Sunday 23 December 2018

Mini Adventure - The PCs Save Christmas!

Monster stats are as mentioned in my previous post here~.
This is statted assuming PCs of level 5ish. 1st level characters will die horribly.

The plot hook:
Before running this adventure, maybe have an encounter or two with the Court of the North Pole. Have the PCs meet some elves or something, to get a feel for this stuff.
It is the night of the midwinter solstace, and the PCs are staying somewhere isolated and rustic. An inn, coaching house, hunting lodge, whatever fits for your campaign. Outside, a snowstorm rages, inside the building fires render things cosy. The doors and windows are tightly barred against the things that roam the night in the midwinter.
All at once a hue and cry goes up! An entire family are missing from their rooms! Although their doors and windows are securely locked, the fire has gone cold in the grate!
If the missing family can be recovered, there is surely a reward to be offered. Plus there's probably something supernatural going on, and that means treasure. Or whatever, find a motivator that fits your group.

Searching the Room:
If you search the room that the missing family was taken from, you can find the following.

  • The names of the Sawyer family, on yuletide cards.They are Jedediah (19, mute), Grandpa (76, male, patriarchal), Drayton (39, family dad), Sally (36, family mother), Kirk (10) and Pammy (7). 
  • No signs of a break-in through the doors or windows, no signs of a struggle. It looks like the 7 were taken from their beds while sleeping.
  • Scattered about the room, a few lumps of coal. Meanwhile, the fireplace is fed with wooden logs.
  • A set of 'Mince' pies. Rather than the expected mincemeat made of dried fruit, spices and treacle, these have minced human flesh as their filling. Investigating them by splitting the pies open will reveal the meat, pink and well seasoned, and a single human tooth in one. Otherwise, the PCs might recognise the taste of man-flesh if they try them.
  • Sooty footprints leading from the family's beds to the fireplace. 
  • Up the chimney (wide enough to wriggle up with a little care), a shifting multicoloured light flickers like a hologram, resembling aurora borealis. On the other side of this curtain of light can be glimpsed an entirely different room; this would seem to be a portal leading... somewhere. The portal lasts for as long as the storm outside does; once the storm dissipates, so does the portal.
If the family's possessions contain the following:

  • Clothes, toiletries, toys etc as you'd expect for the family of six. Clothing has nametags for various missing persons.
  • A number of butcher's knives, flensing knives, hacksaws meathooks, etc.
  • 5 little (human) leather dolls with human teeth in their mouth. Each is magical: if anything placed between the teeth, the dolls bite through it. They make good bolt-cutters.
  • A magical hatchet, slightly rusty and stained. The wielder can (by concentrating) instinctively tell the direction towards anybody whose flesh, skin or blood they've ever tasted. Against those people, the hatchet does double damage.
What Happened To The Sawyers?
The Sawyer family were cannibals of a particularly murderous and sadistic bent. Their sins have drawn the attention of the Fairies of the North Pole, who have spirited them away for their sins. 
They've been in disguise for some time. The PCs probably interacted with them when they arrived at the inn (or wherever), they portrayed themselves as normal, slightly shy, travellers on their way to visit family for the festive season.
A little research with local law enforcement will be able to match the Sawyers with various reports of murderers, bandits, evil cultists etc. There may well be a reward for their arrest or bodies presented to local sheriffs. 

Up The Chimney
Going up the chimney leads to the North Pole. In the first room, the portal opens into a fireplace in the corner, burning with a blue-green-purple flame that doesn't hurt you as you emerge or step back into it to escape.
If you've run Ynn or the Library, the procedure for exploring here should be familiar to you. Use the same mechanisms of Depth, Locations/Details, Events, Going Deeper/Going Back/Exploring and so on.
In short: 
  • The PCs arrive at Depth 0.
  • Where the PCs first arrive roll a location and details on the relevant tables and combine the results. Put it on the map as their starting point.
  • Each turn they can Go Deeper, Go Back to a previous location, or Remain where they are currently.
  • If they Go Deeper, add 1 to their depth, and roll a new location & details at their new depth. Link it to their previous location with a line.
  • Whenever the PCs make a noise, linger in one place too long, or are getting to complacent, roll an Event.
The Conflict
As the PCs arrive, most of the Sawyers have managed to break free, and are running amok in Pere Noel's winter wonderland. So, you have a two-way fight between the intoxicated, laughing madness of the fairies and the cold, cunning calculated malice of the Sawyers. Throw the PCs into the mix, and you've likely got a three-way fight.
Meanwhile, Jack Frost is staying out of things for the time being. If things get too out of hand, he'll rise up and retake his home from the interlopers (fairy and mortal alike). If this happens, Jack is basically omniscient here, has perfect control of all snow ice in the complex and for a few leagues around (doing d12 damage with it), and can create basically unlimited snowmen. So now you've got a three-way fight in a falling-apart ice-fortress under attack by what is basically a zombie horde of snowmen. This only happens if the appropriate Event is rolled.

Locations (roll d8+depth)
  1. A Grotto. A room made of blue-tinted ice, decorated with holly and ivy. Icy furniture. Probably empty.
  2. A winery. Stone room, filled with barrels of wine, brandy and sherry, too large to fit down the portal back. Also 2d6 bottles. Each barrel/bottle does something fun, roll on the Confectionary table if the PCs eat/drink from it. Each bottle is worth 50 GP if sold to a conniseur. 
  3. Bedrooms. Plaster walls, wooden floor and ceiling. Merry little fireplace and some candles. Warm inviting beds. It's very cosy.
  4. Confectionary Laboratory. Plaster walls, wooden floor and ceiling. Bubbling vats, clanking pumps, ovens, strange clockwork mixers. The elves make confectionary here; candy canes, chocolates, peppermints, liquorice etc. Getting pushed into the machines does d4 damage each round and turns a random body part to candy, rendering it useless and immobile. (roll d8 for what: 1: hand, 2: foot, 3: eye, 4: ear, 5: mouth, 6: shoulder, 7: naughty bits, 8: knee). d6 elves here, singing jolly songs and working the machines. Roll on the Confectionary table if you eat the candy (including part of somebody who's been in the machines).
  5. A workshop. Stone room, benches, tools made of silver and bronze, supplies of wood, metal, paint etc. d8 Elves here, making toys. 
  6. A kitchen. Stone room, roaring fireplace, bubbling pots and pans, big brass cooking range (aga style) with a goose roasting in the oven and vegetables on the hob. Pudding being steamed. D6 elves working on the cooking here, and a 50% chance of a Lesser Knight as well. Roll on the Confectionary table if the PCs try eating something. 
  7. Feast-hall. Big ice chamber, dimly illuminated from above the ice ceiling by moonlight and aurora borealis. Furniture is made of the bones of huge monsters or the bodies of sinners (sinner-skin upholstry etc). A magnificent feast on the table. Guess what happens if you eat it (roll...).
  8. Prison cells. 5 cells. One cell contains the long-dead body of a kidnapped sinner. One cell contains Pammy Sawyer, who for all intents and purposes looks like a harmless frightened child. Unless you look at her teeth, those are worryingly sharp. She plays the shivering innocent victim, gets you to let her out of the cell. She's cunning, wants to join back up with the rest of her family and will kill lone PCs if she gets the chance. 1 HP, 1 HD, AC as unarmoured, Hidden Knife (+1, d8), Saves as Thief 1, 5-in-6 chance to hide or ambush if not strictly watched, Triple Damage against surprised or unaware victims.
  9. Shrine to Jack Frost. A room carved from ice, all weird angles and strange baroque curves. Red-pink stains in the ice. The floor is etched with a huge hexagramic snowflake pattern, which can be read by an MU to cast Create Blizzard (and if the design is copied into a spellbook, then the spell is learned). The dessicated, frozen corpse of Grandpa is here, left by the fairies to die of cold as an offering to the eldest of their kind. Regardless of what else is going on, Jack Frost can always see what's going on in here, can teleport into here at will, and he and his snowmen recover 5HP per round while in here.
  10. Library. Most of the books are filed under 'non-fiction' and are collections of childrens fairy-stories, christmas carols, etc. In the 'fiction' section there's a few books on warfare, theology, cookery and a single spellbook containing Detect Sinner, Animate Toys and d6 other random spells.
  11. Chapel, scene of havoc. Carved from stone, windowless. Stark and austere, lit with hundreds of candles. A nativity scene was once on a table here, but lies smashed amidst the pews. Font contains holy water (d6 damage to unholy things; all the Sawyers, and Jack Frost and his Minions). Bloodstains. Saint Nicholas is in front of the Alter, he has been impaled through the chest onto a candlestick in a fight with Sally Sawyer. He has 2 HP left, but removing the candlestick does d6 damage to him and he can't heal himself. St Nic brandishes a simple wooden crucific, mumbling prayers on blood-slick lips to hold Sally at bay (as if by Turn Undead). Sally herself is covered in horrible burns where Saint Nicholas's whips have scorched her sinful flesh, and is unable to approach but unwilling to leave her prey; she's hungry and enjoying watching him suffer, and once he bleeds to death (in a few hours) she'll be able to take revenge. 10 of 15 remaining hp, 5 HD, Unarmoured, Butchers Knives (2 attacks, +5, d6 each), Saves as Thief 5, 5-in-6 chance to hide or ambush if unobserved, Triple Damage against surprised or unaware victims. Subsequent chapels are empty, lit by eerie candles.
  12. Papa Noel's Throne Room. A big throne made of animal bones and red velvet, bodies of long-dead sinners in gibbets or icicle spikes. Kirk is here, hiding under a table with the corpse of Père Fouettard, upon which he gnaws. 3 HP, 1 HD, AC as unarmoured, Hidden Knife (+1, d8), Saves as Thief 1, 5-in-6 chance to hide or ambush if not strictly watched, Triple Damage against surprised or unaware victims. Treat subsequent encounters as feat-halls.
  13. or More. The arctic wilderness. A doorway leads outside, where there is only snow and jagged ice and howling winds in the night. Endless frozen desert. If you keep Going Deeper from here, you'll only find more wilderness, and you're hundreds of miles from civilisation. Maybe reindeer will take pity on you.
Details (roll d8+depth).
  1. Silent and empty, lit by candles on jolly candlesticks.
  2. Contains store-rooms full of food for the winter feast.
  3. Contains a fir tree decorated with glittering gems worth 100 GP total. 
  4. Contains boxes of toys wrapped in brightly coloured paper. 25 GP worth of treasure per box.
  5. Bloodstains.
  6. A big cauldron of mulled wine. Guess what, roll for confections if you eat it.
  7. Littered with confectionary: chocolate and candy canes and so on. If you eat it, etc.
  8. Decorated with holly and mistletoe. Anybody you kiss under the mistletoe heals fully if you genuinely love them. (you can love your close friends or comrades in arms, but are the PCs friends? Lets find out.) If you kiss somebody you don't love, you take 2d6 damage immediately and begin to bleed from the mouth. The potential to RUIN marriages in pursuit of free healing is gonna be funny.
  9. The corpse of a dead elf, gnawed on by the sawyer that killed her.
  10. A store-room of letters to Father Christmas etc. Sorted into 'virtuous', 'sinful' and 'truly wicked' piles. 
  11. A disembowled reindeer, his guts spilled across the floor, eyes rolled back, twitches and dies. His killer is close by.
  12. A roaring fireplace against one wall. If you throw a letter into the fireplace, then the fire becomes a portal leading to the return address on the letter for as long as it burns.
  13. or more: the roof is missing, above the room the aurora borealis can be glimpsed through the driving snow.
Events (roll d12, or d12+1 if anything has been done to anger Jack Frost).
  1. A secret passage is found! Draw a line to another area, perhaps one already discovered, or else somewhere interesting like the chapel, throne room or cells.
  2. The doorway back vanishes, probably buried behind a mass of snow or gift-boxes. Erase the route to the previous room.
  3. The PC's light sources flicker and go out, leaving them in near-darkness.
  4. Encounter! 2d6 Elves, in chain armour and wielding whips (d6, or 2d6 against sinners). Hunting escaped prisoners.
  5. Encounter! 2d6+1 Yule Lads.
  6. Encounter! A lone Knight. Not Père Fouettard, though, he's dead.
  7. Encounter! A Knight, accompanied by 1-2 lesser knights and d6+1  Elves. Gearing up for the hunt.
  8. Encounter! D6 Reindeer and d6 of jack Frost's snowmen. Holding the place down, in case the fighting gets too bad. Jack Frost himself is watching.
  9. d6 Elves Fighting Drayton 18 HP, 6 HD, AC as unarmoured, Knife & Meathook (two attacks, +6, d8), or Bite (+6, d4 and heal by that much from the meat), ( Saves as Thief ,6 3-in-6 chance to hide or ambush if not observed, Triple Damage against ambushed/surprised/unaware victims.
  10. Jedediah fighting a Lesser Knight and his retinue of d4 Elves. 21 HP, 7 HD, AC as Chain, Chainsaw (+3, d12, don't question the anachronism), or Bite (+6, d4 and heal by that much from the meat), ( Saves as Thief 7, 2-in-6 chance to hide or ambush if not observed, Triple Damage against ambushed/surprised/unaware victims. Wears a magical mask made from a human face (the wearer cannot speak, but can sense every living person within 10 yards instinctively).
  11. Papa Noël, a Knight, and d6 Elves. All wear plate armour, wield lances as well as whips, and are riotously eager for a fight against the sinners running around in their home.
  12. Either Father Drayton or Jedediah, lying in ambush. An Elf is pinned to the floor with a knife, wailing and dying as bait.
  13. Jack Frost is angered and rises to wipe away the invaders. Shit has hit the fan.
Confectionary! (roll d8)
You only get each benefit once. Subsequent eatings only taste nice.
  1. +1 HP
  2. +1 Charisma
  3. +1 Wisdom
  4. +1 Constitution
  5. 2K XP immediately, and visions of primal midwinter festivals throughout the ages. Lots of blood, fire, mushrooms, sacrifices and booze.
  6. Become a Fairy of the North Pole (immune to ice stuff, vulnerable to iron, see in the dark).
  7. Can cast Detect Sinner once per day for free.
  8. Save vs Poison or trip balls.


  1. This is ten kinds of great.

  2. This also seems like it could be a great place to work in that Wendigo Sickness material you posted back in July.