RetCon 2014: Day the Second – Savage Afternoon
The day began with coffee, as all days should, and then a Savage Worlds adventure I wrote called “The Search for the Dreaming Temple”. If you’ve ever seen “Raiders of the Lost Ark” you know what I was going for here*: the hunt for a powerful artifact, Nazis, a map with a moving red dot on it to indicate travel to a foreign country. We spared no cliche.
I had figured on the team hiring some small boat to get them to Victoria Falls, the suspected location of the Dreaming Temple, but they wound up exploding their find a boat roll so I felt it necessary to let them get on a larger boat. So much for the hippo attack and getting stranded with a long walk through the jungle to go. Instead, they wound up on a boat with a group of four blonde Europeans. Fortunately they had received a communique at the hotel with an intercepted message indicating that the Nazis were also searching for the temple, so they immediately assumed that the Europeans were the other team trying to beat them to the temple. The research assistant was sent to investigate the potential threat.
The German research assistant.
He said he was a German Jew, so everyone broke out the Dewar’s and the Lucky Strikes and started cleaning their guns.
Later that night he was sent, by himself, to find out about the competing team without any supervision.
I am fully aware that was redundant. It bore repeating.
He promptly warned the other team that they had been spotted, that he was already in place with the American team, and that the American team had asked him to drug them to slow them down. (He also left the vials of sedative for them in case they found a use for the drugs.)
He returned and told the rest of the team that it was cool; they were just big game hunters on safari.
Oh! While he was out he also shot the American Anthropologist, and somehow (I can’t imagine how), convinced the others that it must have been someone on the crew who had been bribed to try to stop them. It was OK though: some Dewar’s and a pack of Lucky Strikes helped the good Doctor fix the Anthropologist right up!
The entrance to the temple was at the bottom of a still pool of water at the top edge of Victoria Falls. The team found boot prints trampling the river bank, and knew they had to hurry. It wasn’t easy, but they found their way in.
Within the temple they were seeking a crown that granted mind control abilities to the wearer. Naturally I printed pictures of many statues, two of which were wearing crowns. One of those two statues was standing on a dais surrounded by statues of cat warriors. It was 30 feet tall and had an ostentatious Hathoric crown on its head. The other was roughly 10 feet tall, stood way off in the back of the room, and had a much more sedate looking crown on its head. I’m sure you can guess which crown the Strong Back was sent after.
I’m sure you can also guess which crown the Research Assistant made a stealthy beeline for. Notice rolls all failed to spot him.
The true crown was snatched with careful timing to ensure that any trap that sprung would be tied to the goings on at the 30 foot tall statue. Both crowns were snatched. The other statues came to life and began to give chase. The cavern began to flood. The intrepid adventurers ran like the wind!
And arrived safe and sound in the arms of the Nazis waiting for them at the banks of the river, their guide line to safety in the hands of the fräulein in charge.
Knowing their spy was in place the fräulein felt no need to put the rest of her troops at risk when they could just wait for the Americans to surface and hand them the crown.
It was a tense situation with the Nazis demanding the crown be turned over to them. Demands and quips were exchanged. The eminent archaeologist attempted to use the crown’s awesome powers to get the Nazis to turn on each other, never guessing he had the wrong crown. He started with a simple request to toss back the grappling hook on the guide rope, which they did, but when he ordered one of them to shoot their leader he instead shot at Dr. Smith… rolling a twenty-three to hit (I exploded that D6 3 times!), and almost incapacitating him with that one shot.
“You have seen both our dedication to our cause, AND our fine marksmanship. You vill send ze crown to us vit… dat von. He vas being reasonable before you forced us to get unpleasant.”
Of course she indicated the Research Assistant.
Not only did Dr Smith hand what he thought was the crown to the Research Assistant, who already had the real crown tucked into his pack, he insisted on writing out a letter of commendation stating that the man deserved his doctorate for his services during this trip.
The Research Assistant then makes his way back to the shore with all of the items, offhandedly tosses the crown from Dr Smith to a Nazi goon requesting that he “hold this a minute”, says “I almost feel bad about this”, whips out a sharp knife and cuts the guide rope. He then opens his pack revealing the true crown! The adventure closes with him handing it off to the fräulein in charge, and readily admitting that he was the one who shot the Anthropologist.
It was a good day to be the GM.
*and if you haven’t seen “Raiders of the Lost Ark” you are hereby ordered to correct that situation immediately.