Revenge of The Gobbler!
A Zero-level Funnel Adventure for Dungeon Crawl Classics
Very special thanks to +Daniel Bishop, who provided some of the monsters (along with most their descriptions).
The adventurers are sent to bring a wagon load of beer, wine, and spirits to the tower of Lorenzo the Portly, noted sage, wizard, and gourmand. It is the day of his famous feast of thanksgiving, when he celebrates the gifts of his patron with a gathering of his minions, servants, and henchmen. This year, however, the feast is no occasion for celebration. Instead, our heroes must contend with sorcery most fowl!
This adventure is designed for 8-12 (or more? ) zero-level player characters. I dunno. It's not like I playtested this adventure or anything. So anyway...
In his zeal for bring to his board the greatest feast ever consumed, Lorenzo the Portly transgressed against nature itself, using arcane magics to enhance the quality and size of the items on his table. Unfortunately, bigger did not turn out to be better. In fact, it was very, very bad indeed.
As the result of a magical misfire, Lorenzo raised the turkey from the dead (it is now possessed by the spirit of a minor wizard), and animated a variety of other foodstuffs. These fell foodstuffs turned the tables on their makers, and soon the cooks became… the cuisine.
The players will enter the manor to find a scene of horror. Each guest has been killed and eaten, in whole or in part, with Lorenzo himself receiving special treatment. Deadly sustenance now stalks the halls of the manor, hungry for more victims.
This adventure is designed to be short but deadly. It is short, because you most likely are very ful. and kind of drunk. It will be deadly because I take food very, very seriously indeed. And I want to make sure that you see why food is not to be trifled with.
The adventure begins as the PCs roll through the gates of Lorenzo the Portly's manor, and around the back toward the servants' entrance.
The journey has been a long one, but you finally have sighted the Manor of Lorenzo the Portly, noted sage of cuisine and wizard of delectation. Your three wagon loads of ale and strong drink will be welcome additions to Lorenzo's famed thanksgiving feast. You also hope that you will be invited to the feast, for Lorenzo is known for his generosity, and no one in the realm is so famous for the sumptuousness of his banquets.
As you drive though the gates and toward the servants' entrance to the kitchens, you are greeted with a horrible sight: A man (a baker judging from his hat) bursts forth from the door, screaming in terror. Behind him strides a behemoth… gingerbread man? In an instant the fell creature is upon him, snatching him up and biting off his head before casting him aside for fresher prey. Roll for initiative.
Gingerbread Giant Init +2; Atk bite melee (1d6); AC 9; HP 11; MV 35’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +1; AL N.
As the PCs enter the manor house, read the following:
Stepping through the servants' entrance to the manor, you find yourself in a short hallway. To the left is a thick, wooden door. Further along the corridor, you spy a door ripped from its hinges, and beyond that, the kitchen.
I've designed this as if the players will cooperate, and enter through the kitchen. If your players make it complicated, then adapt accordingly.
Area 1-1 The Larder: The door opens inward to the larder. Inside you see a variety of jars, casks, and barrels, and from hooks in the ceiling hang hams and long strings of sausages.
Once the PCs enter this room, they will be attacked by three strings of Sausages of Death. They are delicious, but most certainly are not good for your health.
Sausages of Death (3) Init +2 (or surprise 75%); Atk strangle melee +2 (1 point of damage or special on surprise); AC 10; HP 4, 2, 2; MV 10’; Act 1d20; SP If the Sausages of Death surprise the PCs, they attack as a garotte wielded by a thief on successful backstab (3d4); SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +0; AL N.
Area 1-2 The Kitchen: The kitchen is in disarray, scullions stuck upon their own spits, stabbed, or cloven, the scullery maids drowned in their suds. Blood is everywhere and the floor is littered with broken crocker, trenchers, and viscera.
As the PCs enter the kitchen, and begin to take in the horror of the situation, some of the viscera upon the floor seem to writhe. From beneath them flows a puddle of primordial cranberry jelly. Worse yet, this batch was made with whole cranberries (see below).
Primordial cranberry jelly: Init +0; Atk pseudopod +2 melee (2d3) or cranberries +3 missile (2d5); AC 8; HP 12; MV 5’; Act 1d20; SP 15' reach, cranberries (once); SV Fort +8, Ref -4, Will +0; AL N.
Area 1-3 The Butler's Pantry: The butler's pantry is surprisingly quiet and serene, though the butler himself lays dead upon the floor, his head missing. A rack of wine bottles spans one side , while shelves and drawers for linens and dishes fills the other. On the other end is a closed door.
Cork Trap: The wine bottles, if at all disturbed, will explode violently, doing 1 damage to all within 10 feet.
Area 1-4 The Cellar: The cellar is well-made, dry and cool. Along the walls are casks and barrels, mostly filled with ale and wine. In addition, there is a vast rack of wines, from poor to fine.
When the PCs enter this room, have a cat jump out from nowhere. That's lots of fun, and sets the mood nicely. After a bit, once they've dicked around for a bit, have one of the barrels make a liquid, blubbing noise, then subside. If they investigate (and you know they will) make it burst, unleashing an…
Ale Elemental: Init +0; Atk +2 melee (1d3+special); AC 8; HP 20; MV special’; Act 2d20; SP 10' reach, divine drunkenness (DC 13 Fort Save), drink it to death; SV Fort +3, Ref +0, Will +0; AL N.
Divine Drunkeness: If struck, the target must make a DC 10 Will Save or begin drinking from the various casks and bottles. Each turn, the victim may make a DC 10 Will Save to break the effect. After 1d3 turns+plus Stamina modifier, the victim loses consciousness for 1d6+4 hours.
Area 1-5 The Dining Room: You emerge from the kitchen onto a terrifying scene. The dining room is an abattoir, its walls running with blood, and the eviscerated bodies of Lorenzo's guests and servants thick upon the floor. Upon the table are the picked-clean bones of Lorenzo the Portly, himself, clothed only with a chef's hat at the end of each of his bony limbs (like a turkey with those white things on the end of the drumsticks). But, even worse, his bane is at hand! An undead turkey, larger than a man, stands before you. Prepare to meet your dooms, for this is The Gobbler! And his feast has only just begun.
The Gobbler Init +4; Atk spell +4 (Gravy Spray) or bite +3 melee (1d6+2) or kick +1 melee (dmg 1d8+3); AC 10; HP 25; MV 30’; Act 2d20; SP gobble, spew stuffing, induce lethargy; SV Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +5; AL N.
The giant, mutated turkey is 7 feet tall, with powerful drumsticks armed with sharp claws. He may be undead, but he is spry, and can run as fast as a man. He also is imbued with the spirit of a long-dead wizard (who is quite cross at this turn of events), and can cast Gravy Spray (as Color Spray, but with gravy. Use your imagination and strive to make this both ridiculous and horrifying. Remember: Gravy can be blinding, slippery, sticky, and very, very hot indeed. Make these interlopers pay!).
Each round The Gobbler can make one of three special attacks as a free action:
Gobble: The giant mutated turkey can gobble, creating a sonic attack that does 1d3 damage to all within 15'.
Spew stuffing: The giant mutated turkey spews a stream of stuffing in a 30' line at a single target (+4 to hit, 1d3 damage, and the target must make a DC 10 Will save or spend its next action either cleaning the stuff off or eating it, according to how the target views stuffing).
Induce lethargy: Every creature within 30' of the giant mutated turkey must make a DC 10 Fort save or its initiative count goes down by 2. Any creature that bites the turkey automatically suffers this effect with no save. A creature whose initiative count is reduced below 0 by this effect may still participate in the combat, but must first rest for a round.
At this point the surviving PCs have run the gamut. It's time for another drink, and maybe a nap. Give 'em 1-2 XP per encounter. If anyone dies, it's automatically 2 XP for the survivors. If something awesome happens, consider giving an extra XP (or even a point of Luck) to whoever is awesome.
As far as treasure goes, let 'em loot the family silver if they care to (2d100 gp value). Probably they also could find other valuables, but that's up to you. However, they do find themselves in possession of three wagonloads of booze and a hankerin' for adventure. What ya gonna do?
G'night, and have a very happy Thanksgiving.