The Marseille Conundrum (adventure)

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The Marseille Conundrum (adventure)
« on: August 29, 2014, 09:44:07 AM »

I've written a scenario for Dungeon World that is a bit out of the ordinary; it takes place in an alternate version of Europe in the 1300s, and the PCs are knight templars - that is, if the templars were an order that had to eradicate real evil.

Take a look at the first few paragraphs and let me know if this could work as a Dungeon World adventure. There's much more - the adventure is more or less finished, so if you need more, let me know and I'll paste the rest here.

Here we go!

The Marseille Conundrum
A Dungeon World scenario

“...And there shall be Two Suns in the Heavens; one white, one black. Together they are the sign from God that it is Time for Man to take to his Potential; to reach towards the Black Sun and embrace the Powers that are His, God-given or otherwise....”
- From The Two Suns in the Sunset, by Damian De Lamierre, 1299 AD.

The Pitch
   In the fall of 1309 AD, rumours of the collapse of several cities in southern Europe begin to surface in the city of Paris, one of the strongholds of the Templar Order. Refugees tell stories of an evil presence capable of destroying entire cities. Most of these rumours concern the city of Marseille; it appears to be under attack by unknown, superior forces.

   The characters are experienced and powerful heroes, loosely or directly connected to the Templars. They’re tasked with infiltrating the city of Marseilles to find the truth behind the collapse and stop its destruction.
This scenario is meant to introduce you to an alternate Earth where abhorrent entities from beyond the universe we know spread corruption and chaos that threaten human civilisation. Mysterious, powerful orbs with different properties have appeared all over the world, and they emit a constant supernatural energy that corrupts and deforms the human mind and body.

When an orb is left to its own devices, it can have horrific consequences. People around them tend to go insane with an unquenchable thirst for blood, or worse; orbs can transform people into grotesque creatures resembling the stuff of nightmares.
Everything supernatural comes from these orbs. They serve as sources of energy for the few who learn to control it. The PCs all have this ability, and they draw on the orbs to perform superhuman feats. However, this comes with the constant threat of overusing these powers and become slaves of the orbs, doomed to roam the world as mindless creatures of havok.

The Who’s Who of the story
Two major factions exist in Europe in the 1300s; The Order of the Knight Templars and the cult of the Black Sun. The Order is hell bent on destroying the source of the evil - the mysterious multi-dimensional orbs that are hidden all over Europe in mountain caves, deep seas and buried in fields and forests.

The cult of the Black Sun take their name from a pitch black orb floating in the air, giving the illusion that it is much farther away than it is, which causes people to think of it as a second sun.

The cult wants to destroy the Templars and let evil reign over the world. They are fanatical and spare none to get what they want. The cultists are a mix of insane savages, level-headed opportunists and truly powerful wizards who draw their powers from the orbs. Few cultists know the secret of the orbs; they are portals to a dimension where their vile creators dwell, intent on invading Earth and enslaving everyone.

Getting started with the game
If you're a player, you can go directly to Appendix I and choose your PC. Do not read the GM section. If you are the GM, keep reading.I will be addressing this book to you, the game master, because you will need the most information, while the players simply have to choose one of the pre-gen PCs.

The core of this scenario is the destruction and invasion of Marseille in the south of what is now France. The PCs are ordered by the Order of the Knight Templars to find out what happened and destroy any evil that might be involved.

So what really happened?
   The Black Sun Cult has taken control of the city by using the powers of a nearby orb that can control people's’ minds and memories, basically making them helpless and easy to control. The Cult has also managed to lure a Leviathan into the city to crush its defences; it still roams the streets aimlessly, going into fits of rage and destroying the buildings with its mighty claws. The leviathan is huge; at least 30 meters tall, dragging a long tail behind it. It is fast and its jaws can break steel and stone with ease. Do not feed the leviathan.
   The reason for the invasion is to create a base for the Cult where they can conduct their evil rituals, use their orbs for obscene purposes and launch attacks on Templar Knight strongholds. The population of Marseille are both like cattle and expendable soldiers; they can be told anything and believe it, making them easy to manipulate. The hold over them is not completely unbreakable; PCs with mental or social abilities can successfully free them.

What’s the plan?
   The goal of the PCs is to sneak into Marseille to find out what has happened to the city. The Templars suspect Black Sun Cult activity, but can’t be sure. The leviathan is a surprise; the players better run like hell when they see it. In the end, the PCs need to destroy the orb that lets the Cult control the people of Marseille and find a way to stop the Leviathan before it does too much damage or kills the group.
   This adventure can function like a starting point for more adventures. If the group likes the idea of hunting down evil cultists and destroying orbs from another dimension, this game is for you.
   The following chapters describe the events and encounters of the adventure. You can change the sequence of events the way you prefer. The players are free to do what they want, and as the GM, you can add your own material and details to the story.

...and then the 6-7 chapters that describe the group's adventure in Marseille follows. Any comments, feedback and criticism is more than welcome!

« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 09:52:24 AM by wingsofwax »