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Adventure #76

Theme

Comedy
This adventure is fun for fun's sake. Its basic purpose is to provide humorous entertainment with a minimum of actual danger or
tragedy.

Goal

Thwart Monstrous Plan


This is a classic fantasy-adventure plot: The characters learn of some horrible plan made by a monstrous enemy, and must thwart it
before the kingdom is lost or the world is destroyed. This is an epic goal, and usually requires that the characters go to all sorts of
places, rounding up allies and artifacts, before being strong enough to face their enemy.

Story Hook

Old Enemy
This is a straightforward story hook; the hero learns that his oldest enemy is back and is very active in the campaign, up to
something. The hero will naturally want to investigate and will walk right into the story.

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

Exotic Distant Land


The adventure will take the heroes to some fascinating and exotic distant country, where they'll have to cope with new customs,
monsters unfamiliar to them, and very colorful NPC encounters; choose one of the more fascinating foreign lands from your
campaign world.

Shacktown of the Oppressed


Specific Setting
Part of the action centers around the tenements or shacks of the worst part of town; perhaps an allied NPC lives here or the
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characters are fugitives hiding out in the nasty part of town.
Mansion of a Lord
Specific Setting
This can be the home of a villain -- the characters may have to break in and rescue someone or steal evidence, or break out if
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they've been captured -- or of a heroic ally, in which case it may be used as the headquarters for the heroes' plans and activities.

Master Villain

Conqueror
This character is moving his army in to take over; that's what he lives for. He's been the enemy of your characters' nation's ruler,
and has launched a full-scale invasion of your characters' favorite nation. The heroes have to beat their way through or elude his
hordes of soldiers in order to get at him; better yet, they might lead their own nation's troops against his and outthink him in
military fashion.

Minor Villain I

Snivelling Vizier
The Vizier is a throne-room villain. Functionally, he's rather like the Hard-Eyed Advisor, offering tactics and advice to his master;
but he's an ooily, sleazy, cowardly sycophant. He's usually brilliant in his field of advice but has no combat abilities.

Single-Minded Soldier
Minor Villain II This most trustworthy of villain minions is the experienced, competent, persistent soldier -- a field-trained officer who serves the
villain with military precision. He is usually encountered in the field as leader of the villain's field operations. He is not
encountered directly until the middle of or the latter part of the adventure; until then, the heroes encounter only his subordinates.
Ally/Neutral

Talkative Barkeep
This classic encounter is the garrulous innkeeper who has information the characters want; trouble is, they'll have to bribe him to
get it, or agree to stay at his inn, or buy a lavish meal, or listen to his incessant stories about his career in the army, or whatever.

Monster
Encounter

Ravager
This is another classic monster encounter; the monster which is bedeviling a community or local area and will continue to do so
unless the heroes destroy or defeat it. Yes, this is similar to the Master Villain of the same name, but the Ravager usually has no
master plan -- it just wants to kill, destroy, or eat.

Character
Encounter

Seducer
One of the characters is invited to a romantic liaison with an attractive local. This local can just be interested in a brief tryst, could
fall madly in love with the hero and follow the hero through the rest of the adventure, could be a Loving Deceiver monster
encounter, could be a thief and rob the hero blind, or could be a spy or assassin working for the Master Villain.

Deathtrap

Pit and the Pendulum


Actually, we're applying this term to any of many time-delay deathtraps. In this sort of trap, the villains capture the heroes and
place them in a trap which will soon kill them -- it operates on a delay, often based on a timing device or a burning fuse.

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.

Hero Fulfills Prophecy


Omen/Prophesy This is the most useful sort of prophecy. In the early part of the adventure, one of the heroes discovers that he fulfills some ancient
prophecy.
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
Secret Weakness 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

Ally Quandry
You set up the situation so that the heroes have a good chance at defeating the Master Villain if they get the aid of two specific
individuals, probably experts in fields relating to the villains' activities. But the two experts hate one another and refuse to work
together, even if it costs them their world.

Red Herring

False Path to the Artifact


Once again, if the heroes have had too easy a time finding the artifact capable of destroying the villain, give them trouble this way:
When they get to the place where the artifact is supposed to be contained, they find the coffer or chamber or whatever empty,
obviously looted by robbers, who have scrawled such remarks as "Kelrog was here!" upon the walls.

Cruel Trick

NPC Turns Traitor


He may alert he enemy when the heroes are planning a raid; he may steal the artifact and take it to the villain; he may stab a hero or
important NPC in the back (literally) before departing.