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2018 IRON DM Tournament


A Scenario for the Delta Green RPG

High Toll
Time Bomb
Affluent Panhandler
Phobic Medusa
Indignant Retort
Dirty Secret
Pure Sample


Agent Todd King has been undercover in Hobb’s End, NH. Three months ago, after a fatal car accident, a routine autopsy showed traces of Deep One DNA in the corpse. The deceased was Hector Miranda, a local HVAC contractor. Agent King has been investigating to see if Miranda was an anomaly, or if there is something more going on. Three days ago, King’s case officer requested a progress report. Agent King replied with the following:

Progress? There’s no such thing. Not for us anyway. There’s inevitability…that’s a kind of progress. I know that now. But it’s not for us. I know that because you sent me here. And now you ask for progress? <Expletive deleted> you.

The Agents are sent in to find out what’s happened to King, and to uncover the source of the Deep One presence. If possible, King should be taken into custody to be questioned and debriefed. If not possible, then he needs to be sanctioned. Any trace of what he’s done or what he’s found out needs to be cleaned. The same is true of the entire town; it would be ideal if the threat can be neutralized, but if not…then any measure taken to contain the threat is authorized.

Handler’s Notes

The scenario takes place in the modern era and begins with the Agents in transit to Hobb’s End, a small town along the Atlantic Coast in New Hampshire, south of Portsmouth. The Agents can be familiar with one another or this can be their first meeting. Of the situation in Hobb’s End, they know the information in the briefing above, and also the address at which King has been staying.

The truth of the matter is that a research facility has been infiltrated by a mad worshipper of Dagon. Maritime Laboratories is devoted to oceanic research with medical applications, and Dr. Eric Sayer is one of their primary biologists. He discovered a strange type of jellyfish, a type never before seen. He knew this was a gift from Dagon. The creature seemed to instill fear in the other scientists at Maritime, and they urged Sayer to end his research. He did not. He discovered and caught more of the creatures, immune to the horror that they instilled in his weak coworkers. Sayer dubbed the species the Dread Virago. He performed his studies in secret, and soon discovered that a poison secreted by the Dread Virago could mutate a human subject, eventually turning them into a Deep One. He tested this on himself, and then on many others, including Hector Miranda.

Agent King had traced Miranda’s activity back to Maritime Labs, and then managed to get inside and get a sense of what’s been going on. He even managed to procure one of the Dread Virago, but handling the thing has subjected him to its poison; his mind has broken and he’s begun the transformation into a Deep One.

Local Law Enforcement

The Agents can use their credentials to request information from the local police. They can ask about strange behavior, or the accident that killed Hector Miranda, or the whereabouts of Todd King (if they know he’s missing; see below). Bureaucracy and/or Persuade rolls may be needed to convince the police to share information. If successful, they can learn that there has been a growing number of incidents about town, minor fights and the like, most of which have been classified as drunken disorderly behavior. The Agents can also learn that there’s no clear reason for Hector Miranda’s accident, so it’s assumed he fell asleep at the wheel (in truth he’s gone mad and crashed in a paranoid fit). Miranda made most of his money on local contracts with a few businesses; he worked for the police, and a few other places, notably Maritime Labs. Finally, the Agents can learn that a homeless man fitting the description of Todd King has been loitering in Cort Park, near the center of town. He’s been begging and muttering about the end of days.

The Apartment

The Agents will likely go to King’s apartment. When they go up to the room, no one answers, so they need to break in. The apartment is a disaster, and it’s clear that no one’s been there for at least a few days. There’s a stench that is nearly unbearable, like rotting fish on a hot day. The Agents have to search through the mess in order to discover anything more. You can use the information scattered about King’s room as potential leads for future scenarios. Among the many spiral-bound notebooks, they discover clues to what’s been going on. Specifically, King makes a connection between Miranda and Dr. Sayer and also references Maritime Labs as the source. The Agents find plastic explosives rigged with a timer in a toolbox labeled “Last Resort” under his bed. It seems that Agent King was ready to take matters to the extreme, before whatever happened to him. Finally, they also find the source of the smell; in the bathtub, swimming around in dirty water, is a Dread Virago. It appears like an upside down jellyfish; its tentacles don’t trail behind it, but rather protrude ahead. They writhe and appear to end in small, fanged mouths. The creature lights up with a sickly yellow bioluminescence once anyone enters the bathroom. Each Agent that sees the creature is gripped by a powerful fear, and must make a Sanity roll, with a loss of 0/1D4. The Dread Virago will attack anyone that attempts to remove it from the tub or otherwise harm it.

Cort Park

After speaking with the police, the Agents may head to Cort Park to look for King. If so, they find him there after dark. He holds a coffee cup on his knee, a duffel bag on the bench beside him. At his feet is a piece of cardboard, with the words “None of it matters” scrawled in marker. If the Agents don’t sneak up on him, then he sees them and panics, grabbing his bag and trying to flee. If surrounded or cut off, he starts ranting at them. The Dread Virago’s poison has left him a paranoid mess. He says he thought if he got a pure specimen, the damage could be undone. But that’s not true. There’s nothing pure anymore. Maritime has just opened his eyes, and Delta Green’s just as much a part of the problem as any of the things they hunt. Finally, he pulls a fire axe from his backpack and attacks the nearest Agent. Treat him as a Lesser Deep One for combat purposes. The Agents can try and detain him, but it will be difficult. If they kill him, they’ll have to try and conceal the body, and their involvement, before the police arrive.

Maritime Labs

After examining King’s apartment, the Agents are likely to head to Maritime Labs. How this plays out will depend on how they go about it. If they go in the daytime and use their credentials, they’re met with cooperation by the facilities manager. He gladly brings them to Dr. Sayer, who’s in his lab observing a large Dread Virago in a tank; his very first specimen, he calls it. There are other tanks with smaller creatures, as well. Unfortunately, the facilities manager and several staff members have all been mutated and will do Sayer’s bidding. The Agents could have a potentially deadly fight on their hands in this case; use Lesser Deep One stats for Sayer and his henchmen. If the Agents infiltrate the facility at night, they find Dr. Sayer working in his lab, with only one mutated staff member present. If confronted, Sayer explains how Dagon has spoken to him, and has sent him as the catalyst that will change mankind. He threatens the Agents, saying that they’ll soon see things as he does. The Agents will have to deal with Sayer and his mutated underling. Once they do, they must also deal with the Dread Virago, and with how to clean up the situation.


If the Agents eliminate Dr. Sayer and the afflicted staff members, the job is half done. They’ll also need to erase any and all evidence of his work and of the Dread Viragos’ existence. Doing so will require successful Science, Computer Science, or Forensic rolls. Of course, with a successful Demolitions roll they could easily set up King’s bomb and take care of everything at once. It’s a bit messy in the eyes of the Program, but effective.

All that remains at this point is to track down any remaining mutates, and to have research teams comb the coastline for signs of any more Dread Viragos. The Program can take care of that.

If the Agents saved Dr. Sayer’s first specimen, then there’s the possibility that a cure can be crafted from the Dread Virago. If King is still alive, there may be hope that he can recover.

If the Agents fail, then the Program will have to resort to a more heavy handed measure. As implied in the Briefing, if the threat’s not removed, then in a few days there will be headlines about a massive gas main explosion that destroyed most of the town, killing thousands.

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High Toll
Time Bomb
Affluent Panhandler
Phobic Medusa
Indignant Retort
Dirty Secret
Pure Sample

Morality Index​

A science fiction adventure​

The Job
A discrete communication arrives from DelphiCorp. They installed an experimental guardian android aboard a passenger starship called Seriphus. One month ago, the ship went dark. DelphiCorp is concerned about their proprietary technology falling into the hands of salvagers. They want the PCs to find Seriphus, get on board, and download a copy of the guardian's core code for analysis. To aid with that, they have provided the guardian's default deactivation tone; a high-pitched toll of a bell.

DelphiCorp is a high-profile company, and conducting their own salvage operation would risk bad publicity about their guardian program. They want to keep things quiet, and will pay a bonus if the PCs conduct the mission with discretion. To avoid salvagers getting their hands on their proprietary technology, DelphiCorp wants the PCs to set the ship's self-destruct sequence before they leave.

The Approach
DelphiCorp has contracted a shuttle and pilot for the PCs. The pilot is a young woman named Cassily, who has an ulterior motive for accepting this job. During the journey out to Jupiter, she will confide that her cousin Marek was on board Seriphus, and she's hoping to find him alive. Or at least to find out what happened to him.

Seriphus was passing Jupiter at the moment of last contact. The PCs will find the ship in orbit around Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons, whose magnetic field helps mask the ship's signature. The ship looks intact, but it's running on low power. The exterior airlock is accessible, and the PCs have no trouble gaining entry.

The corridors of Seriphus are cold and dark, lit only with emergency lighting. Scattered through the halls are the petrified, calcified remains of the crew. They are fragile; if bumped, they will disintegrate into chalk and dust.

Quarters - The recreation area has a series of tables, and seated at one is Binjun - a disheveled man wearing six coats he stole from deceased crew members. He was brought on board Seriphus after they came across his crippled shuttle.

"You had to go cock things up by showing up, didn'tcha?" he calls by way of rude greeting. "Bloody idiots."

Binjun has been stealing clothing from all the other cabins, and is wearing every article he can fit. He's never owned so many clothes, and it has given him an inflated sense of status. He doesn't seem at all bothered by what happened on the ship. He will join the PCs, insisting that they owe him some credits to help him transition, now that they've screwed up the good thing he had going here.

The PCs will surely ask how he survived the attack, or what happened. Binjun has no idea; he was passed out from drink at the time. When he woke up, everyone was petrified.

If the PCs check the other crew cabins, they have been thoroughly looted.

Bridge - Seriphus' flight systems and engines are offline. The captain and three other crew members are petrified in their seats. Systems can be re-engaged here, if they have power routed to them from engineering. The ship's log notes that DelphiCorp installed their guardian before the voyage, and they did not note any erratic behavior. There is also has an entry about rescuing Binjun, which confirms his story.

The ship's self-destruct sequence can be activated here, but only if Medusa is offline.

Engineering - The reactor is in low-power mode; it will continue for centuries at this rate. Power can be routed to systems here. Marek is one of the petrified crew here. There is an access point for maintenance tubes that run the length of the ship to the AI Core.

AI Core - The door to the core is locked and magnetically shielded; any explosion strong enough to open it will destroy what's inside. Medusa will retreat back to the core if she feels threatened, and she can unlock or lock the door from anywhere on Seriphus. The maintenance access is locked, but not shielded.

Medusa was designed and developed by DelphiCorp as a combat android. Made of durable materials and shaped like a human female, each model has twenty serpentine camera drones, 30 cm long and able to snake into tight quarters to provide reconnaissance. When not in use, the drones socket into Medusa's head to recharge. Each drone has the capability to emit a blast of energized UV light that can petrify a target; a reliable way to stop a variety of threats.

There is no reason why a passenger ship like Seriphus needed an experimental military-grade combat android as a guardian. DelphiCorp was on contract to provide a non-lethal enforcer. One of the executives at DelphiCorp decided that Medusa needed a field test, so they pushed a few things through so they could install her and gather valuable data. The installation was a mess, however; the techs calibrated her fear levels poorly, leading to a cascade reaction the first time she encountered any sort of conflict on the journey. When her threat response was triggered, she petrified the entire crew.

As for Binjun, he was so harmless, sleeping in the rec area, that he didn't register as a threat. Following the incident, Medusa regained her calm, and has not had any further cascade reactions.

The PCs will have some time to explore Seriphus and begin to untangle what transpired. Medusa will send her serpentine drones to keep eyes on the PCs, but she is afraid to confront them. Initially, she will not instigate conflict.

Medusa has a fast ramp-up from calm to full-blown panic. The following actions will spur her to lash out in fear:
  • Any discussion about getting a sample of Medusa's code
  • Any discussion about taking over the ship
  • Approaching the AI Core
  • Bringing ship systems back online

Once she is forced to take action, her serpentine drones attempt to petrify the PCs. She will seal the exterior hatch so the PCs cannot escape; she fears that they will return with reinforcements if she fails to kill them.

The serpentine drones have a distinct hum as they float through the air, and their visual targeting takes a few seconds to lock on. They are not hard to take down if the PCs are careful. Should the PCs destroy 10 of her serpentine drones, Medusa will activate the ship's self-destruct sequence. The PCs will have 30 minutes before Seriphus is destroyed.

Medusa's fear can be used against her. She is quick to send drones to investigate any disturbance. It is possible to destroy, disable, or trap them, limiting the number she can deploy. She will always hold back her final four to help guard her in the AI Core. If she hears the PCs talk about the deactivation chime, she will disengage her audio pickup, including on her drones.

Getting The Code
The only way to get the sample of Medusa's code is to access her main data bank in the AI Core. The closer the PCs get to the core, the fiercer Medusa's defenses will be. She will confront the PCs directly inside; she is a dangerous combatant up close, and will have held at least four serpentine drones in reserve, socketed to her head.

The deactivation chime is a high bell toll, and must be played within a meter to properly disable Medusa. Turning off her audio pickup does nothing to prevent this.

It is also possible to disable Medusa in other ways. Besting her in combat or restraining her would also work, though either approach would be difficult. Once she is subdued, it's a simple matter to access the computer and download the sample of her code. Security is not tight on the console; the guardian is deemed all the protection it requires.

Back at the shuttle, Cassily is heartbroken to hear of her cousin's death. Binjun is sullen about leaving behind the good thing he had going on, but at least he has more coats than he's ever owned.

As they prepare to leave Seriphus, the PCs have a choice to make.

DelphiCorp asked them to set the self-destruct on the ship, ostensibly to avoid having their proprietary technology fall into the wrong hands. It should be clear that not everything is on the level. DelphiCorp's experimental guardian was clearly responsible for the horrible death of nearly everyone on board. The self-destruct sequence would make all the evidence of their questionable activity vanish. There may be a moral thought to seek justice for the tragedy, to contact the authorities about what happened out here.

On the other hand, DelphiCorp offered the PCs a tidy sum of credits to complete a mission, and the hard part is over. If they destroy Seriphus, they will be well paid for their work. Furthermore, delivering the guardian's code will help DelphiCorp prevent a repeat of this tragedy. Can the PCs ignore the loss of life in favor of a paycheck?

Whatever the PCs decide, there is opportunity for complications to follow.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
I've got a super-busy next couple of days. I'm getting my first reads done now, but may not be until Monday before I'm able to get the full judgment up.


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
Mindful Mind Flayer
Con Artist
Ancient Culture
Royal Mint
Incremental Malison
Hungry Hippogriff
Burning Rain

Adventure Synopsis: The royal wedding is this weekend, but the cake has been stolen! The party must quickly track down the rare ingredients needed to replace the valuable cake, and then bring the vandals responsible to justice. But all is not what it seems! Along the way, they uncover a terrible plot against the royal family, capture the evil mastermind responsible, and rescue a prized hippogriff from a terrible fate!

The wedding of the beloved Prince Strongjaw to the famous Princess Maidenfair has the entire realm in an excited uproar. Everyone who is anyone will be in attendance, and neither kingdom has spared any expense in preparing for the reception. In particular, the wedding cake itself will be the legendary "Cake of Kings," the most decadent dessert ever devised, a cake truly fit for a king--nay, two kings.

Making this magnificent cake takes almost a week, and isn't easy. The ingredients are rare, expensive, and difficult to acquire. The chef is mysterious, and his recipe a closely-guarded secret--in fact, just last week a man was arrested for trying to steal it. But today, just one week before the wedding, disaster struck! The magnificent cake has been stolen, carved up and carried off by greedy thieves!

The Crime Scene
On the evening of the crime, the cake had been locked in the royal carriage and parked inside the locked royal garage, awaiting transport to the banquet hall. Guards outside the garage heard nothing out of the ordinary, and the hippogriffs housed inside did not raise the alarm. The guards explain to the party that the thieves slashed the top of the carriage, helped themselves to the cake, and carried off the rest without a trace.

Unbeknownst to the guards (or to the party, unless they are skilled investigators) the cake was actually eaten by Bucky, the prince's own prized hippogriff. The prince has a habit of treating the creature little pastries and baked goods over the years, and the spoiled creature helped itself to the cake when it was put under his guard. The clever hippogriff sliced open the leather top of the carriage with its hooked beak, gulped down the prized cake, and licked the platter clean while the other hippogriffs quietly looked on. Sharp-eyed sleuths may notice a small trail of crumbs leading from the carriage to Bucky's (suspiciously unlocked) pen.

There won't be time to finish their investigation, however. Soon after they begin, the party is approached by the desperate Chef McGuffin, famed inventor of the recipe. There is just enough time to re-bake the cake and save the wedding...but only if someone can gather the ingredients. As their reward, he offers a Hero's Feast prepared for them personally at a banquet in their honor.

Part I: Gathering the Ingredients
The first ingredient the players will need to acquire is a sample of McGuffin's special sourdough starter, necessary to leaven the cake and give it a distinctive tangy flavor. This ancient culture has been locked away in the royal catacombs for nearly a thousand years, handed down through the centuries from the first king's first bread-maker. The sourdough starter is so strong and well-aged that it has literally taken on a life of its own, and will not give up a sample easily (use the stats for a gray ooze). A sizable portion of it must be collected, roughly a half-gallon, and it must be kept alive and unspoiled for the trip back up to the surface.

The second ingredient is a special herb called Royal Mint, a potent strain of peppermint so delicate it cannot be cultivated in gardens. It grows only in the inhospitable volcanic badlands to the south, a region of the realm known for its caustic pools, corrosive rainfall, and poisonous reptiles. A generous bushel of fresh leaves will be needed to make the cake's delicious icing and candy decorations...but to collect them, the party must outwit or outmatch their guardian: a green dragon with minty-fresh breath.

The third rare ingredient is a dram of the caustic rainfall that falls in that same volcanic region, which will neutralize the acidity of the sourdough culture and impart a soft, tender texture to the dough. A single drop of this corrosive rainfall will burn exposed skin and blind the eyes...so any amount of time spent in these volcanic badlands will be very memorable for the party and their equipment.

Part II: Following the Crumbs
When the party returns from the badlands with the three ingredients, Chef McGuffin will heap praise upon them and immediately get to work in the kitchen. But the party won't have time to relax...the instant they leave the kitchen, they are approached by Prince Strongjaw. The prince's eyes are red and swollen from crying, and he wrings his hands anxiously. His prized hippogriff, Bucky, has fallen ill! He begs the party to come and see, and to lend any help they can.

The party is escorted back to the royal garage, where they see the poor creature in its pen. Its feathers, slick with a strange mucus, are falling out in clumps. Its eyes are glazed over with a milky-white film, and worm-like tentacles writhe at the edges of its beak. It tries to squawk, and vomits up wedding cake. If the party hadn't already figured it out, it becomes obvious now that Bucky is responsible for eating the cake, and that the cake had been poisoned.

A search of the kitchen pantry will reveal that the sacks of sugar have been laced with strange, finely-ground crystals. But who would do such a thing?

Princess Maidenfair knows of a likely suspect: Xaxfas. This sinister illithid alchemist is a long-standing enemy of both kingdoms, and a personal rival of Princess Maidenfair's family. By lacing the sugar with foul components of his own design, Xaxfas intended to turn both royal families into illithids under his control. Bucky saved them all by eating the cursed cake...but at a terrible cost. The curse was never intended for hippogriffs, however, and poor Bucky will die without a cure.

A chat with the thief in the jailhouse yields another clue. The Prince recognizes him as a silver-tongued swindler named Nackerson "the Knack" Tarn: they've met numerous times over the years, but never for something as serious as attempted regicide. Pressure from the party may persuade him to confess his crime: he had been hired by "a squid-faced man" to put those crystals into the sugar barrel, and when he was caught he lied and said he had been trying to steal the recipe. "Because attempted theft carries a lighter sentence than attempted murder," he shrugs.

Part III: The Final Showdown
Characters skilled in medicine or arcana will confirm that Bucky has been cursed by powerful illithid magic. And those trained in potions or alchemy might acquire samples to determine the nature of the curse and concoct a cure...but they will need certain rare ingredients of illithid origin. It's time to pay Xaxfas a visit.

The mind flayer's lair is a damp, foul-smelling temple originally built by drow. Ever wary of intruders, the vigilant illithid makes use of many ancient drow artifacts, scrying devices, and magical sensors to defend his lair and alert them of trespassers. The party will find Xaxfas in his alchemy lab, protected by his enslaved thralls (enslaved townsfolk and citizens) and horribly mutated experiments.

Xaxfas's lab contains all of the books and materials needed to break the curse; characters skilled in alchemy, arcana, or other suitable skills will need only a few hours to identify and gather the components. Unless they spent the night in the dungeon or took multiple rests, they should return to the castle in time to create the antidote and save Bucky. Prince Strongjaw will reward the party handsomely for saving his friend's life.

If the party kills Xaxfas, they must bring back evidence of his demise to the court (his body or head, for example) to close the case. They will each be rewarded handsomely from Princess Maidenfair's family, for ending a dangerous rival once and for all.

If the party subdues and captures Xaxfas, he will resist with all of his might. Xaxfas will use every psionic power he has to overwhelm, enthrall, or destroy his captors for the entire trip back to the castle, and again when confronted by the royal court. Their extra effort will be rewarded with a special commendation from the local Order of Paladins, for having the decency to bring even this uworthy criminal back to face the justice of the court.

Any of the illithid's thralls who survived will return to their families a few days later, or sooner if the party escorts them back. For the next few weeks, the players will receive small favors, treats, and gifts from their grateful families. However, if the party slaughtered the enthralled townsfolk indiscriminately, unsavory rumors will begin to spread about the party and their cruel methods.


The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
The Twisted Court
A Mid-Level 5e Eberron adventure

Con Artist
Ancient Culture
Royal Mint
Mindful Mind Flayer
Incremental Malison
Hungry Hippogriff
Burning Rain

You can use any of the hooks listed below, or one of your creation. Two of the NPCs featured below will play a role in the adventure to come.

Tales of strange, horrific creatures coming out of the southern Byeshk Mountains have travelled throughout the Eldeen Reaches and across Silver Lake. They all originate from one town: Sylbaran, on the coast of Silver Lake, just across the border between the Reaches and Droaam, the realm of monsters. The Byeshk Mountains form the natural border between the two.

One woman has followed these rumors seeking answers. Fernii d’Vadalis, an Eldeen Ranger and scion of House Vadalis (House Crest: Hippogriff) has recently failed her Test of Siberys, and wants to know why she hasn’t yet manifested the Mark of Handling. Her mother married into the House, her father died before her birth, and her uncle, her only other close familial link to the family, was excoriated from the House for his experiments when she was still young. She has begun to suspect that her biological father has no ties to the House, but her mother denies that she has lied about her parentage. Fernii is attempting to seek out her lost uncle for answers, and the rumored creatures bear the hallmark of her uncle’s work.

Tel'daar Duukuun is a cunning hobgoblin warlord and claims to be the heir of an ancient Dhakaani kingdom situated around the southern Byeshk Mountains. He could very well be an heir for all he knows; all that matters to him is that he’s been able to attract a small following and none of the forces within Droamm have attempted to challenge him yet. He cares little of rebuilding the glory of the Dhakaani empire or carving out a kingdom for himself; his merely seeks the financial gain to set himself up for life in the Droaam city of Graywall. He has been seeking Dhuugaan or Dhogec, a Dhakaani fortress situated underneath the volcanic Dhogec Ghuukac (Mount Fury). The fortress, home to a forge of byeshk weapons, was said to have been converted into a mint after the Daelkyr and their aberrant armies were defeated. There is said to be a whole treasury full of byeshk-minted coins. Tel’daar has found the entrance; he might have hired the adventurers to brave the depths with him, or a rival or Eldeen official might hire them to put a stop to his plans. If he has not hired the PCs, he will have an entourage of followers with him.

Dhuugaan or Dhogec
The ancient fortress was abandoned as many Dhakaani sites were in the centuries of decline their empire faced following the Daelkyr War. Many of its ruined tunnels have been caved in; and progress requires travelling through twisty tunnels and dark caverns built by earth-boring creatures long ago. Two key populations of creatures exist within this dungeon: aberrations, particularly dolgrims and dolgaunts, goblinoids that have been twisted by Daelkyr fleshwarpers; and fantastic beasts such as griffins, displacer beasts, hippogriffs, and manticores. Many of these have odd additions or subtractions from their traditional physiology; a result of Bragi’s experiments.

A curse (see below) will slowly begin assaulting the minds of any who enter. Delusions, voices, and other tricks of the mind will attempt to make any creature within the complex begin to question their sanity.

In addition, there are five key NPCs inside the ruins: two, Fernii and Tel’daar, are described above, and can be found making their way through the ruins whether they are involved with the party initially or not. The other three are:

Iacthatkarlosh is a mind flayer who has taken over the mint within Dhogec. His purpose is entirely research; he has little desire for a physical confrontation and will ultimately flee if he finds himself in danger. He is aware that the Daelkyr Yahathl'thess laid a curse on this forge, as byeshk weapons were instrumental in fighting back their armies. The curse would corrupt the inhabitants of the fortress, first their mind and then their body slowly over time. The curse is what convinced Dhogec’s earliest post-war kings to eschew weaponcraft in favor of crafting and hoarding wealth. Similar curses elsewhere led to the decline of the Dhakaani Empire and the creation of many aberrant creatures. Over the centuries the curse within Dhogec has grown stronger; its effects happen more quickly, and its reach grows further. Iacthatkarlosh is currently keen on studying its effects on Bragi and ultimately the surrounding villages, as the curse continues to expand.

Iacthatkarlosh knows everything about this history as well as the nature of Bragi’s experiments. He is friendly and tries his best to appear helpful, but will also be evasive to questioning. He will attempt to manipulate the PCs or their allies; for example, he refers to Fernii as “bastard” and will attempt to glean and utilize the PC’s weaknesses against them. His ultimate goal is to get them to stay long enough for the curse to fully take hold on them, or failing that leave from where they came. This will be a tricky and dangerous conversation. Iacthatkarlosh has too much pride in his research, however, and this can be used against him.

Tel’daar will demand access not only to the riches within the vault but to the mint itself, with which he would be capable of minting plenty of the rare coins and make himself a small fortune. Iacthatkarlosh has no reason to stop him, and in fact thinks Tel’daar could be an interesting new case study for his research.

Hephaestus is, or at least was, Bragi’s prized magebred hippogriff. While it is still half-eagle, half-lion, its lion tail has been replaced two tails; a manticore’s tail (complete with spikes) and a clubbed tail, tinged purple, the telltale sign of byeshk. Its wings have been replaced with a displacer beast’s tentacles. Most disturbingly, it is now able to dislocate its jaw, allowing it to produce a whip-like tongue and swallow creatures up to Medium size whole.

Hephaestus guards Bragi and the cavern he has made his home, and will protect him with its life. If encountered with Fernii, she will attempt the calm the best down. The Mark of Handling will manifest on her arm as she does so, and she is able to calm the creature long enough to approach and recognize it. However, its mind is too far corrupted to be saved, and Fernii’s hold on it lasts only moments.

A former breeder in House Vadalis, he was excoriated when his experiments fell outside the realm of what the House deemed “proper”. He was ultimately drawn to Dhogec due to the curse and its effects. The curse has broken his mind, and his own body has started to change; he has given himself wings (formerly Hephaestus’) and several tentacles and smaller cilia protrude from various points on his emaciated body. He has become fully corrupted, and cannot be saved.

In his lair are several journals he kept before his mind decayed, as well as a sealed letter addressed to Fernii; it appears he was lost to the corruption before he could find a way to send it. In the letter, he admits to being her true father. His brother’s death broke him, and while he tried to be there for her, he instead grew ever more obsessed with his work. Her mother swore never to tell; the fear of judgment from the family, especially after Bragi’s excoriation, would have damaged Fernii’s reputation and left her adrift within the House. The letter begs Fernii to kill him and destroy the source of the corruption, which he has deduced has something to do with the mind flayer lurking above.

The mint is connected directly to the magma flow within Dhogec Ghuukac, and a complex system of dams, tunnels, canals, and reservoirs keeps the furious mountain in check. Destroying any of these mechanisms would trigger a chain reaction that would cause Dhogec Ghuukac to explode. This would destroy the mint and end the corrupting curse, but it would also place the nearby town of Sylbaran in serious danger from the resulting eruption. Neither Iacthatkarlosh nor Tel’daar want this to happen, and the two will try to stop anyone who attempts to destroy the mint. Iacthatkarlosh will continue to attempt to dissuade the party (and, if pressured, dominate them); meanwhile Tel’daar (and potentially his kin) will have no qualms engaging in violence to save Dhogec Ghuukac. The adventurers must find a way to quickly warn the people of Sylbaran of the danger; this could very well be the best window of opportunity the party will have to destroy the mint and end the curse once and for all, and Fernii will refuse to pass up this opportunity. Meanwhile, Iacthatkarlosh and Tel’daar will seal off any entrances if the party leaves to warn the town first, and will otherwise bolster their defenses, making destroying the mint much more difficult.


The Elephant in the Room (she/her)
My pre-judgment thoughts:

This is, in case anyone was wondering, an adaptation of an adaptation of Forge of Fury. I had already heavily edited it to fit it within my current Eberron campaign, and it just needed to be edited further to account for the ingredients. The hobgoblins, the byeshk forge, the presence of the somewhat-friendly mind flayer were already baked into my adaptation; all I need to to do was account for the other ingredients. I still wasn't certain I was going to go this route, however, until I looked up which of the Dragonmarked Houses had the Hippogriff as its crest. When I saw that it was House Vadalis, basically the Isle of Dr. Moreau of Dragonmarked Houses, everything clicked; the Mind Flayer and its association with the Daelkyr fleshwarpers, and thus role of aberrations in Eberron; figuring out how to make a Hippogriff necessarily hungry; etc.

That said, I loved The Cake of Kings, and @CleverNickName was certainly clever in their use of ingredient synonyms, and I could definitely see that making the difference. I have a tendency to play my ingredients a little more straight, and I've absolutely done that here.

I hope you all enjoy the adventure, and I look forward to the judgments!


Limit Break Dancing (He/They)
That was a lot of fun!

[SBLOCK="My Thoughts on Round 2 (Copied over from the Scheduling Thread)"]It took me a while to find a way to get the ingredients to come together, but once I did, I couldn't stop writing it. I stayed up entirely too late in the evening working on this, and I'm pleased with the final result.

I have very paranoid players...so my original thought was to make the players be the mind flayers...you know, sort of like the "We Be Goblins" adventure of Pathfinder (I think). But it painted the whole story into a corner, and it made all of the other ingredients really boring and cliche. Oh yes, the ancient culture of the illithids, oh yes we are going to hire a con artist to help us rob the royal mint, oh yes the hungry hippogriff guardzzz...zzz... It was really frustrating, and I lost almost a full day trying to make it work.

Then I got up to make myself a sandwich, and I saw the carton of yogurt in the fridge with "active cultures" printed on the lid. I saw the loaf of sourdough bread on the bottom shelf, and the tassel of fresh peppermint from our garden. And my brain clicked. It's a strange story, but I think it would be a lot of fun to play.

I worry about the cake, though..."wedding cake" was not an ingredient, and yet I make heavy use of it. In previous years, I've gotten feedback from the judges about ingredient use, and one of the things I had been cautioned about was using ingredients as simple McGuffins to drive the plot. So this time around, I decided to make the McGuffin something that wasn't an ingredient, but was still connected to every ingredient in some way.

I probably didn't need to literally call it a McGuffin Cake, but I couldn't help myself. It seemed like a good idea at the time.[/SBLOCK]I hope you guys have fun reading my submission, and I look forward to your review. Best of luck, Gradine!
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Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Round 2, Match 1

Round 2, Match 1: hawkeyefan vs MortalPlague

Here's how I judge:

My first pass will be literary: how well does it read? Are there typos? Is it coherent? Is the phrasing awkward, awesome, or ambivalent? Did the writing help or hurt the entry? Does the adventure tell a good story?

Second pass will be as a GM: would I want to run it? Is there a good hook? Does it flow? Do I have all the information I need? Is it mostly backstory or mostly adventure? If I bought this adventure to save prep, how much prep does it require? Is the conclusion satisfying?

Third pass will be as a player: would I want to play it? Are there any interesting choices? Do my actions matter? Does it have interesting things to do for different types of players? How about characters? Is the conclusion satisfying?

Fourth pass will be ingredients: how well were they used? Could any be removed or altered without changing the adventure in major way? Are they tied together tightly? Any particularly clever uses?

I'll finish with a conclusion that sums it all up and throws in anything else that doesn't fit into one of these categories such as logical breaks, major inconsistencies, or other elements that "break" the adventure as posted.

A final note before jumping in: I try to be entirely constructive and honest with my feedback since that's been the main benefit for me doing the half-dozen Iron DMs I've competed in and my ability to write has been drastically honed by them for all types of writing, not just adventures. Empty praise or skirting problems to be "nice" is pleasant and useless. If I like it, you'll know and if I think it could use work... you'll know. Feel free to discard it if you don't agree, my main goals are to be fair, honest, and critical.

Before I start, I had Catalyst at 1545 words. As such, I chopped off 45 words from the entry so it ends with "If the Agents fail, then".

Literary Pass, Catalyst:

The first paragraph derailed me. I immediately stopped and read a review of the Delta Green RPG to give myself a reference frame for what was going on, but still had questions.

First, after a fatal car accident there was DNA in "the corpse." My mind for some reason assumed there would be multiple deaths in the fatal car accident so "the corpse caused me to stop and reread a few times. Second, routine autopsies finding Deep One DNA make it sound like the local small town coroner finds it normal to find Deep One DNA. If it wasn't the local coroner, why was the Agency doing an autopsy on an HVAC contractor?

Aside from that, throwing Todd King undercover as the first sentence, then jumping to a car accident then who died then back to Todd King added to the confusion. Starting with the death THEN all the stuff about King would have cleared things up immensely.

When it came to local law enforcement, stating what the players "can ask about" struck me as odd. Do you not let them ask about anything else? What happens if they ask something aside from those three bits of information? Do the police not hear them or kick them out? Does the Agency give them a bulleted list of what to ask? What happens if they don't talk to the police?

Later in the same (long) paragraph, it said we learn Miranda "has gone mad" which... wait, HAS gone mad, not did? If he has gone mad, he's still alive, right? So is he not actually dead? Besides, wouldn't paranoids be the leastly likely to crash? Did I mention that these paragraphs are really long and really dense? Some white space would have been really, supremely helpful to get, retain, and relocate the many specific details, events, and happenings.

In "The Apartment", it says the "Agents will likely go to King's apartment" then follows with "when they go" assuming they will for sure. Do you mean "If they go"? What if they don't go or don't decide to break in? The adventure is rife with "musts", "have tos", and "needs" which make it sound like the GM is expected to constantly prompt, cajole, or railroad them into the appropriate actions. Since you start of with "the will likely go" can they still succeed at the scenario if they don't?

Cort Park starts assuming the characters talk to the police. While it may be an obvious move, players don't always follow obvious paths. A suggestion for writing investigation-based adventures: tell us what is where and who knows what rather than laying explicit pathways through the information. Not only does it make in more open-ended, it allows for multiple approaches and prevents the feeling of straight-jacket that yours creates. Otherwise it seems like there's a linear meta-path the PCs have to discover to solve it rather than through their character's detective work.

In the park, it says "He says he thought if he got a pure specimen, the damage could be undone. But that’s not true. There’s nothing pure anymore. Maritime has just opened his eyes, and Delta Green’s just as much a part of the problem as any of the things they hunt." As written he only said the first sentence. Since there's no quotes around the next few, are the next few sentences you as the narrator talking or is that him still ranting? The latter makes more sense, but as written I don't know.

Why will they have to try to conceal the body and their involvement? Why can't they just leave the body and flee the scene? Or take the body with them? Also, as written they couldn't have ever FOUND the park without flashing credentials and talking to the police earlier so don't the police already know what they are doing?

After the Literary Pass, I actually don't know how good it is as there were so many flags and questions as I read through. Hopefully the adventure will be more clear in subsequent reads. Also, due to the word count cut off, I ended up with a cliffhanger. What does happen if they fail?

Literary Pass, Mortality Index:

The first few sentences are a bit choppy for my like (I think I said something similar in my last judgment?) They variety gets much better afterwards (again), but it feels like you're just getting your writing muscles warmed up at the beginning.

In The Approach, I found myself re-reading the previous heading to see if I'd missed what's at Jupiter. I think you needed the second paragraph first so there's some context.

There is an access point for maintenance tubes – are there any tubes attached to it? Or is it the access point to the maintenance tubes? I think I know what you meant, but it still jarred me a bit since I'm in hyper-analysis mode.

In the Bridge, you suddenly jumped to "only if Medusa is offline" which had me skim up again to see if I missed some mention of what Medusa was before. A little "Medusa (see below)" or something would help avoid that break to check.

In Engineering power can be routed to systems from here I think. Otherwise it sounds like you can only power engineering systems. Also, another reference to Medusa... what is it?

The first big "hagurk!" I hit was "her serpentine drones attempt to petrify the PCs". I know this is system agnostic, but you gave no ways of preventing this. Does armor resist it? Can you dodge it? Do mirrors reflect it? Can I just wear really strong sunscreen? Or is killing them before they lock-on the only way to survive?

This is more a note than critique, but when you said the chime bust be played within a meter, I immediately thought of musical meters and imagined a PC DJing it into a jingle with a beat or something. "Turning off her audio pickup" makes it sound like something PCs do and made me stop for a minute to think. I'd say "even if her audio pickup is off".

All in all the adventure is pretty clean, straight forward, and the writing helps rather than hinders.

Literary Pass, Comparison:

Both use headings to help format, both have good writing, though MortalPlague's raised less questions. If I was undecided, hawkeyefan's seeming distain for carriage returns would push it over the edge. Whitespace helps. "The Apartement" heading is one long paragraph with 16 sentences in it when 3-6 is far more normal.

GM Pass, Catalyst:

So... running the adventure. Right off the bat I'm a bit leery just because the paragraphs are so dense. The headings at least break it up somewhat, but if I want to find information in a paragraph I pretty much have to re-read the whole thing which is not super helpful.

Let's break it into scenes:
Hook (mission) → Apartment (likely) → Maritime Labs (likely) → Conclusion(purge)
Optional Sidepath: Police (probably) → Cort Part (maybe)

Here's the issue with the way you phrased things: rather than having four locations (police station, apartment, labs, cort park) that the PCs can bounce between as necessary, it is written as linear paths that make it feel railroaded. The way each section starts with something like "After the PCs do X, they can do this Y" makes it seem like PC has to herd them into making the right choices to unlock the next scene. If there were four locations that were interlinked by various clues, they could do it in whatever fashion and the whole thing would seem far more open.

Question: if the PCs fail their rolls and they police won't speak with them, do they not "unlock" Cort park and never find King and fail the mission due to some bad rolls? There's no other hints to his whereabouts so do they fail or does the GM have to improvise? (Avoiding the latter is why they got your adventure in the first place).


As the GM, I get to feed some clues, run a fight with an alien jellyfish (or three), a fight with an axe-wielding madman, and the corrupted population of a medical facility. That part, at least, sounds pretty fun.

GM Pass, Mortality Index:

Hook → Quarters | Bridge | Engineering | AI Core.
The scenes can be done in pretty much any order from what I understand. This is a strength since lets the PCs go any order.

As a GM, I basically have a spooky ship, a crazy dude with a ton of coats, and ambushes by medusa tentacles. Pretty cool.

GM Pass, Comparison:

Again, the unnecessary linearity of Catalyst hurts it somewhat. I think there's actually more "meat" in Catalyst but it's been stuffed into a straightjacket. The running fight in the spooky corridors of Mortality Index are rad too, but that's mostly all there is for challenge in the adventure.

The poor structuring of Catalyst pushes Mortality Index ahead here.

Player Pass, Catalyst:

The PCs have to figure out the right order to do things and a few failed rolls seem to fail them out of the adventure. Assuming they succeed, however, they get to bully some details out of the local cops, find clues in a creepy apartment and fight an alien monster, track a crazy dude to a park where he attacks them with an axe, ditch a body, and then fight a bunch of genetically-altered scientists then clean all the mess.

Pretty cool.

Player Pass, Mortality Index:

In Mortality Index, the PCs explore a ship full of crumbly statues, meet a crazy dude with a bunch of coats, power up some systems and all while fighting snake-tentacles. Finally, they disable a cyborg guardian with a music tone, likely after sneaking into a sealed compartment and also with a self-destruct on countdown. Pretty cool. I could see the PCs maybe getting lucky and disabling Medusa the first time the see her (critting, getting close enough to use tone, etc).

Still solid.

Player Pass, Comparison:

I actually think Catalyst seems like there's more going on. However, it has the oft-mentioned accidental structure issues. I think this comes up as a draw.

Ingredients Pass, Catalyst:

♦ High Toll – I think this is the mutated staff members? Or maybe Dr. Sayer's plans for humanity? I'm not totally sure, which is not a great thing for an adventure.
♦ Time Bomb – The bomb in the apartment that the PCs might find if they happen to search it and may use to destroy the facility. Since they may not search the apartment, may not find the bomb, and may not use it, it's pretty weak.
♦ Affluent Panhandler – King. Not sure what makes him affluent... maybe the water in his tub? His panhandling is also entirely incidental. Clever alternate meaning, but not sure how it applies.
♦ Phobic Medusa – the Dread Viragos. Cool use, especially since they cause fear. Solid.
♦ Indignant Retort – the message King sends to spark the investigation or maybe his rant. Neither seem to be key to the adventure.
♦ Dirty Secret – the Dread Viragos in the facility.
♦ Pure Sample – the sample taken from the Dread Viragos to mutate people

A note; the giant blocks of text made re-reading to find each of these ingredients really a pain. Skimming is difficult with such dense paragraphs and there may be meanings I missed just due to fatigue in having to re-read most of it for each ingredient.

A missing Affluent Panhandler's Indignant Retort triggers an investigation into the Dirty Secret of the Pure Sample taken from a Phobic Medusa causes a High Toll which might be handled with a Time Bomb.

The bolded elements are tightly woven and essential, nothing else seems critical.

Ingredients Pass, Mortality Index:

♦ High Toll – the high pitched deactivation tone. While clever, there's no reason it had to be a tone that did it. That it works even with the Medusa's audio pickup disabled weakens it more.
♦ Time Bomb – the self-destruct system on the ship. If the PCs take Medusa out early enough it may not activate, however.
♦ Affluent Panhandler – Binjin and his coats. He seems completely irrelevant, however, and I kept wondering why else he was in the scenario.
♦ Phobic Medusa – the medusa android. Key and cool, though there was no particular reason the things had to socket to her head. It could have been a phobic porcupine instead.
♦ Indignant Retort – Binjin's complaints about the PCs messing up his "good thing". Since he seems to be completely irrelevent, so is this.
♦ Dirty Secret – Delphi Corp trying to keep the glitchy guardian a secret.
♦ Pure Sample – a sample of code from the AI core.
A company hires the PCs to cover up their Dirty Secret: a Phobic Medusa that can be disabled with a High Toll so a Pure Sample of Code can be extracted – hopefully before it turns the ship into a Time Bomb. There's also a random Affluent Panhandler who gives and Indignant Retort.

That two of the ingredients seem to be completely unconnected to anything else is a big hit against the scenario in spite of the fairly strong connections between the others.

Ingredients Pass, Comparison

Both adventures center around the Dirty Secret – Pure Sample – Phobic Medusa triad. Both have weaker uses of most of the others, some of which can be left out entirely. I think Catalsyt eeks this one out, however, due to the Phobic Medusa and the complete irrelevance of Mortality Index's Panhandler + Retort combo.


Okay, so we have Mortality Index taking Literary and GM, a tie for Player, and Catalyst winning out ingredients. On the surface it looks like Mortality Index takes it and in thinking about it, I think that's how it goes. If nothing else, it took me 2-3 times more times reading through Catalyst due to the density of the paragraphs. If it took that long to read it to judge it, it probably would take a GM similar time trying to look for details when running it.

And that seals it.

@hawkeyefan, with a little better formatting/layout and breaking the scenes out of their arbitrarily linearity I think you probably would have taken it. The adventure seems fun, cool, and creepy, but my brain is tired from rereading it so many times to find information in it.

@MortalPlague advances to the next round (if the other judges agree). This wasn't your strongest adventure (your stellar first round entry would have beaten it, for example) and if Catalyst had been edited and cleaned up a bit I don't know that you would have won. It's still a cool adventure that was well-written and would be fun to play, just not as good as I've come to expect from you.

Note: due to busyness this judgment was cobbled together in five chunks whenever I could steal time away. Probably not my best or most focused judgment, but hey, you got it equally.
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Deuce Traveler

Judgment of Round 2, Match 1: hawkeyefan vs MortalPlague

We have two non-fantasy RPG entries. What a treat!

I’m settling on a point system. Two points for the rules; one for being on time and the other for the word limit. Two points for grammar and readability. Two points for how integral is each ingredient; adjective for one point and the subject for the other. Two points for the utility of the adventure for a Dungeon Master.

Accordance to Rules
Both writers posted their entries on time, but hawkeyefan’s Catalyst went over at 1546 words according to wordcounter.net. This could have been easily avoided, as there are some sentences that provide little to the entry; i.e. “The Agents can be familiar with one another or this can be their first meeting” and “You can use the information scattered about King’s room as potential leads for future scenarios”. Two points to MortalPlague and one point to hawkeyefan.

hawkeyefan 1, MortalPlague 2

Grammar and Readability

There were small errors in Catalyst, such as “The Dread Virago’s poison has left him a paranoid mess. He says he thought if he got a pure specimen, the damage could be undone. But that’s not true. There’s nothing pure anymore. Maritime has just opened his eyes, and Delta Green’s just as much a part of the problem as any of the things they hunt.” There is no use of quotation marks here, so it’s hard to determine what is a quote for the DM to use. If this is not supposed to be a quote, then the middle portion of the above should be: “The events in Maritime Labs have opened my eyes.” Also, why would Delta Green be as much of a problem? Is that the agent’s paranoia due to his transformation or did I miss something?

Morality Index is an easier story to follow although there are a handful of unnecessary commas. MortalPlague takes this category, with two points for him and one point for hawkeyefan.

hawkeyefan 2, MortalPlague 4

First Ingredient: High Toll
I really liked MortalPlague’s use of this ingredient being a high-pitched bell sound. It was a clever twist, though nothing in the entry made it integral. Why did distance of the emission of the sound matter instead of the decibal level? Why couldn’t a beam of light at a particular wavelength not work better for a fail safe, especially if the hull had been opened and no sound could have been possible in the vacuum? Sound as a fail safe seems to be a bad idea in space.

I’m guessing that High Toll in hawkeyefan’s entry was the high toll that the agent suffered in performing his duty. That’s a nice touch, and the agent’s diminishing sanity does drive the plot along. Therefore I felt it was more integral to the entry. hawkeyefan scores two points here to MortalPlague’s one.

hawkeyefan 4, MortalPlague 5

Second Ingredient: Time Bomb

Both stories had a time bomb, but in hawkeyefan’s entry it was more of a mention. The agent they were tracking down had a few clues about what was going on, but they were located in his residence. When the players track down the bomb and its associated note, it is just as quickly dismissed without any indication that the bomb has been armed or is otherwise relevant to their adventure.

MortalPlague’s entry has a bit more to the time bomb, but not by much. The characters are told to use a time bomb to destroy the ship and its evidence at the end of the adventure, and the robot might go hostile if they try to prepare it, but nothing in the adventure requires the bomb to be used. The party could have shot at the ship to destroy it or even ignored the order to use a bomb in the first place. Neither entry even made it necessary for the bomb to be set-up on a timer, as a trigger would have worked equally well.

One point for each, but no real edge to either.

hawkeyefan 5, MortalPlague 6

Third Ingredient: Affluent Panhandler

Both writers did well with this ingredient. hawkeyefan’s affluent panhandler was the crazed agent the team was sent to recover. He’s a well-to-do member of their deep-pocketed organization, but his addled mind has turned him into a beggar. MortalPlague’s affluent panhandler is a poor, but entertaining space traveler who is suddenly made rich due to all of the dead crewmen. His behavior also provides an important clue to why the robot may have gone crazy. This character seems like he would be a lot of fun, though not as helpful to the party’s adventure as the crazed agent from ‘Catalyst’.

I’m going to call this one a tie, and grant two points to both.

hawkeyefan 7, MortalPlague 8

Fourth Ingredient: Phobic Medusa

Again, a good job by both writers. The medusa in both entries is an antagonist that reacts in a way involving fear. In ‘Mortal Index’, the medusa is a crazed robot that can quickly go from neutral to homicidal if triggered by its fear. Although robotic, she does have medusa-like abilities, such as the ability to paralyze and sensors that snake their way from her head.

In ‘Catalyst’, the medusa is a squid-like tentacled horror. It saps the will from those around it by increasing their fear, making them unable to act against it, effectively paralyzing them emotionally. At the same time, it forces a growing sense of horror around those it infects. I like it.

Two points to each.

hawkeyefan 9, MortalPlague 10

Fifth Ingredient: Indignant Retort

The indignant retort in ‘Catalyst’ is the last entry the missing agent sent to headquarters. Here it is the warning sign to headquarters that something has gone wrong… and therefore the catalyst to the adventure. It is also connected to the high toll ingredient, as it is the first indication that the agent is beginning to lose his mind. This is a nice way to bond the two ingredients.

I’m trying to figure out whether the Indignant Retort in ‘Morality Index’ is the survivor’s indignant reaction to being rescued or the medusa’s violent reply when she feels threatened. It fits the survivor better, but his reaction isn’t really integral to the story. It feels more integral to the story if it is coming from the medusa, but there is nothing indignant about her reaction.

One point to MortalPlague and two points to hawkeyefan.

hawkeyefan 11, MortalPlague 11

Sixth Ingredient: Dirty Secret

I don’t have much to say on this. Both writers used this ingredient as a central part of the plot. In hawkeyefan’s entry, the workers of Maritime Labs are trying to hide their involvement with a Deep One. In MortalPlague’s entry, the adventurers are hired by a company trying to hide the complicitness in the accidental death of a ship’s crew. Both uses of the ingredient affect how the party gets involved and how the non-player characters react to the plot. Good job and full points to each.

hawkeyefan 13, MortalPlague 13

Seventh Ingredient: Pure Sample

In ‘Catalyst’, the Pure Sample is the creature that the agent found. It is tied to the Phobic Medusa ingredient, and if it is preserved it may help cure the agent’s madness and the High Toll it took. That’s a nice touch.

In ‘Mortal Index’, the party is only going to get paid if it retrieves the code intact, and this code is inside the Phobic Medusa. So they can’t just blow the medusa to pieces and hope to get paid for the leftover bits.

So the use of this ingredient was integral in both cases. Again, a good job by each.

hawkeyefan 15, MortalPlague 15

Potential for Dungeon Master

Both entries had its problems. In ‘Catalyst’, why does a routine autopsy reveal Deep One DNA? Is every coroner in the world on the agency’s payroll and trained for these special tests? If the party does research about Hector Miranda, they will find out he works for the nearby labs. Therefore, before going out to the town they can go to Hector Miranda’s known place of work, sneak in at night, and solve the problem with hardly any work. After that, they can go to the agent’s residence and just pick up the creature inside.

‘Mortal Index’ has a more entertaining character and a more complex narrative. Traveling to the ship is the only linear part of the adventure, and I could see a lot of non-linear ways that the adventure can unfold. A confrontational party is going to find itself in a crazed shoot-out in the confines of a spaceship, while a more rational group of sleuths will slowly uncover the mystery and have a chance to find a non-violent solution. I’m giving MortalPlague the edge here.

hawkeyefan 16, MortalPlague 17


hawkeyefan, this is a much better entry than your last one, however you suffered for not following the rules of the competition. Still, you make solid use of your ingredients, which I do appreciate. Tighten up the writing and you’ll do fine in the competition next year.

MortalPlague, congratulations. I really enjoyed reading your entry, despite a few concerns over some logic. I vote for you to advance to the final round.

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