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Level One Game Shop’s Trials of Dread
A FREE Halloween One-Shot spooky, mind-bending Adventure for level 4 characters.
Featuring 5 brain-twisting puzzles to terrorize your party in the mysterious town of Shadowed Vale in the Realm of Dread. DMs should read the entire adventure before running, and be sure to keep track of the player characters’ fear scores.
Written by McCandlys “Caine” Harrison and edited by Brad Gravett
The setting here is the Realm of Dread where everything is powered by fear, even the residents. If there is fear in the world they shall live on. There are creatures of nightmares known as Fearmongers that inhabit the Realm and there are cultists who devoted their lives to any of the head Fearmongers. The Fearmongers themselves were spawned through the collective fears of the world. There also some beings that have been captured so the Realm’s residents can simply feed off of their fear.
Needing a ruler, the Fearmongers started an annual competition. The winner becomes ruler of the Realm of Dread for a year. A ruler may not rule for over 1000 years cumulatively, and any that do, retire, and are forever known as Eternals. An Eternal, having been through years of fear mongering and ruling, gain the ability to spawn one creature of their choosing to act as ruler in their stead. They may transform any inhabitant of the realm, or create their own.
Central to the adventure is Shadowed Vale, a town in which the Trials of Dread competition takes place. Shadowed Vale is a town forever bathed in a lunar eclipse, with a blood red moon slowly circling the sky. Murky streetlamps dot foggy cobblestone streets. Dilapidated wooden buildings seem to blend with the shadows, and spiderwebs inhabit every corner of the architecture.
Two Eternals, Baba Yaga and Dracula, are the players’ hosts during the Trials. They bring abducted characters to stone catacombs underneath Shadowed Vale to introduce them to the Trials.
The five Fearmongers participating in the Trials are trying to scare the characters as much as possible, without killing them. All damage done to player characters during the Trials is in the form of psychic damage. DMs should keep track of how much total psychic damage is done during a trial, to note which Fearmonger wins the competition.
When a character hits 0 hit points, they fall unconscious but do not make death saves. That character will be out for the remainder of the current Trial and will be teleported to the next Trial with their hit points restored to full when it begins.
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