Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Tomb of the Falerii

Map numero 2.  Not as happy with the hatching on this one, those grave niches were particularly troublesome.  Still usable though, and I've included a keyed version and a link to a .PNG version for your VTT GMs out there.

I also wrote a little DCC RPG one-page dungeon text (well if you print on the back too), that came to me as I was mapping, to go along with it!  Perfect for a short side-quest.




Background

Ring of the Falerii : This OPD is designed to be a filler scenario or a small side quest.  The MacGuffin to get the players here is a Ring of the Falerii.  The Falerii were an ancient family of considerable power and prestige.  A signet ring bearing their crest could be found nearly anywhere conceivable.  This is a good way to add some spice to a random ring (mundane or magical) that the players have picked up in their travels.  Alternately the ring could be given to the players by a patron or employer to facilitate this quest.

Characters researching the Falerii, or that have a background in the area history may learn the following:
     -  The Falerii were a rich and powerful family that extended their influence through the Military and a vast Trade empire.
     -  The arch rivals of the Falerii were the Gracchi family.  They opposed each other through nearly 500 years of history.
     -  This cave was once home to an Oracle cult.
     -  The Falerii women were famous for their  cunning and ferocity.

Some false clues and rumors:
     -  The Falerii often trapped statues.
     -  All Falerii women were buried with vast quantities of gemstones.

Locations

1. Cave Entrance.  The cavern consists mostly of limestone and appears mostly created by flowing water, although signs of human enhancement can be seen here and there.  The ledges in this part of the cavern are about 3' high.  On the second ledge is a crumbling wooden barrel.  It contains many very small bones.  A character with the appropriate background or a DC 14 Intelligence check may note that these are medium size fish bones.

2.  Pool Bypass.  The Owlbear that lives at 5 has widened a natural crevice here to bypass the pool at 3.  Observant characters may notice the cave has claw marks on the walls and a DC 18 Intelligence check to note the claws are bear size and shape.

3.  Cave Pool.  A Cave Octopus Init -2; Atk tentacle +2 melee (1) and beak +4 melee (1d8); AC 11; HD 2d6; MV walk 20’ or swim 40’; Act 8d20; SP grasp 1d4, camouflage; SV Fort +2, Ref -2, Will +2; AL N.) lives in this pool.  It will attack anyone that approaches unless it is thrown food.  It prefers salt cod.

4.  Bones.  This is where the Owlbear that lives at 5 eats his meals and disposes of the bones in large piles scattered about.  In the center of the cave floor he has arranged an human skeleton with a bull skull.  Anyone shifting any of the bone piles or making any other noise above a whisper will alert said Owlbear at 5, even if he is sleeping.  The owlbear cares nothing for monetary treasure and there is some scattered about this chamber.  Searching PCs may discover 2d20 (x Luck bonus) GP worth of coins.

5.  Den.  An Owlbear (Init +1; Atk bite +6 melee (1d6+2) or claw +4 melee(1d4); AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 20’ or climb 10’; Act 2d20; SP spell resistance; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +8; AL C.) makes a lair here.  The ledges down to 4 are quite steep (10'-12') and the Owlbear will attempt to pounce on intruders from above if it detects them approaching the lair.  The Owlbear is a touch OCD and the floor of this part of the cavern is strewn with shredded cloth arranged in piles by color.  Under the 'blue' pile there is a sapphire worth 100 GP.

6.  Oracle Room.  In antiquity a cult established an Oracle in these caves, charging the wealthy exorbitant prices to hear her prophecy.  They weren't complete charlatans.  Once every lunar cycle the earth vents hallucinogenic gas into this room.  Anyone who fails a Fort Save DC 18 enters into trance-like state and experiences visions.  If the character has a Personality of 17 or higher, these visions are at least partially true predictions of the future, albeit it almost certainly obfuscated.  Anyone who does succumb to the magic vapors forgets their visions when they are over.

7.  Memorial Chamber of the Falerii.  The door to this room is made of heavy stone and imbued with magic.  If the correct phrase is uttered "Damnation to the Gracchi" the door will swing open noiselessly.  If the door is touched without uttering these words it will discharge a many forked lightning bolt trap.  It will hit anyone within 30' of the door inflicting 2d8 points of damage (Reflex save DC 15 for half).  Once discharged it will slowly recharge itself over a one month period. 
The walls of this room are decorated with 23 ancient wax masks.  The masks were made shortly after death of individual family members of importance. They are illuminated by magic stones places on a ledge in the wall behind them, creating quite a beautiful, and eerie sight.  The magic on the stones is permanent.  They will illuminate a 10' radius for perpetuity.  The masks are quite valuable to a historian or art collector (25 GP each), but also quite fragile.  Anyone carrying a mask that takes damage or falls down has a 50% chance to crush the mask(s). The Statue is of stern looking patrician man in a toga.  An inscription on base reads  "By Might, by Wealth, by Birthright. A Falerii to Rule!".  There are three slots in the base of the statue.  To reveal and release the magic lock on the secret door, the slots must be filled with: 1. A quality weapon, 2.  Gold (at least 10 GP worth) and 3. A Signet Ring of the Falerii (the MacGuffin!).

+Edwin Nagy  created this great handout for his VTT group to represent the magic statue!  Thanks Edwin!



8.  Tomb of the Falerii.  Each niche in the walls is 3' off the ground and contains the remains of a member of the Falerii.  In addition to what is listed below all have a gold Signet ring that will open the secret door again once closed and is worth 20 GP.  If any of the female skeletons are disturbed in any way, all of them (female) will animate as very fast Skeletons (Init +4; Atk claw +2 melee (1d4); AC 13; HD 3d6; MV 60’; Act 2d20; SP un-dead, half damage from piercing and slashing weapons; SV Fort +0, Ref +4, Will +0; AL C.

a.  Matriarch.  Golden Tiara worth 80 GP.                                      
b.  Soldier.  Has decayed bronze ceremonial armor (+3 AC, d10 Fumble die) and a quality Shortsword (+1 to hit, 1d7 Damage).
c.  Daughter.  Silver ring inlaid with amethyst worth 35 GP.
d.  Daughter.  Gold brooch worth 15 GP.
e.  Male Priest.  Metal scroll tube with 2 random divine spells.
f.  Male Child.  Leather pouch around neck that acts similarly to a bag of holding.  It can contain as much as a large sack.  It currently contains a mummified rat and 2d5 pieces of hard candy.
g.  Soldier.  Buried with the Magic Bone Battleaxe of a conquered enemy.  It is magical in that it is as hard as steel and always razor sharp, expanding the wielder's critical range by 1.
h.  Patriarch.  Platinum and Ivory scepter with a Diamond Eagle statuette on top worth 500 GP.
i.  Female Magician.  Magic ring that allows a Wizard to recall one lost spell per day without using a point of Spellburn.
j.  Male Merchant.  Buried with magic Trickster's Scale that will grant the user a 10% bonus to value of any barter that uses the scales.