Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Melonath Falls Rumors

 Last summer I wrote an AD&D adventure (actually an extract from a larger work-in-progress) called "Melonath Falls" and submitted it to Prince of Nothing's "No Artpunk" Contest where it ultimately placed as the runner-up and is now available for purchase (only as a pdf, alas) with the proceeds going to charity (for the time being - eventually it will become a free download instead, but don't wait for that). I wrote the adventure quickly and didn't get a chance to playtest it prior to submission - what I submitted is effectively a first draft - but since Prince liked it I let him publish it more-or-less as-is 

Not everybody liked it as well as he did, and one of the complaints was that I didn't provide enough aids to make it easy to run. In an attempt to rectify that (and as an aid to myself because I might finally be running it myself sometime soon) I came up with and am presenting here a table of rumors to help get a party of adventurers oriented and provide a bit more info about the place and inhabitants before they get dropped into the deep end.  

The "core" hook for the adventure is that the PCs have been adventuring (or otherwise spending time) in the town of Warnell and have learned from the locals about Melonath Falls, a spectacular 400' tall waterfall in the forest about a day's travel north of town and famous local landmark. In addition to being a spectacular sight in itself there are also known to be caves behind the falls and it has come to the party's attention that a band of "blue goblin" bandits who have been causing trouble in the area (attacking merchants and travelers along the river) have established a base there. So the party has either decided on their own or been sent by the government of Warnell (as suits the circumstances of the campaign) to scout and explore the area, see what the blue goblins are up to and what their strength is, and to hopefully put an end to their depredations and even recover some of the stolen trade goods if possible.

Beyond that, each PC gets one roll on the following table. It's likely multiple PCs will hear the same rumor (though the DM is free to make minor alterations to obscure this, if desired) and they can share their info with the other players or keep it to themselves. Spending an evening bar-hopping (and 10-60 g.p. on drinks and tips) allows another roll, but only if the players specifically ask about the possibility (don't volunteer it).

Roll 2d6 (-1 for Lower SEC characters; +1 for Upper SEC characters)

2 (or -) Within the highest cave behind the falls is a shrine to a forgotten river god (T)

3 The tribe of blue goblins dwelling in the caves behind the falls are particularly favored by their patron rat-god (T)

4 A giant catfish dwells in the pool beneath the falls (T)

5 The blue goblins in the caves behind the falls are led by a human magic-user (F)

6 The caves behind the falls are all connected to each other via secret passages (B)

7 There are multiple caves behind the falls, including at least one underwater cave (T)

8 Blue goblins are behind the local lotus blossom smuggling ring (B)

9 The blue goblin bandits are in league with a local wine merchant who is siccing them on his competitors in order to corner the local market (F)

10 The blue goblins are magic-resistant due to eating fungi that grow in the caves (F)

11 The blue goblins in the caves behind the falls are allied with a gang of rat-people (T)

12 (or +) Boss Bowlton’s [i.e. the lord-mayor of Warnell] missing daughter was kidnapped by blue goblins (B)

T = rumor is true

F = rumor is false

B = rumor is partially true but also contains a substantial false component

1 comment:

  1. This module may have more support than you think. If you extract Bryce's "idee fixe" about usability (that somehow doesn't involve playtesting), I think that is a pretty positive review. If I had a criticism about layout, it would be small type, and a lack of illustrations to break up the text, inspire the referee. The former could be adjusted; the latter awaits an artist with more talent than opportunities to get in touch. In format, it is close to TSR classics, and that format still works e.g. Pod Caverns of the Sinister Shroom.