Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dangerous Encounter: Cult of the Red Band

This encounter can take place in any small village the party encounters while between adventures. The village should be only a handful of hovels and shacks -- very destitute with downtrodden villagers. When the party first arrives, the townsfolk should initially be wary of them. However, once they have been determined to not be a threat, the party will be swarmed by people begging and pleading for their assistance.

The villagers will explain that they are constantly being attacked by a marauding band of Pigmen (MF rulebook, pg. 88) who have taken most of their food and valuables over many months. Anyone who tries to fight back is killed. Sick and weak individuals unable to resist are dragged off, never to return. Although Pigmen are known for these tactics, they are not known for taking prisoners. Another odd fact; the Pigmen scream "Amf! Amf!" during these raids, and they've been wielding oddly-shaped clubs made of some kind of Ancient material. These clubs have a red ring around the handle, giving the Pigmen the name of "Red Banders." The villagers plead with the party, asking them to drive away these bandits. While discussing the issue, a small raiding party of Red Banders arrives in a rusted-out pick-up truck, ready to attack.

Pigmen (4) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 7, #AT 1 (club or energy ray), DG 1d6 or 4d6, SV L6, ML 9, mutations: bizarre appearance, energy ray (heat), negative empathy, thermal vision)

During the course of the fight, the party will see the "clubs" the Red Banders have been attacking with. Each of them is armed with an Ancient bowling pin and is using it as a bludgeoning device. Once the Pigmen are killed or captured, the party can try to determine where they may have taken the prisoners. They can try to follow the truck's tracks back to its point of origin. They can interrogate any live Pigmen for the location. Or, perhaps, one of the party may have enough knowledge of Ancient cultures to recognize the nature of the "club" or figure out that "AMF" was somehow also connected with the Ancient sport as well. Either way, the leads points to an Ancient AMF bowling facility about 12 miles down the road.

When the party arrives at the bowling alley, they will see a small encampment of Pigmen who have set up in front of the building and around the perimeter. There are six milling about, armed with "clubs." In the center of the camp is a small holding "pen" ringed with barbed wire which holds the prisoners. Unseen by the party are two more Pigment on the roof of the building, acting as sentries. These lookouts are armed with cobbled-together cannons that have been custom-built to fire bowling balls scavenged from the facility. They can fire these with alarming accuracy, and the bowling balls will do 2d10 damage if they hit. Unless the party are being very stealthy and staying off the road upon approach, the sentries will warn the camp of the approaching party members.

Pigmen (8) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 6, HD 7, #AT 1 (club or energy ray), DG 1d6 or 4d6, SV L6, ML 9, mutations: bizarre appearance, energy ray (heat), negative empathy, thermal vision)

As combat truly begins, the Pigmen will change their chanting from "Amf! Amf! Amf!" to "Brunswick! Brunswick! Brunswick!" The doors to the building will be thrown open, and the leader of the Red Banders will charge out. "Brunswick" is a Hideous Boar (MF rulebook, pg.
63) that has evolved into a humanoid form, able to walk upright on its hind legs while holding two clubs -- one in each of its "hands." Brunswick's three heads have also each evolved advanced intelligence, quick mind, and martial intellectual affinity (martial). This gives Brunswick an almost genius-like intelligence, an ability to thwart mental attacks, and a +2 to hit bonus in hand-to-hand combat. Brunswick also has the acidic spittle toxic weapon as all Hideous Boars do.

Mutant Hideous Boar, "Brunswick" (1) (AL N, MV 120' (40'), AC 5, HD 7, #AT 5 (2 clubs and 3 tusks or spittle), DG 1d6/1d6/2d8/2d8/2d8 or 2d10, SV L2, ML 9, mutations: humanoid form, advanced intelligence, quick mind, intellectual affinity (martial), toxic weapon)

Brunswick's initial reaction is to charge into combat in an animal-like rage, attacking the nearest invader. However, after two rounds of combat, Brunswick will calm down enough to assess the situation. The party may be unaware of his intelligence, and Brunswick prefers it that way as his foes often underestimate him, thinking him to be some mindless mutant enforcer. If the combat goes against him, he will do as much damage as he can, memorizing the faces of these invaders for future vengeance, before escaping into the woods. (He has prepared many modes of escape for just such a situation.) If the party is captured, he may have them fight amongst themselves for his amusement. The winner goes free and the others will be killed.

Brunswick is large and violent, but also cunning and ruthless. He is beginning to establish himself as a local warlord and this base was his first attempt to establish a stronghold. If the party foils this, they will have made a very, very deadly enemy.


  1. Just imagining those pigmen in bowling shirts...

  2. Great write up! Gonna have to borrow this one for my own Campaign!

  3. By the way, the alley could be filled with "bowling artifacts." Plenty of "clubs" and "cannon balls." Lots of Ancient lockers to inspect and break into. Perhaps a pinsetting robot to reprogram. And, oh, the shoes...the shoes...

  4. Also FYI: An expended version of this adventure was going to be run at Gen Con this year. Due to time constraints, I needed to yank it from the schedule. So I thought I'd share it with you so you could torment your own players with it!

    RPG1120012 - Cult of the Red Band - Mutant Future - 6 players - 4 hours
    Marauders armed with unusual handheld weapons are terrorizing the area, led by a powerful mutant the likes of which no one has ever encountered before. Your group has been tasked with stopping these attacks, but how can you defend against brigands armed with unknown Ancient weaponry led by a mysterious overlord?

  5. As far as artifacts go, there are ALWAYS pool tables, video games, change/token machines, and those "Big Choice" crane machines.

    Oh, yeah...bowling trophies could make hefty clubs.