Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Zoom In Further: The Rat-Thing Tunnels

Building a world doesn't have to be hard, because players don't see everything all at once, they only see the parts that they interact with. Adventures are the interactibles of any campaign world. You can build your world a piece at a time.

So focusing on the campaign region we started last week we'll build a quick low-level adventure to get the characters introduced to each other and at least two of the conflicts in the setting.


The PCs are given the deed to a building in Middle Ground to do with as they please. During their first inspection they discover that the building they have been given is currently a front for the Docksmen's trap setters and saboteurs, a tribe of ratfolk, led by a Ratling leader. Within PCs will discover terrible traps, learn more about the Docksmen and find a map.

Part A: New Digs

This building has seen better days, the windows are boarded up and the front door hangs crooked on the hinge. As you walk through the door a little chime from a small bell breaks the oppressive silence within.
This part is unmapped (finding a building map should be easy enough). Allow the players to explore the building, describe the dustiness and general disarray. As they explore the PCs encounter a number of hazards which at first glance might appear to be the effects of dilapidation are actually the results of the Ratfolk trying to discourage explorers.

Possible Traps include:

Falling Chandelier CR 1
XP 300

Type Mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 15.
Trigger Location; Reset Manual

Effect PC beneath the Chandelier must make a DC 11 Reflex Save or take 1d6 damage and be subjected to a grapple (the Chandelier has a +10 bonus on its CMB check).

As the PCs explore allow them to make Perception checks. As a Ratfolk stationed in the house shadows the PCs, (it takes a 10 on its stealth checks for a total of 16 or 18 with cover). When any PC makes the check the Ratfolk named Persnikt flees to the basement. The PCs should easily be able to follow. (Feel free to throw in a chase if you have Chase Cards or access to the GMG).

At this point we get to the mapped section of the adventure.

Room 1 - The Basement (CR Varies)

The room at the bottom of this ladder is only about 7 feet high, stacks of wooden crates filled with empty glass bottles. With the crates taking up most of the floor space at the edges of the room you feel distinctly claustrophobic.

Depending on how far behind the Persnikt the PCs are the crate covering the entrance to the undertown may already be moved. Otherwise it's a DC 15 Perception check to find. If the PCs don't find it don't panic: Send a group of 3 Ratfolk up into the house to attack the PCs and attempt to drive them away, they leave the way open behind them.

If Persnikt has had time to close the crates behind him then the trap is active.

Glass Bottle Spring Trap (CR 1)

Falling Chandelier CR 1
XP 300

Type Mechanical; Perception DC 20; Disable Device DC 15.
Trigger Touch; Reset Manual

Effect When a PC tries to move the crate the spring behind it triggers causing the bottles to fling out and smash in a 10 ft. area dealing 1d4 bludgeoning and 1d4 slashing damage Reflex DC 11 halves the damage.

Room 2: Entrance to the Under Town (CR 1)

This room is damp, and smells vaguely of the sewer. A large open manhole sits in the center with the top of a ladder sticking out.
This was once the access to sewers in the ancient city that Haighwall was built over. The manhole cover is long gone melted down for parts in Ratfolk traps.

Monsters: A trio of Ratfolk are positioned here hiding in the shadows. If the PCs fail to notice them they wait until the PCs are in the room to Bullrush them into the open manhole (using their Swarming ability and Aid Another to do the job against foes Medium size or Larger). If a Ratfolk is alone it attempts to flee down the ladder deeper into the dungeon.

Room 3: The Nexus (CR 0 or CR 3)

This room has a high arch, four sturdy ancient pillars hold up the ceiling. In each corner dirty brackish water pools in depressions all are still except for the South Western pool which churns. There is a ladder leading back to the surface to the north, exits to the East and West, and a heavy stone door to the South.

This room was once a nexus in the sewerage treatment plant leading to the various areas of the plant. Signs on the Pillars in Dwarven tell the PCs that the door to the East leads to the "Otyugh Pens", the door to the West leads to the "Gardens and Worm Farms".

If no alarm has been raised this room is empty. The door to the South is locked and can only be opened with the key found on Dieskak (see Area 5), or by activating the machinery in room 7. PCs can also swim between room 3 and 5 via the only functional pipeline (any PC who does so is subjected to Filth Fever).

If an alarm has been raised Ratfolk from either Room 4 or Room 7 hide among the pillars while Dieskak uses his scrolls to attack the PCs from cover, retreating into room 5 through the water pipe.

Room 4: The Bunks (CR 1 monsters) and (CR 2 traps)

This circular room is covered in hay and old rags. It smells like rats and rust.

The Ratfolk use this room as a bedroom and occasionally as a workshop.

Monsters: If no alarm has been raised then there is a 50% chance that the ratfolk in here are sleeping. Otherwise they are working on putting together some awful spring loaded arrow trap.

Traps: At the edges of the room are 9 chests. 3 of the 9 chests are trapped with Poison Dart Traps.

Treasure: (Generated using THIS)
  • 1) Longbow 75 gp [112%, High Quality] : 84gp
  • 2) Noble's outfit 75 gp [82.67%, Cheap Quality] : 62gp
  • 3) Mirror, small steel 10 gp [90%, Low Quality] : 9gp
  • 4) Mace, light 5 gp [180%, Exceptional Quality] : 9gp
  • 5) Lantern, hooded 7 gp [142.86%, Very Fine Quality] : 10gp
  • 6) Sickle 6 gp [150%, Very Fine Quality] : 9gp
  • 7) Bolts, crossbow (10) 1 gp [Standard Quality] : 1gp
  • 8) Potion of Magic fang {1st/1st} : 50gp

  • Gems and Jewels Breakdown
    Agate 4gp, Blue quartz 4gp

  • Coins
    gp: 4
    sp: 80
    cp: 600

More to come Thursday...

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