This page will serve as my design notes for an adventure im feverishly writing - currently called 'Death Beneath a Frozen Earth' .. expect updates, changes and shit that won't make sense. If you like The Black Hack and have any remote intention of playing anything I write .. stop reading. If you're here because you might run it, or you're looking for ideas to steal. Crack on.
The players will start the game with four 0 level funnel characters. Don't bother with stats, roll them as soon as that character needs to make a test. We want players up and running as fast as humanly possible. I already made some TBH funnel sheets when I ran a DDC back in the summer. i'll adapt those.
The characters are part of a lost and presumed doomed expedition into the deep frozen earth. The fluff and mcguffins need working out, but the crux of it is they're trapped underground and have to search for a way out before their food runs out or the cold kills them. Also they've managed to unearth some horrid extra-planar-shapeshifter thats slowly eating them one by one. Even if they make it to the surface, if the Things do too - its game over. Players will control both the 'Humans' and the 'Things' - so they will have split priorities, some will want the Humans to win, others the Things.
The gameplay is split into two distinct phases, Day and Night.
Day is very much a traditional dungeon crawl in the old school tradition. Deadly, weird, probably not a huge amount of monsters - certainly no 'higher-races' or super intelligent beings. Maybe shambling frozen undead. I'll work on that.
Night is slightly different - normally you just assign watch and fast-forward the clock, not so in this adventure! Characters should quickly realise the cold will kill them, so they must build a fire for the night. Unfortunately there wont be enough spaces round the fire for all the characters, some will have to sleep huddled in the cold, the players first task during the night phase is deciding who.
- If 'A Thing' sleeps round a fire the gradual thawing will reveal its true nature, initiating a combat (assuming the other characters don't just lay down and allow themselves to be eaten)
- If a Human DOES NOT sleep round a fire they will gain a 'Numb Die' (this is a working title - I might change it to reflect a more madness inspired vibe)
Nightly Actions - In addition to to the campfire mechanics - players must decide what each of their characters are doing for the night. They should pass the GM secret notes for each of their characters declaring what they will be doing. There are 3 possible actions.
- Sleep. They will wake in the morning rested and can remove 1d4 Numb Die.
- Stay Awake. They will have DISADVANTAGE on all tests they make until they next Sleep. They can only Stay Awake for 3 consecutive nights. They will then be forced to Sleep.
- Select one character to convert into another Thing. If they choose someone who is Staying Awake, they will be revealed. If they choose someone who is asleep .. that person is now A Thing.
Once all the actions are declared the Night phase will end and the GM will pass back notes to the players (for each of their characters) letting them know how the night went, there are a few options:
- You had a good nights sleep, remove 1d4 Numb Die.
- You're tired, but alive. You have DISADVANTAGE on all test until you next sleep.
- You are now A THING.
After all these cards are handed out the players roll their Numb Die - i'm still working out what this does, but its not good.
Also i've got something i'm working on called fears. Basically if characters have to do something they are afraid of they gain and have to roll their Numb Die.
More to come