Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Minute Adventures - Three Knocks From the Crypt Door (no map)

5-Minutes Adventures: Three Knocks From the Crypt Door
A Swords & Wizardry White Box Adventure for 4-6 characters of 3-6 level



Introduction

There always seems to be a place in any long game, a place where the adventure is done, the heroes have completed their tasks, saved the princess, and collected their pay. A place in a game where everyone just mills around, doing their shopping and the Referee is desperately trying to figure out how to introduce his flock to their next employer.

That is the purpose of the five-minute adventures. A simple, quick adventure that can take place anywhere in the Referee’s world urban or rural.

These adventures will not follow standard layout for adventures or modules as they are meant to be quickly copy-pasted from the Genius Loci Blog.

Good Luck and Enjoy!
Background

For centuries untold the Temple of the Neutral Aligned Gods has sat unassuming in the on a back street of the town. Always the Temple has been occupied by the three Ardents of the Gods of Balance. They are of course not immortals and the title passes from Ardent to Ardent as one or another dies. These three hold the Word of the Gods of Balance in their hearts and do their best to help all who enter their temple feel and understand that Word.

The Temple, however, also serves a different cause. Heroes of Law and the Monstrous Villains of Chaos all rest under the Temple of the Gods of Balance. A neutral ground where no one, either Law or Chaos may disturb the sleep of the dead and risk an even greater threat to the world.

Zlexna Ragewater was a Knight of the Light and the Order. She wielded her spear in the cause of Law throughout her life and fell in battle against an unnamed god of the Outside summoned by an agent of Chaos. Zlexna was laid to rest in the Temple of the Gods of Balance.

The Adventure

Fire at the Temple

It is early night in the town, the players going about their business, maybe some resupplying, or just resting in the local pub or inn. Whatever they may be doing soon into the evening the bells from the town crier begin to ring and calls of “fire! Fire at the Temple!” can be heard being screamed, soon the call is taken up by others and the whole of the town is alive and moving in trying to stop and contain the fire.

If the players decide to help in the efforts to put out the fire it is suggested that a few saving throws be issued to show success in moving pails of water or dowsing the flames. If any magic-users in the party have a handy spell, it could be used here.

After the fire if the players choose to do so they may investigate the ruins of the temple. Investigations will not reveal the cause of the fire; however, the players will find two of the three Ardents dead near the altar, their heads ripped clean from their bodies. There is no sign of the third Ardent, however, the investigation should also show that one of the many crypt seals in the temple have been broken open.

If the players do not take part in the initial investigation they can be approached by the town’s mayor (due to past deeds and accomplishments that have made them known to him) and offered the “job” of finding out what happened to the third Ardent.
The Broken Crypt

While the Crypts under the Temple of the Gods of Balance are large and expansive, only a single section is open to the players due to the broken seal in the ruined temple.

The Crypts are worked of fine marble, no matter if created for agents of Law or Chaos. Stone coffins line the walls in small alcoves five high on either. Small warrens and chapels, stretch out from the main hall offering solace or even eternal peace to all who enter.

With the exception of C-1, C-2 and C-6 all areas have closed doors that need to be forced open.

While traveling in the Broken Crypt the players have a 1-3 chance of running into one of the following creature types every turn

Roll (d10)
Creature Type
1-2
3d6 Giant Rats
3-4
3d6 Skeletons
5-6
Gelatinous Cube
7-9
1d6 Wights
10
Specter

C-1 The First Warren

A sense of peace emanates from this room as you enter it. Light blazes from braziers; soft and kind. As you move into the room several spectral figures manifest in a semi-circle around you. While you do not know them, you can tell that once these were heroes of the light and order.

The specters are Law-aligned spirits of departed heroes who have been called back from their rest by whatever evil has come to their crypt. They cannot leave the room, but as long as they are present no evil can enter it either. In this room the players feel at peace, but it offers them little else.

C-2 The Second Warren

There is nearly no light in this warren as you enter it. The braziers are toppled to their sides a mystical radiance flickering and dimming. Many of the tombs here have been shattered and broken, the bones of the long dead scattered or twisted into profane symbols.

Once all the players are in this room a barrier of invisible force bars them from leaving, trapping them in the room. A poisonous gas begins to seep from the broken tombs trying to choke the players.

After a few moments the gas clears suddenly and the players are left facing an emaciated man with coal black eyes. He is Elrc, once a hero of the light turned into a vampire and imprisoned in this tomb by his own order.  If questioned on how he was freed he will only reveal that “she freed me.” Being that he is hungry, he will eventually attack the players in hopes of a meal.

C-3 The Third Warren

Another warren that looks to have been destroyed. Tombs lay shattered on the floor, their contents scattered and shattered.

There is nothing special or deadly in this room, however, a search will reveal one of the following

Roll (d6)
Treasure
1
+2 Sword
2
A pouch containing 50 standard currency
3
A pouch of gems
4
A Scroll of 4th lvl spell
5
Nothing
6
A wand w/20 charges of magic missile.

C-4 The Fourth Warren

This room appears untouched by whatever force has taken this section of the crypts. Large, ancient webs cover the tombs and braziers. The players can hear something moving on the ceiling.

This room is home of a Greater Giant Spider (see the end of the adventure for stats)who will see the players as food should they venture too far into the warren (approx. 10 feet).

If the players investigate this room they will a pouch stuffed behind one of the tombs containing 150 game standard currency.

C-5 The Chapel

Light blazes from several braziers  that line the sides of the room. On a raised dais on an altar of marble, lay the body of the third Ardent. His clothing stripped from him, his arms, legs and torso cut to ribbons. Several figures in dark robes stand around him, their heads lowered to bowls overrunning with blood.

The chapel was once a temple of the Gods of Law within the crypt to perform final rites on their heroes and agents before burial. It has been corrupted, however, by the forces that have awakened in these crypts, and profane symbols and iconography of Chaos coat the walls in blood and filth.

The figures are two wights and a wraith. Upon sensing the players they will approach and speak to them in terms of food and toys.

C-6 Tomb of the Fallen Hero

The large triangular room is ablaze with sickly red light as you enter. in the center lay the tomb of  Zlexna Ragewater, it's lid fallen and shattered on the floor.  The smell of rotten flesh and filth wafts through the air a miasma clings to the floor, obscuring it from view.  Something moves in those mists ...

Zlexna Ragewater waits in her tomb, hanging from the ceiling in her new twisted, dryder form. The floor is alive with her children, who skitter about looking for meat and flesh.
If approached from a peaceful way, Zlexna will speak with the players.

In her final battle with the Outsider god, Zlexna was damned by the creature and in her death, her soul ripped to the Outsider's hellish dimension. For thousands of years she was tortured and played with, her soul and mind darkened and then suddenly she awoke back in her own body in her own grave. Overcome with anger that neither her Gods nor their agents attempted to save her she was overcome by the darkness and Chaos of the outside, twisting and warping into what she is.

In the tombs she only waits and grow her strength before taking her vengeance out into the wider world.

Zlexna Ragewater: HD 6; HP 30; AC 3 [17]; AtKs Bite (1d4+1, poison), 2 daggers (1d6); Move 9 [45']; Save 13; AL C; CL/XP 6/400  Specials: Poison, Immobilize (web)

Dryder Spawn (10): HD <1; HP 4; AC 9 [10]; ATK bite (1d4, poison); Move 3 [15']; Save 19; AL C; CL/XP <1/10

Concluding the Adventure

With the Dryder defeated the force that had taken the crypts has dispersed and the crypts are free of evil, for now. However, the Temple of Gods of Balance are left without their protectors and Caretakers, and as this has never happened before no one knows what may become of the temple or the consequences of there being no Ardents.

It is almost certain that the mayor of the town will offer the players payment for clearing the evil forces from the crypts and may implore them to help the town find new Ardents to occupy the Temple.

New Creatures

Greater Giant Spider
Armor Class: 5 [14]
HD: 3+3
Attacks: Bite (1d8 + poison)
Special: Poison and Immobilize (web)
Move: 18
CL/XP: 6/400


Greater Giant Spider webs require a saving throw with a -2 modifier to avoid becoming stuck in. Greater Giant Spiders surprise on a roll of 1-5, being able to hide well in the shadows. The bite of a  Greater Giant Spider is extremely poisonous, adding +2 to save vs. poison.

2 comments:

  1. Very nice, this sounds like it could really be fun. If you do not get a map put together, let me know and I will try to squeeze in a map to go along with your adventure.

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    Replies
    1. +Matt Jackson considering how today went for me, I would be much obliged if you did. I would also probably get a little fan boy over it.

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