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M-Files part 2by Marco Dalmonte
This is second part of the adventure ideas called M-Files and based on the TV series X-Files. As I've already explained in my old first post, 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 its 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, Glantri or Thyatis (which have a wide network of spies and informers 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 Darokin or Alphatia. Various people die in flop-houses and bordellos in the seedy part of the city, but the PCs are called to investigate the cases when the son of a prominent man (powerful merchant or wizard), is found dead in one of the houses of pleasures. All the clues led the characters to an odd religious sect in a nearby rural area. The sect called the Kindred, have a rogue among them, one who hates the open land and seeks the city. Why did witnesses say that the victims entered their rooms with women and men came out? What draws back the rogue Kindred and what do the crop circle that dot the land near their compound mean? The answers can be many: the sect is composed by polymars that are spying on the city, but one of them has tasted human flesh and has now become addicted to it; the others are trying to capture it to avoid being discovered. Or the sect is composed by descendants of doppelgangers from another planet and are now waiting for their fathers to return, but one of them has gone crazy and doesn't want to leave this world...
Young at Heart
This adventure can be set in Glantri, Alphatia, Thyatis or Darokin. An enemy from long ago returns, apparently from death.. He lost an arm and other bits to the characters and was then presumed dead or sentenced to prison for the rest of his life. However, a wizard found him and repaired the damage using grafted troll flesh as an experiment. The wizard has been studying ageing and used a process on the villain which made him about 20 years younger. Healed and escaped, the villain has bided his time. Now he has selected the character who destroyed his arm as his victim. He methodically stalks and kills the friends and family of that character, strangling them with his new inhuman hands...
In Karameikos, a band of loggers cut a tree that has stood for thousands of years. Inside the tree is a swarm of ancient insects (tiny mites), released when the loggers chop down the tree. The mites sting and poison the loggers to death and cocoon their bodies as food and breeding ground. The loggers families are worried and the characters are hired to find them. They go to the logging camp, and find the cocoons. Trapped for the night (make something up), the characters find that when darkness falls the nocturnal mites swarm. First, the characters must survive the night, and then stop the menace from spreading.
The daughter of a slain city guard grows more like her father each day. But when she starts following various guards and they start turning up dead, she is arrested for their murders. The characters are asked by the mother to help prove her daughters innocence. The girl begins to display strange powers (telekinesis and spontaneous image creation), and it develops that her father was murdered by corrupt guards, one of whom is seeing the mother. The father has returned in the shell of his daughter to bring revenge on his killers.
This adventure can be set in Glantri, Thyatis or Alphatia. A mage has discarded an experiment into the sewers below the city. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite dead. It is a combination of a fluke worm and a man. Driven by vague emotions and primitive instincts, it has three goals: reproduction, revenge, and return. To reproduce, the flukeman bites a victim with its powerful suckered mouth injecting an egg. The egg grows in the host's gut for three days, then burrows up the digestive track and is vomited up as a small fluke worm. It escapes to the nearest water source where it will grow into a flukeman like its parent. The creature will attack many of the sewer dwellers attempting to reproduce. Second, the thing is aware of who created it and knows that the creator caused it incredible agony. The flukeman will try to return to the wizard's dwelling and slay him, preferably by implanting an egg (this is fatal as the worm eats its way to the mouth). Finally, if the other two goals are achieved, the creature will start leading his family of flukemen to gain control of the city sewers and then of the rivers... The party is called into action when some men (mainly thieves who used the sewers for their shady affairs) start to die because of the injected eggs and numerous boat owners and fishers report strange sightings in the city waterways.
Somehow, a town has been infected with madness. Previously calm and rational people have became hopeless mad and are killing their neighbours. What has happened is a contaminant has been introduced into the environment that causes people to hallucinate. People see their greatest fears, writing moves and shifts producing horrid messages about crimes and depravity, voices whisper goading one to the brink. Who or what has caused this? The characters must find the answers before they too succumb to this deadly contamination. It turns out that some spies working for an enemy power are testing a new alchemical poison on the townfolks by polluting the wells... or it can be the same government that has allowed its alchemists to test this poison on its own people to be used later in war...
This adventure is best set in Glantri (but can be also staged in Thyatis or Alphatia). To create the perfect warmachine, a soldier who need not sleep but can fight by day or night with no rest, Herr Doktor (Rolf Graustein) removed portions of the brains of five men. While the men needed no sleep, they required certain compounds of herbs and minerals to replace the chemicals created in sleep. These compounds were the only things that kept them relatively sane. Prinz Jaggar decided to test their capacities by having them raid a small village in the Broken Lands to retrieve a magical item he desired. They did not get the item however, as they soon turned from their assignment to slaughter all the inhabitants of the village, and eventually returned to Aalban. Enraged by their failure, Jaggar told Herr Doktor to punish them to teach them to respect the orders. So the doctor withheld their compounds and locked them in a cell together. In the madness, two of the men killed each other, one simply died, but two survived by removing the traces of the compound left in the bodies of their comrades and consuming them. Eventually, the remaining soldiers managed to escape their master when he freed them and fled (to Glantri City or to Darokin). One worked at an inn, eventually inheriting it. The other became obsessed with religion (maybe contacting a hidden clerical sect if in Glantri) and finally became an avenger. After 18 years, he has decided that he has been called to cleanse the world of the evil that he was part of. He has six targets: Prinz Jaggar von Drachenfels, Rolf Graustein, two other wizards who assisted Herr Doktor, the remaining soldier, and himself (will commit suicide at end of mission). He kills in an unusual manner: he projects dreams. He can at will project an entirely convincing dream, such that the person experiencing the dream is convinced it is real (if he fails his Saving Throw). Therefore, of the person in the dream dies, they really die because the mind and body are totally convinced that it actually is happening (a powerful version of a Phantasmal Force). The bodies will display the secondary signs of the cause of death (i.e. a burn victim will not be burned, but a high internal temperature, pugilist position, and internal bleeding would have occurred). The PCs start to investigate after the second assistant of Herr Doktor is found dead without any real explanation and Herr Graustein asks either the PCs personally to help him because he feels targeted or asks the Prinz to hire somebody to investigate the matter.