Various Hook Line & Sinker Adventurers volume 2:
by Dale Hanson
HL&S: "Why do people always blame the Simvan?"
Hook: The players are hired by a smuggler to locate a lost vehicle. It hasn't arrived at its destination yet and has failed to call in at the two previous call in times. It is a Big Boss ATV. The smuggler's assistants were delivering an item to a purchaser in a distant town. The smuggler wants to players to find the vehicle and the item, but most importantly find his friends. The original crew of the Big Boss, were Dave, Maria (his girlfriend, both were good friends of the smuggler) and a hired mystic for extra protection. He would go himself but has other important commitments. Time is of the essence.
Line: The smuggler gives the players a fairly accurate hand drawn map of route the vehicle was supposed to take. The distance and time required of the journey should be designed to suit the purposes of the GM. The players set off to find the vehicle, which shouldn't be too hard to do. When they do find the vehicle, its ruined. There are large claw marks on the vehicle, as if it has been attacked by giant animal. It has also been looted and everything of interest has been taken. Not far from the vehicle is a long dead bonfire and the bones of two humans (the smuggler's friends). The players know there were originally three people on the journey. There is no sign of the third person. They are quite far from any towns, there is however a small village not too far away though. It soon becomes blatantly obvious that there are Simvan in the area, maybe they demand payment for passage though their land? The Simvan are the obvious villains. But where is the third person and the lost item?
Sinker: The Simvan are not responsible for the deaths of Dave and Maria. They simply turned up not long after the event, ate the bodies, and took the stuff left behind by the real killer. The claw marks come from a horny and stupid dinosaur mount that tried to hump the vehicle, destroying it in the process. The killer was the third member. I used a mystic knight, but insert any devious and tough bad guy. The villain was hired by the smuggler as extra protection for the delivery. The item delivered is powerful, I used a Draining blade (from FoM). Originally the weapon was taken from a slain Mystic Knight. The Villain was assigned by her order to retrieve it. The disguised villain finally tracked it down, she couldn't believe her luck when she was offered a place on the journey as extra protection. The rest was easy. The villain is still in the nearby village, injured when she killed Dave and Maria. She has just recovered and is about to move on. If the players go to the village (its on the map) then they will encounter her. When I played this adventure she kept her true occupation hidden, the players assumed she was a normal mystic. She related the horrors of being attacked by the Simvan (total lies), she was lucky to escape with her life. According to her the Simvan are the villains and they have the item. She will try to talk the players into attacking the tribe to retrieve the weapon. If she succeeds she will join the battle. At some stage in the battle, she will turn on the characters or escape. In my version she cast shadow meld on the players so they could sneak up on the Simvan camp during the night, then at wrong time (a player failed a prowl roll and the sentry was looking for the source of the noise) she canceled all the spells leaving them to face an angry Simvan tribe. She used her magic to escape. When played the players (who survived) hated this NPC with a burning passion.
Note: The village has a good relationship with the Simvan tribe
and actually trade with them when the Simvan pass through the area.
HL&S: "Remember you may not be the toughest or smartest person here"
Hook: The players are going about their business in town. Somewhere along the line something doesn't quite go the players way. This should be a non lethal, everyday situation. For example, the players armor hasn't been repaired on time, their meal is terrible, someone gives them a bit of lip in a bar, the e clips they just brought are faulty.
Line: This depends totally on how the players act. If they get snotty and try to throw their weight around (as players sometimes do) then people will consider them to be jerks. If they handle the situation well and don't try to push people around then things will work out just fine, and this HLS is over. If they do become jerks a stranger who they haven't paid much attention too, as he is completely unremarkable will say: "Remember fellas you may not be the toughest or smartest people here". When asked what he means the stranger will back down, "shit fellas it was only a bit of friendly advice". Then he will leave.
Sinker: The stranger is a Mind Melter. His pet peeve is pumped up idiots who try to throw their weight around. So for the next little while he will follow the players from time to time. He will play little tricks on the players, for example waiting for a player to take a drink at the bar and will use telekinesis to tip the glass over a little, hence spilling the contents in the players lap. Maybe the player is chatting with a lovely lady and suddenly they can't talk or suffer from a minor attack from bio manipulation. Again what happens next depends on the players, if they react badly and start acussng people or throw their weight around again the Mind Melter will step up his tricks. He may steal an item or two, especially items the players value highly. A gunslinger's favorite pistols, or a operators tools. Maybe he will use his Telemechanics powers to reprogram or sabotage the characters vehicles. He has no intention of seriously hurting or killing the players, he just wants to teach them a lesson about manners and humility. If the players learn their lesson and stop throwing their weight around he will leave them alone.
Note: The Mind Melter is resonably high level. He has ectoplasmic
disguise and will use it to hide his identity from the players, maybe he
was using it when they first met. If there is a powerful psychic in the
party consider using a Mind Bleeder instead. One of my worst fears in Rifts
has been getting on the wrong side of a powerful Mind Melter played in
a cunning manner. ths HLS reflects this, however this Mind Melter probably
won't try to kill the characters, unless provoked.
HL&S: "Oh Lord give me a sign"
Hook: The players are passing through a small town in the wilderness. Surprise surprise.
Line: The players have just had lunch and are walking down the main street. There is a reasonable size crowd forming in the town square area. The players go and join the crowd to find out what is going on. If they don't then this HLS is over. The crowd is gathered around listening to a fire and brimstone preacher (the least used rifts OCC?). As the players arrive he seems to be building up to the peak of his sermon. "Oh dear lord give me a sign, who here needs your love the most my lord? who needs to be SAVED" Bible (or other religious text you prefer) in hand he pleads the lord(s?) to give him a sign. There is a brief silence as he waits.
Sinker: One of the players involuntarily lets out a incredibly loud burp. His stomach has been upset since lunch. The crowd turns and stares, the preacher looks surprised. "OH THANK THE LORD. HE HAS GIVEN ME A SIGN, IT IS HE (pointing at the player) WHO NEEDS REDEMPTION". The crowd moves away from the players. The players now have to deal with a determined and very insistent preacher who has taken it upon himself to save them. They will also be shunned by the towns people. How do the players deal with this? Time to find out if they can actually role play. Whether the preacher is more or less than he seems to be is up to you.
The purpose of this HLS is engage in some humourous and enjoyable roleplaying.
It quite suitable for those times when you have got nothing planned, or
when the characters are resting in a village, town. This whole HLS could
be played out without a shot being fired, depending on how the characters
HL&S: "Man! Thats expensive"
Hook: One (or more) of the player characters need to have something repaired. It could be armor, vehicle, robot, whatever. The more expensive and powerful the item the better.
Line: They don't have quite enough money or trade items to pay for the repairs. So they should be willing to consider offering a service. If they point out or complain that they don't have enough money the operator(s) will ask them to provide a service as payment for the repairs. The service could be anything the GM desires, deliver an item, pick something up, provide some muscle, steal something, maybe even follow the operator's girlfriend to find out what she is doing behind his back. The service shouldn't seem too difficult, nor is it highly illegal like murder, or kidnaping.
Sinker: Somewhere along the way the service goes horribly wrong. Maybe the players apparently deliver the item successfully, but when they return to the operator they find out that hes been getting angry calls from the people waiting to have it delivered. Did the players give it to the right person? Maybe the person who they were supposed to pick something up from has no idea what their talking about. What do they do now? Maybe the item they picked up or are attempting to deliver is in fact illegal and the local police know about it. If they are arrested them the operator will deny all knowledge (the police will believe him, as he is a local) and leave the players in the lurch. Maybe they getting into trouble following the girlfriend, or she tries to seduce one of the players, and the operator finds out.
Basically the players have screwed up and now they can't afford to get
their stuff back from the operator. The operator will probably be angry
with the players. He may even bump up the price, due to "unforseen complications"
The operator(s) should have enough bodyguards etc to discourage a shoot
out. Especially if this in a city or town where the characters must check
their weapons at the gate. So how do the players deal with this situation?
How do the get their stuff back? What cunning plan can they come up with?
HL&S: "Hey! My cred chips are gone!!"
Hook: One morning the players wake up, as they do everyday. However one character will notice that his cred chip(s), bag of gems, or whatever currency is used in your game is gone.
Line: The currency is eventually discovered in the belongings of one of the other players. This will probably lead to all sorts of suspicion, paranoia, tension, and maybe even violence between the players. This is a great HLS to use if there is tension within the group, and even better if you have a player who likes to send notes to the GM. Other items will probably be stolen later on, only to be discovered in another player's stash.
Sinker: The player is innocent, however this may be difficult to prove. The real villain is a thief (with psychic, magic, or superpowered abilities?) who has been hired by a NPC villain who the characters have annoyed, previously fought, or have a grudge against. The NPC hired a thief rather than an assassin because he or she wanted to create tension within the group. Therefore to make the players weaker before he or she attempts to get their revenge. Hiring an assassin was considered by the NPC, but he or she wants the pleasure of killing the players himself or herself.
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By Dale Hanson (email@example.com).
Copyright © 2002, Dale Hanson. All rights reserved.