Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Microdungeon: The Understudy
I couldn't help myself. I had to post one.
This was going to be a five-room minidungeon but I changed my mind. It's also adapted from a minidungeon I ran recently as a solo game for a friend of mine --
In the solo game, this microdungeon was placed under the shattered ruins of a recently-destroyed Magic-User's tower at the edge of a small village. (The tower was destroyed due to a spectactular and rather pink-and-green explosion.) The PC was asked to investigate after one of the locals was poking around and was attacked by the dragonflies.
It could be placed just about anywhere, even as a lone poke-hole somewhere in the mountains or as a "getaway" accessable only by magic.
Map scale is one square = 10'.
0. The Access. In the original a 100' spiralling staircase, accessed through a trapdoor, that had the usual trick stairs and other unpleasantness scattered along its length. The end of the stairwell is marked with a "trapdoor" icon on the map.
Collapsing or heaving stairs require a successful Dexterity check to keep from falling down the next dozen or so steps, inflicting 1-4 hit points of damage.
1. Foyer. This irregularly-shaped chamber is paved with white granite and the walls are decordated with (rather tasteless) bright murals of humans hunting magical beasts. In the centre of the southern wall is an open passageway.
Attempting to cross the chamber will trigger two brass dragonflies [AC3; HD 1/2; hp 2, 3; Mv 360' (120'); Att 1 bite + scorch; Dam 1 + 1-2 fire; Sv F1; Mr 11; XP 5] to be released from small hatches in the ceiling.
In the centre of the chamber stands a lifesized bloodwood statue of a female human in elaborate robes and carefully-detailed jewelry. The statue is animated [AC7; HD 2+2; hp 12; Mv 120' (40'); Att 1 fist; Dam 1-8; Sv F1; Mr 12; -1 init.; double damage from flame; immune to nonmagical weapons; XP 35] -- however, it will not betray itself or attack unless a living being enters the final chamber and then attempts to leave the complex.
2. Corridor. The floors here are still granite, but the walls are unadorned dressed stone. The door at the end of the corridor is of oak bound in iron; though the door is unlocked touching it will trigger a brass dragonfly to drop from a ceiling hatch and attack.
3. Study. A strangely homey chamber, with dusty rag-rugs scattered on the floor, faded tapestries hung on the walls, and well-worn furniture. Against the eastern wall is a sturdy oak desk scattered with books (the most notable of which are a seven-volume set entitled Being an Omnibus of the Behaviour and Habits of Wyrms); against the western wall rests a small cot, a stout wooden chest and the remains of a large shattered mirror. A screen of multicoloured glass beads curtains a doorway in the southeast corner of the chamber.
The chest contains, in addition to many random trinkets: a satchel containing 37sp, 92ep, 85gp, and 30pp; and a tiny round box carved from slices of an alicorn, it's lid decorated with knotwork (100gp). The box contains a gold ring inlaid around the band with garnet flames and jade leaves (400gp).
Disturbing the cot will unearth a hungry ivory scarab [AC4; HD 1; hp 5; Mv 90' (30') burrow 60' (20'); Att 1 bite; Dam 1-3 + drain; Sv F2; Mr 8; XP 13] tucked amongst the rumpled bedclothes.
4. The ... dearly departed? Floored in granite, the walls panelled in goldenoak, this chamber has a single feature -- a low bier in the middle of the floor. On the bier rests the dusty and skeletal remains of a human; possibly female, as the skull is surrounded by a cloud of long, dark hair.
Examination of the remains reveals a few anomalies. Though clothing has decayed to rags and dust, the bones of the skeleton are perfectly cleaned with no sign of decaying flesh. Stranger still, the hair will prove to be a wig ...
Around the shoulders of the skeleton rests a perfectly-preserved red silk shawl shot through with gold; this is Nasri's burning grace.