Saturday, September 23, 2023

The Reckoning

The final chapter of the Apotheosis Campaign is now available from It takes an inventory of the adventures that have come before it, suggesting ways in which to tie up any loose ends. For that reason, I've made it a Pay What You Want item. 


The Reckoning

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Preview of The Reckoning

This is it--the final chapter in the Apotheosis Campaign, a series of linked scenarios for use with Treasure Hunter Adventures and the Savage Worlds RPG. It's a relatively short scenario, because it focuses on tying up any and all loose ends from the previous adventures. That's why I'm posting the entire text, so that potential purchasers know what to expect from it. 



For a long time now a band of treasure hunters has been investigating clues to lost relics and lore, including ones that relate to an ancient mystery. As they have done so, they've found a number of allies, but also numerous rivals and even a few dedicated enemies. After a mystical expedition in which they saw glimpses of the past, present and future, they have mostly concluded their search. Not everyone is satisfied with the how that expedition ended, however, and a few people seek to do something about the grudges that they hold.


This adventure begin for the heroes once they have finally discovered what they could beneath the shrine of the Sybil, and are now reacting to what they learned and moving on with their lives in the aftermath of those discoveries.

Scene 1: The Powers That Be

To begin, it's important to take stock of any allies and enemies the heroes have accrued during their adventures, along with the locations where they might be spending their time. The chart that is included below lists many possibilities from the scenarios in the published campaign; of course, there could be others if the GM has been modifying those scenarios or adding customized adventures. With that in mind, then, there are a few ways in which the action can proceed.

The NPCs Seek Revenge

This option is highly probable. Unless the heroes have neutralized all of the rivals and enemies whom they've faced during the campaign, there is probably someone who has a grievance against them. In this case, some or all of those people decide to strike out against the heroes. This could simply involve raiding the heroes' base of operations to steal what they can—especially if they believe the heroes claimed relics or lore which belong to them—or even to bring about a more permanent end to the matter.

The Heroes Seek Justice

On the other hand, the heroes might seek to bring their enemies to justice. This could easily happen if they have become involved with the Office for Strategic Services, or if any character has other connections to law enforcement. In this case, they are the ones who are staging a raid to recover illicit antiquities, looking to make arrests for crimes committed, and the like.

Adding Details from the Heroes' Own Stories

Finally, this is a chance for the GM to work in characters from the heroes' background details. For example, the enemy might kidnap one or more of the heroes' loved ones, if they are known, to use as leverage in exchange for valuable items or information.

Scene 2: Settling Scores

With all of those details established, then, it remains for the confrontation to begin. Here are some suggestions for how that might start.

  • The heroes are pursuing a lead that someone uncovered during the events of Past, Present & Future. In this case, the location related to that lead determines where this confrontation takes place; who else is involved depends on the inventory, as is detailed above. The villains might be monitoring the heroes' movements, and strike when they think the heroes are most vulnerable.

  • The villains kidnap someone who is important to the heroes, and thus they can choose the time and place for a confrontation. That might be on their own turf, in a place like Throckmorton's compound or Bob Anderson's storage facility, or in a neutral location. Whatever the case, they seem to have the advantage, and use it to pressure the heroes into meeting their demands.

  • The heroes and their allies stage a raid on one of the locations mentioned above, and so they decide when and where it happens. This is likely to be a villain's own domain, with the intention to find illicitly acquired relics along with evidence that can be used against them in court. Such action is especially likely if the heroes have become involved with the Office of Strategic Services, in which case they may be able to call upon additional agents to assist with this business.


While it is never possible to anticipate all of the twists and turns that this adventure can take, here are a few suggestions for some of the more likely developments.

  • If this is not already the case, then it becomes increasingly likely that the long arm of the law becomes involved in this business.

  • It is possible that the heroes stage multiple raids on different locations. In that case, the villains are likely to start working to remove items and information from those places that have not yet been raided.

  • There's always the chance that action taken by one side in the conflict provokes a counterstrike by the other side. For example, if the heroes and their allies raid Cyril Throckmorton's compound, then the charlatan's allies could send their own people in the hope of rescuing Throckmorton and recovering any valuable relics or lore that are hidden there before they are confiscated. Or, if the heroes suffer a setback, then their allies could send help to rescue them.

  • Evidence from a raid might provide clues to another lost treasure, setting the heroes off in search of it. That would be a fitting final quest for a hero who has long been trying to solve a particular mystery.

  • Finally, such a development could give the villains one last chance to ambush the heroes, since they would already have possessed the item or information and thus could position themselves to catch the heroes unaware.

Scene 3: Denouement

Once this business has been concluded, there are still questions that need to be answered. Here are a few possibilities.

  • What happens to each of the items that the heroes have discovered throughout the campaign? The old saying is that, “It belongs in a museum.” It is more appropriate for these items to be returned to people from their cultures of origin. This could lead to the heroes attending gala premiers of exhibitions, with the items in question being important parts of the displays.

  • There is also the question of what the heroes do now that this business is resolved. What is the next step for each character? They might work on writing a book about these adventures, help curate items or locations that were discovered, decide that it's time to settle down for a bit and start a family, or even continue their lives as globetrotting treasure hunters. This is a chance for each character to have a short scene—just like during the end credits of the movie—to show what happens next.


In this case, the events that are glimpsed during Scene 3 provide the resolution to the overall story. It has been a lengthy adventure, indeed, and hopefully one that has won the heroes fortune and glory, along with illumination and contentment.

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

I Will Be on a Savage Universe Podcast!

This is a first for me. On Thursday I'll be joining J-M DeFoggi for a SWAGtember podcast episode over on Savage Universe! Here's a link to the announcement on the Pinnacle website, along with a screen capture of the site itself. 


PEG News Update

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Past, Present & Future

Now available from, this full-length scenario is designed for use with Treasure Hunter Adventures and the Savage Worlds RPG. It is a direct sequel to The Shrine of the Sibyl, taking the heroes into the tunnels beneath that shrine, where they can discover secrets about themselves, the world around them, and even, perhaps, what lies beyond it all. This scenario can also be run as part of the Apotheosis campaign. 


Past, Present & Future

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Second Preview for Past, Present & Future

This post presents the maps for the scenario Past, Present & Future. Rather than detailing the entire location, they can be used in varying order depending on when and how the "gas leak effect" hits each of the heroes. 


Flooded Chamber

This is the water-filled passage that the heroes must traverse, and it can also be the place where they run into the nest of vipers.

Chamber With No Exit

There are many false doors on the walls of this cavern, but no real one. This is the end of the line.

The Crossroads Temple

This structure could play a role in certain visions, as detailed in the Visions & Vignettes section, above. It consists of a raised platform on which sixteen columns support the stone roof above it; the roof is open in the center, and a big, old tree stands in the middle of it all.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

First Preview for Past, Present & Future

Over the past three to four years I've been writing a series of scenarios for Treasure Hunter Adventures, starting with The Death Mask of Hatshepsut in June of 2020 and building up to last month's The Shrine of the Sibyl. The forthcoming scenario Past, Present & Future is meant to be part of the culmination of that storyline, in which the heroes face physical and metaphysical challenges, and great secrets are revealed to them. Those experiences are listed below. 


Finding a Lost Loved One

This is one of the more straightforward vignettes. A character who, as part of their background story, has been seeking a lost loved one, has a glimpse of what happened to that person. This takes the form of witnessing a scene that reveals the person's current whereabouts.

For example: Gavin Kline knows that his brother, Garrett, disappeared while pursuing a treasure hunt of his own. When Gavin “wakes up” after succumbing to the gaslight effect, he finds himself on the heaving deck of a boat in stormy water. If he succeeds as Strength and Agility tests to cross the slippery and fight through crashing waves, then he sees his brother in the passenger compartment, poring over a map that reveals his destination.

Solving a Mystery

Similar to the previous one, this vignette can help lead into another adventure for the hero in question. In this case, the vision provides a clue to locating something that the hero has been seeking.

For example: Magdalena Gonzalez has long been seeking the treasure hoard taken by the Spanish Conquistadors after defeating Emperor Montezuma during the conquest of Mexico. Through research she knows that it was taken aboard a treasure fleet returning to Spain, which was attacked by pirates. When she regains consciousness, she finds herself flying through the sky, in the form of a bird! Through a series of Notice checks she can see a shipwreck, along with something that helps identify the location.

Fixing a Mistake from the Past

Ideally, this vignette involves something bad that happened earlier in the campaign; the character in question relives that experience and has a chance to handle it differently this time around.

For example: During a snowmobile chase on a frozen river in England, Linh Soung tried a risky jump and lost control of her sled; her rider was thrown off of it and badly injured (or even killed?). When she comes out of her stupor, she is driving that sled, during that chase scene. Does she attempt the same maneuver this time, or try something less dangerous?

Facing a Hindrance

This vignette forces a character to confront a fear, make a decision regarding loyalty, or the like. This could include giving up loot in order to save an ally, or even sacrificing oneself.

For example: Vaughn Adkisson, who is Heroic, wakes up to find that his friends are pinned down by the mercenaries, sure to be overwhelmed in battle. The mercenaries, in turn, have positions of cover in an ancient temple from which they can casually snipe at the heroes. Vaughn might recognize that, by toppling one of the columns holding up the roof of the temple, he can bring it down on top of the mercenaries. In doing so, however, he might not survive.

Having a Religious Experience

It is important that this vignette be handled in a tasteful manner, since it touches on topics that are important to a lot of people. With that in mind, the experience that this character has can take any number of forms.

For example: Thaddeus Woodward is a Christian. When he returns to consciousness, he is lying on the ground in the desert, with a stone for a pillow. Nearby he sees a ladder that stretches up into the heavens; angelic figures climb up and down it. (This is the image depicted on the cover of this scenario, taken from the Book of Genesis 28:10-19). One of the figures—perhaps even the angel Gabriel—approaches him to talk. He might be very tempted to ascend the ladder himself, but he could be torn between that and staying in this world to continue his good works.

Seeking Unlimited Power

This vignette has the potential to be the most dramatic, since it provides a glimpse of how the world would be changed if High Magic and the No Power Points setting rule, are unleashed. While this might be appealing to some occultists, the dangers inherent in such a world might quickly become apparent.

For example: Magdalena Gonzalez is Driven to learn the mystical secrets of the world. It might appeal to her, then, to learn Powers such as Blast, Bolt and Burst. When enemies press Magdalena and her friends during combat, she could also be tempted to unleash such magic. The resulting carnage should be an unpleasant surprise. What is worse, if her enemies gained access to such Powers, then they would not hesitate to use them, too.

Confronting Oneself

In this vignette the hero can face oneself. This could be to gain some kind of insight or to confront a character flaw.

For example: Throughout the course of the campaign, Vaughn has done a lot of fighting. While he has done this to protect his friends, the persistence of their enemies has pushed him to become more ruthless in his efforts. In this vignette, Vaughn comes face-to-face with a different version of himself—one that has become Bloodthirsty instead of Heroic. He might need to defeat himself in combat, or perhaps show himself mercy.

Meeting a Historical Figure

This vignette is a chance for a character to meet someone they admire. There is a chance for conversation, and thus perhaps to gain important insight.

For example: Gavin has been intrigued by what he read about the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang Ti, who had the Terracotta Army built for his tomb and is said to have sought the alchemical Elixir of Life. Gavin could wake up in the Emperor's tomb, where the two of them discuss how you use the time you have on this Earth, and what you leave behind as your legacy when you are gone.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

The Shrine of the Sibyl

This complete scenario, available from DriveThruRPG and for use with Treasure Hunter Adventures and the Savage Worlds RPG, takes the heroes to a seemingly ordinary chapel in Rome, beneath which they can reveal the secrets of the prophetesses known as the Sibyls. 


The Shrine of the Sibyl