25 Votes


Hits: 11029
Comments: 19
Ideas: 0
Rating: 4.1
Condition: Normal
ID: 56


November 5, 2005, 9:28 am

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Strolen (2x)
Michael Jotne Slayer (2x)

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Lost children...


Starts like a regular investigate/slay/recive reward adventure, but with a macabre twist in the end that should get your players thinking…  a low level adventure

The players reach a small, out of the way town. The people there are terrified and desperate. Their children are being kidnapped by small, strange monsters that come in big groups. If they ask around and agree to help they will be told of a nearby tower in which strange lights can be seen at night. If they decide to stay at the town waiting for the monsters to appear, they will apear and the players should stop them from takeing some children. The town gives the players the task of searching and finding their children, because the children are always taken alive.

(the monsters are small, around one meter to one twenty high, and every one is different. They are all incredibly deformed, but are basicaly humanoid. Some sport psychodelic colours, some have beaks, or strange, furry body hair etc… they should be easy prey for the low level adventurers, in fact, to make a decent challenge the players, they should outnumber them 3 to 1)

Once they get to the tower they are met by a helpfull, elderly mage. He invites them to dinner and tells them about the monsters that have been ravaging the countryside. He also says the supersticious village folk blame him. The food has sleeping poison in it (he is immune to it, so he serves himself from the same plate). If they refuse or are agressive towards him, he calls his minions (make him completly insane, and archetypical, cackling etc… it’s the only humorous note in the whole adventure) Between him (his spells) and his small monsters he should subdue the adventurers (use spells like sleep, or try to stun them). If they win (make sure they have to kill almost all of the monsters to do so), and capture him (remember, his monsters are responsible for the kidnapping, he must know what happened to the lost children) read the conclusion of the adventure.

If not, they end up in a prision cell and the wizard tries some terrible experiment with one (bubbling cauldrons, etc). They can observe the wizard from their cells. The walls are lined with similar cells, full of monsters. If they cannot escape by their own means, a monser opens the door for them and cowers.

This takes the players to the final showdown. In the final fight with the evil wizard, they capture him, and when he is asked where are the children, he lookes perplexed

“What children?”

When they insist, he suddenly sees what they mean:

“Oh, but you killed most of them!!! Don’t you see, you’ve ruined my plan!!”

Of course, the children are the “monsters” the players have been slaying throughout the adventure. What they do to the wizard, what they do with any of the surviving children, and what they tell the villagers, is entirely up to them…

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Comments ( 19 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

September 19, 2002, 15:16

Ideas just explode for this one. Need to get the group together just for this!!

My guys may figure out the kids are the monsters not too far into it if the 'boiling cauldron' comes out too early. I would throw them in cells and really have a few of the children in cells around them to make it seem like they are all there. Have all the 'experiments' happening in another room where the characters can here the children's screams. Perhaps a dead body or two come out and/or then some of the deformed beasts or something.

Add this perhaps with a slave trader type plot where the characters are searching for some other kidnapped children and it leads them to this town. Then the fact that children dissappear from this town will all add up to a lot of children that will better justify the fact that there are a lot of these monster things.

I love it!!!
September 23, 2002, 7:14
If some children are saved, maybe even revived through the boiling cauldron somehow, they should be transformed back. Even if it works, some monstrous marks may stay behind...
-Why does my child have orange skin?
-increase any racial tensions already available
-openly question the heroes abilities and well-meaning
Barbarian Horde
November 12, 2002, 15:02
I can see smart characters figuring the monster/children connection fairly quickly, but the concept is awesome. A little subtlty should mask the connection until it is too late.
November 12, 2002, 21:18
There's nothing like a good ethical conflict to really screw a player's day. I love it. I'm nice and don't like to have my players accedentially kill kids, so I might provide them with and out to recognize this earlier, like they get attacked on the way to the tower and the monsters "war cries" sound like mommy and dada. But that kind of escape really only puts them in a difficult position, because they they would have to try to subdue and capture every single creature they fight. Difficult as that may be, at least the characters would be on ethically sound ground.

Given that the kids apparently must be brainwashed or mind controlled some how (I don't see them wanting to go back to their homes and bring their freinds and siblings in for touture and disfigurment likely) I don't think one of them would help the players out by opening their cage. Something must have gone wrong with any thing that helps them, for example a mentally challenged kid, one too old to be used, one very new so the "treatment" hasn't fully taken effect.

The whole plot is great and leaves them a much bigger task than they thought they would have no matter how they approach it.
July 4, 2003, 22:37
How wonderfully twisted.
Barbarian Horde
February 26, 2004, 18:02
Oh my...even my most intellectual player may have a hard time with this concept....very's so twisted it fits my style perfectly....most excellent.....mwahahahaha
March 28, 2004, 6:53
Rock 'n' Roll! That's one great plot I'll be sure to use. The great thing is the deviousness of the plot. It starts out as as standard "bash-the-evil-wizard-and-free-the-children-and-collect-the-reward" but the twist will really hit the adventurers hard.
Barbarian Horde
May 21, 2004, 21:39
Eh... cute idea, but I don't know many players that would feel any sort of remorse. Afterall, the wizard had converted them to monsters, who then attacked the players. I serious doubt any player would feel serious guilt about killing them, especially without a known cure.
May 25, 2004, 12:30
Well, they may not feel guilty, but it does have the effect of making them think twice next time before killing indescriminately, especially if the assailants prove to be no match for the PCs. Also, while they may not be upset by this revelation, the parents of the dead children certainly will, and I doubt they'll be too happy with PCs once they find this out.

Excellent plot.
August 6, 2004, 4:32
One more twist ... the children are happy in their new state - they can be creatures of fairy-tale after all, and some of them can fly, and the transformation is not painful...they WANT to bring their fellows the same joy! So, not only the players are killing the kids, but they also are acting against their will, and the kids are but defending their choice.
The wizard is just a befuddled old man who is following the wishes of the kids...literally.

Barbarian Horde
October 11, 2005, 10:22
Nicely done. I had it figured out as soon as the small little monsters attacked the town, but I think that with a little bit of work, this could go off without a hitch. However I think that the kids should only present enough of a chalenge for the adventurers to have a hard time capturing them, just in case the adventurers figure it out. I know that if I were playing, and I had figured it out, my player (assuming he was good) would never have injured the children any more than he had to.

The best part is, is that this kind of adventure is win win. If the adventurers kill the kids, then they have evil plot twist to keep them remembering this adventure for a long time to come. If they figure it out early and manage to save the kids, then the difficulty of having to subdue and capture them all will make everybody feel warm and fuzzy inside, and they will still remember the adventure because they went the extra mile.

Voted Dragon Lord
October 13, 2005, 9:19
A truly twisted plot definitely a candidate for the "wish I'd thought of that" award

Even if the PCs spot the connection between the lost children and the small monsters early on, they still have the problem of what to do about it

Love it 4/5
Barbarian Horde
November 12, 2005, 14:26
Ditto here, simple TV/movie "shocking twist" but still one that no one ever seems to use - excellently done and I agree the mama and dada warcries should be included, its much more unsettling that way, and also agree the one that may free the PCs is somehow disabled or brain damaged etc - lastly the idea about the kids WANTING to be monsters is the final brilliant touch to make this quite a memorable scenario.
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
March 31, 2006, 6:17
The main idea of this plot is excellent and the idea-expanding comments is Strolen's Citadel at it's very best. The plot write up could use some polishing but that's about it. The concept is also one of those you will remember because of the simplicity of it. So any session night you might have run dry of material, use this.
Voted Drackler
March 31, 2006, 12:54
Nice and twisted.
Voted Mourngrymn
June 15, 2006, 11:28
While it has been said multiple times already, I determined the whole plot before it was finished but it is evil enough to throw a few twists in to make it workable in a game. Well done.

Oh and yes I read this a year ago and it was lost to the ages, I just found it again.
Voted Peppe Pepis
July 27, 2009, 15:16
Only voted
Voted valadaar
May 4, 2011, 11:49

Now this is an evil one.  I would tend, as others have mentioned, to give more hints early on, but thats my own take.

A great plot!


Voted Moonlake
May 28, 2013, 2:05
A nice evil twist.

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