Adventure 001

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Adventure 001

Post by Lykaios on Mon 26 Jul - 13:44


Theme Horror
This type of adventure is designed to scare both the characters and the players. Just having a monster attack is not enough for a horror theme; the monster must first frighten the characters.
Goal Rescue NPC(s)
The characters must rescue one or more kidnapped NPCs, probably from the stronghold of the kidnapper. Obviously, they must get to said stronghold, break in, rescue the kidnappee, break out, and escape back to safety; this usually requires careful and clever planning and a large dose of luck.
Story Hook Mystery Woman
Create an NPC "mystery woman" sure to be fascinating to your hero and have her keep appearing inexplicably in his life. As he becomes interested and investigates her, he keeps stumbling across the villain's plans and becomes inextricably mired in the plot. (For female player-characters, the Mystery Man is just as useful.)
Plot Accumulation of Elements
In this sort of plot, the heroes have to go from place to place -- perhaps covering very little area like a city, perhaps roaming the known world -- and accumulate elements to be used against the Master Villain. These elements may be clues, pieces of an artifact, evidence, or allies.
Climax Chase to Ground
First, you have the Heroes Chasing the Villain. The villain, after a series of encounters with the heroes, is running to safety, to some place where he can acquire more power, or to somehwere he can accomplish some dread purpose such as assassination or mass murder. The heroes chase him, have to deal with the obstacles he leaves behind, and finally catch up to him before or just as he reaches his goal. Here, we have the final duel between the villains forces and the heroes. Second, you have the Villain Chasing the Heroes. Often, in a story like this, the heroes have found out how to defeat the villain -- such as getting to a particular temple and conducting a particular ritual. The villain chases them all through their quest, catching up to them just as they're commenciing their ritual; they must, with heroic effort, conclude the ritual while suffering his attacks. Third, you have the Master Villain's Sudden Escape Attempt. This takes place in adventures where the Master Villain's identity is unknown until the end. His identity is revealed and he makes a sudden bolt for freedom; the heroes give chase. This usually results in a dangerous foot-chase through nasty terrain -- such as across rooftops, through the dungeons, or across an active battlefield.
General Setting Under the Ground
In this variety of adventure, the heroes descend into vast cavern networks beneath the earth's crust. There, they can encounter bizarre races and primitive tribes, hitherto-unknown monsters and strange landscapes.
Specific Setting I Classic Dungeon
This would be the standard monster-filled labyrinth; perhaps it's a nesting ground for the master villain's monster troops.
Specific Setting II Military Encampment
This is best used in an episode involving warfare; it could be the good-guy army's encampment, from which the heroes launch their adventures, or the villains' encampment, in which case the heroes might have to sneak in on a mission or escape from it if they're captured.
Master Villain Sufferer
This Master Villain disguises himself as some other sort of villain. Long ago, he was given an ugly curse -- he longs for death but can never die unless slain by heroes unaware of his curse. (Naturally, the way the curse works, he has to defend himself when attacked by the heroes.) So this villain works hard to make sure the best heroes in the world have sufficient cause to want to come and kill him. He'll insult them, ruin them, kidnap or murder their loved ones, whatever it takes to bring them against him. Often, he can only die -- his curse can only be undone -- in one specific holy place, so he'll have to lure the heroes to that place to face him. If the heroes are doing research on the villain all this time, they may find out his secret, leading to a sad and painful end to the episode as the unkillable villain has to leave and find someone new to kill him.
Minor Villain I Lovable Rogue
This character is like the Master Villain of the same name, except that he has no minions of his own and serves at someone else's bidding. However, he's very independent, not always working in his employer's best interests; he often makes fun of the Master Villain's pretensions and may suffer that villain's retaliation because of it.
Minor Villain II Moronic Muscleman
This fellow is a huge, powerful monster of a fighter. His job is to smash anything the villain tells him to smash. He does that very well, but don't ask him to do any thinking; he has no time for such brainy stuff.
Ally/Neutral Hero Worshipper
Some youth -- an urchin, a brother or sister of one of the heroes, or a child run away from home -- hooks up with the heroes, following them wherever they go, being admiring, talking to everyone (neutrals and villains included) about how wonderful and powerful the heroes are.
Monster Encounter Noble Beast
With this encounter, the heroes find that they have to capture -- but not injure -- some sort of powerful, noble beast in order to accomplish their mission. For instance, to reach a mountain-top aerie, they must capture pegasi and ride them up to their enemy.
Character Encounter Bureaucrat
Some time in their adventure, the heroes must deal with the local government and run into that most horrible of nuisance monsters, the bureaucrat and his red-tape dispenser. The heroes don't have the right forms. When they have the right forms, they forgot to fill them out in triplicate. And so on.
Deathtrap Rock and a Hard Place
This trap starts out as an Animal Pit, Pit and the Pendulum, or Tomb Deathtrap, but an obvious escape suggests itself very early on. Trouble is, it leads into even worse danger. The hole out of the animal pit may lead to the lair of an even worse animal; it may lead through a succession of dangers (collapsing old catacombs, into an underground river, into a den of zombies) before the heroes reach the light.
Chase Horseback
This is a relatively short chase -- it only needs to go on for a mile or so before even the best horses are winded. If it goes on longer than that, the horses may collapse and perhaps die.
Omen/Prophesy Innocent Fulfills Prophecy
An innocent could fulfill a prophecy -- one which endangers his/her life. This innocent might, for instance, be the one who is supposed to slay the king, but is not a mighty adventurer able to protect himself from the king; the heroes may find themselves sheltering and helping this poor dupe.
Secret Weakness Secret Embarrassment
Finally, the villain may have some aberration or secret shame that will force him to flee when he is confronted with it. It could be something as simple as the fact that his nose is too big, or that he is a small and nebbishly wizard pretending to be some vast, powerful demonic power. When his shame is revealed, he is too humiliated to continue; this is a good option for comedy adventures.
Special Condition Time Limit
Finally, the most obvious condition to place on an adventure is to give it a time limit. If the Master Villain is going to conclude his evil spell in only three days, and his citadel is three hard days' riding away, then the heroes are going to be on the go all throughout the adventure -- with little time to rest, plan, gather allies, or anything except get to where they're going.
Moral Quandry Saving Quandry
Finally, another classic quandry puts the heroes in the position of choosing between a grand opportunity to hurt the Master Villain -- or saving the lives of a number of individuals.
Red Herring Extraneous Details
When giving the heroes details on their enemy -- for instance, details they are learning from investigations and readings -- you can give them just a few details too many. This may prompt the heroes to investigate the "extra" (i.e., irrelevant) details in addition to the relevant onces, thus losing them valuable time.
Cruel Trick Villain is Related to Hero
In this very irritating complication, one of the heroes discovers that the Master Villain is related to him. The villain might be his long-lost father or twin; perhaps this relative is not long-lost after all, but has secretly been a Master Villain for years, and only now has the hero discovered it.

Lykaios

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