Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Dim Expanse part VI

Here are two copied and pasted rooms which the current adventuring group has encountered. These are copied directly from my own files and as such may not make sense to readers. Questions are welcome, and of course as always these can be lifted and deposited directly into your own dungeons.

39: The Fourteen of Smithereen: This entire section of hall, lined at 10’ intervals with 10’ alcoves, is choked full with a thick, damp, silver mist which reduces vision to but five feet. The center of the hall is painted with a dimly glowing gold ‘path’ which runs from one end of this area to the other. Within each alcove, indicated as A-N, is a 6’ tall ‘statue’ of iron, each depicting an Orc. The Fourteen of Smithereen is an infamous band of Orcs which served the evil anti-cleric who built the Temple of Hizvhanus (The Terrible Temple). The Fourteen were aided by Hizvhanus as they came to power lower, deeper in Ulin-Uthor. Worshippers of Hizvhanus were required to walk the path through this area and pay tribute to each of the Orcs depicted here. All metallic items exposed to the silvery mist will emerge from the hall coated in sparkling glitter which will render said item ‘+0 Magic’ for 6 turns, or until washed/scraped off. Now the hall is simply a good ambush site for denizens of the dungeon. If each statue is checked, they do all indeed have names, written in Orcish, engraved on bronze plaques at their bases.

A- Helnma, B- Dlogvel, C- Sovs, D- Ulcyad, E- Namthar, F- Nolg, G- Pucp, H- Trifles, I- Lestrelmar, J- Thrwig, K- Trotep, L- Thims, M- Zenglert, N-Anbwom.

40: The Cartogropher’s Crypt: In the center of this large room is a huge pile, some 15’ around and 6’ high, of charred, burnt wood debris from some huge fire. The ceiling of the room is sooty black from smoke, and the entire place reeks of cinder and ash. This one time crypt has had all of it’s contents piled in the center and set to flame. There is a unique spirit within this room, that of the long dead mapmaker Trebor. Trebor had some hand in the construction and design of Krawlspace, and was then put to death and buried here so that he might take his secrets to the grave. By some twist of fate, Trebor’s spirit rose from the dead, whether it was days, years or decades later, his spirit woke to tell his secrets to those who might find this cursed place. Trebor is invisible and cannot communicate in any way other than using pieces of charcoal to write scribbled messages or draw maps upon the walls here. When the PC’s enter, there is a 1in8 chance that Trebor will be drawing a Map, otherwise his spirit is resting and gathering his energy to continue his work. Trebor seems to be oblivious to visitors, and it requires a great deal of effort for the spirit to be able to pick up and draw with the bits of burnt wood here. Furthermore, oftentimes denizens or visitors will arrive, and erase his markings from the walls. Upon finding this room, the PC’s will discover one of six possible maps which Trebor has worked on, and each subsequent visit, another of the maps will be found, determined randomly. Roll 1d8 below to see what Trebor has drawn:

1 - Map 1, 2 - Map 2, 3 - Map 3, 4 - Map 4, 5 - Map 5, 6 - Map 6, 7-8 - Roll 1d6 twice for two Maps.

These maps are to be drawn on index cards for live play, filed under Trebor‘s Maps, and if using screen monkey may be drawn/saved as maps there as well.

Any words written by Trebor will be associated with the Map indicated.

The secret door to the west is particularly difficult to open and will require a pry bar.

~Sham, Quixotic Referee


Amityville Mike said...

Sham, you are an evil, evil man. A persuasive, evil, evil man.

I've just finished reading the whole blog from start to finish over the last three days. Like you, my feet were firmly planted in the soil of AD&D. But now, I'm finding it necessary to go back and give OD&D a dedicated and open-minded reading.

My concern is that even if I was to throw some 25+ years of AD&D out and start from the true roots of the game, how could I not end up home-brewing something that is just AD&D (or proto-AD&D) in the end? Plus I'm not so certain that my established campaign world (loose as it is) would survive a conversion.

It's bad enough that the megadungeon that I've been working on for several months has already survived one conversion from 3.5 to AD&D, thanks to sites like Philotomy's, Grognardia, Jeff's Gameblog, and the OD&D discussion board, and caused me to return to my roots rather than try and twist the newer version of the game into a crude replica of the game I loved. I'm mugwumping again. Again, I say!

Evil, I tell you. Great musical taste, though.

Love the blog. It's going on the list. Thanks for sharing your notes for Dim X, by the way. As a fellow megadungeon excavator, I'm interested to see what others are doing when constructing their notes. I've already had to unlearn a lot of bad habits that I've picked up over the years. It's good to be remined that one can clearly convey an encounter or location in brief paragraphs rather than expansive "block text" descriptions, which was a truly atrocious habit of mine.

Keep doing what you do, when you can. I'll be coming back for more.

Sham aka Dave said...

Thanks, Mike! With the Winter months approaching I think I'll be able to get a lot of creative work done on my various projects.

As I conveyed, after running OD&D, I have come to realize that the system is not paramount to the game, it's the play style that fits you and your players more than anything. The first thing that hit me after session one was that AD&D (as we called it, heavily home brewed and tinkered with) would've worked just fine as the campaign basis.

I found a home with OD&D, though, as expressed before, mainly because I am starting with a less defined, more flexible foundation upon which to home brew.

AD&D Disassociation is a fun exercise, but I do find myself falling back on knowledge I gained from all those years using 1e. It can be hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Most of the fun for me has been realizing that pretty much everything can be house ruled/home brewed. It's that aspect of D&D that keeps me coming back...creating monsters/treasure, making maps and trying new ideas.

I hope you enjoyed reading through those older posts, and I hope to provide much more in the future.