The Sorcerers Labyrinth

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The Sorcerer's Labyrinth is a generic TL3 fantasy adventure for use with the GURPS Fourth Edition rules set. It is designed for a group of 2-5 player characters built with 150 points and a disadvantage limit of -75 points. As designed, characters may not take any supernatural or cinematic traits other than Magery to a maximum level of 3. Average starting wealth is $1,000.

TSL uses GURPS Basic Set: Characters and Campaigns, GURPS Magic, and GURPS Low-Tech. Rules from the Dungeon Fantasy line are borrowed, though this is not a Dungeon Fantasy adventure. Rules from GURPS Martial Arts are also borrowed.


"Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a happy little kingdom tucked away in the farthest reaches of the realm.

"Then, an evil wizard came and stole the princess. He left behind a magic mirror in her room and a letter that read: "Each midnight, the mirror becomes a magic portal into which anyone may step. On the other side is my realm of darkness. Enter, and be prepared for every sort of challenge. Emerge victorious and wealth and power beyond your wildest fantasy will be yours."

Well, at least that's how the bard's tale goes. It's been told and retold so many times that there are several versions of the story. In some, the evil wizard is a wicked fairy queen. In others, there's no princess at all, rather it's a duke's son, a magic sword, a talking metal steed, an enchanted crown of power, or some other valuable possession that was stolen.

One thing remains consistent throughout the re-telling, though: there's always a mirror that holds a magical gateway within its reflective surface and the portal only opens at midnight.

Everyone far and wide has heard of the magic mirrors and their midnight portals leading to a realm of darkness, but most regard the story as a fairytale. The same old coots trying to sell treasure maps to famous lost troves and deeds to long-lost castles hidden in the wilderness also pedal full-length mirrors that serve as portals to fortune come midnight. Even though the world is a magical place of dragons and wizards, no one in their right mind, no matter how naive, would trust such claims or offers.

And, neither should the player characters...


The town of Brecconary, population just under 5,000.
Work in progress!

The adventure starts at dusk in the town of Brecconary during the harvest festival. Brecconary is a large town of just under 5,000 people. But, during the festival, it's swelled to thrice that population. Search rolls are at +1 (See B518 or City Stats p. 5).

Read aloud the following passage:

It's just past dusk in Brecconary. Any other day and Brecconary would be considered a quaint, happy town of just under 5,000 residents. But, today is the first day of the harvest festival and Brecconary has swelled to thrice that population.

All the inns and taverns are full, as are the bustling, crowded streets. Exotic beasts roar from their cages in the traveling menagerie. Acrobats, clowns, fire-eaters and jugglers entertain the masses at the circus. Merchants-a-plenty hawk their wares, each louder than the next. There's something for everyone, and that something can be found on almost every corner.

Tell the players that up to this point, they've been approached a number of times by beggars and panhandlers. Any particularly charitable or generous PC will have undoubtedly given away handfuls of coin. If any PC's have such disadvantages, ask how generous they have been with those that have approached.

Judge their amount as either stingy, adequate or generous. Don't tell the players, but if the amount is stingy, their PC is cursed with a minor, temporary disadvantage at quirk level. A suggestion is Destiny (receive bird droppings on head today) [-1].

The gods must have their eye on Brecconary tonight -- if the amount donated is truly generous, the PC receives a minor advantage at perk level that lasts no longer than through the night. Do not tell them what the perk is. A suggestion is Serendipity (find a great price on a single item) [1] or Luck (one roll) [1].

If any player is a spendthrift, no doubt they have been to a number of the bauble-selling merchant carts and stands lining many of the roads. Have them make a self-control roll. For every point they fail, they spend 5% of their loose cash on nearly worthless items. On a critical failure, they spend it all on one gaudy piece of junk.

If any male character is Lecherous, they may get lured away by one of the many lusty ladies of the night. Have him make a self-control roll or be taken out of the next scenario ("Of Drunks and Mirrors") for a quick tryst at one of the local brothels or seedy taverns. The meeting will cost him about a half hour and the price of a glass of ale -- or an hour and $25 up front if he fails a second SC roll and goes through with the act. Good role-players, depending on the nature of their character's disadvantage, may not want to attempt this second roll.

Of Drunks and Mirrors[edit]

A foul-smelling beggar approaches one of the PC's. The beggar will approach either the least threatening or most gullible in appearance.

Read aloud the following passage:

An old, foul-smelling beggar approaches [PC's name]. The assaulting stench of horse manure, stagnant alcohol and putrid sweat precedes him. He's shoeless and filthy and wearing tattered, threadbare rags. He smiles as he approaches showing what remains of his jagged, yellow teeth.

This latest in a line of beggars has a drunken look in his eyes. Grinning, he greats [PC's name]. "Greeting, traveler! You look like an adventuresome type. I've a proposition for you, one I'm sure you'll be interested in hearing. Come here out of the street and away from prying eyes and ears."

The beggar, Rufus, will try to get the PC to accompany him out of the street to a nearby alley. Alert players will be cautious, but the alley is directly nearby only a few yards away. Observation rolls will tell the players there seem to be no immediate danger of ambush. It seems as though the beggar just wants to leave the bustle of a busy street.

If the players don't accompany him to the side of the road, he'll follow saying something like, "Got an important date? I'll just keep my voice low then." His eyes will shift from one side to the next as he speaks in hushed tone.

The beggar approaching them is pretty well just what he seems, but is actually a quite a bit smarter than the average alcoholic bum.

Read aloud the following passage:

"I just happened upon something so wonderful, it may be hard to believe," the drunken bum says excitedly, but in hushed tone with eyes darting left and right. "Something out of the fairytales, you see. There was this shady character -- a mage, I think -- he was talking to some big, mean-looking bloke in the back of a tavern. I overheard their conversation. Seems this wizard was selling a magic mirror. But, not just any old magic mirror like you might find in the back of a traveling wizard's caravan, no.

"Ever heard the story, 'The Princess in the Mirror?' Sure you have," the beggar says before you can answer. "It's the mirror in the story! At midnight, it shimmers and glows; turns into a magic gateway to another land. I know what'cher think'n! Fairtales! Kids stories fit to put the little ones to sleep at bedtime! I know, I know -- couldn't believe it myself! Read my daughter the same story out of a book. But, no, I swear by my beard, I done tested it last night!"

In truth, Rufus did overhear a conversation between the two men he described, and the conversation was about the fairytale mirror. The mirror wasn't for sale but the "mage" told the other man that he had it in his possession. Rufus is lying about when he overheard the conversation; he was eavesdropping about an hour ago.

Rufus knew where the "mage's" caravan was and broke into it. He stole the only mirror in the wagon, a beautiful, antique full-length mirror.

He also is completely lying about testing it and finding a magical land, but he truly believes it is in fact the mirror of legend. He's not trying to scam the PC's; he's only trying to unload some stolen loot without them knowing it's stolen.

Rufus will tell the players the mage needed a new horse to pull his wagon (the truth). Though he was loathe to do so, the mage agreed to trade the mirror for two of Rufus' prized steeds (a lie). Rufus will defend his lies and even offer to show the PC's his stable. In truth, the stable is merely the one he works at, but the owners are all out enjoying the festival.

The Trade[edit]

Rufus hid the mirror in the hayloft above the horse barn. He's obviously nervous about the whole situation, but he'll tell the PC's he's had second thoughts about the mirror and wants it gone. "The mirror's not worth having around. Gives me the willies. I don't trust wizards, either; no offense if any 'o you have the gift. You just never know what they're up to, I'm sure you'll agree. What can an ugly old man do with a magic mirror anyway? I'm just a simple horse trader. Can't run off on some adventure in a magical land. Get myself gobbled up by a dragon is all that'll do fer me."

If the PC's seem interested, Rufus will try to sell it to them for as much as he can get. He may be a drunk bum, but he's not stupid. He truly believes the mirror is the magical gateway of fairytale lore and won't hear any suggestion that it isn't.

Because, in fact, it isn't.

Rufus will first grab a nearby feed bucket and a long rope. He'll tie it to the handle and climb up the ladder with the rope in hand. If asked what he's doing, he'll say something vague and dismissive like, "Can't be too careful," or, "Just tying up lose ends."

He'll climb the ladder to the top of the hayloft with the rope in one hand, but won't let any of the PC's climb up with him. He'll then reveal the mirror from up top to the PC's below. It is, apparently, a beautiful, antique mirror. Mages will get a Per+Magery roll to detect if the mirror is magical, and another, later roll if they touch it.

Rufus will deny any requests from inquisitive PC's to examine it further, particularly from mages wanting to perform magical experiments on it. "I don't know you and you don't know me. this is the opportunity of a lifetime! Don't go wasting it with hastey demands. This is really it! The mirror of legend!"

He'll push the ladder down from the loft if the PC's try to climb it. He'll then stand his ground and threaten to call for the guard if pressed, but won't actually do so. If assaulted, he'll climb out the window to the rooftop and jump to the next building before running away. Long ago, he planned his escape from the hayloft if the guard, victims of his burglaries, or a band of street toughs ever came looking for him.

Certain skill rolls at -4 for only seeing the mirror from a distance below may reveal that the mirror is about 100 years old (about the right age to be the mirror of legend). It's fair market value is around $2,500 and it weighs 15 lbs. Rufus wants $1,200 unless the PC's seem particularly wealthy or eager in which case he could ask for twice as much.

If they have the money, Rufus will tell them to put it in the bucket. He'll draw the bucket up and count the money before telling them to come up and get the mirror. When they climb to the top, he'll be gone.

Aragon's Mirror[edit]

Note: Full-length standing mirrors are anachronistic. Historically, glass working techniques were not advanced enough in TL3 to create flat, transparent planes large enough for tall, thin mirrors. However, in this setting, techniques have been in use long enough for float glass to be somewhat commonplace. Just like its historical invention, it is a carefully guarded secret that has remained so for more than 100 years.

However the PC's get the mirror form Rufus, it's assumed that they do.

Trouble is, the mirror is owned by the traveling wizard-sage Aragon. Aragon is a mid-level wizard who isn't happy that his wagon was burglarized. However, the PC's won't know who owns the mirror at this point.

Any mage worth his salt will be able to determine the mirror isn't magical. Analyze Magic can be cast on it if there's any doubt. It really is just an antique mirror. If there is no mage in the group or all Per+Magery rolls are failed, the PC's can search for a mage to perform Analyze Magic. Roll against the higher of IQ or Merchant both at +1 for Brecconary's current population to find a mage for the job. The mage will ask $50 for the service if the PC doing the talking makes a successful Merchant roll or $75 if the roll is failed. A further successful quick contest against the mage's Merchant skill of 14 will lower his asking price by $20.

The PC's will probably feel defrauded when they learn the mirror isn't magical. They may determine that in truth, Rufus really did believe the mirror was the of legend. He only lied to cover up the fact that he stole it, and to assure the PC's of what he believed was true.

The PC's may take a number of different courses of action. Below are a few:

  • The PC's may seek retribution. If they do, a Streetwise roll at -3 for being obvious strangers will give them two clues: Rufus' real name and the location of bar he commonly patronizes, the Cracked Mug.

    If the players catch up to Rufus, he'll eventually spill the beans about where and how he got the mirror. He'll swear he thought it was the mirror of lore, and he'll be telling the truth in doing so. He'll give the PC's back their money less $250 he spent paying off a leg breaker, $25 he spent on his bar tab, and $20 he spent on liquor including a bottle of rum he's already got half down intro his gullet. The guard won't fuss too much if the PC's rough him up quite a bit, but permanently injuring him -- for example by cutting or stabbing him or causing any temporary, lasting or permanent crippling injuries from failed HT rolls (B422) -- will cause them to get evolved. What happens in that case is up to the GM, but Aragon will probably find out about the situation and come looking for the PC's at that point.

  • If the PC's take the mirror to the guard and tell them what happened, they will be asked to remain at the post while they find its rightful owner whom already reported it stolen. They'll also inform the PC's that they will look for Rufus to bring him to justice.

    And, they'll do just that. Both are easily located. Rufus will try to say the PC's are lying and that he had nothing to do with the mirror's theft. But, after a short investigation, the guard will see through this deception. However, the PC's should be made to sweat a little as the guard questions everyone evolved to make sue the crazy bum's story isn't true. Make Acting rolls for Rufus and Detect Lies rolls on the guard's behalf.

    The players will meet Aragon at this time and he will be pleased to have his mirror returned. He'll offer the PC's an enchanted large knife in return for their service (see Aragon's page for details).

  • If the PC's just want to hawk the mirror, they can do so. Roll against Merchant at +1 for the town's current population.

    Role play the exchange and make note of what the PC's tell the antique dealer about the mirror. It may be important later when its rightful owner comes looking for it using the Seeker (M105) spell. He won't appreciate it if the PC's intentionally lied about how they got it.

    Unless the antique merchant is given reason to believe it's stolen (e.g., if the players tell him they got it off a drunk bum in a seedy deal), he will offer $2,000 for the mirror if the selling PC makes a merchant roll, $1,200 if not. He won't want it if it seems to be stolen property, and will probably advise the PC's to take it to the guard.

    A further quick contest of merchant skill rolls against the merchant's skill of 14 will bring him up to $2,250 or $1,320 if the original merchant roll was failed. If the PC critically fails this roll the merchant will be offended and won't buy the mirror. No one else in town will give more than $1,000 ($1,200 if another Merchant quick contest against 14 is made). A critical success and the antique merchant will offer $1,000 more for the mirror, or $4,000 more if the PC's convince the merchant the mirror is magical.

  • The PC's count their losses and do nothing. If they take no real course of action other than to take the mirror and put it with their supplies (they can't reasonably carry it around), Aragon and the guard will find it, thanks to his Seeker spell. If they leave the mirror, Aragon and the guard will find it in the loft (or wherever it's at). It won't take long for the guard to track down the PC's. With a detective present, Aragon will cast Images of the Past (M107) on the mirror which will show the PC's reflection if they ever stood before it. If not, they will find Rufus who will blame the whole thing on the PC's and aide the guard in searching for them.

Meeting Aragon[edit]

Aragon is a fair, reasonable man to a large extent, but he is also a greedy nobleman who will stop at little to get what he wants. If the PC's are honest and innocent of wrongdoing, he'll not wish ill of them for their part in his missing mirror. If the story of the mirror intrigued the PC's, Aragon will invite the PC's to the Black Rose inn for a drink and a meal, is treat.

There, he'll have a proposition, get the real mirror of legend and there will be riches untold as reward.

If the PC's aren't innocent, Aragon will insist they be imprisoned until brought to trial for their crimes. The soldiers will oblige.

At about midnight that same night, Aragon will come to the PC's while in jail. He'll make them an offer: promise to get the real mirror of legend for him and he'll suspend his charges against them. They'll be freed to keep their word. If they flee, he'll say they'll be under a warrant for arrest from one side of the kingdom to the next, and beyond.

Aragon will tell the PC's there was a murder during a drunken brawl in a tavern the other night. Happens every year at least once, but with so many people from afar flooding the city, the guard will realistically never be able to find the man who did it. But, Aragon will make vague insinuations he can have one or more of the PC's blamed for it if they don't agree to get the mirror or if they don't hold up their end of the bargain.

No matter how Aragon attempts to persuade the PC's to quest for the mirror of legend, he'll extend an invitation to the Black Rose as his guests where he'll offer each member of the PC's party 12 gold ($1,200) up front and all the food supplies they will need, plus a pack mule to carry it.