Friday, April 1, 2016

Working on an adventure

I said something about making One-Page Dungeons for GURPS, and I chose to put my lack of money where my mouth is. This is a work in progress and is much bigger than I had first thought, but I still want to put it out there. I have a lack of game stats at this point on purpose, following Mike Mearls's advice to design your dungeons for OD&D first. That way, they are interesting in of themselves, not because the rules make them so. I'll make them for traps, and a few more for monsters.

If anyone has any suggestions or notices something wrong, please, make a comment below. My idea is to make something like Beneath Castle Everglory, but with the hindsight of having seen Dungeon Fantasy over many years. And a bit smaller.


  • I need names for the bandit in room #1, the bandit leader in room #5, the two bandit mages in room #7, the three prisoners in room #8, the bandit leader in room #11, the two bandit lords in room #13, the orc sergeant in room #17, the strong goblin in room #21, the orc sergeant in room #31, and at least one ghoul.
  • I need a compelling link for the orcs, a reason why someone would go looking for the orcs rather than the bandits or ghouls. The dungeon needs to work on more than one hook.
  • I need to make a rumor/hook table, and a list of things a Research roll would uncover.
  • These are without question the best maps I have ever made, which says more about my lack of skill at making maps rather than the quality of these maps. There were many random rolls that made them on tables in the Tome of Adventure Design. I'm pleased with the results, if you want the truth.
  • Most walls between rooms are 6 in. (DR 78, HP 75). 
  • Most doors are wood (DR 2, HP 29).
  • The bandits are Basic Warriors from GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon (p. 423), except instead of mail armor, they have leather armor (DR 2, $340, 19.5 lbs.). The bandit leaders are +2 to all skills and +1 to ST, DX, and HT. The bandit lords are +4 to all skills, +2 to ST, DX, and HT, and +1 to IQ. Both the leaders and lords wear mail armor. The bandit mages are Artillery Mages from the Mirror of the Fire Demon
  • The goblins are Common Orc Soldiers from Mirror of the Fire Demon (p. 47), but are goblins instead of orcs (-1 ST, -2 HP, no Acute Hearing 2 or Bully (12), instead have Cowardice (12) and Sharp Teeth). The tough goblin is a Tough Orc Soldier with the above changes.
  • Both of these are why I want GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 69: Fearsome Foes. The bestiary at the back of Mirror of the Fire Demon comes nearest to this idea.
  • To quickly handle changes in ST to damage, add the increase to swing damage, and half the increase to thrust damage, rather than going through the full calculations.
  • Wandering Monsters happen on a 7 or less. A clue happens on an 8 if moving. Roll every hour, which means every 6 rooms if exploring. Also roll when doing things that make noise, like opening a stuck door (roll Forced Entry to avoid the check), fighting, or bashing down a door. If resting overnight, an encounter happens on a 12 or less; 9 or less means 2 encounters, and 6 or less means 3. Do this instead of making hourly rolls.
  • Apply the -5 to reaction under Negotiation (DF2, p. 10) if the players encounter the monster in its lair. For the bandits, this is all of level 1; for the orcs, this is all of level 2; for the ghouls, this is rooms #33 through #36. A monster outside its lair is more willing to talk. That's my compromise with the text.
  • Scale is one square equal to 10 feet, as you should expect from a dungeon using TSR Blue on the maps.

Level 1

Way in is a crude wood and iron door (DR 10, HP 34), behind which is a rising passage (35°). The first level is about 100 ft. above the door. It is locked (Lockpicking +2, DR 3, HP 6). Lighting comes from braziers filled with oil, which gives full light. Ceilings are barrel-vaulted and 10 ft. high.

Wandering Monsters

1     1d bandits from room #5
2     1 ghoul from room #36 (level 3)
3     1d orcs from room #17 (level 2); trying to be secret
4     1d giant centipedes from room #27 (level 3)
5     1d rat swarms
6     1 gelatinous cube

1) Armory. 1 bandit. Has a dose of monster drool (Poisons-12), which he'll use if he gets a chance. His brother is the bandit leader in room #6.
2) Mushroom room. Locked door (Lockpicking +4, DR 6, HP 12). Mushrooms are edible, but 1 in 6 gives hallucinations. Buried among the mushrooms is a note on parchment that says, "Heat the statue."
3) Pantry. Stuck door. In back is an old altar to Gianniam, god of runes and symbols. Altar is a carved book showing Gianniam opening the book. Weighs 300 pounds. Under the altar is a trap door to room #20.
4) Cursed bedroom. Locked door (Lockpicking +0, DR 3, HP 6). Anyone who comes inside must resist Will+2 or be stuck in the room for 10 minutes for each point of failure. After this, victim must try to resist again to leave.
5) Barracks. There are 13 bandits and 1 bandit leader here, but will be down 1d bandits on patrol. The leader has a bow and 15 silver pennies. Leader is the brother of the bandit in room #1. They have 30 copper farthings in a ceramic urn. They do not want others to see them as cowards, so will withdraw but not break and run.
6) Privy. Stuck door.
7) Wizards' bedroom. 2 bandit mages. They have 30 copper farthings and 1 gold piece, as well as a map to a vampire's lair 100 miles away. The vampire has over $25,000 in treasure.
8) Lockup. 3 prisoners. Locked door (Lockpicking +0, DR 9, HP 18), and opening it triggers an alarm. One of the prisoners is important, and the bandits have issued a "pay or he dies" order.
8A) Statue. Rusty wire mesh statue of a man bowing his head. It's magical and putting heat on it for 5 seconds opens the door to room #9 (door is iron-bound, DR 15, HP 39).
9) Hot bath. There is a large metal chest (Lockpicking +0), with 200 copper farthings and 15 silver pennies. Opening it calls forth an invisible giant black widow spider.
9A-9F) Closets. 9A has stuck door.
10) King's chamber. On a balcony in the back is the Moribund Throne of Mists. Sitting on the throne lets out a mist throughout the room. It takes 20 seconds to fill the room and comes from the throne. Anyone in the mist is at -5 to see and takes 1 toxic damage each second unless he resists HT each second. The one sitting on the throne is immune. The mist goes away after a minute.
11) Sauna. Stuck door. 12 bandits and their leader, who has 13 silver pennies and a bow. They do not want others to see them as cowards, so will withdraw but not break and run.
12) Sauna.
13) Massage parlor. 2 bandit lords are here. 20 copper farthings, 15 silver pennies in a burlap bag. They are lazy and make the other bandits do everything for them. Each has 2 doses of monster drool (Poisons-16), which they'll use if they get a chance. One of the bandit lords is an escaped convict with a price on his head.
14) Cold bath (Lockpicking +0, DR 6, HP 12). Locked door. In one of the old baths is a trapdoor. Under it is a steep stair that goes down to level 2, 80 feet under level 1. Anyone can go into the landing midway between the two stairs, but to leave, he must put a coin of any kind in the magic toll box. If someone breaks open the box, it is empty, and nobody can leave the landing until the box is back in place.

Level 2

Ceilings are 10 ft. high other than room #15 (20 ft. high). No light; the braziers are empty.

Wandering Monsters

1     1d orcs from room #17
2     1d-2 ghouls from room #36 (level 3)
3     1d bandits from room #5 (level 1); trying to be secret and bearing light
4     2d giant centipedes from room #27 (level 3)
5     1d giant rats from room #23 (level 3)
6     1 ooze

15) Hall. West secret door (DR 3, HP 33) is a wood panel that hides a tunnel. Tunnel slopes down (5°, 20 ft.) and goes 200 ft. to a big rock (400 pounds), which blocks going out. East secret door (DR 1, HP 23) is wood panel 15 ft. up wall. Standing on lowered balcony springs stander up to door. 1 carrion crawler. Attracted to light. 100 copper farthings in a metal cabinet.
16) Audience hall. 5 goblins, who are upset with orcs masters for guard duty.
17) Dining room. Nasty Bone tribe of 14 orcs and 1 orc sergeant. Room will always be down 1d orcs as they are on patrol. They skin their downed foes and keep the bones to show off. They keep a metal coffer with 3 silver pennies and 600 copper farthings here.
18) Barracks.
19) Barracks.
20) Shrine. Floor is shaped like an upside-down ziggurat, and each drop goes down 5 ft. The door down to room #23 (G on the map) needs all 4 knobs on the southwest wall turned until the latch opens, and is hidden to room #20 (DR 30, HP 49). The door up to room #3 (F on the map, DR 30, HP 49) is easy to see, but the altar in room #3 blocks the opening there.
21) Goblin barracks. Stuck door. 6 goblins and 1 tough goblin. These goblins are resting while off their shift.
22) Trapped barracks. Once the door is shut, webbing drops from the ceiling and traps everyone therein as if it had Binding 14.

Level 3

The ceilings are 10 ft. high. The rooms are unlit, other than #33 to #36.

Wandering Monsters

1     1d ghouls from #36
2     2d orcs from room #31
3     2d rat swarms
4     2d giant centipedes from room #27
5     2d giant rats from room #23
6     1 black pudding

23) Receiving room. Door in ceiling (DR 30, HP 49) goes up to room #20. 21 giant rats. Attracted to light.
24) Closet.
25) Lava. Stuck door. West-most 10 ft. is a lava river. Rock island midway through has huge metal chest with 100 copper farthings and 150 silver pennies. Going near the edge by the island triggers blade trap from ceiling, and dodging blade might mean victim falls in lava.
26) Bondage room. Locked (Lockpicking -2, DR 8, HP 18) large wooden chest has 200 copper farthings and 300 silver pennies. Opening chest wakes hidden giant oil beetle.
27) Orgy room. Stuck door from #29. SM +3 sticky corrosive wailer fungus
28) South foyer. Room has a 26.5° angle down, so it dips down 15 yards from west to east. This is one yard down for every two yards west; apply fighting at different elevations.
29) Whip room. 3 harpies. Stone jar with 600 copper farthings and 250 silver pennies.
30) Tentacle room. 18 giant centipedes. Attracted to light.
31) Bedroom. Stuck door from #32. Mirrors on the ceiling. Wall of fake gems. Turning the right gem and jumping back to the right tile opens the secret door (DR 15, HP 39). 25 orcs and 1 orc sergeant looking for treasure bear a large wooden chest with 400 copper farthings and 200 silver pennies.
32) North foyer. Room has a 26.5° angle down, so it dips down 15 yards from west to east. This is one yard down for every two yards west; apply fighting at different elevations.
33) Magic lab. Clay jar among the old lab tools has 500 copper farthings and 50 silver pennies. Opening it summons 20 giant centipedes. High sanctity evil, low sanctity good. Torch-lit (-3 Vision).
34) Sacrifice room. Locked door from #33 (Lockpicking +0, DR 3, HP 6). Anyone sitting in the tall Sordid Throne of Memories must make a Fright Check as past slaughters take over his mind. Altar has an unholy book on it and scalps on its sides. Very high sanctity evil, low sanctity good. Sanctity keeps safe the book's wood covers. The book is of the evil god Krazul, and shows ways of sacrifice. The more depraved the reader is, the nastier the sacrifices shown are. Anyone making a sacrifice heals damage in HP equal to the HP of the victim. Torch-lit (-3 Vision).
35) Priest's bedroom. High sanctity evil, low sanctity good. Torch-lit (-3 Vision).
36) Cult room. 12 ghouls. The ghouls were part of an evil cult that contracted ghoul fever, and still wear their old yellow robes. 100 copper farthings and 250 silver pennies in a stone jar that is an old chamber pot. Anyone handling the money must resist HT or contract diarrhea. High sanctity evil, low sanctity good. Torch-lit (-3 Vision).

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