Sorry for the delay on content but I have always had trouble designing puzzle-based adventures and writer’s block was an issue as well this time. The one drawback so far to blogging here seems to be posting hand drawn maps so for the design of the Tower you will have to use your own judgement (and my less than ideal descriptive skills) until I can finally figure this out.
PS: Next up will be the D20 Modern Horror Combat System so expect that in the next 2 weeks.
Adventure 3 : Dirtwood the Glorious vs. Satan’s Army!
Part 1 : The Scavenger Hunt…. Of Evil!
Well, Dirtwood found you and is begging for your help to stop the followers of Satan from destroying the Spear of Destiny and the Holy Grail. Dirtwood isn’t sure where either object is but thankfully neither do Satan’s minions. While he frantically researches their locations he wishes to send you to a place where you can find objects of power to help you defeat the Forces of Satan. As far as Dirtwood can tell so far Satan and his Army are looking for these Holy Relics to somehow expel God from Gaul and England making Satan the only deity available for worship in either land.
Despite being only a 9th level Hedge Wizard, Dirtwood works within his limitations. He has developed a Ritual Magic spell that allows him to Teleport Without Error up to 12 individuals within the boundaries of England, but it requires 24 hours to cast. Any interruption longer than a single movement only action or free action (such as drinking water or peeing) will disrupt the spell and it must be started over. All the recipients must remain within a 24 foot diameter magic circle for the duration of the spell with anything and everything they can fit within that area.
But before Dirtwood performs that magic ritual he must tell you a tale…
There is a place, deep within the Forest of Dean.
It is a dark place, a corrupt place, nothing grows there
…except grass…and lots and lots of rabbits.
At the center of this dark vale, this sleepy hollow if you will….there resides a tower.
A tower of black basalt, even though it looks like it is constructed of hewn blocks, the tower is of a piece unto itself. As if one day it grew straight up from the ground.
Atop this Tower is a light, sometimes green, sometimes golden, sometimes the brightest white.
Where there is Light there is Treasure, at least that’s what my father used to say, the sceevy old codger. I am going to send you to this dark hollow and you will get the treasures hidden away there to help in your quest against Satan’s Army. The omens I have read tell me this to be so.
The Black Tower of Dean
The Tower is 90’ tall from base to the top of the cupola,110‘ wide at the base and 40‘ wide at the battlement. The battlement has a 10’ wide parapet and 5’ tall crenelation with the cupola situated in the center, the cupola has a 5’ tall and 2’ wide slit on each of its four sides. It is formed from a single block of black basalt that seems to be carved to look as if it made from carved blocks, the seams being 5’ apart vertically and 7’ horizontally (Climb DC 22 on dry days, DC 30 in the rain, luckily it hasn‘t rain in the last week here). If a climber reaches the arrow slits at 50” (2nd floor) a Swarm of Bats (MM pg. 237) will issue from the closest slit and attack the Hero until she falls or somehow defeats them. It is comprised of 3 internal floors as well as the 10’x10’ cupola on top. The bottom floor comprises a single barren 70’x70’ room with a plain dirty floor. The Tower sits in the center of a 300’ radius clearing covered in 3-Eyed Energized Bunnies, they sit exactly 5’ apart, each bunny sits in the middle of a 2’ radius circle of bare ground with a verge of green grass between the circles around each bunny. The cupola will be glowing with a white light upon the arrival of the Heroes. It changes colour dependent on certain events, the light will become golden when a rabbit is killed or the shadow is defeated or the Dot Room is solved. 5 rounds after the first Bunny is killed the light will turn green for one round and all dead Bunnies will be replaced by new ones popping straight out of the ground. The light will also turn green 5 rounds after the Heroes exit the Shadow Room or the Dot Room and those rooms will also reset. And finally, when the Heroes reach the cupola and remove the items found in the geode, it will turn red and within 5 rounds the Tower will begin to sink into the earth forever. This process will take 5 rounds as well.
Challenge the First : Death By Bunny Electrocution
When the Heroes teleport in they will be on the edge of the clearing under the shelter of the surrounding trees. Initially, the Heroes won’t notice the third eye on the bunnies unless they make a Spot Check DC 12. After a few minutes the 3rd eye will become obvious though. The first challenge will be to find away through the bunnies without dying from slow electrocution.
Three-Eyed Energized Bunny
Use the stats for Rat (MM pg. 278) with the following alterations:
Hit Dice: ¼ (2 hit points)
Speed: no climb
Attack: Static Shock +4 Touch (1hp damage), automatic attack once per round per Size S being within 2’ of the Bunny (that includes other Bunnies, yes that means mating is very quick), or 5’ for Size M and larger.
Feats: Improved Initiative, Alertness, Cannot be caught flat-footed.
Challenge the Second : The Dot Room
When the Heroes walk up the stairs the first character that sets foot on the floor of the Dot Room will instantly trigger the trap and hear a distinctive tinkling noise as he does so. The 10’ squares surrounding the stairs will be blank slate until stepped on, at which point a single round 3” diameter white dot will appear in the center of the slate square. As long as the Heroes step on the next consecutively dotted floor panel nothing will occur. If a Hero should step on a panel out of numerical order he will immediately take 1d6 per dot on that panel of electrical damage (Fort Save DC 22 for half damage). He will continue to take that damage per round thereafter until he steps back onto the last safe panel. Once a Hero reaches the 6 dot panel he may continue forward on a single dot panel. If a Hero steps on one of the 2 panels designated with an X-O pattern he will take 7d6 damage (Fort Save DC 25 for half). A Hero may also safely walk back along the path in reverse numerical order at any time as well as long as he is following his original path.
Challenge the Third : The Shadowy Jawbone of Shadow
This cramped 30’x30’ room is shrouded in deep shadows, all light sources can only illuminate a 5’ radius (with the exception of very powerful divine magic). When the Heroes finally stumble upon the ladder the first light that strikes the human lower jawbone lying on the floor in front of it will trigger the waking of the Shadow Beast. The jawbone appears to be carved from a single piece of black basalt in exquisite detail. It will rise from the floor to become the lower jaw of the shadow creature that attacks the party. During the course of the entire encounter there will be a low whistling issuing from the jawbone as the Shadow blows between its teeth constantly. It is completely immune to normal damage except to the jawbone. Any silver, cold iron or magic weapon that strikes the shadow will cause it to recoil as if in pain but will not in fact hurt it. Use the stats for Shadow (MM pg. 221) except that its DEX is 18 (AC 14) and it does normal damage with each strike instead of STR and this is truly a shadow and is not Undead so it cannot be turned. To hit the jawbone requires a called shot to the mouth (-6 to hit). The jawbone only has 9 hit points though.
When the jawbone has taken 9 points of damage it will fall inert to the floor and the shadows will flee from the room, returning it to normal illumination. The light in the cupola will respond accordingly and in 5 rounds will turn green and reset the room trap.
The Finale : The Cupola
Once the Heroes ascend the ladder they will find an even more cramped 10’x10’ room with a large blindingly bright light source in the center. With a successful Spot Check (DC 13) the character will be able to discern that it is in fact a large chest made out of pure clear crystal. Another Spot Check (DC 14) will also discern a number of objects lying at the center of the light. As long as a Hero reaches in with both hands he will grasp and pull out the one treasure he most needs (by item type not power level). If he reaches in with only one hand then the Hero receives 2 points of electrical damage, every time he tries it and he will pull back nothing as a result. This process will continue, double-reach-pull-out-treasure, until everyone that entered the Shadow Room has pulled out an item, at this point the light will turn an angry but viewable red and the whole Tower will shudder. After 5 rounds of shuddering the Tower will slide back into the Earth forever (this process will take a mere 3 rounds). The Heroes can either attempt to race to the bottom and out, quite possibly being buried alive in the process, or else they can exit through the concealed door on the north side of the cupola (Spot Check DC 14 but only after the light has gone red). The cupola will remain above ground so the characters will be safe upon the parapet or exiting the cupola after the Tower has sunk.
End-note: Unbeknownst to the Heroes this Tower was a magical experiment being conducted by the Daouine Sidhe Lord, Malbinogre. With enough time and divination magic he will eventually find out who desecrated and looted his property.