Monday, September 26, 2011

Dead Orcs Society Solo Adventures - Sovelis

Once again, from the Dead Orcs Campaign Files comes another solo adventures. Featured today is the solo adventure of the party's Wizard.

Sovelis (no relation) is an Evocation Wizard whose former master was Nimozaran, most recently from his tower in Fallcrest. Sovelis studied under Nimozaran for a number of years, and this adventure was one of Sovelis' last before leaving the tower and beginning his career. The adventure occurred quite by accident, and Sovelis hates talking about it. However, the adventure is notable, as it is where Sovelis acquired his faithful familiar, Bubo.

As a reminder, each adventure follows a simple (but easily adaptable) formula:

Encounter one uses minions and sets the hero on the path.

Encounter two utilizes a simple skill challenge.

Encounter three uses both minions and a level appropriate "boss" figure roughly equal to the hero's strength. The difficulty of this encounter is based on how well the hero does during the skill challenge just prior. If the hero fails the skill challenge, this challenge will likely include several minions as well as the "boss" figure.

Here's what the encounter looks like (encounter created in Masterplan 11.1). Please note that when writing adventures for myself, I often leave out the minor details of certain things so that I have room to ad-lib with the player. If the notes from the adventure below do not seem polished, this is why.

You'll also note that I while Masterplan assigns XP to the various encounters, I did not track this. These adventures were designed as flashbacks. Skip to the bottom to see the followup.


An adventure for 1 character of level 1.

By Randall Walker

A Wizard's Errand

It is really late. You're not sure why your old mentor, Nimozaran is wanting Parrow Mushrooms this late at night, but an apprentice's job is not to ask too many questions.

You've never been down to the dungeon level of the tower unaccompanied before. But it's just a simple request. What could possibly go wrong?

A lot actually. A lot can go wrong. This is what you remember thinking as you pressed the wrong stud on the secret wall, and the trap door opened underneath your feet. The fall bruised your ego more than your body, but now you're in a dark room on a cold floor somewhere in your Master's dungeon. You can hear an unnerving skittering sound echoing in the distance.

Late one evening, a servant awakens you asking you to report to your mentor, Nimozaran. The wise mage is in the midst of an experiment and asks you to retrieve some fresh Parrow Mushrooms from the dungeon of the tower.

Encounter75 XP
Level 1
Carrion Crawler Hatchlingx3

Total darkness. Illumination will change based on the lighting provided by the hero.

Features of the Area

The stalagmites are considered difficult terrain to the hero, while the carrion crawler hatchlings ignore this terrain.

The hero begins at the center of the cavern. The carrion crawler hatchlings begin at the only exit from the cave.

The carrion crawler hatchlings are eating machines placed here years ago by Nimozaran to aid in "mess clean-up". They attack any living creature dropped into the cave. The creatures will attack until destroyed.

There are no items of interest in the cave.

Carrion Crawler Hatchling 
Small aberrant beast
Level 1 Minion 
25 XP
HP 1Initiative +3
AC 15; Fort 12; Ref 14; Will 12Perception +4
Speed 6, climb 4tremorsense 5
Standard Actions
Tentacle Brush (necrotic) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
The small but potent tentacles of the Carrion Crawler Hatchling brush against you, painfully rotting your flesh.
Range: Melee
Attack: +6 vs AC
4 necrotic damage and the target is slowed (save ends).
Rotting Grasp (Necrotic) ♦ At-Will
Seeing a still opponent, the Carrior Crawler Hatchling latches on, dissolving the prey with its tentacled grasp.
Range: Melee Touch
The target takes 4 ongoing necrotic damage each round until the Carrion Crawler Hatchling is removed or the prey is dead. While the Carrion Crawler Hatchling is attached to its target, it grants combat advantage.
Sustain: Minor
Skills Perception +4
Str: 10 (+0) 
Con: 13 (+1)
Dex: 16 (+3) 
Int: 1 (-5)
Wis: 12 (+1) 
Cha: 2 (-4)
Alignment Unaligned

Treasure Parcels
Scattered coins worth 25 GP
25 GP

Negotiate the Crystal Cavern

Glowing multicolored light pointing the way, you leave the cave of the carrion crawlers only to find yourself in another cavern. 

Filling the cavern are strange crystals. Brilliant sparks of energy dance between the crystals, and the smell of ozone fills the air. From across the cavern, you see a bulbous humanoid waving a satchel in the air. Over the sound of the sparking crystals you hear a warbling voice call out, "If that fool Nimozaran wants his mushrooms, you'll have to go through me, Bubo the Enlightened, first. The power of the shrooms is MINE!"

Having escaped the rotting tentacles of the carrion crawlers, you stumble into a cave filled with strange energetic crystals. You must make your way across the cave and climb the balcony to reach the strange foe you've suddenly acquired.

Negotiate the Crystal Cavern200 XP
Level 1 
Complexity 2 (requires 6 successes before 3 failures)
Primary Skills
Acrobatics (DC 19): Dodging the sparks isn't the easiest way to get around the crystals, but it's possible. You can use this abiity score any number of times to complete this skill challenge.
Success: Your clever dodging and weaving has allowed you to avoid the sparking crystals. You move your movement rate through the cave and gain 1 success.
Failure: Your attempt at clever movements has failed, and you have misstepped. You take 2 points of lightning damage and can only move 2 squares. Bubo spawns a minion and you gain 1 failure.

Arcana (DC 19): Using your mastery of the arcane sciences, you quiet nearby crystals in order to move past them. You can use this skill any number of times to complete the challenge.
Success: The sparks between the crystals quiet down and you are able to move your speed through the cavern. You gain 1 success.
Failure: Despite your efforts, sparks cause you 2 points of damage and you move only 2 squares. Bubo spawns a minion and you gain 1 Failure.

Other Skills
Endurance (DC 12): Summoning your reserves of energy, you decide to push your way past the sparking crystals, disregarding their arcing lightning. You may use this ability once during the skill challenge.
Success: You gains a +2 on the next Acrobatics or Arcana check made for this skill challenge.
Failure: None.

Insight (DC 12): You attempt to time your passage through the crystals, in order to avoid the sparks. You can use this ability only once during the skill challenge.
Success: You gain a +2 to the next Acrobatics check made during the skill challenge.
Failure: None.

Magic Missile (DC 8): You use your Magic Missile power to destroy a group of crystals. This ability can be used twice during the skill challenge.
Success: The hero blasts a section of crystals into oblivion moving past them at your normal movement rate. You gain 1 success and one of Bubo's spawned minions tumbles off the ledge and is impaled on the crystals below.
Failure: None.

If the hero succeeds in the skill challenge, you make it to the opposite wall of the cavern where a notches in the wall allow you to climb toward the ledge above. Bubo flees to an unseen location.
You make it to the other edge of the cavern, but you are beaten and worn. Bubo has gained some additional allies (spawned from his own body) and together they flee to an unseen location.

Mushroom Madness

If Bubo spawned no minions, read the following: Bursting into the final chamber, you finally get a clear look at the creature calling himself, Bubo. He stands near the back of a cave filled with row upon row of mushrooms. There are many varieties, but the patches of parrow mushrooms have been picked bare. Wide eyed he shouts at you, "These mushrooms hold the key to my freedom! But since you don't seem to understand that, I will send Nimozaran your CORPSE! 

If Bubo spawned one or more minions, read the following: Bursting into the final chamber, you finally get a clear look at the creature calling himself, Bubo. He stands near the back of a cave with creatures that look similar to himself, only smaller. The cave you're in is filled with row upon row of mushrooms. There are many varieties, but the patches of parrow mushrooms have been picked bare. Wide eyed Bubo shouts at you, "These mushrooms hold the key to my freedom! But since you don't seem to understand that, I am forced to send you back to Nimozaran as a CORPSE! My children! Destroy him!

Racing to retrieve the mushrooms, you confront Bubo in order to stop his madness.

Encounter175 XP
Level 4
Bubo the Enlightened
Spawn of Bubox3

Darkness, unless the hero brings their own light.

Features of the Area

Fungal Gardens
The cave is filled with rows of mushroom beds and other fungal gardens. These areas are treated as difficult terrain for the character, but do not block line of sight. 

Elevator Shaft 
At the far end of the cave, and carved out of the very cave wall, is a rectangular shaft containing a wooden platform. Pulling on the rope that runs through the middle of the platform, raises & lowers the platform. If the platform is raised as far as it can go, it leads to a secret door that gives egress back into the tower.

The hero begins at the entrance of the fungal garden cavern. 

Bubo starts anywhere within 1 square of the elevator shaft. Any of Bubo's Spawn start adjacent to Bubo.

Bubo is really upset that Nimozaran is stealing his brethren and putting them to use as an ingredient in his spells. Having only reached sentience a little while ago, he is driven only by the desire to protect the mushrooms and carry away the most valuable ones. 

During combat, Bubo will send his Spawn to fight the hero before engaging in combat himself. Bubo does not know how to work the elevator platform, and considers it just another part of the cave. Both Bubo and his Spawn fight until they are killed or incapacitated.

Items Of Note
When Bubo is slain, he leaves behind a bright red mushroom. This mushroom becomes Bubo, the Familiar of Sovelis. Bubo the Familiar has dreams of his previous (and rather brief) life, but is loyal & faithful to Sovelis.

Bubo the Enlightened 
Medium natural humanoid (plant)
Level 1 Skirmisher 
100 XP
HP 28; Bloodied 14Initiative +2
AC 15; Fort 13; Ref 13; Will 13Perception +1
Speed 6darkvision
Resist 5 poison
Spore Cloud (Poison) ♦ Aura 1
Aura 1: Any creature that begins its turn within 1 square of Bubo, takes 5 poison damage.
Fungal Born
Bubo can move through any terrain composed primarily of fungi, as if the terrain were normal terrain.
Standard Actions
Deadly Puff Ball (plant, poison) ♦ At-Will
Pulling a strange growth from the top of his head, Bubo hurls a glob of strange plant-like material at you!
Range: Ranged 10
Attack: +6 vs AC
1d8+4 poison damage.
Rhizome Stick (plant, poison, weapon) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
Bubo jabs at you with a sharp plant-like growth that extends from his body!
Range: Melee
Attack: +6 vs AC
1d6+3 poison damage.
Skills Nature +6, Thievery +8
Str: 9 (-1) 
Con: 12 (+1)
Dex: 17 (+3) 
Int: 9 (-1)
Wis: 12 (+1) 
Cha: 10 (+0)
Alignment Evil
Languages Common

Spawn of Bubo 
Small natural humanoid (plant)
Level 1 Minion 
25 XP
HP 1Initiative +0
AC 15; Fort 13; Ref 13; Will 13Perception +1
Speed 6
Resist 5 poison
Fungal Born
A Spawn of Bubo can move through any terrain composed primarily of fungi, as if the terrain were normal terrain.
Standard Actions
Rhizome Jab (Poison) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
Range: Melee
Attack: +4 vs Fortitude
4 poison damage
Skills Stealth +8
Str: 7 (-2) 
Con: 7 (-2)
Dex: 17 (+3) 
Int: 5 (-3)
Wis: 12 (+1) 
Cha: 10 (+0)
Alignment Evil

Here is the stat-block for Sovelis' familiar, Bubo. This was built in the original monster builder. While it doesn't have the same formatting as familiars in official resources (Arcane Power, etc.), it has all the information required to run one.

The Feedback:

Like Alex, I've been playing Dungeons & Dragons with Trey for over 10 years. Trey is the math genius at the table, and his mind can crunch numbers faster than most people I know. He's great to have at the table, because if there's a calculation error, or problem with dividing the monetary aspects of treasure, he's all over it.  Trey is a reluctant role-player, but once he gets into a situation, he can play his character to the hilt. He can be a bit aloof & arrogant (although not in a douche-bag type way) so his characters are often Wizards or Sorcerers. He certainly enjoys wielding Phenomenal Cosmic Power

As we played through the adventure, I wanted to challenge Trey's assumptions about what to expect in any given encounter. The adventure brought him pretty close to death a couple of times, so I know I stretched the boundaries of what a solo adventure can manage as far as balanced play goes. Being a reluctant role-player, I spoke to him about using a quirk, but he's not entirely sure how to approach that. There's a chance that his quirks will be subtle, even to the point of being "the character that has no quirks". Of course, that in itself, becomes a kind of quirk. He's eager to try on Themes for size, and I know he'll enjoy the additional benefits. However, he's not especially open as to the details of his background. Hopefully, this adventure will help fill in some of those gaps.

Feel free to steal any or all the elements of the brief encounters listed above. As always, I'd love to hear your feedback regarding solo adventures, skill challenges, or anything else for that matter. In among other posts, you'll see the remaining adventures as my players schedule time with me to play.

Until next time...

Game excellently with one another.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post!
    Check this blog too, about RPG tales: Warrior Bard Blog
    It is writen in portuguese, but is very cool.