A Desperate Mission to Strike at the Heart of the Enemy. What Could Go Wrong?

DM notes for running DDAL09-06 Infernal Insurgency. Also, better maps!

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Infernal Insurgency is like one of those classic military missions like The Guns of Navarone or Rogue One. I kept feeling like Gregory Peck or Steve McQueen would show up at any moment. There are lots of  options for  the  DM to tailor the adventure to their campaign and the players have good agency. That’s not to say it’s without issues. The sandbox nature requires more DM prep work and some of the story requires adjustments to make sense. 

And then there are the included maps which are practically unplayable and actually make it hard to see how things work. So I made my own which are available to download below for your enjoyment. 

Quick links:

 

So let’s get into it.

Here there be spoilers! DM eyes only or ye be cursed!

Battle in The Garage

Overview

This adventure is like so many classic military mission to infiltrate a munitions depot called, The Dump, cause mayhem and destruction, and the somehow escape. It’s got huge potential for an epic war story. The challenge is that it presents a lot of options for how the party prepares, their mission objectives, and how they get into The Dump. To create a coherent story and avoid getting bogged down, it’s best to decide on a few options you like instead of presenting all the options. That lets you shape the story while still giving the players agency.

Call to Action

For groups that have been playing the series this is a straightforward ask from Fai Chen to help Dara. I play up the danger of the mission and have Fai be troubled by asking the party to take it on.

Part 1: Formulating a Plan

Mahadi’s Emporium is an excellent canvas to bring hell to life. As a neutral territory I like to describe all the strange sights and smells they would experience like multiple Fai Chens, bizarre fiends, hellish carnies, and market stalls full of disgusting food. 

There are 3 key things the characters need to acquire for their mission, the glamoured studded leather from Flip Franklins, the transmutation bombs from Elliach, and the maps from Z’Neth. 

I put a fuel depot room in the map as a specific goal for the characters.

The adventure does not state how the transmutation bombs are triggered so you have to decide how that works. I said they go off 5 minutes after being activated. But you could rig a remote control as well. 

There are also a few options for bonus objectives that give the characters a second mission. I used the war machine plans for the salamanders which was fun because they also had to find out where the control room in the garage was. This also leads to Bonus Objective B: Of Goblins and Angels

I used the patrols and General Everbleed to add danger and urgency to their escape. I had him show up as the players were trying fight their way out of the garage so they could steal a war machine and escape. For dramatic effect The General eviscerated a merregon that was in his way just so he could get closer to the party. He also used his ice wall ability to try to block the garage door. Luckily the wizard had a to fireball to blast an opening in it just in time to make their escape.

Part 2: Shock and Awe

The Dump in Infernal Insurgency
The Dump and surrounding area.

I envisioned The Dump as a busy place with lots of comings and goings of military patrols, merchants, and bored guards. This gives the characters a number of options to try to get inside and lots of opportunity for imaginative plans. 

There are a few obvious options here like going in with Mugmerch, using disguises, sneaking, using Franklins and the Terror Troop as a distraction, or even allying with Dalgro Carrionclaw. This is a great opportunity to let your players come up with an insane plan and try to pull it off. 

The Battlemaps

The included maps actually work fine as player handouts since they are supposed to be drawn by Z’Neth. But they are completely unusable as battlemaps and it’s difficult to visualize how they connect to each other.

The two keys are that The Dump was the freestanding Void Chalice chateau that is now embedded in the side of the canyon wall and that the garage has a 30 foot ceiling with a “control room” suspended from it. 

You can buy full non-watermarked versions of the maps here.

Starting from the lowest level of The Dump:

Level 0: The Basement (C15-C20)
The Basement

Level 0: The Basement (C15-C20)

  • The basement below the garage.
  • A hidden tunnel enters here and connects to the surface. 
  • There are cages and sleeping quarters and a lab.
  • 10 foot wide stairs lead up to level 1.
 
Level 1: The Garage (C1-C6)
The Garage

Level 1: The Garage (C1-C6)

  • This is the ground floor.
  • Giant 20 foot doors open to allow the war machines in and out.
  • I put a lever on the floor next to the main doors to open/close them. You can make a fun challenge out having the party notice and have the strength to pull it while they are trying to escape.
  • In the garage, open stairs lead up to the control room from the top-right corner.
  • I added a fuel depot room full of barrels of demon ichor and other flammable fun juice if the party is doing the objective to blow the whole thing up (which myself and Michael Bay highly recommend).
  • There is a trail ichor drippings from the fuel depot to the garage that you can use as a real life perception check for the players.
  • Stairs lead up to level 2 and down to level 3.
 
Level 2: The Bedrooms (C7-C9)
The Bedrooms

Level 2: The Bedrooms (C7-C9)

  • The bedrooms (C7-C9) with General Nuldrath and Chalice Void.
  • Note that the round tower is separated from the garage by a wall.
  • Stairs lead down to level 1 and up to level 3.
Level 3: The Library (C10-C11)
The Library

Level 3: The Library (C10-C11)

  • The suspended Logistics Office is in the garage on this level.
  • There are ruined books and bookshelves scattered everywhere.
  • I gave the devils a table to gamble on.
  • Stairs lead down to level 2 and up to level 4.
Level 4: The Roof (C12-C14)
The Roof

Level 4: The Roof (C12-C14)

  • The way I interpreted this is the devils chopped a huge hole in the observatory and built a crude bridge to span the gap between the path up the cliff (C12) and The Dome (C14).
  • 10 feet below the bridge is The Tower Top Floor (C13). Characters can jump or climb up to the from the bridge or down to the walkway.
Level 5: The Dome (C14)
The Dome

Level 5: The Dome (C14)

  • This view is the Roof from the outside, before the party has entered the the dome (C14).
Overview of The Dump for DDAL09-06 Infernal Insurgency
The Dump

Level 6: The Dump and surrounding area

  • This view gives the players an opportunity to come up with a plan to infiltrate The Dump.
  • The Dump is embedded in the side of the canyon wall. 
  • Dirt paths lead down from the top of the plateau to the roof, the garage, and the dock on the River Styx.
  • The land is desolate waste with piles of boulders dotting the landscape.
Battlemap for Appendix 2: Of Angels and Goblins
Of Angels and Goblins

Appendix 2: Of Goblins and Angels (B1-B4)

  • The first main room (B1) has cages and chained prisoners to the left.
  • A puddle of something sits in the middle of the floor in B1. I used it as an oil slick slipping hazard.
  • The living and sleeping quarters (B2-B3) are top left.
  • The Test Area (B4) is top right and has a platform for the P.R.A.T., a cage with blood trails to complete the story of the prisoners in B1, and various alchemical lab instruments.