In the Stacks [The Vault #27]

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The Library is a place replete with worlds of its own. It is a repository of knowledge both dark and luminous, forbidden and beneficial. It is a vault of imagination and insight, a window into the minds of all manner of people. Below are 20 adventure hooks or encounters for a foray into the Halls of Knowledge.  The first "Miskatonic University" is geared toward a more modern setting of Lovecraftian horror.  The second is for a fantasy setting, The Library Arcane.  At the end are some general prompts applicable in any library setting:

Miskatonic University Library

  1. _In the Dark_ (#Dark) The lights flicker and an electric fizzle makes you look up a moment before the corridors go dark. > Suffer -3 to all checks in the darkness, combat and otherwise. Any roll of 1 results in injury (1 health damage).
  2. _The Hidden Vault_ Rumors abound of a secret passage to a Vault built long ago.  Rare and dangerous tomes may be there, in addition to the body of the builder. > Make a Search check of 10 or above to find the false book that triggers the shelving to move aside. 
  3. _Elder Sign_ (#Elder) A wave of crime and madness has swept the city, a dark Thing appearing in the dreams of thousands. Only discovery and use of an Elder Sign hidden in the library can stop the nightmare intrusions.  >  A Search (:ranged:) check of 13 or above is required to find the tome with the Sign.  Failure leads to an Encounter with an Acolyte and a Rogue.
  4. _Elder Sign II_ (#ElderTwo) Having found the tome with the Elder Sign, the text must be deciphered, but knowledge is power, and power can corrupt or kill... > Make a Knowledge (:magic:) check of 13 or above or suffer a loss of 1 Persona point and 2 health.
  5. _Elder Sign III_ (#ElderThree) The deciphered text requires intonation of a ritual performed at midnight from the center of Miskatonic Grove. > Make two Ritual (:Influence:) checks of 13 or above (must be repeated until two successes achieved).  After the first check, draw a Tier I Horror and begin combat.  Each round a check is failed, add another :Horror: of one higher Tier.  On a roll of 1 draw a Tier III :Horror: .   

The Library Arcane

  1. _The Irascible Magus_ (#Irascible) The ancient magus in charge of the library doesn't countenance noise disturbances.  > Any failed check or combat encounter summons the Magus. He roughly teleports all offendors outside (Take 2 damage, end all checks/encounters). 
  2. _Golems, Golems_ (#Golems) The most menial tasks of returning books to shelves has long been handled by crafted golems. They do not take kindly to inappropriate use of the volumes, fighting, or destruction of property. > Golems are Tier II opponents with 20 hp. They surge when any area of effect Ability is used (any with more than one target) and immediately deal 2 damage to the offendor. 
  3. _The Spelltrap_ (#Trap) Many a tome of lore is trapped with a potent spell to deter the unworthy.  > Adventurers must solve a riddle, find a password, or dispel the trap.  If they fail, draw a random offensive Magic ability and resolve it against the party. 
  4. _The Red Bull's Sigils_ (#Levitation) The higher reaches of the shelving must be reached by activating  levitation spells set in the floor. They are painted in the shape of Red Bulls. A clever individual could use them to avoid combat or set a foe aflight. 
  5. _Fire Suppression_ (#Suppression) Such a repository of knowledge would never be left unguarded against the mortal bane of books, namely fire. > Powerful wards prevent any Ability or Loot item with "fire" in the description from functioning within the Library. 

General Prompts

  1. _Illicit Activities_ (#Activities) The adventurers need to extract a rare and precious work from the Reference section. The detectors at the exit will sound if any such work crosses the threshold. What will the adventurers do? > Possible checks: Thievery, Sleight of Hand, Disable Device...
  2. _SHHHH!!_ (#SHH) The adventurers and their rivals both seek the same works in the library, but if they cause too many disturbances, the staff will throw offenders out. > Adventurers will be thrown out the third time they violate the noise rule. Each instance of combat or destruction (or perhaps a failed Sneak check) counts as a violation. 
  3. _Symmetrical Stacking_ (#Stacking) Tobin's Spirit Guide referenced many an instance of symmetrical stacking of books. Some unknown force in this wing of the library has been stacking books impossibly high for years... > Any attempt to bypass the stacks or combat in the area risks knocking weighty tomes down, dealing 2 damage to those that fail checks. 
  4. _The Spectral Spinster_ (#Spinster) Gertrude Dorothea gave 80 years of her life to the library. She's loathe to leave it in death. Her unquiet spirit must be dealt with.
  5. _Bookthrowin'_ (#Throwing) Someone or something is flinging books at the heads of the adventurers! > Make an Agility (Ranged) check to avoid getting "booked". 
  6. _Water Hazard_ (#Whazard) You wished you'd seen the "Wet Floor" sign earlier...granite is unforgiving. > Make a Notice (Magic) or Agility (Ranged) check of 9 or above. On a failure you suffer 3 damage and sprawl on the floor. 
  7.   _Hidden Corridor_ (#Corridor) Why was it concealed?  Where does it lead?
  8. _Fire!_ (#Fire) Nothing could be more deadly in this place. > Make a number of checks to escape burning, collapsing shelves, choking smoke, panicked patrons, and avoid slipping once the fire suppression system is activated. 
  9. _Spitballin'_ (#Sball) Your rival or love interest has dared you to land three spitballs on the series of buns the "Beehive Lady" calls her hairstyle. > Succeed in three successful Ranged ability checks. On success you gain admiration and Loot. On failure you suffer 2 damage and expulsion from the grounds. 
  10. _Locked Doors_ (#Locked) You fell asleep and have been locked in the building. How will you pass the night?   

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