Where Biggles Dares

by Gillian F Taylor

An old-fashioned adventure of derring-do

This is a daredevils style adventure of good chaps against dastardly villains. Think Biggles and Bulldog Drummond, though the ending owes a little more to 'Where Eagles Dare'. Play the stereotypes with good heart and enjoy foiling the bad guy's evil plot.
The heroes are Roger Blenkinsop and his trusty friends. On a lovely summery morning in 1937, they discover that the Professor has been kidnapped from his home in the village of Melton St Boltoph. What is the secret that the Professor has been working on ? And who were the men with German accents who were seen on the village green that morning ? The answers will take the players to the mountains of Bavaria in their quest to rescue the Professor.

GM's Notes

This game is intended for four players. It would work with three, or five, in which case feel free to invent an extra one of your own in the style of those provided below. An adventurous younger brother or sister for Roger Blenkinsop would work well. The system is a 3D6 GURPS type one. The character is trying to roll under or equal to the skill level given. A 3 or 4 is always a critical: 17 or 18 is always a fumble. Invent suitable modifiers according to the difficulty of the particular situation. Shooting a German guard isn't normally too difficult, but if the PC is hanging from the side of a wildly swinging helicopter, that would be minus 5 or 6 to skill. This scenario is a good one for adopting ze outrageous foreign accents; in fact a player handout note from the villain to the heroes was written in a ludicrous German accent.
Only the scenario outline and background is really given here. Exactly how the players set about the adventure will be pretty much up to them. Hopefully there is enough here for a GM to be able to wing it. The main thing is to keep the action moving. Encourage the players to get the mood of the times, yelling 'Good show' and 'old chaps', but allow suitable anachronisms if witty or amusing. One player was allowed to distract the guards by shouting 'Look, it's the Goodyear blimp!'. He made his sound convincing skill roll and I was amused, so the guards fell for it. Let the players wander down little by-ways in the adventure, so long as everyone is enjoying themselves. Just see that the Professor is rescued in the end.

The Heroes

Roger Blenkinsop

fashionable people of the period

You joined the Great War in 1916 by signing for the Royal Naval Air Force, even though you were a year under age. You stayed on until 1932, reaching the rank of Flight Commander. Since then you have lived in the country, occasionally helping out friends in the diplomatic corps when difficulties need to be solved informally.
You are a true, stiff-upper lipped Englishman, dedicated to serving the Empire and God, in that order. You are from the landed gentry but your experiences in the War gave you greater respect for the working classes. You believe implicitly in noblisse oblige and all the duties of rank and leadership
Toddy is your best friend and served with you, as did Doctor McKenna. Sid Harrison, your groom, also served with you. He told you about the manor in Melton St Boltoph, where you now live.

ST 11   DX 13   IQ 11   HT 13

shoot guns 16   fly things 18   mechanics 10   navigation 11   drive things 12
drive things ridiculously fast 16   rugby tackle 15   fisticuffs 15    savoir-faire 16
get an answer from servants 17   speak German 13   speak French 12   sound convincing 13
horse riding 14   swimming 15   dancing 15   climbing 13   leadership 15   gambling 14
look dashing 18   cricket 15

Webley No 1: 2d damage, 6 shots. Lee Enfield rifle: 6d+1 damage, 10 shots
punch 1d-3

Talbot 'Toddy' Jackson

Your flaming red hair and magnificent moustache gave you your nickname (Toddy being a traditional name for foxes). Your friendship with Roger dates back to your time together at Harrow before you joined up the Great War. Since then you have led the life of an English gentleman on your estates, flirting with the local ladies and accompanying Roger on his adventures from time to time.
You have always been slightly overshadowed by Roger, but you don't mind as it allows you to get on with other things while he takes all the attention. So far as you are concerned, the world is perfect the way it is, with hunt balls, whiskey, beautiful women and good horses. You can't understand why the lower orders don't seem to know their place any more, though obviously the Depression was very hard on them. Roger is sometimes too willing to listen to his groom, but you don't interfere. You'd rather be interfering with the dairy maids anyway.

ST 14   DX 12   IQ 10   HT 13

shoot guns 15   brawling 15   fly things 14   mechanics 12   fishing 13  tracking 12
sneak quietly 10 driving things 14   riding 16  gambling 17   flirt 15   dancing 14
be boisterous 15  electronics 9   speak German 10  swimming 15   skiing 14
sound convincing 12   climb 14   cricket 14

Webley No 1: 2D damage, 6 shots. Lee-Enfield 6D+1 damage, 10 shots.
punch 1D-2: kick 1D

Sid Harrison

You were drafted reluctantly into the Great War but enjoyed serving under Mr Blenkinsop. Afterwards, you moved back to your home village and persauded Mr Blenkinsop to take up the manor house, where you got a job as his groom. You like to go along on his adventures when you can; it makes for good tales to tell back home, and impresses Mary Bell, who works in the snug at The Ark.
As well as being Mr Blenkinsop's groom, you are also the village poacher, but he doesn't know about this. You admire the gentlemen for their absolute belief in themselves but you do wish they were not always so honourable about things. You seem to be the only one capable of playing dirty when necessary. You are fond of the old country, and don't care for foreigners much.

ST 13   DX 12   IQ 13   HT 13

shoot guns 14   brawling 16   tracking 15  set/remove trap 16   sneak 16
control animals 15   lock pick 14   riding 13   fix things 14   tug forelock 14
sound convincing 13   speak German 9   drive things 11   swim 13   climb 14
first aid 13   flirt 13   blend into the background 14

Luger 9mm: 2D+2 damage, 9 shots. Browning shotgun: 4D damage, 6 shots
punch 1D-2, kick 1D+1.

Dr Iain McKenna

You met Roger and Toddy during the War when you all served in the same regiment. After the War, you went back to Edinburgh and graduated as a doctor. You now work in Melton St Boltoph, but sometimes leave your junior in charge while you go off with Roger on his adventures.
Roger is a thoroughly admirable sort and Toddy is a generally reliable chap, both of them are just the sort of thing you need on your side in a tight spot. However, you are frequently amused by their devotion to the Empire and the old way of things as you can see that it is about to crumble away. Occasionally you tease Roger about this, taking the opposite point of view just to annoy him. You are interested inthe new developments of this 'machine age', with its exciting advances in travel, medicine and science. Frankly, the other two are starting to look downright Victorian.

ST 10   DX 11   IQ 14   HT 12

shoot guns 13   fly things 13   drive things 12  first aid 15   medicine 16
riding 12   drive train 13   wrestling 13   rugby tackle 13   bagpipes 11
operate radio 13   speak German 13   mutter Scottish oaths 16  fix things 14
sound convincing 16  climb 10

Webley No 1: 2D damage, 6 shots. Lee-Enfield rifle: 6D+1 damage, 10 shots.
Bagpipes: an area effect weapon capable of emitting a range of sounds from eerie moans to piercing squeaks. Good for terrorizing unsuspecting natives.

Melton Saint Boltoph

Village Green

A charming village in south Suffolk, just off the A12. Most of the houses are clustered around the village green. A little further out are the church, the manor house, two farms and the railway station.
The adventure starts early one morning with Roger, Toddy and the Doctor in the manor house stables with Sid. Roger's housekeeper (Mrs Blackmore) brings the villge postman to the stables. The postie tells them that something odd is happening at Professor Grey's house and he can't get an answer. Postie would have reported it to Constable Parkin, but he knows that the village policeman is over at Melton St Remigus, taking his giant veg over for the flower show tomorrow.

The Professor's house is substantial, set in its own grounds. He lives there alone apart from his housekeeper. When the players search the Professor's house, they find his housekeeper, Mrs Bloom, tied to a chair in the scullery. She tells them of the dreadful men, with foreign accents, who burst in and kidnapped the Professor without even letting him finish his cup of tea. The Prof's Morris motor car is missing.
The Prof has a lab set up in his greenhouse. It has tubes and flasks bubbling away and a litter of untidy, half-dismantled experiments about the place (this is normal, as Mrs Bloom will tell them despairingly). None of the characters have any idea what the Prof is working on. His library has plenty of books in use lying about; mostly on oil refining techniques. There are notes scribbled in the margins "rubbish !", "old fool," and "try inversion techniques".

When the village is searched, the prof's car is parked outside the tiny railway station. The Station Master saw the Professor and three men catch the 08.51 to Dixborough. From there, they can get a connexion to London at 09.34, arriving at Liverpool St Station at 11.19. The time is now 09.02. If they drive fast, the PC's can get to Dixborough station by 09.30.

When they get there, Dixborough station is in an uproar. Four men got off the train together. Three of them stole a car and drove away down the main road to London at speed. The other one pushed the driver off the Melton train while he was chatting to someone, and drove the train away. It can just be seen slowly steaming away round the corner. As the party watch, a figure jumps down from the cab and runs away. The train is now uncontrolled. There are fifteen passengers on board. The points are set for it to take the branch line by the school, but the oil tankers from a goods train are still there. The train will crash into them unless it is stopped.
It is possible, but difficult, for the car to be driven alongside the track. A saddled horse is tethered just outside the railway station while its owner checks the times of London train. Both horse and car go fast enough to catch up with the slow moving train. The train has a guards carriage at the rear, three carriages, a coal bunker and the engine itself. Climbing from a moving vehicle (or horse) to the train is difficult but possible. Once inside the cab, the hero has to chose which of the levers and wheels to pull to try and slow the train. Driving a train is a separate skill from driving things generally, but a default of about -5 should be allowed if the PCs trying don't have train driving skill. If they pull the wrong lever, they will be tugging on the whistle by mistake. Being a hero, he should eventually stop the train before it crashes into the oil trucks and blows up. When the immediate excitement has died down, the PC spots a note in the cab.

You sink you are zo clever, but ve know zat you are following us. By ze time you haf retrieved zis note, ve vill be vell on our vay to ze schloss in ze Fatherland wit' ze Professor safely in our grasp. Give up now, vhile you haf ze chance.
Baron Von Leipzig

It isn't unknown for the players to try pursuing the German's car, but they won't catch it no matter how hard they try at this point.
Naturally, the party will want to know more about Baron Von Leipzig. They best way is to go to Blenkinsop's government contact. This man's name is Puddock-Browning, he is a member of the same gentleman's club as Blenkinsop, Toddy and the Doctor. He has recruited them for adventures before now. Puddock-Browning will be very concerned when he hears what has happened. He tells them that the Professor's research may be vital to the war effort, and that they must go after him. They will not officially represent the Empire, but they will have backing.
Puddock-Browning tells them about the Baron (see below) and says that his operation is backed by the German military. Soldiers are stationed at his schloss. The party can use reasonable force to retrieve the Professor, but England and Germany are not at war, so charging around like the Dirty Dozen is not acceptable. The Foreign Office has been aware of the Baron's activities for a while, and have an insider on his staff who will be told to help the PCs. Apart from this, they are on their own (officially).

Bavaria and the village of Traunstein

Bavaria is a beautiful, mountainous district of south Germany, bordering Austria and Switzerland. Think of the rolling scenery of Steve McQueen's bike ride in 'The Great Escape', think of 'Where Eagles Dare' and 'The Sound of Music' (filmed just over the border in Austria).

Getting There

The party can fly, drive or go by rail.
If they choose to fly, they will take a Swissair Douglas DC3, a new and fast plane, to Zurich. From there, they can hire a car, either a Maybach DSH 6 cylinder, or a Mercedes 540K. The whole journey to Traunstein will take 2 days
As this is the golden age of rail travel, they could take one of the many continental expresses to Munich, and drive from there. This would take 3 to 4 days.
Driving is the slowest option. Blenkinsop's favoured car is a Talbot 105 Tourer, as chosen by Prince George, the Duke of Kent. Driving will take 3 to 5 days.


click here for larger map

Traunstein is a pretty village of the sort that makes a second income by modelling for tourist brochures. The houses all have plenty of dark wood, fancy carved beams and shutters and window boxes full of pink and red flowers. It is built along the bottom of a high valley, with the schloss perched high above on a crag. The party's contact is a man called Joachim Weber, who is a handyman at the schloss. His sister runs a gasthaus (guesthouse) in the village, where the party can stay. She will turn a blind eye to odd goings on. Joachim can get items for the PCs within reason: local work clothes, a motorbike and so on.
It is a good idea for the party to pose as tourists; they are common enough in the lovely scenery of Bavaria, and are still welcomed by the locals. If they talk to locals, they will hear rumours of a strange flying contraption which has been seen in the valley recently. It makes a very loud noise, quite different to an aeroplane.

The Villains

Joachim can tell the PCs about the layout of the schloss, and its occupants.
The non-military staff live in the village: 1 groom, 10 kitchen staff, 7 domestics, 2 handymen. They are all loyal German citizens, but it may be possible for players to bluff or bribe them.
Inside the castle are: 30 troops, 2 pilots, 1 mechanic. 2 radio men and 5 Army officers. There will normally be 5 troops and 1 officer on duty. The soldiers cannot be bribed but may well be bluffed. On any evening, there may be 5 troopers in the village pub.

German Officers: ST 11   DX 11   IQ 11  HT 12:   
	shoot 13, drive 12, brawl 14, fencing 13, English 12, climb 13.
German Infantry: ST 10   DX 10   IQ 9   HT 10: 
	shoot 10, drive 10, brawl 11, English 8, climb 9.

PISTOL: Luger 9mm:  2D+2   shots 9
ME98:  5D  shots 6

Baron Von Leipzig

Medium height with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. He started as a cavalryman in the Great War. An aristocrat of the old school, he believes utterly in the Fatherland and is determined to return it to its former glory. He believes the Treaty of Versailles to be an unfair abomination design to break Germany. He is not anti-Semitic, but believes that Hitler has the determination and charisma to take Germany back to the pinnacle of world power, where it belongs. He is utterly devoted to his country and its fortunes.
By nature, he is well-bred and well-educated. He will behave like a gentleman, and loves poetry and classical music. He admires Shakespeare but insists that Goethe should be equally respected.

ST 11   DX 11   IQ 14   HT 12
shoot 14, drive 13, climb 12, throw 13, English 15, poetry 15, savoir-faire 15, fencing 15.

Adventures in the Schloss

What happens from here is largely up to the players. Somehow they must bluff their way into the castle, and from there, find the Professor.
When the players arrive in the larger courtyard, they should notice a powerful aerial on the roof. Anyone who knows German will see the signs indicating the Radio room. This is a top-class military installation that connects the castle to the nearest military base, some 30 miles away in the next valley. 1 radio operator will be on duty, probably very bored unless the players do something foolish. He will not radio for help unless given a direct order, but may sound the general alarm. If he does call for help, bad things will happen. Enough military, armoured cars, etc will show up to make life tricky for the players as they are escaping.
In the second courtyard is a strange shape hidden under a tarp. This is a helicopter, the very latest thing in aviation. None of the players have even seen one before, let alone flown one. One of the pilots and the mechanic will be hanging around the nearby workshop. The helicopter is on test here, and the ordinary soldiers aren't allowed near it. The pilots and mechanic are all proud of their new gadget and possesive of it. It will be very difficult to bluff them into letting the players take a close look at it. The helicopter has enough fuel aboard for a fifty mile flight. If the players don't use it for escaping the castle, they would be advised to destroy it.
The Professor is being held in the cells. A Sergeant and 2 troopers will be on duty in a room near the entrance to the guardhouse area. The party may choose to overwhelm them, or more probably bluff them. Picking the cell lock is tricky but not impossible; the keys are on a board in the guardroom. The Professor was kidnapped for his research on new oil refining techniques because he has been developing new forms of aviation fuel, which will be important in the forthcoming war. So far, the Professor has refused to tell the Baron anything, so he has been locked in solitary confinement until he becomes more cooperative. The only part of the castle he knows is the corridor leading from the cells to the labs that have been set up for him.
click for full schloss plan If the players seem to be getting away with rescuing the Prof too easily, have a few more patrolling guards show up, or a couple of soldiers who want a light for their cigarettes. At some point, most probably through the players' own fault, the alarm will go off. Klaxons raise a deafening row and lots of grey clad soldiers start pouring into the courtyards. Quite how the players ecape is up to them, but the helicopter is a popular choice. They may chose to fly it away, or go back to the village. The Baron's black Mercedes is garaged in the second courtyard, and could be stolen. The last time I ran this, they took the helicopter and nearly lost the Professor out of the side door when the pilot muffed his skill roll and swooped wildly about the courtyard.
The villagers aren't wealthy, so cars are in short supply there. However, there is a large post bus in a garage near the guest house. This has the great advantage of being so solid that it can ram barriers and will absorb a lot of bullets. Whatever happends, finish with a good shoot-out and let the players escape, possibly bruised and wounded but triumphant.

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