Short post this time. Maybe. I need something unique for Room 5. Hmm.
So, back in August, at the SoCal Min Con III, the last game I played in was Brunomac's. He was running his own dungeon that, I think, was the tomb of three deified adventurers or something else cool like that, and I remember that in one corner of the first level he had a statue that did something if you touched it. If I remember correctly, he had a table of six things that it could do and once those six things were exhausted, that was it. (We had more than six in our party.) That's an idea: a statue.
Hmm… peruse "S is for Statues" in the Dungeon Alphabet… nothing really striking me… especially not something that I want to place at the choke point every party will have to go through if they use the "front door…"
So, I turn to this other book that I bought a while back for inspiration after reading a blogger's review of it someplace I can't remember because it was over a year ago, at least: Out of the Forests, by Paul Bonner.
Bonner certainly isn't in the canon of Old School D&D artists; in fact, so far as I can tell, what little D&D artwork he's done was for Wizards of the Coast. I like the fact that I know absolutely nothing about the mythology or backstory of the games that he did do work for; it makes it all very mysterious to me and gives me a chance to come up with my own explanations for things. His work is also pretty awesome and most of his fantasy art is pretty free of giant swords and "unrealistic" armor, at least so far as I can tell. (Not that that's bad. It's just not my style, nor a style that I think you, as a reader of an Old School blog, probably cares too much for. Or you might, and that's cool.)
In the book, as well as on his site, there's this painting of this little dwarf guy standing on the huge head of a statue. Hmm. I really like that.
How about I just drop this head of a statue in this beginning room, and then put the rest of the statue somewhere on a much lower level? If the party finds this statue, and if they find a way to reconnect the head and body of the statue, something cool happens. What? Well, I don't have to figure that out until I place the body of the statue, now do I?
(Well, I'm actually leaning towards it transporting them someplace they couldn't access before, which actually comes from the Dungeon Alphabet. But we'll see.)