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IRON DM 2017 Tournament


Whaaaat??? Skin of my teeth!

Great entry, MortalPlague! I felt like my entry was so much less epic than yours. I love a good “trick the players into completing the ritual” bit. I kind of wish I’d thought of it.

As for mine, a lot of the criticisms were addressed before the edit from 750 to 675 words. I wound up cutting things that weren’t absolutely necessary. My intent was that the beggar woman was Lorcan’s real mother, so good catch there. She left the child with the innkeeper, who revered the Lich and was one of the few in the village who wouldn’t kill the child outright. Indeed, no one else but those two knew and Lorcan knew of Lorcan’s heritage, for his safety.

The Mayor was in his thirties, and his father was one of the men who destroyed the Lich, but he grew up coasting on his father’s glory, never gaining anything because of his own merit. He’s incompetent and he knows it, he’s just good at convincing people otherwise.

As for the end...fair enough. I was a bit rushed for time and space to do anything more epic. The fight itself would be up to the DM, but it should have something more at stake. I did want to leave it up to the DM as to what happens to Lorcan. Did it succeed? Is he the new Big Bad?

Now the ingredients, I’ll admit I used them as guideposts. I’ve touched on the Mayor. The transformation was equally the Lich’s transformation as well as Lorcan trying to complete the ritual. It is a little weak as I look at it now. I wasn’t sure how central each ingredient had to be.

Cold calculation was the experiments on the villagers. Originally, I’d made a possible hook being someone one or more of the PC’s had known, a young girl. It got deleted. Now that I’m thinking about it, getting a letter where she talks about her boyfriend, Lorcan, and an unrelated feeling of unease because of disappearances, asking for help, and when the group gets there, she’s gone, and at the end it’s her on the altar, Lorcan preparing his girlfriend as the final sacrifice. Bonus points if she’s pregnant, and he knows it. Oooh, that could be why his father failed. The previous adventurers stopped the Lich before he could sacrifice Lorcan’s pregnant mother....which means there’s a chance the unborn baby would become like Lorcan....

Yeah, not enough room, but it would be epic.

I love me some Book of Vile Darkness. It’s a huge artifact to give a level 1-4 party, but figuring out what to do with it, and surviving its influence, could get them to level 20. It opens so many doors. I don’t know why more DMs don’t hand out these artifacts.

This was surprisingly fun, despite the hurried manner in which it came about. Once I started writing, the story just told itself. I just had to fit it within 675 words.

I’m looking forward to round two, and will give it more attention. Heck, maybe I can make it relate to this first entry, and I’ll have the start of a new campaign!

Sent from my iPad using EN World

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Once A Fool
Judgement for Round 1, Match 4: Deuce Traveler vs. Lwaxy

Let's switch this up and start with...

The ingredients:

Forsaken Avatar. Technically, this is present in "A Simple Vermin Hunt" ("Hunt") in the form of the clay idol. It is abandoned by the dwarves and then again by Deekon, although he does come back for it. The fact that it is abandoned is directly important to the adventure, so that's good. And it is pretty tightly woven in with all of the other ingredients, so that's great.

Unfortunately, the fact that it is an avatar instead of a powerful artifact or relic doesn't seem important (and doesn't even make as much sense). It need not even be intelligent for the adventure to work (although, admittedly, it would make things more interesting). Also unfortunately, for most of the adventure, it amounts to nothing more than a macguffin.

With "Modern Limbo" ("Limbo"), the avatar part is fantastic, but the forsaken part leaves me confused. Presumably, she calls herself that because she feels abandoned by her previous employers, which leads to the ruination of her body and necessitates the permanent avatar which her consciousness inhabits.

What doesn't quite click can be attributed to the lack of details about the mission that left The Forsaken ruined. We never find out enough about that mission to know if she was abandoned at some critical juncture in the mission, as she seems to think, or, whether, as in the company's estimation, she was the victim of her own incompetence (she certainly seems hyper-competent during this adventure).

We can surmise that the company did abandon her after the event, though, so the ingredient still works. Added to that, it is the heart of the adventure and particularly well-tied to the ruined vassal ingredient.

Speaking of which...

Ruined Vassal.The fact that The Foresaken in "Limbo" is ruined is integral to the adventure, but the nature of her status as a vassal raises questions. We already know (from the hook) that Saeder-Krupp doesn't like risking its own employees on missions and prefers to hire outside runners (because they are expendable). But this is where things get problematic.

Saeder-Krupp's treatment of The Forsaken is callous (if not downright treacherous) and suggests that she was a freelance runner, herself. But, if that's the case, she can't really be called a vassal.

"Hunt" provides a ruined vassal whose position as such never really matters in the adventure, other than by providing motivation. If he had become enslaved to the avatar and his mutation somehow ruined him, that would have been a better use.

The ingredient is both more significant to the adventure, and also flawed in "Limbo." Thus, no advantage to either entry.

Twisting Tunnel. This ingredient was kind of disappointing in both entries. In neither case did the tunnels actually need to be twisting, and, in "Hunt," it would have made more sense if they didn't (being carved out by the dwarves, after all). I was also looking for the chaos magic to twist the tunnels around the PCs, or cause the things within to be twisted, but that didn't really happen, either. All of the mutations seem to happen independent of the tunnels.

"Limbo" has its tunnels change appearance in the matrix, but, other than possibly cluing the PCs into their whereabouts, it doesn't seem to matter. (Although, tricking PCs into thinking their fellows have disappeared has great potential for chaotic fun!)

Goblin Tribe. This is the fourth match in a row that someone has used an ingredient as a name and called it a day. Stop it! It's lazy and, frankly, a little insulting. I haven't let it slide so far; why would I start, now?

"Hunt," at least, uses the ingredient. It doesn't necessarily matter that they be goblins, but they do need to be subterranean tunnel-dwellers, so that works. Additionally, the domesticated vermin-livestock suggest some sort of civilization and a tribe works just fine for that.

Chaos. Both entries feature chaotic climaxes with multiple sides and moving parts. That's fun.

However, "Hunt" takes this ingredient to another level by using it as a force that is present throughout the adventure. In this role, it is both a theme and, basically, a character. As such, it is also woven into all of the other ingredients and, consequently, elevated by all of them. Superb.

Mundane Quest. This features in "Hunt" as anything but. The hook is mundane enough (clichéd, even), but that only serves to contrast with the chaos that is to follow. It might work better for the ingredient-usage if all of that chaos were a mere side-quest, but it's likely better for the adventure that it isn't.

In "Limbo," the mundane quest remains mundane, presumably, but this is one of the structural problems of the adventure. The whole adventure revolves around the details of that past quest, but we never find out enough about them to run things appropriately. All we ever know about it are the consequences: The Forsaken is horribly injured, she blames the company, and they blame her.

Whatever details the PCs are supposed to acquire apparently don't matter enough for the GM or players to know what they are. This turns what should be the lynchpin of the entire adventure into a mere macguffin. What a waste.

Which takes us to...

The adventures:

Both adventures have fundamentally intriguing foundations and look to be fun to play through. In particular, I was looking forward to seeing a matrix-based adventure (given the avatar ingredient) as soon as I read that "Limbo" was going to use Shadowrun.

One of these two entries is just a whole lot tighter than the other, though. I'll start at the end. After the climax is over, there's something disappointing in how "Limbo" wraps things up. Assuming the PCs win their final battle, no consequences come about for anybody that reflect how well or how badly the PCs did – or what methods they used. The Forsaken gets taken into custody (okay), the other (surviving) trolls get freed (okay, I guess), and the PCs get paid and healed up, even if they hacked the company. What? That doesn't make any sense! What Shadowrun corporation would knowingly let them get away with that?

Then there are a couple of hooks presented as lead-ins to future adventures, but the PCs have no chance of discovering them organically during the adventure, because they come out of nowhere.

I'd contrast all this with the conclusion of "Hunt," but there is none! The adventure deposits us into a chaotic climax and leaves us at that. This might fit in with the chaos theme, but, assuming it isn't a TPK, the adventure is actually going to need some kind of conclusion, and we have absolutely no explicit help there. We have plenty of material with which to come up with something, but we shouldn't be forced to figure it out for ourselves.

Up until that, though, the rest of the adventure falls right in place. Each part leads the PCs seamlessly to the next, without requiring them to follow. Things might be worse for them later on if they don't figure out what's going on in time (or just give up on the vermin hunt entirely), but that doesn't mean the consequences won't get back to them!

"Limbo," on the other hand, raises a lot of questions that gnaw away at its verisimilitude (to use a word that used to mean something before the edition-war nonsense ruined it). For example, the adventure seems to suggest that the trolls caught in the nets are captives of The Forsaken who have no idea they are in the matrix. But, who, then, plugged her body into the matrix? Who set up all of the traps? And what's the point of keeping them in the dark, anyway? Surely they'd be more useful to her if they weren't trapped inside?

Speaking of which, The Forsaken seems to have a whole lot of control over things in the real world for someone who isn't in it. Now, it's been quite a while since I've looked at Shadowrun, so I will concede that this might actually be a thing that is possible in the system/setting, but I kept wanting to apply The Matrix-movie rules, in which the real-world body is unaware of the real-world surroundings and events while plugged in.

To conclude:

At any rate, "Hunt" has the edge on ingredient use and it is a very tight – frankly, superlative – adventure. This may not be Deuce Traveler's very best entry, but it is definitely A-game material. And, as someone who has lost every match with Deuce that I've ever had, let me assure you: Deuce's A-game is damned hard to beat!

Lwaxy, I really liked what I saw of your adventure. Against a lot of other entries, it could have won. I'm pretty sure this will come as no revelation to you, but you just need to find the time to tighten things up! And to make those ingredients matter, of course. You do too many things well for me to think the short-comings came out of inexperience. I'm certainly thankful you found the time to compete, at all. I'll find a way to use your adventure, even if not in Shadowrun!

That said, Deuce Traveler advances to Round 2.


First off, congratulations to [MENTION=6855204]tglassy[/MENTION]. It's always a great exercise to participate in a competition such as this, win or lose. The holidays have kept me so busy of late I haven't had a chance to chime in here.

To begin with, I can't figure out why Barras even needs the Falling Sky. What does he get out of it? I haven't got a clue.
In 750 words, I chose to gloss over some of what I considered the background. I pictured Barras as the sort of lich who has forces at his command, kind of the 'Evil Overlord' sort of lich. The 'Falling Sky' is his band of wyvern riders who he uses to sow chaos and fear across the land. I think in some of my earlier drafts I addressed it a little more, but it must have been trimmed in the end.

Also, a large chunk of this adventure assumes the PCs won't have access to some other means of ingress (like flight – that's a thing!). If they bypass the runes and kill Solis without questioning him, they may never know what's really going on.
That's a fair point.

The trek to Barras (if it happens at all) could use a little fleshing out, but all-in-all, things have gotten really interesting by this point.
Yeah, 750 words again. :p

In a full-fledged adventure, I'd have included a map of the citadel and colorful NPCs to encounter or fight.

It would be nice to have a little bit of direction for determining the fallout from the various options. If the ice demon is summoned and killed, how do Barras and the Archdevil respond? If the PCs just leave Solis to his misery, what happens then? If they kill Barras, what happens? Does Solis, having found his redemption, disband the Falling Sky or become an effective leader and take them in a new direction?

I want to have unanswered questions at the end of an adventure to build future adventures on. But I need some sort of closure, and I'm not sure the adventure, as written, fully delivers.
All in all, this is my biggest regret with the adventure. I had always intended to write a 'What Happens Next' bit, and I never quite did. I think it would have gone a ways towards cementing some of the other ingredients.

Cold Calculation. With the introduction of an Archdevil of Cold and an ice devil, things looked promising for this ingredient in "Legacy," but I'm not seeing where any calculation (unfeeling, literally cold, or otherwise) plays any role in this adventure. Perhaps the (unlikely?) decision to grant Solis's request for death (that then leads to the summoning of an ice devil) is meant to apply, but it seems a stretch.
I had thought the father's decision that his son was weak and needed to be sacrificed would qualify as a cold calculation, especially since he hires the PCs to do it rather than do it himself. :)

The ritual with the Archdevil of Cold was a secondary 'cold calculation'.

Normally, I'd try to give the outgoing contestant some bit of constructive insight tailored to their style, but you, of course, already have a good handle on things, MortalPlague. I've no doubt you'll come out swinging the next time around.
It's all good, Rune. Thanks for running the show once again! See you next time.


Once A Fool
Congratulations to [sblock]
[MENTION=34958]Deuce Traveler[/MENTION],


[MENTION=60965]Iron Sky[/MENTION], and

[/sblock] for advancing to Round 2!

*(Using both types of spoiler tags here, because of incompatibility over the multiple mediums.)


Once A Fool
Round 2, Match 1: Deuce Traveler vs. tglassy

[MENTION=34958]Deuce Traveler[/MENTION] and [MENTION=6855204]tglassy[/MENTION], you have 48 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 1500 additional words. Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so.

Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 1350. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 1050. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 750. In addition, entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; I will ignore everything after.

Your ingredients are:

Mass Hysteria
Dragon Scales
Violent Solution
Talking Animals
Last Laugh
Mission of Mercy
Wandering Monster


Dale’s Reckoning

Mass Hysteria
Dragon Scales
Violent Solution
Talking Animals
Last Laugh
Mission of Mercy
Wandering Monster

The following adventure is self contained, and would make a good side quest. Suggested hooks include stumbling upon the village while traveling through the forest, or being rescued and brought to the village after a Team Party Kill. This is for a 5-10 level party using D&D 5e.

A few hundred years ago, an Archdruid left civilization altogether, taking residence in a forest. He loved the forest, and in order to protect it, he began Awakening various animals to act as its guardians. The Awakened beasts banded together, creating a village.

The Archdruid, knowing he would not be there to Awaken subsequent generations, enchanted seven dragon scales which, when together, would perpetually Awaken the animals in the area around it, and keep them Awakened. The scales were put in the middle of the village, where they floated, circling each other over the stump of a grand Oak.

Performing the spell in this manner had its drawbacks: the beasts could not leave the forest without one of the scales. If a beast left the forest without one of the scales, it would slowly loose its newfound intelligence. However, the scales were only powerful enough to keep the entire village Awakened if all the scales were together. If one of the scales stayed separated for too long, the entire village would slowly devolve as the enchantment broke down, reverting the creatures within back to mindless beasts. Because of this, up to seven beasts could steal the scales and leave the forest to travel the world, but the village would devolve within a few months.

Main NPCs

Dale is an Awakened Fox. He wants to leave the village and see the world, but is trapped by the power of the Dragon Scales. He is sly and sneaky, and is insatiably curious about the outside world. Use the statistics for a Fox, and if he joins the party, add a number of levels in Rogue (Thief).

An old wolf, he leads the village and does not trust outsiders. He would rather not lose any of his people, even in punishment, but has no qualms with killing outsiders if he deems it necessary.

An elderly turtle who takes care of the party when they first arrive. She has much information regarding how the village was founded, including knowledge of the Archdruid and much of the information in the background section. If the party asks anyone else about such things, they send them to her.

Other NPCs
There are many Awakened beasts in the village, and the DM is encouraged to be creative in their forms and personalities.

Act I
When the party arrives, the village is in an uproar. One of the scales has been stolen by a young Fox named Dale. Dale was found just before the party arrived, though he did not have the scale, and is imprisoned. Dale wanted the scale so he could explore the world, and says he was attacked by a great bear, the largest Dale had ever seen, who seemed to roaming mindlessly at the edge of the forest. He says the bear attacked him, and when he came to, the bear was gone and so was his pack, which had the scale in it.

Many of the beasts want Dale executed. However, the Chief, an old Wolf named Shakiro, instead charges Dale with finding the scale and returning it. He asks the party to accompany Dale, to both ensure he does not abscond with the scale and protect him from the other villagers. They are to find this monstrous bear and slay it, as it has obviously lost its mind and needs to be put down. He asks that they not let the bear live, as it could attack more villagers in the future.

(The party can refuse and leave. If they do so, a few weeks or months later, Dale shows up wearing a scale, pleading for the party’s to help him find the missing one. He says the village is going mad, with Awakened beasts loosing their minds and going Feral. If they do not find the seventh scale soon, then the entire village will be gone.)

Act 2

Dale is able to show them where he was attacked, to the north, and a party member proficient in Survival can find the bear’s tracks. If no one is proficient, the party must spend an hour searching the area before finding the tracks.

The tracks lead East, to a cave in the side of a nearby mountain. However, as the group nears the entrance to the cave, the ground around the entrance turns to mud, as per the Transmute Rock Spell (from the Elemental Evil player’s companion), and the trees and shrubs around them come to life (use the statistics for Awakened Shrubs and Awakened Trees).

After three rounds, a Dire Bear (https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Dire_Bear_(5e_Creature)) exits the cave and attacks. It is clear the bear is savage, but it is also clear that it is more than it seems. The mud solidifies when the bear appears, as if the Transmute Rock spell had been dispelled.

The Dire Bear is actually the Archdruid who created the animal village. He has lived alone staying in his Dire Bear form so long, that he has forgotten who and what he is. He is a moon Druid (using the statistics found for the Archdruid in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, with the exception of having unlimited wild shape), and has access to his spells. The party may be able to discern its identity from their conversations with the inhabitants of the Animal Village, or finding the Druid’s diary in the cave. If so, a Greater Restoration Spell, or similarly powerful magic, can restore the Druid’s mind. Otherwise, the party can either kill the Druid or render him unconscious.

Inside the cave is a number of packs and remains from people whom the Druid, in his insanity, have killed and dragged to its lair. Dale’s Pack is there, with the missing scale. The party also finds a treasure horde here, as rolled on the Treasure Horde: Challenge 5-10 on Page 137 of the DMG. In addition, they find the Archdruid’s journal, old and worn, which shows his decent into madness, and the worry about what will happen to his “children once his life force no longer powers their enchantment.”

The outcome of the adventure depends on how the party deals with the Druid/Dire Bear.

If the party kills the bear, the major enchantment on the dragon scales is broken. They will still each protect a single Awakened beast from reverting, but the village will devolve in a few months time. This is not discovered until the party gets back and finds that upon returning the seventh scale to the stump of the Great Oak, they no longer float and circle above it. Depending on how the players handle this, the village could riot, each animal trying to obtain one or more of the scales so their minds will not fade. If the party is able to deceive or talk down the crowd, they can leave. The next time they stop for camp, Dale appears, having swiped one of the scales and asking to follow them. Now that the scales will no longer protect the entire village, he doesn’t see any point in keeping the scales together. But since he is not properly Awakened, he can use the scale to do what he has always wanted to: see the world. He asks to join the group, if only to the next town. Whether he stays with the group after that is up the the DM and the other players.

If the party somehow gets the scale without killing or healing the Archdruid, they are able to fix the enchantment, and the village is restored. However Shakiro is angered that the Bear is still alive. If the journal was found, it will be declared that the bear be left alone, life goes back to normal, but Dale never leaves the village. If not, Shakiro will likely send a hunting party to the bear once the party has left, to kill it. Should this happen, the major enchantment on the scales will break, the village will descend to madness, and Dale will meet with the others some months later, having swiped one of the scales as in the previous example.

If the party is able to restore the Archdruid’s mental state, the Druid will be forever grateful. As a reward, he will give the group the treasure in his cave. He will also grant Dale a Boon: true Awakening (permanent, as per the spell). This way, Dale can leave the village without needing one of the Dragon Scales. Life in the village will return to normal, and Dale will ask to go with the party to see the world.

Sent from my iPad using EN World


Once A Fool
Round 2, Match 2: Gradine vs. Iron Sky

[MENTION=57112]Gradine[/MENTION] and [MENTION=60965]Iron Sky[/MENTION], you have 48 hours to post your entries to this thread. Please limit your entry to a title, a list of the ingredients used and 1500 additional words. Please include your list of ingredients at the beginning of the entry and please do not edit your post once it is submitted. Please refrain from reading your opponent's entry until after you have posted your own. You are on your honor to do so.

Entries that are between 1 and 59 minutes late will have their word-limits reduced to 1350. Later entries that are at less than 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 1050. Entries that are at least 1 day late will have their word-limits reduced to 750. In addition, entries that are at least 2 days late may be disqualified at the discretion of the judge with consent from the match's opposing competitor. Entries that exceed their word-limits will be considered to end once they reach that limit; I will ignore everything after.

Your ingredients are:

Crude Map
Convergence of Clouds
Fatal Flaw
Compromised Position
Fairy Tale
Loaded Dice

Deuce Traveler

Round 2, Match 1: Deuce Traveler's "Quarantine"

Mass Hysteria
Violent Solution
Talking Animals
Last Laugh
Mission of Mercy
Wandering Monster
Dragon Scales

Name: Quarantine

System: Any fantasy RPG ruleset, and any campaign. Meant for mid-level characters.

Location: An urban location somewhere along a hostile frontier.

Background: While patrolling an important roadway used for local trade, the government’s guard finds a caravan being attacked by an ogre or some other creature known to be active in the area. The caravan’s mercenaries put up a good defense and wound the monster just as the patrol intervenes and puts it to flight. A few of the caravan members were also slightly injured, but much of the blood splashed on the warriors and horses belong to the monster. The incident is otherwise unremarkable save for the uncontrollable giggling that had continuously bellowed from the creature.

A few days after the incident, animals show symptoms of illness, starting with those that belonged to or came in contact with the caravan and involved local guard. The first stage of the affliction results in signs of lethargy among the beasts. At this time they are contagious. In the second stage the animals seem to have new energy and have recovered. But by the third stage the animals begin to act in unpredictable ways, such as constant babbling as if trying to talk and then foaming at the mouth. Death soon follows. The symptoms run through creatures of lower intelligence faster.

For humanoids, first there is a horrible fever and cough typical of your ordinary illness. This is soon followed by a higher temperature along with feelings of euphoria. The final stage involves manic behavior, hallucinations, constant laughing, and uncontrollable drooling. Finally death comes as the muscles tighten and the afflicted person dies with a sick, rigid grin fixed upon his or her features (think of murdered victims of Joker’s poison gas).


- The party members may have been part of defense of the caravan. If so, the DM should run the incident as if it was a typical random wandering monster encounter. When symptoms begin to show on friends it will likely take the final stages of giggling and babbling to connect the encounter with the disease. By that time the illness would have spread throughout the settlement, while some of the heroes are starting to be affected with stages they can now identify.
- An animal mount, familiar, or companion has the potential to show the late-stages of the disease before a human friend, alerting a PC that something is very wrong.
- The party could have heard about the incident through an involved friend that made it through the battle. That same friend grows sick and involves the party through personal connections.
- The party may have a reputation as problem solvers, and community leaders approach them and others. They want help in finding the solution that eludes them once it becomes an uncontrollable crisis. Of course a monetary reward is offered.


The illness is magical in nature, thus able to leap from various humanoid races and animals. It is transmitted primarily through fluids, though chances of other means of transmission such as through the air can be determined by the DM. Anytime someone comes into contact with a disease-bearer, they must make a save versus magical affects, though with intelligence bonuses aiding in the roll. Failure results in the first symptoms occurring between a few hours and a couple of days. From then on, the diseased must make a similar saving throw every 1-6 days or progress to the next stage. The contagion has spread so quickly that the settlement’s clerics cannot contain it, and the regional government has closed the population off with military force.

The regional government’s solution has been swift and violent. Any person or animal seen leaving the city walls is shot on sight and their bodies left where they lay. In the rare incidents that someone does get through the cordon, they are hunted down and their bodies burned while cleric’s magically treat the soldiers and slay the animals involved. Wizards and specially prepared falcons are on site to handle airborne escapees.

People are forming crowds while beginning to panic in different ways, some with hysterical bouts of religious fervor, and others through acts of wild and immoral abandon. The quarantine has stopped fresh food and water coming into the city, resulting in hoarding and severe inflation for even the most basic goods. This is also flu season and people are quarantining neighbors and even family members for having the slightest cough. This is being done by boarding up doors and windows of various abodes. The more educated and well to do in the city are not appearing to be affected as badly as those in the poorer areas of town. This is due to better access to divine magic and living conditions, less crowding, and the fact that many of the rich are practitioners of magic and have a higher intelligence score that allows for better saving throws. The result has been several conspiracy theories about the origin of the disease and talk of taking mob rule into the wealthier districts, which in turn has forced the guard to put most of their members guarding the elite and allowing other districts to fend for themselves.

And mob rule is getting plenty of exercise in the poor districts, as Raynor, a local rabble-rouser and former priest, is often seen inciting crowds to put the law into their own hands. Under Raynor’s guidance, households that have been identified with ill members have been forced to stay in their homes by order of his personally formed militia. Raynor holds court over the lives of these households, and if it is decided that a family cannot be saved, the home and family members are put to the torch while Raynor blesses the flames in what the madman declares to be his mission of mercy. Afterwards, the mob is allowed to pick through the debris once it is given a once-over by Raynor’s subordinates. He is followed around by a circle of rough men, some that delight in the chaos and cruelty, and others that are fanatical followers driven by fear of the city’s plight and Raynor’s sermons. It has been cynically suggested that homes that are just a bit better off than their neighbors are more often put to the torch and picked clean. The local guard is stretched thin, and many frightened folks secretly look the other way to these more violent methods in the hopes that greater suffering now will end the crisis faster.


PCs or NPC scholars are eventually able to find an ancient reference to this magical disease, which came to be known at the dawn of humanoid recorded history. As an age of dragons gave way to the ages of the other races, the disease was first encountered and was created by dragon lore. Whether or not the dragons created it in an attempt to fight the lesser intelligent and shorter lived upstart populations, or whether a humanoid developed it by accident is unknown. What is known is that a few extremely rare ingredients are required in order to develop the antidote, dragon scales being one.

There may be several ways for the party to collect dragon scales. First, the heroes might know of a dragon that needs slaying outside of the city, forcing them to have to try to run the quarantine and risk the pursuit and wrath of the regional governor. Or perhaps the heroes hear rumors of a vault beneath the city catacombs containing sets of dragon scale armor ripe for the taking.

Finally, the heroes might decide to investigate the travels of the wandering monster that had started the crisis in the first place and discover what it had explored to become initially infected. If the party can bring the source of the infection back for research, they have a chance of working with the local churches to develop a new cure. Whether the contagion started via an accidental exposure or due to malicious actions should be up to the DM.

The most successful players will have found a way to help the poorer districts avoid mob justice while preventing attacks upon the richer districts. They should have aided the research of the disease, and put the right people in charge of ensuring the flow of basic necessities throughout the entire city. Finally, they should be instrumental in swiftly finding a cure so that fewer citizens succumb. Depending upon the choices they make, they will become heroes or enemies in the eyes of the various factions, which in turn will lead to the call of future challenges.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Whew! Done with the 1st draft. 1500 words feels simply luxurious. Now to sit on it over night to make sure it holds up tomorrow.

I love how you never know where these adventures are going to take you until you sit down to write them!

Voidrunner's Codex

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