Friday, April 30, 2010

In The Labyrinth... (long)

NEW FEATURE! For what it is worth, I'm going to start building a dungeon... well really a bunch of dungeon encounters. I'll make a map of the encounter and detail the contents and the flow of the encounter. I don't know how long I'll do this or how good it will be, but wtf it's worth doing at least once right? I'm going to use the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons because I really like the rules even if I don't play them.  I will post a map of the encounter and the stat blocks for any monsters involved. I'll do my best to not make the maps obscured but who knows what it will end up like, I'm sort of unpredictable.

So, without further ado... ENCOUNTER 1 - Blackblade Ambush

This encounter is designed to be dropped into any dungeon, and the map is designed in the 4E method of 1sq = 1sq so that means much of the passages here are tight, which makes tactics difficult. It is a level 2 encounter designed for a party of four level 1 characters. The party could conceivably enter from any of the three directions marked with blue arrows. There is one secret door at the bottom of the map marked with hashes but all others are both unlocked and not trapped.

The goblin blackblades are waiting in ambush for any prey to come through. They are on a hunting party for their tribe and need both food and resources so they intend to kill what ever wanders through here and rob it of its flesh and what ever is useful (from a goblins point of view). They have been waiting a while though and the three clustered together are talking amongst themselves implying they may not notice stealthy adventurers. The two behind the statue are waiting with patience unlike a goblin, most likely due to fatigue and hunger. There are three things of importance in the area; the statue, the secret door and the chest...

The Statue: Squat and ugly the poorly carved brown stone statue is either an artists poor attempt at a anthropomorphic octopus or one of the many disgusting idols of the under dark. Clutched in one nearly formless hand is a silver holy symbol, it looks out of place, clean and shiny and particularly useful. A DC 10 Arcana skill check will give the indication of this being a badly built mind flayer statue, but this may not be so. The holy symbol is actually a +1 magic holy symbol and how it got there is anybodies guess.

The Chest: Located in a small chamber to the east; An old wood and bronze chest, not dusty but not in the best condition. The chest is not locked or trapped and it contains a suit of +1 Magic Scale Armor that is obviously of Eladrin make with a slight blue tinge to it. The armor includes a larger right hand gauntlet indicating this should be the sword arm and a partial helmet that obscures the wearer's face providing some protection but little against concussion. The armor is guarded by and old curse that the local monsters know of, if it is lifted from the chest two giant rats will appear and attack the character that took the armor without exclusion. At one time the curse was much more powerful but it has eroded over the centuries and now the best it can summon is the giant rats. Of note though is that the curse will remain with the owner of the armor and if someone takes it from them either through theft or guile then they will be attacked by a pair of giant rats as well.

The Secret Door: If the players come from the east side of the door then they will clearly see it is a secret door, otherwise it requires a Perception skill check DC 25 to find. The goblin blackblades do not know about this secret door and they could very well be rudely surprised by a party coming through this passage.

Other Odds and Ends: there is a handful of objects in the area that may or may not interest the party. In the small west chamber is a bundle of 4 torches, one of which is burnt to uselessness. Right outside the door to this room is a crude clay and string necklace that looks like a tooth (Perception DC 15 to see this in the gloom). Right outside the statue's chamber to the door the double doors have a scrawled chalk message that seems no more than a few weeks old, it reads "Beware the beholder!", this could cause some consternation if misinterpreted and the Dungeon Master may want to pull a nasty trick with the statue that could be misinterpreted by the players perhaps expending valuable resources.

Battle Script: The goblin blackblades are no great tacticians and they will perform a simple pincher maneuver. The larger cluster will attempt to assault the party head on and the pair by the statue will attempt to flank to the rear of the party to kill weak characters or cause general havoc. If the party uses choke points to their advantage the goblins will back off, hiding in another passage, hoping to ambush them or gain some advantage.

(As a side note I used the Donjon RPG tools to generate the encounter monsters and treasure, it is really nice, you should check it out... http://donjon.bin.sh/ )

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