Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ghoul's Paradise

+Mike Evans post in Google+ about alternate Ghoul effects inspired me to draw this ghoulish lair beneath a crumbling temple.  A VTT-ready .png download link is included below as usual.  I plan on writing a one-page-dungeon for the location in the near future.  Perhaps on the flight to Gary Con VI!

Ghoul's Paradise VTT-ready .PNG

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mad Elf Mine

Decades ago, Dwarven miners (are there any other kind?) accidentally broke into an ancient Temple of Chaos in their relentless pursuit of gold.  Abandoning the mine, the Dwarves spread tales of the horrors that dwell within the Temple.  Those tales spread and drew several bands of adventurers who returned with little to show, or were never heard from again.

And a little DCC flavor and crunch...

One such adventurer, an Elf, remains in the mine, driven mad by the evil within.  The mine is now known as 'Mad Elf Mine'.

Mad Elf: Init +2; Atk longbow +2 missile (1d6), dagger -1 melee (1d4-1), or harmful spell; AC 14; HD 3d6 (13 hp); MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP prestidigitation, harmful spell 3/day; SV Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4; AL Chaotic.

The Mad Elf has the abilities of prestidigitation and harmful spell as the Magician on p. 433 of the core rulebook.  He will use these, as well as attacking with his longbow from outside the light range, to harass intruders, lead them into danger areas and generally cause havoc.  The Mad Elf is aware of the secret entrances to rooms 7 and 8, but not room 12.  The Elf failed his save against the evil carvings in room 16 and eventually returned to the mine to serve as a Chaos acolyte.  He can sometimes be found there praying and tending to the temple.

1.  Entrance.  The mine entrance is partially boarded up and has several faded wooden signs reading "Mad Elf Mine", "Beware" and "Do not Enter".  Observant characters (Luck DC 14) may notice snapped twigs, scuffed dirt and large piles of dung as tell tale signs of a large predator living in the immediate area.

2.  Main Shaft.  The old main shaft to the lower mine still has an intact metal bucket and chain suspended from the ceiling.  The bucket can hold up to 500 lbs. at one time safely.  For every 50 lbs. more there is a cumulative 10% chance a weak link breaks, sending the bucket and all within 60' to the bottom (3d6 damage as the descent will be slowed somewhat by scraping the sides of the shaft).  The Ogre who lairs in room 4 tosses all of his refuse down the shaft, creating a pile of disgusting rotting filth at the bottom.  Searching the pile is sure to cause some kind of debilitating sickness but a successful Luck check will also turn up a large uncut ruby worth 100 GP.

3.  Ogre's Larder.  The Ogre keeps half eaten and future meals in this room.  Currently the occupants are a half eaten deer carcass suspended from the ceiling and an unconscious Halfling named Seamus.  If rescued, Seamus will promise a reward for safe return but ask to accompany the adventurers if they are descending into the mine.  Seamus is a servant of Chaos and has ventured to the mine to seek out the Temple within.  He will help the party until such time as he can effect a double cross.

4.  Ogre's Lair.  The Ogre (Grimlee) sleeps here.  There is a 25% chance he is sleeping, snoring loudly enough to be heard in room 2.  If so, only very loud noises will wake him.  If he is awake he will hear any normal movement, noise or talking in room 2.  Ogre: Init +2; Atk slam +5 melee (1d6+6) or great mace +5 melee (1d8+6); AC 16; HD 4d8+4; MV 20’; Act 1d20; SP bear hug; SV Fort +4, Ref +2, Will +1; AL C.

5.  Mole Rat Burrow.  This area is infested with Mole Rats.  They are identical to a Rat Swarm (p. 424).  They are led by a Giant Mole Rat with the same stats as a Rat, giant (also p. 424).  The Mad Elf eats traps and eats these creatures for sustenance.

6.  Mine Forever.  The Ghosts(3): (Init +2; Atk special (see below); AC 10; HD 2d12; MV fly 40’; Act 1d20; SP un-dead traits, immune to non-magical weapons, 1d4 special abilities; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +6; AL L.) of Dwarven Miners forever swing their incorporeal picks and hammers in this room.  They will attack any non-Lawful creatures that enter.  Their attacks are at +4 and cause 1d4 ability drain from a random physical stat. Placing precious metals or gems in excess of 300 GP on the floor of the room will put the Ghosts to rest earning 2 XP and +1 Luck to all involved.  The treasure will disappear with the Ghosts.

7.  Mad Elf Treasure Room.  The Mad Elf stores his treasure in a chest on the far wall from the Secret Door.  It is trapped with a poison needle (Fort save or Die) and contains 867 GP worth of assorted coins, an obsidian statue of a mastiff with the word "Brutus" etched on the base.  If the command word is spoken the statue will grow to mastiff size and executed the commands of the owner to the best of its ability for up to 30 minutes per week.  At the end of the 30 minutes, or if the command word is spoken backwards ("Suturb"), the dog will revert to statue form.

8.  Mad Elf's Lair.  The Mad Elf lives here.  There is crude furniture cobbled together from mine support beams, a filthy bed made of large Mole Rat skins and a filthy bowl of even filthier water.  The Secret Doors are both clearly identifiable from the inside of the room.

9.  Well of the Damned.  The Dwarves attempted to sink a second shaft in this room but broke through to a vast cavern below.   Every so often (5% chance per turn) a foul wind sweeps up from the depths, carrying the tortured screams of demons or worse with it.  Anyone hearing the sound must make a Will save DC 14 or be shaken (-2 to all attacks, skill and ability checks including spell checks) for 2d3 hours.

10.  Unstable Chamber.  The northwest corner of this room is not well-supported and thus is unstable.  Observant characters with the appropriate background (Miner, or any Dwarf) may notice the lack of supports in this area.  Anyone doing anything more than moving slowly in this area (including searching) has a 30% chance of bringing dirt and rocks down on their head causing 2d4 points of damage.  Reflex save DC 13 to avoid.

11.  Corner Room the First.  4 skeletons of long-dead Dwarves liter the floor.  They were previous victims of the evil carvings in room 16 that were defeated by a group of adventurers.  Their bones have been picked clean, as adventurers are wont to do.

12.  Gas Safe Room.  This room was constructed as a retreat for the miners in case of massive gas leak.  The trapdoor has become overgrown with lichen and moss and is nearly invisible from below.  The room is stocked with magically potable water and iron rations that are still usable.  There is room for 12 to sleep comfortably and stay fed and hydrated for 2 weeks.

13.  Corner Room the Second.  This is an empty room.  There are minute cracks in the floor that lead to room 16 below.  If adventurers linger in this area for more than 10 minutes, a Baby Shadow from 16 will come to investigate.

14.  Shaken Room.  This room once looked like room 6 on the other side of the mine.  A shift in the earth moved the southern half of the room 10' to the east and 15' down.  The pillars in the southern half have collapsed as well.  A Giant Lizard (Init -3; Atk bite +5 melee (3d4); AC 17; HD 3d8; MV 40’ or climb 20’; Act 1d20; SP camouflage; SV Fort +2, Ref -2, Will -2; AL N.) lives here as well.  It will typically wait in hiding using it's camouflage ability until a lone creature is exposed (perhaps climbing down the cliff face) before attacking.  If it manages to kill or incapacitate a creature it will retreat to the ceiling of the southern part of the room to eat.

15.  Miners Shrine.  The original Dwarven miners used this room as a small shrine to their Pantheon.  It is still filled with a subtle Lawful power.  Chaotic creatures will be physically uncomfortable in this room.  Lawful characters who pray to the Miner Dieties and make a sacrifice of at least 10 GP value will receive a temporary +2 to their Luck score.  It will last for 1d5 hours.

16.  Chaos Temple.  This temple was carved out of the earth by unknown devotees to Chaos and Evil.  The main entrance has long since collapsed.  The Dwarven miners accidentally tunneled into it, causing the mayhem that forced them to abandon the mine.  The walls are decorated with profane carvings, as is the basalt altar at the southeastern end.  Anyone inspecting these carvings in anything other than a casual manner must make a Will save DC 10 or feel the overwhelming compulsion to revere the carvings for 2d7 minutes.  Thereafter they must make a Will save DC 10 everyday or be compelled to return to the Temple as swiftly as possible to pray.  After failing 3 times a final Will check DC 15 must be made.  If this check is made the creature will refuse to leave the mine area and become a servitor of Chaos, going mad but gaining Darkvision and 1d3 to all stats. 

The doors on the east wall are 15' tall and made of thick bronze.  They are sealed with a platinum chain and clay seal.  The chain is intricately carved and obviously very valuable.  It would fetch upwards of 700 GP in a large town.  The clay seal is easily broken.  This, however, will draw the ire of the two Baby Shadows who guard the Temple.  In fact, any defacing, mockery or expression of an opposed faith or belief system will alert the Shadows and cause them to attack. 

Baby Shadow (2): Init +3 (able to always surprise); Atk debilitating touch +6 melee (1 Str); AC 13; HD 2d8 (8 hp); MV fly 40’; Act 1d20; SP stalk prey to guarantee surprise, incorporeal, immune to non-magical weapons, un-dead traits; SV Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +3; AL C.

Once the seal is broken, the bronze doors can be opened with the application of at least 30 points of Strength.

17.  The Great Staircase.  A marble staircase descends down into the depths of a large cavern.  The stairs go on for as long as the DM wants them to but certainly beyond the initial visibility of the party.  Any creature who steps out on the steps will draw the attention of Manbats(4) (Init +4; Atk bite +6 melee (1d6); AC 12; HD 2d8 (9, 8, 8, 7 hp);MV 20’, fly 40’; Act 1d20; SP carry off prey; SV Fort +1, Ref+4, Will +2; AL C.) who will attack in 5 rounds.  They will each attempt to carry off a meal and retreat out into the darkness.

18The Underdark, The Abyss, The Lost World, Wonderland or New Jersey....your choice!