Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Random Adventure Generator Wicked City

As I have previously mentioned here and here, I like adventure generators. I came across this one on Against the Wicked City. It's for Gothic Mysteries and as the author says, some of these results are really weird. I'm guessing he wrote these while he had a high fever that he came down with after an overdose of old Gothic novels, read at night, by a fire, in a thunderstorm, inside some creaky, creepy old mansion (whiskey and soda or absinthe on the side-boy optional). The tables definitely have a febrile feel.

Here's what I got when I tried it out...

WHO IS THE VILLAIN? (roll 1d10)
7. An evil priest disguised as a ruthless outlaw.

8. A lunatic

WHO IS THE HERO? (roll 1d6)
1. A well-meaning but basically useless young Italian nobleman.

WHO IS THE HEROINE? (roll 1d6)
2.  A beautiful, virtuous, and talented young Spanish noblewoman.

WHAT IS GOING ON? (roll 1d10)  
6. There's proof of the villain's crimes in town and the villain wants to destroy it.

OH MY GOD MAKE IT STOP (roll 1d10, or 2d10 if you want a twist ending)
9. ...and then everyone is OVERCOME WITH REMORSE and lives out the remainder of their days in penance and weeping.
What can we make of that? 

First, unless this is a one-shot adventure with pre-rolled characters and your players like acting out the plots of old novels, we need to ditch the notion that the hero and heroine are the PCs. They are other NPCs who are part of this situation into which the PCs are thrown. With that out of the way...

We have a lunatic, evil priest disguised as a ruthless outlaw. So sort of an evil Zorro. That's good. Let's make him a highwayman who robs coaches on the road to the big city. This could be any big city, perhaps the city where the PCs live or one they are currently visiting. But given the nationalities of the putative hero and heroine I'll make this a city in either Spain or Italy. Right now I'm leaning towards Spain. 

Why does a priest rob coaches? Well he's evil and maybe greedy and he's a lunatic. So he robs the coaches of the wealthy to accumulate wealth so he can rebuild an abandoned church up in the hills as a way of expiating his terrible, terrible guilt. He's a priest. Which means he's Catholic, so there's a good chance he's feeling guilty about something. And since he is evil its something bad.

One day the ruthless outlaw leader and his band of highwaymen stop a coach on the road to Seville. Inside the coach is a beautiful, virtuous, and talented young Spanish noblewoman. The ruthless outlaw leader is stunned by the sight of the young noblewoman. And before he can give the command to despoil the coach (or the Spanish beauty) he and his men are interrupted by the intervention of a well-meaning but basically useless young Italian nobleman who is also traveling the same road to Seville. The nobleman further distracts the ruthless outlaw and his men which allows the coachman time to fire his gun at the highwaymen and he wounds their ruthless leader and the outlaws retreat with their wounded chief allowing the others to proceed in safety.*
Of course the young Italian nobleman was wounded by outlaws, and so, once they reach her family house in Seville [1], the virtuous and talented young Spanish noblewoman must invite her young rescuer to stay at her house so she can tend to his wounds. Of course, her talents include the tending of wounds.

Meanwhile, the highwaymen return to their lair where their ruthless chief also has his wounds tended. For now he is too injured to act himself and so must work through his henchman. He has recognized the beautiful young Spanish noblewoman and he knows that once she reaches her family house in Seville it will only be a matter of time before she discovers the evidence of his crimes - which include the terrible sin for which he is robbing coaches, to get money, to rebuild the church, to atone for his terrible crime. Does this make sense? Of course not, but it does to him because...he's a lunatic.

Enter the PCs (choose one or roll 1d6)

  1. A PC is related to the beautiful young Spanish noblewoman, so of course the PCs call at the house in Seville and learn of recent events.
  2. A PC is a friend or relative of the young Italian nobleman who they were to meet in Seville. They happen to recognize him as he is being carried into the house in Seville so they call at the house in Seville and learn of recent events.
  3. The coachman is an old soldier who served with one of the PCs. He notices them as the coach enters the town. Later he contacts them, tells them of recent events, and asks their help to protect his young mistress. [2]
  4. As they are also traveling on the highway to Seville, the PCs come across the coach, the coachman, the beautiful young Spanish noblewomen, and the wounded young Italian nobleman. After they learn of recent events they may become involved.
  5. The ruthless outlaw killed a friend or relative of a PC who now wants REVENGE! 
  6. The PCs are hunting for the ruthless outlaw to bring him to justice. They overhear the coachman relating recent events to a third party and they realize that the young Spanish noblewoman may be able to provide them with a description of the outlaw or other clues. So they call at the house in Seville and ask to speak with her.

Obviously the evil, lunatic, priest, disguised as an outlaw is related to the beautiful, virtuous, and talented young Spanish noblewoman. Unknown to her he is her uncle or her father and he is responsible for the death of her mother and father (if he is her uncle) or her mother (if he is her father).[3] This is the terrible crime he is afraid to have revealed. 

[1] Option: instead of the big city, set the action in a village along the road on the way to the city. This will restrict the action to a smaller locale and more limited official resources.

[2] He may be concerned that the highwaymen may want to silence the young Spanish noblewoman before she can describe or identify the attackers to the authorities.

[3] If you want a more twisted end that supports everyone being overcome with remorse and doing penance, then he is both her uncle and her father.

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