Pirates Campaign: Treasure Hunting
A fantasy RPG campaign for Rolemaster and Midgard set in a pirates scenario.
Copyright Robert Wenner ©2001
Edited by Lowell R. Matthews for The Guild Companion
In this scenario, the PC's try getting the pirates' hidden treasure.
As the pirates' treasure is buried on a small secret island (in good
old pirate tradition), the PC's will have to get a ship. As a ship
of the required size (usable on the open sea, far away from shores) cannot
be maneuvered by only four or five people (most of them having no knowledge
in sailing), the PC's also need a crew. If this scenario is used
as the ending to my pirates campaign, the PC's
will probably take over Hassal's ship or maybe have a free choice, if their
attack was successful and no pirate captain stands to protest. They
can also hire a crew (and maybe even rent a ship if the GM so decides).
... has to be created by the GM according to the following instructions:
(Hint: Place the map in the front of a car and park it outside
in summer sun to get a nice old-yellow paper.)
The map shows a little island and some coordinates and references to stars
aiding a navigator to locate the island.
At the southern beach, a tree is painted on the map. Beside it is
written, "Follow the great branch for 50 steps."
An arrow pointing to the island's middle has "Beware!" written right beside
At the map's right edge follow the other instructions for treasure hunters:
"The old witch is sitting on the chest, or above."
Then a line is left blank, and the text continues with "Three feet to the
fool, six to those who know or don't care."
The Great Branch
The party will have no problems finding a large tree on the southern beach,
but it has no significant branches pointing as indicated by the text on
the map. There is also no evidence of removed branches. Nearly
buried in the sand beneath the tree lies a skeleton, its torn clothes hanging
from bare bones. The man was hanged (hint: broken neck) here
for initiating a revolt on his ship. The unstable gallows has been
destroyed by wind and weather, but the main part can be found by some digging
around the skeleton. Examining the found wood, a player will find
two holes in one end; one of these still has a rusty nail attached to it.
A closer look at the tree will reveal two other holes, so the original
gallows may be reconstructed. This is the branch to follow.
The warning Beware! has no special meaning and is only for scaring
thieves of the map.
The "Old Witch"
The term "old witch" refers to a poisonous spider hiding in the
bushes that grow all over the island. When the treasure chest was
buried, the pirates took care to put a spider's nest in the bush under
which the treasure was hidden. By now, the adventurers will meet
1D6 spiders at the bush. These spiders don't weave webs, but drop
from the trees upon their victims. They usually hunt rodents and
animals up to the size of a monkey. Besides surprise, their main
weapon is their poison, which will kill a rodent in 2 rounds and a monkey
in 4–6 rounds. When these spiders feel disturbed or backed into a
corner, they also try spitting their poison over a distance up to 4 m (13').
(Digging close to their nests will disturb them.)
The depths written to the map refer to the fact that the pirates
buried two chests. The first one is hidden only 1 meter (3'3")
deep and is filled with some nice looking yet worthless glass pieces, old
coins, and false jewelry. Six feet (1.80 meters) deep rests the right
treasure. Careless characters who have been killed by the spiders
may be exchanged for the chest, as this is the proper depth for a grave.
As the scenario is fairly simple in this form, the party should be persuaded.
This may be by the owner of the map (as described in my Pirates Campaign)
or any other scum who know about the map. Maybe some people tried
to get the treasure themselves and now intend to sell the map and follow
the buyer to steal the treasure from him? An original owner of the
map will try sinking the player's ship before they reach the island, while
people following the party for the treasure will wait until the party has
done the work and then try to rob them.
An extra option is a crew that betrays them. This may be the crew
just demanding more money than agreed upon, but the crew may also take
the whole treasure (and possibly leave the players marooned on the island).
The Pirates Campaign ends here, maybe with a last showdown between PC's
and pirates. But their revenge is done and they should have made
some material profit as well.
Of course, the GM may use the treasures found for a new campaign and
give some (cursed?) special items to the players. Or maybe the chest
includes yet another treasure map...?
Master Beast Chart
|Rolemaster Beast Chart
|The poison is a 4th level reduction poison. The spiders
may spray their poison up to 3 times/day. Use the Fire Bolt attack
table with RC3 Acid criticals.