(update: chiisu81 from the Basic Fantasy RPG forums has formatted this mini-adventure into the standard BFRPG format and set it up for free download here!)
This is a mini-adventure I wrote as a side-quest for my current gaming group. We're working our way through The Olde Island Fortress adventure by Chris Gonnerman, from his Morgansfort adventure module for the Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game (rules, supplements, and adventure modules can all be downloaded for free here), and I set this up as a quick mini-adventure, intending for it to be finished in a single session. BFRPG is basically a d20 version of D&D B/X, so you could pretty easily use this adventure for any oldschool D&D B/X clone (Old School Essentials, Labrynth Lord, Mazes and Monsters, etc.--many of which have free PDF rulesets linked on my Free RPG page) with minimal conversions.
Saving the Broggin Children
By the Dice King
A brief adventure for 3 to 5 characters of levels 1-2
Walla Broggin is a halfling that lives on a farm outside of Morgansfort with her family, the Broggin Brood. The family is known in the Fort but looked down upon for lacking dignity and discipline–Walla’s husband Beggo Broggin is a gambler and a layabout, and the children are known for being a pack of wildlings.
On the day of the adventure, Walla comes to the town in tears, saying her children have been kidnapped. The Nosecutters, a gang of goblins living in the nearby forest, have taken the Broggin children to their lair, and are demanding ransom. Beggo disappeared days ago–presumably on a binge somewhere–and took all the family money with him, leaving Walla without the means to pay for the children’s release. The people of the Fort don’t feel particularly inclined to loan money to a Broggin, nor are they eager to put their necks on the line and fight for the children’s freedom. But Walla has heard of the Party’s recent heroic feats, and is desperately hopeful that the Party will help her reclaim her kids.
If the party try to gather information about the Nosecutters, they’ll learn a two-horse merchant wagon was robbed by the gang a fortnight before. The surviving wagoneer is in town, spending most of his time drinking himself into a stupor at the Toothless Dragon tavern. His nose was cut off in the skirmish. Many of the locals were expecting goods from the wagon, including Thelan Teramedes, a semi-retired mage who lost a box of arcane tomes and scrolls. If the materials can be recovered, there might be an additional reward.
The Nosecutters told Walla to bring 1600 gold pieces (400 per child) to Foxfield, a clearing to the east of the Broggin Farm, that evening just after dusk. If the ransom isn’t delivered, a child’s nose will be cut off and brought to the Broggin Farm the following day. Another nose will follow each day, followed thereafter by a pair of ears. If all of the money isn’t delivered within a week and a day, the children will be killed.
If the party tries to investigate the scene of the kidnapping–i.e. the Broggin Farm–they’ll find a modest and disorganized house and some poorly tended vegetable fields (mostly root vegetables like turnips, parsnips, and potatoes). The back door of the house has been kicked in and the inner rooms are in a state of wild disarray, though it isn’t clear how much of the disorder was caused by the Nosecutters and how much is the normal state of things. If the party searches near the house for tracks they’ll find marks from goblin-sized boots, no more than a half-dozen individuals. The tracks are easy to follow back to the Foxfield clearing and beyond, all the way back to the cave the Nosecutters are using as their lair. (A mere twenty-minute walk to the clearing, another half hour to reach the cave.)
When the party goes to the clearing, a single goblin is there to meet them. He’s got a badly-abused horse to carry the money. The goblin’s name is Karse, and he’s a typical goblin–arrogant and malicious, but a coward. He’ll talk tough but if the party capture him he’ll immediately sell out his gang and lead the party right to the cave. He’s also stupid and can be reasonably easily followed to the cave. If he’s killed, his tracks aren’t hard to follow–two rutted grooves from the stolen wagon lead back to the cave. If the party observes him silently but doesn’t engage, he’ll curse and mutter to himself for a while and eventually assume he’s been stood up, in which case he’ll turn around and go back to the cave, taking very little care to see if he’s being followed.
Once the party arrives at the cave, the following encounters are available:
#1 - Cave Entrance
The area in front of the cave is littered with trash–torn sacking, broken wooden boxes, a broken down wagon. A pair of wooden barrels are near the entrance, and two half-drunk goblin guards are sitting on them. If the party follows Karse back without him knowing, he’ll converse with the guards and then lead the horse into the cave. If the guards spy the party they’ll try to hide behind the barrels. If the party shows aggression they’ll shoot arrows, but if the fight gets heavy at least one of the goblins will flee into the cave to release the wolves at section #2 (Wolf Den).
2 Goblin Guards: AC 14, HD 1-1, #AT 1 (shortbow), Dam 1d6, Mv 20’, Sv F1, ML 7, XP 10 each
HP 4 □ □ □ □
3 □ □ □
#1.5 - Tripwire Crossbow Trap
Immediately within the cave, just past the reach of the moonlight, a tripwire stretches across the cave’s width. If a player character is chasing a goblin or otherwise running/moving quickly, their chance of noticing and avoiding the trap is 1 on a d6 (adjusted by Wisdom modifier). If they trip the trap it sets off a crossbow that hits for 1d6 (save versus Death Ray for half damage). Crossbow is at gut-level for humans, face-level for halflings.
#2 - Wolf Den
A chamber to the right holds three poorly-cared-for wolves. The goblins keep them chained here to help guard the lair. If a goblin flees the party in area #1, he will come here to release the wolves. If the wolves are released they will immediately attack the party. If the wolves are not released they will attack anyone that comes within reach (chains are twenty feet long, wolves suffer a -1 AB and a -1 to AC when fighting while chained). If the party tries to move past the wolves, the wolves will raise a ruckus barking and growling, and will lunge and pull to try to break the chains (the chains are rusty and of poor quality, and a wolf can break free on a roll of 1 on a d6, with a roll for each wolf each turn).
3 Wolves: AC 13, HD 2, #AT 1 bite, Dam 1d6, Mv 60’, Sv F2, ML 8, XP 75 each
HP 6 □ □ □ □ □ □
8 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □
5 □ □ □ □ □
#3 - Meditating Hobgoblin
This is a small, sparsely furnished chamber. A single hobgoblin is seated on a round cushion, contemplating a beautiful, ornately carved platinum bell that is suspended from a string about three feet in front of his face. The hobgoblin is dressed in simple clothing (no armor), and there is a quarterstaff stretched across his knees. He will give his name as “Motionless Flame.” He will ask the party if they can hear the bell. If they are truthful and say they can’t hear it, he will answer basic questions. If they lie and say they can hear it, he will refuse to speak with the party. If they attack him or try to touch the bell, he will fight with subduing force (not lethal).
Motionless Flame is a fighter who left his troop in order to pursue meditation and enlightenment. He has no affiliation with the Nosecutters–he was in the cave before they came–but he is willing to leave them alone (and anyone else) if they don’t bother him. If the party answers the bell question truthfully, Motionless Flame will answer their questions relating to the Nosecutters–he owes them no protection. He also knows about the Tentacle Worm in the Fetid Pool (Area #4).
Motionless Flame: AC 18, HD 6, #AT 2 strikes with quarterstaff, Dam 1d6/1d6, Mv 40’, Sv F6, ML 9, XP 500
HP 36 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □
If the party manages to kill Motionless Flame, the Platinum Bell is worth 300gp.
#4 - Fetid Pool
A long passageway sinking deeper into the earth, eventually opening onto the shore of a subterranean pond. From the edge of the water, the party can see the glimmer of a golden crown about ten feet from shore and ten feet deep, resting on the sand amongst what look to be the fronds of some sort of seaweed. The fronds are actually tentacles from a tentacle worm, and if a player approaches the crown or even just touches the water, the worm will attack.
Tentacle Worm: AC 13, HD 3, #AT 6 tentacles, Dam paralysis, Mv 40’, Sv F3, ML 9, XP 175
HP 16 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □
If a PC is paralyzed while in the water, they must save versus Paralysis each round or take 1d4 drowning damage until another party member pulls them out of the water.
If the crown is recovered, it’s worth 250gp.
#5 - Trash Room
This little chamber is knee deep with trash, including the rotting remains of the other cart horse, which has been partially butchered. Other items from the cart are also visible, including a busted open wooden box with a few scroll-cases and other papers showing. If the party wade in to search amongst the rubbish or just to reclaim the scrolls, they will be attacked by Rot Grubs (roll 1d6 for number attacking each PC).
If the party followed Karse back to the cave without him knowing it, the horse he’d been leading will be tied up here, just outside of the piled up trash. It will be nervous and unhappy by its nearness to the other horse’s corpse.
Rot Grubs: AC 10, HD 1, #AT 1 bite, Dam special, Mv 5’, Sv F1, ML 12, XP 10
HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □ HP 1 □
Three scrolls can be recovered from this room, with the following spells: Floating Disc, Ventriloquism, Mirror Image.
There is also a hidden passage that leads to the Throne Room (#6).
#6 - Throne Room
This is a large chamber with a battered, out-of-place-looking throne at the far end. There is also a large cage suspended from the ceiling by a rope, dangling over a pit. Hurgg the Bug Bear is seated in the throne, adorned with gaudy jewelry, drinking out of a bejeweled golden goblet with two goblin guards standing ready in front of him. There are torches throughout the room because Hurgg likes the way the torchlight glitters on his adornments. The Broggin children are in the cage. Another goblin guard is stationed near the cage, armed with a dagger and a short bow. Within the pit there is a carnivorous ape.
If the party followed Karse back without the goblin knowing it, he will be here receiving a brutal harangue from Hurgg, who will be holding him responsible for not having brought back the ransom money.
If Hurgg notices the party he will start out asking for the original deal of 1600gp. If the party refuses or resists he’ll order the goblin near the cage to start cutting the rope (rope can be cut with three successful even-numbered rolls on a d6, one roll per round), and the other guards to attack the party. If anything is said to anger Krugg, he will immediately leap into battle. If he loses morale he will try to flee through the secret passage.
If the rope is cut the cage will drop into the 20 foot pit, and the kids will each take 2d6 damage. There is a 50% chance the cage will break open from the fall, and if it does the Carnivorous Ape will immediately attack the children. If the cage doesn’t break, the Ape will climb on top of it and then leap out of the pit. Without the cage or some other assistance, the Ape cannot escape the pit.
Hurgg the Bug Bear: AC 15, HD 3+1, #AT 1 weapon, Dam 1d8+1, Mv 30’, Sv F3, ML 9, XP 145
HP 18 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □
3 Goblin Guards: AC 14, HD 1-1, #AT 1 weapon, Dam 1d6, Mv 20’, Sv F1, ML 7, XP 10
HP 6 □ □ □ □ □ □
HP 5 □ □ □ □ □
HP 4 □ □ □ □
Carnivorous Ape: AC 14, HD 4, #At 2 claws, Dam 1d4/1d4, Mv 40’, Sv F4, ML 7, XP 240
HP 22 □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □
The primary treasure in this room is Hurgg’s jewelry:
Heavy golden necklace chain with a golden sundial on it (worth 275gp)
13 rings (at least one on each finger; the stones are fakes but the metal from the rings is worth 65gp)
Lots of fancy golden bracelets (150gp)