Friday, January 24, 2020

CollaboDungeon 02

#CollaboDungeon Number Two!

So CD01 was THE MOST COMMENTED on post I have ever had here at the blog, in six years (here on Blogger, and another 3 or 4 over on Wordpress before I moved here). So, I will mark that as successful, thus I shall continue with these as long as people are interested in collective creative.

For CD02 I went big with 23 freaking rooms, I wanted to really challenge you folks and see what you come up with. I left this one a little more bare inside so you were not forced into a certain angle. I also added some shadow as well, to spice up the map a little. If you don't like that sort of thing, I included a straight black and white - perfect for printing.

Same plan here. I post a map. You flesh it out. If you contribute, you have full rights to use the map for personal or commercial use (see legalese below). Now, go forth and create!

Legalese: Matt Jackson allows free and unrestricted use, with attribution, of the above images even in commercial usage so long as they contribute to the CollaboDungeon effort by posting their creative work in the comments to this post, or link to them in the comments. "Their creative work" means you make up something for this dungeon. Failing to comply with the sharing of creative work will release Baby Yoda's wrath upon thee.



    If the party is lucky enough to find the secret passageway leading to this room, they will discover the final resting place of Lady Ferin Rivercrow, a famous Druid and ruler of the Greenwick River barony. She was a lawful and fair ruler for her years even with the tragedies and ill-will that were directed to her in her last years.

    As you begin the descent down the stairs, the sounds of water trickling are heard. There is a small pool of water collecting at the turn of the passageway. It appears to be originating from behind the wall and running onto the floor. The water has a clear appearance and if tasted will be refreshing and calming to anyone who drinks it. They will receive a bonus to any Fear Saves for one hour. Also the door leading into Lady Rivercrow's chamber will automatically open.

    The stone sarcophagus of Lady Rivercrow is rather plain and no ornate runes or markings are on it. It would appear as a rather plain resting tomb for some unknown and common person more so than a regal and well-known ruler.

    Inside lies the skeletal remains of Lady Rivercrow. Her magical wooden Staff of Call Woodland Beings described as being 5 feet in length made of hardy Bay River Oak and is wrapped in leather. The top of the staff is adorned with a river crow symbol of the good Lady which will identify the remains found with a successful INT lore check. There are no other treasures found in this room.

    Any character who takes the Staff will find themselves over time aligning to a Lawful way if they are not already that alignment.

    The unfortunate curse of taking the Staff is within a month any characters who drank the trickling water from the passageway are cursed and die a most horrible and painful ailments unless a Remove Curse spell is received.

    GM may allow any perceptive characters who inspect the water upon leaving the tomb notice it is no longer clear and is now murky. This could allow a “hint” of things to come before death arrives.

    1. Excellent! That is great Tony, I love the idea that situations in the room have implications down the line for the characters who likely do not suspect anything. I have always been of the mind that magic's benefits have 'a cost', nothing as powerful as magic would be given freely. Good stuff!

  2. 5. Collapsed Passageways: The passage falls away into blackness. Four partially collapsed walkways jut out over the dark where the floor appears to have fallen away. Stones tossed into the void will fall for seconds before clacking to the bottom. Explorers will require flight, levitation, or creative rigging to surmount this obstacle.

    However, it is all illusory, left by the builders of the complex as a test of the devout. The floor/passageways are intact and secure, requiring only disbelief (Save at -2) and an unwavering step to negotiate. Anyone "falling" into the void will take 8d6 illusory damage (CON save or similar or be 'scared to death').

    1. Nice! I am curious to see how players react to this area. Never thought of making the hole an illusion, good thinking!

  3. 1. Greeting Lady Ferin Rivercrow
    The path winds through a copse of trees and settles at an small opening where a 5' tall stone statue of Lady Ferin Rivercrow greets travelers with arms out, and her smiling feature faded from the years of weather. In one hand she holds a staff with a river crow symbol adorning the top. The other hand, is partially damaged, missing a section of two fingers, it held out in a welcoming motion. To the right there are two stone benches to past the time in remembrance of the great druid.

    If the welcoming hand is taken, the statue pivots slightly with a click. Then a section of the hillside quietly moves to the side revealing stairs the climb up into the hill.

  4. 2. Font of Lady RiverCrow
    Light pours in from the room at the top of the stairs. There are no shadows cast within the room. A stone font in the center of the room is full to the top with a pool of still water. Mirror clear. At the bottom of the pool is the symbol of Lady Ferin Rivercrow carved into a large circular stone. An inscription written around the ledge of the pool is in three different languages. "Faithful of good deeds and pure heart, ask a question and receive the knowledge." To the north their is a wooden door made of intertwined branches and leaves. Short corridor run east and west.

    There is no benefit from drinking from the font. But if a character of lawful alignment asks a question a voice from the water echoes out and the referee should provide a truthful answer, but not complete answer. If the font is damaged or the water is polluted, a water weird rises from the pool and attacks.

    The door of branches and leaves untangle if a lawful person approaches and permits passage. For all others it remains. If attacked, it lashes out to entangle the attacker (10' reach).

    1. Very cool. I like your take on the font.

  5. 22. The Faerie Queen’s Thicket

    Small animals frolic among all the trees. Under the largest tree is a white brocade blanket, upon which sits a elderly woman. On noticing the party, she sings out:

    “Come out, come out,
    “I am the mistress of scrying.”

    As the characters approach her, she issues a warning:

    “Come and sit,
    “There is a place for all here,
    “But don’t drink the water.”

    The reference to water refers to room 15. She offers the characters food and drink. Consuming the food and drink of the Faerie Queen will restore 1d6 hit points and remove any curses or poisons. Characters may be reluctant to partake of the Faerie Queen’s provisions, but it is safe.

    If asked about other rooms, the Faerie Queen will produce a crystal ball and describe them. The only limitation to scrying is if the characters have not be there, they might not understand. If characters look at the crystal ball, they see nothing but cloudiness.

    The woman is reluctant to leave room 22, but the party can convince her to leave if they promise to take her out by the shortest route. If the party deviates from the shortest route, she will teleport back to her seat in room 22.

    If they return to her, she will sing:

    “This is my home,
    “And you have been banished.”

    No food or drink will be offered this time, and if they characters consume it, they will die in 24 hours. There will be no pain, only a sudden feeling of certain doom.

    If any character takes the crystal ball, the Queen will vanish and that character will take her place.

    The Goblin’s Henchmen’s rule is in effect, 300 words, less 1 for fun. This post draws on DMB’s song Don’t Drink the Water.

    1. Excellent, and +100xp for sticking to the GH 300 word rule!

  6. If faerie queens aren't your thing....

    22. The Path through the Trees

    About the Structure Itself
    From room 16, the corridor branches, first to the north. That hall has four flights of stairs leading deeper into the ground and into room 19. The south branch ascends a flight of stairs to room 17. After the south branch, the corridor hits three steeper flights of stairs, the third leading to a raised walkway running eastward into room 22.

    The Walkways and Platform
    The walkways and platform are constructed from think planks of wood supported by trestles, some of which descend all the way to the floor some 20 feet below. A low rail -- about thigh-high on a human -- runs along the edges of the walkways and platform. The uneven ceiling rises another 10 to 15 feet higher than the walkways and platform.

    The Trees
    The tallest of the trees scrape the bottoms of the walkways and platform. A few branches rise higher, perhaps a foot or two higher than the railing. The trees themselves have a most unhealthy appearance. Their leaves are gray, to the touch they are moist and soft. Strange lumps and horridly colored fungus spots the trees' bark. A fetid smell hangs in the air, and the stink is stronger closer to the trees.

    The Dangers
    Swarms of flying beetle-like insects lurk in the leaves. Most of the time, these creatures remain still and silent. They have keen olfactory senses, and the smell of blood provokes them into a feeding frenzy. The result is clouds of swarming bugs, each armed with powerful pincers and abdomens full of a chemical very much like pepper spray, which the insects unleash as they attack.

    The soft, moist leaves of the trees do not burn easily. Normal fire has no effect. Magical fire inflicts half damage, and the charred leaves release an acrid smoke that scalds exposed flesh and makes breathing difficult if not impossible. This smoke is heavier than air and slowly settles to the floor below. This acrid smoke does not harm the beetles (but fire does, as normal).

    The combination of beetle swarms and possible acrid smoke poses a host of hazards: blindness, coughing, asphyxiation, painful bites, loss of balance leading to a fall, et cetera.

    1. Another great entry, thanks for posting!

    2. Thanks!

      Any plans for a third (and more) map?

    3. Yes, it is already drawn and I actually started the post, got busy last weekend with the family and this week with work. It will be posted probably this weekend!

  7. 12. Demented Distraction.

    The long passageway is lit from above, in a soft orange light when viewed from the hallway. As the characters progress down the stairs, the light shifts to a strong blueish white. The light emanates from a long central beam in the ceiling.

    The alcoves are not lit at all and have deep shadows. The characters will find searching for traps or secret doors to be very difficult without their own bright light source. Torches and lanterns are insufficient to remove the penalty, but a magical light spell or a magic weapon’s glow will help. Waiting a round for one’s eyes to adjust also is beneficial.

    At the far end of the chamber is a titanic statue of a man with eight arms. Each arm holds bowl like mirror. The statue is made of steel, but show signs of distress.

    When the characters step off the last stair and on to the floor of the hallway, a bolt of energy will lance out from one of the mirrors striking a finger’s breadth in front the lead character’s foot. Every time the characters step forward, the statue fires.

    There is a pattern to the bolts, the top two left hands, the right bottom two hands, the upper right two hands, and then finally, the lower left hands. The statue responds instantly to any motion forwards, and can fire as often as necessary to lash out any and all members of the party. It can detect people that are astral, invisible, out of phase, etc. unerringly.

    If a character contrives to place an item between their foot and the bolt, the item will be vaporized without a saving throw. The character will be blown backwards 5 feet and take 1d4 points of damage.

    Likewise, firing missiles or spells at the statue causes a bolt to vaporize the missile or in the case of magic, negate the spell. There is no saving throw for this, it is automatic. Once the attack has been dealt with, the statue does not fire on the players unless they move forward again.

    Characters can step into the alcoves to avoid fire, which will likely confuse the issue.

    Retreating or moving left or right does not receive a response, so long as the person doesn’t advance towards the statue.

    There is no way to prevent the statue from firing, no way to reflect, block or deflect the bolts or hide from them. There is no solution to this puzzle. The statue unerringly fires bolts one finger’s breadth IN FRONT an advancing person’s foot.

    The statue will stop firing at a character as soon as they advance past the last alcove. Players who figure out the puzzle will find the statue to be quiet inscrutable. It is resistant to all attacks of any kind, and ignores any brute force attack made on it. It will also ignore people searching or climbing on it.

    However, if someone attempts to vandalize the statue, all eight mirrors will fire on them for 1d4 points each. This requires a normal attack roll and happens 8 times per round. Bolts that miss the vandal will NOT hit or injure other people. It will not stop firing on the vandal until they have been vaporized or they escape up the stairs leading to area 8 or around the corner to area 7. If the character returns, the statue will start firing again. In fact, it will fire on vandal as soon as they enter it’s line of sight.

    The statue is unaware of speech and will only attack the people that attempt to harm it. If the party waits 3 rounds after the vandal leaves or dies, the statue will glow bright red for 10 rounds, after which, vandal’s handiwork will be burned away.

    Behind the statue is a corpse wearing +2 chainmail, holding a wax crayon in one hand. There is also a Mace of Disruption under the corpse and in it’s Bag of Holding are three potions, to be randomly determined. If the characters are having a rough time of it, there is also map to this point showing the hidden doorways in the alcoves.

    1. Interesting. So does the statue actually fire at the characters, it appears not.

    2. It normally fires at a spot 1 finger's breadth in front of the character's foot which is an automatic miss. Unless the party messes with the statue, then it tries to kill them. And then, only the person who took the action, not those who suggested it or those who stood by.

      You can't actually be hurt by it unless you try to get too smart or vandalize the statue. It works on fear and is subverted by logic. No amount of meta-gaming, die rolls, magic, fighting, or skills will work.

  8. Rooms 13/14: Hidden in the darkness of the southwestern alcove is a glyph meaning "Hidden Mountain." Speaking the words in elven will cause a passageway to open, revealing stairs that curve down and under the long hall (12). The stairs access a burial chamber and sarcophagus inscribed in protective glyphs. Imprisoned within is the mummy of Amenaru, a priest of a discredited earth-God. if explorers remove the sarcophagus lid (he is prevented from removing it), Amenaru will arise and inquire if the earth gods walk again. If parlayed with, Amenaru will attempt to discredit Lady Rivercrow and her druidic followers, claiming them to be heretics and connivers in his god's eyes. If they would just desecrate her sanctum (Room 22) he promises great reward and blessings. If attacked, the mummy defends himself and conjures an earth elemental to his aid. Runes on the door act as a fail safe to prevent him escaping and rampaging the complex.

    1. "parlay" Jason would be so proud!

      Man, I am totally going to have to add Lady Rivercrow to campaign at this rate! Great job!

  9. Probably a silly question, but I haven’t actually used maps like these in adventures for years (since I’ve only just recently decided to try actual D&D again). Do you have a simple ‘legend’ you use for your symbols? I guess I just curious how to interpret the circles with stars in them, for example: an altar, or a pedestal with or without a statue? And room 23, for example, is that meant to be a dais with two sarcophagi? Or, can I just go with whatever takes my fancy?

    This is proving a bit more of a challenge for me - which is good. I like being pushed outside my comfort zone a bit. Just don’t want to ruin the tone with something stupid, is all.

    1. Blogger will not allow me to post images here, so I made a new post with a graphic of the symbols I (mostly) use. Yes, room 23 is a dais with two sarcophagi. BUT, use the maps as you want, drop it in paint and remove those statues if you want. I make these maps for people to use!

  10. Area 7 is comparable to a simple password protection, and can be harmless or cost a life, depending on reaction and patience.
    These stairs go up one level and down again. Intruders of typical humanoid size and weight will, upon reaching the top platform, trigger the platform to sink down. The ceiling sinks with it, resulting in the intruder getting sealed in chamber between the stairs.

    As soon as they reach the ground level, a number of bolts securing the ceiling retract.
    They can say the words: "I choose life."
    With this phrase spoken, the bolts secure the ceiling again, the chamber rises, and the intruder and companions can traverse the section safely for one round, before the mechanism activates again.
    If they do not know the phrase, they remain sealed in for one day and one night, until the chamber rises again ... or until the next person to step on the new floor will sink with the ceiling blocks and crush the unfortunate intruder.

    The platform can be bypassed if less weight than that of an adult human is applied to the square on top of the two sets of stairs.

    If the person to trigger the sinking of the chamber reacts immediately, it might be possible to jump back or forward out of the chamber and onto the stairs. This requires a DEX-save. Too slow, and the sinking ceiling will come down too fast, and part of the person will still be in the chamber, while another part is outside. The DM may decide based on the margin of failure how much of the body was outside at the moment - will it get just the arms, or a leg ... or will the adventurer be cut in half.

  11. Thanks for this great map, Matt!
    It inspired me to write an OSR dungeon, The Sepulchre of Seven.
    It took some time, but it’s now available for free on both itch and DTRPG:

    1. Wow! I just skimmed the file and holy moly, it looks amazing. Great work! I will be reading through this today. Thanks for sharing!

      On a side note, please add an attribution statement on the credit page? I looked quick and did not see one, might have missed it.

  12. Thanks, it means a lot! :)

    > On a side note, please add an attribution statement on the credit page? I looked quick and did not see one, might have missed it.

    There is one in the first section ("All rights reserved, used with permission"), though I'll be happy to update it to your specifications, if need be.

    1. Nope, you are good! I just missed it.

      Man. This is great, excellent work!