June 2006

"Sergeant, I've got a moral quandary."
"... Is that the place where you dig up religion?"
"Let's start again."
Schlock Mercenary


June 5th, 2006

The month of May was lost to World of Warcraft. I'm playing the warrior Merallen on the Emerald Dream realm. I'm also thoroughly addicted in precisely the way I promised myself I wouldn't become thoroughly addicted.

Ah well.

In other news, I have a working scanner. I don't think I mentioned it at the time, but when my computer died last fall it did something horrible to my scanner as well. This rather severely curtailed my ability to do a lot of stuff I would have liked to have been doing. For example, scanning in and backing up the maps I draw for my roleplaying campaigns.

Those of you who have been following the site for awhile may remember that I once promised to present a new sub-level for the legendary dungeon of Rappan Athuk, one of the best dungeon crawls ever published. Necromancer Games is going to be publishing an updated and revised, single-volume edition of Rappan Athuk this August, and you should definitely check it out.

The good news is that, with my new scanner set-up and ready to go, I can present not just one but TWO new sub-levels for Rappan Athuk. These will be appearing over the next couple of days.


June 6th, 2006

I am pleased to finally be able to present:

Rappan Athuk -- Level 5A: The Caverns of Mist

You'll also want the maps of Banth's Laboratory and the Cavern of Mists itself.

This new sub-level of the dungeon expands the mad, necromantic experiments of the wizard Banth. The entire level has become home to his most recent creations. Only the PCs can stop these new servants from being perverted to the needs of the demon priests, and their actions will determine whether these new creatures are to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting world...


June 7th, 2006

My creation of specific mazes for use on Level 6 of Rappan Athuk proved to be very popular. My campaign preparations for the dungeon inevitably led me to the six mazes on Level 7A. These mazes are left completely undescribed in the module. They will be detailed over the next several days:

Maze 7A-A -- The maze closest to area 7A-1

Maze 7A-B -- The maze between maze 7A-A and area 7A-3

Maze 7A-C -- The maze between areas 7A-3 and 7A-4

Maze 7A-D -- The maze between areas 7A-4 and 7A-7

Maze 7A-E -- The maze just to the east of area 7A-3

Maze 7A-F -- The maze closest to area 7A-8

GENERAL FEATURES: The halls in each maze are 10 feet wide, unless noted otherwise. The halls are finished stone with level floors which offer good footing. See the standard features for this level of the dungeon.

TELEPORT BLOCKS: The mazes on this level are shielded with teleport block spells. Characters cannot teleport into or out of the mazes. (These teleport blocks obviously do not affect the teleportals in Maze 7A-A.)

ALARMS: There is an alarm spell keyed to Kazleth's crown at the entrance an exit of all the mazes on this level. If the alarm is triggered, Kazleth will dispatch a party of phase minotaur hunters.

DESIGN NOTES: These mazes use the style of my personal campaign notes, rather than any official style guide. In particular, you'll note the short descriptions of creature abilities designed to jog my memory at the gaming table. My goal with these mazes was to find elements which would give each maze a unique gameplay above and beyond the simple mechanics of “find your way through”.

Maze 7A-A -- The Vault

TROPHY HEADS: The walls of these galleries are lined with incorporeal trophy heads. Species of every sort and variety are present: Humans, elves, goblins, and dwarves are prominent. Umber hulks, basilisks, a beholder, three dragons, a bulette, wererats, adrak, a mind flayer, and unicorn among others. A wide variety of common animals. 

Although incorporeal, these trophy heads are solid upon the Ethereal Plane. If brought back to the Material Plane, they would have a collective worth of 5,000 gp (and a weight of 10,000 lbs.).

TELEPORTALS: With the exception of the entrances to the Vault, the other passages between the galleries are teleportals. Passing through a teleportal will pass the characters into another teleportal with the same letter (determine randomly). For example, if the characters pass through A2 they will emerge from A1, A2, A3, or A4 (roll 1d4 to determine which) heading in the same direction.

Any given teleportal will keep its “encoding” for 1 minute after someone passes through it. So if more than a minute passes between characters passing through a passage, they may end up in different places.


June 8th, 2006

Maze 7A-B -- The Hunting Grounds

POISONED SPIKES: Vicious, poison-soaked, blood-encrusted spikes line the walls throughout this maze.

             d20      Poison

            1-3       Purple worm poison (Fort DC 24; Initial 1d6 Str; Secondary 2d6 Str)

            4-6       Large scorpion venom (Fort DC 18; Initial 1d6 Str, Secondary 1d6 Str)

            7-9       Naga venom (Fort DC 18; Initial 1d8 Con; Secondary 1d8 Con)

            10-12   Demon’s blood (Fort DC 18; Initial 2d6 Con; Secondary 2d6 Con)

            13-15   Deathblade ( Fort DC 20; Initial 1d6 Con; Secondary 2d6 Con)

            16-17   Ghostspider venom (Fort DC 18; Initial 1d8 Dex; Secondary 2d8 Dex)

            18        Madness Lotus (Fort DC 18; Initial 1d6 Wis ; Secondary confusion)

            19        Thornvine poison (Fort DC 15; Initial Blindness 1d4 hours; Secondary 0)

            20        Nitharit ( Fort DC 13; Initial 0; Secondary 3d6 Con)

MINOTAUR TACTICS: The phase minotaurs love to phase in, grab a character, and then thrust them onto a spike. Then they simply phase away again… only to come back later and do it again, slowly killing their victims in a torturous gauntlet.


June 9th, 2006

Maze 7A-C -- Labyrinth of Ethereal Pits

ETHEREAL PITS: The sections of the floor labeled “T” on the map will turn ethereal 50% of the time when a character crosses them. If the character fails a Reflex save (DC 22), the character drops into a 20’ pit and the entrance to the pit solidifies for 1d4 hours.

Rogues can detect these sections of the floor (Search DC 34), but they can’t be disabled. A dispel magic will suppress the effect for 1d4 rounds, causing the ethereal floor to disappear onto the Ethereal Plane (leaving the pit open).

MINOTAUR TACTICS: The phase minotaurs will generally wait for a character to fall into a pit, and then gang-attack them while they’re trapped. If the PCs are avoiding the pits (by jumping or flying over them), the phase minotaurs may attempt to phase in and either push or throw them into the pits.


June 10th, 2006

Maze 7A-D -- Labyrinth of Flame

HEAT: This entire labyrinth is extremely hot. Characters must make a Fortitude save every hour (DC 15 + 1 for each previous check) or suffer 1d4 points of nonlethal damage. Characters wearing heavy clothing or armor of any sort suffer a -4 penalty on these saves. (Characters with the Survival skill may be able to gain a bonus to this check and may be able to aid others, as well.)

WALLS OF FIRE: These are actually two walls of fire placed “back to back”. Passing through these areas deals 2d6+10 points of damage. Anyone standing within 10’ of either side of a wall suffers 2d4 points of damage per round. Anyone between 10’ and 20’ away suffers 1d4 points of damage per round. (Double damage to undead creatures.) The walls can be destroyed if they take 40 points of cold damage, reforming 10 minutes later. Dispel magic will suppress a wall for 1d4 rounds.

LAVA POOL: 2d6 points of damage per round of exposure (20d6 per round of complete immersion). Damage continues 1d3 rounds after exposure, but only half that suffered during the exposure (1d6 or 10d6).

FIREBALL TRAP (A): These areas unleash 10d6 fireballs. ( Search DC 28, Disable Device 28)

FLAME GEYSER (B): These areas have geysers of flame which shoot up constantly from the floor. Anyone passing through a geyser takes 10d6 points of damage per round spent in the geyser.The geysers only shoot up 8 feet, so they can be flown over. However, the superheated air above them will inflict 1d6 points of damage.

ICEBALL (C): This area unleashes a 10d6 iceball (Search DC 28, Disable Device 28).


June 11th, 2006

Maze 7A-E -- The Flooding Maze

ALARM AND TRIGGER: In addition to alerting Kazleth, the alarms at the entrances to this maze also cause the entrances to the maze to seal with an adamantium block 10 feet thick (hardness 20, 4800 hp) and begin filling with water. After 10 minutes (100 rounds), the maze will be completely full of water. The maze will remain full for 1d3 days before draining and unsealing.

LEVERS: There’s a lever just inside both entrances of the maze. The only way to exit the maze after its begun filling with water is to pull the lever next to the door on the other side of the maze.


June 12th, 2006

Maze 7A-F -- Maze of Confusion

CONFUSION GAS: A gas causing a directional confusion fills the maze. Character must make a Fortitude saving throw (DC 20) each round they remain in the maze. Once they’ve failed their check, there’s a 50% whenever giving directions (left/right) that the character will get the direction wrong. This effect persists until the character is no longer exposed to the gas (by exiting the maze, for example).

The phase minotaurs are immune to the confusion gas.

June 13th, 2006

The mazes for Level 7A of Rappan Athuk, as presented over the past several days, have now been compiled into single, easy-to-download documents available through the Creations page (see link above).

Tomorrow (or possibly the next day) we'll have a brand new sub-level for the dungeon. And then we'll move onto something completely different.