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.

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