Saturday, May 14, 2011

New D6 Adventure Pulp Campaign Kicks Off

I've got a soft spot for the pulp genre. Everything from the exotic settings, simple yet gripping plots, the over the top characters and bizarre denizens really gets my creative juices flowing. So, I decided to run another game with a small group (2 players so far) and no real pretensions about a regular, ongoing campaign.

So far, my players are Atomic Chuck and Chrispy. Chuck has created his own version of Tintin named, a favorite character of his, named Loupe. He's armed the little investigative reporter with a pistol, not pad and the snappy catch phrase, "Leopolds Ghost! Evil is afoot!".

Chrispy is reprising his role as Marcus "Iron Devil" Kingsley. Marcus is a WWI veteran and a mechanical genius with half his face covered in a metal mask and a mechanical arm. Think of him as half Tony Stark and half Sgt. York.

 To kick the campaign off and introduce my players to the D6 system, I went with a short little adventure entitled...

The adventure began in true dramatic styling with the heroes already in jeopardy and being chased by the minions of the Black Raja after liberating a statue of the Infant Ganesha from his palace. Teetering on the edge of a chasm, they stood poised to defend themselves when they heard a horrible fracas from the jungle followed by the blood curdling roars and screeches of,

"Blood Monkeys!" their guide and friend Singh Hartha was well aware of the terror that now threatened them.

Fortunately our heroes quick thinking had them over the side of the chasm and into the deep river below where they floated away to safety. The adventure had begun.

The adventure went on with the heroes washing up at the sight of the encampment of Dr Ignatious Pemmingham and his daughter Cordelia. they learn that the doctor and his daughter have been here in this isolated part of the Indian jungle for years looking into peculiarly long-lived Sograpti tribe.

An argument between an older native woman (Prakti) and a young native girl is broken up by Cordelia who drives the woman from the camp, hinting that not all is well in the camp, though the Doctor is most adamant that nothing is wrong. The later discovery of the young girl's freshly killed and withered husk of a body wrapped in a cocoon of spider silk the next morning comes as a shock to all. Investigation into this grizzly killing leads the heroes to an ancient of an obscure Spider God.

Exploring the ruins of this temple shows that despite it's ancient decrepitude, there are folks still using it. Gates are oiled and hinges on door still function. What is worse is that the temple and the jungle around it appear to be home to what the players begin to refer to as SOUSes (spiders of unusual size). They find that one of the buildings of this temple has broken tomb in it that seems to lead into passages below. Not wanting to take chances, the heroes set the webbing in the building aflame, hoping to cook any spiders they might conceal.

They go on to explore the central temple structure, a large building about 3-4 stories tall with a central staircase leading to the top and a ritual structure on top. Most troubling is the discovery that the entire structure seems to be riddled with portal-like holes that lead inside.

Reaching the top of the central building, the heroes discovery an alter stone that is in actuality a concealed opening to a staircase winding down inside. The heroes follow it to find a spider web shaped gate, locked and barring entrance to the interior of the structure. Beyond the gate appears to be an open chamber strewn with generations of webbing. Marcus manages to his the superior strength in his mechanical arm to force the gate open allowing them to investigate.

What they find is a horrific space filled with lurking doom and far too many concealing webs. The remains of generations of prey scatter the floors and an all too familiar hissing can be heard from all about as their eight-legged foes lurk and scuttle, undoubtedly with the heroes' certain death in mind. Quickly thinking, they set this space aflame and retreat back up the stairs, sealing the stone altar over the entrance once more.

As smoke billows from the portals, they can see the eerie shadows and hear the pained hissing and screeching of the creatures trying to make an escape from the inferno on the other side. A cry from the courtyard brings them back to the sight of the original opening they found in the mausoleum building where they discover Cordelia on the ground and beside herself, a bitten native guide dying at her side.

The heroes take Cordelia and the envenomed man back to camp and ponder the possibility that they had not killed all of the spider within the temple structures. Some speculation as to what has been going on with the Sograpti and the temple leads to the revelation of an ancient but supposedly forgotten spider cult. The doctor insists that this cult is now the stuff od legends and boogey stories.

The next morning, they heroes wake to find that Cordelia has gone missing in the night. All her day clothes are left behind and it appears that she set out on her own feet during the night in nothing but her night clothes. Tracking her footprints through the jungle, the heroes lose track of them in  a clearing where they find her nightgown fluttering on a twig. There is no sign of Cordelia beyond this and the heroes begin to speculate of she was kidnapped of if, in fact, she may somehow be the spider that has inflicted the two attacks.

Is Cordelia cursed? Has she been kidnapped by a spider cult? Is this all some revenge plot by the slighted Prakti?

Some investigative work in the clearing reveals the signs that a large spider has moved through the trees here and the heroes follow the telltale marking through the trees until, following the sounds of ritual chanting and music in the glooming evening, they come upon the site of a native ritual.

Hundreds of natives have gathered at hidden ritual site. As the music thunders and whines with horns and drums, the gathered folk whip themselves into an ecstatic frenzy. Cordelia is seen laying, dazed and out of her wits in a cradle formed by the legs of a bejeweled spider statue. A large native guards her.  the heroes decide to wait and see who is leading this ritual, hunkering down beyond the firelight as darkness falls.

As the rituals continues on into the night a mysterious figure appears at the far side of the clearing. It is a women, clad from head to toes in layers of spider silk and jeweled finery. the heroes maneuver themselves so that Loupe is behind the apparent priestess with his pistol, the others positioned to rush in to rescue Cordelia.

Stepping from the jungle, Loupe challenges the priestess who turns to face him. When she does not surrender, Loupe fires on her, hitting her hard but not mortally. Falling to the ground he sees that it is indeed Prakti who calls out to the gathered natives who stand stunned as Singh Hartha and Marcus rush in, dispatching the hulking guard with a few keen strokes of their blades. Prakti, despite her ire, relents under the threats of Loupe and the other heroes.

As the heroes go about regrouping and taking Prakti into custody they hear rustling and other activity coming through the jungle toward the ritual space. Bracing themselves for another possible attack, they are relieved to see Dr. Pemmingham and his armed native workers blustering to the rescue.

In the end this was a fun adventure. The heroes prevailed through mystery and direct threat. Most of the possible combat was avoided by the quick thinking of the players, which I do not mind. Not all pulp has to come at you guns-a-blazing. The villain was not killed but instead was turned over to the local authorities by the heroes when they returned to civilization.

A great time was had by all and I have to admit to a bit of a blush at the raving accolades given the game by Chuck who usually doesn't all that much enjoy being a player in RPGs. I can't wait for the next game and am already working on several other possible adventures .




  1. Sounds like a great start!

  2. Trey,

    Thanks for the the compliment. that means somethign coming from such a guru of pulp as yourself.



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