

**Demon/War [97-104] Group IV (Experimental)

Historical Reference – Using a stolen Dark Elven soul crystal, a
foolish Amaranthan mage succeeds in summoning a demon, which then breaks
free and kills him. After ravaging the Broken Lands, it begins to enter
the Windlands, which is taken as an act of war, as the frayed tensions
with Amaranth snap and fighting begins. The demon makes its way
singlemindedly toward the Cloud Mountain where a sea of undead and
spirits wait for release.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Stop the Demon and try to stem the
escalation of hostilities between Amaranth and The Windlands. – I. Factions both inside and outside the countries have strong interests
in the continuation of the conflict, including the Adatians, Develinian
Arms Dealers, and Finsternis, among others.
– II. The Dark elves do not care about the war, but will stop at nothing
to retrieve their stolen crystal, which is in the possession of, and key
to the banishment of the demon.
– III. The whole incident, from the crystal to the declaration of war, was
actually a plot by the Seers to test their influence and destabilize a
region highly resistant to their plans.
Specific References – [9] A Ritual Spell of War, the “Dragon of Ash”,
will be unleashed upon the invading Windlanders, but the drain upon the
Arcanum will cause the first magic-dead period.

**Tokens [124-131] Group I (Main Characters)

Historical Reference – Five of the Immortals (Goldoron, Rydion, Solonor,
Denethor, and Agathon) will act as the guides, patrons and challengers
of the PC’s throughout the campaign. Their tokens grant a limited
passage and assistance in the realms of their Immorals, as well as being
keys to the ultimate completion of the campaign.

Campaign Goal and Challenges – Pass the various tests and collect the
tokens of the Five Immortals. – I. Goldoron (Matter) – Token of the Karellion
– II. Rydion (Time) – Token of the Flute
– III. Solonor (Thought) – Token of the Branch
– IV. Denethor (Energy) – Token of the Hand
– V. Agathon (Entropy) – Token of the Heart
Specific References –
[4] Successfully banishing or destroying Scelectious will win
Denethor’s Token of the Hand.
[13] If Agathon is led to the Heart of The Tarathan, his quest will be
fulfilled and he will present it as his Token.
[53] The Emerald Heiress is the Lady of an Elven family-keep lost under
a curse banishing them into a loop of time. Rescuing them will win the
Token and friendship of the clan.

++++++ SONG OF SOLASTIN ASH +++++++

1 “The Power of this world shall fade from the Well,
2 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell,
3 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land,
4 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand,
5 The deaf shall hear the call of the One,
6 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun.

7 Immortal Power ne’er meant for fool aims,
8 Jewel’s path disrupts and destiny claims,
9 The Dragon of Ash shall herald the Fall,
10 As chaos lays claim to the Immortal Hall.

11 As farther the Soul of the Jewel disappears,
12 The Lost Lady washes the wound with her tears,
13 The Forsaker, his treasure at the Heart of the earth,
14 Shall champion the Soulless, in the hour of their birth.

15 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

16 He not of the Jewel both minion and lord,
17 holds forth Darkness’ banner from magic and sword,
18 corrupts one of the Light and First Treasure bestows
19 upon Yesterday’s Child, the fount of the Rose.

20 In death finds he the Door, yet passes not through,
21 in the service of Five, as the Power withdrew,
22 Heroes of Light, in Healing the Land,
23 shall grant him the right with the Twenty to stand.

24 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

25 As the Earthshaker Wars turned the mountains to sand,
26 And grim nightmares unleashed stalked o’er the land,
27 Did the Sorcerer King incant damnation bold,
28 Above, in the heavens, came the comet foretold.

29 With the swiftness of Yeristict’s Coursers it came,
30 And bore down on Hanel and poured forth its flame,
31 As the impact shifted the heart of the world,
32 Magic unbidden through the heavens unfurled.

33 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

34 The Vanguard of ancients, of Darkness unchained,
35 Crashed ‘gainst the Triad as the Light slowly waned,
36 The Spirits of Four, in the hands of their kin,
37 Defied the Dark Bastion and the shadows within.

38 The Guilty, yet Blameless, Devinra’s legacies’ doom,
39 Hoofbeats of thunder from the cold prison tomb,
40 Despair in the Caverns, Shades silently rise,
41 History’s Treasures the Just shall advise…

42 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

43 Fortress and mountain, sanctuary, catacomb,
44 Shelters secrets forgotten and Stone-Father’s Tome,
45 Watched o’er by the Queen, and from eternity freed,
46 Old Magic shall rise at the height of Light’s Need.

47 Three silvern dangers from the Dark One bestowed,
48 Upon the Weaver imprisoned tidings evil forbode,
49 The last Dragon’s Keep, the Historian’s soul,
50 The fall of the Shadow foretells the Bell’s toll.

51 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

52 An Assassin Invisible, the Shaper of Stone
53 The Emerald Heiress and the Watchman Alone,
54 Son of the Wind sacrificed to the Skies,
55 The Harper, the Gallant, the Sage to the Wise.

56 No actor untouched by fate or design,
57 No one without title, or known by a Sign,
58 Born to nobility in a court never seen,
59 Pauper and prince, servant or queen.

60 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

61 The Master, his minions the Cornerstones rend,
62 And the Heroes above are called to defend,
63 `Gainst the tyrannous Chosen, tide rises below,
64 As above the Jewel’s oceans, their boundaries o’erflow.

65 Nought but the Saplings of the Granite Lord’s wood,
66 Have the weight of the heavens collapsing withstood,
67 The waters of Erdefount and the Deep’s fertile soil,
68 Shall spring forth the seed, and quell Chaos’ toil.

69 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

70 Long banished from sunlight, long lost to the earth
71 From the city of starlight springs exile’s worth,
72 From the Kingdom Unknown shall the River arise,
73 At the close of the Age e’re the last Magic’s tide.

74 The Servants Unseeing `gainst the Hidden conspire,
75 Contagion’s curse strikes the spark to the pyre,
76 The Heartbeat, the Token, the double-edged sword,
77 No mortal deed shall see the Power restored.

78 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

79 In the times e’er the Reckoning ages ago,
80 As Immortals crossed heavens and mountains below,
81 The Mistress of Rings and the Champion’s might
82 Challenged Corruption’s hold and the forces of Night.

83 The Vanguards met and Stars looked down upon,
84 The ageless challenge `twixt twilight and dawn,
85 By the Lightwoven path to the Point of Time’s Close,
86 Betrayal fell and malevolence rose.

87 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

88 From beyond the Barrier the Banishd cries,
89 His Chosen, forgotten and Faith slowly dies,
90 Rise up in the Darkness and strike forth to reclaim,
91 That stolen by Childsplay, the dusklight aflame.

92 One not of the Twenty, yet once of the Jewel,
93 Watches in anticipation, to challenge the Rule,
94 Else mortal endeavor Immortality ends,
95 The Fall of the Youngest Jewelshatter portends.

96 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

97 Arrogance folly calls forth kindling of war,
98 From progeny’s rest, and forgotten lore,
99 The cost of the Radiance, the Land of Fell Dreams,
100 Still Guardian the price of the folly redeems.

101 Great powers clash and Pawns move to their whims,
102 Below battle continues and Jewelspirit dims.
103 Cascade unquenchable, hope from the Unclaimed,
104 Shall heal heaven’s wound, and the Initiate Named.

105 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

106 Lords of the North, the Teacher of Runes,
107 the Bonded and Fettered yet free to be Doomed,
108 Spinner of Falsehood and the Shaman Below,
109 Archmage of Sleepers, the Master of the Bow.

110 A song for each person, but a single tale winds
111 across the ages and to destiny binds,
112 Tools of the Masters who art Pawns of the Game,
113 Each identity secret until found by the Name.

114 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

115 In the age of the Bastions, the Triad preserves,
116 The Balance twixt Sol and the Power that He serves,
117 From the Village Unending, to Peaks’ fiery gate,
118 and the Castellan’s Keep, Trynnia’s borders create.

119 Of Old, He holds Power of magic and mind,
120 Thirteen in the dungeons of Elden shall bind,
121 King’s Rest – the Foundation, the One’s final call,
122 Places the Blind at the Crown of the Hall.

123 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

124 Clanschief Unchosen, Harmony’s Thread,
125 Scion of Willows, to the Outsider wed,
126 the Duty’s Companion, and the Healer of Woes,
127 Shall see the unfolding till eternity’s close.

128 The fourth of the Twenty shall be mortal guide,
129 with strength undiscovered `gainst destiny’s tide,
130 Their Tokens deserve and through fire shall receive,
131 lines of all colors, a tapestry weave.

132 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well…

133 Twelve platinum chests, and the last living jewel,
134 The life of a maiden and the ritual cruel,
135 The Mason crafted the Galleon of Stone,
136 Earth Magic sprung from mercy unknown.

137 Vengeance descended and sought to demand,
138 The sacrifice due and the traitor command,
139 But greater Force struck the messenger down,
140 And gifted the Martyr the rebellion’s crown.

141 The Power of this world shall fade from the Well,
142 And the Thirteen shall ride from the dark pits of Hell,
143 The sea shall rise up and strike `gainst the land,
144 And the shadow of twilight shall wound thy right hand,
145 The deaf shall hear the call of the One,
146 And the face of the Twenty shall turn to the Sun.”


Phil Scadden, Scadden Research
55 Buick St, Petone, Lower Hutt
New Zealand
ph (04) 568-7190, fax (04) 569 5016

D20 Steampunk Game

D20 Steampunk Game

Games will be run at Gamestorm 19, in Portland Or. Date and time TBD.


Books used:
D20 Modern
Ultimate Arcane Spellbook
Sorcery & Steam
D20 Modern – Past
Steam & Steel
Imperial Age – Gamemaster’s Guide

Solar System

The Solar System is a giant Orrery. A huge brass pin goes through both poles and connects a brass circle around the Earth. This in turn connects to an Equatorial brass gear that turns the Earth. A huge system of gears turns the Earth; it’s moon and the entire Solar System around the Sun.


In November of 1860, Men of the American Gun Club, fresh off their mechanic victories of obtuse dimensional canons deployed on the Russian front, resolve to build the “Columbiad” a canon capable of shooting a projectile to the Earth’s moon. The purpose of this invention is to examine the Moon and the exact device that keeps it encircling the Earth. The 274 meter long canon propels the 20,000 pound projectile with three passengers aboard into the Earth’s atmosphere and towards the Moon.
Unfortunately the projectile missed the Moon, looped back around and crashed into the Pacific Ocean off of Spanish San Francisco. Most members of the club were simply happy that the experiment succeeded and the passengers were alive and well.
But one, Jules Verne, could not stand to let the mystery lie. After 13 months of Scientific experimentations, he proclaimed his discovery of the Ether in the New York Journal of Astronomy. Fellow Astronomers almost immediately confirmed it’s existence, and six months later the British Navy had commissioned a Board of Inquiry into development of a means of travel in the Ether.
Within a few years, all the major European powers have a presence on Mars, the closest planet with a breathable atmosphere.

The material called the Ether surrounds the Planets. It’s thickest near planets, moons and the brass gears and workings. The Ether has a slight electrical charge to it and is breathable, although characters will become fatigued if they do not get fresh oxygen within six hours.

There are also pockets of “Collapsed Ether” which are highly flammable, and devoid of any air.


Since the European nations were never able to expand to the east by sea, there was a lot more political infighting and wars across Eurasia. Russia struggles to maintain it’s hold on lands with enemies on all sides.

Britain, Spain and France fought over the Americas, with Britain coming out as the clear winner in the 1770’s. Spain still maintains holdings in Mexico, Texas and the South Western States while Britain holds the east and Canada. The line between the two nation’s colonies lies somewhere in the plains area and will most likely continue to be a point of contention in the future. France has long lost or sold all its colonies in the Americas to fund it’s continued wars against the Ottoman Empire.

In the Pacific, China, India and Japan have fought hard over every resource available. All three nations mount vast armies, luckily they are too fragmented to join together and push west. The Pacific nations do not have steam technology yet.


Hinduism, Judaism, Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, Christianity all exists with their respective good and bad points.


Hermetic Magic exists, but hundreds of years of prosecution by Christianity has driven it under ground and even eliminated entire schools. Clubs and Societies exist to explore and teach Hermetic Magic under the guise of “Science.” The Free Masons, Knights Templar, Lunatic Science and Drinking Club, and many others are examples of such. The downside is that many of these clubs are more theoretical then practical and can have a heavy dose of pseudo-magic mixed with pseudo-science.

Shamanistic Magic exists via the untainted traditions of native peoples recently “discovered” by Western “Civilization” such as the Natives of the still mostly unexplored Americas. When found Church practices attempts to outlaw and wipe it out. Like Hermetic magic, it can often survive underground, or be corrupted and integrated into Divine Magic.

Divine Magic is granted by each of the Gods to members of its religion. The Church sanctions divine magic. Only religious figures may wield it, and only with enough devotion and study. Those who are not affiliated with the Church but are able to wield Divine magic are deemed heretics and burned or tortured.


Steam power has been used on an industrial level across Europe and the western Parts of Russia for many years. Steam Power is present in the larger American Cities although it still lags behind Europe and especially Britain. It’s been used as propulsion in ships for about ten, and only in the last five years has it been applied to air ships and Zeppelins.

Steam Power is becoming a force in it’s own right as it’s applied almost daily in ways never imagined before, and advanced metallurgy techniques enable it to become smaller and more efficient.

Air ships are simply regular wooden ships that have had their masts and sails replaced with hydrogen air balloons. These are propelled through the air via steam powered propeller blades in the rear. The engines are still powered by coal, but the extra room saved from not needing ballast provides ample storage for the coal. Once Airborne into the ether, sails are deployed from the main balloon and ship. Using the currents in the Ether, and the propellers, the ship can move extremely fast from one place to another.

Once in the Ether Air Ships release pure dephlogisticated air from compressed tubes stored below desks. Due to the nature of the Ether, the air stays with the ship, as do items thrown overboard.

Pockets of “bad” or Collapsed Ether exist. Their presence so far is unexplained, although several theories abound. Their size is variable and so far the few that have been found are well marked on Astronomy maps. Entering one has various effects. These include; a lack of breathable air, to technology stopping (and in some cases, extremely damaging) affects, to wild magical affects.

Solar System

The Earth’s moon remains uninhabited, except for a few hardy miners. The moon’s atmosphere is not enough to hold in sufficient air so those who work and live there need to wear repurposed diving equipment to be outside of long. Otherwise they live inside small heavily tarred and pitched wooden buildings.

Britain does maintain a small Fort here, Fort Wales. It’s built bigger then needed as it was originally designed to maintain a full company of men. Forty soldiers mostly on light duty now hold it. Being assigned here is seen as a punishment.

Britain, France, Spain, Prussia and Russia all have forts on Mars. Garrisoned by 100-200 soldiers, except for the British Fort, which has about 500 troops.

No nation has yet to visit any of the other planets, although plans are of course under weigh do do so.

Martian Climate

Mars is habitable near the poles to the 45th latitude. Daily temperatures hover between 110 degrees in the Martian winter to 145 during the summer months. Between the 45th and the Equator, the daily temperatures reach 180 degrees or hotter. Most inhabitants follow the Spanish custom of a mid-day siesta during the hottest part.

The air is thin and makes breathing rather hard. Care is taken to make sure buildings are airtight. Compressed air is released daily into buildings and doors are sealed with a double door airlock arrangement. Streets between buildings are shaded with canopies. Some of the larger streets are additionally cooled with steam powered fans placed up wind.

Fort George

The British Fort, named Fort George is also by far the largest physically. A town of about 1000 civilians sits at it’s foot. The original fort has been upgraded from a moat and wall 5-point star configuration to a more stout and traditional stone affair with large walls and cannons that protect the fort and town.

In the town of Fort George are offices and a warehouse of the Martian Fur Service, a British Factor, three Sutter stores (general goods,) and a small theater. About 25% of the residents of the town are engaged in farming. 50% are engaged in the burgeoning Fur Trade (a small mink like animal that practically walks up to humans still,) and the rest are storekeepers and various other businesses that are meant to separate soldiers and settlers from their hard earned money.


Martians are misnamed as Selenites. The first explorers expected to find life on the Earth’s Moon. Disappointed they applied the Lunar Citizen’s name to the Martian natives.

The Selenites are a race of short lizard people. They are tool-using, omnivores that live in small tribes of 10-30 individuals. Their tools consist of spears, obsidian knives, and digging tools. Little else is known about them other then they have a primitive language that some can communicate in.

The predominant predator is an animal that looks to be a cross between a crocodile and the Americas Porcupine.

Tailor Smurf’s Shop

The below chart lays out the cost of each hat and how much experience each item gives.

Baseball Cap – 100g/40xp – 2.5
Snorkel – 120g/50xp – 2.4
Cowboy Hat – 900g/250xp – 3.6
Feather Headband – 4000g/800xp – 5
Football Helmet – 20000g/2000xp – 10
Jester Cap – 250g/90xp – 2.77
Aviator Hat – 1500g/400xp – 3.75
Winter Hat – 6000g/1000xp – 6
Party Hat – 2500g/600xp – 4.16
Pirate Hat – 300000g/2500xp – 12
Graduation Hat – 12000g/1500xp 8
Alpine Hat – 500g/150xp – 3.33
Top Hat – 8500g/1200xp – 7.03
Magic Hat – 50000g/3000xp – 16.66

The Magic Hat looks to be the best cost vs XP at 16.66 gold per XP.