The Nightmare Ritual


(Work in Progress)

It's the second Nightmare Night after the return of Princess Luna. The sleepy town of Haybale Hollow is celebrating the occasion, unaware that in the abandoned carnival fairgrounds outside of town, a mysterious cult of ponies is making plans to find a new vessel for the wicked Nightmare Moon. Can you rescue the kidnapped sacrifices and prevent the return of Nightmare Moon before it's too late?

(Recommended for Lv.1 to Lv.2 Players.)


The following information is for the Game-Master (GM) only!
The GM should read the entire adventure before running this adventure.


STORY BEATS

The players start in Haybale Hollow during Nightmare Night. Worry Wart will come screaming and yelling into the town's festivities, crying for help. Worry Wart will lead the players to the entrance of the Abandoned Carnival.

Task 1: Enter Fairgrounds

The fairgrounds is surrounded by a solid wooden fence. The door is locked with magic chains. "Scary Crows" are attacking anything that flies higher than the fence.
There are two keys under the mat at the gate. One is gold, one is silver. Using these keys on the locks on the gate will break the keys and not unlock the door.
There is rickety scaffolding besides the gate. If you climb the scaffolding without supporting it (with another pony) the scaffolding will topple. There is a red key on the top of the scaffolding, that will unlock the gate. If the scaffolding topples, you can still find the red key in the rubbage.
If the party supports the scaffolding, the scaffolding will hold and ponies can go over the fence. The scaffolding can be supported with magic, another pony, or loose beams and ropes found around the forest.
Ponies can also go to the back of the park, where there is a hole in the fence hidden behind some thorn bushes.
Ponies could also break the fence (not the door!), or fight through a swarm of Scary Crows.

Task 2: Rescue Jumpscare

When the ponies enter the fairgrounds, they will hear Jumpscare screaming.
Jumpscare is chained to roller coaster tracks. The roller coaster cart is held on the top of the ledge, tied back by rope. A mouse is chewing away at the cheese-coated rope.
The Gold Key, if its not broken, will unlock Jumpscare's chains.
The Mouse can be lured away from the rope with a Goopy wheel of cheese inside the Food Court. Ponies can also try to reach the Mouse to pick it up and move it, or reinforce the rope itself with magic, plants, ex cetra. To reach the mouse or the rope, the ponies will need to climb the rollercoaster or fly while fighting off Scary Crows.
The tracks can be broken off to free Jumpscare if the key is broken. If the ponies try to break the tracks before the rope is either reinforced, or the mouse is removed, the mouse will chew through the rope faster.
Jumpscare, when rescued, will mention that the Nightmare Vessel must harbor anger and spite at others. Jumpscare claims he was rejected as a vessel because he is too friendly. Jumpscare will leave after being rescued.

Task 3: Rescue Goosebumps

Goosebumps is chained to the Petting Zoo's Barn door. The doors have a weak spell to keep out spirits, but the spell is fading. Ghost Lions are breaking down the enchanted barn doors and will hurt Goosebumps if they break through.
The Silver Key, if its not broken, will unlock Goosebumps' chains.
There is an opening on the top of the barn into the inside. Players can use fire, or salt found inside the Food Court, to keep the Ghost Lions back while they carefully removed the barn doors from the hinges to free Goosebumps.
Goosebumps, when rescued, will mention that the Nightmare Vessel must have at one point committed an act of heroism. She theorizes this is why Heebie Jeebies has been chosen, because he rescued her from lions when they were young. Goosebumps leaves after being rescued.

Task 4: The Altar

At moonhigh (after the players rescue or fail to rescue Jumpscare and Goosebumps), the Big Tent will open. Before this, the Big Tent is sealed off.
Heebie Jeebies is on a stone altar in the center, surrounded by a large magic circle. Heebie Jeebies appears unconscious, but isn't chained down.
Red moonlight is moving toward the altar. If the players touch the red moonlight inside the circle, they will become possessed. The possessed player will fight their own party members.
If the players wait to enter the circle until after the red moonlight has passed, Death Rattle (and the other cultists) will reveal themselves and attack.

Task 5: Defeat Death Rattle

Death Rattle will command cultists (and possessed party member if applicable) to attack the player party.

Possessed player can only be freed with acts of friendship from Party.

Cultists can be convinced to turn on Death Rattle, if they are shown the truth of his manipulation.

Death Rattle will surrender if his cult turns on him.


CHARACTERS AND CREATURES



Worry Wart

(Male Unicorn Pony)

Max Stamina: 10, Charm: d6, Mind: d6, Body: d4

Talents: Telekinesis d6, Magic (Keen Knowledge) d8, Stun Beam d6, Force Field d6

Quirks: Cowardly, Selfish


Worry Wart has been friends with Death Rattle and Heebie Jeebies since they were children. They connected with each other over a love of scary stories.

Worry Wart is jealous of how close Death Rattle and Heebie Jeebies are, feeling that he is a better candidate for Death Rattle's "best friend." Worry Wart discovered the ritual to summon the Nightmare energy to try and please Death Rattle.

When Worry Wart leads the player party to the Abandoned Fairgrounds, he will lie, and talk about how he's grown apart from Death Rattle since Death Rattle's outburst last Nightmare Night, and because of Death Rattle's growing obsession with Nightmare Moon. "I didn't think he would go this far!"


Jumpscare

(Male Earth Pony)

Max Stamina: 12, Charm: d6 , Mind d4, Body: d4

Talents: Stout Heart d6, Skateboard d8, Healing Hoof d6, First Aide d6

Quirks: Weak and Sickly, Impuslive Thrill-Seeker


Jumpscare was a trick skateboarder until he got "Moonsickness" last Nightmare Night and became weak and tired. Jumpscare says he agreed to come to the fairgrounds because Death Rattle promised to cure him when Death Rattle "became as powerful as an alicorn."

Jumpscare really believes he has Moonsickness because he was cursed by Princess Luna. In reality, moonsickness doesn't exist. Death Rattle poisoned Jumpscare, shortly after they were scolded by Luna last Nightmare Night.


Goosebumps

(Female Pegasus Pony)

Max Stamina: 10, Charm: d6 , Mind d4, Body: d6

Talents: Fly d6, Animal Wrangling d8, Nature (Keen Knowledge) d6, Bucking d6

Quirks: Short Fuse, Brash


When they were young, Heebie Jeebies saved Goosebumps from wild lions. The two earned their cutie-marks simultaneously. From then on, Goosebumps and Heebie Jeebies were an inseparable couple. Heebie Jeebies has been friends with Death Rattle and Worry Wart since they were kids.

However, Death Rattle recently convinced Goosebumps that Heebie Jeebies had fallen in love with Nightmare Moon, claiming Nightmare Moon visited Heebie Jeebies in his sleep. Goosebumps believed him, and started being angry and short-tempered with Heebie Jeebies. At this point, Death Rattle began to flirt with Goosebumps.

Death Rattle told Heebie Jeebies that Goosebumps was in love with him (Death Rattle), and didn't want to be with Heebie Jeebies anymore. Death Rattle claims he tries to speak well of Heebie Jeebies to her, when in reality, Death Rattle is courting Goosebumps. Heebie Jeebies believed Death Rattle because of Goosebumps' suddenly negative attitude toward him.


Heebie Jeebies

(Male Earth Pony)

Max Stamina: 12, Charm: d6 , Mind d6, Body: d6

Talents:Stout Heart d6, Swashbuckling d8, Bucking d6, History (Keen Knowledge) d6

Quirks: Overdramatic, Attention Hog


???

Death Rattle

(Male Unicorn Pony)

Max Stamina: 13, Charm: d6 , Mind d8, Body: d6

Talents:Telekinesis d8, Spirit Channeling d10, Stun Beam d6,Force Field d6

Quirks: Arrogant, Selfish, Mean


As a child, Death Rattle was obsessed with scary stories. His favorite was the story of Nightmare Moon. As he grew up, Death Rattle developed an obsessive crush on Nightmare Moon. When Princess Luna returned and was reformed, Death Rattle was disappointed.

The next Nightmare Night, when Princess Luna visited Haybale Hollow, Death Rattle made a scene- begging Luna to become Nightmare Moon again and be his "Queen." Jumpscare tried to stop Death Rattle's outburst. Luna refused and scolded Death Rattle (with Jumpscare nearby.)

Death Rattle poisoned Jumpscare after Jumpscared walked Death Rattle home, and blamed the poison on a curse from Luna.

After this "heartbreak,"Worry Wart found a ritual to summon Nightmare Energy into a pony, so Death Rattle could create a new "Nightmare Moon" who would be at Death Rattle's control.

The Ritual requires a spiteful pony who has once committed an act of heroism to enter a magic circle on Nightmare Night at moonigh.


Ghost Lion

(Creature)

Max Stamina: N/A, Charm: d4 , Mind d4, Body: d8

Talents: N/A

Quirks: Afraid of Fire, Cannot Cross Salt, Controlled by Death Rattle


Scary-Crows

(Creature)

Max Stamina: 6, Charm: d4 , Mind d4, Body: d6

Talents: Peck d4, Fly d8

Quirks: Afraid of Fire, Afraid of Loud Noises, Controlled by Death Rattle



LOCATIONS


Haybale Hollow

Thornbale Thicket Forest

Haunted Fairgrounds
It is overgrown with thorns and weeds. There is a low, broken humming of carnival music coming over intercoms.


Food Court
The Food Court is mostly empty, except for bugs and scraps of napkins and garbage. Inside the kitchen cabinets is a bottle of salt and under one of the tables is a gooey wheel-of-cheese.

Petting Zoo
There is a box of matches on the floor inside the petting zoo's fence (outside the barn.) There is also old animal poop, fur, and more garbage and scraps. There are some broken metal chains and a bell.

Rollercoaster
The rollercoaster's operations room is destroyed under a large fallen tree.

Big Tent