Tuesday, May 9, 2017

BASIC REDsurrection - Doomsday Bride in Gargoyle City

I did not write this dungeon. It is one of only two dungeonissssh dungeons I could find after Daniel Dean deleted his excellent blog - Basic Red. If anyone has access to any other Basic Red dungeons, get in touch. I would love to add to my collection.

Dan, if you would like me to take these down then please let me know. For the rest of you, some of Basic Red can still be found on the Wayback Machine. It is well worth a read.

DUNGEON MIX: Doomsday Bride in Gargoyle City

Add...a bunch of stuff this time I guess, this is not that usable really?
Weeks ago a note was delivered to you by an indistinct bird-like space. It formally requested your attendance at a wedding for two people youd never heard of, much less met, in the city of Morlojog. Your curiosity has gotten the better of you - or maybe you just cant resist an open bar - and here you find yourself, at Morlojog, surrounded by strangers, near the Mouth of Morlojogoth, the cathedral of Morjog the Inevitable. (These names can be confusing but they make more sense in the original Molg.)

or

Your local lord or duchess or whatever received such an invitation. Perhaps they are curious, perhaps they are embarrassed at having forgotten such an occasion, perhaps they are furious, perhaps they are merely observing courtly custom. Either way you are their envoy, and you have very specific business with the bride and groom once all this is over.

or

Theres a gift in your pack. You thought it was absolutely delightful at the time you bought it, and later decided to give it to someone special. Now youve lost your way, and wearing your finery at that! Its odd that you decided to dress to the nines for this ride. Now you find yourself outside this hard to pronounce town...hey a wedding! That sounds like fun. And you wont even feel uncomfortable crashing because you have a gift with you! That was fortunate! A string of coincidences has led you here, like an anglerfish, and you are none the wiser.

or

You were at home, in bed. It was night. Now where are you? Did you get dressed in the dark? Did you giftwrap your spare boots? Without knowing why you know youre at a wedding and that you need to just go along with it and not upset anything. You know the bride and groom on sight...well, not KNOW them, youve never set eyes on them before, maybe not even someone of their species, depending on where you're from and what you are.

or

Morlojog is an up and coming city-state that has made tremendous strides in the last sixty years. You'd been meaning to see what all the fuss was about and on learning of the upcoming festival, the 100th Flowering Festival Morlojog has had since installing their first monarch, you decided that now was the perfect opportunity. The inns are all at capacity and even the citizens are turning away would-be-lodgers and their gold, strangers stuffed in the rafters. So you wander, and in wandering you come upon this church...

AND

Your hands are shaking. Your mouth is dry. The air smells like iron and fire. Your breaths are quick and deep. Everyones eyes look stoned, and youre sure that yours do as well. Forgotten instincts that once screamed at you in the dark about serpents, about wolves, ABOUT the dark, howl and scratch at you now. Youll die here if you dont do somethingbut you cannot stop the ceremony. You cannot change this one moment of crystallizing salt, this fate. Somebodys getting married. That is etched as fact in the bedrock of your existence.

However you've arrived, you're here now, and you're having a bit of trouble remembering what you've been doing lately. You may know where you are, or even why you came here in the first place, but the story begins as in a dream and you never learn much about what you dreamed just before. You may have walked into town, had a sandwich, rented a room, fucked a dude, it's all a blur. You set out, and now you're here, Ed Helms as shit.



This all started centuries ago. It begins with the wedding.

THE BIG NAMES

Felias the Bastard- Fuck Druid and vagrant. Detect Evil, Detect Magic, Invisibility, Dispel Magic, and Cantrips (everything he does can be done with a magical fancy flair but to a terrible-at-a-party extent, nothing more). For AC assume it's been a while and he had no partners the night before, but he IS high on shrooms. He's in this for power and riches but he doesn't know the true cost or risk. He is a pawn and foolish and easily manipulated.
Tarrywhile- Flower Girl in name and act. Faerie-touched child whose curse made her uniquely suited to withstand the Queen's presence and act as her voice, Queen In Name with all her power and authority. She has been wooed by another party, darker and older, and acts as her second here. Can animate plants and is something of a young womandrake herself. Mind and shape of a child.
Gamorjog- Underpriestess of the Inevitable, conducting a lone vigil in the Undercathedral Worldgut. Knows Charm Person, Snake Charm, Entangle, Web, Spider Walk, Fly. She is ashamed of her body and how far it is from death, so she hides it in thick wraps and long robes. Her beautiful face is detachable, revealing green muscle and blood beneath. She is about 20' tall. Whispers everything because gargoyles are everywhere.
Shoof- Gamorjog's familiar mongoose. Speaks Elf, can cast Forget, has 20% chance to Identify on any attempt, 12HP, base AC, 2 natural attacks(d2) per round with +1 to hit. He'll follow the party if they flee Morlojogoth.
Candecima fa Greenlion- Queen for most of Morlojog's 100 Years. Architect of her recent splendor. Bulwark against the symbiont. THE MEGADUSA. Appears nude, 14' tall without snakes, her skin the color and texture of a chalkboard. Her snakes billow out like a cloud, filling any chamber she's in in time. They obscure her face and, should she feel modest, her naughty bits to get by the Comics Code Authority. She has a limited ability of brachiation and locomotion with these snakes, and they keep her untainted by the influence of the Party Crasher. Enthrall x2, Cause Fear x2. Her snakes know 6 spells and can Summon as if casting a Level 9 spell. They constantly nip at the air, though the enlightened can see they keep her free from the tendrils of Morjog.
Hadriach Quicksilver- Devout chaplian (dwarf if you like that shit) coming to scourge from the very face of the world a gargoyle army which roosts at Morlojog. His god (roll on table or other) does not answer his prayers, to his dismay, but he has a bunch of cleric scrolls and a column of warriors stepping to his lead on a divine crusade (he assures them). He approached Morlojog roughly the same time the PCs did and has set up camp several hours' ride out, within sight of the city and the blood at its gates, praying for a sign.
Greenlion Ducagne- First Regent and Dead King of Morlojog, first to be taken in the movings of the underchapel. Lays untouched on an altar to 'Morjog' within Worldgut. Acts as fifth level fighter, all weapons and armor magic. Can only be woken from his patient death by a kiss from a snake.
Food- Goat with a demon in it, waiting in Morlojogoth to be sacrificed to the union of Felias and Gamorjog and seal it. He will beg for death in the tongue of elfs, and if slain outside of the ceremony frees the demon within. The demon is a threat but can be bargained with once free.
Handsome Prince Skeleton- Heir to the Bone Throne of the Skeleton Kingdom and if your game doesn't have a skeleton kingdom what is mouse guard like i always wondered. His touch turns you into a skeleton who can level, poison and gasses don't affect you but neither do potions and you can be turned. When transformed you must save with a minor penalty to avoid being Charmed with no additional save on the immediate horizon. You can learn the skeletonization spell using Speak With Dead or Read Brains after killing him, and while you can kill him that will cause many of the festivals to snowball and the Party Crasher grows stronger and big chunks of Morlojog start crumbling as a hundred years' dead starts dancing. He will re-emerge from this, a vessel for the creature. Guest at the wedding.

CHIEF GODS VENERATED IN MORLOJOG

Morjog the Inevitable- The local sports team, bringer of destruction and death and the clearing away of stones and spires, whose adherents' only prayer is "But Not Yet." The believe fundamentally in the eventual doom Morjob brings but ask him to postpone a wee bit. Morjog is the name ascribed to the great stone face Morlojogoth was built around, a carving which predates Morlojog. Nothing true is known of is provenance and Morjog has become something of an anchor for loose beliefs and superstition, a religion accruing about him like a reef, or like voodoo. Many things are like voodoo with Morjog. In truth many who worship Morjog hang a convenient face over the one whom their actions truly serve, the Party Crasher, and it is its undercathedral which is nested in Worldgut beneath the face of Morjog.
Adl- The godtwin children who have no names of their own, worshiped as one being. They are the feeders of the sun and their governances are youth, fertility, and harvest, so the city's into them right now in a BIG way. A traditional deityform whose holy rites are being profaned by this Intrusion.
Nekkiuradedafesasas- Beautiful and austere goddess of color, luxury, and remote beauty, she brings vim and savor to life so in a way all festivals are hers but she abhors the baseness and vulgarity of them.
Good Queen Skeleton- Standing Goddess and ruler of the Skeleton Kingdom, empress of undeath and alms, quartered at the castle, only came to town to find her son a mate. Same abilities as Handsome Prince Skeleton and so long as she lives neither can be turned. She also can confer a Quest and Bless at will
Toferum- Self-loathing and ashamed god of shame, not normally worshiped much in Morlojog  but many of his pilgrims are in town trying to restore order and more were ensnared by the Party Crasher's subtle side effects.
Moon Slave- Haunting god. Wager of victory. Father to horrors. Not specifically worshiped in Morlojog, like there are no temples to Moon Slave, there are fields and graveyards and orgies and camels to Moon Slave. His prayers are the lamentation of the basically fucked and the fucking-done-with-this.

THE PARTY CRASHER/THE INTRUDER/THE SYMBIONT/MORJOG THE INEVITABLE/THE WORM

You wake up one morning and realize you can't find your wedding ring. Where is it? Did it come off in the night? In the bath? In the street? While you were drunk? At the gigolo? You must find it. Your emotional attachment to your spouse, your conditioning to the ritual, your investment (financial and psychic) in the tradition, all drive you on this hunt. It's a symbol of the bond you share and the vows you made when you got married.
There's no such thing as spouses.
Not really.
There is no tradition.
Society recognizes your union as it recognizes a mosquito.
You did not have a wedding ring before this morning.
You are forging this bond and your memories and your friends' memories by searching for that ring, finding it, putting it on.
Weddings are predators.

Everyone knows there is an invisible ecosystem which nests over ours like a laminate. This is what Gelatinous Cubes actually are, for one, cubelike within architectural confinement but otherwise sprawling, sometimes towering, consuming cellular intelligence. [[This is also one reason I find outer planes so boring, there's so much weird shit right here that we can't perceive.]] But there are other things out of there, and many which don't have the same relation to physical contact as most things we understand, and some of them feed on flesh and some of them feed off of dreams and some feed off unicorns or some shit and there is ONE creature which feeds on a collective knowledge of our own mortality. There was a time when it fed on something else, OVERFED, to extinction, and it lay dormant like a water bear all that time until the current age when we (and I guess elves and shit) became evolved enough to be susceptible to its influence. Foxes don't have birthdays. Birds don't have funerals. We retain the memories of the most traumatic and exceptional periods, build our personality around them, and that's catnip to this creature. If this were some kind of space telephone show I'd say that the creature puts out psychic filaments through the past that we follow like bread crumbs to an unavoidable conclusion, like a slime mold or an angler fish, and if I was some Hercules motherfucker I'd say this thing ties strings of its own onto the threads of fate we all inexorably follow.

It keeps us busy with a shadow, and that shadow is togetherness, happiness, remembrance, community, family, tradition....Oneness. Shared Milestones. What casts that shadow is a little ticking away going on in the back of our minds at all times noting how much closer we are to death, how much we have to lose, the unavoidable nature of change.

It hunts with holidays.

We know this creature in many forms and could be forgiven for assuming that there are many types of creature like this when, in fact, they are all part of the strange life cycle of this creature, stretching across multiple epochs all at once, a contiguous space caterpillar, constant across cultures in part, capable of conceptual bilocation, yet not constant across itself.

This is the Very Hungry Calendar.

We are all of us inside it to an extent and its little cillia and hookworm-like appendages are attached to our soulstuffs. MUs 2nd level and up constantly perceive the creature we are inside, even if they are not sure of its nature, as a kind of filter atop normal life. If you have orcs and elfs and shit then they're being fed on too, though the tendrils which drag through them may be a different shape or color to a MU's eyes. Clerics may be shown by their gods or illuminated in some fashion, treat it like a Detect Evil spell that doesn't so much Detect Evil as it does Show Me The Maggot I'm In. The undead will have some vestigial or emaciated connection to the beast's inner stomachs, though not nearly as much as a living thing, and powerful characters in Morlojog such as the Megadusa may control their connection to this creature. Otherwise if they exist they are part of the inside-out parasitic relationship we all are.

This ur-thing has no will. It has no commands or aspirations, it is a process-as-entity. But it is KNOWN and worshiped by many faces and names, often by MUs of some stripe. One such follower has conflated her service of the creature with the traditions of Morjog, our friend Gamorjog the underpriestess, and she wants to allow the great worm exit into physical existence (insty-death for the world entire) by completing a ritual to summon it within Worldgut and having it exit through the ornamental stone doors carved into the Mouth of Morjog in Morlojogoth.

Gamorjog, pulling together threads of her own, has summoned people from the forty-seven kingdoms, and has anchored herself to the summoning with the wedding to Felias, whose mind will be cleansed and through whom she can touch and copulate with the 'mind' of 'Morjog.' As the manifestation grows closer the coils of Morjog wrap tighter around the city-state and other holidays begin to break out from the weight of the thing, to the confusion of all.

Morjog can be directly targeted with some spells (up to DM which) IF you are aware of it, otherwise the conceptual framework of the wedding and the other festivals and their execution must be disrupted as much as possible. See below.

Morjog and Gamorjog are both opposed.

GARGOYLE

Imperial Megadusa Candecima is Majordomo to Gargoyle. Not gargoyles, although that, too.

You and I don't see eye to eye. Nobody sees anything like you. Nobody remembers those events the way you do. Nobody remembers anything the way you do. We are each of us different creatures whose recollections are shaped by the baggage we already bring to the table. This is a spell effect and it's how gargoyles hunt and reproduce. Gargoyles are the same in mind, flock mentality carried to bees-level, one will that is only a parliament of itself broken down into form so it can touch other form and therefore grow. Most creatures are naturally of a consciousness with their kin but gargoyles, being the apex predators they are, have shaped the world around them in the way that they hunt. They break us up into individuals, divide and conquer, major rule of engagement. These individual perspectives make uniting against the gargoyle menace increasingly difficult and also allows for us to experience inspiration and creativity. We carve what we are afraid of, and provide them with a vessel to kill us with. "That's a gargoyle. The building is covered in them. They're all over this part of town, really, from centuries ago. THAT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL. It gives me an idea..." and then gargoyles on album covers, bands NAMED Gargoyle, cartoons, stat blocks, form after form and we can't kill ourselves with gargoyles fast enough.

We live under an enchantment. This is the whole reason language and the press evolved, abstraction, giving the gargoyle a form they can't use, trapping them in all their forms in description on parchment. Memory and self awareness are actually defense mechanisms, then, against Gargoyle. Those who can recall things perfectly and who have perfect self awareness are canny evaders of the gargoyles, but they are also so boring that they can't populate an active resistance.

All the interesting people get to fuck, quickening the death haste of our species, while we subconsciously try to fight sculpture with poetry.

Gargoyle can manifest in any prepared 'gargoyle' but not every 'gargoyle' is always aware and animate. They can bop around and coordinate like the bad guys in the Matrix a little. Candecima has orchestrated the growth of Morlojog solely to build up the gargoyle presence, partly through attracting artisans, partly through taking castoffs from quarries and colleges around the world, and partly through her own gifts as the Megadusa, giving Gargoyle an endless variety of forms and a ubiquitous presence.

Morlojog happens to be where Morjog is going to be made manifest so Candecima insinuated herself into its history at the behest of Gargoyle, preparing against this day, because 1) the methods of predation used by Gargoyle and Morjog oppose one another and Gargoyle needs to protect its crop, which means B) they can't let it get wiped the hell out by an extinction level event. As the wedding approaches they all wake and flock, once the wedding begins the skies and streets are full of the things and they will seek to weaken the strength of Morjog's hold in an area by killing whoever they see most caught up in the spirit of things. This may include the PCs.

Gargoyle exists completely apart from the tendrils of Morjog, and they have no contact. The strength of an individual gargoyle will depend on the care, craft, and creativity that went in its carving.

THE HUNGRY CALENDAR

The adventure begins in Morlojogoth. Stepping foot outside will thrust you fully into the belly of the thing and you'll be subject to a side-effect of Morjog's mounting presence if you don't save. Associated effects and distinct features for each are listed, as well as any local customs specific to Morlojog. Each festival/effect/stage in Morjog's life cycle corresponds to a district in and around the city, and outside of your initial save (first person outside saves vs Wedding, all others roll 1d12 and saves vs that, I'm thinking save vs spells) you won't encounter the worst each district has to offer unless you venture there. Some effects float from district to district. Some effects and some quarters are worse than others.
  1. The Wedding. Centered around Morlojogoth. Til death do you part. Most of the major players listed above are here, excepting the Queens and the dead King and Hadriach. Even the officiant is going to be just an ensorcelled victim consecrated only by Gamorjog's will as underpriestess. Many attendants and guests are simply the faithful of Morjog who don't even blink when things start getting nasty, so deep into the Kool-Aid are they that they don't register it. Tarrywhile can animate the blue lilies here and force them into your mouth, magically transporting you to another part of the town where you IMMEDIATELY encounter some other aspect of the madness. She is accompanied by a bodyguard loyal to the Megadusa, whose spears are petrifying. Tarrywhile's bouquet is semi-alive and will crawl around aimlessly if dropped, like a Roomba, catching it or picking it up binds you to Felias like a powerful Quest and you must marry him on pain of death. There are some general city watch here, providing security. Gargoyle WILL interrupt the service, crawling from all over,  can even take possession of the ice sculptures in the room. The harpists here are shrill but compelling agents of the underpriestess, and you take a penalty to saves the longer you're in earshot or until you kill the harpists. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You become paladin to this wedding, wanting it to succeed at all costs, and more SPECIFICALLY you want to have the most and best presents for the bride and groom.
  2. Your Birthday. You don't know how you forgot. You'll be dead soon.You are shadowed by a past version of yourself, dead from some brutality, who can read your thoughts and will announce if you're being misleading. Otherwise it bears you no ill will but you must kill it in order to be free from it. The music is strange, the dumbest thing you ever said set to music, and you have to save or dance like a drunkard. Loud drunks will hang on you, telling you how great you are, weighing you down and attracting attention and prompting a wandering enemy check. Passing clowns dressed like birds of paradise wear paper masks, and will try to force one on you. Removing it sees your face transformed into that of a fleshless gory bird face, which is what you'll see if you remove their masks. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: Someone gives you a present, 30% creature otherwise roll loot table, and you really feel your age...-2 to Con and Wis. 
  3. The Harvest. The Morlojogoth faces this district so if you leave the temple and run straight away toward the city walls you'll run through here first. The streets are cracked with wheat and her borders are a twisting maize. Running through the thick sawgrass that grows there draws 1hp per round of blood. Everything is bad if you are here. Scarecrows, which are really only another form of Gargoyle, stalk the streets. The lashes of Morjog are thicker here, at its hungriest, and will attempt to consume you, gaining +4 to hit any who can't see them. Swarms of locusts cover many things in this quarter and people go about obliviously, even as they are consumed. There is a thick smoke wafting through the district which (save vs poison) may choke you, aging you 1d6 years. Headhunters can be found lurking within. There is an entire house which has been boarded up for the purposes of stirring a rich spiced ale. People around the house are all fighting. Drinking the ale grants you 1 level and summons 1d4 headhunters. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You reap bounty, gaining 1d10x10 extra gold, but your d10 result is the number of scarecrows who immediately manifest and book ass to your location.
  4. Fertility. The streets here on the far side of town are completely deserted, and everyone from neighboring districts assumes the worst, especially when the people exploring this territory don't come back. In reality all the children in this district have been bound into sacks and thrown in the street, and everyone else is inside just rabidly fucking. The sacks the children are in are being nipped at by mongooses. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: Your Charisma is now 18. Don't tell the player this but if you have sex, both parties become pregnant, the painful gestation period takes about 30 minutes, birth does 1d6 damage, and you give birth to an adult feral mongoose who attacks you.
  5. Midwinter. You're halfway toward life, in the kingdom of death and hunger, and you'd do anything to feel alive again. You'd sacrifice anything. You'd sacrifice anyone. There is a darkness here, a night dimmer than night, even at midday. Magic and fire lightens things up, sure, but cannot disperse this moltendark. Without fire or magic you will only stumble blindly, seeing glimpses of owls, of wolves, of other things. There is a hunger here and the starving and emaciated crawl and writhe in the streets. They mean you no harm but will reach out blindly for you, grasping at you, seeking help, and they will overwhelm you unless you whack em a little. There is a cold here. Save +2 vs experiencing a ghoul-like paralysis (ghoul-LIKE, so if you use elves it affects them too). This paralysis can be 'thawed' with proximity to fire, but otherwise may only be Dispelled or broken by leaving the city walls. 60 minutes of unattended paralysis of this kind brings death. There is a sacrifice going on in the square here, a pitiful and beaten elephant in the full glow of raging fires. If the sacrifice is carried out the participants will smear themselves with blood and race around attacking onlookers. The district of the city where this is happening has a temple to Adl. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You don't quite become full berserker but blood is your answer to everything. Think of it as an alignment change: you're not lawful neutral, you're VIOLENT PROACTIVE.
  6. Midsummer. Things are pretty okay here, maypoles, picnics, doe-women and rabbit men....those bird clowns listed in the Birthday section are here, and there's a bit of a wicker man situation brewing this twig golem full of ducks, but the golem keeps the other quarters out of this one's business so whatever. All the flowers on the posts and windows here are wildflowers. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You are eternally cheery and optimistic until you get out of the city. You're pretty sure you can handle anything. Everything's coming up Milhouse.
  7. Honoring the Dead. The dead live, and are one-tier-resistant to turning. All the alive people seem to have fled. Nope: they simply take on a deathlike appearance. The dead people are trying to pick up their lives where they left them and the seemingly-dead are huddling in the only quarter where people aren't trying to kill them on sight. The cemetery here is like a pay-per-view wrestling event with every bastard who ever lived fighting all the other bastards, and every hero who ever lived trying to contain every monster they ever slayed in this city. Everyone is fair dripping in valuables that they were buried with. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You take on a corpse-like appearance. Turn Undead does not hurt you but can send you running.
  8. Holy Meditation. Religious unrest throughout the city manifests in a weird price-war-of-the-soul in this area as every inhabitant tries to show themselves the most pious, the most repentant. There's whipping, self whipping, stranger whipping, wailing, heaping ash, mutilation, suicide, burning of worldly possessions....acolytes of different faiths wage war with one another openly, a crusade in the streets. If you worship your own strange god you may entreat them and feel them closer to you. Clerics should be considered 2 levels higher for casting purposes but casting a spell means everyone in eyeline to you has a Morale 12 desire to fucking kill you for your blasphemy. There isn't much rhyme or reason to which of the deities listed above everyone is fighting for. Families are split apart. Morjog devotees have bouquets of the teleportation lilies. All the weirdest people are fighting for Moon Slave. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: Consider yourself under the Quest effect of one of the gods listed above. Each session you ignore this quest you suffer -1 permanently to Max HP.
  9. Gorge. Every culture has a feasting, in celebration or sadness, and there is a feasting at the walls of the city. The villages and private farms surrounding the kingdom have emptied. Their peoples pound against all of Morlojog's gates in an atavistic frenzy. They attack and consume one another. They all smell like delicious food, and animals and monsters flock to feed on them. More show every hour. If the gates fail then the city will be quickly overrun with punching and biting cannibals and mad dogs and carrion seekers. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You smell distractingly delicious and small animals will seek you out, following you or attacking you.
  10. Remembrance. You're gathered here to mark an occurance. It was a long time ago. It was probably more important than anything you'll ever do, and everyone who did it is dead. Soon you'll be dead too. Probably. Everyone is very solemn about it and adorned in signifiers - bands, flowers, strange hats, paints, stains - if you ask them why they'll say "tradition" and ignore your further inquiries. Many people are openly sobbing in the streets, and others are raving from the rooftops about sings long past and glory which can never be reclaimed. This district is centered on Candecima's palace. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: A regret which haunts you physically manifests. You vomit out a small animal with 1HD, gaining 1HD when you level. This animal will stick close to you and remind you of what it represents, even if you're sneaking. It can be killed but immediately Summons a creature HD equal to the creature's current HD.
  11. Passage. An item must be conferred by you, or to you. Mutilation is required, yours or another's. You are invited to dine on living manflesh. A quest is issued. Obesience is demanded. You are to be scarred in consecration to the gods, and gain 1d6 to an ability. You must kill. You must be killed. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You're now 12 again and won't be considered a man/woman until you either break the spell by leaving the city OR do some of the above bullshit all the pre-teens are doing to each other in the associated district. When you're 12 you get +1 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, -2 to all saves.
  12. Wake. There is a pile of dead people by/in/draped over the fountain, surrounded by mostly tipped over but still burning candles. Everybody else here is fucking ripped on something and will fight you for not showing the proper respect to...whoever. Anybody who they kill gets added to the pile, there's 3 minutes of crying, and then back to the bacchanal. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You are piss-ass drunk. -2 tohit until you're out of sight of the town.
  13. Rebirth. There must always be a renewal and change. A passing of moons, seasons, and years. A shedding of an old skin. The mood is somewhere between Times Square on Dec 31 and the video of that Puppet Master guy from the Heaven's Gate cult. Orcs kissing dwarves, that kind of shit. SAVE VS PARTIES OR: You retain all your abilities and skills but lose all specific memories like Jason Bourne. You can never roll to recall something specific from before this save was failed. If you have spells you forget them, and even that you are a caster, but if you still have a spellbook or a mentor in the faith you can always relearn them tomorrow.
When the ceremony begins: Gargoyles will attack. Felias will freak the fuck out and throw his spells at it, Dispelling the effect that holds his side of the church enthralled. You're free to flee but while within the church the gargoyles will not be interested in you. You're momentarily free from Morjog's direct influence, only connected from past events and cultural touchstones. If you can steer clear of Tarrywhile you can do a little looting of the church and the gifts table.
When you step outside the church: Roll your save as mentioned above, and if you fail it then the gargoyles are suddenly interested in you and in killing you. They try to gobble you up but you just fall out of their mouths like Cookie Monster.
If the Wedding completes: Felias will become temporary conduit to the Morjog-thing. He will open the not-actually-doors in the Mouth of Morlojogoth and descend stairs that shouldn't be there into the Underchapel. If he makes it all the way to the dais there he and Gamorjog will consummate their union. His body will be popped like a balloon, hers will be destroyed, Morjog will manifest more materially, the city dies instantly, its tendrils wrapping around the world become too heavy, the ground breaks up, and like animals and shit not already killed by their connection to Morjog all die as they burn in space.
If Felias is killed: A new groom with some casting ability will be chosen and everything will begin again, but there are rules to these things so it will take a few days for all social rituals to be observed and the wedding can recommence with a new cast. The rest of the situation deteriorates throughout the city.
If Morjog is targeted directly: Some holy crap "I wish there was no Tiamat" magic can get rid of Morjog but nothing short of that. That said disrupting and destroying the sacraments and observances of the other festivals throughout the city should be enough to unbalance things to the point where this ancient plan has to be scrapped. Interpret that as narrowly as you like, and assume each stage of Morjog's life cycle has 1000 'hit points.' Obliterating any segment of the worm reduces the other segments (except the Wedding) by 100hp. Obliterating the Wedding before the other segments obliterates all but one aspect of the worm's life cycle, which pops back up to 1000hp and spreads across the entire town thicker and stronger than before.

While all of this is happening, by the way....
  • Stray dogs and loose pets roam the streets, glorying in the chaos.
  • The rats swarm and surge, unable to get out of the city, a near-mad mass.
  • Opportunistic robbers who made their saves are ransacking the place.
  • All the food stalls, taverns, and inns are open, but all stores and private residences are shut up, guarded, as is local custom, by 1d4 baboons.
  • And, as mentioned, the holy and pious chase one another across the city with murder in their hearts.
SMALL ENCOUNTER TABLES

  1. Morjog cultusts. 3rd level Fuck Druids. Charm Person, Command, and Drunk Reversal prepared.
  2. Gargoyles. Roll 1d5 to determine HD of each, they get their HD-1 attack each round. This reflects the quality of their construction.
  3. Drunken revelers who pick a fight when jostled.
  4. The overwhelmed authorities, making frazzled demands of the PCs and others, imposing violent will on any they can.
  5. Felias, hiding in terror.
  6. Effigy Priests, servants of Candecima and Gargoyle, carry knives tainted by Megadusa venom, will stab themselves to become new Gargoyle vessels.
  7. Piecemeal Hydras, balls of dismembered snakes controlled by the Megadusa, they can separate from their balls and chase people, trailing petrifying blood.
  8. Children. They will scatter and be picked off without your help. 
Features Unique to the Caverns and Underchapel:
  1. Moleman slaves.
  2. Stalacrabs,  who tunnel in and drag away the moleman slaves.
  3. Mosaic gargoyles, from the great glittering tableau the molemen busy themselves in destroying, one of the earliest salvos against Morjog by the ancient peoples.
  4. Morjog cultists, Summon prepared x3.
  5. Full strength gargoyles.
  6. Stained glass gargoyles, found only within the Underchapel herself, a last ditch Hail Mary against Morjog.
  7. The Untouched King, Greenlion Ducagne, lying in state perfectly preserved. Can only be woken by a kiss from a snake. Level 5 Fighter with all-magic armor and weapons.
  8. Altar of Morjog, six big pieces of loot here, taking anything from altar turns it into a giant bloodworm, killing it restores it to the item it was.

NOTES: 

I used a picture of King's Landing from Google for the city map and random interiors.
Thanks to +Zak Smith+Scrap Princess+Chris P.+A. Miles Davis+Josh Stone+Claude Weaver, and my wife for helping me to get my notes in order.
If you get the Megadusa and Gamorjog into some giant naked sorceress wrestling constest, Godzilling through the town while everyone runs screaming, congratulations on the best thing anyone will do at a game in 2015.

BASIC REDsurrection - Rambling Collection of the Sky Thieves

I did not write this dungeon. It is one of only two dungeonissssh dungeons I could find after Daniel Dean deleted his excellent blog - Basic Red. If anyone has access to any other Basic Red dungeons, get in touch. I would love to add to my collection.

Dan, if you would like me to take these down then please let me know. For the rest of you, some of Basic Red can still be found on the Wayback Machine. It is well worth a read.

DUNGEON MIX- Rambling Collection of the Sky-Thieves


It appeared in the night, a strange ziggurat jutting up from the forest, beckoning like a gold-dripping finger. Many fear this sudden intrusion and assume the devil is involved but you know an opportunity when you see it. Anybody willing to spend a fortune on golden buttresses is packing some serious quality items inside.

or

The Foul One's work is afoot. You are awakened in the night by your local bishop, your order, perhaps even the booming voice of one of your strange gods itself. There is a task before you: repel the master of the moon-shewn cathedral and, if possible, raze her to the ground. It would also be meet to return to the local church any items of occult power or great value, purely for safety of course.

or

You have been after a particular item, for personal reasons or because you were contracted, for a long time, and have reason to believe it lies within Watchtower Rambling. You have traced its movements, the predictable devastation and horrible miracles it leaves in its wake, the unexplained vanishings of bandits and lessers across the countryside...You had all but given up, and now here it is.

or

You awake, fully vested with whatever power is available to you (MUs have spells and shit), whole and healthy, standing still alongside the rest of your party. You are all fully armored and armed, set behind a rope. On the rope hangs a tin-seeming, gold-looking metal sign embossed with some alien message. This all comes as an enormous surprise to you, and you may find some of the fellows you stand with to be strangers. None of you know how you got here. None of you know the way out.


                                                                          --------
 
An entrance may present itself when you arrive at Watchtower Rambling but on entering the structure it deposits you at a random point on the map, and no exits will present because there are none. Except in areas where it would make sense for the dimensions to be larger or more constricted due to an exhibit, assume 15' ceilings and 40' wide corridors. The walls are all lined with objects and specimens which take up roughly half this floor space. Someone who can Comprehend Languages will be invaluable to follow the signs and read the information provided for many BUT NOT ALL exhibits. Without this aid, conventional mapping is actively resisted by the structure; mapping must be made not by noting meters traveled and turns but relative position of exhibits, e.g. "Two rooms from the insect man, enter to the right of the horned shield, pass beneath the flying pond." If you find your way to the map room, of course, and assuming you find the map of the structure, then you're golden. It would suck if that's what you wasted your good fortune on, though.

Not everything in Rambling may be a fantastic, alien, or magical, and indeed most things will be old and mundane. There is nothing truly normal or boring here, though. Picture every room as if a 1980s movie's idea of a professional inventor became a hoarder.

Many exhibits are alive and will animate. This includes exhibits which seem as if they should not be able to animate, such as hanging plesiosaur skeletons, vivisected models of cyclopskind, and wax sculptures, which are a type of Gargoyle. Almost all will be hostile. There are many kinds of creature on display here, including the following... 
  1. Walking marsupial dolphin
  2. Frogs with human faces
  3. Vacuum beetles who eat flesh and can propel themselves through suction, and form airtight seals.
  4. Blind albino cave psychics. They fight like kung fu masters, but their thoughts are drowned out by others, so they are almost reasonless.
  5. People filled with holes and spikes like iron maidens. Not like they've been in one, but as if they were living iron maidens, and they open their fleshy peel to envelop you, like a vampire squid
  6. A slime-like blob with lycanthropy, who transforms into a paste of wolf parts in the moonlight. If you escape its burning hunger, you are now a were-oozewolf. This effect keeps rolling over the more generations is undergoes.
  7. An adventurer suspended in sand who is many crabs. The crabs will hold hands and link legs to approximate a man, and he attacks with gentle hugs for 1d12.
  8. An ox turned to stone
  9. The mummies of a hundred nations. Most aren't undead. Most undead aren't able to animate unless you fuck with them. Most animate are not evil. All are fucking terrifying and dangerous to you even if they don't intend to be.
  10. Wax figures of spiders, cut in half
  11. Animated furniture possessed by demons, chained in place in a model room, treat all as wooden golems
  12. The original fly.
  13. Pit God. His jaw elongates the length of his body to snap from afar. Apelike with bloody mantis-like hands and small ratty legs and tail.
  14. Antimaggots who spin skin
  15. A green guy
  16. A purple guy
  17. A woman you cannot look at directly for her color swirls and whirls and is sickening and seizure inducing. No save
  18. The empty space left behind by dead cloud jellies
  19. Fuck apes. They will fuck you if they kill you. If they can't kill you, they will find things which can and lead those things to you. They will also try to destroy all your shit and make your life hell.
  20. A scorpion-like creature with a mirror on its tail, whose image reverses your personality
  21. A clockwork octopus which all good people call a clocktopus but which is actually a type of minor cherub
  22. Jars of eyes which blink messages using complex sequences. They tell much of recorded history but flit from subject to subject wildly and random.
  23. A skeletonless baboon. Twice as strong, will slither up the rafters and hang waiting if freed.
  24. A hairless opossum with seven foot limbs. Fights like a weasel but with a 15' reach.
  25. A freakish mutant wolfbat thing frozen in time. Too heavy to fly, if freed from time it will crawl along ground snapping at ankles and slashing with claws.
  26. Pieces of an immortal giant, separated by rooms and floors and bolted fast in place, which will crawl to one another if they can. Treat organs like mace if they batter past you, if giant reassembles your path is obvious
  27. Animate castings in brass of the ancient Pelephoroneanes Spear Kings. AC as plate+shield, +3 to normal spear damage, immune to normal weapons
  28. The paintings which crawl, and also btw eat, 1d6 each round until shaken, dead/consumed victims join the image of the painting
  29. A hairy caterpillar creature the size of a nurse shark, whose 'hairs' are all also legs, every surface is legs, just legs. 60HP, guileless, if forced to defend itself it will run over you like a car for 4d10.
  30. The final pig
  31. An ice golem
  32. A frozen cadre of cavemen, who all have John Carter style double strength and leaping powers
  33. Lightbending gravity eggs which can never hatch because of the weight of themselves, the forever babies within are PISSED about this.
  34. A tongue golem
  35. Living examples of all of the Kevarikan zodiac. Each carries a spell effect with its presence, which changes entirely in different combinations with its fellows. Assembling all of them lets you create a new star in the sky but no one knows this so no one has tried.
  36. Undying zombies (not undeads, but the cool kind of zombie) waiting to be freed, eager to resume their duties: constructing Watchtower Rambling
  37. Troll princess held in place by the steel grating she healed around
  38. Ultima Thoul. Double damage and triple HP of normal thoul, no save on paralysis
  39. Scale model and fully functioning city in miniature of ancient Lirrkusk, filled with tiny alive guys. 1hp 1 damage each.
  40. A hundred vampire kings dead and staked to the ceiling.
  41. A talking cat. A huge bitch.
  42. Disembodied head of a steel gorilla, floats seven feet above ground, occasionally alive, never useful
  43. Sphinx without jaw, rendered powerless. If you let it to a surface it can scratch glyphs into then it will pose you a riddle, regaining its power.
  44. Haunted forest trapped in a dragon's eye
  45. Rat kings
  46. Alligator king
  47. Elder tapir. Eidetic memory. Voiceless.
  48. Hollowed out wasp god
  49. Pangaean crawler. The ultimate blob.
  50. Pedestrian mimics, as themselves
  51. Secret mimics, posing as (roll again), sometimes several together to achieve the illusion
  52. Hidden mimics, not on exhibit but a component of an exhibit, like a pedestal
  53. Ancient children with no belly buttons or gender. Alignment-changing gaze.
  54. Isopods
  55. Monsters who resemble what incorrect Victorians thought dinosaurs looked like
  56. Accurate dinosaurs
  57. Jurassic Park dinosaurs
  58. Normal men sawed through at the waist, whose innards slop and writhe against the bars of their enclosure, otherwise dead
  59. All tortoises
  60. Teacup pigs with teakettle boars
  61. Pantaloon bird
  62. Manticore fly, a cat who inflates and hackles up false appendages to appear as a manticore
  63. Lichen which talks, growing on bloody canvases
  64. The ashes of an extinct simian kingdom
  65. Firefish, walking catfish who burst into flame when dry, unharmed. Burn as a torch.
  66. Arm baby
  67. Plants made of light
  68. Ossified gelatinous cube
  69. Petrified dryad
  70. Fossilized cat dragon skeleton covered in aware slime mold
  71. Invisible screamer, in infrared soundproof glass.
  72. The greatest party ever held, under vacuum glass, perfectly preserved forever, waiting to pick up mid-toast should air be restored
  73. Kaiju butterfly collection
  74. Vegetable amphibians
  75. Fire-eyed raccoon. Steals all food from you magically when you look at it.
  76. Questing beast
  77. Reassembled ur-virgin
  78. The shadows of destroyed heroes, which look like art but animate and approach you in magical light or magical firelight
  79. Archdeacon in formaldehyde
  80. Dolls made from mutant human children, moving with coal-fired hearts
  81. Anemone-like semihominids.
  82. I guess a Thark
  83. Githyanki cat. Stoic.
  84. Nowhere spider. Catches and eats imaginary things, useful in spell research.
  85. Rabbit sex god. Treat as Level 14 Magic-User.
  86. Orangutan mermaid
  87. Elf but red
  88. Dwarfly proportions but truck sized
  89. Canopic oracles, opening a jar utters a prophecy, 'salright? 'salright.
  90. Wandering faces, who crawl like spiders and flap like bats and cover your face in the night, smothering you and taking control of your body with long nerve tendrils, on model figures of hosts and indistinguishable from the same
  91. Manmade hyena
  92. Spidergoats
  93. A race of archers frozen in time, who awaken if you interact with them
  94. A race of scholars frozen in time, who awaken if you say something wrong nearby
  95. A race of ravenous furry muppety creepydoodles frozen in time, who animate in darkness, their eyes glowing like light bulbs
  96. An adventuring party made entirely of races and classes not represented in the current adventuring party
  97. An adventuring party made up entirely of unseen races and unheard of classes
  98. A mist, purple as madness, which roams this wing but nowhere else. Shows you how everything around you died.
  99. Plants which follow you if you notice them
  100. The living thing whose footprint is the form of dragons in the world of men, Birishaptore, peeking out from a room far too big for the space allowed it, through an opening he cannot escape from
There's a lot of cool, weird crap here, objects you may not even know the use of, things made by hands inhuman. Examples of the materials found here include...
  1. Seven runestones, each which represent a word. Arranging these in any order creates a completely new expression. Some of these are magical (roll 2d100, on two 100 results the phrase is magical)
  2. Nails which disappear when driven into a surface, but they make a thing whole. These may be used to heal a tree or to turn a castle with a wooden door into one solid wooden piece.
  3. Boomerang shoes, which retrace your footsteps to where you woke up today.
  4.  Longship made of fingernails, can be Resurrected into 10,000 men
  5. Chasity belt which de-ages you to the point you lost your virginity
  6. Barrel of apples from another dimension
  7. Pouch of gnome dust
  8. Fingers of many nations
  9. Shrunken heads of star giants, piled loosely in middle of the room
  10. Fountain of mortality
  11. Shirt made from werehog skin, in moonlight turns to human skin
  12. Altar to a sea god which absorbs endless amount of seawater.
  13. Amontillado
  14. Tom Swift's electric rifle
  15. Clay like the Puppet Master had in Fantastic Four
  16. The Crusher of Hoon, a great man killer used by the executionists there
  17. A clock which stops time when music is playing
  18. Tapestry of classic alien abduction scenario
  19. A pen filled with angel blood, which only writes the author's sins, though they are always oblivious of this
  20. Lexicon of fourteen dead languages with a translation guide between them, also inscrutable
  21. Hive mound of the fire fairies
  22. Sarcophagus adamantine
  23. Flesh magnet, which draws you inexorably, -1 to your saves for every HD you possess.
  24. Goblin crown jewels
  25. Ice-9
  26. Senmurgh skin rug
  27. Horrible masks which give you Charisma 0 and +10/-10 AC
  28. Reverse Last Crusade Room: one of these pitchforks belonged to the lord of Hell. The right one will burn away in your hand but will transform you into a vicious demon.
  29. An powerful orb which shows scenes of sweaty men chopping wood and only that
  30. Giant dental tools, rusted
  31. The grave marker of a great king
  32. Da Vinci submarine
  33. Sculpture of a fox which is only there sometimes
  34. The only really bottomless pit
  35. An organ which summons bats
  36. A pipe organ which summons vampire bats
  37. Bottled thunder
  38. A medicine which soothes all burns and heals all burn scars
  39. Children's toys of a strange and outworld kind
  40. Trumpet which blows quiet, silencing the din around you
  41. Cloak of visibility, which makes you look as a being of shimmering daylight
  42. Metal ring which shapes other metal that hand touches
  43. A red paste which is iron strong but voice controlled
  44. A stove which cooks everything but witches
  45. Tripod walker craft
  46. Clone tubes
  47. Body vats
  48. Kirby Fork, striking it swirls the fork with kirby dots which remain while it vibrates, anything the dots touch dissolve like sand through your fingers
  49. Goggles which let you see Hell
  50. Teleporter circle on the ceiling
  51. Downball
  52. Wax figure of the Fear Father
  53. Stuffed world turtle
  54. Gnoll pornography folio, save or vomit, gnolls -2 to save because they get off on that
  55. Treasure map to a solid diamond garden which lets you walk out of worlds
  56. Small star, turned into lead
  57. Recipe which makes you hunger for flesh of your own kind
  58. Cuckoo shield, where the bird emerges to chime the hour
  59. Powdered mountain, just add water
  60. Candles made from immortal tallow
  61. Pure war (concentrate) 
  62. Invincible string, which can never be cut burned or knotted
  63. Ever-Miss Arrow
  64. Always-Tie Tiles
  65. Magnetic chalk
  66. Eggshell bracers
  67. Fear flavor. Anybody tasting something coated in fear flavor becomes abjectly phobic of that thing, be it mashed potatoes, agua, or Jeff.
  68. Anything compass, which points to what you ask it to
  69. Beer goggles, let you see like the Predator but for alcohol content/how drunk someone is
  70. Everlocked cabinet, large enough to hold a man, impossible to open with normal means, there is music inside
  71. A bowl which fills itself with blood, endlessly, bottomlessly, spilling over the sides, slowly, forever
  72. Ancient underground war walker, coal powered
  73. A mounted collection of elf horns
  74. A white pool of cloud blood
  75. A magical gate to the Rocketway of the Sky-Thieves
  76. Bonsai hells
  77. Apollo spacesuit, +2 to AC
  78. Complete dinner set of the Noxivores, devilishly proper sound eaters from beyond two suns
  79. Toys of all cultures (NSFW)
  80. Castlevania laser whip
  81. Book of Alien Erotica
  82. Book of Alien Mathematics
  83. Book of Alien Biology
  84. Book of Alien Languages
  85. Book of Alien Cooking
  86. Personal letters from a man who never lived
  87. Documents from war trials over crimes which occur as you read them
  88. The walls that once held in all of the time, riddled with graffiti
  89. A collection of Magic Mouths that share last words of the universe's bastards, but they rarely cite their sources
  90. A sculpture garden which grows like a regular garden. You can pick a bouquet of Venuses.
  91. An oral history of the Sky-Thieves, trapped within a conch shell
  92. The complete history of Watchtower Rambling, updated magically
  93. A complete catalog of all within Watchtower Rambling
  94. The Library Which Walks
  95. The Skeleton Key of Watchtower Rambling
  96. Ghost exits, ripped from the exterior of the building and put on display
  97. A scale model of Watchtower Rambling
  98. The Great Glass, which sees across time, space, and thought
  99. One of the 100 Plague Cards of the Godly Game, capable of bringing about horrible catastrophe if united and drawn from
  100. Tome of the New World, a book which allows you to create a new plane by writing into it. Its pages are nearly full and may be stepped into, representing countless dream worlds ruled by fearsomely and destructively satisfied masters
In addition to all these, Watchtower Rambling is home to six great treasures, artifacts of storied power and dire consequence.

The Vestment
 

A brittle-seeming thing, like pages of an old book or translucent deathflesh of old insect molt. The whole thing seems ready to crumble, as it has for decades, remaining permanent as stone. To the eye of a craftsman it is inexpert work. To the eye of a tailor it is bulky, formless, like a small ceremonial tent. To the eye of the naturalist it seems that what it was cut from belonged to some insect thing nature has no truck with, with altogether more limbs and orifices than Godly beasts. To the eye of a drunk it looks like the wearer is being shagged by an enormous flea and hummingbird simultaneously. 

She calls, constantly, not just to one but to any who are wise men, whose pride lets them consider themselves so, or whose shame drives them to aspire to wisdom.

The Vestment is a fixed, permanent thing in Creation, and flytrap of minds. It copies the minds of those who wear her and keep them within her folds. These copies whisper to each other and become wiser, more powerful, devising their own magics. The copies create new minds to test their theories. They speak to minds from centuries ago, from eons ago, across planets, across stars. The new minds also make new minds, and copies of the copies, and echoes of the oldest and strangest and most dangerous voices, whose thoughts have no tongue, whose urges are all stronger than any magic made to express them.

Within the Vestment are also the minds of her kind. There were others like her once, her children, long since consumed. To touch her own mind, the oldest mind, which constantly calls to everyone around her, is to wake that mind, which, fat with power, will begin a new seeding. Then the wearer will undergo a physical change using secrets known only to her, and begin issuing eggs from its mouth to gestate in the apostles and rivals surrounding the wearer.

The lure of the Vestment builds over time. Every day someone spends in its presence makes them more certain they must possess it. They will try to wear it at the same time as the wearer, if they must. Saints will kill to possess it after a number of days equal to the character's Wisdom. Even knowledge of the Vestment and the rumors about it are strong enough to compel one to seek it, which is why its records were once burned.

What would you die to know? You have but to ponder it and, wearing the Vestment, and you will know it. However this knowledge comes with voices and urges you must overcome in order to even act of your own will, with a penalty to the save equal to how many times you've relied on the Vestment, and the difference by which you fail equaling the number of rounds/actions it may take using your body before your mind reasserts itself. Wearers quickly lose themselves in the Vestment, slaves to alien and extraterrestrial desires. The more you use it, the older the voices, the more of your mind you lose, and the greater the danger of waking her: the hungry, sleeping locust mind within, who tumbled through galaxies.

 The Closet

It looks like an antiquated magician's cabinet, the kind a charlatan uses to falsify the power of the beyond. It has a painted moon on it. It is a lie twice. Stepping into the cabinet, shutting the door, and setting his assistant to task, the trickster waits within for swords to skewer him alive! It's a trick, of course. The showman is perfectly safe, and the swords never come near him. The crowd applauds.

It's a trick, of course. The swords pierce his brainpan, spill his insides, sever his spinal cord. The trickster is a dangling puppet of meat and impulses. When the swords are withdrawn, he crumples like a toy with its strings cut. When the door is opened, he stands up and walks out unharmed. The magician is fine.

It's a trick, of course. The magician can no longer tie his shoes. He no longer sees the color red. He no longer clots. He no longer sings. He cannot sleep. The cabinet protected him from mortal danger, but it did not protect a part of him from being killed. All injuries sustained in the cabinet bear out in some fashion. Every time you hurt the cabinet takes a part of you, kills it, and uses that to heal you.

Nothing persists indefinitely, and everything comes from somewhere. The cabinet does what it was built to do, exactly, and only.

It is worse when magic is concerned, because magic knowledge which changes the world. Not only will this alter the magician's mind, it will alter their relationship to the world. The huckster has forgotten his children. His native tongue. The concept of mercy. The taboos against cannibalism. He cannot touch glass, physically, as he repels it like a magnet. Each strand of his hair is alive and behaves independently. He hears prayers from another world. His soul has forgotten its home, and a dark thing just took it.

If these effects are known, they cannot be controlled. At first, the act of using the cabinet feels empowering, like a drug. You lose all fear. You shed all pain. But all we have is necessary, and the lack of them is soon keenly realized. By then of course the ache sets in. The lure. It is like a drug to shed a part of yourself and be made whole, strong, vital.

It's a trick, of course. Death is preferable.

The Machine

It doesn't have any obvious source of power. Its levers don't seem to have an effect on its work. It shows no rivet or toolmark. It is filled with fire, but it is never fed any fuel. There is a great ringing piston which rises slowly and clangs down with a horrible peal. When you find it, it is switched off, and the floor around it singed from its heat.

Activating it will always draw blood. Lose 1 Constitution.

Its cycle takes a long time, the better part of a day. When the piston slams home, it presses a shape into the world. It is a printer of nightmares, and its work is slow but it is constant. It will first make a memory of a thing, an image or a sensation. It will next make a fear in you, a terror of this thing. With the next ring of the piston you will dream of it when you next sleep.

From there it is inevitable. You will experience fantoms, minor illusions here and there. No one else will see them and they will think you are mad. Clang. You feel its presence everywhere. You may see it in your reflection, if it is a thing which can be seen and not only a sound, an absence, a dread. Clang. You are sure it is here now, bodily, following you, even if it does not have a body. This is a constant concern, and if you go a round without this affecting your actions the DM will remind you it is out there, right behind you, waiting to strike.

Clang. It is strong enough to come for you now. You can drive it away, or even kill it, but your death knell now tolls. Clang. The world is changed. You are gone, claimed by the thing while still in your childhood. Time rewrites itself without you. Your great achievements now belong to another. Your magic spells are only fortuitous miracles. Your children call another person mommy, because she was. The thing is still out there. Now, it always has been.

The Machine progresses through this chain for every living creature who has seen or heard the Machine. It advances this track of horror randomly, so that everyone is at different stages of this experience. It can be switched off, but its heat grows the longer it runs. Turning off the machine means you suffer 1d8 damage from the heat, compounding additional d8 for each time the piston hammers home. This heat will wilt plant life but will not ignite flammable objects. It is not a true heat. It is the heat which unmakes life for fuel and solidifies fear as its product. 

When every living creature who has seen or heard the Machine is dead or replaced, the Machine turns itself off. It waits.

The Skin

This is an enormous ancestor of a tiger, stretched out and turned into a luxurious rug, hung up on the wall. Those who lay the skin out on the ground and step onto it experience a sensation like falling down a deep tiger-shaped shaft forever, though they stay exactly where they are. They cannot trust their perception of the world around them, for all their senses are getting their input from somewhere else.

Atop the tiger it seems as if one has been taken to a night with new stars, red sky and redder rock, which they are plummeting toward. It takes roughly three minutes for them to fall. If only the fall were the only problem. Strange trees, swaying, reach up toward you. They're getting a lot closer a lot faster and you know they mean you harm, that their boughs are laden with death. If you get close enough to see that those are not trees, they are faces, then it is too late to step off of the rug.

Otherwise, you have complete power over yourself and everything else which is on the rug with you. This does not apply to the world of your senses, falling and faces. But for the body you left behind, which you pilot blind, you have an omnipotence. The problem is, none of the effects and abilities you will into being leave the outline of the tiger skin rug. You may flicker afire, transform into a living tiger, gain eyes that shoot daggers, but none of those daggers fly farther than the edge of the rug. Any spell or beam or weapon you would cross that threshold with vanish, and are visited upon your falling body in face space. You may defend yourself accordingly.

If your body in any part crosses over the line set out by the shape of the tiger skin, you are wrenched violently from your place. You forget all your experiences, anything you said and did or saw, and you lose all your abilities. I do mean all: if you had spells left today, you don't now. You certainly forget the strange vision of face space.

If you stay on the rug for three minutes, where your perception of time is decidedly skewed, you fall far enough that the faces can reach you. Your body here explodes violently from within, with far more blood than you should have. The skin will remain immaculate.

You can will yourself off of the rug magically while in its effect, but you cannot control where you end up, and there is a 50% chance you will appear wherever that is as a tiger.

The Gun

This weapon is a small bit of metal which fits in your hand. It is shaped like a toilet paper roll. There is a dial at its base which can be turned right or left. Turning the dial right means that the cylinder shines a wide beam and a target unattended object in the beam vanishes. This is keyed to the wielder's will, so the cylinder may be slightly telepathic. This may be used on living/undead/animate/whatever creatures, but they get a save.

Turning the dial to the left shines out a different-colored beam. In the light of the beam, one thing which the cylinder causes to vanish reappears, exactly as far away as it was when it vanished, wherever the beam is pointing. At this point living/whatever creatures must make a save vs Death to survive reappearing.

This item has 1d100 uses remaining, and no one can know how long they have when they find the cylinder. Attempting to use either beam after the charge has run down traps the user in the cylinder (they may save at -1) and then renders the cylinder inert. Its power source is from another time and universe.

The Carriage

This is the Smokey and the Bandit car. 77 Trans-Am. It gives you shield bonus to your defense while riding in it, its own AC is like Plate, and it has as many hit points as a Gold Dragon. It never needs fuel. Otherwise, it behaves exactly like a car, and if a car can't do something or drive somewhere safely then neither can the Pontiac.
 







The Sky-Thieves

Magpie-minded men from another world, the Sky-Thieves have journeyed across a dozen worlds and realities gathering gems and weird, pretty shit. They have kept a lot of trophies from those who opposed them. They are relatives to terrapins, perhaps. They extend their head and limbs from large carapaces churning with bio-fire. The Sky-Thieves have adapted organic jet packs for short distances. They do not speak, even to one another, but they are incredibly clever. They can read, everything. They work together. They are fierce warriors, if slow on the ground.

They will let you live if you give them a treasure, but they will not let you leave. Eventually you will run into them again, and again. Eventually you will run out of treasures. Eventually you will go on exhibit, or, worse, into storage where no one will ever find you again.

The Sky-Thieves may pass through the great clock face on Watchtower Rambling like a rippling pond, but they may not take anyone or anything else OUT with them. They are slaves to enchantments from their old home. Dispelling this effect simply traps them as well.

Escaping Watchtower Rambling

There are no exits at all, and the building actively resists just blowing out the walls, putting another room impossibly in your way. There are undoubtedly ways to use the things found within Rambling to escape from it, but there is only one sure-fire way to ensure an exit: Setting a lure.

Turn the big crank at the top of the tower, in the clock room, to change the time and strike the hour. This slips the tower to a different time and place in the universe. Then, with all your haste, make for the entrance. The tower plays fair here, freezing in anticipation of new arrivals. Entrances present themselves, but cannot be opened from within. Only beings coming into the tower can allow anyone to exit through normal means. You've got to get to the door before they enter and the exit is done. You've got to stop them from closing it, and from entering the tower which automatically shuts the door. This may mean killing them.

Docents

HD: as Fighter
Saves: as Halfling
Attacks: as Thief
Advances: as Elf.
  • If you die in Watchtower Rambling, you have two options: wait for your party to stumble upon and awaken a creature suitable for PC use, or have your character reappear after 1 day as a Docent. If they die again, another Docent replaces them.
  • Docents collect spell slots like a MU or Elf but they do not cast spells. They use spell slots to heal either a number of d10 equal to the spell slot used, or to exercise Expertise.
  • Docents have omniscient sense of Watchtower Rambling at all times, but they may only answer questions if they are specifically asked. When asked, they will burn a spell slot and speak mechanically (the DM speaking through them) in detail, with no tricks or double speak, about what was asked. They will do this and then open the floor to questions. The level of spell slot burned is equal to the number of minutes the players may engage the Docent's knowledge directly. If the knowledge requires knowledge from outside Rambling, the Docent may not know it. If questioned on anything wholly belonging to the outside world, the Docent has no knowledge of it and the spell slot is not used.
  • A number of times per day equal to the Docent's level, it may decide it is unaffected by one of the exhibits. Basilisks won't petrify, sabretooth tigers won't attack, black holes will not destroy.
  • If a Docent crosses the boundaries of Watchtower Rambling, they are killed. They may only be raised as a Docent, and if outside of Rambling they will immediately die again.
  • A Docent begins play with no weapon or armor proficiencies.
  • A Docent speaks all languages.
  • At level 5, a Docent gains proficiency in all weapons and armor in Watchtower Rambling.
  • There is only ever one level 8 Docent, known as the Curator. Docents may not attack or disobey they Curator, but if he is killed, then your Docent may reach level 8 and become Curator. Curators can order all Docents as if they were under the effect of an unbreakable charm spell, and may animate any dead being as a Docent. Docents retain the wounds they had in death but are otherwise fine, and may magically speak intelligibly.
  • Docents may reach level 8.