Saturday, October 21, 2023

The Apotheosis Campaign Guide

The Apotheosis Campaign Guide is now available from It provides an expanded background to the campaign, as well as tips for setting the level of magic in it, pacing the adventures, and advancing the heroes and NPCs. 


The Apotheosis Campaign Guide

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Preview of the Apotheosis Campaign Guide

Here's a preview of the Apotheosis Campaign Guide, which includes suggestions for running that series of scenarios for Treasure Hunter Adventures and the Savage Worlds RPG. 


Setting the Level of Magic

From the outset, it's important to decide how much of a role magic and miracles will play in the course of the campaign.

  • No Magic—The relics that the heroes recover have no in-game effects, but are valuable because of their historic importance, for the materials from which they're made, or both.

  • Low Magic—These relics have powers that provide in-game benefits, but those effects are not visible to observers. Characters with the Detect/Conceal arcana power can recognize them, though, and generate similar effects when wielding their Powers.

  • High Magic—The relics have effects that are visible even to the untrained, and characters have access to Powers with similar trappings.

This consideration, then, sets the tone for the magical activity in the campaign, and influences the scope and scale of any secrets that the heroes can discover as they approach the climax of the overall story.

Campaign Timeline and Pacing

Presented here is the suggested timeline for the pacing of the campaign, along with details of how that timing affects each scenario and which Advances the heroes achieve after each one.

Adventure Background

Here is a brief history of those who have pursued the Great Secret.

  • These mysteries dates back to early history, especially Ancient Egypt, Sumeria and Israel. The story of Isis and Osiris includes the body of Osiris becoming trapped in a tree, and the song of Innana (Ishtar) describes a journey through the Underworld.

  • The destruction of Jerusalem created the Jewish Diaspora, with people of that faith living as minority populations through Europe and the Middle East. It is their tradition of Khabbalism that envisions all of Creation as a mystical Tree of Life.

  • The Romans, as a conquering force throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, began to notice similarities between their religion and those of conquered people, and even added foreign elements to their own traditions.

  • Christianity appeared around this time, with its central element being the self-sacrifice of their Messiah on a cross.

  • The rise of Islam is another example of conquerors spreading throughout the region. They were exposed to local beliefs as they won battle after battle, and brought with them learning from ancient Greece that had been lost by the rest of Europe.

  • During the series of conflicts known as the Crusades, ideas from the Middle East were carried back to Europe. No group was believed to have done this more than the Knights Templar, who are even rumored to have discovered relics and lore where the Temple of Solomon once stood in Jerusalem.

  • At some point members of the Throckmorton family in England began to serve the Inquisition. Although in theory they were helping to reveal heretical practices in the territory controlled by the Catholic Church, in truth they began gathering relics and lore for their own gain.

  • The Age of Exploration, pitting Spain and Portugal against England, introduced even more belief systems to Europe, from North and South America, Africa and Asia. This was also when the schism between the Catholic Church and England forced those Throckmortons who served the Inquisition to move their activities to the Continent.

  • As colonists settled in the Americas, pushing further and further westward, one member of the Throckmorton family decided to move his operation to the “New World.” He came just like any other immigrant, but hid his arrival by setting fire to the building that held immigration records at Ellis Island in 1897. (A descendant of his would use the same tactic to conceal his World War II service with a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis in 1973.)

  • Other periods of conflict provided opportunity for exploring these traditions. Examples of this include Gabriel de Baz-Rhin, who served under Napoleon during the series of wars named for him; Udo Friesinger, a servant of King Ludwig II of Bavaria who was active as Germany began to be united; Roy Williams, the “American Adventurer,” who conducted his investigations until he was murdered by one of the Throckmortons in 1912; and Emanuel Grey, as an agent of the O.S.S. during World War II who was killed by another member of that family.

Developing and Advancing the NPCs

The various scenarios that make up this campaign have recurring villains, along with possible allies; the same set of base stats is generally used for each appearance. Presented here are some suggestions for developing them from one adventure to the next, adding Advances to their stats. As always, the GM should feel free to tailor NPCs as desired.

  • Eddie Legrand (AC-01, 11, 12): He increases Notice, Persuasion and Research.

  • Layla Clark (AC-01, 10, 11): She gains the Connections Edge, and then increases Language and Persuasion.

  • Rutger “der Falke” von Blum (AC-02, 03, 08, 09): He focuses on Advances that increase his prowess in combat, such as increasing Fighting and Shooting, and adding the Combat Reflexes and Command Edges. Note, too, that Mercenaries who accompany him and survive can gain Advances as well.

  • Annie Smith, aka Anastasia Valentinov (AC-03, 04, possibly 05 and the end of 06, 09): Playing a dangerous game of deception, she focuses on Edges that can keep her alive, like Luck and Great Luck, and increases Shooting and Fighting.

  • Earl Walton (AC-04, 11): Having had a taste of adventure, he increases his Fighting and Shooting skills, just to be ready for anything.

  • Xander Hayden (AC-04, 11): He adds the Improved Dodge and Thief Edges.

  • Bob Anderson (AC-06): He vows revenge for losing his collection of stolen items, and increases his Shooting skill.

  • Kurt Torkelson (AC-07): Having studied Astrid Moeller's notes about the items from the ship burial, he gains the Artificer Edge.

  • Astrid Moeller (AC-07): She learns the secret of the Channeling Edge.

  • Arndt “der Adler” von Blum (AC-12, 13): Through his studies, he gains Power Points and learns New Powers.

  • Cyril Throckmorton (AC-14): His Advances depend on which version of the character the GM is using. The Occulstist version of this character learns New Powers and gains Power Points, while the swindler version acquires the Great Luck and Elan Edges.

  • Cyrus Throckmorton (AC-15, 16): His Advances also depend on which version of the character the GM is using. The Unholy Champion adds the First Strike and Rapid Fire Edges, while the Soldier of Fortune adds First Strike and No Mercy Edges.

Finally, any and all of these characters could appear in the finale (AC-17), given the flexible nature of that scenario. Whether or not they survive to gain Advances, however, depends on whether or not they survive that confrontation with the heroes.

Art Credits

Additional Material from the Treasure Hunter Adventures Supplements

While by no means necessary for this campaign, some of the supplements for Treasure Hunter Adventures provide additional material that could be used, including the following possibilities.