Quests of Doom Volume 1: 12 Adventures for Fifth Edition Rules, First Edition Feel! Necromancer Games is back: are you ready to rock the new edition old-school style? We put together a team of some of the best adventure-writers in RPG history to ring in the new fifth edition rules with a host of adventures you’ve never seen before (and a couple that you have, but probably didn’t survive anyway). Volume 1 of Quests of Doom contains 12 adventures in almost 200 pages, by Ed Greenwood (Emeralds of Highfang), Bill Webb (Ra’s Evil Grin, Sorcerer’s Citadel, Hidden Oasis, Pyramid of Amra, Sewers of the Underguild), Matt Finch (Hidden Oasis-Temple of Thoth), Jim Ward (Deep in the Vale), J. Collura (Noble Rot), Michael Curtis (The Dead from Above), Casey Christofferson (Ra’s Evil Grin, Sorcerer’s Citadel, Irtep’s Dish), Skip Williams(Death in Dyrgalas), and Steve Winter (Bad Moon Rising).
Dead from Above is intended for use with four to six player characters of levels 6 to 8. It will likely take two game sessions to complete. The adventure is set in (and above) a hilly region at the outskirts of civilization, presumably one near the base of a mountain chain. With a little work, the GM can place Dead from Above wherever he or she desires in the campaign world.
Wise rogues join the government, where their larceny has the cover of “legality” and the cash comes in heaps and piles from deceitful receipts and pocketed procurements rather than in small, bloodstained purses from breaking windows, scaling walls, and risking traps and long-fanged guard dogs. Wise rogues do not, by choice, go up against towering giants armed with clubs larger than the tallest rogue in the guild. Nor do they try to nick treasure from dragons without a group of powerful fellow adventurers behind them, who can hurl mighty spells, hack and hew toe to toe with an angry wyrm, heal the injured, and (when things go as they usually do), resurrect the dead. There are wise rogues, and then there are player characters. Emeralds of Highfang awaits them with open arms, offering special challenges and rewards to rogue characters—but as always, the prospects are much better for a party of adventurers from a variety of classes, with wide skills and experience, and of high level. Some might find that a broad base of experience is not only helpful, but essential for survival.
Designed for a party of five characters of at least 9th level, this adventure will challenge players seeking a powerful magic item of the GM’s choosing. A sphere of annihilation has been provided and is woven into several elements of the adventure, but any appropriately powerful item can be substituted if something else suits your campaign better. Though the adventure is designed to test every type of character class, a rogue who can deal with traps is essential, as is a wizard or sorcerer of at least 9th level. Larger groups will have an easier time; parties of four or fewer characters will be in for a very bad time unless you mitigate some of the tower’s more lethal traps and encounters. This adventure culminates in an encounter with devils and a sphere of annihilation. The sphere of annihilation is hidden deep within the tower-and-dungeon complex of Crane the Sorcerer. Originally set atop a high mountain in a secluded and wild part of the world, the tower and dungeon can be relocated to meet the situation in your campign. Crane, an introvert, stayed as far away from civilization as possible, as is detailed below. The tower above the dungeon doesn’t present many difficulties for a group of powerful characters or alert players. It might lull PCs into a false sense of security before they enter the areas where they’ll really be put to the test.
The Noble Rot is a location-based adventure for characters of 5th to 8th level. This adventure can be played in one or two sessions of reasonable length. It is a straightforward, haunted house-style adventure. The story revolves around Le Chateau Gluant, a vineyard and winery of repute. Vintages of its famous white (chardonnay) and red blend (cabernet sauvignon) are sought throughout the land. Some vintages can bring up to 200 gp per bottle from the right buyer. A case (twelve bottles) of the wine in pristine condition can fetch up to 1,500 gp. Unfortunately, the winery fell upon dark days and the prized wine has not flowed from its cellars for a few years. Approximately five years ago, the head winemaker, Malcolm Roth, hired Tobias Suey as an apprentice. Unfortunately for Roth, Suey was a member of the Cultus Limus (Cult of the Ooze). The Cultus Limus makes sacrifices to its demonic master Lumaszu in her faceless form. Lumaszu or “she who erases” is an ancient demoness who preys upon travelers by drinking their blood. She is the cause of nightmares, pestilence, infestation of pure water, and a bringer of disease, sickness, and death. Her worshipped form in Cultus Limus is that of a gigantic ooze. Suey turned the field hands who tended the vines against the winemaker. Then the new cult turned its attention to the Gluant family. Eventually the cult members started preying on each other. With each sacrifice to the ooze, Suey’s power grew—until there was no one left but Suey. The whim of demons is fickle. Suey was blighted and corrupted for his work. Now he deep in the cellars under the chateau as a minor ooze demon. His handiwork, however, remains. The chateau is now the abode of its former residents and workers, in undead form. Also slimes, molds, fungi, and other foulness fester in the fields, buildings, and cellars. The riches of the Gluant family remain undisturbed; would-be thieves and robbers quickly fall prey to the current residents. Besides normal valuables, cases of wine remain undisturbed and waiting to be plundered. The title The Noble Rot refers to a few factors in this adventure. The first is the rot that befell the Gluant family in the form of the Cultus Limus. Another is actual noble rot disease that may aid the PCs in overcoming the challenges posed. The phrase also refers to a real-world gray fungus, Botrytis cinerea, which in the right conditions creates world-class dessert wines such as French sauternes. In the wrong conditions, it destroys grapes and is known as gray rot.
Ra’s Evil Grin challenges adventurers of at least 11th level who are seeking a powerful magic item—the globe of Arden. If a different item suits your campaign better, another appropriate powerful item can be substituted as the final objective. This dungeon culminates in a battle with Dendorandra, a lesser marilith known as a dark daughter. As a lead-in to this adventure, the GM may use a map from another treasure hoard showing the location of the globe (detailed more fully in “The Legend of the Globe of Arden,” below) or a priestly tome describing Arden, the long-dead avatar of Ra, and the wondrous powers of an unknown artifact called the globe of Arden. Such a tome might mention that the globe emits rays as intense as those of the sun, destroying all they touch. In any event, characters should need to consult with sages and oracles to determine the location and history of the globe and dungeon. A sage could also provide a map to the dungeon’s location, referenced in the “The Legend of the Globe of Arden,” below. We set the dungeon on a small, remote island far across the sea, but you can relocate it to suit your campaign. This dungeon provides numerous puzzles, a few traps, and only two monsters. Those monsters, though few in number, should challenge and threaten even the most combat-hardened party—particularly after the party encounters all the vicious creatures that inhabit the Island of the Globe.
Irtep’s Dish is an adventure for characters from 6th to 8th level. This adventure requires the skills of a rogue or some other expert at traps, a cleric or character that can heal allies and offer beneficial bonuses to the team, a wizard or other master of the arcane arts, and a fighter to take care of “the heavy lifting.”
In ancient times, the area now known as the Dyrgalas Fens was home to a flourishing civilization of nature worshippers who wrested a living from the forest around them, built open-air temples, and generally did well. Over the centuries, a series of natural disasters (some say a series of foolish magical experiments) led to a rising water table and turned the forest into a vast swamp. As the water rose, most of the people left. Today, a few stalwart humans remain in the fens, living off the land through hunting, fishing, trapping, and even some agriculture. In addition to these honest folk, the Dyrgalas has some less savory residents, including both black and green dragons, trolls, hags, escaped criminals, and a host of lycanthropes. Most of these creatures prey on travelers foolish or unlucky enough to enter the fen, and sometimes raid both inside and outside the fen. This adventure, intended for characters of levels 6 to 8, deals with one group of raiders who make their lair in the Dyrgalas. A weretiger called Gavriil has formed a group of assorted lycanthropes into a band of cunning brigands. The lycanthropes favorite caper involves infiltrating a merchant caravan while posing as travelers, merchants, or swords for hire, then attacking it from within. Gavriil and his servants also take on kidnappings, murder for hire, and any other unsavory tasks that come their way.
The Hidden Oasis-Temple of Thoth brings the characters to a hidden temple of Thoth, god of knowledge, magic, and travel, where they are confronted with a force of invading extra-dimensional locust creatures and the chance to get their hands on an ancient artifact. What band of heroes could resist the challenge?
The Pyramid of Amra is a challenging adventure designed for characters of at least 12th level. Due to the nature and numbers of undead enemies (vampires), having a cleric on hand with the ability to cast raise dead and greater restoration is advisable. The PCs should be rounded out with a wizard or sorcerer and a pair of front-line fighters. In this adventure, the PCs travel to the Pyramid of Amra and the ancient Monastery of Night, where they face one of the most dangerous of opponents they are likely to meet, C’nosretep the Champion of Set.
Sewers of the Underguild is an adventure designed for characters of at least 11th level, and characters up to 15th level will find plenty of challenges. Hidden within these narrow passages and filth-filled channels is a guild of vampiric rogues, led by their master Sangre and his aide, a nycaloth called Ankoz. Deadly traps abound, so a skillful rogue will be a lifesaver. Because of the high likelihood of desperate combat with numerous vampiric and monstrous opponents, it is suggested that a cleric and at least two fighters be prepared to beat back the many watchdog monsters the guild employs. You can hide the locales in Sewers of the Underguild in any ruin or location that fits your campaign purposes. A thriving metropolis that just happens to have a large crime and vampire problem would fit the bill nicely. In the Lost Lands campaign setting of Frog God Games, the Underguild is located in the sewers beneath the ruins of Curgantium, the ancient imperial capital of lost Hyperboria. Located at the edge of the modern Kingdom of Foere, the Underguild still finds itself located centrally enough to pull the strings of its weblike network running throughout the former lands of the Hyperborian Empire.
The set-up is interesting in a way – the PCs are plain folks of the Vale, everyday people, and the module begins promising, with the Thor-ordained sporty trek around the vale that inevitably results in trouble. The module, obviously, tries to chronicle the step from everyday-Joe/Jane to hero and the tidbits on culture provided are intriguing. But this, as much as I’m loathe to say it, is one of the worst modules FGG has ever released. If I didn’t know any better, I wouldn’t expect Mr. Ward’s pen at work here. Let me elaborate: The premise, is unique and hasn’t been done much recently, but it suffers from this being an adventure – to properly invest the players in the setting a closer gazetteer, nomenclature, suggested roles and origins for casting talent – all of that should have been covered. They’re not. Worse, everything here is a) clichéd and b) a non-threat in the great whole of things.
"A legend has circulated through the Barony of Loup-Montagne for hundreds of years concerning the order of inheritance for the title of baron. The legend holds that if the title is passed to someone who is not the eldest heir, the spirits of the forest will lash out against the people of the barony." Players will find themselves investigating a mystery in the small, superstitious town of Roulune. "As is normal in a gothic horror tale, the true situation in Roulune is different from what it seems. Figuring out the real story and the real connections between people will be key to the player characters’ success in this adventure." "This adventure is meant for characters of levels 4 to 6. The default setting is the Barony of Loup-Montagne, but any remote, heavily wooded principality with highly superstitious residents will do."