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Old 06-19-2012, 01:20 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Midwest, USA
Default Re: [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

NOTE: This is a work in progress. Each post breaks the 10,000-word limit so I can no longer preview it. As such, I'm forced to post in segments as I work.

The theme of the dungeon is shadows. In some places, rays of sunlight shine brightly from holes in the cavern's ceilings. In others, deep darkness shrouds what lies beyond.

Unless otherwise noted, the darkness penalty for ambient light is a shadowy -3 throughout the dungeon during the day. A few rooms are fully illuminated or partially lit; there is no darkness penalty in rooms with light from above.

See Dungeons, p. 6, for information on darkness penalties and light sources. Visibility affects many success rolls including attack rolls. See Visibility, p. B394 and p. B547 (i.e., page 394 and page 547 of the Basic Set).

1. When the players first enter the area, read the following passage aloud:

Through the tendrils of chill mist slithering around your ankles, the hollow eye socket of a human skull stares up at you vacantly. Traces of gore still remain on its scalp; the bones probably haven't been here long. All around it, skeletal human remains litter the dusty floor of the cavern's entrance.

The cavern divides both north and east, the cold rock walls fading into shadow. Mist flows down the natural steps to the east like a waterfall, pouring into the entrance, hanging low to the floor. Like the fangs of some horrible monster, stalactites hang from the low ceiling.
If the PC's had little reason to be wary, they do now. Players may wish to search the room. If so, the GM rolls secretly against the highest of Vision, Observation, Tracking or Per-based Traps for each searcher. Success spots a small boot print in the dusty cavern floor heading east.

Players can chose to either go north (up on the map) or east (right on the map).

2. Before reaching area 2, an Observation roll (again, rolled secretly by the GM) will uncover small boot prints, scattered nut shells, a few seeds, and a couple tiny chicken bones in the far northwest corner. Looking at the disturbed ground, it's clear that someone or something has spent time here. Critical success on the Observation roll suggests that the small divots in the ground could have been made by the butt end of a staff or spear. Guard post?

In area 2, there are two goblins waiting tensely, hoping to remain undiscovered. Ordered not to engage intruders unless absolutely necessary, they saw the PC's enter, but didn't attack.

The goblins are ready and waiting for combat. Both have arrows knocked to their short bows and are taking Wait maneuvers (p. B366) in preparation for a PC to step into view. They will fire without aiming the instant a PC steps into view. They will then drop their bows as a free action.

Combat turn sequence (p. B362) should then be determined by comparing Basic Speeds.

On their turn, the goblins will take Ready maneuvers to pick up their spears, which are leaning against the wall directly beside them. On following turns, they will attack.

The goblins use bodkin-point arrows (p. B277) that halve DR at the expense of worsening the wounding modifier from impaling (x2) to piercing (x1). The wounding modifier for piercing attacks to the vitals, however, is the same as impaling: a deadly x3! They will target the PC's vitals at -3. A miss by 1 hits the torso.

For more information on wounding modifiers and injury, see p. B379. For more information on hit locations, see p. B398.

Since arrows can't normally be parried, PC's under fire will likely want to block if they have a shield. Remember, a shield's DB may add to all three active defenses -- parry, dodge and block! Without a shield, to avoid the attack the PC must dodge, make an acrobatic dodge (p. B375) adding +2 to their roll, or dodge and drop (p. B377) adding +3 at the expense of falling prone. To rise from prone takes two change posture maneuvers (p. B364) -- one to kneel, one to stand. The change posture maneuver to go from kneeling to standing may be substituted for the "step" allowed in many combat maneuvers, such as attack (See Step, p. B368).

It's unlikely that combat in area 2 can be heard from deeper inside the cavern.

The goblins know the lost boy is in area 9, but it will almost take torture to get information out of them. If captured, they'll feign total ignorance and claim to be traveling from a far-off tribe only having recently taken up temporary residence here. They'll claim to be alone.

After revealing that (false) information, getting anything else out of the goblins requires winning a Quick Contest of Interrogation vs. the goblins' Will to get an answer (see DF2, p. 13).

If PC's get too extreme with their questioning, the goblins will warn that their master is a great and powerful sorcerer and that he knows where they are and will be all too glad to avenge any harm done to them. They speak the truth as they know it, but won't reveal that their master is really a shadow dragon.

If the PC's ask the goblins to lead them inside, the goblins will take them to area 4.

If the goblins go undiscovered, they will shadow the PC's through the dungeon. Roll a secret Quick Contest (p. B248) of the goblins' Stealth 12 against each of the PC's Perception each time the PC's enter a new area. If the goblins fail, announce to the players they have a sneaking suspicion they are being followed.

3. When the players first enter the area, read the following passage aloud:

The tight passageway leading from the west opens into a huge cavern. Its high ceiling extends upwards into shadow. You can hear the silent flutter of bat wings from between the stalactites above. Blacker than the darkness surrounding it, an ominous abyss plunges deeper than the eye can see, descending into a seemingly-bottomless void. The inky mist clinging to the ground flows over its edge from both sides like waterfalls, plummeting into depths unseen.

To the east, a sheer cliff face rises 12 feet from the mist-shrouded floor. At its summit is a large, yawning cave.
Any PC succeeding a secret perception roll will notice a glint from the ogre skeleton's great axe in area 4. If so, read the following passage aloud:

Basking in a dusty ray of cold sunshine from a broken hole in the ceiling high above, the hulking skeleton of a monstrous ogre sits leaning against the rock wall to the west. Still gripped in its bony hands, a giant-sized great axe gleams in the sunlight.
Though only four hexes across, the west edge of the abyss is six feet lower than the east. Treat jumping the pit from the west as a six-hex obstical. With a running start, the abyss can be jumped with the Jumping skill. However, warn the PC's that in addition to the Jumping roll, they must catch the far side of the pit with a DX roll then make a ST-based Climbing roll to pull themselves up. Failure of either roll means falling. Jumping from the east requires only a Jumping roll. See Jumping, DF2 p. 7. Jumping is handled in greater detail on p. B352.

Dropping a light source will reveal that the pit ends about 100 feet down. A perception roll will reveal that the light source hit water. Otherwise, it seemingly just disappears.

One Climbing roll, at -3, is required to make it to the top of the cliff face. Failure means a fall from halfway up (1d+2 damage); critical failure means a fall from the top (2d-1 damage). See DF2, p. 7 for information on climbing and DF2, p. 19 for information on falling damage.

From page B431: All armor, flexible or not (but not innate DR), counts as "flexible" for the purpose of calculating blunt trauma from falling damage. Thus, even if the victim has enough armor DR to stop the falling damage, he suffers 1 HP of injury per 5 points of falling damage. See Flexible Armor and Blunt Trauma (p. B379).

Roll randomly [on the hit location table, p. B552] for the hit location damaged in a fall. If the injury is to an extremity or a limb, do not ignore injury in excess of that required to cripple it. Instead, subtract the full amount from HP! If the fall would cripple a limb, roll 1d. On 5-6, all limbs of that type are crippled, although there is no extra injury.

If the PC's climb atop the precipice, read the following passage aloud:

Atop the precipice, a giant rat stares at you with beady red eyes full of contempt as it gnaws upon a large bone. Sitting on its haunches, it's bloated gut sticks out past its clawed feet; the rat has either eaten more than its fill or is pregnant.

Beyond it, there is a small cave opening to the east.
If left alone, the rat will remain in place.

If the PC's engage the giant rat, they'll risk alerting the goblin-kin in area 6.

The cave (not shown on map) runs east then takes a sharp turn to exit at the north end of area 6.

To be continued...
"How the heck am I supposed to justify that whatever I
feel like doing at any particular moment is 'in character'
if I can't say 'I'm chaotic evil!'"? óJeff Freeman

Last edited by Stripe; 03-16-2013 at 04:16 AM.
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