Recently, I put up a SPOTLIGHT onto the PWYW one-page-dungeon “Tomb of the Overfiend” (by Stuart Robertson). This author claimed in its sales pitch for the module that …
The adventure is also compatible with other “old school” type roleplaying games with a few small changes to some of the statistics for the encounters.
Well, DH2nd isn´t an OSR game, but is has a link to ancient egypt style scifi-stuff, too: the Necrons. Today, I thereby show you how to “hijack” Tomb of the Overfiend to turn it into a one evening session for DH2nd, either as a quick one-shot game or as the starting point (or conclusion) of a scenario of your own.
BUT before I do this, I would like to make a statement: if you like what you read here and plan to use “Tomb of the Overfiend”, don´t grab it for free. Whoever Stuart Robertson and Matt Jackson are (I neither know them nor am I affiliated with them), they did a nice job. Of course, it is pwyw and if somebody puts a product up as pay-what-you-want, this includes “for free” as an option. But by all means, if you think you will enjoy it, at least give them 50 cents for their effort. So, enough of the lecturing, thank you for bearing with me, and HERE WE GO!
[Synopsis and Settings]
For my little hijack, I interpret the “tomb” as either a prison or a little “snack box” of the ancient forces that created the Necrons (last time I looked, this were the C´taan but I turned my back onto the 40K background a long time ago, as I wasn´t found of recent developments). The complex itself is something that can either be found on a moon, a planetoid or a lifeless world. It could have been uncovered by the initial exploration or during later activity. Personally, I like to treat it as an odd find on a mining colony. Either, it was reported directly to the authorities (who in turned reported it to their higher ups till the Inquisition got involved) or the acolytes have been following the trail of an unsanctioned xenos-trader to this place. In the later case, there will be many other tombs like this scattered through the landscape (perhaps a dozen), but all of those will already have been broken up and robbed by the xeno-smugglers. In order to increase the challenge, the atmosphere of the world could either be hard to breath or outright poisonous. A temperature outside the human comfort zone (very hot or cold) would add to this. An environment like that will make the characters (and the players) uneasy by itself, twice so if they investigate some strange underground complex erected by unknown hands. This unease might very well become horror as soon as the their protective suits disintegrate during combat.
DISCLAIMER: I am not paying attention to “established lore” in regard to the Necrons here, but rather fit them in with a shoehorn. Purists be warned, you will shudder and howl!
[About the tomb]
For a classic OSR dungeon crawl, small spaces are the name of the game. In 40k, things better be big. I advice to treat every grid of the map to be two or three meters wide. It is big enough to allow both pistols, carbines and melee weapons to be of use while it is still small enough to disencourage the deployment of platoons of requisitioned I.G. If you feel like really getting big, turn it into 5 meters.
The whole complex should be treated as unnerving [Fear +0; non-combat situation].
Auspex readings [Tech-Use +20] should reveal “strange energy patterns” through the whole complex. Three DoS will indicate a higher concentration in the encounter areas 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8 (even through the doors, they are 45cm of material) and four or more will indicate
[Area 2] …a kind of energy field between the statues and the door
[Area 3] …the floor plate that is the trigger for the sliding block
[Area 5] …that the energy behind this door is very different from the other readings
[Area 6] …the part of the room that is “housing” the device creating the holograms
[Area 8] …a stronger energy signature at one of the walls (the one with the hidden door)
Area 1: The statues should be changed into human shapes that have been withered by time to the point where the features are no longer recognizable and the limbs should be to slender and to long to fit proper human proportions.
Area 2: The doors should be made of an unknown metal that is very resilient [Living Metal: AP:35; Regenerating five points per turn if damaged] and thick enough that no reading of what is behind are possible. The statues should be stylized human shapes with no facial features and limbs should be to slender and to long to fit proper human proportions.
Area 3: Finding the trap should be an ordinary(+10) test for Awareness or Security which becomes easy (+30) if either an Auspex reading gives the characters a hint or if the players state that their characters check the floor plates. The rock could be treated as AP:20 or higher (due to its thickness).
Area 5: Treat those creatures as WS:45, 16 wounds; Move:4; Ini:4; each doing 1d10+5 points of energy damage with the “Shocking” quality. They have the “Devastating Assault” Talent and will use the “all-out attack”action on each turn. Optionally, each of them could create the effect of a Haywire grenade once as a full action. The only way to harm them are energy based weapons (Laser, Plasma, etc) and swings with conductive weaponry (everything ferrous or capable of the shock effect). Damage from these weapons is still halved and the creatures are immune to the Shock quality of those weapons.
Area 6: Whatever form you give the Holograms, treat them as [Fear(1)] and treat the distraction as a separate non-combat Fear(1) test.
Area 7: Place 1-3 Necron warriors here. Regenerate them at least once after the characters left the room and have them follow the characters, possibly surprising them.
Area 8: Finding the secret door should be an ordinary(+10) Awareness test that becomes an easy(+30) test if the characters have a good Auspex reading or if the players state that they are looking for a hidden door.
Area 9: have (another) one to three Necron Warrior here.
Area 10: re-design the statues as before. Place a number of large, oval (urn-shaped) living-metal containers into the chamber (AP:25, Regenerating 5 damage per turn) with a cap on each of them that can not be opened unless.. (see adventure module). Some of them will be found open.
If you own DH1st “Disciples of the Dark Gods”, place a Cryptos into each of the remaining vessels. If you use the “mining colony” as a background, they will flee from the complex as quick as possible, heading to the human colony to hide. Otherwise, they will flee as well, but might try to take over a character later (or some nearby NPC outside, if there are any).
If you don´t use the Cryptos, have all “urns” empty but one, containing an intelligent, telepathic being of pure energy that is able to mimic others and assume any visual form as well as reading minds. Treat it as a Psyker with a PR of 4, all powers of Telepathy, 12 wounds, 40 in all stats and the “From Beyound” and “Stuff of Nightmares”. It is likely the last of its kind. What it will do is up to you, but it will for sure be a nice opportunity for roleplaying if this creature acts friendly (while the characters are…imperial citizens, with the upbringing of those).
Necron Warriors (feel free to alter this stats as you deem fit!)
Movement: 3 / 6 / 9 / 19
Armor: Machine Trait (6 All)
Talents: Crack Shot
Gauss Weapon: Basic // 100m // S-2-x // 1d10+8E // PEN:5 // Reliable; Vengeful (9); Corrosive
Weapon Blade: 1d10+7 // PEN:2 // Unbalanced; Unwiedly