Thursday, February 27, 2014

The House of the Falerii

Here is a sister map to The Tomb of the Falerii.  The adventure is written to be a prequel, but could easily be adopted as a sequel or loosely related adventure locale.  

The House of the Falerii

Jackal Monkeys (23 total) live in areas 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10.  They will harass anyone who intrudes on their territory.  Typically they will throw their feces from a distance, only attacking physically if one or two party members get separated from the group.  They can go in and out of the arrow slits at will.  The Jackal Monkeys are fond of shiny objects and some treasure is scattered about their lair areas.  Typically this requires a search through dung piles which have a 20% chance to contain rot grubs (burrow to heart in 2d5 rounds.  Fort Save DC 20 or die.  Can be burned in first 2 rounds causing 1d6 or cut out in first 5 rounds causing 2d6 damage).

Jackal Monkeys: Init +2, Atk bite +2 melee (1d4+1), or thrown excrement +3 missile fire (dmg special); AC 14; HD 1d8; MV 30' or climb 30'; Act 1d20; SP Leap up to full movement; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will -1; AL N.

Throw Poo: Jackal Monkeys can (and often do) throw their own feces up to 40' at intruders into their territory.  The ordure does not cause physical damage but anyone hit must make a Fortitude save DC 12 or become nauseous (-1d on all attacks, ability, skill or spell checks) until the offending stool is washed off.  Subsequent poo-missiles have no further effect.

Leap:  The Jackal Monkey can leap using its powerful hind legs up to 30', consuming its entire movement for the round.

Jackal Monkeys are the result of bizarre experimentations by wizards in ages past.  Why any magic user powerful enough to conduct such experiments would choose two of the most annoying animals in the history of mammal-dom to combine is a mystery.  Perhaps the plan was to unleash them as a plague upon a rival nation or they are simply an attempt at a practical joke by a half-mad archmage with too much time on his hands.  Either way, they present a definite annoyance, and potential danger to unprepared adventurers.

1.  Entry.  The powerful bronze doors are still intact, requiring tools or a key to open.  Any creature spending more than a few rounds in this area will draw the attention, and subsequent thrown manure of the Jackal Monkeys.

2.  Tower. Dung Pile: Silver Ring (15 GP), 40 GP in assorted coins.

3.  Fortified Hallway.  There is a hidden 20' pit trap (2d6 damage).  Reflex DC 14 to avoid.  The lid is hinged and on a surprisingly still working spring.  Several Jackal Monkey corpses are in the pit. 

4.  Tower.  The door to 5 has fallen off the hinges due to exposure.  Dung Pile: Gold Necklace (45 GP), Platinum cloak pin with inset ruby (60 GP).

5.  Stable Yard.  The large gate is warped and open.  It could be jury rigged to close again with a little effort.  In addition to the Jackal Monkeys that inhabit the yard, 5 Giant Rats: (Init +4; Atk bite +2 melee (1d4+1 plus disease); AC 13; HD 1d6+2; MV 30’ or climb 20’; Act 1d20; SP disease (DC 7 Fort save or additional 1d6 damage); SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will -1; AL N.) live in the dark corners of filthy enclosure.  The stairs on the southern wall lead up to the battlements.

6.  Entry Hall.  The pool is dark, stagnant and 2' deep.  Anyone feeling around the bottom with their bare hand has a chance (Luck check) to pull up a random coin.

7.  Secret Stairs.  To anywhere you like!

8.  Child's Play.  A little girl sits alone in this room playing with her dolly.  She is a ghost but seems real.  An observant character may notice that a scarf the child wears conceals a ghastly and fatally deep gash across the throat.  The child will readily talk to adventurers claiming that "Mommy said if I was a good girl and stay weally, weally quiet I could have a sweet.  Did you bring me a sweet?  I tried to be quiet Mommy...I tried to be quiet..."  Anyone giving the child a 'sweet' gets a +2 to any save for 3 days, afterward the child will disappear.  Anyone being a 'meanie' will cause the child to wail a baleful curse causing 1d3 Personality loss.  Willpower DC 14 to resist.

9.  Empty Room.  ...

10.  Observation Room.  Dung Pile: 100 GP in assorted coins.

11.  Chamber.  3 Ghouls (Init +1; Atk bite +3 melee (1d4 plus paralyzation) or claw +1 melee (1d3); AC 12; HD 2d6; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP un-dead traits, paralyzation, infravision 100’; SV Fort +1, Ref +0, Will +0; AL C.) have gained access to this room via the secret door and made it their lair.  A pile of bones in the western nook contains 80 GP in assorted coins and a fine dagger (+1 to hit and 1d5 damage).

12.  The Baths.  These rooms were once opulent, marble baths.  Water randomly, but steadily, drips from the ceiling throughout the chamber.  The dark pool is now home to a giant water moccasin (Viper, giant: Init +6; Atk bite +8 melee (3d6 + poison DC 12 Fort or 1d4 Stamina); AC 16; HD 4d8; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2; AL N.).  The northwest corner was once the privy and there is a concealed hole that the snake will use to retreat to the tunnel at 17 if the situation turns dire.

13.  Steam Room.  The natural fissure in the floor here permits a pleasant steam to periodically vent into the room.  Less pleasant are the two Steam Devils (Init +2; Atk bite +4 melee (1d6+2) or breath weapon - 20' cone of steam, Ref DC 12 or 2d6 damage; AC 12; HD 2d6; MV 40’; Act 1d20; SP immune to damage from fire or heat; SV Fort +1, Ref +2, Will +1; AL L.) that now make this room their home.  If slain they will explode in a burst of steam causing 1d8 damage to all within 5'.

14.  Dining Room.  The statue at end of hall is of toga-clad woman holding an amphora pouring into a basin.  It is dry.  5 command words in ancient common (Intelligence DC 15 or related to decipher) are chiseled into the base.  When spoken a liquid magically pours from the amphora into the basin.  It is enough to fill 1 Waterskin.  The liquid will drain away in 1d3 rounds unless captured in a vessel.  The statue can produce 10 times per day, regardless of the combination of the following: 
                                              1.  Water (potable)
                                              2.  Wine (Excellent quality.  Made from grape that is extinct.  15 GP per wineskin)
                                              3.  Vinegar (1 skin of vinegar will dissolve 10' cube of spider webs in 16 if splashed on them)
                                              4.  Honey Milk (counts as a 'Sweet' for encounter in room 8)
                                              5.  Garum (a foul smelling fish sauce - tastes delicious though!)

15.  Servants Corridor.   This area would provide a safe and quiet place to rest.  There is even a fully stocked kitchen, although all of the foodstuffs have been eaten by vermin long ago.

16.  Temple of the Falerii.  The columns and vaulted ceiling have been inhabited by several generations of Giant Spiders (Init +1; Atk bite +3 melee (1d4 + poison); AC 12; HD 2d8; MV fly 30’; Act 1d20; SP poison (DC 8 Fort save or death); SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will +1; AL L.).  4 such live here now.  Hidden completely by the vast amount of webs are the many corpses of their past victims.  Two are, or were, humanoid and some of their treasure is still cocooned with them.  One has a scroll of Haste and a Magic Cloak (+2 to all Saves)made of human skin (-2 to all Reaction rolls with Humans).  The other has a golden statue worth 100 GP with glowing green jewels for eyes.  The 'eyes' can be removed and permanently shed an eerie green light in a 20' radius unless covered.  If the webs are burned, only the statue will survive the flames. 

The altar contains a platinum service worth 250 GP for the metal alone but upwards of 1,000 GP if the right collector can be found.  There is also a secret compartment in the right side (isn't there always) that contains a Magic Ring which will grant the wearer the ability to cast Word of Command as per the Cleric spell with a Spell Check of +5, twice per day.  There is no penalty for failure.  The ring also functions as a Ring of the Falerii for the related adventure, The Tomb of the Falerii (

17.  Sewer.  A fine trickle of water runs from the baths in 12 down the center of this sloping tunnel.  It empties into a river about a half mile to the west.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Cursed Barrows

I wanted to try out a technique that +Michael Mills is using at Canister and Grape for dressed stone walls.  Here is how I used it to make a map of the ever-ubiquitous barrow mound.

...and for you VTTers:

...and a link to the VTT map with transparent background: The Cursed Barrows .PNG

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Dungeon of Lost Coppers

+Dyson Logos  over at Dyson's Dodecahedron posted a contest to complete his Dungeon of Lost Coppers.  Here is his original image:

Obviously I decided to make a submission, otherwise this would be a short and pointless blog entry!

It is a cool start with lots of potential ways to take the map.  I got my inspiration from the set of 6 completed rooms on the upper left there.  Only a secret tunnel heads further into the dungeon from those rooms.  This screamed "Legitimate Front" to me and got me rolling on a Thieve's Guild or Secret Society theme.

Whoever is the power behind the front put a throne room or control room there to have quick and secret access to the rest of the dungeon.

The statue in a cave surrounded by water gave me two ideas. One that there are really two dungeons that are unaware of each other.  Then I took that a step further and assumed the denizens of dungeon 1 have already broken through to dungeon 2.  There they found some sort of "Magical Archeological Stuff" and decided to add a prison and guard complex and continue digging for more such objects further in the cave complex with slave labor.

So here is my final draft for the contest:

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Secret Smithy of Rurik Thick-Thewed

This map is an entirely secret or concealed enclave accessible via any cavern system or mountainous area.  I've statted it up as a One-Page-Dungeon in my usual format with DCC RPG as the system.

Included is a .JPEG, Keyed .JPEG and .PNG for VTT users as well as a link to the One-Page-Dungeon in .PDF.


The Secret Smithy of Rurik Thick-Thewed can be placed within an existing cavern structure or as a quest destination on its own.  Rurik Thick-Thewed was a great weapon and armor-smith.  He had a secret technique that his contemporaries were always trying to steal from him.  To keep his technique a secret he hid it in a remote and inhospitable location, complete with deadly traps and denizens for the unwary intruder.

This is probably appropriate for higher level characters, maybe 4th? 

All doors in the complex are made of heavy brass and locked with high-quality mechanisms.

1.  Natural Bridge.  A Giant Cave Fisher lives under the bridge.  It attacks anything that attempts to cross.  It will take time to eat anything it catches and kills, finishing it's meal in 2d3 turns.  Cave Fisher:  Init +5(75% chance surprise); Atk bite +6 melee (1d6+2) or web +8 missile (40' range); AC 18; HD 3d8; MV 30’ or climb 10’; Act 1d20; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +8; AL N.  STR DC 20 to break free of web.

2.  Secret Entrance.  The secret door to Rurik's Smithy is equipped with the most diabolical and impassable magical wards.  No creature save a demi-god or higher could hope to overcome them.  Unfortunately, Rurik forgot to set the wards the last time he left and all that is left is a normal secret door with a scything blade trap.  Reflex DC 15 or 3d4 Damage.

3.  Concealed Entrance.  50' below the lip of the crevasse is a 5' diameter hole in the western wall.  It leads to the steam tunnel.  It is extremely hard to detect from the top as the crevasse is constantly filled with steam vapor.  Characters who spend several turns observing the crevasse will notice a periodic thickening of the steam and may surmise it must originate from somewhere within the crevasse.

4.  Welcome Hall of Rurik Thick-Thewed.  This room is richly appointed with the remains of sturdy and comfortable furniture and decorative pieces.  A medieval man-cave.  Some art objects that have survived the centuries can be gathered and sold for 200 GP.  There is also a formula for a secret allow that Rurik was working on.  It involves mixing Mithril with Diamond dust to create the perfect metal for making blades.  He never quite got the mixture right...

5.  Hammer Room.  On an altar-like stone table against the north side of the room, flanked by eternal flame torches, lies the smith-hammer of Rurik Thick-Thewed.  It is crafted of the finest metals and imbued with magical power.  It can be used as a Warhammer +1 as well as giving a +5 to any smith-related tasks or checks, including knowledge.  There is a diabolical trap in this room however.  Anyone who is not Rurik, or a descendant or Rurik, that touches the hammer triggers numerous spouts at the top of the room to open and discharge highly flammable oil.  In 15 turns the oil will reach the height of the eternal flame torches and ignite, causing 20d6 damage to any living creature in the room.  There is a switch in a random stone on the west wall 3' high and 4' from the southwest corner that will stop the oil and open drainage holes in the floor.

6.  Oddities Room.  Rurik set aside this room for creations of his that interested him but didn't quite work out like he wanted.  One such is the crossbow-axe.  The crossbow portion only has half the normal range and the trigger guard comes loose on a natural 2 or 3 and the Battleaxe is unwieldy, causing only 1d8 points of damage.  The whole contraption also causes the wielder to only roll a d14 for initiative.  It is a +2 magical weapon in all other respects however.  The GM should come up with one or two other such useful, but flawed, items.

7.  Nearly-Finished Room.  Rurik kept his finished components to weapons and armor in this room.  The lot could be sold for 500 GP to weapon and armor smiths, or used by one to reduce the cost of crafting excellent quality weapons by half.

8.  Rare Materials Storage.  Flawless steel ingots lie in pallets on the floor.  Two chests, seemingly carved of the stone of the cavern itself, sit near the eastern wall.  One contains 5 lbs. of pure mithril and is trapped with poison gas (Death in 2d3 rounds or Fort Save DC 18 for 5d6 damage).  The other has 1,500 GP in rare gems, but also contains a very angry small Earth Elemental that has been trapped here for hundreds of years.  Elemental, Earth: Init +4; Atk slam +8 melee (2d6); AC 18; HD 4d8; MV 30’ or dig 30’; Act 1d20; SP elemental traits; SV Fort +7, Ref +2, Will +5; AL N.

9.  The Long Stairs.  The stairs heading south from the main hallway are made of riveted metal.  When any creature touches the floor on the first landing, the entire length of stairs pivots 45 degrees forming a slick ramp to the bottom.  Creatures who cannot brake their fall take 1d6 damage when they smash into the stone wall at the bottom.  Climbing back up would prove extremely difficult, especially for characters in armor.  Crashing into the wall will reveal the secret door.  This is actually a further trap designed to lure intruders into the deadly Steam Tunnel, for once a living creature passes through the secret door, a steel portcullis will drop behind them.  The portcullis locks into place under the stone floor and is nearly impossible to raise by brute force.  The steel bars are 3 inches thick. 

10.  Forge of Rurik Thick-Thewed.  This is where the magic happened.  Rurik's secret was harnessing the power of fire and water.  The pool to the north contains and endless supply of pure heavy water and the basin to the south living fire.  The two combine underneath the dais to power a living statue that would assist Rurik with his smithing.  It will attack anyone entering the room but can only function off of the dais for 5 rounds or it will run out of steam (literally) and cease to function.  Living statue: Init +6 (surprise); Atk tongs +6 melee(1d8) and hammer +6 melee(1d10), or flame gout +4 missile (3d8); AC 20; HD 5d8; MV 30’; Act 1d30; SP surprises 50% of time; SV Fort +6, Ref 0, Will 0; AL N.  It can only use the flame gout twice before needing to recharge on the dais.  Two flawless diamonds are set in the statues eyes.  Removed they are worth 500 GP each.  The anvil on the dais is coated in mithril and would be worth 1,250 GP if it can be removed.  It weighs 1,000 lbs.

11.  Steam Tunnel.   Once every 20 minutes the excess steam created in Rurik's Forge must vent through this tunnel.  Any creature in the tunnel when it does suffers 8d7 points of damage.  There will be a rumbling 12 rounds before the venting that shakes the entire complex, and another of the same 3 rounds before venting.  It is possible for a Halfling, Elf or unarmored Human or Dwarf to climb into room 10 through the secret door.  This would leave them in an extremely vulnerable position if the Living Statue has not already been dealt with.

Secret Smithy of Rurik Thick-Thewed .PNG

Secret Smithy of Rurik Thick-Thewed OPD .PDF