Thursday, April 3, 2014

Livin' in a Ghoul's Paradise

My plan to write this 2-Page Dungeon at Gary Con was definitely too optimistic.  Zero downtime there with all of the great gaming and great gamers to meet.  I've finally gotten around to it though.  Inspired by +Mike Evans 's post on alternate Ghoul Effects, the stats for the denizens of Ghoul's Paradise are for the DCC RPG, but should not be very hard to convert on the fly to any old school system or retro-clone.  I hope you enjoy!

Ghoul's Paradise 2 Page Dungeon .PDF

A powerful Ghoul Master named Mordech has set up a lair for himself and his followers/progeny in the catacombs beneath an abandoned temple.  The Master is also a devotee of a powerful, but fickle, demon-lord named Uzobzesus, who grants the Master powers and may also demand retribution or recompense from anyone who destroys his servant.

Below is a table to generate unique effects of Ghoul bit attacks.  The Judge should feel free to roll randomly for each Ghoul encountered or created during the adventure.  Suggestions for the ghouls that are currently part of the pack are listed in the room entries.

Alternate Ghoul Bite Effects Table (Roll 1d6+Ghould HD)

3.  Target believes he or she has been turned undead.  Will save DC 14 each day to shake off the effect.
4.  Will save DC 14 every round or target loses all actions due to uncontrollable vomiting of black oily mucous.
5.  Target's hair turns white permanently.
6.  Random limb is paralyzed for 1d6 hours.
7.  Bite causes  a wound that becomes infected with writhing maggots (-2 Agility).  The maggots mature in 2d2 days causing 2d7 points of damage per day as they eat the host from within.  Magical healing will kill the maggots.
8.Normal Paralysis Effect.
9.  Normal Paralysis Effect and Target ages 3d5 years.
10.  Target's skin erupts in painful hives (-4 Agility, -2 Stamina) until magically healed.  After healing Fort save DC 14 or Stamina damage is permanent.
11.  Target's flesh begins to putrefy and slough off causing 2d6 damage immediately and a cumulative 1d6 damage per day until magically healed (e.g. day 2 - 3d6 damage, day 3 - 4d6, etc.).

12.  Normal Paralysis and the target's skin dries out and pulls tight in an imitation of death (-2d3 Personality and -1d2 Agility permanently).

1.  Temple Ruins.  The temple is very dilapidated.  All that remains is crumbling masonry and the offal of creatures who have made this area a lair in the past.  The areas marked 1a are unstable and any prolonged activity (such as searching) by creatures in those areas has a 15% chance/creature to bring masonry tumbling down.  Reflex save DC 13 or 1d6 damage.  The vaulted ceiling above the area marked 1b is filled with webs.  Hidden amongst the webs are 3 Giant Spiders: Init +1, Atk Bite +2 melee (1d4+poison); AC 13; HD 1d8; MV 30', climb 30'; Act 1d20; SP Poison Fort DC 12 or 2d4 Stamina; SV Fort +2, Ref +3, Will -1; AL N.

2.  Vestry.  These chambers are where the former priest of the temple lived and worked.  All is empty now save for an undiscovered secret trapdoor beneath a flagstone.  The hinges and counterweight of the door are surprisingly still in good working condition.  There are metal ladder rungs that lead down into the passage to 4.

3.  Cloister.  The monks and laypersons attached to the temple used to reside here.  One greedy little monk had carved out a small secret closet in the temple buttress.  Inside he hid all his worldly wealth in a locked chest.  The lock is rusted and difficult to pick (DC 15).  If the chest has to be broken the potion inside has a 60% chance of breaking.  Inside the chest are 200 GP worth of assorted coins, an ivory comb set with silver worth 50 GP and a vial with an oil of Cure Paralysis (how convenient!)

The door in the northeast is made of wood, stoutly banded with iron.  It is in considerably better condition than the rest of the temple.  It is also locked (DC 12).

4.  Priests Rumpus Room.  The former priest of the temple was apparently a naught boy.  His secret pleasure room has not been discovered by the other denizens of the crypt and still contains many devices of a deviant nature.  The specifics are left up to the judge to determine, however, if a buyer with the right kind of kink can be found the devices would be worth 400 GP.

5.  Crypt.  There are 10 grave niches lining the walls in this crypt.  Searching will likely (75% chance) draw the guardians from 6.  Loud noises or combat will certainly draw them.  The niches themselves each have a 30% chance to contain some kind of treasure from the following table:
                1 - 36 CP                                              
                2 - Scroll of Light                             
                3 - Silver Dagger                                 
                4 - Platinum Charm (10 GP)             
                - Jeweled Brooch (25 GP)
                6 - Emerald Pendant (75 GP)
                7 - Brass Urn (5 GP) 
                8 - 7 GP
                9 - Silver Ring (15 GP)
                10 - Lucky CP (+1 Luck for 3 days)
                11 - Moss Agate (15 GP)
                12 - Bronze Bracers (+1 AC used as shield)

6. Crypt.  Same as 5 above, plus 2 4-Armed Skeletons: Init +2, Atk claw +1 melee (1d3) or by weapon +1 melee; AC 15; HD 2d6; MV 30', Act 1d20+1d16+1d14, SP un-dead, half damage from piercing and slashing weapons; SV Fort +0, Ref +1, Will +0; AL C.  The first skeleton wears chainmail and carries a shield (+1 AC), a scimitar, a hand axe and a dagger.  The second wears chainmail, carries 2 shields (+2 AC), a long sword and a spear.

7.  Secret Crypt.  The back wall of the grave niche in room 6 is false.  If pushed it swings open revealing a crawlspace into room 7.  The crawlspace is trapped with several pressure plates (4 in 6 chance anyone crawling through will hit one) that trigger a falling block trap (Reflex DC 15 because of the confined space or 2d6 damage).  The fallen block will also prevent passage into room 7 until it is removed, a task requiring extreme ingenuity or heavy tools.  The room itself contains the mummified remains of a minor saint of the original religion of the temple.  If the religion is still practiced, pieces of the mummy could be sold as relics for a tidy sum.  In addition there is a golden egg clutched by the mummy.  The egg is about 1.5 feet long by 1 foot wide.  If the egg is ever targeted by magical fire (Fireball, Flaming Hands, a fire trap, etc.) the egg will hatch.  What comes out of the egg is up to the Judge but some ideas are: a miniature replica of the saint retuned to life who believes the characters are his divine saviors, a cockatrice, a celestial butterfly, the vicious Chicken of Bristol.

8.  Magic Mouth.  A carved stone mouth adorns the wall facing southeast approximately 7 feet above the landing.  When any creature other than the Ghouls and their servants steps on the landing it animates and asks the following question in a deep and booming voice; "From whence goes that which comes?".  There is no correct answer to the riddle.  The mouth was placed here by a patron boon cast by Mordech. Mordech asked for a deadly trap of hellfire to guard his lair but he rolled poorly and barely passed his spell check.  His patron, Uzobzesus, sent the magic mouth instead.  The loudly posed question (and the inevitable discussion amongst the party that takes place afterward) will alert the Ghouls in area 9, and they will be ready to spring their trap.

9.  Ghoul Hall.  This long, pillared hall is where the Ghouls congregate.  The floor is littered with the bleached bones of their various victims.  Piles of bones are stacked up around most of the pillars and in the corners.  Observant characters may notice that there are no bones in front of the 5 doors on the north wall.  When anyone moves into the center of the room, or approaches one of the doors, the Ghouls will launch their ambush.  All 5 doors will fly open at once and the monsters will attack.  Below is any changes to the standard Ghoul stat block and the contents of the cell for each Ghoul.
                9a.  Bite effect 6, Bronze Amphora (25 GP), belt-pouch containing 42 SP.
                9b.  3 HD Ghoul, Bite effect 7, Silver Great sword.
                9c.  Bite effect 4, 26 PP, Decorative Buckler (Magic, No AC Bonus, +2 Reflex Save, Improves characters dancing ability)
                9d.  3 HD Ghoul, Bite effect 8.  Wizard's Grimoire containing a magical fire trap (2d7 damage, Reflex DC 14 for half).  Contains one                                 random spell.
                9e.  3 HD Ghoul, Bite effect 5.  Superbly crafted and decorated mahogany chest worth 200 GP.  It has a high quality lock (DC 20).  It
                                is empty.  Worthless if broken open.

The secret door in the northwest-most pillar is very difficult to locate and a character would have to be specifically searching for secret doors on that pillar to even have a chance.  Metal rungs set inside the pillar lead down to the passage to room 10.

10.  Mordech's Chamber.  This is the true chamber of the Master Ghoul.  Room 12 is specifically set up to look like the chamber of the Master, while this room is plain and unadorned, save for the stone sarcophagus in the center.  The lid of the coffin bolts from the inside and would need heavy equipment or powerful magic to lift.  Mordech: Init +2, Atk bite +6 melee (1d4+1+Bite Effect 11 or 12) or scimitar +6 melee (2d5+2) or harmful spell (Spell-check DC 12=2d4 damage, DC 16=3d4 damage, DC 20=Save vs. Fort or Die!); AC 16; HD 6d6 (27 hp); MV 30'; Act 1d20 + 1d16; SP un-dead traits, bite effect, infravision 100'; SV Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +5; AL C.  Mordech's main treasure is kept in room 15.  His scimitar is of very fine quality and causes 2d5 points of damage.  He also wears a magic brooch that protects him from magic missile spells, regardless of the Spell-check DC.  It has 4 charges left.

11.  Shelf Room.  The stairs descend to the north a total of 20' in the center of the room but the shelves on the sides stay at the height of the entrance.  Hiding on the western shelf at the far north end is a Primeval Slime that will drop on any living creature that gets near.  It is ochre of color and has the Protoplasmic Breakdown and Paralyzing Touch properties.

The door at the end of the room is made of heavy bronze.  It has a large lock built into the door and looks well-oiled and sturdy (DC 15 to pick - Magic or heavy equipment to break through).  The door is trapped with a ceiling and floor rack of spears.  The trap has a +8 to hit and does 2d6 damage. 

12.  False Master's Chamber.  This room is designed to appear to be the Master Ghoul's lair.  The walls are hung with expensive tapestries (500 GP) and the statues are adorned with silks (100 GP).  The coffin is decorated and the corners are piled with treasure (500 GP of assorted coins in 3 chests, 5 gems worth 135 GP, a scroll of 2 spells and a finely crafted Battleaxe (+1 to hit, 2d5 damage).  In fact, it is the lair of Mordech's first progeny and lieutenant, Lysandrus.  Lysandrus is a 4 HD Ghoul with Bite Effect 10.

13.  Piercer Chamber.  The walls and ceiling are dug out of the earth here so observant characters may notice that the 5 stalactites in the center of this room are a bit out of place.  They are, in fact, piercers.  They attack with a +10 dealing 2d8 points of damage.  If they miss they begin the slow climb back to the ceiling with their many, tiny feet.  They are easily killed by anyone with a real weapon.

14.  Trapped Passage.  Walking through the center of the widened passage will trigger the 20' pit trap (Reflex DC 14 or 2d6 damage).  As if that isn't bad enough Mordech has placed 2 Skeleton Cobras: Init +2; Atk bite +1 (1d2 + poison); AC 13; HD 1d6; MV 40'; Act 1d20; SP Poison - One Dose only, Fort DC 14 or 2d4 Agility every hour for 3 hours.  Save each hour.; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +0; AL C.

15.  Sending Pool.  Mordech consecrated this pool to Uzobzesus and regularly performs rituals here.  The water is dark and still and reflects as a mirror.  The pool is  bottomless, or rather, the bottom of the pool is actually a portal to the netherworld from which Uzobzesus can send the occasional servant or gift.  The corners of the cavern do contain some clothing and equipment of previous sacrificial victims.  85 GP in assorted coins, 250 GP in various Jewelry and a cloak that radiates slight magic and provides the wearer with Infravision 20'.  If the wearer already possesses Infravision it extends the range by 10'.

If Mordech has been slain there is a 20% chance that Uzobzesus sends a Deep One Shaman: Init +1; Atk claw +3 melee (1d6); AC 15; HD 3d8+6 (23 hp); MV 20' or swim 40'; Act 1d20; SV Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +6; AL C, to demand that one of the party take Mordech's place as his servant.  If the party refuses the Shaman will attempt to curse them (Will Save DC 18 or -4 Luck).  If the curse succeeds Uzobzesus will consider the matter over.  If the party stops the Shaman from delivering the curse they will earn the further enmity of Uzobzesus who will periodically send his servants to harass and damage them.

If someone from the party accepts the deal, have fun creating the patron stats for Uzobzesus!