Illustrations and original scenario: Escape from Kraznir (Oxford Secondary English, 1982) which I have now denamed including the map and made more generic for wider use.
Original post link – https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2022/08/17/rpg-escape-from-kraznir-and-scouting-wide-games/
There are two countries separated by a river, call them what you will, let’s call them K—— and S——–.
The people of K ——- to the North are fierce and warlike. Their land is poor and little will grow there. Their ruler is called The General and he lives in a castle in the mountains.
To the south of K——- is S ——. It is a rich and beautiful country, whose people are peace-loving. [Add more details as desired]
Rumours have reached the rulers of S——- that the enemy General is planning to send an army to attack them. They hurriedly prepare to defend themselves.
You and a team of spies are sent to The Castle to find out about the General’s plans. Your rulers want to know when and where he intends to attack.
You are the leader of the spies. You and the spies have been successful. Deep in the cellars of The General’s Castle you found the complete battle plans.
These and many other valuable documents are stored in a large wooden chest.
Now all you have to do as the spies is to get the chest and all its contents safely back to S ——–.
You have four companions:
- a wizard / cleric
- a hobbit/ thief / scout
- a warrior / fighter
- a dwarf / spy / pioneer or engineer
The Wizard or Cleric (Medic, Scientist?)
can make themself invisible. They can turn evil creatures to stone, but this spell only lasts for five minutes and does not work near water.
The Warrior (or Fighter)
wears strong armour and carries a huge sword. They are very brave and strong.
The Hobbit (or Thief or Scout)
is very small, only about a metre tall. They are quick and light footed, but not very strong. They carry a small dagger or knife. Because they are so nimble, they can usually escape from danger, provided they are not too tired.
The Dwarf (or Spy or Pioneer or Engineer)
Short, but broad and strong. Accustomed to living underground, so can see in the dark and can make himself almost invisible. Very brave and carries a battle weapon [axe].
[Adapt character type names or create further character detail as needed. Characters have been made gender neutral.]
Your own character type as leader of the spies is not set out, (human?) unless you assume one of the characters.
How you got to this stage unobserved without attracting attention is a prequel scenario you can write for yourself.
Mission Stage One – Escape the Castle
The five of you need to escape from The Castle and begin the journey home South with the plans.
First, you need to do these three things :
 Steal food for your journey home.
 Work out the safest route out of the dungeons.
 Escape with the plans chest and the food you have stolen.
It is the followers of The General. He may have sent Spider troops, or Warg troopers, or Orc troopers.
Giant Spider troopers
Their bite is poisonous to anyone, except nimbler characters like hobbits / thieves / scouts
Wargs are man-eating wolves who also enjoy a meal of (dwarf or hobbit) thief or spy. They are twice as big as the biggest dog you have ever seen.
They do not touch wizards because wizards or clerics throw fireballs at them. Warg troopers are terrified of any kind of fire.
Orcs are vicious, mean monsters which attack and eat absolutely any living creature. They carry very sharp spears and have cruel teeth, but they wear no armour. Therefore they can easily be injured – if you can get close enough.
Mission Stage Three – The River
At last you have left the mountains. Now you have reached the River. the Generals Forces are still following you and are not far behind you.
You must cross the river quickly. It is very deep and fast-flowing, so you cannot swim it. Luckily you have found a small boat.
River and Boat Information
The boat will carry only four people, or the same weight as four people
Interruption / disaster strikes – as you start to put the plan into action something terrible happens.
- Decide what is causing this interruption or disaster
- Decide what happens to the boat
- Decide what the rest of you do about it
Stage Four – The Stony Desert
You have crossed the river and reached the stony desert. You are all very tired. You have not eaten for nearly six hours.
It is beginning to get dark. You have decided to make camp in a rocky place.
Just at that moment there is a fearful noise. You look round and find yourselves face to face with a terrible creature.
It is nearly dark and at first you cannot see whether it is a Dragon, or a Margatroth or a Balrog.
The dragon is 15 metres long and, like most dragons, breathes flame. It can kill by burning or by crushing its enemies in its jaws. The wizard or cleric is sometimes able to speak to it and soothe its anger.
This does not always work, so it is unwise to rely on it. The warrior can kill it with his sword – if they can get close enough.
The Margatroth is a huge creature with two heads, one at each end. It has fierce teeth and six legs. It is very dangerous to all living creatures, except thieves. They are too small [or stealthy] for a Margatroth to see easily. It can only be killed by chopping off one of its heads.
The Balrog’s body is made of fire. It can glow dully or flame brilliantly. The only weapon you can use against it is water. The only water you have is your small supply of drinking water, and you are in the middle of a desert. There is one chink of hope: the Balrog only moves quite slowly.
- Decide which of these creatures is attacking you
- Decide how you and your companions will defend yourselves
- Decide what happens in the end
Mission Stage Six – The River and Home
This scenario and the four characters denamed could be reimagined for magical special forces, up to 19th Century Ruritanian Zenda, even a weird or wyrd WW1 / WW2
One of the original illustrations of the four characters :
The original 1982 Kraznir setting from Oxford English Textbook 1 (Oxford University Press 1982) features Games Workshop style black and white illustrations of characters and places in a familiar style to my 1981/2 Dungeons and Dragons starter set.
Miss Ransom in her WordPress version uploaded a series of random colour fantasy images of characters and monsters that are more likely to appeal to modern young people than black and white.