The Kingdom of Esallia is celebrating the birthday of its King, Humphrey XIV. Esallia’s nobility is known far and wide as possessing great wealth and the will to use it, throwing lavish parties and galas. This party is expected to be no different, and is a prime opportunity for enterprising n’er do wells to infiltrate it and make off with some royal wealth. The heroes will be thieves, posing as a roving actor brigade to infiltrate Esallia and liberate them from some of their wealth.
Several renowned actor bands have been invited to Esallia to perform at the party. The heroes managed to secure an invitation under the guise of the Soaring Playwrights, a group that performs from elaborate custom stages prepared on their airship. This will allow them to enter Esallian airspace unopposed and, if necessary, escape in a hurry. As they arrive, before the festivities, they will have a chance to mingle with the nobility and several key players. It will be up to the heroes to discern how best to tailor the show to appeal to the nobility and keep them distracted. The heroes will have some time to mingle and investigate the area.
During the set-up scene, all active characters will be able to speak with the available NPCs. They can use this time to get information on the people they will be performing for and what they expect to see. All bonuses and penalties the party can acquire from different NPCs will stack.
King Humphrey XIV: King Humphrey is the ruler of Esallia, a vain and petty man who revels in his wealth and power. He spends his days surrounded by the nobility who pamper him endlessly in exchange for favors. He will be inaccessible to interview, but his mood is the most important meter in the challenge scene. He favors light-hearted comedies with plenty of buffoonery that allows him to laugh at the silliness and stupidity of the common folk. He is, however, a simple fellow and will often miss irony or wit, and has been known to laugh heartily at jokes that were in truth at his expense.
Queen Madra: The Queen is a woman of great ambition, and holds the ear of the King firmly in her palm. Madra is much sharper, and quicker to catch insult to the crown or the King. However, she is not without a sense of humor, and a well-told joke is one she will appreciate. Queen Madra will not stand for open or two-faced insults to the crown, and if she detects them she will alert the King. As with King Humphrey, she is inaccessible to interview.
Chancellor Elida: Chancellor Elida is an advisor to the throne. She knows the royal couple quite well, and can provide information on them, so long as she is approached correctly. Elida is openly extremely and unswervingly loyal to the crown, and earnest in her desire to maintain the throne. However, underneath she is a schemer, looking to usurp the power of King Humphrey and install her own shadowy rule. Elida knows the secrets of the royal family, including where the vault is, but is extremely guarded with her information. She will look favorably upon people who manage to subtly imply they seek to strike at the crown, but if she isn’t assured of the competence of the party, she will quietly alert Sir Lionel to keep an eye on the party.
Elida can give the party information on the vault, providing the Infiltration team a +1 bonus to rolls to both locate and crack it. In order to achieve this information, they must pass a Negotiation roll of 14. The characters can get a bonus of up to +2 if they imply intent to strike at the crown and show a certain degree of confidence and poise that makes Elida think they might be successful. Alternately, excessive amounts of flattery also win her over; she thinks highly of herself and her position and sees herself as an underappreciated genius. If the Negotation roll is 11 or lower, Elida will alert Sir Lionel, which will give the Infiltration team a -1 to all rolls when interacting with guards.
Sir Lionel: Sir Lionel is the Captain of the Guard and in charge of the security at the venue. He is extremely fussy and self-important, but takes his duty very seriously even if he isn’t the most competent. He is unswervingly loyal to the crown, and will tolerate no aggression against them. He is, however, unfortunately trusting, and his trust can be won by characters expressing concern for the safety of the crown and citizens can earn his trust.
Sir Lionel will divulge information on the guard patterns on a Negotiation roll of 12. If the characters approach him in the spirit of concern for the security and the safety of his charges, they can get a bonus of up to +2. A successful roll will give the Infiltration team a +1 bonus on rolls dealing with the guards. If the party makes Sir Lionel suspicious or if they fail the Negotation roll by 7 or less, he will refuse to deal with them and the Infiltration team will suffer a -1 penalty to all rolls when interacting with guards.
Madame Fayre: Madame Fayre is the overseer of the common workers within the castle and has a good bead on the common citizenry who will be observing the play. Fayre, as well as the common folk, are not overly fond of the nobility in general and the King in particular. Madame Fayre is in charge of a lot of the laborers in the castle, and has a great knowledge of their general patterns. She also has a lot of influence with the laborers and if the party makes a positive impression, she will pass this along to the laborers, giving the Infiltration team a +1 bonus to all interactions with the laborers in the castle. However, if the party shows undue favor for the nobility or disrespects Madame Fayre or her people, she will alert the laborers and encourage them to make life difficult for the party, which will give them both a -1 to the Infiltration team interacting with the laborers and a -1 to rolls to influence the laborers during the performance.
Madame Fayre also knows several access tunnels and shortcuts within the castle. If the party manages to get on her good side, she will reveal them with a successful Negotiation roll of 11. Characters can gain up to a +2 bonus if they are sympathetic to her and her people and if they hint at a desire to strike at the crown. This is not available if the party offends her, she will not give up this information to people she does not like.
Lord Camber: Lord Camber represents the majority of the nobles. A rather stuffy, pompous man, he’s an eternal sycophant who worships the ground the King walks upon. Lord Camber is rather vain and enjoys hearing nice things about himself and his liege. If the party treats him with the respect and awe he feels is his due, he can babble endlessly. Lord Camber is relatively familiar with the treasures held within the castle, and will speak of them at length with a successful Negotiation roll of 11. Characters can gain up to a +2 bonus with general flattery of both Lord Camber himself and the royal family. Insulting nobility, however, is a grave offense, and doing so in Lord Camber’s presence will give a -2 penalty to all rolls made to influence the nobility during the performance.
Dividing the Group
There are two potential roles that the party must be split between, which will run simultaneously. The first role is the actors, who will be putting on a performance to serve as a distraction to the guards and nobility during the heist. The second role is the infiltrator, who will be responsible for recovering the treasure and escaping (hopefully) undetected. At least 3 members are required for the actor role, and at least 1 member is required for the Infiltration role. All members of the party have an audio connection to each other, and will be able to communicate. However, the actors will need to be careful with their phrasing, as communication done outside of intermission will need to still fit within the play they are performing.
The heroes are welcome to prepare their own play should they wish, but they have managed to procure an existing play which may be used in whatever form desired. If preferred, the players can create or improvise a play on their own. If they are using the stock play, the following characters are available:
Lucius/Lara of Stonegully: The primary love interest of the story, this character is sought after by the two royal children from rival kingdoms hoping to claim his or her hand in marriage. They are giving to dramatic overwrought indecision and hand-wringing over which to pick. The child of a minor noble family with a barony in opposed territory, they grew up with both of the royal children and are very close to both.
Aldert/Aleera of Hightower: The child of the esteemed Kingdom of Hightower, and heir to the throne. A dark, brooding person, they are deeply in love with Lucius/Lara and wish to take them as their spouse to rule Hightower. They are prone to deep, extended monologues about the nature of mortality, death, and the fleeting nature of happiness.
Sarus/Sarah of Ishal: The child of the Empire of Ishal and heir to the throne. A strong, energetic person who is also deeply in love with Lucius/Lara with hopes of taking them as their spouse to rule Ishal. They are fond of bluster and physical shows of strength and prowess, but can be a bit dumb.
Servants/Woodland Creatures: During Act II, Lucius/Lara will seek advice from either their servants or some friendly woodland creatures. These roles can be given to other actors if available, or can be given to the Aldert/Aleera and Sarus/Sarah actors.
Any further characters available may fill in an assortment of roles as needed to enhance the play as extras. Players are encouraged to invent their own roles to fit the story as they see fit.
During the performance, the following meters will be available:
Royal Family Approval
All characters will act in two segmented initiatives, first the Infiltration team and then the Actor team. The Infiltration team will primarily influence the Suspicion meter although they may take action to attempt to influence the others as well if they have time, whereas the Actor team will be able to influence all of the meters. All Approval meters begin at 5 and rise or fall depending on the quality of the play, whereas the Suspicion meter begins at 1 and rises if the Infiltration team does something to attract attention. The Actor team may attempt to lower the Suspicion meter by diverting attention with their performance. During their turn on the initiative, each Actor will make a roll against a meter and continue the play, receiving bonuses or penalties depending on the method of their acting and how it appeals to the targeted group. Should the action be directly unappealing to another group, they will have to make a second roll to prevent losing approval from that group.
Royal Family Approval: The Royal Family Approval meter determines how the King and Queen feel about the performance. Typically the Royal Family enjoys buffoonish comedy that affirms their wealth and station at the expense of the underclass, and actions in that vein will give bonuses to the actor’s roll. Any challenge to the social order, especially to that of their rule specifically is not appreciated and will give a penalty to any rolls. A roll of 13 is required to raise the Royal Family Approval meter.
If the Royal Family Approval is at 2, the entire castle will be on edge and the Infiltration team will receive a -2 to all rolls. If the Approval is 3-4, they will receive a -1 to all rolls, if the Approval is 5-6, there will be no bonus or penalty to any rolls, if the Approval is 7-8 they will receive a +1 bonus to all rolls and if the Approval is 9-10 they will receive a +2 bonus to all rolls. If the meter reaches 1, the King will angrily end the performance abruptly, which will mean the Infiltration will have two more rounds to find an exit to avoid being caught.
Nobility Approval: The Nobility Approval meter determines how the assembled nobility feels about the performance. Typically, the Nobility wants to see themselves portrayed as wise, heroic, and competent, and actions in that vein will give bonuses to the actor’s roll. Any attempt to portray noble characters in an uncharitable light, however, will give a penalty to any rolls. A roll of 12 is required to raise the Nobility Approval meter.
If the Nobility Approval is at 1 or 2, the frosty silence will be highly conspicuous, giving the Infiltration team -2 to all Stealth rolls. If the Approval is 3-4, they will receive a -1 to all rolls, and if the Approval is 5-6, there will be no bonus or penalty to any rolls. If the Approval is 7-8, the Nobles will begin to get rowdy and appreciative and the Infiltration team will receive a +1 bonus to all Stealth rolls, and if the Approval is 9-10, the Infiltration team will receive a +2 bonus to all Stealth rolls.
Commoner Approval: The Commoner Approval meter determines how the assembled guards and laborers feel about the performance. Typically, the Commoners want to see the nobility and royalty made to look foolish, incompetent, and out of touch, and like to see the underclass portrayed as sensible and competent, and actions in that vein will give bonuses to the actor’s roll. Any attempt to portray commoner characters unfavorably or with typical noble prejudice will give a penalty to the roll. A roll of 12 is required to raise the Commoner Approval meter.
If the Commoner Approval is at 1 or 2, their unhappiness will bleed to the guards and laborers on duty, giving the Infiltration team -2 to all rolls when dealing with the guards or laborers. If the Approval is 3-4, the they will receive a -1 to Guard and Laborer rolls, if the Approval is 5-6, there will be no bonus or penalty to any rolls, if the Approval is 7-8, they will receive a +1 bonus to Guard and Laborer rolls, and if the Approval is 9-10, they will receive a +2 to Guard and Laborer rolls.
The Actors will have 4 rounds to complete each act, as well as a one-round intermission between Acts I and II and between Acts II and III. During the Intermission round, all approval meters will move 1 step closer to the neutral 5 point, either up or down as warranted. If they feel the need to stretch it out they may, but the crowd will grow increasingly restless at the extended length and each successive round the actors attempt to stretch out a single act gives them a cumulative -1 penalty to all of their rolls. The play, and thus the scene, ends with Act 3.
Suspicion: This meter will be primarily impacted by the actions of the Infiltration team, but the Actor team will have the ability to attempt to reduce it by covering up a mistake or drawing attention away from suspicious activity by making a roll against this meter. Reducing this meter requires a roll of 12.
War is declared! Tensions between the Kingdom of Hightower and the Empire of Ishal have inflamed, bringing the two countries to conflict. The heir to the thrones of Hightower and Ishal shrink away from the battlefield to meet with their true love, the heir to Stonegully. Meeting in a secluded glade, the two come to blows and Lucius/Lara flees in tears.
Lucius/Lara goes into hiding while the war escalates. Unable to relinquish their love for either Aldert/Aleera or Sarus/Sarah, they are ridden with guilt. Here, they confer with servants, or perhaps some wild animals in the wilderness, searching their heart for the answers.
With the battle raging, the Aldert/Aleera and Sarus/Sarah lead their forces to one final, cataclysmic battle. Lucius/Lara rush to intervene and stop the fighting. Depending on the wishes of the players, this could end a number of ways:
Tragic Ending 1: Lucius/Lara throw themselves into the middle of the fighting and is killed.
Tragic Ending 2: Aldert/Aleera or Sarus/Sarah are slain by the other, and Lucius/Lara rejects the winner.
Bittersweet Ending: Aldert/Aleera or Sarus/Sarah are slain and Lucius/Lara picks the winner. Best used if Aldert/Aleera or Sarus/Sarah are portrayed at least somewhat villainously so their defeat is overall a happy occurrence.
Comedic Ending 1: Aldert/Aleera and Sarus/Sarah make peace at the dramatic moment and throw down their arms and end the war. Lucius/Lara picks one, both or neither.
Comedic Ending 2: Aldert/Aleera and Sarus/Sarah err, driving a war their people do not want. The people rally behind Stonegully and proclaim Lucius/Lara the new ruler of a united front. Lucius/Lara picks one, both or neither.
Comedic Ending 3: Aldert/Aleera and Sarus/Sarah fall in love with each other and run away together, leaving Lucius/Lara the third wheel.
While the play is occurring, the Infiltration team will attempt to sneak into the castle and liberate as much wealth as they can. The Infiltration team will have two primary meters, the Suspicion meter and the Loot meter. The Suspicion meter begins at 1, and increases whenever the Infiltration team does something that would make people suspicious of their actions within the castle.
The Loot meter starts at 1 and is raised by the acquisition of treasure within the castle. The goal of the Infiltration is to raise the Loot meter to 10 and escape before the Suspicion meter rises to 10. While the Infiltration team cannot easily reduce the Suspicion meter themselves, the Actor team will be able to assist them to keep it low until the job is done.
The Castle is laid out in a large array of rooms interconnected by massive sweeping corridors, patrolled by guardsmen. Additionally, there are a number of laborers such as the maid and butler staff and various chefs, pet trainers, and construction workers who regularly roam the halls. When traversing the halls, the Infiltration group will have to either stealthily avoid or bluff their way through any encounters they might have.
The primary castle rooms are arranged in a 3×3 grid connected by hallways. The arrangement is as follows:
Guard Quarters, Mess Hall, Servant’s Quarters
Library, Throne Room, Hall of Mirrors
Indoor Garden, Waiting Room, Ballroom
The Infiltration team enters the Castle through the Waiting Room. If the team engages any guards in combat, each combat round will automatically raise the Suspicion meter by 1. When passing through any hallways, the party will have to pass an equal number of guards as there are members of the Infiltration team. They can be passed with a Negotiation or Stealth roll of 13 by all Infiltration team members. If they are not passed successfully, they will attack. You may steal the Uniforms of Guards for a +1 bonus to interactions with other Guards. Changing Uniforms can be done at any time during a round at no action cost, so long as the coast is clear (such as inside of a Secret Passage or in an area where the Guards have been defeated). If Guards are defeated in a hallway, that hallway will be permanently cleared. Passing through a hallway is free if it has already been cleared, otherwise it requires 1 full round. Passing through a Secret Passage, even if the team changes uniforms inside it, is also free. The team will always be able to observe the room if they are accessing it from a Secret Passage, even if it is still occupied. Treasure is always immediately visible to the team and requires no Observation roll.
The Infiltration team is not required to stick together, but the number of guards encountered is always set to the full number of members participating in the Infiltration, even if they are not all present and a fight breaks out. If multiple fights break out within the castle, each individual fight will raise the Suspicion meter by 1 for as long as they persist.
Each room has the following attributes and treasures.
Guard Quarters: The Guard Quarters are located in the top left corner of the Castle, and houses the Guards. At any given time the Guard Quarter is populated by twice as many guards as there are members of the Infiltration team. If the team intends to enter the room they will need to be able to explain their presence with a Negotiation roll of 13, avoid detection with a Stealth roll of 13, or defeat the guards.
Permanent Skills: Balanced Fighter, Sprinter lv. 1
Effect: 41 strength damage, line 2
Cost: 5 ST
The Guard Quarters are connected to the Library and Mess Hall via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Throne Room. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 13, or 11 if the Infiltration team has time to carefully search the area. A careful search can only be conducted if the Guards are defeated and disabled.
The Guard Quarter also has a large quantity of spare Guard uniforms, making it much easier for the party to find the right size and providing a +2 bonus to interactions with other Guards instead of +1. The uniforms can only be accessed with a subsequent Stealth roll of 13, a Negotiation roll of 14, or if the Guards have been defeated.
Mess Hall: The Mess Hall is located in the top center of the Castle, and is where servants and guards congregate and eat. The kitchen is not in operation during the play, but there will be a few guards and servants inside of it. If the team intends to enter the room they will need to be able to explain their presence with a Negotiation roll of 12 or avoid detection with a Stealth roll of 12. Failure will raise the Suspicion meter, but as the area is generally open they will not be attacked or outwardly met with hostility.
If the Negotiation roll is passed, the party may chat with the guards and servants in the area. With a further Negotiation roll of 12, the team can get further information on Guard and Servant patterns, giving them a +1 bonus to interactions with both for the rest of this scene.
The Mess Hall is connected to the Guard Quarters and Servant’s Quarters via hallway.
Servant’s Quarters: The Servant’s Quarters is located in the top right of the Castle, and houses the Servants. At any given time the Servant’s Quarter is populated by several Servants. If the team intends to enter the room they will need to be able to explain their presence with a Negotiation roll of 12, or avoid detection with a Stealth roll of 14.
The Servant’s Quarters are connected to the Mess Hall and Hall of Mirrors via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Ballroom. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 13.
The Servant’s Quarter also has a large quantity of spare Servant uniforms, which provide a +1 bonus to all interactions with Guards and Servants. If the party managed to make contact with Madame Fayre, they will be supplied with Servant outfits if they request it. If not, they can convince the Servants to part with the outfits with a Negotiation roll of 13, and can gain up to a +1 bonus if they declare intent to strike against the Nobility. The Servants will also reveal the existence of the Secret Passage if the Negotiation roll is passed by 14 or more.
Library: The Library is located in the left center of the Castle, and is where the accumulated knowledge of Esallia. It is unmanned, except for a single Master Librarian who can be found sleeping at the desk. For each action attempted within the Library, any party member taking part in the action must pass a Stealth roll of 10 to avoid waking the Librarian. If the Librarian is awoken, he will scream at the intruders and usher them out of the Library before locking it, making the room inaccessible via normal means and raising the Suspicion meter by 1.
The Library houses a collection of books of ancient Arcane Power that can be located with an Observation roll of 11. The books are so powerful that they must have their seals broken by a Mystic Arts roll of 12. The books raise the Loot meter by 2. Failure to dispel the seal causes a loud explosion which increases the difficulty of the Stealth roll to avoid waking the Librarian by 2 and increases the Suspicion meter by 1.
The Library is connected to the Guard Quarters, Throne Room, and the Indoor Garden via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Hall of Mirrors. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 11.
Throne Room: The Throne Room is located in the center of the Castle, and is the seat of power for Essalia. It is constantly manned at all times by an equal number of Elite Guards as there are Infiltration team members. If the team intends to enter the room, they must pass a Stealth roll of 13.
If the team does not possess any uniforms, they will be attacked immediately. If they possess Guard uniforms, they can attempt to take over the Guard duty with a successful Negotiation roll of 14. Failure raises the Suspicion meter by 1 and the team will be rebuffed and told they don’t have a proper schedule and they need to go recheck their assignments. If they possess Servant uniforms, they can attempt to declare that they are there to clean the area with a Negotiation roll of 12. If they fail, the Suspicion meter will be raised by 1 and the party will be expelled from the Throne Room and will not be able to re-enter it unless they choose to fight.
Permanent Skills: Balanced Fighter, Sprinter lv. 1
Effect: 41 strength damage, line 2
Cost: 5 ST
Effect: 39 strength damage, Range 4
Cost: 5 ST
The Throne Room possesses two major treasures. The first and most obvious treasure is the King’s Scepter, which is held in a holster at the side of the throne. It can be stolen with a Legerdemain roll of 13 if the Guards are still in the room or with no roll if they are not. A failed Legerdemain roll will cause the guards to attack immediately. The Scepter raises the Loot meter by 2.
The major treasure is located in a mechanism behind the Throne that can be spotted with an Observation roll of 13, or 11 if the team has the opportunity to investigate the area either by posing as Servants and cleaning the area, by convincing the Guards to leave or by defeating the Guards. There is a safe behind the throne that can be opened with an Engineering roll of 13. This can only be attempted if the room is clear; if Guards are present they will attack immediately. If failed, the Engineering roll can be repeated but each failure raises the Suspicion meter by 1. If the safe is opened, it reveals the Eternal Diamond, a jewel of great size and luster that raises the Loot meter by 5.
The Throne Room is connected to the Library, Hall of Mirrors, and the Waiting Room via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Guard Quarters. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 13, or 11 if the team has the opportunity to investigate the area either by posing as Servants and cleaning the area, by convincing the Guards to leave or by defeating the Guards.
Hall of Mirrors: The Hall of Mirrors is located in the right center of the Castle, and is an ornate room full of portraits of the royalty and exquisite mirrors sheathed in gold. It is typically manned by Servants that are maintaining it. The Hall of Mirrors can be entered with a Negotiation roll of 12 or a Stealth roll of 14.
The Hall of Mirrors possesses two major treasures. The first is a set of exquisite gold and gemstone jewelry that is kept in a case within the Hall and can be stolen with a Legerdemain roll of 12. The jewelry increases the Loot meter by 1. If the roll fails, the Servants will attempt to run and get the Guards. The team may subdue the Servants but will lose 2 Valor for doing so, if not they will be forced to fight an equal amount of Castle Guards as there are party members.
The second treasure is the large decorative tapestry that adorns the wall. With a Negotiation roll of 14, the Servants will look the other way while the party steals it. If the roll fails, the Servants will run to get the Guards, which will play out in the same fashion as if the party fails to steal the jewelry. If the party passes the Negotiation roll, they can also steal the Jewelry if they haven’t already. The tapestry increases the Loot meter by 3.
The Hall of Mirrors is connected to the Throne Room, Servant’s Quarters, and the Ballroom via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Library. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 13, or 11 if the team has the opportunity to investigate the area either by having the Servants disabled or otherwise having left the room or if they pass the Negotiation roll to be allowed into the room unimpeded.
Indoor Garden: The Indoor Garden is located in the left bottom of the Castle, and is a beautiful garden full of plant life. It is typically manned by Laborers and Servants that are maintaining it. Due to the lush foliage and expansive nature of the Garden, as well as the constant coming and going through the area it can be entered unimpeded.
The Indoor Garden possesses two major treasures. The first is an exotic medicinal plant that gives off a distinctive, pungent odor. It can be taken with a Legerdemain roll of 9, and raises the Loot meter by 1. However, so long as it is in the possession of the team, all future Stealth rolls will be made with a -1 penalty. Failing the roll damages the plant so it cannot be taken, but spreads the scent on the team so they will suffer a -1 penalty to all future Stealth rolls.
The second major treasure is a gold-inlaid bust of the royal family. It can be taken with a Legerdemain roll of 12, and raises the Loot meter by 2. If the Legerdemain roll is failed, the team will be spotted and the Laborers will alert the Guards unless the team subdues them or immediately passes a Negotiation roll of 14 to convince them to look the other way. Should they subdue the Laborers, they will suffer a -2 Valor penalty. If the Guards are summoned, there will be one Castle Guard for every member of the party.
The Indoor Garden is connected to the Library and Waiting Room via hallway.
Waiting Room: The Waiting Room is located in the center bottom of the Castle, and is a posh room with plush cushions meant for those awaiting an audience with the King. It is staffed by an amount of Guards equal to the number of team members. It can be entered with a Negotiation roll of 11, but the Guards will not allow the team out of the room unless they pass the first Negotiation roll by at least 13, or if they make a subsequent negotiation roll of 13. If either roll is failed, the Guards will attack.
The Waiting Room possesses one major treasure, large framed portraits of the Royal Family. They can only be taken if the Guards are inactive, and raise the Loot meter by 3.
The Waiting Room is connected to the Indoor Garden, Throne Room, and Ballroom via hallway.
Ballroom: The Ballroom is located in the right bottom of the Castle, and is a massive hall meant for parties and dances among the nobility. It is staffed by Servants that are maintaining it. The Ballroom can be entered with a Negotiation roll of 12 or a Stealth roll of 14. Failure in this roll still allows the team in, but raises the Suspicion meter by 1 for each failure.
The Ballroom possesses two major treasures. The first is the King’s Dancing Outfit, which is held by the Dance Instructor in the back. The Outfit can be stolen with a Stealth roll of 13 and a subsequent Legerdemain roll of 14. If the team passed a Stealth roll to enter the room undetected, then the Stealth component is automatically passed for this challenge. If either rolls are failed, the Dance Instructor will call the Guards unless the team subdues her. Should they subdue the Dance Instructor, they will suffer a -2 Valor penalty. If the Guards are summoned, there will be one Castle Guard for every member of the party, and defeating them will clear the Ballroom. The Dancing Outfit increases the Loot meter by 2.
If the team is wearing Servant outfits, they can convince the Servants and Dance Instructor to clear out of the room so it can be properly cleaned with a Negotiation roll of 13. If the roll is failed, they will be rebuffed and told to re-check their schedule, as well as raising the Suspicion meter by 1.
The second major treasure is an exquisite crystal Chandelier affixed to the ceiling. It can only be obtained if the room has been cleared, and requires an additional Engineering or Athletic roll of 12 to bring down. The roll can be attempted as many times as desired, but each failure raises the Suspicion meter by 1. The Chandelier raises the Loot meter by 4.
The Ballroom is connected to the Waiting Room and the Hall of Mirrors via hallway, and there is a Secret Passage that leads to the Servant’s Quarters. The Secret Passage can be located with an Observation roll of 11.
Should the Suspicion meter be raised to 10, every area will contain twice the amount of hostile Castle Guards as there are team members who will attack immediately. If the team attempts to linger in a room, more guards will enter. The performance will continue, but the Actor team will begin taking a successive -1 penalty to their rolls for each round it continues. The scene will end when the Infiltration team makes it to the Waiting Room and clears it, after which they can escape, or they are all incapacitated in which case they will be captured. In this case, the Actors will have the opportunity to attempt to flee and stage a rescue later; as if they stick around they will be arrested as well.
Should the Loot meter be filled to 10, the Infiltration team will need to make it to the Waiting Room to end the scene, although the Actor team may finish the play if desired, but the scene will be completed successfully.
Special Rules: The Thespian Heist is optimized for a group that really enjoys roleplay scenes and is able to come up with a lot of clever improvisations and actions to bolster their rolls. If your group is struggling to come up with effective actions, reduce all roll difficulties by 1.
Have a question, comment, or idea for an Extreme Adventure? Submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org!