V I A  D O L O R O S A :
S Y S T E M : A D & D
C A T E G O R Y : H I S T O R I C A L


BY MARIO MOSCALINI


- - - -


Introduction
This adventure is written for 2nd through Nth level characters (only one character, the Savior, qualifies for Nth level experience), preferably Lawful Good to Neutral alignment. For larger groups, neutral to Lawful Evil characters can be incorporated. This adventure is intended to be part of a much larger campaign, but typically involves the new creation of characters over time. Several new characters will likely need to be created for this campaign.

This adventure takes place in city of Jerusalem,
33 A.D., and should not be relocated. The city is good-sized, and with a strong occupying military presence, which should not figure into this adventure, but is a good chance for new or inexperienced players to create characters of the occupying force (Roman), as they have only limited engagements, and mostly at the end of the adventure.

For the duration of this adventure, the DM should be referred to as G-D. This can be continued for the remainder of the campaign, but is optional.

The Adventure
This adventure can be played many ways. The abbreviated version provided here is suggested for the inexperienced or less devout. The goal of the adventure is for the Savior to successfully communicate His Wishes to his followers (up to twelve are allowed). He then undergoes an arrest (assign life event Accused of Crime: 20), and is condemned for crucifixion. The Savior must successfully resurrect to remove spell of Original Sin that afflicts all other characters. Original Sin is a -4Cha, -5Wis spell which cannot be undone after death of Savior (provided he fails to Resurrect), and reduces Resurrection Chance to 0% and eliminates access to the Kingdom of God.

The Temple Debate
Our adventure opens with a confrontation between the Savior and the Sadducees over issues of the Savior's prophecies. This confrontation can be resolved with a simple role, with 1d6:5+ rewarding the Savior with a rhetorical triumph. All other roles result in the Savior leaving the temple, with rolls to establish level of damage (not necessary as this does not increase his XP). A expansion set is available for a detailed exchange between the Savior and the Sadducees (this requires the Theological Debate conversion tables for Weapons and Ideologies). After the Savior exits, the Sadducees and Pharisees roll to arrange cost of betrayal of the Savior by Judas.

Last Supper/Mount of Olives
This is a good opportunity for players to build wisdom and gather food and provisions. The Savior offers each an opportunity to Eat of His Flesh (2d8:6+), and Drink of His Blood (2d8:6+). Apostles who fail this request may continue with this adventure, but moving forward in the campaign, they are ineligible for Peroration or Sermonizing. Each player has option to ask of the Savior if they betray him. A roll of 2d8:8+ will affirm betrayal.

Garden of Gethsemane
In the Garden, the Savior may attempt his Appeal to DM. A roll of 2d6:3+ or less will result in the Savior drinking from the cup, as the DM's will commands. Peter is stationed on watch. A roll of 2d6:8+ is necessary to stave off sleep. Once Peter fails and sleeps, Judas approaches the Savior with Roman Soldiers. A roll of 3d8:8+ results in Identification of Christ and his arrest. Peter may strike at Roman Soldiers, but is handicapped by the Savior's wishes. A roll of 1d6:2+ results in nominal damage (loss of ear) regardless of hit points.

Council of Sanhedrin
During this meeting, Peter must roll three times to Deny the Savior. Rolls of 2d6:4+, 2d6:8+ and 3d6:12+ are necessary to deny the Savior. If Peter fails, he is arrested and sent to the council. A roll of 4d6:16+ will result in his release; otherwise, he is crucified with Jesus. Meanwhile, the Savior must role to determine his fate: 2d6:2+ will result in crucifixion.

Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross is the pathway to Calvary, which involves the Savior and minor characters only. Up to ten encounters can be used. DM is discouraged from using the Savior Falling encounter more than three times, and Simon of Cyrene must roll of 2d6:4+ to carry the cross one encounter. He may roll again, but a 2d6:10+ is required to continue. Roman soldiers should intervene, and with a 2d6:3+ roll, return Simon to the sidelines. For each event, all rolls by the Savior will result in forward progress. The Savior cannot invoke and saving throws in the stage, and can only mitigate his suffering temporarily.

Calvary
At Calvary, the Savior is nailed to the cross. Any Roman soldier characters in play roll for the Savior's garments. The Savior cannot use any food in his kit, except for vinegar. At this time, the Savior may invoke his Appeal to Not Be Forsaken. A 3d8:20+ roll will delay his death, but will not give him freedom. Any other rolls result in the Rending of the Temple, and Opening of Graves. Any characters of the Saint class from prior adventures are granted Resurrection.

Resurrection
After three days, allowing rest time for the secondary characters, the Savior must roll 3d6:6+ or better to resurrect. DM may intervene to insure resurrection if longer campaign is planned. Otherwise, if Savior is unable to successfully use Resurrection Saving Throw, all remaining characters remain stricken with Original Sin. If the Savior rolls successfully, he encounters each of his followers, Peter being the first, provided Peter managed to invoke Denial Saving Throw. Thomas must roll 2d6:6+ or better to overcome his Immunity to Illusion and embrace the Savior.

Kingdom of God
The Savior spends forty days spreading His Words. Other players should take this time to build skills, espeically Peter. At the end of 40 days, the Savior is assumed into the Kingdom of God and Adventure closes. It is suggested that this Adventure be followed by the Acts of the Apostles adventure.


Characters:

Jesus Christ (aka the Savior)
Hum/Cler/Lawful Good/M/XP:Nth; AC 2 (muslin); MV 50; hp 2; THAC0 2; Dmg 1d6
Weapon Proficiencies: Staff (can only be used against inanimate objects)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Carpentry, Reading, Writing, Spellcraft, Divination
Saving Throws: Resurrection: 50 Appeal to DM to
Not Be Forsaken: 2 Walking on Water: 17
Exorcism: 15

The Savior character is interesting because of his unlimited powers; many inexperienced players are frustrated with the restriction on their use. The DM needs to be wary of gamers attempting the Appeal to Not Be Forsaken repeatedly or out of turn. The best course of action is to ignore all requests after first failed roll.


Judas Iscariot
Hum/Thief/Lawful Evil/M/XP:1; AC 10; MV 10; hp 2; THAC0 10; Dmg 2d6
Weapon Proficiencies: Lantern (hooded)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Forgery, Set Snares
Saving Throws: Conscience: 22

Judas is the most intriguing, as he is the only Evil character. He successfully hangs himself with a roll of 2d6:3+. His money is used to establish the Field of Blood. After his death, player is given option to create a new character, Matthias.


John (aka the Baptist)
Hum/Figh/Lawful Good/M/XP:9; AC 10; MV 12; hp 7; THAC0 3; Dmg 2d6
Weapon Proficiencies: Staff (can only be used against inanimate objects)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Swimming, Prophecy, Muckracking
Saving Throws: Baptism: 10 Lust for Salome: 5


Peter (aka Simon, the Rock)
Hum/Bard/Lawful Good/M/XP:3; AC 12 (Denial); MV 15; hp 5; THAC0 22; Dmg 5d6
Weapon Proficiencies: Rock (can only be used rhetorically); Sword
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: Reading/Writing, Oration, Logistics
Saving Throws: Denial of Savior: 12.



OTHER McSWEENEY'S STORIES
- - - -

Possible Activities by Snow Fisher
It Struck Me on the Down Escalator at the Mall.
by Tess Robinson
Rejected Titles for this Piece by W. Ng
Mad Libs: A Primer by Dan Vaden


 


WRITE TO McSWEENEY'S
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
LISTS
ABOUT McSWEENEY'S
ASK THE McSWEENEY'S CATCHPOLE
LETTERS TO McSWEENEY'S
IF YOU ARE REVIEWING OR WRITING ABOUT McSWEENEY'S
MAIN PAGE
ARCHIVES