Wednesday, October 12, 2011
B6 - The Veilded Society, Berserker
The Veiled Society is an unusual offering in that it is a city based encounter in the B series. I do not think that there is another urban based adventure in the B series. If I am mistaken please be sure and post letting me know. The atmosphere for this is also a little darker than any of the other modules in the line up to it.
The module was released in 1984 and was penned by David "Zeb" Cook. The module portion of B6 is only sixteen pages long but there are another sixteen pages in cardboard buildings and paper miniatures. It was the latter of these that seemed to never be present when I found a copy in a good enough shape that I would buy it. The setting is the city of Specularum in the Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
The adventure in the module is not your average module fare for the Basic series of modules. This involves political intrigue and a power struggle to gain control of the city. There are three major factions involved and then the mysterious Veiled Society. The module allows the players the option to take one or more sides and either aid or hinder the plots of the other factions. The players might even end up playing one off against another to aid the third and then switch allegiances. I won't go into too much more detail.
The module contained a flowchart of encounters which I do not think had been used before in any of the earlier TSR modules. This is quite common now but was a new idea back then. The total number of encounters is actually quite small coming in at seven. Each of these will have a block of dialogue that is intended to be commentary from the Veiled Society.
In the end the module is not one of the great ones but it is a nice diversion from the other modules in the Basic series. It also has some ideas that can be pulled out even if the adventure as whole is not used. The module will allow for a little more role playing than some others so that is always a plus. I am glad I was finally able to get my copy of the module but to be honest in this case the chase was better than the reward.
From the back of the module:
The Widow insists there are demons in her house. She hears them at night in her root cellar, and now they call out to her. But she is old and nervous and her mind often plays tricks on her.
Two men, their heads fully sheathed in large black hoods, dig quickly in the darkness of the cellar. The hole grows deeper as their shovels bit into the earth.
"This will teach those meddlers their place," laughs the tall, hefty figure.
"But it's too bad this was an accident," the shorter, slim figure says haltingly.
"But don't you see the advantage?" snapped the tall man. "They will fear us now. They will fear for their lives."
Grunting, they heave a sailcloth bundle into the hole. As it falls, a woman's hand dangles lifelessly from the folds.
Who is the woman? Why will her death trigger riots and unrest in the city of Specularum?
And the assassins: Are they Torenescu, Radu, or Vorloi? Or, curse of curses, the Veiled Society?
This special game adventure provides a section of paper buildings and figures to cut out and use, giving you three dimensions to your game play!
Duration: 2 Rounds + 2 Rounds/Level
Ares of Effect: One Character
Casting Time: 4 Rounds
Saving Throw: None
When this spell is cast the magic user is able to turn the target creature into a death dealing machine. The target creature must be willing and the cater must be able to touch the creature to make the spell take hold.
The effects of the spell will not be visible but they will be dramatic none the less. The creature will have their total hit points doubled. The will also have all attacks they may at an additional +4 to hit and will do double damage as a base number. In addition the normal number of attacks they are allowed will be doubled. Their effective armor class will be lessened by a factor of four though and they can not stop attacking until the spell expires even if that means going after allies or innocents.
The great benefits of the spell do not come without cost though. When the spell expires they will lose one quarter of their remaining hit points and then the bonus hit points will be removed. They will then need to make a saving throw versus Death or fall into a deep slumber (if they did not go into negative hit points already) for a number of rounds equal to the time they spent under the effect of the spell. They will also temporarily lose 3-9 points of constitution but will regain these at a rate of three points per day. They must make another saving throw versus magic on the final day or one point of the constitution loss will be permanent.
The material component of this spell is an alcoholic concoction that is imbues with other components. The mixture will be consumed by the caster during the casting of the spell. At the end of the spells duration the caster will need to make a save versus poison or become inebriated.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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