Watchers, prepare to give your players some Marvel Heroic Roleplaying covert action with this adventure. You can run it as a one-shot, a lead-in to your own covert Event, or a companion to the forthcoming sequel adventure. The sequel will be more of a pulp action romp and together with this adventure will give you a short 2-Act Event. You will need the datafiles from the last article to run this adventure!
Throughout this adventure, Scene Distinctions are shown in (BLUE CAPS) and other traits are shown in “Blue Quotes.” Links to character datafiles will reference the appropriate location in the previous post: Dramatis Personae.
- Dramatis Personae (Previous post)
- Act 1: Kriegsfurien
- Act 2: The Necrosis Germ (Future post)
This Act has the heroes sneaking into a Hydra castle to find Hydra’s connection to a missing agent and strange recent activities. Hydra scientists have recently reinitiated work on two projects that Nazi scientists began in WWII. One is the Werwolf (German “Werewolf”) Syrum a Nazi attempt at a super-soldier syrum created by enhancing humans with animal traits. The second is an airborne flesh-eating super-bacteria which can dissolve a population.
The Castle Schwarze Kunst sits atop one of the highest German peaks, sheltered between two cliffs and surrounded by rock, ice, and snow. Abandoned by Nazi scientists after WWII, it is now secretly occupied by Hydra forces.
Prominent Locations – Here are some of the castle’s prominent locations, both inside and out.
Cliff tops: The two cliffs that overlook the top of the castle are wind and snow swept rock. The (STRONG WINDS) and (COLD TEMPERATURES) make standing atop the cliffs very uncomfortable. The cliffs are a (LONG DROP) to the castle below.
Mountain Pass: The castle may be approached via a (TREACHEROUS) and (ICY) mountain pass. A few Hydra guards watch the pass from (GOOD AMBUSH SITES).
Bulwark and Entrance: The castle is (WELL FORTIFIED) with a large wall and (IRON GATE) stretched between the two cliff faces. Atop the Bulwark, a couple Hydra soldiers keep guard. The gate is opened and closed with a (HAND CRANK)
Inside the Castle: The stone-built castle is full of (ECHOING HALLWAYS) and (TWISTING STAIRWAYS). While generators provide electricity, much of the castle is still lit by (FLICKERING TORCHLIGHT).
Laboratory: The castle has a laboratory where Hydra scientists are continuing the work of Nazi scientists from WWII. The laboratory is divided into several sections.
Lab A: One section has (LARGE TUBES) filled with green liquid. Suspended in the liquid are various corpses of (HUMAN CANINE ABOMINATIONS). Surrounding the tubes are several (CONSOLE BANKS.)
Lab B: Another section is a lab with (SPECIMEN FREEZERS) and tables full of (SCIENTIFIC TOOLS) like microscopes and test tubes. This section is locked with a (KEYCARD DOOR.)
Lab C: The last section is locked with a (RETINAL SCANNER) and scientists inside wear (HAZMAT SUITS). It contains various high end equipment for study and containment of bacterial and viral specimens. In containment are several altered strains of (FLESH EATING BACTERIA.)
Computer and Communications Facility: Behind a (KEYCARD DOOR) is a climate controlled set of rooms containing the castles (COMPUTER SERVERS) and (COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT). There are satellite uplinks and all sorts of high tech systems.
The equipment can be hacked (with Tech or Covert specialty probably), and will reveal plans by Madame Hydra to take a new engineered strain of fast acting, flesh eating super-bacteria to America to use in acts of terrorism. Unfortunately, it looks like she has already left with the goods! However, she is to be met by The Red Ghost once he has some samples of the Werwolf syrum. If the heroes can find The Red Ghost before he leaves, they may be better able to locate Madame Hydra.
Hanger: The Hanger contains several Hydracopters. There is a (LARGE CEILING DOOR) that when activated leaves the room (OPEN TO THE SKY). There are also some fuel filled (EXPLOSIVE BARRELS.) stacked around the hanger.
This adventure is best suited for heroes that are spies or have SHIELD ties, such as Winter Soldier and Black Widow.
SHIELD Agent Brubaker was investigating Hydra activity in Germany, and the bizarre deaths of two top scientists who were literally dissolved into puddles of goo. Brubaker himself disappeared after last contacting SHIELD to say he was on to something. The only related clue was a note found in one of the agent’s drop boxes that read “Castle of Necromancers,” a not entirely literal translation of Castle Schwarze Kunst.
Nick Fury selected the heroes to covertly enter the castle and find out what Hydra is up to.
Gadgets: To help them in thier mission the player hero agents are assigned the following special gear. Treat them as free assets in game mechanics terms.
Dematerializing Foam d6 – Spray it on a wall up to a foot thick and you have 10 seconds to walk through it. (Don’t roll to dematerialize a wall, it just works. The die may be included in a dice pool for things like sneak attacks through walls, etc.) there is enough foam for one use.
Watch with Cloaking Device d8 – Press button for full cloaking device.
Anti-Grav Boots d6 – Push button on watch for levitation and air walking.
Force Barrier Grenade d10 – Deploys a protective force barrier for a few seconds. There are three such grenades.
Getting In: The heroes fly above the castle in a SHIELD transport plane. They are each equipped with a Teleportion Jump Rig allowing them to freefall until within range and then automatically teleport to the insertion point. The rig takes them inside the castle, and also reorients position and velocity so they ultimately land on their feet.
Getting Out: The agents are on their own to exit the castle. They may call for SHIELD extraction at a rendezvous and pickup point about a mile outside of the castle.
Tip: Watchers, frame the action with the heroes preparing for the jump at the open bay door of the high-flying SHIELD transport, and take the heroes through the jump and teleportation into the castle.
Hydra goons fill the castle, and they patrol the hallways and rooms regularly. These patrols should happen by at inopportune times, or strategically feature as an obstacle to a goal.
The standard patrol consists of three Hydra Soldiers. Player heroes should take actions to either sneak around the patrols or to take them out. The patrols make reactions to this activity.
If a patrolling goons spot an intruder, they shout to bring a Hydra Squad to join the combat in the next Action Order.
Options with Castle Patrols
Only play out a couple Action Scenes featuring these patrols. If you want to make these scenes more exciting or challenging, make replace a patrol with a Hydra Dreadnaught and one Hydra Soldier.
Alternatively, if you have some Doom to spend on unlocks, a patrol can also contain Guard Dogs, a Flamethrower, or even a Wolf Soldier. (See Doom Pool Unlocks)
Tip: As Watcher, try to make each group of Hydra personnel unique and memorable. Make them complain about losing their keycards, or talk highly of Hydra insurance benefits. Make one exceptionally short, or highly annoying to the other Hydra soldiers. When PC’s sneak up on them, make sure they are doing something interesting or entertaining, not just standing there like cardboard cutouts.
If heroes become stressed out and captured, Hydra tosses them into an animal pit with genetic mutant wolves (datafile below). The pit has the Scene Distinctions (HIGH WALLS), (SLIMY FLOOR), and (GNAWED BONES). Captors confiscate captured heroes’ “Gear,” but heroes can conveniently recover it as normal once out of the pit.
Mutant Wolf Pack
Distinctions: Savage, Ravenous
Mutant Wolves: Giant Maws d8, Grab d8
SFX: Area Attack – Add +d6 and keep an extra effect per additional target.
SFX: Focus – If a pool includes a Mutant Wolves power, you may replace two dice of equal size with one die +1 step larger.
Specialty: Combat Expert
Two of the Super-Apes, Peotor and Igor, are charged with taking care of some last minute details while The Red Ghost takes his leave. Heroes may encounter the two apes anywhere in the castle, but the Laboratory or the Computer Facility are the two most likely places.
The two apes ferociously attack any intruders they encounter, and also call in a Hydra Squad as backup.
Peotor uses his magnetic mastery to throw heavy machinery at heroes, and to stop incoming metal-based attacks, including bullets. He also uses magnetic prowess to create complications, such as affixing two heroes together, presumably via worn metal objects.
Igor is a crack shot with a pistol, and will use his Shapeshifting to try to get the drop on a hero.
Options with Super-Apes
Instead of calling in a Hydra Squad, the Super-Apes can activate a Hydra Dreadnaught.
Also, if the Watcher has any Doom to spend, a Monkey Swarm would make a good addition to this encounter. So would a late arriving Wolf Soldier! (see Doom Pool Unlockables below)
While traversing the castle, the heroes should come across a room decorated differently than the rest. It contains many impressive landscape paintings of various locations, a piano, a fish tank, and many books. There is also a bed, dresser, closet, desk, and a couple comfortable chairs. Living here is Heinrich the Monster Dog.
Heinrich is a laboratory creation. He looks like a human-sized dog that walks on two legs. He wears a robe and a monocle. He walks with a cane, and can really only hobble around since his body has degenerated. He is quite harmless, but he is also a scientific genius. Heinrich has been held here in semi-captivity by Hydra and been forced to work on their projects despite his disgust at causing harm.
Heroes may take this opportunity to make Recovery Actions. They can also learn from Heinrich the type of experiments that Hydra has been conducting at the castle.
Heinrich – Solo d8, Buddy d6, Team d4
Distinctions: Crippled Dog Man, Pacifistic Genius
Specialties: Tech Master, Science Master
The Red Ghost is in the process of leaving the castle to rendezvous with Viper in America. The heroes can catch up with him in the Hangar.
The Red Ghost will use Miklho 2, the Super-Ape, to hold off the heroes while he climbs into a “Hydracopter d6” and flies off. Miklho 2, along with any Doom Unlocks the Watcher chooses to add to the scene, will fight the heroes until The Red Ghost lifts off, and then Miklho 2 will use his jet pack to follow. Heroes may give chase to The Red Ghost if they wish. Other Hydracopters occupy the hangar, and anyone with a Vehicle Specialty can fly them. However, players must create or buy an asset or resource to get a die for the copter. Otherwise it’s just a narrative detail. The Red Ghost’s Hydracopter is also equipped with “Lasers d8.” Of course, the heroes can stunt Hydracopter weapons of their own.
The Red Ghost attempts to escape any pursuit by creating a “Distance” or “Escape” Asset. If he raises it beyond d12, he has escaped the heroes.
If the Red Ghost escapes the castle, the heroes will have a harder time tracking down both him and Viper later. If, on the other hand, they manage to capture The Red Ghost, and get him to talk or make a deal, he tells them he was supposed to meet Viper in NYC.
The Watcher can spend Doom to unlock any of the following characters to make an Action Scene more difficult or interesting for the heroes.
1d8 – Monkey Swarm
A group of around twelve of the Red Ghost’s pet monkeys.
Distinctions: Banana!, Mischievous
Grab d8, Harass d8
SFX: Area Attack – Add +d6 and keep an extra effect per additional target.
Specialty: Acrobat Expert
1d8 – Guard Dog
A highly trained guard dog. (Specialty Character)
Guard Dog d8, Solo d6, Buddy d8, Team d4, Senses d8, Bite d6, Speed d8
1d10 or 2d8 – Flamethrower
A Hydra agent armed with a flamethrower in a flame retardant suit. (Minor Character)
Affiliations: Solo d4, Buddy d8, Team d6
Distinctions: Hail Hydra!, Enemies of Hydra will burn!
Flame Blast d10, Body Armor d6
SFX: Burn it All – Add a d6 and keep an additional effect die for each additional target.
SFX: Catching Fire – Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Flame Immunity Suit – Spend d6 Doom and ignore Physical Stress or Trauma from fire-based attacks.
Limit: Gear – Shutdown a Flamethrower Power and add d6 Doom. Spend d6 Doom to recover.
Specialties: Combat Expert
1d10 or 2d8 – Wolf Soldier
A semi-successful experiment of the Werwolf serum. (Minor Character)
Affiliations: Solo d8, Buddy d6, Team d4
Distinctions: Large and Misshapen, Bestial
Enhanced Strength d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Stamina d8, Speed d8, Leaping d6, Enhanced Senses d8
SFX: Claws and Teeth – Add a d6 to your dice pool for an attack action and step back highest die in pool by –1. Step up Physical Stress inflicted by +1.
SFX: Berzerk – Add a die from the doom pool to one or more attack actions. Step up the doom pool die by +1 for each action; return it to the doom pool when you’re done.
Limit: Insane – Add d6 Doom and convert a Werwolf Serum power to a complication. Spend d6 Doom or remove the complication to recover.
Specialties: Combat Expert
Man’s Best Friend
The castle in the action scene is used to experiment on various animals, mostly canines.
5xp – You rescue a dog while in the castle, who becomes your loyal companion. When using a specialty to track, detect, or attack with the dog present, step up dog stunts off the specialty by +1.
SHIELD Flying Car
An Agent of SHIELD can get access to one of SHIELD’s flying cars.
5xp – SHIELD flying car – you may create a “Flying Car” resource from either your Covert or Vehicle specialty when in contact with SHIELD.
Home Sweet Home
An agent who is often in deep cover has various “safe houses” to shelter in and make contact with his home agency.
10xp – You have a network of safe houses available to you. When you visit one of these, you may step up a covert specialty resource by +1, and add a d6 to the Doom Pool.
Locked, Loaded, and Ready to Roll
An agent might have a contact in Military Intelligence. Sometimes you need a vehicle with some firepower.
10xp – You must have both Vehicle and Combat Specialties to purchase this unlock. When you are able to visit your military contact, you may add a d6 to the Doom Pool and add a free combat specialty resource to any vehicle resource you buy.
A high level agent with SHIELD affiliations can obtain a Life-Model Decoy. LMD’s are android reproductions of the person they are modeled upon. When controlling the LMD from afar, the owner can see through the model, speak through it, and control everything it does.
15xp – You have a SHIELD Life-Model Decoy. The decoy has the same affiliations, distinctions, and specialties as the owner. The LMD has no non-gear power sets of the owner, but does have the LMD power set (as well as retaining any gear power sets, if the owner chooses.)
Enhanced Strength d8, Enhanced Reflexes d8, Enhanced Speed d8, Enhanced Durability d8, Enhanced Stamina d8
SFX: Nanite Repair – Spend 1 PP to recover your physical stress and step back your physical trauma by –1.
Limit: Android – Versus a successful electrical or magnetic attack, gain 1PP & step up opponents effect +1.