Friday, September 2, 2011

September Short Adventure 2: Gomphrey's Still

A September of Short Adventuresis an OSR Challenge initiated by Matt over at the Asshat Paladinsblog. You can click on the Moustache Dragon over on the right-handside-bar (just above Features) to learn more about all of this stufffrom Matt directly. All of our 25 (possibly more...) entries areformatted along the lines of what Matt calls the Get Ready, GetSet, Go! format. In a nut-shell, this approach breaks eachadventure into a Title, Three escalating sections of adventuredetails (the Ready section is limited to an elevator pitch only 2sentences...), and a final catch-all section for any NPC notes/stats.The idea is to keep it short, simple, easy to read without any maps,drawings, diagrams or 8X10 glossies. Keep description to a minimum,avoid lengthy exposition, and no casts of thousands -- unless it's aninvading horde of three-eyed orcs or goblins riding purple wombats.

We're also going to aim to keep thingsgeneric, setting agnostic and thus portable or adaptable to anycampaign/setting using the particular rules-set we'll be using in anygiven September Short Adventure such as Mutant Future,Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry (White Box), etc.

Labyrinth Lord:
Mutant Future:
Swords and Wizardry (White Box):

SeptemberShort Adventure Number 2
Title: Gomphrey's Still
Rules: Mutant Future

The Player Characters are travelingthrough a region of dense forest that is incredibly rich in game andedible plants. Then they find a strange house covered in elegant vinesout in the middle of nowhere, with a peculiar shed out back thatisn't an outhouse.

No sooner have the PCs discovered oldman Gomphrey's house, than they will find themselves surrounded by dozensof Zap Vines, Ventrilovines and other mutant plants that have beentrained to lay dormant and do other simple tricks by the half-madhermit who raises them like some weird combination of livestock andcompanions. Serious resistance or extensive damage to the dozens ofvines will attract the attention of the Skinner Tree and OldMan Gomphrey. Randomly determine which one shows up first.

Gomphrey will waddle out of his shed inthe back to attend to any ruckus, such as his menagerie of mutatedplants subduing any would-be intruders or juicy wild game. Thevarious mutated plants, including the Skinner Tree, have been trainedto attempt to subdue, not kill anyone they can capture.

Old Man Gomphrey will command his plantminions to release the PCs once they give their word not to start anyfurther trouble. He's a bit demented and awfully proprietary abouthis shed out back (the one that contains his make-shift still, notthe outhouse), but he can be negotiated with by anyone not too quickto resort to violence.

Killing Gomphrey will drive everymutated plant in a 100 mile radius into a berserk frenzy as they seekto avenge the murder of their old friend.

Making friends with the lonely oldcodger will give the PCs access to a wide variety of medicinal andrecreational alcoholic distillations that can heal damage, act asantidotes to various poisons, cure illness, or just make someone losetheir mind for a little while.

If Gomphrey really takes a shine to thePCs, he might consider engaging them as his distributors back amongsome of the more civilized villages.

Notes / NPCs
Gomphrey [Mutant Human, AL N, MV90' (30'), AC 5, HD 14, #ATK 1, DG 1d6, SV L6, ML 11, Mutations: Aberrant Form (Xenomorphism/internalized plant structures and externalized pollen emitting pores), Epidermal Photosynthesis, Increased Taste, Drawback: Frailty/bruises easily] Note: Gomphrey has a way with plants akin to a form of Empathy oriented only towards plants, whether this is a formal power/ability or not is left to GM discretion.
Skinner Tree [AL C, MV 60'(20'), AC 4, HD 15, #ATK 1, DG 2d8, SV L5, ML 10] (MFp. 95)
Screech Bush [AL N, MV none, AC9, HD 2, #ATK 1, DG 2d6, SV L2, ML none] (MFp. 93)
Ventrilovines [AL N, MV none, AC9, HD 1, #ATK none, DG none, SV L1, ML none] (MFp. 100)
Zap Vines [AL N, MV none, AC 8,HD 2, #ATK 1, DG 1d6, SV L1, ML none] (MFp.103)


  1. This is the kind of adventure I have a lot of time for. Stumbling on something weird and dealing with a natural-feeling response, and a resolution that could be far more than just a big battle, even change the balances in a given region.

    Two down, 23 to go! I'm happy for it to go on and on.

  2. Very cool -- I like this a lot.

  3. Get away from my still or I'll sick my triffids on you! Love it!

  4. @Porky: thanks--we aim to provide jumping-off places that a GM can develop further based on the interactions and all those nebulous unplanned coincidences that just simply can't be planned for nor anticipated by extensive tables or plotting. We think of these short adventures as little seeds that will expand or grow differently for everyone who messes about with them.

    @Bard: Thanks--this is proving to be a very enjoyable challenge!

    @ArmChairGeneral: You know, someone should really stat-up the Triffids...we've been meaning to, but haven't gotten that far down the current to-do-list...

  5. "Killing Gomphrey will drive every mutated plant in a 100 mile radius into a berserk frenzy as they seek to avenge the murder of their old friend."

    Holy Crap! If the PCs kill G, there's no way they'll get out of this rash and bloody act!

  6. @Matt: Actually, once the woods go wild and things get really hairy-scary, the PCs still have the obvious choice -- run like hell -- as most of the plants are not exactly ambulatory. Those Skinner Trees are, and a few others, but most of the plants are going to lie in wait and attempt to ambush the unwary who get too close. It's a great opportunity to use all the wonderfully demented plant-mutants in Mutant Future! The PCs will be in a tight spot, but they can still survive, if they use their heads, make the best use of their abilities, mutations and firepower. But they will NOT be going back to this regions any time soon. There's also a chance that their offspring will be recognized by the local flora and that will also set off a frenzy, so even their children won't be going back.

    So that one rash act doesn't necessarily kill the PCs off, though it does suitably endanger them and light a fire under their collective butts to vamoose. It does cut them off from a lot of the stuff that could have been really cool if they hadn't been so rash.

    Rewards are earned. Revenge is not just for PCs. Consequences are driven by actions/choices. A PC's actions become meaningful if they truly affect the characters and the area surrounding them--and that is what this particular encounter really does, both for the benefit of the PCs of to their painful detriment...


Thanks for your comment. We value your feedback and appreciate your support of our efforts.