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.



James Maliszewski said...

Good to see you're alive! =)

James said...

Happy blogoversary!

Chris Kutalik said...

Welcome back to our blog rolls. Funny thing I was just singing your praises earlier today.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Sham, I love your blog and wish you would post more!

I was wondering if you could re-upload the dismal depths levels that were up? I ran my girlfriend through the first one and she loved it, but the link to the other levels are stale and I think I accidently deleted them off my HD.

Anyhoo, thanks for the awesome dungeon!

Ragnardbard said...

:) Love the Spider Blower, Snake Ejector, and Scorpion Bomb. PC suffering is just better with a humourous sting in its tail...

imredave said...

Thanks for an awesome post! Hope that you can find the time to do more of them.

Nicolas Dessaux said...

"84: Teleport to Lonely Prison, an extremely accurately named location the Lonely Prison."

I laughed so much at this one!

Michael S/Chgowiz said...

Happy Blog-Birthday! Many happy returns of the day. You are sorely missed, my friend.

I love your table! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Tarnation! Pig-Fat! :P
When I started reading the list I was hoping you'd have just a greased stairway and I was not disappointed.

I was hoping for some more non-dangerous features, like a small rivulet of water running down the wall or patches of moss, or a crack with a breeze from a level above or below (50-50). Filling in with that would let you roll on the table for every stairway without having each one result in a trap.

I also like to roll a 2 in 12 chance that a trap has already been sprung or is rusted shut (1 = sprung, 2 = inoperable) which adds a little variety. I'd do the same with this table.

Matthew James Stanham said...

Good stuff, and glad to see it!

Sham aka Dave said...

Thanks everyone!

1d30: I have considered taking it out to 100 entries. Your suggestions are welcome. As far as rolling to see if traps spring I often use a 2in6 chance per character passing by/through. I like your 2d6 approach and might have to riff off of that.

Gothridge Manor said...

Nice table Dave, already printed out and added to my notebook of random tables.

And Happy Birthday Blog.

Matthew Schmeer said...

Yay! One of my favorite rpg blogs is back!

David The Archmage said...

Fantastic post! I think 83 is my favorite.

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