Presented below is the intro that the GM may present to the players for this adventure, Reclamation. It is designed to set the stage by informing the players of the basics of the adventure, and what kind of thing they should expect. Of course, they may get more than they bargained for, but that’s the risk you take in a horror-based role playing game. It also goes through a little setting information for the London that the game will be starting in, and some basic ideas for characters and motivations for their joining in the adventure – without leading them too far down any particular path. It should also leave plenty of room to play other characters if they so desire. This is my first swing at writing an adventure that someone other than myself could run, so I’m really interested in any feedback, but try to keep it constructive for the sake of my fragile ego!
“In a matter of weeks all of London was talking about the job. Reclamation was usually a government operation, and a dangerous one at that. Entire regiments of Deathwatch troops marching beyond the walls of London, through the vastness of the wastes to take back towns and cities that could again be inhabited by the citizens of the United Kingdom, the loyal subjects of the Crown. For a private individual to do so was most unusual, especially using the method he employed to find his brave souls.
All over the city the posters started to appear. They offered great reward for those that would survive the near suicidal venture to a small mining community in the north of England. The brave men and women would have to survive several days of overland travel where no one had stepped in years, and where none of England’s great steam behemoths of the rails would ever go. Once there, they would have an abandoned mine to clear of its malevolent presence, a country manor surrounded by a horde of the still moving dead, and inside it, their biggest challenge. A powerful spirit that has held the mansion in a state of terror and peril for longer than almost anyone could remember.
Well-dressed dandies and bored aristocrats discuss joining in the venture, to fight the creeping ennui that threatens to drive them to debauchery, or simply to escape public scrutiny caused by the acts committed after they passed that point, some time ago. Drunken bets are waged about who will apply and who will survive, some are bullied into staking their honour on joining in by those of a higher social standing, but who will actually see it through, though?
Tradesmen of the middle classes – doctors and mediums, clergy and parapsychologists – think about the huge advancement they would gain in society, not to mention the money they would earn if they succeeded in the job given them by a such a noble patron. They consider closing their doors for as long as it would take to complete the contract, and those lucky enough to have found someone to share their life with think about what they would leave behind if they were to fall in the wastes.
In the lowliest of pubs, where chemically manufactured gin is all that keeps madness and murder at bay, the scum of London pass around torn down bill posts, talking about what they’d do with the money; dragging themselves from the rookeries of London or just blowing it in a week of debauchery. The ex-soldiers who are down on their luck, the criminals who need to get out of the city and the Undertakers who make their living hand to mouth hunting down the abominations of the city and dream of a payday like the one promised to them by this job; they all promise themselves to stay sober long enough to turn up to the application meeting in a week’s time.
And one week later, you find yourself in a room of like-minded souls, all hoping to be picked for something that could very well mean your demise…”