Monday, February 28, 2011

Spicing Up Stairways

It's been a while. Today is the unofficial blog birthday here at Ye Auld Grog and Blog so something needs to be posted today.

Here's a table I put together to allow you to add some tension to your next megadungeon sessions. Most games I've seen treat stairways as just so much dungeon-dressing. Use this to keep your players on their collective toes. Just don't use this for every single stairway unless you're a true sadist. Maybe a 2in6 chance but you be the judge.

Shrunk the text a bit to keep it all single line in blogger.

Spicing Up Stairways

01-03: Pit, All Pits (d6) 1-3: 10', 4,5: 20', 6: 30' in depth. These things never grow old.
04: Spiked Pit, roll 1d6 for extra damage. On a 6 roll again and add (result -1) to 6.
05: Poison-spiked Pit, as above then save or die. Someone really wants these intruders dead.
06: Flooded Pit, last time I checked armor still doesn't float. At all.
07: Crusher Pit, prepare to become dungeon graffiti.
08: Holding Pit, snaps shut and can't be opened normally. Somewhere a dinner bell rings.
09: Bottomless Pit, depth as above but use 6d6. Or more. How bottomless do you want it?
10: Double Pits, there's another pit waiting to be sprung. Maybe these things do grow old.
11-12: Sleep Gas, All Gas is invisible, slow-acting vapor. Canaries are immune to the stuff.
13-14: Poison Gas, shoulda rolled up a Canary.
15-16: Rotting Gas, lose one hit per hour until face falls off.
17-18: Delirium Gas, adventurers become acid-tripping hippies.
19-20: Maddening Gas, acute paranoia, violence, that bastard Hobbit is out to get you!
21-23: Darts, All Dart volleys cause 3d3 damage in a wide cone. Unarmored victims take +3.
24-25: Poison Darts, adding insult to injury since 1974.
26: Acid Darts, deals 4d3 instead. Armored victims start rolling item saves.
27: Capturing/Crushing Ceiling, adventurers become trapped and prepare for pain.
28: Capturing/Crushing Walls, as above but ever so slightly more forgiving. Or not.
29: Capturing/Crushing Ceiling w/ Spikes, a masterpiece of dungeon engineering.
30: Capturing/Crushing Walls w/ Spikes, are all the pointy things really necessary here?
31: Capturing/Flooding, there's a drain/fill valve hidden somewhere...right?
32: Capturing/Feeding, in 1d6 turns something big and hungry shows up. Or slithers in.
33-35: Alarm, the arrival of the party to the next level is loudly announced.
36-37: Flaming Oil, jets of slippery oil, ignited in a fireball, thick smoke, roasted intruders.
38: Spider-Blower, large fan sends clouds of upset black widows right at the poor delvers.
39: Snake-Ejector, with a click hidden panels open and drop one angry asp on each character.
40: Scorpion-Bomb, down the steps rolls a sphere with a lit fuse. Boom! Scorpion surprise!
41-43: Slide, All Slides incorporate steps that rotate into a slippery ramp. Quite ingenious.
44: Slide to Pit Below, if the buggers won't trip my trap I'll send them into it! Pick a Pit.
45: Slide and Hollywood Trap, yep – a boulder is rolling down the slide behind ya.
46: Slide to Monster, some enterprising young Monster has set up shop at the bottom.
47-48: Greased, tarnation! some fool done greased this stairway with pig-fat.
49-50: Chute, All Chutes deposit intruders deeper into the dungeon. 1d3+1 levels works.
51: Chute to Holding Cell, maybe something will come check soon. Maybe not.
52: Chute to Pool, for fun toss in piranhas or crocodiles.
53: Chute to Trap, usually a Capturing/Crushing room but there's a secret door. Possibly.
54: Chute to Monster, maybe it's sleeping. Either way the key to get out is around its neck.
55: Web-choked, annoying as all get out.
56: Smoke-filled, some wiseacre lit a bag of Monster-crap down there. It acts like Tear Gas.
57: Fungus-caked, the Clean-up Crew missed this. You might contract Dungeon-Rot here.
58: Bone-scattered, something's been tossing left-overs in here. Haunted by Undead? Yes!
59-60: Partially Caved-in, great care required. Possible collapse. A Dwarf would help.
61-62: Caved-in, pretty much just a dead end. Feel free to excavate it. Takes 200 man-hours.
63-64: Flooded, some moron filled this stairwell with water. A drain/fill valve is at the bottom.
65-67: False w/ Secret Door, to exit-less room. Fill as desired. Real steps hidden in stairwell.
68-70: Trapped w/ Secret Door, as above. Past the Secret Door is a trap and dead end. Hah!
71-72: Sentry, these blokes won't pursue, they will however defend the stairway to the end.
73-74: Toll, some way too powerful Monster extorts gold from delvers here.
75-76: Barricade, blocked by piles of Dungeon Junk. Is something besides junk in there?
77-78: Dead People, whatever killed them didn't bother to eat them. Just took their gear.
79: Lost Adventurer, the little blighter has lost his way. Might he be responsible for 77-78?
80: Madman, raving mad. The Monsters like to poke him with a stick. He collects iron spikes.
81: Portcullis, Well crud! There's a locked Portcullis blocking the way.
82: Locked Doors, heavy double-doors prevent passage. Something nearby has the key I bet.
83: Teleport to New Stairway, old tricks are often the best. No chance the dorks notice.
84: Teleport to Lonely Prison, an extremely accurately named location the Lonely Prison.
85: Teleport to Random Level, chances are 93.7% that it will be to a deeper level of course!
86-88: Random Monster from Level Below, just roll on a table.
89-91: Random Monster from Level Above, just pick from a table.
92-94: Ambushing Monster from Level Below, just pick from a fanzine.
95-97: Ambushing Monster from Level Above, just make something up already.
98-00: Clean-up Crew Member Cleaning, it's going to be upset you tracked dirt in here.