Scavenger Hunt

 

INTRODUCTION

Scavenger Hunt is a light-hearted adventure, designed to give Player-Characters a rest from the mortal danger they face so often. It is set in Paris on a hot Summer Saturday. One young beau from the party goes to visit his beautiful mistress, while his friends drink at a nearby tavern. He discovers from his mistress' maid that, distressingly, he has forgotten that it is his mistress' birthday, and that she expects to be given her three favorite presents. Returning to his friends, he enlists their help in combing Paris for the gifts. It is not as easy as it appears at first.

 

This basic plot assumes one fact at the outset - that one of the Player-Characters has a mistress. If this is not so, have a member of the party (preferably one with the Hindrance - Delusion: 'Don Juan') meet one of the three possible mistresses listed in the next section of this adventure (if several Player-Characters desire mistresses, all three of these NPC's may be wooed). An alternate problem could be that more than one Player-Character has a mistress. In this case, have the adventure revolve around a character with the Delusion:  'Don Juan', then choose by the character with the lowest Spirit.

 

If many of the Player-Characters are female and/or the basic theme of this adventure is offensive to any of the players, the plot could be reversed. A lady-swashbuckler could discover that it is her boyfriend's birthday, with the same results as before. Scavenger Hunt is designed to be amusing (and inoffensive) either way.

 

POSSIBLE MISTRESSES

If no character in the party has a mistress (or if one or more are looking for one) the Gamemaster should choose one from the three listed below. Each must be courted for 2d6 weeks (at an expense of 10 Livres per week for flowers, jewelry, gifts, etc.) before she consents to be a Player-Character's mistress. Subtract two weeks from the total if the character is Attractive or is Charismatic; subtract four weeks if both Attractive and Charismatic. The possible mistresses are:

 

Signora Cinquedea (Attractive, Smarts d8)

The Signora is a beautiful dark-haired Italian woman. She tells fortunes at the marketplace, but is maintained in a wealthy manner by an inheritance. She lives in a large townhouse near the Seine, and will not even look at any character with the Poverty Hindrance. If she meets a character that is Rich or Very Rich she will try to entice him by offering to read his fortune. Signora Cinquedea has a nasty temper, and is not likely to stay with any one man for very long.

 

Mademoiselle du Bois (Attractive, Smarts d6)

Mademoiselle is the petulant daughter of a rich Parisian merchant. She has blonde hair and blue eyes. She will only be interested in handsome or dashing characters (Attractive, or some 'dashing' quality; player must find some way to convince the Gamemaster that he is 'dashing'). She lives in a townhouse owned (and frequently visited) by her father. Monsieur du Bois (Mademoiselle's father) is very protective, and wishes his daughter to marry into money and status. He may thus frown upon a poor, low-status boyfriend. If Mademoiselle becomes particularly petulant or upset with her boyfriend, she may 'tell on him to daddy'. Monsieur du Bois could be very dangerous to the career of any character in Banking or the Bureaucracy.

 

 

Countess Savoyar (Very Attractive, Smarts d12)

The Countess (or supposed Countess, there is no proof of her title) is a clever, elegant woman with long brown hair and grey eyes. The Countess lives in luxury in a manse of her own in Paris, but her funds are rapidly running low. She is very interested in wealth, and requires two weeks less of courting if the wooer has money and estates amounting to 5000 Livres or more.

 

THE PROBLEM

Scavenger Hunt starts on one pretty Summer Saturday morning in Paris. The party gets together, perhaps designing to go to the weekend market. One Player-Character has also promised to go see his mistress that morning. Believing it will be but a brief (ahem!) visit, he leaves his companions at a tavern near her house, while he goes to see her.

 

After careful combing his hair and purchasing a single red rose from a flower vendor (for 1 Livre), he mounts the steps to his mistress' house, and is let in by her maid, Fanny.

 

When Fanny sees him she exclaims, 'Oh, where are the gifts?' and then 'What is that?!' eying the rose with loathing.

 

The character may be confused for a moment, but after questioning Fanny, everything will become clear. He will be told that it is his mistress' birthday (he either never knew the date, or forgot) and that she fully expects to be given her three favorite gifts: a bouquet of lilies,

a bottle of plum wine, and a box of cherry bonbons. If she fails to get these gifts, she will be in a very bad humor. Also, she is allergic to roses, and would fly into a fury if brought one by her boyfriend (who ought to know better). Fanny will push the player character back out the door, saying 'Don't bother to come back without those gifts - and get rid of that rose!'

 

The Player-Character will return to the tavern, and tell his friends about his problem. It will be 11 AM at that time, and the party must find and buy the three gifts by sundown (about 7 PM). The task is not as easy as it seems. The party should split up into three groups, each searching for one gift. They could even make (at the Gamemaster's option) a wager on which group will return to the tavern with their gift first. It should be a fun romp through the city.

 

HAZARDS

Scavenger Hunt is set on a market day, so travel on horse will be nearly impossible, and travel on foot difficult, due to the crowds. Along the way, on their various quests, the Player-Characters (and especially the unfortunate boyfriend character) will be victim to two kinds of hazards: delays on the streets, and humiliations. The Gamemaster should use these carefully, to add flavor and laughs to the adventure.

 

Roll for delays when indicated in the sections below. A delay occurs on a roll of 4, 5, or 6 or a d6 (or on a 5 or 6 if all of the potentially delayed characters have Lucks of 13+). If a delay occurs, roll a d6 on the table below (note that delays should not be repeated in an adventure, roll again or make-up a new one in case of repeats):

 

Roll      Delay

1         A grow of 2d6 beggars surround the characters asking for charity. They may be driven away in ten minutes by giving each mendicant a Livre (but don't tell the players that). Otherwise they will dog the characters and delay them for half an hour.

2         A group of troubadours have started a show in the middle of the street, and a crowd has gathered. Two play lutes, two flutes, and one the tambourine, while a beautiful (Attractive) gypsy girl (named Morgiana) dances. The crowd will delay the characters ten minutes. Any character who fails a Smarts roll (player's choice; -2 for the Delusion 'Don Juan' will become infatuated with Morgiana this might delay him indefinitely.

3         In a small square, a platform has been set up for a number of public brandings. The Royal Torturer is a popular attraction, and a large crowd has gathered to watch the entertainment. This crowd will delay the characters for ten minutes. If there is a Rogue among the characters, there is a chance (a 5 or 6 on a d6) that one of the prisoners being branded is an acquaintance.

4         A young nobleman's carriage has broken down, blocking the street. A mob of rabble has gathered to heckle and jeer at him, as he and his coachman try to replace a broken wheel. The delay will be ten minutes. If the characters help (by replacing the wheel and/or dispersing the rabble) it will delay them an extra ten minutes, but they will each receive a favor, and the eternal gratitude of the young Viscount d'Amiens.

5         While bustling through a crowd, the Player-Character with the lowest Agility will accidentally step on the toe of a young Subaltern from the Gascon Regiment. He is a hot tempered bravo, Bertrand de Vanille by name, and he will immediately challenge the offending character to a duel. Even if no duel occurs, the ensuing argument will delay the character for ten minutes. If taken up on his challenge Bertrand will meet the character (and his second) at a secluded park in half an hour (this time must be spent in preparation). The duel will only be to the First Blood. Bertrand's mouth is more practiced than his sword arm: he uses a longsword (Fighting d8, Parry 6, Toughness 5, Str d6, Agil d8, Vigor d6) and wears leather armor.

6         An entertainer, a sword swallower, has started to perform his act in the middle of the street, and has attracted a small crowd. To prove that his ability is genuine, he calls the characters over, offering to swallow their swords (as the people watching are mostly poor, the characters are the only ones around wearing swords). If the characters refuse, the crowd will jeer, and perhaps try to take the swords forcibly (some of the rabble have clubs). The act, or the altercation, will delay the characters ten minutes. Incidentally, the sword swallower is adept at sucking jewels off the hilts of swords as he swallows them. If handed a richly decorated sword, he will try to practice this art.

 

Humiliations are similar to delays, but they are chiefly designed to make characters look silly. When a humiliation roll is called for in the section below, roll a d6: on a 5 or 6 (for the boyfriend character) or on a 6 (for the other characters) a humiliation occurs. If a humiliation should be used twice; if this happens, roll again, or make up a new one):

 

Roll     Humiliation

1         A carriage passes swiftly in front of the character, and through a large puddle of mud, splashing him from head to toe. A Player-Character who makes his Smarts roll will recognize the insignia of the Archbishop of Paris on the offending vehicle, as it passes out of sight.

2         A farmer's cart, on its way to Saturday market, topples its load as the character walks by. The character (and any others nearby who fail to make successful Agility rolls) is buried waist deep in over-ripe cabbages. Until the victims bathe they will smell like skunks.

3         The character walks quickly by a tavern, and bumps into a man smoking a clay pipe. Thick black tobacco is spilled all over the character's front. The man with the pipe (who is a large and brawny fellow) will become angry, and demand money (1 Livre) for his lost tobacco. If not recompensed, he will start an argument that will delay the character for ten minutes.

4         While the character is standing, waiting to cross a street, a number of playful urchins will sneak up behind him and attack a long donkey's tail to the back of his coat. If he makes a successful Smarts roll, he will turn around just in time to see the children running away, but won't see the tail. Most people won't inform the character about his tail (although he may notice them laughing at him) but his friends will notice, and may tell him (or not, if they think its funny…),

5         The character is forced to walk close to the facade of a building, as a cart passes on the street. Too late, he hears a sound from above. A man, balanced on a small painter's scaffold, is touching up the facade with gold leaf. As the character walks below, the bucket of paint falls, and the character is instantly gilded. If he goes home to change clothes, the character may be able to scrape off 3d6 Livres worth of gold leaf.

6         The character is walking just a little behind a cart filled with sacks of coal. Just as he notices this, a sack falls off the cart, in front of the character. As it hits the ground, a cloud of coal dust flies up, and leaves a thick residue on the character's face and clothes. At the character's startled exclamation, the driver of the cart will stop, climb down, and pick up the fallen bag, all the while thanking the character for alerting him to its loss.

 

When a character (especially the boyfriend character) is humiliated, he may wish to return home and change clothes and possibly, take a bath). This will take half an hour (or a full hour if a bath is included). A character who has been 'cabbaged' (2 above) but does not have time to take a bath, may go quickly to a perfumer to mask the stench (this action takes only half an hour, but does not include changing clothes).

 

THE SEARCH FOR THE LILIES

Those characters who go off in search of a bouquet of lilies will probably go first to the market flower-vendors. Searching around the market will take an hour, before they discover that all the lilies there have wilted beyond hope. If the ask about for lilies at the vendors, they will be told that a traveling flower vendor left the market at 11:30 to sell them around the city. The characters may attempt to follow her to get their lilies.

 

It will take an hour for the characters to spot the traveling flower vendor. During this time, roll twice for delays, and once for humiliation (per character). At the end of this time, they will see the vendor in the distance, and must try to catch up with her. Every ten minutes of chasing the vendor, roll a d6: on a roll of 6 (or 5 or 6 if one of the characters has Tracking skill) the characters catch her, and may buy a bouquet of unwilted lilies; on a roll of 1 or 2, roll for delay. If a delay occurs, at least one character must make a successful roll against his Smarts -2 (+2 if he has Tracking) or the characters will lose sight of the vendor, and must start searching for her all over again.

 

Once the characters find the vendor, they must pay 1 Livre for a dozen white lilies. It will take them half an hour to return to the tavern, during which they must roll for one delay and one humiliation (per character). If the character carrying the bouquet is humiliated in some way which soils the lilies (mud, tobacco, paint or coal dust will soil them) then the flower vendor must be found again, and a new bouquet brought.

 

THE SEARCH FOR THE PLUM WINE

The characters who set off in search of the bottle of plum wine will, undoubtedly, first try the taverns and liquor establishments near is rare. After searching for an hour without luck, they will be referred to the Fox & Vine, the only wine shop in the city which stocks plum wine.

 

Getting to the Fox & Vine will take half an hour. During the journey, roll for two delays, and one humiliation (per character). At the Fox & Vine, the characters will find the establishment deserted. After close inspection, the proprietor, Philius Sebastian le Fou, will be found, asleep, in a dead drunk, on the stairs to the cellar. It will be impossible to wake and sober him in less than eight hours.

 

The alternative is, of course, for the characters to descend into the cellar, and find some plum wine. If the characters do this they will find the cellar full of over sixty different wines, in unmarked bottles.

 

This presents a further problem, to which there is only one solution: the characters must sample each of the wines, until they strike the plum wine. This is a long and tedious chore, but not entirely unpleasant. A character may sip five different wines every ten minutes. Each time a character sips a new wine, roll 2d6: if the roll is a 12, he has found the plum wine. On the average, this means it shouldn't take more than thirty six sips to find the correct bottle. If the players roll poorly, however, it may take more sips than there are bottles! This may be because the characters are too drunk to recognize the correct wine, or because they can't remember which they've already tried. Either way, keep trying until someone rolls a 12!

 

Characters will gradually become more and more drunk with each sip. To find the effects, consult the table below (characters with a Vigor of d8 may have two more sips without feeling the effects; characters with Carousing skill may have four more):

 

Number

of Sips            Condition

8 to 12           Happy - Character begins to see how amusing the whole situation is, and starts to make toasts (-1 to Agility and all Skill’s).

13 to 16         Silly - Character begins to giggle uncontrollably and laughs at any joke (-2 to his normal Smarts, Persuasion and Agility).

17 to 20         Hilarious - Character decides that he was 'born with the gift of laughter and the sense that the world was mad' (whatever that means).

21 to 24         Boozed - Character is beginning to have trouble focusing both eyes at the same time.

25 to 28         Zilched - Character is feeling a little woozy and may have trouble standing (-2 to his normal Vigor).

29 to 32         Totally Bombed - Character may have forgotten why he came to the Fox & Vine, but by now, he doesn't care.

33+                Dead Drunk - Character passes out for 1d6 hours.

 

If a character takes a break from drinking, he may recover from 1 sip for every half hour he waits.

 

When the characters have found the plum wine, they must attempt to take it back to the tavern where they started. This will take half an hour if they are sober or happy (roll once for delays, and once for humiliation, per character). Otherwise it may take longer, as shown below:

 

Condition of Characters                                                     Time required to return

Silly or Hilarious                                                                 45 minutes

Boozed                                                                            1 hour

Zilched                                                                  2 hours

Totally Bombed                                                                 3 hours

THE SEARCH FOR THE CHERRY BONBONS

While their friends are racing through the streets after flower vendors or drinking in the cellar of the Fox & Vine, other characters will go in search of a box of Cherry Bonbons. After searching candy booths at the market, and the major confectioners for an hour, the characters will learn that the only place cherry bonbons are to be found is at Madame Julliarde's Maison des Chocolats.

 

It will take half an hour to get to Madame Julliarde's. Roll twice for delays, and once for humiliation (per character). At Madame Julliarde's the characters will be told that the cherry bonbons have been very popular this Summer, and that the last box was just sold ten minutes before they got there. It takes at least a day to make a fresh box of cherry bonbons, so it is too late to order a new batch. The last box was bought by the Duchess de Nozre.

 

Any character will recognize the name of the Duchess on a Smarts roll. The Duchess de Nozre is a large middle-aged noblewoman, with a liking for all chocolate delicacies. Her husband, the Duke, is a Lt. General in the Royal Army, and a very powerful man. They often stay at their manse in Paris during the Summer. It seems that to get their cherry bonbons, the characters must go to the de Nozze estate, and somehow get them from the Duchess. It will take half an hour to reach the estate (roll once for delay).

 

Several strategies could be used here. If the characters go to the Duchess's house, anyone that does not have Poverty will be admitted by a servant (all others will be told to scram). The characters could offer the Duchess a great deal of money for her bonbons, but this would be fruitless (she is already rich). They could try to trick her out her bonbons somehow (by telling her they are not worthy of a Duchess, and offering to bring her a box of truly royal chocolates, perhaps). This would require a good idea from the players (as judged by the Gamemaster) and a successful roll of Persuasion.

 

Characters who are not admitted, and especially Rogues, might decide to try to steal the bonbons. The bonbons are kept in a salon on the second floor of the manse, and are guarded by a butler (because the Duchess is afraid the maids will eat some of her candies). It would require successful roll of Agility (+2 for Acrobatic) to scale the facade on the outside of the house, and a Stealth roll to avoid being seen. Inside, it would require 1d6 x 10 minutes to find the right room, and another Stealth roll and a successful Agility to sneak up behind the butler. He is unarmed, and something of a wimp (No Fighting skill, Agil d6, Str d6, Vigor d6, Parry 2, Tough 3). The most dangerous thing he could do would be to yell for help. He is a coward, and also bribable, however, and if threatened with a weapon or given some money, he will stay quiet. After the thief grabs the bonbons, he must escape the way he came.

 

Perhaps the easiest way to get the box of candies would be for one of the characters to seduce the Duchess. The Duchess is very partial to young men. It requires a successful roll against Persuasion. If the roll is successful, she will agree to hand over the candies to his friends (if he has any with him), and will then lead him to the bedroom. If the roll is missed, the character will be unceremoniously dumped outside the house by two burly doormen.

 

In the Duchess's bedroom, a potentially romantic interlude to the day's adventures will be interrupted after ten minutes, when the Duke de Nozze arrives home unexpected. The terrified Duchess will tell the character to hide while she stalls the Duke in her boudoir. The character will have three choices of hiding places: under the bed, in the walk-in-closet in the corner, or behind the drapes.

 

The Duke and Duchess will enter the bedroom a moment after the character has hidden. If the character is under the bed, the Duke will take off his smelly riding boots and leave them by the side of the bed.

 

The character will have to endure the aroma while the Duke climbs into bed for an afternoon nap. After 1d 6 x 10 minutes it will be safe to sneak out (with promises to the Duchess to return some day). Surely the character will be happy to have escaped so easily, with his bonbons still intact.

 

If the character hides in the closet, he will hear the Duke and Duchess enter and begin to quarrel. He will have to wait half an hour + 1d6 x 10 minutes, before the Duchess gives the signal that it is safe to come out. A character with Knowledge: Disguise may notice a chance for escape when he sees the women's clothing piled in the closet. If a character with Disguise wishes to leave quickly, he may dress himself as a maid, bodyservant, lady, etc. (player’s choice) in ten minutes. As he leaves the closet, the Duchess (who thinks quickly) will make some excuse, such as 'this is my new maid, dearest'. The disguise will be believable if the character can make a successful roll against his Smarts. However, if he fails to also make a successful Spirit roll, the disguise will work too well, and the Duke will take an amorous interest in the new maid. As the character attempts to leave the house, he will follow, attempting to 'introduce' himself properly. The best thing for the character to do is grab the bonbons and leave quickly.

 

If the character hides behind the drapes, he will again have to wait a half an hour + 1d6 x 10 minutes, while the Duke and Duchess argues and fights. If he has Climbing skill, however, he may open the window and climb out. If he misses an Agility roll while climbing down he will fall (taking 1d6 points of general damage) and make a lot of noise

(possibly attracting the attention of the Duke).

 

Any character who must escape the de None manse after going to see the Duchess in her bed chamber may be noticed as suspicious by one of the house servants or neighbors on a roll of 5 or 6 on a d6. The description of an indiscreet character will be given to the Duke. The character should be careful to avoid the Duke after being noticed, or he may be challenged to a duel. After the characters get the cherry bonbons (one way or another) they must return to the tavern meeting-place. This takes one half hour (roll once for delays, and once for humiliation, per character).

 

CONCLUSION

At the end of the day's adventures, the party will meet up again at the tavern where they started, and the main character (the boyfriend) may take as many of the gifts as they have managed to find to his mistress. When the character returns to his mistress' house, his romantic fate will depend on how the Scavenger Hunt has gone. Figure his success by adding up his victory points:

 

For each gift                                                                                                      +1

For being wounded or hurt getting the gifts                                              +1

For wearing dirty or soiled clothes when he returns to his mistress            - 1

For smelling bad (due to being 'cabbaged')                                                          - 1

For being late (after 7 o'clock)                                                                            - 1

For being 'silly' drunk or-worse when he returns                                                  - 1

 

After adding the character's victory points, consult the table below to see what his mistress thinks:

 

Victory

Points             Result

1 or less         Furious - Mistress has her doorman throw the character out, and never wishes to see him again.

2                    Suspicious - Mistress suspects that it might have been a last-minute job, and is a little irked. The character will have to spend 2d6 x 10 Livres on her over the next few weeks to redeem himself.

3 or 4             Delighted - Mistress is very happy and pleased with her gifts. The character will be in good favor with her, for a while at least.

 

When the character has finished receiving his just reward (one way or the other) he will pass Fanny the maid, on his way out. She will wink at him, and it would be polite to give her 5 Livres or so for her thoughtful warning. It would also be only fair for him to buy his faithful friends a round of ales at the tavern for their troubles.