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Old 06-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #1
Stripe
 
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Default [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

Greetings!

In case it's not obvious, "Here there be dragons!"

In furtherance of my attempts to create a balanced set of templates for dragons, I've written a short, straightforward, one-shot adventure designed for four to five standard, beginning-level, 250-point player characters built with the GURPS Fourth Edition Basic Set Characters and Campaigns; Magic; and Dungeon Fantasy 1-3. No other books are needed, but I may use DF 8 to build the treasure. It's highly likely that this adventure can be easily adapted to use only GURPS Lite.

I'll write this as bare-bones as possible with very little fluff or window dressing -- I'll let the GM do the work fleshing this out into an immersing experience. This isn't an exercise in storytelling for me, just in creating a balanced one-shot dungeon.

My goal is to write a highly challenging, yet non-lethal dungeon. All player characters should survive however narrowly.

Suggested reading for GM's and players new to Dungeon Fantasy:

If you're not a GM, and your GM runs Dungeon Fantasy and frequents these forums, you may wish to read no further. ;)

Without further ado, onward to the adventure!
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"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!'"? —Jeff Freeman
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #2
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Default Re: [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

Dungeon Fantasy Adventures:
Shadowyrm


by Richard D. Sharpe



Contents:

Areas 1-3
Areas 4, 5
Areas 6, 7
Areas 8, 9
Non-Player Characters
Monsters and Treasure
Iconic Characters
Reserved
Latest Update



Introduction

Goreblood is no ordinary goblin tribal warrior; he's an infernal-blooded mass-murdering war machine far ascended from the cowardly riffraff of his kind. Beneath his cruel and savage banner, a vast army of goblin-kin once threatened the entire dwarven kingdom before it was finally crushed and ground into shattered fragments more than a decade ago. It took an alliance with the humans for the dwarves to at last triumph in the Third Goblin War.

Even in defeat, Goreblood escaped capture and continued his vicious rampage across the land, leading various smaller bands of monstrous comrades to raid and pillage frontier towns and villages. Now on the run, Goreblood remains in hiding, venturing out of the darkness only to hunt.

When the arrow slammed into the tree barely a half-inch from his brow, Goreblood thought he had been found by a squad of king's men, a band of headhunters, or some other force of battle-hardened mercenaries.

Instead, it was a lone human maiden kneeling in the branches of a tree, longbow in hand, already reaching for another arrow.

A wicked smile cracks the goblin's thin, battle-scared lips...


Recommended Books

This adventure requires the GURPS Fourth Edition Basic Set: Characters and Campaigns and GURPS Magic, as well as both GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 1: Adventurers and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 2: Dungeons. In addition, GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 3: The Next Level and GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8: Treasure Tables are strongly recommended, though the GM can improvise around the parts of this adventure which refer to those books.


Key Elements

Shadowyrm is a straightforward, hack 'n' slash dungeon delve. While visiting a town, the player characters (PCs) learn that the mountainous, forested area is plagued by a ravenous dragon. Monster attacks are on the rise, and the king's men are doing what they can to hold back the tide of increasing goblin and orc raids.

During all this suffering and hardship, a teenage girl -- a local nobleman's daughter known for her adventurous and rebellious spirit and infamous for her tomboyish proficiency with a longbow -- has went missing. Rumor has it, frustrated with the seeming absence of direct action to protect the townsfolk by her father, she decided to take matters into her own hands and went looking for trouble in the forest.

Shadowyrm is named such because of the teenage hatchling shadow dragon that makes the cavern his lair. Shadow dragons are creatures of neither light nor darkness; they find comfort amongst the shadows between. It's unlikely to be much of a spoiler to the reader that there's a dragon at the end of this dungeon. However, the players must not know the cave is a dragon's lair. The goal isn't to slay the dragon!

(NOTE: More to come, including information about a shadowy cult.)


Protagonists

This adventure contains challenges which can be dealt with by stealth, cleverness, or brute force – but mostly brute force. Although there are guidelines for scaling the opposition within certain bounds, this adventure is balanced to challenge four or five adventurers built on 250 points with a disadvantage limit of -50 points using standard Dungeon Fantasy templates, using only the gear and enchantments available to starting characters. Fewer PCs will greatly enhance the adventure's challenge and the GM should consider bolstering the adventurer's ranks with companions from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 15: Henchmen. Groups with more delvers can still find challenge and reward by adding more monsters and treasure, but note that the cave's tight passages and smaller caverns might become crowded!


Hooks

The adventure takes place in a cavern, the mouth of which is secluded beneath the canopy of a dense, shadowy forest. However, the GM is free to place the cave anywhere he chooses: desert, arctic tundra, or even deep beneath the catacombs and sewers of a sprawling city!

For this adventure, it is assumed the goal is to rescue a person held prisoner in the cave. By default, that person is an ordinary girl with an adventurous spirit who went missing from town while hunting goblin-kin in the mountains.

Alternatively, the person could be a PC's dependent, a fairy princess, an eccentric wizard, a fugitive criminal, etc. There may be a different reward for their rescue than that is given, the players may be seeking the person for their own ends, or they may simply be acting out of compassion. They may not even be looking for anyone at all when they enter the cavern; instead, the players could be tracking wild game, foraging for supplies, taking shelter from a storm or be following a lead while treasure hunting. Murder hobos need little reason to enter mysterious caverns!


Maps:

The map is a one-inch hex battle map, drawn in GIMP (sort of a free version of Photoshop) with the aid of a handy script by Rob Antonishen. The base was originally created with Donjon's wonderful Random Dungeon Generator, but has since been completely re-drawn.

Map (30" x 30", 2 MB): http://img837.imageshack.us/img837/5605/a05w.jpg

OLD Map (28.5" x 28.5", 1 MB): http://img28.imageshack.us/img28/136...battlemap3.jpg



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!'"? —Jeff Freeman

Last edited by Stripe; 07-13-2013 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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:

Quote:
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!'"? —Jeff Freeman

Last edited by Stripe; 03-16-2013 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 06-19-2012, 03:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

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

Quote:
Mist swirls in pools around your feet. Bones and skulls, both human and animal, are strewn haphazardly all across the stone floor of this chill ossuary. The remains of a few dozen creatures must be scattered about the area.

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.
The ogre skeleton's location is marked 'X' on the GM map. Sun rays glint from the great axe's polished blade and can be seen from area 3.

If disturbed or if the players try to pass through the area, the ogre skeleton, along with N human skeletons, rise off the dusty ground and attack. Read the following passage aloud if so:

Quote:
Like a hellish nightmare, skeletons begin to slowly pick themselves off the floor and rise from the mist! With eyes of burning embers, they drag themselves up, bones cracking, their hisses: dry, hollow gasps from beyond the grave.
Remember, the skeletons must take two change posture maneuvers to stand and the change posture maneuver to go from kneeling to standing may be substituted for the "step" allowed in many combat maneuvers, such as attack.

The towering ogre skeleton wields a fine, balanced, meteoric SM+1 great axe in both hands. Remember, great axes are unbalanced (‡ on ST) and become unready after each attack. They also become unready after parrying (Parry 0U). See When Is a Weapon Ready?, p. B383. Also see the weapon statistics for ST and Parry on pp. B269-270.

Code:
TL Weapon              Damage    Reach        Parry  Cost    Weight  ST
1  Fine, Balanced, 
   Meteoric Oversized
   Great Axe           sw+5 cut  Reach 1, 2*  0U     $4,950  12      18‡

Notes: +1 bonus to skill; -1 to odds of breakage.
Rules for oversized weapons are in DF 1, p. 27.

One of the N human skeletons is actually a skeleton warrior. It carries a shattered greatsword seemingly made from polished, red-tinted obsidian; the last third of the blade has been broken off. Treat it as an unbalanced (meaning -1 to skill), very-fine, non-thrusting greatsword with Reach 1. When swung, it does +1 cutting damage per die in addition to the +2 for being very fine.

The other skeletons are holding rusted weapons and battered light shields (DR 4/HP 10). They carry a thrusting broadsword, axe, spear and flail in that order, depending on their number (more will carry axes). All weapons are of cheap quality (see Melee Weapon Quality, p. B274).

Mysteriously, the skeleton warrior's sundered greatsword has a fuller etched with strange runes. If a wizard examines it, a (player-rolled) Thaumatology roll will reveal they are the cross between an ancient shadow elf dialect no longer commonly spoken and the writing of dark ones. This may give the players a clue where to go if they seek to have the sword repaired.

An Armory (Melee Weapons) roll at -8 will reveal the blade is not made from obsidian; rather it is made from tempered glass, a very rare and extremely durable glass-like material made by reclusive elven glaziers (DF 8, p. 33). It is exceptionally sharp gaining +1 damage per die. However, it is as durable as any metal weapon as well as being resistant to acid and electrical attacks.

The greatsword cannot be reforged, through a Repair spell (Magic, p. 118) can magically repair it, runes and all. However, a one-pound lump of tempered glass is needed for the spell to work.

If repaired, the tempered glass greatsword returns to its former condition: very fine and balanced. Unfortunately, its enchantments were lost when the sword was shattered, as were all its onyx, platinum, black pearl and black diamond embellishments. The repair spell will not replace these.

Code:
TL Weapon               Damage     Reach  Parry  Cost     Weight  ST
3  Very-Fine, Balanced 
   Tempered Glass 
   Greatsword           sw+5 cut   1, 2   0      $47,700  7       12†  
   or                   thr+5 imp  2      0      –        –       12†

Notes: +1 to skill; -2 to odds of breakage; +1 to damage per die.
A fair market value for the sword is about a quarter its cost repaired.

5. Area 5 is accessed through a cave from area 4. The ceiling is about eight feet high. The passage gets progressively darker, fading from -3 at the mouth to -7 in the northwest.

When the players explore the south room in area 5, read the following passage aloud:

Quote:
Atop a four-feet tall stone pillar, a glowing, fist-sized ruby sits between the fangs of a small, golden dragon statue. Its dim red glow radiates faintly, filling the room with an eerie crimson light. Seemingly, the gem can be easily lifted from the statue's open mouth, and the statue shouldn't be very heavy, either.
Before the PCs get a chance to enter the room, N giant rats (DF 2, p. 24) from the north room will attack. Their filthy nest is devoid of worthwhile treasure.

An adventurer with Danger Sense who makes a secret, GM-rolled Perception check will be alerted to danger coming from the south room -- but not what the danger is.

The statue and ruby are actually a similarly-sized rock covered by a permanent Illusion Shell and illuminated by a permanent Continual Light spell changed red with Colors. See the spell descriptions of Illusion Shell, Continual Light and Colors in Magic, pp. 96 and 110 respectively.

Any character with Magery gets a Sense roll (p. B358) against Perception+Magery when they first see the gem and statue (roll as one) to know it is in some way enchanted. The GM rolls in secret. This roll reveals nothing about the nature of the enchantments on the "statue," just that it is magical. In fact, a result of 3 or 4 on the roll tells the mage the statue and ruby are not dangerous since the only spells on it are Illusion Shell and Continual Light.

Touching the false gem or statue will trigger a truly heinous magical trap: two Linked spells -- a two-yard-radius Create Fire and a two-yard-radius Glue spell, both centered on room's middle hex -- will engulf the entire room in flaming tar.

If that happens, read the following passage aloud:

Quote:
Suddenly, the floor becomes an ankle-deep pool of black, sticky tar. In the same instant, the tar ignites, sending roaring flames shooting up to envelope the entire room, turning it into a blazing furnace.
The glue spell will keep victims in the flames until they can make a ST -5 roll for each hex they attempt to leave. Maximum move is 1 hex per turn. Victims will take 1d-1 burning damage per second they are in the fire, or 1d-3 burning damage for the part of a turn they are able to escape.

See the spell descriptions of Create Fire, Link and Glue in Magic, pp. 72, 131, and 142 respectively. See Flame (p. B433) for rules on setting things afire.

The Linked spells in effect are visible to Mage Sight (Magic, p. 102) but not to a mage's Per+Magery roll. Only Analyze Magic can tell the nature of the spells. There is no other way to detect the trap.



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!'"? —Jeff Freeman

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Old 06-19-2012, 03:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

6. Before the players first enter the area, if they engaged in combat in any area other than 2, read the following passage aloud:

Quote:
The faint stench of dung rides the chill air, coming from the direction of the large, maw-like cave opening before you. In the center of the cavernous room, a giant stalactite hanging from the high ceiling meets with a towering stalagmite on the the mist-shrouded floor to form a massive rock column. Shadows drape the far walls with curtains of black velvet.
An adventurer with Danger Sense who makes a secret, GM-rolled Perception check will be alerted to danger coming from area 6 -- but not what the danger is.

A Perception roll, modified for Acute Taste and Smell (p. B35), will detect the faint hint of a recently-extinguished campfire.

Alerted by the sound of combat, a goblin knight, an orc sergeant, and N goblins wait to ambush the PCs.

If the PCs have so far managed to move stealthily through the cavern, read the following entry aloud instead (with N being the number of goblins in the cave):

Quote:
In the center of this cavernous room, a giant stalactite hanging from the high ceiling meets with a towering stalagmite on the the mist-shrouded floor to form a massive rock column. Sitting around a tiny campfire against it, an orc and [N+1] goblins laugh and guffaw amongst themselves. They mostly wear a hodgepodge of fur pelts and mail and have weapons nearby.

One battle-scarred goblin is considerably larger than the others. Easily the size of the average human, his strapping chest is covered in scale armor. The gilded hilt of a large dagger protrudes from his wide leather belt and the gray fur of a winter wolf bristles around his shoulders. He leans against the back of a shield, a menacing battleaxe at his side.

Seated at the goblin's right, the powerfully-built orc overshadows all others. Bulging muscles knot his hulking, green-skinned arms and his stumpy neck is as wide as a tree trunk. Sharp tusks jut from the lower lower lip of his mighty jaw. Deep-set, yellow eyes shine beneath the shadows of his brow, burning with the reflected light of the campfire. The long pommel of a sword fit for a monster of his size peaks the wickedly-spiked plate armor covering his mountainous right shoulder. Thick grizzly bear pelts gird his loin.

Shadows drape the far walls with curtains of black velvet. The faint stench of dung hangs in the chill air.
An Observation roll will note the following:

Quote:
The goblin-kin, while boisterous, are still reserved for their kind. They may be at least partially alert and on guard against attack. Their fire is modest and positioned to cast as little light as possible from the immediate area.

The more you observe, the more it becomes apparent that the large goblin is the leader, not the orc to his right. Unlike other specimens of his kind, this goblin is no coward. He sits at the head of the fire like a tyrant king with the collected poise of a veteran warrior who's seen numerous bloody battles, who knows the toll of war. You can tell by the body language of the others that they fear this cruel and bloodthirsty goblin worse than death.

As the flickering firelight throws shadows across his haggard, stony face, you can see the goblin leader has more than a few scars visible on his furrowed brow, hooked nose and thin, rough lips. Each tells a tale of bloodshed and the moral of those stories is that he's not going down without a fight.

The axe by his side looks too noble to be forged by goblin-kin; it's likely dwarven, though there's no way to tell without a closer inspection. No doubt, he'll be happy to show you its blade up close.
Standing 5'8" tall and weighing 150 lbs., the leader's name is Goreblood -- a surprising title considering most goblins are dubbed by their oppressive orc masters. It may come as a shock to the PC's, but Goreblood shed his inborn cowardice long ago, replacing it with an intense hatred for all who might oppress him.

Goreblood's equipment includes a long knife (Low-Tech, pp. 67, 69) and orichalcum dwarven axe, both enchanted with Penetrating Weapon 1 (Magic, p. 63), imbuing them with an armor divisor of (2), halving DR. See page B378 for information on armor divisors.

The weapons are obviously of dwarven craftsmanship as an Armory (Melee Weapons) or Connoisseur (Weapons) roll at +8, or an unmodified Merchant roll, will reveal. A Connoisseur (Weapons) roll will also reveal that that the axe is nearly 1,000 years old. They were stolen from the corpse of a dwarven knight whom Goreblood murdered.

For that crime, a dwarf king has placed a $25,000 bounty on Goreblood's head. If the PC's try to collect the bounty while displaying the weapons, or if they are in the PC's possession when they respond truthfully to the dwarven noble's questions about finding any property belonging to the dwarf knight, he will politely demand their return.

However, the dwarf knight's widow will give back the long knife with her sincere blessing and profuse thanks for bringing her husband's murderer to justice. She informs the PC's that the axe is too sentimental to her late husband's family to allow it to pass away, but offers to replace it with another. If the PC's accept her generosity, she will instruct her blacksmiths to forge a new one. When complete, it will be a fine, balanced, ornate dwarven axe etched with the word "Justice" in dwarven on its blade.

Code:
TL Weapon          Damage        Reach  Parry  Cost    Weight  ST
1  Fine, Balanced,
   Gilded,
   Penetrating
   Long Knife      sw(2) cut     C, 1   0      $8,960  1.5     7
   or              thr+1(2) imp  C, 1   0      –       –       7

Notes: +1 to skill; -1 to odds of breakage; +3 to reactions. When 
wielded with the shortsword skill, its swung Reach is 1.
Code:
TL Weapon          Damage       Reach  Parry  Cost      Weight  ST
0  Fine, Balanced,
   Ornate,
   Orichalcum,
   Penetrating,
   Dwarven Axe     sw+3(2) cut  1      0      $7,400    4       11

Notes: +1 to skill; -1 to odds of breakage; +1 to reactions.
When the fight is over, PCs who search the area will find little of value except, perhaps, two bottles of orcish bloodwine (DF10, p. 30); $7, 2 lbs. apiece. There are four empty unbroken glass bottles laying around; $3, 1 lb. apiece. Enough grimy equipment can be scrounged together to constitute group basics ($50, 20 lbs.).

If the PCs search the area, read the following passage aloud:

Quote:
There are no beds or any other signs of permanent sleeping arrangements here, though it's likely the goblins just use their cloaks as blankets and wineskins as pillows. There is plenty of evidence that the goblins have been staying here for an extended period of time: carcasses, rotten offal, feces, broken glass, and garbage litter the floor, corners and crevices. The whole filthy cavern reeks of an odor most foul. Making it worse, when too lazy to exit the cave, the goblins used the south room as a latrine. A dead giant rat -- poisoned, apparently -- lays atop a dung pile in the far corner.
If any PC wishes to actually search the latrine, they must first make a HT roll to avoid becoming nauseated (p. B428) for as many minutes as they failed the roll. Failure of another, immediate HT roll will induce vomiting for (25 - HT) seconds -- treat as Retching, p. B429. No Sense of Smell/Taste (p. B146) gives a +5 to both rolls.

If they succeed on the HT roll, they must make the highest of a Perception or Scrounging roll. Success nets a three-carat bloodstone (DF8, p. 19) worth $1,170! To hide it from the others, a drunken goblin swallowed it. When he awoke, he forgot all about doing so. Undigested, it wound up in the latrine.

Any PC searching the latrine will gain the Bad Smell disadvantage (p. B124) until he is thoroughly bathed and all his clothing and carried equipment washed.

7.



To be continued...
__________________
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"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!'"? —Jeff Freeman

Last edited by Stripe; 07-14-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 06-20-2012, 09:13 PM   #6
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Default Re: [DF] Shadowyrm -- One-Shot Beginner Adventure

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

Quote:
Silvery northern daylight illuminates the entire room brightly, sun rays from the opening in the center of the cavern's ceiling high above. Here, the cool mist along the floor is all but invisible. Fleeting shadows hide along the walls, recoiling from the light.

As if he had failed to notice you intrusion, a robed figure pores over a giant tome laying on a stone lecturn decorated with serpents winding through grimacing skulls. His pallid face is hidden in the shadows of his deep hood. One bony, pale hand -- its slender fingers ending in long, black nails -- cradles a page on the verge of turning it.

Haphazard stacks of books, some four feet tall with human skulls sitting atop them like paperweights, surround the figure, lining the far walls. There must be nearly 100 old manuals, worn primers, and ancient grimoires contained in the dozen or so leaning columns of thick, decrepit tomes. Stalwart guardians of an immense collection of obscure knowledge, untold lore must be recorded upon their thousands of silent pages just waiting to be discovered.
Mages need not roll Perception+Magery to know that most of the books are enchanted, probably with spells to allow them to resit the elements and the heavy hand of time. However, a Sense roll will reveal that N/2 of the skull "paperweights" are enchanted, and which those are. The skulls are enchanted with Skull Spirit (Magic, p. 151), though the Sense roll won't reveal that information.

The robed figure is an orc shaman who is all too aware of the PC's presence. Even if the PC's have somehow managed to go so far undetected, a Watchdog spell placed at the entrance to the area warned the mage he had uninvited company. Though the PC's may mean the mage no harm specifically, their intentions overall are undoubtedly nothing less than hostile.

The robed figure seemingly ignores the PC's until they address him, move into the area, or begin to take some action. He'll disregard and even interrupt a PC's first words.

If the PC's have engaged the goblins in area 6, read the following passage aloud (with N/2 being the number of skulls):

Quote:
When the robed figure at last speaks, his voice is a cold, raspy whisper seething with contempt, slithering from between dry, parsed lips: "You come to me as intruders, blood upon your hands. You damage my property and murder my guests. How then should I receive you? Not as friends, certainly."

With a flick of his hand, he flips the page his tome as he looks up to fix his gaze upon you, red eyes shining with unbridled hatred from the beneath the shadows of his hood. It is the aged visage of a gaunt, venerable orc. Faint, blue veins run through his translucent, green-tinged skin.

"Enemies then, as surly as if you had broken through my gates with a battering ram. You shall find I am quite prepared to deal in like kind with such invaders."

With that, the scowling orc takes a step back and barks a harsh word in a bizarre dialect. [N/2] of the skulls sitting atop the book stacks shatter violently. Born from the explosions, vaporous ghosts like wicked, skeletal shadows appear.
As a free action, the orc shaman gave a password in the language of dark ones activating N/2 skulls enchanted with Skull Spirit (Magic, p. 150).

Determine combat order. On his first turn, the shaman will take a ready maneuver to summon his magic staff enchanted with Hide Object (Magic, p. 86). Read the following passage aloud:

Quote:
As if catching some unseen object out of the air, the shaman calmly outstretches his hand. Suddenly, an ebon staff appears in his grasp!
The skull spirit(s) will take the Do Nothing maneuver first as they materialize and collect their bearings. On later turns, they will attack.

Remember, the skull spirits are at -5 to hit with both melee and ranged attacks due to their size modifier (p. B19). The Basic Set is somewhat unclear that SM applies to melee attacks, but it has since been clarified. For a compilation of information about SM, see the following link: http://ottgaming.grimoire.ca/Borderlands/Size_Modifier

On his following turns, the orc shaman will cast spells, likely selecting Steelwraith (Magic, p. 54) or Glue (Magic, p. 142) first. Remember, his skill of 15 reduces the casting cost and time of Steelwraith by 1, allowing him to cast the spell with a single concentrate maneuver (see Magic Rituals, Magic, p. 8). He may then chose to levitate above his attackers. Once he's ready to go on the offensive, he'll likely select spells that won't endanger his surrounding library! Candidate spells include Ice Dagger (Magic, p. 188), XXX, XXX, XXX.

Missile spells (Magic, p. 12) are less effective in melee combat. To attack with a missile spell, the mage must first take at least one concentrate maneuver to cast the spell. On a success, the mage may invest one or more points of energy in the spell, to a maximum of a number of energy points equal to his Magery level. Since the orc shaman has Magery 3, he'll undoubtedly invest that much in charging the spell, causing Ice Dagger, for example, to do 4d-4 impaling damage (casting cost is reduced by 1 for skill 15, allowing him 1d-1 damage for free).

While engaged in melee, it's unlikely that he would use another turn to charge the spell with three more points of energy for a total of 7d-7 damage since getting injured while charging a missile spell could cause the spell to explode in his hand failing a Will roll. Notice, this is worse than the affect of losing concentration due to injury (see Distraction and Injury, Magic, p. 7)! It's more probable that he'll opt instead to throw the spell after casting it using his Innate Attack (Projectile) skill. Thus, he can only attack with missiles spells every other turn at fastest.

The shaman's maneuvers in order may go something like this:
  • Turn 1 -- Ready maneuver to retrieve staff.
  • Turn 2 -- Concentrate maneuver, cast Steelwraith (6 energy).
  • Turn 3 -- Concentrate maneuver, cast Levitation (1 energy)
  • Turn 4 -- Move maneuver, rise 3 yards.
  • Turn 5 -- Concentrate, cast Ice Dagger (3 energy for a potential 4d-4 impaling damage).
  • Turn 6 -- Attack maneuver using Innate Attack (Projectile) skill.



9.
__________________
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"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!'"? —Jeff Freeman

Last edited by Stripe; 07-03-2012 at 03:37 AM.
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