Memories of Connor's Adventures

Orlando the Adventurer pulled a Scimitar from beneath his Robes and smiled...

Monday, 17 June 2019

Dungeon Delve: The Netherspike (Encounter Areas 7-18)

Once the Player characters are dragged into the Roots of Netherspike they may conclude that the Netherspike is something other than a simple dungeon considering the same darkness beyond the Iron Gate will lead them into the 'roots' or the 'temple' of Netherspike. Some consider the Netherspike to be the remains of an Interdimensional Tree. Others consider it a Planar Kraken. Perhaps its both. Other than the Ogre in area 14, there isnt anything dangerous to the PCs in this part of the dungeon other than the long fall if they make a mistake.

6b- Dwarves pulled into the roots might begin to notice that the tunnel floor is beginning to slope downward from this point becoming increasingly inclined. If they think to drive in an iron spike between here and the edge of the precipice (area 7) the PCs can tie off a rope that allows them to avoid the fall ahead allowing them to climb down to area 16.

7- reaching this point the incline is so noticable that the rootbound player character begins to fall. What happens varies with Alignment:

  • A chaotic character topples forward 10 feet to a ledge for 1d6 damage and then tumbling downhill another 20 feet to a resting place (area 8) taking 2hp. 
  • A lawful character drops 40 feet to a ledge (area 13) taking 4d6 fall damage. 
  • A neutral character tumbles backwards into a ditch (area 16) for 1hp damage.

Note: The Orientation of the dungeon is now vertical beyond this point, not horizontal.

8- this wide overhang is down a twenty feet tumble from a very precarious and narrow ledge. The PC can climb to the narrow ledge and unarmoured and driving iron spikes into the wall can climb slowly up to the ledge at area 16 or down thirty feet to area 13. They cannot otherwise jump up to the precipice at area 7 or the ledge at area 16 and doing so will cause the PC to drop thirty feet to the ledge at area 13 taking 3d6 damage from the fall.

9- this ledge is wet, moisture dripping from the rocks above not quite enough to make it slippery but there is soft white clay in the cliff face where the water trickles down sufficient to harvest 10cn worth (any magicuser with the necessary level and spells can use this clay to create a bowl of water elemental summoning).

10- a thirty feet drop down from area 9, this wide ledge drops off into the dark at each edge (dropping down to either area 11 or area 12). There is a backpack here with a pair of 50' ropes, and three iron spikes still attached to the skeletal remains of an adventurer in platemail. An inspection of the skeleton reveals the leg bones are broken.

11- thirty feet down from area 10, this sloping ledge is dominated by a pair of corpses that are cold and appear to be a few weeks old. Inspection of the remains reveals them to be the remains of orcs, one of whom has a magicuser scroll with levitate.

12- twenty feet down from area 10, this sloping shaft descends down to area 18. Its slippery thanks to moisture from above.

13- fourty feet down from area 7, this ledge has a pair of old iron spikes left behind by a climber. Getting to area 16 from here is dificult yet not unachievable.

14- twenty feet down from area 13, this substantial overhanging ledge is dominated by a cave painting and the corpse of an ogre. The cave painting details some image of a giant squid with tentacles radiating from a long body (this is a map of the netherspike detailing the upper body and the tentacles or roots). The Ogre is actually asleep getting rest having taken damage in the fall and been reduced to 1hp. Homic will wake and attack the PC inspecting the ogre's corpse with a rock club attempting to kill the PC and use their equipment to climb out.

15- thirty feet down from area 14, this fourty five degree slope is slippery forcing the PC to remain prone against the surface or they will slip down to area 18. If they have iron spikes and a hammer they can drive them in and arrest any possibility of falling or slipping down into area 18.

16- this ditch is filled with a puddle of something wet. It the PC fell into the ditch it isnt enough to drown in. An unarmoured jump from this ledge across a ten feet gap will safely carry the PC to the very edge of the precipice where the floor slope at area 7 becomes near vertical. From there they can crawl twenty feet to where they can haul up equipment or other Characters by rope.

17- this ledge is already occupied by a sword jammed in a crevice to which is tied a 50' rope that dangles over the edge and down into the dark.

This weapon is Tasha's Sword of Hideous Laughter: a magical sword +1 that on the first natural twenty hitroll causes the wielder to go into a berserker state laughing loudly in combat with a +2 hitroll bonus instead of the weapon's regular+1 (though the wielder continues to only recieve +1 to damage).

18- Anyone continuing down to the root tips becomes wedged taking 1hp per round until dead unless rescued.

Climbing back out of the netherworld: its possible that the PCs will become trapped in this area until they die of injury, starvation, or having become wedged at the bottom of the roots although there is remnant equipment necessary to climb out unarmoured. If they do make it back to area 7 they are transported to 6a which leads into the netherspike temple.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

Dungeon Delve: The Netherspike (areas 1-6)

The Netherspike looks, if you could call the experience looking, a shattered spire that ends some hundred feet in the air. Unfortunatrly there is something about it... an Aura that prevents your eyes from focusing on it.
PCs looking at the spike from a distance for the first time should Save vs magic or become nauseated and dizzy.

1- Ascending the Netherspike
Anyone climbing ths spiral stairs outside the spike who failed to save finds themselves unable to climb the stairs and will fall from the stairs after the first ten feet of climbing taking 1d6 damage. Such individuals will need to be led up the spiral by those who pass a saving throw (The wretched effect does not subside even with a dispel magic).

Ascending the Netherspike leads the PCs to the shattered summit where they can climb inside. Here the plane of gravity is at ninety degrees and the hollow of the spire is a tunnel twenty feet wide.

While climbing the stsirs (Area 1) the PCs encounter 1d4 Giant Centipede emerging to attack from what few shadows exist on the exterior of the spire once a turn.

2- Entrance to the Netherspike
Your dizziness fails to subside even having reached the inner part of the netherspike. Whatever is causing it extends within.
Those not affected can see the interior and see the columns supporting balconies deeper in.

3- The Lower Balcony
A skeleton with a Crossbow stands guard here firing on anyone in range. Those affected by the dizziness take a penalty of -2 to Armour class. The skeleton has 10 Bolts and a Heavy Crossbow.

4- The Upper Balcony
There is here a nest of Six centipedes. They descend to ambush anyone reaching the interior (Area 2).

5- The Iron Doors
Iron Doors illuminated by lanterns deny further access to the Dungeon. A strength of fifty is required to push them open and enter Area 6.

6- Beyond the Iron Doors
The sickness falls away as you pass through the iron doors entering deeper into the dungeon. The darkness here has a
Metallic taste, as though there were a fish-hook embedded in your tongue. Anyone who made the earlier saving throw now takes 1d4hp damage and vomits up blood. The damage can be healed by magic. Light fails to illuminate this chamber and not even magic light sources work. A dexterity check is required to check sense of balance or the PCs become lost in the Darkness...

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Dungeon Delve: The Cave with the Iron Door

A Local Disaster
A million cubic feet of all-devouring gelatine washed down river eating boats, timber docks. If not for the quick and brutally efficient actions of the local Magic-user it would have eaten the villagers. Unfortunately the use of  numerous fireballs has devastated the village.

The Village elders gather a band of warriors and instruct you all to follow the trail of carnage back to its source and bring the bastard responsible to justice.
At a point a days march up river a thousand feet wide path has been consumed by something terrible. The very obvious trail leads back into the hills where you find a small white limestone hill.

C1 The Cave with the Iron Door
A search around the base of the hill reveals a cave entrance (1 Turn). The Iron door and its frame is protected by a curse turning the fool who tries to remove any of the torches in the sconces into a gelatinous cube and causes them to grow 10× size. An adventurer found the door and even survived a band of orcs who were using the cave. Of course the rest of the Orcs (one per character) will return six turns after the PCs and demand to know where their murdered kinfolk are.

1. The recently cleaned White Limestone hill has a cave entrance has the appearance of having been enlarged by corrosion. Indeed you see the remnants of the passage of the gelationous devourer attempting to still devour the stone, the mix of gelatinous residue and limestone still bubbling. The tunnel itself descends into the dark, though somewhere ahead is a flickering lightsource.

For the DM: using burning torches against the limestone rockface kills the remnant gelatinous cube otherwise it will all coalesce into a gelatinous cube and pursue the PCs into the inner cave after a turn (10 minutes).

2. Twenty five feet in around a tunnel bend you stand atop a five foot high ledge that drops down into a large cave. From here you can see most of the cave all the way down over a second, ten feet wide ledge that drops into a lower cave that is being lit by flickering torchlight comming from somewhere off to the right.

For the DM: the limestone in this area is also being eaten by gelatinous remnants (Wisdom Check on a close inspection).

3. This rough, limestone cave is a beautiful white limestone that is being eaten here and there by patches of something bubbling away on the stone. The ledge further in drops off another five feet into the lower cave. From the lower ledge you can see what looks like a great iron door to the right of the lower cave illuminated by lit torches in iron ring sconces half way up each side of the door frame. The light casting your shadow on the limestone wall of the cave.

For the DM: the cave here is slightly higher than the tunnel even though the PCs have dropped down five feet from the tunnel level. It does however drop much lower over the second ledge into the lower cave.

4. From this cave you can barely make out the cave tunnel that glows white thanks to sunlight hitting the tunnel wall. The caves themselves flicker with the torchlight that causes your shadow to move along the rockface.
The Iron door is parted down the middle by what appears to be a tight beveled seam. The iron door frame and hinges on frame and door are held by large rounded rivets. The corrosion is minor and it is obvious that the door and frame are well made. Each door, left and right are dominated be an iron ring door knocker.

For the DM: the curse on the door only affects those who attempt to remove one of the torches in the sconces, so it wont affect the PCs until they mess with those. The Torches appear to be perpetually burning, the sconces have tiny dwarf runes engraved in a groove that are the words 'fire' and 'furnace' in dwarven (wisdom check to notice the runes). The door will open if the PCs use another unused torch to transfer fire from the fire sconce into the furnace sconce causing the torch in the furnace sconce to burn with a blue flame and the torch in the fire sconce to burn with a white flame. They can then use the knockers to pull the door open on a combined strength of 20. Otherwise the iron door will prove unmoving, and not even magic will bypass the iron door.

5. The Cave beyond the door is dominated by a heavy stone sarcophagus with heavy stone lid. The Lid of the Sarcophagus is engraved with the following poem in common:

Dainin, wielding Spike-driver, 
did rain Hel's fury on the Worm
that plagued a land accursed.
And mighty were his blows,
Driving rivet after rivet deep
While Taranshar bled tears.

For the DM: opening the sarcophagus requires a cumulative fifty strength, Its lid can however be lifted on a first level floating disc spell cast by a magic-user. Within the Sarcophagus is the remains of a Dwarf Warrior of great renown, the tomb created by his friend and fellow adventurer, a Wizard named Zenopus.
Non-Lawful PCs will take a curse for desecrating the poem on the lid, permanently taking an alignment shift to lawful. The Sarcophagus contains the remains of Dainin and his Warhammer+1 Spike-driver. Any Non-Dwarf seen in posession of Spike-driver will be seen by any Dwarf recognizing the weapon (wisdom check at -2 penalty) as an enemy of all dwarves attacking in a rage to seize the weapon.

The Orcs return: the Orcs return to their cave finding the PCs either studying the iron door or inside the Tomb of Dainin. So they attack. If the Orcs arrive, as the PCs open the sarcophagus Dainin joins the PCs (as a 1HD dwarf skeleton) in the battle with the Orcs.
The Gelatinous cube: the gelatinous cube reforms from scraps in the cave and ambushes the PCs as the attempt to leave.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Little People: Black Magic Craft Miniature Terrains

Black Magic Craft has put out an incredible selection of how to make miniature terrain and other stuff from cheap materials. Over the series he puts out for increasing investment in equipment, but if you follow the series through from Episode#0001 Modular Cave Tiles it will eventually lead you through the full growth of his builds...

By comparison here is... Episode#0103 Iron Door.

Its a fascinating watch.

Epic Fail: The Fall of Civilization

A Bark Shield
Extinctions happen all the time. Civilizations fall into darkness and are forgotten. After a twenty thousand year Ice Age no one knows of the civilizations that towered above it all only to be ground down by wind, and rain, and war. No one knows of their stories, burned like kindling to cook a meal or stay warm in the cold. Sometimes we find them in the deserts formed by human occupation. Sometimes we find them deep under our feet. But in the end all that they were is lost to us in a way that is terrible and gut-wrenching. It is an Arson lit by Arsonists telling us that we have failed. We dont know the peoples of Sumer, or Gobleki Tepes. While we might pick through their trash, and read their correspondence, they are not yet us. And we are no longer them.
Pulling a shield of Bark from the earth in Scotland doesnt tell us about the Warrior who wielded it, or its maker. It doesnt tell us that her name was Maev and her ancestors were descended of the Kurgan Markuv family forced to flee west after their clan was marked for death by a rival. All we have is the discovery of the fragments of a shield of bark and if we are lucky, the capacity to understand how that shield was made. We certainly wont know that the yellow-painted squares and central dome represent the fields of onions going to flower confined by the long ditch encompassing a land-holding that she would never return to and a spartan shield that an ancestor wielded in battle in distant Greece. We wont know she lost six children to still-births and yet was never married.
Jade Message Cylinder
We do not know of her people, or her ancestry. Or that her Father held her and smiled at her birth, even though social pressures within the tribe demanded sons who would die in battle.

We can only read the intricate scratches in the stone cylinder and struggle to comprehend that they speak of a grain harvest burned because the comet in the sky has cursed every seed by its ungodly presence. We cannot know why they might believe that a chunk of ice and rock burning its way across the heavens required the destruction of the harvest that grew in the soil beneath it's passing, or that the stone it self was carved by hand of some long forgotten scribe skilled in writing and stone carving.

How could we be expected to assume that our beliefs are a lie that die with our civilization, and make haste to prepare great arks filled with an indestructible technology that will outlive the supernova of our star and the destruction of our planet, rather than as some safeguard that passes on the genetic legacy of who our people were without understanding that one might cause the loss of the other?

Total sellout: teeshirt design

You will be able to get this on a shirt once they decide if its worth printing. Apparently I will get o.1% of the two dollar profit margin I allocated on top of its price. I wont hold my breath on that billion shirts sold.

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Basic Expert: The Nekron

The Nekron
AC                3
HD               3+1****
MV               60' (20')
    Swim       90' (30')
    Burrow   30' (10')
AT                2 Claws + Special
DA               1hp/round
NA               1 (1-3)
SA                Thief: Level 4
ML               10
TT                Nil (V)
AL                Neutral

Notes: The Nekron communicates with ESP as the wizard spell and employs something resembling charm person.
Having appearance of a large snake with a humanoid upper body, the Nekron has three segment arms that end in large purple hands that allow it to manipulate objects. It has a single eye and three horns protruding from the back of its head.
Though necrotic purple, the Nekron is almost transparent, and on close inspection, what appears to be a digestive system can be vaguely identified. The Nekron is able to digest with physical contact by extruding a white slime though it must embrace its food source beneath dirt for several days to do so.The Nekron can see with Infravision ninety feet and can see even through earth sensing bodyheat of living creatures though this is limited to ten feet.
It can regenerate from its unburned remains at one hit point per day and will if burned to death simply spawn up to three offspring by breaking off its horns.
The Nekron can burrow slowly through earth (not stone) but can move quickly like a snake over the surface and even swim in water.
The Nekron wont reveal itself, prefering to remain hidden, and work through servitors.


Esther Firestorm's Residence
Adventure Hook: Deliver a Message to Esther Firestorm from Atrey the Magicuser. Fee fifty gold pieces each.

The PCs are hired by Esther's Apprentice to deliver a sealed letter to Esther Firestorm.

The Letter itself can be any other adventure hook the DM desires or the following:

Beloved Esther, 

Could you send your wand of fireballs? I have found the situation in the Sewers beneath the Capital to be harder going than we expected.


The Situation: Vomited up by a particularly giant purple worm that invaded the surface world, this unique sentient entity was initially thought to be a previous victim of the Worm and was buried in the nearest graveyard.
The Nekron recovered from its exposure to sunlight while buried, it reached out and made contact with the mind of the gravedigger who resided in a nearby hut. The Nekron learned the Gravedigger's language although contact with the grave digger caused the man to murder a number of villagers to feed to the grave. Healed thanks to its blood and bone food source, the Nekron has learned much of the surrounding landscape.
It has expressed a need for more offspring on the part of the grave digger and he has complied by murdering all the men in the village and taking up residence with all the women in the home of the village Magicuser Esther Firestorm who succumbed to the mind control of the Nekron before the Nekron consumed her (she was a fireball tossing magicuser and the only threat).
They burned Esther's spellbook though they have no clue that the gravedigger uses to scratch hard to reach places is actually a fireball wand with six fireballs.
On arrival the Gravedigger's wives will attempt to get male PCs along for breeding purposes, and ignore female PCs. They seek offspring to feed Nekron.
Anyone asking the grave digger how he does it wont speak on it immediatly but will provide them if they depart with a jar filled with paste that should be rubbed through the hair.