Happy GURPSDay, folks!
“By the pricking of my nose, this is where the game prep goes.”
Today is part two of the adventure creation for “Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow,” the GURPS Bunnies & Burrows sequel I’m GMing at Orccon in just a couple of weeks. I poked around the dark recesses of my apartment and managed to find the paper tri-fold figures from the 2014 game, which is a nice little time-saver, and I have a couple of different versions of the PCs to expand on. But first, I need to get some semblance of an adventure in place!
Picking up where we left off…
Step 4 – Adding Detail
I outlined a few ideas I wanted to include in Step 2, and I’ve been noodling since then how to structure them into some sort of flowing narrative and scenes. Now, we know that no adventure survives contact with the players and their PCs, but here is the basic story I’m starting with:
A mated pair of hares, Three-Toes and Bluebell, are upstream from the PC rabbits’ warren, each taking turns drinking from the stream while the other watches for predators. Suddenly, a water viper strikes from the stream, biting Three-Toes in the face and pulling him into the water. Without a thought, Bluebell dives in after them. She bites the snake, but receives a vicious bite in return, and the viper’s poison races through her blood like fire.
Barely able to keep afloat, Bluebell is carried away by the stream. The last thing she sees is Three-Toes struggling against the snake coiled around him, carrying him to its lair, and then… blackness.
While unconscious, she hears the voice of the Black Rabbit of Inlé. He tells her not to fear, that it is not Three-Toes’s time to be taken and that he still lives. If she can make it to the warren of The Heroes of the Meadow, beneath the tall oak, they can save him. She awakes to find herself on the bank of the stream, nearly drowned and in excruciating pain from the snake’s bite. In the far distance, she can see a lone oak tree atop a small meadow rise and begins slowly making her way there.
She collapses from exhaustion still many yards from the warren and begins calling out. The PCs, alerted, worry that the voice will attract Bloodmoon, a great horned owl who hunts their meadow. They stage a rescue and (hopefully) manage to get Bluebell inside the warren, where she relates her tale.
Assuming they choose to try and rescue Three-Toes, the PCs can follow the stream north to the viper’s den, along the way encountering a trapped fox, a human road, and an old bobcat on the hunt. If they manage to reach the viper’s lair and there is still a lot of time left, Three-Toes will no longer be there, but has been taken by a human ophidiologist who unearthed the lair.
Seems like plenty there for a four hour game, especially with the optional encounters. So, breaking this down into scenes:
- Intro. Bluebell arrives at the warren, pulling the PCs into the adventure as they rescue her from Bloodmoon. The PCs set off to rescue Three-Toes.
- Bloodmoon. Depending on how the intro scene plays out, Bloodmoon may still be hunting in the area and spot the PCs.
- Trapped Fox. The PCs hear the plaintive wails of a red fox (Twitching Ears) caught in a hunter’s snare. Its paw is bloody and wounded from pulling against the wire, as is its snout and gums from trying to chew free.
- The Road. Bones as well as fresh corpses (squirrel, rabbit, turtle) litter the sides of this unnatural place (“Hard like stone, smooth like water”). Occasionally, noisy and smelly “metal” monsters roar by at incredible speed.
- Bobcat. An old (but still strong enough to kill a rabbit with a single swipe) bobcat (Grayfur) hunts the area between the road and the viper’s lair.
- Viper’s Lair. Three-Toes is, in fact, still alive in here, barely conscious and in great pain. The viper mother (Seless) is hoarding food for her six newly-birthed offspring.
- Rescue from the Human. If, by some miracle, the PCs defeat the vipers with plenty of time left, they will discover that Three-Toes is actually not in the lair. The entire ‘rear entrance,’ including the chamber where Three-Toes was prisoner, has been dug out. The human who did that discovered the badly wounded hare and took him back to camp.
That should be plenty of material if things go quickly. If things go slowly, pretty much every encounter between the Intro and the Viper’s Lair is optional and can be pulled out to move things along.
Step 5 – Finalizing the Characters
With the story in place, I turn to the PCs. Two seasons ago, they became legendary heroes by rescuing a trapped bunny named Rosin. The tales of how they slew a hawk, tricked a colony of mongooses into helping them, and outwitted a human have been told and retold ever since, and every bunny in the warren knows them on sight.
I will be tweaking the previous character sheets a little bit, but it doesn’t look like the final adventure notes will get done today. Rather than holding up the post, I’ll just go ahead and publish what I have. Once everything is finished and ready for play, I’ll update this post and provide the link for download.
I basically just need to update the characters, put together some stats for the NPCs, and finalize the scene notes. Should be done this weekend some time… the convention is next Friday!
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Also in Adventure Creation
A behind-the-scenes look at putting together "one-shots," from idea and first notes to the finished adventure. Here are the five most recent posts, or select "View the entire series."
- Requiem, The Cartoon Finale
- Creating “Hare Today…” – Part 1
- Creating “Hare Today…” – Part 2
- “Hare Today, Gone Tomorrow,” Post-Con Wrap Up
- Rescue or Bug Hunt? A Colonial Marines One-Shot, Part 1