Saving New Sunnich
A Pokéthulhu adventure for 3-4 Cultists
and their Owner
This scenario is based on a what if question that comes up time and time again in fan discussions. What if Randy (or some other cultist) had managed to reach New Sunnich before its catastrophic destruction at the hands of the dreaded Kabuto-Sathla in the run up to Episode #157 : Sun Done Bad. In this adventure the cultists arrive just as the crazy Arnie Tagge begins his near-suicidal summoning.
Of course your cultists won't know anything about what's going to happen. Its too much to think that any of them won't know all about Episode #157, after all its regarded by most fans as the turning point of the second season, but I am sure your players, like mine, can at least pretend they don't. Just in case the plot below makes some allowances for the fact that they may find it hard not to go doing the obvious!
Age : 12 Home Village : Cold Mountain
Aspect : Non-euclidian
- Grade Level : 3
- Phys Ed : 5
- Pokéthulhu Lore : 4
- Sanity : 3
- Shoplifting : 7
- Talking Trash : 8
Notes : David Pickman is not a very good cultist and he isn't very smart either. He knows how to talk the talk but when it comes to actual doing it all tends to fall down a bit.
Scene One : The road into town
The road to New Sunnich winds past dark and forbidding forests that reach right down to the cove where the town lies.These cloak the slopes of Mount Dement, which is just visible through the drifting fog. If any of the cultists really want to enter the woods then take a look at the optional interlude about wild Oddoths below.
As the party arrive at the edge of town they see another cultist blocking their way, a tousle haired boy in slightly dated looking clothes. He has a gawky sort of height and stands a head taller than most of the cultists, even the older ones. This is David Pickman, who lost his last shining dodecahedron in a fight with Arnie Tagge earlier in the day. When he sees more cultists coming he decides to challenge them to a fight to try and win a dodecahedron from them. David stands in the middle of the road, holding his dodecahedron slightly aloft, and challenges the whole group to a one on one thulhu battle (poor David only has one thulhu, a chinthonian) with a dodecahedron as the stakes. If the players want to resist then they have to win a 3 dice trash talking contest. If they lose they have to fight (or look really silly).
If David wins he'll insist on getting his dodecahedron, but may turn up again in Scene 4 if the party looks like they might need help. If he loses then he'll have to admit that he doesn't actually have a dodecahedrom to give them. The cultists will probably ridicule him (or worse) but there is little they can do. Given a chance he'll explain his sorry situation and offer to come with the party and help them in some way, if he can.
Scene Two : Things to do in New Sunnich Country
There is a little known error in Episode #157. As the shot pans across the scene of the blasted town square near the start of the episode you can clearly see a torn flag hanging over the fountain in the middle of the shot. In the next shot, however, the fountain is visible behind Randy as he talks, but there is no flag!
When the cultists finally get into New Sunnich they will probably be itching for something to do with themselves. Of course at this very moment Arnie Tagge is hatching his diabolical schemes atop Dement Mountain, but the cultists should know nothing about this. Therefore they are likely to look around town for whatever might constitute a fun activity. The adults here are understandably nervous of real live cultists, but New Sunnich is a reletively peaceful place (oh the irony) and its possible that they could get some recommendations from those adults too slow too flee, or from David if he has accompanied them.
It will quickly become clear that the main things to do in town are visit the New Sunnich Museum, drop into the Library, visit the harbour, or go into the woods that surround the town. If David is with them (or they find another kid to speak too) then they will learn that the woods are full of unspeakable Oddoths, which may tempt them to go hunting wild thulhu. All of these interludes except going to the Library are optional ones, and can easily be skipped, but you may want to encourage the cultists to explore the town a little, they may get a kick out of spotting buildings that only appeared as ruins in the actual episode.
Optional Interlude : The Harbour
New Sunnich Harbour is a dismal place, showing the ravages of time in its sagging rooves and quaint little fishing cottages. Few fishermen now work the river, but the Harbour remains in use because it is a stopping spot for the paddle steamer that travels upriver to Muskratonic University. The waters here have a murky quality, stained brown with runoff from the forests, so that its almost impossible to see the bottom even when its no more than a few feet deep. Nevertheless an enterprising cultist with a fishing pole might be able to catch a few Goldeeps here. The only place of commerce around the harbour is a fishing shop. The bushy bearded old man within seems unfazed by cultists, and even shows of thulhu force hardly upset him. He has some fine rods in stock but they are, naturally, well beyond the price range of any cultist!
Optional Interlude : The Museum
The New Sunnich Museum is a large building constructed from heavy stone blocks in a neo-classical style. Over the entrance stairs a statue of some sort of stern looking man looks down. Within are dusty galleries containing many things of no interest to a cultist. There is, however, one gallery that they are bound to come to, which contains terrifying (and huge) fragments of the shell case of some long dead thulhu. If they stay to read the handwritten note on the case it suggests that these are possibly remains of the legendary Kabuto-Sathla. So terrible are the remains, however, that a Somewhat Tricky (3d) Sanity roll is needed not to have to hastily leave the museum!
Optional Interlude : Oddoth Hunting
The dark and mist shrouded forests around New Sunnich are infested with Oddoths, unnatural fungal tubers which lie in wait under the soft loamy soil, wrenching themselves free to feast upon unwary passers-by. A young cultist with a need for wild thulhu can easily find them here. On any given trip to the forests d3 Oddoths will appear. They are quite happy to attack cultists, but will fight any thulhu they have instead.
Scene Three : New Sunnich Library
The Shining Dodecahedron
Of course its possible that the cultists may somehow fail to give the special dodecahedron to the High Cultists, and may wonder what they could do with it themselves. Its up to the Owner what the dodecahedron really does, but I would suggest that it doesn't do much beyond aflicting whoever carries it with strange disturbing dreams of huge masses in ponderous motion. Certainly it won't contain a new thulhu, and if it is inhabited then no ritual the cultists know will make its current occupant reveal itself.
In New Sunnich Library many eldritch scrolls give information on the Oddoth (tricky, 3d, Grade Level) and on Kabuto-Sathla (really hard, 1d, Grade Level), but there is no time for research, Librarian Lumli is in trouble!
Once Lumli realises that the players are cultists she will go to them for help. Just half an hour ago (or whenever seems appropriate) a visitng cultist by the name of Arnie Tagge ran off with her copy of the Liber Pokonis! Not only does Lumli want her library book returned, she also fears that Tagge intends to do something quite awful with the book. She will beg the cultists to help her, and if they need more encouragement she can offer them a special shining dodecahedron that will have great value to the High Cultists in Muskratonic valley. She tells the cultists that Tagge spent some time studying certain books on Legendary Thulhu, and then, when her back was turned, grabbed the Liver Pokonis and ran off in the direction of Dement Mountain!
The chase is on!
Scene Four : Through the Forests
There is only one road out of New Sunnich to Dement Mountain, a winding track that runs past crowded and shuttered houses and then through the forests. The only people to meet here are terrified adults who will flee at the sight of the cultists running past. If anyone tries to stop them (a challenging (2d) test of Talking Trash) then they will tell them that there is an eldritsh stone circle on the cursed top of the mountain. They will also warn the cultists of the terrible creatures that roam the forests, before slamming closed their doors and shutters.
The road through the forest is steep and rough going and its a somewhat tricky (3d) test of Phys. Ed. to have a hope of catching up with Tagge (see Scene Five below for the consequences of failing this roll). If some cultists make the roll and others fail then they can easily be separated in the woods and attacked by wild thulhu! In this case its really up to the kids in front if they go back to help their friends or rush on up the mountain.
As described in the optional scene above the woods are full of Oddoths. If the cultists didn't catch any of the tuberous thulhu before then they may well be attacked by some now. If they captured some of the Oddoths before then they are more likely to meet vicious Fungal Clusters, which burst from the bark of the trees at higher elevations!
Owner note : The cultists are just about to have at least one, if not two difficult fights ahead, so you may want to leave out the attacks in the woods. If you think the cultists and their thulhu need to be softened up before facing Tagge's thulhu and Kabuto-Sathla then this is the place to do it. If you feel that the cultists are going to struggle then you may want David Pickman (see scene one) to turn up to help them.
Scene Five : The blasphemous circle
Age : 10 Home Village : Unknown
Aspect : Squamous
- Grade Level : 8
- Phys Ed : 3
- Pokéthulhu Lore : 8
- Sanity : 2
- Shoplifting : 6
- Talking Trash : 3
Notes : This is Tagge before he summons Kabuto-Sathla, so he still has a little bit of sanity left. He is still the bookish and destructive kid that Randy Carter meets later on.
At the top of the forest road a perilous bridge spans a chasm and leads to the windswept top of the mountain. Crooked trees surround a blasted stone circle from which snatches of chanting can be heard. A challenging (2d) roll of Pokéthulhu lore reveals that someone is summoning a thulhu, a really hard (1d) roll reveals that it is none other than Kabuto-Sathla!
When the cultsis get to the top of the mountain they see Arnie Tagge hunched over the Liber Pokonis he stole from the Library back in scene three. Since he has his backs to the cultists its just possible that they might be able to sneak up on him and jump him if they can make a really hard (1d) roll of shoplifting. Another possibility is that they may want to throw something at Tagge to knock him out. There are plenty of rocks lying around, but because of the wind a cultist needs to make a Really Hard (1d) test of Phys. Ed. to hit, followed by another one to do enough damage at this range to knock Tagge out. If they don't sneak up on him, fail their rolls, or decide to set their thulhu on him, then Tagge unleashes his own thulhu on them! They will need to defeat Tagge's thulhu, and stop him, before he can finish the ritual!
How much time to they have? If the cultists failed the phys ed roll in scene four then they have only four rounds of combat to defeat the thulhu and Tagge. If they passed they have 8 rounds. All the way through the battle the winds blowing across the mountaintop get stronger and stronger and an unspeakable vortex begins to gather between the stones.
Tagge has three thulhu, which he will set on the cultists all at once.
Scene Six : Kabuto-Sathla arrives!
If the cultists cannot stop Tagge before he can finish his hellish ritual then the terrible Kabuto-Sathla will start to emerge from the dimensional vortex between the stones. Its hideous carapace, innumerable burning eyes, and uncountable gnashing legs are so horrible that each cultis must make a challenging (2d) sanity roll or lose one sanity forever! The sight is too much for Tagge and both he and his thulhu flee to leave the cultists facing Kabuto-Sathla alone.
Now the cultists have little choice. They must defeat Kabuto-Sathla before he fully emerges or he will destroy the town and feed on the cultist's marrow! Kabuto-Sathla is so huge that only part of him reaches through the vortex from his unimaginable alien realm. He is also so powerful that he can make more than one attack per turn, and gets two actions to a normal thulhu's one, even when he's partially not there! (Owners are advised to have a look at my extended rules on trap attacks if they don't want Kabuto-Sathla to end up as a bad joke!).
If they can defeat this manifestation of Kabuto-Sathla then it will withdraw back into its dimensional rift and the world will be safe for another day!
Scene Seven : Aftermath
No matter what happens, assuming the cultists were not all devoured, Tagge leaves the Liber Pokonis behind when he flees (or sneaks off), so the cultists can return it to Librarian Lumli, who will be very greatful, especially when she learns they saved the town as well. Arnie Tagge, on the other hand, may well still be at large, and even if the cultists capture him he may well escape later. They have probably not seen the end of Arnie Tagge!
The Pokéthulhu Adventure Game is Copyright © 200, 2001 and 2002 by John Kovalic (thulhu art) and S. John Ross (all game rules). "Pokéthulhu Adventure Game" and "Pokéthulhu" are Trademarks of Squishy Brain Games. All material is used with permission, and no ownership is implied.