Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Scholar's Lair

Here is where the player characters will find Jurgen the Learned, deep beneath the sewers and crypts of the city.Features of the Area:
Lighting: Illuminated by wall torches every 20 feet
Walls: Polished Granite
Floor: Brown Polished Flagstone

Room of Testing:
The PC's enter the first room of the lair from the west by a door disguised as a sarcophagus. Lining the circular room are eight more upright coffins, making nine in the room total. Inscribed in the middle of the room on the floor in common is the following riddle:

One comes in, and the Six take heart.
Fire brings death where the rest stand guard,
In the room of Nine, as time moves backward.

As the map indicates, all but the entrance and exit sarcophogi are trapped (Detect: DC 20 Thievery, Disable: 3 checks DC 25 Thievery). If one of the traps is activated, it unleashes a close blast 3, attacking all within blast at +7 vs. Reflex. On a hit, the explosion deals 3d6 + 4 fire damage, and the target is pushed 2 squares and knocked prone. If the players set off a trap, Jurgen will hear them, but ignore their troubles, preferring to let nature run its course on stupid people.

The Study
As the PC's enter from the door to the north, they are welcomed in by the glow of a fireplace along the east wall, where a large pot is producing the hearty smell of stew. Flanking the hearth and lining the south and north walls there hang lush tapestries depicting tales of yore. Rows of bookshelves occupy most of the east wall, with topics ranging from the fanciful to the mundane to the outright macabre. And in a large, comfortable chair in the middle of the room sits Jurgen, appearing deep in study of an ancient tome you would imagine he could not lift.
As the door creaks open, he looks up at you with a bemused smile, saying: "Ah, welcome to my humble home, young travellers," as he folds the enormous book and drops it unceremoniously on the table next to him.
If the PC's wish to ask him questions, He will hand them a puzzle box, saying: "If you can open this box, I may find you worthy enough to discourse with. Otherwise I may have to show you the exit," pointing to a large wooden door in the south wall.

Jurgen's Puzzle Box - 125 XP
Skill Challenge:
To open the box, the players must succeed at 4 skill challenges DC 20 using either Arcana, Thievery, or Insight before 3 failures. Each time a player fails a check, the box attacks the player (+7 vs. Will), forcing her to drop the box on a successful attack. The box contains one level 2 to level 4 wondrous item, such as a Belt of Vigor or Everlasting Provisions, which Jurgen will allow the players to keep.
If the players succeed, Jurgen will allow the players to remain and offer them some of his stew while he exchanges questions and answers with them. He will answer one question for each question the players answer for him. Surprisingly, Jurgen knows much about the happenings on the surface, and will always reveal the least amount of information possible.
If the players fail to open the box, Jurgen will exchange 3 questions with them before asking them to leave his den. He will, as they are leaving, invite them to return to try the puzzle box again if they need more information.

1 comment:

Howling Mime said...

great post, damp! i especially like the map -- need to talk to you about how you accomplished the gradient along with the grid like a piece of graph paper.