Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara
Adventures in Ylaruam
In this section, we’ll give you a lot of adventure ideas grounded in Ylaruam.
First, though, we’ll talk about what adventures are for at different character levels, and how your campaign can “grow up” with its characters.
The D&D game is presented in five tiers to reflect the different stages of an adventurer’s career.
- Basic Level Adventures (Tier 1) are the character’s first adventures, when even a Rat, Giant is a threat. In these adventures, the characters should be facing low-level opponents, learning about their world, and making friends and enemies (who may last throughout their adventuring careers).
- Expert Level Adventures (Tier 2) are the middle period of the characters careers. In these adventures, the characters grow to be well-known and respected adventurers. Their adventures are of increasing importance to the nation – they’ll be combatting greater menaces, threats which could imperil the government and sometimes the entire population.
- Companion Level Adventures (Tier 3) Eventually the character will begin to establish strongholds – being granted titles by the Duke, establishing or protecting communities from enemies and monsters. At this time, they’re interacting on an equal level with the title NPC’s from the “Characters” section.; they should already have met most of these persons and established their relationships with them (friend, enemy, neutral, etc). Eventually they will be leading their own armies to war, fighting opponents of staggering power, and beginning to explore the limits of this reality – and travelling beyond the limits into adventures in other planes.
- Master Level Adventures (Tier 4) take place at the end of a characters (mortal) adventuring career. The character is now aware than he has a chance to gain immortality, and most of his adventures should progress him towards his goal, down the path Dynast, Epic Hero, Paragon, or Polymath. Not all the characters will achieve their goals, and these events take place over decades (even, perhaps, centuries) of game-years. The characters will also be spending more and more time in alternate dimensions of reality; the management of their dominions should be left in the hands of their descendants or most trusted subordinates.
- Immortal Level Adventures (Tier 5) are not really within the scope of adventures in Ylaruam; when he achieves immortality, the character enters a new realm of playing, where his old world seems a small and malleable thing and where great danger comes from unknown dimensions and other Immortals.
Legend Lore in Ylaruam
Storytellers may know something about these treasures of Ylari legend. Roll History DC 15 check, add the character’s storytelling bonus (if any) subtract for any Obscurity Penalty, then refer to the Legend Lore chart.
Obscurity Penalty: Each treasure is coded, according to how obscure its legend is. The four levels of obscurity correspond to the four major levels of D&D game play: Basic (B) Expert (X), Companion (CM), and Master (M).
- B (-) Commonly known (popular tales)
- X (-2) Limited currenchy (scholarly tales)
- CM (-4) Obscure (great mysteries)
- M (-6) Unknown (artefacts)
Check Results Table
- 10 less than the DC – False information about the item.
- Less than DC – No information about the item.
- Equal to DC – Has heard of the item, but doesn’t know the story.
- 5 over DC – Has heard of the item, has a vague idea of its magical powers or purpose.
- 10 over DC – Know the outlines of the story (without names, places and episodic details) and has a fair idea of its powers.
- 15 over DC – Know the story of the item in detail, but not enough to connect it to the real events and locales on which the story is based.
- 20 over DC – Knows the story in fine detail, and in 1d6 weeks can research the story enough to track down the real history of the item, given an appropriate library.
Treasure hunting is a popular way to get rich and famous in the Emintes. Humble adventurers and wealthy sultans are always interested in travelers and storytellers’ tales of lost cities, ancient artifacts, magical rings and lamps, hidden trapdoor. robbers’ caches, and other fabulous treasures.
Stories of these treasures can be used to initiate adventures in several ways.
- A sultan or wealthy noble hears of a mysterious treasure and organizes an expedition
under a trusted advisor to search for the fabled item.
- PCs check with local storytellers for possibly profitable legends to explore (much as PCs often hang around taverns listening for rumours).
- Hints of legends are introduced by NPCs during other adventures as asides or digressions. If the PCs are interested, when the current adventure ends, they may decide to look into these hints as potential adventures.
Legend lore can also be used by PCs to reckon the significance of item they have discovered or encountered in the come of an adventure. A successful legend lore check may enable a PC to recognize an obscure item for the magical treasure it is, and may give hints as to how it works – valuable information when the PC is in desperate straits and has no time to run to the local sage for an exhaustive study of the treasure.
The legend lore chart is also a guideline for judging how much help an NPC sage can be when PCs present an item for his examination.
Traps and Curses on Treasures
Treasures are seldom obtained without confronting a series of physical or magical traps and guardians that protect them. Here are some ideas about the kinds of traps to be found on Ylari treasures.
Magical Curse: The most popular trap on individual items is the magical curse. Assume that all magical items of any value have some sort of magical curse upon them.
The curse should be triggered either whenever the item is touched or when the item is used for a purpose specifically prohibited by the magical curse. The nature of the curse may be as the clerical spell curse (the reverse of remove curse), or preferably may be a product of the DM’s perverse and unfettered imagination. Common curse effects include:
- The victim feels pain like a wound rubbed in salt; lose Id3 hit points per round held.
- The victim polymorphs into a beast – an ape, a mule, or a goat, for example.
- The item cries out the real or imagined sins of the character to any nearby audience.
- The item disappears if the proper command word is not spoken.
- An efreet or invisible stalker comes to punish the unauthorized user.
- The victim is struck with a disease.
- The victim is ensorcelled (mind-wiped, hypnotized, or possessed by a demon).
Physical Traps: Physical traps may be placed upon the treasure itself or may be a series of deadly devices blocking access to the treasure.
Physical traps on the treasure often involve poisoned spines or contact poisons, but an identifying mark or distinctive feature may also be a trap. For example, if the Sultan’s seal is somewhere on an item, or if a bauble can be identified as belonging to the emir’s wife, discovery of the item on the PC’s person or among his possessions could be as deadly as any poison.
Deadly devices include the standard array of pit traps, sliding doors, set spears, triggers that release fierce beasts, collapsing ceilings, and so on. A less obvious “trap” is providing a false or minor treasure to decoy the treasure-hunter from real treasure.
Guardians: Normal and magical monsters are common treasure guardians. Normal or magical serpents, giant or in profusion, are common beastly guardians. Efreeti and living statues are typical magical guardians.
A nice touch is to make each magical guardian a minor treasure in itself. For example, before the door to the treasure room stands a golden statue of giant serpent with glittering adamantine teeth and coppery scales that reflect light like tiny mirrors. When the PCs enter, the serpent animates and attacks. When slain, the purple gore of the serpent is transformed to a healing elixir, the teeth are transformed to jewels, and the scales may be used to fabricate a magical scale armor with marvelous properties.
The Fabled Treasures of Ylaruam
The following treasures are known through the tales and legends of Ylaruam. Each entry gives a brief background of the item; the DM should embellish upon this skeletal background according to the details of his campaign and in the time-honored tradition of exaggeration in storytelling.
Each entry also offers suggestions for adventures featuring the magical treasure. Many items tie in with other adventure elements described elsewhere in the Gazetteer so cross-references are provided.
- Dendan Oil (B) – See Relic Hunter – Dendan Oil
- The Brass Horsemen (CM) – See Relic Hunter – Brass Horsemen
- The Carnelian Idol (X) – See Relic Hunter – Carnelian Idol
- The Golden Bridle (CM) – Relic Hunter – Golden Bridle
- The Ionian Gems (X) – See Relic Hunter – Ionian Gems
- The Lizardskin Bed (M) – see Relic Hunter – Lizardskin Bed
- The Magic Lamps (X) – See Relic Hunter – Magic Lamps
- The Magic Saddlebags (B) – See Relic Hunter – Magic Saddlebags
- The Magic Tunic (CM) – See Relic Hunter – Magic Tunic
- The Sparkling Spear (X) – See Relic Hunter – Sparkling Spear
Basic Adventures (Level 1-5)
- Aladdin’s Enchanted Cave – See Relic Hunter – Aladdin’s Cave
- Dendan Oil – See Relic Hunter – Dendan Oil
- The Magic Saddlebags – See Relic Hunter – Magic Saddlebags
Expert Adventures (Level 6-10)
- The Carnelian Idol – See Relic Hunter – Carnelian Idol
- The Ionian Gems – See Relic Hunter – Ionian Gems
- The Magic Lamps – See Relic Hunter – Magic Lamps
- The Sparkling Spear – See Relic Hunter – Sparkling Spear
Companion Adventures (Level 11-15)
- The Brass Horsemen – see Relic Hunter – Brass Horsemen
- The Golden Bridle – see Relic Hunter – Golden Bridle
- The Magic Tunic – see Helic Hunter – Magic Tunic
Master Adventures (Level 16-20)
- The Lizardskin Bed – see Relic Hunter – Lizardskin Bed
Adventures in Print
There are a few adventures already in print which are of particular importance to a Ylaruam-based campaign. They are:
By Country (3/3) – Glantri, Karameikos, Ylaruam
Introduction: (13/13) – Alfheim, Atruaghin Clans, Broken Lands, Darokin, Ethengar, Five Shires, Glantri, Ierendi, Karameikos, Minrothad, Northern Reaches, Rockhome, Ylaruam
Annual: (6/11) – Atruaghin Clans Ascension, Ethengar Totems, Land of Black Sands, Mystery (of the Duke’s Road Massacres, of the Forgotten Dungeon, of the Hidden Kingdoms of Dragons)
(Tier 1 – Introduction 11/46)
AC 1000 (Year 1) – (2/8) – Lord of Lance Rock, Relic Hunter (Dragon Hatchery)
AC 1001 (Year 2) – (1/8) – Relic Hunter (Tomb of Moving Stones)
AC 1002 (Year 3) – (3/9) – Business (Bargewright Inn), Cult (of the Feathergale Knights), Mystery (of the Missing Delegation)
AC 1003 (Year 4) – (3/10) Cult (of the Riverguard Keep), Mystery (in Atruaghin’s Palace, of the Iceshield Orcs)
AC 1004 (Year 5) – (2/11) – Cult (of the Sacred Stone), Mystery (in the Silver Sierras), School Assignment (Lupins or Werewolves)
(Tier 2 – Investigation 16/50)
AC 1005 (Year 6) – (12/19) – Rheddrian’s Investigation Bureau, Cult (of the Scarlet Moon, of the Valley of Death), Mystery (in Aegos, in Sundsvall, in Thyatis City, of the Alphatian Duellers, of the Dead Elf, of the Great Gnome Caravan, of the Magic Mirror, of the Missing Pilgrims), Relic Hunter (Dinosaurs)
1006 AC (Year 7) – (6/12) – Mystery (Dinner Assassins, in Radlebb Woods, in Ringrise, in Wendar, of the Dual Memories), Time Travel Castle Amber
1007 AC (Year 8) – (6/17) – Mystery of the Dying Trees, Thanatos and the Azcans, Thanatos and the Milenians, Thanatos and the Nithians, Thanatos and the Shahjapurs, The Day Magic Died
1008 AC (Year 9) – (0/6)
1009 AC (Year 10) – (0/5)
Phase 3 (Tier 3 – War 28), Year 11 – 10, Year 12 – 5, Year 13 – 4, Year 14 – 4, Year 15 – 4
Phase 4 (Tier 4 – Conclusion 7) Year 16 – 3, Year 17 – 2, Year 18 – 1, Year 19 – 1, Year 20 –
Phase 5 (Tier 5 – tba)
Phase 6 (Tier 6 – tba)
D&D 5E in Mystara
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