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Murderer at Sea: All I Know, For You To Use

edited May 2017 in Campaigns
WARNING: THIS IS NOT A FULL GUIDE ON HOW TO RUN THIS CAMPAIGN, I AM NOT THAT GOOD AT THIS. THIS IS JUST GROUNDWORK FOR DOING YOUR OWN THING WITH THIS KINDA STUFF.

I'll upload a thing with the custom tiles once I know how season 3 stuff works.

This thread will contain the various, in all likelyhood shoddy, campaign notes relating to Brownhair798's Urealms campaign, 'Murderer at Sea', a fantasy/science-fiction/murder mystery story all wrapped up into one. This is by no means a fully realized campaign, I cant -do- that sorta thing well, so, heres what I have.

You see, the original idea for this campaign is that there are multiple endings depending on the flavor that the Game master wants for the players. It can involve everything from crime scene investigation, to horror/thriller scenarios, to good old fashioned giant monster fights!

First things first, let's get to know the area.


The last few blank spaces on the map of the world are being filled in by a unified love of discovery. Intellectuals from across the globe have come together in the interest of magical and technological advancement to form the Sorcerian Cor - And in their searches for new knowledge, they have come across something strange.
Deep at the bottom of the drink, a great null magic field has been discovered - One that is stronger than any that can be conjured up by hundreds of wizards and warlocks working together, and despite all knowledge, this one appears to be entirely natural. What's more curious is that the null-magic field surrounds a seemingly bottomless pit that goes down hundreds of miles into the bedrock. The Sorcerian Cor have given this anomaly and the surrounding region a frightful name - 'The Deep'.
With no way of knowing its origin, or what it holds, the Sorcerian Council ordered the construction of two undersea bases. The larger of the two is Seawatch, a micro-colony linked to the capital of High Cor by a teleportation gateway. It is here that scientists, magic-users, and technicians work endlessly to maintain a close watch on The Deep. Then, far south of Seawatch, within the null-magic field, is the far smaller outpost of Deepwatch. This precarious outpost is situated on the very edge of the seemingly bottomless pit, and was meant to contain scientific equipment for a more permenant setup...
...That is until there was a murder at Deepwatch. Doctor Haven Grant, the bases only physician, has been killed in cold blood.

So who will we be playing, and what will we be doing?


The Sorcerian Council has dispatched a team to Seawatch to investigate the foul happenings at the bottom of the drink, far from the sun. Whatever skills these investigators bring to the table, and regardless of race, they will be in the employ of the Sorcerian Cor, and answer directly to the Council. As per protocol, the moment that the investigators arrive, the portal is shut down until the investigators give the all clear signal to the surface, marking that arrests are made, or return is nessecary. No one else on Seawatch has this power but the investigators.

The players are the investigators.


And who will we be meeting?
The majority of these were drawn by my girlfriend, but, one of them was my pathetic attempt at making a token by modifying the image of Ms. Sunsword (Or is that Mrs. now, eh rob?). Sorry about that ahead of time. A few are also placeholder tokens, and one's a big robot so that's cool. Ahem.


Seawatch is inhabited by a cast of strange and likely suspicious characters, all of whom have differing backgrounds, skill sets, and motiviations that have shaped their lives at the bottom of the drink. Any one could be the murderer - Any one could be an ally. And to both - It could be all, or none, depending on how the game master chooses the game to go.

From left to right,

Devlin Murdoch, a male dwarf sandbender. This refined geologist is the very definition of a bad egg - His self-absorbed attitude and vanity are outdone only by his overwhelming greed.  Although his job is to research geological disturbances and patterns in the area around The Deep, he is at days end, an opportunist, always looking to make money more than friends - And any great discoveries he makes, he may very well sell to the highest bidder instead of share it with the scientific community.
Who knows what secrets he hides beneath the rocks and stones of The Deep.

Allisen Siveld, a female elf hydromancer. Nobleborn and obsessed with work, Allisen has the social skills of a sea cucumber, and a heart as cold as her ice magic. Always looking for more knowledge, this woman would gladly work everyone around her to death in order to discover the secrets that The Deep hides from her. Much as Devlin researches the land, she researches the water itself - And knows how it ebbs and flows.
Can you really trust someone who's greatest strength surrounds the whole of Seawatch?

Brok Studwen, male Dvergr dwarf, and swashbuckler. Brok is the one who designed everything down here - Seawatch, Deepwatch, all the systems that keep it running - Even the grotesque Deepstrider suits that allow people to travel around the landscape of The Deep, safe from the crushing water pressure. A heavy drinker, and superstitious man, Brok has grown to distrust everything about this place. He infact doesn't put much faith in anyone except for the Guard Captain, Bjarni, who he calls friend. And his greatest fears have started to come from The Deep itself. To him, something so mysterious should not be researched - But destroyed...
In his words, sometimes things are never meant to be unearthed. They should stay buried.

Hebetha, female hobgoblin (YES IM STILL USING GOBLINS SHUT UP ROB), and shaman. Admittedly, Hebetha is the last person you'd ever expect to be down here. A short, pudgy goblin woman with friendly features and a distinct lack of up-to-code clothing, clad in shells and fish scale skirts, she embodies much of the broad stature of the oafish Hobgoblins - But carries with her an unnerving amount of kindness and innocence for such a despised race of creatures. Although she did spend a lot of time around the murdered doctor, her naturalist views set her at odds with many of the scientists who seek to excavate or exploit The Deep, believing that the balance of nature must always ALWAYS be preserved - And unnervingly, she seems to always know a bit more than she's telling, or what she's been told...
Supposedly, she's a shapeshifter. So if you see a big crab near The Deep... Be wary that it's not Hebetha watching you.

Kordemai, male elf, warrior, and asshole. Yes, I said it, Kordemai is an asshole! A self-interested prick who believes that his position as second only to the guard captain in security means he can get away with slacking off, drinking on the job, and wasting time playing with the scientists fancy gadgets. He's a shameless sneak who will happily lie to get his way, and hasn't a care in the world for the safety of anyone else on the station that isn't himself. Always spying on other people when he isn't lazing about, he's on a quest to prove that he's better than everyone.
He's tired of being second fiddle to someone who's so interested in rules.

Bjarni Kilhoon (I know, I know, I'm sorry), male elf spellslinger. A young but skilled and loyal captain of the guard, Bjarni seems to be the most stable person at Seawatch. He doesn't lie, he doesn't cheat, he doesn't have any motive except to keep the people there safe from whatever comes along - And he's likely to be the players greatest ally - Except for one fatal flaw. Bjarni has become smitten with a certain woman on the station... And will do whatever it takes to keep them safe - Even if it means safe from the prying eyes of the investigation.
Even the closest of allies will betray you, if its in the name of love.

Millanox Marten - Male dwelf, and alchemist. Millanox is an accomplished scientist, and has limited magical talent as well. His memory is photographic, his mind is honed like a fine blade, and he has valuble experience in many fields. So he was well prepared for a position at the forefront of discovery. What he was not prepared for is being handed a broom on his first day at Seawatch. Being made janitor and 'general maintenance' guy dashed his hopes of making great discoveries - Something that no one at Seawatch seemed to let him forget.
When you have the world ahead of you - And then you're cut off from it... Well, anyone would snap.

And although he's not pictured here (because he's dead), Doctor Haven Grant was the acting physician at Seawatch, responsible for the health of everyone working there.



And how about a few... Supporting cast members, huh?



Here we see the various enemies and tools you could encounter during the campaign.

From left to right...

Supply footlockers - These are located in and around Deepwatch, and Seawatch. There could be any number of useful items hidden within, from healing potions, to weapons, to clues determined by the game master to help the party in their investigation. I've placed plenty around the map as is, but feel free to give players the opportunity to search for more that were lost on the path between Seawatch, and Deepwatch.

Deepstrider Suits - These 10 foot tall mechano-magical marvels are the most stunning piece of technology found at Deepwatch/Seawatch. However, they don't quite match the style of the Deepwatch and Seawatch stations themselves... Curious, isn't it? Although they are cumbersome, their armored carapaces protect the wearer from the deadly water pressure, and will be required for most players to cross to Deepwatch. As a general rule, all Deepstrider suits are required to be at a docking platform in order to be entered/disembarked from.

While wearing a Deepstrider suit, players will not be able to use ranged weapons - Health pools will remain the same, but only one melee weapon can be carried outside of the suit. Magic is still openly usable while in the suit, but abilities that are considered to be performed in a close combat fashion, such as monk's Serpent Sting, or Flamedanseur's Lava Axe, are not castable due to how combersome the suits are. Precise movements are not possible during combat.

The suggested number of suits should exceed the number of players by 1 - And 1 should be at Deepwatch, representing the suit that Haven Grant used to travel to Deepwatch before his murder.

As another note, most races are compatible with the Deepwatch, as they adjust to the wearer's dimensions on the interior. Black Boars and Colossal attribute characters will unfortunately not be able to use the suits.

'Deep Imps' - Mischevious water spirits, surrounded by a violent undertow, drawn to the outskirts of the null-magic field. They dance around playfully, often trying to steal items from the players, or messing with the systems of Seawatch and the Deepstrider suits - Low threat enemies. 8 HP, no attack, deals 2 damage to every opponent within 3 spaces of it at the end of each of its turns, no rolls. They are social, and could possibly be reasoned with if one is clever enough.

'Liarsnakes' - These rock-crawling lizards come equipped with six limbs, each one tipped in sharp, durable claws. Along the whole of its body are randomly placed ink sacs, that are constantly spouting a vile red fluid, akin to blood - But not actually blood. The Liarsnakes seem to have evolved specifically to prey on sympathetic sentients, who can often be fooled into thinking it is an injured animal in need of aid... They are only aggressive if players get within a space or two of them. 40 HP, each turn, the Liarsnake must do the following; Roll-attack three times, dealing 4 damage with each attack, split between as many party members as possible, move to a location up to 10 spaces away, and then release a cloud of blinding ink. The ink will be reflected by the game master being slightly more dickish with their acecptance of what constitutes a 'hit' for the players. Have fun with that.

'An'Ak-Ithal's Grasp/Deep Tentacles' - In certain versions of the Murderer at Sea campaign, the game master may choose to have the prisoner of The Deep rise up - An'Ak-Ithal, or the Deep Beast. These tentacles represent the very tip of each of his thousand tendrils, and have the ability to immobilized players, or charge through ranks and knocking them aside while dealing damage. Game masters will want to illustrate where the rest of the tentacle is, as the token only represents the tip emerging from the rocks or structures. 22 HP for a tentacle.

Deepgrunt - My apologies for the placeholder token just taken from the game, the idea is just that in the scenarios where the Deep Beast rises from the pit, it will also bring with it hordes of these creatures. Just tough enough that you cant kill them with one attack - Vaguely humanoid, but almost looks similar in some ways to the Deepstriders, just as a more crustacean like being. 12 HP, deals 3 damage to up to 2 enemies at once. Moves slowly, at 3 spaces a turn.

If the Game Master has more creatures or tools they'd like to add, it's encouraged for them to make what they will of the scenario.



Now, as I previously stated, this campaign is able to go a lot of different directions. All I want to give you is the building blocks to make your own story - There's a set up, there's a goal, everything that happens in the middle is up to you. But, for the sake of example, allow me to go through the path that I took in my recent runthrough of the campaign with my girlfriend.

Our two characters arrived at Seawatch, and immedeatly began questioning the crew about the situation. Information was uncovered via search rolls, and charisma rolls, about certain secrets pretaining to different crew members. This included the Guard Captains interest in Allisen Siveld, Millanox Marten's secret research into the true nature of The Deep, and the rather accidental discovery that Hebetha could shapeshift into a form that could withstand the pressure of the Deep without a Deepstrider suit. Motive was discovered for Millanox to be the murderer, and the capability of performing the murder itself was shown in Hebetha.

The next day, in the story, the team set out to Deepwatch, meeting the first combat encounter - A pack of Deep Imps. Immedeatly after dispatching the imps, the party attempted to assist a seemingly wounded Liarsnake, thinking that it was Hebetha in disguise - This turned out not to be the case, and combat was extended to deal with the sea creature. Upon arriving at Deepwatch, they discovered Hebetha in a crustacean form, performing a burial for the body of Doctor Haven Grant. They went inside, and learned a bit more about The Deep, and what Doctor Haven Grant was doing there to begin with. Accordingly, he was there with portable equipment, planning to set up a place to test water samples for something 'alive' in the water inside the Null-Magic field. This was when he was murdered - By something sharp, that went through the whole of the body, that he was not expecting. No weapon was anywhere on the station. It was also discovered that in the far upper corner of the smaller observation room of Deepwatch, magic could still be used, as it was just barely outside of the Null-Magic Field. While at Deepwatch, one of the investigators felt like something was whispering into her mind from somewhere within The Deep.

An alarm sounded, and the investigation team was called back to Seawatch, to discover Millanox Marten babbling gibberish about 'Not going down alone', wielding a makeshift spear made from a brass pipe, in the medical hall. He was subdued during a combat encounter, and was narrowly stopped from harming Allisen Siveld with the weapon, before going unconcious. It was detected that a bit of magical energy 'popped' in his mind when he lost conciousness.
Cuffing him to the bed, the Guard Captain thanked the investigators for catching the obvious murderer. His emotions for Allisen led him to believe that Millanox was unquestionably the one who killed the doctor, and demanded he be taken to the surface for punishment immedeatly.

Not ones to leave the job half finished, the investigators chose to postpone departure in favor of questioning Millanox the following morning. Doing so, they learned that Allisen was not only a hydromancer, but carried a seemingly contaminated vial of water with her wherever she went. The link was made that she had used this contaminated water to drive Millanox mad with the whispers of whatever was in the Deep.

Confronting her in the Deepstrider bay at Seawatch, the investigators faced off against Allisen, and the NPC she had chosen as a minion for this encounter, Murdoch Devlin. Between her manipulating water, and him manipulating sand drawn in from the seafloor, it was a very rough fight. By chance, the door between the bay, and Allisen's secret admirer was locked up temporarily, keeping the Guard Captain and Kordemai from interfering with the combat. Upon Allisen's defeat, Murdoch went unconcious, the magic spell over him, as well as Millanox, breaking entirely.

Mere minutes later, Hebetha emerged from the diving pool, begging for the investigators to come with her - Something was wrong at deep watch.

Making their way to Deepwatch, the investigators faced down a seemingly endless horde of Deepgrunts, bolstered by Deep tentacles. Hebetha was killed part way to the watch by attempting to assist the investigators. Arriving at Deepwatch, one of the investigators managed to communicate with the Deep Beast - What appeared to be a humanoid face half a mile wide, with hundreds of gigantic black tentacles rising up to drag it - And its null-magic field - up from The Deep. There was a battle of wits, and it only managed to anger the beast. Information was again gathered - This time revealing that it was not a Null-Magic field at all, but a magical-energy vortex which the creature was using to feed. Allisen, being his infected thrall, going unconcious signalled to him that the situation had grown too dire, and he began to make his own, far messier assault on the surface.

Retreating to Seawatch, an evacuation had begun. All the remaining concious characters (The two investigators, Kordemai, Bjarni, and Brok) holed up in the Portal room. The portal was being drained of magic, and so could only send 1 or 2 people through after it had sufficently charged. Each turn, 1+x number of Deep Grunts would enter the room, where X was the number of turns since the encounter had begun. The portal took 1 turn to charge up, but 2-4 turns to charge up if people went through 2 at a time. By the time it was just the investigators left, and everyone else alive had made it out, the entire room was filled with Deep Grunts, and the investigators had to fight it out with a lot of them, getting heavily injured, before running through the portal and closing it off for good.

The threat of the Deep Beast becomes a possibile motivation for a future campaign.

In this version of the campaign, there were many chances for encounters, but only 5 took place. But depending on how you want the Campaign to go, you can have more or less.

So long as you have the basics down.

Investigators arrive, trying to find out who killed Haven Grant at the start.

Investigators leave, having saved the lives of people on Seawatch at the end.

Wether or not there is any giant monster, wether or not there is mind control, or if there really was a murderer and Haven Grant hasnt just disguised himself as someone else, or if it was -just- a murder and there's not going to be anything beyond that, is entirely up to the Game Master. And if this sounds like I'm just being lazy, well.. It... Kinda is. I don't have the brain for so many branching paths at once - But someone out there does - Which is why I'm going to give out the groundwork for this campaign.

Anything can be tweaked to fit how you want the story to play out... And perhaps you can get a few runs out of this with friends before it gets boring.

Credits
This campaign falls under the CC BY 4.0 License and can be used and edited freely as long as you provide credit!
And Credit to Rob, Megz, and the crew that did all the fantastic stuff for Urealms and anything that even vaguely looks like it - Like I said, some of the tokens are placeholders, some of the characters are modified pre-existing assets, I dont take ownership of it.

Comments

  • Super cool! I saw your map early and was really curious what your campaign was, cant wait to run this for my PC's!
  • I can tell you it really was a lot of fun, though I honestly wasn't expecting the next child of C'thulu to show up in our run. I legit thought it was a form of bizarre phenomena like the bermuda triangle.
  • I think I'll play this in my next campaign ^^
  • Well, it's been three years and I've managed to convince an entire discord of suckers that Urealms is a fun game.

    Think I'm finally gonna brush this old fish off and see what I can catch.
  • That's awesome brownhair! I should have an update to the mod this month that fixes tiles but you can uses Meganzoor's tile mod if you need some.
  • @Rob I'm probably still gonna look into using the tiles Quizicalgin made for the original incarnation - If not that, I might whip up a lil artistry myself.


    ...Also it's good to see you're still around, Rob. Keep up the good work.
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