Wednesday, January 26, 2011
A little something I'm working on for Castle Ravenloft
I'm sort of at a stuck spot in forming my home made Domains Of Dread: Lamordia for Castle Ravenloft. SO, to those proud, those few who read this tripe take a look, let me know what you think, give me your ideas, offer your Photoshop genius, and give me your Gypsy tears!
Here's what I've got so far...
The Doctor Is In…
Baron von Aubrecker has heard the tales from the villagers and fears what goes on in Mordenheim Castle. The good Doctor has assured him that it is nothing short of an attempt to cure his tragically mangled wife. Doctor Mordenheim has espoused at length that his goal is the furthering of SCIENCE and the small-minded peasants of Lamordia just don’t understand, but that a learned man like the Baron should. The Baron has his doubts. To assail those doubts he has put out a call for adventurers to look into the dealings of the good Doctor as well as try and find just what is killing villagers and livestock on the coastline of the Isle Of Agony. Peasants would say it’s the damned dead coming home to claim their own, the Baron isn’t so sure…
Dr. Victor Mordenheim
+7 Syringe for 1 dmg and Slowed
+6 Scalpel for 2 dmg
Adam, Flesh Golem
+8 to Grab for 1 dmg
+10 to Rend for 3 dmg, 1 dmg on a Miss
So keeping that in mind I’m trying to put together 5 to 10 scenarios regarding different Darklords from Ravenloft. My first foray is putting together a run of seven connected adventures involving Dr. Victor Mordenheim & his villainous creation Adam. These two are analogs for Dr. Frankenstein and his Monster. I’ve never played through the specific adventures in 2nd Edition starring these two, but I get the impression from all the info I’ve read they are more of a harkening to Hammer Film’s Frankenstein flicks, at least when it comes to the “Good” Doctor. So I’ll be treating Victor Mordenheim like Peter Cushing; he’ll be tough, conniving, and potentially physical. As for Adam he’s much more in the mold of Frankenstein’s Monster in the book. He’s adaptable, self-loathing, smart, and vicious. The interesting part is in Ravenloft Lore they are BOTH the Darklords of the Domain of Lamordia.
I’m thinking the first adventure, Adventure #1, will be into the caves on the Isle Of Agony looking for a lost child, possibly the Doctor’s stable boy or the son of the maid. The goal will be to find the child. There will be a ten-turn limit on whether or not he’s alive. At turn seven Adam will show up. At turn ten he’ll flee. In the interim the other available monsters in the deck will be a Dire Bat, Gravehounds, Cloudreavers (aka Pirates of the Sea Of Sorrows), maybe Rot Grubs or some other small insect horde. After turn ten it’s all about finding at least the body and escaping the caves of the Isle Of Agony.
If the party is successful and bring the child back alive they then can go to Mordenheim Castle, Adventure #2.A, where the child claims that Dr. Mordenheim’s wife is still alive and being mistreated by the “Good” Doctor. Again it’s a ten-turn trip. The Castle is mostly empty; they party will be looking for a specific room tile to find the status of Mrs. Mordenheim. Whichever tile is designated, allows the players to pick up an item, maybe her journal or something, that shows she is still alive. The available monsters should be constructs in origin. Maybe Dread Guards, Animated Statues, Iron Defender, & the big bad would be the Zombie Hulk. On turn-ten they are expelled or more aptly run from Castle Mordenheim. They retreat back to the village with the onset of a huge blizzard, which is Adam’s way of closing Lamordia’s border.
If they do NOT find the child alive then upon returning to the village they will circumnavigate the Baron’s home looking for him, Adventure #2.B. This would be a seven-tile adventure, where the party is under the assault of Farmers, Tavern Brawler, Human Commoner, Dwarf Brawler, Merchant Guard, with the big ‘bad’ being the Captain Of The Watch who all want to arrest them.
If the party is defeated they go to jail and lose any items they have. The story option would then be that another child disappears and the Baron releases them, they back to the Isle Of Agony, Adventure #3.A, where they hunt for the killer, deal with Darkmantles, Dire Rats, Rat Swarms, and find the big “bad” to be a Cadaver Collector. This would be a seven-tile scenario. The child is NOT on the Isle; instead they find another item belonging to Mrs. Mordenheim. I really want a mechanic on the Cadaver Collector where he attacks nearest fig, monsters included. Every time he destroys a piece he gains a +1 to AC. From there they could go to Adventure #2.B.
If the Party reaches the Baron and is not overrun by the villagers or the Captain Of The Watch, then upon their arrival he tells them that he has a suspicion that the real murderer is hiding in the complex of caves below Castle Mordenheim and gives them a map to the cave entrance, Adventure #3.B. This is a fourteen-tile scenario, where the a named tile will be where the characters find Adam. In the caves there are also sea themed Zombies (Drowned Ones), Cutthroats (Pirates of the Sea Of Sorrows), & a Dire Bear. Adam will engage for two rounds and then run, moving two tiles away till reaching or drawing the Secret Stairwell.
Should the party be defeated by Adam then they return to town to heal, Adventure #4. This is a seven-tile scenario. They enter the Baron’s home, which is empty. They encounter Human Thugs, Human Rabble, Human Bandits, and eventually Dr. Mordenheim. Mordenheim’s grave robbing looters have allowed the manic Doctor to mortally wound the Baron, a tile should be picked as the where the Baron lies bleeding to death. In turn three the building is set afire. Meaning that every turn a tile becomes destroyed, or impassable, starting from the start tile. The start tile is then put at the bottom of the tile pile to act as the exit. The party’s goal is to escape, and find the Baron. If he’s found the Cleric or any adventurer with a healing potion or spell can stabilize him. If he is not found, then the characters move to Adventure #5.B. IF the party defeats Dr. Mordenhiem they move to Adventure#5.A.
If the party survives Adam and follows him they go into Adventure #5.A. The party makes its way into the castle this is a twenty-tile scenario. The mansion is full of Mongrelfolk, Dread Guards, crazed Prisoners, Bloodhulk Fighters, the Cursed Spirit of Eva Mordenheim, and both Adam & Dr. Mordenheim. The key to the battle will be that Dr. Mordenheim & Adam feel each other’s damage. Adam should be found in the back third of the tile pile & the Doctor should be found in the last three tiles. So a hit on Adam will damage Mordenheim and vice versa. Dr. Mordenheim should have a power that basically causes a trap card to be drawn every time he leaves the closest hero’s tile. Adam is a souped up Flesh Golem.
Adventure #5.B has the players retreat from the blazing home of the Baron & the raging winter storm into the confines of the local monastery in the hopes of finding some sanctuary. This is a seven-tile scenario. Inside they find the priest strangled on the Start Tile. The players immediately know this was Adam’s work. No Encounter Cards are drawn this scenario. The monsters are all Ghouls or Gravehounds as Adam tries to desecrate the Baron’s only other ally’s home. Adam appears on the fourth tile drawn, combats the characters till there is only one tile remaining and then retreats off the board. If the heroes do NOT survive the adventure is over, however if the do survive then they proceed to Adventure #5.A.
If I can capture some of the vibe of not only the Ravenloft setting and stories and something like what Mr. Wrightson has done above I'll be very happy.