This article originally appeared in Pyramid #15

Quest for the Orkinstone

a Dungeons and Toons adventure
by Chris Aylott

Once upon a time, deep in the bowels of a forbidding mountain, there lay a Dragon named Seymour. Nobody had seen Seymour in living memory, but the tales were enough to chill the blood. He was as big as a house, as evil as the Big Bad Blue Conqueror of the Seven Lands and as rich as the fabled King Snfl of the Badgers, whom he had evicted from the mountain many years ago. Scores of heroes had ridden out in search of Seymour and his ill-gotten lead, but few returned, and those that did returned tattered and Boggled. After a while, the heroes wised up and didn't ride out in search of Seymour any more. Until now. A new rumor has surfaced in the taverns. Seymour possesses the Orkinstone, the legendary magical gem of Pest Control! In a medieval world infested with fleas and flies, the adventurer who retrieves the Orkinstone can earn a king's ransom (Good King Labrador the Flea-Bitten's ransom, in particular). Greedy eyes turn towards Seymour's hoard, and therein hangs a Toon Tale . . .

"Quest for the Orkinstone" is playable in one long session or three shorter sessions, the first in Dragondwell, the second leading up to the Big Confrontation with Seymour, and the third set After the Big Confrontation. Any resemblance to a classic fantasy novel featuring hobbits, dwarfs and similarly annoying short people is simply your fevered imagination. You should go lie down until you feel better. This adventure is designed to be extremely flexible, which may make it somewhat forbidding to the new GM. Please customize it to fit draw maps and change details wherever you feel like it! Remember - this is Toon, and following the plot is less important than having fun.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

The players are any reasonably traditional dungeon-looting goons. Some expert dungeon-looting goons known as "The Chosen Ones" have been included in this adventure. The Animator plays Seymour the Dragon, Elmo P. Fizzwater the Mayor, Melvin the Adventurer's Revenue Service (ARS) Agent and a host of PC-bedeviling monsters, shopkeepers, hired help and magical McGuffins.

PLACES TO GO

The Village of Dragondwell, formerly the Village of Muddy River
Muddy River was an unprepossessing town at the bottom of the Great Big Forbidding Mountain. Now it's Dragondwell, an unprepossessing town with a tourist industry. There is every kind of Dragon memorabilia available - dragon cloth armor (T-shirts), dragon cups, dragon burgers, dragon cards and polyhedral dice, even a magazine with you-know-what on the cover and lots of silly articles about the ecology of monsters. Dragon-killing paraphernalia is also for sale. Characters can buy swords and clubs and armor, all bearing Seymour the Dragon's visage and an "Official Merchandise" stamp. These items are of the high quality of gewgaws at tourist traps everywhere.

The Pull and Pinch Pub
The Pull and Pinch is a raucous establishment where nobody knows their own names. Hauntingly beautiful and frighteningly rude waitresses patrol the premises. Eddie the Barkeep is a secret master of drinkmaking. He knows every drink that has been or will be invented, and catastrophically confuses them all with the Screaming Viking. Wise adventurers may wish to stick to beer. Eddie brews several gourmet flavors of beer. They're . . . interesting. Raspberry Gin Fizz Flavored Beer Damage is interesting, too. The bar's regulars include Cliff the Cleaver and Bjorn. Cliff is a giant red barbarian Dog with an encyclopedic knowledge of monster trivia. He boasts that he's memorized every page of the classic tome "Monsters by Manuel." He has. Cliff will happily join an adventuring party whether he is wanted or not. He can be counted upon to supply useless facts about any creature he may encounter. Bjorn is an immense bear who spends most of his time in a reinforced armchair. He looks fearsome, but moves rarely and slowly. Sooner or later, he will request the adventurers' help in getting out of his chair. This is a hazardous enterprise for the adventurers. It's a hazardous enterprise for the bar. Bjorn's primary interest is beer, which he drinks quickly in prodigious quantities.

Dino's Den of Duds
Dino's is the shop for fans of chain mail cut to the navel. Dino has sworn a solemn oath to sell something to any person he meets, and has the Fast Talk skill to do it. He is especially proud of his exclusive line of Flame-Retardant Polyester Leisure Armor.

The Great Big Forbidding Mountain
The Mountain looms over Dragondwell, desolate except for the dreaded Killer Mountain Goats. It can only be scaled with impractical and silly climbing gear, which is available - for a price! - in Dragondwell. Footing ranges from Deceptively Unsafe to Positively Hair-Raising. The lair's entrance is two miles or three mishaps up the mountain. smokin knight

Seymour's Lair (the Random Access Dungeon)
Congratulations! You've just purchased a Random Access Dungeon. Here's how to make the best use of it. First, obtain a dungeon map. You can draw something dungeony or steal one from your last game of Heroic Power Fantasies with Swords. During play, study your map very carefully and specify exact details to your players. These details should have NOTHING to do with the layout on the map sheet. The encounters and rooms below can occur in order or as seems most dramatically fit. Eventually, the party will backtrack or their map will begin to conflict with itself. Smile, suggest they've mapped improperly, and keep spouting random directions.

Seymour's Foyer
This marks the entrance into the Lair. It's annoyingly opulent, but in a tacky way. Statues of nymphs and cupids dot the immense marble floor. A red bell pull rings a deafeningly gigantic bell to summon Igor the Butler.

Seymour's Extremely Complete Art Museum
(Seymour is rather vain. Every room in his lair is named "Seymour's," and there is a big ornate gold sign on each room's door to identify it). Seymour's museum contains a wide range of art, from paintings by Renoir and Stimpson Pollock to sculptures by Michelangelo, Donatello, etc. The most impressive collection, however, is a near complete set of priceless animation cels from Bugout Bunny and Distaff Duck cartoons. The cels are vivid, detailed. One could say they draw the viewer in . . . or perhaps that the art just leaps out at you . . . Cosette the Maid takes special care of the collection, and can frequently be found in the museum.

Seymour's Living Room
The living room is warm and comfortable. A fire roars in a hearth big enough for a giant. There are sofas and throw pillows (which do 1d+3 Thrown Pillow Damage when thrown). Of especial interest to looters is the gigantic Comfy Chair, an artifact of immense value to any fashionable torture chamber. Seymour must be a truly depraved dragon to own such a thing! In one of those incredible coincidences so common to well-stocked dungeons, the room is occupied by Seymour's troll neighbors, the Brazzin family, who are having tea. Mr. Brazzin is a veteran of the Wars of the Good Old Days and not about to let invaders tromp around his neighbor's house. He will swiftly egg his wife and adorable children into squashing said invaders.

Seymour's Drawing Room
Originally a fine Edwardian parlor, this has been converted into a real "drawing" room. Pencils, erasers, glue, white-out and other art supplies are scattered amid unfinished canvases and a rather nice painting of the Mona Lisa. Everything has literal effects on Toon characters. This is an excellent room to obtain supplies, commit treachery, and be chased into from other encounters. There are no monsters in this room, excluding some cockroaches with rude expressions. This is an excellent spot for Seymour to trouble the adventurers, however.

Seymour's Automatic Kitchen
This kitchen is equipped with all the modern conveniences associated with cartoon kitchens. Knives. Appliances. Large cauldrons for boiling adventurers in. Easily broken fine china and crockery. Garlic presses. The kitchen may also be equipped with Igor the Butler, who will be loading dishes into the dishwasher. Igor considers loading adventurers into the dishwasher an excellent way to stop them from being nuisances.

Seymour's Room of Deadly Traps Protecting a Huge Treasure
A room only a fool would enter. Said fools should be victimized by every silly trap you can think of, starting with the anvil that drops on the head of any character touching the doorknob. GMs can roll a few times on the "Nasty Fates for Trap-Springing PCs" table in this adventure or the "Silly Snares and Terrible Traps" tables in the Tooniversal Tour Guide.

There is a huge treasure at the end. The characters will reach a cavern and find a solid-lead life-sized statue of Seymour. The statue can be picked up with Incredible Strength. Doing anything else with it is a problem. Even if the characters don't lose the statue in the dizzying array of traps they have to re-negotiate (keep them interested by giving them different traps), it won't fit through the door. Give them a Plot Point if they come up with a silly way to get it out, then complicate their lives with it for the rest of the adventure.

This is It! Seymour's Lair is Here!
Actually, it's a broom closet at the end of a long, dark tunnel. If the characters advance down the tunnel, they will first discover the closet, then discover that Seymour has shut, locked, and shoved heavy furniture against the closet door behind them. The broom closet contains a wide variety of cleaning items, which Cosette the Maid may use as weaponry. Sneaky Seamour

Don't Go in Here! It's Just Seymour's Broom Closet!
This door is just across from the broom closet door above. The lair is here. If cynical characters decide they'll find the lair here, make it the Broom Closet above. If they anticipate that gag and check both at once, put cream pie ballistas behind each door. Enjoy the resulting crossfire, then drop a spare anvil on them. In this situation, the lair is under a trap door in the middle of the hall.

The lair looks like any other humble dragon dwelling. It's a cavern about the size of a football field. Tasteful tapestries, weapon collections (swords, firearms, cruise missiles) and slightly charred suits of armor are artistically arranged around the cavern. The Dragon-sized jacuzzi is by the left wall. The well-stocked bar and a pool table is by the right wall. 250,000 lead pieces and six treasure chests are scattered around a canopy bed that could hold an elephant. The bed looks out on a picture window with a nice view of the valley and Dragondwell.

Seymour is hiding behind one of the suits of armor by the entrance the characters came in by. He's good at hiding. The adventurers probably won't see him until he walks up behind them, taps someone on the shoulder, and says "Excuse me, but did I invite you here?"

What happens next depends on the adventurers. Presumably, they are planning either to evict Seymour from the mountain or to steal the Orkinstone. Seymour doesn't intend to leave, isn't about to give up his treasure, and is perfectly willing to have the characters as hors d'oeuvres. The resulting conflict can be resolved by negotiation, gambling, contests, violence or any other method the players prefer. Keep in mind that Seymour is 1,000 years old, aware the characters are there, extremely smart, and slightly larger than a house. The odds are against the PCs.

If defeated, Seymour will flee. If captured, he should be resourceful enough to make a daring escape. He will return for the Big Finish. Loot in the cavern includes the furnishings, the legendary Orkinstone, the Book of Legends, and the jewels and fine clothing in the five treasure chests. The sixth "treasure chest," however, is a fearsome Chest, which Seymour keeps as a pet.

MONSTERS TO MEET

Killer Mountain Goats
These fearsome, sure-footed beasts make a dangerous environment deadly. Killer mountain goats bound in packs from precipice to precipice, always hunting for prey. They don't just kill for food - they hunt for sport. They eat anything, and are nearly unstoppable. They are also extremely territorial - if you're not their dinner, then they don't want you on their mountain. Killer mountain goats are surprisingly intelligent. A goat may appear on the rocks above the characters at any time, sounding its terrifying bray. When the adventurers cower in terror, they're attacked on all sides by the goats they never even saw. chest

Chests
Chests are deadly creatures which look like treasure chests. The primary differences are the large, sharp teeth lining the lid and the giant tongue that pops out of the Chest to seize unwary characters. Chests like to lurk, and have been known to lurk suspiciously in the background of the room, tipping adventurers off to their true natures. They are accomplished hypnotists, and frequently enslave Porcs as "guardians." Chests do not have legs, and must bump slowly along the ground to go anywhere. There are rumors of a small species of Chests which hunt in packs, look like traveling bags, and are possessed of many small feet. The footwear and stealth of these small Chests cause them to be known as Sneakers.

Trolls
Trolls are seven feet tall and covered with hair! They don't bathe very often, and are scary. They are fearsome fighters, but can be distracted by their greed. Most trolls can be bribed into anything. They are quite intelligent, but prefer a "big and stupid" image. Trolls have one great weakness - the sun. They love it. Trolls are sun-worshippers, and never miss a chance to engage in beach parties. A troll in the sun will frequently be immobilized as it applies large quantities of tanning lotion and stretches out on a beach blanket.

STUFF

The Book of the Ad Age
Created by illusionist Mad Izonav, this tome presents the college of Advertising Magic, the ultimate triumph of illusion over reality. Media Wizards have used this book ever since to create fear, terror and an impressive profit margin. It contains the following spells:

Create Craving (5 points)
Spell Points: 2
Range: 20 feet
Duration: 15 turns
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area: 1 creature
Damage: N/A
The subject of this spell develops an incredible craving for any item the caster specifies. For the duration of the spell, the only thing the character can do is pursue the object of its desire.

Dazzle (3 points)
Spell Points: 3
Range: 10 feet
Duration: 5 turns
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area: N/A
Damage: N/A
Creates an idealized image of the caster. This illusion has a Fast Talk skill of 10 and will mesmerize all present with a brilliant sales pitch. Meanwhile, the caster becomes unnoticeable and can slip out the back.

Friendliness (5 points)
Spell Points: 1
Range: 30 feet
Duration: 10 turns
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area: 1 creature
Damage: N/A
(As in the Tooniversal Tour Guide, p. 94)

Whispering Campaign (4 points)
Spell Points: 3
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: 2d turns
Casting Time: 3 turns
Area: 2d creatures
Damage: N/A
The caster can make any group of creatures (including characters) believe any one thing about any one creature.

Numb Brain (5 points)
Spell Points: 2
Range: 30 ft.
Duration: 5 turns
Casting Time: 1 turn
Area: 1 creature
Damage: Special
This hammer blow of magic turns the subject's brain to Jello. It does 1d "damage" to Smarts, reducing the characteristic and its related skills. Smarts never drop below one, so this spell is much more fearful when used against smart characters. Only one "Numb Brain" can be cast on a character at a time.

Summon Celebrity (5 points)
Spell Points: 4
Range: 2 ft.
Duration: 15 turns Casting
Time: 1 turn
Area: 1 creature
Damage: None
This spell causes any living, dead or fictional celebrity to appear next to the caster. The celebrity must remain near the caster for the duration of the spell, but is not under the caster's control. The caster can propitiate the celebrity and acquire his services by paying him lead pieces. The amount paid is subject to negotiation. The spell will always summon a celebrity. Failed spells will summon unwanted or dangerous celebrities, such as Attila the Hun.

MAGIC ITEMS

The Orkinstone
This powerful magical gem is half as big as a dragon's head and twice as heavy. Whoever holds it has the Shtick of Pest Control at 10 and can give an order to anybody he considers a pest! An order will only work once on a given pest, and must be carried out completely before another will take effect.

The Book of Legends
This book tells the life story of any character reading it, detailing his rise to greatness against adversity and the treachery of his closest friends. It is specific and shows clearly that the character's rise will begin Real Soon Now. The GM should have detailed stories in mind for each player character. Mayhem will occur quickly if the stories hinge on possession of the Orkinstone.

The Big Stick of Silence
This magical cudgel does 2d+3 Massive Glowing Stick Damage and adds 3 to the owner's Fight rolls. It has a curse, however: the user must always speak in a very quiet mumble. If he's comprehensible, it's not quiet enough. The Stick cannot be lost or destroyed. It will abandon a defeated character and seek a new owner.

GAGS

How to Hunt a Dragon
The adventure opens in Dragondwell with the characters deciding to hunt the Dragon. They are instantly surrounded by fans and salesman with Dragon-killing wares. Mayor Fizzwater himself will insist on helping the characters prepare. Unfortunately, he's more interested in helping them prepare than in sending them hunting. The Mayor will always have another shop to visit or sight to show them - if the characters don't devise a way to escape him, they'll never get to go on their adventure!

We're Off to Hunt the Dragon
Once the adventurers escape town to seek the Dragon, their troubles are just beginning. The Mountain is dangerous to climb and protected by the Killer Mountain Goats, who delight in dislodging and eating climbing gear. As the adventurers ascend, the Goats will maneuver them into a cunning trap. The adventurers should be wary of any Goat with a sign reading "This way to the Lair!" Once the characters reached the entrance to the Lair, the Goats may well follow them into the Mountain. They can reappear to cause havoc at any time.

Suddenly, Seymour
Good monsters lie in their rooms while adventurers creep in and attack them. Seymour is a bad monster! He knows the adventurers are coming, and plans to have some fun with them. As the adventurers sneak through his Lair, Seymour will frequently be sneaking along behind them. Seymour has a variety of ways to hassle adventurers. He'll sidle up and shout "BOO!" at them. He'll disguise himself and offer directions and "helpful" suggestions. He'll cast inconveniencing spells and set off traps. His goal is to drive the adventurers off in confusion, but this may be overridden by the fun he's having at their expense. If the characters are sufficiently stymied, Seymour may even help them, just to keep the game going!

Greed is Good!
The GM should use the Book of Legends and the Orkinstone to sow dissension among the characters over disposal of the loot. Noting that King Labrador has one daughter and will give her hand to the one person who brings him the Orkinstone should help. There should be at least one free-for-all between the PCs over who gets what and who gets his.

It's Not Over Until the ARS Audits
Once the characters are gloating over Seymour's loot, Melvin the ARS Agent will arrive to figure the government's cut of the cash. The total tax liability (taking into account the value of the mountain, jewelry, furnishings, etc.) will be slightly more lead pieces the characters have. Players fond of accounting humor (and who isn't?) may want to invent entertaining deductions to reduce their characters' income. This should be encouraged. GMs fond of accounting humor may want to create entertaining ARS forms. Melvin the ARS Agent is fond of accounting humor, and will create new taxes on the spot to counter the characters' deductions. Melvin can be driven off or tricked, but will return with reinforcements. Melvin can also be paid in some ingenious way, but that will leave the villagers in the next confrontation rather unhappy . . .

The Big Finish: Re-Enter the Dragon
Once Melvin has been paid or driven off, the adventurers will see a strange sight through Seymour's picture window. A long line of villagers is approaching the mountain from Dragondwell, torches and sharp farm implements in hand. A sharp-eyed villager has spotted Seymour's flight from the mountain, and several sharp-witted villagers have realized that this is the end of the dragon-inspired tourist trade. They're a little angry.

The villagers will request a conference at the foot of the mountain. They've decided that the dragon's hoard (especially the fabled Orkinstone) would be a nice recompense to the loss of their income. In return, they're happy to offer the adventurers token payment (bus tokens, usable in the Distant Duchy of Xisle) and a pat on the back as they leave. Our heroes might object to this. If they don't, a reminder of the fabulous wealth they're giving up should encourage them to object.

The killer mountain goats will draw near and bray for blood. Melvin will return with reinforcements and assure the adventurers that even if they give the treasure to the villagers, they'll still have to pay taxes to the government. As tensions build, a dragon's wing will blot out the sun! Seymour has returned, and he wants everyone for supper! The adventurers can probably work out a solution that will leave everybody appeased or unable to object. The GM should make this solution very difficult to achieve and twice as silly.

VARIATIONS

Those Darn Adventurers! The Chosen Ones have arrived in town, and they look likely to defeat the Dragon and ruin the town's tourist trade. They've got muscles, brains, and very large weapons. Can Elmo P. Fizzwater find schlubs to stop the dragonkillers?

License to be Killed
Elmo P. Fizzwater has made a fortune selling dragon merchandise. Now he's sold the whole operation to the PCs for a pittance! What does he know that the PCs don't? That Seymour has found out about the business and is coming for both the profits and the heads of those responsible! Even if the PCs persuade Seymour that the business was Fizzwater's idea, they'll face a choice between being eaten and chasing down Fizzwater for Seymour . . .

Born to be Wiled
Cosette the Maid is lonely! In desperation, Seymour himself has flown into town to select a suitable mate for her. If somebody doesn't wed the Troll, he'll destroy the town! Who will sacrifice himself to save Dragondwell?

PLAYER CHARACTERS: "The Chosen Ones"

All characters are built on 40 points.


Hubie Illin
Hubie Illin is an accomplished Mouse Thief, frequently described by his associates as homicidal. He's bad-tempered and a compulsive liar, but otherwise charming. Hubie "happened to be around" (he was picking Thorvald's pocket) when the four companions were addressed by the Sacred Stone of the Nozzle as "The Chosen Ones" and told that they had a great destiny together. Since then, the Chosen Ones have been eking out a living as traveling adventurers. Hubie claims he's grown up living the hard life of the streets. He's really the son of a successful tailor in Limburg. Dulnor is his best and possibly only friend, though Hubie would never admit either. Hubie dreams of retiring rich and in possession of a harem, whatever that is. He wears leather clothing in tacky colors.
Goals and Beliefs: I'm just tagging along with these guys until something better comes along, yeah, that's it. Thorvald is an idiot and should be helped into the early grave he's digging for himself. Greed is good. I'd be smart and powerful if I had the breaks Arapin had.

Hit Points: 8
Speed: 4
Muscle: 2
Break Down Door: 2
Climb: 6
Fight: 7
Pick Up Heavy Thing: 2
Throw: 7
Zip: 4
Dodge: 6
Drive Vehicle: 4
Fire Gun: 4
Jump: 5
Ride: 4
Run: 5
Swim: 4
Smarts: 2 (this is less than required for Thieves. Hubie is unimpressed by this fact).
Hide/Spot Hidden: 6
Identify Dangerous thing: 4
Read: 2
Resist Fast Talk: 1
See/Hear/Smell: 5
Set/Disarm Trap: 5
Track/Cover Tracks: 2
Chutzpah: 5
Fast-Talk: 9
Pass/Detect Shoddy Goods: 5
Sleight of Hand: 8
Sneak: 7
Shticks:
Maximum Boggle from Behind: 8
Bag of Many Things: 5
Talk to Monsters: 5
Sense of Direction: 5
Hypnosis: 5


Dulnor enjoys Morn's Mead

Dulnor
Dulnor is a badger Fighter and the almost stable center of The Chosen Ones. He is the "Hero of Delvindon," who singlehandedly saved his home village from a ferocious onslaught of Porcs. Nevertheless, he is the quiet type more suited to drinking himself to death in the corner of a bar than to fighting and heroism. Dulnor loves peace, and will go to any length to prevent his friends from turning on each other. He wears plate mail and carries a gigantic axe, his preferred weapon. Dulnor has a fatal attraction to Morn's Mead, which transforms him into a loud, boisterous drunk. He tries to avoid drinking it, usually fails and always does something he regrets later.
Goals and Beliefs: I wish all my friends got along better. Friends are important, and I must keep them out of trouble! Try not to look foolish. Avoid drinking Morn's Mead. I should look out for everyone else's feelings - except Porcs! Porcs should be embarrassed whenever possible!

Hit Points: 11
Speed: 2
Muscle: 5
Break Down Door: 9
Climb: 5
Fight: 11
Pick Up Heavy Thing: 7
Throw: 8
Zip: 2
Dodge: 9
Drive Vehicle: 2
Fire Gun: 2
Jump: 2
Ride: 2
Run: 6
Swim: 2
Smarts: 4
Hide/Spot Hidden: 5
Identify Dangerous thing: 4
Read: 4
Resist Fast Talk: 6
See/Hear/Smell: 6
Set/Disarm Trap: 4
Track/Cover Tracks: 7
Chutzpah: 4
Fast-Talk: 4
Pass/Detect Shoddy Goods: 7
Sleight of Hand: 4
Sneak: 4
Shticks:
Toughness vs. Physical: 7
Incredible Luck: 5
Flash of Brilliance: 5


Thorvald the Foolhardy
Thorvald is a Dog Fighter with an ego where his head should be. He's unusually dim, even for a Fighter. Fortunately, he's big, strong, and utterly fearless. The rest of the Chosen Ones consider him ideal for holding off the monsters while they run away. Thorvald wears extremely tight boxer shorts and carries his favorite broadsword, "Thelma." Thorvald is convinced he's the greatest warrior of the age, even through Delnor can trounce him.. His ambition is to be the greatest warrior of two ages. That and figure out how they get the creme filling inside his favorite eclairs.
Goals and Beliefs: I am the greatest! I can do anything! Where were we going? Eclairs should be eaten as often as possible! There's something sneaky about Hubie Illin. Maybe I should keep an eye on him!

Hit Points: 13
Speed: 6
Muscle: 6
Break Down Door: 9
Climb: 9
Fight: 6
Pick Up Heavy Thing: 9
Throw: 9
Zip: 3
Dodge: 6
Drive Vehicle: 3
Fire Gun: 3
Jump: 8
Ride: 3
Run: 8
Swim: 6
Smarts 1
Hide/Spot Hidden: 1
Identify Dangerous thing: 1
Read: 1
Resist Fast Talk: 1
See: 1
Hear/Smell: 4
Set/Disarm Trap: 1
Track/Cover Tracks: 1
Chutzpah: 4
Fast-Talk: 4
Pass/Detect Shoddy Goods: 4
Sleight of Hand: 4
Sneak: 4
Shticks:
Toughness vs. Physical: 6
Incredible Strength: 7


Arapin Mofo
Arapin Mofo is a tiny (2 feet tall) Squirrel Wizard. He is the victim of a Shrinking spell gone completely awry. The spell is controlled by his emotions - whenever Arapin gets frightened, he gets smaller! Arapin is a complete coward and always frightened, which causes his current size. Sometimes he can grow or shrink by summoning his courage or fear, but he's not very good at it. Arapin is constantly working on a counter-spell to his Shrinking problem. He also enjoys a variety of sports: tennis, hockey, even football (Arapin is never afraid when it's "only a game").
Goals and Beliefs: Everything is so big and scary! Someday, I'll reverse the Shrinking spell and be big and powerful. Sports are fun! If it's only a game, it can't hurt you.

Hit Points: 7
Speed: 1
Muscle: 1
Break Down Door: 1
Climb: 1
Fight: 1
Pick Up Heavy Thing: 1
Throw: 1
Zip: 1
Dodge: 3
Drive Vehicle: 3
Fire Gun: 3
Jump: 3
Ride: 3
Run: 7
Swim: 3
Smarts: 5
Hide/Spot Hidden: 9
Identify Dangerous thing: 9
Read: 6
Resist Fast Talk: 6
See: 8
Hear/Smell: 6
Set/Disarm Trap: 6
Track/Cover Tracks: 6
Chutzpah: 4
Fast-Talk: 4
Pass/Detect Shoddy Goods: 5
Sleight of Hand: 5
Sneak: 4
Shticks:
Incredible Speed: 5
Shrinking: 5
Spells:
Blurry Form: 8
Change Clothes: 6
Fast Food: 6
Grab: 6
Greasy Spot: 6


NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS

The characters below have been sketched briefly to save space. GMs are encouraged to develop detailed character sheets for them as necessary.

Elmo P. Fizzwater, Mayor of Dragondwell
Elmo is the architect of Dragondwell's current success. He is that most feared of wizards: the Media Wizard! Elmo believes Dragondwell can capitalize on the incoming tourist trade, and realizes that destroying the dragon will destroy Dragondwell's economic prosperity! He encourages adventurers to see Dragondwell, buy lots of stuff, and occasionally attempt to beat the dragon, but is horrified by the thought that anybody might actually succeed. If the adventurers convince him they can, he will make subtle attempts to derail their plans.

Elmo owns the Book of the Ad Age, and can cast all the spells within at a skill of 8. He knows several other spells at a skill of 7. Elmo is intelligent, fast, and much too smooth for anybody's good. Goals and Beliefs: Politeness and charm is everything! It's better to be sneaky than to hurt people's feelings. Protect the tourist industry of Dragondwell! Possessed Dino Dino is a rather large Squirrel with a pompadour. He wears a purple and orange open-necked checked suit and nice italian shoes. Dino is a blur of motion, especially when he's in the middle of his favorite activity, selling. His important skills are Fast Talk and Pass/Detect Shoddy Goods at 9 and Resist Fast Talk at 6.
Goals and Beliefs: I will sell something to everyone I meet. Fashion is fun and I'm the best dressed person I know! You'd have to be possessed by demons to offer the incredible deals I'm offering!

Igor the Butler
Igor is a hunchback made good. While not very intelligent, he is strong, loyal and methodical. Igor hated his old job as a grave robber and dislikes the hunchback stereotype. He is also a fanatic about cleanliness. Igor carries the Big Stick of Silence, which makes him very difficult to understand.
Goals and Beliefs: Don't let people pick on you just because you're a hunchback! Dirt reminds me of grave robbing - everything must be extremely clean! Serve Seymour faithfully and well. Cosette the Maid

Cosette the Maid
Cosette is an immensely ugly Troll with a maid's outfit and a French accent. She is strong, energetic, and lovelorn. If Cosette sees a potential suitor, she will attempt to dress him up and woo him. Cosette carries a feather duster and knows how to use it. Goals and Beliefs: No dirt can resist a vigorous cleaning, and no man can resist my charms! Try not to break vases or boyfriends. Well dressed is well met. Mice are terrifying, dirty little creatures!

Seymour the Dragon
Seymour is a fearsome beast of awesome power with a quirky sense of humor. His red scales have the strength of plate mail. His hit points near the triple digits. His smallest claw is 6 inches long and his flame breath does 2d+3 damage. He can play chess blindfolded. He's also greedy and a little vain, and could conceivably be tricked into playing chess blindfolded for a suitable reward. Seymour has one great physical weakness: he is hopelessly ticklish under the left armpit. Seymour can cast any spell he pleases at a skill of 8. He is particularly fond of: Invisibility, High Voltage Handshake, Rampaging Rabbit, Naptime and Mirrorshades (to look cool, not to reflect gaze attacks!).
Goals and Beliefs: What's mine is mine and I'd like to have what's yours. I'm not just strong and brilliant and powerful, I'm rather handsome too. Always give your foes a chance - it's much more fun to play with your dinner.

Melvin the ARS
Agent Melvin is a Porc working for the Adventurer's Revenue Service. He wears wrap-around shades and believes in the ARS motto: "Take from the rich and give to the bureaucracy." Melvin has immaculate style and wears a white linen suit to go with his sunglasses. He is intelligent and avoids violence, usually in creative ways such as summoning large henchmen to engage in violence for him. Goals and Beliefs: Adventurer's Revenue Service work isn't classy, but someone has to do it and it pays the clothing bills. Adventurers never declare all of their loot. Sometimes justice requires going outside the tax law!

The "Nasty Fates for Trap-Springing PC's" Table
Bowling for Player Characters 11: A Porc sits in a 10x10x10 room, guarded by a Chest.
12: A key to the door is balanced on a spring which releases a giant bowling ball. Think Raiders of the Lost Ark.
13: The floor is covered with super glue.
14: Excitable fans surround the characters, demanding autographs.
15: The door falls off the hinges and onto the characters.
16: A firing squad offers blindfolds and cigarettes.
21: A trap door opens up under the characters.
22: The doors lock, and a chorus of Porcs appear for a singalong.
23: Acme Deliveries delivers a bomb to the characters.
24: Shrunk by a giant sauna bath.
25: The floor is covered with cacti.
26: Any two traps on this table, simultaneously.
31: Pursued by a character-seeking missile.
32: A bottomless pit opens up over the characters, and heavy things fall on them.
33: Exploding flagstones.
34: An empty highway fills with speeding cars when the characters step on it.
35: An Olympic-sized swimming pool with a shark in it fills the room.
36: A UFO abducts the characters.
41: A pit opens over an Olympic-sized lobster pot. Giant lobsters cook the characters for supper.
42: An Evil Toon Fu Master enters and makes an insulting remark.
43: The age-old room-sized garbage compactor gag.
44: Half the party falls down a 150-foot pit. The half with the 150-foot rope, if you're wondering.
45: Half the party floats up and sticks to the 30-foot-high ceiling.
46: Both of the previous two traps.
51: A mummy's tomb sits in the room with a "Do not open!" sign.
52: The characters are trapped in a box-like room. One wall is curved glass, and they can vaguely see giants sitting on the other side. One of the giants leans forward and begins adjusting the vertical and horizontal hold dials . . .
53: The door opens into outer space, depressurizing the room.
54: A banquet is served with all the characters' favorite foods, but eating just makes them hungrier.
55: Summoned by chanting wizards into a pentacle.
56: Robot gunslingers lumber in and tell the characters to "Draw."
61: Attacked by tiny dragons wearing armor and calling themselves "George."
62: Flattened by 1,000,000 gravities! The characters must reach an off switch four feet above them.
63: Stuck in an elevator. With light, relaxing Muzak.
64: Summoned to an audit by Melvin the ARS agent!
65: Trapped in "The Family Sitcom Zone." Rod Serling narrates their fate.
66: If everyone's had enough, let the characters go. Otherwise, roll again.




Article publication date: October 1, 1995


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