This is a LARP module written around a basic challenge – players must hold onto a rope while moving the woods collecting glowsticks.
This scenario could be used as a challenge when visiting any hostile plane. In this example, we’ll be talking about a trip to Dreaming, but you can adapt it to any plane.
The final encounter of the module is up to you – you’ll fill it in with something relevant to your plotline.
For some reason, the PCs are visiting Dream. Perhaps they need to speak with someone in the dreaming, or get information from someone who cannot wake up and forever wanders dream country.
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HOOK: The party is guided by a shaman trained in dreamwalking. He takes them to a lit circle in the woods where they sit on the ground. The shaman has a pitcher filled with a special hallucinogenic wine. He explains the journey they are about to go on. To proceed through the veil, they will need to collect fragments of lucidity. He explains how the challenge will work (including the rope gimmick, later) and the risks involved.
Everyone’s bodies will remain here on Tyrra while their spirits explore the Dreaming. If someone is at the end of their death count, they will merely awaken, drained, on Tyrra. If they are traveling to a particularly dangerous part of the Dreaming, (read: high risk adventure) their spirits might be forced to resurrect when the reenter the world.
The shaman leads everyone in a slow dreamy chant as they drink the wine. Slowly, they will all fall asleep. When they hear the sound of the music, they will awaken in the Dreaming.
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS! When the players awake, there is a rope nearby. It is about two feet long for each member of the party. This is the party’s astral cord which connects them to Tyrra. When they leave the starting area, (the veil) they must all be touching this cord. They can loop it through their belts or grab it with a free hand. If someone loses contact with the cord, they will fall asleep. No awaken spells will work unless the person is in contact with the cord. A use of resist sleep will keep them awake for about five seconds.
GOAL: The players must hold the cord and walk around the woods, searching for glowing fragments of lucidity. (glow sticks) There are about 12 hidden, and they must collect at least 8 and return to the veil (the glowing circle where the module begins) to go deeper into Dream.
Here’s the tough part – there is a horrible nightmare holding one end of the rope. He is immune to anything a player can do, and follows behind the party wherever they go. Every time someone touching the rope is hit by a Sleep effect, they can resist it by calling out the Nightmare’s name: Ziah. Every time Ziah is beckoned, he will advance up the rope about six inches, thereby shortening it. As the players take damage, they will have to squeeze down the rope, eventually kicking people off. This will actually make the voyage easier, as a smaller group is more maneuverable.
COMBAT: Dream imps approach the party, trying to mislead them and trick them. When the party doesn’t listen to their suggestions, they attack. Two dream imps with short claws and sleep carriers should have an easy time harrying the party on their trip through the Dream.
After all the glow sticks are collected, the players can return to the veil, thereby going deeper into the Dreaming. Any additional glow sticks they picked up will transform into formal magic components (usually Elemental components). Now that they have passed the veil, they can drop the rope and enter the final encounter of the module, whatever you choose that to be.
Here are some quick ways to adapt this module to other planes of existence.
On the plane of death, the guardian of the veil’s name is Nix. The glow sticks you must collect are called Final Memories. If you lose contact with the cord, you will die.
On the plane of reason, the guardian of the veil’s name is Logos. You must collect Venn Fragments. If you lose contact with the cord, you will be feebleminded.
On the plane of light, the guardian of the veil’s name is Azar. You must collect rays. If you lose contact with the cord, you will experience vertigo.
On the plane of darkness, the guardian of the veil’s name is Sharro. You must collect secrets. If you lose contact with the cord, you will be Feared and will run back to the veil. (if the cord is looped through your belt, you must immediately take it off!)
On the plane of life, the guardian of the veil’s name is Lion. You must collect Destined Seeds. If you lose contact with the cord, new creatures will begin growing inside of you, making you nauseous.
On the plane of order, the guardian of the veil’s name is Archos. You must collect Synchronicity Pistons. If you lose contact with the cord, you will be paralyzed.
On the plane of chaos, the guardian of the veil’s name is Gulik. You must collect Golden Apple Seeds. If you lose contact with the cord, you will be feebleminded and paranoid.