Monday, May 25, 2009

The Arthurian Adventure

Years ago I wrote a one-shot adventure that was a variation of the Arthurian legend. I know it's been done a billion and six times, but that doesn't mean it still can't be cool. I read several books to get into the mind frame to write the adventure, but also get the feel of the adventure correct. The basic outline of the adventure was the fey realm was vanishing due to Christianity. Since Arthur's kingdom is now the main power of Christianity the fey realm has declared war on Camelot.

The quest of the adventure was to return the Shroud of Turrin. A powerful enemy in the fey took possession of it and used the shroud's powerful magic to ravage Arthur's land. Grotesque creatures swarmed the borders murdered and razing villages. They were the lucky ones. The people who survived were taken to the fey realm and they were used as sacrifices to fuel the magic to defeat man's faith in God.

The most important thing about this one-shot adventure was the making of the player characters. For this one-shot I, the GM, created them for the players. I created the character with the person in mind. How and what they like to play. I knew what their knowledge of Arthurian legends. And I knew their weakness. So each character was tailor made for that person. Which each character came a sheet of that character's knowledge of the world they would be adventuring. About 70% was helpful and the other 30% were falsehoods or things the character misunderstood.

Rob played a Roman who stayed in England after the withdrawal of Rome. His name was Claddius, but took on the persona of Hawk. He would not answer to any other name. He was an honorable knight who was a faithful Christian. Some of the highlights with Hawk included an exchange with a guide that had helped them throughout the adventure. The guide took them to a castle to rest overnight. Three sisters lived in the castle and took care of the weary travelers. That night during a heated discussion the guide came into the room, no longer dressed as a man, but as a woman and professed her lover for Hawk. The effect on Rob was priceless. He stammered and looked at me then the person playing the guide then back again. It caught him completely off guard. And the other highlight was when the main enemy barricaded himself to finish his ceremony Hawk threw himself against the doors setting off every trap and he was reduced to ash. He played his part well.

Another person played a one-armed dwarf. He'd been a faithful follower of Arthur for many years and helped with the war against the fey. He believed the war was wrong and when it came time for thing to pass they should do so with dignity. During the game I would slip the dwarf descriptions of disturbing dreams. In the end when he stood in the last room his visions became clear and his lost arm magically reappeared. He turned against the party at a crucial moment.

Then there was a more traditional knight. A recent recruit into Arthur's service. The player knew only knew the movie versions of Arthur and not the Arthur that had all firstborns slain. I played on this and he had a revelation in game and outside of the game. It was interesting how it affected his playing after he discovered that Arthur was the one who began this war. How he plundered the fey realm for magic to conquer his enemies. It wasn't the power of God, but the power of pagan magic.

There was the guide who dressed as a man, but had loved Hawk from afar. She had powers of prophecy and was half fey. The player who played the guide did a fantastic job of pulling it off. It was truly was one of my favorite moments in gaming. It was she who placed the shroud upon Hawk's smoldering remains to see him rise from the dead. She alone understood the shroud's power. And this part was the most controversial, but it was not God who resurrected Jesus, but the magical power within the shroud. It was an ancient artifact from the fey realm.

There is more. More players more events and sometime I may dig out my old notes, but this is what I can remember off the top of my head. I took a lot of liberties with history and legends and religion, but I believe it was a success. The players had a lot fun. I had a lot of fun.


  1. The things Google finds... This made me want to get back into table top rpgs.

  2. That is a great compliment ConstableBrew. And I hope you do get back into table top RPGs. There are so many choices now and no shortage of opinions of which games are the best. And the thousands of blogs/forums/websites that suppliment gaming these days. I took almost eight years off or more and I am glad to be back.