"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Saturday, November 5, 2011

An Element of Danger - DCH, Chaotic Animation

An Element of Danger was released in 1986 by Mayfair Games for DC  Heroes. It was written by Steve Perrin of RuneQuest fame. The  module features Firestorm "The Nuclear Man" as the primary hero  in the adventure. In the end though this module was a bit of a  disappointment.

If someone is a strong DC comics fan then this might not be as  much of a let down as it was for me. The villains in the story  are not any that I am familiar with and even though it also has  Hawkman as a hero that can be used there was nothing there that I  knew all that much about back story wise. I am an admitted Marvel  fanboy though so I probably never gave DC comics enough of a  chance.

The module does have an element of progression to it that I like.  It starts the players off having to do a little bit of legwork to  figure out what is going on and who is behind it. The module also  lays out a flowchart that the GM can use to make the adventure a  little less linear in nature. One thing that is a high point for  me is that the adventure is not set in Gotham City or Los Angeles  but is instead set in Pittsburgh. It was nice to see the middle  of the country get some attention for a change.

The major villains in the module are Matter Master and Dr.  Alchemy who again are not villains that I am familiar with. In  addition there is a third villain that I won't mention who comes  into play. It is their involvement that adds a little more to the  story that helped get it get to the point where it was not a  complete loss. The ending though hurt the module and without that  it might have been a little more to my liking but most likely  not.

The module may very well be something that a DC fanboy or a fan  of Firestorm may find more to their liking. The good news for  everyone though is that the module is one I see often online for  very reasonable prices. As an aside on the back cover they have  the trademark symbol on Philosopher's Stone. I am wondering if  that is something that could be trademarked?

From the back of the module:

When these two villains pool their resources it's a serious  matter...

In his past struggles with the JLA Matter Master used his  Mentachem Wand to control and shape pure elements to his every  whim.

When Dr. Alchemy tangled with the Flash he used his Philosopher's  Stone to transmute elements.

Now, they are planning to combine the powers of both of their  inventions to forge a more potent weapon.

And the villains plan to act upon their goal in Pittsburgh, the  home of Firestorm the Nuclear Man!



Spell:

Chaotic Animation


Level: Second
Range: 9"
Duration: One Round + One Round/Level
Area of Effect: 6" Radius Sphere
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Halves + Special

When this spell is cast the magic user causes an number of  objects to animate in the area of effect. The animated objects  are in no way under the control of the magic user though. Objects  animated will start with smaller objects and get progressively  larger.

The objects animated will move about chaotically in the area of  effect but are attracted to living beings. The attraction will  cause them to bump into living beings. This will include all  beings in the area of effect so players or friendly NPCs will be affected.

For each round in the area of effect creatures will need to make  either one or two saving through. For each target you will need  to roll a d6. On a roll of 1-2 they are seriously distracted by  an object and need to save or be so distracted that no actions  are possible for that round. On a roll of 3-4 they are struck by  an object but the impact was not such that it will prevent an  action. They will instead suffer 2 points of damage for every  round the spell has been in effect. On a roll of 5-6 both effects  occur and a separate save for each is required.

The material component for this spell is a small set of miniature  household items. The items themselves will animate but will not  factor into the spell. The items used can be any of the casters  choice but the DM might allow a spell bonus if a mob and bucket  are the objects selected.

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.

1 comment:

Justin S. Davis said...

And as a DC guy, I remember really enjoying this module. (Been ages, though, so it might not hold up.)

From everything I read at the time, DC Editorial and Mayfair worked VERY closely together on the game products. It showed.

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