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Crag Mouth
A 44-Year-Old Role Playing Adventure Reconstructed
Dust Cover
In Washington, Pennsylvania, in June 1979, a 16-year-old boy, who had been playing Dungeons and Dragons for three years, was asked to design an adventure for a group of players he did not know. He was driven to a large house with a long narrow kitchen where the game was played while parents were at work. The upper middle class boys that had invited him were by turns offended, horrified and disappointed by his working class adventure.
James was not invited back. But one of the players, Randy, much approved of the adventure and continued to game with the role playing pariah for a decade, even conducting an interactive story by mail when James moved to Baltimore.
In Portland, Oregon, in March 2020 James introduced two preteens to role playing. As poor eye health prevented him from running games through 2021 and 22, the boys took over moderation duties. In March 2023, his eye health improved, James was asked to run an adventure. Busy with two novels, the aging gamer decided to reconstruct the adventure he had run in his own youth.
Crag Mouth is an old man’s recreation of a youth’s idea of an adventure. The research I have done on social conditions for people living outside and before the industrial age, being essentially the iron age, has been used to flesh out the frontier setting.
Crag Mouth has no gaming stats and shall be compatible with any gaming system. The author’s own systems Triumph and Grog are compatible with the style of adventure presented.
Also includes Dive Bar Denizens, an adventure source book intended for adventure role playing in modern and post modern settings, suitable for use with the author’s Street Scene RPG.
In Memory of Randy Boyer
Play Testers
1979
Randy Boyer, Orl Phane the Assassin
2023
Tony, Orbitus the Astrologer
Felix, Amon the Rogue
Dominic, Keptis the Barbarian
To the Reader
This setting describes a region meant to be compatible with games set in an ancient, medieval or early modern technology level.
The unique and supernatural beings presented are taken from my novel Slave, set in the alternative world of Elder Earth, a catholic America of 2031, at the end of an alternative historical trajectory in which there was no Protestant Reformation. These aspects of that fantasy setting are not important to the structure of this adventure. The saintly and angelic shrines and chapel appearing here, would, in the typical polytheistic fantasy role playing setting, be the sanctuaries of minor local deities, which indeed many Christian saints descend from.
The standard Tolkienesque demi-humans of Fantasy Role Playing convention are absent, though such might be included without corrupting the story arc.
I hope this setting is enjoyable and useful.
James, Tuesday, March 21, 2023 Portland
Outline
1. Overwatch Fief
2. Barrier Town
3. The Front Tier
4. Willow Hamlet: Stockade
5. Willow Hamlet: Camp
6. Weeper Bog and Cedar Forest
7. The North Track
8. Crag Mouth Heap
9. Stonish Dens
10. Silver Gate of Wormz
11. The Keens of the Scarlet Kells
Note to Players
Realistic human social interaction in the shadow of horrific supernatural happenings are central to this adventure. As such the non player characters, as with the horde of NPC that afflict us in real postmodern life, offer by turns the building blocks of success and the back breaking sticks of social entanglement that might make or break the player character engaged in piercing the evil that separates society from mystery. Each player should keep a brief sketch of each NPC he interacts with. The name, station, and a brief on the information imparted by and about that NPC, may, or may not aid a character in his quest to explore the Scarlet Mountain.

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