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Warhammer FRP - Adv - Doomstones 0 - Crossing the Border.pdf

Warhammer FRP - Adv - Doomstones 0 - Crossing the Border.pdf

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Crossing
the
Border
An introduction to the
 Doomstones Campaign
Written by James Wallis
 
2
I n t r o d u c t i o n
O
ne of the criticisms the D o o m s t o n e sc a mpaign gets is that there’s no realreason forPCs to get involved withit. There’s nothing driving them to investi-gate the clues they find orto look fortheCrystals, and they don’t really know what’sgoing on orwhy. It’s also difficult to bring inyourown playercharacters, ratherthanusing the pre-generated ones in the books.This brand new introduction to the cam-paign is designed to solve those problems inan engrossing and atmosphric adventure.This short adventure is in two parts, eachwith a different purpose. The first partassumes that you haven’t started runningthe Doomstones campaign, and is designedto get yourcharacters into the Yetzin Valley,where most of the campaign takes place.The second part introduces some of thebackground to the campaign itself, and givesthe adventurers a little idea of what is goingon and why they should risk theirlives torecoverthe fourCrystals.
Part One:Leaving the Empire
T
o lead into ‘Fire in the Mountains’, the first part of the
 Doomstones
campaign, the party should be somewhere in theEmpire and looking for an adventure or mission. If they’reexperienced enough to begin the campaign (being in their second or thirdcareers) then they should have a reputation as hard-bitten adventurersanyway.So it is that the next time they’re in a large town or city, they willbecome aware that someone seems to be watching them. It happens slow-ly, over a week or so: people – southerners – have been asking questionsabout them, of anyone from their family to past employers, travellingcompanions, guildmasters and innkeepers. The questions range frominformation about their origins and family, to what they’re doing, whattheir last job paid, whether they’re trustworthy and how good they arewith their weapons. And from time to time they will get the feelingthey’re being followed.The invitation finally comes on a piece of parchment delivered by anervous urchin who has obviously been paid a lot to know nothing.Would the party meet at eight bells at the High Peaks tavern, where theywill hear something to their advantage? The parchment is signed ‘BaronSigfrid’.The High Peaks is more of a drinking club than a tavern, and unlessthey are doyens of fashion, PCs will feel under-dressed and out of placeamong so many well-attired and well-heeled southerners. If they ask forBaron Sigfrid a uniformed page will take them to a private room, wherea short man flanked by two bodyguards is making short work of adecanter of red wine.He agrees to pay 100 crowns each in advance, triple that amount onthe safe delivery of the prince, and more still if they agree to take part inany conflict which might arise within the kingdom. He’ll also provideeach PC with a decent horse (but knows which PCs already have one) and
“Gentles, my honour it is to meet you. I am Baron Sigfrid Pavlovic.”He doesn’t get up. “Aproposition of work I have. Most secret, mostwell-paid.” He is, he explains, an emissary from Vidovdan, one of thekingdoms of the Border Princes. Maximilian, the heir to the throne, hasbeen studying in the town in secret, but his younger brother, aided bythe neighbouring Styratia, has just usurped the throne. It is vital that therightful heir return home at once. The problem is that the brother knowsthe heir’s location, and has almost certainly arranged for him to bekilled.“This is your place,” he says. “We know you have no axes to beground within Border Princes. So. We will go south with a big force anda – how you say – a look-like. Afalse prince. We go the main waythrough the mountains, over the Black Fire Pass. You, with the Prince,go this way–” he reaches into his pocket for a rumpled parchment map,and unrolls it “–through the Winter Teeth Pass and down Yetzin Valley.I know that way, is good, is clear. Many Dwarfs. Come from there toVidovdan. Meet with our force at the border, and ride to the capital.“Money? Some now, much later. But we buy you horses, newarmour, new clothes. What you want.”
 
new equipment to a value of 75GC. But all through this he keeps stress-ing how important the mission is to the future of his country.The party are told they will leave at noon the following day, and aregiven a date and place for the rendezvous at the border: whatever seemsreasonable, given their current location. The following morning dawnsovercast. The party should assemble in the courtyard of a large town-house – they have been given the address. There is a horse prepared foreach of them, plus two others. They are fine, pure-blood beasts: in fact sopurely bred that anyone with Animal Training or Animal Husbandry willimmediately be able to tell that they are skittish and nervous by nature;and anyone without the Ride skill will have problems controlling theirmount. There is also a tall man with slicked-back hair, directing servants.His air and voice are so superior that the PCs may assume that this is theman they will be escorting, but in fact it is Vaclav, the prince’s manser-vant, who will be accompanying them on the journey.Play out the mistaken identity thing for as long as it’s amusing, thenlet Baron Sigfrid enter with the Prince. Maximilian is in his mid-20s: atrifle snooty and inexperienced but down-to-earth. Characters are expect-ed to bow or show some obsequeance on meeting him, but anyone goingtoo far (fawning, throwing themselves to the ground, etc.) will be told:“Stop it, man. Show some self-respect.” Conversely, anyone whoshows no respect to his status will be treated coldly for the first few daysof travel. The Prince has a southern accent not as strong as Sigfrid’s, aready wit and a disposition towards anyone also from the south. He ismore student than noble. The party should like him, and over the courseof the journey should get the impression that although he is a little naiveat present, in a few years he will become an able, strong and fair ruler.
Prince MaximilianMWS BS S TWIADex Ld Int Cl WPFel
430 254 3 8 40 130 5545 35 32 36
Ski lls:
Blather; Charm; Cryptography; Dynastic knowledge;Etiquette; Evaluate; Gamble; Heraldry; Influence; Intimidate;Public Speaking; Read/Write; Ride; Secret Sign – Noble;Seduction; Speak language – Tilean; Stewardship; Story telling;Wit;
Possessions:
Sleeved mail coat (1 APbody/arms/legs); fine horse;rapier; dagger; 50 crowns; personal journal written in code
The Journey
The journey starts wherever the PCs are now, and heads out throughthe Empire. The time until their deadline should mean that they have toride quite hard, and don’t have time to get distracted by possible adven-tures or deeds of derring-do along the way.You may want to give them afew short encounters or adventures that can be solved in an hour or two,or while they’re staying overnight at an inn (‘On the Road’or ‘ARoughNight at the Three Feathers’from
 Apocrypha Now
, for example).Afew incidents do occur. Before the party leaves the Empire, as theyare riding through a forested area, they will be ambushed by a smallgroup of bandits, half on horseback. There are 1-2 more bandits thanparty members, and although they will flee as soon as two of their num-ber have been killed or disabled, at least one will get a chance to attack Maximilian. It should be easy to save the Prince from harm, but the inci-dent will show that he’s not good at defending himself.
BanditsMWS BS S TWIADex Ld Int Cl WPFel
441 35 3 3 6 30 1 29 29 29 29 29 29
Skills:
Ride horse; Specialist weapon – sword; Silent move rural;Strike mighty blow (50%)
P ossession s :
Sword or mace; horse (50%); mail shirt (25%sleeved); shield (50%); 2D10 shillings
Lost Orc Raiders
The second important incident occurs after the PCs have navigated theWinter’sTeeth Pass as the follow the Trade Road south into the YetzinValley. Other travellers and patrons of the increasingly rare inns will havementioned Orcs, and the words ‘Bloodaxe Alliance’have been men-tioned. PCs with the History skill can make a roll to recall the three para-graphs about the Alliance given on p8 of 
 Doomstones: Fire and Blood.
Towards the end of the day, as they begin to look for somewhere tocamp, the party come across the remains of a small village. It has beendestroyed within the last 3-4 days. There are around twenty-five corpses:mostly human, but two Orcish. The humans wear peasant garb; the Orcswear distinctive warpaint and tattoos (see
 Doomstones: Wars & Death
,p42-43). Any character born in the Border Princes and with the Historyskill may (
Int
roll) identify them as Bloodaxe Alliance markings.If the party decide to camp nearby – within half a mile – they will bedisturbed in the night by three scavenging wolves. The animals are afteran easy meal, and will be able to sneak into the camp if the guard(s) failan
I
test. They will flee as soon as they are attacked, but waking up witha wolf’s face a few inches away is something your PCs ought to experi-ence. You can also use this incident to establish that the Prince is a heavysleeper.
WolvesMWS BS S TWIADex Ld Int Cl WPFel
933 02 2 5 30 1- 1010 14 14 -
Traits:
Subject to
Fear 
of fireThe party will probably be on their guard against Orcs the next day,but they will find no signs of the raiders. Nor the next day, although eachnight wolves are heard howling.
Through Winter’s Teeth
The party enter the Yetzin Valley along the trade road. The going isslow for the time of year, with a lot of weather.Aday later, they come
"Vital. Vital. You know? Is more important than–" he spreads hishands expansively "–my life. Is so vital. If you fail – but you will not –but if you fail, do not come on. Go back. Go home. Better yet, kill your-selves in shame."

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