Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Dungeon23 10/365: Empty Room and a Cave-In

Room 10

This room is empty.

Random Encounter

Randomly select a door. A cave-in blocks this door and does 1d6 damage to any character near it who fails a save.

Every time the party returns to the dungeon, the doorway is completely repaired, without a trace of the cave in, on a 1/10 chance.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Dungeon23 9/365: Ant Nest Hole and Piercers

Room 9

This room contains a stairway down to Level 2. It is guarded by 3d4 Giant Ant Soldiers, each with gold tracings throughout their carapaces.

Random Encounter

2d4 piercers. If your system has piercers of different hit dice, roll to randomly select how big each one is.

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Dungeon23 8/365: Giant Ants

Room 8

This room is used as a graveyard by the giant ants on Level 2. The giant ants have traces of gold in their carapaces. There is a 1/8 chance that a scavenger is consuming or removing a giant ant corpse. If so, roll 1d6:

  1. Mushroom people from Room 5, working to haul a carcass away. They would appreciate help. If the party helps, roll for random encounters twice as often until the party bathes – the smell of ant death attracts more attention. On the other hand, the mushroom people will be grateful.
  2. A rust monster, nibbling at the gold in a dead ant's carapace.
  3. A carrion crawler.
  4. 2d4 tunnel prawn
  5. A carrion moth
  6. A gelatinous cube
Unless bothered, each of these scavengers (other than the mushroom people) will only pay attention to the party on a 1/10.

Random Encounter

A giant ant scout. Normal, except for gold tracing throughout carapace. Will not attack, but may steal something or someone vulnerable and scurry back to the nest on Level 2, possibly returning with reinforcements.

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Dungeon23 7/365: Levers & Kill Kittens

Room 7:

All doors to this room are locked with Lock #1. Unlike the rest of this level, which is carved into solid stone, this room's floor is covered in flagstones.

Four levers are set into a wall (roll each time to determine which wall; they shift).

The first lever is set with a four-leafed clover emblem in its handle. Roll 1d8 to determine the effect on the first character to pull it:

  1. -4 to random stat
  2. -3 to random stat
  3. -2 to random stat
  4. -1 to random stat
  5. +1 to random stat
  6. +2 to random stat
  7. +3 to random stat
  8. +4 to random stat
This lever disappears after the first time it is pulled, never to be seen again. If you think up a good idea for a lever, put it here with a 1/6 chance to appear each time the party enters the room.

The second lever is set with an arrow pointing down. If it is pulled, the entire room drops down to the second level. Pushing the lever up brings the room back up to the first level. The room only has enough energy for 1d4 level shifts before it must recharge for 2d4 turns.

The third lever is engraved with a skull. If it is pulled, a Stone Construct pulls itself out of the flagstone floor for each character (PC and NPC) in the room. They immediately attack. They will pursue the party throughout the dungeon, but will not leave the dungeon. 

If they are not all defeated the constructs re-set and this lever only appears on subsequent visits to the room with a 1/6 chance. If the constructs are all defeated this lever disappears, never to be seen again. It can also be replaced with a lever and effect of your choice which appears with a 1/6 chance.

Each construct leaves a hole containing a treasure chest. Each chest contains enough coin to bring the PC furthest from leveling up to the next level and then halfway to the next level.

The fourth lever is set with an emblem of a salamander. If pulled, a key eater box clatters to the floor. It is Lock #2.

If successfully opened (wait until then to keep yourself in suspense too), roll 1d6 to determine the contents:
  1. A hairball. If burned, a flaming salamander emerges from the flames to attack a threat to the flame-setter. If a threat is present and obvious, the salamander attacks that; otherwise, it scuttles out of site and the party will discover its work in 2d4 encounters (the aftermath generally involves fire, ashes, and melted or burned things). The salamander is successful in dealing with the threat 4/6 of the time. The hairball radiates strong magic, but a sage will only be able to identify its function with a 1/4 chance – otherwise having no idea what it does or is; make a morale check to see if the sage makes something up or admits ignorance. 
  2. Three of the teeth of Dahlver-Nar.
  3. A full map of the fourth level – including secret doors. No room contents listed and nothing to indicate that this map is of the fourth level – or even a map of part of the dungeon.
  4. A full Deck of Many Things. The big one.
  5. A cursed Broach of the Salamander. Exquisite and worth 1d4 thousand gold. Any character wearing the Broach who receives damage bursts into magical, unquenchable flame which does 1d12 damage per round for 3d4 rounds, after which the curse is spent. Sages misidentify this as a broach which encourages enemies to attack others rather than the character wearing it 4/6 of the time. Per normal cursed items rules, the Broach – and any clothes it is pinned to – cannot be removed (without Remove Curse or similar) once it is worn.
  6. Ten small pellets, each with the effect of a random potion. Easily identified by a sage. Except one, which will be identified incorrectly.
Random Encounter

Kill Kittens. For those unfamiliar with these devious Arduin monsters, they look exactly like kittens. One will seem to be alone and injured. When picked up, it injects poison through its claws and the rest of the pack comes out to feast.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Dungeon23 6/365: Dripping and Centipedes

Room 6

This room is empty. There is a dripping sound, but it is impossible to locate.

Random Encounter

2d4 giant centipedes. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Dungeon23 5/365: Mushrooms

Room 5

A family of harmless mushroom people live in a corner, sheltered by some large fungi. Three of these large fungi are Shriekers who ignore the mushroom people but will not ignore anyone else who approaches the corner.

If attacked, the mushroom people will try to run but will not otherwise defend themselves. If a mushroom person dies, it will release a cloud of spores; all who breath them save or die. Most denizens of the dungeon know this and leave the mushroom people alone.

If treated kindly, these mushroom people will offer a stew which will heal one hp for all who consume it.

The mushroom people survive by scavenging corpses throughout the dungeon and bringing them back for their fungi to consume. They feed on their fungi as well as the corpses themselves.

The mushroom people do not use names.

Random Encounter

1d8 small fungi no one in your party has ever encountered before. A sage or herbalist will be able to identify them, but there is as 1/6 chance that they will have lost their potency by then. Roll 1d6 for the effect of these fungi; roll again each time this encounter is rolled.

  1. Eyes melt away (1d6 dmg and now blind)
  2. True sight: see invisible objects, through illusions, etc., 2d4 days
  3. Automatically notice secret doors for 1d4 days
  4. All attacks (melee, ranged, magical, etc.) do max damage for the rest of the day
  5. Normal rest now heals twice as many hit points for this character – forever
  6. Forget all prepared spells
These fungi are:
  1. Green
  2. White
  3. Purple
  4. Red
  5. Blue
  6. Black

  1. Green
  2. White
  3. Purple
  4. Red
  5. Blue
  6. Black

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Dungeon23 4/365: Empty Room and Scorpions

Room 4

This room is empty. I have to remind myself that a good number of them are supposed to be in a classic dungeon.

Random Encounter

2d4 giant scorpions. I'm not sure I've ever run those before.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Dungeon23 3/365: A Pool & Twin Dragons

Room 3

Against a wall is a semi-circular pool. There are other pools like it throughout the dungeon. If a character pours water from one pool into a second pool, that character may teleport freely from either pool to the other from then on. This is Pool #1.

Random Encounter

The twin dragons Mardulopennum and Vergilotolabathar. They are fire-breathing dragons of the youngest age category, barely a year old. They are keenly aware of their vulnerability and willing to have conversation with PCs.

Both are able to speak.

Mardulopennum can cast the spell Sleep once per day. She is inclined to arrange the death of PCs – whether through direct attack, trickery, or timely betrayal – if she suspects they will be a threat to her or her brother.

Vergilotolabathar can cast the spell Charm Person once per day. He is most interested in building the twins' horde. He may suggest teaming up with the party against a stronger monster he believes has prime treasure (and he is correct in choosing treasure-rich targets 90% of the time). He may also betray the party if they have particularly choice treasure on their person – powerful magic items or lots of loot on their way out of the dungeon, for example. He will become very loyal for 3d4 months if the party gives him valuable treasure – a choice magic item or over 1000 gp – and resist any attempts by his sister to kill the party.

Neither dragon is stupid or evil for the sake of evil. If they betray or attack the party it will be when they have maximal advantage – unless they are defending themselves in desperation.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dungeon23 2/365: Spiders

Room 2

This room's floor, walls, and ceiling are covered in a mosaic depicting a solar system. None of the planets or constellations match those familiar to the party.

This room is home to a giant trapdoor spider who – if not discovered by the party – will wait until the party is leaving the room before emerging from a cutout in the floor and silently attacking the last member of the party to leave the room, attempting to do so without the rest of the party noticing – at least until the party member has been dragged back into the spider's tunnel and the cutout is safely replaced.

Use Dexterity and Wisdom checks, grappling rules, saving throws, called shots, or whatever your system uses to adjudicate the spider's success. Other than that, stat as a standard giant spider.

The corpses of previous prey are buried in the silken walls of the tunnel. PCs who search them can find assorted coinage totaling 5d100 gp but will need to deal with 2d4 lesser giant frogs that serve as pest-control for the spider.

Random Encounter

Giant Net-Casting Spider

Stat as a normal giant spider. Hangs out on the ceilings and drops a sticky web net down on a character. Net does no damage but net attack hits at +4. Anyone caught in the net should have a really hard time getting out of it. The character caught in the net is pulled up to the ceiling so only ranged attacks will do anything – and they have a 1/2 chance to hit the character rather than the spider.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Dungeon23 1/365: The Entrance

Near the village of Ner-lek stands a massive stone structure, somewhere in size between a butte and a mesa. The top of this structure is perfectly smooth and bare of any plant life.

A stairway is carved down into the center of this surface, leading to a stone door. This door opens inward, does not lock, and slowly closes itself if opened.

To the left of the doorway is a slot for coin. Above it, carved into the rock, is the word "Toll." Each time the dungeon is visited, roll to see the toll indicated: 1d12 gp.

Each character who does not pay the toll has a 1/100 chance to be crushed, instantly killed, and drawn into the stone as that character enters the doorway.

For each character who pays the toll there is a cumulative 1% chance that something will be on the pedestal in Room 1.

Room 1

Rather than re-starting the numbering of rooms at each level, all rooms will be numbered sequentially, à la Caverns of Thracia.

This is a bare 30x30 room. There are six doorways.

There is one doorway in the center of the West, North, and East walls, without doors.

The entrance to the dungeon opens into the center of the South wall and is between two doorless doors similar to those in the other walls.

In the center of the room is a tall, thin pedestal. Near the top of the pedestal is engraved: "Partake freely. Nothing is free."

If the toll dice so indicate, there is an item on top of the pedestal:

  1. A single slice of cake. If a single character eats the cake, increase the stat of the player's choice by 1d6. If more than one character partakes, increase a random stat of each character by 1. The character(s) who eat are now affected by a geas; if they do not complete this geas by the deadline, their affected stat falls to 3.
  2. A meat pie. If a single character eats the pie, that character does not take any damage for the entirety of this dungeon trip. If multiple characters partake, the first 1d6 hit points of damage they take on this dungeon trip instead become added temporary hit points. Do not inform players of either of these mechanics. The character(s) who eat are now affected by a geas; if they do not complete this geas by the deadline, they are unable to heal any damage until Remove Curse or similar magic is cast on them.
  3. A single key. This is the key to a particular lock in the dungeon. All locks will be numbered.
  4. A random magic potion.
  5. A random magic item.
  6. A magic dagger. Randomly generate it as a magic sword, just make it a dagger. Max out the Ego score or whatever makes it most likely to be jealous, cause trouble, or take over.
Geas (these will be added to as the dungeon develops):
  1. Find Delores, Farmer Oord's magic sow before leaving the dungeon and return her to him. The pig is in room 1d30+1 if she is not found in a random encounter first.
Random Encounters
Wandering monsters and other random encounters are an important component of Old School dungeons, so I figure I can create one random encounter a day as well as one room a day:

Delores, Farmer Oord's magic sow. Stats as a normal pig. She routinely escapes the farm to root out the mushrooms that grow in the dungeon. She will tranquilly follow any PCs back to Farmer Oord's. If treated kindly, she may (1/30) grant a Wish to a random PC when she is returned.

And… that's day one. I don't expect all days to be as elaborate as this, but I had the time, energy, and inspiration today. One down, 364 to go.