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.