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.)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Endless Night: The Saloon Continued

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

Saloon Continued

Upon entry, the group should immediately be accosted by a few drunken Elves, who will grab a tray of drinks from a passing Ghoul waiter and insist they have a drink.  They’ll all be watching for them to take a sip and be ready to ridicule them afterward.

Characters imbibing will roll on the Wine Effects table below.  Characters can try putting it in their mouths without swallowing, but will have to find somewhere discrete to spit it out.  (Refs, have fun.)  Characters refusing will be snubbed for the rest of the party and ejected at the first opportunity.  Characters wanting more than one drink are really pushing their luck.  Don’t add in their ability bonus for subsequent tastings. 

Wine Effects
Roll 1d4 and add highest ability bonus to roll
1-Turned into a Goblin for 1 hour (6 turns), give player the stats for a typical Goblin, will also be ejected from the party immediately.
2-Enchanted Sleep for 1 hour, Requires a kiss from a Noble to awaken quicker (good luck)
3-Drunk and disorderly.  0 BAB and 0 Spellcheck for 1 hour in addition to anything the player wishes to role-play
4-6-No Effect, except for turning blue for an 1 hour
7- Cure all lost Hp (including negative) and any other enchanted condition
8-Permanent +1 to Dex or Int (but not beyond +4)

The drunk Elves should be brushed aside a rd later by a small, flying Pixie, Baron Louis.  (He is a Fey Pixie, not a mortal, character class ***Pixie****.)  In spite of his stature and fluttering, he seems deadly serious.  (Louis occupies some nebulous position in the court that puts him charge of Elvish covert activities.)  The Baron wants to hire the characters for a job against the Unseelie Court in the Main Dining room.  The Goblins have stolen a Crystal Gravy Boat from the court service set.  The Elves will grant the group any minor boon in their power in return for it.

Before any negotiation, Duke Torren makes a scene trying to enter the party.  “What do you mean I’m not allowed in without an invitation!” he yells at a guard, “I’m Duke Torren!”  That name might ring a bell with the players, it was on their recovered invitation.  “Let me see the invitations!  There this is mine!  There’s an imposter here!”  At this point, Prince Alex has noticed the situation, clears his throat, and regally waves Torren over to himself.  Torren storms across the room, muttering. 

Louis smiles at the characters, “Think about my offer,” before he flutters away.  The players may need to discuss their next actions.  If necessary, the characters can leave and re-enter this party without completing the Goblins’ mission against the Elves, though with some suspicion.  (The characters can leave the party at any time by leaving the Saloon.)      

I’ll leave it up to you about setting up any additional role-playing encounters here, such as the characters attempting to pick up debutant Elf maids, or schmooze Elf politicians for funding a new road to the character’s castle, or getting some hot stock tips from Elvish investors.  Or, more practically, handing out some useful gossip about the ghosts in the house, or even a plot hook for adventures involving the Elves for after this adventure.  The Queen and the Prince will prove to be unapproachable for mere mortals, such as the characters.  (Don’t worry, they’ll getting a formal introduction to Prince Alex later in this adventure.) 

Prince Alex later rises to address the crowd, “Duke Torren has recovered the most extraordinary artifact from Goblin territory.  He’s quite excited about showing it off, which is why he was so insistent about coming to the party.”  (Laughter from the guests.)  Torren stands, “From the very heart of the Unseelie Court, I bring this treasure to the Queen.”  At which point, he holds aloft a Crystal Rose.  “There none other like it in the entire Otherworld.  My Queen,” Torren genuflects and presents it to her, who daintily accepts it.

If the characters are on the mission for the Goblins and have their crystal rose with them, they’ve just gotten their opportunity to embarrass the Elves served up on a platter.  Of course, the players have likely formed their own plans for this party.  I’d hate to make any attempt at predicting player decisions when the only dictum for the encounter is: make mischief.  I also wouldn’t want to limit their creativity.  I should also mention that opening the Music Box from the Conservatory will not cause an embarrassing incident, but certainly would make for a heck of a distraction (or get away) as everyone starts dancing. 

However they decide to play it, one of the players must actually shout out, “For the true Queen, Natasha!” to finish off the deed.  At that point, the group is immediately ejected from the party and are suddenly standing alone in the Saloon.  Goblin Captain Noose (or another Goblin if necessary), will meet the group immediately afterward.  He’ll congratulate them and say that they are friends of the Goblins, for now.  What can the Goblins do for the group to return the favor?  Carter the cat appears before the group can answer, “Let them into the Servant Areas.”  Noose agrees and tells them that the doors are open to them.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Endless Night: The Saloon

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

The Saloon

Description: This was the grand party space for the house. It can easily accommodate 30 to 40 people socializing and carousing.  The most prominent features of the room are the large Persian rug, the huge tapestry hung on the wall, the massive fireplace, the couches, chairs, and end tables, and, of course, the ticking Grandfather clock.  

There’s a dramatic set of stairs going up to the Second Floor, however they cannot be ascended.  Stepping upon it, simply returns the person to the landing.  When all of the astral anchors are cut loose, this stairway is revealed to be ruined.  

Likewise, any attempts to fly or scale up the Second Floor, will deposit the person back into the Saloon.  More than any other, this room will frustrate anyone expecting Azimuth House to obey the laws of physics. 

The group will see and hear a party full of Elves going every time they enter the Saloon.  However, if they don’t have an Invitation, it immediately disappears.  The image on the tapestry will show a freeze-frame of the party.  When they do have it, they are greeted by a guard, who will take the invitation, and allow them in to mingle. 

Status: Open to enter, however the Elvish party can only be joined if the party has an invitation. 

Gaining that invitation will involve completing a series of tasks.  Briefly, to join the party in the Saloon, the characters need an Invitation.  They gain the invitation from defeating Nova Creighton in the Sun Room.  To enter the Sun Room, they need the Leaf Key, which is gained by returning the Book of Shadows to the Library.  The Book of Shadows is acquired by defeating Orion Creighton in the Trophy Room.   

Inhabitants: The Seelie Court (Elves) party, including Queen Elaine, Prince Alex, Duke Torren, Baron Louis, many other courtiers, a quartet providing chamber music, and several guards.  The Queen and the Prince have elevated seating at the opposite side of the room by the tapestry, and are surrounded by guards and other nobles.  There are a few Ghoul servants in tuxedos working the floor, but they will not talk to any of the guests.

Objective: 2 XP award if successful in making an embarrassing scene that ruins the party.  Otherwise, the group is given a mission by the Elves to accomplish at the Goblin Party in the Main Dining room.

Carter’s Introduction: If not on the mission for the Goblins, and the group is bearing the invitation, “Meow.  The Elves can get you into the Servant Areas of the house, if you can do them a favor.  Meow.”  Otherwise, Carter does not appear.

This is not a combat encounter (which is why I’m not listing the number of guests in the room).  This event is well-guarded by 10 Elf Warriors visibly positioned all around the room.  Any attempt at openly assaulting the place or engaging in unsanctioned combat will result in the immediate ejection of the entire group (they’ll just suddenly be alone in the Saloon). 

They will be followed out of the party by the guards, Louis, and Torren (warriors all casting Charm Person, Louis firing paralyzing darts, and Torren casting Web and Hold Person), who will attempt to take them prisoner.  There’s no way of getting back into the party after that.  (Of course, Baron Louis may then want to talk to the group and give them a counter-offer to get the Crystal Gravy Boat from the Goblin party.)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Endless Night: The Library

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

The Library

Description: The room is filled with hundreds of books in the bookcases along the walls.  There are comfy couches and end tables for pleasant reading.  A fire is going in the large fireplace.  There are shut curtains to the outside.  Once again, viewing the naked Astral Plane outside causes a DC 12 Will Save or driven catatonic for 1 turn.  Those saving are immune to this effect thereafter.

Status: This room is open to enter and exit.

Inhabitants: Two Hellhounds and the Poltergeist spirit of Magnus Creighton.

Objective: The party needs to come away with the Leaf Key from this room.  Delivering the Book of Shadows from the Trophy room will placate Magnus into revealing the key.  0 XP awarded.

Carter’s Introduction: “MeowMagnus Creighton loved his books.  He loved them to death.  Specifically, an infected paper cut from a magic book.  Meow.”

More than likely the party will enter this room cold (not knowing what’s going to happen).  Nothing will happen the first rd inside.  A disembodied voice will then ask if they’ve brought back his book.  It’s Magnus.  He’s looking for his Book of Shadows.  He remembers lending it out to his brother Orion, who usually resides in the Trophy Room.  Magnus will hand out all of this information, but only if asked directly.  Eventually or if not asked the right questions or any questions, he’ll become hysterical and start attacking the characters by throwing books at them.     

Magnus is not the most powerful ghost in the house.  The main problem in combating him is that he can’t be harmed.  His spirit is contained within all books.  There’s nothing to fight.  As long as the characters are in the room, he attacks, and the characters can only take damage until they’re scared off.  Magnus will start with the small attacks.  Those resistant to them are hit with the large attacks. 

Any characters immune to supernatural frights (Paladins, Occultists, etc) will hear a growl from the fireplace.  Suddenly, two large red dogs will leap out and attack.  If they’re defeated, they re-form in 2 rds, growling first as a warning before attacking again.  Hopefully, it will dawn on the players that this isn’t an encounter to be fought through.  (No, they can’t do a séance or exorcism, not while being bombarded by books.)  

When the party returns (or if they enter for the first time with it) with the Book of Shadows from the Trophy Room, Magnus will recognize it.  (By the way, any damage or loose books from a previous encounter will have been cleaned up.)  He’ll ask that they put it back in its place on the bookcase.  An empty spot will suddenly glow in a bookcase.

It won’t go into the slot however.  Something is blocking it.  If a character reaches in, they’ll find the Leaf Key to the Sun Room.  (No, the characters can’t find it by looking, not while being bombarded by books.)  Putting the book in place, Magnus will say, “Oh, that’s Nova’s key to the Sun Room.  She’s probably looking for that.  Thank you for returning my book.  Ta ta!”  The grandfather clock chimes. 

Magus Creighton (Poltergeist)
Ranged: Flinging objects, 4 attacks in rd at +10 to hit 1d6 (small books) + DC 12 Will Sv or panic and flee 1 turn.
Or 1 attack +5 to hit 1d10 (large book) + DC 18 Will Sv or panic and flee 1 turn.  (Paladins and some other classes are immune to this kind of supernatural fright.) 

Hellhound (2)
HD 4, Hp 20, AC 16 (natural)
Fort +5, Ref +5, Will +4
Melee: Bite +5 to hit 1d8+1 + 1d6 fire, which continues until put out

Immune to fire attacks, but x2 damage from cold attacks

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Endless Night: The Sun Room Continued

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

The Sun Room Continued

Fountain Encounter
The path continues to a clearing with a bubbling, moss and vine-covered fountain with a couple of surrounding benches.  The Blue Hat is floating in the fountain pool and the Gardener is seated on a bench, with his head buried in his hands.  If the Gardener is disturbed in any way, he collapses to the ground and then explodes into the Hellwasp Swarm.  Suddenly, the moss and vines fall off the fountain and reform in the pool as a green vine creature with an old woman’s face.  After putting on the blue hat, Nova-Swamp Thing attacks.

Carter the cat may appear after the encounter to give a tally, if you think it’s necessary.       

Blue Hat Gardner (Minor Hellwasp Swarm)
HD 6, Hp 24, AC 18 vs physical attack, AC 12 vs fire (natural)
Fort +6, Ref +10, Will +4
Melee: Swarm 2d6 + Poison DC 12 Fort Sv or incapacitated 1 turn, after each successful attack, the swarm loses 5 hp
A successful fire attack will cause the swarm to scatter if it fails a DC 12 Will Sv.
Can Fly

Nova-Moss Form (Minor Shambling Mound)
HD 8, Hp 32, AC 18 (natural)
Fort +9, Ref +2, Will +4
Melee: 2 Slams +9 to hit 2d6+3
If both attacks hit the same opponent in a rd, they are grappled, DC 18 Str or Escape Artist to escape, next rd automatic 2d6 damage.

Rose Bed Encounter
The path continues, past the fountain, to the other end of the terrarium.    A giant plant pod sits in the middle of a field of roses.  No subtly here.  There is an exquisite blue cloak lying on the ground before the pod.  (There is also a side door to the outside next to the rose bed.  Opening it reveals the naked, insanity-inducing Astral Plane outside.  DC 12 Will Save or driven catatonic for 1 turn.  Those saving are immune to this effect thereafter.)
The pod opens and reveals monstrously large face of an old woman with a mouth filled with huge, sharp teeth.  “Come to admire my roses?” says Nova-Audrey II before she attacks.  

The cloak is Elvish.  It is a Cloak of Wisdom, which adds +4 to your Wis Sv (a nice thing to have in a haunted house).  Inside the cloak is an invitation to the Elf Soiree in the Saloon for one Duke Torren.  Underneath the cloak is an amazing Crystal Rose (worth 1000 GP, but it may have more value than that for this adventure).  Carter the cat appears and tells them that they’ll want keep those things, and give them the tally. 

Nova-Man-Eating Plant Form (Minor Tendriculos)
HD 9, Hp 60, AC 16 (natural)
Fort +12, Ref +2, Will +4
Melee: 4 tendrils +8 to hit 1d6
If 2 tendrils hit the same opponent, they are are grappled, DC 18 Str or Escape Artist to escape.  The next rd, Nova makes a bite attack on the opponent, +13 to hit, 2d8.  On a natural 17 and up hits, the opponent is swallowed, taking 2d6 damage each rd afterward.  Victim may attack from the inside by weapon or magic, but with 0 bonuses.  Up to two people can be swallowed.  Nova’s death is the only thing that will release them.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Endless Night: The Sun Room

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

The Sun Room

Description: This is a plant-filled terrarium.  The dome overhead is clear and filled with bright sunlight.  This room is bigger than it seems from the outside or on the map, about four times the size.  There is a path leading from the door.   

Status: The glass door to the room is locked.  The lock has a Leaf symbol on it.  The plants and sunlight inside can clearly be seen.  There’s no way in without using that key on the lock.  The Leaf Key is in the Library.

Inhabitants: A couple of dangerous gardeners, a flock of Vampire Songbirds, and three dangerous plant forms of Nova Creighton.

Objective: Find Elf Duke Torren’s invitation to the Elf party in the Saloon.  His magical cloak and a valuable Crystal Rose are also there.  One of the plants inside can be used for healing.  Award 2 XP for this encounter.

Carter’s Introduction: “Meow.  Nova Creighton loved her garden.  When she died, her body was mulched and spread all over the plants.  Now she’s part of the garden.  Meow.”

Upon entering the party will hear pleasant sound of songbirds, though they don’t see any birds.  There are a couple of male-looking laborers wearing broad brimmed hats (one in red, one in blue) working the soil.  They notice the characters and suddenly run off.  Red Hat runs into the dense foliage and disappears.  Blue Hat takes off down the path. 

Tree Encounter
The Red Hat Gardener is a DC 12 Tracking skill to find.  If there isn’t a tracker in the group, the group hears the sound of two songbirds, Vampire Songbirds.  DC 12 Will Sv or enraptured for 2 rds, then the birds attack, preferring anyone who’s stunned. 

If tracked, or after defeating the songbirds, the group hears and sees two Songbirds in a large tree with Red Hat Gardener hiding behind it.  There’s also a patch of glowing mushrooms around the tree.  The birds will attack with their song again, while the Gardner staggers out and collapses in front of the group.  If examined, he explodes into the Centipede Swarm.  Suddenly, the large tree turns around, revealing an old woman’s face in the bark, “Ah, fresh fertilizer.” And Nova-Treebeard attacks as well. 

After defeating these creatures, Carter appears.  Depending on how the players attack these encounters, he’ll tell them how many forms of Nova are left, or that they’ve finished her off (the Grandfather clock tolls in the distance).  He also motions to the glowing mushrooms and tells them that they have some minor healing properties (8 mushrooms, 1d10 hp healed, can only take 1 per turn without getting sick for 1 turn and all stats and skills go to 0).     

Vampire Songbird (2 at tree, 2 wandering)
HD ½, Hp 2, AC 16 (natural), Enhanced Init +3
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +0
Melee: Attach +4 to hit, next rd drains 1d8 hp in blood, it is helpless while attached, causes 1d4 damage to remove
Ranged: Charm Song DC 12 Will Sv or paralyzed 2 rds.
Can Fly

Red Hat Gardner (Minor Centipede Swarm)
HD 4, Hp 16, AC 18 vs physical attack, AC 12 vs fire (natural)
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +0
Melee: Swarm +4 to hit 1d6 + Poison DC 12 Fort Sv or incapacitated 1 turn, anyone swarmed is covered by the swarm and can no longer defend themselves, taking 1d6 damage each rd.  Attacks against the swarm do ½ damage to the person covered.  A successful fire attack will cause the swarm to scatter if it fails a DC 12 Will Sv.

Nova-Tree Form (Minor Treant)
HD 7, Hp 28 AC 18 vs physical attacks, AC 12 vs fire (natural)
Fort +8, Ref +1, Will +5
Melee: Slam +10 to hit 2d6

Nova Treant is vulnerable to fire.  Any successful fire attack requires a DC 18 Fort Sv or she has caught on fire, taking 1d6 damage the first rd, 2d6 the next, 3d6 every rd thereafter.  However, Nova keeps fighting.  Add 1d6 fire damage to her attacks and causes an additional 1d6/rd until extinguished.