Friday, July 5, 2013

Piercers Dungeon

I started with Zak's Take Ten Minutes And Do This post, but I passed the 10 minutes cap and I ended up writing a piercers themed dungeon. Well the dungeon don't totally make sense, I kind of have a idea of what happened in the dungeon, but it not precise and a lot of the pieces of the story are missing.

Rumors (d8): 
  1. The baron studied geomancy, alchemy and forbidden arts.
  2. The baron was cursed with a dwarf daughter and no one wanted to marry her. 
  3. The baron collected magic statues. 
  4. The lady of the castle died of a strange illness similar to a slow petrification. 
  5. The baron ancestor became rich by making a pact with the gnome king. 
  6. The baron treasure of gems and precious minerals was never found.
  7. The castle ruins are haunted, the stones are possessed. 
  8. The castle is slowly rebuilding itself. 

1. Slavers camp here, but are afraid to go further. They sell slaves to the "stone wizards".  

2. Small boulders crawl around like snails and spy on the party, each have a single eye. 

3. The slavers trade with the "stone wizards" here. The "stone wizards" wait in the shadows. They are in fact evolved piercers that crudely mimic robed figures. They can talk by using mimicry, repeating words they ear. They can crawl on surfaces like normal piercers. Each can cast a paralysis spell once by day. 


4. Large crawling boulders wait in ambush here, ready to fall down on anyone who follow the "stone wizards".

5. A cloud mimic composed of floating stone dust hunt in the tower. On 1-2 on a d6: it is hungry. There is a adventurer corpse here, he have a magic stone pebble key that open area 8. 

6. Goblins or kids collect small crawling boulders here. They say they are tasty like mollusks. They say the tower is haunted, a adventurer man once vanished there. 

7. Slime tracks lead to location 3 and 10.   

8. Conceal locked door. The magic lock can be opened with the stone pebble key from area 5. 

9. Stone statues collection. Some are very old. Some talked but they have been broken in a fit of rage. 

10. The "stone wizards" use this concealed door. A large crawling boulder guard the door by resting on it. If the door is bashed or not closed, the crawling boulders can roll after the group in the stairs. At the bottom of the stair there is a secret door that lead to area 12.

11. The baron's laboratory. The baron studied earth elemental magic, petrification, piercers and mimics anatomy here. The library contain many books on dwarfs, gnomes and piercers. One of the books present the piercers as patient holders of secrets. The library also contain some (cure) paralysis spell scrolls. The alchemy lab contain unlabeled magic dusts that have random potions effect. The dust must be blow on someone to take effect. Snorting also work, but is dangerous. On a table there is a copper cage and miniatures stone figurines. If someone hold a figurine and read the small runes inscribed on it, he or she will trade size with the figurine. To switch back the person must repeat the inscription backward. Each figurine have a different inscription (the inscription are the names of the ancestors and relatives of the Baron). The copped cage is ornamented with a copper bat. A magic dust keep in a labelled bottle can bring the bat to live. The bat is strong enough to transport the cage. 


12. Family crypt. A small stone sarcophagus contain the mummified body of Gudrun, the baron's daughter. The sarcophagus is guarded by two petrified piercers covered with magic mouths. The magic mouths speak with the baron's sad voice. The magic mouth "recording" tell about:
- How much he loved his daughter but he also say "if only I had a son". 
- The piercers are so patient, he should not have trusted them, they have outsmarted him. 
- The marriage would have been so beautiful (marriage with one of the gnome king's children). 
The small mummy wear a gem and a lapis lazuli funeral mask. The magic mouths will warn and curse anyone who try to defile the mummy (save or the part touching the mummy or her ornements is petrified). The funeral mask grant infravision, stone sense and stone skin. Anyone who wear it speak with Gudrun voice. When using the mask powers, the wearer must make a saving throw to avoid assimilating random memories of Gudrun. Those memories are about (d6): 1 love of parents, 2 fear of piercers, 3 not wanting to marry the gnome king son, 4 having a secret romantic relation with the gnome king daughter, 5 learning stone magic, 6 other personal stuff.  


13. Ghostly fossils spirits play and dream here. They miss Gudrun and will help anyone wearing her funeral mask. They remember that Gundrun used the flooded tunnel to secretly meet with the gnome king daughter. If asked how she crossed over the flooded tunnel, each fossil spirits give a pearl of water breathing. The pearl must be eaten. Doing so will also grant brief but distracting visions of past geologic ages on a failed saving throw.     


14. Control piercers wait for new victims here (the slaves). They use their victim's hands to mine ore and to build strange stone caerns and circles.   

15. The Hall of the Piercer King. Large blind fish swim in the flooded tunnel. Underwater lie the remains of the stalactite shells of the former piercer's kings. The Piercer King throne above the underwater lake. 

16. A earth elemental's hand hold a gravity orb. Activating the orb reverse the gravity in the main cavern (there is a cool down effect between uses). Trying to steal the orb awaken the earth elemental. The orb need to be in contact with a earth elemental to work, even if useless when stolen, the orb is still a tempting treasure. 

17. A inverted stalactite castle slowly grow on the ceiling of the cavern. Only miniature people can enter the castle halls. Some of the castle towers are piercers. Inside the castle, the gnome king daughter is encased in a sphere of amber that preserve her life.   


18. A stalagmite and a stalactite join together to form a necromantic totem. The inside of the stone pillar is fill with necrotic piercer's matter (a experience that went wrong). Necro animated broken piercers guard a gravity orb similar to the one in area 16. The stone elemental guarding this orb is sick. Normal piercers avoid the area and are never encountered here. But evolved piercers will drag any found piercers corpses here.


19. This stone well have no stairs. Piercers can easily crawls on it wall. Slaves are simply thrown down. The "stone wizards" or controller piercers drag the bodies to area 14. 

20. Piercers wait in ambush on the cavern ceiling. Gnome's bones lie on the cavern floor (or maybe the baron's bones). 


Encounters (d10):
  1. Group of piercers
  2. Evolved "stone wizards" mimic piercers.
  3. Piercer controllers using human bodies to mine or to collect stones. 
  4. A wounded escaped slave or a lost bandit or a lost kid or goblin from area 6. 
  5. Petrified gnome
  6. Pebble spy
  7. Boulder guard
  8. Fossil spirits
  9. Nasty underground lifeform like giant bats or centipede. 
  10. Lone large piercer


Anonymous said...

Creepy cool... like this a lot. I will try to find a place for this in my home campaign. ;)

pjamesstuart said...

That was fucking cool, and probably the best dungeon about piercers ever made.

Arnold K said...

piercers r cool

And I really like how powerfully unsubtle the control piercers are.

Anonymous said...

Love the dungeon, love the illustrations. :-)

Evlyn M said...

It was fun to make,the stalactite & stalagmite silhouettes of the map were my main inspiration. Next one I will try to include some stats.

Evlyn M said...

Hey I think that I will redrawn the map and rework the dungeon a little and try to publish it as a small pdf dungeon.

Jasper Polane said...

Really nice! I like the theme of piercers, mimics and earth magic: it's not obvious, but makes a lot of sense.