Of those 50 about half elected to share their presents with the public--and jesus on a fry fork are the folks who read this blog some overachievers. This'll be quite a loooong post so I've done people's gifts in different colors so you can tell when one stops and the next starts. These are barely edited and, suffice it to say, I can take no credit or blame for what follows--though in most cases, I'd like to. This stuff rocks with a side of grits and I will be stealing from everyone here.
I've left out what DM the gifts are for just in case their players are reading.
So...who wants to be in charge of this next year?
From Jamie Albrecht
Red Lotus Caves of the Blind Minotaur
Wandering Monsters (On a d6) 1. 2d6 bullywugs 2. Illusory sounds 3. 1d4 giant spiders
4. 1 gelatinous cube 5. Terrifying illusion (Saving throw or panic) 6: 1d4 lemures
Background: The Red Lotus Caves of the Blind Minotaur are the illusory prison built to hold Korthos, exiled prince of the Minotaur Hills. Once a promising noble, Korthos was slowly driven into madness by secret application of the hallucinogenic red lotus by a sorcerous rival and led to the cave by invisible voices. Though continued exposure to the lotus has rendered him unable to navigate the labyrinth of the caves, his rival has nevertheless constructed a prison designed to keep Korthos docile while disposing of any explorers or adventurers that may stumble upon the site. As far as the surrounding towns or cities know, the Lotus Caves are inhabited by a vicious troll who kills anyone who dares venture to the cave.
Room Key 1. Cave Entrance: The entrance to the Lotus Caves is guarded by a vicious, great-axe wielding troll who delights in his work. This stalactite-filled antechamber is as far as any previous adventurers have reached. Among the mutilated corpses of the fallen, you can find 125 gold pieces and a set of +1 chainmail, alongside shattered weapons and rended armor.
a. Tentamort Trap: Hanging from the ceiling of this path is a tentamort (FF 86), who will attempt to snare any creatures that come under it.
2. Stalagmite Maze: Hanging from the ceiling in this room are one man-sized giant spider and three smaller ones. Their poisonous fangs paralyze any foe that fails a saving throw against their attack for 3d6 rounds.
3. Refuse Chamber: In a massive pile of filth and discarded plant fodder is a very contented otyugh, who will attack anyone who threatens his sanctuary. Amongst the garbage, careful pickers can grab around 20 gold pieces, 80 copper pieces, a silver statue of an unknown goddess worth about 50gp, a disused pitchfork and an illusory wall leading into the Lotus Patch.
4. Illuminated Pools: Each of these glowing pools contain a kelpie (FF 55), which will attempt to charm any person who gazes into their depths. The pools each contain one or two long dead skeletons, whose equipment has rusted away, save a Ring of Poison Resistance on the finger of a skeleton in the lower right pool.
b. Secret Underwater Tunnel (North): Each of the pool is connected to each other underneath the surface. If one dives deep enough into the upper left pool, they can find a roughly man-sized tunnel that can be followed until it deposits them into the water basin in the Lotus Patch.
c. Secret Underwater Tunnel (South): Similar to the tunnel in the upper left pool, the tunnel from the upper right pool sends the character over the waterfall into the Bullywug Grotto
5. Bullywug Grotto: The home of a pack of 15 bullywugs and their shaman leader. They may be reasoned with if you do not plan to disrupt their way of life. If the pack is faring poorly, the shaman will push one of his own into the pool of water and chant an incantation which will transform him into green slime. The bullywugs have very little between them, only small gems worth about 5gp each and pieces of copper roughly equivalent in size to a copper piece.
6. Fungus Room: Inside is a small forest of mostly benign giant mushrooms concealing 3 shriekers. If they shriek, they immediately summon 1d6 manes.
7. Temple of the Tentacled God: A starkly different, much more constructed stone room with columns, an altar and a statue of a tentacled demon with a large, gaping mouth. Attending to its maintenance are 4 lemures, who are preparing a mixture of what looks like blood and herbs to be fed into the mouth of the statue. If they are attacked, the statue will open its eye. Every character within the temple must make a saving throw or become confused, as the 4th level spell. If the statue is destroyed or defeated, all of the illusions in the cave dissipate. On the altar are a human bone-handled dagger (+1/+3 vs. humans) named Piercer of Hearts, one scroll of spells (Hallucinatory Terrain, Suggestion, Magic Mouth) and a collection of potions (3x Healing, Clairaudience, Sight and a lotus potion that, if imbibed, will require a saving throw vs. poison to prevent the character from entering a hallucinogenic trance)
Statue of the Tentacled God: 5 HD; AC 4 ; Atk 2 tentacles (1d8); Move 3; Save 12; CL/XP 7/600; Special: Confusion 1/day, immune to sleep, charm,
hold and non-magical piercing weapons
8. Arcane Web: The floor in this room is traced with lines of arcane fire that burns any non-magic user who touches them for 1d6/round. Characters that wish to traverse the lines on foot without taking damage must make a series of Dexterity checks.
9. Pool of Radiant Wonder: The banks of an illusory river that seems to go on forever. If stared at for too long, a character must make a saving throw to avoid becoming charmed. Korthos is here 10% of the time.
10. Dining Room: A very spartan, wood-framed dining room, with a fire glowing in the corner. Korthos and his is here 15% of the time. A cast-iron pot sits on the fire; it is a magical item that will fill with delicious and filling stew when a fire is put underneath it. At the table is a book of minotaur poetry.
11. Red Lotus Patch: This is the patch where Korthos the minotaur tends to his lotuses. He is here 10% of the time. The scent of the blossoms are so intoxicating that anyone who spends more than 10 seconds in the room must make a saving throw to avoid becoming entranced by the lotus and refuse to leave its presence.
12. The Cave of Korthos: Korthos is here 50% of the time. In addition to a jug of wine and silken blankets, there is a very fine lyre, which Korthos will be playing if you encounter him here, and Porphragyn, a +2 maul (1d10, 30 lbs.)
Speaking With Korthos: Korthos is always accompanied by a pair of goats and a lone raven, whom he talks to as if they were participating in the conversation. He will converse with the characters if they do not attack, speaking clearly and well, if utterly mad. He speaks of the Minotaur Hills often. If the characters begin to convince him that he should leave the cave, his animals begin to protest and eventually reveal themselves as polymorphed imps. If Korthos witnesses the change, he will fly into a rage, attacking anything within reach, specifically the imps.
Created by Jamie Albrecht (http://fistfulofcoppers.blogspot.com)
Here are a few ideas for monsters that appear to be human – without going the doppelganger or shapechanger route. By and large, they are inspired from Japanese folklore, the Japanese seeming to have specialized in such things. Since I don’t know what system you use in your game, I’ll focus on descriptions.
The Barbed Woman
These creatures appear to be beautiful women with long hair. The hair is tipped with barbs (or, if that’s too obvious, the tips are merely razor sharp) and can be controlled by the barbed woman and used to attack and grapple. In Japanese folklore, the barbed woman, or harionago, reserved her fury for young men. A harionago would laugh at a young man (probably in a girlish way), and if the man laughed back, would be attacked. The harionago eats the people it kills, so one can imagine that it would use its looks to draw the young man into a private place.
The Deep Ones
I don’t know if you’re a fan of H. P. Lovecraft, but his deep ones might fit your bill. The deep ones are fish-people who mate with humans, producing offspring that appear 90% human but usually have odd features – slightly bulging eyes, pallid, clammy skin. At a certain age, they become fish people and head for the sea, leaving their offspring to carry on until they receive their own call from beneath the waves. The deep ones also bring the changelings of folklore to mind – fairy “children” left behind when fairies steal a mortal child. The changelings appear sickly and have disgusting personalities, but appear for all the world to be the children they were left to replace.
The Entwining Bride
Another entry from Japan, the jorogumo is a spider creature capable of taking the appearance of a beautiful woman. As a woman, it is graceful and submissive (or substitute whatever behaviors make a person attractive in the culture you’re using) and does its best to woo a heroic type and get a proposal. On the wedding night, the creature sucks out the victim’s vital fluids and lays an egg in his abdomen – the next morning, a new jorogumo is born, steals her step-father’s belongings and disappears into the woods. I’ve seen a similar creature described wherein a colony of spiders inhabits a dead body and gives it the semblance of life for the same basic idea.
The Faceless Ghost
The faceless ghost (noppera-bo) looks like a loved one, but then suddenly causes their facial features to disappear, causing fear and/or madness in the person who witnesses this. Perhaps such a creature could be a being of flesh & blood who can read minds, shaping their faces to recreate a person from a powerful memory in their victim. Perhaps they become close to this person, drawing them in, and then spring the disappearing face trick.
This is the most basic concept, and really can apply to a male or female. In every way, the person appears to be completely normal, maybe even normal to a fault. But deep inside their minds there is the seed of chaos which can be activated – perhaps by a word, an image – turning the person into a raving beast. The inspiration here comes from the maenads of Greek mythology, normal women who worshipped Dionysus and who, during his revels, became wild, unhinged and very dangerous – just ask Orpheus, who was torn limb fom limb by them. Monster wise, the goodwife – when turned into a raving lunatic – will have extraordinary strength and might cause some kind of fear in those who see her in much the way that modern zombie movies juxtapose the image of a normal-looking housewife with the reality of a flesh-eating monster.
The kishi is from African folklore. It is a person (attractive, of course – use enough of these creatures and your players will avoid attractive people like the plague) with a second face underneath their hair, this face being bestial, like a hyena. You could spin the kishi into a urban footsoldiers of chaos – looking like normal people and then having them turn around, revealing their other faces, and then doing their attacking backwards, so to speak, in an awkward, creepy way.
The Modern Prometheus
When one pictures Frankenstein’s monster, the image of Karloff often comes to mind. Of course, there is no reason that such a creature be composed of multiple bodies stitched together. The monster could simply be a re-animated corpse, perhaps a little worse for wear but easily passing as human. Like the monster of the book, this creature might have extraordinary intelligence, strength and endurance – a veritable superman. Perhaps the re-animation process made this perfect man (or woman) soulless, and thus without pity.
Nukekubi appear to be normal human beings in the day, but at night their heads and necks detach from their bodies and fly about preying on human beings. When approaching their prey, they let out a terrible shriek that freezes people in their tracks with fear. The only way to tell a nukekubi from a normal human in the daytime is the line of red symbols around the base of their necks.
Another creature that looks human in the daytime and transforms at night. In this case, their faces become bestial and their necks stretch out and can be used to constrict like an anaconda. Once it has a victim pinned, it sinks its teeth in and drinks the victim’s blood.
I remember this creature from an old issue of Dragon Magazine. The spirit ghoul appears to be alive and normal during the day, but at night steals into crypts and devours dead bodies. The story in the magazine dealt with a noble woman who was to be married and her future groom catching her having a midnight snack.
Patrick Walsh got a request for a 3.5 adventure. Just a hook, actually. but he went all out:
Temple of the Sunken Moon
1 Temple of the Sunken Moon 1.1 Background
Long ago this area was covered by forest and settled by an advanced civilization. This ended when the side of the mountain erupted, exposing the mountain as a volcano. The vast pyroclastic flow was vented northwards, leveling the forest in that direction. The forest never recovered, leaving the area rolling plains.
More recently, moonrats (MM2, p151) operating in Arabel tracked down the location of a cult to a dark aspect of the Moon God located in an ancient city now buried under the plains. According to the fragmentary records the moonrats were able to put together, this cult used amulets that emitted the actual light of the moon. As the moonrats need the light of the full moon to achieve their advanced intellect and only maintain it under that light, amulets that continually emit moonlight should let them remain in their advanced state all the time instead of once a month. Sadly (for the moonrats), the secret of how to create these amulets was lost when the city was buried by the volcano.
Divinations showed that the fane to the Moon God survived mostly intact under the ash and accumulated soil. Somewhere in the temple the now-lost secret to moon amulets should still exist.
Initially frustrated by the lack of potential minions in the area, the recently planned colonization expedition to the area seemed like an ideal resource. The moonrats used their subtle influences to get the expedition approved and funded and staffed with people they could use.
Once the expedition was in place, the moonrats put the next phase of their plan into action. Using their hidden influences and secret favors owed to them, the moonrats arranged for unnatural rains to blanket the plains for a week, saturating the ground and causing the roof of a buried building to collapse, a building with access to the fane. The moonrats' divinations showed that this path led to the involvement of adventurers from the expedition and the rediscovery of the moon amulets, but not how.
What actually happened was the collapsed roof freed a rogue eidolon (MM2, p180) that was
housed in the temple. After being trapped underground for over a millennia, the eidolon was no longer entirely sane. It climbed to the surface, where it found a tribe of gnolls investigating the sinkhole. The eidolon decided that the gnolls were responsible for the collapsed roof and attacked them, slaughtering all but a few that fled and escaped.
Over the next month the eidolon searched out farther and farther for gnolls, killing any it found. Normally the gnolls would just avoid the area, but the only good source of water for weeks is now in the area scourged by the eidolon. The gnolls found they could not defeat it and would not give up their territory. They were at a loss for what to do until one of their shamans learned from an infernal source that there were those to the south who might have the abilities to defeat the eidolon and the moral flexibility to work with the gnolls instead of against them.
The gnoll chieftain put together a delegation and sent them south to find the humans and
demihumans establishing a colony to the south. The delegation was made of gnolls the chieftain considered troublemakers for him and that he would not mind seeing dead. If the delegation fails, the chieftain is out some troublemakers (read: gnolls that might challenge him for control of the tribe). If they succeed, the chieftain will claim all the credit for himself, strengthening his position as chieftain – a win-win situation.
The adventure starts with a delegation of gnolls arriving at the players' base of operations. The gnolls request help with a problem to the north – a deadly monster they refer to as Asung Takat that is slaying all it finds and is heading south. They are willing to establish a border between the gnoll territories and the human territories in exchange for defeat of the thing. The PCs might or might not be involved with the negotiations.
The party then travels north to meet the gnoll chieftain. Along the way the PCs might get more information from the gnolls about what's going on and run across a scene illustrating the
eidolon's power. Once in the gnoll territories they will be escorted to the gnoll chieftain to finalize the agreement. The chieftain will provide a rough map of the area and what information the gnolls have on the thing. Then the PCs are on the hunt.
The PCs will face an eidolon attack at night. Oddly, the eidolon will not attack halflings and will retreat if any attack it [I note 2 halfling PCs in the party, so I think this is likely to happen]. The PCs can easily follow its tracks in the soft ground (due to all the recent rains) to a nearby sinkhole. The tracks continue into the sinkhole and down into the earth.
Following the eidolon below ground, the adventurers discover the buried remains of the temple. The rogue eidolon will use the terrain to make ambush attacks on any non-halflings in the group, retreating each time a halfling lands an attack upon it. Eventually the adventurers will destroy the eidolon or neutralize it through diplomacy.
Depending upon which happens, the adventurers might find an ancient repository of clay tablets. The clay tablets are covered in writings, including some archaic forms of current spell formulas and are very valuable. The (surviving) adventurers will find eager buyers for the tablets and turn a nice profit, if they choose to sell the tablets...or thieves trying to steal the tablets if they don’t.
A month ago, the entire area received unusually heavy rains that lasted two weeks solid. The area around Deadgoblin only received moderate rains, so the crops did not drown, but to the north the rains were much heavier.
Father Halfar will summon the (appropriate PCs), explaining that a delegation of gnolls has arrived to offer a deal and he thinks the PCs should hear it.
The essentials are:
♦ The gnolls agree to a border between their territories and the lands of Deadgoblin. (They approve of the name very much.) They also promise no raiding for two years.
♦ In exchange for this border, Deadgoblin will send monster slayers to assist the gnolls with a monster that slays without reason.
♦ They refer to the monster as Asung Takat ("Anger from the Ground" in their language) and it has been attacking them since "the big rains last moon".
♦ The gnolls state it is moving south through their lands towards Deadgoblin and it would be in the colony's best interest to help them with this before it arrived.
♦ If Deadgoblin will not help the gnolls stop Asung Takat, the gnolls will not be able to stop it themselves and will have to flee the monster – south to Deadgoblin where the lands are good and the defenders weak. (this is not actually a threat, just gnolls being aggressively direct in their speech.)
If the PCs agree to help (or Father Halfar just orders them to), they have the rest of the day to pack and prep. If they don't, well, then things will start getting "interesting" as the gnoll tribes start moving south to avoid Asung Takat, looting, pillaging, and slaving as they go. Sorry to do that to your campaign. ;-)
Encounter 1: Travel to the Gnolls
The gnolls are not very pleased with the PCs, seeing the need for the PCs as a weakness in the tribe. They will be aggressive and rude to the PCs, but will work with them during random encounters on the trip north. The gnolls will not be impressed with the PCs until they see them in a fight.
This part of the adventure can take as long or as short as you want it to. I recommend giving the PCs some time to interact with the gnolls and throwing in a few random encounters. The encounters will give the PCs a chance to show off in front of the gnolls and possibly impress the gnolls. At the very least the gnolls should start to believe that this was not a total fool's errand.
The following skills will allow the PCs to gather information from the gnolls on the trip north.
Due to the aggressiveness in gnoll psychology, they respond better to intimidation (DC 15) rather than diplomacy (DC 20). The PCs can learn the following information while interacting with the gnolls, one item of information for making the skill check and an additional item every two points by which they make the roll:
♦ Asung Takat is 12 feet tall and humanoid in shape with black hands, but the rest of it is purple in color.
♦ Asung Takat ignores all but the mightiest damage from most weapons and most spells fail against it.
♦ Where Asung Takat's face should be is a strange glyph that leaks a black blood.
♦ Asung Takat can spray black blood from the glyph on its face is. The blood causes those hit to go mad and attack any nearby, even life-long friends.
♦ Asung Takat attacks at night and retreats after killing one or two gnolls with its black hands, returning each night.
♦ Asung Takat is not using the gnolls as food, just killing them.
♦ A shaman of the tribe suggested contacting the humans.
If the PCs learn the first four items of information, they may roll a DC18 Knowledge: Arcana check to identify Asung Takat as a possible rogue eidolon (MM2, p180).
Those making a Sense Motive check (DC18) will be able to tell the following:
♦ DC 10: The gnolls think this is a waste of time and that the PCs are weak. This may change after a random encounter or two, once the PCs have a chance to perform in front to of the gnolls.
♦ DC 15: Each gnoll thinks he alone has a shot at being the next chieftain.
♦ DC 20: The gnolls are honestly scared of Asung Takat but work hard to hide it from each other and the PCs.
1.4.2 Encounter 2: Gnoll Camp
After three days of travel (or more if it feels appropriate), the PCs and the delegation of gnolls arrive at an encampment of gnolls. The encampment seems very temporary, mostly tents and lean-tos.
The gnolls of the tribe keep some distance from the PCs and give them surly looks. If any of the party speak gnoll, they will overhear some of the children asking if the PCs are dinner. The response is "probably not". Again, a DC20 Sense Motive check will indicate that the gnolls are scared, but would die before admitting it.
The gnoll chieftain, Arakashoko, will consult with the gnoll delegates first and then the PCs. Arashoko knows the following about Asung Takat:
♦ Asung Takat first started attacking after the big rains a month ago.
♦ Asung Takat is 12 feet tall and humanoid in shape with black hands, but the rest of it is purple in color.
♦ Asung Takat ignores all but the mightiest damage from most weapons and most spells fail against it.
♦ Where Asung Takat's face should be is a strange glyph that leaks a black blood.
♦ Asung Takat can spray black blood from the glyph on its face is. The blood causes those hit to go mad and attack any nearby, even life-long friends.
♦ Asung Takat may have climbed out of a big hole in the ground. Some scouts reported the hole after the big rains, but they never returned when sent back to find out more.
If the PCs have not identified Asung Takat yet, they get another chance here. They may roll a DC18 Knowledge: Arcana check to identify Asung Takat as a possible rogue eidolon (MM2, p180).
The PCs will be assigned gnolls to act as escorts during their hunt – after all, it would be awkward if the PCs were attacked by a group of gnolls while the PCs were hunting Asung Takat. The escort gnolls will be the same gnolls from the delegation. (Again, Arakashoko is trying to eliminate potential rivals by sending them into danger.)
1.4.3 Encounter 3: Hunting Asung Takat
During this part of the adventure, the PCs are moving through the gnoll territories, hunting Asung Takat. The terrain they are moving through is still soggy from the heavy rains a month earlier. This will make it easy to follow tracks, the trick being to find Asung Takat's tracks. When they do find tracks, they show a long stride and a steady pace.
The tracks lead through a few gnoll encampments that have been devastated by Asung Takat. There are gnoll bodies lying scattered where they fell. The bodies have been smashed, with many broken bones, but no cuts. The gnoll escorts with the PCs refuse to enter any of these encampments. They consider it unlucky and unwise to tempt Asung Takat by walking where it has killed.
This part can take as long or as short as you think it should. Asung Takat should attack at night once or twice (as seems appropriate for your game), walking into the camp, killing a few gnolls, and then walking back out. During these attacks Asung Takat follows these directives:
1. Never target a halfling.
2. Attack gnolls first, until there are no more gnolls.
3. Attack anything else next, but never halflings.
4. If hit by a halfling, withdraw immediately, making no further attacks.
Note that directive 4 does not require damage be done, only that the halfling hit it in some way. Even an open palm slap from any halfling would count for this. When hit by a halfling, Asung Takat reacts like a dog swatted with a newspaper and withdraws immediately on its next action and proceeds to leave the area.
I recommend at least two attacks of this sort before Asung Takat returns to the sinkhole, allowing the PCs to track it to its lair (if they have not found the sinkhole on their own).
Creature: Asung Takat, rogue eidolon: hp 49;
Monster Manual II 180.
1.4.4 Encounter 4: The Sinkhole
The ground around the sinkhole is soggy and soft. The sinkhole is an abrupt hole in an otherwise flat area and is nearly 100 feet in diameter. The sides slope down steeply 30 feet and then drop off, showing a small hill of mixed earth and stone. The hill seems to fill the interior of a buried structure, now exposed to the sky.
Tracks of Asung Takat have worn a path of sorts in the muddy earth – hand and foot grips from the edge of sinkhole down to an exposed partial landing in the wall of the collapsed building. The hand and foot grips are spaced for a humanoid over 10 feet tall, so will likely not be useable by the PCs.
The roof to this building was once supported by a strong wooden support structure. Over the long period of its burial, the wood slowly weakened. When the heavy rains caused by the moonrats drenched this area, the ground became water-logged all the way down to the structure, increasing the weight-load on the roof tremendously. The wooden support structure finally failed and the entire roof collapsed, dropping the thirty feet of soil above into the building and forming the sinkhole. The mass of wet earth flattened and destroyed everything inside.
The entry to a balcony, once 20 feet above the floor of the building, is now roughly level with the edge of the earth that collapsed into the building. This entry leads to a walkway that connected this building to the temple the eidolon served.
A bulette passing through the area had the bad luck to be caught when the ground collapsed and it is now trapped inside the walls of the collapsed building. It is quite hungry, having only eaten the occasional animal that falls into the sinkhole (sometimes chased there by the eidolon, which may be keeping the bulette as a pet). The bulette has concealed itself under a layer of dirt to avoid scaring off any prey. It will attack as soon as it detects footsteps in the building with its tremorsense.
Creature: Bulette (1): hp 94; Monster Manual 30.
1.4.5 Encounter 5: Temple of the Sunken Moon
Asung Takat, as guardian of the temple, has ben magically augmented to be aware of where intruders are in the temple. As such, it will be able to track where the PCs are while they are in the temple and take advantage of this information to ambush them.
There are two main secret passages that connect several areas in the Temple. The first connects areas 2, 4, and 7 while the second connects areas 2, 4, and 5. Both passages are below the original ground level, are five foot wide by five foot tall, and are currently full of water from the rains a month ago. The eidolon exclusive makes use of these passages as it does not need to breathe. PCs will need to hold their breath and swim (see Swim skill description, PHB 84). Entry and exit descriptions of the secret doors is covered in the appropriate room descriptions.
Area 1: Entry Area, Upper Level
This area comprises mostly a balcony flanked by stairs down to Area 2, the rest is open air. The double doors are made of bronze with an average lock (DC 25 Open Lock check). The doors are decorated with the eight phases of the moon. See “The Mural” in Area 2 for the description of the mural on the wall opposite the doors.
The wooden structure supporting the roof gives off regular creaks as the immense weight above presses down. Use this to creep out your players and make them wary of their environment.
Asung Takat rests in the Inner Shrine (Area 7) but will be magically warned of “intruders” when the PCs enter the temple. It will take the secret passage from Area 7 to Area 2, likely arriving while the PCs are in Area 2.
Area 2: Entry Area, Lower Level
This was once the main entrance to the Temple. The western double doors are closed and barred, but volcanic ash forced its way around the doors and there is a fan pattern of clumped ash around the door. Due to all the water from the rains the ash is wet and water wicked into
the temple can be found in puddles across the floor.
The air is musty and dank and smells of the mold which is spreading in patches on all the walls, giving off a sickly yellow phosphorescent light.
The eastern wall is covered in a thirty foot tall mural showing the deity of the temple (obviously a moon god) enacting various scenes of religious import, including travelling through the underworld as part of his travels. He is shown wearing an amulet that glows with a cool light. The mural is of very high quality and still in good condition despite its great age. The phosphorescent fungus growing on this wall oddly only grows around depictions of the deity's amulet, giving the amulets an otherworldly glow.
The double doors leading to the next chamber are heavily tarnished, suggesting they might have once been covered in silver. They require a DC20 Strength check to force open and make a tremendous shrieking noise when they first move.
2A: Underneath the northern stair is a well hidden secret door (DC 30 to find) that opens to a small (5 ft x 5 ft) chamber with a metal ladder leading down into water. This is the entrance to the first secret passage, granting access to Areas 4 and 7. The passage is completely full of water and PCs will need to hold their breath to swim it (PHB 84). It is quite long and unlit.
2B: Underneath the southern stair is a well hidden secret door (DC 30 to find) that opens to a small (5 ft x 5 ft) chamber with a metal ladder leading down into water. This is the entrance to the second secret passage, granting access to Areas 4 and 5. The passage is completely full of water and PCs will need to hold their breath to swim it (PHB 84). It is quite long and unlit.
This room is as far as visitors to the temple were allowed. Priests would meet visitors here, but only the faithful were allowed to go past the silver doors to the Moon Pool (Area 3).
Asung Takat will be waiting in area 2A listening to the PCs movements. It will not come out until it hears the silver doors to the Moon Pool (Area 3) open. It will then quietly step out, close the secret door, and move to attack the party from behind. As before, it will never target halflings and will immediately withdraw if hit by one.
It will prefer to withdraw into the Moon Pool (Area 3), down the stairs there, along the Passage Below (Area 4), and then through the secret door on the north wall. If that is not possible, it will instead go exit this area through 2B, take that secret passage to Area 4, and then switch across to the other secret passage. In both cases, Asung Takat will wait just on the other side of the northern secret door to initiate another ambush. See Area 4 for details. Asung Takat will do its best to avoid exposing the existence of the northern secret passage as it leads directly into the Inner Shrine.
Creature: Asung Takat, rogue eidolon: hp 49;
Monster Manual II 180. Area 3: Moon Pool
This circular chamber has an arched roof and is painted to show the night sky, just as dawn is beginning. The center of the room is a set of descending stairs, decorated to appear as an entrance to the underworld, but now leading down into water. The air here is very damp and chilly and water droplets cling to the walls.
The priests of the temple brought initiates and highly placed members of the faithful here in preparation to taking them through The Passage Below and into the Outer Shrine.
Area 4: Passage Below
This passage has a low ceiling, only eight feet high, made all the lower by the five feet of murky water filling the passage. The murals on the walls are now badly damaged, but seem to depict the moon god’s travels through the underworld and his interactions with the denizens there. Little can be directly learned from the murals any more due to the damage. Locations where the deity’s amulet is shone are marked by tarnished silver disks, which can be pried out (a total of 10 disks worth 20 gp each).
Due to the high water here, it is difficult to Spot the two secret doors along this passage (DC30). The secret doors open into the secret passages and it is likely that Asung Takat is waiting behind the northern secret door, waiting to ambush the party again.
WARNING: This encounter will be very dangerous for the PCs due to the low ceiling and the high water.
Asung Takat will wait until half the party has moved past the northern secret door before attacking. It will then open the secret door (allowing a DC 20 Spot check to notice the water reacting to the door) and attack. It will focus its attacks on whichever PC was closest to the secret door at the time, but not halflings. If a halfling was closest, it will lose its round balking at attacking, giving the PCs a chance to react.
The best thing the PCs can do here is to get a halfling to slap at Asung Takat (touch AC 9), forcing it to retreat again. If this is done, Asung Takat will retreat through the secret passage to the Inner Shrine (Area 7) and wait there.
The second best is trying to talk with it in the halfling tongue if it balks at attacking (due to a halfling being closest when it attacks through the secret door). The eidolon will respond in an archaic form of Halfling, asking if the speaker is a “Little Master”. If the PC says “yes”, the eidolon will ask for the Little Master to show its amulet of authority (the moon amulets the clerics of the temple wore). As the PC does not have one, Asung Takat will get angry at being deceived and attack the speaker. If the speaker was a halfling, it will then recoil at what it has done and retreat through the secret passage to the Inner Shrine (Area 7) and wait there. Otherwise, it fights as normal, retreating once it has killed an intruder or been hit by a halfling.
Creature: Asung Takat, rogue eidolon: hp 49;
Monster Manual II 180. Area 5: Outer Shrine
This oblong room is entered by climbing the stairs from the Passage Below. The 30-foot ceiling is domed and shows a night sky with a full moon at the ceilings apex. The walls are lined with 10-foot tall curtains showing a repeating pattern of the moon god standing with arms stretched out to his side, his silver amulet depicted with tarnished silver disks sewn onto the curtains. The floor is tiled to form a complex geometric pattern. At the far end of the room is an altar to the moon god.
The air is very musty and thick with humidity. The curtains are moldy and delicate, tearing when touched. The silver disks can be cut or torn free (12 disks worth 20 gp each). The altar is bare of implements (the priests hid them away before dying).
Behind the curtain on the north wall is a low set of tarnished silver-plated doors that lead to Area 6. The doors are only eight feet tall and easily concealed behind the taller curtains.
The Outer Shrine was as far as most visitors to the temple ever travelled, and even then only the faithful were allowed this far.
5A: Behind the curtains on the east wall is a secret door (DC 20 to find) that opens into a narrow hallway leading to the Priest’s Chambers (Area 10).
5B: There is a secret trap door near the south wall that leads to the southern secret passage. When opened, the trap door reveals a 5 ft x 5 ft shaft with rungs mounted in the wall leading down into water.
Area 6: Antechamber
This room has a ceiling that arches from the east wall to the west wall. At the north and south ends are tarnished silver, eight-foot tall double-doors. The floor is tiled in a complex geometric pattern that seems to emphasis the dark elements over the lighter ones. The air is very thick here.
The doors are mechanically geared so that only one set can be opened at a time.
Area 7: Inner Shrine
This room was designed to be impressive. The ceiling is 30 feet high and supported by six immense stone pillars. The floor is tiled with a deep black stone, which is oddly clean and reflective. The walls are covered in mosaics, showing the moon god doing various things, including speaking with creatures of the underworld, leading an army of shadows against creatures of fire, and other unexpected scenes. The air here is damp, but not oppressively so.
Standing in line with the pillars are eight stone statues made of a purple stone with black hands. The statues blank faces have a rune etched upon them, each rune slightly different from its neighbors, but otherwise appear to be eight copies of Asung Takat!
The floor and walls are enchanted to self-clean, so there is no dust nor wet foot prints on the floor, nor any water stains on the walls. The eight statues are virtually identical, but only one of them is wet (DC 15 Spot check, modified by lighting conditions) – the third statue on the left. That one is Asung Takat, pretending to be inert until the party attacks or gets within 30 feet when it will attack, unless the PCs hold forth a moon amulet.
If the party has a moon amulet (or has faked one using one of the silver disks from either Area 4 or Area 5), it is possible to attempt to talk with Asung Takat (although it does not know that name). Conversation will be only in the Halfling tongue and Asung Takat refers to itself as “This One”. Asung Takat will start out as Unfriendly for Diplomacy checks if the PCs show a moon amulet. If the bearer of the moon amulet (even a fake amulet) is a halfling, the DC for any Diplomacy check is reduced by 5.
If asked why it has been killing gnolls, Asung Takat will explain that when the adjacent building collapsed, it climbed to the surface to see what had caused the damage. There is found some gnolls which attacked it. It decided that the gnolls had caused the damage and must be punished. Not knowing which gnolls had caused the damage, it decided to kill any if found until it could find no more.
If made Friendly through Diplomacy, the PCs can either order Asung Takat to stop killing gnolls or explain that the gnolls were not responsible for the damage. It will reluctantly accept either statement and stop leaving the temple as a result.
While Asung Takat will NOT allow the temple to be looted, it will grant the party passage to all areas of the temple. If the players think to ask about temple records of any sort, Asung Takat will direct them to the Repository of Knowledge (Area 9), but not tell them how to get in to it (in its mind, the party will know where the Repository is and not needs its instruction).
7A: The first pillar on the left when entering the Inner Shrine is partially hollow at its base and conceals a secret door on the side facing the wall. The secret door opens into the pillar, which has hand and foot grips carved into the interior wall. The grips lead down into the flooded northern secret passage.
7B: The secret door here is well concealed (DC 25) and leads into the Priest’s Chambers (Area 10).
Creature: Asung Takat, rogue eidolon: hp 49;
Monster Manual II 180. Area 8: Altar to the Dark Moon
The back of the Inner Shrine is a raised hemisphere with broad steps leading up to an altar flanked by two statues of the Moon God, one in white marble, the other out of darkest basalt. Each statue has a silver amulet around its neck. The altar itself is covered with thick fine cloth with a wide crimson stripe running length-wise over the altar. Behind the altar is a small set of steps allowing a very short person to stand just behind the altar and be seen.
The curved wall behind the altar shows the Moon God seated on a throne with various crowned figures kneeling at his feet, chained to the throne. To either side stand armies of shadows and creatures of the underworld, apparently at the Moon God’s command.
If the cloth covering the altar is removed, a marble altar stone is exposed, stained rust red in the center and down either side. There are also rings set into the stone with silver manacles attached to them. The chains are short, but could easily bind humanoids elf-sized or larger to the altar for sacrifice.
The secret door in the back wall is opened by pressing in the eyes of a human king chained to the Moon God’s throne, causing the part of the wall containing the king to swing back into a room beyond the wall (Area 9).
Area 9: Repository of Knowledge
The air in this room is thick and catches at the back of the PCs throats. The walls to either side of the room contain shelves full of fired clay tablets. Against the north wall is a cabinet with locked doors. To either side of the cabinet are halfling-sized reading tables.
There are a few tablets on one of the reading tables including a map of what the region used to look like, a treatise on “smoking mountains”, a text on the world ending in darkness, and a few spell formulae.
This room contains the records and accumulated knowledge of the temple. You can
put in here what ever you want the PCs to have access to in the way of ancient knowledge, including alternate forms of standard spells adding moon or moonlight aspects to the spells.
The cabinet is locked (DC30) and trapped with an Ungol Dust Vapor Trap (DMG 72). In it are the implements for use on the altar, including a silver bowl and a silvered sacrificial knife, both deeply stained with blood. Assign values based on what is appropriate for your game.
Area 10: Priest's Chambers
This room is full of a silvery light. Laying on eight short beds are halflings in dark priest robes. While clearly dead, their bodies have not rotted or putrefied. Each is wearing a silver amulet which gives off the soft silvery light that is filling the room. There is a footlocker at the foot of each bed and a table in a corner with chairs around it, all sized for halflings.
If/when any of the amulets are removed from the corpses, the body will rapidly wither and decompose, leaving a mummified body that is mostly skeleton and skin. On the back of the amulets is the word “moonlight” in halfling, which activates the amulet, causing it to give off a soft silvery light with the same duration as a sunrod. This light is pure moonlight.
The remains of the halfling priests that once served the temple are all here, to avoid desecrating any part of the temple with their corpses. After the temple (and the rest of the city) had been buried by the pyroclastic flow from the erupting volcano, the last surviving priests dragged the bodies of their brethren here, cast gentle repose upon them, and activated their moon amulets. They then did the same for themselves and succumbed to the poisonous volcanic gasses that had flooded the temple.
Place whatever personal possessions you think are appropriate in the footlockers.
After either destroying Asung Takat or talking it into stopping its rampage, the PCs can return to Deadgoblin, mission accomplished. If the PCs return with any tablets from Repository of Knowledge or moon amulets from the bodies of the priests (Area 10), they will find eager buyers for both.
Sell Tablets or Amulet(s)
The buyers will offer good prices and pay promptly in cash for the tablets or the amulets. They will accept rubbings of the tablets as a last resort. If asked why they are buying the items, the buyers explain that they are intermediaries for collectors and sages back in Arbel who have an interest in the ancient history of the area and make it worth their while to do so.
The buyers are telling the truth, as far as they know it. The collectors and sages are puppets of the moonrats in Arabel and a month after the PCs return, the moonrats will have the key to staying smart all the time. Bwa-hahahaha
If the PCs are not willing to sell the items or even rubbings, thieves in the night will attempt to steal the tablets. The thieves’ buyers different that those buying for the sages and are indirectly following orders of the moonrats of Arbel to secure any amulets or records the adventurers bring back with them that aren’t made available for purchase. How this plays out is up to you.
Other Loose Bits
In addition to all of the above, I had the following thoughts you can use or not.
1. There’s more of the city buried under the plains, so the PCs could try looking for more of it.
2. There is a lich residing in an different buried area. She is mighty angry at all the water that seeped into her lair as a result of the unnatural rains and has been magically tracking down who caused it. She will identify the moonrats of Arabel (who likely now have moon amulets) as the perpetrators and decided to go to war against them and their minions, like the PCs.
3. Adding moon dust to the trap in Area 9, DC 18 Fort save or contract lycanthrope (Dm’s choice as to what kind, but were-rats would be a wicked twist). Even if the trap does not kill you, you become a rampaging beast.
Squidman did that...
Original Request: "I'd like to see a trap that involves music in some way."
Result: I've come up with two. One is a mechanical, this-was-perfectly-planned-out sort of thing, and the other is an eldritch abomination that is admittedly more of a monster than a trap.
Mechanical, lure, drowning
In this trap the music is used as a lure. The scenario is this: the passage the players are travelling along is dark. If they do not have access to a light source, they might not even notice the fork in the corridor. One direction is the correct way and proceeds to the temple/palace/tomb/whatever. In the other direction is only this trap.
Droplets of water fall from the ceiling, drops timed with excruciating precision. Embedded in the floor are shiny plates of varying sizes, made of some thin but strong metal. As the drops of water hit the plates they produce a tone, with pitch varying according to the size of the plate; in this way the drops of water produce a rippling, melodic tune, which can be heard from the fork in the corridor. The assumption made by the builders is that anyone breaking in to loot the place (namely, the PCs) will automatically go towards the music, while everyone who knows about the trap can easily just go the other way.
The repeated impacts of the water droplets keeps a small counterweight in the floor from tipping. If the flow of droplets is interrupted (say, by a PC passing through them) the trap is triggered. A block of polished stone drops from the ceiling on the outer side of the curtain of water. If the victim did indeed move through the water and out the other side, they will find themselves in a dead end, with the only passage out sealed off behind them. They will also find that the gentle, carefully orchestrated flow of water has turned into something more substantial, almost a torrent. Soon the water level will rise, and some time after that, they will drown, killed by the very thing that lured them here.
If the players examine the stone block sealing off the passage, they will find a slight breeze near the top, as the water flowing into the trap chamber is displacing the air. On the other side of the block, one of the metal plates sticks out from beyond the stone. This was so the builders of the trap could reset it whenever they pleased and remove the fresh carrion from inside; pressing the plate with your heel will tip the counterweight the other way, shift the course of small streams, etc, with the end result being the block is pulled back into the ceiling and the flow of water stops. Pressing the plate and deactivating the trap in this way requires a strength check--the mechanism hasn't been maintained properly in some time, and is a little resistant to being moved.
Five minutes after being deactivated the droplets of water resume playing their melody. The trap is now completely reset and ready for the next unwary adventurer.
Suggestions for Use: This trap works best at the entrance to a temple devoted to some sort of garden or water god, I feel. Or a fire god, the implication there being that as soon as you see water you should know you're going the wrong way. Whatever the case, I feel that this isn't something to put deep inside a complex: this is the entryway trap.
THE HANGING PLAYER
Magical, monster-as-trap, unintentional creation
It is bad luck to harm minstrels. Everyone knows this, and yet sometimes some fool filled with rage or drink will kill one anyway. Usually those are isolated incidents, though, and the worst that comes from them is the Law dusting off the stomping boots and going to town. A lynching is different. Hanging a minstrel means that there is a mob involved, a mob of people so mad with whatever passion is driving them that they are all doing something that is not only illegal but also superstitiously unlucky.
The Hanging Player is the reason lynching minstrels is considered unlucky, and may be the basis for the whole "don't harm minstrels" thing in the first place. When a minstrel is hung for unjust reasons (namely, unless he's actually broken the law, and maybe then too) the body will come to life once it is done twitching. The minstrel's instrument will fly to his hands, reassembling itself if necessary, and the bloodless face will lift to smile at its murderers. The Hanging Player will play a strange song as it sways in the breeze, and upon hearing it the mob will turn on itself. Within ten minutes everyone on the scene will be dead, with the possible exception of one broken-minded person who was the last one standing after the mob heard the song.
When approached by adventurers, the Hanging Player will lift its head and smile at them, tongue lolling out of its head, and begin to play. Weaker-willed individuals hearing the song will immediately attack the nearest living person. If there was a survivor of the mob who lynched the Player, that survivor will attempt to defend the Player from any attacks by stronger-willed party members. If the Player is cut down the song will stop, and it will simply become a dead body and a finely-made instrument.
Those are my music-based traps. Enjoy.
Okay well depending on your players this puzzle could be extremely easy or possibly very difficult and i'll admit it is rather simple.
The players enter a stone tiled room with a large treasure chest on the opposite end and several partially digested corpses strewn along the floor. By the chest there are six gems each of a different color red, yellow, blue, green, purple, and orange.
Once a player is adjacent to the chest they will notice that there are three slots on the top lid, each capable of fitting two gems within it. Also the treasure chest will begin to speak to them, revealing that it is not only a mimic but one that will give up the treasure within it if it is correctly complimented and that once someone feels they have done this they are free to open the mimic and claim their prize.
Anyone attempting to compliment the mimic verbally such as, "you have lovely, err, hinges," will be only answered with a laugh and a polite "No."
What the player must instead do is place two colored gems in each slot and each colored gem must be paired with their complimentary color (red with green, yellow with purple, and blue with orange) Once this is done the mimic can be opened and whatever treasure you have placed within it can be claimed.
If the mimic is opened without this being done or if it is done incorrectly then the opener is devoured and the rest of the party is attacked by the mimic and whatever allies it has skulking around.
As an art student i find this puzzle to be rather simple but when i pulled it on my group not everyone was able to get it. I'm not really sure if complimentary colors are common knowledge, but i hope this works for you. I found it rather fun to create.
Tim Callahan got a request for a 4e cult...
The Cult of Lak'Sel
(aka Steelscar Cult)
by Tim Callahan
The Cult of Lak'Sel, better known as the Steelscar cult, arose in the fifth decade of the Last War, as a family of half-orcs in the hills of upper Darguun sheltered a dying warforged soldier. The battered and cursed warforged didn't die, thanks to the intervention of the half-orcs, and soon the nameless soldier became the center of attention around the orc tribes in the northern reaches of Darguun. Renamed "Lak'Sel," or "Steelscar" by the family who saved him, the warforged soldier began telling of his adventures in the Last War and the horrors of the "civilized" races of Eberron.
Lak'Sel found a new sense of belonging and purpose around the more simple-minded orc tribes, as orcs and half-orcs began to treat him like a strange mixture of tribal elder, fallen god, and terrifying demon. Within a decade, a cult had begun to form in worship of Lak'Sel, and the most devoted followers would cut into their own flesh to implant shards of metal from broken weapons scattered around the landscape during the Last War. The Cultists of Lak'Sel (mostly orcs and half-orcs, but also some wandering humans and even halflings) would use healing rituals to quickly repair the flesh, leaving the steel and iron embedded inside their arms and legs, but the visible disfigurement remained an important part of their devotion.
Today, years after the end of the Last Wat, the Cult of Lak'Sel has grown in number but become more hermetic, occupying the deep caverns of Darguun, avoiding the goblins that have overrun the land, and terrorizing human settlements on the borderlands only when supplies run dry in the caverns below. Some say the Steelscar Cult is growing stronger beneath the earth, performing ancient rituals and bringing forth new monstrosities from the Underdark to help them with their mysterious plans. Others say that Lak'Sel himself is losing control over the cult, as years of tribute have built him a fortune beyond what any man could ever spend in a lifetime, and some of the less-devoted cultists may have let greed get in the way of their devotion to Lak'Sel. Few know the truth, because no one outside the cult has ever returned from a trip to the heart of the Steelscar caverns.
Lak'Sel Cultist Level 5 (200 XP each)
Initiative: +8 Perception +5; low-light vision
HP: 62; Bloodied: 31
AC 20; Fortitude 18; Reflex 17; Will 15
Double Blade (standard; at-will)
Two attacks on a single target. +10 vs. AC; 1d8 + 6 damage.
Flechette Strike (standard; at-will)
Range 10/20. +11 vs. AC; 1d8 + 4 and ongoing 5 poison damage.
Word of Steel and Iron (immediate reaction, when the cultist is first hit in the encounter)
Resist 5 damage until the end of the cultist's next turn.
Strength of Lak'Sel
The cultist gains +2 to hit with Double Blade or Flechette Strike while adjacent to two or more Lak'Sel Cultists.
Skills: Athletics +6, Arcana +4, Stealth +5
Str 15 (+3) Dex 18 (+6) Wis 12 (+1)
Con 19 (+9) Int 10 (+1) Cha 8 (+0)
Equipment: two serrated daggers
Visual appearance: Lak'Sel cultists, usually orcish, though not always, have scars on their faces and up and down their arms and legs. The metal implanted beneath their scar tissue bulges out at odd angles, making them look like strange humanoid sculptures covered with discolored flesh.
Lak'Sel Level 13 (800 XP)
Initiative: +7 Perception +8
HP: 128; Bloodied: 64
AC 27; Fortitude 24; Reflex 17; Will 23
Steelarm Smash (standard; at-will)
+16 vs. AC; 2d8 + 4 damage and target is pushed 1 square and knocked prone.
Rusted Edge (standard; at-will)
+13 vs. Fortitude; 2d8 + 2 damage and the target takes an ongoing 10 poison damage.
Foul Shrapnel (standard; recharge 5, 6)
Close Burst 5; +15 vs. Fortitude; 2d10 + 4 necrotic damage, the target takes and ongoing 10 necrotic damage and is weakened.
Fierce Command (minor)
Any two Steelscar Cultists may take a standard action immediately.
Skills: Bluff +13, Diplomacy +8, History +8, Insight +10, Intimidate +15, Streetwise +13
Str 18 (+8) Dex 15 (+5) Wis 17 (+8)
Con 18 (+9) Int 14 (+5) Cha 21 (+10)
Equipment: Book of Lak'Sel
Visual Appearance: Hunched, rusted warforged. Wears a hood and cloak to hide his own decay.
Ben Laurence got a request for something in the Demonweb Pits. His formatting won't agree with blogger so I just posted screenshots of each of his pages--click to enlarge...
Bart Postma got a request for a party of goblins--here are write-ups--he also included character sheets which I'm leaving out...
Goblin party: The Green Berets
There comes a time when even goblins need to rouse a specialist group out of their chaotic midst. Maybe the hole in the wall is too small to charge through ten abreast. Maybe they needed volunteers and everyone else suddenly vanished. Maybe they just got bored. In any case, this crack team of crackpots can crack any strongbox, metal-clad 6-footer or closely guarded mind. And they don’t even need any crack! Though their shaman leader probably has some other medicinal plant that makes them perform twice as good and die twice as young. Then again, what life expectancy does a party of goblins have anyway? Drink up lads! Tomorrow we dine in the plane of Ysgard!
Mishor Kgri Class: Sorcerer/Cleric Occupation: Shaman Specialty: Leader, Medicine, Support magic Biography: The most intelligent of the party. Which is like saying most honest demon or most clean orc underwear. Still, it inevitably makes him the party leader. He speaks over two and a half languages (goblin, kobold and a smidgen of common) and possesses a knowledge of herbalism that makes Mormol envious. Besides tending to the well-being of the team, Mishor helps with supportive magic in combat to ensure goblin superiority or at least mediocrity. Besides his obvious talents, Mishor is the only one who knows what mission the team is actually on. Up till now the others have never had much nerve to question him about it, but that may change. When that happens, Mishor is afraid he’ll find out very personally how loose a concept leadership is among goblins. He will do anything to keep the team busy and off his back and onto the enemy’s. That said, he is probably the only one on the team who really cares about the other members and he will do anything to keep them and the mission alive. Personal motto: for the team, for the tribe, for triumph!
Breach Class: Rogue Occupation: Sapper Specialty: Contortionist, Demolitions, Pyromania Biography: From the dawn of time, all living creatures held a special interest in fire. At some point, every single one of them couldn’t resist the lure of flames and burned their hand in the investigation. The really stupid ones try again and again and again… Let’s just say that Breach hasn’t evolved much. With little regard for her own life she takes up any opportunity to light a match, preferably leading to a large explosion. Being buried under your more than fair share of rock has its advantages though. You tend to get a hardy skin and if you survive long enough, learn how to wriggle through those tiny passages out of the mess you are in. She serves the team as a sapper and an urban scout. As second most intelligent member it falls to her to make decisions if Mishor Kgri is ever absent. The rest prays that never happens. Personal motto: if you can’t beat ‘em, burn ‘em.
Mormol Class: Ranger Occupation: Cook/Hunter Specialty: Survival, Cooking, A hundred ways to use a cleaverBiography: Mormal was a chef, a connoisseur, an artist! He was also a thief and a liar and rare as it may be among goblins, was actually punished for the behavior by exile. Some say it was just to get rid of his powerful persona and Mormol probably has a score to settle if he ever swings by home again. For now though, he has accepted his fate. He gets to travel the world and find many new bugs under many new rocks and country kitchens to loot aplenty. Knowledgeable about the forest and its many fine delicacies, he is a proficient tracker as well as forager and hunter and thus a vital member of the team. He can be a little hot-headed as he still considers his trade an art form. His cleaver waves threateningly to all who dare disagree or miss the eloquence to express otherwise. Mormol sees or makes art in everything and tries to come off as the world’s most bohemian goblin… slash butcher with a cleaver. Personal motto: I only dirty my hands with dirt!
Hk’trege Class: Barbarian Occupation: Kill stuff Specialty: Berserker, Kill more stuff Biography: Hk’trege originates from that shallow end of the gene pool where the kids stay that just can’t get the knack of swimming and the water tastes suspiciously nauseating. Still, if you’re a goblin and low in the brains department, that pretty much makes you, well, just another goblin. You just need to find your specialty. Killing his parents at the age of three over a scavenging dispute was just such a luminary marker in Hk’trege’s life. Dear old dad left him his maul in a last gesture of parental benevolence. That dad’s fingers had to be broken to get it out of his cold scrawny hands didn’t lessen the joy and soon the proud son joined up with a team that promised many fine things to smash. Personal motto: Hehehe, butterfly… (translation: “what does that bloodstain look like to you?”)
Specialty: Archery, Getting the short end of the group’s many sticks
Biography: Kobolds are frequently used as slaves by the goblin races. Skrii was one such slave but had the luck to be chosen as a part of the militia so he could find a quick death. The specific part of the militia turned out to be its ass. Ever since Skrii took up a bow he has been digging ditches with it. Other jobs include gladiatorial entertainment and on a good day functioning as a pillow. Still, there is glory to be had here. Not many kobolds make it this far and Skrii has managed to stow away a few coins for retirement. When that’ll be? As soon as possible.
Personal motto: Skrrrrrriiiiii! Shiny meee! Skrrr, sk, skri!
Kelvin Green's is here.
Bennet Akkerman got asked for a plot, here it is...
Kruswold and Kruswold
After a perceived insult a green hag curses the village of Kruswold. Many village folk disappear, an angry mob goes into the woods of Kruswold to deal with their problems. Only the mayor returns, insane. The disappearances continue and the people of Kruswold move their village to a different spot. After 33 years the disappearances start again. Kruswolds priestess of Ninaha Kudu sends a message to the Pantheon Temple in New Crosswalshire for help. The characters must dispose of a mass murdering, psychotic fey, discover what was going on and deal with a coven of hags.
Hook Fadeyka Sarskaia has received a message of a priestess of Ninaha Kudu asking for help. Apparently there have been some disappearances in the small village of Kruswold and the mayor of said village is opposed against search parties going into the woods.
The road to Kruswold
When encountering wooden signposts on the road to Kruswold through the forest players may find weathered and overgrown signs in the vicinity of the post indicating the direction to Kruswold but with a different distance than the new signpost. They could even find a signpost with an old sign to Kruswold still attached with a different direction than the new signs.
Near this signpost an overgrown old road (almost not distinguishable from the woodlands) might be found. Time has not treated this road well and it is practically impossible to follow this road as the forest has reclaimed it (it leads to the old settlement of Kruswold).
The new settlement of Kruswold
Kruswold is a small village, not much more than a congregation of farms, bordering next to woodlands; the forest of Kruswold. It has an open air shrine to Ninaha Kudu. Most noticeable about the village is the relatively new buildings it has (close inspection reveals that they are made about 30 years ago), almost every single piece of furniture, however, is at least twice as old as the buildings. The village population also has quite a deficiency in males older than 50 (because most of the able men were slaughtered in the woods by a redcap 33 years ago), though this may not be apparent to the characters.
The inhabitants of Kruswold are in general a glum and hushed bunch. The recent disappearances might be the cause of that.
It might be difficult to gather information from the villagers about the old settlement of Kruswold.
Six days before the PC’s arrive the miller’s teenage daughter has gone missing. As so many times she and the son of the smith have gone into woods (on their own, as not to arouse suspicion) but this time only the smith’s son has returned.
Three days before the PC’s arrive the forester hasn’t returned from the forest.
Later on the same day that the PC’s arrive the priestess of Ninaha Kudu will notice her son is missing.
The resident priestess of Ninaha Kudu is fairly new addition to the village. She has resided about three years in the village. In that time, she has gained the villagers trust and is on good standing with them. But this only increases her worries about the recent apathy amongst the inhabitants. Surely they must rise against this opposition against civilization? Mostly, the inaction of the mayor surprises her.
The mayor was only 11 when his father went back from the woods insane, covered in blood. He later went on to become the new mayor of the new settlement of Kruswold. He knows something is preying on the villagers but he also knows that if he sends a search party it will probably end badly. He will gladly make use of the Naze Valley Rangers and even allow them to talk with his father.
The mayor’s father, the old mayor of the old Kruswold, is a nervous wreck of a man. He is easily startled by male halflings or gnomes (especially old ones), the colour red and scythes. If any of the PC’s is, by any chance, an elderly small man with a red hat and a scythe, the old mayor might faint, run away screaming or die of fright.
When PC’s talk with the man he will ramble about the colour red and might drop phrases as “so much blood”, “they were all killed, one by one”.
His sanity might be restored with proof of destruction of the redcap combined with restorative magic. He is than able to tell the whole story of the slaughter of the villagers 33 years ago. More important, he is able to tell the group about the hag that has cursed the village of Kruswold.
The most obvious clue to the killer of Kruswold are the tracks of the forester’s cart. If followed they lead into the forest where the cart is found. Signs of struggle and of a slashing weapon could be found around the cart.
Dragging tracks lead to the old settlement of Kruswold.
The old settlement of Kruswold
A settlement of ruined and abandoned houses and farms lies next to the forest. The structures are overgrown with plants. Except farms, houses, structures recognizable as shops or smithies this ghost town has a church of Ninaha Kudu (complete with defaced statues), a village hall, an inn and a mill. All in ruins.
When travelling along the forest edge the distance between the old and the new settlement of Kruswold could be traversed in two hours on foot.
Dire rats might be encountered in the houses.
The mill consists of 3 levels.
Level 1: when entering the mill the group may find a puddle of blood on the floor, a drip might fall on their heads from the level above. Stairs to the second level might be rigged with a crossbow trap.
The bodies of the forester, the miller’s daughter, the priestess’ son, a donkey and several small woodland creatures hang from ropes above buckets. The bucket below the priestess’ son has fallen and it contents have slipped through the boards to the level below. Make this as gruesome as you please.
A ladder lies on the floor and a trapdoor is visible in the ceiling.
This is where the redcap usually resides. Of course, he could have attacked the group earlier in a tactic of the DM’s choosing.
The Pathfinder stats of the redcap are found here.
After the redcap’s demise
Nine days after the slaying of the redcap a new redcap appears to prey on the village of Kruswold. After killing 33 people and dipping his hat in the blood of each of them he hibernates for 33 years.
A knowledgeable character might find out, with enough resources (libraries, sages or a good roll) that redcaps are sometimes the executors of particular curses. Naze Valley Ranger veterans might know of a hag located in the forest of Kruswold, they might encounter her during travels, they might hear it from the old mayor (if he has regained his sanity).
It is possible to contact the hag of Kruswold in a peaceful manner. She might even lift the curse of Kruswold village if the old mayor apologizes to the hag (he has to be sane) and she demands a lock of hair of every inhabitant of Kruswold plus the PC’s.
In the case of the party slaying the hag the curse still persists but can be lifted by certain rituals (clerics or druids might know the particular ones or maybe benevolent nature spirits might help).
If a longer adventure is desired, the hag above might be part of a coven. The coven will lift the curse if the second hag gets a spell book with a worth of at least 1000 gold pieces and the third hag gets an artifact known as the mages stove (which might be worth it’s own adventure) or they could demand other rare magic items.
Of course, there’s no telling what kind of mischief these witches might conduct with the hair of people, a spell book and the mages stove.
Pathfinder stats of the green hag.
speaking of hags...
Alex Macris, the guy who signs me and James Mal's checks over at The Escapist got a request for a monster appropriate to an Arthurian setting done 3.5 style...
Witch hags are loathsome women of great evil and dreadful, often birthed from the wombs of women who consorted with dark powers better left undisturbed. Witch hags are scheming creatures, brewers of potions, mistresses of darkness, crafters of cursed gifts. They are common in the cold lands of the North, where they lair in forsaken towers or icy caverns and scheme for the downfall of knights and heroes.
Witch hags rarely confront the forces of good directly, preferring to work through cunning and deceit. A common ploy is for the witch hag to pretend to be a princess under a curse of ugliness, soliciting the rescue of a valiant knight. When her would-be rescuer kisses her, she will change her shape to a visage of great beauty, aiming to woo and marry the knight. Once in his household, she will slowly weave her evil web, beguiling friends into enemies, giving cursed gifts, poisoning loved ones, and generally destroying everything he holds dear. Usually she will continue the charade until she has given birth to a monstrous child by his seed, and then bring the hapless hero to ruin.
Through such means, witch hags sometimes come to wield temporal power in isolated baronies, perhaps ruling as the power behind the throne through a besotted noble, or perhaps ousting him and ruling directly or on behalf of her offspring. Legends say that a particularly powerful witch hag rules a far northern kingdom of perpetual darkness, marrying off her daughters to the chiefs and jarls in dark engagements.
Medium Monstrous Humanoid
Hit Dice: 11d8+22 (77hp)
Speed: 30ft (6 squares)
Armor Class: 24 (+2 Dex, +12 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 22
Base Attack/Grapple: +9/13
Attack: Claw +11 melee (1d4+2)
Full Attack: 2 claws +11 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities, supernatural abilities, invocations
Special Qualities: Darkvision 90ft., Spell Resistance 21, Energy Resistance (cold) 10
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +9, Will +10
Abilities: Str 14, Dex 14, Con 14, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 20
Skills: Bluff +15, Concentration +12, Craft (alchemy) +13, Disguise +15, Hide +12, Listen +13, Spot +13, Use Magic Device +15
Feats: Brew Potion, Combat Casting, Craft Wondrous Object, Great Fortitude
Environment: Any cold
Challenge Rating: 11
Treasure: Double Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic evil
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: -
Change Shape (Su)
A Witch hag can assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid. While using her Change Shape ability a Witch hag gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks.
A Witch Hag gains the invocations of an 11th-level warlock (excluding the eldritch blast). Typical powers are: Beguiling Influence, Curse of Despair, and Devour Magic.
If a Witch hag takes class levels in Warlock, her levels in Warlock stack with her monstrous HD for purposes of Warlock invocations known.
A Witch hag can imitate the sounds of almost any animal found near its lair, and of any humanoid creature it has heard.
At will—charm monster (DC21), chill touch, ghost sound (DC 21), invisibility, obscuring mist, pass without trace, ray of frost, tongues. Caster level 11th. The save DC is Charisma-based.
2d6 random Table of Unusual Magic Items
© 2010 Level 30 Yinzer – www.level30yinzer.com Released under Creative Commons license 3.0
Death Mirror – this mirror shows all the ways you are most unlikely to die
Wand of Wandering – The target of this want feels the need to go for a walk sometime when it's convenient
Anime Origami – these folded animals animate to walk around and fly, but then incinerate themselves in a sweet lensflare
Small Dog Figurine – this figurine issues ear-piercing barks at random, harmless objects
Accursed Couch – Whomever sits on this couch becomes too comfortable to move (save ends)
Cursed Perfume of False Chemistry – This perfume makes you irresistably attractive, but only to people in whom you have zero interest
Orb of Static Discharging – An unassuming orb of dull metal that zaps someone whe touched.
Ring of the Heebly Jeebly – This ring causes you to feel as if you have ants crawling all over your skin
Everfull Pouch of Gold- this pouch is always full of gold. Always. It's impossible to take gold out of it. Holds 50gp.
Gloves of Knocking – when you rap any surface while wearing these gloves, it produces a hollow, booming noise.
Chopsticks of Communal Living – these chopsticks are as long as the arm of the wielder, making it impossible to feed oneself. However, if the wielder feeds another with them, he himself becomes well-fed as well.
This is the wilderness area of a crumbling ruined aqueduct. I ran out of time so I’m including all of the maps I have so far along with a rough outline and lists of the things I imagined as I drew this area. I designed most of this to be dropped into an existing campaign. Feel free to mash it up however you want to fit your game and game style.
At first I wasn’t sure how to go about this drawing a ruined, crumbling aqueduct, it’s not something I’d have ever drawn for my own campaigns. Therefore it was an interesting project that got me outside of my comfort zone.
Some of the basics of this area includes the ruined aqueduct. It cuts across a grassy plains and through some forests. It crosses a very deep gorge with a span of 400’. The aquaduct is in ruins and the span across the gorge seems for the most part solid. I would suggest that everytime anyone or anything crosses it crumbles a bit more, chunks of it dropping into the fast moving river below. I’ll leave the mechanics of that to the referee.
The gorge is roughly 300’ deep, and has a fast moving deep river running through it. The various ledges and cavern entrances depicted are at roughly 100’ down from the edges.
The forests are very dense, they difficult but not impossible to move through. Other areas of the forests are more open with fewer tress and underbrush. There are paths that lead through some of the forests, making travel easier, if you can find them.
There is a road at the south end of the area, it is a semi-traveled road between some small villages. It can come from and lead to where ever works best for the referee.
There is a mid-sized lake towards the north end of the area, just before the large cliff-faced hill. The lake is not esaily seen through the dense forest in front of it.
There is a large cliff-faced hill at the north end of the map. It is very easy to see from pretty much any clear area on the map, except of course from within the forests. The first level of cliffs are about 100’ to the plateau on top. On another cliff-face hill that rises from the intial plateau a cavern entrance is hidden by a small forest of dense trees. No chance of noticing from ground until it is climbed and explored. Climbing up and down the cliffs on the hill and the gorge, should be difficult and dangerous but not impossible. I’ll leave those details up to the referee.
Ruined Aqueduct Key
Wrecked Carriage: Along side of the road is the wreckage of a fine, well crafted carriage. Obviously it was some noble’s or wealthy merchant’s carriage. The wreckage is only a few days old, at most maybe a week. It has been smashed to bits, and there are some rather large claw marks on some of the larger sections.
Orc Village & Cavern: Irontooth Badaz was an Orc Captain from the Blackblade Tribe. After a lost challenge against One-Fist Grogsnik, the tribal leader. Irontooth was to be humilated and executed the next day. Irontooth had many loyal followers, these orcs went renegade and freed him from certain death. Irontooth and his motely band of renegades slipped away into the night, becoming exiled from the Blackblade tribe. One-Fist will not forget about this, he will get his execution. Irontooth and his renegade band of orcs have built this small settlement on the edge of the gorge, hidden deep inside the forest. See Map, Area 2: Orc Village and Area 2: Caverns
The Abandoned Tower: In the eastern section of this area, on a cliff jutting out over the gorge, sits the abandoned tower. Not much is known about this tower or what secrets it hides. Rumours say it’s haunted. (I did not get to making anything up for this, maps or ideas, so feel free to use this however you want, personally I kind of like the haunted thing...) See Map, Area 3: Abandoned
Burial Mound: Hidden among the trees is a small clearing, and in this clearing is a burial mound with a large iron-bound wooden door at the front. (Again this part I did not make anything up for yet. I planned for some regular type dungeon corridors, with more than an average number of traps, along with some skeletons and ghouls guarding a treasure and possibly a map of the tower. It is haunted too, afterall.)
The Ruined Aquaduct: This is the bridge span of the ruined aquaduct. It is roughly 400’ from one side to the other. Parts of the span have crumbled over time. It is relatively stabile for now. I suggest that everytme it is crossed, it begins to weaken, parts of it fall to the river below. (I’ll leave those details up to you, I was also imagining a troll, or other toll collector at the North end of the span.) See Map: Ruined Aquaduct
Cavern Complex: This is a cavern complex on the north side of the gorge. It’s about 100’ down from the edge of the gorge to the ledge where the cavern entrance is located. I have mapped it out but have not yet figured out what lives there yet. (Originally I was thinking of Trolls and other hard to kill beasties, just ran out of time.) There is an undergroung river that runs trhough on of the caves then unerground into another cave. Adventurers could swim from one area to the other. It’s the only way to access that cave. See Map: Area 6: Caverns.
Lake Monster: There is a sparkling blue lake at the base of the large cliff-faced hillside. The path through the forest winds gently around the calm waters. If a party is walking along the path at any point when they are close to the lake’s edge, large sickly pink and purple tentacles rise from the still lake, grabbing at and possibly dragging the hapless adventurers to a horrid death. (I’ll leave the details and the mechanics to the referee)
Goblin Cavern: An advance war band of goblins led by a particularly viscous little goblin named Red Hat. His name comes from the long pointed red hat he wears, it is rumoured that he keeps his hat red by soaking it in the blood of his human victims. These particular goblins ride giant bats. Coming out at night to raid and plunder the area, all the while scouting ahead for their tribe. There is a large cavern in the cave complex that has a rather large opening that leads out of the top of the hill. It is from this cave they launch their raids and scouting missions. See Map: Area 8: Goblin Cavern.
Additional Notes and Map Keys: The following notes and map keys are some rough outlines to help see this thing the way I see it.
Area 2: Orc Village:
Orc Warrior Hut: This is one of the huts where Irontooth’s orc warriors sleeps at night. At night there might be 8 – 10 orcs sleeping here. At day maybe 1 – 3 orcs maybe in here sleeping, eating, resting, or gambling.
Orc Warrior Hut: This is another of the sleeping huts. At night maybe 6 – 7 orcs sleeping, by day 0-2 orcs in here.
Orc Great Lodge: This is the orc Great Lodge, it is here where Irontooth and his second in command sleep and reside. There are also some large crude wooden tables and benchs in here as well. Irontooth and his renegade band share important meals in here, have strategy and tactics meetings, etc. There are some smaller rooms to the back bhind Irontooths makeshift throne, where he and his captain sleep. There is also hidden under the main table a shaft that goes straight down into the caverns below into cave number: 4. See Map Area 2: Caverns. The orcs have constructed a rickety wooden ladder all the way down the shaft. There is a chance it could collapse at any time it is in use. (Again I’ll leave the details to the referee.
Orc Warrior Hut: This hut is the same as the other warrior huts. At night there may be 6 -7 orcs and by day 1 -2.
Orc Shaman Hut: Here is Irontooth’s trusted orc shaman Long-Ear Skullsplitter. He lives here with his two shaman acolytes. Devining the future of their small band of renegades, practicing his magics, and helping Irontooth stay one or two steps ahead of One-Fist. He is called Long-Ear because of his natural, (almost supernatural) sense of hearing. (…and yes this will affect the adventurers chance of surprise when he’s around) He is Irontooth’s most trusted advisor. The orcs are aware of the goblin bat riders to the noth of them but do not yet know where they lair.
Area 2: Caverns:
Entrance: Here is the entrance of the caverns. It is on a ledge roughly 120’ down from the edge of the gorge.
Wyvrn Nest: This large cave is the nesting place of a male and a female wyvern. Irontooth found them as whelps shortly after fleeing the Blackblade tribe. He and his orc gang have raised them and he and Long-Ear eventually trained them as fearsome flying mounts. The renegade war band takes great care of these two “pets” and they have recently mated and produced a clutch of 13 eggs. Long-Ear says that the number of eggs being 13 is a great omen for the renegades. While they can still ride the male wyvrns, the female wyvrn will not be ridden right now. She stays behind to protect the eggs. Fiercely protective the wyverns have already killed one orc and maimed another, who got too close to the eggs. Irontooth and Long-Ear see them training all of the clutch to be flying war mounts in the future. Making their band of renegades a flying army to be feared by all who stand in their way.
John D Kennedy ( www.writingincarnate.com)
HI! You’re probably looking at this thing and wondering what is going on. You submitted a request for a giant statue to SAGE and probably were expecting someone to just throw together a big monster entry for you. Well, I did start to do that but I got carried away. I was thinking of how I could introduce this into my own campaign world and so started to add little pieces at a time. I’m not trying to one up anyone, it’s just that the creative bug got ahold of me and refused to back down! I hope you enjoy, and for those curious I wrote it with 3.5 in mind but it can be translated to 4e easily.
If I am to apologize for anything other than its huge size (and I gave you the option to ignore everything and rush headlong to the smashy-smashy) it’s that some of the encounters I left barebones because I did not feel like copying over endless stat lines. Feel free to tailor anything in this adventure to your own liking. I also apologize for the rushed editing on this piece as my day job and freelancing have taken up most of my free time as of late.
There are two different styles for Doombringer which can be easily tailored to your campaign.
These represent how quickly you wish to introduce Doombringer and how ready you want it to be. If you want to make your players work for the joy of wielding it, have them proceed with Sundered Parts. For a quick approach, skip ahead to Pieces Rejoined!
Once a man thought of himself a god and his people paid dearly for it.
Deep in the frozen North lies the remnants of a kingdom which was large for its day. It commanded legions of soldiers and sent them across the ocean on mighty barges. Steel statues to the Hundred Icons stood like solemn sentinels guarding their biggest city and the wealth of nations flowed through their markets like streams of silver. They brought forth miracles from nature and tamed the elements of their frozen home to their will.
Their ruin was swift but silent, as they fell prey to the machinations of one of their own. A king and high priest of the Hundred Icons named Horgrungr the Headstrong realized that his people’s gods were fickle and biased towards others. Aware of his own mortality he feared death as he had committed many sins he knew his gods would never forgive . Horgrungr devoted himselves to the ancient runetexts of his people and hoped to decipher a way to either appeal to the gods…or have them recognize him as one’s own.
Studying the texts revealed that many heroes of his people had transcended and were now gods themselves. They had accumulated followers whose veneration gave them the strength to become divine. These heroes had performed brave deeds to earn their recognition, but they had done so over the span of their lives. Horgrungr was not strong nor young and feared he would not survive to see his conversion into Godhood unless he came up with a way to force others to bow before his will.
Taking his inspiration from the tall statues in his city, Horgrungr worked in the mountains near the capitol city. With his fanatical followers he started forging the frame of a war machine that would scatter his enemies and inspire others to believe he was a god. It would be stronger than steel, taller than the trees, and full of fierce fire to show all who was truly divine.
Needless to say, death interrupted his plan.
Horgrungr devoted so much of his city’s resources to building the construct that when an unknown race of invaders attacked they were nearly defenseless. His civilization was scattered to the winds and his people’s name faded with time. Horgrungr locked himself away in his vault hoping to finish the machine so that he could repel the invaders but was betrayed by his own priesthood. Fighting within the great construct broke it before it could become fully operational so it sits still today in it’s massive throne in Horgrungr’s hidden workshop.
Finding The Machine
The characters come across an old book in a treasure horde somewhere in the North. This book is old and falling apart, written in a strange variant of a language one of them understands. The scroll is the last journal of a man named Vorgan, a wanderer who fled from the North centuries ago.
Woe to our people, who fought strong and hard against the Invader. We were the Light of the North, brought low by the inaction of our King. Never again shall our name be uttered but our legacy, as cursed as it must be, is assured if one were to find it. It sits on it’s throne in grim contemplation, waiting beyond the Sentinels for the parts to be reunited once again. Then it will walk the earth a might Doombringer and pity be unto any nation that stands in its path!
The journal is full of old geographical notations and half drawn maps that provide a clue as to where to go. For convenience, the workshop may be located in any mountain range in the north, whether close to a city or far from it. It is assumed for the rest of this adventure that the journey is to an unknown mountain chain that sits at the end of a valley, though tailor this as your needs see fit.
Vorgan’s Journal XP: 500 GP: 3,000 GP
Random Encounters (d10) See Monster Manual for stats.
• Roving pack of Goblinoids (1d6 goblins, 1d4 hobgoblins, or 1d3 bugbears)
• Wolf Pack hunting for food. (2d3 wolves)
• The wind is full of whispers as strange chants to foreign gods fill your ears. The chanting lasts for only a few minutes but the phrases “Horgrungr” and “Doombringer” are repeated.
• Heavy Snowfall. All missile ranges are halved and Perception DC is raised by 10.
• Mischievous Spirits. A pair of mischievous poltergeists are following the party and perform minor nuisances like covering up their tracks and replacing them with new ones. If threatened they will turn on the party and try to drag them off a cliff so they can have more company.
• Human bandits. These are the descendants of either Horgrungr’s civilization or the Invaders that destroyed it. They will try to kill the party and steal their resources but if forced to surrender will give information about the local area. (1d6 bandits)
• A woman is seen screaming on the side of a cliff and reacting as if some unknown force is pushing her off. When a character tries to assist her it is revealed she is a ghost reinacting her own death. Her body is slashed horribly before being flung off the cliff, disappearing before it hits the bottom.
• Rabid Goblins. A small group of Goblins have gone insane from the elements and now act as if in Rage. They will throw themselves at the group regardless of size and will not surrender. (2d4 Goblins)
• Strange rocks along the way are revealed to be the remains of previous travelers! While their clothes are old and torn they have some wealth amongst them. (1d8*20 GP, Cold Iron Longsword, Jade Pendant (30 GP)
• Traveling through the North reveals a warm cave for the characters to take refuge! The cave is unknown to the local inhabitants of the area and the players are able to warm up and relax as normal. A Search check (DC 25) reveals old rune markings celebrating the 100 Icons. Several of these markings have gems that have covered with soot and dirt with age. (1d4*10 GP)
When the player’s arrive at the valley they will notice a notation in the journal to find something referred to as the sentinels. The sentinels are what remains of the Icons that made up part of the capital city. These sentinels are mostly fallen, with many of them burned or cut down for their wood. However, they line up in rows of 50 on each side and seem to lead towards the end of the valley.
The journal contains several geographical features that should assist with finding the entrance. Located on one of the cliffs is a ledge with several broken steps. While hard to climb, the steps lead inside the mountain where old dusty steps seem to descend forever. After traveling in the dark for ten minutes they find an old iron door left ajar, with cobwebs and dust trailing off of it.
The workshop is arranged in three levels, each surrounding an enormous courtyard where the Doombringer sits. The construction of the workshop was to allow the blacksmiths and alchemists to work freely amongst each other and give them unrestricted access to the machine. The heavy iron door and guards’ barracks were Horgrungr’s method of keeping his workers from leaving. Doombringer itself is seated in a long metal throne with open spaces to allow workers access to it.
The Doombringer is massive, over one hundred feet tall and covered in gems and metal. Shaped to look like a human with long flowing hair and a beard, it wears a pleated kilt of worked bronze and has a tunic of white silk. It’s massive arms are covered in bands of iron and it’s face has two large diamonds set in it’s eyes. Doombringer is supposed to represent an idealized version of Horgrungr, and as such looks like how he wants others to see him.
Those who rush to Doombringer may not realize it’s function, and the only thing about the courtyard that seems out of place are the stacks of metal and gears that lie about.The first level of the workshop has three rooms, the Storeroom, the Kitchen, and the Barracks.
This room is full of broken crates and burnt pieces of rubble. It appears as if some spell or explosive went off in this room centuries ago. Where the workshop used to receive cargo and store it now sits a room full of trash and broken devices.
Those who search for traps (DC 25) discover a thin wire stretched between two crates. Failure to deactivate the trap causes a Push spell to activate on one of the nearby shelves, sending heavy parts down on those who fail a Reflex (DC 20) check for 2d8 damage.
While all the complex devices in the room are destroyed, the ores stored here still have some value. If transported back towards a civilization they would be worth over 13,000 GP. However, such a feat without some matter of storage device would be next to impossible as the combined stacks of copper, iron, starmetal and adamantine weight several tons.
The Kitchen was kept on the ground floor and is in a similar state of disarray as the Storeroom was. The room is full of damaged tables and chairs, and several skeletons are lying on the floor. Many are wearing simple clothes and appear to have been cut down by swords. Scattered amongst them and wearing ruined armor are the remains of soldiers clutching rusted weapons.
Their armor appears to be scorched.
At the back of the kitchen sits a locked door with the bodies of two soldiers leaning against it, their bodies posed as if they died suddenly. The lock is damaged but can still be unlocked by a difficult Lockpicking roll (20) or by the Key in the Overseer’s office.
Sitting inside a food pantry surrounded by empty bottles wine sits the robed form of Casmandius the Mage. He was one of the wizards assigned to animating the Doombringer and was responsible for the dead soldiers in the cafeteria outside. His skeletal hands are clutching a wrinkled piece of parchment torn from the last pages in his spellbook.
Should have known. The traitor king Horgrungr has betrayed us all. It is bad enough the Invaders destroyed our country but now the tyrant has decided to destroy us as well! He wishes to activate the Doombringer and use it to gain his final ascension. I refused to tell him where I hid the Occulus and so he ordered his soldiers to kill me. Those damn fools followed me in here but were no match for a wizard such as me!
If you read this, know that the Doombringer is power. It is unbridled power which can reshape the world with it’s fists. It is the culmination of our civilization, the greatest thing we ever made besides ourselves. This is why I cannot allow you to have it. Yes, you, be you an Invader, a curious explorer, or one of the traitor’s own men. May the Hundred Icons forgive me for what will happen next, and may you do so as well.
Upon reading the final words of the scroll an immediate spell like effect blasts the area. The assembled corpses in the next room begin to shift and stir, forming into skeletons. Casmandius himself rises up in the form of a Ghost and immediately launches himself at the closet player.
This part can be tailored to the specific party. Some DM’s may choose to have all the skeletons resurrect at once (16 skeletons) while others may tailor the encounter to their party. Feel free to upgrade some of the skeletons to undead of your own choosing. The choice is yours.
Casmandius has on him a Potion of Cure Critical Wounds, a Ring of Protection +4, Boots of Elvenkind, a +3 Keen Dagger, and his Spellbook. He also has a crystal ball wrapped in silver wire on him. This is the Occulus, which is needed to repair the Doombringer.
This room was where Horgrungr’s men slept. Bunks with rotted sheets and stacks of rusted weapons line the walls. Scattered about the floor are the remains of soldiers who appear to have fought each other over something. At the end of the room in a pile of rags sits a dead soldier wearing golden armor, his weapon still sitting in his hands. His other hand is wrapped around a satchel.
Inside the satchel is another note.
It’s all gone to Hell and right quick to! The lads and I are at each other’s throats over how we’re to get out of here. Haven’t heard a squeak out of the city for weeks now, but the workers whine constantly about it. Still, must find a way to get out of here and head somewhere warmer. With as much money as this pretty piece with the fancy name is worth I should be able to buy myself passage to anywhere but here!
Inside the bag is a small wooden box with strange glyphs on it. Opening the box reveals three tiny gears, each etched with strange runes. The gears appear to be covered in diamonds and other strange metals. These are the Cerebellum Gears, and while they are worth 5,000 GP they are also needed to activate the Doombringer.
The captain’s armor is rusted but the gold on it is salvageable for 200 GP. He also wields a +2 Axiomatic Short Sword and has a Ring of Feather Fall on his left hand.
The second floor is mostly open, with various tables and forges lying about. The same dead bodies are seen strewn across the floor; dead workers clutching makeshift weapons surrounding overwhelmed guards. Apart from a few collapsed rooms and closets there is only one room on this floor that stands out: the Forge.
To construct Doombringer Horgrungr needed large forges for all the material he would need. These forges are silent now, but they are still surrounded by the metals they once poured. Those who enter this area first note how warm it is, while others smell freshly burnt wood.
This area is home to a Large Fire Elemental who was once chained to the inside of the forges.
Centuries ago it was abused and forced to melt metal for the machine and then it was locked up with no release for years. The Large Fire Elemental cannot escape the forges but it will lash out at any who enter and will fight until destroyed or banished back to its home.
The most noteworthy aspect about this area is not the metals that lie in the cauldrons but in the locked box hidden behind them. Kept hidden away by pieces of stone that the Elemental had gathered is a vault door made of tempered Adamantine. This door has a complex lock on it (DC 30) but inside the vault lays a wealth of tools.
• 4 steel hammers
• 1 adamantine hammer
• 1 adamatine mastercrafted warhammer
• Spear of Icy Burst +2 (used to herd the elemental)
• 2 sets of chainmail in similar style to the guards
• One mastercrafted set of tools that double as lockpicks
• An Apron of Fire Resistance +5
• Ring of Damage Reduction (3/Ice)
• Various other tools used for forging and crafting
• Blueprints for constructing a construct similar to the Doombringer
The third floor has more workshops but has one area in particular that stands out.On a verranda overlooking the Doombringer is the Overseer’s Office. Seated on an old chair is a withered corpse wearing a golden crown lined with gems and precious metals. His corpse wears elaborate robes of golden silk and his arms dangle at his sides. This is the body of Horgrungr the Headstrong, the last king of his nation.
Searching the body will find a Dagger +4, a Mace of Ruin, Boots of Levitation, a Ring of Adamant Law, and leather armor worn under his robes that has the same affect as Rhino hide.
On Horgrungr’s desk lie his scattered notes, including his final note.
Damn them all! Their weakness has cost me divinity! Why should it be now that they throw themselves into a riot? Can they not see all will be better when I am in my rightful place amongst the Heavens?
The Hundred Icons must have truly forsaken me. I cannot feel their power anymore. They must sense my plan. I need to recover my artifacts if I am to power the Doombringer. Without them I stand almost no chance of doing so!
And yet, the weakness of that Mage is what has done me in. A poison is in my veins and I do not have the means to save myself. I must now attempt something risky before all is undone. Even without the Occulus and the Cerebellum Gears I may try the riskier path and use my crown to activate it. Surely my will can drive the machine. After all, it was my will which started its creation!
Amongst the notes on the desk explain the purpose of the artifacts and the machine. The Occulus allows the master of the Doombringer to sync up with the machine, while the Cerebellum Gears are placed within its head to give it the ability to process actions more quickly. The crown is the physical link between the machine and the master, allowing the two to bond and act as one. One of the notes does say however that attempting to use the Doombringer without all the artifacts risks destroying both.
On the ledge is a strange collection of boards and rods. If one places the crown on his head and thinks the name Doombringer, the Immovable Rods activate and flings themselves across the gap between the third floor and the machine. They lead around to the side of the machine where a small opening sits. The opening is large enough to hold five people and leads to a chamber within the chest of the machine.
The chamber has a small chair fitted with metal hoops. Careful observation reveals that the chair is where the pilot of Doombringer must sit, and the hoops will quickly constrict around their body if a character wearing the crown sits there. Unable to move, they will need assistance with placing the Gears into the three slots in the back of the chair as well as placing the Occulus on the pedestal before them.
When all the pieces are in place the one wearing the crown must immediately make a series of Fortitude saves. The character must make three of these saves within five minutes as the machine begins to assert it’s presence on them. Each failed save inflicts 3d10 points of damage and will require another successful machine to activate. Those who die in the chair have the life energy sucked out of them and turn to ash on the spot.
The character that succeeds fines they can no longer move their body, but feel themselves stretch out into the machine. The pain begins to fade away as true control over the machine occurs, and after centuries of waiting the Doombringer breathes at last.
With the Occulus, the Cerebellum Gears, and Horgrungr’s crown placed within Doombringer it begins to stir. Large gears begin to turn inside and ancient pistons began to move. The statue lurches forward almost immediately but soon begins to smooth out it’s awkward gate into easy steps. The wall behind the Doombringer cracks and splits apart, revealing an opening to the surface. The Doombringer instinctively begins to run down this corridor as the workshop begins to cave in.
Controlling the Doombringer is almost easy for whoever is wearing the crown. The Doombringer feels like their old body, and they can even feel the sensation of the sun shining on their metal flesh and of dust flaking off of them as they walk. The face of Doombringer contorts and stretches like their own face and their voice becomes and echoing boom that roars across the countryside. The eyes glow with divine fire.
Now that the players have reactivated the Doombringer, they are free to do with it as they please. The Doombringer is a siege engine, a religious icon, and a mechanical wonder combined as one. It increases the powers of the one piloting it but it also can inflict damage back onto them. While the Doombringer’s HP total is much higher than the player’s, if it is reduced to 0 damage it is destroyed and the player piloting it dies.
Possible uses for a restored Doombringer in your campaign:
• The Doombringer absorbs faith energy as it travels across the land. Rival faiths will seek to destroy it as it is stealing energy from their gods, while others may seek to guide it and even assist it. This energy is stored in the machine until it may reach its peak and the player may get a peak at true divinity…at which points the Avatars of the gods themselves may step in to stop them.
• Horgrungr is still alive…sort of. His spirit is bonded with the machine after his failed attempt to control it without the other two artifacts. As it gains more energy his spirit may try to surplant the player’s and bend them to his will. Those that resist are ejected from the machine and will have to face a lvl 15 Cleric/Fighter. Those who agree to serve him may see a new power rise in the world, one dedicated to War, Fire, Death, and Law. If they win they may prevent Horgrungr from becoming a power or perhaps even transfer the energy to one of their own…
• As the Doombringer crawls forth from it’s workshop a strange alarm goes off in the cockpit. The Occulus shows images of strange devices activating across the countryside. Placed there by the strange Invaders who destroyed Horgrungr’s kingdom, these giant monsters seek to wipe out the Doombringer!
• The Doombringer can be used to start/stop wars and be used as a peaceful guardian of the world, but old friends and allies of the players approach them seeking their assistance. Some want them to use the Doombringer for their own means while others seek to take it away believing it to be too much power for one group to control.
Controlling the Doombringer is simple once bonded. It reacts like the player would but on a much larger scale. It has several Feats programmed into it that the player can use in combat as the Cerebellum Gears help the player plan their attack. The only downside to the machine is that separating from it becomes next to impossible as the metal loops start to bond with the controller’s skin after more than a week’s use. (They do not need to use the bathroom while bonded with the machine.) They also have all the bonuses and drawbacks of being a character of Large size while bonded with the machine.
Optional rule: All spells cast through the Doombringer have their effects doubled, including ranges, areas of effect, and damage modifiers. This represents the metals in Doombringer increasing its power. A spell of Magic Missile may turn into a blistering barrage when fired from the construct’s eyes, or a Light spell centered on itself may turn the Doombringer into a shining beacon across the land.
Character’s HP total * 10
30 feet at full run, otherwise 20 feet
30 touch 10, flat-footed 25
slam +26 melee (1d6+20), Left Fist + 25 (2d6+20) Right Fist +25 (2d6 + 20)
Left Fist + 25 (2d6+20) Right Fist +25 (2d6 + 20)
15 ft./15 ft.
Freedom of movement, immunity to ice, Endure Elements, Dark Vision, Spell Resistance 5, immune to fire,
As Player with following modifications: Fort +10, Reflex +
, Willpower +6
Str 39, Dex 16, Con 25, Int 16, Wis 20, Cha 16
Awesome Blow, Cleave, Combat Reflexes,, Improved Sunder, Iron Will, Power Attack, Improved Spellcasting,
I. Origin (d4)
1. Born (roll on Table II)
2. Created (roll on Table III)
3. Arrived (roll on Table IV)
4. Roll again. Try harder.
II. Born (d12)
1. To hardworking parents in a fine home.
2. Dead. Revived by midwife who just arrived from another locale.
3. On The Bayou (sorry.)
4. Of the union of exiled princess and war chief of nomadic horse riding barbarians.
5. To poor parents. However, with a silver spoon in mouth (literally.)
6. Again, and this is the d1000th time it has repeated. (All prior knowledge retained. e.g Groundhog Day.)
7. To Run. Parents are wanted criminals and child grew up On The Lamb.
8. To mother who died at childbirth. Raised by father.
9. To mother who lived through childbirth. Child killed father.
10. To parents who were both hermaphrodites.
11. In a carefully controlled lab environment.
12. As a cash crop for an alien rancher who raises humanoids for food purposes.
III. Created (d10)
1. Using lightning and the bodies of d12 children who died naturally before reaching their potential. (Not morbid.)
2. Using fire and the bodies of d20 children who were sacrificed explicitly for the purpose (Morbid.)
3. From the joining of the junction elements of ice, ooze, magma, and smoke. (‘Para’-plegic?)
4. From a solid block of mycoprotein, and brought to life with hippy love songs.
5. From android parts scavenged from the vast wasteland.
6. From siamese twins, where the dominant twin consumes the passive one.
7. From an orphaned child, by raising him/her with love and affection.
8. From an orphaned child, by raising him/her in a monastery devoted to intense martial arts.
9. From a noble birthed child, by kidnapping him/her and bonding admantium to his/her skeleton.
10. From origami, using mammalian skin as the medium and wrapping the folded flesh around a core of rubies and mastodon tusks.
IV. Arrived (d8)
1. From the nearest moon base suburb.
2. From heaven, having bailed out for overly strict opiate use regulations.
From the bottom of the ocean, screaming for air while breathing oxygen
infused liquid (non compressibilty being a key feature of liquid
4. From a town rumored to exist over the mountains, but nobody has ever found.
5. As a tight alpha wave laser cast into the consciousness of the town drunk.
6. From an escape pod from a small spacecraft after a violent disagreement with the captain.
7. From an accelerated world living in a tidepool, where a tidal cycle is the equivalent of d20x100 years.
8. From the bottom of a previously thought bottomless well.
V. Gained Strength In Sorcery Through (d20)
1. Hard work and study of available materials.
2. Stealing the research materials of an existing sorcerer.
3. Stealing the scales of a demon from a wizard in a manse.
4. Eating the roots of the jimsum plant.
5. Vivisecting livestock, wild animals, and finally humans.
Gaining popularity through rhetoric, taking control of the local
congress of leaders, and executing them all while distilling their souls
7. Designing a method to block the sun from the earth, unless paid in secrets.
8. Drinking and carousing with erineyes and succubi.
9. Finding the true magnetic meridian of the planet and following to the source.
10.Burning d4 dragons eggs in a funeral pyre and allowing the superheated
11. Eating 50 eggs in a wager, and obtaining a sheaf of ancient writings as the prize.
12. Starting an underground fighting club, and learning the secrets after having been soundly beaten.
13. By marrying a green eyed Asian girl, enabling his true body to enter the plane.
14. Drinking absinthe until chartreuse tears rolled down his/her face and the secrets of magic were apparent and clear.
15. Walking an ancient pattern where any misstep of faltering will was instant death.
16. Sheer luck - finding a wonderfully powered suit of clothing. However, the instruction manual didn’t seem to be around...
17. Listening to enough Black Sabbath to be able to actually sell his soul to be the Human Obscene.
18. Getting a wonderfully detailed necklace from a shipwreck, on a deep free-dive.
19. Trading magical secrets for sexual and agricultural work.
20. Eating an entire stallions heart while still beating.
Erwin got asked to draw some pages for a golem manual. Here they are.
Here we go: Make four rolls, one for each table.
Table 1: Basic Type
1-2 Pure Elemental
3 Elemental-tainted animal
4 Elemental-tainted humanoid
5-6 hybrid-Elemental, two Elements
7 hybrid-elemental tainted animal
8 hybrid-elemental tainted humanoid
9 undead with elemental taint (pure)
10 undead Elemental taint (hybrid)
Table 2: Elements
Table 3: Attitude/Intelligence
1 Pure killing instinct
2 intelligent, wants to destroy everything
3 intelligent, just wants "home"
4 instinct, protects offspring
5 instinct, wants a mate
6 intelligent, sent by other force to retrieve something
7 intelligent, suffers intensely by being here and is angered/confused
8 intelligent & curious
9 non-sentient, hurt & confused
10 intelligent, sent by other to kill PCs
Table 4: Complications
1 constantly attracts animals of appropriate type (birds to air
elementals, moles to earth, etc.)
2 oversized. This is quite a large thing
3 tiny - maybe a mishappen experiment, maybe a natural occurance.
4 shapes environment - the Elemental will somehow alter its
environment to reflect its type
5 roll twice on this table
6 can summon more of its kind
7 can cast spells like a 1d20 lvl wizard
8 is the escaped pet of an elemental lord
9 radiates its emotions to all in a 20' radius (hilarious with result
5 of the previous table?)
10 immune to banishments
Here is my response to ___'s request for villainous NPCs to throw at his players. Please feel free to publish them, if you feel they're interesting enough.
- Greg (gragsmash.blogspot.com)
Three important virtues for heroes are skill, luck, and perseverance. Each of these is a necessary ingredient in lasting success as an adventurer.
What I was asked to create was not heroes, it was villains. So each of these three, Felix, Dexter, Hardy, are examples of a failure in one of the virtues. Felix is unlucky, Dexter pursues skill in magic but fails at every turn, and Hardy is a coward.
Played with style, these three could present a real threat to the party, or a source of comic relief (coming upon them in some unbecoming situation), or simply a vehicle for tricking the party into taking some cursed items (Dexter's ring and Felix's fauchard)
Human Fighter 5
HP 22Str 13Dex 09Con 13Int 07Wis 08Cha 07
Fauchard -1, Makes foes within 100' aware of your location (treat as pole arm)
Chain mail +1
Born under an unusually bad horological combination, Felix has been the recipient of foul luck and ill fate almost from the beginning. At the age of two his parents were killed by a fire started by a lightning strike on a cloudless night, and his scarred form was found, still breathing, and taken in by the village idiot.
Felix spent many years as little more than a beggar, sometimes a bully, and could never keep any employment aside from mercenary, violence being his only real talent. He began traveling with Hardy and Dexter several years past, and has in their company barely survived many battles, generally on the losing side. He and his company will take on nearly any assignment, save those which completely pass the moral event horizon.
His mood is generally one of restrained good-spirits, with no room for self-pity. He is convinced that his sword is a powerful magic weapon, and will not put it aside willingly.
Human thief 3
HP 6Str 11Dex 15Con 8Int 12Cha 5
Scroll case with d4 level one spells, and one second level spell.
Ring of Delusion (Wishes)
Dexter has made a life's work of failing to become a wizard. He has stolen large amounts of money at one time or another to pay for lessons, and each has turned him away as a hopeless cause.
Dexter was caught two years ago attempting to pick Felix's pocket, who took him as servant rather than taking his life. In this time the two of them has become friends, and Felix has encouraged him in his study of magic.
In extreme times, Dexter may attempt to use one of his scrolls, with a 10% chance of success, and a 10% chance of catastrophic failure, with the consequences landing upon one of his fellows. He will never believe a situation so dire as to “waste” the wishing ring, unless one of his companions is fallen.
Dexter's attitude is one of grim determination. He will do nearly anything Felix asks, even morally questionable acts. He and Hardy share a mutual contempt.
Dwarven Warrior 3
HP 17Str 10Dex 9Con 16Int 7Wis 6Cha 6
Boots of speed
Hardy is an unlikely mercenary. He was banished from his clan shortly after reaching adulthood, for cowardice in battle and abandoning a comrade to peril. His association with Felix goes back five years, when the two of them were part of a company defending a strategic position in the pay of a local noble whose regular forces were engaged elsewhere.
Hardy proved a cunning trap-smith, and has the ability to create stonework and rope traps which are deadly effective. This is indeed his only asset as a soldier, as he is in truth a rank coward. He is loathe and fearful to fight up close, preferring the use of a crossbow at range, or to skulk about looking for targets of opportunity.
Hardy has a pessimistic view of life, and will not enter any enterprise except at Felix's urging, who he respects and fears. He has the usual dwarfly distrust for magic, and only wears the boots of speed for his aversion to personal danger. He feels Dexter is wasting his time studying magic, and will say so loudly.
Mordicai Knode got a request for a post-apocalyptic encounter table..
Persistent data signal; strange patterns display on radar, sounds on radio, etc.
Cache of technology; signs of belonging to splinter group of Brotherhood of Steel.
Any mutations enhanced, cancer becomes benign or beneficial. Signs of viral infection.
Scavenged local computer system, jury rigged from over-abundant water chips.
Bloody Mess; the next NPC is haunted by the violent deaths of those around him.
A completely unlocked black building mostly covered by sand, concrete, dirt, etc.
A team of Super Mutants & Enclave troops race for a tragically malfunctioning GECK.
Children’s library, books all have the faces cut out & handwritten with explicit violence.
This flooded parking garage has turned into a home for albino alligators.
The golden record in the wreckage in the crater lends credence to its name: Voyager 4.
Skeletons lay scattered about a vacuum sealed bag containing the drug Jet.
Acid rain destroys party’s clothing, except articles made of leather.
Plaintive cries in German come from an abandoned well.
Struggling farmer has seven sons she must keep hidden from roving threats.
A disturbed gentleman asks for help finding lost cow; cow is in fact a super rodent.
Red telephone in shack connects to an unknown Vault where people still live happily.
An idyllic lake. From a distance, its outline can be made out as a reptilian footprint.
You’ve heard of bottled lightning before? This glass bottle dances with electritity.
The creatures living on the ridgeline in the distances may once have been human…
A wagon sits, axles propped up on cinderblocks. Inside are hundreds of decaying dolls.
Cyborg soldier’s mechanical limbs are malfunctioning; they act without his intending.
Cyborg soldier’s mechanical limbs are malfunctioning; he kills for flesh replacements.
These elephants must have escaped from a zoo at some point long ago.
The bomb shelter is ruined, but the wine cellar attached to it is untouched & full.
Laboratory looks like it was close to repairing a GECK before everyone killed each other.
Laboratory looks like it was close to formulating FEV before everyone killed each other.
Roadside Barbeque. The sign on the building reads: St. Mary’s Orphanage.
Struggling farmer has seven daughters he must keep hidden from roving threats.
An ape in a suit of white armor with a golden helmet & a red, white & blue sigil.
The machine struggles, flipped on its back & unable to right itself.
This stretch of road is used in cut throat no holds barred armor car races.
The woman claims to be a vampire & seems invulnerable to bullets-- & drinks blood.
Scratching at a bug bite you hit something hard; there is a microchip embedded in you.
These colours can’t be natural; the landscape seems steeped in the abstract.
An orchard of fruit trees, completely untouched. Oddly, there are no animal sounds.
Hidden amongst the bones are small children, wearing skeletons as camouflage.
This pack of wild dogs has an alpha with metal legs, metal jaws, & an intelligent mind.
The collapsed ground allows access to a forgotten mass transit system…that still runs.
Acres of land covered with burnt scattered sepia photographs, source unknown.
This must have been a statue garden or monument, but all the heads have been removed.
A flickering computer terminal allows access to an oracle that answers questions.
Bank of howitzers has been painting in peace slogans & flower power signs.
If someone enters the suit of power armor it kidnaps them, & can’t be controlled.
Golf course being grazed by strange deer; the stag must have a hundred antlers!
The people of this town all have a strange, fishy look to them, & trade in gold coins.
A functioning water pipe; tax collectors demand barter before they insert the water chip.
Creaky old warbot stuck in a long-over battle; if the players humor it, it is harmless.
EARTHQUAKE! A faultline shifts & buildings topple, destabilizing local status quo.
Vapors make characters euphoric & lightheaded, harmless but very goofy.
Silver trails in the road. Following them brings you to giant snails. They are hungry.
Sheriff of nearly abandoned town is a woman dressing as a man, armed with laser pistol.
These corpses are covered in leather armor, silver skulls, museum quality knives. A cult?
Everyone in this pueblo town has a crystal (various colours) embedded in their forehead.
The animals in this empty farm seem unmutated, but have many scars, stitches, & casts.
Haunted wind farm. Tturbines still spinning mostly, but what causes the poltergeists?
Fleet of semi-trucks coming down the road. The drivers can’t be seen behind black glass.
Blocks of ramshackle row houses seemingly in the middle of nowhere.
Everyone in this teepee settlement is dressed in a plastic Halloween costume—why?
If you can win the bare-knuckle boxing match, you can save the young child.
Aircraft seems to have landed unharmed but cockpit is welded shut…from the inside.
The green man claims to have discovered how to live without food, just sunlight.
Cars abandoned on this highway are over grown with fungus; the spores irritate the eyes.
Little girl lives in the mansion all alone, says the “monsters under the bed” protect her.
The green man claims to be half-plant, wants to use FEV to make others like him.
Buzzing sounds can be heard for miles; giant bee hive has taken over city’s skyscrapers.
The surgeon in town will put eyes in the back of your head, literally, if you pay him.
Swordfighter is headed to Lost Vegas to play guitar & maybe become King.
Why this nomadic tribe has cut out their eyes is a question difficult to answer.
Domed shaped building is a space telescope; it is focused on the moon: you see buildings.
Gangsters in zoot suits want to hire muscle against gangsters in clown suits, & vice versa.
A foreign submarine. It seems to have been working recently, but is beached now.
Miles barbed wire, fence after fence. Concentric rings of defense with dull camera eyes.
The hatch in the ground says simply: VAULT 666
Salt crystals keep growing on your gear; they jam up the works & clog guns, ruin ammo.
These primitive have co-opted government ranks: the chief is the “General,” & so on.
This oil well must have been on fire since the very first days of the fall of mankind.
The ceiling has fallen & the chairs rotten away, but this movie theater otherwise works.
The 12 nuns in gas masks that run this castle must be convinced you deserve to be let in.
Far up in the sky, following the players, seem to be…blimps? UFOs? Or…sky whales?
Cannery is probably filled with non-perishable food, but also vicious black mutant crabs.
Hovertank sitting in the middle of the bridge; it has been covered in shiny gold paint.
Beautiful female folk singer super star is also the rough & tumble male in power armor.
The fruit growing on these trees is bioluminescent, pulsing & glowing.
All this flesh couldn’t come from one body…could it? The rotten carcass is huge.
The morse code signals are being beaten on drums in the distance,
The industrial robots still work in this factory, but what’s the thing that they are building?
On top a mesa there are seven homes covered in antennae, dishes, & solar panels.
They hunt with crossbows because they are silent. The first bolt has a note attached to it.
Only one of the statis chambers is unbroken, but the man inside it seems…perfect.
The flowers are silk; animals are animatronic. The people are robots. Are all of them?
A polygynous community; men fight to the death, the survivors keep harems.
A polyandrous community; women keep herds of men, selecting most fit sperm donors.
Cuckoo Clock Land. Handmade clocks of enormous size, over seen by…whom, exactly?
The hole in the ground seems infinite; the rusted iron jutting out of it could be climbed.
A song drifts on the air; circled wagons just around the bend hide dancing ghouls.
Their symbol is the rainbow, but it is the rainbow of an oil slick. The Sickboy Army.
Townsfolk tell you that a week before, odd men in black suits were asking about you.
Next appropriate character a chosen player sees is their One True Love. Do they die?
The Beast is part mutant, part machine; part animal, part robot. Can you hide from it?
Four Rangers have after a bounty on you. Names are Death, Famine, War & Pestilence.
(cc) Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.