Browsing articles in "Old School"

The Banshee of Beacon Hill: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure

Sep 18, 2011
Mark

Get Ready

Death has arrived in Beacon Hill. Night after night, the village has been decimated by the siren song of death.

Get Set

Named after a small hill a half mile north of the town, Beacon Hill was settled as an army outpost. The hill was used as to raise alarms to other villagers during the elder wars. Now the hill has become the home of a Groaning Spirit (Banshee).

Once a beautiful elven matron, Laerwen Kianthir transformed during her brutal downfall into a banshee. Possessed with a hatred for all things living, she hunts only to kill. Disdaining beasts as unworthy, she strikes out against humanoids if given the opportunity. Beacon Hill is only the most recent target of her wrath.

The entire population has departed the village. Many have moved south to a clearing six miles away. Others have left the village permanently and spread the tale of terror as they travelled. The player party may have heard the rumors and been nearby or known people who lived in the area. Or they may arrive in the town from the north completely unaware of the situation only to find an abandoned village.

Go!

No matter the introduction, the party is begged to destroy the menace destroying Beacon Hill. She generally stays around the hill north of town during the day and sweeps outward to kill the living at night.

Laerwen can sense all living beings within five miles of her location. Additionally, she has a rough sense of the power of the creatures and will avoid beings she cannot completely dominate. If she senses the party may be more powerful than she can kill, she will move around the area toward easier targets.

Due to her unnatural senses, she is difficult to surprise but also has a shimmering glow at night, which does not allow her to surprise opponents except very rarely. Should she run out of easier targets within range of her senses, she will confront the party but will seek to attack with advantage even if it is during the day.

She will use her fear ability to her advantage. Darting in to try to separate the party with the ability and quickly departing if unsuccessful. She will attempt to always be located in areas of strategic advantage when the party attempts to confront her.

Laerwen enjoys the strategic chess match as much as she enjoys dispatching the living to the pits of hell.

Notable NPCs

Laerwen Kianthir/Groaning Spirit (1) [AL CE, MV 150’ (50’), AC 0, HD 8, #AT 1, DM 1d8, THAC0: 12, SV F7, ML 10, XP 1,490, AEC 128, HC XXII] HP: 43.

Special Attack
Keening: (1/night) Creatures within 30′ must save vs. spells or die instantly.
Fear: (permanent) Anyone who sees the banshee must save vs. spells or be affected as the Fear spell.
Special Defense
Immunity to Sleep and Charm
(Optional) Immune to Hold magic.
(Optional) Immune to Cold and Electricity Magic
(Optional) Magic Resistance 50%
(Optional) +1 or better weapon to hit


Adventure Shorts: Checking you out – Entrants #13-24

Sep 17, 2011
Mark
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Blood & Iron – Looks like B&I had a fast and furious start detailing adventures for a game system in the making. After 9 adventures posted, things seem have to come to halt on the 9th of September. Looking forward to seeing more of those.

Tower of the Archmage is right on pace with 13 adventures posted. Although a specific system isn’t mentioned, they appear to be targeted at the fantasy retro-clones or original systems.

The ArmChairGeneral is mixing it up with a variety of systems. With 17 adventures posted, the shorts include Star Wars, World of Darkness, Shadowrun, d20, Call of Cthulu and others. Many of them are terse but useful. He’s on pace to finish with no problem.

…and the sky full of dust. has forfeited. Starting by posting a room within a dungeon for each short, the message is now: “I am giving up on the whole September Challenge. Honestly, my whole Tombs of the Naruth dungeon is rubbish, so I’m not carrying on with it.” Ideas can still be gleaned from the earlier posts.

Next up, For A Fistful of Coppers has posted a half dozen adventures for Swords and Wizardy, Weird West and Savage Worlds. A tad behind the curve for 25 but what is posted looks very promising.

There’s a Bugbear in my Kitchen! posted several shorts for multiple systems including Weird West, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles , Gamma World and Call of Chtulu. After a strong start, the effort seems to have fizzled but there is always more time for a strong finish. I admire the diversity.

Dark Dungeon 2nd Edition inspired me to take a look at the competition with his earlier review of the entries. Focused on OSR Fantasy Clones, DD2 has already passed the halfway mark toward the 25 post goal with some to spare. I love the diversity of ideas.

Places to Go, People to Be is listed as an entrant but I didn’t see any entries.

Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity engages us with a series of Traveller adventures. Nicely done entries with a wide variety.

Dreams in the Lich House is pushing along close to my pace. Twelve entries thus far covering some horror ideas and other classic fantasy foundations. Going to need to take a deeper look when I get a chance.

The Dwarven Stronghold started strong but has lately hit a bit of a writer’s block according to the latest entry. The earlier posts are 3.5 focused along with some NPC entries useful in any system.

Ramblings of a Great Khan has yet to post any entries. I may be missing them somewhere. Still, the link to the Geek and Gamers Song was worth the visit.


Continue reading »


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Fouled Fountains: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure

Sep 17, 2011
Mark
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Get Ready

Two shallow fountains line opposite walls of this room. A foundation of smooth rock rises two feet from the floor. Arches of water spray across a pathway between the fountains.

Get Set

The room is dimly lit by lanterns placed at opposite ends of the room. The faint light illuminates dark water constantly in motion from jets of the opposing fountain. Occasionally a lighter, milky aspect appears briefly before being drawn down and sent across the path into the other fountain.

The arcing jets of water peak eight feet above the floor. Characters can easily pass along the path without getting wet.

Go!

Each fountain is inhabited by a crystal ooze. They pass back and forth between the fountains along the jetting water, making them difficult to detect. An opportunistic scavenger, the ooze will drop out of the spray onto a target using its paralysing poison to fetch its next meal.

Notable NPCs

Crystal Ooze (2) [AL N, MV 10’, AC 8, HD 4, #AT 1, DM 4d4, THAC0: 17, SV F4, ML 10, XP 80, ADD2E 278, HC None, Special Attack: Poison, Special Defense: See Below] HP: 19, 24.

Crystal ooze is a variety of gray ooze which has adapted to living in water. It is 75% invisible when immersed. It is translucent, mostly clear, with an occasional milky white swirl in its substance.

Crystal ooze strikes like a snake and then attempts to flow over the victim to exude its poison. Unlike the gray ooze, the crystal ooze does not corrode metal but its poisons attack wood, flesh, cloth, and other organic substances. Unless a victim saves vs. Poison, he will be paralyzed and will be consumed by the ooze.

Crystal ooze cannot be harmed by acide, cold, heat or fire attacks. Blows from weapons inflict only 1 point of damage. Wooden weapons will be destroyed 50% of the time if they successfully hit the ooze.

The crystal ooze is a scavengers that leave metal and stone objects in their wake. Incidental treasure may occasionally be found in and around the water they inhabit.



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Crooked Creek Tomes and Scrolls: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure

Sep 16, 2011
Mark

Get Ready

Several months ago, a trio of men moved into town and opened a book store specializing in historical documents and maps. Stocked with a wide range of materials, the store soon began to attract a variety of visitors from near and far.

Get Set

Brothers Cyneas and Wintar Ryersen along with Aster Muche (all human) arrived in two wagons stacked with chests full of books and scrolls. They sought out the leading merchants in the area in need of a store front and laborers to construct shelving and aid in unpacking the wagons.

The town was extremely pleased with the new arrival. No vendor other than the occasional passing tinker sold books or maps. Soon the town as a whole was ecstatic as the new business began to draw travellers from across the region.

Go!

As time progressed, the store continued to draw visitors to the town. Yet, several travellers have gone missing. More than one a week. The new merchants are friendly but very eccentric. They rarely open the store before noon and often schedule meetings late in the evening. None of the owners spend much time outside of the business other than occasional trips out for supplies.

The three are not in fact human merchants. Seeking an inexhaustible supply of humans and demi-humans to feast upon, the jackalweres have established themselves as middle-aged merchants. They are very selective in choosing targets preferring to only murder an occasional sole traveller with little or no ties to others in the town. Still, the disappearances have begun to draw attention in the town but have not been tied directly to the book sellers.

The party may hear the various rumors and decide to investigate. Alternatively, they may seek out the book sellers in need of selling or buying a work. If the jackalweres believe they can overcome the character, they will set a late night meeting for the transaction by claiming they need to research the origin of the item for sell or find the desired works within the extensive inventory. They will seek to surprise and completely overwhelm the target with minimal disturbance. If not possible, they will calmly carry out the business and await a more desirable target.

Notable NPCs

Jackalwere (3) [AL CE, MV 120’ (40’), AC 4, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite or weapon), DM 2d4 or weapon, THAC0: 16, SV F4, ML 9, XP 190, AEC 129, HC XXII] Total XP: 570. HP: 19, 24, 27. Treasure: GP: 3000, Gems : 24 – Total Value: 2125 gp., Jewelry: 6 items – Total Value: 1940 gp., Magic: Scroll: Treasure Map (Value 6d6x1000 gp), Scroll: Treasure Map (Value 5d6x1000 gp), Armor –2 (cursed)



Parasitic Horror: A Labyrinth Lord Short Adventure

Sep 15, 2011
Mark
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Get Ready

Solid orange eyes greet the characters as begin the descent into the dungeon. The eyes are set into a brilliant yellow and deep green mottled insect.

Get Set

The insect is a Random Estoteric Creature which the party should have never encountered. The body of the insect is slightly longer than 4 feet. A single wing flutters along the back of the creature. The other wing has fallen off to the ground.

Go!

The wasp-like creature is huddled near the lowest part of the room. It stares directly at the entrance as if in anticipation. As the party begins to enter the room, the insect will jump (up to 40′) toward the least armored character.

It attacks furiously until landing a successful bite. The creature will not release but will repeatedly attempt to sting the same PC it bit. Upon a successful sting, the creature shudders for a moment and falls to floor.

The creature is seeking to implant its young via the sting. Near the end of its life, it has little interest in survival and only desires a host for its young.

If a PC is stung, they will be infected with 1d2 offspring. The young will begin to grow just under the skin of the host forming a red welt similar to a insect bite. The welt will continue to grow for 2-4 week until it covers a 2-3 inch region. It is very painful especially when aggravated by clothing or armor. At the end of the gestation period, an inch-long wasp will burst from the pustule and fly away.

The parasite infection can be cured as a disease. The stinger welt will impair movement but causes no additional damage beyond the initial attack.

Notable NPCs

Unnamed Horror #39346
# Appearing: 1
Armor Class: 4
Hit Dice: 4
Movement: 130 (Standard)
Size: Human-sized
Attacks: 1 (Bite) / 1 Sting
Damage: 1d6 (bite), 1d4 (sting)
Basic Characteristics: Insect
Distinctive Features: Brilliant Colors
Conflict Motivation: Parasite
Combat Strategy: Weakest



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KP Duty in the Dungeon: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure

Sep 14, 2011
Mark
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Get Ready

Stalking down the corridor of dark, cool dungeon, the walls and floor are unnaturally free of the fungus and molds, which normally fill the cracks and crevices. Ahead, the sounds of guttural conversation can be heard along with the occasional flicker from an open flame.

Get Set

A group of five goblins have been pressed into service to clean the dungeon corridors. The goblins are travelling in the same direction as the character party allowing the PC’s to approach from the rear. The goblins are marching with two at the front and 3 behind. The two leading the group are holding torches angled directly in front of them. Of the three at the back, one holds a torch aloft and one other is carrying a bundle of additional torches.

Go!

The lead goblins are using the torches to push a Gelatinous Cube down the corridor. The others are busying discussing something between themselves and linger 10-15 feet behind the leaders. In the flickering torchlight, the cube is extremely difficult to see since no non-organic materials are contained within it.

The goblins can easily be surprised. If attacked, all of the goblins will attempt to face the party. If pressed, they will try to escape through the party rather than trying to move through the cube. Once the flaming torches are no longer behind it, the cube may (50% chance) change directions and slowly move into the midst of the combat.

Notable NPCs

Gelatinous Cube (1) [AL N, MV 60’ (20’), AC 8, HD 4, #AT 1, DM 2d4/special, THAC0: 16, SV F2, ML 12, XP 245, LL 76, HC VII] Total XP: 245. HP: 20.

Goblin (5) [AL C, MV 60’ (20’), AC 6, HD 1 -1, #AT 1 (weapon), DM 1d6 or weapon, THAC0: 19, SV 0 human, ML 7, XP 5, LL 78, HC III] Total XP: 25. HP: 5, 6, 1, 7, 6.



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Stepping Stones: A Short Labyrinth Lord Adventure

Sep 13, 2011
Mark

Get Ready

A calm pool of water separates the entrance of the cavern from the exit. The tops of four rocky outcroppings appear to be stepping stones across the pool.

Get Set

The tops of the outcroppings appear worn down from the feet of numerous crossings. The first is narrow and almost flat. The second rises nearly 2 feet above the waterline. A jagged section of rock on the left side appears ready to break away from the otherwise rounded lump near 3 feet across. The third stone barely rises above the surface. Any disturbance of the water will inundate it periodically from the waves. The cavern stretches nearly 60 feet long with the of water covering the nearly 30 feet near the entrance.

The fourth stone is split in two. One half rises nearly a foot above the top of the water and is wide and roughly hewn. A worn path is smoother than the rest of the stone. The other half is a newer stalagmite ending in a sharp point nearly three feet above the water. The two halves are separated by about 18 inches of water.

Go!

The stepping stones are Ropers. Imitating stepping stones has been a beneficial strategy adopted by the fourth stone long ago. The first, second, and third stones are offspring of the fourth. Number four is in last phase of reproducing again: splitting off a seed which will sink to the floor and grow into another roper.

The ropers have no need to breath and will wait for the optimal time to reveal themselves. The ropers are extremely intelligent and will wait for two party members to cross successfully to the far side. Additionally, ropers appear the same temperature as their surrounds and can mimic stone formations at will.

Once the 3rd person hits the 3rd stone, the ropers will attack by lashing out with rope-like strands up to 50′ and attempt to drag the prey into the water. The first and second ropers will attack any members waiting to cross. The 3rd stone will reach upwards and attack the individual crossing and anyone flying or levitating above the pool. The fourth stone will attack the two who have already crossed.

Beyond the normal attack, if the roper arm succeeds in attacking, the party member will be drug into water. A half force doors check will allow the PC to avoid being drug into the water. Once in the water, the PC will drown in 3d4 rounds if he cannot successfully escape the arm and avoids being killed by the roper’s biting attack. Breaking the hold will eliminate the thread of drowning.

Notable NPCs

Roper (4) [AL CE, MV 30’ (10’), AC 0, HD 10-12, #AT 1, DM 5d4, THAC0: 11/11/10, SV F10-12, ML 8, XP 2,400, AEC 135, HC Vx2] HP: 65 (11 HD) , 53 (10 HD) , 56 (10 HD), 72 (12 HD)