Saturday, March 26, 2016

Bottomless Pits

On the 25th day of Mot in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

Through the many dungeons I have scoured looking for Gadeon I discovered some peculiar similarities. I looked through my notes and discovered why. In each structure with a bottomless pit they almost all had the same maker's mark on them.


Initially I took it for a simple piece of decoration, but I have seen it again and again. The pits were all clearly designed to be bottomless, though even with magic that is nigh impossible. They went through several designs as the newer bottomless pits were more evolved. This mage, if they are still alive, will be a valuable resource in tracking down Gadeon. 

These bottomless pits are simple things made to be dropped into your campaign wherever it makes sense. Their actual depth is less important than how they work, but are assumed to be 100 ft. deep. The pits could be covered by camouflage or illusions to trap unsuspecting creatures, or they may be open pits that creatures are forcibly thrown into to. The gates in the real pits are invisible, but are shown here in purple for clarity. All the pits have the same maker's mark.

Pit Design 1



The broken pit design.  This design had a flaw in it. Falling through gate 2, was supposed to drop you out of gate 1 and down again, but gate 1 tended to launch the falling object up, typically into a ceiling. This flaw made it very popular among some circles. You can easily spot a defective one by the dried blood and cracked tiles on the ceiling above it. Dropping a rock into the pit will create a slow steady rhythm as it hits the ceiling and falls into the pit again and again.

Pit Design 2


Fall forever... This is a simple device, where hitting gate 2 sends you to gate 1, and you fall forever. The flaw was worked out in this design and gate 1 actually drops you to gate 2. In addition the first gate was lowered so the opening at the top wouldn't get noticeably bigger and smaller as the creature fell between the two gates. In old installations of this pit the space between the two gates is filled with all sorts of bones and debris.

Pit Design 3

Furthering the illusion that you were truly falling forever this is actually a series of pits. Where the opening is slightly smaller in each pit. The creature falls through gate 1, out of gate 2, into gate 3, out of gate 4, and so on eventually getting trapped in between gates 7 and 8. As in pit design 2 the space between gates 7 and 8 can be filled with large amounts of debris in older installations.

Pit Design 4

While pit design 3 was more convincing to the falling creature it took up lot of space. Design 4 overcame that problem by having an iris in the top of the pit that slowly closed to give the pit opening the appearance of getting farther and farther away.

Pit Design 5

One of the hardest pit designs to escape from, the gate at the bottom of this pits sends you to a pocket dimension in the shape of a torus. Where you will fall forever. Once every d100 days the torus dimension expunges its contents onto a random plane.

Pit Design 6

This simple pit uses a time spell to trap the falling creatures. For them time is traveling normally, but 100 years passes outside of the pit for every second in the pit. Looking into the pit after dropping someone or something into it is a bit surreal. For a 100 foot pit the person will fall for 2.5 seconds or 250 years. If you extend or shorten the depth of the pit the formula to figure out the time to fall is \(t = \sqrt{2d \over 32}\) where d is distance in feet, and t will be given in seconds.

Pit Design 7

This is the ultimate in bottomless pit designs. In the floor is a slight depression that contains a spell, when someone steps into the depression the spell is triggered. The spell levitates the person above the depression and casts the illusion of falling into a pit that goes on forever. To escape it you need a high will AND reflex save. If you miss either one the spell takes hold again, and is more convincing the more you fail, increasing the DC by 1 each time you fail. If multiple people step into the depression they believe they are falling alone. Some adventures like to throw their companions into these circles, and let them suffer a bit before they drag them out again with rope or push them out with a staff. All in good fun.

Source Materials

Creative Commons License
Bottomless Pits by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Tome Time

On the 11th day of Mot in the fourth year of Gostul the Just
I picked up the most curious book today titled A History of Gadeon. Having never seen such a tome before I studied it in depth. It was heavily annotated and cross referenced. It covered topics known only to Gadeon, Katra, and myself. No author was listed. I put the book safely in my pack to study later. This depth of knowledge of Gadeon can only help me find him sooner.
The next time I opened my pack, the book was gone...

Tome of Claron


This tome has the following properties:
  • Once touched, and as soon as it is out of sight, it will teleport to a new location. It will not teleport while watched or touched. It will always stay on plane.
  • When it teleports to the new location it changes all superficial appearances (size, color, thickness, cover, spine art), but it tries very hard to become like all the books around it.
  • It favors libraries and large collections of books, but any set of books will do.
  • It does not detect as magic for any reason.
  • It only creates content and a title when it is touched for the first time after a teleportation. The title and content will remains static until after it teleports again.
  • The book is always truthful in its content, and is apparently omniscient, but it can and will leave out details. It cannot predict the future.
  • It often disguises itself as an annotated version of the book it is next to with biting, but true, corrections.

Rarity


There is only one in the known universe.

Origin


The majority of learned men and wizards, librarians and tome traders don't even know of the existence of the book. Those that do, mostly believe it is a myth. The handful of believers in the world have a few theories.
  • It was soul trap for a powerful mage. And it worked.
  • The lost journal of the Trickster God Solkul
  • A Spell book that acquired self knowledge.
  • Other theories abound...

Book of Ashes


As each page is read it crumbles into ashes. Trying to copy the book, by any means, instantly destroys it.

Rarity



Common in secret societies.

Origin


Once the book is written it is infused through ritual with the essence of salamander. On completion of that ritual it is left in the sun for 7 hours.

Golem Primer of Kurrn


This primer on stone golem creation for young wizards is widely known among practitioners as being faulty. If the young would be golem creator follows the instructions as written they will fail every time. They are often given the book as a prank. If a would be golemist tries to use the book and wants to overcome its deficiency have them roll on the following list.
  1. They create a golem generator which will spit out one golem per round. Their goal is to kill their creator. Killing the generator kills all generated golems.
  2. They turn themselves to stone.
  3. They create a lump of clay that will move and moan for 1d10 rounds, then collapse into dust.
  4. They create a wall of stone around themselves.
  5. Nothing happens.
  6. They actually succeed.

Rarity


Common among certain wizard groups.

Origin


Kurrn was a wizard of no renown in their time, and managed to write a terrible primer. So terrible it has been copied many times over.

Creative Commons License
Tome Time by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Where They Come From

The nineteenth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

I was in the home of Agathosaster looking for the Kurrn Golem Primer. A curious book, designed for novice wizards to learn the craft and art of making golems, where the instructions are patently wrong. Agathosaster's copy was supposedly annotated by Gadeon. I hoped it would give me some insight into where he may currently be hiding.

As we checked the shelves for the tome we had an interesting conversation about zombies.

Agathosaster said, "Do you realize the total sum of zombies that have attacked the living far exceeds the number of humans that have ever existed."

"How do you figure that?", I asked.

"We started keeping census records in Orsborough 400 years ago. In that time we have grown from 5600 people to 9000 people. Yet we are attacked yearly by zombies from the southern wastelands that number in the tens of thousands. In fact we are predicting an early attack this year, probably twenty seven thousand strong."

"That will be good for the crops."

I finally located the book I was searching for and skimmed it. It was either a fake or a different Gadeon, because the handwriting was not from the Gadeon I know.

"Sorry the book was not the one you were looking for. It is true we depend on the undead to keep our fields fertile, and our undead killing techniques are second to none. With the excess some of the more enterprising citizens have started a fertilizer export concern. The mystery remains though. Where do they come from?", said Agathosaster

"You truly don't know?"

"No"

"Let me show you where they come from."

The twenty fifth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

Enveloping Agathosaster in my shroud I carried him deep into the southern wastelands full of ice and snow. I quickly found the signs I was looking for, and came in close to the zombie pit.


I saw the entrance into the chambers in the south end. I willed us through the barrier into the levitation passage. With another minor effort of will I lowered us to the ice golem chamber.


Agathosaster let out a cry of shock and horror upon realizing the mechanisms at work. A faint music could be heard as four ice golems each with two sets of arms, one of ice and one of flesh, the flesh smaller and lower on the torso, pulled newborns from a second levitation passage in the south. With their arms of flesh they placed the newborn in a creche, where in a matter seconds they grew into adults. Once full grown the golems used their ice arms to pin them down and the flesh arms to suffocate them. Activating the creche a second time to turn the newly dead human into a zombie. Then the golem released them and they wondered up the the levitation passage to the pen outside.

Agathosaster wanted to stop this, but if I let him out of my shroud he would have been detected and killed. I let him know there was more to see. We went down the passage where the infants were coming from. The birthing chamber.


Agathosaster lost conciousness in the birthing chamber. It was too horrific. The center of the room was taken up by an undulating pulsating mass, tendrils thin and thick reached into the neck, chest and arms of women attached to creches similar to those in the golem chamber above. The room was hot and damp smelling strongly of birth and death. Discharge from the creches, thick and heavy, flowed to the southern end of the chamber. The mass and tendrils somehow forcing the women to impregnate and gestate in a matter of minutes. Their faces hollow and gaunt. Dazed by whatever the tendrils were doing.

To the east side of the chamber was a section of cages holding women prisoners. Guards were placed around the room, and the tentacles of the mass would deliver the babies to the levitation passage. The music was louder here.

After going through various chambers of no import, we found the choir room. Two groups of singers powering this enormity with a blasphemous hymn. Attached to the ceiling of this chamber was a stone dracolich apparently in slumber. The singers always nervously glancing up at it.


What's Going on Behind the Scenes

Let's go in reverse.

The choir is lulling the stone dracolich. The music lulls the dracolich and draws out his energy powering the entire operation. A small crawlspace/conduit connects all the important rooms. The music is deafening in the choir room and never stops. A small sampling. The dragon is so still the players may think it is just carved into the rock, a tough DC to detect it is alive, but should the music ever stop it will awaken and kill everything. The choir members rotate in staggered two hour shifts.

The raiders head north, pillage villages, and bring back women prisoners to continue the cycle. The raiders and guards can be any villain you choose. Orcs and goblins are always a good choice. Mix it up.

The ice golems who make the zombies have limited volition. If the PCs don't interfere with their tasks, they will leave the PCs alone. If for any reason they notice the PCs, meddling PCs, the golems will try to pin them in the creche as they were designed to do. A baby comes up the levitation passage about once every 3 rounds. They'll gently and safely float in the top of the passage until someone or something removes them.

Odds and Ends
  • If your PCs are normal make a medium fortitude save entering the golem chamber or they become nauseous.
  • Make a difficult fortitude save entering the birthing chamber or they become nauseous. -2 penalty if they missed the first fortitude save.
  • Cutting a woman free of the mass and tendrils leaves her physically unharmed.
  • The prisoners are full of information, some of it accurate.
  • Moving through the barriers and down levitation passages is an easy will save/check.
  • This can be run stand alone or dropped into a larger dungeon. Just hook whatever you like into the main hallway.

Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Where They Come From by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Insane Ramblings

The thirteenth day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

I found Siljar. He was Gadeon's mentor and friend. The magic has corroded his mind. All I got from him were insane ramblings.

I continue to seek Gadeon.

Ever tried to play an insane NPC? Finding the right thing for them to say can be tricky at best. I wrote a little utility to help. Give it source text, and it will use markov chaining to create a string of words that seem realistic, but cannot stand up to scrutiny. If you really want to be brave with it you can fill the source with your DM notes.

The text from Paradise Lost was obtained through Project Gutenberg.

Words to output:
Chain Length:

Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Insane Ramblings by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Labyrinth of the Black Sun

The third day of Foculchstar in the fourth year of Gostul the Just

Overheard men in Villisport speaking of an abandoned Black Sun temple in the Amber Pine mountains.

Found the temple easily. It was made of a shining black granite stone reaching 60 feet into the sky. The temple is open to the air, and in the center is a dried out fountain. Four staircases on each side of the fountain lead to a basement.



At the south end of the basement a stone golem, simple creature, guards a door to a room of crumbling scrolls and ledgers. He was designed to attack anyone crossing a line in the floor.  An item of mild interest on the wall would heal him four to five times a day were he to be damaged. The simple golem did mange to keep the vermin of this abandoned temple out of the scroll room. The scrolls were of little interest on the whole, but one of them was the map to the entrance of a Labyrinth designed to protect something of great value to these ancient Black Sun worshippers.



The Fifth day of Foculchstar the in fourth year of Gostul the Just

The Labyrinth has proven difficult. It has the power to suppress even my powerful abilities and magics, and damaging the stone walls of the labyrinth is an exercise in futility as they simply repair themselves.  I was still able to teleport out at will, but not in.  In the labyrinth are pedestals which hold ornate masks carved or formed from a yellow gemstone. Touching the mask teleports you to another pedestal in another part of the labyrinth. This would be easier if the minotaurs would stop trying to attack me.




Reached the center of the labyrinth which leads to small a chamber beneath.  Heading south leads to a hall of traps.  Eight doors five of which were trapped. Reached the final chamber and discovered two massive black granite golems.  They wore a larger version of the masks found on the pedestals in the Labyrinth. The "Black Sun" was nothing more than a sphere of annihilation. The lesser golems kept trying to grab me and place me in it.  I did notice that four central columns exerted a will on the sphere to move it to help the lesser golems.



The search for Gadeon continues.


The Path through the labyrinth
  • 4-LL to 41-Z
  • 37-P to 6-R
  • 21-S to 6-U
  • 30-X to 21-LL
  • 10-FF to 16-I
  • 11-I to 21-U
Touching any other pedestal teleports them using the Teleport Table below.
Teleport Table
This table will never teleport you to 22-U, which is the entrance to the Chamber of the Black Sun.
If you don't want the players to know the teleports are random make the rolls ahead of time and write them down on a piece of paper.
2d6 1
2
3
4
5
6
1
4-LL 30-X 36-II 24-T 16-M 21-I
2
6-LL 10-FF 10-V 34-B 2-N 22-B
3
36-GG 0-KK 25-O 32-B 24-F 23-O
4
2-U 24-FF 20-DD 16-E 23-O 25-OO
5
37-P 28-AA 31-V 4-D 26-M 41-B
6
21-S 30-LL 40-OO 11-BB 35-T 25-Q




Source Materials
Creative Commons License
Labyrinth of the Black Sun by Rogue Prismatic Golem is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://rogueprismaticgolem.blogspot.com.