Monday, May 25, 2020

The Sad Blue House

EDIT: E.K. Hill kindly assembled my blog post into a PDF

Sometime ago a blue skinned teenager was found naked in a field, the villagers where not certain if it was a boy or a girl but they still befriended this strange kid. The blue teenager was happy for a while but a some horrible event happened and the teenager used their divine powers to save the village. Everything changed afterward, people started to worship the teenager, to fight between themselves to get his or her favor. The teenager was afraid as this worship brought back memories of their former divinity and the teenager wanted nothing of it. One day the tension between two factions of the newly formed cult fought together and someone was gravely wounded. The blue teenager had a meltdown, they curled into a ball in the grass and screamed "NO!", their divine power fully awakened and they transformed all the villagers into walls, rooms and doors that formed a house around the teenager, cutting them from the world. The divine teenager now hide the house, scared of what they have done and of what they are, afraid to venture back into the real world.

Maybe the blue teenager was a deity that fled their pantheon, maybe because they ran away from their divine duties, a divine conflict or maybe they decided to transition, it is hard to know...

Rumors now circulate about a abandoned village and a strange house that is sad. Some adventurers dared to venture into the house and brought back some treasures or strange tales. Maybe the characters had family or friends in that village. (If you are running a one shot, maybe they were former servitor of the blue deity).

The houses of the village are now abandoned. Some of them look like their occupants suddenly vanished. One small shed have been upgraded into a small house, gifts and offerings have been deposed around it but things of value have already been looted. Not far away from that small house, near the edge of the village, there is a large and strangely shaped blue house that have human like features. This house is the transformed villagers, inside the divine teenager hide away from the world. Anyone who enter the divine house is protected from divination and scrying powers, they vanish even from the sights of divine beings.

Maybe some vagrants camp in one of the village's abandoned houses.
Random vagrants (d8)
  1. Outcast from a other village who need a quiet place.  
  2. a runaway criminal (could be dangerous or a Jean Valjean)
  3. a kid or teen who fled abusive parents from a nearby village. 
  4. d6 murder hobos who hesitate to venture inside the godchild house. 
  5. d6 bandits 
  6. d6 lepers
  7. a witch who want to be left alone (a magic user) 
  8. a former servitor of the divinity who is attracted to the area (a depowered mythical being, now they only have a few more HD that the player characters). 
Random encounter while exploring the village. (d6)
  1. vagrant (roll on the vagrants table) 
  2. abandoned cattle or pet (probably hungry or in need of affection) 
  3. scavenging small animal (raccoon, badger, coyote) 
  4. scavenging large animal (pack of wolves, bear) 
  5. foraging animal (deer, elk, moose) 
  6. flashback from the divinity (roll on the flashbackd table) 
Divine flashbacks about the village (d20) 
  1. Being found naked in the field.
  2. Learning to wear clothes.
  3. Learning to speak.
  4. Learning to do some farm work and house chores. 
  5. Petting a farm animal or a pet.
  6. Sharing a meal with some villagers.
  7. Helping the villager to upgrade the shack into a small house.
  8. Looking at a religious item and feeling uncomfortable. 
  9. Laughing with a villager and having fun.
  10. Wondering about gender or trying a different gender expression. 
  11. Listening to a villager singing or playing a musical instrument. 
  12. Doing a minor miracle while being alone and being scared of it.
  13. The village is in danger, maybe because of a fire, a plague or raiders. 
  14. Being scared and using their divine power to save the whole village. 
  15. The villagers being scared and admirative after being saved. 
  16. Receiving gifts, favors and offerings from the villagers.
  17. Being worshiped by the villagers, being deadly scared of this. 
  18. Villagers bickering and arguing about their worship
  19. Villagers asking for miracles and having different emotional reactions
  20. A mob of villagers, things are getting out of control, the pressure is immense. 

The Sad Blue House

Everything that form the house was once a villager, the floor, doors, the furniture, etc..
These items are still conscious, most of them are asleep, interacting with them usually wake them.
Their memories are clouded, most of them think that they are dreaming.

If you need to know who was that door or chair before roll a d20 on the former villagers table.

Former villagers (d20)
  1. Farmer / Laborer
  2. Midwife / Healer
  3. Miller / Masson / Carpenter
  4. Fisherman / Sailor
  5. Shepherd  
  6. Woodcutter / Hunter / Trapper
  7. Elder / Storyteller 
  8. Wife / Husband
  9. Kid
  10. Peddler 
  11. Shopkeeper
  12. Innkeeper / Serving wench
  13. Village guard 
  14. Tailor / Cobbler 
  15. Butcher / Cook
  16. Clerk / Accountant  
  17. Apiarist / Smith
  18. Brewer / Barber 
  19. Acolyte / Priest 
  20. Outcast
The Rooms
The rooms are odd, they are a bit organic and feature element from different types of rooms. Think uncanny valley but for rooms.

(01) Lying door
  • The front door is bitter and jealous, it will lie and try to lure the adventurers to room 09. 
  • This room is a mix of a pantry and a forge. 
(02) Worried door
  • The front door miss a relative or a lover transformed into a chair in room 08 or 09.
  • This room is a mix of a cloak room and a kitchen.
(03) Friendly door
  • The front door want people to go inside and to worship the blue teenager in room 11.
  • This room is a mix of a wardrobe and a child bedroom.
(04) Looted room 
  • This room is a mix of a closet and a foyer.
  • A group of scavengers left some adventuring gear here as they ran away from the house (rope, torches, bedroll, dagger, waterskin).
  • The sentient items in the room ask the character to remove that gear "they are nobody, their place is not here". If they do the fireplace poker will insist "you forgot something, this coin have no place here". Use the time they spend looking for that coin to make random encounters checks. 
  • The lost coin is a ancient copper coin worth d6 gold pieces for a collector, it bring bad luck and give a point of penalty to saving throws.  
(05) Wounded door
  • This front door have been forced open and is in pain, it beg to be repaired and locked back. 
  • Acid leak from the door's wounds, interacting with the door or passing thought it without repairing it require a saving throw to avoid a point of acid damage. 
  • The room is a mix of a tannery and a master bedroom. 
  • A stretching frame have been broken by a scavenger and is also in pain. "Why are you coming here? You will only hurt people!" 
(06) Angry mouth door
  • This front door is shaped like a mouth. It is filled with the fears of the blue deity, if someone come close it will scream "go away!" or "leave!" It will try to bite anyone who enter inflicting d8 points of damages (save for half). 
  • The room is a mix of a barn and dinner room. 
  • The items inside are also angry and can bite for d4 damages if touched. 
  • Feeding them food will occupy them as they can only masticate without swallowing. 
  • Looking for valuable items here grant +1 to value rolls.
(07) Random encounter
  • The room is a mix of a house hall and a stable
  • Four 1HD darts fetishes wait in ambush here, they will attack when the character reach the center of the room.  
  • A rocking horse (formerly a stable groom) try to warn the characters. 
(08) Grabbing hands corridor
  • A long corridor made of stones that whisper in their sleep "no I don't want to, leave me alone".
  • A sneak test enable to pass through the corridor. 
  • If noisy adventurers take a few steps in, hands will extrudes from the stones to try to grab them.
  • A sneak test enable to pass through the corridor without activating the hands. 
  • Characters must make a save against paralysis to move through the corridor, a fail push back the characters at the cost of losing d4 items. 
  • Hacking at the hands trigger strangulation attacks. A attack roll against the AC of a chain mail let the character pass through, a fail inflict d4 strangulation damage by round until a strength roll is made to break free. 
  • Trying to soothe the corridor by speaking in a soft voice is possible with a good reaction roll. 
(09) Mimic lair 
  • The room is a mix of a study and the long corridor of a inn with wooden pillars and windows that open to a stone wall. 
  • The desk chair miss the front door of room 02. 
  • On the floor lay the corpse of a murder hobo, his head and shoulders have been eaten. 
  • A small 3HD mimic have made it nest here amid the study's chests. It recently laid it eggs and it is full of coins, it contain 3d10 x100 gold coins and 3d10 mimic eggs that look like coins. 
  • The mimic wont attack as it want the adventurers to take it eggs. 
  • There is 3 other small chests in the study. If the adventurer talk with them or with other sentient items, they will say that a stranger hide among them. If this happen the mimic will play the role of a transmuted villager and will try to blame one of the other chests. 
  • The other chests contain each a random treasure (add +1 to the value roll) 
  • The mimic eggs will hatch in 2d6 days and will eat bugs and small animal until they grow larger. 
(10) Sleeping door 
  • From outside, this room look like a gigantic sleeping face. 
  • Every d6 turns the face mumble in it sleep and it is possible to sneak in through it mouth with a dexterity test. A fail mean no damage just a missed opportunity. 
  • The room is a mix of a bedroom and a humble library. 
  • The books talk about their content as if they have been rewritten by a child or a naive teenager. Opening them reveal inintelligible text. 
  • Random encounters in this room are replaced by random divinity flashbacks that turn into nightmares and inflict d8 points of damages on a failed save against spells. If someone is reduced to 0 hp they fall unconscious and gain a phobia related to the nightmare.  
(11) Happy dinner room
  • The room is a dinning room decorated with organic elements like the outside of the house. 
  • The items in this room see their transmutation as a spiritual ascension and are happy to be part of the house that shelter their newfound deity. 
  • They encourage the adventurers to eat the food put on the tables. 
  • Eating the food trigger a saving throw against transformation, on a fail the character turn into a house item, on a success they experience a positive flashback about the village and all their wounds are healed. 
  • A secret door lead to room 12: a beautiful face embedded in the wall. Gently touching the face will make the wall open like a blooming flower. 
(12) Isolation chamber
  • This room look like the interior of the shack that have been upgraded into a small house.
  • In the center lay a human sized cocoon that look like someone curled into a ball. 
  • Touching the cocoon trigger a collective flashback that take the characters to when the blue teenager was part of a pantheon. (roll on the pantheon flashback table). 
  • While in a the flashback the characters can try to talk with the divinity. Make a reaction tests modified by their roleplay. On a positive reaction the flashback move to a more positive one, on a bad reaction the flash back move toward a darker flashback. 
  • Two positive reactions out of three lead to a positive conclusion while two negative reactions lead to a negative conclusion. Neutral reactions don't matter.  
  • A positive conclusion can be the deity deciding to shed their powers to become mortal to experience the world or to go back into their pantheon to stand against it negative elements. 
  • A negative conclusion can be the divinity cursing the characters. Or turning the blue house into a giant rock that no one can ever enter. Or maybe the divinity go back to their pantheon has a bitter god overcome by negative emotions.    

Divine flashbacks about their former pantheon (d12).
These flashback may happen in mortal or divine realms.
Use them to reveal or hint at the deity former pantheon. (Or their divine transition if you decided to explore that)
  1. A act of creation related to their divine sphere of influence.
  2. Unleashing their power in act of anger or jealousy. 
  3. Being hurt physically or emotionally by a other deity. 
  4. Bestowing a gift to a mortal. 
  5. Locking or freeing a mythical creature.
  6. Flirting or laughing with a other divinity.
  7. Transforming a animal into a divine servitor.
  8. Admiring a divine item or weapon.
  9. Arguing with a other divinity. 
  10. A positive or negative memory about their divine parents.
  11. Being sad at the death of a mythical monster or a mortal. 
  12. Being disgusted by the action of a follower or a priest. 

Random encounters in the blue house (d6)
(test every 2 or 3 rounds or when the group is noisy)
  1. Patrolling 3HD fetish  
  2. Three patrolling 1HD fetishes  
  3. A 2HD fetish disguised as a ordinary item 
  4. A house item awaken to demand something or ask a question 
  5. Wildlife lost in the dungeon
  6. Random vagrant lost in the dungeon

Fetishes (HD: 1 to 3, AC as chain, ML 9)
In it sadness the blue deity created fetishes that remind them of their former servitors.
These fetishes are the only animated items in the house, they slide on the ground like magical chess pieces. They protect the house and want people to remain away from room 12.

Fetish type (d6)
  1. Petrification gaze (save vs petrification or paralyze for d3 rounds and take a damage by round) 
  2. Acid (spit acid for d6 damages save vs poison for half damage, ruin a piece of equipment)  
  3. Noxious breath (save vs poison to avoid taking a point of damage for d6 rounds) 
  4. Biting (attack for d6 damage) 
  5. Dart (spit 2 darts each round, d4 damage each) 
  6. Entangling (sprout entangling vines, save vs paralysis or get entangled taking 1 point of damage by round if moving, DEX or STR test to get free) 
Fetish attitude (d6)
  1. Sad (-1 reaction roll) 
  2. Helpful (+2 reaction roll) 
  3. Angry (-2 reaction roll) 
  4. Happy (+1 reaction roll) 
  5. Trickster (like to deceive) 
  6. Unpredictable (roll a d4 each turn) 

Random treasures
Treasures found in the blue house are physical manifestations of the emotions or memories of the villagers. For exemple, if a villager is transformed into a chest it will contain items representing his emotions, same for the items left on a table or in a drawer. These items retain their existence when taken out of the house. Touching the item for the first time or selling it can fill someone with the emotion or memory it represent.

When a characters search through a room let them find a few valuable items like these.

The item is filled with (d6):
  1. Sadness or loneliness 
  2. Love or happiness 
  3. Anger or hatred
  4. Desire or jealousy 
  5. Fears or worries
  6. a specific memory

Worth (the more precious the stronger the emotion it represent)
  1. Used or broken item worth nothing
  2. Common item worth 1d10 copper pieces
  3. Good quality item worth 1d10 silver pieces
  4. Excellent quality item worth 1d10 gold pieces
  5. Excellent quality item worth 2d10 gold pieces.
  6. Fabulous item worth 1d20 x 10 gold pieces. 


Captain Crowbar said...

absolute vibe I love it

Dan said...

This is one of the best dungeons I have seen in AGES. A++

Fungi Fetishist said...

really appreciate the melancholy tone of this little dungeon, and the story behind it!

Dyvers said...

I thought this post was really well done so I added a link to it in my BEST READS OF THE WEEK! You can check it out at this link if you want:

Evlyn said...

Thanks Dyvers. ^_^

Jason Young said...

Evlyn, I'm providing a hex map that keys to adventures I love for my Zine Quest game Wandering Stars, is it okay if I link to this post?