Sunday, 1 September 2013

Bruno's Cruel Dungeon: Make Your Players Cry

I feel like such a douche for even thinking of this dungeon. Not that it'll stop me from sharing the idea...
So follow these steps to make your version of Bruno's Cruel Dungeon™.

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Grab a Dungeon Map of your Liking

If you don't have any and don't know where to find one, grab one of these.


This Dungeon is Filthy

Make it explicitly clear that the dungeon is really filthy and unsanitary. Any adventurer getting wounded in there might catch a disease (Filth fever is a good old classic. Don't tell them that they might catch a disease in there though, they should be able to realize that all by themselves by your gross description of it. If not... Too bad.). Look some up in your rules set of choice, you could even choose different ones per room.
That said, I highly recommend the Dungeon Funk Table for this.


Add some Traps Here and There

A must for any cruel dungeon. I trust your rules set of choice, adventures, supplements and favorite rpg blogs have those covered. Make sure to add some magical traps though, just so your Rogue/Thief/Specialist doesn't get too cocky.


Put Cave Crickets in EVERY Room!!!
You read right. Put these insects all over the place, don't hold back one bit. They won't attack unless the PCs attack them first anyway. Why put them there in the first place then? Because their chirping makes it hard for spellcasters to concentrate and cast their spells! The party will have to decide to either avoid fighting them but put up with the chirping or trying to kill them but then having more fights on their hands. On the plus side though, I guess these things would cover the sound of the adventurers fighting their way through the place, so that's something at least. Although their chirping increases the odds of random encounters... Of course that depends on if you have random encounters inside your dungeons too.
Here are the Cricket's stats for Old-School and Pathfinder.

If you use 4th Edition... Here's a cookie.
Roll. If you fail, you find out too late that it's an oatmeal raisin cookie and not a chocolate chips cookie.

P.S: I have nothing against people who like 4th edition. I genuinely did try to find the Cave Cricket's stats for 4e for about 5 minutes before giving up on that. So yeah, 4th Editioners, you're on your own. Then again, you know that feeling already... O.k, o.k, I'll stop!!!


Put Lots of Rust Monsters
So we've already messed with the spellcasters, time to mess with the warriors. Don't put them all in a single encounter, spread them over the dungeon.
Old-School and Pathfinder stats.


Put disenchanters
We've messed with their spells, we've messed with their armor and weapons, now let's mess with their magic items. Don't put as many of these as the Rust Monsters, but don't include just one either. You could have them all together in a single encounter or spread them out again, or you could mix-and-match them with Rust Monsters in a place or two. And don't forget the Cave Crickets will be happily chirping along the whole time.
Old-School and Pathfinder stats.


Put a Xorn
And now it's time to mess with their gems and any precious metals that they might have left after dealing with the Rust Monsters. Just one will do, these guys are pretty tough. It doesn't have to be a fight though: "An offering of a particularly delicious (and expensive) jewel or piece of precious metal can swiftly secure a xorn's temporary allegiance."
Old-School and Pathfinder stats.


Where You'd Normally Put Treasure, Put a Mimic Instead
No exceptions. Come on, don't grow a conscience on me now! What's funny is that some parties will just keep trying in the hope that ONE of the chests might end up being actual treasure! To be -somewhat- fair, never put a Mimic in a spot that the party can't avoid; Always make it their decision to approach a 'treasure chest' or not.
Old-School and Pathfinder stats.


If They Stop to Rest...
Have these little spellbook-eating beauties arrive if the party has at least one spellbook with them and decides to stop and rest in the middle of the dungeon. It's not even cheating to decide they will show up wherever the party stops, the Bookworms are attracted to spellbooks!
Old-School and Pathfinder stats.

And we did mention the dungeon is filthy, didn't we? Rot Grubs? Rot Grubs!!!
Again, have these show up only if the party is foolish enough to try and get some rest over the filth and mold of the dungeon.
Old-School and Pathfinder stats. (If you're using Old-School rules, have many rot grubs appear, not just one.)

And for the record, I think it's perfectly acceptable to have the Bookworms and Rot Grubs show up at the same time.


Use a Good Old Eye Tyrant for The End
Might as well end the whole thing with an iconic bad guy who can kill heroes with a glance. But don't just have an Eye Tyrant there...


Add two Gas Spores so the players will think they're dealing with three Eye Tyrants. Hilarity ensues.

Old-School* and Pathfinder** stats for an Eye Tyrant.

Old-School and Pathfinder stats for a Gas Spore.

*For Old-Schoolers, go to the link and download the Advanced Edition Companion, the no-art version is free. You'll find the Eye of Terror in the monsters section of the book.

** This is actually under pre-Pathfinder 3.5 stats so you might want to give it the Advanced Creature template or if you feel lazy just consider its Challenge Rating to be -1 to what is given. 

Oh and I guess you can include actual treasure for that final encounter. If you feel generous.

If you use this, please leave me a comment to tell me how it went!!! :D