Sep 23, 2012

Floating Horror - Vile menace to man and beast

A single floating horror is similar to a gelatinous cube (similar in size, composition and mass - but round, like a jelly fish, rather than cube-shaped) that floats along, usually without apparent goal or intellect guiding its path, about 10 feet above the ground.  They tend to follow the curve of the earth, sometimes slowly rising up hill sides, sometimes moving more rapidly down slope, and along river valleys.  They trail a wicked assortment of stinging tentacles, however, that have the ability to paralyze, and then draw whatever they ensnare up into the jelly-like body for decomposition and digestion.

Floating horrors getting close to a forest, and turning away.

Such a beast is horrible enough, but they tend to move about in swarming flocks, sometimes as many as hundreds across, covering acres and acres of country side (they spread out, and their tentacles can cover a patch of ground some 30' x 30' underneath them, and extending 20' in each direction).  The swarm will move over the land, attempting to avoid extremely rough cuts and cliffs, and also forest, but otherwise not stopping.  Occasionally, a floating horror will collide with a large stone structure and become ensnared there, while it's tentacles search out inside the building looking for prey and food.  Most smaller buildings, or those made of materials less dense than iron or stone, will be bumped into by the floating horror, and it will slowly bobble over the structure, damaging it with their acidic tentacles, and making a meal out of whatever living that they encounter along the way.

Electricity, fear, hold person or hold monster, paralyzation, polymorph and sleep based attacks will have no affect, the same as with gelatinous cubes (see standard reference here).  Fire and heat based attacks entitle the floating horror to a saving throw vs. magic, and if failed, will do a maximum of 1d4 points of damage.

A strike by a tentacle will cause the victim to make a save vs. paralysis, or be paralyzed for 5-20 rounds.  Regardless, a strike will do damage (see below).  Every 5' square within the 30' x 30 area covered by the tentacles is attacked once each round.  There are simply too many tentacles to effectively remove them, without killing the floating horror.

All normal weapons do damage, but thrown or missile weapons are then lost inside the floating horror, to be retrieved after combat.  Wood and leather inside the floating horror takes days to be decomposed by the acidic jelly, so recovered weapons that have only been inside a short amount of time should be okay.  Metal and gems are not affected, making the floating horror that has recently been near a populated area likely to contain treasures (as per the gelatinous cube, again).

The biggest danger floating horrors pose is that they are completely and utterly silent, and largely clear, making them extremely difficult to spot in anything but pure daylight.  A settlement that is aware of them, can ward them off (usually) with fire and long polearms.  A settlement that is overrun without warning will only react with the first horrific screams of acid burns from tentacles, and the disappearance of livestock and family members up into the floating horrors.

Floating Horror
Num Appearing: 2d6 (minor group); or 1d6x100 (mass migration - very rare)
Alignment: neutral
Movement: 30'/round
Armor Class: 7
Hit Dice: 4hd
Attacks: 1 attack per 5' square, in a 30' x 30' area - tentacle sting
Damage: 1d6+2; save vs. paralysis (if fail, then par. 5d4 rounds)
Save: F4
Morale: not applicable

Sep 21, 2012

Ice Serpent - Giant electrified Snake

The Ice Serpent is a fearsome beast, often found burrowing, and appearing up out of the ground in an ambush, attacking humans, beasts of burden, and sometimes even armed bands and convoys.

They travel in groups of up to 6, and will coordinate their appearance from underground such that they will attempt to surround a group.

It has been conjectured that the Ice Serpent is some relative to the Remorhaz  This is unknown.

The Ice Serpent will attack by biting, or by smashing.  It can smash up to 2 M or 4 S size targets, provided they are all adjacent to each other.  It can only bite one, but if it does, it will not let go, and will continue to do damage.  Once a victim has taken half of it's total damage from biting, it means it has been swallowed, and will have 1d4+1 rounds to live, unless cut out of the Ice Serpent.  Only targets of up to M size can be swallowed.

Use of magical items (including weapons that try to strike, but only including armor if the wearer was the target of a melee attack), or casting of magical spells, within 15' of an Ice Serpent will cause it to arc electricity.  The electricity will arc out and strike all targets (friend or foe) within 15 feet of the Serpent, doing 5d6 (save vs. spell for half damage).  There is no limit to how many times this may happen, but only once per round.

The head of the Ice Serpent is covered in thick, armored plates, but the armor is much softer.  The main foe of an Ice Serpent (whomever the Serpent is trying to bite) can only attack the head (AC 2)- others can attack the body (AC 4).  Other that the target fighting the head, up to 5 other M size foes can strike a serpent.

If the Ice Serpent performs a successful smashing attack, the smashed foe has been knocked down and cannot further act this round.

Ice Serpent
Num Appearing: d4 + 2
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Movement: 90' - will ambush from underground
Armor Class: 2 front (4 side and rear)
Hit dice: 10d8
Attacks: bite OR smash (vs. 2 or more foes); electrical discharge when near magic
Damage: Bite does 2d6 damage; Smash does 1d8+2; Electrical discharge does 5d6.
Save: F8
Morale: 8 (drops to 6 if faced with fire magic or heat magic)

Sep 15, 2012

Frost Rhino - Eldritch version of an Ice Age horror

The Frost Rhino appears, at first glance, to be a larger version of a wooly rhino. However, other than being much larger, it is (like a Wooly Rhino) colored between brown and nearly white, but the massive horn of a Frost Rhino is made of an incredibly dense rock/ice mixture, leading some to think it may have some of the characteristics of a gargoyle.

The creature is capable of three physical attacks - the massive horn, and two vicious front hooves. If the Rhino charges, the horn does double damage, but the hooves cannot attack that round.
Frost Rhino - displaying curious magical horn

Additionally the Rhino's horn is a source of powerful magic. Whenever a Frost Rhino is struck, a small band of Kobolds (1d6) will appear and begin fighting the Rhino's enemy. The Rhino itself and all Kobolds within 20' of it can only be struck by magical weapons of at least +1 magic. There is no limit to the number of Kobolds that can appear, and in fact up to 8 of them can ride on the Rhino itself flinging missiles and squeeking horrible obscenities.

The Frost Rhinos were first created by a servant of Dralizar, known as Kuuv, the master of the Blue Devils (kobolds). Kuuv intended his magical version of a wooly rhino to be the mystic mounts on which his blue devls would storm out of the Unseely Realms (where they are despised and abused by the goblinoid races), to conquer the whole valley, taking it from the Old Ones. Well, the Goblin King of the Unseely Realm had other ideas, and released the Frost Rhinos into theworld, without the blue devils.

In addition to the magical link to the Kobbolds, the Frost Rhino has a frigid breath wapon, and a magic resistance to any fire or heat based magic attacks (35%).

Frost Rhino
Num Appearing: d2
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Movement: 120'
Armor Class: 3 front (5 side and rear)
Hit dice: 10hd
Attacks: horn, 2 hooves, cold breath (3x per day)
Damage: horn 2d12 (double on charge), hooves 1d8+2 each, cold breath 6d6, save for half
Save: F10
Morale: 9

Sep 13, 2012

Wilderness Encounter System - updates and edits

I made some changes to the Wilderness Encounter System, including a couple of changes, some clarifications, some regional notes on subtables, and so on.

Structurally, the biggest edit was to make the change from 3 eight hour periods to 4 six hour periods.  The periods are:
  • Dawn
  • Day
  • Dusk
  • Night

I treat Dawn and Dusk in a similar fashion (in terms of likelihood of encounter, and opening range between the party and the encounter).

Other changes include links to the new monsters I have been posting (there will be more of these in the next day or two).

Finally, I also added some regional notes.  Like some parts of the Darkearth Plains that have particular populations that should come up on the table - just replacing an entry on a subtable works pretty well, without having too many subregion exceptions on the main table.

I hope it is interesting, and I think I will use it for the other regions when I get around to them.

Ice Wyrm - the source of the cold

The Ice Wyrm is much smaller than it's larger, semi-mythical cousin, the Frost Worm.  There are those explorers - rangers and others - who claim to have encountered Frost Worms in the far northern reaches of the Destriel Mountains.  That may or may not be, but in the Darkearth Plains, in areas as far south as King's Highway, the smaller - and very dangerous - Ice Wyrm has been encountered.  And where ever it is found it is a true ecological disaster.

The Ice Wyrm appears to be a large snake (approximately 8-12 feet in length, in adult form), blue in hue, and given to burrowing.  It appreciates softer, less rocky, soils - and especially near waterways.  Like it's larger cousin, the Frost Worm, the Ice Wyrm gives off a field of intense cold, however it is not so strong a field of cold as to cause damage.  It will, however, affect physical objects in contact with the Ice Wyrm (see below).

The Ice Wyrm, where it burrows, tends to give the ground some of the characteristics of a tundra region affected by permafrost.  This will cause the air layers above the ground to cool significantly, and when Ice Wyrms infest a region - say a valley, or dale - then it can even impact the local micro-weather patterns.  This results in more frequent snows, longer lasting snow accumulation, rain the becomes hail, and damage to livestock and crops.

If the Ice Wyrm comes in contact with water, however, the reason for it's name becomes apparent.  All but the swiftest moving bodies of water will instantly freeze, within a 100' radius of the Ice Wyrm.  The Wyrm itself can then burrow through the ice as quickly as a sea snake could swim through water.  This ice effect extends in all directions, including down.  Such an ice impact could take days to thaw out, and of course there are other Wyrms in the area chilling down the ground around the waterway, and even the air around the region - making it even more difficult that the ice will melt.  Converting a stream that is flowing out of some highlands into Ice at some point, will immediately serve as a dam, and the blackflow of water will wash over the ice, and out over the banks onto the surrounding land.  That will also, of course, freeze under the influence of the Wyrms, creating vast ice fields next to waterways.

The intense cold of the Wyrm's body makes contact with it for physical objects very dangerous.  Any non-magical weapon that strikes the Wyrm will shatter 50% of the time - roll 1d6, on a 4-6 the weapon shatters.  The weapon still does full damage against the Wyrm for that strike, but after that it is useless.

The withering icy gaze of the Ice Wyrm is one of the things that makes it dangerous to deal with.  It is a gaze that will petrify the victim (range 20'), if the victim fails a petrification saving throw.  The effect will last approximately 1 hour, and at that time the victim will be completely rattled from being frozen, that it will move at half speed, and no attacks or spells, for another hour.  During that second hour, the victim is blind.  The defense against the icy gaze is to not look at the Ice Wyrm.

Ice Wyrm
Num Appearing: 1d6
Alignment: neutral
Movement: 60'/round (120' through ice or snow)
Armor Class: 4 (frosty blue scales)
Hit Dice: 4hd
Attacks: Bite; Cold Gaze
Damage: 1d8 per bite
Save: F2
Morale: 9

Sep 12, 2012

Frost Moth - winged terror of the Darkearth Plains

Imagine a white moth, the size of a draft horse, that can breathe a deadly cone of cold attack.  Now imagine a group of 5 or 6 monstrosities attacking your herd of animals, or your family.  That is the reality that rural Westroners and Storm King Barbarians have to deal with on a daily basis in the Darkearth Plains.

Fiery designs of the wings of a Frost Moth

This monstrosity is the Frost Moth.  A truly terrifying creature, but worse so because they hunt in packs.  There is a type of pine tree that grows in the Darkearth Plains called the Cloudscraper Pine, which grows to truly large and impressive heights.  The extremely caustic resin the trees give off make sure that not too many grow in one place, so they may appear in a forest, surrounded by smaller hardier plants, or they may appear out in the plains, or on rolling hills, as singleton trees.  This is where the Frost Moth makes it's home - high in the branches of these gargantuan trees, but only where the weather is quite cold.  It appears as a very large, white moth, with strange fire and flame symbols in it's wing design.

The Frost Moth is almost universally feared, and fought with extreme prejudice whenever encountered by landowners or feudal armsmen, but there are a few who actively seek it out.  Both Rangers and Druids would have knowledge of how to remove the heartstones, a curious gem-like mineral deposit that gathers on the heart of the Frost Moth.  A heartstone will, if carried or worn as a piece of jewelry, provide protection to the bearer against heat and fire based attacks (+2 saving throw).  An adult Frost Moth will likely have 1d4-1 heartstones (not all moths have them, but most have one or more).

Larval Frost Moth, approximately 8 feet long
The larvae of the Frost Moth are about as big around as a large dog, and perhaps twice as long.  They danger they pose is that they have a curious habit of wanting to DESPERATELY eat any long dead, and dried out timber.  As this includes houses and wagons, they are often found wallowing in the a semi-consumed structure or vehicle, the morning after a food frenzy for the larval moth.  Physically they are largely defenseless, however, their body juices are dangerous, and if a limb is coated in them for much more than a few seconds, the extremely frigid nature of the juices can render a dangerous case of frost bite to the coated limb.

Frost Moth
Num Appearing: 1d4+2
Alignment: neutral
Movement: Fly 180'/round
Armor Class: 4 (tough hide)
Hit Dice: 7hd
Attacks: Bite, Wind Blast, Cone of Cold
Damage: Bite - 1d8+2; Wind Blast - 2d6, and d20 vs. Dex to avoid falling down; Cone of Cold - 5d6, Save vs. Breath Weapon for half.
Save: F7
Morale: 9

The Bite of the moth is dangerous enough, doing 1d8 +2 points of damage.  The Wind Blast, however, is powerful enough to affect everyone in a 60'x60' area.  By attacking with the Wind Blast, however, the Frost Moth exposes it's weakness.  The spot where the body meets the wings is only AC 8.  Further, if the Frost Moth suffers 7 points or more to the underside of a wing, that wing is disabled, and the Moth cannot fly or do a Wind Blast attack until healed.  The Frost Moth may perform it's Cone of Cold attack once per hour.

Sep 11, 2012

Shagmen - Primitive men from the Aghanz Hills

In and around the Aghanz hills there dwells a race of very, very primitive people.  They are very similar to what we, from our own Earth natural history, would term "neanderthals".  Incredibly bulky and thick, with heavy duty skeletal structure capable of supporting massive muscle structure, the Shagmen are a very strong and fierce people - which they need given the types of prey that they hunt for survival.

Each small family tribe of Shagmen is led by a Shamen, a cleric type figure of approximately 6th level (6HD), capable of casting either clerical or druidical spells, but one less per spell level than an equivalent cleric.

Shagmen women and children have 1 hit dice, and an AC of 8.  They will not attack in hand-to-hand, but will throw rocks (doing 1d4+1 damage), and are very accurate, getting +2 to hit (THAC0 18).

Sometimes larger groups will come together under a chief, who will be a 7th level fighter, he will have 1 subchief for every tribe group (approximately 10 shagmen, more or less).  A subchief is a 5th level fighter.

Shagmen Tribal Warrior
Num Appearing: 2d6 (per tribe); 2d6 tribes in a war party
Alignment: neutral
Movement: 90'/round
Armor Class: 5 (extremely tough skin, and animal hides)
Hit Dice: 3hd
Attacks: 2/round; may be Stone weapons (axe head, primitive hammer), Throwing Spear, or Bite; +2 to hit
Damage: 1d6+3 (stone axe, spear, OR bite)
Save: F4 (due to toughness)
Morale: 9

Shagmen are very adept at coordinating attacks, and will always use their numbers to surround a foe, and attack from multiple sides (enabling flank and rear attacks).

Shagmen have incredibly thick skins, and only take half damage from blunt weapons, including stones thrown by the women and children of the tribe, so while the warriors are engaged in combat with a foe, the women and children will stand back and continually pelt the combat area with thrown stones, not having any regard for striking their resistant male counterparts.

Shagmen fear no natural foe, but magical attcks, and spell use is very disconcerting to them, and they will lose two points from their morale value when facing a foe using magic that is visible (magic weapons, spell use, etc).

Shagmen are particularly dangerous because they view more modern versions of humans, as well as all demi-humans, as potential food.  They are particularly fond of small demi-humans (gnomes and halflings).

Sep 10, 2012

Darkearth Plains - Wilderness Encounter System

Taking a break from finishing the Ostigaar Web dungeon, I have decided that it is time to present the encounter charts that I have been working on for the Darkearth Plains (see map here).

 [NOTE: This has been edited, as of Sept 14]

As mentioned earlier, the region of the Darkearth Plains is one of conditions very similar to the Pleistocene era on Earth.  Many of the animals we are familiar with from the fossil record of that time are present in the Valley of the Old Ones, specifically in this region.  Also, even as far south as the Great River, the weather in the Darkearth Plains is notably cold.  These two features (the presence of the large animals we think of as Ice Age mammals; and the very cold weather) combine to provide an interesting wilderness encounter matrix.

The encounter system works like this:

Each day is divided up into four 6-hour periods.  They are called Dawn, Day, Dusk and Night.

From this rough outline of time periods, for each one that the players spend the majority of the time outside of human habitation, roll 2d6. On a basic score of 9+ there is an encounter. If the season's weather has been particularly rough, then add +1 to the roll (more of these creatures - which represent the aggressors in the food chain - will be prowling for food when the weather is tough). If the player party has any rangers or druids in it, add or subtract one each, at the player's whim.

If the score is successful, then check the following table to see what the chance for surprise is, as well as the likely range of the initial encounter.

Time of
Chance of
Surprise (2d6)
Opening range
of Encounter
Day 9+ 100-600 yards
(1d6 x 100 yards)
7+ 40-240 yards
(4d6 x 10 yards)
Night 5+ 20-80 yards
(2d4 x 10 yards)
  • If the dice roll for surprise is successful, then the party is unaware of the encounter, initially, and the encounter range is half of what is rolled.
  • If the encounter takes place in mountains or forest, halve the encounter range that is rolled.
  • If the encounter is primarily a flying creature, then double the encounter range that is rolled.
The rational behind this table is that most animals in the Valley of the Old Ones that are encountered in the wilderness are more active, and more mobile, early (and late) in the day, than during the middle of the day. This does not apply to underground, or planned encounters, only those random creatures encountered in the wilderness during travel or mapping.
If the surprise number is rolled, this means that the encounter is present before the party is aware of them. If the surprise roll is failed, then the party is somehow aware of the encounter at the same time as it appears. Once it appears, normal rules for surprise and perception should apply.

Once an encounter has been determined, then roll two 6 sided dice, and consult the following table. Add +1 to the Red dice if they players are within 10 miles of a sizeable human settlement/habitation (sizeable means more than 100 humans, demihumans, or humanoids living in a regular place - such as a town, castle, fortress, etc).

Red Dice
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 L Q S U W X N
2 L B H H D N N
3 K B F E D N N
4 K A E F C M M
5 J A G G C M M
6 J P R T V Y M

This will generate a letter. Then for each of the terrain types listed below, this will give an encounter. Many of these are already detailed with statistics inside the OSR reference document (posted here). Other creatures will be detailed in a future posting on this blog.

Encounter Plains Hills River Valley Forest Mountains
Irish Deer - A,B A,B A A,B
Mammoth A,B C C - -
Mastadon C D,E D,E - -
Giant Stag D F,G F,G - C
Sabre Tooth Tiger E H H,J,K B,C,D D
Dire Wolf F J L,P E,F,G E,F,G
Cave Bear - K,L - H,J,K J,K,L
Flightless Bird G P,Q Q - -
Axebeak H - - L -
Hammer Head
J - - - -
(see subtable)
(see subtable)
K,L - - - -
Frost Moth P,Q R Q P,Q P
Ice Wyrm R - - R,S Q,R
Frost Rhino S S S - -
Ice Serpent T T - T,U S,T
Floating Horror U U T,U - -
(see subtable)
(see subtable)
(see subtable)
(see subtable)

There are several entries that call for consulting a subtable. These are presented below, with regional specific notes (for instance, human encounters in the Aghanz hills are likely to be Shagmen, whereas human encounters near any of the three Baronies in the region are likely to be typical medieval period humans).


Ever since the invasion of the Westroners into the Valley of the Old Ones, they have dominated the landscape, at least from the point of view of civilized beings.  The Westron Baronies (independent Kingdoms in all but name) represent the only really organized political entities within the Valley.  Before the Westroners arrived, of course, the barbarians (the Sun King tribes, the Storm King tribes, and oddities like the Shagmen) existed, but not in the same numbers.  This subtable is a way to determine what sort of band of humans are encountered, when they are.

Dice Humans
1 Warrior
2 Religious
3 Merchants
4 Craftsmen
5 Raiders
6 Elite
A body of armed soldiery appropriate to the area encountered in.
  • In the Aghanz Hills, or nearby, these will be Shagmen (2d6 warriors; 6d6 women and children)
  • In the east, anywhere the Terrapin or Greywater rivers, they will be Storm King Barbarians (2d6 huscarls; 4d6 bondi)
  • Anywhere near the Baronies or the Great River, they will be Westroners - Baronial Armsmen (2d6 knights; 4d6 sargents; 8d6 peasants)
  • Anywhere else, it will likely be a band of Freebooters (2d6 fighters; 2d6 thieves; 4d6 thugs).  These may be looking for work, or may be looking for mayhem.
1d3 significant clerics (or druids); 2d6 lesser clergy (same order); 6d6 pilgrims, followers
1d6 Merchants or Family members; 2d6 armed guards (missile weapons and polearms); 4d6 servants and attendants.
2d6 craftsmen; 2d6 armed guards. 50% chance that an appropriate camp/settlement will be nearby to support the craft (charcoal burning camp; mine; lumber camp; fishing village; windmill; etc.
1d6 powerful leaders; 2d6 strong lieutenants; 4d6 thugs - from some culture "somewhere else" - here for thievery and mischief
This is some sort of out of the ordinary group of Humans, met traveling through the local area. If encountered at night, they will have a nearby camp.
  1. Adventure Party
  2. Questing Paladin; or Patrolling Ranger (with a unit of Northguard)
  3. Errant Knight
  4. Shaman (primitive) on vision quest
  5. Assassin on a mission
  6. Evil High Priest (otherwise, as Religious)


This entry represents intelligent beings, that may have a reasonable level (not necessarily advanced, however) of organization and structure, but that are not Humans or Demi-Humans.
In some regions of the Darkearth Plains, it is not necessary to roll on this table.
  • In the western part of the plains, near the Lost Mare River, any encounter of this type will be of the intelligent horses of the Great Herd, led by the Khan of All Horses.  
  • The area just north of the King's Highway near the Great Owl Forest is home to a federation of tribes of Broo (chaotic evil goat headed beastmen), called the Horned Ones.  
  • Along the Greywater River, in the lands of the Storm King Barbarians, there are tribal areas of the Furlingga (a particular language group of Gnolls, very advanced and organized compared to other bands of Gnolls).
  • Between the Great Owl Forest and the Terrapin River, in the Terrapin Marsh, there are the notorious Marsh Trolls.
  • In the west, where the great sinkholes near the Nightwash River are located, the influence of the Dark Elf Buccaneer kingdoms is significant.
  • At the south end of the Lost Mare River, there is the Arriott Bottom Swamp.  A very large community of Lizard Men dwell here.
In all other cases, or where random wandering humanoids are desired, roll on the following table.

Dice Others
1 Orcs (3d6)
2 Gnolls (3d6)
3 Goblins (5d6)
4 Bugbears (3d6)
5 Yeti (2d6)
6 Forest Folk (random type)
(2d6, unless Badger, then only 1)

Notes: In all cases, these will be appropriately armed as per their type, and will likely be accompanied by a number of lesser supportive beings, or henchmen. For instance, a band of Orcs will likely have a variety of different weapons, and shards of leather and metal armor, and will likely be accompanied by as many, again, half-orcs, and perhaps half as many goblins. In all cases, if possible, these will engage first with missile weapons. Entries #1-5 will be led by an evil human (either wizard, evil high priest, thief, or fighter) 40% of the time. Entry #6 has the same chance of being accompanied by a human leader, but in some cases he will be good. If entry 6 turns out to be Badger Folk, then the human is a Questing Partner, on a vision quest together.


This subtable is a way to determine which of the several types of Demi-Humans that are present within the valley get encountered.  When encountered, Demi-Humans are almost always on their own (nearly inscrutable) business.  This table just gives the broad type that might be expected. 

In certain regions of the Darkearth Plains, there is little reason to roll the dice.  For instance, in the Harp Woods or the Great Owl Forest, almost all Demi-Human encounters will be with Elves.  In the Aghanz Hills, especially near Flintgate, they will be Gnomes.  Up in the Destriel Mountains it will be Dwarves.  Halflings mingle with human habitations, especially with the many towns that are dependent on the Baronial cities.

In other areas, or if variety is simply wished for, the following table can be consulted.

Dice Demi-Human
1 Elves (3d6)
2 Dwarves (3d6)
3 Gnomes (3d6)
4 Halflings (5d6)
5 Dark Elves (3d6)
6 Faery Folk (5d6)

Number appearing are mounted elfin knights (elven chainmail, shield, lance, longsword, barded horse), with twice as many foot warriors in attendance (chainmail, polearms).
Each dwarf is a professional - miner, brewer, gemcutter, etc - but also a warrior. Likely to be armed with axes and crossbows, with shield and scale mail.
Each gnome is wearing flexible metal armor (usually chainmail) and armed with short bow, short sword, and carrying a small round shield. 70% chance to be led by an illusionist, either gnome or human.
Led by a Sheriff, mounted on a small pony or ass. Others likely to have leather armor, slings, throwing axes, and short spears.
Dark Elves
If encountered during daylight hours, likely to be disguised as good elves. If encountered after dark, likely (65%) to be led by some high level organizer(s) of the band (1d6 driders; mindflayer; evil high priest; vampire
Faery Folk
There are likely to be a mixture of types here - faeries, brownies, pixies, leprechauns, talking animals, and others. Likely (65%) to be led by a noble faery (male or female) mounted on a Pseudo Dragon, with 1d6 retainers similarly mounted.


Dice Giants
1 Ogres (2d6)
2 Trolls (1d6+2)
3 Firbolg (1d6)
4 Hill Giants (2d6)
5 Frost Giants (1d6)
6 Mountain Giants (1d4)

In the case of Ogres and Hill Giants, these will be led by an evil, high level human (such as an evil high priest, an evil thief, or an evil fighter). Trolls may be being followed (35%) by a band (3d6) of goblins that worship trolls. If so, these will join in any fight that the trolls themselves get involved in.


Dice Dragons
1 Ice Wyrm (1d4+1)
2 Wyvern (1d4)
3 Roc (1)
4 White Dragon (1d2)
5 Red Dragon (1d2)
6 Green Dragon (1d2)

If there is more than 1 of these creatures in an encounter, there will be a nest somewhat nearby, that contains 1d4 young.


Dice Special
1 Wildfire (1d6 x 5 miles wide)
2 Zombie Horde (5d6 zombies)
3 Single, powerful undead (lich, vampire, etc)
4 Battlefield
5 Natural Hazard (cliff, quicksand, lightning, etc)
6 Stampeding herd/tribe (roll another encounter to see what it is)

Sep 9, 2012

Dungeon Key - Web of Ostigaar (5)

This is the continuation of the dungeon that began in Web of Ostigaar (4) (map detail here).

Room descriptions  (rooms 11-20)

11.The Observatory - This room is full of all sorts of (mostly broken) metal implements and instruments useful for navigation, or the drawing of charts and maps.  The ceiling is home to a magical construct, the Star Portal of Oo'Zondra (described here).  Of note, in the etheric landscape visible in the Star Portal, there is a wrecked hull of a strange wooden ship, designed to travel amongs the moons, suns, and other astral bodies.  Spilling over the side of the wreck, and down into the room, at the rate of 1d3 every 10 rounds (1 turn), are Giant Scorpions (see standard stats here).  When the room is visited, there are already 5x of the Giant Scorpions in the room.  Toppled and ancient furniture clutters the outer edge of this room, with a round stain dais in the middle.  In the corner of the room, there is a large stuffed chair, covered in cobwebs, and with stuffing coming out of the cushions.  If the seat is rummaged through, there is a small box, with 2000gp worth of highly polished purple gemstones inside it.  The box is locked and trapped, however, and any attempt to handle it roughly (picking, smashing, etc) will result in 1d4 poison needles striking the offender.  Each of these will do 1d6+1 damage, save for half.

12. The Cistern - This room consists of a spiral staircase that descends, with the outer edge against rock, and the inner edge open, down 60' to a pool of water.  Disturbing the water in any way will bring on the attack of an 8hd Giant Sea Snake (see standard stats here).  Down inside the cistern itself, it is 30 feet deep.  At the bottom is the skeleton of a dead ogre.  He is holding a giant golden key in his hand, which weighs 80 pounds.  This could be difficult to lift up through 30 feet of water.  If the key does break the surface of the water, it causes a 5d6 lightning bolt to shoot around in the room.  All must make a save vs. breath weapon to avoid being hit.  If one IS struck, then save vs. spell to avoid half damage.

13. Shrine of the Reptal - This room is dominated by two features.  The first is a large stone sarcophagus, in the eastern part of the room.  It is a large diamond shaped stone sarcophagus, with an outline carved in the top of a curious reptile-man type figure, with a chameleon head and tail.  This is a Reptal, and the sarcophagus is the magical construct, the "Sarcophagus of Wim" (detailed earlier).  In the western part of the room is a very large grating on the floor, that leads to a drop shaft that goes down some 60 feet to a chamber of water, contains three greater Filth Prawns (detailed earlier).  At the bottom of the pool is a sealed stone urn that contains a bag of holding (empty).
In the room, ready to engage the characters should they enter, are a Dark Elf Captain (she is named "Sidlar U'Zella") and 8 Dark Elf Warriors.  Sidlar U'Zella is wearing a curious necklace set with gemstones that glow different colors based on who is wearing it (worth 1000gp).  She also is in possession of several magical components, described earlier.  She has 1 dose of Revenant Lace, 1 dose of Cat's Paw, and 2 doses of Firecaps.  Upon entering combat, she will immediately take the Revenant Lace and the Cat's Paw, rendering her invisible and able to climb walls.  She is completely dedicated to the Artaxil Coven, and will fight to the death.
The Dark Elf Warriors have, on average, 200gp worth of jewelry each.  Among the group there is a potion of healing, and a potion of extra healing.
All of the Dark Elves - Captain and Warriors - are capable of spell use.
The Dark Elf group has with it a strange chest, bound in iron straps.  The straps are held by a strange stone disc (about 2" across) with a spider on it.  It is thin, and must be smashed to release the iron straps and open the chest.  Once the disc is smashed, if it is not by an Artaxil Dark Elf, it will summon 4 Stone Spiders to attack those who are attempting to open the chest.  Inside the chest are 5000gp worth of gems and also an ioun stone that grants the bearer the ability to cast Faerie Fire once per hour.

14. The Charred Room - This room was once adorned with fantastic tapestries of all types, covering the walls.  In the past, however, some conflagration burned up the major part of every tapestry.  Only charred remains are left hanging on the walls, and covering the floors.  The room is otherwise unfurnished.  In the room, however, are five large skeletal ogres (ac4, 30hp, thac014, 2 attacks (1d8+3 each), piercing and slashing weapons do half damage).  These can be turned by a member of clergy typically able to do so, but treat the skeletal ogres as 4th level undead for this purpose.

15. Meditation Rise - This room slopes up, at a steep angle, from north to south (the highest point).  At the southern end, there is a flat area, and there were once open grates in the ceiling opened up to the sky.  Since the layers of the city were built over this layer, that has closed up.  There is a dead body in the chair below the grate (a sort of throne like chair, but with no special material value or gems or anything out of the ordinary).  The body is unremarkable except for the (magical) gold band on the right arm.
As the players may want to ascend the steep ramp up to where the chair is with the dead body, they must climb.  It requires 3 checks in all, each check is of 1d20 trying to roll less than the dexterity of the checker.  Unfortunately, the whole way, a ghostly arm extending from the armband on the corpse, will attempt to attack the players using a ghostly long sword.  The long sword strikes twice per turn, with a thac0 of 11.  It will do 1d10+2 damage per strike.  The arm has an ac4, cannot be struck by non-magical weapons, and will take 24hp to diactivate.
The armband will summon the arm for whomever is wearing it, and it will be equipped with whatever weapon that person has in the arm of the arm band.  It will attack with that weapon, twice per round, with a +2 better than the wearer.  It will do damage +2.  The ghostly arm does not need to be concentrated on, but if the wielder loses consciousness it is disappears.  Deactivating it (by doing 24hp to it) results in the ghost arm being banished for 1d6 turns (10 min each).

16. This is a curious room.  First, to the east, there is a section of the room that is separated by a curtain.  The curtain is made of very heavy dark blue cloth, and there is a pale white glow coming out from under and on the sides of the curtain.  The rest of the room is full of dense clouds of steam.  The steam clouds are quite hot, and have peculiar properties that disrupts both infra and ultra vision.  Only normal sight works, and it is limited to approximately 10 feet in any one direction.  The only thing that can be made out upon entering from the northwest door or the south door is that there is a pale light coming through the mist from the eastern edge (the curtain).  In the floor, on the west, the floor all gathers down to a low point, with a grating, to allow any water gathered in the room (from the steam) to run out of the grating, down deep into an underground pool some 100' below.  Within the mists, in the western half of the room, there are lurking three blind trolls in the room.  They have learned a peculiar troll skill - blind fighting (typically trolls can regenerate lost eyes, but these for some reason cannot).  The trolls do not suffer negative effects in combat from the loss of eyesight, but they cannot make distinction between foes, and will always attack the nearest, regardless of the nature of that foe.
Behind the curtain is a large, glowing hot, pillar of stone.  It is 3' across the base, and 10' tall (the room ceiling in this room is approximately 12' tall, so the pillar does not go all the way to the ceiling).  The top and bottom of the pillar are encircled by a curious white metal.  The pillar is a magical construct, the Column of Fa'Tar (detailed earlier).  In the corners of the room, aimed at the column, are four hideous statues of feather covered gargoyles, each spitting a stream of water at the column, which explains the presence of the prodigious clouds of steam.  Curious note - if the gargoyles are removed from the wall in any way, they will continue to spit out a 15-20 foot stream of water, continuously, absent a dispel magic spell.

17. The Beating Room - This room was evidently originally designed to somehow separate people into groups, now it serves as hideous trap.  The two portcullis structures will come slamming down, as soon as they divide the party up into at least two groups.  At that point 6 filth prawns will be released into each section, and will attack whatever is there. 

18.The Shining Room - There is a curious white globe floating in the middle of the room that gives off enough light (30' radius) to dimly illuminate the entire room. The globe is weightless and can be moved.  It will continue to work.  In the room is a a large iron chest in the middle of the floor (near the globe, but apparently not related), which is locked.  Opening the lock will trigger a poison gas trap that will fill the room.  Make a d20 save vs. Constitution to see if breath can be held long enough to leave the room.  If passed, character immediately moves to the nearest door in panic, and crosses out of the room.  If failed, it means that they are stuck in the room, or didn't move fast enough, and suffer the effects of the gas (jittery and nauseous for 1 hour; lose 1d3 each from Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution; heal one random point back each day, cure disease will cure 1d3 points per day).  Beyond the gas trap, the iron chest has 3 platinum bars worth 1000gp each (very heavy, 40# each), and a magic broadsword (constructed by Storm King barbarians, a very long time ago), +2, with Ainark Runes that, if read, reveal (1) that the sword is named Nightfoe, and (2) if the name is uttered when the broadsword strikes the killing blow on an Intelligent foe, it transforms the body into 1d12 Death Birds.  If the wielder is of neutral or good alignment, the birds will remain for 2d12 rounds, attacking any foes that the wielder is an enemy of, but the shriek of the birds affects all in range;  if the wielder of the sword is rather of evil alignment, then the birds' shriek only affects the enemies of the wielder.
The inhabitants of the room are swirling schools of large toothy fish.  They will modestly avoid any characters, as they swim in seemingly meaningless patterns around the room.  If one is molested or attacked the fish immediately become hostile.  There are enough for 6 to attack each player.  They have the following stats:

Num Appearing: 5d6
Alignment: neutral
Movement: Swim (through air) 120'/round
Armor Class: 4 (hard metallic scales)
Hit Dice: 2hd
Attacks: Bite; if successful then automatically do bite damage per round until removed; if not successful, attempt a second Bite attack vs. same target.
Damage: 1d6+3
Save: F2
Morale: 9

19. Mantis Room - Five Thri-Kreen (see stats here) have taken up residence in here.  The grating over the floor opening (the whole room slopes down to this opening) has been pushed aside, and the Thri-Kreen have obviously climbed up out of the deep shaft, that 60' down opens up into underground cisterns.  The Thri-Kreen have a side cave, leading to a compound of their nest/hive; it is down about 30' in the shaft.  One of the mantis-men has a strange pot hanging around his neck, it is obviously very expensive, but not of Thri-Kreen manufacture.  If the party somehow enters the cave  that the nest/hive of the Thri-Kreen are from, they will find an ancient burial crypt, with a half dozen of sarcophagi, each having 3 or 4 of the very expensive pots arranged on it.  Each pot (there are 20 in all) is worth 1000gp.  In the room, however, there are 3 mummies (see stats here) that will work to defend the pots against any warm blooded invaders.

20. Copper Room - The walls of this room are lined in copper, and there are strange astronomical symbols etched on them in acid.  The copper is untarnished and highly polished.  Standing the middle of the room are two tall stone humanoids, with wings wrapped around them, and covering their face.  Touching either the statues or the copper will awaken the two Gargoyles (see stats here) that will attack fiercely and without hesitation.