Looking for really dark adventure

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Mister Moe
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 pm

Hi folks,
does anybody have a nice adventure dealing with some really dark topics? E.g. adventuring in Mordheim or screwing up with a Dark Wizard... Those adventures I found are more or less only a bit shady, not really dark. I would like to take our characters a bit closer to their limits then the usual mainstream adventures do.

It doesn't necessarily have to be 2nd edition or even Warhammer - I'll modify any fitting original according to my needs.

Any ideas?
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:35 am

Maybe "Carrion Call"?
https://italwaysrainsinnuln.blogspot.co ... -heed.html

You can get for 2nd edition it in the "Plundered Vaults"
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:25 pm

There are some quite nasty adventures for the OSR game Lamentations of the Flame Princess, several of them ostensibly set in 17th century Europe so easy to reskin for WFRP. For example:

Forgive Us - a band of thieves steal the wrong treasure and unleash a magical disease causing horrible mutations. Reads a bit like a much more horrific version of The Oldenhaller Contract.

The Punchline - a short adventure centered on a plague-spreading cult headed by a troupe of evil Commedia dell Arte clowns.

Better Than Any Man - in the middle of the Thirty Years War, a band of witches take over a town by magic and try to set up a peaceful utopia. Of course things go badly and a strange cult is working behind the scenes.

Death Frost Doom - a great atmospheric dungeon crawl set in the underground temple of a now-extinct (more or less) death cult. Has a good chance of ending with the unleashing of a huge undead horde.

A Single, Small Cut - very brief, more of an encounter than an adventure. A band of crooks murder a priest to loot his church for a demon-summoning artifact hidden in the crypt, but find they can't control the thing summoned. The PCs arrive just before all hell breaks loose.

Hammers of the God - more subtly dark, perhaps. An interesting variant of the "abandoned Dwarf catacombs" dungeon crawl, where the PCs can gradually piece together the Dwarfs' dark secret.

Blood in the Chocolate - a bizarre riff on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory set in 17th-century Amsterdam.

I believe all these adventures can be found fairly cheaply on DrivethruRPG, for instance.
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:18 pm

Errm, do you mean 'dark' as in 'dealing with themes in an adult matter' as opposed to the brightly coloured action-adventure D&D style of gaming, or do you mean 'dark' as in 'anything related to dark magic, but it can easily be four-coloured action-adventure'?

Because most people would think that you are looking for the first type of game, but your examples don't sound like that at all.

If you're looking for dark themes you could try and convert about any Call of Cthulhu-scenario. But mostly it depends on your players and your style of playing. If you take your typical D&D style swashbuckling scenario, for instance, but zoom in on the despair of the people in the village that is under attack by bandits (to take an example), play up the plight of the grieving widow who has to feed her two infants while she is about starving herself, and if you accentuate the gory consequences of sword fights that are normally glossed over, for instance, you make the adventure darker as well. The trick is to get your players to go along with that, BTW; if you players are set on playing swashbuckling adventures in a technicolour world, they'll just phase out when you describe the despair and gore in the scenario, and even in a CoC-scenario, just have fun whacking at the monster at the end.

A trick might be to have the players have fun in the fight, but to let them see the results afterwards. I remember when we played 'The Grapes of Wrath' [major spoiler follows - stop reading now if you don't want to see it] where the players were fighting flying skulls in the house of their employer. They would whack at a skull, which would then be swept into, and crash through, an expensive and rare Cathayan vase, or another one would destroy the crystal chandelier - the players were having lots of fun destroying the living room like that. But at the end of the fight, they found that, while they were having fun, the flying skulls had bidden and bashed their employer to death.
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:18 pm

Tooting my own horn for a bit, you might look for the free WFRP adventure 'The Legend of Wolfgang von Horn'. It's a Groundhog Day scenario where the PCs are defending an inn from the chaos horde who want to destroy it. Time and time again. It's quite a violent scenario, you could turn up the darkness by making the NPC defenders real characters, who the PCs will see dying several times. And by describing the violence of the fight agains the monsters.
"The beastman claws into NPC Klaus' belly and tears pieces of flesh out of him. You see Klaus grit his teeth against the pain. Using his left hand to keep the intestines from spilling out, with his right hand he tries to wield his sword"
sounds a bit darker than:
"The beastman hits NPC Klaus. He loses some hit points, but is still fighting. What do you do?
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Orin J.
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Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

There was an adventure in 3rd editon "Eye for an eye" that deals with the adventurers holing up in a lodge deep in the woods only to learn the lodge's servants are harboring a chaos cult. they kind of flub the suspense (because it's 3rd, so they kept the action going too fast) but if you can stretch it out a few days more it would make a good dark adventure.
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:09 am

Since Wim's opened the gates to horn-tooting, I'll point to my scenario, A Bitter Harvest. You can get its original, 2e version from the Daily Empire website (link in sig), but it was considered grim and perilous enough to be converted and made into the intro scenario for Zweihänder's core rulebook. The PCs aren't necessarily doing anything dark, so if you're looking for a scenario where they're the evil guys, then look elsewhere. But it touches on some very dark themes: betrayal, rape (by implication and in the past, not 'on-screen' as part of the plot), slavery, revenge. And it tries to take them seriously - it is definitely not a gonzo, blood-for-the-blood-god scenario.
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Check out some of the adventures for Shadow of the Demon Lord - The Apple of Her Eye, Tales of the Demon Lord, or Feast of the Father.
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Mister Moe
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Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:19 pm

Hi folks,
sorry for replying so late. I kind of forgot the topic during the annual christmas invasion of the Chaos Horde at my place…

Thank you all for the ideas. I am busy reading some adventures listed above, and there are many ideas I think I will adopt. Whymme asked what I ment by "dark adventure": Bringing the players into a world of grim and perilous adventure. Something that simple swordfighting, conjuring and fortune-point spending cannot straighten easily, but something different than just an oversized horde of Chaos Orcs. So the Groundhog-Day-adventure of Wolfgang von Horn is the right direction. I will have to pimp it a bit to get the players' emotions moving, but there are some ways to achieve that. Just adding a few children, a pregnant women and some cute kittens to the story… :twisted:

Thank you guys for the hints. It will take me some time to find and read all those adventures :geek:
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Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:50 pm

Well, thousand thrones is pretty grimdark (overall, there's fluctuation between chapters tho).

The Nurgle mansion chapter is terrific in that sense!
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