View Full Version : [D20 Past] 17th century Darklands-style adventure. Feedback please!

2009-09-18, 04:47 PM
Hello there fellow Playgrounders!

I'm GM:ing a kind of oneshot adventure set in Bavaria during the Thirty Years' War with a little thematic feel borrowed from the DOS-game Darklands, a game where the player leads a group of adventurers in a quest for gold and glory battling cultists, demons, gargoyles and witches among other foes while praying to the saints for aid and the alchemists craft miraculous potions.

So the setting is kind of a 17th century Germany where most of the myths people believed in are actually real. E.g. there's actually woodmen and ogres lurking in the forest, priests perform miracles (i.e. magic exists) and angels and devils battle for the peoples' souls.
The PCs are a diverse group of acquaintances who've bonded together to find fame and fortune.
One rumour leads them to a young count whose father has just died in the war and left considerable gaps in the new count's staff. Such a person might just have the need for wandering adventurers.

It seems that one of the vassals has refused his summons to the new count, citing illness, his advanced age and the hot weather as the reasons.
The count is concerned and asks the adventurers to survey the situation at the vassal's holdings.

As the heroes travel further into the vassal's lands, it becomes more and more sinister. A cursed bridge built by a devil, a werewolf preying upon a village, overly oppressive nobles and bandits stalking the land.
When they reach the vassal's village however, all seems normal. The villagers are not very talkative to strangers, in these dark times few are, but they should manage to find room and board in a Gasthaus or a residence.

Of course, all is not as it seems. The truth is that the lord is a longtime satanist, who is hosting the witches' Sabbat where plans to enact a ritual to summon a host of fiends capable of laying waste to the entirety of Bavaria and taking the battle for souls to a murderous peak, establishing himself as a Rider of the Apocalypse.
The only obstacles being his mainly Christian subjects, his far-off liege and their other betters, and a small rag-tag group of worried well-meaning mercenaries.

At least, that's just my notes. Thought I'd share it here to get some feedback and ideas for placenames and such. I'm not that great at German 17th century history or geography either :smallredface:
I intend to run this in two, pretty much day-long, sessions.
And what I know is mostly comprised of reading Wikipedia-articles, I've never been in Bavaria for instance.

Thanks in advance, I'll be welcome to answer if any questions arise.

Human Paragon 3
2009-09-18, 05:23 PM
This sounds really cool!

I might suggest lowering the stakes a bit. The raising of all of Bavaria by satanists feels a bit... over dramatic. If I were running it, I would probably have the evil lord attempting a faustus-like demon summoning, offering up the souls of the people in and around his village in exchange for a demon servant like Mephistopheles, a supernatural creature with near-ominipotent power. With Mephisto at his side, nothing will stand in the way of his uniting all of Germany and becoming its king. And from there, well, who wants an evil prick like that in charge?

As for locations, I suggest getting a map of the region and taking the place names directly from it.

2009-09-18, 06:17 PM
Haha yeah, it is kind of over the top. It usually goes well with my players though (who are a bit silly and theatrical), but I think I'll take your advice.
Kind of makes sense to get a demon for an advisor or something instead of just DEMON SMASH :smalltongue:

By the way do any of you know know about German myths and fantastical creatures? There's only so much I can mine from Darklands.
Because if my friends wants this continuing into a campaign, I'd love to hear what kind of memorable encounters you've had when your characters were out in the wilds and such.
Since I've pretty much kept all my adventures to cities or modern day so uh, yeah...