Friday, June 14, 2024

New Monster - Telluric Slink

We'll be reskinning and modifying the Carrion Crawler to create this monster. The base stats are in the 5e Monster Manual page 37.

Telluric Slinks were created in one of the many laboratories within Ghul's Labyrinth below Ptolus. They are one of a vast number of aberrations born into the Squirming Horde and unleashed against the forces of good during the Ghul War.

Nearly 9' long and weighing close to 600lbs., the Slink is covered in a thick mass of long black hair. Its bulbous head has two slavering mouths filled with jagged teeth. Jutting out of where its eyes would be are two nest-like bundles of fine metal wires.

An apt description of the creature would be "an enormous hairy slug made of muscle, electricity, and evil".

Below are the changes to the Carrion Crawler. All other stats remain as written.

Increase the Armor Class to 14

Replace the climb speed with a swim speed of 10'

Replace Darkvision with Blindsense, same range.

Remove Keen Smell, Spider Climb and all Carrion Crawler attacks.

Add Immunity to electricity.

Modify the remainder as follows:

Multiattack. The Telluric Slink makes two attacks. Two bites against the same target or one bite and one sweeping slam against separate targets.

Sweeping Slam. Melee weapon attack: +4 to hit, reach 5' one or more creatures directly to either the left or right of the Telluric Slink. Hit: 2d6+2 bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC13 Dexterity saving throw or become prone.

Bite. Melee weapon attack: +4 to hit, reach 5' one creature. Hit: 1d6+2 piecing damage.

Telluric Burst. All creatures within 10' of the Telluric Slink must make a DC13 Dexterity saving throw or take 3d6 electric damage. Recharge 5-6.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

Dungeon of the Fire Opal - Dungeon Magazine 84 (part 3: areas 14 through 18)

Continuing the restocking of the dungeon. We cover areas 14 through 18.

Unless otherwise stated, all areas are unlit.
Unless otherwise stated ceiling height is 10 feet. In areas 14, 16, and 17 the ceilings are 20 feet.
All secret doors require a DC14 or better perception to spot.
All areas other than 0, 1, and 3 are grey stone.

Area 14: In the 10 foot section closest to area 13 is a 2 foot smear of pinkish slime. It is harmless, but smells horrible. Otherwise the chamber is empty.

Area 15: Recent bloodstains mark the floor in front of the large steel door. The door is locked. The black metal key from area 7 unlocks this door. The lock shows signs of scratching and there are half a dozen small dents around it. 

Narrow stone tables run along the walls. Wooden cabinets are hung above each of them. Canisters of various types are scattered about the tables along with numerous alchemical tools. 

A metal cart with a wooden top sits just to the south of the doorway. On the cart are 6 sealed glass bottles, each with some sort of chalky blue residue in the bottom. Opening a bottle releases a toxic gas. Any creature within 10 feet of the opened bottle must make a DC12 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious for one minute. Saving throws may be repeated at the end of a creature's turns with a success ending the condition.

Spending 10 minutes performing a search of the room results in the following discoveries and encounters: 3 glass jars with cork lids contain gold, silver, and copper dust worth, 177 gold, 81 gold, and 17 gold pieces worth of material; 4 small stone jars containing ground chunks of obsidian, beryl, moonstone, and garnet worth a total of 97 gold pieces worth of material to the right buyer; dozens of containers of herbs, powders, and other reagents worth an additional 53 gold pieces for those that retain potency; the equipment and tools are worth 1,300 gold pieces if they can be safely transported and sold.

A cabinet in the northwest corner holds a large ceramic jar leaning against the inside of the door. It will fall, breaking and splattering the closest creature with Green Slime. 5e Dungeon Masters Guide page 105

Area 16: Bits and pieces of armor, equipment, clothing and bone litter this area. What was once a dead body has been savagely ripped apart. The remaining items of value include a dagger in its sheath, a small pouch containing 4 gold pieces, 23 silver pieces, 8 copper pieces, and 2 small bits of blue quartz worth 5 gold each.

Area 17: Bathed in an eerie orange glow this room is crisscrossed by dozens of wire cables. Some lead to the glowing hemispheres on the ceiling while others sink into the floor around a 10 foot by 10 foot rusted metal trap door, and others connect to a strange machine just beside it. Movement through the room is treated as difficult terrain. Moving any faster requires a DC12 Dexterity saving throw. Failure results in becoming prone. 

Beside the south side of the trap door is a large machine taking up the 10 foot square and reaching nearly to the ceiling. Strange tubes and protrusions cover the device. On the south side are three levers and a panel shaped like a hand. The right hand lever is in the down position and the other two are in the up position.

The right lever controls power to the overhead lights. It is currently in the on position. The center lever sends power to the mass of unconnected cables scattered about the floor. Falling prone while this switch is on results in taking 2d6 electric damage upon falling and at the start of any turn the creature is prone. The left lever sends power to area 18 below the trap door.

Area 18: Telluric Slink creation pit. The trap door is rusted shut requiring a DC20 Strength check to open. Beneath the door is a deep pit filled with a dark blue liquid 10 feet below the rim and a further 20 feet deep. A mild alcohol smell exudes from the pit. Sending power to the pit causes the fluid to begin bubbling and the smell becomes stronger.

Creatures falling into the liquid or imbibing the liquid are immediately made violently ill requiring a DC17 Constitution saving throw. Failure results in taking 4d10 poison damage and having the poisoned condition for 24 hours. Success results in half damage and the poisoned condition for 1 hour. If the power to the pit is on, anyone entering the liquid also takes 2d6 electric damage at the start of their turns that they remain in the liquid.

Encounter: A mature Telluric Slink rests in a state of torpor at the bottom of the creation pit. Creatures entering the liquid disturb its rest. One round after a creature enters the liquid the Slink will move to attack. (see blog post New Monster - Telluric Slink for stats)

Friday, May 31, 2024

Dungeon of the Fire Opal - Dungeon Magazine 84 (part 2: areas 7 through 13)

Continuing the restocking of the dungeon, we cover areas 7 through 13.

Unless otherwise stated, all areas are unlit.
Unless otherwise stated ceiling height is 10 feet.
All secret doors require a DC14 or better perception to spot.
All areas other than 0, 1, and 3 are grey stone.
If you choose to include random encounters here are some suggested creatures for areas 1 through 13: All of these are from the 5e Monster Manual beginning with page 323;  Giant Centipede, Giant Fire Beetle, Phase Spider, Swarm of Insects, Bandits. Roll a d8 for encounters and on results 7 & 8 use these two events: 7 - a soft hum can be heard with no discernable direction, 8 - a mild vibration can be sensed through the soles of the feet. 

Note: When characters reach the hallway outside rooms 7 or 10, the creature in Area 22 begins to move through other areas each time characters proceed beyond those locations. See Area 22 for details.

Area 7: Bunk beds line the walls. Two footlockers have been broken open and the contents dumped into a pile in the middle of the floor. The pile of old threadbare clothes hold nothing of value. Tucked under one of the lower bunks is a black metal key. Characters find the key if they spend one minute searching.

Area 8: An old desk sits near the southeast corner of the room. All drawers have been ransacked. The seat and back of a chair lay on the floor, the legs are missing and there are signs that they were broken off. Empty shelves line the remaining walls. 

Encounter: A pair of Dretch immediately attack anyone entering this room. 5e Monster Manual page 57. They fight until destroyed and will pursue retreating characters throughout the dungeon, only stopping at the exit.

Area 9: The walls are covered with defaced and rotted tapestries depicting Ghul and his armies slaying elves and dwarves. A small stone altar is centered on the floor and shows signs of abuse. Chips of stone surround the altar.

Area 10: This long corridor leading to area 11 has 6 doors. These rooms were once cells holding prisoners.

A - Piles of bones from prisoners litter the floor and reaching halfway up the walls.

B - Two of these cells are empty. Opening the third triggers this event: Shrieking Soul - The ghostly visage of a horribly tortured elf sits chained against the wall. It begins to scream requiring all creatures within a 60 foot range to make a DC15 Wisdom saving throw each round, taking 2d6 damage (half on a success) for one minute (10 rounds). Closing the door does not stop it. A successful turn undead pacifies the Shrieking Soul for 24 hours. Make a random encounter check if this event occurs with the encounter happening after the shrieking ends.

Area 11: Collapsing shelves line the walls in the northeast and southwest of the room. In the southeast 10 feet the floor is stained and cracked. There is a ring of corrosion amid the stains, where a large circular object once sat. When a character approaches the southeast corner an apparition appears of two gnarled looking orcs using wooden prods to force a struggling elf down into an iron tub of liquid. The elf has the twisted appearance of a Harrow Elf.

Areas 12 & 13. Both areas are empty with the exception of random bits of debris. A careful examination of area 13 lasting 1 minute leads to finding a small flawed pearl worth 25 gold pieces.

Friday, May 17, 2024

Dungeon of the Fire Opal - Dungeon Magazine 84 (Part 1: areas 0 through 6)

The Dungeon of the Fire Opal as it is called here, is a restocking/reimagining of the original sample dungeon from the 1st edition AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide. I used to stare at that section of the 1e DMG and mentally try to stock the rest of the dungeon. Only the first few rooms were described since it was being given as an example of play.

With the launch of 3rd edition D&D they revisited the dungeon map, fully stocking it and giving it a background story, that of the ruin of a monastery once run by evil monks who had a great treasure in the form of a fist shaped fire opal reputed to have magic power.

Since I'm going through issues of Dungeon Magazine looking for adventures to link to a Ptolus campaign, I thought it might be fun to once again take this classic map and restock it to represent a section of Ghul's Labyrinth beneath the city.

Occasionally it might be interesting to reskin and modify a monster, and to make new traps and events to experience. 

So let's get started: If you need a quest giver to send the party on their way consider Wynn Rabinall, leader of the Order of the Fist. He has received word that a magic item in the form of a fist shaped fire opal may be in this area of the dungeons. He has asked the group to check out the rumor.

Unless otherwise stated, all areas are unlit.
Unless otherwise stated ceiling height is 10 feet.
All secret doors require a DC14 or better perception to spot.
All areas other than 0, 1, and 3 are grey stone.
If you choose to include random encounters here are some suggested creatures for areas 1 through 13: All of these are from the 5e Monster Manual beginning with page 323;  Giant Centipede, Giant Fire Beetle, Phase Spider, Swarm of Insects, Bandits. Roll a d8 for encounters and on results 7 & 8 use these two events: 7 - a soft hum can be heard with no discernable direction, 8 - a mild vibration can be sensed through the soles of the feet. 

Area 0: Beyond the shattered remains of what was once a glass and bronze door is a polished pale green set of steps leading ahead and downward 30 feet.

Area 1: The pale green stone here matches that of the stairway, smooth and polished, appearing almost as if it is a single piece. The scent of ash from a recent fire meets your nose.

A - In the center of the room is a pile of ash and charcoal from where someone recently lit a fire. Around the remains of the fire are sooty footprints leading back toward the stairs. On the ceiling directly above where the fire had been is a soot stain.
B - In the corner is a pile of torn cloth. Investigating the scraps of cloth reveal by their smell that they once held bits of hard cheese and jerky.
C - Down this short hallway is a stout wooden door slightly ajar. The sound of running water can be heard from beyond the portal.

Area 2: The door opens into a cave chamber with a ceiling height of 15feet. There is a stream running through it with a wider pool toward the far end. Laying face down near the center of the room is a plate armor clad body with its head submerged in the pool. It is wearing a sword in its sheath and has a backpack still strapped on. In the pool can be seen small white fish lacking eyes. The fast flowing stream is clean and fresh.

Encounter - The body is a mimic that took this form when it detected noise in area 1. It will attack if disturbed. 5e Monster Manual page 220.

 Area 3: The ceiling here is 30 feet high. The walls here are of a sickly yellow colored stone. Along the east and west walls are a total of 6 semi-transparent glass and steel cylinders, 12 feet tall and 5 feet in diameter. Four of them are filled with a greyish liquid and large shadowy forms can be seen floating inside. Two along the east wall are broken, the liquid spilled across the floor. There is a strange wet form laying on the floor half out of one of the broken cylinders. The creature is a log mass of hair with a bulbous head. Protruding from what passes for eye sockets are nests of fine metal wires.

A - Creatures crossing the threshold into this chamber must make a DC12 Charisma saving throw. Success results in a tingling sensation along their arms and back. Creatures failing the roll also suffer 1d6 Psychic damage and have the poisoned condition for 1 minute. Additional saves may be made at the end of the creature's turn to end the condition. Creatures succeeding on the saving throw or for whom the condition ends are immune to the effect for 24 hours.

B - Metal scaffolding is erected along the south wall reaching to a height of 20 feet. The center 30 feet of wall beginning 10 feet above the floor are covered with large steel panels. The center section of steel panels conceals a wide secret door. 

Areas 4 & 5: Stored here are basic supplies including lengths of rope, leather sacks, iron spikes, lamp oit, shovels, pick axes, hammers, and the like. The rooms have obviously been explored and several crates have been opened. Hidden in the secret crawl space (3 foot by 3 foot) between rooms 4 & 5 is a small chest containing 134 copper pieces, 76 silver pieces, 13 gold pieces, and 3 small pieces of jade worth 25 gold each. The chest is locked and protected by a poison needle trap, DC15 perception check to detect. DC 13 Dexterity saving throw to avoid. Failure results in 2d10 poison damage and the poisoned condition for 1 hour.

Area 6: Immediately inside the door is a pit trap, 10 feet deep requiring a DC13 Dexterity check to avoid. The mechanism for disarming the trap and leaving the floor in place is to open the door outward. A well preserved human body lies at the bottom of the pit. If investigated it has a short sword, dagger, leather armor, and a potion of healing.

The surfaces of this room are coated in a thin rime of frost. The temperature is slightly below freezing. The walls are lined with metal shelves holding small crates of food stuffs including raw meat. Spaced every 10 feet on the ceiling are 1 foot by 1 foot metal boxes. These boxes cause 1d4 cold damage if touched. Breaking one open (Strength check DC 20 or 10 points of damage from blunt weapons) releases Brown Mold. 5e Dungeon Masters Guide page 105.

For every 1 minute of time spent in the room using a lit torch, the temperature drops 10 degrees. After a 30 degree and greater reduction, creatures are required to make a DC12 Constitution check. Failure results in 1d4 cold damage. When the temperature is reduced by 60 degrees or greater, another saving throw is required to avoid further cold damage and a level of exhaustion. These checks continue for every minute spent at these lower temperatures.

Friday, May 3, 2024

The Dice Are A Treasure Hoard

 My inner dice goblin recently went on a collecting binge and the results are interesting.

Here are some of the shiny, clickety-clackety math rocks I recently accumulated.

Also shown - Scroll of Rolling 2 which has compartments with containers for dice or miniatures. 

Friday, April 19, 2024

Magic Item: Mirror of Dire Portent

Brahl screamed in terror and pain as he stared into the mirror. "It has me! It has me!" 

The mirror had shown him a possible future in which he would suffer a horrible outcome. In this instance an unseen creature, obscured by mists or smoke, lashed onto him with barbed tentacles and began squeezing the life from him. The image was just an image, but the pain was very real.

Stenodus had placed the mirror here on purpose, surmising that his enemies would be vain and conceited, pausing to gaze into the dire device. His own earlier perusal had warned him of the flames that would consume much of his flesh when their sorcerer attacked. 

Mirror of Portent

The tall mirror is framed in a polished brass stand and bears the word Prophesy embossed above the glass.  Looking into the mirror results in the viewer receiving a full sensory experience of a possible future event. The vision requires the viewer to make a DC14 Wisdom saving throw. Failure results in 2d6 psychic damage and when the possible future comes about, suffering the frightened condition for up to one minute, and making a DC14 Wisdom saving throw to recover from the frightened condition at the beginning of each turn after the first turn. Success on the initial saving throw results in 1d6 psychic damage and no fear condition being imposed during the encounter or event depicted. All depictions are vague and uncertain, though very real to the person gazing into the mirror.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Ptolus Campaign Wayward Sons is Dust in the Wind

 After a long stretch of time dealing with vision problems I was trying to get the campaign back on track, but alas it is not to be.

I'm also trying to get the in-person group back to the table. We'll see if that happens.