The Rescue of Prince Ernest

So, I did a game for my son’s 11th birthday party, and I figured I’d share it.   It’s got a mash-up of a few mechanics, but is mostly good old fashioned AD&D-based.  (First Edition, still.  Nyah.)

The Rescue of Prince Ernest


Full text is included.


Pre-game I printed and cut out the character slips.

I’d used the Fate Accelerated terminology because I wasn’t sure I could explain the standard D&D tropes, and these are quick to grasp.  I made them roll 3d6 six times for the attributes and assign them as they’d like.

I did not use any kind of alignments – they were 11 year olds (average) and I’d just test them on their moral and ethical choices if it came up.

I sorted out one figurine (male and female each) for each class, so a total of ten.

Some of the girls wanted to play boys, and vice versa, but no more than two of any type.  (We ended up with a male healer, a male knight, a male rogue, a female wizard, and a female ranger.  The ranger dropped out and I revised it to be a female pirate instead.)

I also separated out monsters:

  • 1 OwlBear
  • 1 Giant
  • 2 Pirate Captains (one male, one female)
  • 9 Regular Pirates
  • 4 small-to-medium carnivorous dinosaurs
  • 1 large carnivorous dinosaur
  • 3 fire sprites
  • 6 kobolds with spears
  • 1 half-ogre knight
  • 2 large skeleton lords
  • 6 skeletons with crossbows
  • 3 ghasts (can be floating undead types, not necessary monster-manual specific)
  • 1 gelatinous cube
  • 1 vampire
  • 1 small red dragon
  • 2 tiefling warlocks, one male, one female
  • 6 ghouls, 6 zombies, and reuse the skeletons
  • 1 nightmare (or black horse)
  • 5 werewolves – can use gnoll figurines, and dire wolves if you want

ALL CHARACTERS START AT 40 HP but then will have a die roll to determine additional points based on class.

SPECIAL ABILITIES work on a 4-6 on a 1d6, fail on a 1-3.

Can create/disarm/detect traps.
Can hide in shadows/move silently/climb walls.
Can backstab/detect poison.
Has specialized tools/language/contacts with black market.
+d6 HP
(to hit a rogue requires a 14+)

Can calm/intimidate animal, make pets of strays.
Can track animals/people, Can find food/water.
Starts with an animal companion.
Archers and swordsmen – a +1 to hit with either bow or sword.
+2d6 HP
(to hit a ranger requires a 15+)

Animal companions could have up to 2d6 hit points, and had to be smaller than a large dog.

Can detect/read magic/scrolls.
Can cast spells/use wands/staves/rods.
Uses personal energy to power spells, has personal spell resistance.
Cannot wear metal armor, but can wield swords.
+d4 HP
(to hit a wizard requires a 12+)

I hedged with the wizards on spells; could use up to four a day, including one fireball/area type, two small damage types, and one practical spell, but they could change each day.

Can enforce laws, has significant funds and heritage.
Can use any heavy weapon/armor, including siege equipment.
Can ride. Can analyze horses/weapons/structures/fealty.
Recognize monsters, weaknesses, strengths.
+3d6 HP
(to hit a knight requires a 16+)

I explained that a knight can basically buy whatever one thing they want for free by charging it to their estate.

Can heal/revive from near death.
Uses personal and divine energy to power healing.
Recognize ingredients (plants/animals) good for potions, detect purpose of potions, cure poison/disease.
Has magical resistance, can do 2 blessings daily.
+2d4 HP
(to hit a healer requires a 13+)




You wake up to feel like you’re swaying back and forth. You can smell potatoes. Wet potatoes. It’s wet and dark, but there’s a torch so that you can see each other. It’s burning in the hand of a woman on a set of stairs. She’s wearing a glittering vest of silver as if it was armor. She has a beautiful, weathered leather hat, and a ragged, if nice blue coat.

“Awake yet?” she asked. “If so, whisper. They won’t be able to hear you on deck.”

On deck, meaning that you’re on a ship. You remember vaguely the storm, and the pirates, and the monster on the horizon. You remember you had a princess you were escorting… Princess Meredith.  To save her betrothed, Prince Ernest of Timerrow.

“I’m Captain Rran Rement.” Ah, Rement. You remember that she’s one of the King’s navy. “We need to go after the princess. So-called Captain Jeck doesn’t know who I am. He thinks I’m one of his pirates.”

She’ll answer some questions – her ship is around the other side of the island. PCs have to either escape or take this ship. There are twenty-one pirates, including her and Jeck, but only 11 are awake at a time. Where the princess is is something she can’t directly answer because she’ll hear noises above. “I need to go. I snuck down as many of your weapons as I could. If you hear two knocks, be ready to get out. If you hear anything else, stay down.”

She will hand the torch over to a knight if available, otherwise whoever has the highest Flashy score.  They will have all their personal stuff, but nothing generic.  Rangers’ companions will be there, annoyed, but they wouldn’t leave their unconscious Ranger(s).

After a few minutes, they’ll hear noises. Let rogues role to hear Jeck be suspicious of Rement. There will be two knocks in a minute, but the deck will be temporarily clear of everyone but Rement, trying to pull up a boat.

If they want to fight the pirates, they’ll have about 7 regular pirates, two strong, and one boss (Jeck.)

HIT ON: 11+ (little to no armor)
WEAPONS: Clubs/Knives: 1d4 damage.

HIT ON: 14+ (leather armor)
WEAPON: Light Curved Sword: 1d8

HIT ON: 13+ (leather apron)
WEAPON: Heavy Club: 1d6

HIT ON: 16+ (scale)
WEAPON: Heavy Curved Sword: 1d10

If they want to escape, they need a good plan.


The island is wet and green. There’s plenty of coconuts, bananas, and dinosaurs.

Wait, did I say dinosaurs?

Attack by medium-sized carnivores. (d4+1)

HIT POINTS: (d10+2)
HIT ON: 12+ (scales)
WEAPON: Claws, Tail (3 times per round d6 damage)

Tracking them back to their nest will find a bunch of generic but pretty items. Cheap jewelry, colorful clothing, pens made of feathers, that sort of thing.

Anyone who searches a little harder than anyone else will find a handkerchief from the princess.

“No, there’s none of her rings or armor, and they wouldn’t have eaten those. I think this just got collected.”

While poking around, they’ll run across two smaller carnivores being followed by one large one.

HIT POINTS: (3d10)
HIT ON: 14+ (heavy scales)
WEAPON: Bite/Tail (one each per round, d8 damage)

The two will run – they were being chased, but the big one will have swallowed two magic items and a goodly amount of gold.

The gold is cursed, but besides making anyone who keeps it kind of gold-crazed, it’s fairly benign.  (But it will show up as a curse to mage or healer.)

There is a pink sphere that wizards can use to store one extra spell than they could cast themselves.

There is an old, tarnished crown that radiates powerful magic.  It will take two wizards to determine its lore; it’s an ancient evil artifact that summons demons and can be used to control them.  If a character uses it, they roll 1d4 demons (10 hit points, to hit 15+ or magic weapon is 13+, they do 1d8 damage twice a round) and they have to roll under their Flashy to control them each round.

Ranger or Wizard can track Princess. If they continue, they’ll find that she lost her shoes and gloves somewhere on the shore. A crab is wearing a shoe. Crabs are not hard to catch and kill.  It’s getting dark, so they should probably camp. “Plus, if the Princess is out there, she might see our fire.”

Rement says she knows the Princess is alive, but not where she is. Her mage-doctor was able to scry that much before the Princess’ magical protections cut her off. The protections are only so strong, though.


Camping – choose team for watching. Wizard and/or Ranger can take shift alone by using animal/spell guardian.

Fire will attract some kind of fire creature. They will have to wake others up. Wizard/healer may sleep through with no injury.

HIT ON: 16+ or 14+ with magic weapon
WEAPON: Spark/fireball (1 time a round spark d4 damage / 1 time every 4 rounds 2d6 radius, no damage to wizard/healer)


In the morning, searching will find footprints along the river, signs that the Princess found a small cave to sleep in, but went back to the shore.

They can poke around and annoy something that lives in the caves. Kobold natives, maybe.

HIT ON: 13+ (hide armor)
WEAPON: spear (d6) roll for poison d2 per round 3 rounds.

If they don’t poke around, or after the battle, they’ll see Rement’s ship in the cove.


The Princess will be on Rement’s ship. She was found by the mage-doctor.

Abilities as Rogue
HIT POINTS: 40 +d6
SPELL: Sleep (1d4 opponents for 1d4 rounds, on a 1-5 on a d20, hits one of her own party)
WEAPON: Small crossbow (2 shots total, d6 damage), short sword (d6 damage)

“We need to get back to our mission,” the Princess Meredith says. “If I’m to marry Prince Ernest, we need to get to him. Otherwise he will be forced to marry the evil warlock Cita.”

“Cita will, of course, be trying to stop us. We need to get to the city of Tinmorue. Captain Rement will get us that far, but she will have to leave us as she is needed to protect the kingdom against the rising threat of piracy.”

She will give a ring to anyone who returns her handkerchief. It’s a small ring, only good for its gold, but it does come from the princess’ hand.

If the players ask, Cita is male; when Ernest’s parents made the arrangements it was with the child of a pair of warlocks, and they forgot to specify “female” child, so Cita is Ernest’s promised spouse, but Meredith and Ernest are truly in love.


Tinmorue is a big city of Timerrow. The mayor of Tinmorue is a small necromancer who has used undead city guards. The mayor, Cabrera, isn’t evil, so much as he is practical. There will be skeletal guards flanking the Portmaster, Cym. The Princess will be in disguise as a boy.  (“Call me Mer.”)

Cym is a half-ogre. His parents are happily married. His mom is a mage, his father is a hunter. He’s also got no species prejudice at all. He just wants to check that the ship isn’t moving any contraband. He knows Rement by reputation, but he’ll want to check through everyone’s things.

 The only real “contraband” will be any poisons the rogues have. Make them do a sneaky roll or use their special abilities to hide it from him.

If they get into a fight, Cym will fight until bloodied, and then run, and call guards. Guards will come in until they’re overwhelmed and brought into a dungeon. The Princess will once more disappear. She’ll help break them out.

HIT ON: 16+ (good armor)
WEAPON: Longsword (d8)

HIT ON: 13+
WEAPON: Shortsword (d6)

HIT ON: 12+
WEAPON: Light Crossbow (d6)

If they don’t get into trouble, Meredith says they need to get a room at the inn for the night. “Tired of sleeping in a swing,” she’ll say. She’ll let someone else make the negotiation. “But remember, they’ll charge us more if they think we’re rich.”  Knights or Rogues can do it.

Everyone will get a dinner and a good night’s sleep.  (Use the “favourite food” option for dinner.)

There will be a bar fight, but no one need be killed. Huge troll skeletons will come in and subdue everyone.

(If they want to fight, let them roll things, give them 3-6 points damage, then tell them they can’t really affect the trolletons)

The innkeeper is used to it.


In the morning, they’ll have a chance to go shopping and replace/repair items.

Then they’ll set out just before noon to the north, where the tower of Cita is.

They can see the tower a long ways away. Do they have plans? The prince is in the highest room of the tower. There is rumoured to be a dragon at the top guarding him.

There will be a giant guarding the road. He’s a young but very mean giant, who will be dragging the carcass of a mammoth behind him. He’ll attack indiscriminately.

HIT ON: 12+ (tough skin)
WEAPON: Maul (d12)

The fuss and fighting will bring out the owlbear, who wants a taste of the mammoth.

HIT ON: 11+ (no armor)
WEAPON: Claws/Beak (2 times a round d10 each)


At the tower itself are two ghast guards. They’ll see through illusions, but not through sneaking. The PCs will need a hand from one of the ghasts (with a blue ring) to open the magic door.

HIT ON: 18+ (spectres)
WEAPON: Cold/Claw (1/2 d8)

The first floor is broken, and needs dexterity checks to pass to the stairs.  A rogue can use a special, a mage could dimension door or teleport.  Did anyone bring any rope?


The second floor has a magic mouth portal door who will ask them three riddles. Two need to be answered to pass through.

Make them easy. Pull them up from the internet.

The second floor has a variety of traps. Two puzzles.

I recommend a simple logic puzzle.


The third floor has a black door which is actually a gelatinous cube.  Smells like…raspberry.

HIT ON: 13+
WEAPON: Acid Spit (2 times a round, d6 damage)

The third floor also has a vampire sleeping in it who will wake as soon as two people get past the door. It is a mercenary who might leave if bribed or bloodied – make a morale check.  There will be papers indicating his contract, some old bottles of blood, and in his coffin will be whatever Favourite Gems the rogues have written down.

HIT ON: 16+
WEAPON: Spells (magic missle d4, spark d6, darkness d6+blindness) bite (d4, disease (vampirism)) claw (d4, disease (vampirism))  — vampirism is curable by the healer, but not on the vampire, alas.


The fourth floor is full of cursed gold, and piles of nasty smelling goo (dragon poo.)   Touching the gold makes the person touching it want more gold until they pick it up and are overbalanced.

They’ll get to the fifth floor door, when the dragon arrives.

They’ll need to beat the dragon (red, young) pretty badly before they can open the lock on the fifth floor. The dragon will run when at half hit-points.

HIT ON: 14+
WEAPON: Spells (spark d6, fear d4), claws d8, bite d10, fire (1 time every 3 rounds) 3d4 area, tail d6.


The fifth floor has Cita, waiting for them, and the Prince, Ernest.

Cita will be a nasty warlock. They should all get hurt badly.

HIT ON: 15+
WEAPON: Spells, poison daggers dual-wield d6+6(x2)
shield (absorbs d10)
ice dart d6
rain of fire 4d4 area
vampiric drain d4 (heals for that much damage)

As Healer
HIT POINTS: 40+2d4
HIT ON: 13+
WEAPON: Fists (1d4)

If there’s still time, they have to get Ernest to his capital to rescue his father who was under Cita’s curse.

The dragon will fly back.  (With the rest of its hitpoints.)
The giant’s brother will be looking for him. Not as likely to attack, but wants to know that his brother was the instigator. (with the same statistics)

There will be an owlbear’s mate. (also same stats)


The city of Hibit will be guarded by ghouls, skeletons, and zombies, but not like Tinmorue – these are trying to get into the city and eat the people there. The guards are tired but managing to keep the ghouls out, but the ghouls are hungry and weak.

TO HIT: 11+
WEAPONS: claws (x2 1d4+disease)

TO HIT: 9+
WEAPONS: bite (1d4+disease)

TO HIT: 10+
WEAPONS: various (all 1d4)

Hibit itself has a magical fog over it, that makes people sleepy and need checks to stay awake. If they fall asleep, they can be attacked by nightmares. If they fight three nightmares they will no longer be affected by the miasma.

TO HIT: 14+
WEAPONS: fear (1d6 – run away on hit)
hooves (1d8 x2)
Sleep breath (on 19-20 fall asleep, auto 5 damage)

A dozen werewolves guard the castle. They were all once men Ernest knew. Some may have their curse broken; the wizard can do 3, the healer 2, the Princess one, the Prince one. The other five have become more beast than man.

HITPOINTS: 2d10, regen 2/round
TO HIT: 13+ (silver or magical only)
WEAPONS: claws (2d6 + disease) bite (1d8+disease)

Cita’s apprentice, Grati is the new Queen, married to the King who is under her spell. She will do a lot of druid spells to slow/neutralize the party. At the end, she will have the King fight, but if she goes down first, the spell will be broken.

TO HIT: 13+
WEAPONS: spells
summon bear
wood control
self-heal (x2 2d6)

The King will reward everyone with titles and/or a choice of magical treasure.

I didn’t specify these – go crazy. You’re probably tired.

They can go back to their home kingdom or they can stay and adventure in the wilds of this kingdom.

The end.

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