Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dangerous Encounter: G_me Of H_ngm_n

When you're ready for your PCs to have a "big city" adventure, have them stumble across the boomtown of "Jym's Town." Jym's Town is named after the town founder and mayor, Big Jym. The town (population of 100+ citizens) is set into the side of a hard-to-access mountainside, which both isolates and protects the town. (Although there is one main road in and out of the city, which allows a constant stream of visitors from surrounding villages and communities.)

The town is made up of six large buildings which act as an inn or two, several competing bars and taverns, and other shops and specialty stores (butcher, smithery, stables, etc.). Many smaller homes and residences are tucked into every nook and cranny of the city. The largest building is found in the center of town, and its sign reads "Jymboree." (It appears that someone repainted  the sign's "G" with a "J.") This building is several stories tall and is always the center of activity of the town. This building acts as the Town Hall, governmental offices, and Big Jym's place of residence. But primarily, it's a casino, which is the town's primary source of income. Everything revolves around Jymboree for, without it, the town would wither and die. Keeping security throughout the town are the "Pleecemen" -- men hand-picked by Big Jym to keep everyone in line. They can be identified by the black leather jackets and helmets they wear. Each is armed with a small club; some also have a Bygone pistol.

Pleecemen (45) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 7, HD as CON, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or weapon type, SV L1, ML NA, Mutations: none)

As the PCs explore Jym's Town, they should be made to feel welcome by the townspeople. (Almost overly so.) Storeowners offer them deep discounts on merchandise; inns offer free meals; drinks are often on the house at the taverns. Everyone has direct orders from Big Jym to make all visitors to the town feel welcome. He doesn't want strangers to leave before they've parted with every coin they might have. To anger a visitor to Jym's Town is a crime punishable by...well, we'll get to that.

At some point, the PCs will be invited to meet with Big Jym himself. Big Jym is a huge mountain of a man, who should be played up as a benevolent leader who found himself thrust into the role.  Big Jym acts as a friendly mayor doing what he can "for the good of the community." He may offer the PCs a few "errands" to tackle for him, in fact. (Use one or two of the other Dangerous Encounters from this blog.) The truth is that Big Jym runs the town with an iron fist. (The townspeople are afraid to cross Jym as those who do end up missing. Leaving is out of the question due to the distance to any place else as well as the constant patrols by the Pleece.)

The big secret is that Big Jym runs a very secretive -- and dangerous -- game in the upper floors of the casino. Known only to the highest of big-time gamblers (and fearfully whispered about amongst the town's citizens) is the Game of Hangman. Once a month, Big Jym holds this special event with six unwilling participants. (Jym's favorite "players" are visitors to the casino who overextended their credit, townsfolk who angered him, and snoops who discover The Game and threaten it.) These six players are strung up in a makeshift gallows. Those invited to gamble make bets on who the survivor will be. A six-sided dice is tossed, and the chair is kicked out from under the corresponding player. New bets are taken, and a new number is rolled. This gruesome game continues until only one player is the "winner." (Although the winner is taken into the other room where he is caged to wait for next month's game.) The Game is Big Jym's biggest money-making venture and he has no intention of ending it. And -- even if they realized the true nature of The Game -- the townsfolk fear him and his Pleecemen too much to do anything about it.

The Game of Hangman may come into play several ways:
  • A PC who wins well in Big Jym's casino may be invited to bet on The Game being held that night.
  • A PC who loses badly in the casino may be captured and taken away to become one of the "players."
  • An NPC the PCs have befriended may disappear, leading them to discover their upcoming participation in The Game.
  • An NPC could ask for the PCs' help in finding their spouse/father/son who went missing in Jymboree.
Once The Game is discovered, Big Jym will stop at nothing to silence the troublemakers. Although he relies on his Pleecemen to do his dirty work, Big Jym is a formidable fighter as well. He also has the mutation of  energy-retaining cell structure, which he uses to deliver 3d6 of hit points in hand-to-hand combat.

Big Jym (Mutant Human) (AL C, MV 120' (40'), AC 5, HD 16, #AT 1, DG 1d6 or weapon type, SV L6, ML NA, Mutations: energy-retaining cell structure)

The PCs may never discover the Game, although they may get a feeling of unease from Big Jym's jovial (but threatening) ways, the ever-watching Pleecemen, and the way-too-helpful nature of the townsfolk. If Big Jym and his small army is ever disposed of or run out of the city, Jym's Town will be in need of a new leader. It would then be up to the PCs to fill that void or put a new leader in place -- which could lead to a new adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Love this idea. Would work well in a low powered superhero game too.

    Also, I keep thinking of Big Jim Slade from Kentucky Fried Movie.