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Storm and the Castle

Level 1 Exploration Scenario

The PCs seek to sneak into a crumbling country castle that has been overtaken by a grim evil. The front gate is too well-guarded, but perhaps another part of the castle is easy enough to infiltrate?

Since the PCs are avoiding detection entirely by staying away from any guards, this is not a stealth scenario. Instead, the risks are more Injury-based as the heroes look for another way inside the old keep, just as a storm hits the area. Inside, the party finds a castle starkly different from the norm…


Setting Civilization
Type Normal
Lighting Lit
        F (goal)
        | \
        D - E
      / v
    B > C


(Region A) Circling the Castle
The darkened skies rumble not long after you begin to circle around the castle. With no other shelter anywhere nearby, you'll just have to brave the oncoming storm until you find a way inside.
PCs in this region may choose to treat the setting as wilderness at will.
Exit To Obstacle
North B -

(Region B) Damaged Walls
A section of the castle walls are badly damaged, partially crumbled and leaning to the side.
PCs in this region may choose to treat the setting as dungeon at will. A PC that discovers the Northeast exit may immediately play an Action against the Tight Crawlspace if they wish.
Exit To Obstacle
Up C Steep Incline (Height 1)
Northeast D Hidden: 1d4, then Tight Crawlspace
South A -

(Region C) Crumbling Parapets
Nothing protects you from the fury of the storm atop these crumbling old parapets. Stone stairs still in reasonable condition lead down into the courtyard.
PCs in this region may choose to treat the setting as dungeon at will.
Exit To Obstacle
Down-west B Steep Incline (Height 1)
Down-north D -

(Region D) Courtyard
While still largely outdoors, this courtyard offers enough shelter to keep the worst of the storm at bay. The plantlife is strange and foreign, and bizarre creatures are nesting here. There's a path to the southeast, but it appears to lead to the main gates – not the way you want to be going.
PCs in this region may choose to treat the setting as wilderness at will.
Exit To Obstacle
North F -
East E -
Southwest B Hidden: 1d4, then Tight Crawlspace
Up C -
Rainbow Moths Respawn: 1; Pursue
Fortune Hidden: 1d6

(Region E) Gazebo
This gazebo looks cute and normal, which makes it stand out from the rest of the strange courtyard.
Exit To Obstacle
West D -
Northwest F -
Corpse with a key to the servant's entrance Hidden: 1d8

(Region F) Servant's Entrance
A wooden door would provide a side entry into the castle proper, but it's locked tight.
Exit To Obstacle
East G Standard Locked Door (key in E)
South D -
Southeast E -
Slicing Blade Hidden: 1d6

Two Players

  • As Three Players
  • Start in B

Three Players

  • Rainbow Moths do not Respawn

Five Players

Six Players

  • As Five Players
  • Upgrade Thunderstorm in A and B to Fierce Winds


If the PCs have an easy time of it, consider putting Whispers of Madness in E. Some players might catch the reference to an old tabletop joke.

The PCs may try this at night, in which case every region is dark. This doesn't create much of a hassle, though the Thunderstorm snuffs out fire-based light such as from Torches and Wax Candles. Since this adds to the difficulty with no particular direct benefit, you might adjust future scenarios to be more favorable (such as reducing guard presence within the castle), or you could award the PCs with 1 Karma for their extra efforts at avoiding violence.

Rainstorms make scenarios like this more dangerous, as being wet imposes penalties when climbing. If you don't want this, especially if you're in an arid climate, switch the Thunderstorm for a Scorching Sun. This is an upgrade, so you might skip A in this case. For small groups and a colder climate, you could instead use Chilled Winds in the form of a light snowfall.

The PCs might opt to abandon the scenario and flee the moment the storm arrives, coming back when things have settled. In this case, mix several of the above tweaks. Perhaps the storm lasts until nightfall when it transforms into a light drizzle. The PCs resume their efforts in the dark, dealing with the Chilled Winds instead. If they continue to wait, keep the weather cycle poor. Make sure to have some kind of time pressure so they can't just idle around until conditions are perfect (and thus substantially less interesting).

More level 1 exploration scenarios

scenario_e_storm_and_the_castle.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/28 08:49 by triptycho