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Demo Adventure

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I'm working on an outline for a demo adventure to run at Cons and FLAGS. 

The PCs are a group of young, new monster hunters who have just set up shop in Dogpatch, Iowa.  They have been marketing aggressively, getting their name out to all the local police & fire departments as well as the county sheriff's office.  

The adventure is divided into seven encounters.  Only three of these are combat encounters.  The rest are opportunities for the PCs to use their skills, interact with NPCs, and role play.  


One key to this adventure is that, while each PC has access to a variety of handguns, rifles, shotguns, and hundreds of rounds of conventional ammo for each, each PC has only twenty rounds of silver .45 ACP handgun ammo, twenty rounds of silver .308 rifle ammo, and ten rounds of silver 12 gauge shotgun ammo.  The adventure starts one day before the full moon. 


Early in the morning, about 6:00 AM, the PCs get a call from the local sheriff's office - "Come out to the corn field across from the Howard Johnson's out on State Route 75.  There's something we need you to look at."


The PCs are met on the side of the highway by Deputy Sheriff James Whitehead.  He leads them into the corn field to a large trampled patch.  In the middle of the patch is a ten year old boy, dead.  He is wearing only pajama bottoms and is barefoot.  His abdomen has been torn open, and large gouges have been taken out of his legs, one bicep, and his buttocks.  Bloody footprints lead away from the trampled patch, through the corn field, and to a two story clapboard house.  


The front door to the house is open, and the living room window has been smashed out.  Their are curtains tangle in the bushes under the window, and there is broken glass on the lawn.  On the floor of the living room a middle aged man, dead.  His throat is torn out, and he has many defensive wounds on his arms, legs, and chest, similar to those received when fending off a knife attack.  Next to the body is half of a broken baseball bat.  The other half is on the far side of the living room.  The wood has clear teeth marks on it, as if from a large animal.  There are signs of struggle throughout the house, particularly the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the living room.  There are the shredded remains of a woman's blouse, slacks, and sneakers strune across the house.  A PER check will show that the woman's clothes have no blood on them.


Deputy Whitehead briefs the PCs - "The man is Jim Mason.  This farm is his, but he also works part time at the transmission shop downtown.  The boy is his son, Carl.  Jim lives here with his son and his wife, Elvira.  I put in a call to Bobby Menkin, the bartender at The Hole In The Wall, and he says Elvira never showed up for her waitress shift last night.  No phone call or nothing.  He says that just ain't like her."


Eventually a white Econovan with "Dogpatch C. M. E." on the side arrives.  Out steps an attractive redheaded woman, early '30s, wearing scrubs and a lab coat.  The lab coat has embroidery that reads "Dr. Rachael Guinevere, Medical Examiner."  She approaches one of the PCs, gestures toward the bodies and says "Are they going to get back up and eat me?"  However the PCs reply, she responds with "I need you to decapitate them."


While she displays no hint of fear, surprise, panic, or disgust, she flatly refuses to bag the bodies until the PCs decapitate them.  If the PCs question her behavior she will state "The Coroner's Office Rider on the Unearthly Forces contract requires decapitation by the contractors before the coroner enters the scene."  If they mention that they are not currently contracted then she will say "If you ever GET the contract, it will have a Coroner's Office Rider."  If the PCs refuse to decapitate the bodies then she will roll her eyes, mutter "Amateurs..." and do it herself with a camp axe she keeps in the center console of her van.


If the PCs question Deputy Whitehead, he makes it clear that he considers this "contractor business."  He mentions that Dogpatch County doesn't currently have an Unearthly Forces contractor in place, and he understands that it is a highly lucrative contract for whatever company wins it.  Handling this matter well should go a long way toward convincing the sheriff the PCs are the right crew for the job.


The PCs investigate the crime scene and make their follow-up plans.  Deputy Whitehead doesn't have any additional information for the PCs, but if asked he will provide the phone number for Bobby Menkin and the address of The Hole In The Wall.  

If the PCs call the phone number for Bobby, they get no answer.  If they call or go to the Hole In The Wall, they are told that it is Bobby's day off and he isn't expected back until tomorrow.

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About 1:00 PM the PCs get a call from the Town of Dogpatch Chief of Police - "Get to Restwell Cemetery now, and bring everything you've got!"


The previous week old Mrs. Mcgillicutty blew through a red light, AGAIN, only this time she got t-boned in the middle of the intersection by a DPW deuce-and-a-half.  She and her three-legged lap dog Jingles were pronounced dead at the scene.  She was scheduled to be interred in Restwell cemetery that morning, but when the funeral party arrived at the cemetery they were set upon by a group of shambling beasties.  There are X (where X = # of PCs times 5) standard zombies shambling around, with several currently dining on some of old Mrs. Mcgillicutty's relatives.  


This should be a fun combat encounter for the players, and introduce new players to the idea of "Called Shots."  'Cause shooting a zombie in the chest does BUGGER ALL.  


In the Head
and Not the Chest
Head Shots are
the Very Best


After all the shamblers are put down an unmarked black Chevy Suburban with heavily tinted windows arrives on the scene.  Out step two men wearing cheap blue suits and dark Wayfarer sunglasses.  They identify themselves as Clovis and Dunn.  The first name of both of them, it seems, is Agent.  Dunn engages the PCs while Clovis sets about telling witnesses that they did NOT SEE what they just saw.  Dunn will give the PCs the standard MCB hard time.


"How could you engage zombies in full view of the public?"
"Is your agency properly chartered?"
"Have any of you been bit?"
"Were those weapons purchased legally?"
"Do you have a permit to carry that concealed?"
"Have any of you been bit?"


If any of the PCs were bit in the earlier combat and they admit it to agent Dunn, then he will instruct them to sit on the grass on the far side of the Suburban, out of view of the road.  If a PC was obviously bitten but they don't admit it, he will call out the PC and instruct them to sit on the grass on the far side of the Suburban, pulling his gun if they refuse.  If they were bit, they do not admit it, and the injury isn't grossly obvious, then Agent Dunn won't push the matter.  But over the course of the adventure that PC turns into a zombie.


If the PCs haven't checked up on Agent Clovis' activities then have each of them make a PER check.  Successful checks will show that he has separated off two of Mrs. Mcgillicutty's relatives and asked them to sit on the grass on the far side of the Suburban, out of view of the road.  Each of them is clearly favoring an injured limb.  


Dunn will not mention the werewolf attack.  If the PCs mention a possible werewolf in the area, agent Dunn will reply as follows:


"We are aware of the report of a RABID BEAR operating in the area, and will the take appropriate steps.  Based on the total hash you have made out of this incident, you clowns are hereby ordered to STAY OUT OF IT!"


About this time Dr. Guinevere shows up in her white van.  She approaches the PCs, camp axe in hand, and instructs them to decapitate each of the zombies, each of the dead victims, AND old Mrs. Mcgillicutty.  

At this time the PCs will clearly hear the sound of a gunshot coming from behind the Suburban, a scream, another gunshot, and then silence.


Dr. Guinevere looks at a PC and says "Them too."  Any PC who sat behind the van should turn in their character sheet.


She then turns to Agent Dunn.


"Dunn, I've got what's left of a little boy and his father on a slab in my office, and their wounds test positive for werewolf saliva."
"You're not read in, Rachael.  As far as you're concerned that was a rabid bear attack."
"I'm the county M.E, Dunn.  If you want to tell me my job, you go to med school first."
"Saliva test kits are classified.  Where did you even get one?"


Dr. Guinevere will then turn to the PCs and ask "Are those bodies decapitated yet?"  


Agent Dunn will go off to confer with Agent Clovis, then they will both get in the Suburban.  Before leaving the cemetery they will drive over to the PCs and Rachael.  Agent Dunn will speak to them from the van.


"The official story on that attack last night is it was a bear attack.  Rachael, you say anything different to anyone and you will be officially "detained" by the MCB.  As far as you clowns, stay out of this.  We don't need you making this mess any bigger."  Then they drive off.


A PS: Monster Hunter skill check will let the PCs know that MHI does not have the authority to order them off of a hunt when they have been invited in by local law enforcement.  PUFF bounty on shamblers is $5000 each.  File the paperwork and, provided everything is correct and in order, checks should be mailed in 8-12 weeks.


Dr. Rachael has more to add.  "That werewolf attack is a real problem, but you've got another one.  Most of these shamblers have toe tags.  Those are med school cadavers.  Only one way so many med school cadavers get reanimated all at once.  Looks like we've got us a necromancer."


If the PCs check the toe tags, the cadavers were sold by Ace Medical Supply, Chattanooga Tennessee.  A quick Google search gets the phone number, and soon they are talking to "Walt from Ace Medical Supply's Ace Sales Staff, how can I help you today?"   It quickly becomes clear that if the PCs aren't interested in "a simply FANTASTIC deal on electrically adjustable hospital beds, just PERFECT for all your hospital bed needs" then they won't be getting any help from Walt.


The PCs get the run around from Ace Medical Supply.  If they approach the police for help, they will get referred to Deputy Sheriff Whitehead.  He lets them know that he can get a warrant, but the earliest he could have it is tomorrow morning.  That leaves the rest of the night for werewolf hunting, if the PCs choose to do so, and if they have a plan.  After all, tonight IS the night of the full moon.

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Whatever the PCs do for their werewolf trap, it doesn't work.  The werewolf doesn't show up.  Who DOES show up, however, are agents Clovis and Dunn.  They have full combat body armor with helmets, M4 rifles, but no night vision goggles.  About four AM they creep through the dark into the PC's werewolf trap and ignite a firefight with the PCs.


The PCs should be told that the light from the full moon is obscured due to "thick cloud cover."  What they see are "a dim shape, low to the ground."  "The body and shoulders are too broad for a 'normal human,' and the head is too large."  Too broad and large for a normal human, sure, but just right for a human in combat body armor.  Keep stressing that they are "getting closer," they are "coming right toward you," and "they're right in your crossfire."


Once the firefight starts, eventually SOMEONE will realize that werewolves don't use guns and start shouting "Cease Fire!"  Agents Clovis and Dunn will read the PCs the riot act for ignoring their order to stay out of the werewolf hunt.  They will bluster and threaten, but provided neither is seriously hurt then call them names and tell them that they are in over their heads.


Dunn will close with "If I wasn't convinced you are all exactly stupid enough for this to have been a mistake, I'd haul you all in for assaulting federal officers."  


What this fire fight will ALSO do is eat into the PCs supply of silver ammo.  Even if they didn't waste their silver ammo on the zombies, they should now be running low.


I wonder if it will occur to the players to have the PCs share their silver ammo?  A kind GM would recommend it.  A good GM would say nothing.  

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At 6:00 AM the PCs get a call from the Dogpatch County Sheriff, Douglas Tripp.  "Come to the boat launch at the north end of Jamison Park.  I need you to look at something and explain to me how it happened."


At Jamison Park the PCs meet by Sheriff Tripp.  He directs them toward a parking lot near the boat launch that overlooks the lake.   The area has been marked off with yellow police tape.  What they find is two teenage kids, boy & girl, dead.  There is a beat up car parked nearby with the doors open and the windows smashed.  The boy's body is near the car with its throat torn out.  The girl's body is some yards away.  Her clothing is in shreds, her abdomen is torn open, and large chunks have been gouged out of both her thighs and one calf.  Both of the kids have defensive wounds on their forearms.  A successful Paramedic skill roll will show that half of the girls liver is missing.  Bloody animal tracks lead from the boy's body to the girls body, then off across the street and disappear into a corn field.


"I need you people to explain to me how it is that you are a crew of professional monster hunters, and yet we've got a bunch of people dead at the cemetery yesterday, and two teenagers dead last night?"


As the PCs give their excuses, Dr. Rachael's van pulls into the parking lot.  She gets out and does a brief examination of each body.  Afterward, she will make eye contact with one PCs and make a "chop chop" motion with one hand.  If a PC decapitates the bodies without waiting to be asked then when she notices she will look around to make sure no one else is watching, then nod and offer a weak smile.  


Rachael:  "We got us a problem, Doug.
Sheriff:  "Don't tell me.  Tell THEM.  They're the experts."
Rachael:  "MCB are experts, and they aren't doing any better."


About this time Agents Clovis and Dunn arrive in their unmarked Suburban. 


Dunn: (to the PCs) "We instructed you to stay out of this."
Sheriff:  "You aren't doing any better then they are."
Dunn:  "That's because they interfered with out investigation last night."
Sheriff: (to the PCs) "Is that true?"


Just then one PC get a call from Deputy Whitehead.  "Bobby has just showed up at The Hole In The Wall for his shift today.  I figured I'd let you know first."

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When the PCs question Bobby he "Don't know nothin' 'cause there's nothin' to tell."  He has no idea where Elvira might be or where she might go.  He knows nothing about her having been "hurt" recently.  He knows nothing about what could have happened to her family, or why.


If asked specifically about Elvira being bitten recently he will tell this story:


"Yeah.  'Bout three weeks ago we had us a couple of rowdy boys passing through.  They made a move on Tammy, she's one of our younger waitresses, and Tammy's boyfriend Mike didn't like that.  Mike and his buddies starting up with the strangers, and it turned into quite a ruccas.  Looked like those boys was gonna beat Mike clear to death, so I had to pull our bar shotgun, and fire it to get their attention and stop the fight.  I didn't shoot nobody or nothin'.  I mean, one of the strangers, he fell down, but he got right back up like he wasn't hurt, so I must not a' hit him.  Anyway, middle of the fight Elvira runs in and goes to grab Tammy, pull her away?  As she's reaching for Tammy, one of the rowdy boys bites her right on the hand.  Anyway, those rowdy boys, they caught sight of me and the shotgun, and they could tell I meant business, and they didn't want none of that.  They cleared out right quick after that."


If asked specifically about Elvira having any other family in the area, Bobby will say:


"Well, Elvira got a cousin, Linda, runs a road side stand on State 80, far side of town?  Cousin lives in a trailer out back.  Elvira and Linda, they're close.  You see them together 'round town two, three times a week."  


If they ask him why he wasn't more forthcoming with possibly critical information, he replies "I TOLD you, there wasn't nothin' to tell."


A successful Deduction roll will let the PCs know that a roadside stand on State 80 would only be a few miles from Jamison Park.

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Around one o'clock that afternoon the PCs will get a call from Deputy Whitehead.  "Ace Medical Supply responded to the warrant.  Those med school cadavers were delivered to 1187 County Road 101.  That's the old Barington farm.  I'm gonna go talk to him right now.  If you want to come along, you can meet me a half mile from there."  


When the PCs arrive, he continues.  "Old man Barrington was always an eccentric, but after his wife died he went off the deep end.  Even still, you don't really think it's possible what Rachael said, that he's a necromancer, do you?"


Deputy Whitehead will insist on going with the PCs to question old man Barrington.  Question.  He will not condone violence unless Barrington starts it first.  Deputy Whitehead is armed with a 9mm M9 Berreta and has two extra magazines, all standard ammo.  His car has a loaded 5-shot pump shotgun in the trunk, along with two boxes of standard 12 gauge ammo.  


The farm has a half-mile long driveway that passes between two long-neglected corn fields.  The driveway ends in a large clearing with a two-story clapboard house on one side and an enormous barn on the other.  Oscar Barrington is on the front porch of the house.


If the PCs decide not to question old man Barrington and instead do a stealth reconnoiter, Deputy Whitehead will approach Mr. Barrington alone and question him.


If the PCs question Mr. Barrington, he will admit to ordering the cadavers.  When pressed he will say "I'll show you" and head to the barn.  He will have the same reaction if Deputy Whitehead questions Mr. Barrington alone.  Either way, Deputy Whitehead will follow old man Barrington into the barn.


Inside the barn are X (where X = # of PCs times 10) standard zombies and Y (where Y = # of PCs divided by 2) wrights.  They will set immediately upon anyone who enters the barn who isn't old man Barrington.  


If Deputy Whitehead entered the barn alone he will be immediately killed and raised as a zombie.


If old man Barrington somehow dies in the yard, the undead will swarm out of the barn and go on a standard undead rampage in all directions.


At the start of the battle old man Barrington will do nothing except laugh and cheer on his creations.  When it becomes clear that the PCs will destroy wrights and zombies, then he will set upon the nearest PC with Move Through and Grab attacks.


A search of the barn will find an old leather book on a wooden stump and several as yet untransformed medical cadavers.  PUFF bounty on shamblers is $5000 each, $20,000 each for wrights, and $35,000 for a necromancer who has used necromancy to commit murder.

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When the PCs get out to the road side stand it is still more than two hours until sundown.  The road side stand is closed.  The sigh posting the store's regular hours says it should still be open.


When the PCs go behind the stand, they see a single-wide trailer up on cinder blocks.  The door is closed.  The window curtains are open and the lights are on inside.  A PRE roll will show that one of the side windows is broken out.


Inside the trailer a woman is dead on the floor of the kitchen.  An examination will show that her throat has been torn out and she has been disemboweled.  The trash is overflowing with broken knick knacks, and broken furnature has been stacked in a corner of the living room.  The blood in the area has dried to a rusty brown.  Some of the dried blood smears on the walls have sponge smudges through them.


When all the PCs are in the trailer, they hear a voice from behind them - "You need to leave."


Elvira Mason is a woman in her mid 30s.  She is wearing baggy jeans and button front shirt.  She is barefoot.  


"You need to go.  It isn't safe for you to be here."  


A PRE roll will show that Elvira's eyes are a bright amber.


If the PCs open fire in the trailer, she will fight and gradually transform.  She will attack the PCs with the biggest guns first.


If the PCs try to talk Elvira into giving herself up, she will bolt and run.  The PCs will have to chase her out of the trailer.  She will run and gradually transform.  If she is shot, she will turn and attack the PCs as an enraged and fully transformed werewolf.  She will first attack the PC that shot her, and then the PCs with the biggest guns.


PUFF bounty for a juvenal werewolf with several known kills is $50,000.


But you can't spend it when you're dead.

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18 hours ago, phydaux said:

There are only two combat encounters, so I think it can be run in a four hour block.


I had fun reading this, and may flat out steal it for my local gaming group!


New people at a con take some time to learn the rules (see "HERO in two pages") and get used to each other. If you keep the fire to their feet (remember, the full moon is ONE DAY AWAY!) I think you could get them through in 4 hours. The first zombie encounter could become a time suck for first-time players, so prepare some standard combat maneuvers for them to default to. The sudden call from (insert NPC here) is a great way to move to a new scene if things start dragging. 


Good of luck and let us know how it goes!

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Thanks.  I tried to throw in a lot of elements.  A female NPC for a PC to try to romance, but a no nonsense one, not a "damsel in distress."  And MCB a$$holes to give them grief.  The "carrot" of the possible high paying contract with the sheriff's department, meaning they have to act professional.  It's astonishing how many players can't run across an authority figure in game without having their character run their mouth.


One thing I DIDN'T include that I totally WOULD HAVE if this was a campaign is a competitor hunter squad also going after both the PUFF money and the sheriff's department contract.   Totally throw in another combat encounter - a knock down drag out brawl at the local waffle house between the two groups of hunters.

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