2 luglio 2012

A Neverwinter adventure

Questo brevissimo ma simpatico scenario che pubblico di seguito, dal generico titolo A Neverwinter adventure è disponibile per la gratuita diffusione. La versione che ho io dello scenario non riporta il nome del suo gentile autore, che quindi non sono in grado di citare, ma che certamente ringrazio per il suo lavoro.

Il regolamento di riferimento è quello di OD&D.

a neverwinter adventure

the beginning
While in Neverwinter or a similar medium-sized town with a forest surrounding it, the PCs hear of strange goings-on in the forest, specifically the local wildlife is diminishing. The local rangers are very concerned, and are looking for an adventuring party to try and discover the cause of the disappearances. The PCs are asked by the local rangers to find out what is happening to the wildlife and to stop it if possible. If the PCs decline, the rangers will be very disappointed and may pester the PCs until they comply or leave town. If the PCs accept the mission, they are taken to the town’s head ranger, and are told the specifics of the mission. It will go something like this:

Thank you for offering to help us stop the strange disappearances that have been plaguing our forests. For the last month, animals have been disappearing from the woods surrounding Neverwinter. We suspect that someone is taking the animals by force or by magic. Our best rangers have been sent out to try and discover who or what is behind this, but so far we have found naught. The situation is becoming worse every day, so we needed to take action as soon as we could. So we hired you. We hope that you have better luck than we have. We can give you no guarantee as to your safety, since we do not know what the nature of the threat is. If you manage to end the threat, then you will be greatly rewarded.

If the PCs inquire into the exact nature of the reward, they will be told that it is a reward well worth what they have gone through. Nothing more will be revealed about it.

Once briefed by the head ranger, the PCs will be given four hours to get their gear together, stock up on supplies etc. After four hours, two of the rangers will collect the PCs from where they are staying and lead them to a portion of the forest where most of the disappearances have taken place. The rangers will then leave the PCs to enter the woods.

a walk in the wood
The PCs will wander in the woods for some time. After an hour or so (during this time throw in a few wandering monsters to liven up the adventure), the PCs will discover fresh animal tracks (half this time if there is a ranger or someone with tracking proficiency in the party). If the PCs decide to follow the tracks, they will carry on for a short way before ending abruptly. Where it ends, there will be no signs of a struggle, although there will be a perfectly round circle burned into the dirt. If the PCs continue searching around this area, they will discover nothing. If they camp here, they are awakened in the night by a rustling in the nearby bushes. If they investigate the rustling, a party member with infravision will notice a figure disappear into the night. Nothing else will happen during the night. In the morning they will wake to find the tracks and the burnt circle gone.

If the PCs continue searching the next day, they will have a 20% chance of being caught in a magical trap. These traps cannot be detected by any means. The trap is a small area that has a contingency spell cast upon it. When the party steps into the area, they are surrounded by a ring of fire (which causes the burnt circle - an essential part of the special spell) and teleported to Crohndarl’s laboratory.

crohndarl’s residence
Crohndarl is a 22nd level Chaotic Neutral (insane) mage who collects animals or his bizarre experiments. He is attempting to create new animals by crossing existing animals. He wishes to create the perfect creature to do his bidding. Crohndarl’s laboratory contains many cages containing horrible-looking creatures. The laboratory looks like this:

La mappa della magione di Crohndarl è andata persa nella corruzione del file originario. Sta alla buona volontà del Narratore disegnarne una di suo gusto.

As soon as the PCs enter the laboratory, Crohndarl will notice them. He addresses the PCs in a deep rumbling voice:

Well, well, well, what have we here? You don’t look like tressyms to me! Oh well, you’ll do. I haven’t got any of your type yet. Ah, I know! I’ll use you as tests. I can test the strength of my beasts on you! Yes, that’s what I’ll do. Hmm, yes. Oh, and don’t bother to try and escape, there’s no way out. No, no way out. Only I can get in and out. Only me.

Crohndarl will be surprised but pleased by the party’s arrival. The PCs will teleport into a strong iron cage, where they will be kept until Crohndarl finds a use for them. If there are rangers in the party with animal followers, the rangers will find that they are no longer with them. If there are mages in the party, Crohndarl will take their spell books and store them in a bookshelf in his tower. He will then walk to the teleporter gate in the corner of the room and vanish, leaving the PCs alone.

The PCs will obviously take this opportunity to try and escape. The only way out of the cage is to of course bend the bars. If they succeed in bending the bars, as soon as they step out of the cage, they will hear Crohndarl’s booming laughter, and the teleport gate will deactivate.

The only way out of the room now is through the secret door. Searching will not reveal the secret door, as it is a solid wall at this point. In the chest each PC will find their primary weapon. The books in the bookshelf are tomes describing many animals eg rabbits, deer, wolves, etc. The secret door is revealed by pressing a button hidden under the chest. This does not open the door, however. This dispels the wall of force spell cast upon the illusionary wall (the secret door). If the party now search for secret doors, they will discover the illusionary wall.

The tunnel behind the illusionary wall is a rough underground tunnel that winds on for a very long time, until coming to an abrupt stop in front of an obvious secret door (a stone wall). Pulling one of the many stalactites on the roof will open the secret door. The PCs will then enter Crohndarl’s tower (see Map 2: Crohndarl’s Tower).

Anche la mappa della torre è ahimè andata persa!

map key
1) This room has a secret door in the north wall (that leads down to the laboratory), a bookcase on the east wall containing books about animals and training them, and a door in the west wall. Opening this door will cause the PC that opened it to be flung backward and suffer 1d4 damage. If any PCs were behind the flying PC, they also suffer 1d2 damage. The only way past this door is to cast dispel magic on it.

2) This hall has rich tapestries hanging on the walls (4 tapestries worth 100 gp each), and a trap in the middle of the hallway. Any PC who steps into the middle of the hallway suffers 2d10 damage by the walls crushing him/her. After the PC is hit, the walls roll back to their normal position, and will not operate again.

3) This room is bare except for the spiral staircase to the next level and the door to the east. Trying to ascend the staircase causes the lead PC to be flung backward and suffer 1d4 damage, with any PCs caught behind the flying PC suffering 1d2 damage. The only way to ascend the stairs is to cast dispel magic on them.

4) This room has a bookcase on the north wall containing books about training magic, Crohndarl’s spell book and the spell books of the mage PCs (if any). It also contains a book titled “The Many Uses of Daggers”, which actually contains a dagger +1. Opening the door on the east wall does the same thing as the door in room 1.

5) This hall is the same as room 3, except that the trap fires four spears at a low height. PCs activating this trap hear a loud click. The lead PC in the party I playtested this adventure on instinctively ducked and was hit by the spears. Each spear does 1d3 damage.

6) This room has a bookcase on the east wall containing books about animals and Crohndarl’s personal journal. His journal contains notes about his experiments and about the arrival of the PCs. If there are rangers in the party with animal followers, the book tells how Crohndarl used them for his experiments. The door to the south is trapped the same way as the door in room 1.

7) This hall is the same as room 2, except that there is no trap in it. The stairs down, however, are trapped. Trying to descend the staircase causes the lead PC to be flung backward and suffer 1d4 damage, with any PCs caught behind the flying PC suffering 1d2 damage. The only way to descend the stairs is to cast dispel magic on them.

8) This short hallway has a door in the south wall. There is nothing else of interest in this room save the staircase to room 7.

9) This large room is adorned with tapestries (8 tapestries worth 50gp each). The east and west walls each have a door in them. These doors cannot be opened until Crohndarl is killed. There is also a door in the south wall. As soon as the PCs enter this room, they will see Crohndarl standing in the middle of the room. Before the PCs can do anything, he waves his hands and 6 mirror images of himself step out from behind him and line up around the room. The images all simultaneously laugh. Attempting to hit any of the images of Crohndarl does nothing, even hitting the real Crohndarl does nothing (he has already teleported to room 12). After all the images have been hit, they will vanish.

10) This room is not accessible until after Crohndarl’s death. The chest in this room contains all the PCs equipment except their armor and weapons.

11) This room is not accessible until after Crohndarl’s death. The chest in this room contains all the PCs armor and weapons.

12) This large room is similar to room 9. When the PCs enter this room, they will see Crohndarl standing in the middle of the room smiling. Before the PCs can react, Crohndarl says “Now it is time to finish you off, you worthless scum. Beasts! Attack!” 8 mongrelmen appear beside Crohndarl and move to attack the PCs. If the PCs survive this onslaught, Crohndarl stops smiling and begins to look worried. He launches a fireball at the party and turns to run. If any of the PCs are out of the fireball’s range, they can attempt to hit Crohndarl with missile attacks. Crohndarl has now run out of spells but still has a quarterstaff +1 to fight with. He fights to the death. If he is killed, the room will begin to shake, and will collapse. The PCs have enough time to escape through the door to room 9. Room 12 will collapse burying Crohndarl’s body. The doors to rooms 10 and 11 are now open.

CN HM M22, 103 HP, AC 0, MR 12, SA None, SD None, THAC0 10

summing up
When the party returns to the head ranger, he will thank them for their help. He will give one of the party rangers the Blades of Namar Khem. These blades are referenced in the Lost NPCs and Magic section of the Dungeon Crawl adventure Undermountain: The Lost Level. For those of you who don’t have this, the Blades of Namar Khem are two swords, one a short sword and one a long sword. These two blades are obviously meant to be a set, even though one is a short sword and one is a long sword. Their pommels are identical - they are shaped like wolves’ heads, the blades are set directly through the tops, and the eyes are emeralds on the short sword and rubies on the long sword. The blades, when used by different warriors or used by one character against two different foes, act as standard swords +2 with no other benefits. If used two-handed by a ranger, the pommel gems glow and the blades both sparkle with glittering lights (equal to moonlight). When both blades are used against a single foe, their true power is revealed: both blades act as +4 Defender swords, though their benefits are set to +4 to the wielder’s armor class and +4 to attack and damage rolls with both blades. If there are no rangers in the party, then the blades will be given to a fighter.

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