From Fizzle’s Diary: Chapter 2

Viking Village by Lukasz Wiktorzak

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


written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)

Chapter 2

Game day 1/26/2019

Morning the next day…

Kromnak Mor makes rat stew for breakfast out of the remains of our adversaries from last night, along with rocks and grass, yuck, blagh.

Were on the path to Ol’Shire from M’Ka it a about a 3 day two night journey.  It is in the Fall of the year so it’s pretty cold at night.  It is quite foggy this morning and it was a damp cold night. As we travel we discuss what we will do when we reach Amara.  When we reach the ruins we will scout the parameter up towards the north without reveling ourselves.  We can, hopefully, enter through a break in the wall that is depicted on the map. It looks like a short shot through the ruins to the cliff and the path to the cove from there.  We will make use of the Circlet of Protection to travel through the ruins without being set upon by the ghosts. We think the best time would be around 2pm to try this. We don’t know if it will still just be two guards but we will have to trust to luck.

Second night on the road

Its gray and drizzly as we continue along the trail making camp before full dark.  While Tholin and I gather wood and make a fire, Kromnak Mor catches two rabbits with his animal trap, and cooks them, so we have a good supper.

We settle on the same order for watch this night as last: Kromnak Mor, Tholin, and me, Fizzle.  We make it through the night without incident. Unknown to me Kromnak doses through his watch and Tholin tries to catch a snake.  Which he finds poisonous. It bites him as he tries to get rid of it in the bushes, but he is OK. Later on my watch I hear what sound like an agitated snake in the bushes, but nothing comes of it.

Battle some bandits

After a restful night (for some more than others) we continue on our way.  As we make our way along the path we approach some boulders. Ever vigilant, Tholin becomes aware that, what turn out to be brigands, are hiding in the rocks.  He warns us not to make any sudden moves and tells us of this. Kromnak untrained in the fine art of subtilty immediately draws is axe and says “where!”, giving away that we have detected them.  Barbarians, what are ya going to do? The brigands stick two arrows in Kromnak’s mighty (this is for you Tim) bicep, which we all know is no way to stop a barbarian. Now extremely, shall we say irritated, Kromnak hurls one of his throwing axes at one of the archers, it was a mighty throw and cleaves the air with its vicious furry, but, alas, misses.  Not to be outdone Fizzle and Tholin put a bolt and an arrow each into one of the archers knocking him back of his perch and killing him. Kromnak leaps forward and taking a dagger in the thigh, splits the smaller of the three asunder with one mighty blow of his axe. Whish slice splat, and we are left with only one adversary. Seeing his comrades stuck and sliced, or possibly having  forgotten something important elsewhere, this one starts running away. Fizzle, that’s me, takes a shot with his crossbow and sticks a bolt in the fleeing brigands posterior. Tholin attempts a long shot but hits a protruding bolder and the arrow goes wild narrowly missing Kromnak, who quickly throws a javelin and skewers the runner, pinning him to a tree. Fizzle heals Kromnak Mor with Cure Wounds, and the fight is over.

We search the bodies and find 2 Silver and 4 Copper.  I find a silver woven basket, which I use as a hat for now.  Tholin finds a woven hair net with pearls and Kromnak fines 13 gold teeth.  One of which fits a gap in his teeth. He and I each take 2 copper and Tholin takes the 2 silver, promising to give us each 6 copper more when he gets the silver changed.  Kromnak replaces his shredded loin cloth with a pair of pants, that sort of fit, from one of the attackers.

Ol’Shire

We move on from the ambush site and come to Ol’Shire around 4pm.  It is not much to look at perched on the edge of the Briarstone cliffs.

line drawing of fantasy town: https://stevestillstanding.com/2017/09/30/the-laidback-dm-12-free-village-map/
Ol’Shire (Original Map by SteveStillStanding)

Kromnak Mor accosts the first villager we meet and asks him where the bar is, this treatment scares him so much he wets himself, but does manage to point north.  Kromnak tosses him aside and heads that direction. We follow. Kromnak seeing two building in the indicated direction one with a Bowel on the sign the other with a bed.  He chooses the one with a picture of a Bowel on the sign. I’m not sure what logic that is but oh well. We get in the door just in time to see him sit down demanding Beer from the older gray haired lady (Her name is Morgath) keeping the place.  She provides us with a bowel of stew each, guess that’s why there’s a bowl on the sign, who knew. Kromnak says “This isn’t beer” shoves it aside and leaves. He heads across to the building with the bed sign to try there.

Meanwhile Tholin and I gather some information from conversing with the old women while we eat our stew.  We are not the only travelers to come through Ol’Shire recently. Some unsavory characters have passed through at least twice once going North with “someone on a stick” and once South, just a dark robed “magical” figure.  After this we head out to find where Kromnak has gotten to.

We enter what passes for an Inn in this town, and have an ale each, Tholin and I.  We hear much the same story about a dark robed figure that we heard from Morgath. About a day ago a dark short robed figure came through with 3 other persons, all tattooed the same way.  The short one sounds like the dwarf leader of the group, Kednar. During the cores of this the proprietor of this “fine” establishment discovers I am a Cleric and wants me to bless his ale.  Which I agree to do for two rooms. Inspired by the tails of hijinks from my elders as a boy, I turn away from him produce a little “holy water” from tap of my waterskin. Then sprinkle his ale barrels making the appropriate gestures and words. He seems happy with this. I feel only a little guilty.

Finishing our ale we leave.  It turns out Kromnak after drinking three ales, stirring up the drunk, and filling the proprietors head full of clap about Drizzle, went out to sleep under a tree where we find him.  We decide to go check out the cliffs edge where I pick up some shards of briarstone.

We head over to the stable, I thought just to check it out, and Kromnak ever on the lookout for an opportunity try’s to put one over on the boy guarding the stable.  Kromnak manages to convince the boy, with appropriate help from us, that the Mayor has authorized us to take 3 horses form the stable for our journey. In the course of persuasion, at some point, the kid wets himself.  I think I’m beginning to see a pattern developing in Interactions with Kromnak and the general public. Anyway we end up with 3 horses. Swayback used up horses but beggars can’t be chooses, right. So you’d think we owe Kromnak Mor a big thanks, right, well just wait.

Now we have to ride the horses, well Tholin and I are experienced riders but Kromnak is not.  He tries to mount and the horse side steps and he ends up on his butt on the ground, he, he. Tholin and I mount up no problems.  “We will ride slow so you can keep up leading yore horse Kromnak”. This is a huge joke to us until a passing villager yells out that we are stealing horses.  Instead of trying our story on this villager Kromnak, man of action that he is, whacks his house on the rear and starts to run North out of town. The house bolts turns and runs back to the stable, and now the whole town has heard and is out to get us, so Tholin and I have no choice but to galop (more of a quick trot with these old horses) out of town North as well, passing Kromnak on the way.  The towns folk concentrate on us as we have horses and Kromnak manages to pass unnoticed after running away.

Tholin and I manage to outdistance the townsfolk before we stop and they give up and turn back.  We settle in to await the arrival of Kromnak Mor. Meanwhile Kromnak having been passed unnoticed by all the villagers chasing us carefully creeps on through the tall grass after us along the road.  As a group of villagers approaches he hides in the tall grass to let them pass. Unfortunately they see a foot and he has to improvise. Cutting his forehead he jumps up and says the brigands who took the horses bashed him on the head and headed back to town and they should hurry to catch them.  Which, amazingly, they do leaving Kromnak to continue on his way.

A second group approaches and bolstered by his previous skill (blind luck) he decides to bluff his way past.  Now this is a recipe for disaster if I ever heard of one but… you guessed it, he pulls this one off too. Spinning the same story and asking for copper for new pants, which he gets!  They also leave him to go his way and he catches up to us where we are waiting. We move further off the road to make camp. Where once again Kromnak comes through by getting two goats with one javelin throw.  Dinner is served, yum roast goat on javelin spit. Kromnak fills us in on his adventures along the road while we eat. Tomorrow the ruins of Amara await.

From the diary of Fizzle: Chapter 1

https://holiviantales.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/holivian-tales-2.jpg

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


written by Fiznarthian Ooglenook (played David Pettit)
Featured image from https://holiviantales.wordpress.com/

Chapter 1

Game day 1/12/2019

I went back to the temple and met Slogarth, an acolyte.  He is still learning his cantrips. He told me that Master Foswith had left and taken all the able bodied fighters to Berlstrum because it is under siege from the worst of the worst, Tarken raiders.

“Listen slogarth on those cantrips just concentrate, bear down and push them out.” Hehe, hope he doesn’t have an accident, if you know what I mean.

Cleaned up in my room and put stuff away from my recent trip.

I headed down to the library to  check in and see if I can get some information on this map I acquired on my trip.

I ran into Penster (human) and Olmaree (halfling) there talking about a ruined city. Sounds kind of like Amara, so I ask them. They take me to see an old man that has traveled to the temple with a weird story.

human and halfling
Penster and Olmaree

Gorshank’s Tale

The old man (Gorshank) was out hunting and came across a band of thugs with a hostage.  They turned out to be Tarken raiders.  He followed them hoping to get a chance to rescue the hostage and be a hero.  The leader of the raiders was Kednar a dwarf and he overheard that the troops were complaining about missing the Berlstom siege and something about … Aheneus family tree.  Securing access for the Orcus, the Demon Prince of the Undead, a passageway between the material plane and the Abyssal plane.  The next day he followed them to a cliffside town that has long been in ruins.  The leader, Kednar, chanted something before entering the ruins. The old man kept seeing things out of the corner of his eye, but never anything solid. They went through the ruins and down a path in the cliff to a sandy cove.  Parting a curtain of vines revealed a cave entrance, which they entered posting 2 guards.  The old man watched from the cliff above and waited, but fell asleep only to wake surrounded by three transparent beings that seemed to be trying to communicate.  In waking he made enough noise for the guards to hear, so he ran. The transparent beings followed touching him off and on as he went.

When his story was done I asked the old man his age.  He said he was 22, but he looks 90.

Talking it over Penster, Olmaree, and I – we think my map of the ruins of Amara might be the ruins he saw.  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.  There will be lots of traps, so I’ll need someone sneaky.  I’m going to need some muscle too. We have decided that someone, me, needs to stop this. I’m to go to the Guild of Keepers of Balance and see if I can round up some help, while Penster and Olmaree see if they can pinpoint where the ruins are.  They have given me 100GP to hire some help.

Hiring Some Muscle

So I head over to the Guild of Keepers of Balance and talk with a Tiefling named Dohlean.  Fortunately, they have (according to her) just hired on two of the best dungeon crawling experts available.  Tholin a half-elf rogue and Kromnak Mor a tall dwarf barbarian, and imagine my good fortune to be able to hire them both for 50GP each 25% back on returning them live.  See gave me a receipt.

Upon returning to the temple I give them the receipt and find they have located the ruins.  I am outfitted with:

  • 6 small bottles of healing red glimmering potion 2d4+2 each
    • 3 each to Tholin and Kromnak Mor
  • 2 cloudy green water breathing potions
  • 1 yellow with black spiral haste potion (1min)
  • Circlet of Protection (p270 Spell of Protection) works 3 times/day renews at dawn. Lasts 10min
    • I gave to Tholin
  • 3 Amulets (for use with hostages) Proof against detection (hide from divination magic) requires attunement
    • One to each of us… for now
  • Boots of Striding and Leaping – Jump 3 times normal distance requires attunement
    • Me, Fizzle
  • Flame Tongue sword (long) speak the command word “flame,flame”  and it flames bright 40ft and dim 40ft until the words are spoken, it’s dropped or it is sheathed
    • I gave to Kromnak Mor
  • Chime of Opening (5 uses) hollow 1ft long tube.  Point 120ft at obj – strike – and obj opens (if it can be opened)
    • I gave to Tholin

We must travel from M’ka through Ol’shire to Amara (north easterly) see map

digital map of Briarstoone

I try to barrow horses from the temple but unfortunately they can’t spare any.

So on meeting up with Tholin and  Kromnak Mor and distributing some of the magic items I was given (see above) we head off on foot for Ol’shire.  It will take about three days and we hope to “acquire” some hoses and pony’s there.  Along the way on the first afternoon we exchange some history about ourselves and I relate the old man’s story and tell them of our quest.

First Night Camping

Our first night we camp by a stream in the trees about 50 yards off the road.  Kromnak Mor catches a rabbit and I catch a fish, but Tholin has no luck trying to shoot a fish with an arrow so I share mine with him.  As we go to sleep around the fire Kromnak Mor keeps the first watch.  He keeps saying “Flame,flame” and making his sword turn-on and off.  It’s a little distracting. He can’t seem to get my name right either, keeps calling me sniffles and such. I worry he may be a little “simple” in the head.

Tholin takes the next watch and we are attacked by 6 spiders, smallish, which thanks to his alertness he sees coming.  Great fighters that we are we quickly dispatch, and in Kromnak Mor case squish with a vengeance, them.  We do take some damage and then its my watch.  Whereupon we are attacked by 3 giant rat creatures, which we likewise dispatch.

As we are all wounded. I use a couple healing spells on my companions and I drink a healing potion provided by Kromnak Mor.

Kromnock Mor’s Intro: Chapter 0

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


Featured image was drawn by Mr. Jones for his character concept.

Introduction of Kromnock Mor

Level 1 Dwarf, Barbarin

The following notes are from an exchange of text messages between myself (GM) and Jones (Kromnock Mor) as a pre-game setup.

Chapter 0
1/11/2019

GM: Since killing off your mentor and starting your life as a sell-sword … well … it’s been really boring.

Kromnock Mor: Yeah he just fights, eats, and drinks, and sleeps.

GM: Not much action or challenge. The couple of jobs you have done were uneventful escorts.

Kromnock Mor: It’s really the perfect life if you think about it

GM: Which is why I must mess with it 😀
Anyhoo … you have heard that there is a big fight brewing to the south. And that there is a group called the Keepers of Balance that hire mercs looking for capable fighters.

Kromnock Mor: Aye, but that is a long walk. I’ll meet up with them when they get up north.

GM: Conveniently there happens to be an office in the town of M’ka, where you find yourself.

Kromnock Mor: Got it. Well since I am out of beer money, I might as well go see what they have to offer.

GM: Much of the town has emptied out in the rush to help Berlstrum.
So you’ve definitely waited for the rush to pass.

Kromnock Mor: I’m not very ambitious. I have simple needs, but sometimes living the simple life drags me into complicated situations.

GM: LOL. That’s where you’ll start Saturday.

Kromnock Mor: Until then I will nap.

Tholin’s Intro: Chapter 0

sketch of a fantasy town by bulbar

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


Tholin

Introduction of Tholin

Level 1 Half-Elf, Rogue

The following notes are from an exchange of text messages between myself (GM) and the Big M (Tholin) as a pre-game setup. The Big M’s is a man of few words.

Chapter 0

1/11/2019

GM: After the “incident” in Goremonte with your thieves guild, you made your strategic retreat out of town. Your rogue skills are currently a bit undeveloped and aren’t getting you the coin you’d hoped for.
Your down to your last copper, sitting in the Spiral’s End.
In the town of M’ka.
The town is pretty empty due to many having left to help defend Berlstrum from a hoard of undead.
The innkeeper, Razputen, took pity on you and gave you a small loaf of bread. He makes the yummiest bread ever.
He did it all sneaky like … “Boy, I hope no one snags this fresh warm bread from this table (next to you) while I take these dishes to the back.”
Do you eat the bread?

Tholin: For sure. But only part. Save the rest for later.

GM: The tavern is pretty empty this time of day. The old dwarf, Razputen, returns several minutes later carrying 2 large ales. “Would you mind some company while I rest my tired old feet?”

Tholin: Have a seat.

GM: The old dwarf puts the mugs on the table, 1 in front of you and 1 in front of him. He leans back in his chair and monologues rather randomly about the town of M’ka.
After a while he leaves and comes back with 2 bowls of delicious chowder. He places 1 in front of you and 1 in front of himself.
“You are a good listener,” he says. “Here’s thanks for listening to an old man ramble.”
He leans back and continues talking about the local goings on.
“… and with so many able bodies having headed south to Berlstrum, those Keepers of Balance are probably pretty desperate to fill their mercenary ranks.”
I’m going to assume you finished the chowder and ale?

Tholin: Quickly finish them

GM: Excellent. He seems pleased. He nods and gets up. As he is leaving, he signals in thievescant, “good luck, young one.” His untouched chowder and ale left behind.
Later you discover 10 gold in your belt pouch that weren’t there before.

Tholin: Nice

From the Diary of Frizzle: Chapter 0

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


Introduction of Fiznarthian Ooglenook (Fizzle)

Level 1 Gnome, Cleric of Pelor

The following notes are from an exchange of text messages between myself (GM) and David Pettit (Fizzle) as a pre-game setup.

D&D Game Notes by David Pettit


Chapter 0
1/11/2019

GM: You hadn’t been in M’Ka long (couple months), when your idol/mentor Master Foswith asked you to travel to Goremont to fetch a recently discovered map of the Ruins of Amara and the hidden tunnels below.

A vision suggested that there was trouble brewing to the south and that something about the Ruins of Amara might hold the key to turning the tide of great darkness.

Do you take the trip?

Fizzle: … Oh ya. Yes I have to get the map I love maps.

GM: Eager to put your new found holy powers to practice in the real world, you head out on your solo journey.  “Real world” meaning outside the temple.

Fizzle: … Haha I got that.

GM: In the temple it’s been holy scriptures, cleaning, sleeping, eating. Perhaps not as exciting as you had envisioned?

Fizzle:… But the library was great.

… Latrine duty sucked.

GM: You didn’t have near the amount of free time you’d hoped for to read all those books. Practicing those cantrips over and over was exhausting. And then to have to clean the latrines …

It’s a good thing you’re such a positive, optimistic gnome.

Would your gnome ride a pony? Or walk? Or cart?

Anyway, your trip to Goremont was long, but uneventful. Goremont is probably the largest and noisiest city you’ve ever been in.

Do you do anything in Goremont aside from your assigned task?

This is also the first time you’ve seen people like full orcs, tieflings, goliaths, hobgoblins, and other such politely walking the streets and carrying on business with humans, dwarfs, gnomes, and halflings.

Fizzle:… Well am I rich enough for a pony?

GM: Would be on loan from the temple.

Fizzle: … I’d want to look around. You know, see the local library. Maybe take the underground haunted tour.

GM: They’d also provide you with a small stipend for meals.

Fizzle: … Oh ok a pony then.

… Good I get hungry.

GM: Sadly Goremont does not have a library nor a university. The closest you’d get would be the shelf of books/scrolls in the small Temple of Pelor.

Fizzle: … Oh well ok. I’ll look at those.

GM: You play tourist for a few days, taking in all the new exciting sights of this border harbor town. Sadly, at some point in your wanderings about the city you lose all your gold.

Fizzle: … I’ll have to see if I can get an advance from the local temple.

GM: The reading material in the small temple is mostly observations/notes on the different races of Glorte and Heshtia. (Neighboring countries) A couple of stories involving the mating habits of dragons that read more like bard tales.

Also some tombs on medicine, herbs, and non-divine healing methods

The small temple is sadly lacking in coin.

They’re happy to offer you lodging and share their food with you while you visit.

Fizzle: … Well that’s good. Maybe I can sell a chess set.

GM: You can certainly try. Did you character start with one?

Fizzle: … I bought one and I could craft one. It’s my hobbie.

GM: It takes you awhile to find someone interested in buying this strange game of yours, but the figures are pretty and will look nice on their mother’s mantle. They offer you 5 silver for the set.

Normally I’d have you roll a crafting skill and a diplomacy for negotiation, but this is all pregame.

Fizzle: … Ok was that a good price?

I better get the map and skedaddle before anything else get stolen.

GM: That’s half a gold. Your new to big city living. Do you think it’s a good price?

Fizzle: … They cost 1 gold normally.

Fine

😛

LOL

GM: Congrats. You’ve sold a chess set and have funds.

Fizzle: …Whoo hoo. I’m a success!

GM: Map and info dump in hand (to be provided later), you and your pony  travel back to M’Ka. It’s as uneventful as the trip up.


The history of Amara

The Ruins of Amara on the NE Coast of Briarstone

Hand drawn sketch of the Ruins of Amara

The citizens of Amara had been harassed by a decidedly evil dragon that was destroying their crops and livestock and demanding they pay tribute. Even giving into the extorsion, the dragon continued to pillage the town and the surrounding area. The townsfolk went to a nice, friendly elder dragon and asked if it would be so kind as to remove the dragon from their lives. The nice dragon was welcome to all the treasure that the evil dragon had extorted from them.

There was an epic battle between the two dragons. Magic flew. Breathes of fire and acid spewed. Buildings were hurled at the enemy. By the time the battle was done, the village was in ruins and the entire population was dead. The spirits of these dead villagers haunt the ruins to this day, demanding to know why their savior failed them.


Fizzle: … Go me. Happy Gnome!

Travelled through Obsidian (Lower level human upper gnome) on the way back to M’ka.

A New Tale Begins

artwork from box cover of the D&D 5.0 Starter Set

What have I done?

I started running a new 5th Edition D&D adventure for some friends I met through work. It’s in the same world setting that I created for the Dreadstorms Lost campaign, which I’m continuing with the several-years going now Sunday group. (Note, the image at the top of this post is from the Wizard’s of the Coast D&D 5.0 Starter Set. I sam not using the starter set for this new game, but I did buy it as a going away present to get one of them hooked.)

So this new group … To protect their privacy, I’ll refer to these new players by the supper duper secret code names: the Big M, DP, and Jones.

Setting the Bar

The Big M and DP have been listening to Critical Role to get an idea of what 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons is all about. Talk about setting the bar high. Mathew Mercer is an incredible story teller and a master of improv. His players are also voice actors, so I guess that sets the bar high for my new players too. Back 3ish years ago, watching Critical Role got me excited to game master again. Which has led to other great things in my life like having a fun excuse to get together with old friends more often, a better job, and finding new friends to addict to this hobby.

But back to the new guys … The Big M hadn’t played D&D since it was AD&D. (I mean, wow! the man still has the original books! and Dragon Magazines!) DP and Jones haven’t really played much, if any role playing table top games before. But let me tell ya, all three took to dungeons & dragons like friggin’ fish to water. Their enthusiasm is awesome, inspiring, and terrifying. They are a delightful group. Just don’t tell them that. I’d never hear the end of it.

Perspective

DP’s character, Fizzle, is keeping an online diary of the adventure, which I really quite enjoyed reading. I’m hoping he’ll let me share these with you here. It is fascinating for me to see how the story unfolds from someone else’s perspective. It’s like hearing a voice recording of yourself that doesn’t sound anything like you image you sound like. And then realizing that there are more voices than just your own in that recording that all sound different and more alive through someone else’s eyes.

 

 

 

Town of Obsidian

multi-level steampunk town

Check out the improved upon version of this map of Obsidian posted in April 2019

Ground Level of the Town of Obsidian

The town of Obsidian lies along the northern stretch of Briarstone’s Free Road, between Berlstrum and Goremont.

The population is primarily gnome. The ground floor is “human” size and scale, where the rather random levels off the ground are more comfortable for the shorter races.

Beneath the city is a well guarded secret, or at least not widely advertised to enemy forces. A large diamond mine runs many levels and tunnels underneath. The town has a dark gritty layer of coal dust that covers much of the town. Processing plants are a large source of employment here.

Places of Interest

Inns/Taverns

The Frenzied Ferrett Dance Hall & Eatery

Nightly contests based on performance scores (dancing, instruments, bands, solos, comedians, etc.)
Gambling room

Salty Swan Retreat

Bath house and optional adult entertainment/companionship

The Tipsy Unicorn Tavern & Inn

Cheap drinks & small rooms

Dizzy Dragon Den

Rooms 1gold per night

Stables 6 silver per mount

Specialties: Dragon Pepper Poppers, Dragon’s Breath Ale

Yahkle Arodite (Dwarf); talkative cheerie fellow; closely shorn red hair;  no beard nor eyebrows; happy to spin a yarn about how his beard burn off and how lovely life as a dwarf is without a beard.

Mayor’s Office

Mayor Kayrem O’Riley. Male gnome with greenish hair, vibrant blue eyes, plaid red/black suit with black button up shirt and matching pocket square.
Glenarra, Mayor’s Assistant.  Female halfling, flaxen haired, tired rings under her dark brown eyes, horribly hung over from partying at the Frenzied Ferrett last night.

Military Baracks for Sovereign’s Troops

Colonel Bodo Mutah. Male gnome, gray & grizzled

Places of Worship

The Congregation of the Somewhat Virtuous

Collection of various Choatic Good kiosks
Calista. Seerer. Human androgenous. Royal blue; follower of Daghdha
Cleric Zorbit (Cleric of Aphrodite). Halfling female, short bobbed orange hair; grey eyes.

Temple of Eternal Song

Keepers of Balance

Paragons of Pelor

Sparks Refinery

Buric VonBellor. 1/2-Elf male. Head honcho of mines – technically, the diamond mines belong to the country of Briarstone and the sovereign

Vendors

The Pounding Hammer Smithy

Basic metals smith; armors

Metal Mayhem

Armor/shields; some basic +1 items available

The Majestic Gray Blade

Weapons, bladed

Berttle’s Bloody Blades

Blades and other shady magic items

The Raven’s Maze

Basic magic items, potions, scrolls

The Daper Dandy

Leather and Cloth goods and armor

The Royal Yeti

Fancy clothing

Possible Side Quests in Obsidian:

Mining Pests

The owner of Sparks Refinery, Buric VonBellor, is losing minors in a new vein of the mine to a territorial Bullette that finds gnomes and halflings tasty. Buric is offering 500g per claw (12 claws per bullette) as proof of success. Buric volunteers Svensen, a portly gnome with anxious brown eyes, to take the party to the end of the new vein. Svensens not excited to be bullette bait.

Each adventurer is provided with a basic hooded lantern, if needed.

They will be escorted blindfolded by guards and Svensen through the building, down the mine shaft elevator, and into the tunnel entrance to this vein. The guards will stay at the tunnel entrance.

Berttle’s Bloody Blade

Located in the poorer part of town, behind a greasy food stand Berttle’s Bloody Blade sells questionable magic items, mostly bladed. Berttle is a angry, greasy gnome who bellows at his apprentice, Goffenmauker. Though Berttle is excessively polite to potential buyers.

Berttle has intel that there is a large boulder that contains the rare terrunium ore hidden way below the diamond mines of Obsidian. (For a description of terrunium, look under the Nation of Glort here: Dreadstorms Lost Campaign – Overview) The diamond mine operators want nothing to do with some stupid rock with terrunium. He sent his apprentice to find someone to sneak through the minds and retrieve the stone, but the hapless Goffenmauker has had no luck. No one familiar with the diamond operations wants to risk getting on their bad side.

Our adventurers enter the premise as Berttle is scolding Goffenmauker for his failure to procure some “dumb-ass idiotic adventure types” to get the stone. If the party is interested in taking the job, Berttle will offer to make a single bladed with terrunium with two minor enchantments in exchange for sneaking the boulder out of the mines.

rough sketch of path through mines to Berttle's rock
The roughly sketched path to Berttle’s terrunium boulder through the diamond mines below Obsidian (Player Version). While the path looks flat, the tunnels are constantly slopping off in different up/down angles. The round space is a huge cavern with hundreds of tunnel entrances. There are zig-zagging paths with color-coded flag posts at the bottom of each section. (Sketch on the bottom left for GM clarity.)

To aid in the task, Berrtle will provide the party with:

  1. Rod of Tensers Floating Disc. Has 3 uses of the Tensers Floating Disc spell. Activates by pushing the button on the end of the rod. The button must be held down to maintain the spell. The button is stiff and takes effort to keep active. Trying to secure the button with glue or “tape” will cause the rod to fall apart.
  2. Two scrolls of Pass Without a Trace. 
  3. One scroll of Mass, Disguise Self – As the spell “Disguise Self”, but can be applied to up to a total of 6 willing creatures. All those under the effects of the Mass, Disguise Self spell must stay within 30 feet of the caster or the effect ends.
  4. A poorly drawn directions to the terrunium rock hidden beneath Obsidian

Harpy Battle

View of harpy nest from above

When fighting a battle with harpies in a forest, sometimes you have to get creative with those trees and nests!

November 2018 – Added backstory below photos.

Backstory

These notes are being added in November, 3 months after the game occurred. My game notes aren’t great, so some of the details are a little fuzzy.

Our band of adventurers were camped beside the free road when a band of 5 harpies swooped in and tried to steal all of their shiny goods. The harpies only managed to grab a couple of things before being chased off by the party, but not before losing one of their number.

The next day they arrive in the town of M’Ka. The town has netting strewn between the buildings, covering the streets of the small town. They soon discover that in the last 6 months harpies have grabbed 6 young children off the streets of M’Ka. The townsfolk have not been able to find where the children were taken or if they are still alive. Two of the kidnapped children are the mayor’s.

The mayor, Winnie Soolfulright, convinced the town to raise a “king’s ransom” in gold (12,000g) to pay the Keepers of Balance to rescue the children. The Keepers of Balance declined to take the job. The mayor offers to give the players the coin if they can bring back the kidnapped children. Our gallant heroes leap at the chance!

Lost Children of M’ka:

  • Istaak Alfrenridge (8)
  • Anise (6) and Kayla Pennywise (4)
  • the twins Herman (5) and Shaila Soolfulright (5) – mayor’s kids
  • Golfree Thompson (3)

The next morning the cleric (Annabelle), the sorceress (Kethra), and the ranger (Aphodel) head east, in the direction they saw the harpies fly after the initial encounter on the roadside. They arrive in the small, ocean-side town of Ol’shire. The people there claim to know nothing of harpies, though it’s clear that some are lying.

The good folks of Ol’shire made a bargain with the harpies. The harpies would protect the town from the marauding pirates that had been troubling the town as well as not bother town and the town would keep people away from the harpies’ nests.

Harpies have a difficult time bringing their eggs term, often forgetting to keep the eggs warm when they left the nests to search for food or treasures or whatever drove these cursed beasts. So the harpies stole the youngest, easy-to-control children to warm the eggs while they incubated.

Our suspicious group leaves Ol’shire under the stealth of night and travels north along the coastline. They find several abandoned harpy nests along the way. Eventually they come to an area that shows signs of recent harpy activity.

They set up a trap near a grove of trees: a camp fire with shiny cursed armor, gems and a backpack filled with rocks as lures. Then they find climb the nearby trees and wait for the trap to spring. Much waiting occurs. It’s windy. One of the team almost gets blown off the tree branch they’re hiding on/clinging to.

The harpies approach, singing their songs. All but one of the adventuring group is able to resist the hypnotic pull. Battle ensues. With the use of sacred flame, scorching ray, and magic missiles the harpies once more run away before they can be captured or killed.

The team tracks the harpies back to their active nests. There are between 20-30 harpies making their home there. Our heroes don’t do a great job of hiding.

A harpy lands near where they are hidden and offers parlay. Offers to give these adventurer’s “shinnies” to go away. They have 3 eggs that are almost ready to hatch. They can have the kidnapped children back once they hatch in about a month. While intrigued by the offer of “shinnies”, which they learn are coins and magic items, they are not in favor of leaving the children with the harpies. The cleric offers to keep the eggs warm herself it they will release the M’ka children. The harpy doesn’t trust that the cleric would stay put or leave the eggs unharmed and declines the offer.

Negotiations break down. As a fight becomes imminent and terrified of being destroyed by these hardened killers, many of the harpies fly away, carrying as much of their loot as they can on the way. The polygamous group whose eggs these belong to stay.

At the same time as this chaos occurs, an old friend – Barbang, the dwarf fighter – is transported from Berlstrum to this battleground in thanks for aiding a hag. A battle between the remaining 7 harpies and the 4 adventures ensue. Five of the seven harpies are killed. The surviving two harpies grab the 3 eggs and one of the children and make their escape.

The newly abandoned nests are in huge old trees bent over the tall Briarstone cliffs. The tree with the children is surrounded at the base by a large water pit, placing the edge of land 25 feet from the trunk of the tree. The children warn the rescuers that there is a giant snake hiding in the water at the base of the tree. With the aid of several Ropes of Climbing, a Potion of Giant Strength, and some great climbing skill, they are able to get the 5 remaining children safely down from the nest without waking the giant snake. They are filthy, malnourish, and dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed. Anise Pennywise is the one that was carried away.

There is much happiness, rejoicing, and celebration upon the return of the 5 children to M’ka. They swear that they will find and bring back Anise. They also swear amongst themselves to find those shiny coins and treasures the harpy alluded to during the negotiations.

Image

Ruins of Amara

My first effort drawing a town.

I think I ruined it!

[pause a beat] … cause the town is in ruins! [insert polite laughter].

As my first sketching of a town map, I think it works pretty well. It’s really clear that the town was destroyed quite a while ago, right. Do you agree?

Are you reading this?

I hope none of my players actually visit my blog, since the group hasn’t been here yet. I’m reasonably sure they don’t. Maybe I should sneak some important clue on this posts just to find out!

Cause this is in-game stuff

The Ruins of Amara is a key location in finishing a big story arch the players have been working on in my current Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) campaign. The current arc takes place in the same world as the Dreadstorms Lost campaign and is actually like a Part 2 continuation.  This is a large part of why I’m having a hard time finishing the Dreadstorm Lost campaign on this blog. My brain has moved along to where we are currently in the game. The end of the Dreadstorms Lost happened in real life a couple of years ago now. Trying to drag my head back there is challenging. Especially when I’m trying to plan what might happen next in the current story.

The history of Amara

The citizens of Amara had been harrased by a decidely evil dragon that was destroying their crops and livestock and demanding they pay tribute. Even giving into the extorsion, the dragon continued to pillage the town and the surrounding area. The townsfolk went to a nice, friendly elder dragon and asked if it would be so kind as to remove the dragon from their lives. The nice dragon was welcome to all the treasure that the evil dragon had extorted from them.

There was an epic battle between the two dragons. Magic flew. Breathes of fire and acid spewed. Buildings were hurled at the enemy. By the time the battle was done, the village was in ruins and the entire poplulation was dead. The spirits of these dead villagers haunt the ruins to this day, demanding to know why their savior failed them.

Hand drawn color fantasy town map
The Ruins of Amara on the NE Coast of Briarstone

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Luapi

The continent of Luapi is a hand-drawn fantasy map with towns and topography. No labels. Some buildings turned out better than others.

How would you use the word cartography in a sentence in this instance? Because Google isn’t happy that I’m not using the key words (tags/categories) in the body of my blogs.

Why yes, this doodle is an example of my attempts at hand drawn cartography.  This map includes mountains, lakes, forests, and other examples of topography. I’ve also included sketches of towns, villages, huts, towers, and docks.

This map and all the others are the sort I would use in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. You too are welcome to use them in your campaign (D&D or otherwise) as long as you don’t claim you drew it yourself or make a profit from the sketch.


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Xarundran – X marks the spot in color

Colored pencil sketch of a fantasy continent for use in a role playing game like Dungeons & Dragons. No labels on this one!

Decided to skip the towns and labels on this one. I just wanted the topography without the civilized bits.


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Yewnaria Revisited

I originally posted the black & whitish pencil sketch of Yewnaria here. Below are descriptions of the areas of interest on the continent of Yewnaria.

Continent of Yewnaria (Mainland)

Kalenar

  • Largest settlement on the mainland of Yewnaria
  • The recognized seat of power for the mainland
  • Sits at the mouth of the Kale River
  • Often battered by brutal coastal waves that floods the lower areas
  • The wealthier live in communities built upon elaborate, multi-level platforms perched on stilts

Goya

  • Nearest neighbor to Kalenar
  • Sits between the Kale River and the base of Orgool Hills
  • The Kale River widens and slows down at this point, making it feasible for larger ships to sail from Kalenar up to Goya

Anika

  • Coastal town
  • Next closes territory to Kalenar
  • Has a large wall around the city which helps brunt the worst of the coastal batterings as well as keep out unfriendlies
  • Between Anika and Happychance are rich, fertile farmlands
  • The eastern mountain range of Yewnaria are riddled with tunnels and passageways to the other side of the range. Many of the passageways are controlled by various clans of trolls, kobolds, dwarves, humans and the like that charge tolls and/or offer protection for travelors

Happychance

  • Upriver from the violent coastal tides
  • Happychance straddles the water where three rivers merge

Psíanth

  • Northern most settlement in the Valley of Lakes
  • Large bridge over the Al’alwan River leads into Psíanth from the east

Mawgenta

  • In the center of the Valley Loslagos
  • On the banks of Kershmire Lake

Aberdine

  • Lake side

Cadeem

  • Lake side

Bonhaven

  • Does a lot of trading with Xan and Zemr
  • South eastern coast is primarily dry, arrid steppe land

Southeastern Yewnaria

Xan

  • TBD

Zemr

  • TBD

Northern Yewnaria

Baitan

  • Snobs
  • Hate Kalenar and deny that Kalenar has any sovereignty over them

Brakenridge

  • Isolated
  • Cold

Rodeego

  • Bay harbor
  • Cold

Monokron Isle (Between Northern Yewnaria and the Mainland)

  • This once beautiful isle changed … elementals battle … death … dispair …

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#20 – Will of Orcus Plague – Dreadstorms Lost

Undead horde attacks 3 mounted knights
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 20 OF MY CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST, FOR THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION GAME. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

The tricky part about Dreadstorms Lost campaign is the timeline. Once the ritual spell is started, it will increase in intensity each day. At each dawn the life draining wave kills more creatures toand reanimates them at dusk. The Will of Orcus Undead instinctively attack in hordes.

Depending on the party’s actions, like long or short rests, will decide where there are when a plague waves will happens.  

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5


Day 1 – At Dawn they Don’t Cometh – Insects

(Day 1 description copied from #11 – Bugs & Thugs)

Kazel is set up and has begun casting the ritual spell, Will of Orcus, several hours before sunrise.

First plague wave!

At dawn, those awake feel an odd moment of fatigue (*Life Drain). It quickly passes. Everyone needs to save vs the Life Drain, awake or asleep.

*Life Drain [Day 1]: CON save 5

-1 to Max HP on a failed save. If HP reduced to 0 by fatigue wave, target dies and rises as zombie 12 hrs later. Otherwise, a LONG REST restores max HP.

Note: You can only have one long rest ever 24 hours.

Dead Bugs

The first wave is fairly week and mostly effects insects: flies, caterpillars, small spiders, grasshoppers, moths, bees, and the like.
On a Perception of 16, an especially observant character will notice that there are no bugs buzzing/crawling/creeping about inside the town. There are dead bugs everywhere once a person starts looking. No live bugs within the wave radius area.

The wave has a radius effect centered around Kazel. His hidden lair underneath Berlstrum is roughly located under building #96 on the town map. This initial radius encompasses the Champions’ manor and a large portion of the town center. (See map below.)

Map of Berlstrum with plague area effect
Area of effect of the first wave of the Will of Orcus Plague in Berlstrum

At Dusk/Sunset on Day 1

Dead bugs rise in swarms, attacking any viable meat source in immediate area.

Zombie Bug Swarm 

Based on Swarm of Insects (5E Monster Manual pg 338) with a plague zombie template.

Hit Points 40

Movement 20ft, fly 30

Undead Template: +1 STR, +2 CON, -6 INT, -4 WIS, -4 CHA, Undead Fortitude, Poison immunity (damage type and condition)

*Life Drain: *If HP reduced to 0 by infected, target rises as zombie the following dusk; if not dead, LONG REST recovers lost max HP

Actions

Attack. Bites +3 to hit (swarm moves into target’s space). Hit 4d4 HP + Life Drain (DC7 Con or -1 to Hit Point Max ), 2d4 + Life Drain if half swarm

 


Day 2 of Casting the Will of Orcus – Small animals

(Day 2 description copied from #14 – Day 2 of Plague Wave)

Hidden underneath Berlstrum in his impregnable lair, Kazel continues casting the ritual spell, Will of Orcus. If the party is outside of the effected area (like on the farms), they do not need to make the CON save.

Second Plague Wave!

At dawn, those awake feel a moment of fatigue (*Life Drain) that lasts for 6 seconds. Everyone save vs the Life Drain, awake or asleep.

*Life Drain [Day 2]: CON save 6

-2 to maximum HP on a failed save. If HP is reduced to 0 by the wave, target dies and rises as zombie 12 hrs later. A LONG REST restores max HP.

Note: You can only have 1 long rest ever 24 hours.

Small Animals Drop Like Flies

The second wave effects small animals: rats, mice, cats, gophers, etc. The area of effect extends farther than it did yesterday.

On a Perception of 15, someone spots a dead rat (or other area-appropriate critter). Once they start looking, rats, mice, cats, squirrels and other smaller animals have all dropped dead. They very weak or ill people are also effected.

Berlstrum - Day 2 of Plague Wave
Blue circle shows the area of effect from the second plague wave, overlapping the red circle from day 1.

 At Dusk/Sunset on Day 2


Day 3 – Casting the Will of Orcus – medium size animals

At dawn, 24 seconds of fatigue (4 rounds); small children, medium size animals like dogs, deer, wolves, and giant rats (ROUs) are effected by the wave (some make their saves; most don’t).

On a Perception 12, spot a dead cat. Once they start looking and asking around, dogs, wolves, giant rats, and small children were affected when the wave hit. (A small percent made their saves.)

The radius effect continues to grow, centered around Kazel’s location. The area of dead extends outside of the city wall a ways, extending further out than the day before.

Third plague wave!

At dawn, those awake feel a moment of fatigue (*Life Drain) that lasts for 24 seconds (4 rounds). Everyone saves vs the Life Drain, awake or asleep.

*Life Drain [Day 3]: CON save 8

-2 to Max HP each round (4 rounds) on a failed save. If HP reduced to 0 by fatigue wave, target dies and rises as zombie 12 hrs later. Otherwise, a LONG REST restores max HP.

Note: You can only have one long rest ever 24 hours.

Dead puppies aren’t much fun

For those who don’t get the reference, listen to the song here on Youtube

People of Berlsturm react poorly to 3rd plague wave and the death of their children and pets…

Mobs

Scared, irrational packs of Berlstrum citizens roam through the town. Houses and business have been set on fire. Some on purpose by those hoping to stop the plague. If they see someone they recognize as a Protector, they will likely become demanding and/or violent.

A Swarming Mob of Angry Villagers

AC 10
The Mob consists of 50 individuals; each successful hit on the mob removes one person from the mob


Movement

Speed Normal 20; Frenzied 40

Surround: The mob will attempt to surround the target(s) of their ire. To avoid being engulfed by the mob, make a DC 15 DEX saving throw. On a successful save, target avoids being surrounded. The mob gains no swarming benefits.  If mob succeeds in surrounding a target, they have advantage on attack rolls against their target(s) and +4 to hit. There must be at least 3 villagers in order to surround a target. Divide the total number of remaining mob with the number of opponents. If there were 27 members of the mob still active, the most targets they can attack is 9.


Action

MultiAttack. The full mob of 50 makes 4 attacks on each enemy within range, +1 to hit unless they have successfully surrounded a target, then +4 to hit with advantage.  Each successful hit from the swarm does 1 HP subdual damage. If the mob makes all 4 attacks in the round, their damage is doubled. If the mob is brought below half its numbers, it only makes 2 attacks.

The mob can split up to attack multiple targets (at least 3 villagers per victim, but will try to herd everyone to the same spot.

Herd. If the mob successfully surrounds a target, the mob can force an opponent up to half the mob’s movement in any direction as a bonus action. STR save 15 to resist being push.

(Subdual) Knocking a Creature Out – Player’s Handbook, page 198,

Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than deal a killing blow. When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the creature out. The attacker can make this choice the instant the damage is dealt. The creature falls unconscious and is stable.

The mob flows like water. Image that the swarm takes up 50 squares on a battle map. The mob can move through each other’s space to gain the best spot to surround and attack all targets. And because there are so many of them, they do not provoke attacks of opportunities when leaving a threatened square, unless the whole mob is frightened away.

  • 1-10 people subdued = 25% chance of the mob becoming frightened, causing the mob to breaking up and become individuals fleeing
  • 11-20 people subdued = 50% chance of the mob becoming frightened
  • 21-30 people subdued = 80% chance of the mob becoming frightened
  • 31-or more people subdued = 100% chance of the mob becoming frightened

Area effects on the mob, like cone of cold or fireball, will insta-kill the number of villagers equal to the squares the spell affects. Example a 15ft radius = 6 squares on battlemap = 6 dead villagers. (To help, this is an image of common spell shapes.) If an area affect is used on the crowd, they will instantly go into Frenzied Mob state.

Frenzied Mob of Terrified Villagers

If a member of the mob is killed (instead of knocked unconscious), there is a percentage chance that the mob will go into a frenzy. If an area effect takes out a bunch of them at once, they go into a frenzy.

If enough villagers are killed in individual combat, there is a chance that the mob will frenzy.

  • 1-10 villagers in mob killed = 25% chance of frenzy
  • 11-20 villagers in mob killed = 50% chance of frenzy
  • 21-30 villagers in mob killed = 80% chance of frenzy
  • 31-or more villagers in mob killed = 100% chance of frenzy

Frenzy Attack: The frenzied mob makes 6 attacks on each target within range. Each successful attack does 2HP damage and is no longer subdual. If all 6 frenzied attacks hit, damage is doubled.  A frenzied mob will keep attacking until each target within range is dead.

One-one-one with someone in the mob

An individual seperated from the mob has 0 bonus to all saves.

Action

Attack.  -1 to hit.  A successful hit does 1 HP subdual damage.

The Mob consists of 50 individuals; each successful hit on the mob removes one person from the mob

A Swarming Mob of Angry Villagers

Speed Normal 25; Frenzied 35

Surround: The mob will attempt to surround the target(s) of their ire. To avoid being engulfed by the mob, make a DC 15 DEX saving throw. On a successful save, target avoids being surrounded. The mob gains no swarming benefits.  If mob succeeds in surrounding a target, they gain a +4 to hit. Target is flat footed (loses DEX bonus on AC). And yes, that is a holdover from 3.5 edition.

Attack: The full mob of 50 makes 6 attacks on each target within range, -1 to hit unless they have successfully surround a target, then +4.  Each successful hit from the swarm does 1 HP subdual damage. If the mob makes 6 successful attacks in the round, their damage is doubled. If the mob is brought to half its numbers, it only makes 3 attacks.

(Subdual) Knocking a Creature Out – Player’s Handbook, page 198,

Sometimes an attacker wants to incapacitate a foe, rather than deal a killing blow. When an attacker reduces a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack, the attacker can knock the creature out. The attacker can make this choice the instant the damage is dealt. The creature falls unconscious and is stable.

The mob flows like water. Image that the swarm takes up 50 squares on a battle map. The mob can move through each others spaces to gain the best attack spot to surround all targets. And because there are so many of them, they do not provoke attacks of opportunities when leaving a threatened square, unless the whole mob is running away.

  • 1-10 people subdued = 25% chance of becoming frightened, cause the mob to breaking up and individuals to flee
  • 11-20 people killed = 50% chance of frenzy
  • 21-30 people killed = 80% chance of frenzy
  • 31-20 people killed = 100% chance of frenzy

Area effects on the mob, like cone of cold or fireball, will kill the number of squares the spell affects. Example a 15ft radius = 6 squares on battlemap = 6 dead villagers. If an area affect is used on the crowd, they will instantly go into Frenzied Mob state. (To help, this is an image of common spell shapes.)

Frenzied Mob of Terrified Villagers

If a member of the mob is killed (instead of knocked unconscious), there is a percentage chance that the mob will go into a frenzy. If an area effect takes out a bunch of them at once, they go into a frenzy.

  • 1-10 people killed = 25% chance of frenzy
  • 11-20 people killed = 50% chance of frenzy
  • 21-30 people killed = 80% chance of frenzy
  • 31-20 people killed = 100% chance of frenzy

Frenzy Attack: Each successful attack does 2HP damage and is no longer subdual. If all 6 frenzied attacks hit, they still do double damage.  A frenzied will mob keep attacking until each target within range is dead.

Activities at Specific Locations During the Rioting

Town Hall

The mayor and several of the council are barricaded inside the town hall building (#82). Outside hundreds of people are yelling and throwing rocks at the building, angry that the town leaders closed the gates, trapping them all inside and demanding that gates be opened to escape this cursed town.

Inside Town Hall is:

  • Mayor Cobblekeep (Halfling)
  • Tomo* (1/2 Elf Druid, Aphodel’s mentor) has been wounded, but is currently stable.
  • Hammond* (Human, Farmer)
  • Mostrad (Human, Katrine Cafe #52)

Other Council members

Wabae (Human, Cleric Acolyte, runs Medical Aid) is at Sure Luke’s Pub with her nephew Serifo. Her sister Mamet is dead after her boarding house was set on fire by the angry mob. She went back in to save a tenant. Wabae was unable to heal her burns.  Wabae is doing what she can for the wounded holing up in Sure Luke’s.

Agosta Amagoste (Dragonborn)* and Xendric (dwarf) are helping to guard the library from looters.

R’dsché is at his church (#37), trying to keep the people seeking sanctuary calm and safe.

Grant Tan (1/2 Orc ) had his Survival Gear store overrun by frantic citizens. A fight broke out. While trying to break it up, he was stabbed to death.

*It is assumed that Amagoste, Hammond, and Tomo were successfully escorted back to the city by the party (#12 – Going to the Farm)

City Gates

The gates won’t open. Someone sabotaged the mechanisms! (In one game, a player ran a warlock with a fiend pact. The fiend was, of course, tied to Orcus. The warlock was given a solo mission to secretly sabotaging the city gates.)

Individuals are being crushed against the gate by the mob trying to get out. Some are trying to break down the gates, but so far have had no luck.

Churches

A large percentage of the population have gone to the churches (#6, #7, #8, #37) for protection and divine aid. All of the churches are packed to the max and have been forced to bar their doors from anymore coming in.

Council member R’dsché (Elf, Cleric) is at church #37 trying to keep the people there calm.

Docks/Harbor

Others in the town have tried to leave by the sea. The warf has only one ship remaining, which is completely engulfed in flames. Many ships have crashed upon the rocks in the harbor without a proper harbor guide. The harbor is full of wreckage and floating bodies. All the blood and fresh meat has attracted large water predators. Not to mention getting the Sea Hag’s sharks all excited.

The City Wall

Some citizens are trying to climb over the wall with their possessions on their backs. Not everyone makes the climb successfully.

Dragon’s Rest Inn

Somone started a rumor that the plague was coming from a rich visitor staying at the Dragon’s Rest Inn (#45). A mob stormed over there with torches, set the place on fire, and killed any who tried to escape the building. Some of the inn’s guest tried leaving by climbing down the cliff side, only to plummet to their deaths.

The mob has been roaming the city, setting fire to buildings they suspect might have plague barers.

Library of Esoteria

Many of the casters and scholarly types have set up a perimeter around the Library of Esoteria (#44), defending the building and its precious contents from crazed mobs and looters.

The council members Agosta Amagoste and Xendric are helping to guard the library from looters.

Champions’ Manor

A large group of people (~300) are gathered throughout the lower level of the champions’ manor (#122), waiting anxiously for the champions to return – in the dining hall, the gallery, the meeting hall, hallways, kitchen.

There’s an argument going on between 2 groups at the base of the stairs in the back. One arguing to search the upstairs area for something to protect themselves with and the other arguing that it would be disrespectful to invade the Champions’ private quarters.

Some people have heard that their is a secret door in the Champions’ manor and break into the building searching for the way out. Will the group help them leave Berlstrum via the secret door(s)? At some point, the scared citizens will find the back door leading into the forest. The hinges have been twisted, making it impossible to completely close.

Some of those fleeing carry wrapped bundles which you suspect are dead children or pets.

Image

Anzorae – fantasy map

Color sketch of a fantasy map
The delightful continent of Anzorae has towns, hamlets, castles, and more! That’s right, I’ve even put in some hand typography to label locations, rivers and a mountain range.

Anzorae

Brief overview

  • The entire continent of Anzorea is controlled by the monarchy, currently lead by Queen Kezarrae (Razorclawed lineage)
  • The northwest coastline is a barren, desert wasteland called “the Sacred Lands” due to the twisted, ruined landscape caused by past battles between powerful gods
  • Taxes for cities/towns/villages range from 10% – 25% depending on the level of favor the royal has with the crown
  • Adventuring Tax
    • Any found magical items must be presented to the court and can be gifted to the royals or be assessed a stiff tariff if the person wants to keep their spoils; sometimes the royals will claim the item for themselves and the “good of the nation” regardless of the presenters wishes.
    • 30% of any coins gathered in the act of adventuring shall be paid to the crown
    • Individuals who cannot prove ownership of a magical item (provenance documents, bill of sale, etc) or who show signs of gaining unexplained wealth not reported to the court are dealt with harshly

Points of interest in Anzorae


Saleece

Saleece
Saleece – Capital of Anzorae
  • Large, walled city
  • Capital of Anzorae
  • Home of the royals and Queen Kezarrae
  • Nezor Harbor protects the city from the harsh northern seas
  • Wardrum Forest –Home to a large tribe of druids who react violently to intruders
    • it’s often difficult to tell the druids from the animals
    • the wiser citizens of Saleece avoid this forest
  • Vargox Mountains – Mined for the wide range of precious metals and gems
    • Full of angry monsters and the corpses of would-be adventurers

Hargth

Hargth
Hargth – lawless port town
  • Primarily a fishing and trade town
  • Started off as a small fishing village, but has grown as a popular destination for smugglers and others who want trade outside the eyes of the law and avoid imperial taxes
    • Forgery is a popular sport here
  • An embarrassing thorn in the royals’ pristine ideals for their nation, especially since it’s so close to the capital
  • Queen Kezarrae’s army often runs raids on the town, but have little success due to the many secret doors and hidden tunnels running beneath the Hargth
  • Hargth Harbor and the surrounding lands are riddled with underwater passageways, which connect to the land tunnels under Hargth
  • It is not common knowledge that within the harbor and water tunnels is the sub-town of Hargthsdowns that is inhabited by merfolk and the like

Sakura

Sakura+Lake Drom
Sakura – on the edge of civilization
  • Lakeside castle
  • Fairly autonomous and isolated from the politics of Anzorae
  • Being on the edge of the Sacred Lands they get the occasional wave of strange mutated creatures that attack the walled town with mindless rage
  • Adventurers that survive the Sacred Lands will often go to Sakura to trade found magical items to avoid the high crown tariffs
    • Forgery is a popular sport here as well
  • Lake Drom – as long as you stay near the banks, you’ll be fine

Ellim

Color Sketch: Hand lettered
Ellim – home of the crazies
  • Medium size city
  • At the mouth of the Joramara River
  • The land to the north of the Joramara River is lush, fertile farmland
  • A lot of small homestead dot the lands north of Ellim and are technically considered under Ellim’s protection
  • Known for the inexperienced mages drawn there for the Wizard College
  • Home of a wide range of eccentric artisan types
  • Moordrae Forest – rangers like it here; no crazy druid tribes

Zomarra

Zomarra
Zamarra – Where you go to get away from the crazies
  • Keep
  • Surrounding land to the North is mostly swamp and the Hargrove River
  • Home of the coldly logical schools of thought
  • Several monastic and scholarly temples call Zomarra their home

Tansy

Tansy
Tansy – Simple Farmers, Right?
  • Farming community
  • Absolutely no hidden prince or princess wishing for a more exciting life here, just boring laborers.
  • Magic users? Bah! No use for that sort here. Go to Ellim if you want to play with the arcane. (Caves in the mountains have several thriving businesses run by clever wizards, sorcerers, witches, warlocks)

Goldspar

Color sketch: Hand lettered
Goldspar – Thinks it should be the capital
  • Large coastal town
  • Rivals Saleece in population, though more of residents live outside the city walls
  • The royals here are secretly plotting to place the crown on their heads

Domaar

Sketch-Hand lettered
Domaar
  • Small village on the largest of the Western Golsmar Islands

General Artist Notes

This was my first try at adding buildings and labels to a map. I can’t draw consistent, level squiggly horizontal water lines, but otherwise I think it’s coming along nicely.

As with the map of Bealdunagaen, I used a combination of pencils, gel pens, crayons, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and a wee bit o blush in the creation of this map.


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Dice & the Bag of Devouring

New Dice Bringeth D&D Geek Happines

There’s something absolutely giddy making about getting a bunch of new, nice looking dice. I’ve always felt a bit deprived in the dice-quantity side of things. Typically I buy a single poly set at a time every couple of years, but not this time.

I’d been coveting the Wiz Dice Bag of Devouring on Amazon  that comes with “140 Polyhedral Dice in 20 Guaranteed Complete Sets” for a while now and finally gave into temptation.  There’s also a Wiz Dice Bag of Holding, but that one had less of the cool marbled and swirly types and more solids and translucent sets.

SO MANY PRETTIES!!

And the bag that comes with the dice is fun, too.

And yes, of course I had to separate them all out, group each set, and admire each one. Does everyone do this or just me? Anyway, I’m very please to have all these new swirly and shiny dice.

 

And then they mingled

With great ceremony the new dice were introduced to the veteran dice of many a past epic battle and perhaps some not-so-epic moments.

Dice-Mingling

Your GM Dice and Your Player Dice Don’t Mix

The hardest part is figuring out which dice to put in my GM dice box and which ones to I’d use as a player. I’m not really a superstitious sort, but I’m absolutely positive that GM mojo will curse any dice if I try to use them as a player. Heck. I even have a hard time sharing my dice because of other people getting their potentially bad luck all over my dice. That stuff is SO difficult to get off!

The D&D 3.5 Eberron game that I’ve been a player in for the past 4 years is on hiatus, which means there’s no real idea of when or if that will start up again. So if I pull some of those new dice aside to be my player dice, who knows how long it will be before I get to fondle and toss them in a game session!

What’s left for the Dreadstorm Campaign?

Human female and white haired elf embrace

Are you waiting with bated breath for the next installation of the Dreadstorm Campaign?

Okay. Probably not. My audience is pretty small (read “itty bitty” … you who read my ramblings, I salute you!) and pretty non-communicative. But who am I to toss stones? I’m not big on commenting either.  I hope there will be others who find bits of my imaginary world and story intriguing or inspiring. But truth be told, this is something I’m doing for myself that I want to see through to the end.

That being said, what with playing around with drawing maps and working on my current D&D game, I’m taking some time off from blogging the Dreadstorm Campaign so I can focus in those other directions for a while. When I started with the idea of putting this campaign online, I thought it would be easy. All the material is already there, right?! Nope. Not so much. It’s all that background information in my head that I never bothered writing down. That and finding that on reflection there are bits that needed some tweaking or cleaning up.

Things still to come in the Dreadstorm Campaign:

  1. What’s been happening in Berlstrum while the party is crawling through Berlstrum’s Belly?
  2. Explanation/Summation of the Plague of Orcus Ritual Spell and the escalating zombie types created at dusk each day. There is a time crunch to this adventure!
  3. Encounter with the demon known as The Wix and his Bargles. His job is to ensure that the spell is completed.
  4. Boss fight with Kazel.
  5. Aftermath … lingering undead and uber-undead.

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#19.5 – Gruber, The Mimic

Gruber_Chest

About Gruber

Gruber Background Wizard’s Pet / Guard

*Gruber is oddly intelligent, articulate, and social for a mimic. He’s been desperately bored and lonely being stuck in the treasure room with skeletons and 2 other “standard” mimics who don’t speak at all. He’s eager to make friends and have someone to talk to. Desperate. to. Talk.

*Gruber was raised by a wizard who recognized the unusual intelligence in this mimic and taught him to speak and read in several languages (never figured out how to write with that psuedopod). Gruber helped the wizard with his research and spell preparations. (Bard Lore levels) Unfortunately the wizard met a bad end when one of his deals with a demon became known to the local heroes.

*He hates Kazel. Kazel tricked Gruber, promising him an important part on his team guarding their treasure. Then literally stabbed him in the back with the magically enchanted blade attached to the wall anchor. No matter how Gruber changed his shape, he couldn’t dislodge the blade.

*Through smell, can sense demonic/devilish entities (they smell like cilantro)

*Has an extensive knowledge of furniture, boxes, and trunk designs and art styles

*A bit of a coward, but can fight if it has pressed

Here is a character sheet for Gruber using the ForgedAnvil D&D 5E Character Generator: Gruber the Mimic Character Sheet PDF

Link to ForgedAnvil character sheet download page: ForgedAnvil D&D 5E Character Generator 

GRUBER THE MIMIC’S STATS

5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide – pg 220 – Modified

AC 12 
Hit Points 61
Speed 15 ft.
Height Varies (avg 2 ft 10 inches) Weight 265 lb

STR 15 (+2), DEX 8 (-1), CON 14 (+2), INT 17 (+3), WIS 11 (0), CHA 8 (-1)

Damage Immunities acid
Condition Immunities prone

Senses Darkvision 60ft, Passive Perception 10, Passive Investigation 12
Languages Common, Undercommon, Draconic, Abyssal

Proficiencies Saving Throws Con +4
Arcana +7, Deception +6, History +5, Persuasion +1, Religion +5, Stealth +4


ACTIONS
Bites Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft  Hit: 1d8+2 piercing + (1d8 acid) Range: 5 ft

Psuedopod Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft  Hit: 1d8+2 bludgeoning. If the mimic is in object form, the target is subjected to the Adhesive trait (grappled)


SPECIAL, GENERAL MIMICS

Shapechanger. The mimic can use its action to polymorph into an object or back into its true, amorphous form. Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn ‘t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Adhesive (Object Form Only). The mimic adheres to anything that touches it. A Huge or smaller creature adhered to the mimic is also grappled by it (escape DC 13). Ability checks made to escape this grapple have disadvantage.

False Appearance (Object Form Only). While the mimic remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from an ordinary object.

Grappler. The mimic has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.


Mimics in General:
Mimics are shapeshifting predators able to take on the form of inanimate objects to lure creatures to their doom. In dungeons, these cunning creatures most often take the form of doors and chests, having learned that such forms attract a steady stream of prey.

Imitative Predators. Mimics can alter their outward texture to resemble wood, stone, and other basic materials, and they have evolved to assume the appearance of objects that other creatures are likely to come into contact with. A mimic in its altered form is nearly unrecognizable until potential prey blunders into its reach, whereupon the monster sprouts pseudopods and attacks. When it changes shape, a mimic excretes an adhesive that helps it seize prey and weapons that touch it. The adhesive is absorbed when the mimic assumes its amorphous form and on parts the mimic uses to move itself.

Cunning Hunters. Mimics live and hunt alone, though they occasionally share their feeding grounds with other creatures. Although most mimics have only predatory intelligence, a rare few evolve greater cunning and the ability to carry on simple conversations in Common or Undercommon. Such mimics might allow safe passage through their domains or provide useful information in exchange for food.

To follow is some of the rambling, babbling dialogue of Gruber’s that happened while the group was resting, but had freed him in exchange for aid in finding Kazel:

  • So what’s your home like? Is it a castle? Is it nearby? How long will it take us to get there once you’ve done here? Is it dry? I am SO TIRED of being wet! Will I be inside a room? Out of the rain and snow, ya know, but still be able to see the sun and clouds?
  • This is going to be great! ::Changes shape to match one of the boxes, but with fancy flourishes:: Yup! For all those inconvenient enemies you need gotten rid of, I’m your Gruber!
  • Tap. Tap. Tap.
  • I am SOOOO hungry. Are you sure you couldn’t spare that squishy one over there? ::Waves his psuedopod at mage:: He doesn’t look very useful. If there’s a fight, I’ll be much more help with food in my belly!
  • So you know, I need my food alive when I eat it. And to keep me at top fighting condition, I should eat at least one humanoid a week. But the occasional kobold or giant rodent or whatever for snacks is great too. Oh! But water creatures make me sick. Some sort of fish allergy, I guess.
  • ::Changes shape again, this time to a large metal box with padlocks all over it::
  • Do you have dogs at your place? Or other pets? There was this time when my wizard made me stay in the barn. He got mad when I ate the dogs, but they kept trying to pee on me! I’m supposed to just stand there and and let those mangy beasts soil my beautiful self?!
  • One time this thing that was all eyes and mouth came wandering in here. I thought maybe with all those mouths that at least one of them could hold a decent conversation, but no … all they did was make horrible noises and slime up the floor. Wish the flood trap would have washed that nasty thing away!
  • Do you have a favorite style of container? A fancy urn or big vase or gold-leafed trunk? I have done some really beautiful artwork with myself, if I do say so myself! Which I DO!
  • Ya know, Kazel use to keep all of us right in front of his hidey-hole, but got tired of moving us around every time he wanted inside. He was so pleased with himself when he finished that stupid flood trap. Took him years.
  • So … food? …
  • Kazel’s old adventuring buddies used to capture critters and bring them here all the time. Then they’d brag about the good old days while chasing them around the tunnels, killing them. When Foreshot found out, she was so mad that she blew up a tunnel from the forest in just to keep them from smuggling more down here.

Once the group is ready to go, Gruber spouts hundreds of tiny legs underneath his carriage and starts shuffling off. Gruber is not a fast walker, and with his starving state, moves even slower than usual (10 ft). He does keep up a constant patter of chatter when you walk. And even if you tell him to be quiet, he’ll start up again after a few moments.


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#19 – Treasure Room Loot in the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 19 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

Between the skeletons and the flood trap, the treasure room can be deadly. But now our adventures have survived and enjoy the looting the many boxes of loot. Muwhahahaha. Did they really think it would be so easy?! 

Gruber, The Mimic

Gruber has become a favorite NPC for my second role playing group. They’ve made him part of their team and have found ways to cart him around regardless of the terrain and challenges of smuggling a talkative, curious monstrosity through civilized lands. It kinda warms my cold game master heart to see how they’ve taken to him … it’ll be so much fun when I destroy him … muwhahahaha! … I mean that I would in no way use the groups affection for this silly mimic to manipulate and/or cause them distress … now stop reading this if you’re one of my players. 

Stats, backstory and dialogue samples for Gruber are here.


Battle map with numbered items and minis
Battle Map: Treasure Room #8 mid flood trap

Part 4: The Treasure in the Treasure Room

(For Parts 1-3 of the Treasure Room go here.)

Stop the Trap from Resetting

Once the waters of the trap have receded, the rest of the trap resets itself: the trap door closing, the barriers to the hallways lowering back into their hidden pockets. If the party does not stop the trap from completely resetting, it will start again if someone touches one of the boxes of treasure. It’s likely that at least one member of the party is standing on one of the boxes.

  • A DC 15 Intelligence (Arcana, Dungeoneering, or Traps) DC 15 to realize if the party needs to stop the trap from resetting, or it will start again as soon as someone touches one of the boxes.

Flood Trap Rune (all treasure boxes)

  • DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) or Dispel Magic (DC 19) to disarm each Flood Trap rune on each box of treasure. There are 20 boxes. For each successful Intelligence (Arcana) check, the DC is lowered by 2 for the next box. Another party member with proficiency in Arcana can assist them in this check, thus giving them advantage on the roll.
  • In additions to the rune for the Flood Trap, many of the boxes also have a secondary trap, either magical or mechanical.

Most of these containers have standard locks on them along with the traps. Some of the locks are higher quality or in better shape than others.


Treasure #1 – A small 8 inch x 5 inch chest with delicate floral engravings

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. When chest is opened/destroyed, the trap activates.

Effect. Arcane Trap: Magic Missile; 3d4 +3 force damage on nearest target.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check spots the magic missile rune. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the chest disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 19) cast on the chest destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 20 / Break DC 25 STR

Loot.

RING OF SPELL STORING
Rare, requires attunement (DMG 192)
Bronze Ring with a small, square reflective gem surrounded by delicate gold filigree;
When found, spells held: a Darkvision (2nd), Shield (1)

RING OF FEATHER FALLING
Rare, requires attunement (DMG 191)
Silver ring with small feathers engraved on it

RING OF RESISTANCE (FORCE)
Rare, requires attunement (DMG 192)
A gold ring with sapphire gem, you have resistance FORCE while wearing this ring.


Treasure #2 – 4 foot cube wooden crate

Trap

MIMIC – “Dense” – See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 220 for Mimic stats.
(Dense is the nickname Gruber has given this mimic)

  • Touching Treasure #2 will not set off the Flood Trap.
  • If this box is touched before the Flood Trap is activated, the disguised mimic will attack.
  • If this mimic is touched during the Flood Trap activities, it will wait until the water is under 2 feet before attacking any nearby targets.
  • If the mimic is used as an anchor during the Flood Trap draining sequence, its adhesive trait will give the player advantage on the save.
  • There is a large spike drilled into the mimic’s backside anchoring it to the wall. This gives the mimic a 10′ range of movement while chained to the wall. (Detect Magic will detect a magical aura around the spike in the back.) Where the chain attaches to the wall seems to have had stone grown around it and it’s impossible to see where the actual anchor is.

Treasure #3 – wooden crate with water stains

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

Kazel’s Experimental Potions

  • 4 Potion of healing (2d4+2)
  • 4 Potion of climbing
  • 3 Potion of greater healing
  • 1 Potion of fire breath
  • 5 Potion of resistance
    • 2 Radiant
    • 1 Acid
    • 1 Poison
    • 1 Psychic
  • 2 Potion of Heroism
  • 1 Potion of animal friendship
  • 1 Potion of growth
  • 4 Potion of water breathing
  • 1 Keoghtom’s ointment (4 doses) DMG 179
Roll percentile when using an experimental potions or ointment:

01 – Explosion (1d10 force within 5’)
02-08 – Effect doubled
09-15 – Effect halved
16 – Permanent Effect (negative)
17-25 – Opposite
26-40 – Normal
41-67 – Effect random person or spot
68-71 – Random odd effect related to spell
72-91 – Effects caster & nearest ally (same amount)
92-99 – Nothing happens
100 – Permanent Effect (positive)

Treasure #4 – 3-½ foot tall mahogany barrel

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

Kazel’s Experimental Scrolls

2 – Mending
2 – Message
2 – Prestidigitation
1 – True Strike
1 – Detect Magic
1 – Feather Fall
1 – Identify
1 – Stone Shape
2 – Darkvision
2 – Dispel Magic
1 – Scroll of Protection: Fey (DMG 199)
2 – Scroll of Protection: Fiends (DMG 199)
1 – Scroll of Protection: Elementals (DMG 199)

Roll percentile when using an experimental scroll:

01 – Explosion (1d10 force within 5’)
02-08 – Effect doubled
09-15 – Effect halved
16 – Permanent Effect (negative)
17-25 – Opposite
26-40 – Normal
41-67 – Effect random person or spot
68-71 – Random odd effect related to spell
72-91 – Effects caster & nearest ally (same amount)
92-99 – Nothing happens
100 – Permanent Effect (positive)

Treasure #5 – 5 foot by 2 feet tall rough wooden crate

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

CRATE OF AMMUNITION
7d10 Bolts +1
7d10 Arrows +1


Treasure #6 – medium-sized, cherrywood chest with rounded lid

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. Anyone attempting to pick or open the lock triggers the trap.

Effect. Mechanical Blades Each Medium or larger creature within 5-foot-wide of the chest must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 4d6 slashing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Countermeasures. A DC 15 Intelligence (Investigation) check reveals scrape marks and blood stains along the rim of the box. A DC 15 Dexterity check made with thieves’ tools disables the lever.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

ROBE OF USEFUL ITEMS
Wondrous item, uncommon (DMG 195)
This robe has cloth patches of various shapes and colors covering it.

The robe has the following patches:

  • Dagger [1] 
  • Bullseye lantern (filled and lit) [2]  
  • 10-foot pole [1] 
  • Hempen rope (50 feet, coiled) [1] 
  • Wooden ladder [1] 
  • Potions of healing [4] (2d4+2)    
  • Rowboat [1]  

Treasure #7 – 3-½ foot tall mahogany barrel leaking water through small cracks

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

What might have once been a crate full of scrolls are now nothing but mushy pulp.


Treasure #8 – A long, narrow box, 8 feet x 1 foot

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. Anyone attempting to pick or open the lock triggers the trap. A tiny, poisoned needle is hidden in the lock.

Effect. Mechanical Poison Needle The triggering individual must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 4d6 poison damage and is poisoned for 10 minutes. While poisoned in this way, the creature is paralyzed. On a  successful save, the creature takes half as much damage and isn’t poisoned.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the needle, but only if  a character inspects the lock up close. A DC 20 Dexterity check made with thieves’ tools disables the needle, but a check result of 10 or less triggers the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 15 / Break DC 20 STR

Loot.

ROD OF MIGHTY DIVINITY
Rare, requires attunement (DMG 197*)
2 foot long gold rod with sunburst motif at the top, requires attunement by cleric, druid or paladin (*similar to DMG 197-Rod of the Pact Keeper). While you hold the Rod of Mighty Divinity, you gain a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls and to the saving throws DCs of your divine spells. In addition, you can regain one paladin or cleric spell slot as an action while holding this rod. You can’t use this property again until you finish a long rest.


Treasure #9 – An elegant silver box

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

Brittle paper packets are stuffed around a statue. Many of the packets have disintegrated and no longer usable.

Note saying, “Congratulations on your union!

DUST OF DISAPPEARANCE 6 SMALL BLUE PACKETS
Wondrous item, uncommon (DMG 166)

33 copper coins

An 18″ tall statue of 3 goats in suggestive positions, weighs 50 pounds, has hidden mechanism to activate motion


Treasure #10 – 3 foot cube wooden crate (has rotten, leaky bottom)

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 10 / Break DC 15 STR

Loot.

Shards of broken glass swimming in mucky brown liquid.


Treasure #11 – A beautiful, multi-colored chest inlaid with delightful, artistic flourishes

Gruber_Chest

Trap

MIMIC – Gruber (Stats and more on Gruber here)

Note, Gruber is the key to the group finding Kazel and stopping him from finishing the ritual. He knows where the best spot is to get into Kazel’s hidden lair and what they need to get inside.

  • Touching Treasure #11 will not set off the Flood Trap.
  • If this box is touched before the Flood Trap is activated, this disguised mimic does nothing, unless the party seems like the sort that might set him free. If they give the impression of 1) being anti-Kazel or 2) the sort that can be negotiated with, then he’ll try to give them “helpful” suggestions and/or negotiate his release.
  • If the mimic is used as an anchor during the Flood Trap draining sequence, its adhesive trait will give the player advantage on the save versus being pulled into the drain.
  • There is a large spike drilled into the Gruber the Mimic’s backside anchoring it to the wall. This gives the mimic a 10′ range of movement while chained to the wall. (Detect Magic will detect a magical aura around the spike in the back.) Where the chain attaches to the wall, stone stone seems to have grown around it and is impossible to see where the actual anchor is.
  • Pulling the barbed spike out of the Gruber will cause damage (3d6+4). The chain can be broken (AC 20, HP 20), but Gruber will walk slower if the spike remains in his back. (Normal 15ft – 5ft).
  • Gruber is an oddly intelligent, articulate, and social for a mimic. He’s been desperately bored and lonely being stuck in this room with skeletons and 2 other “standard” mimics who don’t speak at all. He’s eager to make friends and have someone to talk to. Desperate. to. Talk.

Things Gruber, the Mimic might say, while chained to the wall:

  • Whoa! Whoa! You don’t need to kill me. I can be helpful!
  • Goblins sweaty gonads!
  • I’m soooo hungry!
  • Bloody Baylor! (Gruber is quite fond of cursing. For more inspiration, check out my In-Game Cursing post.)
  • Whaaaat?! … I’m starving! Can’t you spare one? That guy doesn’t seem very useful.
  • I’ve been stuck down here for years!! Decades! I don’ know … a long bloody time!
  • Blech! All these undead nasties! Foul tasking and not at all filling.

Treasure #12 – 4 ft long, metal box

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. When the seal between the lid and the is broken

Effect. Arcane Trap: Sleep; When activated, this trap casts a sleep centered on the metal box using a 5th level spell slot.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check reveals the small rune on the underside of the lid lip. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the box disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 15) cast on box destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 20 / Break DC 25 STR

Loot.

GREATSWORD +3 (THE BLADE OF AUCKMAR THE DROW)
Weapon (great sword), Very Rare, requires attunement
The dark gray blade has silver sigils running up both sides and a silver hilt carved with the likeness of a screaming face
You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

Devour Soul. Whenever you use it to reduce a creature to 0 hit points, the sword slays the creature and devours its soul, unless it is a construct or an undead or a fiend. The creature whose soul has been devoured by the Blade of Auckmar can be restored to life only by a wish spell.

As long as you keep the greatsword in hand, after it devours a soul, the Blade of Auckmar grants you temporary hit points equal to the slain creature’s hit point maximum. These hit points fade after 24 hours, when exposed to sunlight, or the greatsword is no longer being held in hand.

*As long as these temporary hit points last and you keep the greatsword in hand, you have advantage on attack rolls, saving throws, and ability checks.

Curse.
If you hit an undead or fiend with this weapon, you take 1d10 necrotic damage and the target regains 1d10 hit points. If this necrotic damage reduces you to 0 hit points, the Blade of Auckmar devours your soul.


Treasure #13 – Large steamer trunk

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. When the seal between the lid and the is broken

Effect. Arcane Trap; Acid Splash A bubble of acid explodes from the steamer trunk. Each Medium or larger creature within 5 feet of the chest must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 5d6 acid damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check finds runes, but only if  a character inspects the trunk up close. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the box disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 15) cast on the trunk destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 20 / Break DC 25 STR

Loot.

DRAGON SCALE MAIL, GREEN
Armor (scale male), very rare, requires attunement (DMG 165)
Green scale mail armor, supple and lightweight

SHIELD +1 (SHIELD OF MISSILE ATTRACTION)
Armor (shield), rare, requires attunement (DMG 200)
Dark gray shield with web-like silver lines
Cursed


Treasure #14 – Average looking chest

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. When the chest is opened without the password spoken aloud (Gloryhound Omega)

Effect. Arcane Trap: Summon Poltergeist; When activated, this trap summons a poltergeist (DMG 278) that immediately attacks the individual that triggered the trap.

Countermeasures. A DC 22 Wisdom (Perception) check finds the small rune disguised as embellishment on one of the knobs. A DC 22 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the box disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 14) cast on chest destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 25 / Break DC 30 STR

Loot.

MEZMERIZER’S STONE, locked (DC 15) inside a small black box
Wondrous item, very rare
A hypnotically beautiful kaleidoscope gem. Upon sight, everyone must make a Wisdom save DC 16. On a failed save, you become hypnotized (charmed) for the duration. While entranced by this stone, you are incapacitated and have 0 speed. Effect ends when stone is out of sight. Each time it’s used, there is a 25% chance it will fail. Once used, even a failed attempt, it can’t be used again until the next dawn.

SENDING STONES – 1 PAIR, inside a small wooden box
Wondrous item, uncommon (DMG 199)


Treasure #15 – Crate

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

LOCK none

LOOT

15 feet of rusty chain


Treasure #16 – Chest

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. Anyone attempting to pick or open the lock triggers the trap.

Effect. Arcane Trap: Black Tentacles; Squirming, ebony tentacles fill a 20-foot square centered on the chest. Any creatures within the affected area for the first time  or starts its turn there, the creature must succeed on a dexterity saving throw 17 or take 3d6 bludgeoning damage and be restrained by the tentacles until the spell ends. A creature that starts its turn in the area and is already restrained by the tentacles takes 3d6 bludgeoning damage. These tentacles turn the ground in the area into difficult terrain. A creature restrained by the tentacles can use its action to make a strength or dexterity check (its choice) against DC 17. On a success, it frees itself.

The Black Tentacles remain until the trap is disarmed.

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check finds runes, but only if  a character inspects the trunk up close. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the box disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 17) cast on the lock destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 25 / Break DC 30 STR

Loot.

HORN OF BLASTING
Wondrous item, rare (DMG 174)
Brass blowing horn with a repeating wave pattern


Treasure #17 – Large Trunk

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. Anyone attempting to pick or open the lock triggers the trap.

Effect. Trap … TBD

Countermeasures. TBD …

Lock. Open Lock: DC 25 / Break DC 30 STR

Loot.

PLATE ARMOR-BLUE (OF VULNERABILITY)
Armor (plate), very rare, requires attunement (DMG ??)
Blue-tinged Plate Armor with Gold edging, AC 18, Stealth Disadvantage, 65lb, rare, requires attunement

Silver-Colored Plate Armor (DEMON ARMOR)
Armor (plate), very rare, requires attunement (DMG ??)
sliver with curved spikes coming out of the forearms/gauntlets and shoulders/spauldings), AC 19, Stealth Disadvantage, very rare requires attunemen
While wearing this armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC, and you can understand and speak Abyssal.


Treasure #18 – Small Trunk

TRAP

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. Anyone attempting to pick or open the lock triggers the trap.

Effect. Poison Needles; DC 20 Investigate; DC 15 DEX w/Thieves tools to disarm; Activated: 1 piercing damage and 2d10 poison. DC 15 Con or be poisoned for an hour (disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks).

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) …

Lock. Open Lock: DC 15 / Break DC 20 STR

Loot.

SUPERIOR ELVEN CHAIN

Woven Gold & White Chain Shirt armor, AC 15 + DEX mod (Max 2), 20lb, requires attunement

You gain a +2 bonus to AC while you wear this armor. You are considered proficient with this armor even if you lack proficiency with medium armor.


Treasure #19 – boring wooden crate

Trap

MIMIC – “Denser” – See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 220 for Mimic stats.
(Dense is the nickname Gruber has given this mimic)

  • Touching Treasure #18 will not set off the Flood Trap.
  • If this box is touched before the Flood Trap is activated, the disguised mimic will attack.
  • If this mimic is touched during the Flood Trap activities, it will wait until the water is under 2 feet before attacking any nearby targets.
  • If the mimic is used as an anchor during the Flood Trap draining sequence, its adhesive trait will give the player advantage on the save.
  • There is a large spike drilled into the mimic’s backside anchoring it to the wall. This gives the mimic a 10′ range of movement while chained to the wall. (Detect Magic will detect a magical aura around the spike in the back.) Where the chain attaches to the wall seems to have had stone grown around it and it’s impossible to see where the actual anchor is.

Treasure #20 – Sturdy, wooden trunk with silver-colored rams head handles

Trigger 1. When chest is touched, the Flood Trap sequence is activated. See Flood Trap Rune above for details.

Trigger 2. When the lid  is opened or destroyed.

Effect. Arcane Trap; Bigsby’s Fist (PHB 218) at 6th level is activated. AC 20, HP 80
The fist will attack the nearest creature within 5 feet of the chest (not including the mimics). +8 Hit, 6d8+8 force damage. If no one approaches the chest, the fist will remain on guard until defeated or dispelled (DC 16)

Countermeasures. A DC 20 Wisdom (Perception) check finds runes, but only if  a character inspects the trunk up close. A DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check made within 5 feet of the box disables the trap, but a check result of 10 or less triggers it. A successful dispel magic (DC 16) cast on the lock destroys the trap.

Lock. Open Lock: DC 20 / Break DC 20 STR

Loot.

DWARVEN THROWER
Weapon (warhammer), very rare, requires attunement by a dwarf (DMG 167)
Beautifully balanced, burnished gold color with dwarven runes on the sides of the hammer)


Up Next: All about everyone’s favorite NPC, Gruber the Mimic

#18 – The Deadly Treasure Room of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Battle map with numbered items and minis
THE FOLLOWING BLOG POST IS PART 18 OF THE DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS 5TH EDITION CAMPAIGN, DREADSTORMS LOST. THESE BLOGS ARE INTENDED FOR OTHER GAME MASTERS WHO MIGHT WANT TO USE THIS CAMPAIGN SETTING AND THE SCENARIOS TO INSPIRE THEIR OWN ROLE PLAYING GAMES. (FREE FOR NONCOMMERCIAL REUSE.)

Notes:

Ideally, Room #8 will be the final room the team enters in this dungeon crawl and they’ve had a chance to do some leveling. The treasure room is brutal and will easily kill the unprepared or unlucky.

This is the space that Kazel spent many hours over many years creating to protect the various magical items that the Deadly Omega 6 gathered during their adventuring day. Kazel also stored some of his experiments with potions, scrolls, and items down here that he didn’t want to leave were they might hurt Foreshot.

Room 8 DOES NOT contain Kazel, but does have the means for them to be able to find the hidden pocket lair. If they free Gruber the Mimic, he will tell the what they need and show them where the best spot to enter is.


Berlstrum Belly Dungeon
Map of the Berlstrum Belly Dungeon

Berlstrum Belly Review

Dungeon Walls: Sharp briarstone rock make up the walls and ceiling. The crystals are so sharp that one has to be cautious not to cut themselves on the walls. 1d6 piercing damage if pushed/knocked into the wall or ceiling.

Dungeon Floor: Consists of smooth, black shiny stone. When running on the surface, there’s a chance of falling prone (DEX DC 11) due to the slippery surface. Pushes and slides go twice normal distance.

Illumination: Dark. No natural light available.


Treasure Room #8 

The Treasure Room is divided into four parts:

  • Part 1: The Skeleton mob encounter
  • Part 2: Treasure room trap information (to aid in the Skill Challenge)
  • Part 3: The treasure room trap encounter/skill challenge telling what happens each round when the trap springs
  • Part 4: Information for Part 4 will be on the next post.
    – description of the treasure and their traps and content
    – mixed within these 20 boxes are 3 mimics, one of which is potential ally to the party.
    – Gruber the Mimic is a character unto himself; some backstory and some colorful dialogue

Part 1: Skeleton Mob

Bones! So many bones. A large cavernous space has piles of bones, abandoned shields, and weapons scattered throughout. (The skulls look humanoid.) Along the south wall is a large assortment of chests, barrels, and crates (20 total).

Scattered throughout the room are piles of bones. If any bones are touched, all of the skeletons assemble and attack. There are 10-25 skeletons (adjust for party size and strength) in this room.

  • If any of the treasure is disturbed/touched during the battle, the trap sequence will also be activated.
  • If any of the party get close enough to the 2 hostile mimics, they will attack, unless the flood trap is going

Skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts movieWarrior Skeletons

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 273 for stats.


LOOT

  • Rusty weapons and pieces moldy armor

Part 2: Treasure Room Trap Information

Flood Flusher Trap

If any of the treasure is touched inside this room, even by magical means, it will start the flood trap sequence. If the players manage to discover the trap before setting it off, they will have a much better chance of surviving the trap.

Ability/Combat Challenge

Objective: Either survive the trap, if triggered, or figure out how to defeat the trap and access the treasure

Each successful ability check or hit is 100 XP into a group pool. Fails are -100 from the group pool. Natural 20s count as 200 XP. Natural 1s count as -200 XP. The group pool experience is divided equally among the surviving party members

A player can also choose to pass on their turn or assist another. Either counts as a 0 XP gain/loss. An assist gives the other player a +3 bonus on their next action.

You can NOT use the same ability or attack twice in a row and you can not use the same skill as the person before you.

Note: Clues to give the players are included below. The player does need to say that they are looking at the specific area/thing to receive that relevant clue. If there are no additional details to gather within that DC range or lower, it is a failed check. If they haven’t gained the necessary knowledge yet (ie you can’t dismantle a trap if you haven’t found it yet), use information from a lower DC or give them a useful related hint.

Room details and possible abilities suggestions for the skill challenge by difficulty level

FLOOD: refers to actions/abilities to do while the flood part of the trap is occuring
TREASURE: is information regarding the heavily trapped pile of boxes, chests, and crates full of loot against the far wall
SUMMON MONSTER: Refers to the sequence in the trap that summons a Water Weird
BARRICADE TRAP: Information on the part of the trap that blocks the two exits and traps the water inside the room

DC 10-14

Acrobatics (DEX)
___FLOOD: Move at full speed without falling down when water starts pouring down (only applies when water is ~2 feet or less)
___FLOOD: Balance on top of a treasure chest (dry, above the waterline)

Athletics (STR)
___FLOOD: Toss the end of a rope or chain to a party member through the water

Arcana (INT)
___TREASURE: You find a small glyph of warding on one of the treasure chests
___TREASURE: Casting Detect Magic on the pile of treasure, there is a LOT of magic blips over all of the boxes
___SUMMON MONSTER: The rune on the wall is a magic trigger
___The rune on the ceiling is a magic trigger (Blinding Light spell will activate this spell, triggering the barricade doors)

Dexterity
___FLOOD: Catch the end of a rope or chain tossed to you by a party member

Dungineering (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: A small vertical line on the wall in the passageway into the room is smoother than the surrounding wall

History (INT)
___Kazel was famous for studying and defeating famous dungeon traps during his adventuring days

Investigate (INT)
___
The various chests, barrels, and crates are secured using rusty chains and worn ropes looped onto u-bars in the sharp Briarstone walls
___There are 1d4 ropes and 1d4 chains attached to the wall behind the pile of treasure that do not currently have anything attached to them. Length varies from 5-20 feet.

Perception (WIS):
___FLOOD: The ceiling of the cavern has an unusual undulating pattern, varying from 10 to 11 ft in height.
___SUMMON MONSTER: You spot a symbol carved into the on the Briarstone wall. An impressive feat considering the how easily the briarstone crystals shatter
___FLOOD: You spot a symbol on the ceiling

DC 15-20

Acrobatics
___FLOOD: Move at full speed without falling down when water starts pouring down (only applies when water is around 2 feet or less)
___FLOOD: Balance on top of one of a box of treasure (with water present)

Arcana (INT)
___Casting Detect Magic and studying the walls will reveal several small magical symbols worked into briarstone crystals on the wall. They are not all the same.
___Casting Detect Magic and studying the ceiling 
___TREASURE: Symbol on the treasure chest is a Glyph of Warding that will set off the Blinding Light spell
___TREASURE: Casting Detect Magic on the pile of treasure, the Glyph of Warding (Blinding Light spell) seems to be on all of the boxes

Athletics (STR)
___BARRICADE TRAP: Jam something into the wall to stop the door from sealing from completing its
___FLOOD: When the water is pouring in or out, be an anchor to keep one of your party in place or out of the water

Dungineering (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: You spot scratches on the floor that run from wall to wall in a straight line that suggest stones rubbing together
___TRAP DOOR TO CHUTE: There is a hair-line seam in the floor in the southeast corner

History (INT)
___
Kazel and Foreshot have lived in Berlstrum for over 10 years. Rumor has it that their old adventuring buddies would visit and they would all disappear for days and weeks at time

Perception (WIS)
___TREASURE/MIMICS: Looking at all of the treasures tied to the wall, three of them are secured differently, with large spikes drilled into the backside. They do not look the same.
___SUMMON MONSTER: The same symbol is carved into the Briarstone wall at a 4 foot height in four spots
___FLOOD: The upper wave in the undulating ceiling has 6 inch holes every foot.

History (INT)
___
Kazel once bragged to a bard that with enough time and resources, he could create the most diabolical of traps. He knew how the greedy minds of adventurers works, since he was one himself!

DC 21-25

Arcana (Int)
___FLOOD: The four glyphs carved into the Briarstone wall at a 4 foot height around the entire room will activate when it is immersed in water and summon a monster (Water Weird)
Dispel Magic DC 17
___All of the treasure chests seem to have a Glyph of Warding (Blinding Light)
Glyphs won’t activate until one of the secured treasures is disturbed. Each of the chests/boxes/ crates/barrels has a matching glyph hidden somewhere on its surface. Each glyph will set off the same trap sequence. The trap resets after running full cycle.
Dispel Magic DC 17
___TREASURE/MIMICS: One of the three treasure chests with large spikes drilled into the backside has elaborate, stylish markings. They are a like a child’s copy of the Glyph of Warding and other runes spotted around the room. (Gruber, the Mimic likes to embellish and be creative with his self-decoration.)
___The rune on the ceiling is a magic trigger; a Blinding Light spell will activate this spell, which in turn triggers the barricade doors – Dispel Magic DC 17

Dungineering  (INT)
___BARRICADE TRAP: There are Barrier Trap in both passageways. There’s no obvious mechanical trigger. It’s most likely activated by magic.
___TRAP DOOR TO CHUTE: The hair-line seam in the floor in the southeast corner is a trap door that will open downward, into a large chute. It would take a very strong force to push the door open.

Disarm Trap / Thieves Tools
___BARRICADE TRAP: Dismantle one of the barricades before it triggers

Perception (WIS)
___TREASURE/MIMICS: Looking at all of the treasures tied to the wall, the two of the three with large spikes drilled into the backside do not have any magical symbols. The third one has markings, but they are more elaborate and stylish looking.

Strength
___SLIDE TRAP: Force open the trap door to the chute

Dungineering  (INT)
___SLIDE TRAP: The trap door will open downwards into a large slide. It would take a lot of pressure to open. Like a room full of
___SLIDE TRAP: Based on our current location, the slide probably spits out into the middle of the Thornbreaker waterfall and into the Forlorn Bay.
___BARRICADE TRAP: The Barricade Trap contacting the floor triggers the mechanical gears to open the flood gates. The widgets and gadgets that work the trap are up in the ceiling above the cavern.

DC 26-30

Arcana (INT)
___The glyphs on the treasure set off chain reactions, started by touching the treasure. Touching treasure sets off Blinding Light, which triggers the Barriers, which starts the water coming in. When the water reaches the glyphs at 4 feet high, a creature is summoned. When the water reaches the ceiling, the trap door in the SE corner opens. Targeting dispel magic on each glyph will keep the sequence from starting.

Strength
___SLIDE TRAP: Keep the trap door to the chute open after forcing it open
___BARRICADE TRAP: Break/move barricades after they are locked in place

DC 31-40

Investigate (INT)
___You know the password sequence to stop the entire trap from going off. You are Kazel. Shouldn’t you be casting a ritual right now?


Part 3: The Encounter

If the trap is set off, the trap sequence is initiated, beginning with the blinding light

GLYPH OF WARDING (BLINDING LIGHT) goes off; A pulse of brilliant light blinds all those within 30 feet; DC 16 CON, save ends.

Immediately following the flash of light, you hear a voice say, “Fuck! Not again!” [Gruber, the Mimic]

ROLL INITIATIVE

Trap goes at the top of each round; note the Mimics mixed in with the treasure won’t attack during the flood trap, but will as soon as it’s over. 

Round 1 – BARRICADE TRAP activates; Smooth obsidian stone slabs shoot upwards from their well camouflaged nooks in the floor, blocking the passageway at either entrance

  • DC 14 Reflex save to avoid being crushed: ATK +10 melee (3d6); if standing on one
  • Jamming the door opposed DC 25 STR check
  • DC 30 STR to break/move barrier once up

Round 2 – FLOODING ROOM TRAP activates; from numerous 6 inch holes hidden in the upper waves of the ceiling, water gushes out, quickly filling the room. The columns of water make visibility and movement difficult. As the water pours down, the already slippery floor becomes almost impossible to navigate;

  • DC 15 Ability Check (DEX/ Acrobatics/ Athletics) to move or fall prone;
  • DC 10 Ability Check (DEX/ Acrobatics/ Athletics) to stand still or fall prone

Round 3 – Water continues pouring in and is 1-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 4 – Water continues pouring in and is 3 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 5 – Water continues pouring in and is 4-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • Water Weird is summoned; a spout of water erupts in the center of the room. [Attacks this round.] NOTE: Water Weird is INVISIBLE when fully immersed
  • Holding breath if under 5 feet tall; disadvantaged with attacks

Water Weird

See 5th Edition Monster Manual page 299 for stats.


LOOT

  • none

Round 6 – Water continues pouring in and is 6 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • if under 6-1/2 ft tall; disadvantaged on attacks

Round 7 – Water continues pouring in and is 8 feet deep at the beginning of round.

  • Most will have disadvantaged on attacks at this point

Round 8 – Water continues pouring in and is at 9-1/2 feet deep at the beginning of round.

Round 9 – Water reaches the top of the undulating ceiling. It continues pouring in.

Round 10 – Water pressure builds and forces the Trap Door to swing down into the chute below

  • A perception 15 might hear the mechanical gears clicking near the southeast corner.
  • TRAP SLIDE DOOR opens.
    The trap door is located in the southeast corner of the room. The “hinge” side is along the wall and the door goes down into the chute. The door is 20 feet wide at the base and tapers to a rounded triangle pointed towards the room.
  • All the water in the room, along with the anything not tied down gets flushed down the long chute.

Round 11 – Water continues pouring in from the ceiling and rushing out the trap door.

At the end of each party member’s turn, they need to make an Saving Throw to see if they are pushed by the water current down the chute:

  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 20 STRENGTH SAVE On a failed save creature is pulled 20 feet towards the trap door.
  • Holding onto something – DC 15 STRENGTH SAVE A player can grab hold of rope or chain that’s already attached to the wall behind the treasure or create their own anchor. On a failed save creature is pulled 20 feet towards the trap door.
    If they are holding on with one hand, they can only attack with the free hand.
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 20 DEXTERITY
    Securing yourself or helping someone else is an action.
    If securing oneself with a rope or chain, make a DEX ability check to determine if it will hold. Once successfully secured, you no longer need to save and can aid other party members.
  • Mimics (3): If one of the players manages by random chance to stand on or grab hold of one of the mimics in its object form, they will become adhered to the mimic through it’s natural Adhesive trait. (See MM220) The escape DC for the mimic adhesive is 13, which is NOT as strong as the current, but they do gain Advantage on the Holding onto Something save.
    If arms are stuck to the mimic, it will make using the hands to secure a rope or chain difficulty, giving them a Disadvantage on Use Rope. 
  • On a Failed Save, a person is pushed towards/down the chute.
    • The slide shoots out near the bottom of the Berlstrum waterfall (about 50 feet from waterline). It’s a DC 25 STR check to stop sliding mid-chute with the water and random debris rushing past you.
    • Hitting the waterfall and slamming into the turbulent water causes 5d10 bludgeoning damage; Athletics DC 15 for half
    • Once flushed out of the chute and into the bay, swim check
    • [insert your own on-the-fly water adventure here]

Round 12 – Water continues to rush out the trap door, the pull towards the drain increasing each round. Incoming water stops.

  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 22 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 17 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 22 DEX;

Round 13 – Water swirls faster and stronger as it drains.

  • Water drops to 8 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 22 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 17 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 22 DEX; If securing oneself with a rope or chain, make a DEX check to determine if the knot will hold. Once successfully secured, a save is longer need to save and they can aid other party members.

Round 14 – Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 6 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 24 STR/Athletics
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 19 STR/Athletics
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 24 DEX

Round 15 – Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 4 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 26 STR save
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 21 STR save
  • Use Rope or Chain – DC 26 DEX

Round 16 –– Water swirls and drains.

  • Water drops to 2 feet deep.
  • Standing or Prone, without anchor – DC 28 STR save
  • Holding onto Rope or Chain anchor – DC 15 STR save
  • Mimics (2): At this point, if any of the party members are on or near one of the 2 hostile mimics, it will attack.
  • (The 3rd Mimic) Gruber the Mimic is not very brave and will try to negotiate his freedom. He is starving, so the temptation to eat a rude adventurer is strong. He is also starving for conversation, as the other 2 mimics don’t really talk. At all. Ever.

Round 17 – Water is completely drained from the room. A Gust of Wind (spell PHB 249) blows through the room, chasing the last of the water out and quick-drying the whole room

  • DC 17 Strength saving throw or be knocked back 15 feet towards the open trap door

Round 18 – Once water completely drains, the trap door/ramp slams shut, the barriers open, and the entire trap resets … unless someone blocks the trap from resetting.


Part 4: All the Loot

There is a LOT of treasure to be had in this room, some cursed and some not. Up in the next installment are the traps and treasure my players found.