I have an adventure out in the new issue of the Star Wars Adventurer’s Journal, called “The Haunted Helm” (download link at the bottom of this post). It started as an adventure that I wrote and ran for London back in 2019. Of all the adventures I’ve ever written and run, it is definitely my favorite, and it’s probably also the one that will transfer best to other GMs and other tables (I hope). Writing it up for the Adventurer’s Journal was my first ‘pandemic project’ back in April, so it’s really nice to have it finally done and out.
I wrote this for the venerable d6-based Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, published by West End Games in the late 80s and 90s, but I think it should transfer pretty easily to any space-based RPG. It would work as a Star Trek scenario, or in Firefly, or whatever. Heck, if you changed a bit of the setup you could set it here on Earth and run it as a contemporary or historical adventure for Call of Cthulu or a similar horror/investigation game. I reckon it would even work in D&D.
Edit: I know “The Haunted Helm” can work in other systems because back in May I ran it for Andy Farke, Sarah Nichols, and Thierra Nalley using Lasers & Feelings, which is my favorite light RPG for newcomers, one-shots, and pick-up games. The game is a free download here, and people have made about a million variants and hacks, for almost every conceivable genre. The list here is a good start if you want to go down that rabbit hole. I need to do a full post soon about Lasers & Feelings, but the point right now is that I also owe a belated thanks to Andy, Sarah, and Thierra for serving as beta-testers for this adventure. So thanks, folks!
I was quite happy with how “Durance Vile”, my first Adventurer’s Journal submission, turned out, but I knew I wanted to do more art for this one. Through my research in paleontology and human antomy, I have some experience as a technical illustrator (for example), but I’m not much of a creative artist. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I’m proud of the art I did for “The Haunted Helm”, but I’m happy with it, and I think it gets the job done.
I also made maps. Lots of maps. In fact, I created the above map as a guide to the other three maps, to show how they fit together. I’m reproducing all the maps here so people can get the original full-res image files for printing, modifying, etc. I’m releasing all of my work in this post under the CC-BY 4.0 license, for you to do with as you see fit.
This second map covers two of the adventure locations: the top of the cliffs, where the PCs will presumably land their ship, and the canyon camp established by the missing archaeologists.
The third map takes the PCs into a tomb left behind by the Rakatan Empire, which terrorized the galaxy before the formation of the Old Republic.
Finally, in the fourth map the PCs confront the mysteries and terrors of an even older temple left behind by an abhuman race–including the titular haunted helm.
I owe a big thanks to Brian L. Bird, the Editor In Chief of the Star Wars Adventurer’s Journal, who took all the bits I submitted and made them look great on the page, including throwing a cool macrobinocular frame around one of the illustrations, and adding a couple of nice pieces of additional art (a photograph of a cave interior, and a shot of the surface of Mars). The Adventurer’s Journal only exists and keeps moving forward because Brian keeps making it happen, but he doesn’t just keep it alive, he makes it look damn good. Thank you, Brian!
And speaking of looking damn good, the fabulous and eminently Star-Wars-y cover art for the new issue is by Yvan Quinet. You can see more of his work at https://www.yvanquinet.com/.
Issue 6 of the Adventurer’s Journal should be up soon at the D6 Holocron, at the bottom of this page, and in the meantime you can download it at the link below. “The Haunted Helm” starts on page 150 and closes out the issue. I hope you enjoy reading it and running it. If you do run it, I’d love to hear how it goes down in the comments.