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Gold Tested in Fire

by Carl Forhan

Gold Tested in Fire is a sketchy series of encounters designed to test the mettle of your group of Heroes. It is not a complete Quest in itself, but rather, the Zargon player should determine which encounters to use, fill in any missing details, put the map together, etc. You may wish to warn the players ahead of time that GTiF will examine both the Heroes' resourcefulness and their integrity.

If you are planning on playing all or most of these encounters in a single Quest, the following text may be used as an introduction.

Greetings, Heroes. I am afraid that dark times are just over the horizon. Devourer and his minions, all servants of Zargon, besieged the Tower of Starlight three days ago. They stole several powerful items that I fashioned for the King, and retreated to their dungeon in the mountains. You must prevent them from delivering the items to Zargon. Beware! Devourer will attempt to exploit your every weakness. Retrieve or destroy all the items bearing the seal of Mentor. Stand fast in your faith and courage; do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
~ Mentor

Have the Heroes attempt to overcome the following trials intended to build their faith. For each obstacle successfully overcome, award each Hero 1 Faith Point (FP). Faith Points may be used in this Quest or subsequent Quests (at the Zargon player's discretion) to do the following, at a cost of one FP each:

  • Absorb one Body Point or Mind Point of damage.
  • Avoid one trap jump one pit successfully.
  • Re-roll one attack die.
  • Automatically resist the effects of one non-damage spell (e.g. Fear).

The encounters are listed below. The first word in each section indicates the trait that is being tested, and its opposite is listed in parenthesis.

    Trust (Fear):
  1. Hero has a Scroll of Safe Passage. He encounters a quicksand pit, wall of fire, etc. and reads the scroll. Nothing happens visibly, but he must trust that he can pass safely through the room.
  2. A solitary Hero with a magic sword that has been very unhelpful in previous Quests or encounters runs into an Ogre. If the Hero engages the Ogre with the sword, suddenly it becomes a 4 dice broadsword.
  3. Nightmare, Master of Fear, stands in front of the doorway (use the Chaos Warrior pawn). He hurls a fireball every turn at a non-adjacent Hero. The fireball does 1 BP if a black skull is rolled on one die. He cannot be harmed by any weapon or spell. If the Hero simply steps through him, he vanishes.
  4. Devourer, the Gargoyle, and his minions challenge the Heroes. He knows several spells including Fear and Firestorm but the Heroes may resist using their Faith Points.
    Wisdom (Foolishness):
  1. Two warriors are fighting. One is about to strike the other, and the Hero must decide what to do and whom to help. The one about to be struck is the evil one, the standing warrior is the good one.
  2. Hero finds a large iron key in a previous room. The current room contains a Chaos Warrior and four Orcs. A growling Ogre is behind an iron cell gate. If the Hero releases the Ogre then he will fight the other baddies in the room, and, in fact, he will not fight the Hero because he is grateful (he's a kind Ogre).
    Honesty (Deceit):
  1. The Hero must help a grouchy blind man transverse a dangerous room. Along the way, he spills a pouch filled with gems. The Hero has an opportunity to take a couple of them for himself without the blind man noticing. Each turn the Hero is in the room, he should roll one die. If he rolls a black skull, the Hero then takes 1 BP damage. The two together can only move 1 square per turn.
    Sacrifice (Self-interest):
  1. A woman is trapped in a magical mirror. The only way to release her is to throw one magical item at the mirror, destroying both item and mirror and freeing the princess. This has the side effect of releasing the mirror's guardian as well. The princess cannot force the Hero assist her. (She says, "I know my Lord will rescue me eventually.") If rescued, the princess thanks the Hero and vanishes.
  2. Hero discovers a Chaos Warlock who is about to throw a woman into a deep pit. Two orcs stand guard as well. If the Warlock is not interrupted immediately, he will throw the woman into the pit, where she loses 1 BP each turn (she starts with 3 BP).
    Humility (Pride):
  1. An enchained Chaos Warrior taunts the Hero that enters the room to retrieve the key to his chains from the bookcase. If the Hero gives in to pride and releases the Warrior to fight him, the Warrior has 4 BP and rolls Hero shields to defend.
    Integrity (Greed):
  1. A golden sash hangs from the center of the ceiling. If the Hero looks up, he sees that the glass ceiling holds at least 500 gold coins. If he pulls the sash (no matter how he positions himself), either the coins fall on him, or a spear strikes him, either for 2 BP damage. The coins turn out to be worthless.

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This article is © Copyright 1995 by Carl Forhan, and may not be reproduced in any form without permission by the author.

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