Sunday, October 16, 2016

Commentary & Review Of A Green Jewel They Must Possess From Kort'thalis Publishing For The Outer Presence Rpg System & Your Old School Campaigns

Did you ever look at an adventure & think yeah there's something slightly off with that one. Yeah it makes you want to run it all the more.  This is one of those adventures, A Green Jewel They Must Possess is from the prolific mind of Venger Satanis.

Now is that time of year when you really need an adventure for a Saturday or Sunday night with the holidays coming up. Very few folks have the time to put something together on the spot, that's where our next adventure comes in."A Green Jewel They Must Possess" From  Kort'thalis Publishing   clocks in at about ten pages taking place in the Early Eighties and its mostly a back handed homage to the animated film Heavy Metal. I say mostly because its actually its own beast & really wallows in its own Eighties slime filled juices more on that in a moment.
"A Green Jewel They Must Possess" is about a compact an investigative adventure that a DM can get it clocks in at eleven pages and gets out of its own way in the first page establishing you relationship with the main protagonist in the first two minutes with a random table.
"It's Chicago in autumn, nineteen seventy-something. Ezra Jackson calls one of the investigators, asking to meet at a nearby restaurant in order to talk business. He sets the meeting for 5:00pm on a Tuesday. Ezra is about 30, medium height with a medium build, long brown hair, glasses, and wears a tan corduroy jacket with brown suede patches at the elbows. He's usually quiet unless he has something to say. Ezra is ambitious, but not at the expense of his friends. He became fascinated with the occult at a young age, but never went too far down the rabbit hole. Determine which of the following suggestions explain Ezra Jackson's relationship to each investigator."
 The investigators or adventures meet at a local restaurant and things get weird as he sketches out the origins of the green artifact.
"Ezra Jackson has a little proposition for the investigators. Ezra heard about excavation in what is now Syria - a new temple was discovered by a team of Americans, buried underneath what was considered the oldest temple discovered - until now, that is. Within this temple, the archaeologists found a sphere made of an unknown material. After touching it, the sphere began to glow green.
After one of the archaeologists died under mysterious circumstances, the sphere was shipped back to America for study and eventual display. "Nothing like this has ever been seen or recorded, not  only in the Middle East but any ancient civilization on earth... this is truly a unique artifact!""

Yeah that's right this is actually an occult heist adventure rather then a standard occult investigation and that marks it as both different and well executed. The black market underbelly of artifact, archaeological, smuggling, theft,murder & crime isn't something that nice rpg's like to talk about but not this adventure. Your PC's are put smack into the cross hairs of the Lovecraftian rifle scope. This adventure takes place some very nefarious & dangerous NPC characters. Something that the Outer Presence rpg adventure also takes full advantage of.

Photo by Colin Brown from Silver Lake, CA, U.S.A

So basically this puts "A Green Jewel They Must Possess" right into the rpg camp of Call of Cthulhu's Delta Green or Call of Cthulhu 's Eighties territory this isn't a bad thing at all. This adventure could serve as an introduction to a black market Delta Green or Call of Cthulhu campaign quite easily. The material is there to full advantage of any weird moves on the PC's part in this 'job' adventure but there is a heavy Lovecraftian or occult object here buts its not a red herring in this case. Don't forget this is a homage to the Eighty One Heavy Metal film, the green glowing artifact isn't a dead end, its a major plot element in this adventure & a very deadly one.

So now the big question that everyone was recently asking me about 'A Green Jewel they must Possess" can it be connected to Alpha Blue or Crimson Dragon Slayer? The answer is a very easy yes! In fact with very little work, the back drop of the story could be changed to another world and the same characters could be used as sleazy and dangerous space smugglers whom the PC's have to do a job for. That's the beauty of "A Jewel They Must Possess " its easily adaptable for all kinds of mayhem with the PC's. The background of the Heavy Metal film gives an easy in for the PC's.
What about the "Crimson Dragon Slayer" rpg system? Well, in point of fact given the post apocalyptic nature of the "Crimson Dragon Slayer" game and the fact that "No Escape From New York " came out last year. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to take that book & adapt in the events from "A Jewel They Must Possess" into that world quite easily. New York  after a short but calamitous global thermal nuclear war, the urban landscape became a burned-out wasteland of ruin and mutation. Survivors congregate in the city that never sleeps, making it their nightmarish playground… a shi*hole of degeneracy and wickedness. This sounds right for the events of the adventure. A combination of the two systems would be a thing of beauty using the events of "A Jewel They Must Possess" as the glue for a mini campaign. Taking it a step further because the world of Torth is always night  there will be a few minutes of dawn or dusk at odd intervals, but mostly it's constantly nocturnal - just the way they like it. If any of the players ask, tell them it's because of The Torth Effect'. And this is only the start of it, given the gonzo background of CDS. This is the sort of an adventure setting that PC's from Mutant Future, Labyrinth Lord, etc. or your favorite retroclone would be at home in. In point of fact "No Escape From New York City" could be used to act as a bridge gap into the world of Thule for your favorite OD&D or retroclone PC's. This means that an entire campaign could center around the "Earth of No Escape From New York" with "A Jewel They Must Possess" as the beginning  adventure. "The  Slaves of Tsathoggua" might possibly be the middle & finally "Slippy When Wet" could get them into the deep end of "Alpha Blue".

One of the nice things that the "Jewel They Must Possess" has is a table for continuing the events after the adventure is over with. This makes continued place not only possible but campaign events can be linked into the adventure's backdrop for extended play. Seems like a simple thing to do but many adventures miss doing this. On the whole I really really enjoyed this adventure, it does what it says on the tin and creates a really nice set up for a mini campaign in the world of the "Outer Presence". Not too shabby at all for a three dollar adventure. Five out of five stars in my opinion.
You Can Purchase A Jewel They Must Possess Right Over Here

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