Friday, April 24, 2020

Tomb of the Seamstress

Tomb of the seamstress
This is a small dungeon designed to be included in a sandbox. There is a good chance that a group won’t be able to pass the first door without some history between two characters. Maybe the players will get the hint and will come back later when a bond have grow between two of them (or players being players, they will kidnap two lovers and force them to open the doors...).

  • The dungeon is a interesting challenge for characters from level 1 to 3.
  • The dungeon use gold pieces as standard.
  • The monsters stats are for B/X.
  • I created the dungeon by drawing six tarot cards.
  • The back story is maybe too complex for such a small dungeon but is optional.

Rumors (d10)
  1. The seamstress was a noble woman blessed by the gods. (false)
  2. The seamstress was buried with her entire family and their treasures. (partially true)
  3. The seamstress was married to a powerful but mad sorcerer. (partially true)
  4. The seamstress became rich after selling her soul to the devil. (partially true)
  5. The seamstress was a witch, breeding with the dark beasts of the forest. (false)
  6. The village of the seamstress was cursed by the forest. (true)
  7. This forest was once a sacred place protected by a great beast. (true)
  8. The seamstress husband was a wealthy alchemist who could turn people into statues. (true)
  9. The seamstress weaved clothes made of pure silver and gold. (partially true)
  10. The seamstress most prized treasure was a magical golden fleece. (partially true)

Wilderness encounters (d6)
Those random encounters happen in the area surrounding the tomb.
  1. A eroded statue representing someone turning into a beast. (is in fact a petrified person).
  2. A broken and very old mannequin.
  3. Different animals spying from a distance.
  4. A mangled animal or human corpse (a recent kill).
  5. Moving threes. The group’s trail have vanished: if backtracking they need to make a test to avoid being lost.  
  6. Lurking beastmen (1d6). They are menacing, but they keep their distances.
  • Shy Beastmen: AL N or C, MV 90’ (30’), AC 7, HD 2, #AT 1 (bite or claws), DM 1d6, SV F2, ML 7, XP 47. 

The Tomb
  • The tomb is very ancient.
  • The tomb is build into a hill. Stone stairs lead to the tomb entry.
  • The stones outside the tomb are decorated with eroded engraving representing muses weaving and sewing clothes. Hard to notice animals and nature motifs also decorate the stones.  
  • The mosaics in the tomb don't present the events in a chronological order.
  • You can place two mosaics by walls and on the ceiling or on the floor. (Each room provide a list of mosaics).
  • All the mosaics in the tomb can be looted of their lapis-lazuli and other semi-precious tiles: 2d10 gp worth of tiles can be extracted from a mosaic after 1d6 turns of work.

Tomb encounters (d6) (test every 3 turns)
  1. A giant bug crawl by.
  2. A strange noise or a whisper come from a previously visited room.
  3. A torch is consumed or a ration is missing.
  4. A mannequin or a mosaic seem to move.
  5. D6 curious but still shy beastmen venture into the antechamber, noise will attract them.
  6. A Will-o'-the-wisp like flame float above a item. If touched it drain 1d4 hp and vanish away (a saving throw prevent these damages). If left alone it vanish after d6 turns.

1) Antechamber
  • The main doors have been forced open a long time ago.
  • The double stone doors on the north wall are decorated with the figures of two lovers holding each other hands.  
  • The stone doors are enchanted and can’t be forced open.
  • The stone doors will only open if two people loving each other stand before them while holding their hands. (Ask each player separately if their character truly love the other one).
  • The mosaics of the antechamber have already been looted.
  • The two mannequins of the room tried to pursues looters but lost their enchantments when they ventured too far away from the tomb. These are the mannequins from the forest encounters. If brought back inside the tomb they will reactivate in d6 turns.

The antechamber mosaics are damaged, but they are still readable with a INT test, on a fail test give skip some words or be less specific when giving the descriptions.
The mosaics represents:
  1. A girl (the seamstress) is lost in the woods.
  2. The girl meet a great beast suffering from horrible wounds.
  3. The girl heal the great beast. (The Beast is a mix of multiple animals).
  4. The girl and the great beast live together.
  5. The girl is sad and the Beast is moved by her sadness.
  6. Standing upright like a man, the Beast give a gift to the girl (a green box).
  7. The girl go back to her poor father and start sewing with a green needle.
  8. The girl make wonderful clothes and become admired by many people.

The corridors
  • Are all decorated with animals figures hidden behind nature motifs.
  • Each corridor have two alcoves occupied by mannequins.
  • The mannequins are dressed in beautiful and elegant but antique clothes.
  • Each unbroken mannequin is worth 10gp.
  • Each complete set of clothes is worth 2d6 x 10 gp.
  • Each set of clothes have a minor enchantment weaved into them (see the clothing enchantments section).
  • All the mannequins will animate if somebody loot or desecrate the tomb of the seamstress (area #6). Two mannequins will animate each round.
  • The two mannequins of a corridor will animate if somebody try to break one of them.
  • A mannequin may animate if someone bring it in the antechamber (but usually they wait and silently return to their alcove).  
  • The mannequins don’t animate if somebody loot them of their clothes (without breaking them).
  • The mannequins can leave the tomb to pursue looters, but they will shut down after 1d6 turns.   

The mannequins (as wood golems)
  • AL N, MV 120 (40), AC 7, HD 2+2, #AT 1 (fist), DG 1d8, SV F1, ML 12, XP 60
The mannequins won’t attack someone wearing only the clothes made by the seamstress. (They will attack anyone who wear a single piece of garment not made by the seamstress, including armors but not shields)

2) The children tomb
  • The north double doors are decorated with angels watching over children dancing around a well.
  • The north double doors are enchanted and can’t be forced open.
  • The west corridor is hidden behind a drapery representing a family of poor people sewing clothes.
  • The east corridor is hidden behind a drapery representing a healthy couple working together (the woman is sewing and the man is practicing alchemy).  
  • In the center of the room: three small stone caskets are disposed around a ornamental basin.
  • The basin is full of holy water that don’t evaporate and is decorated with cherubs.
  • Each caskets contains the petrified figure of a children (two boys and one girl) holding a tiny funeral boat containing a miniature representing the children. 
  • The boys heads point toward the basin, the girl feet also point toward it.
  • The north double doors only open if the three funerals boats are put in the basin and are aligned like the petrified children.
  • The children corpses were petrified to preserve them. Turning flesh to stone will not bring them back to live.

The children tomb mosaics represents:
  1. The seamstress and her husband (the alchemist) have three children, two boys and one girl.
  2. The seamstress and her family are happy.
  3. One boy is reading books, the other is sewing clothes and the girl talk with animals.
  4. The three children play in a wonderful forest. Playful animals accompany them.
  5. The three children flee in a dark forest.
  6. Animals are scared of what is pursuing them.
  7. Villagers find the three children mutilated in the forest.
  8. The seamstress and her husband mourn their children. The seamstress seem to be deeply distressed.

3) West Annex
  • The air in the room feel cold.
  • The room contain a old family chest, a damaged mannequin and a dressing mirror.
  • The chest contain the personal items and the sewing tools of a poor family.
  • The mirror is made of silver and stained glass (worth 100 gp).  
  • Five silver coins and a bunch of old rags are scattered in front of the mirror.
  • If someone look into the mirror, it emit a shimmering light.
  • The shimmering light wither the clothes of anyone looking into the mirror. (including armors). Only a bunch of rags will remain. (Saving throw to step back away from the light)
  • If somebody deposed 5 silver coins before looking into the mirror, they see a vision of hardship from their pass (while their clothes crumble). The vision give them courage and they can hold it to reroll a die with advantage during a future moment of hardship.
  • Those who don’t offer any silver coins receive a vision of future hardships. The vision is one of despair. During a moment of despair, they must reroll one successful die roll. If they still manage to succeed, award them extra xp.
  • The seamstress's clothes are immune to the effect of the mirror.
  • The mirror lose it enchantment when taken away from the tomb.

The West annex mosaics represents:
  1. The elders of a family worship friendly but dark spirits of nature. (the elders are the great grand parents of the seamstress)
  2. War ravage the land and the family is killed by looters.
  3. The surviving father runaway with his son. (the grand father and the father of the seamstress)
  4. His son become a tailor and marry a woman. (the mother of the seamstress)
  5. The couple have three children.
  6. They live in deep poverty.
  7. The grand father, the mother and two of the children die.
  8. A girl (the seamstress) is sent on the road by her poor father.

4) East Annex
  • The room is full of well crafted cloth making tools and materials.
  • A mannequin wearing a unfinished dress stand near a dressing desk.
  • If finished, the dress will have 2 extra enchantments. The materials and the tools necessary to finish the dress are present in the room. Someone with the right skill and inspiration can finish the dress in 2d4 hours of work. (Hours turn into turns if using the magic sewing needles from the mirror world).
  • A potion of turn flesh to stone (2 doses) and a potion of turn stone to flesh (2 doses). These potions must be drank and their effects take 1d6 rounds to happen (2d6 rounds if throw at something). A saving throw prevent the pretrification. The bottles are well crafted and are worth 6 gp each.
  • A alchemy book about mirrors and guardian spirits can be found in one of the dressing desk drawers. The book contain some clues about the mirrors in both annexes. A page mention that enchanted silver is needed to create the mirrors. A passage mention that to be worthy of the four guardian spirits, the summoner must stand naked before them. A other passage mention that the spirits are appeased by beauty and that they like to listen to human speech.
  • The mirror frame is made of ancient oak and is encrusted with winged animals motifs made of silver. (1d4 x10 gp worth of silver can be scavenged after 1d6 turns of work).
  • If someone look into the mirror, instead of his or her reflection, he or she will see a naked female mannequin with two sewing needles pinned in her hands. From time to time a winged beast can be seen lurking in the background.
  • Someone who stand naked in front of the mirror can step through it to enter into the mirror world.
  • In the mirror world, four guardian spirits protect the female mannequin: a winged calf, a winged lion, a eagle with a angelic face and a winged genderless kid with eagle hands and feet. They seem more curious than threatening (except if someone approach the magic needles).
  • A reaction test must be made to take the magic needles. The guardians will only let someone take the needles on a good reaction result and they will only attack on a bad result (as a 4HD monster with 4 attacks that doe 1d6 damage each).
  • Positive modifiers for the reaction test: singing or friendly chat with the spirits, being in love, being a artist or craftman, someone in the group say (or said) that the character is beautiful.
  • Negative modifiers for the reaction test: lying, being rude, being a murderer, holding a weapon, joking about someone appearance.
  • On very good or bad result (under 2 or above 12), the spirits will follow the reflection of the character from mirrors to mirrors. If the reaction was very good they will help in a moment of distress but if the reaction was very bad they will haunt the character in hope of devouring his or her reflection (this can’t be good).   
  • The magic needles are made of a magical green metal and are masterfully crafted. They grant or boost sewing skills. Someone with a natural masterful skill (who studied with a master craftman or who have a high dexterity) can use them to create marvelous and enchanted clothes (with the right materials). The needles are also the key to the room #6.

The East annex mosaics represent:
  1. The seamstress meet a young alchemist.
  2. The young man use his alchemy skills to create wonderful textiles.
  3. The young man give his fabrics to the girl and she start making clothes with them (using the green needles).
  4. Dogs, cats, birds and other animals watch over them.
  5. The girl make wonderful clothes, many nobles buy them.
  6. The alchemist work hard to make even more wonderful fabrics.
  7. The alchemist is poisoned by alchemical toxic fumes and fell sick.
  8. The seamstress cry at his bed.

5) Alchemist tomb
  • The north double doors are decorated with a painted bas relief representing the grieving alchemist holding the body of the seamstress in his arms. There is a small hole in both of the seamstress’s hands.
  • In the center of the room there is a large bassin of holy water (on the ground level).
  • A coffin sized funeral boat float in the bassin.  
  • The funeral boat contain no corpse, it contain only the clothes of the alchemist.
  • The alchemist clothes grant a bonus to make reaction tests with merchants and to craft potions or magical items (or to a alchemy skill). But they are also cursed, if someone wear them before the door to room #6 is open, they will transform into a cloaker like creature (a wrestling test and a saving throw are needed to remove them).  Were-Cloaker: AL C, MV 180 (60), AC 7, HD as character, #AT 1 (bite), DG 2d4, SV as character, ML 9
  • To open the door leading to room #6, the magical green needles from room #5 must be inserted in the hands of the seamstress. (They can be removed afterward but only when the doors are closed).  

The alchemist tomb mosaics represents:
  1. The alchemist and the seamstress work together and fall in love, animals spy on the alchemist and the seamstress.
  2. The alchemist and the seamstress marry, the ceremony is outside, the Beast watch in the background.
  3. The alchemist is sick in bed.
  4. The alchemist is cured by the seamstress who use a magical balm.
  5. The alchemist follow his children in the forest.
  6. The alchemist see the Beast menacing the seamstress and her children.
  7. In his workshop, the alchemist create a enchanted silver spear.
  8. The alchemist hire adventurers and give them the spear.
  9. The adventurers kill the Beast with the silver spear.
  10. The alchemist offer the fleece of the Beast to a crying seamstress.

6) Seamstress tomb
  • A simple dress made of a magnificent fabric lie like a veil on the statue of a woman painfully turning into a werewolf. (The dress is worth 90 gp to a average merchant and 2000 gp to someone who can evaluate it unique fabric).
  • The statue is in fact the petrified body of the seamstress.
  • The dress is made from the fleece of the guardian Beast.
  • If wearing nothing else, the dress grant a STR of 19 to wrestle aggressive beings into submission. Once a being is wrestled down make a reaction test, the dress grant a bonus of 2 to this test. The dress loose it power if it wearer lose control of it emotions (anger, fear, grief, etc). When this happen it wearer must make a saving throw to avoid turning into a werewolf. The dress offer the protection of a leather armor.
  • Removing the seamstress’s dress from the room #6 animate two mannequin by rounds. (Don’t forget the mannequins in the annexes)
  • If turn stone to flesh is cast on the petrified seamstress she complete her transformation into a savage werewolf.
  • Werewolf Seamstress: AL C, MV 180’ (60’), AC 5, HD 4, #AT 1 (bite), DM 2d4, SV F4, ML 8, XP 190. Her bite is contagious and will turn on a failed saving throw it victims into a random were creature of the forest in d6 nights. (Were (d6): 1 Wolf, 2 Boar, 3 Bear, 4 Deer, 5 Badger, 6 Weasel) 

The seamstress mosaics represents:
  1. The seamstress go in the forest to implore the Beast.
  2. The Beast hold the seamstress in his arms and give her a healing balm.
  3. The seamstress use the balm to heal the alchemist.
  4. The seamstress go back in the forest to speak with the Beast.
  5. The Beast ask the seamstress to live with him, the seamstress is sad and reject the beast.
  6. The Beast is angry and the seamstress flee away.
  7. The seamstress is alone and sad, her husband give her the fleece of the slain beast.
  8. The seamstress cry and weave the fleece of the Beast.
  9. The seamstress is mad with sadness. Her shadow look like a beast.
  10. The children flee the house.
  11. The seamstress is naked in the forest, covered in blood.
  12. The seamstress drink a potion in the laboratory of the alchemist.

Clothing enchantments

Roll a d6 to determine for who the set was made (clothes were more gendered in that period).
  1. a child (gender neutral and halfling sized)
  2. a young man
  3. a young woman
  4. a older man
  5. a older woman
  6. a gender queer noble
A enchanted set of clothing grant:
  • +1 to saving throws.
  • +1 to CHA, as a side effect this enchantment make it easier to pass for the gender the clothing were crafted for.
  • a bonus points to reaction tests made when dealing with NPCs whit a specific trait and the ability to detect this trait in someone.
Roll on your favorite NPCs traits table to determine the trait.
Personality traits make better enchantment, but you can also use physical traits.

Some random personality traits tables:
If a set of clothes affect multiple traits, the bonuses are cumulative on a NPCs who have all of those traits.


Evlyn said...

Should I make this into a PDF with a few illustrations?

Goblinist said...


Mathieu Tremblay said...


Niznoc Speaks! said...

Please do. I love this!

jonnie said...

Is there a typo in the 7th mosaic of room six?

Evlyn said...

Thanks I fixed it.