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Shadow Over Mystara - Pathfinder style

by David Fryer

Okay, so the game was pretty much just hack and slash but kids these days demand some kind of story. Plus to get to a point where you are able to handle a CR 18 dragon in then "levels" you need more encounters than just what was in the game to make it. So I decided tho divide each of the game levels up and come up with adventures based around them. As I get things worked out for each level I will post my ideas here. I felt that the openning level needed more of a plot so that is where I started.

Episode 1: When Goblins Attack!

Summary: Goblins have been attacking the trade route through the Broken Lands between Glantri and Darokin. The PCs are contracted to stop the goblin attacks and prevent them from threatening trade ever again.

Long Synopsis
Several merchants in Darokin have been losing caravans to Glantri because of goblin attacks. Rather than simply pay for more guards to protect the caravans they decide to take a more permenant approach. The goblins must be wiped out for the good of everyone. They set the PCs up with a phony caravan and send them on their way.

Of course the goblins fall for the trap hook, line, and sinker. The fight should be difficult, but not overly so. The raiding party is entirely standard goblins and the PCs should have a fairly easy time defeating them. If they are smart they will keep one or two alive to interrogate. With a CD 12 Intimidate check or a DC 17 Diplomacy check they will be able to get the location of the goblin camp from them fairly easily. Goblins are inheritly distrustful of people who are nice to them. They always want something. Otherwise a DC 12 Survival check will allow the PCs to pick up the goblins's trail fairly easily.

The PCs will eventually find the goblins's lair in the mountains. A random encounter or two maybe approriate here, such as a hippogriff or a griffin attack. Remember that the PCs are still first level, so nothing to dangerous. The goblins should be divided up into a couple of groups throughout the caves that they lair in. Sprinkle in a few goblin rangers, fighters, and a domesticated giant spider or two. Finally they will meet the leaders of the goblins, a goblin druid who is in the process of praying to a dragon's skull when the PCs find him, and the chief (use these stats) who has a group of goblin fighters with him.

This battle should be harder, but not enough that it actually threatens a TPK (save that for later). The PCs will also find some human slaves, survivors of the last caravan, and be told that the goblins have been selling their victims to slavers. From there the PCs should either find a note instructing the goblins where to send the slaves or else one of the slaves overheard the goblins talking about the village of Trintan.

Episode 2: The Village of Trintan

Summery: The PCs cross the Broken Lands and find themselves at the village of Trintan where they have to deal with a band of slavers who have taken control of the village and discover that the slavers are just part of a larger plot.

Long Synopsis: Upon discovering that the note in the goblin's lair, the PCs head across the Broken Lands toward the village of Trintan. This is a good place to include a few more random encounters, both to drive home that the Broken Lands and to help them build experience. (By my estimation, the characters should be near or at 14th to 15th level by the time they encounter Synn.) Again this is not the time to throw anything too live threatening at them; something like a couple of bugbears, orcs, or even an ogre would work good in this case.

Once the PCs arrive at Trintan, what happens next is really up to them. Although there are not many slavers in the village, only about thirty, there are more than enough to wipe the PCs out if they decide to launch a frontal assault. However, if the PCs engage in a guerrilla campaign against the slavers or find some way to infiltrate their group by posing as merchants or mercenaries they will likely be able to get into the village unmolested.

The slaver band consists of 10 gnolls armed with greataxes, five gnoll archers, and a dozen goblins . They are led by a shadow elf necromancer named Verganis, his Ethengari bodyguard, and several undead guards led by a Skeletal Champion named Grathrix. Together these three keep the rest of the slavers in line. Verganis has also desecrated the local shrine and has a few skeletal minions hidden away there as well. The PCs don't need to kill all of the slavers to liberate the town; once they kill off the leaders the gnolls and the goblins will start fighting among themselves and pretty well destroy each other. Those that do survive will quickly run back to the hills of the Broken Lands. However, the PCs will quickly realize that they have bigger problems. Among Verganis's stuff they find several scrolls outlining an upcoming shadow elf invasion of Glantri.