Fiendish Friday: Five of the Worst

The latest in my occasional Friday column for Crypts and Things, I present five adventure seeds revolving round five conflicted non-player characters.

The Hunted & The Damned
“Help us, help us please. They are after us.”

Situation: Pale and ghost like a brother and sister couple plead that the characters help them escape a hunting beast that is on their tail.

Twist: The pair are powerful sorcerers from the Other Worlds, and the beast is retribution for them killing an entire world.

Waiting to Wake Up
“I no longer know my name”

Situation: The characters find a sleeping barbarian who if woken up thanks them for waking him from a magical sleep and then pledges to serve them.

Twist: The barbarian is actually a pretender of the throne of some ramshackle Northern kingdom, cursed by a rival’s sorcerer and dumped far away from home. Initially he doesn’t remember and is happy to dumbly follow the characters. Each dawn make a Saving Throw for him. if he makes it  he fully remembers his past, and suddenly demands that the characters follow him as his minions to retake his birth right!

Soul Sucker
“Its so good that you’ll be my friend”
Situation: The characters meet an  defenceless ancient man on some abandoned pathway, each day without fail he gives them each 10 Gold Pieces for them to protect him as they take him somewhere “safe”.

Twist: The man, who can no longer remember his name, was a court sorcerer for one of the Ancient Emperors which he half remembers and babbles on about. In this past he summoned an Other World parasite, a worm like creature that lives within him. It is like a Maggot Master, identical in stats, but with the additional special ability that any character within twenty feet of it looses 1d6 Sanity every hour on a failed Saving Throw. The sanity loss feels like a depression, with thick black clouds coming over the character’s mood. The old man dithers and wants to be stay with his new friends.

Fearless Doomed Hero
“We go Kill Vampire Lord now!”
Situation: An angry young youth, armed and armoured to the teeth, crosses the character’s path and wants them to join his one-man crusade against the evil Vampire Lords!

Twist: The young man is actually a pawn of the Vampires, sent to find new victims by eliciting sympathy for his cause. The youth is completely unaware of this, due to an evil enchantment cast on him when the vampire’s captured him as he tried to rescue his older sister – who may or may not be a Vampire by now.

Dead, Dead and Dead again.
“I’m Igmorogil the Indestructible!”

Situation: A wild eyed berserker, called Igmorogil, runs out of nowhere, attacks the characters and If they kill him he raises from the dead after one to six hours, even if the characters burn his body.

Twist: This tribesman was cursed by a Witch to die a painful bloody death THREE times. On the third time he dies for good. Each time he dies, he comes back a bit more insane and crazed.

4 thoughts on “Fiendish Friday: Five of the Worst

  1. This is really all anyone had to do to create fantastic published adventures for rpg rulebooks. Published modules with setting, and backstory seems to be the wrong approach which became the codified method of adventure product with the release of B! and B2 by TSR oh so long ago.

    • As some one who enjoys big old adventure write ups (and their modern descendants ) I’d have to disagree with you there.

      Part of this was inspired by Clark Ashton Smith’s Synopsis’s over at

      For example

      “The Cypress (Synopsis)”

      A Voodoo witch-doctor who slays a rival and buries him at the foot of a ^cypress^ [baobab]. Returning years later, he conceives the idea that the dead man’s soul has passed into the tree. He cuts the tree down — and it falls upon him in a singular manner, against the wind, and crushes him down upon the grave, which gives way before the witch-doctor dies, precipitating him among the bones of his rival.

  2. Thanks for these. They could make an adventure quite interesting, or at least make good side treks.
    Two points spring to mind:
    1) The mechanics of how these work (what sort of spells and enchantments are involved) could be hand-waved by DM fiat, but it seems better to me if I can explain the situation with existing spells or monsters.
    2) These could be spaced out a bit, otherwise the PCs will get wise and assume that no NPC asking for help is what they seem. At best there will be plenty of Know Alignment, Detect Lie and Remove Curse spells being used, at worst bloodthirsty PCs will kill any NPC asking for help on the assumption they will turn out to be the bad guy anyway.

    • 1. These were put together in about 30mins during my lunch hour with no rule book to hand.

      2. Welcome to the world of Crypts and Things, where bad things happen to naughty player characters on a regular basis, and there is no Know Alignment or Detect Lie spells. Of course you wouldn’t throw all these characters at the players at once. Also its quite entertaining watching players argue amongst themselves over wether to kill npcs, but also one would hope that the players have matured past the “kill everything on sight” phase 😉

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