Balloon Tomb of the Ancient Aeronaut
Remember all those UFO and “spy” balloon shenanigans from a month or so ago?
They got me imagining a whole upper atmosphere region populated with lost kites, desiccated corpses of early aviation pioneers, and strange creatures like in that old Arthur Conan Doyle story “The Horror of the Heights”:
“A visitor might descend upon this planet a thousand times and never see a tiger. Yet if he chanced to come down into a jungle he might be devoured. There are jungles of the upper air, and worse things than tigers inhabit them.”
Anyway…dare you enter the Balloon Tomb of the Ancient Aeronaut?
Balloon Tomb of the Ancient Aeronaut is a brochure adventure for Chris McDowall’s Into the Odd and similar games. In it you will explore an ancient airborne bouncy dungeon tomb. The price tag is 3USD, but you should feel free to download a community copy.
Find it here: https://yesterweird.itch.io/the-balloon-tomb
Some GM tips from the playtest:
- Don’t sweat the getting there. An experimental Researchery airship dropped the party off and would pick them up when they wanted to leave.
- To describe the tomb builder’s culture I said: “Imagine the ancient Egyptians except all their jewelery is made from balloons.” “Inflatable ancient Egyptian stuff” went a long way when giving descriptions.
- I didn’t require any movement checks to move inside the tomb, but I maximized the bouncing. For this I used a d8 to determine direction then rerolling if they hit something before moving the full amount. Maximize the bounce!
- The first encounter was turbulence. This bounced characters apart and split the party. I recommend throwing that at them right away. It’s likely you won’t have to contrive things to do this because if they land at the top they will definitely be tempted to investigate the pilot balloons, thereby disturbing them, and making the whole tomb veer towards turbulence.
- The monsters might or might not be tough, but the fear of falling out of the tomb was a lot stronger.