Sunday, April 10, 2011

DMG Sample Level Stocking Project Part 5

Despite my initial intention to produce these installments every Monday, some general lagging followed by the intervention of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge have slowed me down. I will aim for the occasional Sunday in April, but likely won't hit the "weekly installments" mark while the Blogging Challenge is still running.

This post constitutes Part 5 of my stocking project for the sample dungeon level from the DMG p. 95. Interested parties should consult James C.'s original announcement of the project, his updated list of participants, and my own stocking installments Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

My project parameters:

(1) I am stocking this map as a Level 3 dungeon.

(2) I am using the Labyrinth Lord basic dungeon stocking tables on LL p. 124 to stock the map, with a few customized twists, i.e., I am deliberately placing a few monsters and treasures as I see fit.  I am also using Michael Curtis' Dungeon Alphabet and some of the random tables in the back of the Advanced Edition Companion to randomly generate "unique" encounters and miscellaneous and/or atmospheric room features.

Now to stock rooms 19 through 23:

Room 19:  Rolled and got empty, no treasure.  I also rolled on the "Random Original Purpose of Rooms and Chambers" table on p. 32 of Michael Curtis' The Dungeon Alphabet and got "Cistern."

Room 20: Got monster, with treasure. I rolled randomly for the monster on the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table (LL p. 104) and got "Medusa." Despite the Medusa's Hoard Class of XVII (see LL p. 106), I rolled it out and got no treasure result anyway.

Room 21: Rolled empty, no treasure. Didn't want to leave it at that, so rolled on the "Altars" Table on p. 6 of The Dungeon Alphabet; see result below.

Room 22: Got monster, no treasure. A random roll on the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table yields "Wight." Man, this place is turning out to be Wight Central! (I'm not complaining.) I further decided to add some atmosphere and "dungeon dressing" to this large chamber, so I rolled on the "Random Atmospheric Details" Table (AEC p. 147) and the "Miscellaneous Room Contents" Table (AEC p. 148) and got "leather odor with static charged air" for the former and "mushrooms" for the latter. I ruled that there must be some mushrooms growing in some offal in a corner, and that one of the wights here must have a wand of lightning bolt that has left a kind of lingering static electricity charge in the air. The "leather" odor is actually the faint smell of previously burned flesh.

Room 23: Got monster, no treasure. Rolling randomly on the Level 3 Wandering Monster Table produces the "Medusa" result again! A theme develops!

So my finished key to Rooms 19-23 looks like:

19. Dry Cistern 
A small, circular pool once occupied the middle 6' diameter area of this room. It is dry now; a damp, musty odor remains. The floor of this room tapers gently down toward a central metal drain. Delvers who pry up the drain (which takes two turns plus a "breaking down doors" roll; it is rusted in place) will find a vertical shaft leading down 150' to the next dungeon level; only halfling-sized or smaller beings will fit down the shaft.

20. Priestess' Prayer Chamber
This 20' x 20' room is home to a pair of robed and cowled "priestesses" who are in fact medusas. They will keep their hoods on for as long as possible, concealing their true natures and posing as "Sisters of the Goat God." They will attempt to persuade the PCs to join them for a meditation session in Room 21, at which time they will throw back their hoods and attack.

21. Worship Room and Small Altar
In the eastern 20' x 20' section of this two-part chamber, there lies a small altar draped in burgundy cloth. The cloth is studded with ornamental gems (20 gems worth 5gp each). The altar underneath the cloth is actually constructed from human bones, a fact that will not be immediately apparent. A spare priestess robe (like those the medusas in Rooms 20 and 23 wear) hangs on a peg on the east wall.

22. Wight Chamber.
This large, L-shaped chamber smells faintly of charred flesh, and the air is charged with static electricity. Some edible mushrooms grow in a small offal pile in the southwest corner. Three wights make their lair here. One of the wights possesses a wand of lightning bolt (4 charges left) -- the wight's use of this wand accounts for the room's lingering electrical charge.

These wights leave the Medusas in rooms 20 and 23 alone, believing that the "priestesses" will eventually lift the curse entrapping their wight fellows in Room 4. (The medusas encourage this belief but have no intention of fulfilling it.) Both the wights and the local medusas know of the secret door east of Room 1.

23. Priestess' Quarters
Two more Medusas, hooded and posing as "Sisters of the Goat God," dwell here. The portcullis to the north is magical: it shocks anyone touching it for 2d6 electrical damage, and it may ONLY be raised via a knock spell. The portcullis leads to Room 9. Both these medusas and the wights outside in Room 22 know of the secret door east of Room 1.

Next time (whenever that is): Rooms 24-27!

1 comment:

  1. Random stocking is the best way to create a dungeon, as it really forces you to come up with crative answers to why monsters, treasures and traps are in particular locations!