We talked about the first part of this exciting adventure set in the 1930s California, and we found that people responded quite well. The second part continues where the previous one left, and that is the meeting where your crew and the professor went to meet with the adversary.

At the end of the last part, the team had to face goons sent by the Dr. Boskone (main enemy) who were led by Grond, a Minotaur. It turns out that Dr. Boskone allied himself with Venusians who will aid him in his quest to conquer the world.

And the incredible adventure continues

Gront The MinotaurParty won’t have a lot of time to rest once the skirmish ends. Grond and the rest of surviving goons will retreat into the mine and police will arrive soon after that. Police will be accompanied with an ambulance, and this will give you a chance to heal while you and the professor explain your side of things to the police.

The police captain will tell you that the briefcase with documents they guarded has been stolen and Dr. Boskone left a message confirming his hand in that. Your part will go into the mine no matter whether the goons kidnaped the professor or not. In either case, professor won’t play a part in the mine search as he will either be gone or too tired to continue.

Enter the Mine

The major part of the second episode of the Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens happens in the mines where the team goes after the Minotaur and his goons. The mine has four levels as well as the mining shack on the top, and it won’t be as easy to clear it as you might have thought.

Your team will meet quite a variety when it comes to foes, from henchmen with shotguns and a giant cave worm to robots straight from Venus. The last floor will also contain Murder-bots of Venus, enemies you will find hard to beat. And you will have to face Grond, and that will be a battle that might be a premature end of your adventure.

This, however, isn’t the end as Dr. Boskone escapes and swears revenge.

Dangerous Dealings and Marvelous Maidens, Part 2 A Continuing Adventure for Savage Worlds

Introduction

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!

This is the second part of the adventure and does not stand on its own. The first part was published in the September 03 issue of Fictional Reality. You can download that adventure from the Fictional Reality website (http://www.ficti onalreality.org).

Summary

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!

Dramatis 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

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.

Dr. Boskone

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 The MinotaurGrond

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.

The Story So Far…

The trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco aboard the Bay Liner express started out as normal on Friday, July 6, 1934. The party was enjoying a leisurely train ride to LA in the company of young and blonde  Wilma Deering, when the train came to a stop. A farmer’s truck had broken down while crossing the tracks. As the conductor and other train hands worked to move the cart, a group of heavies enter the train and try to kidnap Wilma. Our heroes prevent this, sending the surviving mooks fleeing into the nearby woods.

Arriving in Los Angeles, Detective Queen questions the party and they meet Professor Alistair Gordon. The professor is the guardian of Wilma. The professor is in town to present his rocket pack invention to a military conference. He has been receiving phone calls from a mysterious man named Dr. Boskone, who wants to buy the plans to the rocket pack. The professor has thus far refused, so Dr. Boskone turned to more persuasive means. He attempted to kidnap Wilma to force the professor to turn over his plans.

The professor thanks the party for their help in saving his daughter, and asks one more favor. Could they accompany him to a meeting with Dr. Boskone? The professor wants to end this madness and he wants to cooperate with this mysterious doctor.

The meeting is to be held tonight at an old mining ghost town in the hills above San Francisco. When the professor and the party arrive, the minions of Doctor Boskone jump them. The mooks are now lead by a giant Minotaur named Grond.

Episode 3: Descent into the Dark Location: Devil’s Draw ghost town Time: Saturday, July 7 1934, 12:30 a.m.

Summary: The party follows the minions of Dr. Boskone into the old abandoned mine.

After the Battle

If the police weren’t already at the scene, they will soon show up – along with an ambulance.

While the party is resting up, and getting any needed medical attention they need from the ambulance team, Detective Queen brings them up to date with what was has happened while they were gone.

Detective Queen says shortly after the party left for the mining town, the professor’s plans were stolen from the precinct station where they had been put for “ safe keeping” .

The desk sergeant and the few officers in the building at the time said they were attacked by a group of thugs who knocked them out with some kind of blue gas. When they woke up the professor’s plans were gone.

The thugs did leave a note – it reads:

Dear f latf oots,

Sorr y f or the gas – a little headache is better than being shot, don’t you think? Have some donuts and coff ee and you’ll be j ust ducky!

Thanks f or keeping the plans saf e f or me

– but I need them now. Everything i s

f alling into place – by the time you read this, my associate Grond will have the prof essor in his bovine clutches. He will

then help me build my army of  rocket men.

I will contact you shortly with my demands!

Dr. Boskone.

Detective Queen is confused by both the reference to Grond and bovine. He’s also curious about these so called “rocket men” . There are two possible outcomes of Episode 2. In either case, the party will need to follow Grond into the old abandoned mine.

Grond has kidnapped the Professor!

Despite the heroic actions of the party, Grond grabbed the professor and headed off into the workings of the old mine. With the professor and the plans, who knows what the evil Doctor can do? There is but one thing to do – go after him!

Grond didn’t get the Professor!

The professor was saved – that’s good. But the news of the plans is not. Obviously the Minotaur and the thugs are connected to Dr. Boskone in some way. The only way to find out what is going on is to follow them into the mine.

The professor will explain that “rocket men” is what he calls the soldiers who were to be equipped with his new rocket pack. He does say that if  Dr. Boskone has the plans, he probably has the resources to equip his thugs with the rocket packs. If he does that, there’s not much that can be done to stop him.

The professor is too tired to join the party, so he will ride back into town with the ambulance and Detective Queen. However, the detective will leave some of the SFPD here to help the party when they go into the mine.

The MineThe Mine

This episode takes place in the mine workings. A depth view of the workings is shown. Each level is covered in detail in the following section.

Mine Shack

The mine shack is a large timber building with an iron beam frame. 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 (TN +2 to pick the lock; TN +4 to break it).

Inside the mine shack is years of accumulated debris. A thorough search will reveal almost any type of mining equipment, though it is worn and rusted.

A quick search of the place will show that there have been lots of people moving between the doors the elevator workings. The party will also find 3 battery operated lanterns (with a 3-hour charge) and 6 helmets with lights (with a 2-hour charge).

A close search (TN+2) will reveal that there might be some non-human footprints in the dust, but nothing definite.

Like the doors, the elevator is in good condition. The workings have been cleaned up and oiled and appear to be working correctly. The controls look simple enough to operate (TN 4) though a failure will jam the elevator so it can’t operate any more.

The elevator itself is a metal caged platform with a wooden slat floor that is lowered by a double set of cables. There is an up and a down button on the elevator itself as well as the outside control panel. The elevator fills the shaft with a 6” gap around the edge. One edge of the shaft has a ladder bolted to it that runs all the way down.

The elevator stops at Levels 1 through 3 and the top. There is a safety device that will stop the elevator from going any lower than Level 3. The ladder, however, goes on down to where the mine collapsed – about 400 yards below Level 3.

The elevator moves slowly – it takes it about 5 minutes to go between each level.

The current position of the elevator depends on how episode 2 turned out. Grond has kidnapped the Professor!

After making his escape, Grond rode the elevator down to Level 2 and took

the Professor to Level 4. Figuring he’ll be followed, Grond has  placed 3 guards on the elevator platform with shotguns. Since they are standing on the elevator, the guards will be ready for the party and will come up guns blazing. The party may be surprised.

Grond didn’t get the Professor!

After failing to get the professor, Grond headed back to his lair for orders. Grond has sent two henchmen with shotguns guard the shack. They will start the elevator coming up from Level 3 shortly after the party enters the shack.

Shotgun HenchmanShotgun Henchmen

Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d4, Spirit: d4, Strength: d4, Vigor d4. Skills: Fighting d6, Guts d6, Shooting d6.

Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 4.

Gear: Double-barreled 12 Ga. (12/24/48, 1-3d6, ROF 1-2, +2 to hit). Special Abilities: None.

Due to the acoustics of the mine – and the noise made by the elevator, no one in the mine will hear any shooting that might occur.

Level One

Level 1The corridors and shafts of the mine are all rough-hewn and supported by timbers. Most of these are still sound and the whole mine is stable. Unless otherwise stated, the mine is dark. There are incandescent lights strung down all the corridors but most of them are turned off. The light controls are always next to the elevator shaft.

The corridors are at least wide enough for two men to comfortably walk abreast. The ceiling is averages 8’ high. On Level One, the corridors are dry and dusty. The rails for the ore cars run down the center of these corridors. The packed earth deadens sound, so the place is very quite and it is hard to hear anything going on. This is a –2 modifier to all listen checks.

Individual points of interest are listed below.

Elevator Shaft. This is the elevator shaft that connects Level One with the other levels of the mine. The controls here are minimal – just a call button, which will summon the elevator to this floor, and a bank of five knife switches for the lights. The controls are in good working order. This  area of the mine is lit by strings of incandescent bulbs. In addition, there is a red light by the elevator shaft that lights up when the elevator has stopped on this floor.

Dining Area. This lit area is where the miners used to break for lunch. There are five picnic tables here as well as two sinks with running water. There is also a portable toilet and boxes of supplies. The supplies are stacked such that they block line of site from the elevator to a group of men sitting at one of the tables. Four shotgun henchmen are currently  sitting here playing poker and drinking beer. They are so absorbed in their game, that they won’t notice the elevator light. Unless the party makes a very loud noise or some other ruckus, they will have surprise on these men.

Barracks. This lit area has been made into a bunkhouse. There are ten wooden bunk beds lining the walls. At the end of each is a military style wooden footlocker. A close examination of one of the lockers will reveal newspaper clippings about Dr. Boskone’s original caper. A second footlocker has a letter written by one of the henchmen to  his girl, Sally, who lives in Tacoma. In the letter, the henchman (Sam) says  that his current job at the mine is good, but he’s got something on the side that will turn out to make lots of money so they can get married. The letter closes with a cryptic note telling Sally to listen to the radio for big news from California. A third footlocker has a large envelope with some newspaper clippings in them. The newspaper clippings tell of a successful bank robbery in Amarillo, Texas, about four weeks ago. Certain parts of the articles have been underlined.

Giant Cave WormLower Corridor. This unlit area is accessible by a corridor that slopes down rapidly. It is about 15 feet below the level of the floor. Shortly after the party enters this area, the feel a rumbling. Quickly the ground  starts shaking and dust and small rocks fall from the ceiling. Before they can move, a Giant Cave Worm (see page 130 of the Savage Worlds rulebook) erupts from the wall just opposite the party.

Treasure Stash. There is treasure hidden in this unlit portion of the mine. One of the henchmen robbed a bank in Amarillo before joining Dr. Boskone. He slipped his stolen money into the mine with him and hid it here in a small crack in the wall. There are seventeen Federal Reserve bags full of money ($10,450) stashed here. They are visible because one of the bags has torn open and the cash has spilled out. Close examination of the bag will reveal that insects have eaten it.

Anyone trying to reach the moneybags will be attacked by a swarm of scorpions (see page 134 of the Savage Worlds rulebook).

Level Two

Level 2The environment on Level 2 is like that of Level  1, dark and quiet. However, there is a strange, musty smell that perm- eates the entire level.

Unless otherwise stated, the mine is dark. There are incandescent lights strung down all the corridors but most of them are turned off. The light controls are always next to the elevator shaft.

The corridors are at least     wide enough for two men to comfortably walk abreast. The ceiling is averages 8’ high. On Level One, the corridors are dry and dusty. The rails for the ore cars run down the center of these corridors.

The packed earth deadens sound, so the place is very quite and it is hard to hear anything going on. This is a –2 modifier to all listen checks.

Individual points of interest are listed below.

Elevator Shaft. This is the elevator shaft that connects Level Two with other levels of the mine. The controls here are minimal – just a call button, which will summon the elevator to this floor, and a bank of five knife switches for the lights. The controls are in good working order. This  area of the mine is dark. There is a red light by the elevator shaft that lights up when the elevator has stopped on this floor. This area is appears to have once been a storage area. Lots of debris and rocks lie around, but there is nothing of value.

To the south, there are some small points of light.

Metal Doors. A double set of doors has been set into the wall and fills most of the opening. Some light leaks through near the hinges and this is visible at the elevator. These doors are made from an oily looking silver metal. They are very smooth and cold to the touch. They are made of Venusium, a metal from the planet Venus. Venusium is impervious to heat, cold, and bullets. It can only be forged in the great heat of the Venusian volcanoes. There is a great latch in the center of the door that, when lifted, will allow the left-hand door to be opened. The latch is trapped (TN +2 to notice in the dark). Anyone opening the door will take 1d6 electrical damage.

Second Elevator. On the other side of the door is a  well-lit room and another elevator shaft. Between the door and the elevator are two automatons – Death Robots of Venus! The Robots are programmed to kill any human that comes through the doors. They will fight to the death.

Death Robots Of VenusDeath Robots of Venus

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4,  Spirit: d6, Strength:  d8, Vigor d8.

Skills: Fighting d6, Shootng d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Throwing d6. Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 8

Gear: Armored skin +2, bladed arm (Str +2), gun arm (12/24/48, 2d6 +1, ROF 1, Shots 5, AP 1).

Special Abilities: Flamethrower: the Robots of Death are fitted with a single use Flamethrower where their mouths should be. (Cone template, 2d10, ROF 1, Minim STR d6, Ignores Armor)

Behind the Robots is a second elevator. The mechanism is the same as the elevator in the other room; however, this one is made of Venusium and uses magnetic force rather than cables to go up and down. The operation of the elevator is the same as the other.

The sound of heavy machinery echoes up the elevator shaft.

Level Three

There is no map for Level Three as it is entirely a red herring. If the party goes to this level, they are off-course. Make up the layout as they move along. There are no encounters here, so after awhile they’ll get bored and go back to Level 2.

There are no lights on this level. Hopefully they won’t use up all of the batteries on their lamps.

Level Four

The corridors of Level Four are glass smooth with no visible supports. They appear to have been melted into a tube shape.

The entire level is bathed in a slightly greenish light from a strip in the center of the ceiling. The corridors are at wide enough for three men to comfortably walk abreast. The ceiling is 8’ high. The sound of machinery is almost deafening – the players will have to shout to be heard.

Individual points of interest are listed below.

Guards. Two more Death Robots are stationed at the bottom of the elevator shaft. Their orders are to kill any human that gets off the elevator platform without saying the correct Venusian password.

Death Robots of Venus

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4,  Spirit: d6, Strength:  d8, Vigor d8.

Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Throwing d6. Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 8

Gear: Armored skin +2, bladed arm (Str +2), gun arm (12/24/48, 2d6 +1, ROF 1, Shots 5, AP 1).

Special Abilities: Flamethrower: the Robots of Death are fitted with a single use Flamethrower where their mouths should be. (Cone template, 2d10, ROF 1, Minim STR d6, Ignores Armor)

More Guards. At the south end of the hall are more guards – but these are Murder-bots – an upgraded Death Robot. These Robots will open fire on any non-Venusian that enters this corridor.

Murder-bots of Venus

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4,  Spirit: d6, Strength:  d8, Vigor d8.

Skills: Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Guts d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Throwing d6. Pace: 6, Parry: 5, Toughness: 8

Gear: Armored skin +1, gun arm (12/24/48, 2d8 +1, ROF 3, Shots 30, AP 2). Special Abilities: Scope: the Murder-bots are fitted with telescopic eyes which act as a gun site (+1 to shooting).

Dr. Boskone! This room is lavishly furnished as a throne room. At the north end is a large, ornately carved throne. On this throne sits a tall, thin man in red and gold robes. He is wearing a golden skullcap and sports a beard like Fu Manchu. Yes, this is Dr. Boskone! Behind the throne is a large, elaborate tapestry. Standing on either side of Dr. Boskone are two more Murder-bots.

Standing at the south end of the room is Grond. If he successfully captured the Professor in the last adventure, then Professor Gordon will be handcuffed and standing next to the Minotaur. If the professor had escaped, then there will be a Death Robot next to Grond.

When the party enters, Dr. Boskone will make some appropriate  villain speech – something along the lines of:

“Foolish men! You think you’ve captured Dr. Boskone? I may not have the rocket packs, but you don’t have me either! Grond! Kill them all!”

This is your chance to ham it up – Dr. Boskone is every pulp villain all rolled into one and his farewell speech should be over the top! Before the party can do anything, Dr. Boskone will disappear behind the tapestry, and the robots and Grond will attack!

Escape! As the party comes through the tapestry, they see Dr. Boskone step into a column of shimmering light – a transmat beam. As he  fades from site, all you can hear is his laughing voice taunting you.

You may have won for the moment, but you have not heard the last of Dr. Boskone! Piled against the wall are many uncompleted rocket packs. Obviously Dr. Boskone was unable to get them working in time.

Explosions

As all good pulp stories end with a frantic rush out of the bad guys hide out, so should this one.

Give the party a few minutes to look around after defeating Grond – or after they see the Doctor disappear. Then tell them they feel the whole mine shake. When the Doctor left, he started the self-destruct mechanism!

It will take a little time to collapse the entire mine, but if the party waits too long, they’ll be crushed. Keep the pressure up on the party – have stones and timbers come crashing down around them. If there are any police officers with the party, have one or two crushed in the debris.

Anyway, one the party has escaped the mine, have the entire thing collapse, with the mine shack falling down on top of everything – obliterating all the evidence of the Venusians and Dr. Boskone’s evil plan.

Aftermath

The next day, as the players are reading of their adventures in the paper, one of them comes upon the following in the classified ads:

To  the Heroes ,

You  foiled  my  plans  today,   but   there  is always  tomorrow.  My  allies  on  Venus   are already  sending  reinforcements . We will meet again , and  next  tim e  you  won’t  be so lucky!

Dr. Boskone

Cue the theme song and credits! This adventure’s a wrap. However, Dr. Boskone is still out there – and the Venusians are more determined than ever. What will happen next? That, my friend, is up to you to write!

Just past the Murder-bot, there is a shimmering golden field. Close inspection will reveal two figures on the other side – one human-shaped and one Minotaur! This force field can easily be moved through – it is mainly a sound- damping field. On the other side, all is quiet.