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Vineyard RPG: The Undead Gala


You are invited to attend a gala put on by the Vineyard only to become players in an irreverent murder mystery game where the suspects have been dead for 100 years.

Perhaps some secrets are best kept buried.



The adventuring group is hired by an artifact collector seeking a key phrase to unlock a magical device. He instructs the group that a reclusive wizard is the keeper of that phrase and might be bargained with at a gala being thrown by the Vineyard. Armed with several offerings for the wizard and a tribute for Aisling Rovehnna, the group is expected to deliver the key phrase the following day.

When the group arrives, it becomes clear that this is an unusual party. The guests are playing a murder mystery game, with the accused freshly raised from their crypts a hundred years after the killing. One of the suspects is lying—but who is it?

This adventure is intended to be played by a group of 4–6 adventurers of 3rd level. The adventure may take one or several 3–4 hour sessions to complete, depending on the actions of the adventuring group.


Setting Primer:

Welcome to the Vineyard RPG! This is a campaign guide and setting compatible with both 5E and Tales of the Valiant, although you’ll find that we build towards the style guide of the latter more than the former. Within this Vineyard RPG adventure and others like it, you’ll find your favorite fantasy city transformed by the incursion of an undead organization known as the Vineyard. This guide can be set in any major city from your favorite settings in your collection, or its own distinct world—a Game Master can even introduce it mid-campaign, so long as expectations are set.

Undead Mob. The Vineyard is not interested in desolation and destruction. Instead, they would much rather absorb assets, be they people or promises. Each lieutenant in service to Their Majesty Aisling Rovehnna has signed a contract of eternal servitude—yet some writhe in agony to break free of their obligations. So long as they still continue to expand their influence, Aisling does not care, and ignores anything short of sedition.

Secrets. Everyone has them. What you choose to do with them is a world of possibilities. The Vineyard wants them, as does the Dark Market. Barter and leverage your own secrets or those of others to gain power, influence, and change the fate of the City. If you are behind in your debts, avoid the notice of the Vineyard's lieutenants—for they happily collect your secrets as collateral if you are delinquent on your payments. The Confessor and other lieutenants of the Vineyard deliver captured secrets to Their Majesty, Aisling Rovehnna.

Contracts. Out of money? Need a diamond to resurrect your friend? Considering the benefit of some additional undead power? The Vineyard would love to have you sign a legally binding contract— but if you die before you’re able to repay your debt, you may find yourself paying it off in the afterlife. What remains of the law in the City does not interfere with this morbid debt collection.

Rumors. The Vineyard has begun taking over the printing press to spread their propaganda. There is no such thing as bad press.

Rare Gems. Valuable jewels are under a soft monopoly held by the Vineyard. Taking advantage of the undead threat beneath the City, Aisling Rovehnna struck a deal with the City’s trade ministry. What was a temporary measure to restrict necromancers from endangering the lives of the common citizen has become a stranglehold on gems—and adventurers are feeling the squeeze. Every gem contract has an expiration date and a person authorized to use it; when those conditions fall through, ownership of the gem returns to the Vineyard.

Whisperborne. A whisperborne, a living secret, is born when a parchment bearing their truth is consumed in the bonfire of the Wandering Mother. Whisperborne are made with a fire for a heart—their fire. It can only be snuffed out if the secret that created them is spoken in their presence. Every whisperborne protects their origin at all costs, even as the Vineyard blackmails them into service.

The Rot. The Rot beneath the City seeks to consume you and everyone you know. Only the Vineyard holds the lever shielding the City. If you are infected by the darkness, it will spread and begin to atrophy who you are. You might protect your comrades by sacrificing yourself to feed the Rot—for a grave cost. Or you might find someone who can amputate that infected limb, if you look in the right places.

Adventurers. Dealing with the Vineyard has become an unfortunate fact of life for many employed in dangerous work requiring gems. While most try to avoid incurring a massive debt with the undead mob, some have leaned into their dependency to gain impressive boons. Wise adventurers know that boons can be tempting at first, but you always pay too much by the end.

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Reviews (5)
Discussions (0)
November 10th, 2023
Overall: amazing. Mysteries are hard to write and run. The only critique I have is that one of the three suspects, Alfonso, was a bit on the weaker side (I can also counter my own point by saying that most murder mysteries feature one "wea [...]
November 9th, 2023
This is a great inrigue one-shot. Players spend nearly the full adventure talking and investigating. The characters in the adventure have big personalities, and they're a lot of fun to interact with. The adventure leads with details on the situati [...]
November 6th, 2023
The Undead Gala is the perfect intro to the Vineyard in terms of getting a feel for the atmosphere of the setting, the nature of the npcs, and the mechanics introduced by The Rot. A murder mystery with a delightful twist that is sure to set the tone fo [...]
November 6th, 2023
This is a murder mystery that could be played as a oneshot or as part of using the Vineyard as a setting/campaign. What I really enjoyed is how easy the layout makes running the adventure. Murder mysteries are hard. Players will ignore the clues [...]
November 5th, 2023
What I love Rot points/doom points. I like using the doom/luck a lot and this is just singing to me in glourious awesomeness... its a nice way to flavor the doom idea. The gems being rare/under iron grip is freaking bril [...]
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File Last Updated:
November 02, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on November 02, 2023.
Is Friday Productions
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