This is the next in a series of DFRPG articles on this blog; A Dungeon for Every Archetype.
The GM section of DFRPG (Exploits, page 80-81) gives us several Archetypes of Dungeons; Prison, Cellar, Cave, Labyrinth, Tomb, Mine, Warren and Sewer.
I’m going to make a fully-detailed dungeon for each of the Archetypes.
Today, we’ll be covering a Cellar Dungeon; Beneath the Ruins of Coincutter Mansion.
“The basement is dark, it is buried. It is a place full of cobwebs where memories are stored. A point of comparison, truly. Often the unnerving uncertainty that comes with considering the deeper aspects of the human psyche is not unlike gazing down at the swimming blackness pooled at the bottom of the basement stairwell. It is a place we spend our childhoods filling with monsters that will lay for years in patient silence. It is a place that, barring some specific errand, we seldom ever want to go.”
Once upon a time, the Coincutter family had a large country manor, an ancestral home, up on a hill. However, war broke out in the nation and monsters began pillaging the countryside in the resulting chaos. The Coincutter Mansion was one of their first targets; the entire above-ground mansion was razed. Only the below-ground cellar of the mansion survived, although the Coincutters were forced to leave and let the surviving ruin fall to rust and overgrowth as various vultures picked over the bones of their once proud steading. Although the cellar remained intact and its treasures untouched, it was not long after the Coincutters fled the country that bandits, deserters, monsters and scavengers gained partial access to the safe places. Today, the Coincutter extended family has come back from the brink and now wants to hire the party to retrieve a family heirloom, an ebony idol from parts unknown, from beneath the ruins of Coincutter Mansion. If the party rolls Writing or Savoir-Faire skill (plus Charisma bonus), they can charm the Coincutter family into letting them check some of their family archives, giving the party a +2 bonus to Research of the dungeon or provide sponsorship in the form of money for gear (worth $100 times the margin of success, minimum $100 each) in exchange for returning the heirloom to the family.
RUMOURS AND DETAILS
Character Point Rewards: 4 for retrieving the family heirloom from the dungeon.
Obvious dangers from the outside: “Bad guys and monsters all know where the stairway into the basement is. Watch out for evil things lurking on the plains.”
Obvious monsters: “The region never recovered from the war. Law and order has broken down. With the social contract void, madmen and psychos seeped in at the edges. They’re all big fans of shadowing prey for hours before ambushing them when the quarry gets put in a vulnerable position.”
Fabled loot: “One of the Coincutters was a great alchemist. Maybe his lab still has one of his great works?”
“An archmage once gifted several enchanted armours to the Coincutter family. How generous of him.”
“The Coincutters used to collect weird gimmick weapons.”
False rumours: “Watch out for demons in the storerooms. They pop in from portals to Hell, for some reason.”
“You can avoid fights with gangsters if you say Gary sent you.”
“They disguised the solid gold statues with an illusion that makes them look like rock.”
“Watch out for poisoned doorknobs! And poisoned books!”
True research: “The treasure vault is hidden well, you need a command phrase to open the door. The way in is very dangerous!”
“Be wary of deathly shadows lurking in secret areas.”
“I hear blue is a lucky color or something.”
“Someone wicked and sneaky has claimed the library as their lair. Watch your feet!”
False research: “You can teleport to the treasure vault by loudly chanting the magic words in the sitting room.”
“Levers in the dungeon unlock doors.”
“The cult of the red dragon has claimed the ruins as their own turf. They won’t attack anyone who shows proper worship of the fire breathing monsters!”
“That whole region is cursed. Anyone who dies there will rise as an undead horror!”
Travel time: 3 days.
Survival type: Plains.
Wandering monsters: 9 or less chance.
Weather challenges: Nothing unusual.
Terrain challenges: Any random encounter during the 3 days of travel may be one of the below;
- Foul and uncaring slavers (N Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43)), searching for new acquisitions. Will flee if pressed too hard, and have a cage on wheels with 2d victims packed into it like preserved fish.
- Greedy and envious bullies (N Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43)) who think the PCs are laden with treasure. Like any bully, they give up if defeated. They have a sizable stash from more-successful ambushes.
- Hungry and desperate soldiers (N Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43)) returning from war, who agreed with each other to attack the next party they encounter. They’ll fight to the death rather than starve another day, and have nothing.
IN THE DUNGEON
Key dungeon features: Walls are one feet thick, DR 156 and HP 94. Doors are average ironbound, DR 10 and HP 34, assume Lockpicking +0 modifier if locked. Lighting in the dungeon is poor; -3 Darkness penalty if not dark. Metalwork in the dungeon is average; DR 9 and HP 18 for bars, weighing 500 lbs., and ST 18 to lift 2-handed without assistance or extra effort. Mana is mostly Normal. Sanctity is Normal. Nature’s Strength is -3 inside the dungeon.
Wandering monsters: 9 or less chance, see tables below.
Wandering Monster Table (Below Ground Cellar)
1: N+1d Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43)
2: 1 Bugbear (DF Monsters page 17) OR Nx1.5 Basic Archers (Adventure 1: MotFD page 42)
3: N Ninja (see below)
4: Nx3 Quarterlings (DF Companion 3 page 63 or Pyramid 3/106)
5: 1d+4 Dinomen and 1 Dinoman Hero (DF Monsters pages 20-21)
6: N Dark Ones (see below)
Monster Notes: N denotes a number equal to however many 250-point adventurers are effectively in the party, with every +100 points total increasing N by 1 (so a party of two 125-point delvers, one 250-point adventurer and one 350-point delver is N=1+1+2=4).
These mysterious and murderous outcasts from The Forbidden East are clannish assassins and spies with exotic weapons and esoteric abilities, bound by a strict oath of secrecy and duty. They dress in black full-body suits with tabi.
Shuriken (16): 1d-3 imp, Acc 1, Range 5/11, RoF 1, Shots T(1).
Fukumi-bari (14): 1d-5 pi-, Acc 0, Range 5, RoF 1, Shots 1(1). Usually poisoned!
Punch (15): 1d cr, Reach C.
Kick (13): 1d+1 cr, Reach 1. If the kick misses or is parried, the ninja must roll DX or fall down.
Weapon (15): One of kusurigama (1d+3 cut, Reach 1, 2* or 1d+3 cr, Reach 1, 2*; Parry -2U; parried at -4, blocked at -2; may entangle or disarm if parried, see p. B406); ninjato (1d+1 cut or 1d imp, Reach 1); sai (1d+1 cr or 1d-1 imp, Reach 1); or tonfa (1d+1 cr, Reach 1 or 1d-1 cr, Reach C, 1).
Traits: Catfall; Killing Strike 1; Night Vision 3; Ninja Talent 1; No Sense of Humour; Odious Personal Habit (Inscrutable); Social Stigma (Minority Group); Striking ST 2 (Only on surprise attack); Vow (Always complete the mission); Vow (Ninja Secrecy); Vow (Own no more than what can be carried).
Skills: Blowpipe-14; Karate-15; Poisons-10; Stealth-15; Thrown Weapon (Shuriken)-16; and one of Axe/Mace-15 and Kusari-15, Jitte/Sai-15, Shortsword-15, or Tonfa-15.
Notes: Often ambushes from stealth, taking advantage of Night Vision. See DF 12: Ninja for full details. Killing Strike 1 means the first attack with a specific weapon does +1 damage if swung (thrust is unchanged), while the Striking ST improves damage for surprise attacks: +1 for thrusts, +(1d-2) for swings. These bonuses stack – so a surprise first attack with a kusarigama would do 2d+2 cutting instead of 1d+3! Weapons are sometimes poisoned, generally with monster drool. Remember that the first strike with a given weapon gains the bonus from Killing Strike; ninja who switch weapons (or attack with pairs of weapons) can take advantage of it once for each weapon. Notable equipment includes fukumi-bari ($5, 0.1 lb.), ninja suit ($150, 2 lbs.), 10 shuriken ($30, 1 lb.), and one of kusarigama ($80, 4.5 lbs.), ninja-to ($400, 2 lbs.), sai ($60, 1.5 lbs.), or tonfa ($40, 1.5 lbs.). Won’t negotiate, but may utter cryptic remarks or sinister threats, or pronounce clever haiku.
Enemy: Dark One
These sinister mutants with vertically-slit-pupil eyes and tentacle fingers have aligned themselves with dark forces of the outer planes, and they wield hyper-geometric magics for malevolent purposes.
Missile Spell (13): See below.
Wizard’s Staff (11): 1d+1 cr, Reach 1,2, can channel casted melee spells.
Traits: Power Investiture (Elder) 3; Elder Gift 4; High Manual Dexterity 2; Night Vision 1; Resistant to Metabolic Hazards +3; Better Power Items; Bloodlust (12); Unnatural Features 2; Callous.
Skills: Innate Attack (Projectile)-13; Staff-11; Alchemy-17; Hidden Lore (Elder Things)-17; Occultism-17; Thaumatology-17.
Spells: Conceal-15; Hide-15; Mage-Stealth-15; Perfect Illusion-15; Retch-15; See Secrets-15; Shatter-15; Sickness-15; Blur-15; Dark Vision-15; Deflect Energy-15; Hide Thoughts-15; Resist Fire-15; Resist Lightning-15; Stun-15; Armour-15; Death Vision-15; Detect Magic-15; Extinguish Fire-15; Recover Energy-15; Shield-15.
Notes: Elder Gift 4 gives +4 to Alchemy, Hidden Lore (any), Occultism and Thaumatology skills (+4 Reaction Bonus for Elder Things). Better Power Items gives +50% value of an object for power item purposes but double recharge costs $10 per FP. Wearing a full suit of cloth armour, carrying a wizard’s staff, and using a gemstone worth $227 as a (boosted) 4 FP Power Item. Might negotiate, but untrustworthy and must resist Bloodlust first.
The Topside Ruin
The stairs down into the cellar are located amid the burnt-out husk of the Coincutter Mansion. The topside has been picked clean and is mostly just scattered broken down stone walls and rotting wooden rubbish. Obvious signs of abandoned campsites from travellers and marauders litter the area, typically old fire pits and wrecked tents. The basement stairs used to be well-hidden here, kept safe as the rest of the Mansion burned or was raided. Only a few years before, a team of criminals managed to uncover the cellar, and inevitably spread word around. Someone left a draft horse (ST 25, BL 125, Move 6/12, SM +1, worth $2000) fitted with a bit and bridle ($35, 3 lbs), and tied up to a tree stump here, next to an empty wagon (HP 35, SR 4, Top Speed 8, Load 1000 lbs, SM +2, Occ 5, DR 2, worth $680). One of the squatters dwelling in the dungeon used the horse and wagon to transport their men and gear here. The other draft horse who pulled the wagon died and was butchered for rations. Random encounters topside use monsters typical of Plains terrain. Only a Search-7 roll finds an iron key underneath a nondescript rock in the rubble of Coincutter Mansion, the key can unlock a door in the dungeon below, there is a 1-in-6 chance every time the party tries the key on a locked door that it is the right one and will unlock it (the key only works on that one specific door lock).
The Basement Landing
Going down the stone stairs is the dungeon cellar proper. This area is lit by torches, no doubt done by squatters lurking in the dungeon. The area is 30 by 30 yards of space. The landing is defaced by graffiti, the product of numerous vagabonds and rogues wandering down here. Dungeon-delvers who examine these scrawls may recognize hobo signs (Streetwise or Urban Survival skill can identify them) and the flags of gangs and disbanded mercenary companies (Heraldry skill can pick these out). The hobo signs warn the reader of boobytraps on doors and hint that concealed doors to secret areas are in the rooms beyond. The flags, if recognized, reveal a weakness of the humanoid bad guys or inform the heroes of a password the enemy bands use to identify friendlies.
There are two small blue tiles on the floor of this area (only mention this as an aside if an adventurer tries to roll Search or Observation in the room, it’s a supposedly minor detail). If a blue tile is removed or smashed, you’ll find a small hole is dug out behind it, containing 1 gold coin in each hole. A lever next to the stairs has been set up, that sounds an alarm of a blaring loud noise (roll for a random encounter immediately) if pulled. Disabling the lever alarm can be done with a Traps-1 roll.
The western door to the guest bedrooms is locked. The bathroom door at the southern end is not locked. The eastern doors to the kitchen and the dining room are unlocked. The door to the sitting room is locked. The door at the northern end of the area is locked and trapped. The trap on the north door is a bucket of bricks hanging from a system of ropes that will dump the bricks onto the person opening the door and coming through. The load dumped onto someone inflicts 2d crushing damage, detecting the trap is at a -4 penalty, disarming the trap requires a Traps-1 roll, and avoiding the falling bricks is a Dodge roll at -2 unless the delver is looking up or has Danger Sense.
This 5 by 5 yards area used to be the place where food was stored and prepared for eating, back before the mansion fell. It is not lit (Darkness penalty -5). The doors out of this area lead to the landing and the dining room, neither are locked. There is substantial mess here, a clutter of fresh rubbish and old cooking utensils. A stack of preserved horse meat ((1dx5)+20 rations) has been stashed in the back in a wooden box. Anyone picking through the debris and old cabinets (a Search or Scrounging roll) finds a spice rack – the small wooden sealed bottles contain 3 ounces of clove (worth $450), 1 ounce of mace ($225), 3 ounces of ginger ($114, consuming an ounce treats nausea for a hour), 2 ounces of nutmeg ($300), 1 ounce of turmeric ($38, +1 First Aid if using an ounce), 3 ounces of salt ($45, tossing an ounce gives +1 to Turn Zombie and Will rolls for Turning), 1 ounce of Dwarven savoury fungus ($75, consuming an ounce gives +1 to daily HT rolls for recovering lost HP), and 2 ounces of nigella ($150, consuming an ounce gives +1 to resist Bad Temper, Berserk, Bloodlust and similar disadvantages for a hour). Each spice container is worth $2 and weighs 0.05 lbs. There is also a wooden cabinet tucked into the back corner of the kitchen, ignored by those who came and went over the years, that contains fine quality silverware (worth $50 and weighing 2 lbs) and an iron key to the guest bedrooms door in the landing.
The Dining Room
This 5 by 10 yards room is where residents of Coincutter Mansion and their guests used to have dinner when they couldn’t use the above ground dinner table for whatever reason. The doors in the dining room led to the kitchen, the landing and the sitting room (the last one is locked). The walls have wood panelling and the chairs around the table have comfy cushions, five lamps around the room are lit (no Darkness penalty).
Right now, a group of N Werewolves (DF Monsters, page 60) and N Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: Mirror of the Fire Demon page 43) are eating meals and drinking at the table. They won’t attack right away (since they were probably caught flat-footed) and may negotiate with the party. They could ask the party for a password, treating the adventurers as allies if they give the correct one. Each enemy is carrying a coin pouch (each one containing 1d silver coins, roll separately) in addition to their gear. If a fight breaks out or the party talks to the diners for more than a minute, roll for a random encounter at the normal chance to see if more bad guys show up in the middle of the situation.
The meals are cooked horse meat rations and water, enough for 15 people. The 3 drinking glasses on the dining table are magically enchanted to cast wizardly spells; one casts Create Water inside it (Power-15, user-powered, worth $4000), one casts Water to Wine on the water in the glass (Power-15, user-powered, worth $10000) and the third casts Essential Water within the glass (Power-15, user-powered, $16000). The enemies may offer any of them during a negotiation to get the party to spare their lives. At the back of the room is a small wooden box on the floor containing 4 bottles of highly flammable kerosene and a box of matches.
Bathroom and Toilet (From Basement Landing)
This small (3 by 3 yards) room is easily accessible from the landing, it is not lit (Darkness -5), the floor is dirty and the walls are smeared with foul waste. If the party stays here for too long (5 to 10 minutes), they must each roll HT to avoid nausea. The room has a big half-filled bathtub, a toilet (works by gnomish plumbing), a sink and a counter with a mirror. A grimly decayed dead humanoid (probably human but it could be a dark one or dinoman instead) is lying in the tub, stinking to high heaven. Checking the dead body gets the party a belt pouch (with 3d copper coins inside). A little blue tile on the wall is behind the tub, taking it out reveals a small hole behind it. There are 2dx3 silver coins hidden in the hole, all of them blood-stained, and an iron key that unlocks the door to the sitting room.
Guest Bedroom A
Past the western locked door at the landing is a corridor where the 4 guest bedrooms are located. Each guest bedroom is unlit, 5 by 5 yards of area, unlocked and smelly. The guest bedroom marked A features a soiled single bed, a stained table, an empty wardrobe, a weathered wooden chair, a trunk, a ventilation shaft that used to go up to the surface, a ruined carpet and an unlit lamp (it’s functional, but it has no oil or matches nearby).
The trunk (unlocked) at the foot of the bed contains 2 sets of fancy clothing with fur trims ($720 and 3 lbs each).
The western wall of the room has a hollow segment, plastered over and discoloured. Breaking through the thin plaster is relatively easy if time-consuming (DR 30 and HP 30). Unfortunately, an undead monster (it is a fully armed and armoured Draug (DF Monsters page 23-24) with an axe and broadsword) was walled into the hollow space, who will attack the party once freed. Once defeated, the Draug was carrying a wallet (2d silver coins in it), and the hollow itself contains a key ring (3 iron keys, any given locked door in this dungeon can be unlocked by one of them on a 1-in-6 chance) a Prodd ($150, 6 lbs), and 8 prodd canisters (DF 8 Treasure Tables page 32, ammo fired from Prodd, half-damage, one-fifth maximum Range, thr-1 pi damage, RoF 1×6, Rcl 1).
Guest Bedroom B
This room is in better shape than the other guest bedrooms. The smell is less pungent, the furniture is not messy or wrecked, and the unlit lamp on the bedside table has a pint of oil and a match by it. The wardrobe in this room is nailed shut (DR 3 and HP 8), and it contains 4 sets of fancy clothing with fur trims ($720 and 3 lbs each).
The trunk by the bed is locked (+0 Lockpicking penalty) and contains a Spring Bolt Bracer ($225, 4 lbs, DF 8 Treasure Tables page 32, treat as pistol crossbow with Acc 0 and +2 Holdout) and a Spring Knife Bracer ($60, 1 lb, DF 8 Treasure Tables page 32, large knife with +2 Holdout and -1 Knife skill, roll DX to Ready, cannot be dropped or thrown, 3 seconds to push back into holder, -5 for fine motor tasks with weapon hand until removed or holstered, critical failure stabs self or slashes object being manipulated).
Guest Bedroom C
There’s no wardrobe, lamp or table in this room. The trunk by the bed is unlocked and contains the decaying remains of 18 severed human hands.
A dead man is rotting on the bed here. He is wearing an enchanted (Lighten -25%) leather body vest (torso, neck, vitals and groin DR 2, $858, 9.45 lbs). Closer inspection reveals the man died of being stabbed in the throat and the side of his head.
Guest Bedroom D
This room is completely wrecked – all the furniture in here is in at least two pieces. The walls are marked by axe cuts, arrow punctures and impacts where someone smashed it with a hammer or club. The trunk has been chopped open and into three big parts.
The south wall of the room conceals a door. Detecting the door requires a roll at -9. Getting it open requires a Lockpicking roll with no modifier, it’s an average wooden door. Inside, the space is one yard hex of area and a Shadow Warrior (Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic page 21) ready to attack. An iron lockbox on the floor of the space contains 1d bottles of booze and 2d preserved horse meat rations, all inexplicably preserved and good to consume.
This 5 by 10 yards area is where the former residents of Coincutter Mansion spent their leisure time relaxing and socializing with guests. A charming décor of wood paneling, comfortable couches and an elaborate fireplace makes this room unusually cozier than a normal dungeon area is. There are a few lit lamps in this room, on the mantelpiece and the coffee table. The fireplace’s chimney reaches up to the surface, but its top is blocked off by a bird’s nest and a collapse. The chandelier hanging above the coffee table currently contains no candles in it.
The north doors into this room are booby-trapped with crossbows on wire tied to the knobs, set to shoot at anyone coming in. Detecting the trap in time requires a roll at -3, disarming the wire is a -6 roll, avoiding the shot is a Dodge or Block roll, the fired bolt deals 2d impaling damage (the crossbows are both cranked at ST 18).
The south wall of the sitting room is decorated with 4 family portraits with gilt frames (each worth $7200 and weighing 1.5 lbs). The floor has an elegant patchwork carpet of surprising cleanliness (worth $6300 and weighs 10 lbs) rolled out. A small wooden box on the coffee table between couches contains 7 rare cigars (each worth $16). A teak grandfather clock ($3000, 25 lbs.) is stationed next to the door to the office.
There is a concealed door at the south-west corner of the room. Detecting it suffers a -10 penalty to the roll, getting the heavy wooden door unlocked requires a IQ-based Traps roll to recognise that the mechanism for it is hidden within the room. Investigation of the room (the roll has -3 to check the room, -5 if not specifically looking up) reveals that the chandelier chain goes into the ceiling. Pulling the chandelier unlocks the latch on the concealed door. Past the secret door is 2 square yards of space, where 2 Shadow Warriors (Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic page 21) lurk and attack. The hidden space contains nothing else but a single ornate silver-plated key (it unlocks a door and a treasure chest deeper into the dungeon) forgotten on the bare stone ground.
On the eastern wall, there is a single blue tile in the top right corner (hard to notice unless specifically checking around the room’s corners and/or ceiling). Reaching up to it and removing it reveals a small hole where a dose of Paut and a Minor Healing Potion was hidden inside.
The south door to the office is unlocked, as the mechanism is set to it, see below.
This 20 by 20 yards area is pitch black unless the party brings their own light sources. In times past, it was used as an office for the residents of Coincutter Mansion. The room is well-preserved, a ventilation shaft begins at the highest point of the room’s ceiling, the lamps for the room are functional (albeit not lit), the walls are decorated with 7 family portraits with gilt frames (each worth $7200 and weighing 1.5 lbs) and the Coincutter coat of arms (worth $10000 and weighs 6.5 lbs), the floor is layered with a velvet rug ($1890, 14 lbs), and various writing desks, chairs and cabinets full of papers from the pre-war days are in good condition and taking up most of the space. The chance for a random encounter is reduced by 3 here.
In the centre of the office, a statue of a woman points at the door just entered; it must be rotated on its base to point to another door in the office; any door it is not pointed at can’t be opened. The other doors, all controlled by this mechanism, go to the storeroom, the laboratory and the corridor for the regular bedrooms.
Looting the desk and cabinets (which takes 5 minutes but requires no roll) scores the party 4 scribe’s kits, a stack of 80 papers total, 3 rare cigars (worth $16 each), a simple clock (worth $400 and weighs 15 lbs), 3 pounds of rubbing wax (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 27), an ornate smoking pipe ($5, 0.25 lb), a preserved packet of smokable medicinal herbs (4 doses, $75 per dose, consuming one dose gives +1 to daily HT rolls to recover HP), a tinderbox, 17 tallow candles, a hand mirror, a walking stick ($4, 2 lbs), 6 empty bottles, an abacus ($50, 2 lbs), 2 scroll cases, one bottle of Coleopteran Glowing Fluid (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 26), a pair of corrective spectacles and 5 wax tablets.
Storeroom (From Office)
This 5 by 5 yards area is where miscellaneous stacks of supplies and materials were kept in crates and barrels by the Coincutter Mansion residents. There are no lights on here, but an unlit torch is hanging on a wall. Reduce the chance for random encounters by 3 here.
One large bundle of Giant Ape Fur ($500, 75 lbs) has been left in the middle of this storeroom. Looting the crates and barrels discovers smokeable dried medicinal herbs (30 doses, $75 per dose, consuming one dose gives +1 to daily HT rolls to recover HP), big stocks of fireworks that can function as stun grenades or smoke bombs (treat the fireworks as 20 Flash Nageteppo, 20 Smoke Nageteppo and 15 Complex Nageteppo (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 26) when lit on fire and thrown), 200 pieces of paper, 3 lanterns, 20 empty glass bottles, 20 pounds of rubbing wax, 5 tinderboxes, 30 pints of lantern oil and 20 tallow candles.
A roll of Search-10 in the storeroom finds a small iron key on the floor, crammed into a crack in the corner wall. The key unlocks something elsewhere in the dungeon (a chest or a door, roll 1d if the key is tried on any one thing, the key fits and unlocks that on a 1 and it unlocks nothing else).
Also within the storeroom are 2 concealed doors.
The first concealed door is at the west wall of the room, the roll needed to discover it is at -5, opening the average wooden door requires IQ-based Traps roll to undo the secret latch, the hidden space behind the door is 5 yards of hexes, where N/2 (up to 5) Shadow Warriors (Monsters 3: Born of Myth & Magic page 21) lurk (they attack on sight, of course) and 3 silver coins in a purse has been left on the floor of the secret space.
The second concealed door is an average wooden trapdoor on the floor next to the southern wall, rolls to find it are at -5, unlocking the latch on the trapdoor is a IQ-based Traps roll, opening it up reveals a 6 yards of crawl space underneath, and it is completely empty of monsters and valuables.
Regular Bedroom A
From the door in the office, there is a 5 by 10 yards small corridor leading to 2 bedrooms for residents of Coincutter Mansion and a bathroom with a toilet. The lights are not on in the corridor, but there are torch sconces that only need to be lit. There are no random encounters in this corridor or the bedrooms and bathroom directly connected to it, thanks to the layers of security.
The first regular resident’s bedroom is intact, unlit and 4 by 4 yards of area. The interior features a single bed, 2 tables, a chair, a wardrobe, a lamp, a chest at the foot of the bed and a writing desk. 8 pounds of occult paraphernalia (worth $200 in all) clutter the desk and one of the tables. The other table has a Warbeak and Battle Fangs (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 32) on it. The chest is locked (-1 Lockpicking penalty) and contains a bottle of alchemist’s fire, 9 silver coins, a hip quiver with 5 crossbow bolts in it, a Dwarven Crankbow (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 32) and a bottle of glue. The wardrobe contains 10 sets of fancy clothing (each worth $600 and weighing 3 lbs) and an Edged Cape (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 32). Looking under the pillow on the bed reveals a Large Knife in a leather sheath.
Regular Bedroom B
Much like the other resident’s bedroom, this area is a dark (unless the wardrobe is opened), untouched 4 by 4 yards living space. The wardrobe contains an enchanted (+1 DR) Mail Hauberk (torso, neck, vitals and groin DR 4+1/2+1, $1945, 15.8 lbs, metal, lower DR against crushing) and an enchanted (Glowing) Brigandine Helmet (skull DR 5, $8450, 5 lbs, no frontal face protection, metal, plate). The desk and tables are clean and empty. The lamp is functional but not in use. The bed is unoccupied but there is a purse (containing 5 silver coins) under the sheets. The chest next to the writing desk is unlocked and open, containing a Sword Cane (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 32), a Blooming Knife (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 32), 2 boxes of alchemist’s matches, a vial of acid, one packet of Luminous Dust (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 37) and a dose of Visibility Dust.
Haunting this bedroom is one Prithvi as-Sharak (DF Monsters page 16), who will protect the room’s contents from looters. The demon likes to prey on wandering never-do-wells who come into the dungeon for shelter and treasure.
Bathroom and Toilet (From Regular Bedrooms Corridor)
This 3 by 3 yards and unlit area shows more signs of recent use than the regular bedrooms. It is hardly as messy as the bathroom near the landing, thankfully. The big empty bathtub, toilet, sink and counter with a mirror are all clean and in good enough repair to use. Savvy adventurers may use this room to rest and hide or freshen up.
There is an empty hole in the eastern wall that is semi-covered by a broken open blue tile. It is obvious that the blue tile used to cover the hole completely, but someone smashed it and took whatever was hidden inside.
This 20 by 20 yards area is fully lit by lanterns hanging on the walls and was converted from an alchemical laboratory to a manufacturing centre for illegal drugs by rogues. Volatile chemicals and delicate equipment are in heavy use here, taking up most of the place. (A stray missile spell or a nasty knockback into the clutter could cause an explosion, a nasty acid spill or a cloud of poisoning vapours. If in doubt, the GM rolls 1d; 1: an explosion of 3d crushing plus a three-yard-area fire, 2-3: four-yard-area cloud of contact and repository toxins for 2d toxic injury on a failed HT roll, 4-5: strong acid spill for 1d corrosive damage over a two-yard-area, 6: seemingly harmless spill.) A reinforced vat of acid is kept as safe as possible in the south-east corner of the lab and the barrel of flammable oil is stored at the opposite end.
Hazardous Materials, Pharmacy, Poisons and Alchemy skills can all identify the various mixtures, drugs and raw ingredients of the lab. All in all, the stockpile is impressive; 60 doses of an illegal party drug (each dose worth $150, weighs 0.05 lbs, consuming one dose of drugs inflicts Euphoria (Exploits page 65) for 1dx10 minutes), 80 pints of strong alcohol (very flammable, might disinfect cuts, drinking will make you sick or intoxicated), 40 bottles of alchemist’s fire, 120 pints of lantern oil, 10 Halfling Joy Powder gas grenades (two yards radius, roll HT, tipsy if successful and drunk if failed), and 280 pints of clean water. If the fight goes messy, some of the above could be broken during the battle. The actual lab equipment is 100 pounds of standard alchemical instruments spread out over multiple tables, worth $10000 for the lot.
Guarding the product and the process is a large gang of crooks; N Basic Warriors (Adventure 1: MotFD page 43),N Basic Dwarf Warriors (Adventure 1: MotFD pages 42-43), 2 Support Mages (Adventure 1: MotFD page 44, both have Alchemy-15 skill) working the lab, one Basic Archer (Adventure 1: MotFD page 42) at the back of the room and one Minotaur (DF Monsters page 42) directly in front of the door. Each of the gangers has 7 horse jerky rations on them and a wineskin full of water on them. They will not appreciate the party coming into their operation, and the only way to avoid a fight is to leave immediately or give the right password. They won’t let anyone take the product, the ingredients or the lab equipment. One of the Support Mages has a small iron key hidden in his left boot (Search roll to find), what it unlocks is decided by the GM.
Before Coincutter Mansion fell, this area was a 30 by 30 yards meeting room and parlour. Now, the room has been taken over by a big motley of tramps, wanted men, runaways, exiles, bandits and deserters as an indoor shanty camp. Torches light the area completely, as the scrum of hobos and crooks try to make themselves comfortable.
A large fireplace dominates the centre of the room, the chimney that used to reach above ground crumbled, the mantle now displays the flag of a major ninja clan operating in the region (Heraldry skill identifies it).
Noncombatant camp followers tend to the hostile humanoids here as servants. If the party can avoid hurting them during a fight, they might be receptive to talking. They otherwise stay the heck out of the fray, not eager to get in the middle of the adventurers battling bad guys. They could share information about the dungeon and/or the enemies elsewhere, or even join the party as minor hirelings to hold torches or carry stuff in exchange for money or food. The camp followers number about 3 for every 5 actual enemies in the room. Most of the camp followers are human, but there are Throttlers (DF Monsters page 55-56) lurking in the ranks and plotting to strangle someone after gaining their trust. There are also some shy and bullied Quarterlings (DF Companion 3 page 63 or Pyramid 3/106) among the camp followers, descendants of the Coincutter Mansion halfling servants and refugees from raided halfling communities. They can be recruited as scouts, thieves and rock throwers.
The hostile criminals and marauders hiding out in this room will attack the party with little provocation. They are N Basic Barbarians (Adventure 1: MotFD page 42), 3d Dinomen, 1 Dinoman Hero, 1 Dinoman Leader (DF Monsters pages 20-21), N Dark Ones (see stats above) and N Ninja (see stats above). The enemies have little love for each other and won’t really coordinate their offensives, except perhaps opportunistically attacking an adventurer who is distracted by another enemy. The Ninja and Dark Ones will distance themselves from the frontline while the others rush in with ready weapons swinging. If the melee thugs start getting butchered (about half of them are killed or KO’d), they’ll discretely withdraw from the fight and the area, stalking the party from afar and striking at their backs when they get distracted later.
Camping tools and survival gear can be scavenged from the squatters’ camps. There is a lifting sling, 2d bandages, one backboard, a carrying yoke, some fish hooks and line, 30 sleeping furs, 13 bars of soap, 15 wineskins full of water, 50 rations of horse meat jerky, 20 blankets, 20 tents of various sizes (two are waterproof and two are insulated), 18 six-foot-poles, three litters, a set of tongs, 4 casks (72 pints each, except for one cask half drained) of old wine (each pint worth $150 and weighs 1 lb), 20 bottles of cheap ale (worth $5 each), 8 doses of illegal drugs (each dose worth $150, weighs 0.05 lbs, consuming one dose of drugs inflicts Euphoria (Exploits page 65) for 1dx10 minutes), a saw, a box of chalk and a bottle of Necromantic Preservative ($110, 1 lb, DF 8: Treasure Tables page 24).
One of the Dark Ones is carrying a treasure map, pointing to another dungeon that is 8 days of travel away from this one.
The doors out of this area go to a storeroom, a bathroom, the library (locked), the shrine (locked) and the landing (locked and trapped). There is a concealed door (-5 to detect) to the treasure vault, on the eastern wall, that is kept closed by a complex mechanism run on a password basis. A stone column and section of wall pivots open to a corridor to the vault, when a command phrase is spoken (gnomish microphones deliver the phrase to a magical device embedded deep in the wall where it can’t be easily detected, an IQ-based Traps roll figures this out). There is a clue to both the door’s location and the password hidden in the library.
Storeroom (From Hideout)
This 5 by 5 yards area is where miscellaneous stacks of supplies and materials were kept in crates and barrels by the Coincutter Mansion residents, although the vagabonds dwelling in the dungeon now use it as hiding place. There are no lights on here, but an unlit torch is hanging on a wall. The back wall has been painted various colours, not really depicting anything in particular.
Looting the crates and barrels discovers smokeable dried medicinal herbs (5 doses, $75 per dose, consuming one dose gives +1 to daily HT rolls to recover HP), big stocks of fireworks that can function as stun grenades or smoke bombs (treat the fireworks as 4 Flash Nageteppo, 4 Smoke Nageteppo and 2 Complex Nageteppo (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 26) when lit on fire and thrown), 50 pieces of paper, 29 torches, 4 empty glass bottles, 20 pounds of rubbing wax, 2 tinderboxes, 3 pints of lantern oil and 5 tallow candles.
There’s three locked (-2 Lockpicking penalty) wooden treasure chests in the crannies of the room. One contains 3 treasure maps (one of them is fake and a trap, roll Forgery or Streetwise to realise it’s a ruse). The second contains a case of 8 Bladeblack poison bottles and is booby-trapped with a poison needle (Per-based Traps or Poisons roll at -5 to detect, DX-based Traps to disarm, failure to disarm means instant effect and only natural DR protects, Touch -5 allows a DX -5 roll to avoid effects, effects are 1d-3 pi- and poison if damage penetrates hand DR, poison is HT-5 or suffer 6d injury). Treasure chest number 3 contains two bottles of Alchemical Glue (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 37), one bottle of Alkahest, one Death Potion, one Super-Speed Potion (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 37), two Transparency Potions (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 37-38), one Black Dust grenade (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 36), one Wisdom Potion and three Foul Pepper grenades (DF 8: Treasure Tables page 36).
On the wall by the door is a blue tile. Smashing or removing the tile reveals a small hole dug into the wall, wherein someone has stashed a Major Healing Potion. The blue tile is easy to notice if someone looks at the door (to leave, say) or the wall besides it. The GM should only mention it in passing, if a player checks the walls or asks about outstanding features.
There are also three concealed doors in this storeroom. The first one is an unlocked average wooden trapdoor on the floor, the roll to detect is at -4, the space below is 6 yards of area, and 6 Quarterlings (DF Companion 3 page 63 or Pyramid 3/106) are hiding out down there – they might attack on instinct if the party startles them and can’t calm them down. The second secret chamber is behind a heavy wooden locked (+0 modifier) door on the north wall (-3 to rolls for finding it), the space is 6 yards big, another 6 Quarterlings (DF Companion 3 page 63 or Pyramid 3/106) use this secret place as a sanctuary and won’t react well to the party intruding, there’s a bottle of glue left on the ground that the poor things managed to steal a while ago. The third concealed door (located on the south wall) can be found on a roll at -6, it is locked (no modifier) and heavy wooden, and only two yards of empty space is behind it.
Bathroom and Toilet (From Hideout)
The scum and lost souls in the hideout use this bathroom and toilet for its intended use. The signs of frequent use lend this room a mildly disgusting aura, occasional stains and somebody dead in the bathtub. The area is lit by a torch, 4 by 4 yards big, and has the same general features as the other bathrooms (the sink even still has running water). The chances of a random encounter is raised by 3 in this area.
The dead body in the bathtub is a dinoman, fatally poisoned by ninja. A Search+0 roll finds a wallet (1d silver coins inside) tucked into the dinoman’s pants.
Checking the northern wall of the room finds a blue tile on the lower half, near the eastern corner. Smashing or removing the tile discovers a little hole dug out, with a Perception Potion hidden inside.
The door to this room can be unlocked by an ornate silver-plated key hidden in the sitting room (no Lockpicking modifier). This area is where the residents of Coincutter Mansion used to store books, maps, papers and scholarly instruments. It’s lit by torches, but only sporadically (-4 Darkness penalty). The area is 20 by 20 yards big. Most of the central space is rows of bookshelves, breaking sight lines. Writing desks are lined along the walls of the room, one of them has a Portable Scribe (copies ink writing on paper, use a special alchemical fluid, magic in scroll is transferred and leaving the old page blank, takes 10 seconds/copy, $400, 15 lbs) with a vial of alchemical fluid for the gadget (good for 10 copies, $100, 0.5 lbs) on it. Another writing desk has 5 bottles of Faerie Ink and five doses of the special developer for exposing the secret writing (DF 4: Sages page 12) on top of it.
The four bookshelves are full of the expected items, the list is below.
- 16 primers on common knowledge (each primer is worth $25 and weighs 3 lbs, a primer teaches a skill well enough for an adventurer to spend 1 Character Point learning it without training expenses). The common knowledge skills taught are Camouflage, Cartography, Diagnosis, First Aid, Fishing, Gambling, Heraldry, Merchant, Naturalist, Occultism, Performance, Pharmacy, Prospecting, Tactics, Teaching and Writing.
- 13 textbooks on obscure topics (each worth $100 and weighing 6 lbs). These textbooks teach the Ancient Language, Alchemy, Forgery, Herb Lore, Hidden Lore (Demons), Hidden Lore (Magic Items), Hidden Lore (Spirits), Holdout, Musical Composition, Religious Ritual (Holy), Shadowing, Speed-Reading and Surgery. 2-in-6 chance of a given textbook is written in Elvish.
- One huge wizardly spellbook written in the Ancient Language ($360, 12 lbs.) that teaches the following spells; Reflect, Magic Resistance, Pentagram, Dispel Magic, Slow, and Flight.
- One bardic spellbook written in Common ($300, 3 lbs) that teaches the bardic spells; Charm, Command, and Sleep.
- One druidic spellbook written in Druidic/Faerie ($240, 3 lbs) that teaches the druidic spells; Bird Control, Mammal Control, and Pollen Cloud.
- One clerical spellbook written in Angelic ($300, lbs) that teaches the clerical spells; Vigil, Bless, Curse, Astral Block, and Cure Disease.
- One tome that is written in code (deciphering the code requires the help of a sage or a Hidden Lore (Lost Civilisation)-10 roll, +1 bonus to skill, $250, 12 lbs) that teaches the Strategy skill.
- 5 tomes written in Common (+1 bonus to skill, $500, 12 lbs) that teach the following skills; Theology, Psychology (Humanoid), Hidden Lore (Undead), Counterfeiting, and Lockpicking.
- One Dwarven textbook engraved on metal sheets in Dwarven (never burns or suffers water damage, $500, 12 lbs), teaching the Smuggling skill.
- One Common-Language textbook that hides another text in invisible ink ($50 on first glance, $125 if the hidden text is discovered, 6 lbs) that teaches the skills Observation (in the plain text) and Traps (in the hidden text). The invisible text can be discovered with a Streetwise or Research roll, and holding a heat source near it for 5 minutes.
- One Faerie wizardly spellbook written in Faerie/Druidic ($1200, 0.5 lbs) that teaches the wizard spell Create Fire.
- One annotated map of the region (not the dungeon itself but the wilderness surrounding it, +1 Navigation, worth $200 and weighing 0.1 lb).
Anything worth more than $200 is chained (DR 2, HP 10) to the shelves to deter thieves.
One of the shelves has an incomplete and basic map of the cellar with a few notes scribbled onto it. Actually finding the map among the shelves requires 10 minutes of looking through the room (Search+0 roll). Although it won’t help the party much, the map DOES show the secret door to the treasure vault, and the writing on the map even gives hints about the command phrase needed to open it. (Figuring out what the password is requires an IQ roll while studying the map. Failing means the adventurer must either study it again for one minute before rolling IQ again or check out the other books in the library for information with a Research+2 roll, taking extra time can be done with both kinds of roll.)
The shelf against the western wall of the library conceals a secret average wooden door behind a smoothly pivoting wall. Detecting the hidden space is a -6 roll. Getting it opened requires an IQ-based Traps roll or a key. The door opens up to a 5 yard mini-chamber containing 1d bottles of booze and 2d rations.
The ground around the bookshelves is boobytrapped with 6 Evil Runes, each stretch of a given type taking up a one yard hex between shelves, all of them are not glowing (Per-based Thaumatology or Per+Magery to spot them, a follow-up IQ-based Thaumatology roll reveals what an Evil Runes does) and triggered by contact (DX-5 to walk without stepping on them). The first Evil Rune patch is a Deathtouch effect (3d injury, no resistance, recharges after one minute). Evil Rune number 2 is Freezing (resist Frostbite-15 with HT or suffer 3d injury, recharges after 30 seconds). The third Evil Runes is Paralysis (resist Total Paralysis-15 with
HT or suffer paralysis (Exploits, p. 66) for (margin of loss) minutes, recharges after five minutes). The fourth Evil Runes inflicts an Immobilising effect (resist Rooted Feet-15 with ST or your feet are stuck in place as per p. 22 of Spells for (margin of loss) minutes or until you break free, recharges after one minute). The 5th Evil Runes is Burning (no resistance, 3d burning damage, armour does not protect but natural DR does, recharges after one minute). The sixth Evil Runes is a Deathtouch effect (3d injury, no resistance, recharges after one minute).
3 Quarterlings (DF Companion 3 page 63 or Pyramid 3/106) tremble in fear here, hoping nobody intrudes into the library and hurts them. They are very much aware of how dangerous the dungeon is. They know the library well, having set up little beds under the desks. The little scavengers know about the map to the treasure vault and may tell the party about it if befriended or threatened.
A Bugbear (DF Monsters page 17) considers the library his lair, and lurks in the shadows to ambush people coming in. The monster has set traps, typically in the form of Evil Runes (how it learned to create them, not even it knows). He habitually bullies the Quarterlings staying here, but considers them not worth killing. He will stay in stealth and try to let the Evil Runes weaken or kill the party, ambushing any stragglers when the time is right.
There is a single blue tile on the north wall of the library, just above a desk. Don’t mention it unless someone specifically looks at the desks. Getting the tile off the wall reveals a small hole where someone has stashed an charged universal wizardly See Secrets scroll (not maintained, skill 15, $500, 0.05 lbs).
This former prayer facility is 10 by 5 yards big. The door to the area is locked. No torches are lit here. At the back wall, an elaborate altar and an idol of a locally worshipped god is present. Sanctity is Normal here, as the religious services stopped when the Mansion fell and the holiness has since then faded away. Lining the sides of the room are 16 stone statues of monsters and angels. There is a dry font next to the idol here, engraved with holy symbols. If a cleric or holy warrior manages to restore the blessing of this font (just like restoring an altar), and fills it with water, they can make 1d pints of holy water with a Religious Ritual roll and one hour.
One Gargoyle (DF Monsters pages 29-30) is posing as a statue here. It will hide and shadow the party out of curiosity. Wherever it decides to attack or not depends on how the party conducts themselves while they are being observed. The gargoyle carries a crude and cheap map of the dungeon.
A concealed door is hidden here (-6 to detect it), magically shut by a Power-15 spell. The door is concealed behind a statue of a medusa with a small veil placed over its head, and can be opened by uncovering her eyes (thus triggering the spell’s cancellation). The chamber behind the door is a two yards area where a locked (-5) wooden treasure chest is kept. The treasure chest can be unlocked by an ornate silver-plated key that is hidden in the sitting room. The chest contains a piece of paper on which the passcode to the treasure vault is written and 180 silver coins.
The Treasure Vault
Getting into this 20 by 20 yards area is effectively the point of the adventure, as this is where the family heirloom of the Coincutter family (the target of the quest) is kept. There are no light sources in the vault or the corridor, as the wall sconces are bare.
The 40-yards-long, one-yard-wide corridor leading into the vault is booby-trapped multiple times; the trap just 4 yards after the secret door is a Bladed Pit (DF Traps page 13), 8 yards after that is a Needle Floor (DF Traps page 14). The third trap is 10 yards after the second one, a Rain of Daggers (DF Traps page 16). The fourth trap, a Wall-Scyther (DF Traps page 16), is two yards right after that one. The 5th trap is triggered by a pressure plate (Per-Based Traps-4 to detect, DX-based Traps-4 to disarm, avoiding is automatic once detected) and fires a harpoon at the delver (Hearing-2 roll to allow Dodge-2 roll to avoid, 2d+4 imp, 1d shots, DX-based Armoury (Missile Weapons) to steal harpoons). The last trap covering the last 10 yards of the corridor is Black Wind (DF Traps pages 4-5). In the first half (20 yards) of the corridor, it’s Low Mana. Half way through the corridor and in the vault itself, there is No Mana. The door at the end of the corridor is unlocked and leads into the vault proper.
Speaking of which, the treasure vault has valuables stored within and untouched since the prime of Coincutter Mansion.
The main prize of the area and the dungeon is the family heirloom, an exotic small idol made of ebony, displayed on a pedestal. The idol weighs 3 lbs and the pedestal is very obviously placed upon a pressure plate trap, set to go off when the idol is taken. An adventurer could make a Filch roll to quickly switch the idol with a stone or pouch of sand (or roll Traps -7 to disarm the trap). If the trap is set off, the ventilation shafts in the ceiling blow poison gas (hold breath or suffer 1d toxic injury every 5 seconds for one minute or until the poison is neutralized) into the whole room for 5 seconds. The trap only has one shot, and anyone who manages to run out of the room in the immediate 2 seconds after the trap is triggered avoids the gas.
The other valuables in the area are 8 treasure maps displayed on the walls (3 of them lead to another dungeon, the rest mark the locations of hidden treasure chests), a Demonic Talisman (see DF 20: Slayers page 22) displayed in a glass case on a small desk, a weapon display case that shows off one Silver-Coated Short Spear with a carved relief covering it ($210, 2 lbs), a Double-Sword, a Spinning Saw, and an Impact Maul (Treasure Tables page 33), and a little locked (-5 Lockpicking) ironbound chest which has 3 gold bars (1 pound each, worth $20000 each) and 15 silver ingots (1 pound each, worth $1000 each) stacked inside.