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The World’s Unknown: Pulp Adventure Serial Inspiration

This post by Jason Morningstar 

What follows are actual page headers from: J.W. Buel’s ”The World’s Unknown: An All-Embracing History of a Century of Exploration and Discovery,” published by Arkell Publishing Company in 1898. Each of this venerable tome’s 455 pages is graced by a summary; these alternate between descriptive, lurid and hilarious – often all at once. String a few of these together as “chapter titles” and you’ve got the outline for a great pulpy adventure serial. Enjoy!

 

PART ONE: TO THE FROZEN HELL!

  • A Story Of Starvation
  • First Trace Of The Lost Party
  • Evidences Of Cannibalism
  • Thirty Bodies Of Starved Explorers
  • Doctor Kane’s Discoveries
  • Relics Of The Expedition
  • Discovery Of The Polar Sea
  • Dead Men’s Bones In Plenty
  • Funeral Of Captain Hall
  • Oh, My!  What An Odor!
  • An Immodest Custom Causes Blushes
  • Love And Hospitality In The Far North
  • Dangerously Nipped By The Ice
  • The Ship Grasped By The Ice Pack
  • Perilous Adventure With A Bear
  • Besieged By Foxes
  • Bears In Great Plenty
  • Johansen’s Narrow Escape From A Bear
  • The Beautiful And Rare Ross Gull
  • A Fierce Fight With A Walrus
  • A Kayak Attacked By A Walrus
  • Difficulties In Harnessing Eskimo Dogs
  • Crossing The Northern Extremity
  • Dr. Mccormick’s Meeting With Jackson
  • Hunting Musk Cattle
  • Ingenuity Of The Eskimo
  • Shooting Bears From The Steamer
  • Animals Of The Arctic Land
  • Arctic Beauties
  • Kindness And Superstition Of The Eskimo
  • Eskimo Hunters
  • Happiness – A Characteristic Of The Eskimo
  • Sailing Through Open Seas
  • Achievement Of Lockwood And Brainerd
  • An Observatory In The Arctic Land
  • An Amazing Spectacle Of Arctic Expanse
  • Remarkable Discoveries
  • Annals Of The Highest Latitudes
  • Discipline In Camp
  • Abandonment Of The Lady Wallace
  • The March To Cape Sabine
  • A Terrible March In Search Of Food
  • Indescribable Suffering
  • Poor Ellison’s Agony
  • Comradeship Of Rare Fidelity
  • Heroism Of Ellison
  • Heroism In The Face Of Death
  • Stealing From Starving Companions
  • Story Of A Sad Execution
  • The Shooting Of Henry
  • An Appeal To Manhood
  • Death By Starvation
  • Died In His Comrade’s Arms
  • Death Of Sergeant Rice
  • Midnight In The Polar World
  • Resort To Cannibalism
  • Breaking Hunger On Bodies Of Their Comrades
  • Crushing And Sinking Of The Proteus
  • The Rescue
  • Horrible Sight Of The Camp
  • A Feeble Cry, Faint With Hunger
  • Discovery Of The Camp
  • Appearance Of Men In Their Tents
  • Forcing A Way Through Obstructions
  • First Sight Of Starving Party
  • Removal Of The Survivors
  • Consoling The Dying
  • An Hour Of Prayer
  • Hands And Feet Frozen Off
  • Terrible Condition Of The Men
  • Amputation And Death
  • A Sad, Sad Picture
  • The Proofs Of Cannibalism
  • Uncovering The Dead
  • Ramming A Way Through Heavy Ice
  • How The Bodies Were Prepared
  • A Struggle With Ice Floes
  • How To Handle Eskimo Dogs
  • Some Curious Customs
  • Captain Hall Captures A Seal
  • A Savage Contest
  • Dr. Kane’s Battle With A Polar Bear
  • Another Battle With A Bear
  • A She Bear’s Love For Her Cubs
  • An Ugly Visitor In Camp
  • Catching The Young Bear
  • Affection Of A Pet Walrus
  • Adventures With The Walrus
  • An Exciting Walrus Hunt
  • Fight With A Walrus
  • Dexterity And Cunning Of The Eskimo Hunters
  • A Hot Struggle
  • Hall’s Battle With A Walrus
  • Over A Vast Field Of Grinding Ice
  • Savagely Attacked By A Herd Of Walruses
  • Another Desperate Battle
  • A Picture Of Extraordinary Ferocity
  • The Reindeer
  • Habits Of The Wolverine
  • Excitement In The Camp
  • Apocryphal Creatures Of The Polar Zone
  • Rapacious Birds Of The Northland
  • Mighty Creatures Of The Arctic Deep
  • Wonders Of The Whale
  • Adventure With A Whale
  • Sharp Adventure With A Whale
  • Hunting The Narwhal
  • The Fierce Water-Tiger Of The Arctic Seas
  • The Grampus
  • The Arctic Shark
  • Magnificence Of Arctic Skies
  • The Beauties Of The Arctic Aurora
  • Gyrating Ice Mountains
  • An Original Theory Respecting Ice Bergs
  • Wonderful Adventures On Ice Floes
  • Drifting Helplessly With The Ice
  • Tyson Under A Breaking Iceberg
  • Beginning Of A Perilous Journey
  • A Pitiful Story Of Suffering
  • Pitiable Spectacles
  • Killing Dogs To Stay Starvation
  • A Respite From Starvation
  • Fortunate Killing Of A Seal
  • Almost Reduced To Cannibalism
  • New Dangers Follow
  • A Battle With The Storm
  • A Night Of Indescribable Horror
  • Saved At The Last Hour
  • Effects Of Protracted Night
  • Terrors Of A Polar Night
  • Terrible Effects Of Eating Snow
  • A Voyage To Death-Land
  • Sinking Of The Tracy
  • Bombarded By Chunks Of Ice
  • Helpless On The Wide, Wide Sea
  • Dead On Siberia’s Waste Of Snow
  • A Separation Of The Boats
  • Starvation And Mutilation
  • Searching For Lost Comrades
  • Discovery Of The Frozen Bodies
  • So Sleep The Brave
  • Loss Of The Chipp Party
  • Traveling Over Ice Hummocks

 

PART TWO: JOURNEY INTO MADNESS!

  • Block Clawed By A Lion
  • A Perilous Encounter With A Lion
  • Sensations Produced By The Bite Of A Lion
  • Natives Of Mabotsa
  • Entrapping Large Game
  • Crossing An African Desert
  • A Dreary March
  • A Remarkable Salt Basin
  • Discovery Of Lake Ngami
  • Sickness Compels Block’s Return
  • On The Shores Of Lake Ngami
  • Lions That Eat Women And Children
  • Adventures With Lions
  • Fights Between Lions And Buffaloes
  • Snakes Of The Zouga District
  • Shooting A Boa Constrictor
  • Incidents Of Travel
  • Singular Birds, Reptiles, And Animals
  • Sluggishness Of Hippopotami
  • Ravages Of Crocodiles In The Leeambye
  • The Tattooed People Of Balonda
  • An Amusing Magic Lantern Show
  • How Shinte Proved His Love
  • Ravages Of The Red Ant
  • A Curious Insect
  • Human Hearts As Sacrifices
  • A Hippo Haunt Along The Leeba River
  • Surprising Habits Of An Effeminate People
  • Dread Of White Men
  • African Dandies
  • Narrow Escape From A Buffalo
  • Capsized By A Hippopotamus
  • Curious Friendship Among Birds And Animals
  • Killing An Elephant With Spears
  • Elephants At The Bath
  • Adventures With Wild Animals
  • Sacrifice Of Twins And Albinos
  • Superstition Respecting Albinos
  • Settling Disputes
  • Peculiarities Of The Batoka Tribe
  • Man Tossed By A Buffalo
  • Shooting Giraffes Near The Zambezi
  • Sad Death Of Sekwebu
  • Extraordinary Voracity Of Africans
  • A Slave Working Under A Task Master
  • Degrading Effects Of Rum Among Natives
  • Crocodiles Attack A Hippopotamus
  • Woman Seized By A Crocodile
  • Wild Dogs
  • Death Of Dr. Kirk
  • Return To Lake Nyasa
  • Exploration Of The Rovuma River
  • A River Gorged With Dead Bodies
  • A Native Mangled By A Leopard
  • Burning A Leopard
  • Terrible Combat With A Leopard
  • Murder Of Slaves That Could Not Be Sold
  • Strange Customs
  • Horrible Scenes
  • A Leopard’s Invasion Of A South African’s Home
  • Habits Of The Natives
  • Carried Off By A Lion And A Crocodile
  • African Iron Furnaces
  • Inhumanity And Superstition
  • The Honey-Bird
  • Distressed By The Loss Of Medical Supplies
  • Danger From Serpents
  • Famine, And A Serious Loss
  • Meeting With Chief Chitipangwa
  • The Lake People
  • A Wedding In Africa
  • Cropping The Ears Of His Subjects
  • African Pomp And Splendor
  • A Chief’s Wife In Her Royal Palanquin
  • Inundation Of Casembe Village
  • On The Shores Of Bangweolo
  • Joy Among Slaves
  • A Grave By The Wayside
  • Discovery Of Lake Bangweolo
  • In Trouble
  • A Furious Battle Between Natives
  • Killing Prisoners
  • Hunting Their Persecutors
  • A Journey Into Manyuema Country
  • Soldier-Ants
  • Fetish Worshippers Of Bamberre
  • Near Ujiji
  • Among The Ant-Eating People
  • Land Of The Tree Dwellers
  • Kindness Of A Woman Leper
  • Making A Fetish Of A Woman’s Heart
  • The Manyuema Cannibals
  • Wicker’s Adventure With Gorillas
  • A Gorilla Hunt
  • A Fight With Gorillas
  • Fights Between Gorilla And Leopard
  • A Gorilla Kidnapping A Girl
  • Some Remarkable Customs Of The Manyuema
  • A Marvelously Ignorant People
  • Beautiful Women Of A Degraded People
  • Description Of The Cannibals
  • On The Banks Of The Lualaba
  • An Indiscriminate Slaughter By Slave Dealers
  • The Massacre At Nyangwe
  • Horrible Feast Off Human Bodies
  • Forced To Return To Ujiji
  • Attacked By Manyuema Cannibals
  • Cannibals Caught In The Act

 

PART THREE: DWARF-LORDS OF THE RUBUNGA!

  • Meeting With A Strange People
  • The End Comes
  • A Dreadful Plot Discovered
  • A Terrible Physical Condition
  • Horrible Beatings Of Poor Women
  • A Monkey And An Old Reprobate
  • Baker Seized With Madness
  • The Shir Tribe
  • A Royal Old Beggar
  • Elephant Pits And Native Hunters
  • Baker’s Greatest Mistake
  • Exciting Elephant Adventures
  • Wicker Dying On The March
  • Sali Achmet Killed By A Buffalo
  • The People Of Tarrangolle
  • Chief Legge’s Stinginess And Voracity
  • A Visit To Katchiba
  • Baker Knocks Out A Mutinous Leader
  • Horrifying Atrocities Of The Victors
  • Characteristics Of The Obbo People
  • Determined To Leave Gondokoro
  • Baker Vanquished In Argument
  • Beating A Criminal To Death
  • An Hour Of Sorest Trial
  • Novel Contest With A Hippopotamus
  • Starting Under Grave Difficulties
  • Capsized By A Storm
  • A Singular Race Of People
  • A Plentiful Crop Of Dead Men’s Bones
  • Killing Prisoners Before Kamrasi’s Palace
  • Poisoned Arrows Of The Bari
  • Chief Moy And His Wife
  • Blowing The War Horn
  • Crime And Cruelty At Gondokora
  • Gloomy Reflections
  • A Fight Between Two Vicious Women
  • Bagging A Lot Of Antelopes
  • A People With Tails
  • Plenty Of Cattle, But No Meat
  • A Little Slave Child’s Sorrow
  • Defeat Of Rionga
  • Fastidiousness Of A Chief’s Wife
  • The Makkarika Cannibals
  • Fight Rionga Or Starve
  • Curious Costumes Of A Fierce People
  • Acquiring The Language
  • Baker’s Hut In Latooka
  • Sali Achmet Killed By A Buffalo
  • A Royal Sorcerer
  • Baker’s Expedition Departs
  • Chitambo’s Village, Where Wicker Died
  • A Terrible Affliction
  • On The March To Obbo
  • Killing An Elephant As Large As Jumbo
  • Horrible Beatings Of Poor Women
  • Killed In Sight Of His Comrades
  • An Overdose Of Tartar Emetic
  • Baker Violently Thrown From An Ox
  • Besieged By Curious Natives
  • The Aliab Tribe
  • Hunting Big Game By Night
  • The Robbers Are Themselves Victims
  • Shooting A Big Baboon
  • How Children Are Killed And Cooked
  • Fighting Black Amazons
  • Poison Yams
  • The Power Of Sorcery
  • Baker Pursued By An Enraged Elephant
  • Attacked By Bari Savages
  • Hunting In A Game Paradise
  • Meeting With Speke And Grant
  • Return To Latooka
  • Back To Obbo
  • Argument Over A Hippopotamus
  • Picking Holes In Live Animals
  • A Fatal Buffalo Hunt
  • Hunting The Elephant With Spears
  • The Polite Fatikoans
  • Confronted By A Humpback
  • A Barbarous Execution
  • A Country Flowing With Milk And Honey
  • Richards Kills A Chief
  • Throwing Victims Over A Cliff
  • Shores Covered With Crocodiles

 

PART FOUR: THE SEARCH FOR CAPTAIN BAKER!

  • A Terrible Sand Storm
  • Visited By The Plague
  • Net Results Of Baker’s Expedition
  • An Imposing Flotilla
  • Battle With A Crocodile
  • Capturing A Crocodile By Means Of A Noose
  • A Hippopotamus Kills An Old Blind Man
  • Matrimony By Wholesale
  • The Expedition Moves Forward
  • A Night Of Excitement
  • A Raving Mad Hippopotamus
  • A Creature With A Hundred Lives
  • Serious Trouble With The Natives
  • Implacable Hostility Of The Natives
  • An Attack By The Bari Natives
  • Soldiers Mutilated By Crocodiles
  • Adventures With Crocodiles
  • A Girl Eaten By A Crocodile
  • Attack On A Herd Of Elephants
  • Wonderful Strength Of The Elephant
  • How An Elephant Gathered Nuts
  • In A Nest Of Slave Hunters
  • A Ludicrous Exhibition
  • Music-Charmed Savages
  • Establishing A Government
  • En Route For Unyoro
  • A Visit From Kabba Rega
  • Walking Like A Giraffe
  • Suspicious
  • Argument Of A Savage King
  • An Exhibition Of Buffoons
  • Tortures Inflicted By Slave Hunters
  • The Value Of Girls
  • A Wonderful Entertainment
  • Kabba Rega’s Satanic Escort
  • Treachery And A Great Battle
  • Poisoned By Drinking Cider
  • Cutting Their Way Through
  • Desperate Fighting
  • Impaled By Spears
  • Mowed Down By Snyder
  • Battle With Abou Saood
  • Irreligious Though Honest
  • How The Natives Care For Their Babies
  • Adventure With A Lioness
  • Down Rushes The Charging Elephant
  • Battles Between The Elephant And Rhinoceros
  • A Thrillingly Exciting Rhinoceros Hunt
  • Hot Race After A Brace Of Rhinoceros
  • In Mad Pursuit Of A Rhinoceros
  • A Most Dangerous Animal
  • Furious Disposition Of The Rhinoceros
  • The Nerve Required To Slay A Rhinoceros
  • A Shot At Long Range
  • A Moment Of Extreme Peril
  • Crack Went A Bullet Against His Side
  • Rhinoceros Attacks A Horse
  • The Rhinoceros Charging Davidson’s Horse
  • Wounded, But Escapes
  • Man Bitten To Death
  • A Terrible Commotion In The Water
  • Breakfast Of Hippopotamus Flesh
  • A Bloody Struggle
  • Interesting Facts About Hippopotami
  • Fierceness Of The Male Hippopotamus
  • A Fatal Adventure With A Savage Hippopotamus
  • An Object Of Intense Ferocity

 

PART FIVE: SORCERER-KING OF THE WASUNGU!

  • Wonderful Curiosity Of The Wasungu
  • Punishment For Stealing
  • Marching Through Swamps
  • Internal Dissent And A Fight
  • In A Sea Of Difficulties
  • Attempt To Assassinate Walters
  • Entering Ugogo
  • Materialist Beliefs
  • The Wonderful Wagogo Tribe
  • Having Fun With The Sultan
  • Rum, Quinine And Ammonia
  • Monkeys And Wild Boars
  • A Frightened Leopard
  • Look Out For The Elephant
  • The Death Of Edwards
  • Conflict With The Islanders
  • Attacked By Savages Of The Lake
  • Human Sacrifices
  • In The Hands Of The Enemy
  • Sinking Boats By Rifle Shots
  • Lukonegh, The Royal Sorcerer
  • Legends Of The Ukara Islanders
  • Into Lands Of The Unknown
  • A Village Filled With Dead People
  • Meeting With Mirambo, The Bandit King
  • In The Country Of Cannibals Again
  • A Paralyzing Costume
  • Cannibals And Dwarfs
  • A Wonderful Tale Of Dwarfs
  • Woman Shot By A Dwarf’s Arrow
  • A Raid On The Tree-Dwelling Dwarfs
  • Capture Of The Dwarf King
  • Enormous Snakes
  • A People Who Live Like Monkeys
  • Among The Cannibals Of Uregga
  • Hewing A Road On The Way To Uregga
  • A Village Decorated With Human Skulls
  • Human Flesh A Common Dish
  • Into A Region Of Fable And Darkness
  • Capture Of A Dwarf
  • Into The Unknown
  • Cannibals Again
  • Running A Gauntlet Of Cannibals
  • Attempting To Charm The Strangers
  • Natives Of Rubunga
  • Huge Spears
  • A Fight On The River
  • King Chumbiri
  • A Boy In The Coils Of A Python
  • Death Of Kalulu
  • Terrible Death Of Frank Pocock
  • Destroying The Magic Book
  • Relief In The Hour Of Peril
Swashbuckling RPG Scenario Generator

Swashbuckling Adventure Scenario Generator

Swashbuckling RPG Scenario Generator

RoleJack kicks off with this swashbuckling scenario creation kit by Ralph Mazza. Ralph designed the tool for his work-in-progress RPG, Robots & Rapiers. Here, he modified the generator for any swashbuckling game. This first appeared in Fight On!

This scenario generator creates mini scenarios such as might occupy time between major campaign sections or quickly come up with side quests.  Its especially good at developing adventure seeds for sessions where players are absent and the GM wishes to provide a short adventure for the players separate from the main story.  The locations and named NPCs mentioned in the tables are designed for the world of Auvernais, but can easily be substituted for locations and NPCs for another setting.

A note on the canonical roles of some of the named NPCs: The King is largely distracted by parties and balls and parades, leaving the Cardinal to largely run things.  The Cardinal is currently focused on rooting out revolutionaries.  The Queen is an idealist conspiring with revolutionaries.  The Grey Eminence is the chief inquisitor, hard, cruel, feared, and very likely insane.  LaRoche is the enemy who regularly invades and gets repulsed.  The Bandits are a growing threat in the countryside whose numbers are swelled by out of work mercenaries and accused revolutionaries fleeing for their lives.

 

Common Tables

  1. First roll on Table I to find out the general category of scenario.  Make note of the lettered section that corresponds to the category as well as the items in brackets which refer to other common tables.
  2. Proceed to the lettered Goal Section and follow the instructions found there.
  3. Finally, assemble the pieces together into a quick adventure.

Table I provides several standard adventure types that are common in swashbuckling adventure.  GMs are encouraged to add additional tables to expand the selection.

Table II determines how the scenario will get kicked off.  This is the hook that will start the player characters going.

Tables III and Table IV contain the Victims and Foes that are involved in most of the scenarios.

 

Table I: Scenario Goal

1d10 Roll Scenario Goal

1

Rescue the [Victim] from the [Foe].   Section A

2

Recover the [Item] belonging to [Victim] from the [Foe]  Section B

3

Deliver the [Item] from [Victim] #1 to [Victim] #2 without being stopped by the [Foe]  Section C

4

Escort the [Victim] without being stopped by the [Foe]  Section D

5

Escort the prisoner and keep them from being rescued by the [Foe]   Section E

6

Get attacked by the [Foe]’s men   Section F

7

Interrupt an altercation between [Victim] and 1d10: 1-5 = another [Victim], 6-0 = a [Foe]  Section G

8

Locate and engage the [Foe]  Section H

9

Roll twice and combine

0

GMs own invention

 

Table II:  How the Scenario Begins

Roll on Table II(a) to determine which “How the Scenario Begins” table to use.  This currently has only 2 entries, but can be altered and expanded to accommodate additional Tables as needed.

Where a non specified individual is indicated on these tables, GMs may incorporate a character already involved in their campaign, or roll on Table III for their identity.

Table II(a): Which Scenario Introduction Table to Use?

1d10 Roll

Which Scenario Introduction Table to Use?

1-5

Roll on Table II(b)

6-0

Roll on Table II(c)

Table II(b): Scenario Introduction Table #1

1d10 Roll

How the Scenario Begins

1

A lad runs up on the street and delivers a message

2

Receive a mysterious letter containing instructions

3

Hired by someone at the Tavern on the Green

4

Summoned to Court to receive instructions from the King

5

Met by an agent in a dark alleyway

6

A desperate woman pleads for aid

7

Several thugs from the Shadow Guild apply pressure

8

A lady at a ball secretly asks for help

9

A desperate man has nowhere else to turn

0

GMs own invention

Table II(c): Scenario Introduction Table #2

1d10 Roll

How the Scenario Begins

1

Characters stumble into the event as its being perpetrated

2

Job is advertised for in one of the weekly broadsheets

3

An offer of a reward is posted

4

An exotic woman has an exciting tale to tell

5

A stranger tells a sad story of loss at the Tavern on the Green

6

Instructions are received from the leader of the character’s faction, a patron, or someone they are beholden to.

7

The characters are black mailed into it

8

A dying man begs the characters to complete the quest for him

9

The characters hear a rumor about the event and may volunteer to go themselves

0

GMs own invention

 

Table III: Who’s the Victim?

  1. Roll on Table III(a) to determine the social status of the Victim in question.
  2. Roll on Table III(b) to determine if the Victim in question is actually the individual listed on one of the subsequent tables, or a relative of such a person.
  3. Roll on one of Table III(c) to III(f) as directed by social status.

Table III(a): Social Status of the Victim

1d10 Roll

Social Status of Victim

1-3

Commoner – roll on table III(c)

4-6

Bourgeoisie - roll on table III(d)

7-9

Aristocracy - roll on table III(e)

0

Important named NPC – roll on table III(f)

Table III(b): Victim is the Individual or the Individual’s Relative

1d10 Roll Victim is:

1-6

The individual indicated

7-10

The individual’s…
1-2 Spouse
3-4 Daughter
5-6 Son
7 Father
8 Mother
9-10 Other

Table III(c): Who’s the Commoner Victim?

1d10 Roll

Who’s the Commoner Victim?

1

1-5 = An old farmer;  6-10 = A poor laborer

2

A young soldier

3

A pretty barmaid from the Tavern on the Green

4

A retired veteran soldier

5

A blind beggar

6

A woman of questionable morals

7

A faithful servant

8

A known thief / scallywag / or scoundrel

9

Someone the character knows

0

GMs own invention

Table III (d): Who’s the Bourgeoisie Victim?

1d10 Roll

Who’s the Bourgeoisie Victim?

1

A shopkeeper

2

A highly respected professional

3

A greedy banker

4

1-5 = A well to-do land lord; 6-7 = A hated slum lord

5

1-4 = A promising young officer, 5-7 = A revered veteran officer, 8-0 = An incompetent officer

6

1-4 = A beloved parish priest, 5-7 = a bumbling neophyte, 8-10 a corrupt but powerful clergyman

7

A gossiping busy body

8

A highly skilled and well know craftsman

9

Someone the character knows

0

GMs own invention

Table III (e):  Who’s the Aristocratic Victim?

1d10 Roll

Who’s the Aristocratic Victim?

1

One of the queen’s ladies in waiting

2

A high strung socialite

3

A visiting dignitary

4

One of the King’s important ministers

5

A high ranking member of the Cardinal’s Curia

6

A scorned black sheep of an important family

7

A debauched drunken nobleman

8

An eccentric old scion

9

Someone important to the character

0

GMs own invention

Table III (f):  Who’s the Named NPC?

Roll 1d10 to select the table

Table selection: 1-5

1d10 Roll

Who’s the named NPC?

1

The King!

2

The Queen!

3

The Cardinal!

4

Tomas de Morisco, The Grey Eminence and head of the inquisition

5

Colonel Treboné,The Captain of the King’s Guard!

6

Marshall duPaige, Commander of the Army

7

High Admiral Mirochal, Head of the Admiralty

8

Juliard, The Captain of the Cardinal’s Guard

9

Count de Grasy (an important noble with plans to lead a coup)

0

GMs own invention

 Table selection: 6-10

1d10 Roll

Who’s the name NPC?

1

One of the Gang of Four (famous friends and members of the King’s Guard)

 

   1-2: Alfredo, 3-4: Burgiss, 5-6: Charles, 7-8 Devon, 0: Roll for two

2

Del Trevaine (infamous rake, spy, and highwayman)

3

Father Donovan (Beloved parish priest and minister to the poor)

4

Beatrice (The Queen’s handmaid)

5

1-7: Armond le Forte (famous veteran and owner / bartender of The Tavern on the Green),   8-0: Pierre le Forte (Armond’s younger brother and legendary strong-man)

6

Rork, the leader of Rork’s Gang (a powerful bandit gang prowling the highways)

7

Hamlet (the Leader of the Shadow Guild)

8

The Harbor Master (the leader of the smugglers operating out of the port)

9

Someone Important to the Players

0

GMs own invention

 

Table IV:  Who’s the Foe?

  1. Either roll on Table IV (a) to determine which Foe list to Roll on, or
  2. The GM selects a Foe list based on the factional alliances of the characters.
  3. Roll on Table IV (b)-(d) as appropriate to determine the Foe.

Note: The implication of the choice of Foes table is that the adventure or mission favors the indicated faction, hence the Foe is someone against that faction.  If the characters are also against that faction (perhaps allied to the indicated Foe) then they may be in a position where they don’t want to take the mission.  The GM may feel free to choose a more appropriate Foe, or the GM may judge that the conflict is an interesting one.  The player characters may actually take the side of the Foe in the given adventure.

As the campaign develops the GM should feel free to add new Foes or even swap Foes between lists to reflect events of play.  The players may join or create their own faction with its own interests, and its own selection of Foes.  Other NPCs (like perhaps the Grey Eminence) may grow to greater importance in your campaign and warrant a Foe list unique to them.  These lists should get you started.

Table IV (a):  Which Foe List?

1d10 Roll

Which Foe List?

1-4

Foes of the King

5-7

Foes of the Cardinal

8-9

Foes of the Queen

0

Foes of the Bandits

 Table IV (b):  Foes of the King

1d10 Roll

Foes of the King

1

A group of bandits from Rork’s Gang

2

A new upstart bandit gang looking to make a name for themselves

3

Individuals believed to be connected with the Shadow Guild

4

Soldiers from La Roche (an enemy city) are behind it.

5

An ambitious noble looking to increase their power

6

An ordinary citizen motivated by greed.

7

Agents of the Cardinal or the Cardinal’s Guard overstepping their authority.

8

A plot by the Queen and her agents against the king’s wishes

9

One of the King’s own ministers looking for political leverage

0

GMs own invention, or – roll twice, it’s a conspiracy!

Table IV (c):  Foes of the Cardinal

1d10 Roll

Foes of the Cardinal

1

An enemy of the Crown.  Roll on the Foes of the King Table

2

A spy from La Roche (an enemy city)

3

A band of drunken trouble makers from the King’s Guard

4

A mob of rabble rousing commoners

5

An overzealous Grey Eminence interfering with one of the Cardinal’s plots

6

An idealist agitating for revolution and reform.

7

A schemer using revolutionaries as cover for his own plots

8

The King being petty and trying to thwart the Cardinal out of spite

9

A plot by the Queen and her agents against the Church

0

GMs own invention, or – roll twice, it’s a conspiracy!

Table IV (d):  Foes of the Queen

1d10 Roll

Foes of the Queen

1

A jilted ex lover

2

One of the King’s ministers looking to expose an impropriety

3

A radical revolutionary who thinks the Queen hasn’t done enough to help the cause.

4

The King trying to crack down on the Queen’s network of informants

5

The Cardinal attempting to thwart the Queen’s efforts to encourage the revolution.

6

The Grey Eminence rooting out heretical ideas supported by the Queen

7

A revolutionary leader whose agenda runs counter to the Queen

8

A courtier, engaged in their own petty intrigues, threatens the Queen’s agenda

9

A confidant of the Queen looking to betray her.

0

GMs own invention, or – roll twice, it’s a conspiracy!

Table IV (e): Foes of the Bandits

1d10 Roll

Foes of the Bandits

1

A company of the King’s soldiers

2

Agents of the Cardinal looking for leverage

3

A band of the King’s Guard

4

The Town Watch

5

Soldiers of La Roche

6

A weaker rival bandit gang trying to move in

7

A stronger rival bandit gang trying to push them out

8

A traitor in their own gang

9

An aggrieved citizen turned vigilante

0

GMs own invention, or – roll twice, it’s a conspiracy!

 

Table V: What’s the Item?

1d10 Roll

What’s the Item?

1

Documents:  1d10,  1-2 = A letter, 3-4 = Official documents, 5-6 = details of a plan, 7-8 = a confession, 9-0 = a map

2

A piece of jewelry

3

A token or favor (scarf, lock of “hair”, a cameo, etc)

4

A purse full of money

5

A wagon full of trade goods

6

An Item of exquisite craftsmanship:  1d10, 1-2 = a sword, 3-4 = a piece of furniture, 5-6 = a piece of art,  7-8 = a fine vintage, 9-10 = a tool or device

7

1-3 = Food Stuffs, 4-6 = Raw Materials,  7-8 = Finished Goods

8

A Body!  —  Roll on Table III to determine who.

9

1-3 = A family heirloom, 4-8 = A large quantity of gold 8-9 = roll again on this table, but the item rolled is a fake or decoy

0

GMs own invention

 

Section A.  Rescue the [Victim] from the [Foe] 

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is that needs rescued
  3. Roll on Table IV to determine who the Foe is who’s imprisoned the Victim
  4. Roll on Table A(1) to determine the Foe’s motive.

Table A(1):  Why were they taken prisoner?

1d10 Roll

Why were they taken prisoner?

1

Ransom

2

They’d previously wronged the Foe and now must pay

3

They know something about the Foe and need to be silenced

4

They know something the Foe wants to know

5

To gain leverage over someone more important

6

Bandits:The Victim will be made an example of for betraying / thwarting the gang.The King:The Victim is being held for trial on criminal chargesThe Cardinal:  The Victim is a revolutionary being interrogated to reveal his fellowsThe Queen:The Victim threatens to expose the Queen’s networkLa Roche: (roll 1d10): 1-4 The Victim is accused of spying for Auvernais, 5-6 The Victim has uncovered a La Roche plot and must be kept silent, 7-8 The Victim has information La Roche desires, 9-0 The Victim is being held to encourage the cooperation of someone more important

7

he Foe is mad with love for them or for a relative of theirs (Roll on Table III (b))

8

The continuation of an ongoing feud

9

They will be used for sport and amusement

0

GM’s own invention or re-roll plus roll on Table A (2): A Twist!

Table A(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

1-5 = The Victim is not who they seem, they are someone important in disguise.  6-7 = Plus, not even the Foe knows the truth.  Roll on Table III(f)

2

The Foe’s men are not working for the Foe.  They are actually double agents serving one of the character’s allies.  If the characters complete the mission they will actually be interfering with their own patron’s plans

3

The whole adventure is a sham.  An up and coming playwright staged the whole thing in order to realistically “capture the moment” for his next script.

4

The Victim was not kidnapped at all, they’re eloping (or being helped to elope)

5

The characters have been set up.  There’s no rescue.  It’s a trap!  (Table F)

6

The Victim isn’t so innocent.  The Foe has good reason to punish them.

7

If one of the characters has been after something, something they haven’t been able to get, the Foe can help them get it (either he has it himself or has information leading to it) if the characters let him go.  Otherwise re-roll

8

Too late!  The Victim has already been killed or otherwise disposed of.

9

It’s all been just a test.  Some powerful patron or potential patron wanted to test the characters’ ability and character.  The Victim didn’t really need rescued.

0

Upon rescuing the Victim the characters recognize them as someone highly wanted by one of their allies or patrons.

 

Section B.  Recover the [Item] belonging to [Victim] from the [Foe]

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is who needs an Item recovered
  3. Roll on Table IV to determine who the Foe is who’s got the Item
  4. Roll on Table V to determine what the Item is
  5. Roll on Table B(1) to determine why the Item is important.

Table B(1): Why is the Item important?

Roll 1d10

Why is the Item important?

1

It has great sentimental value

2

It’s worth a lot

3

It would be embarrassing to the Victim if it’s not retrieved

4

The Foe could use it to cause great harm

5

The Victim has great need of it

6

It actually belongs to someone else (roll on Table III(a) at +3 on the roll), and the Victim was responsible for it

7

It was a gift from someone important (roll on Table III(f))

8

It’s meant as a gift to someone important or someone the Victim loves (roll on Table III)

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table B(2)

0

GMs own invention

Table B(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

The Item was not stolen.  The Victim sold it to the Foe and now has had second thoughts and wants it back (but intends to keep the payment)

2

The Foe was either hired or forced to obtain the Item for one of the character’s allies or faction leader.  If the characters return it to the Victim they will be thwarting their own patron’s plan

3

The whole adventure is a sham.  There is no Item and nothing was stolen.  The Victim made the whole thing up to get attention.

4

The Item actually belongs to the Foe or someone who hired the Foe and the Victim had previously stolen it

5

The characters have been set up.  There’s no Item to recover.  It’s a trap!  (Roll on Table F)

6

The Victim is in debt to the Foe and the Foe collected the Item as payment on that debt.

7

The Item is something extremely valuable to one of the characters and the Foe offers it to them if the characters let him go.  If not appropriate, re-roll

8

Too late!  The Item has already been destroyed or sold or otherwise disposed of.

9

It’s all been just a test.  Some powerful patron or potential patron wanted to test the characters’ ability and character.

0

The Item has no value at all.  It was just the principal of the thing.  Upon retrieval the Victim simply throws the Item away.

 

Section C.  Deliver the [Item] from [Victim #1] to [Victim #2] without being stopped by the [Foe]

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is who needs an Item delivered
  3. Roll on Table III a second time to determine who to deliver the Item to
  4. Roll on Table IV to determine who’s trying to intercept the Item
  5. Roll on Table V to determine what the Item is
  6. Roll on Table C(1) to determine why the Item is important.
  7. Roll on Table U twice to determine the pick up and delivery Locations

Table C(1): Why does the Item need delivered?

Roll 1d10

Why does the Item need delivered?

1

It’s a gift between lovers

2

It’s being given as support to a less prosperous family member (arrange the two Victims so the more prosperous one is the deliverer)

3

Its payment on a debt

4

It was purchased and is now being delivered

5

Its payment for a ransom.   The second “Victim” is actually the hostage and payment is being made to the Foe.  1d10:  1-2 = the Foe will accept payment but demand more before delivering the hostage, 3-4 = the Foe will attempt to steal the payment before delivery, 5-6 a second Foe (roll on Table IV) will attempt to intercept the ransom, 7-0 = the hostage will be delivered as promised.

6

The recipient is the deliverer’s agent and needs the Item to perform a task

7

The Item is in danger in the current holder’s possession and is being delivered to someone to keep it safe

8

It’s a normal scheduled shipment

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table C(2)

0

GMs own invention

Table C(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

The Item was stolen, and the original owner wants it back.  Roll a second Foe on Table IV.

2

The Item was stolen from an ally or faction leader of the characters and they are delivering it to a party wishing to do their patron harm.  Roll on Table B(1) to determine why the Item was important to the patron substituting the patron for mentions of the Victim.

3

The whole adventure is a sham.  The Item is just a red herring to get the characters out of Auvernais while someone plots against them or their faction

4

The reason given in C(1) is a lie.  The Item was stolen and the thief is delivering it to be fenced.

5

The characters have been set up.  There’s no Victim to deliver the Item to.  It’s a trap!  (Roll on Table F)

6

The first Victim is supposed to deliver the Item, but doesn’t wish to.  They will attempt to intercept and steal it back.  Roll for a Foe (the Victim’s supporters) on Table IV

7

The Item is something extremely valuable to one of the characters who may be tempted to not deliver it. If not appropriate, re-roll

8

No delivery.  1d10:  1-2 = the recipient deems the Item insufficient and won’t accept it, 3-4 = someone else is at the delivery site claiming to be the recipient or accept it on their behalf, 5-6 = the recipient never showed up or wasn’t where they were supposed to be.  7-8 = the recipient was not at the delivery spot and there are signs of a violent struggle, 9-0 = the recipient was found dead at the delivery site.

9

It’s all been just a test.  Some powerful patron or potential patron wanted to test the characters’ ability and character.

0

The deliverer is supposed to be shipping the Item on the behalf of someone else (roll on Table III(a) with a +3 to the roll.  However he is betraying his employer and has given the character’s bad instructions.  They are delivering the Item to the wrong party (roll on Table III(a) to determine the right party), and the deliverer will attempt to frame them for the theft.

 

Section D.  Escort the [Victim] without being stopped by the [Foe]

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is who needs escorted
  3. Roll on Table IV to determine who the Foe is who’s trying to stop them
  4. Roll on Table D(1) to determine why the Victim is traveling
  5. Roll on Table U twice to determine the origin and destination locations.

Table D(1): Why is the Victim traveling?

Roll 1d10

Why is the Victim traveling?

1

They are racing to see their lover and need protection from those who would prevent or expose them.

2

They are an official courier of the king delivering important documents.  Roll on Table III(e) for the recipient, and the document entry of Table V for the document.

3

They are delivering something important and need an escort.  Follow steps 2,3 5 and 6 from Section C, only instead of making the delivery the characters are escorting the Victim who is making the delivery.

4

The Victim is a traveling merchant delivering goods .  For step 5 roll on table U once to determine the origin.  Then roll 1d10/2 more times to determine the number of destinations.  Add 1 scene to table S1 for each destination.

5

The Victim is revolutionary delivering coded messages to secret locations.  For step 5 follow the directions for the traveling merchant, #4 above.

6

The Victim is a tax collector for the king collecting taxes.  For step 5 follow the directions for the traveling merchant, #4 above.  Roll 1d10 for each destination, 1-2 = occupants are all gone, the place is deserted, the characters are ordered to find them and collect, 3-4 = roll for an Victim on Table III(a) with a -4 to the roll  that individual is unable to pay and the characters are ordered to collect, 5-6 roll for a Foe trying to steal the taxes, 7-0 the taxes are collected without a hitch.  On any roll of 1 through 4, roll on Table S(1) with the usual branching negative modifier for a scene branch.

7

They are going home and are afraid of bandits

8

The Victim is an aristocrat in disguise taking vacation.   For step 2 re-roll for the escort Victim on Table III(e)

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table D(2)

0

GMs own invention

Table D(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

1-5 = The Victim is not who they seem, they are someone important in disguise.  6-7 = Plus, not even the Foe knows the truth.  Roll on Table III(f)

2

Allies or a character’s faction leader is looking for the Victim.  If the characters complete the mission they are helping the Victim escape.  The Foe is in the employ or service of the ally attempting to recover the Victim.

3

The whole adventure is a sham.  The escort duty is just a red herring to get the characters out of Auvernais while someone plots against them or their faction

4

The reason given in D(1) is a lie.  The Victim is on the run and, unknown to them, the characters are helping them escape.

5

The characters have been set up.  The destination is a trap and the Victim is in on it.  (Roll on Table F)

6

The people at the destination actually want the Victim dead and will attempt to kill them after they arrive.  1d10:  1-2 = they try it upon arrival and try to kill the characters too,  3-4 = they wait for the characters to leave but the Victim escapes and runs to the characters for help, 5-6 = the Victim escapes and reports back to their important boss that the characters were in on the plot (roll on Table III(f), 7-0 they succeed, the Victim is killed and the characters hear about it later (roll on Table II to determine how).

7

Part way through, one of the characters recognizes the Victim as being either an enemy or someone important or related to an enemy and may be tempted to confront them. If not appropriate, re-roll

8

No delivery.  1d10:  1-2 = When they reach the destination the residents won’t let the Victim stay, 3-4 = someone else is at the delivery site whom the Victim doesn’t expect making them fearful and nervous, 5-6 = the parties the Victim was expecting to meet are all dead.  7-8 = the location the Victim was heading towards has been destroyed.  It is now in ruins, 9-0 = the Victim changes their mind and wants to go somewhere else. (Roll 1d10:  1-4 back to where they started, 6-10 roll on Table U. )

9

It’s all been just a test.  Some powerful patron or potential patron wanted to test the characters’ ability and character.

0

The reason given in D(1) is just a cover.  The characters are actually helping someone important to an ally or patron to escape danger.  However, they’ve been betrayed by someone in their own organization and are delivering him right into the hands of their enemy.  No doubt they’ll be framed for his death if he doesn’t survive.

 

Section E.  Escort the prisoner without them being rescued by the [Foe]

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table IV to determine which Foe the prisoner serves.  This Foe will attempt to rescue the prisoner.  The “enemy of” table is the power doing the “arresting”
  3. Roll on Table E(1) to determine how important the prisoner is
  4. Roll on Table E(2) to determine why the prisoner has been taken
  5. Roll on Table U once to determine where to pick the prisoner up.  The destination is the prison “le Maison de Serrures”

Table E(1): How important is the prisoner?

Roll 1d10

How Important is the prisoner?

1

A favorite sycophant

2

A servant

3

A new recruit

4

A hired mercenary

5

A common soldier or agent

6

A mid level subordinate

7

A personal assistant to the leader who knows many secrets

8

One of the leader’s most important agents

9

The leader’s most important lieutenant

0

It is the leader themself who is prisoner

Table E(2): Why has the Prisoner been taken?

Roll 1d10

Why has the Prisoner been taken?

1

They were caught with another man’s wife

2

They forged important documents.  Roll on the document entry of Table V.

3

They are a spy who stole important secret documents.  Roll on the document entry of Table V

4

They traffic in black market goods

5

They are accused of sabotage or arson

6

They are counterfeiters

7

They are accused of theft

8

They are accused of murder

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table B(2)

0

GMs own invention

Table E(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

1-7 = The prisoner is not who they seem, they are someone important in disguise caught in the midst of illicit activity.  The “Foe” is attempting to set them free before their identity is revealed.  8=0 = Plus, the “arresting” party knows and is trying to expose them. Roll on Table III(f), or choose an appropriate party based on the Foe.

2

The prisoner is an important agent of an ally or faction of the characters.  They are being entrusted to deliver the prisoner, but their patron expects them to help the prisoner escape.

3

The crime is a frame.  The prisoner is completely Victim but is being set up for political reasons.

4

The prisoner is actually a mole in the Foe’s organization.  Their “arrest” is meant to solidify their cover.  The characters are expected to allow any rescue attempt to succeed, but sell it in a convincing manner.

5

The characters have been set up.  A traitor has informed the Foe of the exact route and itinerary of the journey.  The Foe will strike in force at a weak point.

6

The people are taking matters into their own hands.  When the character’s arrive to pick up the prisoner: 1d10, 1-6 = the prisoner is in the midst of being lynched and needs to be rescued, 7-9 = the prisoner has already been lynched and is now dying, 0 = the prisoner is already dead.

7

One of the characters recognizes the prisoner as being: 1d10, 1-3 = a familiar acquaintance, 4-6 = a close friend, 7-9 = a hated enemy, 0 = a family member.

8

1d10:  1-2 = When they reach the origin the residents won’t release the prisoner – they are protecting him, 3-4 = The residents deliver a second unexpected prisoner for the characters to escort.  Roll on Table III  5-6 = there are additional guards waiting to help the characters escort the prisoner.  (Roll 1d10:  1-2 = they are legitimate, 3-4 they will run at the first sign of trouble, 5-0 they are plants who will help the prisoner escape),   7-8 = the prisoner has already escaped and needs to be tracked down first.   9-0 = the prisoner has already been rescued, the characters find their initial captors have been injured or killed.

9

The prisoner will use promises of money, power, favors, or some other thing important to a character to get the character to help him escape.  This is not surprising, but the twist is that the prisoner is a fake and the character’s reliability and loyalty are being tested.

0

When the prisoner is delivered to the prison, the warden will set them free.  1d10:  1-2 = the characters were escorting the wrong person, 3-4 = the charges have been dropped, 5-6 = the warden is being blackmailed by the Foe, 7-8 = the warden is working with the Foe, 9-0 = the prisoner is being paroled.

 

Section F.  Get attacked by the [Foe]’s men

  1. Do not Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure.  They’ll find out when they get attacked.
  2. Roll on Table IV to determine which Foe is attacking.  The GM may wish to chose an appropriate “Enemy of” table based on the PC’s own faction leanings.
  3. Roll on Table U once to determine where the PCs are when the attack happens.  If this is not a location that the characters would reasonably be at, reroll a whole new adventure starting with Table 1.  Ensure that at some point during this second adventure the characters will need to be at this location.  The attack occurs then, in the middle of and wholly unrelated to the second adventure.
  4. Roll on Table F(1) to determine why the Foe is attacking the characters.  If the Foe is one that the characters have clashed with before, then, instead of rolling, tie the justification for the attack back into a previous confrontation.
  5. Roll on Table F(2) to determine how the Foe attacks.
  6. Determine the strength of the Foe by the strength of the characters and how difficult an adventure the GM wishes to make this.
  7. There is no need to roll on Table S or T for Scenario Structure.  The scenario has no structure, it is a single fight scene.

Table F(1): Why is the Foe attacking?

Roll 1d10

Why is the Foe attacking?

1

One of the character’s lovers was important to one of the Foe.  1d10: 1-2 = Spouse, 3-4 = Sibling, 5-6 = Child, 7-8 = lover, 9 = unrequited lover, 0 = enemy.  Roll on Table E(1) to determine who among the Foe.

2

They believe the characters have important information.

3

To take their belongings

4

They were hired to kill them.  Roll on Table IV to determine who hired them.

5

Revenge

6

To keep the character’s busy while some other illicit activity is going on elsewhere.

7

To leave the characters broken and humiliated

8

They’re Foes, why do they need a reason?

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table F(3)

0

GMs own invention

Table F(2): How does the Foe attack?

Roll 1d10

How does the Foe attack?

1

An honorable challenge to a duel

2

A full frontal attack

3

Leaping from ambush

4

From a distance, sniping with muskets

5

Confronts them with a firing squad of muskets at close range

6

Disguised as part of the crowd

7

While the character(s) are:  1d10  1-2 = eating, 3-4 = sleeping, 5-6 = engaged in an amorous liaison, 7-8 = on duty, 9-0 = GM’s invention

8

With a knife in the back

9

With sabotage: 1d10  1-2 = setting off a bomb, 3-4 = crushed by a collapsing building unit, 5-6 = poison in the wine, 7-8 = trapped by arson, 9-0 = tampering with a carriage

0

GMs own invention

Table F(3): A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

The Foes are not who they seem.  They are disguised as another Foe (roll again on Table IV) in an attempt to attack one enemy while framing another for it.

2

The Foes are not who they seem. They are disguised as soldiers or agents of one of the character’s allies or faction in order to frame them and sow confusion.

3

The Foe made a mistake.  They actually meant to attack someone else.

4

The characters were alerted to the attack in advance and can plan for it as they wish.

5

The Foe actually wished to parley but an over eager subordinate launched an attack

6

The people in the location rise up and come to the character’s aid.

7

One of the characters recognizes someone among the Foes as being: 1d10, 1-3 = a familiar acquaintance, 4-6 = a close friend, 7-9 = a personal enemy unrelated to these Foes, 0 = a family member.

8

The people in the location rise up and seek to drive off everyone who is disturbing the peace.

9

The characters are aided or rescued by a mysterious stranger.

0

The characters are aided or rescued by a mysterious stranger who is a plant.  The entire attack was staged to allow the stranger to win the character’s trust and become a mole for the Foe.

 

Section G.  Interrupt an altercation between [Victim] and 1d10: 1-5 = another [Victim], 6-0 = a [Foe]

  1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
  2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is who is involved in the altercation.
  3. Roll 1d10 to determine who the second party is who is involved in the altercation.  1-5 = another Victim (roll again on Table III) 6-10 = a Foe (roll on Table IV).
  4. Roll on Table G(1) to determine what the altercation is about.
  5. There is no need to roll on Table S or T for Scenario Structure.  The scenario has no structure, it is a single fight scene.

Table G(1): What is the altercation about?

Roll 1d10

What is the altercation about?

1

They are competing for the same lover.

2

They are arguing over the rightful owner of an Item (Roll on Table V).

3

It’s a robbery

4

It’s a fight over an insult

5

The first party is out for revenge for what the second party did to them or their family (Roll on Table 3(b))

6

It’s a domestic dispute

7

The second party is collecting taxes (or protection money as appropriate)

8

The first party is accusing the second of a crime (roll on Table E(2).  The second party – roll 1d10:  1-3 = is innocent, 4-6 is Guilty, 7-8 = is innocent but is being framed, 9-0 = is guilty but is just an accessory, the real criminal is someone more important

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table G(3)

0

GMs own invention

Table G(2):  A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

The second party is not who they seem, they are someone important in disguise.  The first party is unaware of the truth.  Roll on Table III(f)

2

The party who is in the wrong is actually the – 1d10:  1-3 = servant, 4-6 = friend, 7-8 = relative, 9-0 = lover of someone important (Roll on Table III(f))

3

Regardless of the situation, both parties resent any interference and may well attack the characters together.

4

The altercation involved Shadow Guild business and the characters have made an enemy by their interference.   This may well lead to a future attack by Guild thugs.

5

The characters have been set up.  The altercation is a ruse.  It’s a trap! (Roll on Table F)

6

The wronged party is actually an enemy / rival of one of the characters.  They are in the right, but will the character actually aid them?

7

The altercation actually is about one of the characters.  The first party actually accused the character of the reason given in G(1) and the second party leapt to the character’s defense.

8

Too late!  One of the parties has been – 1d10:  1-5: Seriously injured, 6-10 Killed.

9

Its all been just a test.  Some powerful patron or potential patron wanted to test the characters’ ability and character.

0

If the characters interfere, one of the parties will bring formal court charges of assault against the characters and produce a number of witnesses against them.

 

Section H.  Locate and engage the [Foe]

  1. Do not Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure.  Instead roll on Table IV(a) to determine which major party the Foe is an enemy of.  The characters will be “requested” by this party to deal with the FoeRoll 1d10 to determine how the characters are engaged.  1-2 = summoned to a formal audience, 3-4 = a secret meeting, 5-6 = a secret meeting with an agent of the party, 7-8 = a letter with an official seal, 9-0 = a secret letter with no seal.
  2. Roll on Table U once to determine where the Foe is located.
  3. Roll on Table H(1) to determine why the Foe needs to be attacked.

Table H(1): What’s the Cassus Belli?

Roll 1d10

What’s the Cassus Belli?

1

The Foe killed someone important to the party (Roll on Table E(1) to determine who)

2

The Foe has acquired some sensitive information about the party and needs to be eliminated before it becomes known

3

It’s a periodic raid against a regular enemy

4

To capture someone important in the enemy hierarchy.  (Roll on Table A(1) to determine why)

5

The Foe has something important which the characters need to get without letting anyone discover who’s taken it (Roll on Table V and Table B(1) to determine the nature of the Item)

6

The Foe is building up strength for some major action and must be thwarted before they achieve it.

7

To prosecute a personal vendetta

8

They’re Foes, isn’t that reason enough to attack them?

9

Re-roll plus there’s a twist.  Roll on Table F(3)

0

GMs own invention

Table H(2): A Twist!

1d10 Roll

A Twist!

1

The Foes the characters are to attack have actually been lured to the location for a peaceful parley.  The characters – 1d10: 1-7 = don’t know this; 8-0 = have been informed of this.

2

The Foe is not who they were supposed to be.  The party has been bribed or blackmailed to attack them.  Reroll on Table IV using one of the other “enemy of” tables.  The first rolled Foe is who the party claims the characters are to attack.  The second rolled Foe is who they are actually attacking (who may not actually be enemies of the party attacking them.

3

The party – 1d10:  1-4 = made a mistake, 5-7 = were betrayed by an informant, 8-0 = were betrayed by one of their own trusted agents.  The group at the location is not the Foe the characters were told.  Reroll on Table IV to determine who they really are.  The characters proceeding to attack them may well cause a major incident.

4

The Foe was alerted to the attack in advance and are prepared to ambush the characters.

5

The Foe wishes to parley and surrender.  The characters were ordered to kill them.

6

People in the location rise up and come to the Foe’s aid against their aggressors.

7

One of the characters recognizes the Foes as being of a group or faction the character has been on friendly relations with.  Will the characters go through with the mission.

8

The town watch (or a patrol of soldiers if in the countryside) arrive to restore peace by attacking both sides.

9

The characters are aided or rescued by a mysterious stranger who – 1d10:  1-2 = reports back that the characters were incompetent and unable to complete their mission without aid, 3-4 = disappears without a trace, 5-6 = informs the characters that they now owe him their lives and he will be contacting them about how he expects them to return the favor.  7-8 = seems to be helping the characters, but really is helping to make sure their ultimate mission fails, 9-0 = becomes a fast and loyal ally.

0

The characters are given orders to leave no witnesses.  Roll 1d10 / 2 to determine the number of witnesses who see the character’s actions.  Roll on Table III for each to determine their identity.  The characters must decide how to deal with them.

 

Table U:  Location

Table U(1):  Which Location Table?

Roll 1d10

Which Location Table?

1-3

Roll on Table U(2):  Important City Locations

4-5

Roll on Table U(3):  Common City Locations

6-7

Roll on Table U(4):  Important Countryside Locations

8-10

Roll on Table U(5):  Common Countryside Locations

Table U(2): Important City Locations

Table Selection: 1-5

Roll 1d10

Important City Locations
                        1 The Palace:  1d10, 1 = private apartments, 2 = a salon, 3 = servants quarters, 4 = Hall of Mirrors, 5 = throne room, 6 = Gardens, 7 = Golden Pavilion, 8 = Ministers Office, 9 = Dining Room, 0 = The Royal Stables

2

The Prison “le Maison de Serrures”:  1d10, 1-2 = a guard tower, 3-4 = warden’s office, 5-6 = a prisoner’s cell, 7-8 = the yard, 9 = the torture chamber, 0 = court room

3

The Cathedral:  1d10, 1 = the crossing, 2-3 = the chapel, 4-5 = The Cardinal’s Guard Headquarters, 6-7 = the Plaza of Lights, 8 =  crypts, 9 = Cardinal’s Office, 0 = the steeple

4

A Bridge: 1d10, 1 = King’s Bridge, 2 = Queen’s Bridge, 3 = Cardinal’s Bridge, 4-5 = High Street Bridge, 6 = North Bridge, 7-8 = Dueling Bridge, 9-0 = Kissing Bridge.

5

The Royal Theatre: 1d10, 1-2 = lobby, 3-4 = balcony, 5-6 = stage, 7-8 = back stage, 9-0 = dressing room

6

The Carriage House:  1d10:  1-2 = Carriage House,  3-4 = Stables, 5-6 = Groom’s Office and quarters, 7-8 =  Lobby, 9-0 = Maintenance shed

7

The Triannon

8

The Opera House:

9

Universite du Roi

0

GM’s own invention

Table Selection: 6-10

Roll 1d10

Important City Locations
                        1 The War Department:  1d10, 1 = Navy Yards, 2-3 = Barracks, 4 = Parade Grounds, 5 = Admiralty Headquarters, 6 = Kings Guard’s Headquarters, 7 = Marshall DuPaige, 8 = Admiral Mirochal, 9 = The Arsenal, 0 = Another Officer

2

The East End:  1d10, 1-3 = Royal Library, 4-6 = Royal Museum, 7-8 = Church of the Holy Rest, 9-0 = Abbaye des Nonnes Blanches,

3

The Warrens:  1d10, 1-5 = Church of St. Michael, 6-7 = The Fight Pits, 8-0 = Taverne Brevage Noir

4

The Harbor / Warehouse District

5

The Row

6

The Clock Tower

7

The Green

8

Tavern on the Green

9

Café de l’Amour

Table U(3): Common City Locations

Roll 1d10

Common City Locations

1

A quiet Alley

2

A vender in the Clock Plaza

3

On board a ship

4

A private town home

5

A hotel in the Mansion District

6

A small apartment above a shop

7

A shop at Market Plaza

8

A craftsman in the Artisan District

9

Somewhere in the city sewers and utility tunnels

0

GM’s own invention

Table U(4): Important Countryside Locations

Roll 1d10

Countryside Locations

1

The Abbey of Montagne Noir

2

Fort Pierre

3

La Roche

4

The town of Vichy

5

A village captured by La Roche

6

A thriving Market Town 1-5 = Montrebec, 6-8 = Nivers, 9-0 = St. Claire

7

A prospering farming village

8

The royal game reserve

9

1d10 1-5 = Grouard, 6-10 = Dupre

0

GM’s own invention

Table U(5): Common Countryside Locations

Roll 1d10

Common Countryside Locations

1

A bandit camp

2

A remote farming village

3

A remote fishing village

4

A small fortified manor

5

A large fortified manor

6

A ruined village

7

Somewhere in the northern wilderness

8

Somewhere in the broken hills

9

A remote hunting lodge

0

GM’s own invention

 

Sample Scenario:  “A Simple Letter”

Generating the Scenario 

In the campaign where this scenario is to be used, the players are all playing character’s who are members of the King’s Guard.  They’ve been recently embroiled in some pretty heavy duty conspiracies which have now entered a bit of a lull.  The GM is looking for some lighter fair to add flavor to the character’s lives and remind the players of the fun and spontaneous nature of swashbuckling adventure.

Determine the Scenario Situation

  1. The first step is to determine the overall plot for the scenario.  We roll 1d10 on Table I and get a 3 which reads as follows (the words in brackets refer to other tables that we’ll need to roll on later).“Deliver the [Item] from [Victim] #1 to [Victim] #2 without being stopped by the [Foe]”.This result directs us to Section C of the Scenario Generator.  There we find 7 additional steps to generate this scenario.’
    1. Roll on Table II to determine how the characters find out about the adventure
    2. Roll on Table III to determine who the Victim is who needs an Item delivered
    3. Roll on Table III a second time to determine who to deliver the Item to
    4. Roll on Table IV to determine who’s trying to intercept the Item
    5. Roll on Table V to determine what the Item is
    6. Roll on Table C(1) to determine why the Item is important.
    7. Roll on Table U twice to determine the pick up and delivery Locations
  2. The next step is to determine how the scenario begins.  This is the set of circumstances under which the player robots will be introduced to the situation and which will trigger their programmed response to participate in it.  We roll on Table II and get first a 3 and then a 9 which reads: “A desperate man has nowhere else to turn”
  3. We then must roll twice on the “Victims” table, Table III, as noted above.  Rolling a 3 on Table III(a) we find this person is a commoner.  Then rolling a 4 on Table III(b) tells us we are dealing with the person themselves.  A final roll of 7 on Table III(c) for commoners gives us the identity of Victim #1.Victim #1 is “A faithful servant”The second roll also starts on Table III(a).  A roll of 4 tells us this person is a member of the bourgeoisie.  A roll of 7 followed by a 4 on Table III(b) tells us we are not dealing with the named individual but rather their daughter.  A final roll of 3 on Table III(d) gives us a greedy banker.Victim #2 is “The daughter of a greedy banker”
  4. 4) We then roll for the foe on Table IV getting first a 2 telling us we’re dealing with enemies of the King.  We then roll a 7 which tells us our foe for this scenario will be:“The Cardinal’s Guard overstepping their authority”
  5. Next we roll on Table V to determine what the item is to be delivered and on Table C to determine the reason for the delivery.  On Table V we get a 1 then a 2 and on Table C we get another 1.The item is “A Letter”And it’s a “Gift between Lovers”
  6. Finally, the instructions for this plot tell us to roll twice on Table U to determine the location to start from and the location to deliver the item to.  Our first roll gets us a 3 then a 4 which is“Common City Location:  A Private Town Home”However, we’re starting to get a good idea for where this scenario is going so rather than rolling a second time we select the delivery location to be:“Important City Location:  The Kissing Bridge”

That’s it for the first part of the generator setting up the general situation.  What we’ve wound up with is:

“A desperate man with nowhere else to turn seeks the PC’s help to deliver a letter from a faithful servant at a private town home to his lover at the Kissing Bridge.”  At some point the players will run afoul of overzealous Cardinal’s guards seeking to thwart them.

Determine the Scenario Structure

Since we’re looking for a simple scenario to fill some time within a larger campaign we choose to keep the adventure short, envisioning just three straight forward scenes: getting the mission from the desperate man, traveling from the private town home to the Kissing Bridge, and the encounter with the Cardinal’s Guards.  Anything else can be adlibbed during play.

Putting it all together

From all of these elements we now set about putting together our scenario.  We don’t want to get very convoluted, so the easiest thing to do is have the first scene start with our first location, the private town home; and the last scene be at our delivery location, the Kissing Bridge.

From there we know that the first scene must involve meeting the desperate man who needs the characters’ help and one of the scenes must include an encounter with our foe, the Cardinal’s Guard.

So, step one in our thought process is to conceive of a situation that would get our characters to a private town home.  Since it’s a simple scenario we’ll want all of the characters together throughout so we decide on an obvious possibility, a party.  One of the characters will have been invited to a party at the salon of a well known bourgeois hostess.  The rest of the characters will have come along for a suitable reason.

To keep things basic we’ll make the desperate man the same fellow as the faithful servant.  It seems obvious and easiest for the man to be the servant of the hostess of the party.  He needs a letter delivered which is a gift between lovers.  There could be all sorts of complications here involving third parties and mysterious callers, but for our purposes it seems simplest to simply have the letter be a love letter from the servant to his amour the banker’s daughter.

That leaves only deciding why the man is desperate to solicit the character’s aid in delivering the letter, why it would be delivered to the Kissing Bridge, and why the Cardinal’s Guard should be involved?

With no great stretch of creativity we come up with the following:  The man had set a rendezvous with his amour for this evening at the Kissing Bridge.  She will be waiting there for him.  But unfortunately the lady of the house decided to throw an unexpected party for the same evening and in the rush to prepare for it he was unable to get word to her to postpone the appointment.  The hour of their meeting is drawing near, he has no way to get out of his duties in time, and so he has written a letter pleading forgiveness and offering assurances of his devotion; he desperately needs someone to deliver it to her.  This is straightforward enough.  A simple hook certain to stir a response in chivalrous characters.

The Cardinal’s Guard are a bit more of a stretch, but we hit on the simple expediency of making them thuggish and drunk, prowling the streets looking for excitement and easy women of loose morals.  Unfortunately they’ve encountered our young and innocent banker’s daughter while she waits eagerly and nervously for her lover to call on her, all alone on the Kissing Bridge at night.  A perfect set up for heroic King’s Guards to prove their metal.

It could be enough to just let the PC’s simply leave the party and immediately cut to the Kissing Bridge, but that doesn’t really capture the sense of urgency of the desperate servant running out of time to notify his amour.  Plus, the scenario might be too short to fill the session, so we decide that since the servant is late and the lady is waiting for him what better transition then a race through the streets of the city to get there on time.

Done and Done.  With that situation well established we set about writing up the details of our scenario.  We’ll come up with some names for guests at the party and make note of some topics of conversation to keep the social interaction interesting.  We’ll reincorporate a character or two the PC’s know into the party mix to make things feel grounded. Then we’ll work up some stats for the Cardinals Guard.  Finally we’ll draw up a route to the Kissing Bridge and come up with some interesting obstacles to make the race fun and challenging and we’ll be off to the races.