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Subject: The Dragon Orb adventure, from Dragon Magazine rss

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Jfkoski
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Cary
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What follows is a description of the article "The Dragon Orb" by Bruce Nesmith(?) published in Dragon Magazine #196 in 1993. Check your mapbook for the letter key, since the castle adventures use the same letters for rooms.

THE DRAGON ORB
Problem: Teraptus has found a Dragon Orb (crystal ball marker) which allows him to control (ride) Darkfyre. It cannot be destroyed by swords or spells.
Object: Find and destroy the Dragon Orb and escape alive.

Location: Castle.
Time: 12 turns.
Heroes: 2 to 3.
Level: Very Difficult.
Treasure: 3 cards per hero (4 for only 2 heroes).
Start: At drawbridge.

Setup:
-Place a pit marker in the third square in corridor J.
-Place the Fire Elemental in G, I or N.
-Hide the Dragon Orb in H, N or O. If the Orb is with the Fire Elemental, then it is inside it, and cannot be taken until the monster is destroyed. Note: N & O don't have a chest to put it inside, but H does.

Special Rules:
-The Dragon Orb can only be destroyed by the Dragon's fiery breath.
-Darkfyre appears at the drawbridge with Teraptus riding him.
-Teraptus can cast spells but cannot attack while on him.
-If Darkfyre sees the Orb then he will breathe fire on it.
-Teraptus jumps off the dragon when the Orb is destroyed.

A: Portcullis is up, but gate is locked.
B: 2-Bugbears (1 next to door). Chest has trap and random treasure. Secret door to N.
C: 2-Bugbears (1 next to door).
D: Manscorpion (not next to doors). Trap in front of door to E. After 2 turns of combat the doors to B & C automatically open and the Bugbears can join the fight.
E: Secret door to M.
F: Secret door to G.
G: Trap behind door to E. Secret door to F.
H: Death Knight (not next to door). Chest has random treasure (and perhaps Dragon Orb).
I: Secret door to K.
J: Pit on third square from E. Trap in front of door to K. A Feat of Strength can be used to jump the pit. [Note1: the rules previously said jumping was a Feat of Dexterity. Note2: jumper will land on the trap!].
K: 2-Gargoyles, Troll (none next to doors). Secret door to I. Description: "A noble-looking giant lies chained to the floor. To the side is a troll sharpening a dagger. In the corner are two gargoyles stirring a boiling pot over a fire."
If set free the giant will talk. His name is Cloudscraper and he is not evil.
-Why are you imprisoned?
"Teraptus stole the Dragon Orb from me. Now he is trying [to] get me to tell him all its secrets."
-Where's the Orb?
"I don't know where it is."
-How can we destroy it?
"Only the fire of a dragon's breath can destroy the Orb. Darkfyre hates the Orb so much he will breathe on it as soon as he sees it."
-Will you join us?
No. He will not go or fight. When the heroes leave the room he disappears.
L: Empty.
M: 3-Orcs, Death Knight (none next to doors). Chest is locked; contains random treasure. Secret Door to E.
If the Orcs are asked about Dragon Orb: "Oh, that hunk of glass we stole from Cloudscraper? Now he's in the dungeon, where you're gonna be soon!"
N: Empty (unless Orb and/or Fire Elemental). Secret Door to B.
O: Empty (unless Orb).
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Jfkoski
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Cary
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MY OPINIONS:

+I like leaping one space being a Feat of Strength instead of Dexterity.

+Dragon Fire to destroy the Orb sucks; Lightning would be better.

If you change it, let the players figure out the options for themselves:

1- Cast Lightning Spell. In the event the heroes find a treasure which gives random spells, secretly pull out Lightning (if the Wizard didn't pick it) and put it on the bottom after shuffling. [Obviously they should draw from the bottom so you don't know the spell level like you do for the top card].

2- Use the Wand of Lightning (Maybe the Troll has one to torture Cloudscraper. If the heroes get it then it would only have one charge left, but anyone could use it).

3- Levitate (or Fly!) the Orb from the top of the tower during the thunderstorm. Decide at the start how many Hit Points (4?) would be lost due to being struck by real lightning and falling out of the sky just in case they cast Fly on one of them (or a Charmed Monster!).
"A fierce thunderstorm rages across the land, but that is not what worries Lord Narran...."

4- Hold it while triggering the Electrical Trap (which is really a Lightning Spell trap). Remove this card during setup, making the specific trap in O.
O: There's now a chest that has the Electrical Trap but is empty (unless the Orb is inside). If the trap is triggered then the Dragon Orb is destroyed if it's either inside the chest or held by the player triggering the trap. (Teraptus didn't know this could destroy it). If a player successfully "finds" the Electrical Trap, reveal this trap card. If he/she knows from Cloudscraper that the Orb can be destroyed by lightning, then ask him/her if she still wants to "disarm" it.
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On the moon Fabrice
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Many thanks !
 
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