Ok, this is a follow up to my post yesterday about stimulating my creative juices with random ideas. Most times I envisage writing a sample episode layout in a three act structure with note on using the episode in a ongoing campaign. I’m using the Warhammer
Please note all standard disclaimers apply.
Overview: This episode is set in an urban environment like Ubersreik, Altdorf or any other large town the players happen to be in. There is a feast day coming and the town is making ready. Recently a Chaos Cult worshipping Tzeentch was rooted out and destroyed by a heroic band of adventurers, this may or may not have been the party. Unfortunately one of the cultists survived and plans to spread terror and confusion at the upcoming festivities. Unfortunately for him his plans are going to be revealed early when the magical fireworks he plans to use are discovered by a group of orphans.
Act One : The plan goes up in smoke
Of course if your players have just defeated a Cult of Tzeentch you can use them, if there was a cult member who fled then put them in place of Marcus
When the Cult of Shattered Truth was broken up one of it’s members Marcus Brutenweld was not at the temple. Marcus vowed to bring terror to the town that had thwarted his bid for power and prayed to Tzeentch for a way of doing so. Tzeentch blessed him by giving him gleaming purple scales and a cloying sweet stench. He also bestowed on him the knowledge of a ritual that used a number of disgusting ingredients to make a paste that while it burns summons and sustains a Flaming Horror.
Marcus stole a number of Tilean Candles intended for the firework display being put on at the upcoming festival and has been painting them with the paste. Unfortunately for him a group of local street urchins found his hiding place in an abandoned warehouse and stole a few of the fireworks themselves.
The orphans will set off the first firework in a back alley, near to where the party are currently residing. Due to the paste covering it rather than firing out a burst of impressive sparks the Candle instead sits and sputters. At this point a city guard sees them and chases them, the shouting may alert the players to something going on. If not the screams a few moments later when the smoke coming from the candle congeals into a Flamer of Tzeentch.
The Flamer will attack anything nearby, preferring things that move but immobile things are fun too. Depending on the players reactions they may arrive in time to try and stop it, or when the smoke clears. The candle will burn for 4 rounds of combat, while it does so the Flamer can be attacked normal but doesn’t suffer from instability, once the Candle burns out any attack that damages the Flamer will cause it to collapse in on itself in a pillar of multi-colour flame and disappear.
Act Two : Pesky kids
Set up a eight space tracker with a event marker at the fourth and final spaces. Place a token at the starting space to represent the party and another further along to track for the urchins. Depending on how fast the party reacted to the events in Act One this can be in the first to third space. If they arrived in time to see the guard chase of the kids and the Flamer appear then place it one space away. If they arrived once the smoke had cleared and the daemon had vanished then the orphans have a larger head start.
The party can interview witnesses and use relevant social and investigatory skills to find out about the orphans and where they can be found. Advance the party token one space each time they succeed in a relevant test or uncover a new clue. If they roll a Delay in a test, fail badly (with Banes or the Mark of Chaos) or waste time advance the orphan token. If the orphan token reaches the first space the orphans set off a second Candle near the warehouse district where they live. The players should be able to track this down and if they are close enough stop the Flamer causing too much damage. If the orphans token reaches the last space they scatter and go into hiding.
Assuming the party catch up with them the orphans can be questioned to reveal the place where they got the candles, a deserted warehouse near where they generally sleep. If the PC’s are charming, or intimidating enough they will mention having seen a crazy old mutant near there.
If the party fail to catch up with the kids before they go to ground Marcus will be able to put his plan into motion, Act Three will play out slightly differently.
Act Three : The truth revealed
If all has gone well the party is aware of the location of Marcus and can apprehend him assuming they are quick. He will leave the warehouse at sundown though and make his way to the nearest square where preparations are under way for the festival. He will attempt to mingle his doctored fireworks with those set aside for the festival and then escape. If the party fail to apprehend the children they may still realise someone plans to mess with the fireworks and head him off here.
Marcus is a Cult Follower with the Soporific Musk and Scaly Skin mutations, you may also want to give him the Mark of Tzeentch and a spell or two if the party has been finding it easy to beat Flamers. If he’s attacked he will attempt disengage and light up to six Tilean Candles. Drawing a candle is a manoeuvre and lighting an action if he’s not engaged. He’ll have a lamp to hand when encountered.
If the party fail to catch up with Marcus the next days festivities will be marred by the stories of yesterdays events, and unless the party realise and stop the threat that night fireworks will be ones to remember.
Well that’s my first run at one of these. Feel free to tell me what you think. More soon.