“Darkness Lives” by Shadow's Symphony from “The House in the Mist” © 2011. Used with permission.

“For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad I am not - and very surely do I not dream.”
-Edgar Allen Poe, “The Black Cat”

Adventure Ideas: Page 1

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These are adventure ideas that I've come up with for use in my home games & RPG conventions or have been contributed by other writers. Enjoy!

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This first adventure is titled “Under the Red Sky”, and was submitted by Mephisto. This adventure was written for a contest on the Forums of the Megaverse, which upon winning said contest, Mephisto submitted it to the House for everyone to use and enjoy.

Red Sky Image

Introduction:There exists in the world rare, strange events that defy explanation. What the Red Sky is, 99.9% of the time, is a naturally occurring phenomenon that is entirely natural, and based on astrological movements. However, it can also be the result of another rare situation, one that is an atmospheric result of something much more profound. For you see, the Red Sky is simply the visual association of something much more remarkable,
a specialized Rip of Magic.

Click on the image to download the PDF. Note: This file has been updated with an illustration of The Xorn by krateworx, who drew the creature as a prize to Memphisto for winning the contest. My thanx to both Memphisto and krateworx for sharing their talents within the hallways of the House of BTS.

This next one is a simple one, but its one of my favorites. It's a "low level" player character game that was designed to have the player group going to a "haunted" location that's making the lives of the family living in or near it more and more unbearable. It has a lot of the ear marks of a haunting: creaking footsteps in the dead of night, chills down people's spines and feelings of being watched or that something isn't right, electrical problems and similar phenomenon.

But instead of finding ghosts as they expected, they find things much more dangerous lurking inside the walls, and these creatures only get more agitated/excited by the presence of psychics being there and are a threat for the family just as much as they are the PC's, especially considering the PC's probably packed more for ghost hunting than monster hunting.

The same basic idea applies for another story, only this time the ghosts/entities begins to hunt them back... or they are all stay quiet during the hunt at the location, but they leave and follow the investigators back to their homes afterwards to haunt or hunt them.

The group is in high pursuit of some supernatural baddie in the middle of the night (like a vampire or some other creature of the night) as it races into an old condemned building. The group should keep going after it (if need be, the thing may be carrying a small child or something of value to encourage the players into pursuit).

The angle here is that the fiend has prepared for this situation and the building has been rigged with hazards and traps in an effort to slow down, injure, maim or even kill its chasers. Some events that could happen in this adventure:

-They find a sprung trap at some point with a dead man in it. Perhaps it's a hunter they recognize or knew, someone who may have helped the group on occasion. This scene raises the tension and the stakes of their situation.

-They find an injured hunter/investigator, or perhaps a homeless man who's sought shelter in the wrong place. This person has sprung a trap earlier that night and needs professional medical assistance to survive (paramedic efforts will only slow the blood loss, he needs a doctor). The patient should already look weak and fading... can the group move on and leave him here? Do they take the effort to help the injured person out of the building? (This should also be a challenge as their original entrance will now be blocked off).

-They could discover a person (or group or people) who live in the building with the creature, and THEY are the ones who are building the traps! Are they possessed? Are they just sick individuals? Do they support the creature for whatever ungodly reason?

-They may find the creature they were looking, but then discover it's a subservient creature to something much stronger than the group expected (and probably isn't properly equipped or prepared to encounter it).

-They destroy the fiend and rescue whomever needs saving, but the creature set a "self destruct" trap of some kind before its demise and suddenly, small explosions are going off all over building! It will eventually level the several story building, and will bury the PC's alive if they don't get out fast!

-The traps themselves can only be limited by your imagination at this point. Weak floor boards, spike traps, trip wires, mazes, poison dart traps, contraptions right out of the "SAW" movies, nail bombs, fire bombs, ceilings caving in's... the works. Taking place in the dead of night while in a building with no lights should only make this scene much more terrifying and dangerous.

This one was designed with the spirit of the House of BtS in mind. ;)

 The players investigate a "haunted house", but its the house itself is actually the problem (as opposed to ghosts/entities). This can be explained in whatever way you like (or left as an unexplained mystery), but the important thing is for the players to discover the secrets of the house in order to escape it. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that they can't escape the house until they solve the mystery or a riddle of some sort.

To escape the house, the group will face things like never ending corridors, rooms they've visited before that keep showing up randomly in other rooms, doors and objects disappearing and reappearing all the time, outdoor windows and exits can't seem to be found anywhere (or they look like exits, but they lead to another room or corridor), sudden temperature changes, etc. Think of the short story and movie 1408 for some inspirational moments.

Throwing in iconic horror bits like walking skeletons, aimlessly wandering ghosts, people who've been trapped in the house for years and their sanity is now broken (or at least cracked), evil psychic beings, and more would be appropriate as well.

Your left to your own devices to come up with what puzzles or solutions the players need to escape the house.

Random image by Kent BurlesIn the middle of “No Whereville, USA” is a small town and farming community. The town has been witnessing strange kidnappings for months and is calling for help, and the undermanned and unprepared police department is looking for assistance, this brings up the PC's.

The town has nothing noteworthy about it
(not even a Starbucks to be found), and one of the few mildly interesting bits of town in a wax museum that was fashioned out of an old ice factory. The owner seem to be out of his mind operating this museum in such a mild place as all of the pieces or wax art were all created in “bad taste” to create a menagerie of horrible, monstrous looking things. The max museum is housing monsters in the guise of monstrous wax pieces during the day, but at night they come alive and hunt for people to capture and alter them into other wax monstrosities.

The town thinks the eclectic proprietor is to blame, but he’s not, he’s simply a spoiled rich kid who ran away from his rich, stuffy parents and the big city and found the giant fridge of an ice factory an ideal place to start up a wax museum. Being rich allows him to not care if the museum makes money or not. He likes it and that’s enough. Other forces are at work in this case, but if things don’t change soon, he’s got to be arrested or end up taking the fall for whoever is responsible someday soon.

The real threat could be a cult, a coven of witches, The artists who are supplying the piece of art, perhaps the whole town’s behind it, or perhaps no one mortal is behind it at all (a supernatural or demon being could be the mastermind, or the “menagerie monsters” that started as his collections found the museum to be a land of opportunity and moved in).

Whatever the reason, if the characters get captured, they’ll be turned into a wax creature by morning (if not rescued). Killing the monsters means destroying private property (rich kid’s private property with a hot shot lawyer no less) as well as destroying the small towns only real tourist attraction (tourist numbers have gone up since the museum opened) and therefore one more nail is placed in the nearly dead community’s coffin. Some folk might seek revenge on the players before/as they are leaving town for “disrupting things”.

An alternative to the wax museum setup: the museum is fine, it’s the town that loaded with killers and murderers, and while they have an unwritten truce amongst themselves, it’s free for all on tourists and those passing through. The killers could have possessed folks amongst them, a minor occultist dabbler who has a few hell hounds at his command, a Devil Ghost has taken up residence here as he enjoys all the sick minds congregating so close together, etc. 

One of the player characters wakes up one morning to prepare for the daily grind, and when he turns on the news while getting ready, he hears something to effect of the following:

(Reporter): “According to the police report, the cause of death was determined to be due to “extreme starvation” and added that Adam Johnson appeared to have not eaten in the last several weeks. Adam’s son, a Mr. Thomas Johnson, had this to say concerning his father’s cause of death.

“This is impossible; I had just taken my dad out to dinner two nights ago. He was in good health, he always eats like a horse, and has been working on a pot belly since his retirement. I don’t care what the autopsy says; dad didn’t die of starvation!”

(Back to the reporter): “With no further explanation available for what seems to be an extremely unusual occurrence, the police have considered this a closed investigation.”

If the PC’s don't see this as enough of a reason to investigate, more occurrences like this will keep happen until they do get involved.

What’s behind these strange starvation deaths? Black magic? Energy leeching monsters? A freak natural occurrence in the area? Bizarre side effects of some new experimental drug the pharmaceutical company doesn’t want anyone to know about?

Sewer Hunting image from Boxed Nightmares“There’s things worse than alligators in those sewers!”

Those silly reports of alligators in sewers are making the rounds again (happens every summer), but this time there’s a twist that says the alligators are now coming up to the surface and snatching up people to drag back to their layer. After several weeks of people going missing, the PC group may deduce its worth investigating.

But when they get to sewers and investigate, they find a lot more than they bargained for! There are man-gator biped looking beasts are roaming the sewers, jungle foliage is growing over every surface of the sewer and even stranger things start happening!!! What’s behind this bizarre event, and how do the players deal with it?

Antagonists: Could be a Jungle spirit/entity/ minor godling, or a cultist plan in motion, a completely unexpected and random event, some kind of bizarre time warp or backlash in the area, a science experiment gone badly and spiraling out of control, etc.

Whatever the cause, people are mutating into gator beings and foliage is growing and expanding by about a city block an hour or two. It’s only a matter of time before this mess comes up to the surface and overwhelms the town and beyond!