tirsdag 27. juli 2010

SAGE response

Response to this.

Original request: I'd like to request a small complex of a few rooms featuring a unique and interesting encounter and/or dungeon fixture, i.e. something weird. The encounter itself could require any combination of puzzle-solving, diplomacy, et cetera. The encounter should be unusual enough to inspire curiosity and challenge the players enough to hold their interest.

Ok, what I’m reading is a small part of a dungeon where something interesting happens. I’ll try my darnest.


The following is a small prison (or small part of a prison that has somehow been displaced) for containing elemental creatures of earth, such as mephitis, xorns and gargoyles. There is a spell on the prison that keeps all such creatures in hibernation, and to get further the PCs have to break the spell and get the key from the jailor.

The characters enter a hallway covered in smoke. It has a high ceiling, and it is hard to see anything but smoke overhead. At the end the hallway opens into a room. There are cells set in the wall on the left, and a door on the back wall. Inside the cells lie sleeping earth mephits, and a huge gargoyle with closed eyes is carved into the wall next to the door. There is also a hidden door on the right wall.

The door beside the gargoyle leads to a winding corridor with more cells along it, also covered in smoke. Two large cells contains a big xorn and a stone giant, and there are dozens of smaller cells containing mephits, smaller earth elementals and xorns, and thoqqua. The cells containing burrowing creatures have walls strengthened with metal. All of the inmates are sleeping, and the bars to the cells are magically locked. The players could get through the locks with anti magic or exceptional strength, but normal lockpicking won’t work unless the rogue in question is a true master.

The last cell is locked but empty, and a rough corridor leads right through it as if some enormous burrowing creature entered through the wall and devoured the prisoner. Just beyond the hallway has collapsed, likely because of the same creature burrowing through. The PCs can see a faint light coming from the burrow through the cell bars, and it should lead to wherever you want the PCs to get next. To get out of the prison the PCs need to open this cell.

The hidden door in the first room can be found by examining a few holes in the wall that continually spew smoke. Behind it is a tiny room so full of smoke that the PCs can barely see. In the middle of the room stands a silver chalice with an emerald inside, which is the source of the smoke. A tiny clockwork creature sits in the corner with a box of emeralds in its lap, and every once in a while it will get up and put another gem in the chalice. The box is marked “sleep” in terran, the language of earth. Beside it sits two other boxes, one marked “dream” which is full of rubies, and one marked “anger” full of sapphires.

The automaton will protest madly of the PCs try to take anything from the room, but will otherwise ignore them. It will flee if attacked, leaving all three boxes and the chalice.

The chalice works like this: If you put a precious stone in it, the stone will slowly dissolve into a smoke which has a certain magical effect on earth based creatures. Emeralds make them sleep, rubies make them hallucinate (treat as insane) and sapphires send them into a violent rage.

If the PCs take the emerald out of the chalice, the smoke will quickly clear out of the prison. The mephitis in the cells will be awake when they exit the room, shouting and pleading the PCs to get them out, and the gargoyle will have open eyes.

It will present itself as the jailor, and ask the players what they are doing in the prison. The jailor is very gullible, and the PCs can easily fool it into believing they have a purpose there. However, it is under strict instructions to escort anyone but guards and inmates out of the prison (the way they came), and if it believes they are prisoners it will take them to a cell. If the PCs convince him they are guards, the jailor will inform them that prisoner number 9(choose an inmate appropriate for their level) is awaiting execution. The jailor will attack if they protest any of its orders.

If they kill the inmate, the jailor will do what they ask within reason, such as lending them the keys to the cells (needed to get out). If they kill the jailor, they can just take the keys, and free whatever inmates they wish. Anyone freed will escape immediately, through the wall if they have the ability.

The prisoners will all be trying to get the PCs attention, but the only one with an actual offer is the stone giant. Should the PCs want to talk to him, he will offer a monetary reward suitable for their level and your DMing style. In return, he asks them to kill the jailor and take the keys to the cells.

The last alternative way to get out of the prison is the chalice. The PCs can make the jailor insane with ruby smoke, leading him to drop the keys or ignore the PCs while they steal it. In the meantime he will attack the walls, talk to the air, hurt himself or do whatever you can think of. Making the prisoners hallucinate makes little difference, other than making the whole place stranger.

If the PCs subject the jailor to sapphire smoke, he will try to kill them unless they have convinced him they are guards. In the latter case, he will unlock the cells and start killing prisoners one at a time until one of them defeats him.

If they subject the prisoners to sapphire smoke they will tear at the bars of their cells until they break, and then go straight for the jailor. They will then escape, unless the PCs have attacked one of them, in which case they’ll jump the PCs.

It’ll be hard to subject only one creature to the smoke at a time, since the smoke spreads rapidly through the prison. Most likely, if the PCs put sapphires in the chalice, the prisoners and the jailor will be at each other very quickly. Regardless, the resulting chaos should be more than enough for the PCs to grab the keys.

If the PCs have any other kinds of gems in their inventories, you can either make up other fun effects, or indicate that the gems found in the prison are special in some way, and made for this purpose.

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