Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens is a board game that will distance you from monsters and epic quests. This game throws you and other players into the 30s California, and it draws inspiration from classic movies of the time. This is an episodic game, and thus you can play it over several sessions.
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens in nutshell
This game is set in the 1930s in California where a professor is about to resent his latest invention that will change the world. Many different parties are interested in it, and only some of them have good intentions. But your story doesn’t start there but in a train bound for San Francisco.
The description of the train and all of its compartments is in the attached file, and the Keeper will share the info when one or more characters visit those compartments. The conductor will come to the cabin which is an excellent moment for self-introduction of all players. A lady will join the players, and after several questions, she will say that she is a daughter and an assistant of her father, the professor. She carries documents for her father as they are crucial for his presentation.
And the adventure kicks off
The adventure starts with the attack on the train. Seven enemies will board the train, and all of them will carry Colt M1911 guns, but they won’t use them if they have another choice. Your team has to survive the fight with these henchmen. Your group will continue with the trip to San Francisco even if the enemies succeed in kidnaping the lady. It’s better to save her, but the story will progress no matter what happens.
The episode comes to close
Only two more events will play out in the first episode. The first one is the police questioning where the group will talk with police. The professor will come and sort everything out. After that, the adversary will arrange a meeting with the professor, and it’s up to your team to think about the way to approach it. The professor will do everything the enemy wants, and it’s up to you to decide what to do.
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens
A Short Adventure for Savage Worlds
Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens is and adventure for 3 to 5 players set in 1934 California. The classic movie serials of the 30’s and 40’s inspire this adventure. This isn’t your epic, earth shaking type of adventure – no it’s just the simple story of a megalomaniac bent on world domination and the innocent maiden who is ensnared in his web.
Since this is based on the serials, the story is told in chapters or episodes. The first two episodes are included in this issue and the rest will be in the next.
If you are going to be a character in this adventure, please go read another article in this fine magazine. The stuff below is FGMEO – For Game Master Eyes Only! You have been warned!
Note that this is a complete adventure on its own, but it is also part of a longer story line. What good serial would end without a cliffhanger?
Professor Alistair Gordon of Pacific Tech, a technical college just outside of Los Angeles, is scheduled to present his new invention at a conference in San Francisco. It is a rocket pack. There are many who are interested in the Professor’s work, both good and bad. Of the later, the most notable is Dr Boskone. The doctor is in league with evil forces and plans to use the professor’s invention to rule the world!
Dram at is Personae
Professor Alistair Gordon
Professor Alistair Gordon has taught aeronautics at Pacific Tech for seventeen years. He, and his good friend Dr. Bilderbeck, has spent the past few years working with rockets and jet propulsion. He has recently perfected a rocket pack that allows a man to fly without an airplane.
Wilma Deering was the daughter of Orin Deering, owner of Deering Aero Manufacturing. Orin was killed in a car accident ten years ago and Professor Gordon adopted Wilma. It was the least he could do for his old friend. Wilma, like her father, had a natural gift for aeronautics and she is currently working on her doctorate on rocket propulsion while assisting the Professor.
No one knows who Dr Boskone is or where he comes from. About two years ago, there was an explosion at a fertilizer plant that killed seven workers. A letter appeared in the Chicago Tribune claiming responsibility and warning that other plants would be destroyed unless a ransom of $250,000 was paid to a numbered Swiss bank account. Dr Boskone signed the letter. After another explosion, the ransom was paid and Dr. Boskone was not heard from again.
Dr. Boskone has made an alliance with the Emir of Venus. The Venusians want to conquer Earth and use it’s people as a slave labor force. When Earth is conquered, Dr. Boskone will rule for the Emir. Of course, the Doctor has other plans, and is just using the help of his Venusian allies to take over.
Detective Elliot Queen
Elliot Queen is a detective with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD). He has been on the force for twelve years, working mostly homicide in and around the wharves. Last year he was promoted to sergeant and was moved to the downtown area. He usually gets involved only in high-profile cases. He is a chain smoker with a fondness for coffee with too much sugar and cream.
Grond is a close associate of Dr. Boskone. He is also a Minotaur. He is not too bright, but does have a low cunning. This, plus his stubbornness and “ stick-to- itiveness” means that the Doctor often sends Grond off to do the unpleasant things that must be done. Grond is originally from Venus. Dr. Boskone’s Venusian allies to sent him to help the Dr with their plans to conquer the Earth.
Episode 1: Train Ride to Terror
Location: Los Angeles Central Train Station, Platform 13.
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 9:00 a.m.
Summary: The party is drawn into the machinations of the Evil Dr. Boskone.
Boarding the Bay Liner Express
The adventure begins at Los Angeles Central Train Station where the party is boarding the Bay Liner Express for San Francisco. All members of the party have first class tickets for compartment 5 on the first class car.
The train is set to leave Los Angeles at 9:20, so the party as a little time to knock around. It might be interesting to have each player describe why he is going to San Francisco. Use this as an opportunity for the players to introduce their characters.
The steam train is pulling four cars – a first-class, car a second-class car, a dining car, and a baggage care. The first class car has six compartments that seat six people comfortably. The second-class car has bench seating for sixty people and the dining car has stools and chairs to seat twenty-five.
There is one conductor in the first-class and the second-class cars as well as a cook and two waitresses in the dining car. The brakeman and his assistant are in the baggage car.
Inside the compartment are six large chairs, 3 on each bulkhead, with a package shelf above each. The door to the compartment is on the left and there is a large plate glass window looking out over the platform on the right. A hinged table is attached just under the window. See the diagram below for the layout of the car.
The compartments are numbered 1 to 7 from top to bottom. There are 2 to 5 other passengers in each other compartment. Treat these folks and bystanders.
Two complimentary copies of the San Francisco Tribune are lying on seats. The front page of the paper has the following stories:
President Roosevelt to visit San Francisco on Tuesday to meet with the Foreign Minister of Siam. Ernst Rohm, leader of the SA, committed suicide on 1 July in a prison in Munich.
Professor Alistair Gordon is to unveil his new rocket pack today at the annual Aeronautical Engineering conference at the University of San Francisco auditorium.
As the conductor makes the final boarding call and the train whistle sounds, one of the characters by the window sees a striking young woman in a dark blue dress and yellow hat run up across the platform and get on board the first-class car. The character that notices is the one who makes the best Notice roll (TN 4, no modifiers).
As the train lurches into motion, the door to the player’s compartment opens and in steps the woman. She is carrying a large and obviously heavy salesman’s brief case. This is Wilma Deering, ward of Professor Alistair Gordon. She is taking some important papers to the professor in San Francisco The professor forgot them when he left for the conference. Wilma received the phone call with just enough time to pack the case and make it to the train. Wilma is very friendly and very pretty. She is smart but she is also aware that smart girls are not popular, so she doesn’t try to impress anyone.
she is a bit nervous about traveling alone to San Francisco, and is quite eager to talk. Wilma knows the following information, in addition to any small talk she may make. She won’t divulge this information herself, but she will respond if questioned:
? Professor Gordon’s rocket pack is a major breakthrough in both power and range. With a little training almost anyone can fly the rocket pack – and it is very fast (250 mph).
? The phone call this morning was not from the professor, but from one of the conference organizers. The organizer, who didn’t give his name, said that the professor needed his notes and plans for the rocket pack for his presentation. And asked that Wilma bring them to the conference center in San Francisco.
? Before leaving for the conference, she overheard the professor talking on the phone to someone. He sounded angry and kept telling the other person that he could not help him, not for any amount of money, and if he continued to call, the professor would call the police. When Wilma asked about the call, the professor said that it was simply one of his students wanting a better grade – however Wilma didn’t believe him.
Sometime during the trip, the conductor will come in to punch everyone’s tickets. If the party has not gotten the information about the Professor and Wilma Deering, the conductor will notice her name on the ticket and ask about her father. The conductor is an airplane fanatic and builds models of them on the weekends.
The Attack on the Train
Location: Aboard the Bay Liner Express about an hour out of San Francisco.
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 11:00 p.m.
Summary: Dr. Boskone makes his first move.
The trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco takes about three hours. After two hours, the train slows and stops. Soon afterward, the conductor comes by to say that a large hay wagon is blocking the track. The engineer and fireman are working with the farmer to clear the track. The train should start up shortly. Of course, the hay wagon is a diversion. Dr. Boskone has arranged it to stop the train and allow his associates to kidnap Wilma Deering and the plans to the rocket pack.
Shortly after the conductor leaves the compartment, there is a thump and the car shakes. Seven of Dr. Boskone’s henchmen get on the car – three from the front and four from the rear. Their mission is to capture Wilma – and they won’t be stopped by anyone in their way. Once she’s grabbed, they will take her to a waiting car and speed away.
The henchmen will first try and bully their way around, only resorting to shooting if they have to – or the party shoots first. The henchmen are not above taking hostages to secure what they want. If they can’t get Wilma, they will, at least, take her case. Fight this encounter out using miniatures as described in the Savage Worlds rulebook. The action will take place on the rail car and, maybe, in the immediate surroundings.
After this fight, there are three possible outcomes:
The henchmen kidnap Wilma, with or without the plans.
The henchmen don’t get Wilma but they do get the plans.
The henchmen fail to get Wilma and the plans.
In any event, the party doesn’t have much choice but to ride the train on into San Francisco.
Episode 2: The Dem on at Dev il ’s Dr aw
Location: San Francisco Train Station, Platform 4,
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 12:45 p.m.
Summary: The party confronts the minions of Dr Boskone in a ghost town where a shoot-out ensues.
Meeting Professor Gordon
When the train arrives in San Francisco, Detective Elliot Queen and six uniformed officers meet the party. Detective Queen says he wants to talk to the party and escorts them and Wilma (if present) to an office in back behind the ticketing windows.
The office has a single desk, four large filing cabinets, and enough chairs for everyone. There is a water cooler in one corner of the office, and a small window high on one wall – too small to climb out of. There is one door. Detective Queen says he needs to talk to the conductor and other passengers and will return He leaves three officers – Jack, Reggie, and “Doc” – to guard the only door to the room. If the party needs anything, they can ask the officers.
Detective Queen is gone about fifteen minutes when the door opens, and an old man enters. This is Professor Gordon. What happens next depends on if Wilma was captured or not.
In either event, the professor will inform the party of the following items during the discussion:
? The professor has been in contact with the US Army for the beginning on this project. They have funded part of the research.
? The army is very interested in the rocket pack. There are other countries that also would be interested in it.
? In the last few weeks of testing, the professor has gotten calls from someone calling himself Doctor Boskone. This doctor says that there is a rich and powerful group of men who will pay good money for the rocket pack.
The professor has politely refused the offers but the calls have become more numerous and insistent.
Wilma was not captured.
If Wilma is with the party she will jump up and hug her guardian. He will quiet her and she will say that the party saved her from the attackers. During this discussion Wilma will say that she brought the plans that Professor Gordon requested. The professor will say he made no such arrangements.
Professor Gordon will thank the entire party and pledge to present their case to the police. He will also inquire about the men that attacked the train. He will be most interested if any one had mentioned “Doctor Boskone” or were interested in the plans to his rocket pack. Earlier today, the professor received a call from Doctor Boskone saying his ward escaped today but wouldn’t be so lucky in the future if the professor didn’t cooperate.
Wilma was captured.
If Wilma is not present, then Doctor Gordon will introduce himself and inquire about his ward. He will be most interested in hearing what happened on the train, in detail. He will ask questions about the attackers, if they mentioned “Doctor Boskone” or were interested in the rocket plans. Earlier today, the professor received a call from Doctor Boskone saying that he captured Wilma.
Dealing with the Police
After the important parts of the Professor story have been told the to part, Detective Queen will come into the room. Elliot does not know much about what is going on, but he knows that the people in First-class Compartment 5 on the Bay Liner Express were the ones who fought the bandits. He will tell the group that he has statements from the conductor and the other passengers of the first class car. Now he wants to talk to the people in this room.
Randomly select one of the party members that Detective Queen will ask to follow him to another office. As the Detective and the party member are leaving the room, Professor Queen interrupts and asks to speak with the Detective in the hall. Detective Queen agrees, and tells the party to wait as he and the professor step out of the room.
After about twenty minutes, the professor and the detective come back in the room. The professor has managed to convince the Detective that the party were just bystanders and all they did was help, or try to help depending on the outcome of episode 1, a lady in distress. Detective Queen knows that there’s something else going on, but he doesn’t know what. The detective also doesn’t have enough evidence to hold any of the party members. However kidnapping or attempted kidnapping is a capital crime so the party is not to leave town. They are also to leave an address where they will be staying in San Francisco.
The Detective then lets the party go, and walks out of the room. The professor asks the party to hold on a minute while he goes to the office door. Once he’s sure the police are gone, the professor says that Doctor Boskone wants to meet with him at midnight tonight at Devils’ Draw, an abandoned mining town. The professor, after hearing how the party protected his ward, will ask that they accompany him to the meeting tonight, as Doctor Boskone said that the police were not to be involved. The professor does not want anyone else to get hurt – especially at his expense. He will want to cooperate with the demands of Doctor Boskone and emphatically does not want the police involved.
Location: Devil’s Draw ghost town,
Time: Friday, July 6 1934, 11:00 p.m.
Summary: The party confronts the minions of Dr Boskone in a ghost town where a shoot-out ensues.
The party has plenty of time to prepare for the meeting – including scouting out the location or even laying a trap. Devil’s Draw is about thirty-five miles northeast of Oakland in a mountainous wooded area. There are only five buildings still standing, and these have been overgrown by weeds and brush. They line on either side of a steep main street. At the end of this street are the old mine workings.
Andersen’ s Livery Stable. The first building on the right is the old livery stable. A fire gutted the insides some time ago and now the façade is all that remains. The second floor is gone.
Devil’s Draw Saloon. The saloon is the largest of the six buildings, and the only one on the left side. The furnishings are still inside, though most are rotten. On the second floor there are four rooms that look out over the porch and the street.
Swenson’s General Store. The second building on the right is a general store, and is in the same state of repair as the Saloon. There are two windows on the second floor that overlook the street.
Wells Fargo Office. This door to this building is locked, but all the windows have been broken out. Inside, an old safe sits with its door open. Close inspection will reveal that someone had tried to open the door by force. The rest of the office has been ransacked.
Jail. This single-story building has bars on all its windows. Inside, it is bare; all of its furnishings have been removed. The cells, however, are still intact
Mine Workings. The Devil’s Mine workings are in the same state as the rest of the town. When the mine played out, the mining company sealed it with two large iron doors set into the side of the hill. Unlike the rest of the town, some one is taking care of these doors. They have been cleaned up and their hinges oiled. A fresh lock has been placed on the doors.
Deployment of Doctor Boskone’s Minions
Dr. Boskone has sent Grond and seven henchmen to town to wait for the Professor. Just after dark, about 9:30 p.m., the minions and Grond will come out of the mine workings and deploy in the village. Adjust this accordingly if the party have already moved into the ghost town.
If Wilma was captured, Grond has locked her in one of the cells in the Jail. He is in the jail himself. He has positioned the rest of his men around the town. They are hidden in the buildings with a good view of the street.
Grond has been instructed to capture the Professor and bring him to Dr. Boskone. He will not engage the party directly but will try and sneak up on them and grab the Professor from behind. Grond will then make for the mine and will try to lose any pursuit in the underground tunnels. The dense vegetation around the edge of the town will allow him to surprise the party.
The henchmen are meant to keep busy the obligatory police that accompany the Professor.
This part should be fought out on as a tabletop battle. I would definitely recommend using a large battlemat so that the whole town can be drawn on it. The Professor won’t take part in the battle, he is a frail old man after all, and will probably hang as far back as he can.
The henchmen are all armed with rifles and are hidden. Remember that this fight is occurring in the dark of night!
Af t er m at h
There are two general outcomes from this adventure:
Grond successfully spirits away the Professor. Things are bad, Dr. Boskone has what he needs to equip his forces with rocket packs!
Grond doesn’t get the Professor. Dr. Boskone’s plans have been set back, but he still has the blueprints for the rocket packs!
So what happens next? Be here next issue, loyal readers!