Shipwreck Part 2 Battlemap

Part two of our shipwreck battlemap series is here! The battlemap features the Captain’s cabin. With plenty of broken furniture for your adventurers to take cover behind–or become hindered by–what sort of traps and enemies will they encounter? Take a look at the map below and either use it or take inspiration from it!

You can download this Dungeons and Dragons battlemap or tabletop battlemap at the above link. Let us know what happens during your adventure in the comments!

Worldbuilding an Atompunk World

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How to Write an Atompunk World

The next sub-genre of steampunk and cyberpunk that we’ll be exploring is atompunk. When it comes to understanding the aesthetics involved in atompunk, you only need to look at the Fallout series. Yet if you want to put your own spin on atompunk or you’re wondering how you can use it in your tabletop campaign, then here are a few ideas and tips to keep in mind. 

What is Atompunk?

Before you start developing your cities and NPCs, you first need to understand what atompunk actually is. The world of atompunk consists of a style that is called retrofuturistic. It overlaps slightly with dieselpunk in terms of when atompunk is set. Atompunk was first considered in the late 1940s as the war was wrapping up. Where dieselpunk focuses on diesel engines, atompunk instead turned towards an optimistic future based on nuclear power.

The idea behind it was that if humankind was able to split the atom, then they were capable of doing anything. This sense of optimism and ingenuity prompted the early invention of flying cars, technical weapons, and shining cities. 

Atompunk art typically harkens back to the 1950s. In fact, atompunk, itself, features the culture and styles of the late 1940s to 1965. Pin-ups wearing spacesuits and advertising some products are common. 

The clothing of atompunk is another important feature to get right. If you’re someone who likes to offer clothing options for their players, or you need to be sure you can accurately describe atompunk clothing in your book, then you need look no further than clothes that were popular in the 1950s. That means bright colors, modest necklines, and a few space-age twists. 

As anyone who knows 1950s history understands, advertisements were everywhere. With a radio in practically everyone’s home and TVs slowly following suit, companies took advantage of being inside of people’s homes to hawk their wares. The Outer Worlds is another great example of using advertisements to bring your world to life. Considering it was made by the same developers who made Fallout: New Vegas, it’s no wonder that The Outer Worlds did an incredible job of portraying a new kind of atompunk world–one controlled by corporations.

Atompunk Conflicts

Every great campaign or story needs conflict. They can be small in scope or massive. One interesting historical event that you can play with for your campaign is The Cold War. This is a period of time in which subterfuge and stealth were the orders of the day. Set in the world of atompunk, you could still have the main forces be between the United States and USSR if you wish. 

However, you can also bring it a bit closer to home by pitting corporation against corporation. Or perhaps city against city. While atompunk focuses on a utopian society, humanity is anything but capable of handling utopia. You may even have the cold war break out into a hot war that sweeps your characters up into it. 

Because atompunk encompasses a modern setting, your characters may even have jobs. What sort of drama can be found in each of their professions? Are they career-oriented? If so, then you can give them tests and encounters that they need to accomplish in order to please the boss and work their way up the ladder. Modern settings offer an array of new challenges and adventures for your characters to face. Of course, you can still throw in radiated monsters that plague towns on the fringe of society. 

Atompunk Characters

Finally, you’ll need to consider the NPCs that make up your world. Your players or readers will need to either create their own atompunk character or connect to the narrator of your story. When designing NPCs and other characters, it’s important that you understand the culture of atompunk. Because it’s set in the 1950s, there’s an emphasis on good manners, polite language, and the strict structure found within the nuclear family. That means the men are in charge and go to work and the women stay home to take care of the children.

Naturally, you can always put your own spin on this dynamic. Perhaps it’s the opposite. 

The 1950s was also a time when slang was tossed around like no one’s business. You can rely on the staples like “bee’s knees,” “ain’t that a bite,” and “flick,” or you can do your search by looking through The Fifties Web to give you even more ideas. Once your characters start using some of this slang, you can make your world come to life. 

Style was everything in the 1950s. Your characters and NPCs should take their hair and clothes seriously. It was a serious time of “keeping up with the Joneses.” They need the best car, the best house, the best yard, and the best family dog. Appearances are everything. Yet, just like with any restrictive and repressive society, the cracks are likely going to show eventually. How do the NPCs in your world deal with the stress? Drugs? Sex? Good ole rock ‘n roll? 

You can easily develop factions in this world as well. Gangs, mafia, and scientific organizations abound. Don’t forget, too, that this era takes place just after World War 2. Many of your characters, if they were old enough to serve, may have some trauma from the war that puts a damper on their, otherwise, shiny and utopian mindset. 

Create Your Atompunk World Today!

Let us know in the comments the kind of ideas, characters, cities, and encounters that you use for your atompunk world! If you have any other ideas or tips, then let the others know as well!

Shipwreck Battlemap Part 1

Battlemap for a Shipwreck

Today’s Map Monday features a shipwreck! Recently, I had an encounter that took place on a wrecked ship. My players had to navigate their way into the broken ship and discover a way to their target location. They were wise to bring potions of waterbreathing!

This map is part one of a three-part series. Part one, as pictured above, displays the exterior of the ship. Part two and three will be the interior of the ship.

If you want to send your players to a shipwreck, then we hope this map comes in handy! Let us know what happens on your adventure in the comments!

Tips on How to Worldbuild Your Own Holiday

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How to Worldbuild a Unique Holiday

One of the most common worldbuilding questions you may run into is how to build a unique holiday. Whether it be D&D worldbuilding, fantasy worldbuilding for your novel, or worldbuilding for a novel, coming up with unique holidays is a great way to make your world feel alive and immersive. Here are a few tips on how to create your own unique holiday.

1. Know What the Holiday Recognizes

According to Dictionary.com, the official definition for a holiday is, “a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.” This definition alone can help guide you into determining what the holiday should recognize.

In fantasy settings, this may be the founding of a kingdom, recognizing a great victory, or even something as simple as celebrating the beginning or end of the harvest. You may find that your world has different holidays based on social class. For example, peasants may celebrate harvest feasts while those who dwell in a city don’t. 

You can also turn to deities for inspiration. If your world follows a specific religious sect, then they may be a few holidays associated with them. Dungeons and Dragons, for example, has plenty of D&D gods. Over at D&DBeyond, you can find tons of Dungeons and Dragons gods and goddesses that list their respective holidays. You don’t necessarily have to incorporate their holidays either. You can create brand new ones!

Once you understand what the holiday is going to recognize, then you can start detailing the holiday out. This leads us to determining the rituals practiced during the holiday.

2. Plan Out Rituals

For some of the most common holidays in our modern world, we do things like exchange presents, put up pine trees and decorate them, go to the homes of strangers and ask for candy, and exchange sweets and bad poetry to those we love. Those are some pretty odd rituals if you think about it. 

Yet they’re so commonplace that we feel odd or left out if we don’t participate in them. 

The next step to designing your own DnD holiday or other unique holiday is determining what your people do on the holiday. A holiday that celebrates a battle, for example, may require your players to light candles or visit the site of the battle. Perhaps there’s a tourney that’s held in honor of the battle.

Perhaps you have a more lavish holiday where there are masquerades and all of the mysterious and naughty antics that go along with masked events. 

If you want to make your holiday more adventurous, then perhaps you want to include an element of danger. Maybe no one celebrates the holiday. Perhaps it’s a day or night to fear. Perhaps legendary monsters take to the streets on such a day. Or ghosts come to ensnare living bodies back to their graves. 

Planning out what your players and those within your world do on your holiday makes it just that much more real. It can truly immerse your characters in the world as well. 

3. Distinguish Class

As with anything, if you truly want to make your world realistic and immersive, then you have to figure out how your holiday interacts with different class societies. Strictly speaking, the rich and poor likely celebrate the holiday in different ways. While the rich may be able to spend coin on lavish costumes or buying expensive candles, the poor can’t. 

This means that you need to plan out two separate spheres. In some cases, they may overlap. That doesn’t mean they get along, however. The rich, if they’re snobbish, may bar the poor from celebrating the holiday in the same way that they do. Perhaps they require the poor to sit further away from them. Perhaps the poor have to take part in the service at a separate, less convenient, time. 

Or perhaps the opposite is true. Perhaps the holiday celebrates the poor and encourages the rich to support them. Maybe the two classes even switch! The rich till the fields while the poor enjoy fine meals and soft beds inside of their mansions. 

Adding this extra level of detail can make your holiday feel entrenched in society and in your player’s minds. 

4. Determine When to Set Your Holiday

Finally, you need to think about when to set your holiday. Is it a holiday that’s celebrated in the summer, fall, winter, or spring? Certain holidays, like harvest festivals, likely make more sense in the months in which change is happening in the seasons. Others, those that celebrate a battle or a particular hero, can be placed whenever. 

One thing to consider is if you want the holidays to mimic real life. For example, do you want a fantasy-based holiday that takes place around the time Christmas does in your real life? For tabletop gamers, this can be a fun way to celebrate the holidays both in real life and as their characters in your world. 

It can also be a useful way to keep track of time. 

Along with choosing when, you need to consider if work is going to be continued or closed down in recognition of the holiday. This could impact your players if they want to buy or sell or use the city’s services. They may find themselves forced to take part in the traditions whether they want to or not. 

At long last, you should also think about the environment. If you want your holiday to feature a tourney, then it wouldn’t make sense to have the holiday set in winter. Unless, of course, you’re thinking about starting up some winter tourney sports. In which case, we’re definitely in. 

Mark Your Calendar!

Answering the above questions can set you up for creating a unique holiday for your DND campaign, game, or novel. Let us know what holidays you come up with and what rituals the people in your world perform to celebrate it!

Winter Ambush for Holidays 2020

Above you’ll find our holiday-inspired winter ambush battlemap! A lot of fun and hardship can be had when you set your game, book, or tabletop campaign in the blistering cold of winter! A well-timed blizzard can make your winter ambush even more difficult! Whether your group is there to save the poor peasant child or they stumble across this little encounter on a greater adventure, the story is yours to create!

You can download the map by visiting the page above!

Let us know what happens in your adventure in the comments below.

2020 Buyer’s Guide for Tabletop Gamers and Creators

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Worldbuilding and Tabletop Gaming Buyer’s Guide 2020

Whether you’re looking to buy something for yourself or you want to get something extra special for that worldbuilder in your life, then we’ve put together a guide for a few must-haves. With the holiday season upon us, you may be feeling the crunch to get something your DM or tabletop game enthusiast will love. Here are a few ideas to add to your holiday shopping list for 2020! 

The Worldbuilder’s Journal of Legendary Adventures

While this particular journal is geared towards Dungeons and Dragons, you can likely use it as inspiration for just about any worldbuilding need. This journal comes with a few prompts and questions that can help steer your very own worldbuilding session. By the time you’re done going through all of the prompts, you’ll have an in-depth and detailed world that your players or readers will love to lose themselves in. 

The Worldbuilder’s Journal of Legendary Adventures makes the holiday list because it’s an official product from Wizards of the Coast, the creators of Dungeons and Dragons. It features 365 prompts that will ensure every aspect of your world is considered. Whether you’re just starting out with worldbuilding or you’ve been doing it for years, this journal can help keep track of your thoughts and finalize details that you may have missed. 

You can pick it up here

Leatherbound Journal

If you’re someone who doesn’t like to follow prompts, then this simple, but gorgeous, leatherbound journal may be what you need instead. Featuring genuine leather that’s soft to the touch, you can get yourself in the right mindset by using a high-quality journal to jot down your thoughts and ideas. Perhaps you have a few character sketches that you want to visualize. Maybe you need to make a rough sketch of a map or a region or a town. 

This journal could be exactly what you need. If you’re a DM or GM that loves to take notes during a session, then this journal can easily fit right in with your campaign. 

You may even find it works as a great gift for yourself if you play a character. You can write in the journal as your character to help immerse yourself further in the world and within your character’s head. 

With 120 sheets of paper, you’ll be able to jot down plenty of thoughts and notes! 

You can grab the leatherbound journal here

Make Maps Easier

Maps are extremely useful for worldbuilders. It’s one of the starting points for creating a world. If you’re someone who loves to make visual maps either for yourself or someone else, or you know someone who loves making maps, then you may want to get them this guide to creating beautiful and eye-catching fantasy maps. 

This guide takes you through a step-by-step process of how to draw regions,  cities, and other illustrations. Whether you’ve never tried to draw before or you want to hone your skills, this book could help unleash your creativity. 

You can buy the fantasy map-making guide here!

Map On-The-Go!

Those GMs and DMs that need a quick draw-up for a map will love this battlemap. One of the best things about this map is that it uses dry erase markers. That allows the map to be used over and over again. It’s also quite large, so you can fit a good-sized district on it. Whether you need something easy to quickly draw your ideas on or you find yourself in a pinch and need to quickly draw up a map for an encounter you hadn’t planned, this map is a great tool. 

You can even use it in conjunction with your existing terrain or miniature cities! Whether you need a map like this or your DM does, you should consider giving them this incredible dry erase map for battles and city locations. 

You can pick up the map here!

Fantasy Books

If you’re going to create worlds, then you need to read about a few first. There are tons of fantasy novels out there. You’ll want to read some that are more akin to the kind of world that you want to create. Reading fantasy books can help inspire you with some ideas and ensure that you know the common tropes that exist in those worlds. While you don’t need to include the same tropes in your own creation, it might be a good idea to at least know what they are, so you can turn them on their head.

Some must-reads are: 

The Witcher Series by Andrzej Sapkowski

A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin (Trust us, read the books, don’t watch the show.)

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu (For those science fiction needs.)

Start Your Shopping

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list. Worldbuilders require a lot of software and note-taking equipment. If you’re looking to buy your favorite creator something special, then giving them the tools and inspiration they need to do their job easier can be a wonderful way to show them just how much you care. Let us in the comments if you have any other suggestions for gifts for the creators out there! 

Inspirational Steampunk Map

Hello everyone! Looking for a little inspiration for your steampunk world? Here’s an inspirational map with a steampunk aesthetic of a town. I call it Cornercopia, but you’re free to name it whatever you want! This town is protected by the ocean and some sheer rock faces, making it quite the snug little town. What sort of problems plaque it?

Let us know how you use this map to inspire you in the comments!

Tips on How to Write a World with a Dieselpunk Aesthetic

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One of the most exciting genres to explore for any author, game designer, or tabletop game designer is steampunk. Yet there are plenty of sub-genres within steampunk that can offer even more exciting tales, interesting characters, and engaging stories. To help you create your world with dieselpunk aesthetics, here are a few tips to consider. 

Figure Out Your Variants

Besides being a sub-genre of steampunk, dieselpunk actually contains several sub-genres within its own right. We’ll likely write a post about each of these genres eventually, but just for your knowledge now, some of the variants of dieselpunk are:

  • Atompunk
  • Diesel Dystopia
  • Diesel Desolation
  • Diesel Noir
  • Deco Punk

The general public are likely more familiar with Atompunk. The game series Fallout has done well in creating a strong fanbase by introducing them to the ideas and aesthetics involved in Atompunk. If you want to explore this sub-genre further, then one idea might be to give the official Fallout board game a try. This is a great idea for those interested in making a homebrew tabletop campaign in an Atompunk world. Those who just want to understand the aesthetics for their own book or other projects may enjoy taking a dip in the Atompunk-styled world. 

All of these sub-genres aside, you need to decide what aesthetics and themes you actually want in your world. Vanilla dieselpunk is a world that focuses on retro-futuristic technology. The setting is typically in the 1920s and often extends even to the Second World War. Because this is a time where civilians were coming out of the Great War, your campaign or book can really come to life when you allude to how society was functioning following the end of the war. What was the general feeling about life, family, politics, and war, in general?

In regards to dieselpunk, itself, you’ll see most of technology powered by diesel engines rather than steam engines which is typical of steampunk settings. It imagines a world that was not hit by The Great Depression. Instead, the world, and particularly the United States, blossomed in both industry and economy. New innovations were made. Technology was developed quickly. 

Many consider dieselpunk to be the dirtier side of both cyberpunk and steampunk. The heroes are typically from the common workforce. They may even be societal pariahs. Yet their unique skills or talents drive them to help change certain aspects of the world that they disagree with. Fate grants them a chance to better themselves and society as a whole. 

Use Propaganda to Push Your Story

One of the most important aesthetics in dieselpunk is its tendency to use propaganda to push society into believing in certain things. Dieselpunk is when the radio takes its place as the king of entertainment and information. Radio dramas, war news, advertisement jingles, carefully dictacted propaganda, all of these elements are what brings a dieselpunk world to life. 

You should include them. 

Why have certain NPCs offer quests and missions to your characters when the radio can do it for them? If you have regular jingles, broadcasts, or even radio dramas, you can really add something unique and immersive to your story. Perhaps your characters hear a particular piece of news from a broadcast that prompts them to investigate something. Maybe someone is suspicious about the new fish factory that just opened up and a certain jingle only stirs their suspicions further. 

If you want to know how to do jingles and propaganda right, then you need to play The Outer Worlds. This game did an incredible job of writing catchy jingles that can easily get stuck in your head. Yet as you explore more certain corporations further, the jingles start to take on a new meaning. If you want to truly surprise and shock your players or readers, then creating jingles that have two different meanings–one they discover later–could be a great experience for them. 

Another aspect is radio dramas. You don’t have to come up with long-winded dramas. Even a drama that only has a few lines can make one of your characters extremely interested. The idea is to create an immersive world. In a world that’s made up of dieselpunk aesthetics, you can be sure that they’re going to be listening to radio dramas in their everyday life. 

The Conflict

Every good novel or campaign needs a conflict. The setting of dieselpunk can offer plenty of them. Some love to actually use World War 1 as their preferred conflict. Much like World War 2, it was as impactful at home as it was abroad. People had to come together to create the weapons and technology needed in order to defeat their enemies. 

Putting a dieselpunk twist on this could include experiments. This is an aesthetic often used in settings that include World War 2. Nazi experimentation is rampant. You may find your characters facing experiments gone wrong, advanced weapons, perhaps even some incredible machines that are powered by a diesel engine.

Perhaps the conflict comes after the war. If one of the World Wars went poorly, what would the world look like with a dieselpunk twist? Is there a world at all? Perhaps your characters have to survive in a world where having an automobile means life. Which means they need to do everything in their power to keep their automobiles running and fueled up. 

Since this is also the time of corporations, perhaps there’s something amiss in the mass-produced food everyone is eating. Mind control? Experimentation not unlike trying to awake Mutant genes from The X-Men series? The possibilities are endless.

Humans or Fantasy Characters?

One final tip to consider is to ask yourself what the citizens of your world look like. While dieselpunk typically focuses on human history, it doesn’t necessarily need to. Why not imagine the 1920s with elves, dwarves, and half-orcs running around? Perhaps half-orcs are a new experimentation from the Nazis, acting as super soldiers? They may even be enslaved. 

Dwarves could be the heroes of the dieselpunk world with their uncanny ability to create incredible engine-powered technology and machines. 

Elves may be involved in the corporations or perhaps they’re a band of naturalists who chafe against the new world of fuel and steel. Of course, you could always follow the Diminished Elf trope and make them the large majority of the poor in the cities. 

Once you figure out the species that you want to use in your world, you can then take known tropes about them and fit them in places that make sense in a dieselpunk world. Or you can completely turn their tropes on their heads and try something new and exciting. Perhaps World War 1 or 2 is actually a massive-scale war fight between the elves and dwarves or the elves and humans or dwarves and half-orcs. 

I always figure out the origins of my species before I start laying out history. I figure out how they got there and what industry they would be involved in based on the regional and geographical area that they migrated. Then I can start developing history for them. You only need a small basis for their history before launching them into the modern world. A modern twist on elves, dwarves, and other fantasy characters could be a lot of fun to explore!

Start Your Engines!

Let us know in the comments if you end up running a dieselpunk campaign or include the setting in your next novel, podcast drama, or game. What are some tips you can offer the others?

River Treasure Map

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt! If you plan on sending your characters on a treasure hunt, then here’s a map you can offer them to help find the buried chest! Whether you’re involved in a LARP, love using theatre of mind, or just enjoy using physical props in your campaign, then this map can be a handy tool to help your players visual the terrain ahead on their hunt.

All of the conflicts and problems they run into along the way to the infamous X, I leave to you!

Besides clicking the image above, you can also download the map here! Let us know how your adventure goes!

WW: Special Thanksgiving/Black Friday Encounter Part Two

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Last week, we presented the first part of our Thanksgiving/Black Friday special adventure. You can find that version here. Without further ado, here’s the second, and final, chapter of the free adventure!

Recall that a bold DM/GM denotes that the DM or GM should speak that paragraph aloud.

DM/GM: You stumble into the abandoned estate, the front door collapsing behind you amidst the carnage occurring outside. You find yourselves in a dimly lit entrance hall. The only light comes from a few second-story windows that are made of stained glass. The rest of the hall is relatively clean, thanks to the estate brokers who have been collecting Lord Abernath’s belongings for the sale. Fine carpet winds up a double staircase. For a brief moment, you can catch your breath. Yet, the sound of metal sliding against leather soon makes you realize that you’re not alone.

Room A, The Entrance Hall: In this room, you should station a few of Lord Bebberidge’s mercenaries. Make sure to utilize the stairs to give those mercenaries an aerial advantage! This room opens up into two chambers on the bottom and a hall at the top of the stairs.

Room B, The Dining Hall: This room rests on the left side of the front door. It features a long table with several seats. There’s also a large fireplace that rests behind the Lord’s chair. In this room, your players may discover a cabinet full of fine china just ready for the taking. It’s locked, however. The DC is 13 to unlock the cabinet.

Room C, Common Room: Your players locate The Raven in this room that rests on the right-hand side of the front door. He’s frantically searching for something. The room, itself, is covered in cloth to protect the expensive velvet of the furniture within. When Lord Abernath was alive, this was a lively place to socialize and relax. On the walls are the trophies of various hunts or purchases that Lord Abernath made. Those of note include: Cockatrice, Ankheg, Bugbear, and Chimera.

DM/GM: As you enter the common room, you find Raven. His bird is calmly perched on his shoulder, but he is quick to trash the place as he searches desperately for something. You can hear him muttering, “where is it? Where did he hide the damned thing?”

Raven in searching for the key to enter Lord Abernath’s secret treasury. The item he requires for the Thieves’ Guild is most likely in there. There is nothing of importance in this room at the moment. However, those with extremely high perception or those who score high on a Perception check may notice a glinting key inside of the Lion’s Mouth on the Chimera trophy. This key will open the door to the secret treasury.

It should also be noted that Raven can join the party to help with the fight ahead if players are interested. DMs/GMs should build the character with a Rogue or Ranger class.

Room D, The Hall: At the top of the stairs, your players will come to a long hall. There are two main doors on the opposite side. At the end one hall is a window. On the other end rest two armor stands seemingly guarding the empty space between them. Above the empty space is a stone tablet that hangs on the wall. It’s written in a language that isn’t common (DM/GMs pick!). Yet the riddle reads, “Where three become one, I am hidden. Present me where two empty metal stands to pass in peace.”

Room E, The Master Bedroom: This room is located to the left of the stairs on the side with the window at the end of the hall. It’s locked. DC for completing this lock is 16. The door can be broken down. Within this room, your players will find Lord Abernath’s chambers. This room has not been covered by cloths like in the common room. This is likely because no one could find the key to unlock it.

Some of Lord Abernath’s clothing remains in his wardrobe. There’s another locked compartment within the wall. DC for lockpicking is 15. Within, they’ll find 250 gold and a Cloak of Invisibility. The cloak can only be worn by small or medium-sized characters. It also only functions at night, requiring the sun to charge its enchantment by day. (DMs and GMs can play with this treasure as they see fit).

Also in the room, the players will discover this unsent letter from Lord Abernath:

DM/GM: “I have finally discovered it, Bearnard. The crown of all my achievements. As well you know, I have hunted for this particular piece of treasure my entire life. To call it a treasure is an understatement. It is the very gem of life itself. The standard of all wealth. Yet it is not for wealth that I am now its keeper. Oh no. Already, I can feel it start to corrupt my heart. My thoughts are always drawn to it. I tell you now in the event of my death. Never touch it. Your greed will know no bounds if you do. Throw it with my body, I say, or toss it into the deepest ocean. Such a relic will destroy the world.”

Also in the room, they’ll find various books on legendary treasure hunts and lost relics of the Ancient World.

Room F, The Study: The last room is on the right of the stairs. Within it, your party will discover they’re in a small study. There are even more books about treasure hunts and legendary items here. Feel free to place in a few plot hooks for future treasure hunts if you so wish! Raven will discover a note here that confirms the item he is searching for remains in the secret treasury. Players may also discover a small note written by Lord Abernath as a reminder to grease the armor. “They get so grumpy otherwise.”

The Riddle: Players must locate the key in the Chimera’s mouth to unlock the door. Once they present it to one of the suits of armor, a hidden door will appear between them. Any attempt to break into the hidden door without the key will result in a fight with Animated Armor. When the fight is over, two new sets of armor will take the place of those that were destroyed. They will not initiate combat until the door is attempted again without the key. To make this puzzle extra hard, feel free to have red herring keys glittering throughout the estate.

Room G, The Secret Treasury: Once the door is successfully unlocked, your players will enter a large dome-like room. A single beam of light trickles down from the ceiling at the middle of the room. There are chests everywhere. Some of them are opened and empty. Others contain gold. (Players can receive up to 20,000 gold if they attempt to claim it all).

Yet in the middle of the room is a single, small, black box with a white ribbon around it. Any attempt to take the box from its pedestal results in a fight with a Greed Lich. This is the corrupted spirit of Lord Abernath. Depending on the challenge you seek, feel free to add additional enemies.

DM/GM: Out of the piles of gold around the room, a black mist starts to form above the black box. “You dare?” comes the willowy and creaky voice, “to steal from the legendary Lord Abernath? It is MINE. I will sup on your souls before I let you lay a finger on it!”

Roll for initiative.

Once the fight ends, the Lich is destroyed. Players are able to access the black box.

DM/GM: Within the black box is a seemingly innocent amulet. It’s made of gold and contains a single purple gem within. The purple gem, especially, is beautiful. It’s difficult to look away from it. In fact, you’re not sure you ever want to stop looking at it.

This is an Amulet of Corruption. It does nothing except it makes the wearer very possessive over it. The longer that the person wears the amulet, the deeper their greed becomes. You’ll want to regularly give the wearer willpower checks to determine their level of corruption. How far they end up going in their corruption, is entirely up to you. Those who want to perform a Detect Magic or similar spell will need to beat a DC of 12. It’s clearly, very, evil. Its sole purpose is to drain the purity out of someone.

If Raven survives the fight, then he is also an optional final battle boss.

Optional DM/GM: A sudden shout of victory echoes through the room. The Raven holds a beautiful ruby in his hand. “At last,” he cries, “my search is at an end. I can finally gain the respect in the Guild that I deserve. Thank you, my friends, for helping me reach this far. I won’t forget you.”

If anyone is under the influence of the Amulet of Corruption, then they should receive a Whisper to fight for the ruby. They want the ruby. More than anything. The other party members may be able to talk that person down, but they will likely need to carry them out.

Otherwise, your party engages Raven in a fight. How difficult the fight is I leave to you. However, it may be an interesting moral dilemma for the character who is under the influence of the Amulet to deal with the fact that they murdered an innocent man in cold blood after they are free of the influence.

With the party members taking whatever gold they can carry, and any other treasures you wish to include, they set off on their next adventure. Perhaps with one of their own members slowly becoming their own enemy.

And that’s it! The end! Be sure to check out the maps for the adventure here! Otherwise, let us know how your adventure went!