You know the drill on this classic Gary Gygax module;"T1: "The Village of Hommlet" (1979), by Gary Gygax, was released in 1979 and was probably TSR's ninth adventure. It was released at GenCon XII (1979) alongside S2: "White Plume Mountain" (1979). "
But what if we transformed it? Changed it completely into a Pulp filled revamp. The classic modules are classic because they can be molded, changed, & shifted to suit the players & the dungeon master's campaign.
During World War I there were literally hundreds of minor kingdoms & fiefdoms that were still hanging on by a thread as the specter of 'The War To End All Wars' swept across Europe. The old nobility was scrambling to deal with the horrors sweeping across Europe. Prior to World War I during the Gilded Age several European families build beautiful sweeping mansions & estates in the Adirondack mountains of New York State. During the year of 1871 one year into the arms race that led up to WWI my uncle had led loose with the fact that German agents were established in the Mountains as a part of one of the Gilded Ages mansion's staff. In fact the mansion may have been a cover for German operations on American soil from the World War I Wiki entry;
"Victory in the 1871 Franco-Prussian War and the creation of the German Reich led to a massive increase in Germany's economic and industrial strength. Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz and Wilhelm II, who became Emperor in 1890, sought to use that to create a Kaiserliche Marine or Imperial German Navy to compete with Britain's Royal Navy for world naval supremacy. Their rationale was based on the ideas of US naval strategist Alfred Mahan, who argued that whoever ruled the sea also ruled the world; Tirpitz had Mahan's books translated into German, while Wilhelm made them required reading for his officers."
But let's transform & twist Hommlet even further as a modern former fur trapping village that come under hard times while it is surrounded by beautiful & opulent mansions. Mansions with their own private mercenary security forces,dogs,& the ability to defend themselves. Yet something sinister has been spreading like a cancer among the populace of the village & the hills are starting to rise wild. Strange lights, odd occurrences & phenomena were starting to attract the attention of adventurers & capes.
Cover of the pulp magazine Weird Tales (April 1929, vol. 13, no. 4) featuring The Devil's Rosary by Seabury Quinn. Cover art by Hugh Rankin. This was the issue that H.P. Lovecraft's story The Dunwich Horror appeared in.
By 1908 Germany loses the arms race, but tensions were not backing down. Several key players on the world stage were flexing their muscles & things were getting ugly; "In October 1908, Austria-Hungary precipitated the Bosnian crisis of 1908–1909 by officially annexing the former Ottoman territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it had occupied since 1878. This angered the Kingdom of Serbia and its patron, the Pan-Slavic and Orthodox Russian Empire. "
Bandits, outlaws, & gangs were roaming the wild outback country of the Adirondacks. The village was once the site of a great battle by the local American Indians & the French living there to destroy a once heinous temple of legend. Now some of the nearby mansions lay in ruins & there are rumors of horrors roaming the night. I'd really play up the Clark Ashton Smith & HP Lovecraft angle mixed with liberal doses of Algernon Blackwoods 'The Willows' style of alien horror/ future weirdness.
The PC's are called in by an uncle to investigate the old French fur trapper village/settlement of Hommlet. German agents have gone missing, a local Romanian–Serbian aristocratic genius's castle has come under suspicion, & then there is the matter of the missing villagers as well.
Then there's the little matter of several Dökkálfar , ghosts, undead, & other strange horrors lurking around the edges of the property of several upstanding families. Their private armies are worried about the lack of help & real isolation. In no way shape or form could any of this be connected with the events of The Amazing B3 Palace of The Silver Princess By Tom Moldvey & Jean Wells
The strange lights & weird sounds indicate that there may be other worldly gateways in the area. Several fairy rings with weird alter pieces have been found! The Jermyn family from England hasn't been heard from in two weeks. American officials are getting worried as William Jermyn is second assistant ambassador to Germany.
Things might be getting a bit tense right now with several capes & adventurers from Germany roam the skies near the Rhine.
Alright so this is a bit of a set up with a bit of Lovcraft, an alternative WWI, bits & pieces of several TSR modules, & more Castles & Crusades with lots of Victorious rpg & Amazing Adventures! rpg to boot.
The Elemental Evil cult is spreading among the populace & WW1 is beginning to loom. There are hints about several nasty bits of this hiding among the mountains of New York State. Will this game come off? Well see if I can pull it off with my players.