Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

M-Files (Adventure Ideas, Part 1)

by Marco Dalmonte

I was checking through my files yesterday after a debilitating day and I found out something I thought it was interesting: basically X-Files episodes adapted to Ravenloft. Well, I've decided to do the same, but adapting them (some of them) to Mystara. That's the first part: read and enjoy!

The M-Files

This collection of adventure hooks centre on the TV series X-Files and can be played by any group of adventurers. However, some of them (or all of them) can be linked together in a huge campaign that puts the characters vs. a mysterious group that wants to masquerade or cover up their involvement in numerous events that happen in the world. What the final goal of this mysterious group is however, is left to the DM to tailor to his campaign. As a final note, it should be also possible to recreate the atmosphere of government cover ups if the party works for such a government. In this case, they could be special agents working for Alphatia or Thyatis (which have a wide network of spies and informants who can direct the players to the various cases) or for a new political body called IBS (International Bureau of Security), a branch of the WDL (Western Defence League) that has the power to operate in all the state members of the WDL. Enjoy the adventures!

This adventure is best set in Glantri, Alphatia or Thyatis. Eugene Victor Tooms is a murderer who was sentenced to death back in AC 850. However, unknown to everybody, the government decided to volunteer him to experiment special potions and new magical dweomers. After a year, Tooms died during a last experiment involving altering his genetic structure mixing it with parts of amoeboid creatures. His corpse was then dropped in the disposal compound to be assimilated by gelatinous cubes. However, he wasn't dead, but merely cataleptic. The genetic structure of Tooms had undergone many transformations in the precedent months and when he awoke, he was able to free himself from the gelatinous cube and to escape the compound. Now he roams the streets of the most crowded cities of the country and has the following powers/characteristics (he's a veritable living ghoul):
- -his eyes glow yellow when he is experiencing strong emotion and has Infravision (90');
- -he has stopped ageing;
- -he is forced to hibernate for thirty years at a time to maintain his youth, if -he fails to return to hibernation within one year of waking, his age starts catching up with him at fast pace (this he discovered soon);
- -to enter and survive hibernation, he must consume five human livers;
- -he hibernates in a nest made of trash bound together by a glue-like substance he produces from the bile in the livers;
- -his skeletal and muscular structures have changed so that he can squeeze through very small openings (vents, chimneys, barred windows, etc; maximum 10' radius);
- -he finds the taste, smell, and texture of decaying meat appealing (must make a Wis check to resist eating rotten food whenever he finds it);
- -he has the power to regenerate lost limbs and body parts (2 hp per round)
The PCs will have to cope with him when a strange series of death will begin to befall some people in town...

Jersey Devil
Feral humans are hunting the populace of a small village. In a region near a primeval forest (Alfheim border, Karameikos or the eastern Thyatis), loggers of a small village start to disappear and the local logging company begins to lose money for the delay of his workers. When the workers threaten to leave if the beasts that prowl the forest are not dealt with, the company asks the government to take matters in its own hands and it sends the PCs investigating. They will discover that the corpses have been mauled and partially eaten by a strange type of unknown animal... these are humans preying on humans in the most literal sense. Degenerated humans (brute men maybe, but definitely humans) still live in those woods and want to protect their territory.. and hunt for survival. They have the power to camouflage with the surroundings, so it will be really difficult to spot them (Infravision works only when they are in motion; Detect Invisible and Trueseeing might be better). [I've mixed this old episode with another one on purpose here]

In a cold northern region (Glantrian Alps, northern Norwold) a meteor strikes down from the sky. The nearest mages (magical guilds) hire the PCs to build up an expedition and retrieve parts of that meteor to use for studies and magical researches. Once there, the research team is forced by bad weather conditions to remain inside a wooden refuge waiting for better conditions to make the trip back (this means the group must not have means of Teleporting itself back). During their stay one of them is infected by a parasite from the meteor. The parasite is a worm that feeds by attaching to the hypothalamus and absorbing its secretions (it could feed on Psi Points or Spell Levels or Int or Wis or whatever too). Anyhow, the effect of this is that the person's emotional state changes. They become paranoid, then angry, finally homicidal. When the party discovers one of those strange worms about to enter the ear of one of them, the doubt that anyone could have already been infected spreads fast... The best way to do this is to create a claustrophobic feel and emphasise that no-one can know for certain who is infected and who isn't. The PCs must find a cure before it's too late.. and before they run out of provisions.

This is best set in Glantri, Thyatis or Alphatia. The government's magists are trying to create a super-soldier (or spy or something). They have taken the best females they could find and created clones of her altering their genetics so that they look normal but are super-smart and super-strong: the perfect unsuspecting ultimate weapon (a special type of flesh golem). However, the clones are also aware of their status and want to escape their creators' yoke, so some of them finally fool their masters and are able to escape. They look like young girls, but are hardened killers. Also, a design flaw causes their bodies to start going bezerk, changing and growing increasingly inhuman. When some girls are accused of killing their parents in different parts of the country, the PCs start investigating, with the government secret agents trying to retrieve or eliminate the golems in the meantime.

Beyond the Sea
A murder similar to the ones committed by a convicted criminal occurs and the characters are called to investigate (maybe they did arrest the original criminal..). The former murderer however is in prison, still awaiting execution. In fact, the prisoner has escaped the noose twice before (this is the reason of his delayed execution), and when the characters go visiting him he claims to have achieved contact with the spirit world from that brush with death. In front of them, he channels the spirit of someone close to a member of the party and begins taunting him/her with memories from the past (perhaps memories of guilt or sin). Is it real or is the prisoner trying to fore-stall he execution? And more important, who did commit the murder? It comes out that the new murderer is a copycat that wants to imitate the former, and only with the strange powers of divination of the convicted they will be able to find him.. but at what price?