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Kobold CavernsIntroductionThis adventure is written using the GURPS 4th Editionrules and is designed for low point characters. It featuresAD&D Kobolds, adapted for GURPS by Michael Amos inthe document AD&D Kobolds.pdf (available fromwww.michaelamos.net/GURPS). You will need AD&DKobolds.pdf in order to play this adventure.
This adventure could be described as a classic dungeonbash, since it involves the players going undergroundand fighting monsters. However, this is a naturallimestone cave system, based loosely on the Font-de-Gaume cave at Les Eyzies, near Prigueux in southernFrance. There are no ten-foot wide corridors. The playerswill find themselves squeezing through cramped, wettunnels in the pitch dark, facing a foe with night visionable to stand and fight unhindered. The players willquickly discover they have to leave all their armour andmost of their gear at the entrance. As for those two-handed swords and halberds, well, theres barely enoughroom in most of the caves to swing a dead kobold...
In the text that follows, sections enclosed within a light-yellow box may be read out the to players. The rest of theinformation is for the GM, to be revealed if necessary asplay continues.
SummaryA group of kobolds have snatched an eleven year old boy,Riordn Funnell, from the edge of a rural hamlet. Whilethe villagers are shocked and distressed, they are farmersand woodsmen, not warriors. The best they can do issend for soldiers from the nearest keep, a days walk away.Fortunately, the players just happen to be passing through.
The objective of the adventure is to track the kobolds totheir caves and rescue Riordn before he is killed andeaten. If the players do not have someone with trackingskills or if they require extra numbers, the GM can havethe tracker Flannn ODonahue accompany them.However, in a fight, he is a liability and the players mayfind themselves rescuing Riordn and Flannn.
Notes about the CavernsThe caves are designed to give the kobolds the maximumadvantage. They are able to stand upright in most of thetunnels, while the players will often find themselves ontheir hands and knees or even bellies. Furthermore, thetunnels are completely dark. This is no problem for
kobolds with their night vision but the players may end upfighting blind as torches are easily extinguished in thedamp caves.
The following rules apply to movement and combat in thecave system:
Climbing Climbing skill defaults to DX-4 minus
The climbing rate is 2 per second as the cavesoffer lots of hand and footholds.
The heights of slopes are printed in white on themap, adjacent to the slope they relate to.
On the map, the arrow on the slope indicates theupwards direction, while the dotted lines indicatethe beginning and end of the slope.
When someone is climbing, they are at -2 to attackand defence roles and must make a DX orClimbing skill to avoid falling.
A person may not make and all-out attack ordefence when climbing.
If a person falls, the cave floors count as a hardsurface (see B 431 for damage).
Lighting The kobolds can see perfectly well in the dark but
will fight at -10 in a strong magical light source orsunlight. They are not affected by lantern ortorchlight.
Humans fight at -10 in the complete dark.
Any torch coming into contact with the dampcave floor will extinguish on a role of 14 or more.Role every ten seconds the torch is in contact withthe ground. Lanterns placed on the ground arenot affected.
The kobolds will target torch and lantern bearersand will try to extinguish the light source.
Low Ceilings Ceiling heights are indicated on the map by black
numbers in the rooms.
Ceilings of 4 require a human sized individual tocrouch (-2 to attack roles and +2 MP per hex).
Ceilings of 3 require human sized individuals tocrawl (-4 to attack, -2 to defend, and +2 MP perhex). Players will have to remove backpacks andbulky armour such as plate mail to get throughthese areas.
Ceilings of 2 or less require a human sizedindividual to slide along on their belly (-4 to attack,-2 to defend, move 1 hex per turn). Players willhave to remove backpacks, bulky armour, helmets,and equipment to get through these areas.
The players and all their equipment will be fouledwith a thin layer of limy mud the first time theyhave to crawl.
Note that kobold starting locations are indicated on themap. They will converge on the party once the alarm hasbeen raise.
Donagh leads the party to where he and his grandsonwere attacked. The kobolds have left a very clear trail andFlannn is able to track them with ease. If the party wishesto use their own skills to track the kobolds, there is a +4modifier.
The rabbit totem stands at the edge of a sinkhole and hasbeen placed there by the kobolds to prevent themaccidentally falling into it. It is area 17 on the map.
If the party leaves the trail to approach the totem, make aperception role at -4 to see if the leading player notices thesinkhole. If they do not, the ground will give way as theyreach the totem; role against DX at +2 to avoid falling intothe hole.
Fortunately, the sides of the sinkhole are not steep and anyplayer falling in will only sustain 1d-3 crushing damage.See the description for section 17 for further details. Theparty will not be able to go into the caves from here andwill ultimately have to rejoin the kobolds trail.
The CavernsLocations mentioned by number below refer to the map on pagetwo. Each hexagon on the map is one yard. The starting locationof the kobolds is indicated on the map. Once the alarm has beenraised, they will come to investigate and attack the party.
You are staying overnight at the hospitality of anelderly woman in Oleary, a tiny hamlet tuckedaway in the broad, wooded valley of Pellarne. Thelocals are early risers and a little after dawn, yourparty is woken by a noisy commotion outside.Rousing yourselves, you troop blearily into the yardto beg for a little peace and quiet.
What you find is your landlady trying to consoleanother old couple, Donagh and Orna Funnell, bothof whom are distraught with grief. Through theirsobs, it emerges that their grandson, RiordnFunnell, has been snatched by what Donaghdescribes as evil cave spirits. He and his grandsonwere up before sunrise, and were a little way intothe woods when they were set upon by a group ofsmall, reptillian men. Donagh tried to fend them offbut they beat him until he fled. He has a bloodygash across his forehead to bear witness to his tale.
It isnt long before news of the abduction has spreadand others from the hamlet arrive to hear the story.After some discussion, the villagers reach theconsensus the kidnappers are kobolds, and thatRiordn is in grave peril. Donagh and Orna beg themenfolk to go after their grandson. One by one,they make their excuses and leave until one manremains. He is a tracker named Flannn ODonahueand he promises to track the kobolds as far as he can.
Touched by the elderly couples grief and confidentof your strength at arms, you volunteer to go withFlannn to help rescue the boy.
The trail leads for two hours march through thewoods to the end of the Pellarne Valley. There, theground rises steeply and the trees thin out until youfind yourselves walking through a meadow ofwaist-high grass. The sun is warm and the air thickwith the scent of flowers. Insects buzz lazily aroundyou: were your task not so serious, it would makefor a very pleasant stroll.
Suddenly, Flannn halts and points away to the left.Ten yards from the kobolds trail a wooden stakerises above the grass. A rabbits skull adorned withfeathers is tied to the top.
The trail continues on for another fifty yardsthrough the meadow and then turns abruptly to theleft and down into a deep gully. There is less coveron the ground and the kobolds path is harder totrack. However, you notice a cave entrance someyards distant. As you approach, Flannn spotssome footprints leading to it and you conclude youhave reached the kobolds lair.
The entrance to the caves is a yard wide and twoyards tall. From outside, you can see it goesstraight for about three yards then turns sharply tothe left. Water trickles down the limy walls, collect-ing in puddles on the floor. The sunlight barely pen-etrates to the turning. Fortunately, Flannan has alantern, which he brings out and lights.
A yard is not very wide. If the party has bulky equipmentsuch as spears or bastard swords, explain that they areawkward to manoeuvre in this narrow space. If the partyventures down the passage, read the following:
Any player attempting to crawl down this passage with abackpack on will become stuck and will have to back outagain. Flannn realises this and decides to take a fewthings from his pack and leave it hidden in some bushesnear the cave entrance. He also decides to leave his bowas he does not want it to foul in the water. Eventually,someone with a light source will crawl through the tunnelto Location Two.
If none of the players suggest it, a intelligence role at +2will allow the players to realise these markings have beencarved by the kobolds and that the kobolds have inhabitedthese caves for some time. A second intelligence role (ifneeded) will allow the players to realise the inhabitationhas not been continuous. There are old carvings, blurredby travertine brought by the water running down thewalls, and there are very fresh carvings. None show astate between the two - the kobolds have recentlyreoccupied these caves.
The players will have to