Thursday, July 31, 2014

Endless Night: The Breakfast Room

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Breakfast Room

Description: This room was used for family breakfast and other informal meals.  There’s a simple white d├ęcor inside with only a dining table with six chairs.  There’s a glass door entrance to the room and another leading out of the room.  The outer glass door shows bright, sunlight pouring in, as do the open curtains.  There was once a path beyond the other door, where the residents might take a morning constitutional.  Now, it is naked, insanity-inducing Astral Plane outside.  DC 12 Will Save or driven catatonic for 1 turn.  Those saving are immune to this effect thereafter.

Status: The door is closed, but unlocked.  From the glass door, the character can clearly see inside. 

Inhabitants: Through that glass door, the group can clearly see Electra Creighton, a ghost with some obvious static discharge issues.  She watches the characters outside, smirking, dangling the Heart Key around her neck as a taunt.  

Objective: The characters need the Heart Key so they can get into the Parlor.  1 XP award. 

Carter’s Introduction: “Meow.  Electra Creighton was electrocuted by a lightning bolt one morning, as she walked outside of the Breakfast Room.  She was never a morning person.  Meow.”

This one is pretty straight-forward.  Put down Electra and grab the key off the floor after she’s been sent to the afterworld (with the chime of the Grandfather clock afterward).  The main problem is taking her out without being electrocuted in the process.  Only weapons with a wooden handle are immune to her shocks, otherwise the electricity goes right through gloves and other coverings of metal handles.  She is fully vulnerable to magical ranged attacks and spells.      

Electra Creighton (Electrified Ghost)
HD 10 (d12), Hp 60, AC 13* (natural, Magic to hit, also any metal weapon that hits, causes the wielder 1d6 + stun 1 rd + drop weapon in electrical damage.)         
Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +10
Melee: Shocking Grasp 1d4+5 + Stunned 1 rd
Ranged: Lightning Bolt 1d6+5 + Stun 1 rd + Knocked Down (DC 18 Ref Sv ½ dam)

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Endless Night: The Trophy Room

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Trophy Room

Description: On the one hand, it’s a cozy, intimate, comfortable, windowless room with large, over-stuffed chairs made for relaxing.  There’s a poker card table in back for diversion.  On the other hand, the entire room is something of a display case for animals taken via hunting, a monument of taxidermy.

There might be over 20 different species represented here of varying levels of danger.  Disturbingly, the heads of the characters are mounted on plaques on the wall.  The crown jewel of the collection is an actual predatory dinosaur skeleton in the corner.  There’s a glass weapons case next to it.  Next to a chair, sits a large, old tome on an end table, radiating magic. 
Status: The door is closed, but unlocked.

Inhabitants: The spirit of Orion Creighton animates several of the stuffed creatures inside.

Objective: Get the Book of Shadows in the room to return to the Library. 1 XP award.

Carter’s Introduction: “Meow.  Orion Creighton was a hunter.  He loved the thrill of the chase and the permanent display of his conquests.  The family disregarded his last request to be stuffed and mounted himself and displayed with this trophies.  Meow.”

The room is deserted and very quiet as the party enters.  The weapons case is unlocked and its contents are clearly visible through the case door.  What’s inside depends on the era your characters are from.  There could be an enchanted (+2) rifle, shotgun, or crossbow.  There should be a cache of enchanted (+1) ammunition inside as well, a box of bullets, shells, or quarrels.  The stuffed creatures won’t react to any examination or attack (however, they won’t be damaged by it either). 

Things only happen if the characters handle the Book of Shadows.  Any spellcaster in the group will immediately identify it as a spell book.  Suddenly, a stuffed owl leaves its perch and settles next to the door.  There’s an audible locking noise (effectively trapping the characters inside).  Every stuffed head in the room turns and looks at the characters.

A disembodied voice speaks out, “Brother Magnus never cared for my hobbies.  He dismissed my hunting as ‘latent psychotic behavior.’  Did the little coward send you all for his precious book?”  The characters may or may not have had their encounter with Magnus in the Library yet.  If they leave the book alone, they can walk out, unmolested.  However, the next time the characters enter, they’re attacked immediately.

The rest of this assumes that the characters are here to recover the book specifically.  The good news for the characters is that taxidermy has considerably weakened these creatures’ hit point totals and that Orion is only able to control four creatures at a time.  The Owl attacks first, he’ll dive bomb an opponent.  Next rd, the full-sized stuffed Bear comes to life.  Next rd, the Rhino head on the wall suddenly breaks through the wall, revealing a full-sized rhino, and charges.  Finally, the Raptor skeleton comes to life.  The door will not unlock until they’ve all been defeated. 

Any Wizard and such worth their salt is going to want some quality time with the spellbook.  With 1 turn of study, the spellcaster will automatically absorb (thanks to the book’s properties) 1 new spell of their choice (off the Fantasy Core spell list) up to the highest level they can cast.  This can be done twice per spellcaster, 1 turn per spell.  However, there should certainly be a Wandering Encounter.  Roll every turn after the first. 

Stuffed Owl Guardian
HD 1, Hp 2, AC 17 (natural)
Fort +2, Ref +5, Will +2
Melee: Talons +5 to hit 1d4
Can Fly

Stuffed Bear Guardian
HD 3, Hp 10, AC 13 (natural)
Fort +5, Ref +4, Will +2
Melee: 2 claws +6 to hit 1d4+4 and bite +1 to hit 1d6+2

Stuffed Rhino Guardian
HD 8, Hp 15, AC 16 (natural)
Fort +11, Ref +6, Will +3
Melee: Gore +8 to hit 2d6 + Knocked down
Charge: 4d6 + Knocked down + Stunned 1 rd
(Will only be able charge once in this cramped environment)

Raptor Skeleton Guardian
HD 8 (d12), Hp 25, AC 18 (natural)
Fort +4, Ref +7, Will +8
Melee: Talons x 2 +9 to hit 2d8+5 and bite +4 to hit 2d6+2

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Endless Night: The Parlor Continued

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Parlor Continued

The Tarot Card Reading
Roll a d20 to determine the card, then have the character roll a DC 18 Will Sv for their card.  The effects are listed, but some should only be revealed when they come into play.  If the effected characters are being used a campaign, the more dramatic effects should go away if the character makes it out of the house.

01. Magician: Knowledge.  Failing Save, the character will be given severe misinformation about their next encounter (right before it happens) and +1 to their Int or Wis bonus (up to +4).  Making Save, the character will be given a hint as to what’s coming up in their next encounter.

02. Emperor: Order, control.  Failing Save, the character will automatically fail their next save against possession, mind control, or fear.  They gain a +1 to their Will Sv.  Making Save, the character is immune to the next attempt at possession, mind control, or fear.

03. Nine of Swords: The Nightmare/Terror.  Failing Save, the character will now automatically fail every Save versus supernatural fright, but can re-roll any other Will Save.  Making Save, the character will automatically save against any supernatural fright (or be given an immediate extra action when first confronted by a fright if they were already immune).

04. Lovers: Passion.  Failing Save, Fort and Ref Saves go to 0, Will Sv is increased by 2.  Character may now take 1 extra action at the beginning of combat.  Making Save, Will Sv increased by 1.

05. Chariot: Ego.  Failing Save, gain a +6 Int bonus, the first time they fail using it, it is reduced to 0.  Making Save, add +1 to Int bonus.  

06. Strength: Self-control.  Failing Save, gain a +6 Wis bonus, the first time they fail using it, it is reduced to 0.  Making Save, add +1 to Wis bonus.   

07. Eight of Swords: The Prisoner.  Failing Save, all of the Character’s bonuses and Saves are reduced to 0.  However, any failed attack, save, or skill use may be re-rolled once.  If the character dies and stabilizes, stats return to normal.  Making Save, add +1 to the bonus or save of the player’s choice.

08. Wheel of Fortune: Destiny.  Failing Save, the Character loses all current XP and cannot gain it during the adventure (keep a running tally and award afterward).  However, now any failed Save or Skill use, can be re-rolled once.  Making the Save, the character is allowed to reroll one failed Save at a time of their choosing. 

09. Hanged Man: Sacrifice.  Failing Save, the character loses their primary weapon or some other important item.  They gain +2 to their BAB (or Spellcheck) and +1 to AC.  Making Save, the character gains +1 to BAB (or Spellcheck).

10. Death: Change.  Failing Save, the player must exchange their character with one of the replacement characters.  (If killed out, they get their original character back.)  Making Save, they’re offered the choice of exchanging or not.  

11. Devil: Temptation.  Failing Save, the character will be offered a cool extra bonus to their magic weapon or a new spell (highest level they can cast) in return for a favor to be fulfilled later, which will be that the character must sit out the next fight.  They won’t be harmed themselves, but will only be able to watch.  If they break their vow, their weapon shatters on its first use or they are rendered unconscious the next time they cast a spell (and they lose their new spell).  Making Save, add a magic +1 to their primary weapon or a 1st level spell.  

12. Tower: Chaos, disillusionment.  Failing Save, the character’s Will Sv is reduced to 0, however their other Saves are increased by 2.  Making Save, add +1 to all Saves.

13. Judgment: Resurrection.  Failing Save, the last (or the next) character killed is brought back, but with 0 accumulated XP.  Any activated replacement character (or the character drawing this card) goes back into stasis at the Entrance.  Making Save, the character will automatically make their next Stabilizing roll, even if brought below -10 Hp. 

14. Nine of Cups: Wish card.  Failing Save, character gains one wish that they must take immediately.  The outcome should be twisted in some fashion, ignoring all attempts at careful phrasing.  Making Save, the character is allowed a modest wish, fulfilled without chicanery. 

15. Five of Coins: Poverty.  Failing Save, lose something monetary valuable, but gain 4 XP.  Making Save, gain 1 XP.

16. Two of Swords: The Choice.  Failing Save, character must choose between two different precious things in their possession.  One disappears, but the other is greatly enhanced.  Making Save, character must choose between two of their items to be slightly enhanced. 

17. Three of Swords: The Wound.  Failing Save, character loses half of their total hp permanently, but any further non-magical physical attacks will only do 1 Hp of damage maximum.  Making Save, character gains 1 HD of Hp (roll for it, no Con bonus).

18. Five of Swords: The Traitor.  Failing Save, the character immediately attacks their comrades.  With the first death, the character comes out of it (or is killed themselves).  The dead character can be Stabilized.  Thereafter, each member of the group now has a telepathic bond with each other and are given 1 XP.  Making Save, the characters in the group gain the telepathic bond. 

19. Ten of Swords: The Corpse.  Failing Save, the character is brought to -1 Hp and must make a Stabilizing roll or die.  They can be helped, healed, or use XP to stave it off, if done immediately.  If brought back, lower undead (any regular undead) will ignore them and never attack them.  Making Save, the character can sense the undead up to 20’ away, their type and relative power, and is never surprised by an undead attack.  

20. Knight of Swords: The Berserker.  Failing Save, Character now has +10 BAB melee and ranged.  However, they cannot heal or be healed, and DC 18 Will Sv to retreat from a fight.  (Don’t tell the player about that until this comes up.)  If killed and brought back using XP or a Stabilizing save, stats and status return to normal.  Making Save, add +1 to melee and ranged BAB.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Endless Night: The Parlor

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Parlor

Description: This room was for casual, evening entertaining.  For a large gathering, the female guests might congregate here, with the men retiring to the Trophy room.  There are couches, chairs, and tables for chatting and a card table in the corner.  Large curtains are currently close off the windows, and there is a door leading to the outside patio.  Once again, outside this room is naked, insanity-inducing Astral Plane outside.  DC 12 Will Save or driven catatonic for 1 turn.  Those saving are immune to this effect thereafter.

Status: The two doors to the Parlor are closed and locked.  Either requires the Heart key from defeating Electra Creighton in the Breakfast Room.

Inhabitants: Gypsy Creighton and 6 Wights

Objective: Gain Gypsy’s Special Tea to enter the Goblin party in the Main Dining Room.  Award 1 XP.

Carter’s Introduction: “Meow.  Marion Creighton spent a good deal of her time on the Continent with a Romany clan, thus earning her the nickname, ‘Gypsy.’  She loved to engage in fortune telling for friends and relatives.  She was murdered by one of her jilted Bohemian lovers.  She never saw it coming.  Meow.”

Upon entering, the characters will immediately see several clearly undead creatures, languidly lounging and chatting with each other around the room.  These were some of Gypsy’s parasitical Bohemian friends, who are still sponging off her even in death.  They will not acknowledge the characters.  (Because they’re not cool enough for them.)  There are a couple of Ghoul servants serving food and drinks to them.  They’ll leave immediately after the characters move away from the door. 

(If the characters just go ahead and get it over with and attack the Wights upon entering, they’ll all fight it out.  Gypsy will sit and watch, and applaud them afterward for removing these guests, who’d long overstayed their welcome.)

In the far corner, an exotically dressed ghost sits at a card table, who beacons cheerfully to the characters.  “Come in!  Come in!  I knew you’d come.  I’m Gypsy Creighton, and I’ve been eager to meet you all and tell your fortunes.”  She asks if the party would like to try her Special Tea and casually mentions that it has restorative effects if taken once a day and that the Goblins are quite fond of it.  Unlike every other consumable in the house, this one only has beneficial effects; it gives full healing (including negative hp) to the imbiber and ends any other enchantment (but only once a day).  The tea is kept in a small wooden box on the table.  (Don’t bother figuring out how many dosages are inside.  The characters aren’t going to be keeping it.)    

Gypsy wants to tell everyone’s fortune, but warns them that there may be bad effects to it, but also some good will come of it.  If accepted, she deals out one card on the table for each character and asks them to turn them over at the same time.  The Tarot cards and their effects will be listed in the next post (and the players will not forgive you).  “I have read my last fortune.  Farewell,” Gypsy will announce and then disappear with the clang of the Grandfather clock punctuating it.  With their benefactor gone, the 6 Wights will engage in their obligatory attack.

If the party does not allow a reading, Gypsy becomes angry and attacks with the Wights joining in.   Gypsy will throw her cards at the party, and they will only have detrimental effects.

Gypsy Creighton (Gypsy Witch Ghost)
HD 5 (d12), Hp 30, AC 17* (natural, Magic to hit)
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +10
Melee: None
Ranged: Throwing Magic Cards +5 to hit, DC 18 Will Sv or roll 1d4 for damage, 1-Paralyzed 1 turn, 2-Half Hp, 3-Blinded 1 turn (disadvantaged), 4-Weakened 1 turn (0 Bonus for attacking or spellcasting) 

Wight (6)
HD 4 (d12), Hp 26, AC 15* (natural, Magic or Silver to hit)
Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +5
Melee: Slam +3 to hit 1d4+1 + Energy Drain DC 12 Will Sv or 1d4 negative hp

Friday, July 25, 2014

Endless Night: The Guest Wardrobe

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Guest Wardrobe

Description: This is a very large, walk-in closet where guest’s coats would be stored.  There’s still a bunch of coats inside.

Status: The door is closed, but unlocked.

Inhabitant: The Doppleganger

Objective: Defeat the Doppleganger and gain his Shapechanging Artifact.  0 XP award.

If the characters decide to explore this small room, they’ll part the coats inside and unexpectedly see a wintery forest scene with a lit lamppost.  There’s four paths into the woods behind it.  If they walk towards it, they’ll be met by “Carter” the cat.

Okay, I know you’re doing some sort of funny voice when you’re doing Carter.  Don’t deny it.  For this “Carter” however, don’t do that voice and don’t do his trademark, “Meows.”  This is a Doppleganger, although not the species version.  This is an Astral predator creature that uses a magical artifact to physically change its shape.  It’s not an illusion, so it’s not detectable, at least via spells or class abilities. 

“Carter” will tell the characters that they must now undergo a special purification test to see if they’re worthy.  They have to strip naked and drop their weapons in order to take the test.  The prize is a weapon that will help them defeat the ghosts guarding the house’s treasure.  Yeah, right.  The players should decide to either walk away or try to grab “Carter,” who will then take his true form, a featureless humanoid, and attack them and then escape into the woods.  He’ll try to take the form of a character, if there’s any close melee or confusion. 

If the players are trusting enough to follow through with this, “Carter” will direct them to each follow their own path (make more paths if there are more than four characters).  He’ll pick the weakest and attack them from behind in his true form.  His goal will be to drag off one character for feeding.  The other characters won’t be able to find them to help, but they’ll hear it.  If the Doppleganger gets away, you can use him again in the house, though there isn’t another set encounter with him, but I’d suggest no more than once more.

The Doppleganger is wearing a white cloak, a Cloak of Shapechanging.  If a magic-using character puts it on, they’ll be able to physically change form into whatever they want.  (More fun at the Elf party.)  However, they’ll have to change back to cast spells or attack.

Coming out of the wardrobe, the group will be met by the real Carter.  Depending on the players’ decisions, he’ll either praise them (perhaps give them a hint about the house), or he’ll laugh-meow uncontrollably and stroll away. 

HD 4d8+4, Hp 22, AC 15 (natural)
Fort +4, Ref +5, Will +6
Melee: Slam +5 to hit 1d6+1
Has to change to natural form to attack

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Endless Night: The Guest Bathrooms

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

The Guest Bathrooms

Description: Well, they’re bathrooms.  They’re very nice, don’t get me wrong, shiny chrome fixtures, sparkling floors, clean white towels, etc.  They’re the kind of bathrooms you get when a small army of servants clean them everyday.

Status: The Ladies facility door is closed, but unlocked (and nothing interesting inside unless your characters need to go to the bathroom).  The Gentlemen’s Room is open because there’s a struggle going on there.

Inhabitants: A Gillmen and a Ghoul

Objective: The Players may help either side or neither.  It’s up to them.  0 XP awarded.

If the characters approach the bathrooms, they’ll notice that one of the doors is open and there are sounds of a scuffle going on inside.  Within, a Gillman and a Ghoul are locked in combat.  The only context to this fight is that the Gillmen and the Ghouls are constant enemies in the house, sniping at one another whenever they can get away with it. 

When the characters are seen, both will ask for help.  This call is totally up to the players.  Doing nothing, means nothing happens to them.  Helping either side will wipe away any previous assaults that characters may have done against them and bring the promise of future help from their kind.  If asked, they can also provide one specific hint about the house or its inhabitants.           

Gillmen Warrior (Angus)
HD 2, Hp 11, AC 16 (natural)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4
Melee: Trident +4 to hit (1d8+3)

Ghoul Servant (Mitchell)
HD 2 (d12), Hp 13, AC 14 (natural)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +5
Melee: Bite +2 to hit 1d6+1 + DC 12 Fort Sv or paralysis 1 turn

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Endless Night: The Saloon Concluded

A Fantasy Core Adventure
© Jerry Harris 2014
(This link will take you to the Fantasy Core Index.)

Saloon Concluded

If the characters aren’t on the Goblin mission, things might go south for them here anyway.  If they already hadn’t gotten a hint to leave after Torren’s entrance, as he looks out over the crowd, receiving their adulation, he stops and points, “My cloak!  What are you doing with my cloak, thief!”  (This assumes one of the characters is wearing it.)  The crowd parts as Torren stomps towards them with his sword drawn.

Perhaps the characters pull out their crystal rose and embarrass him, maybe try to fast talk, in any case, Torren will want a duel, either with whoever is wearing his cloak or an appointed champion.  He’ll fight by either sword or magic.  Prince Alex will step in, “The Queen would be more than offended by a gross spilling of blood.”  “Very well then, to first blood (the first hit to score damage),” says Torren, “You may keep the cloak and the rose in the unlikely event of your triumph, but when I win, I get back what is mine and any item of yours I desire.”

This fight is likely to be a quick draw affair.  Regardless of the outcome, the characters will suddenly find themselves alone in the Saloon.  If they lost, they’ll be missing the cloak and rose and something else (I’d suggest some magic item they picked up in the house, such as the Music Box).  If they win, they’ll hear the crowd applaud, but Torren will sneer, “Very well, keep your ill-gotten gains.  Be gone!”
Elf Warriors (10)
HD 1, Hp 4, AC 15 (non-magical Elvish chain mail)
Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +2
(Immunity to sleep spells and effects, ghoul paralysis, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.)

Melee: Rapier +2 to hit 1d6+1
Ranged: +1 Magic Longbow +3 to hit 1d8+1 (10 arrows)

Spell: To cast +2 Spellcheck DC 13, Save Against DC 13, 3 failures/encounter  
Charm Person: Makes one person your friend. 1 turn. (Will Sv)

Duke Torren (Elf Noble)
HD 6, Hp 36, AC 17 (+2 magical Elvish chain mail shirt), Enhanced Init +3
Fort +2, Ref +8, Will +5
(Immunity to sleep spells and effects, ghoul paralysis, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells or effects.)

Melee: Rapier +9 to hit 1d6+3
Ranged: +1 Magic Longbow +10 to hit 1d8+1 (10 arrows), However, Torren doesn’t have his bow with him at the party.

Spells: To cast +5 Spellcheck, Save Against DC 15, 3 failures/encounter
1st Level Spells, DC 13 to cast
Magic Missile: 9 impact damage + Knocked down. (Ref Sv all damage) Short range.
Shield: Invisible disc gives + 4 to AC, blocks magic missiles. Encounter.

2nd Level Spell, DC 14 to cast
Web: Fills 20-ft.-radius spread with sticky spiderwebs. Entangled 4 rds (Ref Sv to avoid. DC 18 Str to break or Escape Artist skill)

3rd Level Spells, DC 15 to cast
Dispel Magic: Cancels magical spells and effects. Roll a normal spellcheck to cast, then also compare that to DC 11 + ½ the original caster’s level.  Both must be successful to dispel the magic.  If the just the spellcheck is successful, it doesn't count as a spell failure (Caster Check)
Displacement: Successful attacks miss subject 50%. Encounter.
Fly: Subject flies at speed of 60 ft./rd, 6 turns
Hold Person: Paralyzes one humanoid for 6 rds. (Will Sv)
Lightning Bolt: 11 electrical damage + Stun 1 rd + Knocked Down. (Ref Sv ½ damage) Medium range.

Baron Louis (Fey Pixie)
HD 1 (d6), Hp 6, AC 18 (none) Enhanced Init +4
Fort +0, Ref +6, Will +4
Melee: Rapier +5 to hit 1d6
Ranged: Repeating Pistol Bow +5 to hit 1d4 + Poison DC 18 Fort Sv or Paralyze 1 turn (5 shots)
Can Fly

Spell-Like Abilities: Can automatically cast each once per encounter/turn
Ghost Sound or Lights: DC 12 Will Sv to distract
Greater Invisibility: Can remain invisible even when attacking.  0 Bonuses for any attacker to hit, +4 to Saving Throws.  Invisibility is disrupted by any hit.    
Mirror Image: Creates 4 decoy duplicates (illusions) until touched or successfully attacked or Encounter/turn.  DC 18 Will Sv to disbelieve them.
Dispel Magic: Cancels magical spells and effects up to a 6th level caster.
Glitterdust: Blinds creatures, outlines invisible creatures. Fills confined area or 20' sq. Encounter. (DC 18 Ref Sv)

(Prince Alex will not be fighting in this venue.  Anyone assaulting him or the Queen, will simply result in the group’s expulsion from the party.)