Welcome to Delta Pavonis

Dom Mooney's Website

#RPGaDay - 19. Favourite Published Adventure


Now this is a hard one, as there have been so many memorable adventures out there… I’m going to limit this to something that I’ve run, rather than just read or played, as that cuts the field down somewhat.

I’ve always had a soft spot for 'Masks of Nyarlathotep' for 'Call of Cthulhu'. I bought it second hand when I lived back in Holmes Chapel from a group of gamers over there and started to run it twice. It is a great epic adventure in the horror genre, but very messy in terms of character mortality. It’s possibly only challenged by the recent Pelgrane Press release 'Eternal Lies', or maybe Chaosium’s 'Beyond the Mountains of Madness' (although that needs a certain mindset). As a GM you need to make sure that the players have ‘corresponding’ friends so that they have an easy excuse to introduce new characters. In both the campaigns attempts I made to run this, the original party had all passed away or gone non-functionally insane by the time that they reached. As a result, I don’t think that this makes the cut.

What else? Well, 'I6 - Ravenloft' for 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition' was a very different classic adventure. Dark horror with a very dangerous enemy. It had all the classic horror tropes, and actually makes players with high powered characters scared for their survival. Great scenario, but I’ve not touched it for a long time so not that.

One of my favourite scenarios ever was 'Phantom of the Northern Marches' for 'Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP)'. It was so evocative and epic, and really reflected the lower power sad beauty and feeling of the northern realms of the Dunedain as they slowly crumbled before the power of the Witch King of Angmar. This was a non-epic scenario that made the players have a chance to feel completely heroic. Lovely setting, lovely writing, lovely scenario. But not my favourite.

If I had allowed scenarios that I hadn’t run, then the 'MegaTraveller' supplement 'Hard Times' would be a strong contender. This puts the players in the position of ‘keeping the flame’ as the Imperium collapses during the Second Civil War under infighting and factionalism. The characters have a ship and can make a difference to a small number of worlds. Absolutely brilliant writing and a great campaign; incidentally, it’s one of the reasons that I really didn’t like Virus with Traveller: The New Era was released as it wiped all these efforts out. But I’ve not run it, so it’s not in the running.

I think that I will go for a campaign pack that has given me hours of fun as a GM, is broad enough that you can do pretty much anything with it, and was really the first book to give my favourite RPG the true flavour of it’s setting. I am talking of the Classic 'Traveller' Adventure 'Adventure 3 - Twilight’s Peak'. This is a campaign framework for a group of players to take a starship that has seen better days along the Spinward Main, ostensibly to earn enough cash to properly refit it. But they also get a great big hint about lost treasure which could make their fortune. They may, or may not, stumble upon this. I’ve run it twice and one party found it, the other didn’t. But it doesn’t matter; you soon come to the realisation that the journey – the Travelling - is actually the most important thing. This is still usable with the current versions of 'Traveller', and if you get the Classic 'Traveller' DVD [from Marc Miller] then you are set for hours of fun as that has all the other published adventures to mesh around it too.