Monday, December 19, 2011

Pig in a Poke: Scenario Seeds for Mutant Future

Pig In A Poke
A Series of Scenario Seeds for Mutant Future

Initial Reports
Out past the more heavily patrolled outskirts of the palisades protecting the local fort/trading camp, a group of Pigmen have been spotted. So far the Pigmen have stayed away from the roads, off of the fields, and pretty-much out of the way. All of which is very uncharacteristic and unusual behavior for these nasty, brutish things.

This Looks Like A Job For Player Characters...
A small band of adventurer-types has been hired to go investigate, but are warned Not To Stir Up Trouble. They are supposed to find out what the Pigmen are up to, and to report back. They are not to start a war.

A Quick Sit-Rep
The fortifications of the trading camp are still under construction and there is a distinct lack of manpower to defend the place. The traders, farmers and scavengers who have banded together here are very vulnerable and they know it all too well. The Pigmen have everyone spooked and the militia is pulling double-shifts in order to complete whatever make-shift defenses they can prepare, hopefully in time. Everyone 'knows' that the Pigmen will attack. It's just a matter of time.

A Revolting Development
Signs of Pigmen activity will increase as the group moves out and away from the trading camp towards the direction specified in the earlier reports.

The Pigmen are very busy. They have set-up a camp-site built right into the side of an old crater. They do not bother patrolling the area as it is constantly criss-crossed with Pigmen going about the hard work of digging-up ore and hauling it to the forges day and night. They have set up forges and smithies. Somehow the Pigmen have learned to harness their Energy Ray (Heat) ability to work iron and steel. The crater is their source of metal.

Pigman In The Iron Mask
There is a pit with a heavy grate placed over it. A special prisoner is held there. This prisoner is a smarter-than-average Pigman with grand ambitions. He originally set-up the worksite, but was betrayed by his number two lieutenant. The Lieutenant had the Pigman smiths forge a special mask, more like a full helm that covers his entire head. The mask is rough iron and prevents him from using his Energy Ray (Heat) ability without boiling his own brains and killing himself.

Rescuing the Pigman in the Iron Mask could prove either very helpful or disastrous, depending entirely on how well the player characters succeed in avoiding detection, overcoming the token guards, and getting the prisoner to cooperate with them long enough to get out of the Pigmen's constantly busy work-site.

Where Does This Lead?
Will the Pigmen attack the trading camp? Do the Pigmen even know about the trading camp yet? Probably not. But if the Pigmen do learn about the trading camp, they will most likely see it as a ready-made source of slaves to work in their forges and brand new mine.

Can the Player Characters convince the former prisoner to work with them, or will the Pigman in the Iron Mask seek to turn things to his own advantage? Who will betray whom first?

It might be possible to bargain with the new leader of the Pigmen. For some unknown reason he does not want to kill the previous leader. He will parley for the return of the Pigman in the Iron Mask, possibly even negotiating some sort of a truce. He won't keep it any longer than suits his long-term plans of conquest, but it could buy the people of the trading camp a little more time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught.

An enterprising, if seemingly unethical merchant might be tempted to make a deal to supply the Pigmen with food and possibly some tools or even knowledge about metal-working. Perhaps this merchant can harness the Pigmen and exploit them to great short-term benefit followed by mass slaughter. Possibly the merchant could exert the sort of influence upon these Pigmen that could have them become skilled metalworkers who channel their aggression into their newfound craft and set themselves up as master craftsmen who are sought after for their skills in working metal. The Pigmen could quickly become something other than just savage berserk swine on endless killing least until someone exposes them to 180 proof moonshine from some backwoods still...

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