"The legions of the Reaching Moon came a generation ago, desecrating our temples, destroying the Old Ways. In the lowlands and the towns, the hand of the Red Emperor is at the people's throats, but here in the highlands we still live free as the wind that roars over the mountain peaks. We are the Haraborn of Black Stag Vale, and our clan has outlived false gods, Western sorcerers, and the lies of dragons. The Red Moon now thinks she can break us, and bend us to her filthy foreign ways. I say Shepelkirt is wrong. When Argrath comes as prophesied, and tears the Red Moon from the sky, we will still be here, faithful to our gods, loyal to our ancestors, and mindful of the ancient ways..."

- Joddi White Hart, Haraborn Lawspeaker

Saturday, January 7, 2012

HEROQUEST EPISODES: "The Talking Animal"

These Episodes can be used as random encounters, plopped down on a map at a specific location for more "sandbox" type campaigns, or strung together to create longer stories. Each is adaptable to any level of play.


* Begin With: This event is usually triggered in a remote location, such as the mountains or wilderness, but could really be set anywhere (a classic RuneQuest scenario started in the city of Pavis with a talking fish speaking to the players from the Zola Fel River). Regardless, the players encounter and animal and it starts to speak...

* The Situation: The characters encounter a sentient, speaking animal with its own goals and agenda. The creature A) has something it wants and B) something to offer in exchange. For example, the players encounter a white stag in the woods that asks them to hunt down a local wolf pack that killed the doe he loved. In exchange he leads them to a magical spring with healing waters. Or, as in "The Treasure Hunt Rite," a sly fox offers to help the characters rescue Sartarite captives in exchange for a hunter swearing to give up hunting game. Talking creatures are obviously magical and otherworldly, and should not be bargained with lightly.

* Characters: The Talking Animal. Almost any type works fine. Narrators may chose to go with established stereotypes (the wise owl, the sly fox, the hungry wolf) or play against them (the cowardly lion). The animal should have a Keyword with appropriate abilities, and possibly the Beast or Spirit Runes. For example;

Latharn, the Fox
Fox 17 (Break-out abilities; Hide and Sneak 3w, Tracking 20, Bite 14, Sly 6w, Trickster 3w)
Beast Rune 14: Latharn is a follower of Hykim and Mikyh, the Father and Mother of Beasts, and can use his Rune to augment his other abilities (+2 bonus) by spending a minute concentrating and reciting an invocation to them in beast speech)

* Short Term Goal: 1) The Animal wants the PCs to spare it, and will perform a service for them in exchange. 2) The Animal needs a favor (a predator hunted down, a lost cub recovered).

* Long Term Goal: To survive, have offspring, and prosper.

* Scenes: The player characters encounter the beast, converse with it, and either accept or decline its offer. Then each side fulfills their end of the bargain.

* Conclusion: The players gain some magical benefit or the animal as an ally or follower (a Hero Point must be spent to cement this trait for more than one use). For example, after helping a falcon find its stolen eggs, the creature offers to aid the player characters anytime they call upon it...a Hero Point cements this as Falcon Ally 13, otherwise it will perform one favor and be gone. On the other hand, if the PCs break their end of the bargain, the creature may plan some form of revenge in the future...

No comments:

Post a Comment