Dead Orcs Society Solo Adventures – Akumahn

2

September 15, 2011 by deadorcs

This post begins a series which will highlight the brief solo adventures I used to introduce themes for the heroes in my campaign (and to buy time in order to finish another project related to the group’s overall campaign).

Akumahn is a Goliath Warrior. The son of a dragon slayer, Akumahn grew up in a warrior’s tradition, training others even at a young age. Tribal politics got to Akumahn’s father before the dragons did, however. One day, his father disappeared, and his rivals took no time in besmirching his father’s good name. Fed up with the politics, Akumahn left his tribe to wander the world, hoping beyond hope to find his father.This adventure takes place not too long after Akumahn left his tribe.

I thought it might be interesting to show off the brief solo adventures and report on the feedback I received. I required only that my players bring a 1st level version of their character. Each adventure follows a simple (but easily adaptable) formula:

Encounter one uses minions and sets the hero on the path.

Encounter two utilizes a simple skill challenge.

Encounter three uses both minions and a level appropriate “boss” figure roughly equal to the hero’s strength. The difficulty of this encounter is based on how well the hero does during the skill challenge just prior. If the hero fails the skill challenge, this challenge will likely include several minions as well as the “boss” figure.

Here’s what the encounter looks like (encounter created in Masterplan 11.1). Please note that when writing adventures for myself, I often leave out the minor details of certain things so that I have room to ad-lib with the player. If the notes from the adventure below do not seem polished, this is why.

You’ll also note that I while Masterplan assigns XP to the various encounters, I did not track this. These adventures were designed as flashbacks. Skip to the bottom to see the followup.

 

DeadOrcs_Solo_Akumahn

An adventure for 1 character of level 1.
By Randall Walker

Ambush!

The afternoon sun is bright, but not unpleasantly hot as you make your way down the mountain towards a mining town. Just around a small drop-off, you are surprised to see two hillsmen blocking the lightly forested path. 

The hillsmen are dressed in the garb of a nearby friendly tribe, although they are brandishing their weapons. A determined look of malice clouds their faces. 

Curioius, you take a couple of more steps only to have one of the hillsmen shout, “Stop right there, mountain-born. Give up your weapons and armor, and we might let you go.”

Making your way down the mountainside one afternoon, you are surprised by four hillsmen from a nearby tribe.

Encounter 124 XP
Level 2
Opponents 4
False Hillsman Warrior x4

Illumination
:
Bright light. This encounter takes place in the mid-afternoon.

Features of the Area
:

Trees & Rocks
 
The various trees and rocks that dot the hillside are considered difficult terrain. 

Sloping Ground 
This encounter takes place on sloping ground. Any creature that is uphill and fighting an enemy that is downhill from them, gains a +1 on its attack roll. In addition, creatures must make an Acrobatics check (DC 12) at the end of any running or charging movement, or fall prone.

Setup:
The hero begins at the north end of the map. The false hillsman warrirors begin at the opposite end of the map.
Tactics:
Virtually none. The false hillsman warriors are bloodthristy thugs intent on waylaying any travelers they come across. Their bloodlust forces them to fight until they are slain.
Items:
Animal Skin Note 
One of the warriors has a rolled animal skin. Scrawled upon it, in crude Common, is a note: Take all you wish from travelers, but DO NOT lead them to the camp. My power is growing, but I must remain disguised until I can decide what to do about Chief Steady-hand 

The note can be found with a simple search of the warriors. 

Coinage 
Each warrior has 3 SP on his person.

False Hillsman Warrior 
Medium natural humanoid
Level 2 Minion 
31 XP
HP 1 Initiative +1
AC 15; Fort 13; Ref 11; Will 11 Perception +1
Speed 6
Traits
Bloodlust
Seeing the spilled blood of their companion, the false hillsman warrior is invigorated by bloodlust.
If a false hillsman warrior begins his turn within 2 squares of a fallen ally, the false hillsman warrior gains a +2 on his attack rolls until the end of the encounter.
Standard Actions
Sword (Weapon) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
Range: Melee
Attack: +7 vs AC
5 damage.
Skills +6 Stealth
Str: 14 (+3) 
Con: 12 (+2)
Dex: 10 (+1) 
Int: 9 (+0)
Wis: 10 (+1) 
Cha: 11 (+1)
Alignment Evil
Languages Common
Equipment sword, leather armor
Tactics Essentially thugs, these false hillsmen will attack out of bloodlust until slain.
Treasure Parcels
Silver coins worth 12 SP
12 SP

Harem Scare Em

TEXT 1 – With growing anger, Glou reads the note. Shouting to his fellow tribesmen, Glou approaches the harem tent. With a bellowing shout he calls for his father. 

Moments later, Glou’s father appears at the entrance to the tent. He is disheveled and his lip has a small cut on it. Glou points at him and shouts, “Imposter! Where is my father?” The Chief looks at Glou and says, “What do mean? I’m your father. 

No sooner is that said, Glou thrusts the animal skin note towards the Chief. Looking up, the features of his face flicker just a moment, giving him away. “Simpletons! I am Phlenx the Finest! You’ll never find your father..and you’ll never find me!” With that, Phlenx dives back into the harem tent. 

TEXT 2 – After discussing things with Glou for a short time, you hear a scream coming from the direction of the harem tent. Rushing over, Glau shouts for his father. 

Moments later, Glou’s father appears at the entrance to the tent. He is disheveled and his lip has a small cut on it. Suddenly, the familiar visage of the Chieftain gives way to that of a strange man. Shocked, Glou points at him and shouts, “Imposter! Where is my father?” The Chief looks at Glou and says, “What do mean? I’m your father. 

No sooner is that said, the features of the Chieftain’s face flicker again for just a moment, giving him away. Realizing he’s been exposed, the false chieftain shouts, “Simpletons! I am Phlenx the Finest! You’ll never find your father..and you’ll never find me!” With that, Phlenx dives back into the harem tent.

Concerned about the note you found on the false hillsman, you decided to check in on what you remember was an otherwise friendly tribe. Getting to the camp, you are immediately pulled aside by Chief’s son, Glou Rockwalker. 

Glou tells you that for days now, his father has been acting strangely. He spends all of his time in the harem tent, and on several occasions, screams have been heard coming from the same tent. Glou goes on to tell you that because of his father’s standing as Chief, no one has confronted him, and he’s not sure what’s wrong. It’s almost as if someone has replaced his father, for he knows his father would never behave so poorly. 

IF YOU HAND the note you found to Glou (and relate your encounter with the hillsmen), read text #1 to the player. 

IF YOU DO NOT hand Glou the note, read text #2 to the player 

The harem is essentially a large pavilion like tent filled with all kinds of luxurious pillows, silks, rugs, etc. A large number of beautiful men & women inhabit the tent (the Chief has a variety of interesting tastes). As Phlenx flees, he shouts to the harem, “Distract that fool and you will earn my undivided attention!

Harem Scare Em 200 XP
Level 1 
Complexity 2 (requires 6 successes before 3 failures)
Primary Skills
Athletics (DC 12): One of the easiest ways to get through the harem throng is to simply move them out of the way. You may use this skill any number of times for this skill challenge.
Success: You carefully push enough harem girls and boys out of the way to make some progress through the tent. If Plenx has any spearman allies, 1 gets distracted by the harem. You gain 1 success.
Failure: Hey! That pinching hurts! The harem is particularly aggressive. You make no progress, and suffer 2 hit points of damage. Phlenx gains 1 spearman ally and you gain 1 failure.
Bluff (DC 12): The harem can’t always be pushed out the way, but they can be swayed by your clever words and boisterous demeanor. Puffing yourself up, some of the harem members can’t help but swoon, enabling you to ease your way past them. You may use this skill any number of times during the skill challenge.
Success: Awed by your masculine/feminine charms, the harem gives way, allowing you to pass. You make additional progress through the tent and gain 1 success. If Phlenx has any spearman allies, 1 becomes distracted by the harem.
Failure: Don’t put your hand there! Your blustering and bragging mean nothing to a harem determined to distract you thoroughly. You take 2 points of damage and make no progress through the tent. Phlenx gains 1 spearman ally and you gain 1 failure.
Other Skills
Acrobatics (DC 19): Even in the close confines of the tent, you see the opportunity to use a quick step or subtle dodge in order to make some progress through the harem tent.
Success: Your clever movements allow you to make considerable progress through the tent. You gain 2 successes. If Phlenx has any spearman allies, he loses 1 of them.
Failure: Despite your attempt at clever footwork, you slip on a stray pillow and fall prone, making no further progress through the tent. The harem members begin “distracting” you with earnest and you gain 2 failures. Phlenx gains 1 spearman ally.
Insight (DC 12): With the discerning eye of the warrior, you attempt to determine your next best course of action. You can use this ability only once during the skill challenge.
Success: You gain a +2 to the next skill check made during the skill challenge.
Failure: None (you were distracted by someone taking off their top).
Intimidate (DC 12): Frustrated by these distractions, you bellow angrily in an attempt to scare the harem away from you.
Success: Your angry & challenging shouts scare the harem members who shriek and allow you to pass. You gain 3 successes. However, your challenges also allow Phlenx to gain 2 spearmen allies.
Failure: The harem laughs and attempts to “distract” you all the more. You gain 1 failure.
Victory
If the you succeed in the skill challenge, you make it to the opposite side of the harem. You can clearly see where Phlenx has made his escape up the side of the hill. Phlenx will likely have few spearman allies.
Defeat
You make it to the other side of the tent, but you are winded from all the distractions. You think you might know where Phlenx escaped to, but you’re not entirely sure. You lose a healing surge, and it is likely the Phlenx will have several allies awaiting you on the hill where he escaped.
Notes

The Imposter Exposed

Bursting out of the tent, you look around quickly. Suddenly, you hear a shout from above you. 

“Idiot sword swinger. I will defeat you and bring ruin on this tribe. You’ll never find the real chief!” 

Above you, on the slope of the hill, stand Phlenx and several of his allies. Raising their spears, their murderous intent is obvious.

You manage to get free of the perils of the harem tent. Now if only you can defeat the imposter that has taken over the tribe.

Encounter 175 XP
Level 4
Opponents 4
Phlenx The Finest
Allied Spearman x3

Illumination
:
Bright light. The encounter takes place in the afternoon.

Features of the Area
:

Sloping Ground
 
This encounter takes place on sloping ground. Any creature that is uphill and fighting an enemy that is downhill from them, gains a +1 on its attack roll. In addition, creatures must make an Acrobatics check (DC 12) at the end of any running or charging movement, or fall prone.

Setup
:
The hero begins at the bottom of the hill, just outside the harem tent. 

Phlenx begins at the opposite end of the map (uphill). If he has allied spearmen, one will be adjacent to him, while the others will be at least 3 squares away.


Tactics
:
Phlenx’s tactics are pretty simple – kill the interloper (the hero). He will urge his minions to attack, and won’t close until they are slain. He will then charge in (if possible) and use his brutal sweep power. Phlenx may flee if the conditions are right.

Items Of Note
:

Map of Nearby Area
 
Phlenx has on his person, a map. The map describes a small cave where the true chief of the hillsmen is being held captive. 

Horn of the Goat 
This item was stashed away when the chieftan was kidnapped. The magic items allows its possessor to suffer no movement penalties when fighting on a sloping surface. In addition, anytime a move action might cause you to fall prone, roll a saving throw. If you succeed, you do not fall prone.

Phlenx The Finest 
Medium natural humanoid
Level 1 Brute 
100 XP
HP 32; Bloodied 16 Initiative +1
AC 13; Fort 14; Ref 13; Will 12 Perception +0
Speed 6
Traits
Allied Defense
Bolstered by his nearby ally, Phlenx seems better prepared to brush off your attack.
As long as one of Phlenx is adjacent to an ally, he gains a +1 on all of his defenses.
Standard Actions
Long Sword Slash (Weapon) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
Range: Melee
Attack: +6 vs AC
1d8+4 damage.
Brutal Sweep ♦ Encounter
Rearing back with his sword, Phlenx makes a powerful sweeping attack.
Range: Melee
Attack: +6 vs AC
1d10+6 damage and the target is slowed until the end of its next turn.
Skills Acrobatics +6, Intimidate +5
Str: 16 (+3) 
Con: 12 (+1)
Dex: 12 (+1) 
Int: 10 (+0)
Wis: 10 (+0) 
Cha: 10 (+0)
Alignment Evil
Languages Common
Equipment Leather Armor, Long Sword
Allied Spearman 
Medium natural humanoid
Level 1 Minion 
25 XP
HP 1 Initiative +0
AC 14; Fort 12; Ref 10; Will 10 Perception +0
Speed 6
Standard Actions
Spear Throw (Weapon) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
The allied spearman hurls a spear at you!
Range: Ranged 10
Attack: +6 vs AC
4 damage.
Spear Thrust (Weapon) ♦ At-Will (basic attack)
The allied spearman jabs a spear at you!
Range: Melee
Attack: +6 vs AC
4 damage.
Str: 14 (+2) 
Con: 12 (+1)
Dex: 10 (+0) 
Int: 9 (-1)
Wis: 10 (+0) 
Cha: 11 (+0)
Alignment Unaligned
Languages Common
Equipment spear x3
Treasure Parcels
Horn of the Goat
This magic item allows its possessor to suffer no movement or combat penalties when fighting on a sloping surface. In addition, any time a move action might cause you to fall prone, roll a saving throw. If you succeed, you do not fall prone.

The Feedback:

I was fortunate that my first player to participate in these solo adventures is also my DM in another game we play in together. His experience as a DM is not as extensive as mine, but he’s coming along nicely and has pretty good chops. Before we even started the adventure, though, we had a discussion about his character. I talked about how I wanted to introduce themes into the campaign, and that there were several listed in DDI already (my players heavily utilize this for creating their characters). I told him that themes could be made an integral part of character development “bridging the gap” as it were, between players who want background “fluff” for their characters, and players that really don’t care for fluff unless it has some accompanying “crunch”.  Nate and I quickly discovered we were on the same page. After the adventure concluded, he spent some time browsing the themes in DDI. He has yet to decide on one, but we identified several possibilities.   In the long run, it was nice to hear directly from the player what background assumptions he was making in regards to his character.

Feel free to steal any or all the elements of the brief encounters listed above. As always, I’d love to hear your feedback regarding solo adventures, skill challenges, or anything else for that matter. In among other posts, you’ll see the remaining adventures as my players schedule time with me to play.

Until next time…

Game excellently with one another.

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2 thoughts on “Dead Orcs Society Solo Adventures – Akumahn

  1. bmpharmacy says:

    Akumahn grew up in a warrior's tradition and that's sounds so good because I love all things related to traditions specially this one because this warrior is like an icon for people and that's incredible.

  2. There is some really cool stuff in these. Any chance you could post the actual Mapterplan files for these solo encounters?

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