This is an introductory Murphy's World adventure, designed to be played within two hours. It uses material directly from Murphy's World, so have your copy handy. Between one and eight people can play the adventure, but four to six players is optimum.
If your players are new to Murphy's World, emphasize that Murphy's World is not a typical roleplay setting. It is a silly place where the unexpected occurs more often than the expected, where reality is elastic, and where what may seem familiar at first glance is more likely twisted beyond recognition.
Most importantly, have fun.
How to Read This Adventure
Standardized descriptive headings make this adventure fast and easy to understand. The 'Introduction' and 'Background' sections contain GM information. All other sections describe PC interactions. Headings are numbered for easy reference.
Option 1: None. This is not a complex, life-and-death adventure. Relax and let things flow naturally. Roll dice only when an element of chance seems appropriate. Follow the guidelines in the Murphy's World book section entitled Three Ways to Play: GM Option One: Fly, Be Free!
Option 2: Choose a rules system that all of your players are familiar with and adapt it to the adventure. See Murphy's World for hints on how to do this.
Option 3: If you are familiar with the rules in Murphy's World, use them. Explain enough rules so that your players won't run into nasty surprises, but don't go into minute detail. The object of this adventure is to get a feel for the setting of Murphy's World, rather than its rules.
The Player Characters (PC)
The Player Characters are on foot, and their equipment is restricted to what they can carry while walking.
Option 1: Each player uses one of the sample Characters from the Murphy's World book section Once a King, Always a King... The Characters' stats are less important than their background and description. If your players have difficulty with the idea of playing insurance salesmen or union organizers, give them a few hints on how such Characters fit into the Murphy's World background. No matter how seemingly weird or useless, every Character has strengths that can be taken advantage of when played imaginatively.
Option 2: Each player uses a Character from another gaming system. They should fully describe their Character for you to avoid problems later in the adventure. ("Oh, did I forget to tell you about my Mace of Planetary Destruction?") Make sure that each Character is amenable to a silly adventure. Deadly serious or psychotic Characters are generally not much fun.
If you have Characters from various gaming systems, we suggest you use the No Rules option to avoid rules clashes.
Don't worry too much about the mix of Characters. Fantasy, military, science fiction it doesn't matter. Murphy's World itself puts no formal limitations on Character types.
Get a free color Murphys World Character Sheet in PDF format , click HERE!
1.1 Background: All Revved Up With No Place to Go
The Characters are members of a small band of adventurers. They have been wandering Murphy's World looking for excitement, romance, money, and food. The adventuring business has been tough lately. Most of the dungeons have 'For Rent' signs on them, the monsters having cleared out for greener pastures. Peace has broken out in the surrounding region. The local bad dudes are on the other side of the planet attending the Fifth Annual Morally-Challenged Sentient Beings Conference sponsored by Bob, Lord of Evil. In a word, things are quiet. That is until the party reaches the village of Domino, just in sight down the road.
1.2 Background: A Call From the Gods
The people of Domino are in a panic. Generations ago, the original inhabitants built the city using the strange black obelisks they discovered strewn about the plain. Unknowingly, they built their village on the site of a favorite pastime of the Gods. The Gods periodically played their game and destroyed the village in the process.
After several generations of rebuilding, the villagers attempted to appease the Gods by transforming the village from a playing field into a restaurant supreme. They scoured the land for the finest and rarest of foods to offer the Gods. The Gods are fine gourmets (fat pigs is the more accurate, though less diplomatic description) and were intrigued by the villagers' efforts.
The village bakers produced an exotic pizza pie that pleased the Gods greatly. The Gods agreed to play another game (everyone was getting into collector cards anyway) and destroy some other village, and Domino would prepare a pizza whenever called upon.
Generations passed, and the Gods did not call. The villagers breathed a sigh of relief, believing the pizza deal forgotten. Not so. Time moves differently for the Gods than for mere mortals. (For a start, the Gods never get up before noon.) The day before the arrival of the Characters in the village, the Gods told the villagers to get baking, or they would hold the Cosmic Domino Finals in the villagers' living rooms. The villagers have a big problem they don't have all the pizza ingredients.
The village elders consulted ancient tomes, and looked up the ingredients and where they could be found. They also found the dangers that accompany gathering the ingredients. The elders decided the task was too dangerous to risk anyone they knew and cared for. They needed a group of schmucks to do the dirty work for them. That's when the Characters arrive in town.
2.3 Event: A Favor is Requested
After giving the PCs time to enjoy themselves, the mayor takes them aside and asks for a favor. "We want to do a big banquet in your honor, but we don't have all the ingredients. Would you mind helping us out? It won't be danger... er, difficult, and won't take you very long."
If asked why they don't gather the ingredients themselves, the councillors reply with excuses like "I've got a dentist appointment," "I just had my hair done," "I go bowling Tuesday nights," "It's my lumbago," "My wife would kill me," "I got flat feet," "I work the night shift," "God told me I can't go," etc.
2.3.a Plot Option: The PCs Refuse to Help
If the party refuses, the mayor becomes very serious. "You must. The wine you just drank contained the Elixir of Altruism. Without the antidote, you will spend the rest of your lives giving your possessions to anyone who asks for them. We will not give you the antidote unless you undertake this quest."
2.3.a.i Description: The Elixir of Altruism
If any PC doubts the effects of the Elixir, the mayor will ask that PC to hand over their most valuable object. The PC must do so immediately. If necessary, the mayor will strip the party naked. There is no defense against the Elixir. If a player denounces it as unfair, reply "Yep, that's life," and move on.
The mayor and council have already taken the antidote, and are immune to the Elixir. Another way to avoid the Elixir's effects is to lie down until the feeling of altruism goes away. No other Non-Player Characters the party meets in this adventure knows about the Elixir and thus will not take advantage of it.
2.3.b Plot Option: The PCs Accept
Once the party agrees to help, the villagers escort them to the 'Sacred Scullery'. It is a long, roundabout, secret route. The mayor and party must pass through a dozen doors, use secret passwords, duck under sharp spikes, avoid nasty animals chained to the walls, pass carefully over trap doors, etc. The journey ends on a catwalk above a large room. On the floor below people in tall white chef's hats are stomping down a huge mound of dough. The mayor explains that it is for the banquet, but if asked what they are cooking, says that it's a secret.
The mayor announces, "Please put on your sacred headgear," and dons a chef's hat. Each of the councillors takes out and puts on a hat. They wear top hats, fishing hats, Blue Jays baseball caps, propeller beanies, fur hats, etc. When the mayor asks where their real sacred headgear is, the councillors reply, "Mine's in the wash," "It's sacred to me," "Oh, that sacred headgear," etc.
At a nearby lectern, the mayor reads from a huge and dusty book. "May the Gods look favorably on our sacrifice... Sorry, wrong page." He begins again. "This is the Sacred Shopping List. Procure the following:
The mayor hands the party a copy of the list. "It has a handy-dandy metric conversion table at the bottom."
The mayor continues, "You'll need a few other things." With great ceremony he hands the party the following items: a roll of Plastic of Preserving, the Sacred Shopping Bag, the Disk of Displacement, and money saving coupons for discounts on Bom-Bom Beast Sausage and Piebald Goat Cheese.
2.3.b.i Description: The Plastic of Preserving
Like typical plastic wrap, the Plastic of Preserving comes on a cardboard roll. You can rip off as much as you like, and use it to wrap food, or whatever. It will keep food wrapped in it fresh for one week, one month if refrigerated.
2.3.b.ii Description: The Sacred Shopping Bag
The Sacred Shopping Bag looks like a typical plastic shopping bag. On one side is a picture of a wild-eyed pig stuffing its face with food. Below that are the words, 'Piggy Pauls Food Trough -- Where Your Buck Won't Get Stuck'. The Bag is magical, and can hold any amount of food without breaking or weighing anything. Any non-food item placed in the Bag will have weight and strain the Bag. If the Bag is used to hold garbage, it will break four steps from where the garbage is supposed to be put.
2.3.b.iii Description: The Disk of Displacement
The size of a small dinner plate, the disk has seven brightly colored buttons on top. The buttons are labeled 'Cheese', 'Sauce', 'Sausage', 'Fruit', 'Toadstools', 'Home', and 'Wooga'. The Disk can magically transport the party to the location listed on the button pushed. The 'Home' button works only after all the other buttons are pushed. When the 'Wooga' button is pushed, the Disk makes a sound like a U-boat fog horn; it does nothing else.
The Disk is restricted in its use. It only works if everyone who was there for the first jump is there for every subsequent jump. Thus, the party cannot split up, or the Disk will fail to operate. The mayor will explain this carefully to the party. (If for some reason a player leaves the game before it ends, go on without them and explain that the mayor lied.)
2.3.b.iv Description: Money Saving Coupons
When used before the end of the Tinfoil Age, these coupons give 10% off the purchase of Bom-Bom Beast Sausage and a free sample of Piebald Goat Cheese Whey. If used before the end of the Second Millennium of the Tinfoil Age, the purchaser gets double Thrifty Trading Stamps.
After giving the PCs these items, the mayor escorts them to a nondescript wooden door. Unlike the passage in, this door opens immediately onto the town square. The sign above the door reads, 'Secret Door to Sacred Scullery'. The mayor and councillors wish the party bon-voyage and good luck.
If the PCs wander the town and purchase supplies they will be warmly received. The locals will praise the wonderful task the party has undertaken and wish them well in their quest. After an hour the town will close down and the PCs asked to leave any establishment they are in. The townsfolk excuse themselves, claiming they need time to prepare for the night's celebrations. This is a big hint for the PCs to get on with their quest. Eventually, the townsfolk become completely preoccupied with their preparations and have no time for the PCs.
3.1.a Event: Knock 'Em Down, Drag 'Em Out
Things are tense. Each warring group is eyeing the other and the PCs with equal distrust. If one of the PCs makes a false move, the families will draw their pistols and fire!
Fortunately for the PCs, this is not dangerous at all. The pistols are water pistols, and at worst, the PCs will get a good soaking. On the Alakazims and Alakazams, however, the effect is extraordinary. Any villager struck by water will scream, clutch at the moist area, and roll around in the dirt to get rid of the water. Shortly after the fighting starts, the Alakazims will get the worst of the water, and run away. The leader will shout to the PCs, "Come with us!" The Alakazams will then concentrate their 'firepower' on the PCs.
It should not be clear to the PCs at this time that the guns are filled with water (they might observe a liquid and deduce it to be water, but the reactions of the victims should give them pause -- perhaps it's acid?) Certainly the locals behave as though they have been struck by something seriously harmful.
3.1.b Plot Option: Cry, Baby, Cry
If the party fights in earnest, the villagers will be taken aback. If a villager is hit with a weapon, or wounded, he will look stupidly at his assailant, sit on the ground, and cry. After a couple of villagers do this, the rest will stop, and step back wonderingly from the PCs.
The Alakazam leader will say, "Hey, you're hurting people. That's... that's not nice!" A few other villagers will cry in sympathy with those sitting on the ground. The Alakazim leader will throw his arm around the shoulders of the Alakazam leader, and waving his fist shout, "Go ahead, take your nasty old sauce. We don't need it anyway!" With that, he will bury his face in the shoulder of the leader of the Alakazams. The leader of the Alakazams will pout and say to the PCs, "Now look what you've done! He's a sensitive type, you know."
Sniffling, both groups will shuffle away. The PCs are free to gather all the sauce they like. Make them feel really guilty about it though.
3.1.c Plot Option: Taking Sides
If the party runs off with the Alakazims, the leader will try to draw them into a complex plan to take control of the fountain. The plan involves things like tunneling under the street, creating a diversion, recruiting foreign mercenaries, undermining the economies of neighboring nations, and creating international incidents. In other words, unrealistic nonsense. If the PCs agree to get involved, the Alakazim leader, Luiz, will give them the longest, most complex part. This task will take the party far past the deadline for returning to Domino.
If a PC suggests an alternate plan, no matter how simple or straightforward, Luiz will pause for a moment, then say, "Sounds good. Let's do it."
Just about any plan will work (both the Alakazim and Alakazam are dim), and the party will be granted all the sauce they can carry by the grateful Alakazim.
3.1.d Plot Option: Revealing 'The Truth'
This assumes that the party has run off with the Alakazims, since it is difficult to have a serious discussion with people who are squirting you with water pistols. Some of the PCs may figure out that the villagers are afraid of water. Indeed, they believe it is a vile poison. They use the sauce in the fountain in place of water. Unfortunately, the sauce is so spicy that it gives everyone constant stomach upset, part of the reason they fight all the time.
By washing in water and drinking it in front of the horrified eyes of the Alakazims, the party can convince them that water doesn't hurt after all. The Alakazim leader, Luiz, will set an example to his men, after much hesitation, by drinking some himself. Astonished, he says, "Wow. It's cool and refreshing. My stomach feels better already!"
Carrying the party on their shoulders, the Alakazim parade in triumph back to the sauce fountain. If one of the PCs doesn't do it, Luiz will dare the Alakazams to squirt him. They will happily comply, but will fall back in confusion when he enjoys it.
Soon, the whole village will be drinking water and having long overdue baths. Together, the Alakazim and Alakazam leaders will approach the party and tell them that they can have all the sauce they want, since the village will be using a great deal less of it in the future.
Smiling, Luiz says, "Please, you may have our sauce. And, in keeping with the spirit of the time, the Alakazim will share their water with everyone in the village!" Furrowing his brows, the Alakazam leader will look at Luiz. "Hold on. You mean the Alakazam's water, don't you?"
"Bah! A fat pig like you wouldn't know good water if it bit him on the nose!" Luiz replies.
With that, the villagers will battle over the water well across the street from the sauce fountain, leaving the PCs to get their sauce and head out.
3.2.a Event: Meeting the Management
Whichever way they choose to wander, the PCs will soon be approached by a strange figure. It is wearing a strange, tinfoil-like jumpsuit, has three legs, four arms ending in tentacles, and two heads. The alien is a Langosian. (Read the description of Xor-Xan of Langose in the section of Murphy's World entitled Once a King, Always a King....) Doo-Dad carries a tall glass of Tang in one tentacle. Tang is Doo-Dad's favorite drink. (There is a huge supply of it on the station.)
Upon reaching the party, the alien smiles, waves its tentacles, and says "Erp florp?" No matter what language any member of the party replies in, Doo-Dad will understand it. "Ah, foreigners!" he says. "Take me to your leader. Ha, ha!" If the party fails to laugh appreciatively at this fine bit of Langosian humor, Doo looks disappointed, and Dad looks positively morose. "That usually slays them," she/he'll complain bitterly. "Ah well, what can I do for you sentient beings?"
Doo-Dad will perk up when the piebald goat is mentioned. "You pronounce that well," he/she will reply. "I'll take you to the piebald goat. Come right this way."
3.2.b Event: Getting the Party's Goat
After a tiring 2 mile [3.3 km] walk, Doo-Dad and the party will arrive at a large, open area full of strange furniture. Doo-Dad invites the party to sit, but not a single piece of furniture in the room is comfortable to humanoid bottoms. The party will have to make do.
With a flourish, Doo-Dad pushes a button and says, "Behold the piebald goat!" The far wall of the room lifts up, revealing a large window. Through the window the party can see the stars shining in the airless void of space. In the center of the view is a massive object. It is an off-yellow (the kind used on prison walls and college halls), with huge tentacles waving about, deep craters in its surface, and gas vents spewing out clouds of dust. If asked, Doo-Dad will explain that the 'thing' is over 1500 miles [2500 km] across, and that the party is aboard a space station orbiting it. But what about the piebald goat? Doo-Dad explains: "'Piebald Goat' is a Langosian term that literally translated means, 'Humungous off-yellow planetoid being with big tentacles and gas vents that spew dust'. And yes, it does give milk, but you have to get it yourselves."
Doo-Dad will provide enough spacesuits to clothe the entire party. Unfortunately, just like the furniture, none of the suits fit correctly. Most have extra, or not quite enough, body parts. The extra leg on a suit may constantly kick its wearer in the behind. Another suit may have only one extra-large leg, forcing the wearer to hop about. Another may have an extra arm which waves about in front of the wearer's face, the middle finger on the glove rigidly extended. Yet another helmet may be too small, forcing wearer's nose up against the faceplate, causing them to speak strangely. Whatever the problem, choose something annoying rather than crippling.
3.2.c.i Description: Piebald Goat Cheese Whey
If the party presents Doo-Dad with the coupons for free samples of Piebald Goat Cheese Whey, he/she will hand them large bowls of a gooey, off-white substance. It tastes truly foul. If asked, Doo-Dad explains that the coupons are the only way to get rid of the stuff, since absolutely no-one will buy it.
3.2.c Event: Milking It For All It's Worth
Donning his/her perfectly fitting suit, Doo-Dad guides the PCs into a small space-tug and flies them to the piebald goat. She/he gives them one container each and gives them instructions. "Strap the container to your chest, and place the open end over an udder. Squeeze the udder with both hands, and slap the top on the container as soon as it is full. When you have filled your containers, I'll pick you up." With that, Doo-Dad opens the door on the space-tug, dumping the PCs onto the surface of the piebald goat.
Gravity is very low on the piebald goat. A PC who leaps too high will have quite a wait before returning to the ground. Only dextrous PCs or PCs experienced in low-gravity environments will have few problems getting around. The stupid space suits make it worse.
There are two vaguely udder-like types of bumps on the surface of the piebald goat. Unlike goats' udders, they point upwards rather than downwards, and come in two colors: red and green. They have markedly different effects.
Any party member who chooses to milk a green udder will provoke a response from the piebald goat. The moment they place the container over the end of the udder and squeeze, one of the piebald goat's tentacles will whip down, grab them, shake them silly, and throw them back to the ground. It will take the party member 1d6 minutes to recover. (Immediately after the first PC is treated like this, Doo-Dad's voice breaks in over the suit radios, "Did I tell you not to touch the green udders?" The aggrieved PCs are unable to reply, as only Doo-Dad's suit can broadcast. The PCs will have to express their feelings through hand gestures.) When red udders are milked, the milk spurts into the container with such force that the PC will be pushed away from the surface of the piebald goat at a high velocity. So fast, in fact, that they will escape the gravity of the piebald goat entirely and drift into space. Doo-Dad will pick up each PC squirted away. Once they are all collected, she/he will take them back to the space station.
3.2.d Event: Getting Cheesed Off
Back aboard the station, Doo-Dad collects the containers from each PC and pours the milk into a strange contraption. With a few cranks of a lever, cheese will pour from one end into a vat.
Should a PC sneak a taste of the piebald's goat milk, they turn Prussian blue and become as stiff (and as responsive) as a board. Doo-Dad will tsk-tsk, and explain that the PC is in no danger. They will come out of it in any time between two minutes and fifty?eight years. (The PC will come out of it the next time the party uses the Disk of Displacement.) Before the PCs can take the cheese, Doo-Dad will stand protectively in front of it and say, "Not so fast! This stuff isn't free, you know. How will you pay for it?"
Doo-Dad will reject any valuables -- coin, bills, jewels, or plastic -- that the PCs offer. He/she will explain that none of them have any value to Langosians. Once things come to an impasse, Doo-Dad looks the PCs over carefully. Pick some seemingly innocuous article of clothing or possession that one of the PCs has. For example, have Doo-Dad focus on a pair of boots. Doo-Dad stares at the feet of one of the PCs. "Are those Cowboy boots?" he/she asks. After being told they are, Doo-Dad pauses, then hesitantly says, "I will give you the cheese for those boots. What do you say?"
Some PCs may want to bargain Doo-Dad down. She/he will settle for a single item, but no less. Upon being handed the boots, Doo-Dad will lovingly stroke them for a moment, then, with a wild gleam in his/her eyes, wave them over her/his head, shouting, "Yes! With these vast riches, Langose will be mine! All mine!" Doo-Dad will then run off down the corridor, shouting in triumph. The PCs are free to pack away the cheese and head for their next destination.
(And yes, the cheese tastes very nice.)
3.3.a Event: Questing for A Bom-Bom Beast
Finding a Bom-Bom Beast is easy. Let the party hear the sounds of one crunching through the forest almost immediately. Do your very best to frighten the party with the sights and sounds of this massive, hairy, fanged, and clawed Beast. Once the party works up its courage and actually attacks the Beast, have it die in its normal messy and disgustingly smelly manner. As soon as the Beast is dead, Lorbert appears.
3.3.b Event: Preparing the Sausages
Lorbert is dressed in a radiation decontamination suit including a self-contained breathing apparatus, and is pulling a cart of equipment. Handing each member of the party a shovel, his muffled voice shouts, "If yer want yer sauserges, git ta work!" He begins shoveling Bom-Bom Beast remains into what look like giant condoms partially filled with spices. The party must work slowly, being almost overcome by the stench.
Once the sausages are made, Lorbert informs the PCs that they have to burn their clothes, and offers to sell them new ones. His clothes are limited, ugly, poorly fitting, poorly made, and expensive, but at least they don't smell. There are polyester leisure suits in brown checks, plaid bell-bottom jump suits with gold chains around the waist, ripped black jeans, T-shirts, skirts, and knee-length socks.
Lorbert will accept the money saving coupon with ill-grace, and hand over a double amount of grimy, unreadable Thrifty Savings Coupons. He has no idea what the coupons are good for, he just gives them out.
Any PCs who insist on keeping their old clothes will stink for the rest of the adventure, no matter how hard they wash their garments. They and the other party members should constantly be reminded of the stench throughout. It makes it difficult to deal with other people, since walking around smelling like you've been dead three weeks is impolite, to say the least.
3.4.a Encounter: Chatting Up the Natives
If the PCs ask about the Tooting Toadstools, the miners have a standard reply. "Heck no, there ain't no problem with Tooting Toadstools. Leastwise, they won't kill you or nothing really nasty like that. Gosh, some of my best friends have spent a lot of time in the company of Tooting Toadstools." (This last statement causes much merriment amongst those gathered around.) "You all just follow me, and Ah'll gladly take you to the Toadstools. This is goin' ta be a lot of fun. An' Ah mean that" (The gathered miners will laugh again and follow.)
3.4.b Plot Option: Following a Guide
The party's native guide leads the party (followed by a group of snickering miners) through the tunnels to the mouth of a large cavern. The guide stops in the passage, motions toward the cavern, and quickly moves away. "You'll find the Toadstools in here. Enjoy!"
Under no circumstances will the guide go into the cavern himself. If asked, he will give the same excuses the natives of Domino gave for not going along on the quest in the first place. He will assure the PCs that there is nothing dangerous in the cave. The other miners have an identical attitude.
3.4.c Plot Option: Striking Out On Their Own
If the PCs ignore the guide and look for the Toadstools themselves, the miner will wish them luck, and go about his business, cackling under his breath. Meanwhile, the PCs will have to deal with bad air, treacherous footing, and slime dripping on their heads the whole time they are wandering the winding tunnels. Roll 1d10 for each new tunnel with the following results:
1 Cavern of Tooting Toadstools
2 - 3Encounter a Miner (see 3.4.b. above)
4 - 7Serious Quantities of Slime
8 - 10Bad Air
3.4.d Event: Thar She Blows!
When the party enters a cavern containing a patch of Tooting Toadstools, each player must make a Willpower Roll for their PCs. A failed Willpower Roll means that PC must adopt a blank stare, sit, and listen to the 'enchanting music' of the Toadstools.
PCs who escape the Toadstools' enchantment may run away or attempt to break their companions free from the spell using one of the methods described in 3.4.e. An unenchanted PC may also battle the Tarantulas who live amongst the Toadstools.
An unaffected PC moving about the patch will discover a hairless miner or two hidden among the stalks. If broken free of their trance, these miners will simply get up and walk away, grumbling about their "hairless condition" and "lost time." They will not help free any PCs.
3.4.e Encounter: Tooting Toadstools
It won't take long after arriving in this area for the party to find out just how gross a gross of Tooting Toadstools is. These fascinating fungi vary widely in size, with caps from 6" [15 cm] to 4' [1.2 m] across and stalks up to 6' [1.8 m] tall. Though the Toadstools are physically harmless, air passing through their porous caps causes a melodious tooting sound which can enchant anyone within earshot. Anyone hearing the 'music' must make aWillpower Roll or be forced into a trance-like state.
While in this trance, victims are unaware of anything around them unless disturbed by a physical event (i.e., being shaken, struck, or having water thrown in their face). Each such disturbance allows the victim another Willpower Roll.
A successful Willpower Roll means that the PC resists the spell of the fungus, and can function normally. Once resisted, the PC is immune.
The Toadstools have no other means of attack or defense.
This tooting is actually a pollination procedure. Pollen is blown into the air to be carried to other toadstools by the Tooting Toadstool Tarantula. As well as being great pizza toppings, Tooting Toadstools make a good cream soup.
3.4.f Encounter: The Toadstool Tarantula
Immune to the enchanting effect of Tooting Toadstools, this spider is big, hairy, and menacing. Tarantulas range from 10" [25 cm] to 3' [88 cm] across, and lurk under the caps of Tooting Toadstools. The Tarantulas feed off victims of the Toadstool's enchantment. Luckily for the Tarantulas' prey, they subsist entirely on hair. (Dwarvish beard hair is a particular favorite). The spiders spray their victims with saliva that turns their hair into a mushy goo. The Tarantulas then lick up the goo with their long, agile, slightly abrasive tongues.
The sensation of a Tarantula's licking allows a PC one Willpower Roll (with a -3 shift penalty). Given time, a Tarantula will leave their prey completely hairless. Victims' hair eventually grows back. Usually.
The Tarantulas are pacifists. If their victims awake and react violently, they will flee back to the shadows. They can spin extremely sticky webs, and will leave copious amounts behind to slow pursuers.
3.4.g Event: A Hairy Situation
Should the entire party become trapped by the Toadstools, have fun. Play upon their paranoia as you describe the approach of the large, hairy spiders in great detail. Add insult to injury by describing just how the Tarantulas remove the PCs' hair. Use this in all their following encounters. Have the various sentient beings they meet ask questions along the lines of: "You some kind of religious group?", "Is this some fraternity/sorority thing?", "Are you from the Planet of Follically-Challenged People, or what?" etc.
After the spiders have had their fill, have a miner (a previous victim, and now immune) rescue the PCs by shaking them out of their trances.
3.4.h Event: Slice 'Em, Dice 'Em, Make Julienne Fries
Hairless or not, the party is now free to harvest Tooting Toadstools. The Toadstools will toot in distress, but offer no other resistance.
3.5.a Event: A Massive Welcome
The Candied Orchard can only be reached by crossing the Bitter Chocolate River. The path leads to a rickety bridge made of Turkish Delight. Any PC who falls in the river will be coated in Belgian-style dark chocolate, bitter but very tasty. The chocolate hardens quickly, imprisoning the PC in a delicious bondage. The chocolate can be broken (or eaten) away, but the PC will discover clumps of melting chocolate throughout their clothes (preferably in embarrassing areas) for the rest of the adventure.
Upon reaching the far side of the bridge, the party sees the village of the Sugar Daddies. Suddenly they hear a voice shout, "Hold on a minute there, please!" With that, three immensely fat men wearing large floppy hats, peanut-brittle breastplates, and wielding huge candy-apple maces, waddle out of a gingerbread guardhouse nearby. Their names are Private Neilson, Corporal Cadbury, and Sergeant Toblerone. They are three musketeers. Waving his candy-apple in an aggressive manner, a musketeer wheezes, "You're new around here. I can tell cause you are all scrawny. What do you want?" Whatever the PCs reply, the man will answer, "You'll have to talk to our leader, Mr. Big! Nothing happens in Candyland without his say-so."
The musketeer leads them to a gingerbread palace, decorated with white icing and a dazzling array of colored candies (most of the ones at ground level are broken off). As they enter the palace they pass a house guard of sentient turtles in formal dress. Passing through two massive doors of black liquorice, they enter the throne room.
On a rock candy throne sits the massive form of Henry the Ate, Mr. Big of the Sugar Daddies, surrounded by his staff and his queen, Lady Godiva. He wears a toffee crown set with brilliant yellow, red, and green ju-jubes. As the party is escorted toward him, he pauses from his inspection of new candy coatings, and turns to the newcomers. Pausing to take a bite from his candy cane scepter, he says, "What do you severely undernourished strangers want here?"
3.5.b Plot Option: Food for Thought
If the PCs and admit that they want to take fruit from the Candied Orchard, Henry smiles, and laughs a sinister laugh that makes his body quiver like a bowl full of jelly. "All right, but you have to face a challenge. You must race our champion in the Rumball Rally. If you defeat him, you can take all the fruit you want from the Orchard. If you lose, you will spend the rest of your lives in the mines of Sugar Mountain!" (Add maniacal laugh.) "Is it a deal?"
If asked for further details, Henry says, "It's quite simple. You have your pick of one of our vehicles: a Bugatti Brittle, a Ferrari Fondant, or a Tatra Taffy. Then you must race around our champion around our race course. What do you say?"
3.5.c Plot Option: Rally 'Round the Flag
Should the party take up Henry's offer, everyone gathered around will cheer (and jiggle) wildly. The Rumball Rally is a major event in the life of the Sugar Daddies, and everyone will gather along the route to watch.
Henry introduces the party to Norbert, the village champion. Norbert is a mountain of flesh, held together by a skin-tight silver racing outfit (a truly frightening sight), and is second only to Henry in sheer bulk. "Hi, soon-to-be-defeated opponents!" Norbert says toothlessly.
Henry leads the way down to the courtyard. It is a miracle that he can walk at all considering the huge mass of flesh he carries on his body. The ground trembles as he moves. Henry raises his hand for silence, and the crowd slowly calms down. "The rules are simple. You start here," indicating a spot about 10 yards [9 m] behind the racing machines.
When they hear the sound of a popcorn pop, the PCs must race to their vehicle. The driver climbs aboard, while the others push from behind to power the vehicle.
The course leads out of the courtyard, southeast toward the River of Molasses, over Butterscotch Bridge, then west toward the Gum Drop Forest. Once through the forest, a sharp right turn takes racers over Bonbon Ridge, past the Candied Orchard, then back to the palace via the Confectionary Causeway. The first team to cross the finish line doesn't have to mine sugar. To add an element of safety (and to give the spectators something to munch on) bales of cotton candy are piled up at every corner as crash barriers. The race gets its name from the rumballs that the spectators are allowed to throw at the drivers and crew of the vehicles as they pass by.
The vehicles in the courtyard are remarkable. Made from various types of candy, they are built large in order to hold the massive bulk of a Sugar Daddy. The wads of gum holding the joints together are huge (and come in various flavors.) They are painted with food coloring racing stripes, and have little rice-paper flags on top. Someone has put playing cards in the spokes so they click as they go.
"So", Henry asks, "who is your champion?"
3.5.d Event: The Racer's Edge
It doesn't matter whom the party picks as their champion. Only in the weirdest of circumstances could the outcome be other than the expected one. In short, any party member who is in even remotely better physical shape than Norbert is able to sprint to the machine, get on board, and be propelled a good distance before Norbert and his team can even maneuver his massive bulk into the seat of his vehicle.
During the race, have a few tense moments. Let one PC be stunned by the impact of a rumball. Let another fall into the River of Molasses. In the Gum Drop Forest some dishonest Sugar Daddies cut down some candy canes and used them to throw a roadblock across the path. Others placed melted taffy across the road in the home stretch, again designed to slow the PCs down. If Norbert ever gets ahead and is about to win, have his vehicle collapse under his own weight.
Norbert's loss upsets the crowd and stuns Henry. The village is genuinely awestruck at the magnitude of their defeat. They simply have no understanding of how their champion could lose. Some ominously mutter things like "Black Magic!" "They cheated!" or "I can't believe I just lost 500 grupniks!" Norbert is completely downcast. Henry blinks a few times, then says, "Best two out of three?" Should the PCs take Henry up on his offer, they will handily beat Norbert again. Just after Henry suggests best three out of five, Norbert suffers a major heart attack, and Henry will be forced to concede. Should the PCs politely decline, Henry shrugs and points them in the direction of the Candied Orchard. "Take all you want. We're all going to go and sulk now." The Sugar Daddies proceed to do just that.
3.5.e Plot Option: Under Heavy Attack
If the party attempts to sneak into the Candied Orchard to steal the fruit, they will anger the Sugar Daddies. The PCs will be attacked by Sugar Daddies outnumbering them at least five to one. The Sugar Daddies don't fight in a usual manner. They disable and disarm their enemies by overwhelming them with their bulk. Typically, one Sugar Daddy distracts an enemy while two more charge the enemy from both sides. If a PC is between the two charging Sugar Daddies when they meet, he or she will be throughly smushed and take 2d10 of crushing (meaning blunt, not cutting) damage. When two tremendously fat beings collide with you in the middle, you feel it! Alternately, one Sugar Daddy simply leaps on an enemy, doing 1d10 crushing damage and knocking that enemy to the ground.
The Sugar Daddies are surprisingly fast (due to their high level of blood sugar) and they outnumber the party significantly. Unless the party is very powerful, they will soon be overwhelmed by the Sugar Daddies. The Sugar Daddies will not kill any of the party, and are very philosophical about their own losses. (The average Sugar Daddy only lives 40 years.) If they overwhelm and capture the party, Henry will offer them the choice between the Rumball Rally challenge and leaving the village. If they choose the later, they will have to sneak back in and try again.
3.5.f Event: The Quest Comes to Fruition
Having defeated or distracted the Sugar Daddies, the PCs can pick the fruit from the trees at their leisure. It comes in various fruit flavors: lemon yellow, orange orange, goofy grape, raspberry red, and lively lime. The fruit is similar to real fruit, but is four times larger, much brighter in color, and sugar coated.
|Join Our Online Mailing List Now!
Get a free subscription to AERIE our netzine. Receive news, useful articles, and supplemental material that you can use to enhance your RPG adventures!
|WHERE TO GET PEREGRINE PRODUCTS|
|Purchase Digital Files from Peregrine Product Pages at Associate Websites:
Peregrine's products are available now as a downloadable PDFs from the Peregrine product pages on DriveThruRPG.com and RPGNOW.com.
Fantasy, Horror, and Science Fiction Art Prints by Kevin Davies can also be purchased at www.backprint.com/kevindavies.
Order Direct From Peregrine for more info click HERE.
Peregrine wants to do all we can to support the retailers and distributors who stock our products. However, if you do not have a retailer near you who stocks Peregrine products, or the retailer you have is unable to acquire our products from their distributor(s), we will take orders directly
This page was last updated February 10, 2011.
Content copyright © 1993 to 2011 by Kevin Davies. All rights reserved.