Marcus L. Rowland (ffutures) wrote,
Marcus L. Rowland

More about the Kobold

If you hadn't gathered by now, there's a sizeable adventure about the Kobold digging machine (see various previous posts) in the next release of the FF RPG. Here's a mini-adventure that's a spin-off idea and fairly easy to adapt to other settings etc. I may be running this at Dragonmeet, so don't read on if you think you might want to play.

Adventure Idea: Observer Effect
This adventure is most usefully run if the adventurers are not already aware of the Kobold's nature; in fact works best if they are innocents who simply stumble into the situation described, but can still work even if the adventurers are spies sneaking around the Krupp test site trying to get a glimpse of the new war machine:

While walking in the woods near Essen the adventurers discover a neat Prussian village - populated entirely by clockwork automata, about as convincing as the average shop window dummy, all fully wound and apparently instructed to avoid anyone who tries to touch them, dodge blows, etc. They are dumb but fast, but two or three people working together can corner one and look inside to determine their approximate specifications - they have six hour's endurance and have been running for no more than an hour or two. Looking around the adventurers should eventually notice that many of the buildings have been damaged by bullets (the holes have been filled with plaster) and that there are other signs that the village has repeatedly been shot up, shelled, etc.

If the adventurers know that they are near the Krupp factory they may guess that it is a test site; if not, they will be even more surprised when a Kobold surfaces with a grinding roar, extends its gun turret, and starts to shoot at anything that moves. Fortunately the automata have been set to move around a LOT under these circumstances, and if the adventurers keep still and low they are unlikely to be hurt - anyone trying to attack the Kobold or out-run its automatic cannon is in a world of hurt, of course...

After a minute or so the turret retracts and the Kobold sets off again, rapidly going underground, filling the tunnel behind it with earth, stones - and an ominous-looking metal cylinder which is slowly ticking...

Assuming that the adventurers out-run the mine - it's on a 30-minute fuse so it isn't hard to get away - or somehow defuse it they have just seen Prussia's most secret weapon, and one that the Prussians are VERY keen to keep secret. And they've been seen by the official observers, who are in a bunker a few hundred yards away, watching the test through periscopes with telescopic lenses and cameras. A huge manhunt will begin, continuing until they are caught or somehow get away. As they are pursued remember that in this world every aspect of life in Prussia and Germany is heavily beaureaucratic; they'll need valid papers with the correct perforations to buy train tickets, book hotel rooms, etc., and attract unwelcome attention if they can't produce them on demand.

Useful sources include the novels The Riddle of the Sands (Erskine Childers), Rogue Male (Geoffrey Household, also filmed) and the film Strangers on a Train.

There's a little more to it than this, but the extra paragraph only works in the context of a lot more information contained in the main adventure so I've omitted it.

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