Playing a micro-adventure
A micro adventure is fast paced content that helps the game master enrich larger adventures with interesting places, hidden treasures or additional situations. The micro adventure can be played and improvised as it is or it can be refined in advance depending on the style of the game master.
The characters find themselves prisoners of a larger and better equipped group of criminals. A fortuitous event will free them from the yoke of their oppressors, but leave them alone in a hostile and dangerous place.
Adventure aspects: initial imprisonment, ancient structure, ideal to start a new story.
Contents: 3 situations, 1 antagonists, 1 treasure.
Tone: modern fantasy, survival.
A secret organization code-named “The Cusps” is searching an ancient aztec facility for a mysterious artifact. The characters follow the team forced by armed agents and are helping to carry a heavy totem in stone and wood that seems tied to the search.
- It was no taller than one meter, yet that agglomeration of stones and wood seemed to weigh several tons. It was not clear why the Cusps wanted to carry the totem inside the structure, but at some point that inert artifact began to vibrate. The eyes of the snake-shaped idol glowed and transparent water magically transpired between the fissures of the totem. Will Taylor was in the rearguard and he immediately noticed what was happening: "Stop now!" He thundered at everyone. "That’s the point captain. This is... this is incredible." The entire team stopped in an ancient gallery, in front of a massive wooden door that, in all likelihood, had been closed for centuries.
Players can take a turn to describe the appearance of their characters and add some details about their past story. The game master can facilitate the exchange by asking questions in person, stimulating players to respond by identifying themselves in their characters:
- What were you doing just before you were captured by The Cusps?
- What special gift can you use in times of need?
- What unfinished business do you have with your tormentors?
Game master intervention
Once the players' interventions are over, the game master can present the scene.
- The task force settled down and tied the transporters (the characters n.d.r.) to the totem that they had diligently brought up to this point. They were jute strings, not indestructible, but effective for men and women fatigued by prolonged effort. The team left the rear guard officer behind and passed the threshold of that ancient door. You are left alone with Will Taylor, the rear guard officer teams you from head to toe, while he keeps his hands ready on the weapon hanging from the belt.
Situation: the characters begin with 1 life point, exhausted and tired from carrying the totem that keeps them constrained. Their opportunity for their redemption soon emerges: between a few moments, harrowing noises will be heard from the neighboring room and the mood of their guardian will become increasingly unstable.
Passage: glass galleries
Location aspects: reflective beams, angelic frescoes on the floor.
- Beams of white light filter through the cracks of this once immaculate gallery. The light bounces between the walls, changing color thanks to a game of partial refraction. Below the glass fragments scattered on the floor are depicted winged forms in poses of strength and pride.
Situation: sinister noises resound between the walls. The screams of Will Taylor’s comrades are surmounted by a deaf thud. At this point, Will can have a short conversation before rushing to the rescue of his comrades.
He is a middle-ranking officer who has a high conception of himself. Despite his emotions he is quite effective in his work.
He does not hide his irritation as he has been relegated to the rear of the group. He remains attentive and wary towards all the characters.
Initially he will implement the protocol and threaten the characters weapons in hand. When the situation deteriorates, he leaves his post to join the rest of the team in the forgotten lobby.
Location aspects: resti polverizzati sul pavimento, fonte guaritrice, trono massiccio.
- Un ampio colonnato separa la porta di ingresso da un trono dorato posto in cima ad una scalinata. L’aria profuma di incensi che ricordano fragranze orientali, mentre il tempo sembra essere scandito dal continuo gocciolio di una fonte sulla parete destra.
Situation: The Cusps’ task force was completely annihilated by something or someone. The melee must be terminated in parity though because an inspection in the surroundings reveals pulverized fragments of obsidian mixed stone. Whatever these agents have been through now no longer exists. Some of the equipment has remained intact and can now be recovered.
Treasure: the characters can retrieve a useful tool each. Such a tool can be a weapon, a talisman or a protective object. In addition, they can retrieve a map that shows the description of the area and the location of a nearby camp.
Customizing the adventure
In this adventure we introduced The Cusps: an hostile para-military organization that the characters have to deal with. Game masters can use The Cusps to introduce their Primo Contatto adventure, or can replace it with an antagonist group of their own design. The adventure lends itself to either a fantasy or sci-fi genre, the game master should then calibrate the available equipment accordingly.
Characters can move from one zone to one that is adjacent by spending one turn. Movement within an area, for example to get away from an obstacle or an opponent, costs an action. Possible interactions are shown in brackets.