Archive for március, 2010

Kauran: The House of Thieves

hétfő, március 22nd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“In his life, the wizard Ardaxas was feared by everyone, including his few apprentices. At the end of his living days, he retreated below his mansion and built himself a tomb befitting an overlord, with all sorts of magical traps to protect his remains. With all other work finished, Ardaxas achieved lichdom and went beyond the limits of human existence. All he left to his apprentices was a set of instructions to reach him if they sought consultation with their old master. These instructions were later copied and passed on to others, but the location of the vault was eventually forgotten, and the keys to its secrets became useless. In the City of Vultures, a section of the slums is still called „the Wizard’s Maze”, but the connection to Ardaxas is rarely if ever made.”

Description and contents: A trilogy of sequential adventures based in the City State of Kauran (Barbarian Atlantis 4502, named the City of Vultures in my campaign): an encounter with squabbling merchants leading into a murder investigation scenario, followed by a chase through the Undercity with a very deadly tomb-robbing scenario on the side, and finally ending with an assault on an abandoned bathhouse held by a gang of thieves. To this date, only the Undercity section has been released (omitting the aboveground merchant’s house, which would make for a short but decent break-in scenario on its own): in addition to areas mostly for colour, it features a wizard’s tomb jam-packed with traps so deadly that only the careful and correct interpretation of clues left behind by the builder will see a party through safely. The bathhouse, although it was an exciting and tension-filled exercise in tactical combat, was designed with 3.0 thieves in mind, and would therefore need some thought to work in classical systems.
(tovább…)

The Garden of al-Astorion

hétfő, március 22nd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“It is said that there is a valley in the southern jungles which has been long forgotten by the short memories of the city people. Until now, even its existence had been a well-kept secret, and only the wise knew of its lost civilisation and cannibalistic half-men. But with the return of the explorer and adventurer Mal Bazhar, all has changed. His improbable stories about the strange garden and its magical fruit trees have drawn the attention of many. Who would write the final page in the history of a people sunk into evil? Who would find the treasures of the wizard Ladgloun or the hidden temple of the monsters lurking underearth? And finally, who would dare face the power that (or who) had already destroyed Mal-Bazhar’s company? The Garden of al-Astorion is only the first, but as we hope, not last among Hungarian-developed d20 adventure modules. On its pages, the Gamemaster can find everything needed – adventure hooks, detailed maps and the descriptions of the main adventure sites as much as the statistics of new magic items and creatures.”

Description and contents: Conceived as a throwaway encounter with a demented hermit (“Shalastar: hermit, follower of Emoré [LN]. Seventy years, has been living in small valley for thirty. Hates druids!” – see image below) but quickly expanded into a much more expansive adventure under a single evening before a game convention, The Garden of al-Astorion is probably best described as a wilderness dungeon branching off into multiple self-contained mini-dungeons incorporating various sword&sorcery and weird fantasy ideas. The legacies of fallen cultures and failed people living on beyond their allotted time is the central focus that binds together a lot of rather deadly encounters that otherwise wouldn’t belong together; the experience, although quite non-linear, is likely to conclude with the exploration of an abandoned garden populated by the horrors of plant life and the still living remnants of people who had attempted to discover its secrets.
(tovább…)

Strabonus

vasárnap, március 7th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“The treasure-filled burial mound of an ancient warlord! The news spread like wildfire along the coast, right after reports of raids by hyena-men hungering for human flesh. But if the treasures have rested so long underground, what manner of traps, guardians and enigmas might protect them? Who will be the one to challenge the infernal cunning of a long-dead mind? (Not to mention the hyena-men…) The labyrinth of Strabonus has already claimed many lives, and it will take a man of great cunning to unveil its long-kept secrets.”

Description and contents: Strabonus was conceived for our second Wilderlands adventure series, the Wormshead Peninsula campaign (City State map, hex 4006), and was unfortunately the last hooray for my old group early 2004: after two sessions spent exploring the tomb, multiple participants moved away (two as far as Great Britain) or got overwhelmed by real life. As a relatively small but very compactly designed scenario, Strabonus involves demanding mapping, combat and puzzle-solving challenges in a six-level dungeon, with very generous rewards for those who brave it to the end.
(tovább…)

Broken Wastes

csütörtök, március 4th, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“In the wastelands beyond civilisation, raw might triumphs over all: he who can best others by weapon, treachery or magic holds wealth and power. But not even the wealthy and powerful are immortal, and the wasteland is more powerful than any of them. This module contains the description of a desert outpost where crafty adventurers can find shelter and get involved in dark designs; the descriptions of caravans and NPCs who may become strong allies or implacable enemies… and two adventures for those who would test themselves against the power of the wasteland.”

“The Quean Wastes is the second large supplement I have created from the materials of my Wilderlands campaigns. Unlike Zothay, which was a medium-sized city state treated in a compact and thorough manner, Queans Waste is much more modular. Beyond some simple background information, it is essentially a colourful mosaic of locations for use by the Judge. There are multiple mini-dungeons, a village and no less than four small strongholds described herein, with a number of ruins, relics and lairs to round out the picture. Together, they form a sort of perspective into how I imagine the setting, and how I use it in actual play. In several ways, this use is divergent from the officially released Wilderlands materials, which should be evident on a brief perusal. A number of differences have been noted in the next section. Such changes aren’t just accepted, they are highly recommended – as it has been written elsewhere, „please alter, illuminate, expand, modify, extrapolate, interpolate, shrink, and further manipulate all contained to suit the tenor of your campaign.”
(tovább…)

Isles on an Emerald Sea / Sea Lords

szerda, március 3rd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

“So many worlds! It has been said of the seas that there are no two isles alike in them, and ten lives would not be enough to map them all. Although this saying is questioned by many, it is certain that he who embarks on a sea voyage sets sail towards lost empires, megalomaniacal tyrants and ancient ruins. Among the isles, everything and everything’s opposite is possible. This module contains the maps and descriptions of five major isle realms, several lesser islands and a handful of marine encounters. And those who would prevail over all: they are none other than Sea Lords!”

Description and contents: A collection of adventure modules centred on a lost civilisations theme. Serialised in Knockspell Magazine as Isles on an Emerald Sea and collected in the Hungarian as A Tengerek Urai (Sea Lords). The overlap is imperfect, as the former has not yet been concluded, while the latter lacks two major islands which will probably have to go into a sequel or separate collection. The whole series includes:
(tovább…)

The Railway Station Haul

szerda, március 3rd, 2010

by Gabor Lux

Description and contents: The Railway Station Haul refers to the contents of my backpack 22nd September 2003, which was stolen from my train in Déli Railway Station, Budapest. In addition to rulebooks and supplements, it held my Wilderlands folder, a thick collection of game writings and character sheets. Since none of these materials existed in duplicate, their loss represented such a major blow to a campaign in its prime – just beyond The Garden of al-Astorion and only a few sessions from entering Dark Tower – that it folded pretty much instantly. My interest for 3.0 D&D never recovered; we switched to the proto-version of Kard és Mágia, and shifted our attentions to the “secessionist party” – the gang of misfits and evildoers who no longer wanted to, or could associated with the generally good-aligned (although violent) primary group. In a respect, the change of pace was not all bad: the escapades of the new group, although their adventures only lasted a few, if very dynamic and event-filled sessions, showed me the true power of chaotic picaresque adventures, and influenced the freestyle gameplay and general irreverence of Fomalhaut.
(tovább…)