The Great Spire – work in progress

I envision this massive round structure with landings every 35-50 steps. A large, wide archway leads immediately to imposing steep stairs going up.

To the left of the entry arch are 3 smaller arches that lead into the stables.

A door on the right at the base of the stairs leads to the only room accessible inside without climbing stairs. (Visible on the second, color drawing.) This is where visitors are met and left to wait for their host(ess).

The rooms themselves are often insanely tall. There are several secret doors high up on the walls that shortcut to areas farther up the spiral.

The owner of this tower is a natural flyer and uses the stairs to slow down and exhaust potential enemies. There are likely traps along the way the turn these stairs into the biggest slide ever.

Original pencil sketch of the Great Spire with room numbers.

By the time I got to identifying the levels by color, some of the rooms changed which landings they opened onto. At the bottom is a newer color version with the updated room numbers.

Color-coded map of the Great Spire. Rooms of the same color are on the same level.


Level 0 – ground


Reception Room (1) – windowless

Level 1 – light green rooms

On the first landing (30×10) are 2 doors on the left (2, 3) and a door on the right (4). There are no windows in the rooms on this floor.

Level 2 – dark green rooms

On this landing (20ft x 10ft) is a door on the right (6) and one on the left (5).

The room on the left (5) is about 45×30 with a 40 foot ceiling. Large picture windows on the back wall do not open.

The room on the right (6) is 20×10 with a 400ft high ceiling, shrouded in darkness. It feels more like a chimney than a room. In the right back corner is a small hidden panel (gnome size) about a foot off the ground that leads into a 10×15 storage area (6b). On the back wall, abutted against the ceiling is another secret door that leads to landing #13.

Our flying homeowner uses this as a shortcut to the upper levels.

Level 3 – light blue

On this landing (30×10) are 3 on the left (7, 8, 9) and a door on the right (10).

Level 4 – orange

Landing is 15×10 with a door on the right (13) and 2 on the left (11, 12).

Level 5 – pink

Landing is 20×10 with a door on the right (16) and 2 on the left (14, 15).

Level 6 – red

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the left (17, 18).

Level 7 – fuchsia

Landing is 30×10 with 2 doors on the left (19, 20) and 1 to the right (21).

Level 8 – dark red

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the left (22, 23).

Level 9 – dark purple

Landing is 30×10 with 2 doors on the left (25, 25) and 2 on the right (26, 27).

Level 10 – dark orange

Landing is 20×10 with 3 doors on the left (28, 29, 30).

Level 11 – green

Landing is 20×10 with a door on the right (31). Going up the stairs, it would be easy to miss this door.

Level 12 – light yellow

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the left (32, 33). The smaller room has a small hidden panel (gnome size) on the right wall about a foot off the ground that leads into a hidden room (33b).

Level 13 – reddish orange

Landing is 20×10. On the left wall is the hidden door that connects to the 400-foot tall room on level 2. Falling through this door could hurt a lot.

On the right are 2 doors (34, 35). The room directly across from the secret door has a 160’ high ceiling. In the far right corner, abutted against the ceiling is another secret door that leads to room on level #17.

Level 14 – purple

Landing is 20×10 with a door on the left (36) and the right (37).

Level 15 – aquamarine

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the right (38, 39).

Level 16 – yellow

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the left (40, 41).

Level 17 – gray

Landing is 20×10 with 2 doors on the left (42, 43).

Top Level – dark brown

A single door at the top of the stairs leads to a large room (44) with curved walls. The top of the ceiling comes together at a point in the center. Windows circle the point, looking up at the stars.

Great Spire with numbered rooms and levels.

I want to figure out how to represent this building in 3D. I think there are some clever things I can do between levels, but it is hard to visualize in this 2D format.

Castle Darkhope

Discovered in the lost ruins of Gauntlet Green is a map of Castle Darkhope, where the throne of Delzoun once ruled.

Main Floor

The floorplan of Castle Darkhope reveals a large, sunken ballroom with a glass ceiling on the western side. On the east is an equally large solarium with a 2-story high class ceiling. The 2-story glass ceilings are also in the throne room and the two circular lounge areas in the front. The throne room and the solarium have double-arched entrances. The ballroom has one large archway.


Upstairs are two exterior balconies off of the study and the salon facing the front of the castle. Windows along the east wall look in to the solarium. Windows on the west can see the lower glass ceiling of the ballroom. Privileged family and visitors might have been allowed to watch the events unfolding in the throne room from the rooms above.

Cave City – Draft

sketch of city map

Work in progress

Sketch – Cave City

Been working on this idea for a city hidden inside of a cave, currently called “Cave City”. Apparently the people who live there aren’t very creative sorts. Maybe they spent so much time trying to squeeze in their architectural dwellings that they didn’t have time for clever words?

Some of the angles got a little wonky, especially the top swath of road. Some day I may see if I can improve on this digitally.

This was inspired by the quick sketch made for the Skirmish on a switchback trail.

Giant Skitters

Anyone else get twitchy and itchy at the mention of fleas? Nasty little buggars. They were my inspiration for a nasty monster called a “Giant Skitter” for my D&D 5E game. See below for the stat block.

One-on-one these monsters are pretty easy to kill. It’s the fact that more of them keep coming that almost got a TPK before the group figured out their fire vulnerability. This encounter was for 5 level 3 characters, though we ended up being down one character. Fortunately it wasn’t the character with healing abilities.

a Giant Skitter (okay, really it’s a flea rebranded as a Giant Skitter)
My Giant Skitter stat block can be found in the homebrew monsters on D&D Beyond.

Skirmish on a switchback trail

Rough sketch of a switchback trail
The adventuring group encountered three Dire Wolves at the foot of this trail.

I needed an encounter map for the D&D 5E game that, due to COVID-19 and players’ locations, I’m running over the internet. I created this using the drawing options available on the Google jamboard app. Thought it turned out pretty good considering I was drawing it with a mouse. I mean … you can tell it’s a path and a mountain, right?

screen cap of the combat encounter map
Using Google’s jamboard for a combat encounter. The background grid options was useful for establishing 5-foot spaces. The players were able to move their character initials around to indicate movement. I used different colored shapes to indicate the Dire Wolves.

D&D Gaming Philosophy

I am starting a new D&D 5E campaign that will include some new players. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some gaming tips.

Have fun. This is a game.

Love your character. Get into the story. But remember at the end of the day, this is a game. We are all coming together to have a good time. Sometimes the most fun comes from unexpected failures. Embrace them and make them work for your story!

Don’t be a dick.

Respect your fellow players and your game master. Find ways to work with your teammates and the story. While I as the GM might joke about plotting players’ demise, ultimately, I want to see you win. You are the heroes of this story.

Evil Player Characters Suck

Generally, I am not going to concern myself with your character’s alignment. I may inadvertently roll my eyes in exasperation at some character decisions because … Hey, I am human … despite what some may suggest! That being said, I have rarely seen an evil character that has been fun to have in a D&D party. Cruelty for cruelty sake is what the bad guys do. Buuuut … if you have a clever idea for a character concept, talk to me.

Do not hate the GM. Hate the fictional villains!

My job as a game master is to challenge the party and give you an exciting world to explore. We are writing this epic story together. I am on your side, even when you decimate my Big Bad in one round. I may cry a little on the inside, but if you are all happy dancing, then it was worth it.

Actions have consequences.

Whether you help the old lady cross the street or backstab the beggar boy, the people and the environment will react accordingly. For example, reputations can affect how NPCs help with information gathering or the cost of goods.

It is okay to run away.

Sometimes there will be adversaries that will kick your ass if you try to take them head on. Hiding, running away, negotiation, or surrender are all possible alternatives. Not all the bad guys are going to be level-appropriate combat encounters. Sometimes you may have to come back later and get revenge.

The GM will make mistakes.

Yup. I won’t always make the right call on a rule. I am going to TRY not stop the flow of the game by looking up rules, as I have in the past.  I will try to make a reasonable, fair call at the time. In the same regard, I ask that players not argue about the rules during the game. Let’s talk about it afterwards!

The GM will make mistakes but can improve with help!

If you feel that I am not being consistent or fair or am playing favorites, talk to me about it after the game. I might not ever realize it until someone (gently) points it out to me. Also, sometimes my memory is shit and I legitimately won’t remember something.

GM Ramble

My goal as a game master is for everyone, including myself, to have fun.

For me as a player, fun can be my character defeating a challenge in an unexpected way, being recognized by the locals for our heroic deeds, finally defeating that boss character that harried the group for so long.

For me as a game master, fun is seeing my players get excited when they defeat the big bad or cleverly solve some challenge I’ve put in their path. It’s having a story idea and seeing it fleshed out as the players explore and react to the story framework.

I like to reward my players for being clever. What I find gets boring is brute force approach to problem solving. Sometimes hack and slash is the answer. But not always. Sometimes it’s okay to run away. Sometimes you can befriend or talk your way out of a problem.

Those alternate “sometimes” that I as a game master hadn’t even considered are so cool. I’m not the best GM, I’ll admit. It throws me for a loop and I don’t always improv and adjust as well as I would like. I make mistakes … all the time. I need to get better at preparing less and improving more.

Since January, I have been taking some time off from running D&D games. Was getting burnt out running 2 games with other crazy goings-on in my personal life.

And now there is even more crazy in the world with the COVID pandemic, the Trump government that keeps ratcheting up the cruelty and inhumanity, and too many cops are killing with impunity. (To be fair, the police force has been doing a lot of bad shit to people, especially people of color, for longer the my privileged, middle-class suburban white ass really understood.)

Anyway … I kind of bullied players from either game into picking up the GM reigns. I hope they are finding it exciting, challenging, and rewarding like I did.

It has been strange being back on the player side of the table.

GM Notes: Dungeon of the Mad Molvei

Dungeon map sketched out on grid paper


A battle rages for control of the walled city of Berlstrum. The hoard of necromancers, raiders, and undead intend to take over the strategically located town and create a permanent base on the material plane for Orcus, the Demon Prince of Undead. Fighting around Berlstrum has reached a fevered pitch. All of those with combat experience have gone to Berlstrum to provide aid.

Gorshank’s tale

With information provided from Gorshank’s recent experience and research done by two town scholars (Olmaree and Penster), it is possible we could turn the tide in this fight. 

Gorshank is a weak, withered old human barely able to sit up in bed. Gorshank tells of hunting near the coast when he spotted a small band (6) of the infamous Terken raiders. With the raiders was a tightly bound and gage captive hog-tied to a carrying pole. Thinking that he could finally prove himself a hero by rescuing the captive, he followed the raiders. When they made camp, he hid and eavesdropped, waiting to make his move. 

While eavesdropping he heard the leader of the group, a dwarf identified as Kednar, talking with a magic-y type in dark robes about the assault on Berlstrum. The other raiders complained of being away from the fighting. Kednar pointed at the captive and said that they had the last “low fruit on the Aheneus family tree” that they needed to secure Orcus’ passageway. And something about “those dragon bastards screwing anything.” Once they had it hidden away in the prison, Kednar promised that they could all join in on the mayhem and bloodletting in Berlstrum. 

Though he watched all night, Gorshank was not able to sneak in and free the captive. The next day he continued to follow the raiders, careful not to be spotted. Eventually they came to a cliff-side town long gone to ruins (the Ruins of Amara). The one in dark robes did some chanting while the small band went through the town. As Gorshank followed, he would occasionally spot something out of the corner of his eye, but it was gone before he could figure out what it was. The raiders descended a narrow path to a sandy cove. As he watched from above, he saw them part a curtain of vines and disappear inside. Two of the raiders stayed and guarded the secret entrance. 

He waited and watched for a while, but fatigue caught up with him and he started to dose off. He awoke to a feeling of bone numbing cold. Surrounding him were 3 transparent beings … ghosts … they looked angry and confused. In unison, they pointed at him and then at the cove below. He was terrified. He screamed.  This alerted the guards below, who started rushing up the long path to the clifftop. Deciding he was no hero, he ran. The ghosts followed, pulling at him, touching him, and draining his energy. Beyond that, he doesn’t remember much. Just running and running until he stumbled into this tavern. 

New intel

From Gorshank’s tale, Olmaree and Penster, two town cleric scholars, have been able to piece together several important details:

  1. Gorshank was in the haunted Ruins of Amara. Long ago, the town and 100s of folk were caught in the middle of a battle between 2 dragons.  A Protection from Evil and Good: Undead (1st level-10 minutes – CON) spell would keep the ghosts at bay. You must be very fast and/or very stealthy to get through the ruins to the cove below. 
    • Circlet of Protection – cast Protection from Evil and Good (PHB 270) – 3x per day; renews at dawn; last 10 minutes; concentration 
  2. Somewhere beneath the Ruins of Amara is the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei. The hidden entrance most likely leads into that dungeon, rumored to be filled with many lethal traps and inhuman guardians.
  3. According to one prophesy they found, a key ingredient to casting a permanent portal to the Abyssal plane are the souls of three decedents from the ancient bronze dragon lineage known as the Royal Court of Aheneus 
  4. They believe that the enemy has captured 3 such decedents and they are being imprisoned far from the fighting in the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei.  (a human, a dragonborn, and a dwarf)
  5. If the Aheneus decedents could be freed, it would put a huge kink in the Orcus’ followers plans and possibly stop the attack on Berlstrum. Give these amulets to the captives to keep them safe once freed:
    • Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location – Requires Attunement – While wearing this Amulet, you are hidden from Divination magic. You can’t be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical Scrying sensors. (DMG 150)

from Olmaree and Penster – Items collected by the town to aid in the quest

  1. 3 Amulets of Proof Against Detection and Location – Requires Attunement – While wearing this Amulet, you are hidden from Divination magic. You can’t be targeted by such magic or perceived through magical Scrying sensors. (DMG 150)
  2. 6 Potions of Healing (DMG 188) – 2d4+2
  3. 2 Potion of Water Breathing (DMG 188) – You can breathe Underwater for 1 hour after drinking this potion. Its cloudy green fluid smells of the sea and has a jellyfish-like bubble floating in it.
  4. 1 Potion of Speed (DMG 188) – When you drink this potion, you gain the effect of the haste spell for 1 minute (no Concentration required). The potion’s yellow fluid is streaked with black and swirls on its own.
  5. 1 Circlet of Protection – cast Protection from Evil and Good (spell PHB 270) – 3x per day; renews at dawn; last 10 minutes; concentration 
  6. 1 Boots of Striding and Leaping – Requires Attunement – While you wear these boots, your walking speed becomes 30 feet, unless your walking speed is higher, and your speed isn’t reduced if you are encumbered or wearing Heavy Armor. In addition, you can jump three times the normal distance, though you can’t jump farther than your remaining Movement would allow.
  7. 1 Flame Tongue Sword – Requires Attunement – You can use a Bonus Action to speak this magic sword’s Command Word, causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. While the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until you use a Bonus Action to speak the Command Word again or until you drop or sheathe the sword.
  8. 1 Chime of Opening – This hollow metal tube measures about 1 foot long and weighs 1 pound. You can strike it as an action, pointing it at an object within 120 feet of you that can be opened, such as a door, lid, or lock. The chime issues a clear tone, and one lock or latch on the object opens unless the sound can’t reach the object. If no locks or latches remain, the object itself opens. — 3 charges remaining.  After the 3rd time it cracks and becomes useless.

Ruins of Amara

1) entrance 

Ruins of Amara

Having navigated your way through the Ruins of Amira, you spot 300 feet below the cove you’ve been looking for. You follow a narrow, winding path down the cliff face to the cove below. The gusts of wind from the ocean are cold and wet; slick vines cover much of the cliff, offering questionable aid in navigating the path without falling down – DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Strength (Athletics) 

At the bottom, you have to squeeze between a couple of large boulders before emerging onto a soft, sandy beach. Lush green vines cascade down the cliff face, rippling in the blustery breeze. This cove continues in either direction for about a quarter mile (1300 ft) before ending. The crashing surf and the wet, packed sand are about 200 feet in front of you. The rest of the beach is dry sand (difficult terrain for movement purposes). Only footprints from flying sea-rats mar the sand. Driftwood, a few random boulders, seaweed, and the like litter the isolated stretch of beach. In some spots, the driftwood has piled up against the cliff wall.

The lush vines hanging down the cliff wall obscure a cave entrance. You part the curtain of vines and find a 3-foot wide (10-feet high) entrance. The cave widens to 30 feet across (50 feet deep). The soft sandy ground continues inside of the cave. The heavy curtain of vines blocks most of the light in here (low-light).

entrance and waterfall areas
Entrance (1) & Waterfall Cavern (2)

DC Wisdom (Perception) – Searching the back of the cave, you find a large hole (3×6) with complete darkness beyond. Even Darkvision fails to aid your sight. (Per Darkness spell PHB 230). Waving your hand inside the hole meets with empty space. You can hear the roar of a waterfall farther inside. 

This is a passageway that is covered by a Darkness spell (noted by the Xs on the map)

A Daylight spell can dissipate this area of darkness. The Darkness spell will return as soon as the Daylight spell is out of range.

The darkness continues (if not dispelled) for 60 feet; the sound of the waterfall gets louder and now you can also identify the sound of small waves washing over sand. 

2) Waterfall cavern

The darkness ends at the edge of surf gently licking over the sandy ground. The right wall and ceiling are covered in patches of strange, pinkish luminescence (upon investigation, a luminescent algae) providing spotty, dim light throughout the large, water-filled cavern. The ceiling soars beyond your vision. (~200’ high) The sound of waterfall echoing in the space makes hearing difficult. 

50 feet from the water’s edge, a small island rises out of the water covered in the same luminescent algae as the walls. A waterfall spanning most of the left side pours out from high above (~100 feet). The water spreads north and south to both beaches. Bubbles (whirlpool) to the right of the island suggest that the water exists there.  

The bottom of the pond starts with a gradual decline before abruptly dropping to 60 feet. 

Straining to see what lays beyond the island, you think there is a beach on the north end of this cavern, about 110 feet away.

Swimming in the water are 1d4 Swarms of Quippers (MM 338).

On the island

The island is a gentle mound rising 5 feet above waterline (20 ft. across). The ground here is spongy, but firm. On the island is a tidy pile of clean armor and an organized pile of random weapons. None are magical. Examples:

  • Ring mail with no rust nor broken links
  • Studded leather with no stains or tears. All the studs polished.
  • Splint mail looks good as new, as if it has never been worn
  • Warhammer with the handle oiled and smooth, the head clear of any dents or nicks
  • Spear with smooth, unblemished handle and razor-sharp tip

The quippers clean the fleshy bits from any intruders they catch. The drones collect any weapons and armor from the waters to keep the drain system from becoming clogged. They clean and repair these items, before placing them on the island for future users. Anything magical would be brought to the storage area for the master to inspect.

3) Post-waterfall cavern

post waterfall area
Post Waterfall Room Area (3)

On the other side of the water the soft sand continues. The walls of the cavern narrow to a 3-feet (12-feet high for 25 feet) before widening (10 by 15 space). Here the cave splits, continuing forward or to the left. 

Forward: The tunnel narrows again to 3 feet before turning widening to on open space (20×40 space). There is a passage in the lower left corner. A short ways further along, the wall to the right has a 10 foot gap of pitch blackness (an area of magical darkness, marked by X) or the tunnel continues 40 feet before ending in a cul-du-sac.

Down-Left: Curves to the right for a bit (40 feet) before narrowing (2 feet width for 20 feet}. Large people and people in heavy armor will have a difficult time squeezing through – DC 12 Dexterity (Acrobatics). Backpacks and weapons have to be removed in order to pass through. After 20 feet of squeezing, you come upon a wall of total darkness. (Blocked by a wall of Darkness).

Transitions to hard stone: The two paths join at the area of Darkness. Here the ground changes from soft sandy beach to stone tiles covered in a gritty layer of sand. Your feet grinding sand against stone becomes all you hear as the sound of the waterfall fades. No algae grows on these walls. So even if dispel magic and Darkvision are used, it’s still hard to see details.

A Daylight spell can dissipate this area of darkness. The Darkness spell returns as soon as the Daylight spell is out of range.

Approximately 15-20 feet into the area of darkness (if not dispelled), a stone is stepped on. You hear a soft CLICK seeming to echo down the tunnel in front of you, followed by a strange whirring sound. (The clicking sound was the trapped doors unlocking. Multiple stones dotted throughout the darkness area are trigger steps.)

The area of Darkness ends. You have entered into a space roughly 60 by 40. Each step you take echoes on the cobbled stones. 

4) Pits of despair

Pits of Despair (4)

In the southwest corner, the tunnel winds forward. The luminescent algae carpets the damp stone walls. 

First Pit Trap (A)

Ten feet into the tunnel is a hidden trap door,. The vigilant and paranoid may spot the seams of the trap door (Perception 12), 8 feet to the other side and wall-to-wall (20 feet wide) with no ledge. The clicking earlier was the locks on the traps disengaging. 

  • Perception 12 – Looking for traps – The vigilant and paranoid may spot the seams of the trap door
  • Perception 12 – Looking for switches – On the far side, you spot a bit of dried-out browned algae about 3 feet off the ground. Inspecting the brown spot reveals a rock that pushes inward, which locks the trap door back in place.
  • If the trap is inspected, it is all gears, pulleys and other mechanical workings. Nothing magical. The trap doors meet in the center, with the hinges at the front edge and back edge. A weight of more than 20lbs opens the doors.
  • Long Jump DC 8 or wall climb Athletics (climbing) DC 12.

“Long Jump: Move at least 10 feet and jump number of feet equal to your strength score. When you make a standing jump, you can only jump half the distance.”

  1. If trap not spotted: The drop is 30 feet = 3d6 falling dmg
    on a DEX DC 10-15 save half + poison spike 1d6 piercing + poisoned
    on a DEX DC 15-20 grab edge of the far edge with an Athletics (STR) DC 10 to pull oneself up, aid from another provides advantage.

A short way up the path you see a small alcove to your left and right. In front of you the tunnel narrows (to 3 feet wide). 

*Second Pit Trap: A little harder (B)

*optional, can skip this trap to speed things along if wanted/needed

  • Immediately after the junction with the two alcoves is the next pit trap, The wary, on alert spot the seams of the next trap door (Perception 10)
  • Spans wall-to-wall (15ft) and is 12 feet to the other side. 
  • Long Jump DC 12 or wall climb Athletics (climbing) DC 14.

If trap not spotted: The drop is 30 feet = 3d6 falling dmg
on a DEX DC 10-15 save half + poison spike 1d6 piercing + poisoned
on a DEX DC 15-20 grab edge of the far edge with a Athletics (STR) DC 10 to pull oneself up, aid from another provides advantage.

Rest of the details are the same as A) 

Past the second pit trap the tunnel widens (to 7 feet for 30 feet) before narrowing to a tight 2 feet width for about 5 feet. Then you have a choice:


To the right the tunnels appear to stay around 4 to 5 feet wide for about 30 feet before opening up. 

  1. In front of you is an 30×20 space 
  2. To the right is another short (30ft) corridor that leads into a small cubby (10×10)
  3. Making a 270֯ left turn, the opening leads into another small banana-shaped space. On your left is a 10×20 cubby and on the right the path continues into a slight bend. 

Third Pit Trap: Double Trouble (C)

Immediately after the bend is the next pit trap, 8 feet across and wall-to-wall with no ledge (same as the first pit trap)

Perception 10– Looking for traps – On alert spot the seams of the next trap door
Perception 16 – Looking for traps – Spot the seams of a second set of traps doors immediately after the this one
Perception 15 – looking for switches – On the far side of the second trap door, you spot a rock that pushes inward, which locks the both trap door back into place. 

First One

  1. Spans wall-to-wall (10ft) and is 10 feet to the other side. 
  2. Long Jump DC 10; followed by an Acrobatics (DC 12) check to not fall into the trap door immediately after this one). There is a 1-foot space between the two traps doors.
  3. If 1st trap not spotted: The drop is 30 feet, 3d6 falling dmg
    – DEX DC 10-15 save half + poison spike 1d6 piercing + poisoned
    – on a DEX DC 15-20 grab edge of the far edge with an Athletics (STR) DC 10 to pull oneself up, aid from another provides advantage.

To jump over both trap doors would be a DC 26

Second one 

  1. Spans wall-to-wall (10ft) and is 15 feet to the other side. 
  2. Standing Long Jump DC 15; or wall climb Athletics (climbing) DC 16.

“Long Jump: Move at least 10 feet and jump number of feet equal to your strength score. When you make a standing jump, you can only jump half the distance.”

  1. If 2nd trap not spotted: The drop is 30 feet, 3d6 falling dmg
    – DEX DC 10-15 save half + poison spike 1d6 piercing + poisoned
    – DEX DC 15-20 grabbed the far edge
    – on a DEX DC 15-20 grab edge of the far edge with a Athletics (STR) DC 10 to pull oneself up, aid from another provides advantage.

The tunnel makes an immediate left after the double traps and goes a short distance (25ft) before coming to a T. The other narrow tunnel emerges into the same area. In front (or to the right) of you is a wall of darkness (approx. 35-40 feet across). Cautiously testing the space beyond the darkness, you feel no floor. 

LEFT PATH – The Squeeze

The left tunnel squeezes down to a foot or less in width. It twists and turns, so it’s hard to gauge how far down the tight space will last.

The tight corridor is tall (60 feet up) and 50 feet long. 

  • Large rocks litter the floor throughout the tunnel. 
  • About half way down, you spot the remains of giant rat. Their head is buried in loose stones with a dark stain spreading out from the pile. 
  • Acrobatics (DC 15 x?) to ensure that you don’t get stuck. Heavy armor would need to be removed and nothing can be carried on the back. 
  • Automatons wait on a ledge 50 feet up. They are motion activated and will start dropping boulders on any creature moving in the space.

AC 16, HP10
Boulder toss: +3 to hit; range 80/320; 1d4+1 bludgeoning; DC 12 CON or stunned 1 round
Ramming: +3 to hit; range 5 feet; 1d4 bludgeoning; DC 10 DEX or prone/pushed 5 feet
Based on quadrones {MM  225)

Fourth Pit Trap: Doombringer

This is the biggest and deadliest of the pits. There are no doors over this pit, only the darkness spell. 

  1. Spans wall-to-wall (40ft) and is 25 feet to the other side. 
  2. Long Jump DC 25 or wall climb Athletics (climbing) DC 14 first 15 feet; DC 16 last 10 feet.
  3. The drop is 40 feet = 4d6 falling dmg
    on a DEX DC 10-15 save half + poison spike 2d6 piercing + poisoned
    on a DEX DC 15-20 grab edge of the far edge with a Athletics (STR) DC 10 to pull oneself up, aid from another provides advantage.

The magical darkness ends 10 feet beyond the edge of the pit.

Boulder bowling

The tunnel continues forward with a pocket area (20×50) off to the right. In front of you is the option to go right or left. 

Perception 10 – looking for traps: A large (10’) boulder hangs from the ceiling in the space in front of you. Dark rusty stains mar the smooth stone surface. 

Glancing to the left, you can see a large smooth groove in the stone floor that fades off into the distance. 

Perception 12 – looking for traps – Upon closer inspection of the boulder, it seems to be held in place by a large net. You hear the sound of wind whistling around the edges of the large rock. 

You spot a metal gleam in the crack around the boulder. Did it blink at you?!

The monodrone (MM224) will wait for someone to enter or cross the 10×10 space to make its attack. The attack is to push the release button on the net. There is another boulder in line behind the current one. It takes 2 rounds to “reload”. 

The Sphere of Doomage is a spherical boulder that almost fills the hallway. When the sphere drops, each creature in the hallway must make a DC 15 DEX saving throw (save half). On a failed save, a creature takes 2d10 bludgeoning damage and is knocked prone. On a successful save, a creature takes half as much damage and isn’t knocked prone. Objects that block the sphere, such as a conjured wall, take maximum damage from the impact.

The corridor is 200 feet long with a downward slope. A new boulder drops every 12 seconds (every 2rd rounds).

The bolder speed increases by 10 each round: 40 (1st), 50 (2nd), 60 (3rd), 70 (4th). 

At the end of the hallway is a large hole that the boulder drops into and is teleported back to the queue at the top of the hall. There is a total of 3 boulders.

There is a secret door on the eastern wall about 40 feet above the hole where the boulders drop.

Dead End

Racing past the dropping boulder, you run forward and to the left into a zig-zagging passage. After 60 feet the passageway widens to the right. 

The area on the right quickly narrowing to a point somewhere beyond the thick tangle of webs. Peering out from the web are two large eyes and a row of smaller ones below. The spider seems to be watching you, but not moving.

The passage goes forward another 100 feet before dead ending. On the end wall are reliefs with a different creature carved into 3×3 grid: Dwarf (Dueragar), Elf (Drow), Bullette, Harpy, Kobold, Troglodyte, Bear, Spider, Worm (Purple). Dried blood smears several of the reliefs. 

Umber Hulk
(1d8+5) ChEvil

Giant Spider
(1d8+3) Unaligned

(4d12+4) Unaligned

(2d4+1) ChEvil

(1d4+3) LawEvil

(1d4+2) ChEvil

(1d6+2) NtEvil

(3d6+3) Nuetral

Purple Worm
(3d8+9) Unaligned

skip the maze
and the flames
secret doors one, two
will get thy through

to open the way,
and survive this day
the relief unique
blood doth it seek

wrong cave dweller chose
their wrath doth arose
striking down the weak
thy only warning, you geek

  1. Looping caverns

Random teleport spots?

Roaming cleaner drone

Locker room

  1. Balancing Over lava (Dexterity)

Retracting walkways/platforms; riddle? Leads to secret door. (Ask nicely)

  1. Room of Intellect

Only prime numbers

Other numbers release poison gas when stepped on. 

  1. Hallway of Fear (Wisdom)

Only prime numbers

Illusion wall at the end

  1. Hallway of Desires (Charisma)

Frozen people (one wearing a necklace of fireballs)

  1. Mummy Guards Chess

A hallway lined with dead, desiccated warriors “shriveled and blackened with age” holding spears and pikes; bite from mummy draws life from the victim and revives the dead warriors. 

Midway down the long room is a door on left that leads into the kitchen

At the end, a locked door and a locked prison gate

  1. Control Closet

Locked; need to convince drone to open and turn off anti-magic field

  1. Kitchen

Drones preparing meal for prisoners

  1. Area of anti-magic

Several larger drones guard this area

Captives held here


Map: Pillar House Tavern & Inn

Floor plan for a tavern and inn
The Pillar 3-Story Tavern and Inn with color coded levels. Scroll down to see the other iterations of this map.

Pillar House History

The Pillar House straddles a canyon where a tributary of the Irewrathe River rushes past 50 feet below. This is the narrowest spot to cross the wild Irewrathe River for many miles. This tributary was always popular with those wanting to avoid the main routes guarded by local constabulary.

The owner, Galspar the Delightful, built the original house as revenge for a mostly forgotten squabble. All right. You caught me. That is a lie. The story is a bit of a legend in these parts.

The squabble goes something like this … Four bandits demanded a toll to cross a rope bridge at this crossing and the wizard Galspar and his party of adventurers were not inclined to pay and killed those 4 bandits. The Bandit Master was not terribly happy about Galspar’s response and a mini war ensued. By the time the dust settled, only the Bandit Master and Galspar were still standing. An agreement was reached between the two, but little of the details are known.

At the spot where the original rope bridge stood, Galspar the Delightful crafted great pillars of stone jutting out of the raging waters. (There are rumors that a bargain was struct with a clan of earth elementals who guard and reinforce the pillars. But surely that is just a rumor?) The pillars created a deadly maze for anyone trying to navigate the river by boat. Atop these pillars, Galspar built his house and settled into retirement. Did he allow others to cross the canyon there? No. He did not. He and his house sat there like an angry, bloated toad. Travelers went around the long way. Somehow though, those affiliated with the Bandit Master (know thieves cant?) were able to safely get through maze of pillars in the river below.

After a few short years, Galspar the (Less than) Delightful, grew bored with retirement and sold the house to Dovilynn Warmdelver, an entrepreneurial dwarf who had grown tired of the smugglers life and had a great idea for Galspar’s place.

Dovi converted the house into a tavern & inn and named it the Pillar House Tavern & Inn. Past associates appreciated a place to quench their thirst and rest up. Though the law would occasionally raid the place, they were never able find any evidence that the clever dwarf giving shelter to wanted criminals or storing illegal goods. Of course, both were absolutely true.

There are several hidden rooms in the River Pillar House. One of the secret rooms has 4 beds for those the law is after. Another is for storage. And the third is the owner’s bathroom, because being a tavern owner means not sharing your damn bathroom with a bunch of drunkards. Two trap doors can be accessed from below if you know where and how to climb the right pillars.

Beneath the house, earth elementals (2-6) and water elementals (1-4) make their home. If a boat tries to navigate the pillars without the right Thieves Cant signals, they will attack. They get first choice on any of the items from the slain. The rest they leave in a cave for the tavern. If you DO have the correct Thieves Cant signals, the water elemental smoothly carries you through the pillar maze to the other side.

Eight beds for rent

The River Pillar House Inn & Tavern has 8 beds for rent to the public. All but one in shared rooms.

On the main level is a room with four regular beds in one, as well as one room that has an extra-large bed for larger bodies or who just like to sleep in groups. For the smaller folk such as halflings and gnomes, an optional bunting board can divide one of the regular beds into two smaller beds.

On the mezzanine is a room with three regular beds next to the shared bathrooms. The bathroom has three holes and a semi-private bathtub.

Hidden on the mezzanine level is a room with 4 regular-sized beds that the Thieves Guild rent when someone needs to stay out of the public eye. There is a second secret door from this room that allows the sneaky visitors quick access to the bathrooms, but they will still need to use their stealth to ensure that others in the inn do not spot them. Otherwise they can use the bed pans.

Map Iterations

Includes the maps showing all 3 floors labeled with and without color-coded levels, individual level maps with their secret rooms, and one with no text or furniture.


Map: Hillsworth Crooked House

A fantasy hand-sketched building map for role playing games like Dungeons & Dragons (Dnd). I would use it in a D&D 5th Edition game, myself, ’cause that’s my jab. I’ve been drawing more floor plans of late and have a couple of more that will be coming along.

About Hillsworth

Calling this large, brick edifice a “house” may be a bit of a stretch. It has the look of a building that started out with the best intention and then had rooms randomly added on without much concern for square corners or aesthetics.

A large deck on the west side faces the Hespharla Stream. On the east side, low rolling grassy hills protect the house from the winds coming over the meadows.

Colored version of a building floor plan

Raw Sketch

Original pencil-sketch of the Hillsworth Manor. When I brought the file into Photoshop, I had the walls all cleaned up and straight, but decided that this house really wanted to keep it’s crooked personality.


Map: Academy of the Anchor Accords

Here is the map of fictional Academy of the Anchor Accords, originally drawn in pencil and overlayed in Photoshop with some lovely straight lines and doors.

Academy Floorplan

Classrooms on the left and student dorms on the right. Admin and janitorial in the center.

Secret doors can be found throughout the Academy from staff wanting to avoid students, students wanting to avoid teachers, and everyone wanting quick shortcuts. There’s also a hidden room where the staff hide the good stuff! (booze? chocolate? magic items?)

Is this an abandoned building? An active school? You decide!

The Anchor Accords is part of an idea I’m toying with for a new campaign that involves time and space magic and what happens when one of the dimension’s anchors is removed by some foolish adventurers.

Academy of the Anchor Accords floor plan map

Academy floor plan, simple version without texture

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 8

Grid map of dungeon

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle

From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Photo by me)

Chapter 8

Game Day 7/5/2019

Waking Up Is Hard to Do … When Your Friend is a Mummy

Fizzle and Tholin have had a long rest in the closet they were trapped in by now-mummified Kromnak. Looking around the small 10×5 space, they realize that they are in some kind of control closet with lights, and buttons, and unidentifiable mechanics.

They discuss their options and decide to try pushing a button. There are 4 buttons: Red, Magenta, Fuchsia, and Puce. Tholin gives Fizzle a boost to reach them and Fizzle pushes a puce colored one. Nothing seems to happen. 

Fizzle and Tholin listen at the door. [Fizzle perception: 22] They hear the sound of rotting flesh and Dora the Door sobbing. Tholin suggests we put Kromnak out of our, I mean, his misery and Fizzle agrees. The door, it creaks as we slowly push it open. We see Kromnak is a desiccated mummy standing frozen by the door. His shriveled hands grasp his sword “Flame,Flame”. He is a gruesome site! Fizzle is feeling he won’t be getting his guild deposit for Kromnak back. 

As Tholin has the only sword between them, it is decided he will dispatch mummy-Kromnak to a better place. With a mighty swing he severs Kromnak’s head from his shriveled body. We remove Dora the Door from the headless body and leaned her up against the wall. We recover the items Kromnak was carrying: the flame sword, 2 javelins, bull-horned helmet, belt pouch, 13 crossbow bolts, potion of climbing, 2 hand axes, and the circlet of protection. We leave his great axe and heavy crossbow. I bless the body, “He lived, he drank, he fought, he died.” 

Breaking In and Making Friends

crop of just the prisoner section of the dungeon

Tholin uses the chime of unlocking on the cell door and we push it open and enter. There is a hallway to the right and in front of us.  Some shelves on the wall to the left have personal items (like weapons, armor, bags)  in neatly labeled stacks. A cell door is visible across the hall on the right and more cells further down. 

Examining the stuff on the shelves it looks like there are possibly 5 prisoners in here. There is also an unlabeled set of black plate armor. For now, we leave the items on the shelves.  

Looking in the first cell, we see a modest cell with a bed and desk. There is a waterfall and pool towards the back. We see a fox, but there appears to be no other occupant. “Hello? Anyone there?” No answer. We move to the next cell. It is much the same but there is a lizard in this cell. Fizzle tries to communicate with the lizard. “Hello can … you … understand … me …?” 

The lizard turns into a pretty female half elf (Moora) and says, “You’re an idiot, aren’t cha?” We learn she is one of the components in The Spell, so is one of the people we have come to rescue. From Chapter 1:

Also the captive below the ruins seems to be the key to the whole Orcus plan.  The cave below the cliffs is the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei.  Legend says that a sacrifice of three from a specific dragon family line will make a bridge between the material plan and the abyssal one.  

From the diary of Fizzle: Chapter 1

We attempt to unlock her cell with the chime but the door doesn’t open. Suddenly the “wall” behind us comes to life and tries to subdue us. Tholin attacks with his sword, but it’s a wall. Fizzle attempts Sacred Flame and it fizzles. Magic seems unable to work here. Moora says if we leave the area the Stone Defender will quit attacking. Disengaging with the “wall” Fizzle and Tholin move back towards the shelves. The wall desists. 

Fizzle grabs a mace from one of the piles (to replace the one the kitchen golem destroyed) and goes to try talking with the fox. He finds out the foxes name is Ember and it wants to be set free. 

Deciding to look around a little more before attempting to free any more prisoners, they find a store room. It contains lots of robot parts in different bins and in the corner is a drone of some sort. It looks spider-like with lots of different attachments. Maybe a repair drone? There are spaces for more but they are currently empty. Tholin pushes the drones ON button. We talk with the drone. We can’t convince it to help us turn off the magic dampening field, but we do tell it about Dora and it goes off to put her back. 

Turn Off the Anti-Magic Field

Maybe the buttons in the closet affect the field? We decide to try them. Earlier Moora had told us that when the dampening field is off the black armor becomes animated and tries to kill intruders. So before we try the buttons we empty a bin in the store room and lock the armor inside it. Fizzle then casts “Light” on a pebble in the hall with the mummies. It  lights up, and as soon as it’s tossed into the prison section, it goes dark. He leaves it in the prison where he can see it through the door while Tholin manipulates the buttons. He pushes the red one and nothing happens. 

Looking up Tholin sees the repair drone from earlier is back and looking at him from the ceiling. We offer to take the drone away with us if he helps us shut off the magic dampening field. It takes some persuasion but he gives us the code, 32133. [Fuschia – Magenta – Red – Fushia – Fushia] Using that we see the pebble in the prison light up. The repair drone follows us. 

We release the fox and the “wall” starts coming for us again. We duck around a looping hall and come to Moora’s cell and unlock it. The Stone Defender activates and we have to battle it again. As we damage it the robot sees damage and jumps on the “wall” shutting it down to fix it. With the ”wall” disabled, we push it into Moora’s cell and lock it in. We take the drone with us and open the rest of the cells, releasing the prisoners and meeting a female elf ranger named Dalal Northwind  who had been hiding  in the cell with the fox. (She is a bit surly.) 

Moora says she was brought here through a teleporter and it sounds as if she came in through the store room so we decided to check it for hidden doors. 

Opening the store room door we come face to helmet horror with the black armor! Battle ensues and we are on the losing side. Fizzle suggests turning on the damping field again so the armor will go inert. The elf Dalal volunteers so, after giving her the code, she runs off. Soon the armor collapses. For good measure we lock the armor in the elf’s old cell.

We do find a hidden door in the store room and passing through find a teleportation circle. There are also some tables with different non-related objects. They must be teleport keys! There are: A boot, bucket, pebble, round spectacles (rose tinted), a skull inlaid with precious stones, and a wide gold belt with 12 fire opals. Fizzle puts the belt on, Dalal wears the spectacles, and Tholin takes the pebble. There is a small leather flask that has fallen off the table. Dalal picks it up takes a swig and tosses it to Tholin. We all step into the circle. Moora tells us there is usually a keyword to activate the key. Delall tries “Orcus” and we all pop out.

Arc Complete!

This completes the the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei! We get to level up to 5. Next time we start a new adventure. 

This was a lot of fun.

Grid map of dungeon
Interior prison area

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 7

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle

From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Photo by me – Penny and Sparky supervise the game board. )

Chapter 7

Game Day 6/15/2019

Kramnock has Dora strapped to his back as we continue through the door and down the hall. Dora the Door and Tholin the rogue flirt (ugh weird).

Passing through a door we find, of all things, a kitchen with a small robot making mutton and lettuce sandwiches. In the center of the room are four tables with a variety of fruit piled on them. The sink is full of dirty dishes.

The Dungeon Prison Kitchen – Hey! Those prisoners gotta eat. Note each square is 10 feet, not 5.

Kromnak tries to split the robot in two with his axe but misses. He tries to pass it of to the robot as trying to help him “Cut the mutton”. The robot expresses doubt as to his veracity.

Meanwhile Fizzle grabs a juicy pear and gobbles it down. Fizzle forgot that pears don’t do well with gnomish digestion! Oh how melodious are his cheeky toots!

Optimum Health

Tholin rifles through the cabinets in the room, and finding nothing of immediate interest, sits at a table. The robot gives Tholin a drink for sitting politely at one of the tables. The drink heals him up. Kromnock and Fizzle quickly sit down at a table too. Kromnock gets a drink but Fizzle’s farting seems to have put the robot off and won’t give him one. Fizzle cajoles the robot into changing its mind and finally gets a rejuvenating beverage too. The robot says it wants us all at “optimum health” before it locks us up. It still seems upset with Kromnock trying to hit it. Sensitive little bugger.

Fizzle, feeling picked on because of the issue with farting, gets up and “helps” the robot make some of its sandwiches. The robot doesn’t like Fizzle’s sandwich making efforts and remakes them. So he take a bite out of each of them just to fluster the talking kitchen accessory. Then Fizzle asks the robot to “Pull my finger”. It won’t, but Fizzle cuts a ripper anyway. For some reason the robot seems even less inclined to tolerate us now.

Tholin asks it to show us to the cages and it finally deduced that we are trying to break in. Now it wanted to kill us, way to go Tholin! Tholin suggests it might be more because of Kromnock and Fizzles behavior. “We’ve just been ‘helping’ it” we say.

Full Metal Golem

All the metal in the room went flying towards the robot and merged into it, becoming an angry giant metal golem. Fizzle pulls out his mace, who he has named Nancy. The golem promptly sucked that in too! “Nancy noooo” he yells and sliding between its legs casts sacred flame … which of course misses because Fizzle can’t seem to hit the broadside of a barn from inside it. Tholin uses the enlargement scroll on Kromnock and giant Kromnock easily dispatches the golem but in doing so cut right through Nancy. Fizzle is crushed, and without a mace now.

We all search the room. Tholin finds the robots key finger. He also finds fresh food in a magic refrigerated cupboard. Fizzle finds a suspicious box with a red blinking light on it. He drops it down the sink drain. Kromnak tries the doors and finds them locked.

The hallway of the Cursed Ones

The Cursed Ones

After Tholin picks the lock on the double doors, we enter a hallway with a white and black tile floor. There are dozens of desiccated bodies (Cursed Ones) standing guard holding their weapons at the ready all down the long hallway. Tholin checks one of the bodies and it comes to life when he touches it. Fizzle casts turn the undead but it has no effect. Tholin swings with is sword and Kromnock with his ax. The undead thing bites Tholin and looks a little better for it. Fizzle tries his crossbow and Kromnock swings Flame,Flame. Both are hits on the undead. It bites Kromnock. Fizzle flings Holy water on it but the vile doesn’t break. Tholin throws a Fire Bolt for a hit and Kromnock finishes it with another hit from Flame,Flame. Poof up in smoke.

We continue down the hall, carefully avoiding touching the desiccated bodies. At the end of the hall past two bodies is a regular door and a cell door. To get to the doors, Tholin squeezes between two bodies successfully. As Fizzle tries to do the same he brushes one. It comes to life and takes a bite at Kromnock as he passes it (miss). Kromnock swings Flame,Flame at it (critical failure), misses and Flame,Flame goes out! Uh-Oh. Fizzle and Tholin join Kromnock in fighting the cursed one. The undead gains the upper hand and Kromnock is knocked out. Then Tholin is knocked out. Its up to Fizzle who has received several bites to save them!

Before he can get to him, Kromnock expires! Dead! Dead dead! Now Kromnock raises up as a Cursed One and comes after them. Fizzle manages to stabilize Tholin and using the finger key Tholin had opens the regular door and drags Tholin into a closet at the end of the hall. Undead Kromnock starts banging on the door.

After lighting his flame Fizzle sees the closet is 5×10 and contains some buttons. Before doing anything else Fizzle gives Tholin a potion of healing he finds on him. Both Tholin and Fizzle take a long rest in the closet.

[We advance to level 4]

From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 6

I had this post ready to go sometime last year, but had been waiting for my other group of players to finish the campaign before I posted the rest of Fizzle’s Diaries. And then I promptly forgot all about it, even after the other campaign was completed. So here it is … much delayed! … but here! (There will be a total of 8 chapters when it’s all said and done.)

Fizzle’s Diary:  Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8

Chapter 0, Character Intros: Tholin | Kromnock Mor | Fizzle

From the ongoing saga of Fizzle’s and his hired companions.
written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image (Under A Violet Moon by MegziePegzie)

Chapter 6

Game Day 6/1/2019

Riddle Relief

We continue forward with our hooded lantern and flame, flame as light. We see cobblestone floors and natural cave walls. We come to a wall with relief carving on it, it is a 3×3 grid depicting different creatures.

 I pull out my copy of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. (Oops wrong story). There is a riddle on the wall as well. 

Skip the maze
and the flames
Secret doors one two
will get you through
To open the way
and survive this day
the relief most unique
blood doth seek
Fear not my tread
to end thy dread
Wrong cave dweller choose
their wrath doth arouse
to strike down the weak
they only warning seek

-inscribed on the wall of the cave

Tholin investigates the reliefs and notices that all of the reliefs except the Harpy are covered in a thin layer of dust (rolled a nat 20). Kromnak cuts his hand and pushes the Harpy relief. His blood is drawn to the mouth and the wings flutter, a click is heard, and a door opens.

Crossing the Hallway is the Hardest Part!

Through the open door we hear the sound of stone grinding. It sounds a lot like the rolling boulders we heard earlier. That doesn’t bode well for us. As we look through the door, we see a large boulder roll by. This must be the other end of the corridor they were rolling down. One rolls by about every 6 seconds. Across the corridor, I spot a door ajar. We decide to cross to the door and go in. Kromnak runs across with ease. Tholin just barely makes it too. I’m laughing at Tholin’s clumsiness, and trip and fall on my face. Kromnak (ever heroic) runs back and grabs me but is laughing so hard at him he gets hit by a boulder. So I end up back on the original side of the passage. I, now, try to save Kromnak and fails miserably (Rolled a 1). Now Tholin saves my fallen gnome body and we are both back on the original side of the passageway. Boulders are still zipping by and rolling over Kromnak’s. He seems to have trouble getting his feet beneath him. Tholin and I try cross together and make it! Kromnak manages to crawl out of the way of the next boulder and joins us.

Ends the “rough” exterior of the dungeon.

The exterior section of the Dungeon of the Mad Molvei

Into The Interior Dungeon

Passing through the door we enter a tunnel and see on the left a smooth man-made wall. To the right is a natural cave wall. The tunnel leads east. We follow it along the smooth wall. The tunnel ends abruptly, but there is a narrow passage continuing around the corner. We squeeze through and continue on. Following along the continuing smooth wall we come to a door. Tholin checks it for traps and Fizzle runs into it when he tries to open it and its locked.

Tholin unlocks it and we all enter a man-made 10×15-foot room. We look around. To the left on the same wall as the door we came through is another door. The floor is cobblestone and very clean. Tholin checks the door for traps and gives the all clear. Kromnak opens it and looks in. He sees a hallway that ends at a corner. We continue. Around the corner the hallway continues, as do we. We come to another corner that turns right. I, Kromnak, and Tholin continue in that order. Around the corner we find a human body wearing adventurer’s gear. Looks like he died with a smile, weird. We relieve him of any useful objects that he was selfishly hoarding. We find:

  • Scroll of chill touch – Kromnak
  • 2 red potions of greater healing (4d4+4) – Fizzle
  • Scroll disguise self – Kromnak
  • Potion of climbing – Kromnak
  • Bag of holding – Fizzle (Fizzle also puts the healing potions in it)
  • Scroll of enlarge and reduce – Tholin
  • Mithral chain shirt (13dex 8lbs) – goes in the bag too
  • Long Sword – magik +1 – Tholin

Hall of Desires

Rounding the next corner…

I see a baby dragon, which I have always wanted.

Kromnak sees his beautiful moon bride.

Tholin sees a pile of gold and jewels.   

Unknown to us, we are seeing what we desire the most. We also see that the others are trying to take it from us! (GM note: The group unanimously failed their saves for the first 3 rounds. The Charisma save DC started at 15 and went up 1 each round.)

Tholin thinks Kromnak is stealing his treasure, so Tholin attacks him with his sword. Kromnak see Fizzle with his beautiful moon bride and tries to intimidate the gnome away from his lady. (Nat 20)

No one takes my baby dragon! Kromnak is hurting my dragon! I pull out my mace and whack him on the head really hard! Kromnak sees Flippy (The barbarian calls me Flippy, I don’t know why.) with his beautiful moon bride and goes after me with “Flame,Flame”. Fortunately for Fizzle he misses.

I swing and misses Kromnak with my mace. Tholin knocks out Kromnak and takes my dragon, gerrr. I get out the big guns know and summon my Pooh (spiritual weapon)! Tholin is in for it now… it’s a hit! Ha-Haa! Take that you dragon thief! Tholin hits me with his sword. Then he comes to his senses and realizes it is all an illusion.

(GM Note: This was at the top of 4th round and the save DC was up to 18. At this point, I was positive it was going to be a TPK. But we were all laughing so hard I think it wouldn’t have been so bad.)

I take another swing at Tholin with Pooh and miss. Tholin counters and knocks Fizzle out. He ties us up and gives us each a greater healing potion. We are still under the influence of this cursed space and struggle to get loose and attack. Tholin drags us down and around the next corner out of range of the illusion’s influence.

Tholin, being the only one to successfully resist the spell, goes back and collects our dropped sword and mace. We continue down the hall and up to the stairs. 

Dora the Door

I am suddenly frozen with an unnatural fear. Kromnak noticing Flippy has stopped comes back and snaps me back to my senses. 

(GM Note: This was the Hall of Fear that required a Wisdom saving throw. Failing this simply incapacitates a person. Only Fizzle failed the save but rolled a 19 on the follow-up.)

Meanwhile, Tholin finds the stairs ahead are trapped and will turn into a slide if sprung. He disarms the trap without breaking a sweat (Rolled 25 for disarm). At the top of the stairs is a 25×15 room. To the west and north are doors. Checking for traps reveal nothing. Opening the door on the west wall reveals stairs down. In the back of the room is a cupboard with linens, blankets, plates, cups, and other household items. We discover a blue bubbly Potion of Heroism (1hr 10hp). [Goes in the bag of holding.]

The door on the north wall leads to a softly lit room is softly with a cobblestone floor patterned with numbers in a grid. Across the room on the opposite corner is a door. Tholin deduces that there is a path across if you step only on the prime numbers. Kromnak just barrels straight across the room. We find stepping off the primes gets you zapped. Kromnack gets zapped a lot. We make it across to find a door. Tholin checks it and find the doorknob hot. We back up a little and Tholin opens it with Mage Hand. We hear a “Tee hee hee! That tickles!” as the door swings open. There is a face in the other (front) side of the door that greets us.

There is a 10×10 platform on the other side. Lower down is lava and flame. There are some ropes and cross beams to help, but it is very hard to cross. You’d have to be very agile or lucky to make it across! Kromnak is especially persuasive and gets the door to tell us about the room beyond. She is there to let the survivors out if any make it. She tells us the man with the pointy ears usually just floats across. Well we can’t do that! We give the door the name Dora and decide to take it with us. Kromnak removes the hinges and straps the door to his back.

Looking back the way we came, we see a door we missed hidden behind the open door that we came in through. We cross back to it (stepping on those prime number spots) and open it to find a 15-foot hall with a door on the right. Here we decide to take a short rest here.