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Monday, December 19, 2011

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

So clearly the first part of Region B was...disappointing to say the least. But I still think that the region as a whole has potential and I'm hoping the quality improves now that we've moved past the nuttiest area. We'll see won't we?


So right off the bat we've got another cartography mistake. Supposedly B49 is a hidden room, connected by a secret door to room B51, which is in no way connected and B49 is in no way hidden. That said, you could easily leave it as-is, although it isn't hidden the lock is DC 35 which would be well beyond the skill of just about anyone in the dungeon, even a rogue PC is probably not going to have a tough time until they're higher level.

The chamber is extremely valuable however, doubling the speed at which PCs can rest and regain spells. In keeping with such an important place I'd give it some interesting features, maybe drop a puzzle or cypher or some other interesting element here...because you can bet the PCs will make this place a base of operations.


There hardly seems to be any point to requiring a Search check to find the secret door considering the description pretty clearly points out the door's location. But hey, they've got an Echoes condition that is actually addressed in the description. That's good.

I would strongly suggest using the strongboxes as a good way to reward the PCs with some extra magic items. The room suggests some 1st level potions, but I'd say a low-charge wand, some magic ammo and some decent wondrous items.


So this is Argliss's original secret lair. First thing, when describing the room make sure to note that the ring is on top of the book on the table. One of the key traps for the room is the fact that disturbing the ring triggers a fire trap, which consumes the book.

Now, make sure not to do what the adventure says with the ring. The ring is apparently a cursed ring that prevents lies, invisibility and prevents the wearer from acting in any way opposed to LG tendencies...DO NOT GIVE THIS TO THE PLAYERS. The big risk isn't danger of the "cursed" object, it's the fact that this is perhaps the most powerful tool they'll ever find in the dungeon. With this ring they'll be able to interrogate any enemy or convert even the most wicked foe to the cause of good (or at least prevent them from doing any evil). Of course it doesn't make sense anyway. After all, if the celestials could create this why aren't rings like this on all of the prisoners in the dungeon?

Also, ignore the identification of Argliss from the journal. There's no reason why the PCs should assume he's a Barghest (or even necessarily know what one is). There are many, many different types of shapechangers and all the PCs should be able to gather is that Argliss clearly somehow manages the trick.

EDIT: Just noticed when doing work on the Bugbear area that B50 is the only way to get access to rooms B52-58...part of the bugbear's primary stomping ground. So logically the bugbears would know about this place...which of course would make it a horrible hiding place for Argliss (even if you consider that they might not have been able to get through the several locked doors).


Ignore the "bonus feats" for the dire wolf, there's no good reason for them. Also ignore the Fearless condition, the designers seem to love giving every animal the Fearless condition for no real reason. One wonders how exactly the dire wolf got into this room in the first place. Since this hallway is pretty much the only direct path from the bugbear's territory to the rest of region B there should be at least one bugbear stationed here on watch, the wolf can be a companion. 


The writers of this region seem to have very specific tastes: pedestals, wells and statues. Oh, and also very obvious traps. Very obvious, poorly designed traps. For instance we've got a trap here that fills the room with water...but does not close or lock the door. Needless to say this is a miserable failure of a room. The room also never addresses the value (or lack thereof) of the gemstones in the sack. The players will certainly want to know!

I'd say keep the basic elements but mix things up. We've got a well here, an incredibly clear, deep well...so deep that the PC's torchlight doesn't reach the bottom but does throw up some sparkles from the depths. PCs might risk drowning to dive into the depths here (say 200-250 ft) to find treasure or trash (I'd say be nice...give them a few mundane gems and perhaps a wondrous item like a gem of elemental summoning?)


In this area there's one major missing element. The bugbears are simply concentrated in a few rooms...there's no bugbears wandering the hallways or sitting around. It should be pretty clear the moment that the PCs enter the area that it's place where a large number of critters live. Moving around here should not simply be a matter of going from room to room kicking down doors...it should be more like walking around a small village or neighborhood.

Ignore the Fearless encounter condition. Also an editing mistake. The bulk of the room's description claims sharpfang has 25 hp, but his stat block has 31 hp. Go with the stat-block, it's closer to the average value for his level.


Oh dear...another pedestal. Oh and look, they think they're being clever. This one isn't trapped! Honestly I say just delete this room entirely. It is going to be pretty much impossible to find at this level (DC 40 search check to locate). Of course there's no explanation for why this fairly simple and mundane magic item is hidden behind what is possibly the most well-concealed secret door in the entire dungeon. If for some reason you do decide it needs to exist the first thing you should do is drop the DC to 30 (the normal DC for a well-hidden secret door) and put something more useful inside such as a magic weapon or shield.


This is a good example of the issue I mentioned in B54. Assuming the PCs didn't head into B54 they could simply stumble right into the bugbear's workshop with no one the wiser. Someone should be either in this room (even if it's a couple of goblin slaves or prisoners sharpening arrowheads) or out in the hallways.

The cartography here is a bit odd. On the map there's a clear gap that looks like a very narrow hallway between B56 and B57. Since the text pretty clearly states that the only entrance between the the two is the secret door. Speaking of the secret door, I'd say either make it a normal door or have it propped open. It doesn't make much sense for the bugbears to close themselves into this back area when they're working and it's not like the PCs aren't going to figure it out once they hear the noises from next door.

Initially I assumed that the Echoes condition was due to the sound of the bugbears working in the next room, but following the rules would actually cause the sound to make it harder to hear the bugbears in the next room. It's not otherwise addressed, so simply ignore the Echoes condition.


Ok, now this is confusing. So rooms B54-B58 are the bugbear's war-room, armory, supply chamber (and b53 is a logical source of fresh water). B59 is the bugbear's sleeping chamber....which is in no way connected to the rest of the chambers. To get to B59 and take a nap the bugbears working in the armory would need to head out through room B52 (which originally contained a hostile dire wolf), through B50 (passing through 2 secret doors, one of which is jammed), past B45-46 and through another secret door before they reach their territory again...so clearly we've got some craptastic cartography going on here. In fact...taking a look at the bugbear's territory it's clear that the general design is simply terrible. I'll address specifics later on but this just doesn't work as-is.

But as far as B59 goes it clearly needs a more direct connection to the other parts of Bugbear territory. I'd suggest placing the door on the eastern wall of the hallway outside of the door to B58.


The map really needs to indicate where traps are. Unless they're specifically attached to a room feature like a door (or a pedestal...ugh) there's rarely much indication of where exactly the trap and trigger are. Presumably the stone block trap here is located immediately inside the doorway, but it's certainly not clear.

Also "based on the contents, it is safe to assume that this is a store room..." but it never actually indicates what the hell these contents are. I'd suggest including some basic supplies/gear (rope, food, water, torches, etc). Considering this is where the bugbear's sleep and is the home of both their greatest warrior and healer it would be insane not to have at least a token guard of a couple of bugbears stationed here to alert everyone should the place be attacked. If you think your party might be amenable to a diplomatic situation I would have either Aughkin or the Healer out here rather than sitting in their rooms so that they can keep violence from breaking out if the players don't immediately start swinging.


Aughkin is a decent encounter but ignore all their modifications. The writers of this adventure love to throw around free bonuses. Apparently being a 5th level bugbear fighter isn't enough...on top of that he'll get the benefits of barbarian rage, improved grappling, and he's fearless. If you want to make him tougher give him a level of barbarian so that the CR is at least accurate.


Although the ideas here aren't utterly ridiculous, the location is. The bugbears shouldn't be setting traps that rely on the goblins wandering around freely in their territory...they should be preventing this from happening at all. If a goblin can get to B63 there's nothing to stop a large force from simply surrounding B66 or stumbling across the hidden entrance to their leaders. These rooms might simply not be used (they have no doors or other security) but if you like the goblin traps then I'd suggest putting them elsewhere in the dungeon.


Despite the fact that this claims to be a storage room and the room description claims it is full of gear and polearms there's no indication of what is actually in here. I'd say remove the whole "storage room" aspect (who stores corpses alongside their equipment?) and just make this a place where the bugbears have stuck a pile of goblin corpses, perhaps they were in a hurry and that's why the corpses still have a lot of valuables.


These areas are a good indication of one big problem the bugbears have. They are right next to their goblin enemies. I mean, right next door, right down the hall. There's no barricade, no guards, no nothing to stop the goblins from simply marching down the hall to one of the major bugbear camps. Now the lair of Aughkin and the Healer are concealed behind a secret door but B66 is where the bulk of the tribe seems to be staying and it's only defense is a locked door. Strategically this is a joke.

Even worse is 67 and 68. The idea is that these rooms are the bugbear's last line of defense...if the goblins manage to overrun their position then they'll retreat to these areas and make a last stand. However this retreat would actually require that the bugbears retreat towards the goblins. Rather than falling back they would somehow have to fight their way through the goblin forces to reach these rooms. Obviously this is suicidely dumb. The only purpose of room 67 seems to be to make it hard for PCs to enter this part of the Region from Region A and channel them either to the heavily trapped first section or directly to the goblin "empire".

My suggestion would be to simply make rooms 67 and 68 sites of previous battles between the bugbear and goblins. The goblins managed to trap the bugbears in this room and slaughtered them. (there are no traps). As of right now this area is something of a no-mans-land for the goblin and bugbear forces and neither side has recovered their dead.

Alternatively if you like the traps (this is another room where it would have been quite nice to at least generally mark the location of the traps) then perhaps this was a trap set by the bugbears, luring the goblins into the chamber and slipping out (perhaps looping through region A). 


As addressed above it's kind of ridiculous how easy it is to simply walk between goblin and bugbear territory. There should be a barricade at the very least, probably for both sides with a no-man's-land hallway between. The goblin's barricade is probably right where B69 is marked on the map, with the bugbear's being further up the hall, somewhere north of the entrance to B67.

The encounter has the Cover condition which might make sense if there was a barricade here in the first place, but there's no mention of such. I'd remove it anyway because an immovable barricade won't necessarily provide cover to everything.

Also remember to look Here for my suggestions on how best to ignore their goblin modifications. Ignore the suggested tactics and extra feats and use the corrected stats I provided. The goblins should have the barricade set up maybe 10 feet from the 3-way intersection. The floor 20 feet in front of the barricade is covered in caltrops and the barricade itself is made of spears, wood and stone. The barricade provides cover, has Hardness 6 and 60 hp per 5-foot section. It can be climbed over with a DC 10 climb check (but spikes inflict 1d4 damage to anyone climbing it). It can be jumped with a DC 16 check, but anyone "landing" directly on the barricade falls to one side or the other (prone) and takes 2d6 damage from the spikes. The goblins will remain at the barricade if they spot the PCs, but they'll send one back as a messenger to B70 for reinforcements. If the PCs are hostile they'll initially rely on javelins or slings to drive them off. If the PCs charge the barricade the goblins will retreat to the intersection and split into two forces, allowing the PCs to come forward and be caught between them.


Ignore the "soft cover" condition.


Ignore the Concealment (there's no source of concealment in the room), Echoes and Fearless conditions.

Haglar's stats are problematic. First and foremost they give him improved disarm without him meeting any of the prerequisites, and they chose for some reason to give him Alertness but to invest only a single skill point in both spot and listen, making it pretty much pointless. Also an "elite warrior" who relies on a whip rather than his sword certainly doesn't deserve the name. Here's a better feat selection: Weapon Focus (Scimitar), Weapon Specialization (Scimitar), Improved Initiative, Quick Draw and either give him Iron Will or keep Alertness, but shift his skill points from his other skills to boost his Spot/Listen. Also make sure to make his scimitar +1 and not his dumb whip (so his scimitar his +9 to hit, 1d6+5 damage. Ignore the suggestion of fighting 2-handed).


This is a terrible place for a prison considering it's got a door that leads straight to region A. That means if the prisoner escapes then all they have to do is run that way and they've totally escaped from the empire. If you want the prison to make sense then seal this exit.


Remember to ignore the Fearless encounter condition and the suggested tactics. Also replace Hammerfist's Greatclub with a Maul (identical to a greataxe but bashing rather than slashing).


I don't care how well locked it is (all it takes is a knock spell) It's insanely poor security to have the king's bedchambers open directly into an unguarded hallway straight to region A. Instead conceal the entrance to this passage (in Region A) with a secret door, DC 20 to locate.


Ignore the Fearless condition and remember to ignore the tactics.


Ignore the negative energy effect (and especially ignore hammerfist's un-explained immunity). Also ignore his free, area of effect intimidate. And on top of that keep in mind that most of the suggested tactics either make no sense, have no rules (breaking hands and fingers) or are just stupid (using coup de grace attacks during the middle of combat).


Ignore the Fearless condition and the goblin's tactics.

It's amusing to note that although the goblins supposedly learned their discipline and tactics from the hobgoblins pretty much none of the hobgoblins encountered shows any hint of discipline or military thinking.


This whole area is pretty dull. First and foremost the instructions given are practically gibberish. It tells you to drop a few "command, cause fear, and suggestion" spells but no indication of where, why or what the purpose of the spells are (the suggestion especially) and tells you to give a "allip-like" moan. Overall I wouldn't worry about this region too much...after all the odds of the PCs actually cracking the bizarrely specific techniques needed to open any of the tombs is pretty low.

That said the place is hardly interesting and you might want to replace it with living areas for goblin "civilians" (commoners rather than warriors). I know the dungeon isn't exactly going for verisimilitude but there's got to be at least a few non-combatants to keep the empire going and this is a perfect place to stick them.


Some terrible traps here. Not overpowered, just terribly used. First and foremost, if you've got traps in the hallway then put the note for them in the hallway and when the "hallway leading to this room" is actually three hallways at least 90 feet long that all intersect directly outside the door it would be great if you could provide some hints as to where those will be. I say get rid of the traps altogether. If you really like traps then stick one in B90, placed by bugbears to skewer goblins coming to try and reestablish the barracks here. The encounter conditions can be ignored (considering there's no one actually here they hardly matter).


Some hilariously bad room description "This....room smells of charcoal and smoke. The blackened walls and burned furniture indicate only one culprit-fire." Because there's so many other potential sources of smoke. The explanation behind this room is pretty crazed as well...apparently the bugbears set the room on fire...then left an urn here that they trapped on the assumption that goblins will believe an important bugbear was killed...so they'll grab the urn? Whatever. It's all nuts, but maybe the bugbears are actually pretty dumb. So go with it if you like, otherwise perhaps this was a site where the goblin "god" used his fireballs to wipe out a crew of bugbears as a show of strength, then the goblins left traps here to kill bugbears trying to reclaim the area.


Amusingly the first sentence of this section tells you that there are no random encounters in or near the Maze...then the encounter condition ends with a random encounter table. But that said a series of random encounters and conditions isn't a half-bad way to run a complicated maze. However the problem is that although it plays fast and loose with traps and encounters the maze itself is very specifically laid out and can only be navigated square-by-square and hall-by-hall. In fact, it's extremely easy to navigate overall...with the right path choices you could easily move from B88 to B93-95 (pretty much the only places the maze connects) in less than 10 minutes, never mind the half-hour you're meant to roll encounters. Even if you do head deep into the maze I doubt very much that any PCs will spend more than an hour in the Maze.

Here's a good abstract way to handle it. Once the PCs enter the Maze they become lost in the shifting rooms and twists and turns. Attempting to get through the maze requires a half-hour and a DC 20 Survival roll. Failure means they have to spend a second half-hour wandering the Maze. Success means they've successfully traveled from one end of the maze to the other.


"Heathen Goblin Rebels" is a great name for a heavy metal band.

While I mentioned that spears are terrible equipment for the highly trained, "elite" goblin empire you might consider keeping them for these goblins to emphasize their relatively primitive tactics and lack of resources.


The room descriptions throughout this whole region have a real problem with both assuming the PCs actions and knowledge. It's generally bad writing but it's safe to say most DMs know well enough to simply ignore those descriptions that would be completely meaningless to their PCs. Still, bad writing.

Speaking of bad writing...apparently B94 has a secret door which is the only entrance to the rebel goblin's home. So despite the fact that they've got very large series of chambers sealed behind both a locked door and a secret door they decide to hang out in B95, which is not even locked, let alone concealed. Without even a guard at the doorway. Perhaps I can come up with some kind of justification...this room is ridiculously large in the first place, so big it's got almost no reason to exist. Perhaps though it was a meeting place for the celestials. Thus the floor has a massive mosaic tile containing the only full and complete map of the Region (you might even considering giving some map info on region A and C as well), perhaps even including the celestial-built traps and secret rooms. This is the only advantage the rebels have so they make sure to do their planning in this room so they can consult the map (they lack any writing materials to make copies).

Also, ignore the fearless condition. Apparently pretty much all goblins are completely immune to fear. Who knew?


I'm assuming the writers meant for the unmarked door to the north of B96 to be an identical storeroom. I'd suggest that the "alarm rushes" (wait...where did goblins who've lived in the dungeon for centuries get rushes? replace it with mouse-skulls or rat bones or something) fill the hallway as well...otherwise there's not much point.


Again, ignore the Fearless status. Also decide for yourself whether or not the goblins will immediately attack or not, because the description here is contradictory. I'd suggest that they immediately attack...they can't afford to talk things out when strangers wander into their home.


Keep in mind that a goblin longspear will be size Small, although you might allow that to function as a Medium sized spear. Why not make it magical at this point too? The PCs could really use a good magic item...perhaps a +1 Flaming?


This should be Unhallowed, the goblin rebels are still Evil aligned.


More terrible descriptive. "...a lone goblin...he doesn't appear to notice you but maybe he does". Seriously? Otherwise the room is fine.


There's no reason these goblins should get +2 to Will saves, so ignore that as well as the Fearless condition.


So wait...the room generates supernatural Fear...so why do the goblins not realize why their worgs don't like it here? (oh wait, of course because they're all apparently fearless). In fact, you know what's better...this room has both the Fear and Fearless condition. The worg's are being driven mad by a fear effect that they're immune to. Wonderful!

So, obviously that's stupid. Instead these are captured Worgs, taken during a raid on the Empire goblins and the goblins are hoping to "tame" them. These worgs have been kept near-starving hoping to convince them to serve the rebel goblins.


So rather than staying behind the secret doors and locked chambers with the rest of his people apparently Guk chooses to stay here...meaning he can be reached easily by anyone who makes it through the Maze and he's completely cut off from reinforcements should he be in danger. I'd say relocate him to the room directly across from B101 which is otherwise completely empty.


This room is only inhabited because of bad cartography. The description claims that the goblins are here to guard from possible attack from the north and occasionally hunting monsters that inhabit the northern tunnels...but there is no connection to the northern tunnels. Do not treat them as Enraged or give them an initiative bonus.

B111 (Balance)

Most of this region is pretty good as far as balance goes. There are some tough encounters but they're mostly avoidable or solvable through means other than brute force. This room however is terribly dangerous. Even if we assume that all the PCs are level 5 by now it's pretty insane.

First the encounter conditions. Although they're certainly justified you'll notice that the PCs will have to resist fear (DC 14)...but it's also cursed making the DC 19, all undead have +6 turn resistance, while all clerics are at -4 to turning rolls...and just in case the PCs wanted to run it's got Hazardous Footing. And on top of that apparently provides concealment. I'd say drop Fear (it's justified but too powerful), Cursed, Desecration and Hazardous Footing. And of course drop Concealment because there's no explanation of the source.

Now...secondly the critters. First if you don't listen to my advice on the encounter conditions it's more ridiculous. For example the ghouls have an Aura of Fear which, with the Curse effect is DC...actually they never give a DC for the aura of fear or any information on it at all. So ignore it (it's hardly a balanced reversal).

In fact the stats for these guys are all crap. First they're apparently corrupted paladins and they have the abilities of paladins...but reversed...and of unclear level. They've got 2 extra HD so one would assume they're 2nd level...but they've got spellcasting abilities which paladins don't get till 6th. They've also got SR 14 and +4 natural armor...but they're only CR 3. They're also equipped with Unholy Longswords and Unholy Chain Shirst (despite the fact that there is no such thing). And of course just to be a jerk their powerful magic items (+3 equivalent) turn to dust when they die.

So this is a massively terrible room. First, ditch the paladin levels, second ditch the super equipment. If you want you can give them regular +1 longswords that remain when they die. Also ditch the AC bonus and Sr. That means they're perfectly ordinary ghouls but in armor (AC 18) and carrying longswords. This should be more than enough of a challenge. If your party is especially tough then throw in a Ghast leader.

Since this is apparently the site where a powerful demon was killed by the paladins it should be marked more significantly...perhaps a large twisted skeleton or perhaps an outline of the monster's corpse seared into the stone floor. 


So...this prison door was designed to open the moment someone read the symbol on it...that's just so stupid...and on top of that they apparently decided to put a suit of magical armor in the same room as one of their prisoners.

Instead just make this chamber broken open already. Perhaps in the battle one of the paladin warriors was thrown bodily through the door by the demon they fought. His body was simply too demolished to rise as a ghoul. However his suit of armor (not unholy because the PCs don't need to be teased with useless magic items) is still intact. +1 Ghost touch splint mail.


Again we have the term "allip-like moan" which is a terrible piece of description. Also apparently the writers have become so used to assigning the Fearless condition to everyone in the Region that they've begun assigning it to beings that are already immune to fear. The celestials also continue their tradition of locking their prisoners up with powerful magic weapons for no apparent reason. Since it's just another piece of trash "fake treasure" I'd say just ditch the +1 unholy mace.


"The Hell on Every Earth"...what does that even mean? Ignore the concealment effect since there's no clear source of concealment, and again we've got a fearless undead. don't give him a bonus to bull rush...in fact don't bull rush. Just have the ghast attack and attempt to paralyze his target since that's actually an effective tactic.

Take a careful look at the Ghast's stats because they've added a lot of extra stuff (additional HD, a dex drain and fast healing). Depending on your PC's levels you might want to ditch a few of it's add-ons. It's stat block claims it's CR 3 (obviously not) but presumably the EL represents the correct CR of 6.


One wonders at this point why the celestials didn't just kille their prisoners. Also whether or not the writer of this section knows what "severed" means.

Ignore the concealment (it's already got deep darkness).


So...somehow these goblins made it through the Maze and snuck right past their mortal enemies and wandered into this dangerous, unclaimed territory full of undead out of boredom. Unless you plan on making these goblins master ninjas (which I wouldn't necessarily discourage) then I'd suggest revising their backstory. A better explanation is that these goblins are Empire-aligned and were patrolling this area hoping to find a way to reach the rebels without passing through the Maze. Needless to say they're in over their head.


Supposedly the bugbears use this area as a trap-field to slaughter goblins...despite the fact that the bugbears are literally located on the opposite side of the dungeon and neither the goblins nor the bugbears could reach this area without passing through the room of death and a closed portcullis that can only be opened from the opposite side. Obviously insane.

Instead this chamber is full of corpses (and the symbols on the walls are unholy script) of goblins and bugbears dragged here by the ghoul paladins or other monstrous inhabitants of this region. Their flesh has been gnawed from their bones and if the PCs approach they'll be attacked by a collection of goblinoid skeletons (lets say 6 goblins, 4 hobgoblins and 3 bugbears).


Perhaps the bugbears here are a trapped patrol that somehow survived this far...but as I pointed out that's pretty insane to start with. Instead lets put something here that I've never seen before...and undead demon. One of the demonic beings that was imprisoned down here was destroyed but it's unholy spirit continues to animate it's bones (perhaps it is the corpse of the beast slain by the paladins).

How about a skeletal Hezrou, that should be suitably impressive.

Somehow I missed this room. It's quite weird and very nasty. The combined effects of Fear and Confusion would be devastating if it weren't for the fact that the PCs will almost certainly never step foot inside the room itself, given that they'll be confused 30 feet before they arrive. Overall, you can leave this room as-is if you like, just be aware that if all the PCs manage to make it into the room they'll probably slaughter each other in confusion.


Ignore the Visions, Noises and Echoes since their source is never explained. I'd suggest that the bottom of the pit be a prison, now exposed, that originally held a powerful demon. Now of course it's free.

Another forgotten room. What's a "slag of cloth"? Another case where the dungeon designer doesn't seem to know where anything is in relation to anything else (also another revered statue!). Apparently this is a "crypt of hobgoblin kings", but is used by the bugbears to burn their dead. And of course, remember that the only way to get here is to pass through the incredibly lethal, undead-filled chambers that separate these halls from the goblinoids. Still, this could be a ruined celestial storeroom, the PCs will probably be very happy for the opportunity to find these magic items.

Another room I missed. This one seems pretty unoffensive, so you can keep it as-is.


Ignore the hold monster trap, since it's pointless.

Wow, I missed out on a lot of rooms. If anyone noticing me skipping rooms in the future let me know. A dire-wolf den seems a bit out of place, but perhaps they've come here from Region K, an entrance isn't far away. Ignore the Concealment and Ambush encounter conditions, there's no sign that this is magical darkness in the room and the PCs are likely to have light and/or darkvision.

It seems surprising that no-one has made this area their home. Perhaps this would be a good place for a Blink Dog lair, or just a dire wolf or two sleeping here. The wolves are unusually calm and placid in this room and act like happy, domesticated hounds.

"The last stand against the final option"! Such a dramatic but meaningless title. It's also friggin' impossible to get into. A DC 26 Strength check and a DC 35 open lock roll? One wonders how the hell the gobliniods managed to set up such incredible security on this one, single passage from B to C (out of 5). Feel free to stick a trap here, but don't bother with the super-doors and needlessly complicated disarming rules.


Somehow a group of 6 goblins is supposed to have made it all this way alive? How's that meant to work?

Obviously that's crazy...but perhaps some goblins did try and make it only to be turned to undead after being slaughtered. A collection of goblin zombies perhaps? Or small-sized ghouls.


So wait...the celestials trap a collection of minor demons and decide...just for kicks...to make the room 60 feet high and put near the roof a collection of heavily trapped containers on a set of shelves containing minor magic items. That...makes no sense at all.

So instead the vargoulles here are the result of a group of previous adventurers who made it here only to get trapped and killed by the cold and negative energy. Their corpses litter the floor (now headless) their weapons are mostly shattered from attempting to smash the door. The magic items are scattered among their remains (and are not trapped).


So not only have these goblins and hobgoblins made it past the locked portcullis and the ghouls, they've also set their secret base right next door to a bugbear murder-room? Logic train zooms off the tracks, hundreds killed.

This location is a storehouse of weapons and equipment brought here by the paladins as part of their last stand against the demon they battled. If you want an encounter then I suggest some undead wolves.


As previously stated the whole idea of there being a goblin shrine here is ridiculous. Instead I'd say that room 134 is a shrine set up by the paladins and 133 is a crypt where they planned to inter their dead should any survive. Both areas are Hallowed 5 and have Positive Energy conditions.

135-136 are small barracks and guard stations and are now inhabited by the animated remains of those paladins who survived the battle. They attempted to make it back to their shrine but succumbed to their wounds or other monsters of the dungeon before they could. However, unlike their brethern they were not completely tainted by evil and instead wait here hoping to fulfill their duty.

They have the stats of mummy's but wield longswords. They stand guard outside of the shrine (unable to enter themselves and complete their duty to bury their dead) and will not attack unless attacked or unless someone attempts to enter the shrine. If the PCs display a symbol of the paladin's order or a LG symbol then they will allow them to pass. Enshrining the remains of the corrupted paladins from B111 will put them to rest and cause them to dissolve to dust.


  1. What do you think about the random encounters in each of the sections you've done?

  2. Haven't really covered them have I? Probably because I rarely use random encounters myself. Overall they're okay (although Region A obviously suffers from the main problem of repetitive monsters) but they could use some work. Maybe my next WLD post will focus on that.

  3. I rarely put randoms or encounter conditions in either, however in the maze the I specifically made sure to add randoms... The party rolled assassin vines. Having never ran them before I was shocked when they nearly decimated my party who were hampered by the single file conditions, after being spoiled by having a pure healing based cleric of illmater with spellcasting prodigy (giving him equivillent 20 wis on the basis of bonus spells) and also augmented healing feats as there party healer, it was a real eye opener to have vulnerable they were once he was rooted to the floor and unable to reach have of the party members engaged in the combat.