Friday, June 13, 2014

What's in the Hole? (Take Two)

The Theme for this Month's RPG Blog Carnival is What's In The Hole? and it is being hosted by Moebius Adventures. The Kick-Off Post for getting things started is right there at the Moebius Adventures blog. This is a great question. One rife with possibilities for all sorts of gaming goodness. So let's take a look at what might be down in a hole in Wermspittle...

What's In The Hole? (Take Two)
  1. Someone's Been Digging-up Maggie's Garden. It may have been those pesky feral children rooting around after her potatoes again. Or it might have been someone after something buried on her property, possibly by a previous tenant or owner...in which case it ought to be hers by rights...

    Maggie's Proposition: The aging Seamstress is too damn old to keep watch in the night and catch whoever is making a mess of her garden. You lot look young and fit enough, and hungry enough to help an old lady out. She offers you food and the services of a Seamstress, if you'll keep an eye on her garden and get to the bottom of what's going on.

    A Dirty Deal: The holes all appear to be dug out with a shovel. Keeping watch over the garden will allow the party to catch a Somambulist's Thrall in the act of digging up the garden within the next night or two. The Somnambulistic Thrall is completely unaware of what they are doing and incapable of being effectively interrogated or questioned. If captured, they will attempt to escape, but if unable to do so, they are under a powerful hypnotic compulsion to destroy themselves before they can reveal anything. If their clothes and body are examined, there is a small grayish alloy medallion stamped with the image of a three-headed eagle grasping a thorny rose and flowering apple branch. If this item is revealed or turned over to Maggie, she will consider the job well done indeed and prove to be very generous. The characters gain a +4 bonus to the next Reaction Roll with Maggie or any other Seamstress they meet for the next couple of weeks. Not revealing the medallion to Maggie will leave her stymied as to who her tormentor might actually be, and as she remains uncertain and suspicious, she will start to think that perhaps the characters are not telling her everything they know...perhaps they are working for her unseen, unnamed enemies...so she will dismiss them and settle her debt to them with a coarse loaf of bread and some dried meat. The characters gain a -2 to any subsequent Reaction Rolls with Maggie or any other Seamstress for the next month or so. Whomever keeps the medallion will begin to suffer from recurring nightmares involving some wild-eyed old man in a tattered top hat and lots of pointy teeth and black velvet gloves...and they have to make a Save each morning to regain any lost hit points, as their capacity for healing seems to be a bit off...


  2. A Hole in the Wall. Looks like some unlucky forager set off a previously unexploded bomb just down this next alley. The buildings on either side are badly scorched by Black Smoke and there are bits of half-melted shrapnel studding the walls all along the alley. The fire-escape on one building now sags dangerously and just needs a slight push to get it to fall. The debris has been cleared from around this hole and stacked off to either side to form a few rough benches and sitting places. You can smell the reek of brewing wafting pungently from the hole in the wall...

    Inside: Three large vats are in use by a trio of brothers from one of the low-land farm enclaves who have decided to become independent brewers and distillers. They learned how to brew various types of beers and ales, as well as distill a number of infusions, spirits, dubious potations and liquors from their elders. The brothers are keen to experiment with some of their own recipes and ideas for innovations now that they are on their own, but they have run into some trouble from members of the Corruption Trade who don't want them moving in on their turf, or worse yet, offering people some sort of alternative to the toxic brews and black liquors that they specialize in. All three of the brothers are excellent shots with fowling pieces, prodds and short bows, all of which they have at-hand and are willing to use at a moment's notice. They have attracted 2d6 'regulars' who will also come to their aid, if called upon, but what they really need right now is someone to help explore the rest of the building that they have claimed for their base of operations. The forager they had only just hired to help them out just blew herself up, hence the hole in the wall. They need the four floors and attic above examined, as well as the cellar and possibly the buildings on either side and the one abutting their back wall--there have been strange noises from back there where there seems to be some sort of greasy black rot...

    Not Just Black Rot: There is a patch of Brewer's Bane growing in the back end of the old dress-maker's shop where the brothers have set up shop. It was deliberately set loose in order to sabotage their operation before it can become any sort of competition or threat to one of the local brewers. 


  3. Hole in the Head. Massive, ancient and now tumbled-over into the square; the old statue of some forgotten general on his war mollusc has finally toppled due to the heavy growth of Red Weeds, revealing a hole in the statue's huge, hollow head...

    Don't Mind the Weeds: Feel free to roll for an encounter with something lurking beneath the Purple Glow of the Red Weeds. These particular Red Weeds are fairly inoffensive vines, runners and lianas that have taken-over the square, converting it into a small, walled-in and rampantly overgrown vineyard of sorts. There are strange pink fruits and clusters of berries that can be collected from the underside of the larger leaf-clusters. The fruit seems edible. The berries seem to produce a highly flammable organic solvent.

    What's inside: The hollow head of the toppled statue was once an excellent nesting space for a flock of Passenger Pigeons. Unfortunately someone poisoned the things with some sort of necromantically-tainted Spectral Brine and now there are 5d20 undead pigeons clustered inside the head of the general's statue. The mindless things just sit there. Silent. Staring. Until someone disturbs them...


  4. Badly-Patched Hole. Someone went to a lot of trouble to fill-in or cover-over this hole with bricks, paving stones, rubble from across the street, rusty scrap metal, and the like. If you look closer, it looks like someone was trying to hold down some sort of heavy metal grate over the hole...perhaps this was someone's attempt to trap something down in that hole?

    A Closer Look Reveals: (1d4) items from one of the Questionable Trinkets & Trash Tables mixed-in with the rubbish and debris. There is a heavy armored long-coat, spattered with blood and caught underneath the rubble that can be tugged free by anyone who might be curious. The coat has a patch on the right shoulder from the 'Pazguin Expeditionary Force,' whatever that might be.

    There's a Gap: Poking around the patched-over hole, if only to collect a few shiny-bits from the debris, will make it clear that this was a rush-job and by no means adequate as there is a large, very unhappy White Beast down in that hole and it is riled-up and trying to dig itself out from under the hastily weighed-down grating...


  5. What Was That Sloshing Noise? Over there. There's a hole. It leads down to a flooded cellar or private cistern. Something is moving down there...

    Regarding That Particular Hole: There are a few Exotic Bivalves clustered around the inner surface of this hole that gets bigger and wider as it goes down. There's also a cumulative 20% chance each minute that the surrounding surface gives way underneath anyone investigating the hole.

    Down Below: A Dreaming Nettle Jelly is floating in a flooded cellar down below. It is severely weakened by the continuous drain upon its vitality by a swarm of ochre-striped leeches that have fastened upon it. The leeches are huge, bloated and so distended with the Jelly's precious bodily fluids and vital juices that they can barely wriggle and are incapable of defending themselves. Destroying the leeches and freeing the Dreaming Nettle Jelly will leave it too weakened to escape unassisted, but very favorably disposed towards its saviors (+6 bonus to Reaction Roll). If the characters agree to defend the creature while it recuperates, it will make a gift of 1d4 dream pearls (treat as scrolls of 1d4 random spells each), or instill within a willing subject the ability to Lucid Dream--allowing them to become either a Dreamer or Oneirist. The creature can also awaken the telepathic ability of a willing subject, but it requires a three-day ordeal that inflicts 1 hit point of damage per day during which the subject is immobilized/paralyzed and helpless. Each day of the ordeal the subject rolls 1d20 and applies their INT, WIS or CHAR bonus to the roll. A result of 20 means they gain the ability to cast Telepathy (INT), Empathy (WIS) or Charm (CHAR) once per day as a special ability. If pressed, the Jelly can also attempt to teach someone one or more of their specialized, personal spells...but the subject runs the risk of temporary insanity, similar to the effects of a Contact Other Plane spell. Once the creature is back to half strength (roughly one week), it will thank everyone profusely then fade away.


  6. There's a Hole in the Sky...Inside This Building. Inside this boarded-up old dress-maker's shop is a Weak Point that opens onto a lurid and glistening rain forest dominated by gigantic tiger-lilies beneath startling violet skies...

    Who Is That In There? A Tremish scout from a party of private collectors has just returned from performing an initial survey of this Weak Point and the immediate area on the other side. She is groggy from the accumulated effects of yellow pollen. Her left hand is coated with a crusty purplish-gray fungal colony that has the appearance of sharp-edged barnacles. She needs to get word to Gnosiomandus and will attempt to negotiate with the characters if they are willing to listen to her...

    Troublesome Things: She's no friend to the Academy, but Shumaligne knows that what she has discovered across the threshold of this undocumented Weak Point is too important to try and squeeze personal gain from it. There's a Purple Cloud back there and once it kills off that world, it is coming to Wermspittle...

What's In the Hole?
One   Two

Next Month's Blog Carnival will be hosted here at Hereticwerks.
The Theme is going to be: Invasive Species...

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