Monday, September 14, 2015

Looking Glass Funnel Trap: A DCC & Pleasant Land

One of the themes of A Red & Pleasant Land is that the realm of Voivodja, as manifestation of the dreams of the Red King Vlad Vortigen, is itself arbitrary and capricious.
One of the great strengths of the Dungeon Crawl Classics RPG is that it makes the arbitrary and capricious murder of player characters super fun through its funnel system.
Smoosh these two together, and like pine-apple and roast turkey, it's awesome.

Here's a trap-like setup that will likely kill a few characters. When I ran this last week it killed one character outright and drove another to permanent madness.
It also conveys a few of truths about Voivodja:

  1. "Read Me" books have the exact opposite of the best course of action.
  2. The Quiet Side of the looking glass will make characters go permanently insane.
  3. "Drink Me" vials will mess with a character's size.
The Setup:
Before you is a large looking glass with a table before it. Upon the table is a book titled "READ ME," a vial labeled "DRINK ME," another vial labeled "ИOƧIOꟼ," and a spread of food with a place card reading "EAT ME." The food consists of a quince, a plum, a bowl of currants, a bowl of curds and a bowl of porridge. You can see that the entirety of the table is reflected in the mirror.

 Sneaky Bits:
The book should offer promises of proper instruction on how the group may accomplish whatever goal they are pursuing. After that teaser part it should read "First climb through the looking glass. Next, drink each of the vials. Finally go through the small door and keep moving through the garden and don't let anything stop you. There, through perseverance, you will find that which you seek."

DRINK ME vials behave has described in AR&PL p. 150.
ИOƧIOꟼ is a healing potion, but on the quiet side it is POISON. If using this in a funnel, just make it auto death. If you are generous, give some sort of saving throw. It should be a difficult save, and I think it is more fun to say "You drink the vial labeled poison? OK, you're dead." (Alice's reasoning of "However, this bottle was not marked 'poison,' so Alice ventured to taste it," inspired this bit).
Food swaps around ability scores. I recommend making these rolls before play. Roll two six siders and count down the list. For example a 1 & a 2 swaps Strength and Agility. On the Quiet Side, the values should be inverted, so the same food type should swap Intelligence and Luck. This is a different function than the EAT ME detailed in AR&PL.
On the Quiet Side, just below the mirror, so that it is not visible from the War side, is a small doorway that leads to a wonderful garden.
If a character ends up going insane because of the quiet of the quiet side, you can always bring it back as a villain.

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