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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Improving The World's Largest Dungeon: Region B, the terrible part

This is the room-by-room evaluation of the first section of Region B (1-48). While I tried to maintain some objectivity and professionalism when handling Region A this one got the better of me. The whole place is just entirely awful in this "wants-to-be-Gygaxian-but-isn't-creative" way. It's full of entirely random trapped rooms, "tests" of character that don't make sense and it just generally ignores the entire backstory of the WLD in favor of utter randomness. I'll do my best to rip it apart and build something better.

B1:
As I suggested earlier I'd suggest making the pit spikes and swinging axe-blade silver or cold iron.

B3
This is a good place to put some magic items. Scrolls are a good option but it's not a bad place to drop a minor wand or even a ring or wondrous item.

B5

The first description actually refers to the area outside of the room marked B5. Also there's no excuse to use the word "circumambulate" in casual description.

Now...B5 is a good example of a very dumb trap given the history of the dungeon. Supposedly the trap is designed to test the intelligence of prisoners. First and foremost there's no "test of intellect" involved in the traps. The first is a simple trapped doorway and the third is a golden idol resting upon a pedestal that is (shockingly) trapped with a pressure plate if the idol is picked up. The second trap is the only one moderately complex. But there's no real "clue" or "puzzle" involved. Simply check for traps and bam...you find the trap.

What's more there's no reason for the existence of this room at all. The description claims that this chamber is designed to test the intellect of prisoners. First and foremost...why? But even assuming there's a reason the trap will only work if the "prisoner" is simply wandering the dungeon freely. Shouldn't the prisoners be, you know, imprisoned? Second the final trap (poison darts) would be useless against the creatures the prison was designed to contain (demons, devils and undead). Finally, why would these creatures try and grab the idol anyway? What reason would an escaped demon have for trying to grab a bit of art, even valuable art? Who are they going to sell it to?

It doesn't help that the traps here are pretty deadly to PCs and they get nothing at all for it. My suggestion is to simply delete this room. Perhaps the large "block" in the center of this circular hallway contains several minor demons who have been petrified and fused with the walls. If you want to keep the room I'd suggest making the room a celestial armory with a few useful minor magical items on a wide pedestal. Replace the third trap with a Holy Smite effect spell-trap. Also, more importantly the PCs get to keep the loot.

B6
So this room is supposedly a giant mirror chamber with 4 doors but the room marked B6 on the map actually has a large open hallway leading to 3 additional doors. It is also a huge room when you consider the only way out is to find a small crack in the floor in one corner. Really the whole thing is extremely dull...The PCs become trapped in the room...until they find the way out. That's really the only way for this to end. There's no actual danger beyond the PCs getting frustrated or bored.

I say there's no trap at all. This is simply a large chamber with many mirrors set in the walls. The celestials often led their prisoners through this chamber so they could see how horrible and twisted they are when compared to the glory of the celestials. The mirrors are magical and dispel any magical disguise or shapechanging effects. Argliss knows of this room and avoids it if he can.

B7
 There's not even an attempt to explain the purpose of this room. It's just a big room with some wobbly stones which floods if you step off the stones. Why does this room exist? See B8 for suggestions.

B8
This is another room without a purpose. Presumably it's some sort of punishment for greed...but again it seems to assume that the victims (presumably the prisoners in the dungeon) are simply wandering around and upon spotting anything valuable they will attempt to snatch it up. It also forgets the dungeon's intended prisoners are immune to poison. I say simply delete B7 and B8 from the dungeon entirely. They serve no redeeming purpose. If you'd like to keep them in then here's my suggestion. B7 is a simple, standard room but the far door leading to B8 is covered in goblin scrawls. Those who speak goblin can tell they are warning signs of danger. If they choose to go ahead to B8 they find the room dug up with several rotted goblin remains scattered about. It seems like the goblins were trying to mine their way through the walls and perhaps out of the dungeon. However they hit a gas pocket which has filled the room and has effects identical to Burnt Othar Fumes. Ignore the secret door mentioned here.

B9
For some reason the critters in here are Fearless? Ignore this. It also has both Deep Darkness and Concealment. There's no explanation for this but it's at least addressed in the room description. However your level 3-4 characters are already fighting 2 dire-wolves in a room that causes them to possibly lose several rounds of action in a row (due to stagnant air). Most non-fighters will probably be useless here. I say get rid of at least one of those two encounter conditions. Supposedly the Stagnant Air is "conditional" but there's no sign of what triggers it.

B10
I know that the critters in the dungeon supposedly don't need food or drink...but these guys have been trapped for 2 weeks? and the dire wolves too? seriously? That's pretty ridiculous.

This room supposedly has the Ambush and Cover encounter conditions (both conditional...but there's nothing that makes either make sense).  Ignore them. The wand of light here is a good example of just how stingy the dungeon is with magic items. Make it at least a wand of Daylight. But really it would be better if it were a more useful spell. Magic missile, Acid arrow, magic weapon, etc.

B11
 This region sure loves to close doors on you. I've already suggested you ignore most of those and I'm going to do it again here. Heck, by this time it would be pretty criminal if the PCs didn't notice a pattern and start taking steps to prevent it. This is another painfully boring "puzzle trap". There's no cleverness or thought involved. It's just a skill check. That's it. You get trapped in a room, make a skill check, you're not trapped anymore. This is bad, bad design. Ignore it. Instead this room is perpetually cold and icy, cold iron chains run into the floor binding demonic prisoners beneath the ice. The PCs might be able to break several links to make raw materials but this weakens the prison. In a matter of days or weeks the ice here will melt away revealing a small group of demons now free to wreak havoc.

B12
 We have a great example here of how not to write a room description: "The floor of the room drops off..into an unknown emptiness below" immediately followed by "The floor writhes as dozens of snakes twist among the darkened metal spikes."

So first and foremost...where did the snakes come from? It's not like a snake trap is going to bother a demon at all. And why is this room so freaking complex? I say ditch the bridge, ditch all the balancing and various skill checks required. We've just got a huge broken pit trap here that the PCs have to figure out how to get around or across. I'd say don't use snakes but if you want something extra dangerous lurking around at the bottom of the pit then perhaps some minor undead from the goblins who have fallen down here (skeletons are good or perhaps something like a Shadow)

B13

The more I read this the more I'm convinced that no one actually bothered to look at this map when this region was designed. The first description provided for this room doesn't make any sense. It describes 4 doors of various shapes and materials when the room has only a single doorway (plus the secret doorway, unmarked on the map, from B8 which I removed). It's apparently the description for the small chamber that forms the intersection between B12-14.

B13 itself is a room so pointless that the designers couldn't even come up with a BS explanation for it. There's no explanation for the Stagnant Air condition here but presumably it comes from the well. The well itself apparently has an Alarm spell which shows a complete lack of understanding for both the rules of the game as well as both time and space. First and foremost of course is the fact that there's an alarm spell here apparently meant to catch bugs and rats (neither of which would actually set off an alarm spell) which, once activated could alert the goblins in B70. The standard alarm spell alerts those within 180 feet at most which would (even in a straight line) not even be halfway to room B70. And if it was able to reach that far it would presumably alert many, many more dungeon inhabitants. Now I suppose it's possible this is some kind of special alarm that triggers the sound at a different location from the trigger (although this is ignoring the fact that the goblins don't even have an arcane spellcaster to cast the spell in the first place) but if that's the case it's pretty important to tell us in the description so that it's clear whether or not the PCs hear the alarm when they trigger it.

However even if we assume that there's some logic to the alarm then there's still none to the reaction to it. The description claims that after the alarm is triggered goblins from B70 arrive in 4d4 rounds. The thing is B70 is nowhere near B13. Taking the most efficient path is still 1600+ feet and involves passing through several doors (including a secret door). Even if they could run in just a straight line we'd be looking at about 18 rounds to arrive. Since they certainly can't (it's a very twisty path) then it should take at least 30 or more. Somehow they're supposed to arrive in an average of 10 rounds. If you happen to roll the minimum amount of time that means the goblins were actually traveling at around 50 mph or more.

So, needless to say that's dumb. My suggestion is just to have a deep crack in the ground here (caused by the earthquake) which has filled with water from an underground spring. There's signs someone set up a crude bucket-and-rope well but there's no other signs of habitation. The water is toxic (arsenic) unless purified (A DC 20 Knowledge (nature) check is required to realize the water is poisonous). There is no alarm magic.

B14

Again we get a little description here on the small square room between these chambers. Wouldn't it have been easier (and less confusing) to just provide the description separately rather than reprinting it for each room?

Of course again we've got a self-sealing room. The only "test" these rooms seem to be designed to perform is how many times will someone walk into obviously trapped rooms before they simply sit down and do nothing. Just like B6 this room isn't a puzzle at all, it's just a DC. I don't even think I understand exactly how the shapes are moving (or how one is supposedly "jammed") do the carvings actually move across the stone? Are they on different layers of spinning stone circles set atop one another. Are they like rubik's blocks? And how are the PCs meant to manipulate them at all if they are whirling at a "phenomenal rate"?

These rooms are becoming so pointless it's actually difficult to improve them because there's simply nothing good to work with. This room contains literally nothing worthwhile or interesting. It would be better off empty. Here's my attempt:

The room contains a large cylinder that resembles a prayer wheel with a wide variety of runic patterns. It radiates strong abjuration magic and attempts to magically identify it reveal that it was designed as an elaborate kind of "locking" mechanism. Different combinations of symbols would lock and unlock different doorways within the complex. This analysis is correct but the earthquake has badly damaged the device and it is non-functional. No combination of symbols appears to produce any result. However, every time the PCs mess with it there is a 1% chance that the wheel manages to close and lock the door to this room (as if with the Arcane Lock spell).

B15

Apparently the door here is jammed (keep in mind this is the door the goblins would have to go through to get to B13) which is a good example of why it's important to stick this info in the area before the door. Also apparently there is "little of note" in this room other than some remains from a previous battle except it's also apparently filled with loud noises and random visual illusions (Echoes and Distracting Visions). Ignore these encounter conditions.

B16

As I mentioned in the last post I'm switching some of the content from B16 and B45. Also worth noting that the map notations have been switched. The area on the map marked B16 is actually B17 and vice versa.

B45 is, impressively, actually a fairly decently put together room. You've got a golden idol (trapped of course) with a pair of perfectly reasonable encounter conditions (also quite helpful ones. A place that accelerates healing is going to be very helpeful). My biggest concern is that a party of LG PCs might abuse the nature of the trap here to set up a killing field they can lure enemies into...but then again I suppose that's not a bad way to reward creative thinking. I say leave this as-is. It's sad that it seems like of the few rooms that gets that treatment.

B17

The descriptive text for this room is terrible, but I'm not going to bother sprucing that up. At least the consequences of the encounter condition are mentioned here.

B18

This is an extremely random and pointless room, but at least there's nothing actively wrong about it. Until you realize that it's just designed as a waste of time, resources and hp and it's not subtle about it at all. This is a room that'll just piss off the PCs. My suggestion would be to improve the quality of the spells in the scroll or at least make the contents plot-relevant. Maybe it has a partial list of prisoners originally confined to this region or a map or something helpful! A map would work best I think, something obviously ancient and marked with sigils in Infernal (demonic names) but annotations in celestial. By this time the WLD has probably taken several weeks of sessions to get this far, the PCs deserve at least a taste of the larger plot.

B19

At the very least I've got to say it's good that the last few rooms have sensible and properly addressed encounter conditions. This isn't really a compliment since this is something that should have been true for the entire dungeon. The room is just as random as B18 though, there's absolutely no reason for it's existence. I'd say replace the scroll with the rotting corpse of a demon held in iron chains. It's almost totally bare bones that have been covered in rot. The demon's heart is still intact in it's chest and radiates magic (and evil). It can be used as a grenade-like weapon, creating an Extended stinking cloud spell-effect. However attempting to remove it will trigger a spray of poison spores (as Ungol Dust) unless it is carefully removed (detect and disable DCs 20/16).

B20

"...almost floating on the water, resting on a stone, is a gem is set into the wall..." That sentence is an offense against descriptive language. They've somehow managed to write a description that includes 3 completely contradictory elements.  We're also told that the water is crystal clear but apparently light doesn't penetrate (even though it's only 4 feet deep).
   Linguistic tragedies aside this is another pointlessly trapped room. It's also exceptionally dangerous considering the likely level of the PCs (3-4...meaning that the trap's average of 45 damage is going to be more than most character's HP). I'd say remove the trap but the biggest issue is giving this room an actual reason to exist....and honestly it's hard to think of one. This area of the dungeon is just so damn dull and pointless it's draining my creativity.
  How about a ritual purification room. The water comes from a natural spring and flows along carvings in the stone and pools on the floor of the room. Stone steps here are completely stable and there's no problem with secure footing. There is no trap (although there are crystals that shed light here). Instead the water has two effects...first it is holy water. Secondly if a magical item is placed in the water it is targeted by both Dispel Magic and Remove Curse (CL 10). If the magic is Evil in nature then the effective caster level increases by 5. This chamber was used as a secure place to store captured items of evil magic until they could be destroyed...items submerged and dispelled will not regain their powers until removed.

B21

More terrible room description. Apparently the PCs can identify bugbear hand-writing on sight, even though they may very well have encountered none so far. The goblins also apparently love graffitti so much they were willing to commit suicide to scrawl on these columns. And while it's quite possible that the PCs either read Celestial or have access to Comprehend Languages there's absolutely no description of what is written on the columns.

My suggestion is first to ditch the graffitti. It's pointless and is utterly confusing given the trap. As far as the purpose of the original carving I'd say it's a great place to include some info on the dungeon. It could also be a really interesting source of unusual treasure in the form of "scrolls" carved into the stone. Stick a few potent divine scrolls here (healing spells especially like Cure Serious Wounds or Cure Disease, Neutralize Poison, Restoration, etc) and the PCs have a place where they can access some potent miracles. Of course the room is still unstable (not trapped) and if the players attempt to break the columns apart to transport them elsewhere then the ceiling will still collapse.

B22

I wish they would provide some information on the why of these rooms of darkness but whatever. Ignore their statement that the wolves cannot be affected by the the animal empathy ability of rangers/druids. There are so few animals in the dungeon that those guys will need all the opportunity to shine they can and there's no justification for ignoring their ability.

The encounter itself is extremely dangerous. Unless you've got a large party or they've already hit 4th level then I'd say make it only 2 dire wolves.

B23

This room actually gets approval. It seems pretty good (other than the fact that they forget to mention that the axe is glowing in the room description). Feel free to make the sword magical or alter the weapons to better suit your party's preferred weaponry.

B24

The description here is nonsensical...but that doesn't matter since I'm assuming that there are no northern exits from this region.

B25

This room is very odd. It's got a secret door with a very specific trigger...but the back of the room is simply an open hallway. There's simply no reason for the secret door at all simply because the room is already completely open via a different entrance. This also causes problems...since the room is easily accessible and the door to b26 is unlocked there's simply no reason for the goblinoids to have left the place alone. They would especially have taken the very valuable map of the region or triggered the flame trap in b26 and burnt everything to ashes. Seal both entrances to the room with either locked or secret doors. Also, I'm all for giving the PCs a map of region B but if you want to make it interesting you can print out a map, tatter it up a bit and tear out some interesting sections to make it incomplete.

Ignore the contact poison. It's a trap that would provide no protection against the dungeon's original inhabitants and there's no reason for the goblinoids to trap the room. If you want a trap then I say something like a Glyph of Warding or Wall Scythe trap.

B26

The trap in the room here is incredibly dumb and again seems to rely on the idea that the prisoners of this place will automatically grab for anything shiny they see (of course adventurers will do just that but that's not the purpose of the dungeon). I'd suggest a more logical trap that simply triggers if the PCs move more than 5 feet into the room without speaking the appropriate password (a helpful lantern archon might be able to tell them) or locating and disarming the trap.

B27

Again we've got a room that makes no sense at all. This room is the only passage between this area and the rest of region B...so it can't logically be a prison area...but the gemstone and spell inscribed on the walls imply that it's more than just an entryway to the rest of the region...but the door isn't locked or anything so it's not just a storeroom (and the "valuables" are hardly that impressive...a gem and a 3rd level spell written on a wall). It just seems like another pointless trap where attempts to get the obvious treasure will trigger punishment. Which again makes no sense given the concept of the dungeon.

Lets say originally this chamber was intended as a "chokepoint" meant to make it difficult for potential escaped prisoners to move easily towards Region A. Give the place the Hallowed and Positive Energy encounter conditions. It also has a Protection From Evil effect that fills the room. However the rampant plant-growth is an unintended side effect of the positive energy. Replace the trap with a pair of hidden Assasin Vines.

B28

This room is an example of horrible cartographer...there's no way to get to B28 from B27 without passing through B29 but they felt that apparently this one needed to be handled first. Other than that the room is fairly uninteresting but serviceable. Assuming you plan to keep Bartleby as part of the story this place is as good as any for finding him. By the way if you plan on making Bartleby a challenging encounter or a significant threat I'd suggest increasing his level to 7...a 5th level rogue by himself is going to be a hell of an anticlimatic fight against a group of level 3+ PCs.

B29

This room is just plain stupid. It might work in a place like the Tomb of Horrors or Undermountain...a room created by a deranged or evil wizard with no purpose other than being an elaborate douchebag. This place is a prison created by friggin' angels as a prison for demons. If you want to make this make sense then you might explain the room as some kind of "wand armory" with the majority of them depleted over the years or damaged and decayed (get rid of the trap). Alternatively simply make it a room covered in art created by the celestials and use the bestow curse trap as a punishment on those that attempt to deface it.

B30

There's no explanation for the Cover encounter condition, so ignore it. Also ignore the statement that the Vargouille's get an unexplained +10 to spot and listen (apparently PCs who attempt anything other than a stand-up fight get punished). It's dumb (even dumber if you consider the room was supposed to be full of cover).

B31

This room is...confusing to say the least. At first it seems like another dumb punishment trap. But reading the description of the room seems to indicate it might be some kind of decoration or tribute? Also apparently it's easier for druids and rangers to pull the staff out...okaaaay. There's no history or explanation at all to tell us why any of this is the case. Lets say that this is the tomb of a mortal druid who aided the celestials in the dungeon's history. They've created his tomb here which appears to be raw, natural stone and earth with flowers and grass growing here despite the lack of light. The staff was the druid's personal possession (explaining why it's so weak compared to a celestial's possessions). Some of the druid's life story is written in Druidic glyphs Stone-Shaped onto the walls. The "dart swarm" trap is actually plant-based as thorns and spears of wood fly from the ground to strike those who might try and defile the tomb. Good-aligned rangers and druids will not trigger the tap and may take the staff without consequence.

B32

A decent encounter but it should clearly be a "hollow" stone, not a "hallowed" stone.

B33

Also decent.

B34

The "Hallowed 2" Encounter condition should certainly be changed to "Unhallowed" considering the evil alignment of the hobgoblins. It also makes the whole concept of the goblins switching worship to a perfectly mundane statue even more ridiculous considering there's already this (much more impressive and actually supernaturally active) statue being revered.

B35

The celestial must have some kind of obsession with pedestals. This room is yet another "pointless trapped pedestal" chamber...except it's even more pointless because there's nothing in the room other than a pedestal and trap. There is a layer of invisible script  that apparently has a riddle. Of course the writers of this section were apparently unable to come up with anything creative or interesting and choose instead to simply reduce it to an intelligence check. The result? Apparently you learn how to open the secret door to room B55...of course it doesn't provide the location for room B55 so how exactly will they know it when they find it? Also there's no method or trick to opening B55...it's not locked in anyway. The only trick is to actually find it. So this room is triply pointless.

My suggestion? Keep the serpentine design on the floor and ditch the pedestal and the riddle. Instead the design was the focus for a protection and binding circle...however the floor is clearly scorched and burned and several tiles have been ripped from the floor destroying the circle's integrity. Perhaps an examination of the circle and some knowledge (arcana and/or planes) might reveal the True Name of some mid-to-high level demon encountered in a later dungeon.

B36

This room is just bad. First and foremost it's the exact same as so many other rooms we've already run into. It also made me realize something...this room and pretty much all the other "door closes when you enter room" have room descriptions that take control away from the player. The room descriptions declare that the players enter and the door closes. That's terrible adventure writing because it assumes the actions that players will take (which is exceptionally bad in this area because players would almost certainly avoid simply walking into rooms after the first time a chamber closes on them). This one is even worse because not only does it assume you automatically enter the room...it assumes you automatically head for the obviously trapped big-sack-o-gold and trigger the room's trap.

The room is also incredibly poorly thought out on many levels. As I said too many times already this chamber makes no sense in the dungeon's context (celestials have no reason to make it, demons would have no interest in a sack of gold and the actual trap itself is just a waste of time). On top of that...why have the goblinoids infesting this region not tried for the big sack of gold? They've certainly been to this region and so presumably at some point they would have tried to get ahold of the money which would result in either them falling victim and never escaping (meaning there would be corpses in the room) or they would have managed to free themselves (in which case they would certainly have taken the sack with them). Also the sack is apparently only full of holy water...so were the gold coins fake? Were they an illusion? It never says one way or another.

B37

Ignore the Wisdom damage talked about here. Howlers can only inflict damage if you're exposed for at least an hour. Also ignore the "improved" quills these howlers apparently have. A DC20 Heal check isn't exactly easy for a 3rd level character to hit in the first place...there's no reason to up the DC to 24 or increase their damage. It's already a perfectly decent challenge.

B38

Make sure to make it clear that the Ethereal Maurader in this room is not just a "strange looking lizard with a triangular head"...it's a 7 foot long, 200 lb monstrosity that looks like this:



B39

Ignore what it says about ruining tools. Why is this apparently the only lock so far that could ruin tools? It's also my principle to ignore conditions like Distracting Visions unless the room actually provides some explanation, or at least a description of what form they take. Otherwise this room can be basically left as is.

B40

This area has a bizarre description...one where you are instructed apparently not to read it. Why not just write a description that can be read then? At least they do address the "echoes" although there's not really an explanation for the source (perhaps it's the Howlers in the next room...but they certainly wouldn't produce a "dull, roaring sound").

B41

Wait...how do the howlers get in and out of this area if there's a "wide-mouthed pit trap" in the hallway? Especially a pit trap that does not automatically reset. There's apparently no thought put into any of this. It also has some of the most unnecessary bit of "history" for a single, non-magical ring. Otherwise it can be left as-is...but I'd suggest either a separate doorway for the howlers to enter or leave or getting rid of the pit trap in B40.

B42

This is another stupid, pointless room...why build a huge room...with a well...that drops blocks on anyone trying to retract the bucket? And despite the fact that the blocks apparently drop on everyone (including the person retracting the bucket) how does the well itself avoid being damaged? Oh and the trap doesn't reset itself automatically...so why (despite the fact that it's obviously been triggered already) is it still functional? On top of that the description claims that this is a great place to store things...when in fact it's the worst place to store anything because it's the only place that has a random chance of anything stored there disappearing. This whole room is terrible.

I'd say just have this room be full of rubble from a cave in...no indication of it's original function (and no well) but someone has stashed some healing potions under some rubble if they search hard enough (DC 20).

B43

I can't imagine the supposed design that went into this room. The celestials apparently built a gigantic trap here...a mechanism that causes the entire northern wall to begin to slide south while extruding giant, poison spikes (again...poison is useless against the dungeon's prisoners). Then the wall keeps moving until...it stabs everyone for about 1d8+4 damage...then retracts. Not only is this a needlessly elaborate and complex trap, it's probably the wussiest crushing wall trap I've ever seen. I mean c'mon! if you're going to trap the PCs in a crushing wall then at least make it dangerous! Talk about anti-climax. Also the trap is easy as hell to avoid. It triggers when you open the door inside the room and locks the door you entered the chamber from...so why not just step into the adjoining room and wait until the trap is done? Of course the trap will supposedly not reset itself (it's got a manual reset)...but then how did it reset itself after the elves (or goblins or any other curious dungeon inhabitants) get through? Obviously not a lot of thought went into this place.


That said, I don't suggest that you actually smush your PCs here, especially when you consider there's absolutely nothing in the next room except a couple of skeletons (unless you choose to add some valuables yourself). Perhaps the small room was originally the prison of some kind of dangerous demon...a demon dangerous enough that a massive, crushing machine was a reasonable line of defense. However the elaborate machine failed...the prison's doorway is blasted apart and the sliding walls have been torn asunder and wrecked beyond repair.

B44

This room is Massive about 90'x90'. And the only feature is a few canine corpses and a trap 6' from the door. The rest of the room has no description or features whatsoever. Hell, why aren't any goblins making use of this huge open space for living or storage? Surely they're pretty cramped so why not expand here?

Well, since I mentioned I've moved the object of the goblin's worship to B45, this will be the chamber where the elite goblins who guard the shrine remain. The Holy Guard from B136 are here instead of B136. The hallways between B44 and B45 are heavily decorated with trophies and religious paintings on the stone. About 4 of the Holy Guard are in this chamber at all times (this is also a secondary armory and a gathering place when the goblins come to praise their god) and about 4 others are on patrol in the hallways around B44 and 45.

B45

This is the room where the goblins worship their new deity. 4 columns are all decorated with tanned hides and skins (both beasts and bugbear) tatooed with various savage art. The center of the room is dominated by a massive golden statue of a vaguely bestial humanoid. Despite the animalistic features it has an undeniably regal bearing. It is constructed of pure white marble and one hand holds a large spear and over the statue's head is a large tribal mask. Any non-good aligned characters who come close (past the columns) are stricken by the effects of the Fear spell (DC 16, CL 10). Around the perimeter formed by the columns are piles of offerings: coins, interesting stones, rotting meat and the broken weapons and fangs of bugbears.

Searching the base of the south-east column (DC 20) reveals a movable stone block. Beneath is a slightly smaller version of the statue's mask and spear (a masterwork spear) as well as few strips of fur-trimmed cloth that is used for Argliss' divine disguise. There are also 5 incense-scented smokesticks that he uses to make his entrances more spectacular.

The statue also has the same script as the one in B16 and the +1 Axiomatic Spear.

B46

So close to the goblin god it wouldn't make sense for this to be a bugbear stronghold. Instead this is one of the military outposts for the holy guard. Feel free to keep the map intact but replace the bugbears with Holy Guards. Ignore the Echoes as it's senseless.

B47

Well, well a place that actually addresses the Echoes and Distracting Noises effect. The fact that it's apparently a focal point for noises throughout the dungeon provides a chance for you to have some interesting chances for foreshadowing.

However beyond that the room's pretty nuts...a rusty sword hanging from a rope that paralyzes someone who takes it...? Why? What is the point? It's not even dangerous, merely slightly annoying. I suggest remove that...perhaps instead this room was created as an actual listening post...hundreds of brass tubes are imbedded in the walls that channel the noises. Of course damage to the dungeon's structure and the magic that enchanted the tubes is causing all sorts of warping and instability.

B48

A place called the "riddle room", I shudder to think how this will turn out...

...yep it's terrible. So the riddle is...crap. I'm not going to bother summing up exactly the terrible design behind this room. Suffice it to say that it's horrible. If you've got the dungeon you can read it for yourself. Topping it off is that the reward you get at the end...a permanent, non-removable +2 breastplate. Which means for any character who doesn't want a breastplate (i.e. wizards, rogues, druids, bards, sorcerers, monks, or anyone who just prefers light or heavy armor) they get screwed until they can access a Break Enchantment spell. This...this is just awful and a fitting way to end this terrible, terrible subsection. To whoever designed this room...you suck.

My suggestion is ditch the riddle, ditch the tiles, ditch the tapestries. In fact this room is so terrible you should just get rid of it. Fill it in, put a worg stable here for the holy guard or perhaps a trashpit.


Anyway, that ends the first subsection of Region B. Hopefully the rest of the region is less annoying and lives up to some of it's potential.

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