Sunday, January 10, 2010

Torgon Needs Vril!

I've been brainstorming on the whole Henchman-for-Hire adventure idea. The main elements (besides the PCs), as you may recall, are Torgon the Eviscerator (space tyrant), Nazis (along with Romans, the perfect villains), and the Hollow Earth. I probably need to look it over more closely to see if I've given the PCs enough to do; I'm leaving it completely up to them whether they want to aid von Nacht or rebel against him; whether they want to work for Torgon, or try and foil him.

I've pulled a lot of inspiration from Exile Games' Hollow Earth Expedition, including the secret organization of Terra Obscura (their Terra Arcana), and some details of the Vril-ya.

Here are my notes on the subject. I started out by using Doc Rotwang's Adventure Funnel template, which has been very useful for organizing my ideas --- not that they're really all that organized.

Torgon Needs Vril!
Dr. Helmut von Nacht, an agent for "a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous", has hired a group of Henchmen (the PCs) from the Henching Hand (a Hemchman Temp agency) to secure a source of limitless power, called Vril.
GOAL: 1) Locate the source of Vril on Earth. 2) Summon Torgon's invasion fleet. 3) Secure it until the Fleet arrives
  • It's our home planet, dammit!
  • We didn't read the fine print
  • The Earth is HOLLOW? Who knew?
  • Perils from the Surface World: Nazis, ?
  • Perils of the Hollow Earth: hostile natives (including "extinct" Surface World cultures), beast-men, dinosaurs, man-eating plants, etc.)
  • Torgon the Eviscerator (evil space tyrant), the Interocitor (Torgon's viewscreen/remote control/death ray)
  • Dr. Helmut von Nacht, "prominent" scientist, agent of Torgon, member of the Thule society inner circle, secret Nazi; actual employer of the
  • But we don't WANT to work with Nazis!!!
  • Terra Obscura (secret society, protectors of the Hollow Earth
Dr. Helmut von Nacht
  • Secretly an agent of Torgon the Eviscerator
  • Has his own agenda:
  • successfully enter the Hollow Earth (has tried several times before)
  • verify connection between Atlanteans and Aryans
  • Seize the power of Vril
von Nacht's assistants
  • Gudrun Schlager, von Nacht's assistant / lover / assassin
  • Horst Zimmer, seemingly a big, beefy Aryan stereotype;. von Nacht has some kind of hold over him, which Zimmer resents. Looking for a chance to break free.
  • ? some other assistant ?
  • One of these is a member of Terra Obscura
  • One of these is a result of Nazi breeding experiment, which confers some kind of superior ability (mental or physical) which the subject keeps hidden.
  • von Nacht has a secret hold over one of these, which the victim resents.
Why recruit Henchmen? Why not use Stormtroopers
  • Helmut von Nacht had a loyal bunch of Stormtroopers, but something happened to them (the doings of the Terra Obscura agent, no doubt).
  • (The Henchmen should discover the fate of the Stormtroopers somehow, something gruesome)
  • Torgon is getting impatient with him, so he had to find substitutes.
  • von Nacht is keeping important details of the mission secret. Partly because this is how he treats his underlings; partly because he doesn't want them to blow the mission for him.
Secrets of the Hollow Earth
  • The earth is hollow
  • Several entrances, especially at the poles
  • Ancient Civilizations, including remnants of the Atlantean civilization. Amazons, Titans (giant humanoids), Vril-ya, Cargo Cultists, Amazons, Cannibals, Neanderthals, Noble Savages, Aztecs, Mongols, Mythikans (Ancient Greeks), Romans
  • Beast Men: Ape Men, Gill Men, Mandrakes (plant people), Hawk Men, Panther Men, Lizard Men, Mantis Men, Mole Men
  • Creatures: dinosaurs; prehistoric megafauna; "man-eating" plants; etc.
Terra Obscura
  • Ancient secret society, descended from Atlanteans, working to keep all knowledge of the Hollow Earth a secret.
  • Agents will use any means (discrediting, theft, bribery, recruitment, murder) to accomplish their goals
  • Small but widespread organization; has infiltrated governments, universities, military; monitors world news organizations. expeditions to areas which lead to Hollow Earth
  • Agents are incredibly capable and resourceful secret agents; dedicated but do not act like rabid fanatics. (Think James Bond).
  • They have access to some Atlantean technology, but sparingly; don't understand the principles of the technology.
  • Though of an Atlantean origin, there are no Atlanteans in Terra Obscura.
Why can't the Henchmenback out?
  • Von Nacht will have them killed if they don't do what he wants.
  • The Henching Hand will terminate their contracts, with all applicable penalties, if they don't go through with the mission. [Look up the appropriate parts of the contract; if there aren't any, write up new ones. Didn't you check your email? Well, check your spam filter. Do we have your correct email? Home address? etc.)
  • Doesn't Earth have, like, space radar? Space stations? Orbiting nuclear platforms?
What the heck is Vril, anyway?
  • it's an energy source much like the Force, Ley Line energy, feng shui, etc.
  • The ancient Atlanteans knew how to master Vril; it was the source of their super-scientific/occult technology.
  • Destroyed millenia ago on the surface world; survivors made their way to the center of the Earth.
  • Had an incredibly high level of technology and magic
  • Mysteriously vanished. (Like the Krell/Forbidden Planet)? Mysterious ruins left behind, showing hints of advanced/magic technology.
  • identity is kept secret (to keep the PCs from backing out), heighten suspense
  •  Dr. Helmut von Nacht is Torgon's Earth agent; works for a mysterious benefactor, who prefers to remain anonymous
  • One of the PCs is a former lieutenant of Torgon's who failed a mission or rebelled; von Nacht has orders to see this PC killed.
  • Large hangar with rocketships
  • Interocitor (big triangular screen, atom symbol, dials, etc.)
  • Locked meeting room with Torgon symbol
  • Torture chamber w/ prisoners (who? why?) (To clue the henchmen in that something weird is going on. Of course, henchmen get weird handed to them on a daily basis.)
  • Alien troops are kept hidden or disguised
  • Terra Obscura agent covertly sabotaging mission
Damn Nazis!

  • Helmut von Nacht is secretly a highly placed member of the Thule Society
  • Wants to discover the lost secrets of Atlantis for the return of the Third Reich (Fourth Reich?)
  • Wants to prove the Atlantean origin of the Aryan races, and thus German racial superiority
  • Atlantean scientific and occult knowledge behind every major historical civilization
  • Knowledge of the secrets of Atlantis will return the Reich to power.
Deros (evil stunted humanoid monstrosities, paranoid, sadistic)
  • Have some ancient Atlantean devices which they use for torture, mind reading, mind control, espionage
  • They don't understand the principles
  • Working with the Nazis
  • Claim to be the real Atlanteans, but are mere pretenders
  • Live in a major set of Atlantean ruins, and have access to more Atlantean technology than annyone else, but do not have more than a smattering
  • Pretending to be gods, wizards of great power, etc.
  • Have access to a great source of Vril
  • The Eisenmaulwurf (Iron Mole): drilling vehicle from an early attempt by von Nacht. Could be repaired and used to ecape if stranded.
  • Gaining allies from the natives
  • Discovering a minor secret of Atlantean technology


Risus Monkey said...

Other than being an awesome outline for an adventure, I'm *really* psyched that you pointed out Dr-Rotwang's Adventure Funnel process. I'm definitely going to give that a try (though I use something similar already). Reminds me of the Adventure writing tips from the Risus Companion... list steps to achieve a goal and complicate. Not quite so linear, though. I like it.

Guy Hoyle said...

More than happy to share the wealth. And hey, thank YOU for the link to my blog!