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Monday, March 27, 2017

Dungeons & Dragons - A Guide to Tales From the Yawning Portal

This guide will hopefully help DMs prepare and flesh out the adventures in Tales From the Yawning Portal.

You can get this guide on pdf right here:

http://www.dmsguild.com/product/210109/A-Guide-to-Tales-From-the-Yawning-Portal??affiliate_id=301495


Links

Buy Tales From the Yawning Portal here.

Maps

You can buy the Mike Schley maps of the Citadel, Tamoachan and Thay right here.
Really awesome free Forge of Fury maps
A free map of The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
Free Hill Giant Maps
Free Frost Giant Maps
Free Fire Giant Maps 
Mike Schley has his awesome 4th edition Against the Giants maps here - these are not exactly the same! There are some changes, so be careful.
Free Tomb of Horrors official map

Walkthrough Maps (gives you a sense of the whole adventure in a glance)

Walkthrough Map of White Plume Mountain
Walkthrough Map of Hill Giant Steading
Walkthrough Map of Tomb of Horrors 

Miscellaneous Cool Stuff

Warrens of the Stone Giant Thane - This is a 4th edition adventure by Chris Perkins that adds an adventure featuring stone giants into Against the Giants.
Dead in Thay Player Handout - The setup for Dead in Thay is confusing. This handout by DM David clarifies it really well.

Undermountain Products

Expedition to Undermountain
Halaster's Lost Apprentice
The Halls of Undermountain

Reviews

The Dungeon Fantastic review

List of Adventures by Level

This is the level each character should be when they start the adventure.
  • (lvl 1) The Sunless Citadel
  • (lvl 3) Forge of Fury
  • (lvl 5) Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
  • (lvl 8) White Plume Mountain
  • (lvl 9) Dead in Thay
  • (lvl 11) Against the Giants
  • ("high level") Tomb of Horrors
It doesn't give a level for Tomb of Horrors. It says: "Only high level characters stand a chance of surviving..."

Adventure Anthology

Unlike the other adventure books, this one doesn't have a single, long story line. This is a collection of classic D&D adventures updated to 5th edition rules.

You could link them together. It might take a bit of work, but we can make that happen.

Undermountain: It might be fun to try to place these adventures in Undermountain, the mega-dungeon connected to the Yawning Portal. That way, your group can stay at the Yawning Portal and we can make a whole campaign out of this.

Dungeon Crawl-y: Just keep in mind that most of these adventures are dungeon crawls. There's not a lot of roleplaying and social interaction. They’re pretty linear. There is a lot of wackiness and puzzle-solving, which is a lot of fun.

Character Backgrounds

Linking characters to things in the adventures can get the players more into it. I’ll add to this list as we go through the book.

Downshadow: (Sunless Citadel) The character lived or grew up in the poverty-stricken shanty town of Downshadow, a community of vagabonds actually located in Undermountain.

Prisoners/Friends: In the Forge of Fury, there are two captives, Geradil and Courana on page 39-40. It says they're from a town near Blasingdell, but you could say they're from wherever you want if you want to link them to the group somehow.

Dwarven Descendent: (Forge of Fury) A dwarf character might want to say they are a descendant of Durgeddin or another dwarf who lived in Khudrukar before the orc wiped them out. There a few named dwarves:
  • Borgl the Old, Gharin Orc-Doom, Numik the Unlucky (pg 47)
  • Arundil (page 54) a mage who created a lot of animated objects. Arundil was Durgeddin's trusted adviser. The character won't know this part: When the orcs attacked, Arundil was a coward and teleported away. When he came back, everyone was dead. He went insane, animated some tables and skeletons, and he summoned a succubus that killed him. 

(page 5) Introduction - The Yawning Portal



The book starts off with a few pages about the tavern known as The Yawning Portal.

There is a great, detailed Yawning Portal page from 3rd edition right here.

And then there's really great, official flavor for going down the well and graffiti you might find down there right here.

The Forgotten Realms Wiki has a very nice summary of the details in the Yawning Portal. It looks like they haven't updated it to the newer editions, but it gives you a nice starting point.

Essential Information: There's a few main details to know:
  • Dungeon Entrance: This inn contains a 40-foot wide well with a low wall inside the main tavern. The well leads to the legendary dungeon of Undermountain.
  • Immortal Owner: The bartender/owner is a retired adventurer named Durnan who has lived for hundreds of years. He was one of the first people to explore Undermountain and survive.
  • Entrance Fee: The heroes will be charged 1 gp each to be lowered into the well. They will also be charged 1 gp each to come out. Durnan will not let people up if they don't pay.
How Deep is the Well? 140 feet. If you fall, that's 14d6. Not good!

Getting Lowered Down: There is a large winch-and-pulley contraption that controls a thick rope with stirrups. The adventurers put their feet in the stirrups and are lowered down.

Getting Out: A bucket will be lowered down. The heroes must put their gold in it before they will be let up.

Patrons Gamble on You: The people in the bar like to bet on whether or not adventurers will survive. When someone pays to enter the well, the patrons cheer, share rounds of drinks and give the adventurers a going-away party.

Secret Entrance: There's actually another means of entry into Undermountain in the cellar of the Yawning Portal. It is a steeply-sloping hallway that leads to a cistern, a staircase, and a well shaft that has its own bucket, winch and rope. Durnan himself doesn't know it is there.

Map: There is a sweet poster map of the Yawning Portal that comes with the 4e Halls of Undermountain book. It’s on amazon now for $15. I think it is worth it if you’re going to use the inn a lot.

There is some great flavor text describing the tavern in Halaster's Lost Apprentice that you can use:

“The warm atmosphere of the Yawning Portal tavern offers a blessed relief from the bitter winter chill outside. Here, pipesmoke and the scent of spiced wine mingle with dozens of dialogues bleeding into one, while the snowy world lies trapped outside the heavily fogged glass.

In the midst of the folk talking and dancing is a wide circular well lit by everburning torches: the eponymous Yawning Portal, which, the legend holds, is an entrance to Undermountain, the legendary dungeon.

Intent on adventure—whether for sheer thrills or for matters material and financial—you settle into the smoky common room, looking about for a wealthy patron or a rumor of treasure to be found.”

There is also flavor text for being lowered down into the well:

“The staff of the Yawning Portal straps you one-by-one into a harness attached to a winch and pulley, then lowers you through the great well into the gloom of Downshadow, the shallowest depth of Undermountain. You journey down, trying hard not to think too much about the creaking old leather or the straining ropes.

Finally, it is over and your feet touch cool, wet stone. Before nerves can get the better of you, you wrench the harnesses free and tug on the ropes to signal them to be raised.

NPCs: I dug up some NPCs from old products you can use to flesh out the tavern.

Durnan the Sixth: Descendant of Durnan. He is practical and doesn't tolerate violence.

Kelsie: Durnan the Sixth's wife. She is a "pleasant-faced woman" whose mother was a cook at the Yawning Portal.

Kids: They have 9 kids, the oldest of which is Durnan the Seventh.

Endroth Knag: Member of the city watch being pressured to retire. He ponders unresolved cases as he sips ale.

The White Lady: An elderly elf wearing plain white robes. She comes in every night and whispers cryptic statements over and over. 

Brother Sepulcher: A bald priest who wears grey robes and long, white gloves who likes to stare at a skull he keeps with him. He worships Jergal, the exarch of proper burial. Brother Sepulcher likes to record the name and description of each person who enters Undermountain.

Old Stannoc: An elderly halfling who is a gambler and odds maker. He tries to evaluate each adventurer before they go down so he can set proper odds.

Downshadow: There is actually a community of people who live in Undermountain. They are "coin-shy" and down on their luck. They have a shanty town of about 200 people.

There are some shady people down there, including a doppleganger and thugs who keep a pet giant scorpion on a chain.

(page 9) Chapter 1 - The Sunless Citadel


The story goes like this:
  • The Gulthias Tree creates two apples per year: One heals, and one kills.
  • The tree is in a ruined place called The Sunless Citadel.
  • To get to it, the group has to pass through an area where kobolds and goblins are at war.
  • The heroes find the hidden grove and must deal with the Gulthias Tree, which is evil and producing evil creatures..
Mapping: The adventure suggests having a player draw a map as they play, listening to your descriptions. I have never seen this done well. I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm just saying it is hard.

It slows the game down in a big way and it is very hard to describe certain areas. It can be frustrating if the player gets confused and the map gets all messed up.

You might want to pre-make a player's map that doesn't show secret doors or anything like that. You can cut it up into pieces or cover it with something and reveal it to the players as they explore.

Origin of Gulthias: Gulthias was a vampire. There's a nice summation of his backstory on page 31 of the monster manual.

(50 gp) The Magic Apple: A red apple of perfect hue. It heals those who suffer from any disease or other ailment.

Gaining Levels: The group will probably hit 2nd and 3rd level during this adventure. You should think about whether you want them to "ding" and immediately hit next level, or whether you want them to rest or even go back to Oakhurst in order for them to gain the level.

Marching Order: Make sure you know the marching order - how the group is aligned when they explore. You'll need to know who's in front, who's in back, that kind of thing. This place is loaded with pressure plates and pit traps.

You might want to write down the passive perception scores so you won't tip your players off when there's something in the area worth perceiving.

Random Encounters: Once the group hits rooms 13 and up, you roll on a random encounter chart every 12 hours in the game. You might want to just pick the monsters off of the list ahead of time so you're ready to go at the table.

This book only uses Monster Manual kobolds. You might want to switch in some Volo's kobolds (Volo's pg 165-167), as they seem like a lot of fun.

The Lost Adventuring Party

This adventure involves another adventuring party who went in and never came out. I made a list of their names and what happened to them:
  • Karakas the Ranger (pg 21) Killed by rats
  • Talgyn (pg 25) Killed by Durnn the hobgoblin
  • Sharwyn (pg 30, stats pg 242) Controlled by Belak
  • Sir Braford (pg 30, stats pg 243) Controlled by Belak
Resting: If the heroes rest in the citadel, the monsters move around and reinforce cleared rooms. You might want to note the important rooms that they'd want guarded ahead of time.

Treasure: Each kobold and goblin has 2d10 silver. You could just say it's 10 silver to speed things up.

Ambush at Night: On their way to the citadel, if the heroes rest for the night, they'll be attacked by twig blights (MM page 32).

Dwarven Graffiti: You might want to come up with some amusing dwarven graffiti. This page has some awesome dwarven sayings.

You could probably use:
  • "Evil breeds in the guts of the lazy."
  • "It is easy to fool a goblin, but even easier to kill one."
Descending the Rope: No check!


1. Ledge (page 12): This is all the way at the top of the map on page 13.
Giant Rats: MM page 327.

3. Crumbled Courtyard (page 12)
: The heroes need to walk over rubble. Dex save DC 10, if they fail by 5 or more they fall in to a little cavity/pit. No damage. Climbing out is a DC 10 STR (Athletics).

The noise has a 10% chance of attracting more giant rats. I would say just use common sense instead of rolling. If they're loud, the rats come.

On top of that, there is an actual pit trap. The hero will just fall in unless they have a passive Perception of 15 or more. They don't give a DC for getting out. Maybe they can't get out without help? The trap door shuts after one minute!

4. Tower Shell (page 13): There's a hard-to-find secret door here that's trapped with a needle. No save! Needle does 1 damage.

The graffiti mentions Ashardalon. Ashardalon is a massive red dragon who is the main bad guy at the end of the adventure path that was part of in 3rd edition. You might want to change the bad guy to someone that makes sense for your campaign world.

5. Secret Pocket (page 13): 3 skeletons (MM pg 272).

6. Old Approach (page 14): A keyhole in the mouth of a dragon statue on a door. Arcane lock (PH pg 215) is cast on it. To open this door, you must use a knock spell or make a DC 30 STR (Athletics).

The key to this thing is in the mouth of another dragon carving in area 21.

7. Gallery of Forlorn Notes (page 14): When the group gets in here, make sure you know where they are positioned. You'll want to know how close to the door they are when the charm hits.

This thing sends you running back to area 3, probably into the pit trap. If you look at the map, PCs who have a speed of 30 can almost make it there in one round. The rubble in 4 might actually save them.

8. Pressure Plate (page 14): This trap will go off every time the plate is stepped on! +5 to hit, 5 (d10) piercing.

9. Dragon Riddle (page 14): Answering the riddle opens the secret door. The heroes might find the secret door, but there is no other way to open it.

10. Honor Guard (page 15): Little tracks lead to an open, obvious spiked pit. Falling in causes a total of 2d10 piercing and d6 falling. Jot the quasit (MM page 63) is lurking nearby.

You could have Jot be invisible, and wait for the heroes to look in the pit. Then he could his scare power to frighten them, and you might rule that heroes at the edge of the pit must make a Dex save or fall in.

Remember, Jot wants to be attacked by 2+ people or be hit once so he'll be free of his magical binding. He might lurk nearby and heckle the group as they explore if that sounds fun to you.

If the group doesn't attack him for some reason, he could cut them a deal. He'll tell them about the secret door to 12 if they will hit him one time (and only once!).

11. Secret Room (page 15): The crawlspace is a really amusing/scary time for an unbound Jot to cause mischief.

12. Tomb of a Failed Dragonpriest (page 15): If the group opens this thing, they're facing a weakened version of a troll (MM pg 291): AC 15 HP 30 +7 to hit 11 (2d6+4) slashing dmg. Regen 5 at start of its turn. Acid/fire shuts this down. Acid or fire must be used to kill it for good.

Scrolls (DMG pg 199-200): If the spell is on your class list, you can cast it. If it's higher lever than you can cast, you must make an ability check DC 10+spell's level.

I used the chart on DMG pg 200 to figure out the bonus to hit and DC:
  • Command (PH pg 223): DC 13
  • Cure Wounds lvl 2 (PH pg 230): 2d8 + spellcasting modifier.
  • Inflict Wounds lvl 2 (PH pg 230): +5 to hit, Hit: 4d10 necrotic! Not too shabby.
  • Guiding Bolt lvl 2 (PH pg 248): rg 120, +5 to hit. Hit: 5d6 radiant and the next attack against the target has advantage.
14. Enchanted Water Cache (page 16): Ice mephit (MM page 215), steam mephit (MM page 217)

15. Dragon Cell (page 16): Meepo the kobold (MM page 195) was in charge of a white dragon wyrmling named Calcryx, but the goblins stole it. Meepo is quite distraught over this.

Meepo is a very famous D&D NPC. People play him a lot of different ways. It seems like a lot of times, he ends up as a sidekick to the heroes.

16. Kobold Guardroom (page 17): The door is trapped and is very easy to spot (DC 10 perception). It is likely the group will spot it with passive perception. The wire is on the other side, and when set off it drops a bucket of dragon poop that will actually poison you for a minute. Poisoned = disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

There's 3 kobolds (MM page 195) in here. If Meepo is with the group, he can just yell "Ticklecorn," the kobold safe word.

17. Dragon Chow (page 17): Swarm of rats (MM page 339)

18. Prison (page 18): Four goblin (MM page 166) prisoners. These things will beg to be free and are quite treacherous.

19. Hall of Dragons (page 18): If the group doesn't Ticklecorn their way through, we have a tough fight here:
  • 3 kobolds (MM page 195) With 7 hit points instead of 5.
  • Round 3: Yusdrayl (page 248) and her 2 more kobolds with 7 HP guards from Area 21
  • Round 5: 3 Kobolds from area 16.
  • Round 8: 3 Kobolds from area 23.
I would guess that Yusdrayl would hang back and fire off chromatic orbs (PH pg 221) and burning hands (PH pg 220) spells.

20. Kobold Colony (page 18): A surplus of kobolds:
  • 3 Kobolds (mm pg 195)
  • 7 "kobold commoners" (MM pg 345): AC 10 HP 3 +1 to hit, 1 (d4-1) bludgeoning dmg.
  • 14 no-stat kobold riff raff
21. Dragon Throne (page 18): Yusdrayl (page 248) and 2 kobolds (MM page 195)
Yusdrayl can give the group a lot of info: The goblins and the twig blights serve an outcast named Belak, who is 'down below'. The kobolds believe they belong here because of the dragon paraphernalia.

There are a lot of keys here.. they go to areas 7, 15, 18, and 24. Treasure:
  • Quaal's feather token (DMG pg 188-189) (Tree): This can only be used outdoors. It makes a tree, with bark and everything.
  • Elixir of health, 3 doses (DMG pg 168) Removes disease/poison/blindness etc.
  • Mage armor (PH pg 256), spider climb (PH pg 277) knock (PH pg 254)
23. Underdark Access (page 19): 3 kobolds (MM pg 195). The tunnel is linked to whatever you want. It could be caved in if you don't want to use it. This might be a way to connect to the Forge of Fury. We'll check that out soon and see.

24. Trapped Access (page 19): It looks like if the group isn't cautious, the people in front are falling in to this pit trap: no save, d6 damage.

26. Dry Fountain (page 20): Say "let there be fire" and get yourself a potion of fire breathing (DMG pg 187) Once you drink it, you can do this three times: (bonus action) rg 30 one target makes a DEX save DC 13. 4d6 fire, half on a save. 

The door to 27 has some traps. If a hero tries to open it, a scythe comes out of the ceiling and slices you: +5, 4 (d8) slashing. To open the door, you either need to use knock or turn undead.

27. Sanctuary (page 20): 5 skeletons (MM pg 272)
  • Potion of resistance (fire) (DMG page 188) lasts one hour
  • Night Caller the magic whistle (page 228-229) Animate dead (PH pg 212)
28. Infested Cells (page 20): 3 giant rats (PH pg 327)

29. Disabled Trap (page 21): Let there be death! Poison mist Con save DC 10. Fail: 5 (d10) poison and poisoned for 10 minutes. Succeed: 1/2 dmg and poisoned for one minute!

30. Mama Rat (page 21): 3 giant rats (PH pg 327), Potion of healing (pg 188): 2d4+2

Guthash the Bloated One: AC 12 HP 16 +5 to hit, 4 (d4+2) piercing dmg. Has advantage when an ally is adjacent.

31. Caltrop Hall (page 21): 2 Goblins (MM pg 166). When the door is opened, a bell rings, alerting the goblins in 32

Caltrops (PH pg 151) If you move at half speed, you're fine. If you move normally, DC 15 Dex save or stop moving and take 1 piercing. Until you regain at least one hit point, your speed is reduced by ten feet.

Cover The 3 foot high wall must give them cover (PH pg 196). I'd say they have at least half cover, so +2 to AC and DEX saves.

33. Practice Range (page 22): 3 goblins (MM pg 166)

34. Goblin Stockade (page 22): Prisoners.. 3 kobolds (MM pg 195)

Erky Timbers

Erky Timbers, Gnome Acolyte: AC 10 HP 17 +2 2 (d4)
  • 3x: Bless (PH pg 219), Cure Wounds (PH pg 230, Sanctuary (PH pg 272)
35. Trapped Corridor (page 23): Another pit trap! No save, d6 damage. This will alert the goblins in 36. They'll be here in 2 rounds.

36. Goblin Bandits (page 23): 3 goblins (MM pg 166). If they can, they'll knock the group out and bring them to 34.

37. Trophy Room (page 23): Hidden in here is Calcryx, the white dragon wyrmling (MM pg 102)

The Map: If you plan on running Forge of Fury, definitely put a map that leads to Blasingdell or Khundrukar in the sealed scroll case in room 37.

38. Goblin Pantry (page 24): Mmmm... elf pudding.

39. Dragon Haze (page 24): Noise draws goblins from 36 and 40.

Lightly Obscured (PH pg 183): It's hard to see in here... disadvantage on perception checks using sight.

40. Goblinville (page 24): Cavalcade of goblins:
  • 3 goblins (MM pg 166)
  • 10 "Goblin Commoners" (MM pg 345): AC 10 HP 3 +2 1 (d4-1) dmg
  • 20 no-stat Goblin Freeloaders who want free stuff from the government.
41. Hall of the Goblin Chief (page 25): 3 hobgoblins (MM pg 186), Twig Blight (MM pg 32)
Grenl the Goblin Chief: AC 15 HP 10 +4 5 (d6+2) (bonus action) Disengage or Hide.
+3 spell attack, DC 11
  • At will: Poison spray (PH pg 266), Thaumaturgy (PH pg 282)
  • 2x: Bane (PH pg 216), inflict wounds (PH pg 253)
Durnn the Hobgoblin (MM pg 186): AC 19 HP 11 +3 to hit 6 (d10+1) dmg   +7 dmg if an ally is adjacent to the target.

Shaft: The adventure likes the idea of someone getting pushed into this shaft. DEX save DC 15 or take 8d6 damage!

Chest: Poison needle Dex save DC 15 or 1 piercing dmg and CON save DC 10 or 3 poison. Potion of healing 2d4+2, Faerie Fire (PH pg 239), Expeditious Retreat (PH pg 238)

42. Central Garden (page 27): Twig blights (MM pg 32) 2 robed skeletons (MM pg 272): AC 12 HP 13 +4 to hit 3(d6) shovel dmg

43. The Great Hunter's Abode (page 27): 1 bugbear (MM pg 33) 2 giant rats (MM pg 327)

45. Rift Node (page 27): Fire snake (MM pg 265) not an easy stat block to find!

47. Belak's Laboratory (page 27): 2 goblins (MM pg 166), 8 "Goblin Commoners" (MM pg 345): AC 10 HP 3 +2 1 (d4-1) dmg

Rat Disease: You grow tumors that look woody and fruit-like.

Healer's Kit (PH pg 151): 10 uses, auto-stabilize someone who is dying.

48. Garden Galleries (page 28): Bugbear with glaive: AC 16 HP 27 +4 to hit, 13 (2d10+2) dmg + surprise attack gives it +7 dmg

49. Arboretums (page 29): Many things in alcoves:
  • Goblin (MM pg 166)
  • 3 "Goblin Commoners" (MM pg 345): AC 10 HP 3 +2 1 (d4-1) dmg3
  • Fire snake (MM pg 265)
  • 3 skeletons AC 12 HP 13 +4 to hit 3(d6) shovel dmg
  • Twig blight (MM pg 32)
  • Potion of healing: 2d4+2
50. Ashardalon's Shrine (page 29): Shadow (MM pg 269)

Alchemist's fire (PH pgs 148, 151): (Action) Throw it up to 20 ft, make rg attack, d4 fire dmg at the start of each of its turns. Creature can end the dmg with a DC 10 DEX check.

51. Dragon Library (page 29): Scorching ray (PH pg 273), melf's acid arrow (PH pg 259)

53. Belak's Study (page 29): Glyph of Warding (PH pg 245) 20 foot radius sphere, DC 12 DEX save, 5d8 cold dmg, half as much on a save.

Entangle (PH pg 238), protection from poison (PH pg 270)

54. Grove Gate (page 30): 4 goblins (MM pg 166), 4 twig blights (MM pg 32)

55. Twilight Grove (page 30) 10 twig blights!(MM pg 32) d4-1 ("minimum 0") more arrive every round if there's noise.

Briars: Small creatures are fine in here. Large and up have problems...
  • Normal Speed: Large creatures moving through the briars must make a DC 10 CON save every ten feet or 1 piercing
  • Slow Down: Spend two feet of movement for every one foot moved, no check.
56. The Gulthias Tree (page 30): If the group destroys the tree, the NPCs and the blights turn against Belak. In the second round, the giant frog launches into the fray! Big battle, lots o' creatures:
  • Belak the Outcast (druid, MM pg 346)
  • Sir Braford (pg 242) Tries to use shatterspike (pg 229) to shatter weapons!
  • Sharwyn Hucrele (pg 243)
  • 3 twig blights (MM pg 32)
  • Kulket the Giant Frog (MM pg 325)
Treasure:
  • 3 Potions of healing 2d4+2
  • Antitoxin (PH pg 151) Advantage on saves vs. poison for one hour.
  • Wand of Entangle (page 229)
Braford and Sharwyn are going to die in 24 hours because they are linked to the tree now.

Background: Descendant of Durgeddin: As a dwarf, you want to find and claim your ancestral home of Khundrakar. You should have some other dwarves to watch it while you're off doing stuff.

Geradil or Courana as a friend or relative: They get captured in Forge of Fury, page 40

(page 33) Chapter 2 - The Forge of Fury

Backstory: There was an underground dwarven settlement called Khundrukar where the leader of the dwarves, Durgeddin, crafted weapons and magic items. It was overrun 100 years ago and now, monsters live there.

There are 5 levels to this place:
  1. The Mountain Door: Orcs
  2. The Glitterhame: Troglodytes
  3. The Sinkhole: A river
  4. The Foundry: Forge with many a duergar
  5. The Black Lake: Nightscale, the black dragon
Hooks: There's a few hook ideas for this:
  • The group finds a map
  • Orcs are raiding Blasingdell. They are coming from Stone Tooth/Khundrukar.
  • Baron Althon hires the group to go to Khundrukar and recover as many of Durgeddin's weapons as possible. He'll pay them 100 gp if they map the place out, too.
If the group is going to try to find the creations of Durgeddin, here they are:
  • +1 longsword is in 22 on page 46. (1,000 gp)
  • +2 greataxe is in 53 on page 58. (6,000 gp)
  • Handaxe is in 14 on page 43. (500 gp)
  • Warhammer is in 23 on page 46. (500 gp)
The Mining Town of Blasingdell:
  • Location: 30 miles from Stone Tooth/Khundrukar
  • Constable: Dara Whitewood
  • Store: Tolm's Superior Outfitting and Dry Goods
  • Inn: The Griffon's Nest Inn and Tavern
  • Church: Temple (of a deity chosen by you) run by Sister Alonsa.
  • Orc Prisoner: Captured, charm person got it to give directions to Stone Tooth
The Orc Prisoner: It might be fun for the heroes to kick this thing off by fending off the orc raiders.

I also think it might be cool if the orc captive was female, maybe an orc claw of luthic (Volo's page 183). They have beneficial spells like cure wounds and create food and water.

With a bit of effort, the group could befriend her and gain a trusty healer ally who can give them a lot of insight (info dump) on this scenario.

You could run it where her jailers treat her poorly, humiliate her. You can have one constable who's just a real jerk, an orc-hating sadist.

They charm her, they get the info they want out of her, and then intend to visit every cruelty they can think of upon her for months or even years. The group can step in, defend her, and give the constable their comeuppance.

Maybe the group realizes that the constable plans on scamming the town out of the swords once the group has obtained them.

Travel from Blasingdell to Stone Tooth: Will take 2 days if the group travels at normal speed ("Forced March" PH pg 81). It's 30 miles away, and they can cover 24 miles in 8 hours.
  • One Step Over the Razor’s Edge: If they want to hustle and get there in one day, that takes 10 hours total. They would need to make a CON save DC 11 (hour 9) and DC 12 (hour 10). Each failure means that they gain a level of exhaustion (PH pg 291).
Getting Lost (DMG pg 111): If the group doesn't take the path up to Stone Tooth, they might get lost (DMG page 111). The party's navigator makes a DC 15 Wisdom (Survival) check. +5 if the group is moving slow, -5 if the group is moving fast. If the check is failed, the group is lost for d6 hours, then they can roll again.

Be Ready: This is one of those adventures where a lot of thought went into monster reactions. There is a good chance that the group is going to have an epic battle right in the beginning if they are not careful. Definitely spend time looking over "Mountain Door Defenses" on page 37.

Stealth Checks in Armor: I always forget that people who wear certain armors have disadvantage on Stealth checks. That's padded leather (!), scale, half plate, ring mail, chain mail, splint and plate. That might be vitally important here.

Captured heroes end up in the cages of area 6 (pg 39)

Ways In:
  • The Mountain Door: Leads to area 1 (page 36)
  • The Chimney:  Leads to area 7. This is risky. 80 foot drop, DC 15 Strength (Athletics). Fail by 5 or more make a DC 10 Strength save or fall and take up to 8d6 damage +3 fire dmg (yes, you land in fire).
  • Orc Tunnel: Leads to area 21
  • (The Dark Mere) The adventure doesn't want this used.. the group would skip right to the end of the adventure. But, it's there.
(page 36) 1. End of the Trail: 2 orcs (MM pg 246)

Stealth? If the group doesn't stealth their way in, they are looking at either being locked out of the building or fighting most of the orcs here in one shot. That's an ogre, an orog, an orc Eye of Gruumsh, and 16 orcs.

If the group attacks the two orc guards, they run:
  • Round 1: The orcs shout a warning and run inside.
  • Round 2: The four orcs in room 4 shoot through arrow slits that are 15 feet up on the wall (longbows, +3 to hit, 5 (1d8+1) dmg). They've got three-quarters cover (PH pg 196) which means  +5 to AC and Dex saves.
  • Round 3: The 2 orcs run across the bridge in 3. One archer runs to 2 and bars the doors shut.
  • Round 4: Two orcs get to 5.
  • Round 5: Orcs cut the rope to the bridge in 3! 4 orc archers continue shooting. The orc Eye of Gruumsh shows up to help the archers.
  • Round 8: Orcs (and the orog?) from 14 show up in 5.
  • Round 12: Great Ulfe and the 4 orcs from 11 set up in 5.
(page 36) 2. The Dwarf Door: If the door is barred, it's a DC 20 Strength check to open.

(page 38) 3. The Rift Hall: 2 orcs (MM pg 246) who have half cover (+2 to AC and DEX saves) from rock outcroppings.

Crossing the rope bridge is not good if you're under attack. Make a DC 10 Dexterity (Acrobatics).
  • Success: Move at half speed.
  • Fail: No movement. Fail by 5 or more: Fall 200 feet into a river and make a new character!
Cutting the Rope Bridge: It has AC 11, HP 8. The orcs has +5 and does nine damage. So one hit takes out a rope!
  • One Rope Cut: The bridge-crossing DC is now 12.
  • Both Ropes Cut: 7 bludgeoning damage, and a DC 12 Strength or Dexterity saving throw. Fail: Fall to your doom.
(page 39) 4. and 4a. Archers' Stations: 4 orcs (MM pg 246)

The arrow slits are at least 15 feet up! Not good for the heroes.

Sneaking Past the Arrow Slits: Dexterity (Stealth) vs. Orc passive Perception of 10

If the group makes noise, they might hear the prisoners in 6 calling for help.

(page 39) 6. Prisoner Cave: 2 commoners (Geradil and Courana)

(page 40) 8. Orc Commons: Remember that the passage to 10 is blocked with plunder, and after that there's a locked door to get through. Burdug keeps her "little stirgies" safe.

(page 40) 9. Shaman's Lair: Orc Eye of Gruumsh (MM pg 247) , 2 orcs (MM pg 246)

Burdug's Strategy:
  • Round 1: Command (PH page 223) on a fighter-type, DC 11 Wisdom save. Probably go with Grovel: The target falls prone and ends their turn.
  • Round 2: Bless (PH pg 219) All 3 bad guys get +d4 to attacks and saves. This is a concentration spell.
  • Round 3: (bonus action) Spiritual weapon (PH pg 278)  +3 to hit d8+3. She can use this as a bonus action each round.
  • Emergency: Burdug might chuck some alchemists fire (rg 20 +5, d4 fire at the start of each turn, end it with a DC 10 Dex check), run to 10 and sick the stirges on the group.
(page 41) 10. The Grand Stair: 4 stirges (MM pg 284)

There is a really brutal trap in here. It goes like this:

Open the dwarf face door, napalm hits: All within 15 feet of the door make a DC 10 Dex save.
  • Fail: Take 10 (4d4) fire and they take 5 (2d4) fire at the start of each turn.
  • Succeed: Half dmg and 5 (2d4) fire at the start of each turn.
Stop, Drop and Roll: Use an action to make a DC 10 Dex check. Success doesn't end it, it reduces it. Now you're taking 2 (d4) fire at the start of each of your turns. Another DC 10 DEX puts it out.

After Two Rounds: The door slams shut and the trap resets.

Here's the Worst Part: There's nothing in there! Just some gunk that you might be able to make some alchemists fire (PH pg 148) out of.

(page 41) 11. Orc Quarters: 4 orcs (MM pg 246)

Shoving: The orcs pair up, each attacking one hero. One orc tries to shove (PH pg 195) a hero prone, that's +5 vs whatever the hero rolls on a Athletics or Acrobatics check. If the orc wins, the hero is prone and the other orc attacks with advantage.

(page 42) 12. Great Ulfe: Modified ogre (MM pg 237), 2 dire wolves (MM pg 321)

The door's heavy! DC 17 Strength to get in.

Great Ulfe: AC 11 HP 59 +6 to hit 17 (2d12+4) slashing

Potion of Climbing (DMG pg 187) Gain a climb speed equal to your normal speed for one hour.

(page 42) 13. Dwarven Statue:

Get Within 5 Feet of the Statue: 15 foot cone of poison gas DC 12 Con save. Poioned until... a short rest! Wow. It resets after 1 minute. Run away from this statue. Far away!

(page 43) 14. Bunk Room: Orog (MM pg 247 ), 4 orcs (MM pg 246), Potion of healing: 2d4+2

He Healed Himself: There's nothing characters hate more than a bad guy who drinks a potion of healing. That's 2d4+2!

We're in the Glitterhame: This place is very sparkly, but it probably smells horrible because of the troglodyte stench.

The troglodyes have chameleon skin, letting them blend in with their surroundings. Their stench actually poisons you.

Studying Troglodytes: Check out MM pg 290 for full info on troglodytes. Basically, they are simple-minded, they live in filth, and they love to hunt humanoids. Other traits:
  • They don't tolerate weakness among their own kind. They actually kill and eat the weak.
  • They are very into armor and weapons (even though they don’t use them), and will fight each other over even a regular longsword.
  • They worship Laogzed, a demon lord toad/lizard who sends them dreams.
  • For a troglodyte, the plumper you are, the more content with life you will be.
(page 43) 15. The Cold Stream: Heroes must make a DC 8 Athletics or acrobatics. Fail by five or more, fall downhill and take 3 damage.

(page 44) 15a. Stirge Colony: 6 stirges (MM 284)

If the group makes noise, d4 of them come out of the cracks each round until there's a total of 6.

(page 44) 16 High Cavern: 4 stirges (MM pg 284), they're up on the ceiling.

Getting to 17 is cramped and torches are likely to go out.

(page 45) 17. Troglodyte Cavern: 2 troglodytes (MM pg 290)

You might want to use their chameleon skin to hide and get surprise. Maybe play up the gross weirdness of the carcass. The heroes might focus on that and boom, troglodytes. If the group doesn’t take the bait and spots the trogs, then they are engaging in what some might call excellent play.

If a noisy fight occurs, the troglodytes in 18 block the door, PCs need a DC 15 Strength check to open it

(page 45) 18. Troglodyte Warren: Total of 11 troglodytes (MM pg 290)

First, if a battle breaks out, one trog runs to alert Kaarghaz in 19. You could have him cast invisibility on himself, scope out the battle and blindside the adventurers with a scorching ray.

Second, this is one of those "orc babies" moral quandaries that doesn't go over so well with some groups. If you think it might upset people or something, just remove them.
  • NW: 2 sleeping trogs
  • SW: 6 troglodytes and hatchlings
  • SE: 3 trogs relaxing
(page 45) 19. Chieftain's Cave: Kaarghaz and giant lizard (MM pg 326)

Kaarghaz: AC 13 HP 39 2x +4 4(d4+2) and 1x +4 (d4+2)
  • Spell save DC 12, +4 spell attack
  • Burning hands (PH pg 220), shield (PH pg 275), sleep (PH pg 276), invisibility (PH pg 254), scorching ray. (PH pg 273)
(page 46) 20. Scaly Lair: Giant subterranean lizard (page 236) it swallows people! That's always fun.

(page 46) 21. Orc Tunnel: 2 troglodytes (MM pg 290), 1 brown bear (MM pg 319)

Two trogs are hiding here, they have +2 to their stealth checks with advantage. They will release a bear from a cage.

The tunnel here goes outside. The troglodytes go out at night to hunt.

(page 46) 22. Fungus Cavern:

That sword is one of the four Durgeddin items. If you grab it: Spores!

This mold really overdelivers big time. Touch a moldy skeleton: Spores in a 10 foot cube, Con save DC 15. Fail: 10 poison dmg and poisoned for one minute and then, once the condition ends, another 17 poison damage!

(page 47) 24. The Glitterhame: 2 gricks (MM page 173)

They're hiding in a pile of rubble and will try to ambush the characters.

(page 47) 25. Long Cavern: This one's really fun.

It looks simple, but it is actually incredibly involved. You might want to go over the water rules which are spread out: PH pgs 182, 183, 198 and DMG 116.

Swimming (PH page 182): When swimming, each foot of movement costs one extra foot. So, half speed, basically. Swimming in rough water will require an athletics check.

OK, so now we'll go through this step-by-step. If the dice go cold here, characters are going to die, plain and simple. They'd have to roll really badly, though:
  1. Perception: If they think of it, PCs could make a DC 15 Perception or Survival check to notice the slipperiness.
  2. Try to Cross: Try to cross the slope: DC 12 Acrobatics
  3. Fail? If you fail, you fall prone and slide toward the stream at half your speed. If you look at the map, the character will be no farther than 15 feet away from the water line.
  4. Over the Waterfall! When you slide into the stream, make a DC 10 Strength save or else you go over the waterfall! That’s 10 bludgeoning damage and one level of exhaustion (PH pg 291), which means disadvantage on ability checks. The exhaustion is important – it gives disadvantage on ability checks that are are crucial and they have low DCs.
  5. Not Over: Then! They’ve fallen into room 28 and the current has still got them.
  6. Try to Swim: The character makes a DC 10 Athletics check. Success means they get pulled 30 feet down the river and they can swim at half speed toward the bank. The river's not that wide, so I think they just get out. Getting out costs five feet of movement.
  7. Fail Again? If you fail, you are dragged 60 feet down the river and make a DC 10 Con save. Fail means you gain a level of exhaustion (PH pg 291). Level 2 exhaustion: Speed is halved!! Not good.
  8. Alone :Also, being pulled 60 feet means that the character is far away from the group, out of sight and in the tunnel to room 29.
  9. Swim Speed? If the character has a swim speed from a spell or something, they can make a move action to dash and get out.
  10. Dragged to Doom: If the character fails what looks like 3 or 4 checks, they get pulled into an airless underground cavern and take d6 bludgeoning from hitting the walls. They also begin the suffocation process (PH pg 183).
  11. Suffocation: You can hold your breath for 1+Con mod in minutes (minimum 30 seconds). If they are still underwater when that time ends, they drop to 0 and start dying.
  12. Hold Your Breath: Since a round is 6 seconds, no character would start dying for at least 5 rounds.
  13. Surprise! You're Dead: Here's the problem.. this tunnel runs underground for 5 minutes. You are dead and the group probably will almost certainly never find your body!
(page 48) 26. Grick Lair: Same 2 gricks from above (MM page 173)

(page 49) 30. Old Storeroom: Gray Ooze (MM pg 243)

What looks like wet floor is actually moist ooze!

(page 49) 32. Flooded Storeroom: Potion of water breathing (DMG 188), potion of invisiblity (DMG pg 188)

Don't drink the water! Con save DC 10, fail means you're infected. No symptoms until the next day. Once the next day hits, you have a fever and gain a level of exhaustion (pg 291). After every long rest, make another DC 10 Con save. Fail means you gain another level of exhaustion, success means your exhaustion level is reduced by one. If you hit exhaustion level 5, you're paralyzed until someone cures your disease.

(page 50) 33. Roper's Cavern: 1 roper (MM pg 261), ring of spell storing (DMG pg 192)

It looks like a stalagmite and there's a good chance it will surprise the heroes. It will actually try to dump characters in the river.

(page 51) 35. Chamber of Statues:

Hey, there’s two doors in here. Fake doors! Make sure you know where the heroes are standing. Open fake door, axe chop: +5 to hit 9 damage.

The entrance is actually a secret door behind one of the statues. The tunnel beyond it has a magic mouth that will shout out an alert.

(page 52) 36. The Great Hall: 2 duergar (MM page 122), 1 duergar spy (page 234), potion of healing

If the magic mouth in 35 shouted an alert, the duergar are invisible.

(page 53) 37. The Bladeworks: Snurrevin, 2 duergar (MM page 122), rat (PH pg 335), potion of hill giant strength (PH pg 187: 21 Strength for 1 hour)

Snurrevin: AC 16 HP 45  +4 6 damage (11 if enlarged)
  • DC 12, +4 spell attack
  • Color spray (PH pg 222), shield(PH pg 275), silent image (PH pg 276), hold person (PH pg 251), shatter (PH pg 275)
(pg 53) 38. The Chasm: More water. If you fall in, you go over the falls and take 42 damage. You land in room 50.

There's a chain ladder hidden here that you can use to climb down. No check when climbing it.

(page 53) 39. Council Chamber: Duergar (MM page 122) and Nimira the duergar (below)

There's one duergar guard in here. If a battle breaks out, Namira pops out from room 40 and joins the fray.

Nimira: AC 17 HP 52 +4/+4 9 damage, or 16 when enlarged.

(page 54) 41. Kitchens: Animated table (page 230)

The table won't attack dwarves.

(page 54) 42. Desecrated Shrine: Wight (300), two ogre skeletons, scrolls of web (PH page 287) and spider climb (PH pg 277)

The creatures lie inert until someone enters the room. None of the monsters can leave this room.

2 Ogre Skeletons: AC 11 HP 59 +6 13 dmg Speed 40
  • Vulnerable: bludgeoning. 
  • Immune: poison and exhaustion
(page 55) 43. Entrance to the Dwarf Halls: Ghost (MM pg 147)

Arundil is here, and he's an insane ghost.

(page 55) 44. Looted Rooms: Roll a d10. If you get a 10, roll on DMG on page 134. Here's some 10 gp gems if you just want to place them and skip the rolling:
  • Blue quartz (transparent pale blue)
  • Lapis lazuli (opaque light and dark blue with yellow flecks)
  • Rodochrosite (opaque light pink)
(page 55) 45. Skeleton Room: 6 skeletons (MM page 272)

Dwarf Skeletons! Animated by Arundil long ago.

(page 56) 46. Common Area: Ghost (MM pg 147)

(page 56) 47. Arundil's Chamber: Rug of smothering (MM pg 20)

The rug doesn't attack dwarves.

(page 56) 48. Looted Armory: Animated armor (MM pg 19)

Won't attack dwarves.

(page 56) 49. Idalla's Den: Succubus (MM pg 285). Scrolls of alarm (PH pg 211), enlarge (PH pg 237), disguise self (PH pg 233), and shield (PH pg 275).

The group enters and sees a dark-haired human woman reading. She weeps and tells the group she's a prisoner here. A wizard is using her as a test subject for magic that prolongs life.

This is your classic “damsel/monster in distress” encounter. She’s a succubus and wants to make out with the heroes until they die. She is not bound here, she comes here because there’s lots of traffic. She can shift into the ethereal whenever she likes.

(page 57) 51. Dwarven Bridges:

The group crosses the first bridge, no problem. Second bridge collapses! DC 10 Dex to grab onto a ledge. Fail: Fall in, take 7 damage and you are dragged by the current like the river above. The water travels "east to west", so that's away from the dragon's lair.

I kind of like the idea of the current pulling them right up to dragon.

(page 58) 52. Nightscale's Lair: Young black dragon (MM pg 188)

Pre-Roll: You should roll the dragon's stealth (+5) ahead of time. If you roll it at the table, the group might be alerted in a meta-game way.

Passive Perception: Make sure you know the group’s passive perception scores. If the dragon rolls low, they'll see her in the water.

Location of the Dragon: The dragon is probably ready. If the bridge collapses, she hears it. If not, she's actually sleeping on her pile of treasure on the island (area 53).

Bridge Collapse: I imagine most groups will collapse the bridge, which is good because this is a very cool fight. If they didn’t collapse the bridge, then that is yet another example of excellent play.

Underwater: If the group made any commotion, the dragon is underwater close to those three stones by the number 52 on the map. The dragon can breathe underwater so there's no hurry.

She Attacks: Her head comes out of the water (she has three-quarters cover: +5 to AC and Dex saves). She's 20-30 feet from the heroes. She breathes acid. It's in a line, so it's a bit tricky for her to hit multiple people. If she sets up near the actual number 52 on the map, she'll have a good angle. The group's on the ledge, so they're going to be in a line.

Start of Combat: Once she breathes, we can roll initiative. Surprise (PH pg 189) goes like this: The heroes can't take a move or an action in the first round of combat, no reactions until your first turn ends.

Hit and Run: On her turn, roll the recharge. If she gets it, she'll breathe again, dive underwater and swim away (swim speed: 40!).

Wait for Recharge: If it doesn't recharge, she swims around underwater waiting for her breath to recharge. It’s “the black lake,” so I assume the group can’t see her when she’s underwater and so she has total cover and can’t be targeted. I think she might swim behind the island at 53 until the recharge.

Too Much Damage? It is entirely possible that she breathes, the group is surprised, she recharges and breathes again. Then she swims away. Two breath weapons, that's up to 98 acid damage to multiple characters right at the start! That's a little scary, depending on your DM style.

(page 58) 53. Nightscale's Hoard: Wand of magic missiles (PH pg 211), potion of healing 2d4+2, potion of flying (DMG pg 188).

Combined total of money and gems: 2,140 gp

(page 61) Chapter 3 - The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan


Tribe: If you change the ending of this adventure, which I talk about all the way at the bottom, foreshadow it now by describing the tribe that is chasing them and maybe let the group get a glimpse of the Bat Queen.

Falling In: Right off the bat, you have a potential hurdle. This adventure famously begins with the ground giving way beneath the group's feet and they fall into the dungeon.

If you run this in a way where the group has a moment to react, there's a good chance some of them are not going to fall in. In general, when something like this has to happen, I tell the players ahead of time: "You're going to fall in the beginning. It's how the adventure starts."

Collapses: There's a really cool feature of this dungeon that is really easy to forget about. If an adventurer casts thunderwave or fireball, there's a 25% chance that part of the ceiling will collapse.

You could roll these in advance, so you'll know already exactly when it will happen.

Another option is to just have a bad guy trigger it. They cast fireball and cause the collapse. That makes it one less thing you have to worry about.

You should definitely foreshadow it a few times in advance, build the tension a bit and reward those who pay attention. The best places to foreshadow it are rooms with nothing in them, like some of the hallways, the alcove in 11, etc.

Poisonous Gas: A good portion of this dungeon is filled with poison gas. The effects:
  • Take 3 damage every hour.
  • Inhabitants of the dungeon are immune.
  • Starting a fire normally has a 50% chance of failing. Torches and etc. are only half as effective.
So that means:
  • Torch: Burn one hour, provides bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light another 10-feet.
  • Bullseye lantern: Lasts 6 hours, 30-foot cone and dim light 30-feet.
  • Hooded Lantern: Lasts 6 hours. 15 feet and dim light 15 feet.
  • Candle: Lasts 1 hour. 2.5 feet and dim light 2.5 feet! Amusing but almost completely useless.
You'll probably have some heroes with Darkvision. It goes like this:

Vision and Light (PH pg 183)
  • Dim light: Lightly obscured. (disadvantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks
  • Darkness: Heavily Obscured. You're blinded! (PH pg 290) You have disadvantage on attack rolls, creatures have advantage to attack you. Auto-fail any check that requires sight.
Darkvision: It basically bumps everything up by one. So dim light becomes normal light. Darkness becomes dim light for them.

Dried potions are very cool. Mix with water, half effect. Mix with wine, full effect. Snort the powder (!) 1 in 8 chance it's a potion of poison (DMG pg 188) you take 3d6 poison, then you roll a Con save DC 13 or be poisoned. From there, you take damage at the start of your turns and save at the end of your turns. Each successful save lessens future damage by 1d6. Repeat save at the end of each of your turns.

Before You Start: You might want to ask the group who is wearing gloves. You'll want to know this in advance, as area 5 and 11 have lime that does damage if bare flesh touches the walls.

Also! You might want to warn the players that this adventure doesn't "play buy the rules." It's written more for people to imagine themselves being there and explaining exactly what they do. For example, the adventure actually describes the mechanisms of a trap and what you'd have to do to shut it down. There are also a lot of encounters that operate by their own set of rules.

As an example, there's one where liquid light covers you over the course of 20 rounds (and then you die). The only way to stop it is to immerse yourself in water. This is something that is not at all obvious. In instances like that, the players should experiment and ask a lot of probing questions of the DM. In that situation, if they pour some water from their canteens on the light, you could describe that the liquid light melts away a bit.

(page 64) 1. The Vault of Chicomoztoc: Tribal warrior (MM pg 350), scout (MM pg 349), mastiff (MM pg 332), panther (MM pg 333), commoner (MM pg 345), cult fanatic (MM pg 345).

If any of these figures touch the floor, they grow, animate and attack. They're constructs.

Dig Up, Stupid: If you try to get out of the hole, dispense 2 damage to each digger and Dex save DC 13 or be buried and take 7 more. If they fail by 5 or more, the character is trapped and can't breathe! Without help, that person can make an Athletics check DC 15 once per minute to get out.

Suffocating (PH pg 183): Hold your breath for minutes equal to 1 + Con Mod, minimum 30 seconds. Once that runs out, you drop to 0 and start dying.

The Door: It looks like there's no handle or lock. Perception DC 20 allows you to spot a keyhole. The key is in the diorama. The group can also try peeling it open with pitons.

Once the group is ready to leave this room, have them tell you the marching order. It will matter right away!!

(page 66) 2. The Hall of Thrashing Canes: Step on pressure plate, get swatted by logs. Spotting the plate is tough: Perception DC 20.

It's a little confusing. I guess once 3-4 heroes are in the 6 squares between the red lines, the trap goes off. They automatically take 7 damage and are pushed five feet.

The logs stay and act as a barrier. The group will have to chop it up or teleport through or something.

(page 66) 3. Roost of the Conch: Giant crayfish (page 235), Kalka-Kylla (page 238)

So the crayfish demands to know what the group is doing here. Kalka Kylla, the crab, is asleep. If a fight breaks out, Kalka-Kylla wakes up and joins in. It's slippery in here, if you dash or engage in combat, you must make a Dex save DC 10 or fall prone (before you make the attack!)

Getting up from prone costs half your movement. So if a hero slips, they can get up and try again. If they fail again, they will either attack from the prone position or get up and not be able to attack this round.

Prone: Disadvantage to hit, creatures have advantage to hit you if they're within 5 feet, otherwise they have disadvantage.

(page 66) 4. Mud-Filled Doorway: I don't think too many groups will figure out how to clear out this silt. Who knows, maybe they will.

(page 67) 5. Tomb Stone and Wet Lime: The group sees a huge block that can be pushed in to access a room. The block is covered in lime. Touch the lime, take 1 damage. Leather armor will lose 1 AC after an hour.

Pushing it requires 4 characters to have a total of 48 strength.

(page 67) 6. Rubble-Filled Staircase: More potential collapsing like in room 1!

Digging Again: 2 damage to each digger and Dex save DC 13 or be buried and take 7 more. If they fail by 5 or more, the character is trapped and can't breathe! Without help, that person can make an Athletics check DC 15 once per minute to get out.

PH pg 183 hold breath for minutes equal to 1 + Con Mod, minimum 30 seconds. Once that runs out, you drop to 0 and start dying.

(page 67) 7. The Sepulcher of Tloques-Popolocas: vampire spawn (MM pg 298)
Magic Items: Ring of protection (DMG pg 191), bracers of defense (DMG pg 156) +2 to AC if no armor/shield, ring of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 192), ring of animal influence (DMG 189)
Berserker Axe +2 to his and damage (see below)

Spells: Glyph of warding (PH pg 245), passwall (PH pg 264), burning hands (PH pg 220), gust of wind (PH pg 248), bestow curse (PH pg 218), hold person (PH pg 251), dried potion of invisibility (PH pg 188), elixir of health (PH pg 168).

Picking the lock on the double doors disable the trap. Smashing the doors open fills the area with sleep gas. Roll initiative. If a character ends their turn in here, they must make a Con save DC 10 or become poisoned and unconscious for 5,000 years! Seriously! If magic is used to cure the poison, it only blocks the poison for one hour. The only way to get rid of it for good is to have someone cast dispel magic at 7th level or higher.

The vapors don't disperse for a month!!

In the actual room, there's an axe stuck in the wall. It casts a weird shadow and if you get close, you feel cold. It is impossible to pull this axe from the wall. Nobody can pick it up until Tloques has been slain.

This tomb can't be opened until the group figures out the glyphs. I find this very confusing, but I think I've got it.

The tomb has 4 main glyph markings on it, right in a row (it's a day, date and year). At the base of the block, there are rows of glyphs. among those rows are the same glyphs that are on as does the wall. If the group touches the glyphs on the rows that match up with the ones on the tomb in the same order, the tomb is unlocked and the lid can be removed.

The body inside is loaded with treasure. If the group takes the mask and the pendant, we go through a very intricate process round by round.
  • Round 1: The bones knit together and the creature sits up. It looks around. He has AC 12 and 27 hit points. If the group puts the mask and the pendant back, he falls inert again. Technically he's prone, so if the hero is adjacent, they have advantage to hit him.
  • Round 2: AC 12 and 27 hit points. Same thing.
  • Round 3: AC 17 and 54 hit points. Two claws: +6/+6 (disadv) Hit: 8(2d4+3) or grapple (escape DC 13). He is still prone, though, so he has disadvantage.
  • Round 4: AC 17 and 81 hit points. Two claws: +6/+6 (disadv) Hit: 8 (2d4+3) or grapple (escape DC 13).
So once this starts, I'd say you should ask your group what they do. If they don't answer fairly quickly, narrate his body coming together a bit, and now we're in round two. Ask again. Round 3: Now he's starting to look like a person! Round 4: He's a pale-skinned dude.

If the group does nothing: Here's how I'd do it. Tloques looks at the group confused. He staggers out of the crypt, maybe he falls and the group can catch him and help him up. He coughs dust and nods thanks. Hobbles over to the axe. Stands there for six seconds (summoning bats). Pulls the axe out as the bats show up and now we have ourselves a combat.

Berserker Axe (requires attunement) (DMG pg 185 - altered)
  • + 2 to hit and damage
  • 12 charges, regains d6+4 per day.
  • (5) Passwall (PH pg 264)
  • (2) Gust of Wind (PH pg 248)
  • (1) Burning Hands DC 15 (PH pg 220)
  • You keep the axe within reach at all times.
  • You have disadvantage on attack tolls with other weapons unless all enemies are at least 60 feet away.
  • When a hostile creature damages you, make a DC 15 Wis save. Fail: You're berserk. You must use your action each to make all possible attacks against the creature nearest to you. You're berserk until no creatures are within 60 feet of you that you can see or hear.
Problem Axe: The axe seems like it could cause problems out of game. You might want to tweak it if you think a player might be a jerk with it.

The group could make it work, I guess, as long as they stay away from the wielder. But after the bad guys are dropped, the group will need to de-berserk the character. If the wielder is blind and deaf, the berserk goes away. So if the group puts a thick hood and earmuffs (?) on the character, that would do it, right?

(page 69) 8. Courses of the Gods: More lime! 1 acid damage.

(page 69) 9. Stone Statue: The 12-foot tall statue has gem eyes and a magic sword! Climb it, it tips. Dex save DC 15 or 7 damage.. and a secret passage is revealed! Not too shabby.

+1 longsword, +2d6 damage to plants.

(page 70) 11. The Court of Cemanahuac: Tecuziztecatl (page 245), swarm of rats (MM pg 339)

Water: 2 feet deep. Costs 3 feet of speed for every 1 foot travel (So, speed 30 means the hero moves 10 feet).

Like earlier, if you dash or have a combat, it's a Dex save DC 10 or you fall prone (before you make the attack). Half your speed to get up.

Moat: It's 12 feet deep. I guess the character slips a bit and start swimming.

The Slug: He brags in an ancient language, but when he's getting hurt badly, he surrenders and will make a slippery slug-bridge for the heroes to get over the moat.

(page 71) 12. The Tomb of Hurakan: Open the door: Take 2 damage and make a Str save DC 15.
Fail: Be washed down the hall and make a Dex save DC 15 or drop whatever you're holding.
You're dumped in the moat in 11.

(page 72) 13. Child of Zotzilaha: Nereid (pg 240), giant lightning eel (page 236), gloves of missile snaring (DMG pg 172), dried potion of clairvoyance (DMG pg 187)

'Tis a lady! Chac the eel is hidden in the water. The nereid is flirty yet brimming over with chaos and evil. If she's in big trouble, she'll offer the group her treasure in the water. I'd imagine she'd kiss a wizard, as then they won't be able to speak for a minute/cast most spells. She's got the magic shawl which, if taken from her, can be destroyed and will hurt her badly.

(page 72) 15. The Great Hall: The true exit to this room is a secret door behind a sun painting.

To the characters, this is one long hallway. If they traverse it and past under the arch, they walk into a wall. Optical illusion! If they look around a bit, they might set off a trap that will bar them in to a little alcove, but they can get out with ten minutes of work.

(page 73) 17. Hall of the Great Spirit: Bracelet of rock magic (page 228)

There's a magic bracelet sitting in the mouth of an eagle head sculpture. Touch the bracelet, the mouth clamps down (no save). No damage, you're just stuck there. AC 16, 25 hit points. The victim takes 1/4th of the damage dealt to the sculpture.

(page 73) 18. Hallway of the Ancestors: Zombies (MM pg 316)

15 corpses line the hallway. Once someone is halfway down the hallway, they animate and attack! Once the battle is over, anyone who took damage must make a Con save DC 11 or get a modified version of sewer plague:

Sewer Plague (DMG pg 257) Con save DC 11. Fail: Infected.. it takes 1 hour to kick in. Then you get 1 level of exhaustion (PH pg 291), only regain half hit points from spending hit dice and gain no hit points from a long rest!! At the end of each long rest, make a Con save DC 11. Fail, gain a level of exhaustion. Succeed, remove a level of exhaustion.

(page 74) 19. Silver Coffer: Group goes in, steps on the alcove, trap goes off. The hallway tilts, forming a ramp. The group tumbles into the alcove and takes 3 damage. They're sealed in. They can get out by chipping out a locking mechanism, but it takes a long time and remember, we're in poison country! 3 damage per hour.

(page 74) 20. Spirit Guard of Ayocuan: Wight (pg 300), amulet of protection from turning (page 228)

There's two amulets in here. One on the floor, and one on the wight. If the group moves the bronze and chrysoprace lamp, the wight will pop up out of the floor.

(page 75) 21. Stone Block: The group will probably have to push this block all the way up. I don't quite get how they get past it at the top. I guess you could say the tunnel is a bit wider at the top than it is depicted on the map.

(page 75) 22. Chamber of the Nacehual: Martial arts adepts (page 240)

Mix the potion and drink: Con save DC 20 or you sleep for 5,000 years! Magic that cures poison staves it off for one hour.

The Sleepers: If either sleeper is disturbed, they will karate chop the crap out of you.

(page 76) 23. Light Ahead: Will-o'-wisp (MM pg 301) The wisp tries to lead the group to 23a.

(page 76) 23a. Triangular Stone: The wisp passes through the obstacle. The group needs to cross the pit and realize that the stone can be pivoted.

(page 76) 24. Sandbox: Will-o'-wisp (MM pg 301)

The wisp leads the group further. If 3-4 characters stand on the ten-foot square section, portcullises drop on either side of them. Each has AC 15 HP 100. Lift it: Str check DC 25 (with disadvantage)! Or 20 and no disadvantage with a crowbar.
  • Once 5 rounds pass: Holes open in the ceiling. Dust trickles from them.
  • Once another 5 rounds pass: Two things happen, First, sand stats pouring through. It fills 2 feet per minute. The area will be completely full in 10 minutes. Second, the will-o'-wisp attacks!
  • Once 3 minutes pass, there's all these rules about choking from dust and being restrained. That's 30 rounds, so I imagine whatever was going to happen to the group has happened already.
(page 77) 25. The Nest of the Warriors: Giant fire beetles (MM pg 325)

The beetles are docile and won't attack unless the group starts bullying them. The group might find the most poorly-made +1 dagger of all time. On a natural one, it falls apart.

(page 77) 27. Stairs: Time for the classic rolling boulder trap! 30 pounds or more on the pressure plate, here comes boulder.
  • Check and see if anyone has a passive perception of 14 or higher. If so, they're not surprised.
  • Roll initiative. The boulder has a +10! Most of the group will be surprised, so they can't act on round one.
  • Boulder goes 60 feet. Anyone in the way rolls a Dex save DC 15.
  • Fail means they take 27 damage and 50% chance they drop anything they are carrying, which will be destroyed (I'd say magic items don't break in my game).
  • Fail by 5 or more: Max damage!! That's 50 damage and prone.
  • Once the boulder gets at the bottom, it smashes the door and might make the giant fire beetles angry.

(page 77) 28 The Arc of Nanahuatcuin:  Gas spore (MM pg 138)

(page 78) 29. The Tomb of Pelota: Lift the capstone, there's treasure! If you take the treasure, a curse hits you in one hour. Disadvantage to either Dex or Str checks/saves. This curse lasts until magically removed. The pelota ball comes to life.

Pelota Ball: AC 13 HP 50 +5 to hit 1 (1d4-1) dmg
  • It flies up to 30 feet per round
  • Immune to everything except: acid, fire, force, piercing and slashing.
  • It can be grappled or restrained.
  • Has +5 to skill checks.
Pre-Game: Roll Initiative. The ball attacks. When a character hits it, it bounces off the back wall, triggering a glowing effect. Once that happens twice, a horn sounds and the ball stops attacking. Goals begin to glow on either end of the hall.

The Game: It is trying to get into the south goal, the group wants it in the north goal.
Hit the ball: it moves 15 feet towards your goal.

To Score: The ball must be within 15 feet of the goal and the player must say that they are trying to score. Roll to hit. You need to hit AC 17 to score.

If the Ball Scores: Magic missiles hit the group. 1 missile per character, 3 damage each.

If the Group Scores: The ball returns to the middle of the corner to play for the next point.

To Win: The group needs to have 2 more points than the ball.

Victory: The group gets some wonderful prizes and an eagle whistle (page 228).

(page 79) 30. The Guardian Beast: Weretiger (MM pg 210)
If the group messes with anything here, the statue comes to life as a bonus action and attacks. It has surprise!

If killed, it becomes a statue again. It comes back to life in one day. To truly kill it, you need to find and destroy its heart, which is hidden in a stuffed tiger.

(page 79) 31. Calendar Stone: Scroll of protection - feline beasts and feline lycanthropes  (DMG pg 199)

The scroll gives you a protective barrier in a 5 foot radius that lasts for 5 minutes. It can get in if it makes a DC 15 Charisma check,

(page 80) 32. The Portal to Death: The door by the "T" on the map is trapped. Arms pop out and grab the character. Getting out requires either a Dex save DC 20 or two characters can pull it open only if their combined Strength is a 30!

If 5 rounds go by, a pit slowly opens up under the trapped character. It takes 2 rounds to open. Then the arms let go and you fall in and take 11 damage. The spikes are fake?! So you just hit the floor.

The door at the other end must be bashed open with a Str check DC 20. Success means you teleport to area 15, which is a one-way trip.

Double Doors: When opened, 5 crossbows mounted in the ceiling of the next room fire. +6 to hit, 5 damage. Two crossbows aim at the left square, two aim at the right, and one goes down the middle. It seems like if one character opens them, they get targeted by 3 crossbows.

(page 80) 33. The Tomb of Tlacaelal: Doppelganger (MM pg 82), scroll of stone shape (PH pg 278), hat of disguise (DMG pg 173)

When someone steps in, wall of fire is triggered. That’s 5d8 fire damage.

Then we have a doppelganger who tries to kill and replace a member of the party. That’s very hard to pull off in a meta-game sense.  I think your best bet is if you have a player who might be up for it, set this up with them in advance. Their character is killed and they play the doppelganger.
Treasure Chests:

With these chests you’re going to want to know who is standing where when they are opened. Some of them have traps that hit people on each of the four sides.
  1. (505 gp) Jammed lid, no big deal
  2. (494 gp) Wow. You reach in, Dex save DC 15 or a vise traps your arm(s). Roll init. It acts on init 0. Needles come out of the sides of the pyramid. 1 dmg, Con save DC 15, 21 poison dmg, half on save. Either way, you’re poisoned with a special type: Any poison damage you take from this can’t be regained for at least 5 days. You save every 24 hours, take 3 damage. Once you’ve made 5 saves, you’re cured. It looks like others can force the save with a heal check as it says “five successful saves against it.”
  3. (876 gp) I guess the perfume (harmless) and the 4 darts go off at the same time. +6 to hit, 5 damage.
Other Treasure: 905 gp
Grand total value of treasure in this room: 2780 gp

(page 82) 33a. Sacrifice to the Sun: Stone of ill luck (page 229), 90 gold worth of aztec dealies

(page 82) 34. Guardians Bar the Way: Step on a pressure plate, the halberds block your path. Touch them: You take 5 lightning damage and make a DC 15 Con save or be paralyzed! You can try a Dex save DC 10 to get by them. I think the idea here is that you touch them, you are paralyzed and continue to touch them until somebody is able to free you.

(page 82) 35. Xipe's Audience Chamber: Panther (MM pg 333), oni (MM pg 239), detect magic (PH pg 231), dust of disappearance (DMG pg 166.

The panther can’t see the group unless they attack it.

Climbing up the Hole:
  1. There’s a hole in the ceiling above a well full of liquid light. You can’t climb the walls, you have to get a grappling hook up through the hole.
  2. The heroes don’t know that the oni up there catches the rope/grappling hook and once the character is halfway up the rope, the oni starts reeling them in.
  3. The character has a choice: Get reeled in or let go and fall into the well.
  4. Falling into the Well: The liquid light clings to you and spreads to cover your body over the course of 20 rounds. Once it gets over your mouth and eyes.. you’re going to die. To get rid of this stuff, the hero must be immersed in water. A darkness spell will cause it to be inert for one hour.
(page 83) 37. Bed of Xilonen: roper (MM pg 261), wand of lightning bolts (DMG pg 211)
He’s a “gigantic variety of polyp.” He’s got treasure in his insides!

(page 84) 38. Barred Pit: Thorn slingers (page 246)

The adventurers have to cross this pit by walking on thin bars while thorn slingers shoot thorns at them. The 3rd and 6th bar might collapse (roll a 5 or less on a d20 and it happens).

The Process: The thorns:+3 to hit, 8 damage and the character must make a Dex save DC 14 (6+the damage: 8) or fall into the 25-foot deep pit, take 3 damage and land on a slinger’s adhesive blossoms. Grappled, escape DC 11 with disadvantage, when grappled take 3 acid at the end of each of the slinger’s turns.

(page 84) 39. Chamber of the Second Sun: Giant constrictor snake (MM pg 324), baboons (MM pg 318)

Hey we’re above the poison gas! Here’s your reward: A giant snake jumps out and bites you and rocks fall from the ceiling at the start of each character's turn +5 to hit, 3 dmg. Once the snake is killed, 4 baboons drop down through the ceiling. Seriously, baboons.

(page 85) 40. Dragon Breath: Stone golem (MM pg 170)

When someone gets to the top of the stairs, the statue breathes. At the same time, the floor gets slippery, DC 10 Acrobatics or fall prone. It breathes up to 4 times.

Dragon Statue: AC 17 HP 178 Breath: 30 feet long, 10 feet wide. Con save DC 15 7 fire, half on save.
  • Immune: Non-magic weapons, poison, psychic, charmed, exhausted, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned.
  • Immune to any effect that would alter its form.
  • Has advantage on saves vs. magic
  • Its attacks are magical.
(page 85) 41. Fire Gold: Yellow mold (DMG pg 105) Fire destroys this stuff immediately. Touch it, 10 foot radius spore cloud. Con save DC 15 or 11 poison and poisoned for 1 minute. While poisoned, take 5 poison at the start of each of your turns. You can save at the end of each turn to end the effect.

(page 86) 42. The Chapel of Kukulkan: Couatl (MM pg 43), helmed horror (mm pg 183), phantasmal force (PH pg 264), arcane lock (PH page 215), detect magic (PH pg 231), wall of force (PH pg 285), balance of harmony (page 228), mirror of the past (page 228), periapt of wound closure  (DMG pg 184), dried potion of healing (mm pg 188)

You might want to print out/draw a map of this room to show the players. There’s a free one right here (the room is on the bottom right corner of the tier 2 map).

Lots of stuff in here. Quick summary:
  • Get Close to Mirror: One character might get locked into an illusory battle.
  • Touch Mask: One character might get trapped behind steel bars.
  • Touch Other Items: The exit might get arcane locked (PH page 215, DC 25 to bash it open) and a couatl tells the group they’ve been poisoned.
  • Three Challenges: The group must complete three challenges to find the cure.
  • Once the challenges are done, they either fight the couatl or they do not. If they don’t, it gives them magic items.
  • The Mirror: The first character to come within 10 feet of the mirror rolls a Wis save DC 15. Fail, and they are attacked by an (illusory) feathered warrior (+6 to hit and 3 damage). The rest of the group sees their ally suddenly stop moving. There is no feathered warrior.
If allies disturb the hero, the save can be re-rolled. Phantasmal force (PH pg 264) The player can make an Investigation check DC 15 to see if it's an illusion. Success: The effect ends. Any damage they take counts, it doesn't go away when the spell ends.

The Couatl: Couatl is on MM pg 43. To make this "poison" feel more real, you might want to have the group roll initiative. At the top of each round, tell them they’re getting weaker. Trouble breathing, wobbly legs, heart palpitations, that kind of thing.

You might want to play the couatl in a way that is more friendly. If you make the couatl really annoying and cruel, the group will definitely want to fight it. We want to give the group at least a chance to get those magic items at the end.

Weakness: To effectively narrate the progressively worse weakness, maybe model them after exhaustion, like this:
  • Hands trembling
  • Legs weak
  • Dizzy, uncoordinated
  • Arms weak, hard to lift things
  • It takes great effort to move at all
  • Trouble keeping eyes open.
Three Challenges: I would say, after each of these are completed, declare a new stage of weakness.
  1. Destroy the helmed horror.
  2. Bypass the crystal wall. This one could be a problem because the solution is so odd. Maybe describe a few indentations in the ice that look like holes. That way the group might touch their stuff to it.
  3. Bypass the invisible wall of force: Maybe tell any clerics/paladins they sense unholy energy coming from the glyph.
These are very abstract and don’t operate by normal D&D rules, which is something that might fluster some players. Make sure you give them the information they need.

Fighting the couatl. Look at its stats (MM pg 43). AC 19! It bites you, and if you fail your save you are unconscious for 24 hours! This is definitely a TPK situation so proceed with caution.

(page 87) 43. The Smoking Mirrors: Ochre jelly (MM pg 243), command (PH pg 223)
  • Red Mirror: See yourself killed. Touch the mirror, take 2 fire. Maybe base the visions on upcoming rooms.
  • Black Mirror: You see an ancient ancestor. Touch the mirror: Cha save DC 13 or all of your money/valuables turn to glass. Yikes.
  • White Mirror: Wis save DC 13 or stunned until the end of your next turn. An ochre jelly (MM pg 243) attacks you.
  • Blue Mirror: You see water. Touch it: Cha save DC 13 or you’re teleported into the water. I would say that you should describe the mirror as if it were a pane of glass with water on the other side, like an aquarium. That gives the group a good chance of understanding that they need to smash it.
  • Golden Liquid: Turns objects into gold for one hour. I’d say if you are generous, maybe have it make two smallish items permanently gold.
(page 88) 44. Sun of Motion: Otto's irresistible dance (PH 264)

We have us an octopus statue with a gem on it.
  • Touch the Gem: Wis save DC 16 or Dance until you release the gem.
  • Touch the Statue: Your hand gets stuck to it, the statue spins around and around, smashing you into walls. 3 damage at the end of each turn. Escape DC 15,  take 2 more damage upon escaping.
  • To Stop the Spinning: Destroy the gem.
(page 88) 45. Mictlan: heat metal (PH pg 250), fear (PH pg 239)

Error: There’s a typo here. The chute goes to room 47, not 48.

The floor of this room contains a massive diorama. There are miniatures depicting all sorts of things. If you stay on the path, you’re fine. If you step into a diorama, bad stuff happens.
  • Hill: Con save DC 15 or be pushed off, and prone.
  • Burning Sands: Con save DC 15 or take 1 damage per round from a nosebleed until you leave the area.
  • Grassy Plain: Cha save DC 15 or you won’t want to leave the area. If you take damage or you wait 24 hours, you can repeat the save. Each time you fail, the DC of the save goes up by 1!
  • Flames: Your equipment becomes red-hot. Take 3d8 fire damage per round. Make a Con save DC 15 or drop what you're holding.
  • Ice: Your equipment goes ice cold. You take 3d8 cold damage per round. You can’t drop held items because they’re frozen to your body.
  • Marshes: Shortness of breath for 3 rounds and then suffocate (PH pg 183). You can hold your breath for 1+Con mod in minutes (minimum 30 seconds). Then you drop to 0 and start dying.
  • River: Int save DC 15 or forget where you are and why you’re here. Spellcasters forget all spells of a level for each point they failed the save by.
  • Pit of the Worms: Wisdom save DC 15 or fear: You are frightened (disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls). You must dash and move away using the safest route. If out of line of sight, you can make another save to end the fear.
Climbing the Hole: No handholds, but climbable. This leads to 47. There’s a giant spider in there!

(page 89) 46. Tlazoteotl: Gibbering mouther (MM pg 157), dried potion of hill strength (DMG pg 187), +1 rod of the pact keeper (DMG pg 197)

Eat the heart, talk to snakes! Pretty cool.

(page 89) 47. Spider in Hiding: Giant spider (MM pg 328)
  • The Chute: You go up the chute 30 feet at an angle. Make a Perception check DC 17 or the spider surprises you. 
  • Fighting in the Chute: You have disadvantage on attacks because it’s so cramped. When hit, you must make a DC 11 Str or Dex save. Fail: you slip 5 feet down the chute for every point you failed by. After 30 feet, you fall into room 45.
  • Falling: I’m not sure how high the ceiling is in room 45, it’s anywhere from 20-40 feet high. Let’s say 30 feet. So that’s 3d6 damage and the adventurer probably ends up in one of the diorama areas. There’s 8 of them, you could just roll a d8 to see which one.
(page 90) 48. Hound of the Bat: Water weird (MM pg 299)

Under the crayfish shell is a key to 53.


(page 90) 49. Sacred Chitza-Atlan: Centaur mummy (page 231)

The mummy does nothing until a character tries to leave the room. Then it attacks. Don’t forget that a character hit by the hooves gets mummy rot. They lose 10 hit points per day from their max total!

(page 90) 50. Jade Wall: The wall might fall on you. Dex save DC 10, 9 damage. No biggie.

(page 90) 51. Wind Tunnel: Again, not sure how high the ceiling is, which is a problem because the hatch is up there. I guess we’ll say 30 feet. Make sure to describe the area beyond the hatch as an empty room or something. The only thing to do here is get out. Once the wind starts, it never stops.

Start Your Turn in the Wind: Str save DC 13. Fail: thrown 10 feet, prone, and take 3 damage. You might want to describe the wind as much less strong when a character is prone so that the group has a clue that if they stay prone they can get out of there without making saves. Some players will love this room and some will hate it, so make sure it doesn’t ruin the session.

(page 91) 52. The Hidden Room of Nahual: Doppelganger MM pg 82

Once a character grabs the scepter, they have visions of a great battle. You might want to make up a little scenario, as if it is kept vague the player is definitely going to drop it, right?

The Vision: Here's an example. We could say that the character has visions of the Battle of Pesh, which is where the rod of seven parts was created. The Queen of Chaos (she is a woman whose body has an octopus lower half) and Miska the Wolf Spider are fighting the wind dukes of Aaqa (blue-skinned humanoids). There’s other ancient obyriths there, including Cabiri (an eye-god kind of thing) and Bechard (a demon whale, seriously). We have to fill 30 seconds, so that’s 5 rounds. Give the character a situation each round, like:
  1. A Wolf spider lunges at you (describe the chaos of battle, let the player reorient).
  2. The Queen of Chaos tries to grab you in her tentacle.
  3. A wind duke stabs her, frees you (if necessary), you can get a shot on her if you want.
  4. Miska is battling a wind duke. You have advantage to attack it.
  5. Miska’s blood hits the rod of law and it shatters into 7 pieces, covering you with white light. Now the character is petrified.
While the player is going through this, each round, tell the other players that the hero is getting sweaty, is shaking and is staring off into space.
(page 91) 53. The Valve: 3d6 damage if you fall in the pit.

Can the secret keyhole/lock be picked? I’d say yes but it’s up to you. I wouldn’t want the group to go look for the key. That could make things very boring as they re-explore old rooms.

(page 91) 54. Temple Ruin: Giant hyena (pg 326)

We’re outside!!! Climbing over rubble might cause some damage. Dex save DC 13 Fail: 7 dmg. Fail by 5 or more: Buried.

Monster: A giant hyena is lurking here.

Treasure: The entire altar can be lifted (combined strength of 30), as there’s stuff underneath. Dex save DC 15, the sharp wings slice at you for 13 damage. Under it is a pit full of treasure. It’s all money and valuables, no magic items.

(page 92) Total Value of Treasure: 5,500 gp

Changing the Final Encounter: If you want a more epic ending to this adventure, you might want to use the idea from the 4th edition version of Tamoachan from Dungeon 209.

The creatures/tribesfolk from the very beginning of the adventure attack in waves. Let's say the group of heroes is 7th level at this point. Let's do 3 waves of bad guys.

Let's also say it's getting dark out, so we have dim light.

We'll use tribal warriors (MM pg 350). They have a challenge rating of 1/8. According to kobold fight club, 16 of them is EASY for the heroes. So let's do that. Players love it when they get to wade in and destroy lots of mooks.

Wave 1: 16 tribal warriors. It sounds like a lot, but they're really weak.

Wave 2: 2 lizardfolk shamans and 8 tribal warriors. We'll just re-skin the lizardfolk and say that they are human (or whatever) shamans.

Wave 3: Coaxoch the Bat Queen (kraken priest), 3 giant bats, 2 swarms of bat.

Coaxoch wears a cloak of the bat (DMG pg 159). Let's make her the Queen of the Olman Tribe/Zotzilaha worshipers or whatever you want them to be.

Notes:
  • Spells: We'll re-skin a kraken priest from Volo's page 215. They can cast call lightning, which makes for a dramatic final encounter. We'll need to change some of her 3/day spells. Let's go with fireball, misty step and shatter.
  • New Flavor: Let's re-flavor Voice of the kraken to “voice of the bat.” It's a big sonar screech kind of thing. DC 14 charisma save or be frightened.
  • Bats: Let's have her call on Zotzilaha for aid. Out of the sky comes... bats!
  • Possible Finish: If you want to give the group a fun final ending, have her misty step over near a huge pile of rubble. They could cause it to collapse on her, which I think would be a suitable ending.
  • Her Name: Let's call her COAXOCH THE BAT QUEEN. According to this name site, Coaxoch means "serpent flower."
That one was really tough to prepare. Definitely be ready if you decide to run this!

(page 95) Chapter 4: White Plume Mountain

If you look at the overview map, you can see other locations near the mountain. Dragotha has her lair detailed in this free 2e adventure right here. Dragotha also appeared in the highly regarded Age of Worms adventure path in Dungeon 134 (Amazon price is very high, you can get it at Paizo for much less $$ and in pdf form if you like). The two takes on Dragotha are really different, but they are both very cool.

Muddy Floor: Most of the floors of this dungeon are covered in muck that is one foot deep. It cuts speed down by one third, and makes sneaking difficult.

(page 96) The Wizard’s Mouth: This cave “breathes,” pushing steam out of the cave and then drawing air in. The entrance to the dungeon is in a hatch in the mud. You need a Str check of 20 to open it.

(page 98) 2. Riddling Guardian: Gynosphynx (MM pg 282), Wall of Force (PH pg 285) It is immune to all damage. It extends into the ethereal plane, too.

A lot of the sphinx's spells are not really combat-oriented. But if it casts greater invisibility and claws the crap out of the group (with legendary actions, that's 5 claws per round, up to 65 damage per round) that's pretty good.

(page 98) 3. Hidden Slime: Green slime (DMG pg 105)

It’s hidden under the water, so we’re looking at some damage: 5 acid damage. You take the damage again at the start of your next turn until it is scraped off or destroyed.
  • It does 11 acid to wood and metal.
  • Cold, fire, and radiant damage destroys a patch immediately.
  • If you know it's there, you can make DC 10 Dex save to avoid it. Otherwise, it just hits you, no roll.
(page 98) 4. Glass Globes: Shadows (MM pg 269), fear PH pg 239), air elemental (MM pg 124), potion of flying (DMG pg 187), gray ooze (MM pg 243), hold person (PH pg 251).

Sealed in a room, smash the spheres to find the key.

(page 99) 5. Numbered Golems: Make sure you tell the group you are going to time them in real life to give them a fair chance.

Using the Golem: In the original adventure, the golem could join the party. It was very powerful and looked like it would unbalance everything. That’s probably why this has the vague comment about the golem becoming an ally but not giving it stats.

Flesh Golem: The first thing that comes to mind is that you could say that the flesh golem is falling apart due to standing in this steaming place for so many years. Each time the golem does something, more stitches come loose. You can keep in your head that once the golem does 5(?) things, such as attack, lift, take damage, whatever) then it falls apart.

Looking at the flesh golem stats (MM pg 169), look at "berserk." Once it is down to 40 hit points, it has a chance of attacking the nearest creature it can see..!

Jumping: The most amusing thing about actually using the golem is that there is no way whatsoever that this golem will make it through the frictionless room or the hanging chain/platform jumping room. Just thinking about the flesh golem in those rooms makes me laugh.

Whatever you do, think carefully because it could ruin the game. Maybe give yourself an out by describing that its "power" flickers on and off, and that it could shut off at any time. If things get unbalanced: Oh look! It shut off.

(page 100) 7. Geysers and Chains: I love this room.

Two geysers go off at 3 minutes and 5 minutes. That’s 30 rounds and 50 rounds. You should definitely keep that in your head while the heroes are discussing what to do.

It’s entirely up to you when the geysers go off to start with. You could just have one come right at a character if you want. I think you should decide in advance the conditions in which the geysers launch. Such as: the first character to get above the first geyser, or… 10 rounds after the group enters.

No Checks? You do want drama though, although really, even without the geysers this is a very deadly room. We’re looking at 10 jumps here. The weird thing is, there’s no skill check at all for these jumps. You just do it and succeed. That doesn’t seem right, but then again, who is going to succeed on 10 checks? You could make the DC really low, such as a 5. That way, certain characters won’t be able to fail, but others will have a small chance.

You could also make it one check for every 3 platforms.

Spells: At 8th level, the group is probably going to have some way around the platforms. When I ran this a few year ago, the wizard had spider climb but the rest of the group was so excited (they were mostly kids) that they drowned her out. They proceeded to get geysered like crazy and she calmly crossed to the other side safely.

(page 101) 8. Coffin: Vampire (MM pg 297), Whelm (DMG pg 218), potion of mind reading (DMG pg 188, you gain the effect of detect thoughts: PH pg 231), conjure minor elemental (PH pg 226), dispel magic (PH pg 234), magic mouth (PH pg 257)

Darkness: This room is under the effect of magical darkness: Remember, darkvision doesn't work in magical darkness and non-magical light doesn't affect it.

They're going to be blinded: The adventurers have disadvantage on attack rolls and the vampire has advantage to hit them. With many spells, the caster can't target what it can't see.

Stake to the Heart: This is its resting place, so if it is reduced to 0 hit points here, it's dead. If it is reduced to 0 hit points outside of this room, it turns to mist and reforms in the coffin, and will be paralyzed for one hour. If the group drives a stake through its heart, it is paralyzed until the stake is removed.

Whelm (pg 218)
  • +3 to hit and dmg
  • You will develop a fear of being outdoors. When outside during the day, you have disadvantage to attack rolls, saving throws and ability checks.
  • Range 20/60. When thrown, it flies back to your hand. It does +d8 dmg when thrown, +2d8 vs. giants.
  • (1/Day) Shockwave: Each creature of your choice within 60 feet must make a Con save DC 15 or become stunned for one minute, saving again at the end of each of their turns.
  • Supernatural Awareness: You automatically notice secret doors within 30 feet of you.
  • 1/Day) Detect Evil and Good (PH pg 231), Locate Object (PH pg 256)
  • Whelm is lawful neutral and was made to protect the Dankil dwarf clan.
(page 101) 9. Pool and Drain: There's a tiny chance the group might find the hatch protected by an illusion. If so, they go to the exit where two efreet wait to beat them up.

(page 101) 10. Deceptively Deep Room: kelpies (page 238)

Yikes, look at that charm power. Each kelpie could wait until adventurers start swimming, charm two of them.. and they immediately start drowning. Looking at the suffocation rules (PH pg 183), that means that the characters skip holding their breath, immediately drop to 0 and starts dying.

(page 101) 11. Spinning Cylinder: Remember that the oil can be set on fire. It gets ugly.

(page 102) 12. Burket’s Guardpost: Veteran (MM pg 350), werewolf (MM pg 211)

(page 102) 13. Snarla’s Sanctum:

Snarla: AC 11 (12 in hybrid) HP 58 spd 30 Bite/Claw +4 6 dmg and Con save DC 12 or be cursed with lycanthropy, 7 damage. Immune to non-magic weapons that aren't silvered!

Looking at her spells, not too much going on there. I guess stinking cloud on the group when far away, and maybe some pumped-up magic missiles (level 3 missiles would be 5d4+5).

Spellbook: Snarla’s spellbook is guarded by a glyph of warding: PH pg 245 20 foot radius explosion Dex save DC 14, 5d8 fire or half a much on a save.

(page 103) 17. The Boiling Bubble: Giant crab (MM pg 324 - modified), Wave (DMG pg 218)

There is not a lot of space in this bubble, although the scale of the map is 10 feet, not 5, so they’ve got 30 feet of space to play with. It looks like no matter where it is placed, a fireball would destroy the bubble. It deflates and comes apart in d6 rounds. It looks like it does 44 fire damage and then another 44 for each turn that the character starts it turn in the water.

Giant Crab: AC 15 HP 161 +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., 27 (4d10+5) bludgeoning and the target is grappled (escape DC 14). It can grapple up to two targets.
  • Blindsight 30 ft.
  • Immune: charmed, frightened, paralyzed
Total treasure: 11,935 gold

Wave DMG pg 218
  • You must worship a god of the sea to attune to this.
  • +3 to hit and damage
  • Critical: Target takes extra necrotic damage equal to half its hit point maximum.
  • Trident of fish command (DMG pg 209) dominate beast (PH pg 234)
  • Weapon of warning (DMG pg 213)
  • Cap of water breathing (DMG pg 157)
  • It can speak to animals and telepathically include you in the conversation
  • Critical: Target takes extra necrotic damage equal to half its hit point maximum.
(page 104) 19. Metal-Heating Corridor: The gimmick here is that some characters will need to take off their armor to get through this hallway. Remember that taking off plate mail takes 5 minutes, and putting it on takes 10 minutes. The armorless characters will then be ambushed by the ghouls emboldened by meaty warriors with an AC of 10.

(page 104) 20. Ghoul Ambushers: Ghouls (MM pg 148)

They can’t be turned due to amulets that they wear.

(page 104) 22. Frictionless Trap:

This is an awesome room that doesn’t play by the rules. You can’t fly or teleport. You have to go across physically. Someone is going to have to brave the friction! There are two pits that need to be crossed.

No DC? There is no DC for jumping the pits! I’d imagine it would be a 15 or 20. Probably a DC 20, right?

Super-Tetanus: Super-Tetanus! It’s no joke. DC 15 Con save or you take 11 dmg at the start of each of your turns, and you don’t get a save again for one minute! That’s 10 rounds or 110 points of damage! Someone will need to cure it or at least heal the character. If you are jokey like me, maybe put a tetanus shot in somebody’s healer’s kit.

(page 104) 23. Floating Stream: Kayaking on a floating stream. It takes the group to Bluto’s guardpost, where bad guys are waiting with nets.

(page 105) 24. Sir Bluto’s Guardpost: Champion (page 231), knights (MM pg 347), boots of striding and springing (DMG pg 155)

Surprise: The bad guys are ready. The group is probably going to be surprised. So roll initiative, and the characters don’t go in round one. The bad guys throw nets on the heroes and drag them out. Is there a roll for that?

Nets: Nets are found on PH pg 148.
  • Those hit by a net are restrained until freed (Restrained: Speed 0, disadvantage on attack rolls, creatures have advantage to hit you). 
  • A creature can use an action to make a DC 10 Str check, freeing itself on a success. 
  • 5 slashing damage will destroy the whole net!
(page 105) 26. Terraced Aquarium: Giant crayfish (MM pg 235), giant scorpions (MM pg 327), manticore (MM pg 213)

This is a classic room that is very hard to describe. This book has a fantastic picture of the room that you should show the group if you can.

Ranged Attacks: The manticores have their wings clipped. The heroes could just stand at the top and launch ranged attacks. Remember that the 6 crayfish can get out of the water and attack the heroes, they have a speed of 30.

Glass: AC 15 HP 20, broken with a Str check DC 15.

(page 107) 27. Luxurious Prison: Blackrazor (DMG pg 216), potion of greater healing (heals 4d4+4), scroll of protection (fiends) (DMG pg 199), armor of vulnerability (slashing) (DMG pg 152), ring of protection (DMG pg 191), ring of spell storing (DMG pg 192)

Oni: Qesnef the "halfling" is an oni. His job is to guard the treasure so this might get ugly. He's got cone of cold and he can become invisible at will. He can fly innately, too. The question is how tall is the ceiling? Hallways are ten feet high, but I don't know what it is in here. It says it's a large room. 20 feet?

Blackrazor DMG pg 216
  • +3 to hit and damage
  • When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points, it devours their soul and you have temporary hit points equal to their hit point maximum, and you have advantage on attack rolls, saving throws and ability checks until those temporary hit points are gone.
  • If you hit undead with it, you take d10 necrotic and the target regains d10 hit points. If this damage reduces you to 0 hit points, Blackrazor devours your soul.
  • Immune to being charmed and frightened
  • You can sense creatures within 60 feet.
  • If the sword doesn't feed on a soul for three days, a conflict (DMG pg 216) occurs. That means an opposed Charisma check (it has +4 to the roll). It could theoretically take control of the wielder.
(page 107) Escaping the Dungeon: Efreet (MM pg 145)

The adventure says you can make up a dungeon if you want. If you’re not going to use the next chapter, just steal a section from Dead in Thay. There’s a lot of cool stuff in there.

(page 109) Chapter 5 - Dead in Thay


First of all, I find the set-up to this confusing. There's all these gates and glyph keys and stuff. Check out this player handout by DM David, it helped me immensely.

The Doomvault is a secret Thayan training ground. The red wizards of Thay is a big, evil cabal of wizards in the Forgotten Realms.

NPCs: There are three main NPCs to know about:
  • Syranna: Leader of the Thayan Resurrection resistance movement
  • Khazit Gul: Thayan archmage who built the doomvault, hoping to drain enough souls to become a god. He didn’t and decided to become a lich instead.
  • Szass Tam: Big bad guy who has captured a bunch of Chosen and is siphoning their power in the Doomvault to try to become a god.
Goal: Find the phylactery vault and strike a deathblow to Szass Tam:
  1. Destroy the creatures in the Doomvault
  2. Get to the Phylactery Vault
  3. Destroy the phylacteries
The dungeon is divided up into 9 sectors. Each of them are protected by a dimensional barrier. You can’t teleport through or bypass them by going ethereal. The only way to get from one sector to another is to use the white and black gates.

White Gates: A circle of runes and quartz with a luminous white mist. Someone with a glyph key that is attuned to the area can use it to pass through to another zone. Without a glyph key, you take 5 damage and are pushed 10 feet back.

Black Gates: A circle of runes and black onyx that exudes smoke-like shadow energy. You can use a black gate to teleport to the gatehouse. Disrupting a number of black gates is essential to getting to the phylactery vault.

Disrupting a gate: If you have a glyph key, use an action to make a DC 15 Arcana check. Fail: 7 force damage.

The Gatehouse: This area is controlled by Syranna. It has teleportation circles that Syranna can use to send you to many sectors of the Doomvault:
  • Area 1 (Abyssal Prisons)
  • Area 23 (Blood Pens)
  • Area 33 (Masters’ Domain)
  • Area 38 (Far Realm Cysts)
  • Area 49 (Forests of Slaughter)
  • Area 61 (Ooze Grottos)
  • Area 77 (Predator Pools)
Glyph Key: Magic crystal pendants on a bronze chain.

When you get a key, you automatically know where it is attuned to and what that sector is called.
One glyph key allows you to travel to one sector, and to use a number of white gates.

Passing Attunements: If you have two glyph keys, you can make a DC 15 Arcana check to pass the attunements. For example, if you have a key to the Ooze Grottos and another to the Predator Pools, you can make a check so that you can make the ooze grotto key also work on the predator pool key. So basically, you can load p one glyph key so that you don’t have to carry all of these different keys. The key doesn’t lose attunements, so in theory you could end with a big pile of keys that are all attuned to all of the sectors.

Temples of Extraction
: This is the area the heroes need to get to. It is where the Chosen are being held. There are four keys attuned to this area. They are found in:
  • Area 10
  • Area 25
  • Area 31
  • Area 63
Contact Stones: These are sort of like telephones. You can contact Syranna through a contact stone and she can attune glyph keys through it.

Pit Traps: It is weird how some 5e adventures allow for Dex checks to avoid falling into a pit trap, and others don’t. Dex save DC 15 or take 7 bludgeoning and 13 piercing. The lid closes magically after 5 minutes.

Reduced Threat Monsters: These monsters are weaker than the normal version. They have half hit points and a -2 to pretty much everything. They’re never bigger than Large. I was able to do most of these for you.

Resting: The adventure doesn’t want you to rest, because this mission is time sensitive. It’s a huge dungeon, though, the adventurers will have to rest. There are areas in the dungeon that give the group magical benefits as if they took a long rest.

Dread Warriors: These are cool, but complicated. The red wizards can control them and cast spells through them. Any time the group fights a dread warrior for 3 rounds, Tarul Var becomes aware of it and takes control of one. Tarul Var’s stats are on page 244. He could drop a level 6 fireball on the group and do 11d6 to them, yikes.

(Page 115) Thayans’ Potions: Thayans have d4-2 potions. The adventure wants you to roll on the potion chart. You might just want to place those in advance to save time rolling and looking up stuff. Remember that the bad guys can use those potions, which can add a lot to an encounter.

Soul Binding: Anyone who dies in the Doomvault has their soul siphoned for Kazit Gul to use. One very cool option is, if your character dies, you can bring them back to life as a soul-bound entity tied to the Doomvault. Over the course of a few weeks, you’ll turn into a wight. There is a place in the dungeon (Area 31) that can put you back to normal.

NPCS: There are two imprisoned NPC allies in the Doomvault:
  • Shalendra Floshin: She’s in room 2, page 119
  • Kelson Darktreader: He’s in room 31 on page 132
Starting Out: The group starts with the players map and a glyph key. You, the DM, get to pick where the group starts. You could start out at room 1, though I found the first couple of rooms to be kind of weak. It should start off with a bang, right?

Shalendra Floshin

(page 119) 1. Chandelier Chamber: Vampire spawn (MM pg 298), wight (MM pg 300), zombie (MM pg 316), quasit (pg 63)

(page 119) 2. Arena: Vampire (pg 297), vrock (MM pg 64), commoners (MM pg 345), knight (MM pg 347)

Any creature who gets within 10 feet of the fighting pit must make a Wis save DC 13 or they must fight until the vrock is destroyed.

Reduced Threat Vrock: AC 15 HP 52 +4/+4, 8 dmg/12 dmg
  • Spores: 15 foot radius, DC 12 Con save, 3 poison
  • Stunning Screech: Each creature within 20 ft., DC 12 Con save or stunned until the end of the vrock's next turn.
Issem has a glyph key. He’ll hand it over if he can drink someone’s blood:

Vampire Bite: +9 on a willing creature. 7 damage plus 10 necrotic. The target's hit point max is reduced by the necrotic damage taken (10). This lasts until a long rest.

(page 119) 3. Issem’s Vault: Wraith (MM pg 302), detect magic (PH pg 231), comprehend languages (PH pg 224), greater restoration (PH pg 246)

Each character makes a DC 13 Wis save. For each failure, one wraith emerges from the prisms. Don’t forget that the pit traps are Dex save DC 15, 7 damage and 13 piercing.

(page 120) 4. Mystic Circles:

DC 15 to pick the door, DC 20 to force it.

The group enters, and for 3 rounds nothing happens. At the start of round 4, a random circle glows. At the end of round 4, lightning fills the room. DC 10 Dex save. Fail: 7 lightning damage. Every two rounds it happens again.

Pencheska

(page 120) 5. Succubus Vault: Succubus (MM pg 285), Thayan warriors (page 246)

You can do whatever you want with Pencheska.  She could be an ally, a traitor, whatever. Pencheska was in the “prequel” to this adventure, Scourge of the Sword Coast. In that scenario, she teamed with a ghostly pit fiend named Baazka. She infiltrated the government of Daggerford and was manipulating the mayor. She has a glyph key

(page 121) 6. Elemental Furnace: Fire elemental (page 125)

The group could free this thing and get themselves a fire elemental ally:

Fire Elemental: AC 13 HP 102 +6/+6 10 fire and the target is set on fire. Speed 50!


(page 121) 7. Chaos Rift: This room has a really cool map.

It’s possible that the heroes might enter another plane for a round (or more). Here's some ideas:
  • (Acid) The Murkendraw, a swamp in the feywild. We can say that swaths of the swamp are acidic. This is where Baba Yaga spends a bit of time, so the heroes might spot her famous dancing hut surrounded by 50 necrophidius golems.
  • (Cold) The Plane of Ice. Tons of good material here. Maybe they spot Bloodmire, the lake of frozen blood.
  • (Fire) The City of Brass in the Elemental Plane of Fire. Fire genies everywhere haggling, dragging their poor slaves along.
  • (Lightning) Pandemonium, a chaotic, dangerous realm with floating rivers, earthmotes, and firewalls all jumbled together. They might see the Spawning Stone in the distance, with hundreds of slaads flying around it hacking each other to pieces.
  • (Thunder) The Astral Plane You could have the characters float in the void and see the city of Tu'Narath in the distance. It is the home of the githyanki, a city built on a dead god.
(page 121) 8. Summoning Chamber: Dread Warrior (page 233), wights (MM pg 300), zombies (MM pg 316), hezrou (MM pg 60), quasits (MM pg 63), vrock (MM pg 64), manes (MM pg 60)

The demons beg to be released, they are trapped in the confines of the magic circles. All a character ha to do is scuff up the circle a little bit and see what happens...

(page 122) 9. Dead End: This is cool trap. Open the doors,darkness pours out and make a DC 15 Charisma save or take 7 damage and be paralyzed. You might have the whole group trapped in the shadow.

Darkness: It says “darkness” and I assume that means darkness like the spell? It snuffs out the light of torches and light spells of 2nd level or lower. You're blind (disadvantage on attack rolls, fail any ability check that require sight)

(page 122) 10. Tarul Var’s Quarters: Tarul Var, dread warriors (page 233), potion of mind reading (DMG pg 188), loadstone (page 228)

Tarul Var is hiding out here. Remember that he casts spells through the dread warriors.

The truename box is trapped: All within 10 feet make a Dex save DC 15 or take 21 force damage on a fail and half that on a success.

Devil Truenames: This thing has truenames of minor devils in it, which is cool. With a truename, you can force a devil to serve you. Whenever you use the truename as part of the casting of the spell, the devil is much more vulnerable to it. Here’s some minor devils from old products:
  • Gurdansk, a cornugon who is encased in greenish metal that absorbs magic missiles. He wields the spear of the guardian, a magic item which gives him truesight and allows him to never be surprised.
  • Ezu, a spined devil with a pet poisonous snake that delivers messages in the city of Sigil.
  • Allea, a half-fiend bard who is secretly the daughter of Mephistopheles. She’s currently spying on Baalzebul.
  • Erinyes: Ustyrinjah, a heavily-scarred erinyes who is incredibly paranoid. She has the ear of Dispater.
(page 123) 11. Torture Chamber: Wight (MM pg 300), skeletons (MM pg 272), glabrezu (MM pg 52)
Reduced Threat Glabrezu: AC 17 HP 78 4 attacks: Two Pincers +7/+7 to hit 14 damage & grappled, Two fists +7/+7 to hit, 5 damage x2
  • Can’t cast spells or summon allies
  • Can only attack those within 5 feet
(page 123) 12. False Pit Gauntlet: We have open pit traps in front of the doorways. If you jump over them, you trigger the reverse gravity, take 10 points and are restrained on the ceiling for one minute.

(page 123) 13. Sorlan’s Haunt: Ghost (MM pg 147) Fake locks! Make sure you know who is standing where. All within 10 make a Con save DC 14 or take 5 damage and fall prone.

You could bust out the ghost's horrifying visage, possibly aging some characters d4x10 years!

(page 124) 14. Demon Cells: Conjurer (page 232), deathlock wight (page 233), Thayan apprentice (page 245), hezrou (MM pg 60), quasits (pg 63), vrocks (pg 64)

(page 124) 15. Maze of Undoing: Glabrezu (MM pg 52)

This is one you might need to draw a map for. It would be hard to fairly decide when a hero steps on a teleportation trigger.

(page 124) 16. Gallery of Swarms: This is a cool room, but it seemed to annoy my players. You have a choice:
  1. Walk through the 2 feet of dead insects and risk falling in a pit trap
  2. Try to use the platforms and roll a DC 10 Con save or be swarmed, taking 5 damage and 5 poison AND making a Dex save DC 15 to see if you fall off into the husk pile.
That’s 14 platforms to get to the double doors that lead nowhere! Maybe stick a magic item in there to be a chum.

(page 125) 17. Crawling Hall: Thayan apprentice (page 245), Thayan warriors (page 246), giant spider (MM pg 328), giant centipede (MM pg 323)

(page 125) 18. Barracks: Thayan apprentices (page 245), Thayan warriors (page 246), wight (pg 300)

3 warriors and 4 apprentices are asleep. They wake up in 2-3 rounds if there’s a battle. Sitting on the throne fills the room with insects for a minute. I could see one of the bad guys sitting on it if the fight is going poorly for them.

(page 126) 19. Walkway Pen: Deathlock wight (page 233), skeletons (MM pg 272), spy (MM pg 349)

This is another one you might need to draw a map of. It’s possible a character will touch a pillar, fall unconscious, fall into the pig pen and get swarmed by the pigs, taking 6 damage per round. You could have Drevin, the friendly polymorphed pig, fend off the other pigs to help the fallen adventurer.

(page 126) 20. Abbatoir: Skeleton (MM pg 272), wight (pg 300), deathlock wight (page 233), otyugh (MM pg 248)

The Otyugh might try to break the chain. It has +3 and the DC is a 20.

(page 127) 21. Egg Chamber: Enchanter (page 234), dread warrior (page 233), skeletons (MM pg 272)

Be ready for the possibility that the heroes will want to keep the eggs, especially the wyverns (to raise them as flying mounts). Also make sure your players are OK with the eggs being destroyed in combat, little monster babies are still babies.

(page 128) 22. Hatchling Pens: Transmuter (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245), Thayan warriors (page 246), remorhaz (MM pg 258), basilisk (MM pg 24), darkmantles (MM pg 46), ettercaps (MM pg 131), carrion crawlers (MM pg 37), behir (MM pg 25), hook horrors (MM pg 189), wyvern (MM pg 303)

All the caged monsters are reduced threats. That’s half hit points and -2 to attacks, dmg, DCs, etc.
The undead just go about their business while the blood vines restrain and injure the heroes. Each vine has AC 15 HP 8. They attack: Dex save DC 13 11 dmg and restrained. Escape DC 13, start of each round take another 11.

(page 129) 23. Dark Garden: Zombies (pg 316), wight (pg 300)

The undead just go about their business while the blood vines restrain and injure the heroes. Each vine has AC 15 HP 8.

They attack: Dex save DC 13 11 dmg and restrained. Escape DC 13, start of each round take another 11.

(page 128) 24. Pale Garden: Skeletons (MM pg 272), shambling mound (MM pg 270)

The shambling mounds hide until a character moves more than 15 from a doorway. Whenever a plant is damaged, the pillars react and do 5 lightning damage to all within 5 feet of it.

(page 128) 25. Dreaming Garden: Enchanter (page 234), dread warriors (page 233), zombies (pg 316), black dragon wyrmling (MM pg 88), fly (pg 243), potion of poison (DMG pg 188), potion of healing (2d4+2)

Standing in the garden for 1 minute triggers a Wis save DC 12 Fail: Knocks you unconscious

Masters’ Domain

(page 129) 26. Temple of Light: Gargoyles (MM pg 140)


If you touch a pillar you gain 5 temp HP.

There’s an unconscious red wizard named Vorja here who can be helpful to the group.

4-Armed Gargoyles: AC 15 HP 63 +4/+4/+4 to hit, 5 (1d6 + 2) damage
  • Spd 30, fly 60
  • Resistant to non-magic weapons
(page 130) 27. Temple of Shadow: Wraith (pg 302)

Touch a Pillar: Take 5 necrotic and 5 cold. The pillars give the wraith 5 temp hit points.

You can use an action to make a DC 14 Wis or Cha check to block out the wailing/disadvantage on attack rolls.

(page 130) 28. Temple of Blood: Vampiric mist (page 247)

Slippery Blood: Moving more than half your speed is a DC 10 Dex save to fall prone.

Touch a Pillar: You’re restrained and must make a DC 15 Con save or take 5 necrotic (-5 to your max hit points until a long rest!)

We’re losing hit points from our max like crazy in here! That’s what vampiric mists do.

(page 130) 29. Conditioning Court: Illusionist (MM pg 237), Thayan apprentice (page 245), Thayan warriors (page 246)

If the group just passes through, they’re fine. If they make noise or kill the chained-up Thayans, roll a d4+1 to see how many rounds it takes for the bad guys to come out of their cells. The illusionist comes out in one round, the apprentice comes out the round after that.

(page 131) 30. Training Floor: Evoker  (page 235), Thayan warriors (page 246), dread warrior (page 233), skeletons (MM pg 272), armor of vulnerability (DMG pg 142), ring of protection (DMG pg 191)

All the bad guys except for Lahnis have half their max hit points. Lahnis is willing to turn against his allies as he is sympathetic to Syranna.

(page 132) 31. Undying Laboratory: Necromancer (page 241), deathlock wight (page 233), wights (pg 300), potion of water breathing (DMG pg 188), scroll of darkvision (PH pg 230)

This is the place where you can transform soul-bound characters back to normal.

Kelson Darktreader is here, getting his soul sucked out.

Reduced-Threat Wights: AC 14 HP 45 +4/+4 5 (1d6 + 2) necrotic and DC 13 Con save or hit point max reduced until long rest
  • Throw Urn: Range 10/20, +4 to hit, 3 (1d6) damage and a DC 17 Con or Wis save or take 10 (3d6) necrotic and become paralyzed for one minute. Repeat the save at the end of your turns.
(page 133) 32. The Wizards’ Court: Thayan apprentices (page 245), evoker (page 235), tome of the stilled tongue (DMG pg 208)

These are the same bad guys from #29.

(page 133) 33. Cavern Guard Post: Thayan warrior (page 246), gnolls (MM pg 163), orcs (MM pg 246)

(page 133) 34. Shard Cavern: This is a cool room. One round after you go in there, Dex save DC 15 or 14 damage! Shards are flying everywhere every round, and now the path is difficult terrain. It resets when the room is empty. I assume the path would stay difficult terrain when it resets.

This will alert the horde of bad guys in room 35.

(page 134) 35. Dread Legion Barracks: Thayan warrior (page 246), orcs (MM pg 246), gnolls (MM pg 163)

The stone wall confused me for a minute. The wall is 15 feet high, but you can take the steps from 34 to this room.

Far Realm Cysts

(page 134) 36. Dark Water: Aboleth (MM pg 13)

Water Globes: You can control one with a DC 10 Int check. If someone else tries to take control, you make an opposed INT check.

If the globe touches someone else, that person must make a DC 15 Str save or be drawn in and can’t get out until it uses an action to make a DC 15 Int check. When you’re inside the globe, you have half-cover (+2 to AC and Dex saves).

Reduced Threat Aboleth: AC 17 HP 67 +9/+9/+9 to hit, 10 damage and a DC 12 Con save or unable to regain hit point unless underwater.
  • (3/Day) Enslave: One target within 30 feet makes a DC 12 Wis save or it is charmed by the aboleth. The save can be remade once every 24 hours whenever the target takes damage.
(page 135) 37. Compelling Light: Wights (pg 300), dread warriors (page 233), zombies (pg 316)

See the Light: DC 13 Wis save, fail means you walk in and gawk at the light while the bad guys start pounding on you. You get another save when you take damage.

End Your Turn: When you end your turn in this room, you take 10 necrotic.

(page 135) 38. Sinkhole Cavern: Zombies (MM pg 316), ogre zombie (MM pg 316)

Sinkhole: You just fall in, no save. You’re restrained (0 speed, disadvantage on attacks and enemies have advantage to hit you). Escape: DC 13 Str or Dex check. Small creatures have advantage on this check.

(page 135) 39. Beholder’s Domain: This injured beholder might fight the group for two rounds, but then it will question them. It hates the red wizards.

Start Your Turn: When you start your turn in here, make a DC 12 Wis save or roll on the eye ray chart on page 136.

Floor Problems: The slimy floor is difficult terrain and there’s a sinkhole! You just fall in, no check. This time you’re restrained (0 speed, disadvantage on attacks and enemies have advantage to hit you) and you are unable to breathe (you can hold your breath a minimum of 30 seconds aka 5 rounds).

Thaxalia, Reduced-Threat Beholder: AC 18 HP 90 +3 to hit, 12 damage

Eye Ray: 3 random rays at up to 3 targets within 120 ft:
  1. Charm: Wis save. DC 13 Fail: Charmed for 1 hour or if the beholder harms you.
  2. Paralyze: DC 14 Con save. Fail: Paralyzed 1 minute, save on end of each of your turns
  3. Fear: DC 14 Wis save. Fail: Frightened 1 minute, save at the end of each of your turns.
  4. Slow: DC 14 Dex save. Fail: You're at half speed and can't take reactions, and can only take either an action or a bonus action, not both. Lasts 1 minute, save at the end of each of your turns.
  5. Enervate: DC 14 Con save. Fail: take 34 necrotic, half on save.
  6. Telekinesis: DC 14 Str save. Fail: It moves you up to 30 feet and you're restrained until the start of the beholder's next turn.
  7. Sleep Ray: DC 14 Dex save. Fail: Fall asleep and remain unconscious for 1 minute. You wake up if you take dmg or someone uses an action to wake you.
  8. Petrify: DC 14 Dex save. Fail: restrained and at the end of your next turn, save again. Success, you're not restrained. Fail: You're petrified.
(3/round) Legendary Actions (Do this at the end of other creatures' turns): Use a random eye ray.

(page 136) 40. Slime Slaves:

If you start your turn prone on the slime floor, take 4 poison.

(page 136) 41. Garbage Transfer: Skeletons (MM pg 272)

These skeletons are doing janitorial work and won’t attack.  If destroyed, they re-assemble in one minute.

(page 137) 42. Otyugh Lair: Otyugh (MM pg 248), reduced-threat otyugh young

Stench: At the start of your turn make a DC 10 Con save. Success: Immune to odor for 1 hour. Fail: Poisoned until the start of your next turn.

Reduced Threat Otyugh-Young: AC 14 HP 57 +4/+4/+4 10 dmg and DC 13 Con save or poisoned.
  • You can save every 24 hours. Fail: Your hit point max is reduced by 5.
  • Tentacle: +4 to hit, 5 dmg, 4 piercing, and grappled (escape DC 13.
  • (No tentacle slam, no restrained in tentacle attack)
(page 137) 43. Summoning Chamber:

Disable the Circle: DC 20 Arcana. Fail: Each creature in the area makes a DC 15 Int save. Fail: Disadvantage on Int/Wis/Cha checks and initiative. Also can’t maintain concentration. This lasts until the end of a long rest!

(page 137) 44. Chaos Lair: Gricks (MM pg 173), gibbering mouther (MM pg 157), grell (MM p 172)

Magic Field: When you fail an attack roll/save/skill check, all of your spells and magic items lose their power until the end of your next turn.

Gibbering: Don't forget that anyone within 20 feet of a mouther must make DC 10 Wis save. Fail: No reaction and roll a d8:
  • 1-4: Nothing. 
  • 5-6: No actions, use all movement to move in a random direction. 
  • 7-8: Melee attack against a random creature within reach or nothing if no one nearby.
(page 137) 45. Eldritch Altar:

Enhance a Magic Item: Place an item on the altar. After one minute, it glows purple. Changes item's appearance randomly, and a random creature within 50 feet has their soul sucked into the item! No save! If you put the item in the hand of the soul-sucked hero, they are revived, but only as long as they hold the item.

When a soul is in an item, the wielder can communicate telepathically with it.

Forests of Slaughter

Boredom Alert: This whole section seems like it could get really boring. It’s just rooms full of monsters. I think if you play up each of their motivations (some want to be fed, some want your glyph keys, etc.) that might keep the campaign snappy. Also, don’t forget the trees! They have some pretty nasty effects.

You might need to use a map for this section, because stuff happens if you end your turn next to a tree, and there’s a whole lot of trees.

(page 138) 46. Hook Horror Nest: Hook horrors (page 189)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail. You can’t see hostile creatures (Blind: disadvantage on attack rolls, they have advantage to hit you, fail any ability check that requires sight) for one minute, repeat save at the end of each of your turns.

The heroes have advantage on stealth because the horrors are complacent. They defend their eggs.

(page 138) 47. Cockatrice Roost: Cockatrices (MM pg 42)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: You can’t see hostile creatures (Blind: Disadvantage on attack rolls, they have adv to hit you, fail any ability check that requires sight) for one minute, repeat save at the end of each of your turns.

(page 139) 48. Gorgon Lair: Gorgons (MM pg 171)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: You can’t see hostile creatures (Blind: Disadvantage on attack rolls, they have adv to hit you, fail any ability check that requires sight) for one minute, repeat save at the end of each of your turns.

(page 139) 49. Gate Cavern: Helmed horror (MM pg 183), wight (pg 300)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: When you deal damage, the target gains 5 temp hit points per successful attack. Lasts 1 minute, repeat save at the end of your turns. It looks like the temp hit points come after the damage is dealt.

(page 139) 50. Barghest Range: Barghests (page 230)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: When you deal damage, the target gains 5 temp hit points per successful attack. Lasts 1 minute, repeat save at the end of your turns. It looks like the temp hit points come after the damage is dealt.

Determined Barghests: They’re hiding in the tall grass (DC 20 Perception to spot) and they want glyph keys.

(page 140) 51. Pool of Recovery: Harm (PH pg 249)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: When you deal damage, the target gains 5 temp hit points per successful attack. Lasts 1 minute, repeat save at the end of your turns. It looks like the temp hit points come after the damage is dealt.
  • Drink: Gain benefits of a short rest.
  • Drink Twice per Tenday: Hit point max is halved for a tenday!
  • Drink Three Times per Tenday: Harm: DC 15 Con save. Fail: 14d6 necrotic and hit point max reduced by that amount for 1 hour. Success: Half damage.

Can You Put Some in a Waterskin? Most players will have the idea of taking some of this water with them. Would that work? I guess it’s up to you. I’d let them, because they can only use it once every ten days. Honestly, if they take some, it’s going to hurt them. It’s almost like you should say no just to protect them from themselves.

(page 140) 52. Displacer Beast Dens: Displacer beasts (MM pg 81)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Wis save. Fail: When you deal damage, the target gains 5 temp hit points per successful attack. Lasts 1 minute, repeat save at the end of your turns. It looks like the temp hit points come after the damage is dealt.

Reduced-Threat Displacer Beasts: AC 13 HP 42 +4/+4 to hit, reach 10 ft., 7 bludgeoning damage plus 3 piercing.

  • Displacement: Attacks have disadvantage against it. If it is hit, this trait is disrupted until the end of its next turn.
  • Avoidance: When hit with saving throw effects, takes half damage on a failed save, no damage on a success.

(page 140) 53. Peryton Roost: Perytons (MM pg 251)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Con save. Fail: You can’t regain hit points for 10 minutes.

Reduced-Threat Peryton: AC 13 HP 16 +3/+3 to hit, 5 dmg/6 dmg
Spd 20, Fly 60
  • Flyby: Doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when flying out of reach.
  • Dive Attack: Fly 30 feet toward a target and hit with melee: +9 (2d8) dmg.
  • Resistant to non-magic weapons.

(page 140) 54. Troll Cavern: Trolls (MM pg 291)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Con save. Fail: You can’t regain hit points for 10 minutes.

The female is dominant and has a glyph key. They want slaves or food.

(page 140) 55. Pool of Consumption:

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Con save. Fail: You can’t regain hit points for 10 minutes.

Drink: You take 22 (4d10) necrotic. This pool heals undead.

(page 140) 56. Behir Lair: Behir (page 25)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Con save. Fail: You can’t regain hit points for 10 minutes.

It might be asleep and it won’t attack if awake.

(page 141) 57. Leucrotta Lair: Leucrotta (page 239)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Str save. Fail: Paralyzed for one minute. Repeat the save at the end of each of your turns.

They call out as if they were humans in pain. A hero can make a DC 14 Insight check to tell that it’s an imitation. They do triple damage on a critical with their hooves!

(page 141) 58. Pool of Renewal:

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Str save. Fail: Paralyzed for one minute. Repeat the save at the end of each of your turns.
  • Drink: Greater Restoration (PH pg 246) Removes: Charm/petrify or curse or ability score reduction or reduced hit point maximum.
  • Drink Twice per Tenday: Hit point max cut in half for a tenday.
  • Drink Three Time per Tenday: Harm (PH pg 249) DC 15 Con save. Fail: 14d6 necrotic and hit point max reduced by that amount for 1 hour. Success: Half damage.

(page 141) 59. Choker Grotto: Chokers (page 232)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Str save. Fail: Paralyzed for one minute. Repeat the save at the end of each of your turns.

Four are in the trees and will try to pull the characters into the trees +5/+5 to hit, 5 dmg plus 3 dmg and grappled (escape DC 15)

(page 141) 60. Owlbear Grove: Owlbears  (MM pg 249)

End Your Turn Next to a Tree: DC 15 Str save. Fail: Paralyzed for one minute. Repeat the save at the end of each of your turns.

Reduced-Threat Owlbear: AC 13 HP 28 +5/+5 to hit, 8 dmg/12 dmg

Ooze Grottos

Ooze Prod: Attack an Ooze with it: 1d4 force dmg and the ooze’s speed drops to 0 until the end of its next turn.

(page 141) 61. Bone Room: Ochre jellies (MM pg 243), wight (MM pg 300)

Bone Pile: You take 4 acid dmg when you enter or start your turn there.

(page 142) 62. Ooze Temple: Deathlock wights (page 233), ochre jellies (MM pg 243), gray oozes (MM pg 243)

Spilled Ooze: Difficult terrain, end turn in it: 4 acid dmg.

(page 142) 63. Spawn Vats: Deathlock wights (page 233), skeletons (MM pg 272), transmuter reduced threat black pudding (MM pg 241), gray ooze (MM pg 243) and ochre jelly(MM pg 243), dispel magic (PH pg 234), greater restoration (PH pg 246), potion of greater healing (DMG pg 188), potion of heroism (DMG pg 188)

Ooze Prod: Attack an Ooze with it: 1d4 force dmg and the ooze’s speed drops to 0 until the end of its next turn.

Fall in Vat: Take 5 dmg, DC 11 Con save or paralyzed until the start of your next turn.

Villainous Speech: Sarkalla is crazy and will stop mid-battle to give an epic speech about how the heroes should join her and usher in the dawn of the Ooze Age. Together, they will sail on a sea of slimes towards prosperity, health care and equality for all.

1-2 Reduced-Threat Black Pudding: AC 7 HP 42 +5 to hit, 4 dmg plus 16 acid. Nonmagic armor has -1 to AC (cumulative).
  • Spd 20, climb 20  Blindight 60
  • Immune: Acid, Cold, Fire, Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhausted, Frightened, Prone
  • Slashing or Lightning Damage: It splits into two puddings, each with half hit points.
  • Hit it with melee within 5 feet: You take 4 acid and nonmagic weapons gain -1 to damage (cumulative).

3 Reduced-Threat Gray Ooze: AC 8 HP 11 +1 to hit, 2 dmg plus 5 acid and nonmagic armor gains -1 to AC (cumulative).
  • Spd 10, climb 10   Blindsight 60
  • Resistance: Acid, Cold, Fire
  • Immune: Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhausted, Frightened, Prone
  • Hit it with melee within 5 feet: You take 4 acid and nonmagic weapons gain -1 to damage (cumulative).
4-6 Reduced-Threat Ochre Jelly: AC 8 HP 22 +2 to hit, 7 dmg plus 3 acid.
  • Spd 10, climb 10   Blindsight 60
  • Immune: Lightning, Slashing, Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhausted, Frightened, Prone
  • Resistances: Acid
  • Reaction: If it has 10 HP or more and is Medium or larger, when hit with slashing or lightning, split into two jellies
(page 143) 64. White Maw: White Maw (page 248)

When the heroes enter: The exits are sealed with “white stone” (the gray ooze that fills the room).

Touch the Black Pillar: 9 psychic dmg and prone.

(page 143) 65. Red Master: Ooze Master (page 241)

Start Turn Within 10 ft of Pillar: DC 15 Con save, or 7 acid. If this drops you to 0 hit points, you turn to ooze and merge with the pillar.

Reaction: Don’t forget, he can make characters attack each other with his reaction.

(page 143) 66. Black Elder: Black pudding (MM pg 241)

This one’s scary. The whole group might get blinded.

Start Turn Within 20 ft of Pillar: Regain d6 hit points. If you were wounded and it heals you to your hit point max, make a DC 15 Con save or become blinded until a short rest!

(page 144) 67. Laboratory Barracks: Transmuter (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245), specter (MM pg 279)

They’re asleep, they’ll tip cots over for cover (+2 AC and Dex saves)

Get Within 5 Feet of Mirror: DC 15 Wis save or a specter emerges and attacks. Life drain!

(page 144) 68. Arch of Blades: Transmuter (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245), skeletons (MM pg 272)

Get Within 5 Feet of Arch: All of this happens right in a row:

  • DC 15 Wis save or run through the arch.
  • Make a DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 33 slashing Succeed: Half damage.
  • Then! Make another DC 15 Wis save. Fail: You can’t willingly move away from the arch until after the start of your next turn (where you’ll be making another DC 15 Wis save to run through again).

(page 144) 69. Spawn Cavern: Transmuter (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245)

Ooze Prod: Attack an Ooze with it: 1d4 force dmg and the ooze’s speed drops to 0 until the end of its next turn. The prod suppresses the spawn pool until the end of your next turn.

Start Turn Next to Spawn Pool: DC 13 Dex save Fail: 7 acid.

(page 145) 70. Battle Pool: Transmuters (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245), black pudding (MM pg 241)

Ooze Prod: Attack an Ooze with it: 1d4 force dmg and the ooze’s speed drops to 0 until the end of its next turn.

Ooze Pool: Difficult terrain, enter or start turn in it: 13 acid dmg. Every time you move 5 feet, a pudding gets an attack on you: +5 to hit, 4 dmg plus 16 acid. Nonmagic armor has -1 to AC (cumulative).
  • Round 2: Pudding comes out. All of these puddings attack Thayans and characters alike.
  • Round 4: Another pudding comes out.
  • Round 6: Another one!
Reduced-Threat Black Pudding: AC 7 HP 42 +5 to hit, 4 dmg plus 16 acid. Nonmagic armor has -1 to AC (cumulative).
  • Spd 20, climb 20  Blindsight 60
  • Immune: Acid, Cold, Fire, Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhausted, Frightened, Prone
  • Slashing or Lightning Damage: It splits into two puddings, each with half hit points.
  • Hit it with melee within 5 feet: You take 4 acid and nonmagic weapons gain -1 to damage (cumulative).
(page 145) 71. Dead Pool:

Start Turn in Here: DC 10 Con save. Fail: 2 acid. You can hold your breath to avoid this dmg (you can hold your breath for at least 5 rounds before you have problems).

Ooze Pool: Enter/Start Turn: 9 acid and 9 poison.

I’m just saying.. you could have part of the ledge collapse to add a little drama. DC 12 Dex? Or fall in?

(page 145) 72. Ooze Duel: Transmuter (page 247), dread warriors (page 233), thayan warriors (page 246), gelatinous cube (MM pg 242)

You could roll out the fight between the Thayans and the cube beforehand in case the characters creep around a bit. The cube will attack the Thayans and the heroes indiscriminately.

(page 145) 73. Jelly Pit: Transmuter (page 247), Thayan apprentices (page 245), ochre jellies (MM pg 243)

Roll: Maybe pre-roll the d4s so you know what round the oozes will come out.

Ooze Prod: Attack an Ooze with it: 1d4 force dmg and the ooze’s speed drops to 0 until the end of its next turn.

Jelly Pit: 3 feet deep, difficult terrain, enter or start turn: 9 acid. Each 5 feet you move in it provokes an opportunity attack +2 to hit, 7 dmg plus 3 acid.

Reduced-Threat Ochre Jelly: AC 8 HP 22 +2 to hit, 7 dmg plus 3 acid.
  • Spd 10, climb 10   Blindsight 60
  • Immune: Lightning, Slashing, Blinded, Charmed, Deafened, Exhausted, Frightened, Prone
  • Resistances: Acid
  • Reaction: If it has 10 HP or more and is Medium or larger, when hit with slashing or lightning, split into two jellies

Predator Pools

This is a water area, so let’s bust out the water rules:  PH pgs 182, 183, 198 and DMG 116.

Swimming (PH page 182): When swimming, each foot of movement costs one extra foot. So, half speed, basically. Swimming in rough water will require an athletics check.

Underwater Combat (PH pg 198): Melee has disadvantage unless it is a dagger, javelin, short sword, spear or trident.

Ranged disadvantage to hit unless a crossbow, net or javelin/spear/dart etc, Auto-miss if target beyond normal range.

Water Globes: You can control one with a DC 10 Int check. If someone else tries to take control, you make an opposed INT check.

If the globe touches someone else, that person must make a DC 15 Str save or be drawn in and can’t get out until it uses an action to make a DC 15 Int check. When you’re inside the globe, you have half-cover (+2 to AC and Dex saves).

(page 146) 74. Kraken Pool: Malformed kraken (MM pg 197)

The kraken attacks anyone who looks over the ledge.

(page 146) 75. Dragon Turtle Prison: Reduced threat dragon turtle (MM pg 119)

Chains: When the dragon turtle moves, its chains might hit a character: DC 12 Dex save or knocked prone.

Reduced-Threat Dragon Turtle: AC 20 HP 170 +10/+10/+10 to hit, 24/14/14
  • Resist: Fire  Speaks Aquan and Draconic (it has an Int of 10)
  • Tail: +10 24 and DC 18 Str save or pushed 10 feet and prone.
  • (Rchg 5-6) Steam Breath: 60-foot cone, DC 16 Con save. Fail: 50 fire dmg. Success: Half dmg.

(page 147) 76. Naga’s Den: Spirit naga (MM pg 234), commoners (pg 345),  detect magic (PH pg 231), identify (PH pg 252), lesser restoration (PH pg 255), remove curse (PH pg 271)

Glyph: DC 15 Wis save or disadvantage to hit the naga, naga has advantage against saves caused by you. This lasts until the naga dies!

(page 147) 77. Scrag Pool: Trolls (MM pg 291)

Scrags! If you use minis, I recommend checking out the Pathfinder scrags. My favorite minis!

Make a Dex Save within 5 Feet of the Pool: Fail: Fall prone. Fail by 5 or more: Fall into the water.

(page 147) 78. Undead Pool: Ghouls (MM pg 148)

If You Do Radiant Damage: DC 15 Wis save or compelled to jump in the pool, take 9 necrotic dmg.

(page 147) 79. Bone Pool: Merrow (MM pg 219)

Start Your Turn in the Pool: DC 10 Con save or you’re poisoned until the start of your next turn.

Spawn Pools

Spawning Essence:
  1. Drink it: Gain the benefits of a short rest.
  2. Drink twice in 10 days: DC 15 Wis save or suffer confusion (PH pg 224) for 1 minute, repeat the save at the end of each of your turns.
Spawn Pits: Enter or start your turn: 2 piercing damage.

(page 148) 80. Black Gate Pool: Kuo-toa (MM pg 199)

This is one of those unfolding combats. You’ve got 5 kuo toa to start with, with 4 more sleeping in the water, and potentially a dread warrior, 2 wights and 4 zombies coming in from 81!

You might want to not involve the sleeping kuo toa, because the black gate is underwater with them. When the group dives in… kuo toa wake up.

(page 148) 81. Spawn Hall: Dread warrior (MM page 233), wight (MM pg 300), zombies (MM pg 316)

Scenes of demons and humanoids engaging in debauchery! Maybe you should come up with some, just don’t creep your players out. Maybe the debauchery is strip poker or something.

(page 148) 82. Sea Hag Lair: Merrow (MM pg 219), sea hag (MM pg 179), giant crabs (MM pg 324), staff of charming (DMG pg 201), potion of water breathing (DMG p 188), water walk (PH pg 287)

The hag wants to team up to take out Ilhanvas (the naga) in area 76.

Start Turn in Debris Pile: DC 10 Con save or poisoned until the start of your next turn.

North Pool Magic Circle: It takes 3 arcana checks DC 20 to get it active. It teleports you far away, to a location deep underwater in an ocean, which sounds like death to me. It is apparently linked to the sahuagin mentioned in “Blood Pools" on page 149. High water pressure, sahuagin, sharks.

You could connect the portal to anywhere you want, I guess. Maybe you could have it connect to some kind of secret, awesome room of your own devising.

(page 149) 83. Baron’s Court: Sahuagin (MM pg 263), sahuagin baron (MM pg 264), hunter sharks (MM pg 330), potion of diminution (DMG pg 187)

End Turn on Top of a Pillar (marked “x”): Con save DC 15 or paralyzed for 1 minute and you fall into the water and sink to the bottom. I’m not sure, but that could mean that you can’t hold your breath (because you are paralyzed) so you immediately drop to 0 hit points and begin making death saves. It says that you keep saving vs. the paralyzation at the end of each of your turns, so maybe not. I’d say they can hold their breath because otherwise that’s almost certain death.

(page 149) 84. Altar Pool: Sahuagin (MM pg 263), sahuagin princess (MM pg 264), hunter sharks (MM pg 330), commoners (MM pg 345), aid (PH pg 211), bless (PH pg 219), dagger of venom: DMG pg 161

The Priestess: Lots of notes on the priestess:
  • Chanting: The priestess doesn’t stop chanting unless she takes 20 damage or more.
  • Dagger: The priestess has a dagger of venom she could use. Using it would go like this: As an action, she can coat the blade with poison. Then:
  • Dagger Attack: +4 to hit, 3 (1d4+1) piercing damage and when she hits with it, the target must make a DC 15 Con save or take 2d10 poison and become poisoned for one minute.
  • Spells: She can cast mass healing word 3 times: Up to 6 creatures gain d4+4 hit points.
  • Sacrifice Boon: If 3 rounds go by and she pulls off the sacrifice, the sahuagin on the altar gain aid and bless: +5 to hit point max and current hit points, +d4 to attacks rolls and saving throws for 1 minute.
Prisoner: He is catatonic until taken out of this room.

(page 149) 85. Prisoner Cavern: Dread warrior (page 233), skeletons (MM pg 272), commoners (MM pg 345)

Get Within 20 Feet of the Black Shrine: DC 15 Int save. Fail: -1d6 to Int, Wis and Cha. Once you have a score at 2 or lower, you’re paralyzed until taken out of the room.

The Prisoners: Catatonic until taken out of this room.

Golem Laboratories

(page 150) 86. Hall of Teleportation: Helmed horrors (MM pg 183), reduced-threat flesh golem (MM pg 169)

The creatures come to life if someone gets within 5 feet of the pillars.

Get within 5 feet of Pillar: DC 17 Wis save or 5 lightning damage and be teleported to random space next to another pillar. If result is the same pillar, 10 dmg instead of 5. The creatures activate:

Reduced-Threat Helmed Horrors: AC 20 HP 30 +4/+4 to hit, 7 dmg.

They can fly! Fly 30 ft.
Advantage on saves vs. spells
Immune to fireball, heat metal, lightning bolt.
Reduced-Threat Flesh Golems: AC 9 HP 46 +5/+5 11 dmg

  • Immune to nonmagic weapons!
  • Fire dmg gives it disadvantage to attack rolls/ability checks until the end of its next turn.
  • Lightning damage (which it is immune to, anyway) heals it.
  • Advantage on saves vs. spells.
  • Berserk: Start turn with 40 hp or less, roll d6. On a 6, it attacks the nearest creature and continues to do so until destroyed or healed back to full.

(page 150) 87. Golem Vault: Necromancer (page 241), thayan apprentices (page 245), skeletons (MM pg 272), ghoul (MM pg 148)

Examine the Unguents: DC 15 arcana: They’re worth a cool 1,500 gp.

The golems can’t be activated. You’ll probably have players who really want to activate them or sew an extra arm on their body or something. That seems like a lot of fun, so maybe mull it over in advance. Having a lumbering golem sidekick could be fun, especially if an NPC dies and they stick its head on there. That would be pretty awesome.

(page 150) 88. Black Prison: Wight (pg 300), zombies (pg 316), deathlock wight (page 233)

There’s 1 wight and 8 zombies not in cages. These cages aren’t locked. The undead can get out if they want. Those cages heal them (and hurt you if you’re in there for 1 minute or longer).

(page 151) 89. Transmutation Pits: Transmuter (page 247), priest (MM pg 348), clay golem (MM pg 168)

Start Turn in Clay Pit: DC 13 Str or Dex save or 5 dmg and restrained until the start of your next turn. Escape: Make the save and then make a DC 15 Str or Dex check.

Step on Teleport Circle: 5 force dmg (you only take this dmg the first time), pushed 10 feet and knocked prone. (These circles are connected to the cursed skull room in 91, but people can only travel from there to here.)

The bad guys need to use an action to activate the golem:

Reduced-Threat Clay Golem: AC 14 HP 66 +8/+8 to hit, 14 dmg and make a DC 13 Con save or reduce hp max by amount of dmg taken.
  • Speed 20!
  • (rchg 5-6) Until the end of its next turn, the golem has +2 to AC, can use a slam attack as a bonus action and has advantage on Dex saves.
  • Advantage on saves vs. magic
  • Acid dmg heals it.
  • Berserk: Start turn with 60 hp or less, roll d6. On a 6, it attacks the nearest creature and continues to do so until destroyed or healed back to full.
(page 151) 90. Golem Pits: Clay golem (MM pg 168)

Brightness: In this room you have disadvantage on ranged attack rolls, and checks involving sight.

Start Turn Next to Pillar: DC 13 Con save and blind until the start of your next turn.

Glyphs:
  • Study: Make a DC 10 arcana check to understand them. 
  • Shut Off: Use an action: Touch one, make a DC 15 arcana check and shut off for a minute. 
  • Subdue: You could also subdue them with a DC 10 arcana: Lowers the pillar to a DC 8 Con save but it also heals the clay golem 5 points per round.
(page 151) 91. Hall of Skulls: I don't even know what to say about this one. It's way out there and it is very brutal.

Get Within 5 Feet of Mist: 5 dmg, Pulled into room 91, knocked prone.

Walk Into a Skull Mouth: Roll d6 for random skull. Roll a DC 15 save, depending on which skull. Fail: -d4 to checks/saves tied to the ability of the skull. If a Character ends up with a -5 to checks/saves, they also gain the secondary trait.

Stench trait of a Troglodyte (MM pg 290): Any creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of you makes a DC 12 Con save or is poisoned until the start of their next turn. Success: Immune to your stench for 1 hour.

Turn the Black Gate On: DC 20 Arcana check. The DC goes down by 2 each time a character goes into a skull mouth.

(page 151) 92. Timeless Prison: Gargoyle  (MM pg 140), deva (MM pg 16)

Each round, two things happen:

Gargoyles Appear: Each round, a 4-armed gargoyle comes out of a pillar until 6 have come out.
  • Adjacent: Anyone next to the pillar the gargoyle came out of must make a DC 12 Dex save or take 10 dmg from falling rubble.
  • 6 Gargoyles Total: On Round 6, the last gargoyle comes out and touches the deva statue. The deva becomes real and screams. Roll init for her. On her turn, she attacks whoever is closest. A DC 15 Charisma check will set her straight.
4-Armed Gargoyles: AC 15 HP 63 +4/+4/+4 to hit, 5 (1d6 + 2) damage
  • Spd 30, fly 60
  • Resistant to non-magic weapons
Lumalia seems like a really cool NPC. She’s now chaotic good and will fight alongside the heroes. She is very powerful and can deal out tons of healing.

Lumalia: AC 17 HP 136 +8/+8 to hit, 7 (d6+4) dmg plus 18 (4d8) radiant.
  • Advantage on saves vs. magic, Resist: Nonmagic weapons
  • 1/Day: Raise Dead
  • 3/Day: Healing Touch: Regain 20 (4d8+2) hit points and freed from any curse/disease/poison/blindness/deafness.
  • Shapechange into any humanoid or beast challenge 10 or lower.
(page 153) 93. Stone Quarry: Stone giant (MM pg 156)

Seems like the group can get surprise on the giants or sneak past them if they want.

The Pit: The area 10 feet around it is difficult terrain. Pit is 30 feet deep with sloped sides.

(page 153) 94. Golem Assembly: Transmuter (page 247), thayan apprentice (page 245), reduced-threat stone golem (MM pg 156)

Walk Through Arch: Thrown ten feet, DC 15 Con save or take 5 force dmg and fall prone (you only take this the first time you go through an arch).

Touch a Copper Panel: 2 lightning damage, you can walk through arches with no bad effects until the end of your next turn.

The transmuter can activate the golem with an action and a DC 15 Arcana check (he has a +6):

Reduced-Threat Stone Golem: AC 17 HP 89 +8/+8 to hit, 17 dmg
  • Advantage on saves vs. magic
  • (Rchg 5-6) one creature within 10 feet makes a DC 15 Wis save. Fail: Half speed, no reactions, only one attack on a turn. Can only take an action or a bonus action on a turn, not both. Lasts 1 minute, save at the end of each of your turns.
(page 154) 95. Efreet Prison: Efreeti (MM pg 145)

The heroes enter, the efreet demands to be freed with a dispel magic, gust of wind, or knock spell. He is bound here by chains of smoke.
  • If they free him: He rampages through the dungeon killing Thayans (he doesn’t need glyph keys).
  • If they don’t: He attacks.
You could have him offer the group a wish as per the wish spell (PH pg 288), which might be fun but could also be a headache. Maybe have him offer them a specific reward, like a house in the City of Brass or an arranged marriage with one of his lovely children.

The Other Efreet: There’s another Efreet in room 97 (page 155). You could say that this is the efreet’s relative or significant other. It would probably want to go there to free the efreet, but someone needs to break the charm person on that efreet.

Gout of Flame: Jump it: 2 dmg. Enter/start your turn in it: 21 fire dmg.

Molten Pool: Enter/start your turn: 35 fire.

Urns: They are binding vessels for efreet? Be ready for heroes who might try to use them to trap the efreet inside. When Broken: Any creature within 10 feet gains resistance to fire for 1 hour.

(page 154) 96. Fire Vortex:

Ash Floor: 6 inches deep, difficult terrain.

Step into Center of Room: 5 rounds of fire! Each round: DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 21 fire dmg. Success: Half dmg.

(page 155) 97. Golem Forge: Conjurer (page 232), thayan apprentices (page 245), efreeti (MM pg 145)

Tip the Crucible: (You can move it 5 feet with a DC 20 Str check) DC 15 Str check: Molten metal fills a 30 ft. x 30 ft. area. Anyone in that area takes 21 fire dmg and must make a DC 15 Con save or fall prone (!). For the next five rounds, anyone in this area takes 10 dmg. For the 5 rounds after that, they take 3 fire.

Temples of Extraction

This place is really cool. There's a "Chosen" exarch of a deity trapped in each room having their power siphoned. They're in these special shrines:

Figuring Out Shrine Effects: DC 10 Wis check.

Enter a Shrine: DC 10 Cha check. Fail: 5 force dmg and knocked prone. Succeed: Difficult terrain. Succeed by 5 or more: Normal terrain.

Disable a Shrine: Stand on the shrine, make 3 DC 15 checks, choosing from these options (Fail a check: 5 force dmg, knocked prone):
  • Strength Check DC 15: Smash Pillars
  • Dexterity Check DC 15: Disable Runes
  • Intelligence Check DC 15: Disrupt the flow.
Once Six Shrines Are Disrupted: You can use a glyph key to go to the Phylactery Vault.

Helpless Chosen Stats: AC 10 HP 5 +0 to all checks/rolls.
  • The Chosen don’t need glyph keys.
  • Some of them are monsters with different stats that attack as soon as they're freed.

Shrines of Binding

(page 156) 98. Temple of Poison: Necromancer (page 241), helmed horror (MM pg 183), yuan-ti malison (MM pg 309)

Dark Mist: Start Turn in Here: DC 15 Con save or stunned until the start of your next turn. Success: Immune to this effect for a day and gain +5 poison dmg with weapon attacks.

Oussa: Chosen of Zehir, serpent god of poison, darkness and murder.
  • Oussa will attack the party like an idiot.
(page 157) 99. Temple of Suffering: Enchanter (page 234), Thayan apprentice (page 245), 2 dread warriors (page 233), wand of binding (DMG pg 209)

Suffering Aura: When you hit with an attack in this room make a DC 15 Wis save.
  • Fail: You take damage equal to 25% of the damage you dealt out to one target. 
  • Success: Regain 25% of the damage as hit points!
Kieren: Chosen of Ilmater, god of suffering, martyrdom and perseverance.
  • He’s a lawful good dude who offers encouraging words.

(page 157) 100. Temple of Pain: Deathlock wight (page 233), wraith (pg 302), shadows

Web of Pain: Start turn in this place,: Dc 15 Con save. Fail: Creatures have advantage to hit you and you have disadvantage on attacks and on Str and Dex saves/checks until the end of your next turn.

Irisoth: Chosen of Loviatar, the Maiden of Pain.
  • She’s a lawful evil half-elf, what you do with her is up to you.
(page 158) 101. Temple of Ooze: Transmuter (page 247), wight (pg 300), gray oozes (MM pg 243), ochre jellies (MM pg 243)

Start Turn within 15 Feet of Walls: Opportunity attack with advantage: +3 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) dmg plus 7 acid and nonmagic metal armor gets -1 to AC.

Therzt: Chosen of Ghaunadaur, god of oozes.
  • Therzt is a chaotic evil drow who kills himself with melf’s acid arrow (PH pg 259): +3 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+1) dmg plus 7 acid and nonmagic metal armor gets -1 to AC.
  • He Might Miss: The funny thing here is that he has to make an attack roll and he has +0 to hit. Hit: 4d4 acid and 2d4 acid a round later. Miss: Half of the 4d4 acid and that's it. It is possible he will live. 
  • If He Dies: If he dies, it causes two gray oozes to come out of the walls to attack.
(page 158) 102. Temple of Shadows: Shadows (MM pg 269)

If you have a light spell of 3rd level or higher going, then it’s dim light. If not, it’s dark in here. We'd better dig out the light rules again:
  • Dim light (lightly obscured): Disadvantage on Perception checks.
  • Darkness (heavily obscured): Blindness. Creatures have advantage to hit you, and you have disadvantage to hit them. You fail any ability check requiring sight.
When You Take Damage in Here: DC 15 Wis save or 5 poison and blinded for 1 minute. Repeat the save at the end of each of your turns to end the effect.

Ashdra: Chosen of Ibrandul god of darkness and the underground. He is a comforter and protector.
  • Ashdra is a chaotic evil human drow.
(page 158) 103. Temple of Fortune: Necromancer (page 241), flesh golem (MM pg 169)

This room is all about critical hits and misses:
  • Attack Rolls: Roll a 1: You take the dmg from your attack. Roll a 20: Roll the extra dmg dice twice instead of once.
  • Saves: Roll a 1: Suffer max dmg/worst possible effect. Roll a 20: The caster suffers the effects of the spell, not you.
  • Ability Checks: Roll a 1: Worst possible outcome. Roll a 20: Spectacular outcome (backflips).
Curran Corvalin: Chosen of Tymora, goddess of luck.
  • Curran is a chaotic good male halfling. He thinks he has good luck.
(page 159) 104. Temple of Savagery: Evoker (page 235), dread warriors (page 233), shadow (MM pg 269), wight (pg 300)

Once Battle Begins: If you don’t deal damage in a round, you take 5 psychic damage.

End Your Turn in Here: DC 15 Cha save. Fail: You can’t use reactions, you’ll make an opportunity attack on anyone and you get advantage on the roll.

Torlin Silvershield: Chosen of Bhaal, god of assassins.
  • Torlin is a wight and he attacks right away. 
(page 159) 105. Temple of Plague: Necromancer (page 241), deathlock wight (page 233), dread warrior (page 233), zombie (pg 316)

Death Saves in Here: You have disadvantage on death saves!

Start Your Turn in Here: DC 13 Con save:
  • Fail: 5 poison dmg and incapacitated (can't take actions or reactions). 
  • Three Failed Saves: You lose your poison dmg (15) from your hp max.
  • Three Successful Saves: You are immune to this mist for 4 hours.
Bandagh: Chosen of Yurtrus, orc god of disease.
  • Bandagh is a neutral evil orc with pockmarks/scars from disease. He is too weak to oppose the group in any way.
(page 159) 106. Temple of the Forest: Wraith (pg 302), will-o’-wisps (MM pg 301), druid (MM pg 346)

Invisible Will-o’-Wisps: They’re invisible at the start!

Move More than Half Speed or Miss a Melee Attack: All creatures make a DC 13 Str save or restrained (Spd 0, attack rolls vs you have advantage, you have disadvantage on attack rolls and Dex saves)

Eira: Chosen of Rillifane Rallathi, elf god of nature.
  • She’s not that hurt and she wants to join the group. She’s a druid with half her max hit points (MM pg 346). 
  • Her max hp is 27, so she has 13 hp. She'd batter cast barkskin right away (AC 16).
  • She has merged with a Chosen of Talona and shifts between evil and good, arguing with herself. If/when she dies, she turns to ash.
(page 159) 107. Temple of Winter: Evoker (page 235), thayan apprentice (page 245), yetis (MM pg 305), deathlock wight (page 233), Robe of Summer (page 229)

Start Turn with Metal Armor/Weapon: DC 13 Con save. Fail: 5 cold dmg. Fail by 5 or More: Disadvantage on Str/Dex attacks/saves/checks until start of your next turn.

The Red Wizard Has Cold Resistance: She takes half damage from cold because of her robe of summer.

Hedrun Arnsfurth: Chosen of Auril, god of winter.
  • Hedrun is a deathlock wight (page 233) and she immediately attacks.
The Phylactery Vault: Gargoyle  (MM pg 140), demilich (MM pg 48)

This place is really cool, but confusing. The group appears in a place like the inside of a hollow pyramid/4-sided die. The gravity is such that you can walk up the walls. Your job here is to open all 12 sepulchers (each full of lich phylacteries!!) and then kill Kazit Gul (destroying all of his gems).
  • Moving Around: Walking up a wall requires a DC 13 athletics or acrobatics check. Fail: prone.
  • Ranged Attacks: Disadvantage to attacking creatures on another side.
  • Flying: Landing on a wall is a DC 10 Acrobatics check or fall prone.
Sepulchers:
  • Open the Door: Either DC 17 Dex check to Pick it or DC 20 Str check to break it in.
  • Once It’s Open: All three doors on this floor turn into gargoyles and attack.
  • Disrupting the Sepulcher: In each of the 12 sepulchers, you need to make three successful DC 15 Arcana or Religion checks.
  • Fail: You take dmg equal to the amount you failed by!
  • You get a +1 to the check for each glyph key you hold.
Once You Disable the First Sepulcher: Kazit Gul shows up (Flavor bottom of page 163).

Once Kazit Gul is Defeated: His 8 diamonds need to be crushed.

Once Kazit Gul is Killed and at Least Three Sepulchers are Drained: The place starts to collapse. The group will need to make it to the magic circles to get out.

Dark Pools: Start Turn, take 9 necrotic and can’t regain hit points while in it.

Pedestals: Hurt undead, but not Kazit Gul.

4-Armed Gargoyles: AC 15 HP 63 +4/+4/+4 to hit, 5 (1d6 + 2) damage
  • Spd 30, fly 60
  • Resistant to non-magic weapons
Kazit Gul: If you look at the demilich stats, you will see some scary stuff:
  • (Rchg 5-6) Howl: All within 30 feet make a DC 15 Con save or drop to 0 hit points!
  • It can use life drain to suck hit points out of three people to regain that many hit points.
  • At the end of other turns, it can drop the hp max of every creature within 30 feet by 10 points!

(page 165) Chapter 6 - Against the Giants

Names: Most of the creatures and NPCs in this do not have names. You might want to make some up or just have a list of appropriate names ready in case it comes up.

You can use the fairly ridiculous names of the pregens from the 1st edition adventure if you want:

Gleep Wurp, the Eyebiter, Cloyer Bulse, Roaky Swerked, Frush O'Suggill, Fonkin Hoddypeak, Flerd Trantle, Redmod Dumple, Faffle Dweomercraft, Beek Gwenders of Croodle,

Or you could use these names from the 4e Chris Perkins version:

Krystal Mudstone, Korial Summerwind, Gorik Blunthammer, Dergle Obsen, Veliax the Sly, Della Daggerbright, Thoot Grimhold, Dwern the Sly, Gobb Brightshield, Nyzan Silvervein and Zorn Ironbeard

If you have time, you might want to roll the treasure hoard on the table in the DMG (DMG pg 137) for room 23 on page 176-177. It could grind the game to a halt.

Story: Some mysterious force (Lolth) has organized the giants and has them raiding settlements. The group is going to deal with this, starting with the hill giants.

The heroes are given provisions to last a few weeks, and it is assumed that they find a cave near the hill giant stronghold to rest in.

Everything is damp, so.. the heroes can’t just set the whole place on fire.

Open a Giant Door: DC 10 athletics.

(Page 167) Random Encounters: You might want to pick some random encounters in advance. My favorites are Grutha coming to find her pet bear (is it hiding under a bed or something?) and the two drunk hill giants going to sleep it off.

This one starts off pretty fun. The giant guards are drunk and taking a nap. The group can do all sorts of fun stuff here.

(page 167) 1. Front Gate and Foyer: Hill giants (MM pg 155)

Listen at the door: The group might hear snoring.

They are drunk and passed out. If they survive a round of throat-slitting, they will call out for the giants in 1b. You might want to put a giant cup of ale as large as a character here, just to see if one of the characters will swim in it or something.

(page 167) 1B. Tower Guard: Hill Giant  (MM pg 155)

He is also dozing and drunk!

(page 167) 2. Subchief: Hill Giant  (MM pg 155)

She is sleeping, too. DC 8 Stealth to sneak by without waking her.

(page 168) 3. Dormitory: 12 “orcs” (MM pg 246)

These giants use orc stats, and they are goofing around.

(page 168) 4. Barracks: 2 hill giants (MM pg 155)

They’re snoring. Maybe they are spooning.

(page 168) 5. Maids’ Chamber: 1 hill giant  (MM pg 155), 3 “ogres” (hill giant servants), potion of healing (DMG pg 188), potion of superior healing (DMG pg 188), potion of poison (DMG pg 188), potion of mind control (page 229)

The matron wants the heroes dead, but the maids aren’t too keen on fighting and will actually help the group a bit if the matron is taken care of. They might even give the group their magic potions.

(page 168) 7. Chamber of the Chief’s Wife: Polar bear (MM pg 334)

Grutha’s pet bear is here. It might be a fun wrinkle to have Grutha comes down the hall, calling for her bear.

(page 168) 9. Arms Room: Javelin of lightning (DMG pg 178)

(page 168) 10. Small Dining Room:

The manticore hide is pretty cool, the group might want to make a cloak or vest out of it.

(page 168) 10A. Secret Room: The group can find a note written in giant, signed by Eclavdra (Lolth’s agent). It contains the attack plans for the hill giants. If you’re not using the drow, you might want to get rid of it or adapt it to your story.

(page 170) 11. Great Hall: Frost giant (MM pg 155), hill giant  (MM pg 155), polar bear (MM pg 334), stone giant (MM pg 156), cloud giant  (MM pg 154), ogre (MM pg 237)

There’s a total of 27 creatures in here. This is a pretty scary situation. Some players will have some ill-advised ideas. Definitely give them a warning to make sure they understand just how dangerous this is. I love the idea of the heroes poisoning the food, though. That would be really intense.

In 4e, the stone giant emissary is named Laerthar

Total Treasure (average of possible total): 15,420 gp

(page 171) 13. Weapons Room: We have a +1 warhammer in here and a hammer that heckles dwarves. I find the idea of a magic weapon that makes fun of everybody to be quite amusing. You could google some Don Rickles jokes and go nuts. Just make sure you don’t hurt any real-life feelings and be willing to let the hammer get its comeuppance.

(page 171) 14. Main Guest Chamber: Waythe, the sentient greatsword is detailed on page 229.

Waythe (requires attunement – it takes good-aligned characters just 1 minute to attune to it)
  • +1 to hit and damage
  • +2d6 damage vs. giants and they must make a DC 15 Strength save or fall prone
  • Functions as a wand of enemy detection (DMG pg 210) 7 charges
  • Enemy Detection: Use an action/spend a charge and for the next minute, you know the direction of the nearest creature hostile to you within 60 feet, but not its distance from you.
  • It regains all charges daily at dawn
  • No risk of it crumbling if you use the last charge.
  • Int 12 Wis 2 Cha 14
  • It has hearing and darkvision 120 feet.
  • Waythe is courageous to the point of foolhardiness, and does not like being wielded by those who are timid or evil.
(page 171) 17. Kitchen: 29 commoners (MM pg 345), ogre (MM pg 237), orc (MM pg 246)

They will run from any conflict.

(page 171) 19. Servants’ Quarters: Ogre (MM pg 237), hill giant (MM pg 155)

The servants are flirting with this handsome hill giant, who will want to show off.

(page 171) 20. Orc Slave Quarters: Commoners (MM pg 345)

These orc slaves will help the group, and tell them that the orcs below are rebelling and can be helpful as well.

(page 171) 21. Ogre Quarters: Ogre (MM pg 237), potion of storm giant strength (DMG pg 187), potion of invisibility (DMG pg 188)

(page 172) 22. Open Yard: Dire wolves (MM pg 321)

Dungeon Level


Ceilings are 15-20 feet high

Random Encounters: If you use the 12 rebel orcs, just be prepared to use them in combat against the giants. That is a lot of die rolls and it can really slow the game down. You might want to consider making them into a two 6-orc “swarms of orcs”. Just use their stats and add their hit points and damage together. Once it is at half hit points, 3 orcs die and the damage gets cut in half.

(page 172) 2. Chamber of the Keeper: Stone giant  (MM pg 156), potions of water breathing (DMG pg 188)

The Keeper is a big, evil, pale hunch-backed giant. He has two pet apes. Both have modified stats:

The Keeper: AC 17 HP 126  reach 15, +10/+10 to hit, 20 (3d8+7) slashing dmg
  • Spd 40
  • Rock Catching. If a rock or similar object is hurled at The Keeper, he can make a DC 10 Dex save to catch it and take no damage from it.
Apes: AC 12 HP 30 +5/+5 6 (1d6+3)
  • Spd 30, climb 30
(page 173) 3. Cell Block: Bugbears (MM pg 33), noble (MM pg 348), knight (MM pg 347), wight (MM pg 300), orc (MM pg 246)
  • Cell 1: Insane noble
  • Cell 2: Human engineer/dungeon builder
  • Cell 3: Elf knight, will fight alongside the heroes
  • Cell 4: Skeletal remains wearing jewelry on the floor. If the group enters, they get up. They’re 3 wights!
  • Cell 5: Five orc rebels want to get out of here.
(page 173) Bugbear Complex: Bugbear (MM pg 33), bugbear chief (MM pg 33)
  • 4. Outpost: 8 bugbears (MM pg 33)
  • 5. 9 sleeping bugbears (MM pg 33)
  • 6. 8 sleeping bugbears (MM pg 33)
  • 7. Bugbear chief (MM pg 33)and 4 bugbears (MM pg 33). They all do 11 (2d8+1) slashing
  • 8. Outpost: 6 alert bugbear guards (MM pg 33)
(page 174) Obedient Slave Quarters: Orcs (MM pg 246), commoners  (MM pg 345)

All of these creatures are demoralized and offer no resistance or aid.
  • 9. Barracks: 24 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
  • 10. Barracks: 30 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
  • 11. Barracks: 25 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
(page 175) Unruly Slave Quarters: bugbear (MM pg 33), orc (MM pg 246), commoners (MM pg 345)

Some of these people might aid the group
  • 12. Barracks: 48 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
  • 13. Barracks: 24 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
  • 14. Barracks: 16 unarmed orcs (MM pg 246)/commoners (MM pg 345)
In 4e, there is one orc named named Javoc who fights valiantly alongside the heroes.

(page 175) 15. Torture Chamber: Hill Giant (MM pg 155)

Two dozing hill giants.

(page 175) 16. Armory and Smithy: Fire giant (MM pg 154), commoner (MM pg 345), veteran (MM pg 350)

There are 5 dwarves being forced to work in here with 2 fire giants overseeing things.

In 4e, the fire giant smith’s name is Smolderheart

(page 175) 17A. Weird Abandoned Temple: Ring of mindshielding (DMG pg 191)

Touch a Pillar: DC 15 Con save or poisoned for 1 hour

Gaze at the Wall: DC 15 Int save or cursed with permanent insanity (as per the symbol spell, PH pg 280)
  • Insanity: Can't take actions, can't understand what other creatures say, can't read, speaks jibberish. The DM controls their movement. The character is pretty much screwed unless someone has remove curse, greater restoration, heal, etc.
In 4e, this temple is linked to Tharizdun and the Elder Elemental Eye.

(page 176) 19. Natural Cavern: Orog (MM pg 247), orc (MM pg 246), commoners (MM pg 345)

78 orcs ready to rebel

(page 176) 20. Troglodyte Cavern: Troglodyte (MM pg 290), kobold (MM pg 195)

23 stranded troglodytes

(page 176) 21 Lizards’ Lair: Giant crocodiles (MM pg 324), giant lizards (MM 326)

(page 176) 23. Cavern of the Carrion Crawlers: Carrion crawler (MM pg 37)

Treasure table is on DMG pg 137. You should roll this in advance if possible.

(page 177) 25. Wine Cellar:

Drink the Wine: DC 15 Con or Wis save. Fail: Drunk (poisoned) for one hour, roll the save again in an hour. Fail that one: Unconscious. Once awakened, drunk for another hour, then gain one level of exhaustion.

(page 177) 28. Stone Giant Miners: Stone giant (MM pg 156)

Not interested in fighting.

(page 177) 29. False Treasure:

The group sees a pile of loot in coffers. Touch them: Bars drop and seal the entrance and the other bars that lead to 30 lift up. The manticores in room 30 attack.

(page 177) 30. Imprisoned Guards: Manticore (MM pg 213)

(page 178) 31. Minor Treasure Room: Potion of poison (DMG pg 188)
  • Chest 1: Copper
  • Chest 2: (Trap+7 to hit, 10 (3d6) slashing) Silver
  • Chest 3: Electrum, unlabeled potion (poison) (DMG pg 188)
  • Chest 4: Copper ingots
  • Chest 5: Empty
  • Chest 6: 11 ivory tusks
  • Chest 7: Locked (Trap: Take 1 dmg and 11 poison dmg, and make a DC 13 Con save or poisoned for 1 hour. Fail by 5 or more: You are also unconscious. Wake up if you take dmg or if someone spends an action to shake you awake). 325 gp worth of gems.
Poison Needle DMG pg 123, Drow Poison DMG pg 258

Total Gold Value: 5,208 gp

(page 178) Chief’s Secret Treasure Room: Flame tongue (DMG pg 170),

Finding the room goes like this:

Either you fall in and take 11 (2d10) dmg and a DC 15 Con save. Fail 22 (4d10) poison, Success: Half dmg.

Or:
  • Detect the trap: DC 15 perception.
  • Prod the lid open: DC 10 Str check
  • If you want to wedge it shut so you can safely cross it: DC 15 Str check
Illusory yellow mold: Just in case: (Yellow mold DMG pg 105) If touched, it ejects spores in a 10 foot cube. DC 15 Con save or 11 poison and poisoned for 1 minute, taking another 5 poison at the start of each turn until you make your save.
  • Large Chest: 8,000 gp
  • Iron Box (locked): 1,000 platinum
  • Small coffer: Gems
  • Another Coffer: 7 pieces of jewelry
  • Under the Illusion: 11 +1 arrows, +2 spear, flame tongue shortsword that detects gems and jewels
  • Broken Barrel Illusion: Map to frost giant lair and…
  • Obsidian Box: A chain and instructions on how to use it to teleport to the glacial rift of the frost giants.
The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl


Stuff to Remember:

  • Travel on the Surface of the Rift: Random PC must make a DC 1 Acrobatics or fall in, taking d6 to 15d6 dmg, depending on what area they are on above.
  • Flying: It’s too windy to fly. Roll a d8 for random direction traveled.
  • Visibility: 150 ft
  • Down Below: It is actually more windy at the bottom of the rift. Visibility is 30 ft. Advantage on stealth checks here.
  • Light: The entire upper level is lit by a natural greenish light, no torches needed.
  • Slippery: If you are hit by an attack or you move more than half your speed, make DC 10 Acrobatics check or fall prone.
  • Fire: Fireball and other fire spells cause 5 minutes of fog that makes the area heavily obscured: You're blinded! (PH pg 290) You have disadvantage on attack rolls, creatures have advantage to attack you. Auto-fail any check that requires sight.
(page 181) 1. Guardroom Ice Cavern: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

(page 181) 2. Guardroom Ice Cave: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

If a fight breaks out, calls for the giant on room 1 to help.

(page 181) 3. Empty Ice Cave: Noise means ceiling collapse: DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 16 dmg. Success: Half dmg.

(page 181) 4. Small Ice Cave: Winter wolf (MM pg 340), dire wolf (MM pg 321)

(page 181) 5. Ice Caverns: Staff of frost (DMG pg 202), scroll of protection (elementals) (DMG pg 199), ring of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 192), Armor of vulnerability (DMG pg 152)

Noise Causes a Cave-in: DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 16 dmg. Success: Half dmg.

(page 182) 6. Provisions: Cure wounds (PH pg 230)

(page 182) 7. Cavern: Ogre (MM pg 237)

The sleeping ogres are under covers and probably won’t be noticed right away.

(page 182) 8. South Cavern: Ogre (MM pg 237), potions of healing (DMG pg 188)

Six ogres

The armband under the skin is a token of free passage, meaning the group can move around in here without being attacked as long as they are not aggressive.

Total value of Treasure: 2,788

(page 182) Cavern Guard Post:

  • 9. Northwest Chamber: Frost giant (MM pg 155)
  • 10. Southeast Chamber: Frost giant (MM pg 155)
  • There’s a total of three more armbands that can give the group free passage here.
(page 182) 11. Cave of Bones: Piles of bodies and refuse, almost nothing of value.

(page 183) 12. Lower Bone Cave: Giant ice toads (page 235)

They worship a gem on a “protuberance.” Seems like there’s potential for shenanigans with that.

(page 183) 13. Ice Cavern: Yeti (MM pg 305), frost brand (DMG pg 171)

The yeti leader wields the frost brand: 11 (2d6+4) slashing plus 3 (1d6) cold dmg

(page 183) 14. Misty Ice Cave: Maybe narrate the deep cracks in the ice to give the heroes an extra chance not to lose their stuff.

Slippery: If you’re hit or you move more than half you speed, DC 10 Dex save. Fail: prone. Fail by 5 or More: You drop what you’re holding in a crack and lose it forever.

Fog: Heavily obscured: You're blinded. (PH pg 290) You have disadvantage on attack rolls, creatures have advantage to attack you. Auto-fail any check that requires sight.

(page 183) 15. Ice Cave: Tiger (MM pg 339)

They’re on a ledge and will try to surprise the adventurers.

(page 183) Barracks Complex: These giants aren’t sleeping, they are getting ready for a raid.
  • 16. Outer Sleeping Area: Frost giant (MM pg 155) 
  • 17. Upper Sleeping Area: Frost giant (MM pg 155)
  • 18. Middle Sleeping Area: 2 Frost giants (MM pg 155)
  • 19. Lower Sleeping Area: Frost giant (MM pg 155)
(page 183) 21. Ice Cavern: Brown mold (DMG pg 105)

The brown mold covers a 10 foot square, when you get within 5 feet of it: DC 12 Con save. Fail: Take 22 cold dmg. Success: Half damage.

  • It is immune to fire and extinguishes fire within five feet.
  • It is instantly destroyed by cold damage.

(page 183) 22. Guard Ice Cave: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

(page 183) 23. Guard Cave: 2 Frost Giants (MM pg 155)

(page 183) 24. Visitors’ Cave: Hill giant  (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

There’s a gold skull with a parchment inside. The parchment is a token of free passage to the fire giant hall.

(page 183) 25. Visitors’ Cave: Stone giant (MM pg 156)

They don’t fight unless they are attacked.

(page 185) 26. Special Visitors’ Cave: Fire giant (MM pg 154), hill giant  (MM pg 155)

(page 185) 27. Winter Wolf Pack: Winter wolf (MM pg 340)

(page 185) 28. Snow-Covered Dome of Ice: Remorhaz (MM pg 258)

(page 185) 29. White Pudding: Black Pudding (MM pg 241)

Lower Level

Boulders: Some areas are blocked by boulders: DC 20 Athletics to move them.

Light: Lit by torches and fire beetles in little cages

(page 185) 2. Vaulted Cavern: Young white dragon (MM pg 101), potion of poison (page 188), potion of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 188), potion of diminution (DMG pg 187), potion of growth (DMG pg 187, enlarge (PH pg 237)

Two dragons! One is on the gold pile, the other is 30 feet up on the ledge. It’s likely the group will see one dragon, plan, and attack, only to be blindsided by second dragon. At that point it will be utter chaos.

In the 4e update, these dragons are given names: Caulstfax and Engdreth. They are brother and sister.

Total Treasure: 19,900 gp (including the gems in 2a).

(page 186) 4a. Stone Rubble:

The skeleton is holding a map to a secret tunnel. It’s a fake. If you want to kick it up a notch, maybe have the digging cause a cave-in and then draw in the toads from 4b, if they are still alive.

(page 186) 4b. Hungry and Hopping: Giant ice toads (page 235)

(page 186) 5. Entrance Cavern: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

He’ll grab a horn and spend an action to blow it, alerting the giants that there is trouble. That could feasibly draw in a lot of creatures:

The oni and four ogres from 6, and eight ogres from 9. I don’t think the cloud giant in 7 would join in. The storm giant in 8 is chained up.

(page 186) 6. Emissaries’ Cavern: Oni (MM pg 239), ogre (MM pg 237), necklace of fireballs (DMG pg 182), potion of mind control (frost giant) (page 229), potion of cloud giant strength (DMG pg 187 – Str of 27!), bag of holding (DMG pg 153)

Fireballs: The oni has a necklace of fireballs with 5 beads left. The oni could throw all 5 if it wants to (although all it does is raise the level of the spell by one for each extra bead). So if you used all 5, that would be a DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 12d6 fire. Success: Half dmg.
  • Fireball Fog: Remember, the fireball will cause five minutes of fog! Heavily obscured: You're blinded. (PH pg 290) You have disadvantage on attack rolls, creatures have advantage to attack you. Auto-fail any check that requires sight.
(page 187) 7. Guest Cavern: Cloud giant (MM pg 154)

This guy has made an alliance with the Jarl.

(page 187) 8. Prison Cavern: Storm giant (MM pg 156)


In the 4e version, her name is Elektra. There’s some good flavor for this:

"Trapped behind a heavy wooden portcullis is an 18-foot-tall female giant with purple skin and hair as dark as a thundercloud. She wears heavy iron manacles on her wrists and has a large ball-and-chain clamped to her right ankle, belying the finery of her garments. “Did my father send you? Finally!” she says with a sneer, stomping her chained foot. “Get me out of here!”

The frost giants are trying to ransom her off to her father, Lord Krombaalt, ruler of the storm giants.


The heroes can win her over by speaking well of her father and pointing out that her behavior reflects on her father.

If they make her angry and she gets away, she destroys a settlement linked to the group or some location they value.

Giant Ally: Making her an ally might feel weird – it might make the adventure too easy. I say give it a try, but give yourself an out. Maybe have her receive a sending spell from her father, who tells her to come home at once. Maybe she could meet the group at a later time and reward them with some storm magic thing.

(page 187) 9. Servants’ Quarters Cavern: Ogre (MM pg 237)

(page 187) 10. Antecavern: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

(page 187) 11. Great Cavern of the Jarl: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

There’s 2 frost giants, one on A and one on B. They’re 30 feet up and can chuck rocks.

(page 187) 13. Guard Area: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

(page 187) 14. Kitchen: Hill giant (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237), commoner (MM pg 345)

The four humans are in a cage, they’re going to be food! If you can, work in a Soylent Green reference that nobody under the age of 80 will get.

(page 187) 16. Common Quarters Caverns: Frost giant (MM pg 155), hill giant  (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

(page 187) 17. Kennel Cave: Polar bear (MM pg 334)

With 65 HP

Caverns of the Jarls

(page 188) 18. West Chamber: Frost giant (MM pg 155), hill giant (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

(page 188) 19 East Chamber: Frost giant (MM pg 155), hill giant  (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

I assume that it was just an error that the frost giant servant was not listed as a hill giant and the two young frost giants are ogres.

(page 189) 20. Jarl’s Antecavern and Trophy Hall:

All sorts of cool stuff on the walls. The group could take some hides and have special armor made.
  • Shield +1 (Trapped): Take the magic shield off the wall: Spear! +10 to hit, 10 (3d6) piercing dmg.
  • Walrus Tusks (Trapped): If you touch the tusks, the dragon head starts shouting “Alarm! Robbers!”
(page 189) Jarl Grugnur’s Private Caverns: Cloud giant (MM pg 154), winter wolf (MM pg 340) arrow-catching shield (DMG pg 152), potion of speed (DMG pg 188), potion of superior healing (DMG pg 188, heals 8d4+8), potion of storm giant strength (DMG pg 187, Str of 29!), potion of poison (DMG pg 188), oil of slipperiness (DMG pg 184), potion of healing (DMG pg 188), philter of love (DMG pg 184), scroll of protection (fiends) (DMG pg 199), delayed blast fireball (PH pg 230), finger of death (PH pg 241)


Don’t forget the two winter wolves, they’re way down at the bottom of the entry.

Jarl Grugnur: AC 18 (AC 20 vs. ranged) HP 200 +12/+14 to hit, reach 10 ft., 23 (3d8+10) slashing dmg.
  • Spd 40
  • Arrow-Catching Shield: If someone makes a ranged attack against someone within 5 feet of the Jarl, he can use his reaction to become the target instead.
Estia: AC 16 (+2 vs. ranged) HP 200 +12/+12 to hit, reach 10 ft., 23 (3d8+10) piercing dmg.
  • Spd 40
  • She wields a +2 morningstar and wears a saber-tooth tiger hide cloak

(page 189) Hidden Tunnel: Glyph of Warding (PH pg 245), cloudkill (PH pg 222), pearl of power (DMG pg 184), Nolzur’s marvelous pigments (DMG pg 183), wand of paralysis (DMG pg 211)

There’s an iron bar sticking out of the wall. If pushed downwards, it teleports all in the alcove to Snurre’s hall in the Hall of the Fire Giant King!

Invisible Box: It’s way up on a ledge. Glyph of Warding DC 17 Cloudkill: 20 foot radius cloud of poison fog: DC 17 Con save. Fail: 5d8 poison. Success: Half.

Hall of the Fire Giant King


This dungeon is huge, full of monsters and it is front-loaded. You’ll fight the fire giant ruler, King Snurre, almost right away. The group is supposed to be looking for the evil mastermind, so they should keep going. Level two has a red dragon, and level three has Eclavdra and her drow minions, the true villains of the scenario. There’s even a few mindflayers at the end.

Bigly: This feels too big. You might want to junk some of the empty rooms. I can see groups getting bored fighting ropers and piercers.

Safe Cave: The group can use a cave 2 miles away to rest in. Each time they do so, there is a greater chance that the giants learn of it.

Front Doors: They’re massive! 29 feet tall, 10 feet wide. The group needs to make a combined athletics check of 25! Or, there’s a 50% chance the door is ajar, but a fire giant is watching it.

Secret Entrances? There are none! If the group goes poking around, all they will find is vent holes that spew flaming gases that 7 points of fire damage.

Doors: The doors inside require a DC 15 athletics check to open. They don’t swing shut on their own.

Starting Point: On the map on page 190, the front doors are on the bottom left corner. There’s another number 1 on the right, but that’s something different.

(page 192) 1a. Alcove: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

Right as the group comes in, there’s a giant hidden behind a tapestry to the left. He’ll blow a horn and the group will have problems. These creatures will be coming:

2 Ettins from area 2, 2 hellhounds, 2 fire giants and maybe King Snurre himself from area 3, 2 fire giants from area 18, 8 hellhounds and 3 more fire giants from 21-25.

If the Group Runs In and Hides: The ettins are closest. I’d imagine that if the group scrambles inside and tries to lose them, Snurre’s 2 hellhounds would try to sniff the heroes out with their advantage on perception using hearing and smelling, +5 to the roll.

Returning: Once the group leaves and comes back, a ballista will be set up. It fires multiple bolts at once! One for each hero. That’s +6 to hit, 11 (2d10) dmg. Ballistas take 3 actions to reload, so either there’s a bunch of flunkies next to it re-arming it, or the bad guys will just get that one shot off.

(page 192) 2. Grand Hall: Ettin (MM pg 132)


(page 192) 3. Throne Room and Audience Chamber: King Snurre, fire giant (MM pg 154), hell hound (MM pg 182)

On the map, 1 and 2 are the giant. 3 and 4 are the hell hounds.

In the 4e version, there's a drow named Taz'zt here. He’s keeping an eye on Snurre for Eclavdra. This might be a nice way to make sure the group continues through the dungeon rather than leave because they killed the king.

If Snurre runs, he will go to room 5 (page 207) and huddle up with other escaped major NPCs.

King Snurre: AC 18 HP 187  +11/+11 to hit, reach 10 ft., 28 (6d6+7) slashing and 7 (2d6) fire dmg.
  • Spd 30
  • Immune to Fire, Resistance to cold
  • Speaks Common and Giant
(page 193) 4. Chamber of the Queen’s Servants: Hill giant (MM pg 155)

Servants: AC 13 HP 105 +8/+8 to hit, reach 10, 18 (3d8+5) slashing

(pages 193 – 194) 5. Queen’s Chamber: Fire giant (MM pg 154), Mirror of seeing (gem of seeing) (DMG pg 172), poisonous snake (MM pg 334), giant weasels (MM pg 329), potion of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 188), potion of mind control (mammal) (page 229), potion of mind control (fire giant) (page 229)

Queen Frupy will flee to room 5 (page 207) if things go bad. Many a treasure to be had:

  • 4 Copper Coffers: Each has a poisonous snake in it
  • Bronze Caskets: Copper
  • Iron Casket: Trap: Glyph of Warding (PH pg 245), Fireball: DC 15 Dex save. Fail 8d6 fire. Success: Half dmg. Jade box.
  • Scrolls with two random 7th-level spells. I picked some that you could use:
  • Wizard: Mordenkainen's Magnificent Mansion (PH pg 261), Prismatic Spray (PH pg 267)
  • Cleric: Resurrection (PH pg 272), Etherealness (PH pg 238)
  • Total Value of Treasure: 6,508 gp

(page 194)  6. Chamber of the King’s Guards: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

These two are hanging out, eating cheese.

(page 194) 7. King Snurre’s Private Quarters: Hell hounds (MM pg 182),

There’s not much of value in here, but it’s a cool room. 39 skulls of various creatures, room lit by flaming jets of a gas and a huge iron brazier with glowing coals.

(page 195) 8. Hydra Cave: Hydra (page 190)

(page 195) 9. King Snurre’s Treasure Cave: Poisonous snake (DMG pg 334)

Trunks:
  • (Locked) Trunk 1: Silver
  • (Locked) Trunk 2: Empty
  • Trunk 3: Jewelry
  • (Locked) Trunk 4: Trap: Blade +11 13 (3d8) slashing. Silk.
  • (Locked) Trunk 5: Valuable wood.
  • Trunk 6: Electrum.
  • (Locked) Trunk 7: Ivory tusks.
  • Trunk 8: Invisible poisonous snakes!! Invisible jewelry. I guess you can’t sell it until you cast dispel magic on it.
Chests:
  • Chest 1: Trap: Gas 10 ft radius DC 15 Con save. Fail: Poisoned until short/long rest. Empty!
  • (Locked) Chest 2: Rocks.
  • Chest 3: Trap: All within 10 make a DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 7 acid. Success: half dmg.
  • You get to roll on a bunch of charts (starting on DMG pg 144), accepting only potions and scrolls (other results mean you just move on to the next roll). Table A x4, Table B x2, Table C x2, Table D x1, Table E x1.
  • Here’s what I got: 3 potions of healing (DMG pg 188), scroll of compelled duel (PH pg 224), potion of animal control (DMG pg 187), potion of growth (DMG pg 187), potion of diminution (DMG pg 187), oil of sharpness (DMG pg 184), Potion of storm giant strength (DMG pg 188)
  • I also rolled a Heward’s handy haversack (DMG pg 174). I know you’re supposed to disregard it, but it’s a pretty cool item.
  • Chest 4: Trap: All within 15 feet have spikes hot at them: +11 to hit, 7 piercing. Empty!
  • (Locked) Chest 5: Empty!
  • (Locked) Chest 6: Trap: Lock and handle covered in oil of taggit (DMG pg 258): DC 16 Con save or 3 poison dmg and poisoned. Repeat the save every 24 hrs. taking another 3 poison on a failed save. The poison dmg can't be healed! It takes 7 successful saving throws to end this effect!
Coffer:
  • Coffer 1: Trap: Poison needle does 1 dmg and purple worm poison (DMG pg 258): DC 19 Con save. Fail: 42 (12d6) poison. Success: Half dmg. 3 gold rings. One is a ring of protection (DMG pg 191).
  • (Locked) Coffer 2: Copper (platinum hidden under it)
  • (Locked) Coffer 3: Hot spices!
  • Coffer 4: 6 unholy statuettes/ Each linked to a stat. Whoever carries it has disadvantage on ability checks to that stat.
  • (Locked) Coffer 5: Piles of gems
Total Value of Treasure: 22,011 gp

(page 196) 10. Arsenal Complex: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

The giant will get the chimera from 11 if possible.

10A. West Arsenal: +1 longbow, twenty +1 arrows

10B. East Arsenal: Shield of missile attraction (DMG pg 200)

(page 196) 11. Chimera Pen: Chimera (MM pg 39)

(page 196) 12. Advisor’s Quarters: Gnoll (MM pg 163)

(page 196) 12A. Obmi’s Study: Assassin (MM pg 343), dwarven plate (DMG pg 167), gauntlets of ogre power (DMG pg 171), ring of invisibility (DMG pg 191)

Obmi (in 4e, his full name is Obmi Ironwhisper) was a major villain in Gary Gygax’s real-life Greyhawk campaign. He lived in Castle Greyhawk and continuously escaped from the heroes because he had boots of speed and he was very clever. Obmi is meant to be a very devious NPC.

Obmi pretends to be a prisoner. and will flee to room 5 (page 207) if things go poorly for him.


Obmi: AC 15 HP 78 +10/+10/+10 to hit,  Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) and DC 15 Con save or 24 poison. Half dmg on a success.
  • Assassinate: During his first turn, he has advantage on attack rolls against those who have not taken a turn. Hit: Critical hit.
  • Sneak attack: +13 dmg when he hits with advantage or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally.
  • Evasion: On Dex saves, it takes half damage on a fail or no dmg on a success.
  • Obmi stats with his items: AC 23 HP 78 +11/+11+11 to hit, Hit: 8 (1d8 + 4) dmg
  • Ring of invisibility: He can turn invisible.
(page 197) 13A. West Alcove:

Move the chest, 6 arrows! + 11 to hit, Hit: 5 (1d10) dmg and DC 11 Con save or 10 (3d6) poison.

There are some tokens of free passage in this room that can allow the group to move about safely.

(page 197) 13B. South Alcove:

The group is ultimately looking for who is motivating the giants, and it is Eclavdra. If you can, try to play this up a bit. Maybe describe the writing, maybe there’s a bit of webbing stuck to it. Just something to get them thinking about who or what Eclavdra is.

(page 197) 14. Door Guard: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

(page 197) 15. Kitchen: Fire giant (MM pg 154), hill giant (MM pg 155), gnoll (MM pg 163)

In the 4e version, the cook’s name is Sulfuria

(page 198) 16. Guest Chamber: Rakshasa (MM pg 257), potion of superior healing (DMG pg 188), potion of mind reading (DMG pg 188), potion of invulnerability (DMG pg 188), zone of truth (PH pg 289), true seeing (PH pg 284), darkness (PH pg 230), cure wounds at lvl 4 (PH pg 230), symbol (PH pg 280)

Remember that the Rakshasa is immune to spells lvl 6 and lower! Looking at the rakshasa stats, it really doesn't have a lot of offense. Its best tactic is probably to charm or dominate the most powerful character in the party.

In the 4e version, the rakshasa is named Ka'vir. He disguises himself as the elf princess trapped further below.

(page 198) 18. Barracks: Fire giant (MM pg 154), Hill giant (MM pg 155)

They are sharpening their weapons.

(page 198)19. Servants’ Quarters: Hill giant (MM pg 155)

(page 198) 20. Communal Quarters: Hill giant (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

The “ogres” are fire giant kids. You might want to remove them if you think it might be unpleasant for some of your players.

(page 198) 21. Entry Hall of the Kennels: Hell hounds (MM pg 182)

The kennel keeper and his wife from 23 will come running if there’s a commotion.

(page 198) 22. Kennel Chamber: Hell hounds (MM pg 182)

(page 198) 23. Kennel Keeper’s Quarters: Fire giant (MM pg 154), javelin of lightning (DMG pg 178), hellhound cloak (page 228), sword of vengeance (DMG pg 206)

(page 198) 24. Guardpost: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

(page 198) 25. Barracks: Fire giant (MM pg 154), hill giant (MM pg 155)

Fire Giant with Magic Axe: AC 18 HP 162 +13/+13 to hit, 22 (3d8 + 9) dmg

Second Level

(page 199) 1. Hall of the Dead:

Sarcophagi of ancient giant kings and queens! This is screaming out for a fire giant mummy encounter but there’s nothing going on in here.

In the 4e version there are fire giant death knights, which is pretty awesome. Maybe you could stick them here.

(page 199) 2. Ettin Guards’ Chamber: Ettins (MM pg 132)

In the 4e version, there are a pair of 2-headed fire giants, the result of crossbreeding between the giants and ettins.

(page 199) 3. Visitors’ Chamber: Stone giant (MM pg 156)

(page 199) 4. Storage Room: Hill giants (MM pg 155)

Wow, Chief Nosnra of the hill giants will be here if he survived. He has frost giant stats with an AC 17.

(page 199) 5. Community Quarter: Fire giant (MM pg 154), hill giant (MM pg 155), ogre (MM pg 237)

(page 201) 6. Smithy: Fire giant (MM pg 154), Troll (MM pg 291)

The fire giant will try to toss the mace into the lava just so the group can’t have it.

This dude is known as Zarkad in the 4e version.

(page 201) 7. Torture Chamber: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

Short Version: So it looks like the giant can grapple a character and move next to the iron maiden on one turn. On its next turn, it can put the character inside the maiden.

Long Version: The Torturer will try to put someone in the iron maiden. It goes like this:

  1. Grapple rules are on PH pg 195
  2. The giant makes an athletics check vs. the hero, who can make either an athletics check or acrobatics check. If the giant wins, the target is grappled:
  3. Grappled: Speed 0, it ends if an effect removes the grappled creature from the reach of the grappler
  4. Move the grappled target: The giant can move with the grabbed target, but at half speed. So that's Spd 15 for a fire giant.
  5. Just put the person in the maiden! 55 (10d10) piercing. The victim can’t open it from within. That’s pretty horrible.

The Well: The torturer will grab someone and throw them in the well. They’ll fall 90 feet into an underground pool of water. They should probably take a little damage, just from hitting a wall on the way down or something. Maybe 3d6?

You know what would be really crazy is if they threw the iron maiden down into the well so it lands on the characters in the well.

The Headsman: AC 18 HP 162 +13/+13 to hit, 22 (3d8 + 9) dmg

(page 201) Cell Complex: Fire giant (MM pg 154), empyrean (MM pg 130), wererat (MM pg 209), Noble (MM pg 348), commoner, centaur (MM pg 38), gnoll (MM pg 163), troll (MM pg 291), assassin (MM pg 343), arrow of giant slaying (DMG pg 152), cloak of elvenkind (DMG pg 158), boots of elvenkind (DMG pg 155).

Cells:
  • 1C.  Elf noble who promises to reward the group with magic items. In 4e, she is Princess Moonshadow. She is shackled and she has a sack over her head. She likes to be in charge and she hates the drow. She’s a spellcaster and wants to join the party.
  • 2C. 8 elves awaiting sacrifice. In the 4e version, these are Moonshadow’s guards.
  • 3C. A merchant being held for ransom. In 4e, this is Dram Blighthammer: The dwarves tried to raid the giants and he was captured. His dad is the wealthy merchant.
  • 4C. Empty. There’s a secret door in here.
  • 5C. 2 centaur nobles. In 4e, no centaurs. Instead, it’s Fonkin Hoddypeak! The pregen! It turns out that one of the pregens, Gleep Wurp, was a traitor who works with the giants. Sadly, Cloyer Bulse was eaten by the giants. Fonkin can join the group, but he’s a coward.
  • 6C. Empty.
  • 7C. 2 gnolls who were insubordinate. There’s a dead gnoll, too.
  • 8C. Empty
  • 9C. An insane troll who is tortured often.
  • 10C. 7 gnolls who committed employee theft.
  • 11C. Two inert skeletons.
  • 12C. A female assassin who pretends to be an adventurer. She will rob the characters if she can.
  • 13C. Boldo the fire giant, accidentally insulted Snurre.
  • 14C. Empyrean who was poisoned. It’s a child of a god. You pick which one!
The guard is hanging out here talking with three human women (they’re actually wererats).

(page 202) 8. Secret Room: Wererats (MM pg 209), oil of taggit (DMG pg 258), Drow Poison (DMG pg 258), potion of poison (DMG pg 188), scroll of protection (lycanthropes) (DMG pg 199), ring of shooting stars (DMG pg 191), potion of healing (DMG pg 188), potion of diminution (DMG pg 187), pipes of the sewers (DMG pg 185)

Poison needle does 1 dmg and the character has to make a DC 16 Con save or 3 poison dmg and poisoned. Repeat the save every 24 hrs, taking another 3 poison on a failed save. The poison dmg can't be healed. It takes 7 successful saving throws to end this effect.

Third chest: Trap: Two poison darts: +8 to hit 2 (1d4) DC 13 Con save or be poisoned for 1 hour. Fail by 5 or more: Unconscious as well. You wake up if you take damage or if someone spends an action to shake you awake.

Whoever reads the scroll of protection must make a DC 15 Wis save or contract lycanthropy. The details of becoming a lycanthrope are on MM pages 206 and 207. As a wererat, the character gains a Dexterity of 15.

Then there’s some do-it-yourself treasure. You can use this if you want:
  • Spell Scroll of 7 Cleric Spells: Let’s do one of each level. (1) Protection from evil and good (PH pg 270), (2) Protection from poison (PH pg 270), (3) Remove Curse (PH pg 271), (4) Death Ward (PH pg 230),(5) Raise Dead (PH pg 270), (6) True Seeing (PH pg 284), (7) Symbol (PH pg 280) ...Resist the urge to give your group a scroll of fire storm inside the fire giant dungeon!
  • 4 Potions: Potion of Storm Giant Strength (DMG pg 187), Potion of Growth (DMG pg 187), Potion of greater healing (DMG pg 188), Potion of longevity (DMG pg 188)
(page 202) Temple of the Eye:

9. Giants’ Worship Area: Murals of giants worshiping

10. Servants’ and Thralls’ Worship Area: Touch Pillar: OK, here we go...
  1. DC 15 Wis save or effects of fear spell (PH pg 239): Drop whatever you're holding and become frightened.
  2. Frightened: Disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks, can't move closer to source of fear.
  3. You must take the Dash action and move away on each of your turns.
  4. Once you don't have line of sight to the source of your fear, you can make a save to end it.
11. Priests’ Area: This one gets pretty wild.

 Large Pillar: If you touch the right glyphs, you teleport to room 18.

Touch the Altar: It fades in color for 3 rounds and then become amethyst. Touch it again: DC 15 Wis save or parlyzed for one hour.

Beat the drums, ring the chimes and strike the triangle: A huge eye appears. Each creature must roll a d12 to see which symbol they are hit with.
  • 1. Death: DC 15 Con save or 10d10 necrotic mg. Success: half dmg.
  • 2. Discord: DC 15 Con save or bicker and argue for 1 minute. During this time you have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.
  • 3. Fear: DC 15 Wis save or frightened for 1 minute, drop what you're holding and move at least 20 feet away.
  • 4. Hopelessness: DC 15 Cha save. Fail: Full of despair, can't attack or target any creature with any kind of harmful attack/spell etc.
  • 5. Insanity: DC 15 Int save. Fail: Insane for 1 minute. Can't take actions/understand others/read, you speak in gibberish, DM controls your movement.
  • 6-12 No effect
Tentacle Rods: If the group has three tentacle rods and plays the instruments: An elder elemental god appears, tries to drag a character into the altar and destroy them utterly. +11 to hit, reach 20 ft.

Try Again: If the group for some reason tries again, there’s a different chart to roll on.


(page 205) 12. Drow Clerics’ Area: Ropers (MM pg 261)

Wall of Tentacles: AC 20 HP 186 Each round it gets 2 bite attacks and 8 tendril attacks:
  • +7 to hit, reach 5, Hit: 22 (4d8 + 4)
  • Tendril: +7 to hit, reach 20, Hit: Grappled (escape DC 15). While grappled, you're restrained and have disadvantage on strength checks/saves.
  • Reel: It can pull a grappled creature so that it ends up 5 feet from it.
  • Tendrils: Each can be attacked (AC 20 HP 10) but they grow back the next round.
  • Resistance to nonmagic weapons
  • Dispel magic does 50 dmg to it.
  • Disintegrate does 100 dmg to it.
  • Once it is at half hit points, it casts darkness (PH pg 230) Creatures with darkvision can't see in it. It goes out 15 feet.
Outer Chamber: Drow elite warrior (MM pg 128), drow mage (MM pg 129), tentacle rod (DMG pg 208), Scroll of word of recall (PH pg 289)

Inner Chamber: Drow priestess of Lolth (MM pg 129), tentacle rod (DMG pg 208), glyph of warding (PH pg 245), insect plague (PH pg 254), gate (PH pg 244), divine word (PH pg 234), greater restoration (PH pg 246), potion of poison (DMG pg 188), potion of mind control (giant) (page 229), potion of growth (DMG pg 187), potion of heroism (DMG pg 188), philter of love (DMG pg 184)

In the 4e version, her allies are detailed:
  • Virchiln: Her consort
  • Nalice: Captain of her house guard
  • Raeme and Sziraz: Sycophantic underpriests
  • Taz'zt: Spy who watches Snurre (probably dead now)
  • Jiryzne: A yochlol who is undercover
  • Gleep Wurp: The pregen traitor! How could you?
(page 206) 13. Guest Chamber: Frost giant (MM pg 155)

If Jarl Grugnur survived, he’s here with his wife and one more frost giant.

(page 206) 14. Guest Chamber: Cloud giant (MM pg 154), lion (MM pg 331)

(page 206) 15. Trolls’ Chamber: Troll (MM pg 291)

(page 206) 16. Thrall Pen: Gnoll (MM pg 163)

(page 206) 17. Thrall Pen: Gnoll (MM pg 163)

Third Level

(page 207) 1. Cavern: Roper (MM p 261)

(page 207) 2. Glowing Cave: Giant fire beetles (MM pg 325)

(page 207) 4. Cave: Hell hounds (MM pg 182)

(page 207) 5. Cavern: Fire giant (MM pg 154)

One giant is resting and one is keeping watch.

This is where Snurre and Frupy and even Obmi will flee to.

(page 207) 6. Great Vaulted Cavern: Gorgon (MM pg 171)

It’s a dragon! (illusion) There’s a gorgon in here who will just hang out until a character gets within 30 feet, then it breathes.

(page 207) 7. Treasure Trove Cave: Adult red dragon (MM pg 98), Dragon slayer (DMG pg 166), brazier of commanding fire elementals (DMG pg 156), potion of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 188)

To get in you must roll a boulder aside. In the lair, it’s magically vast. Brazzemal, the dragon, will wake up. If the group hands over a pile of magic items, the dragon will let them go.

The adventure makes it like the group can’t beat this thing, but I think they could. You might want to have the dragon slayer sword sticking out and gleaming with light. Maybe let a character grab it and use it.

Its breath does 63 dmg. It should have lair actions, right? Those are on MM pg 99.

Treasure Total: 26,434 gp

(page 208) 8. Cave: Drow elite warrior (MM pg 128), drow (MM pg 128)

(page 208) 9. Wide Passage: Piercer (DMG pg 252)

(page 208) 10. Singing Chamber: Gray ooze (DMG pg 243)

11. Troll Annex: Troll (MM pg 291)

12. Troll Central: Troll (MM pg 291)

13. Troll Heaven: Troll (MM pg 291)

Why is this troll heaven? What’s going on in here?

Dominant Troll: AC 15 HP 120 1 bite: +7 to hit, 7 (1d6+4) dmg and 2 claw: +7 to hit, 11 (2d6+4) dmg
  • Regen: Regains 10 HP at the start of its turn. Fire and acid shuts this down.

(page 208) 14. Narrow Cavern: There’s slime on the ceiling and in the pool.

Green Slime (DMG pg 105) It drops from the ceiling, If you are unaware of it, no roll.. it just hits. If you are aware: DC 10 Dex 5 (1d10) acid, you take dmg again at the start of each of your turns until it is scraped off. It does 11 acid to nonliving material, so it will likely destroy the scraping tool.
Cold/fire/radiant/sunlight/cure disease destroys it.

(page 208) 15. Gray Cavern: Drow (MM pg 128), drow elite warriors (MM pg 128), drow mage (MM pg 129)

(page 208) 16. Small Cavern: Drow (MM pg 128), drow elite warriors (MM pg 128), drow priestess of Lolth (MM pg 129), staff of swarming insects (DMG pg 203)

You will probably trip on the tripwire. If so, iron balls hit the floor: DC 10 Dex save or fall prone.

(page 209) 17 Jeweled Cavern: Mind flayer (MM pg 222), Tome of clear thought (DMG pg 208)

The box the tome comes in is amusing. You have to be really smart to open it: 18 Intelligence!

(page 209) 18. Small Cavern: Drow (MM pg 128), drow elite warriors (MM pg 128)

(page 209) 19. Salamander Central: Salamander (MM pg 266)

Get within 10 feet of lava: 11 (2d10) fire dmg.

Fall in lava: 33 (6d10) fire dmg and more at the start of your turn

(page 209) Council Chamber and Drow HQ: Drow (MM pg 128), drow elite warriors (MM pg 128), hold person (PH pg 251), blindness (PH pg 219), stinking cloud (PH pg 278), potion of speed (DMG pg 188), potion of superior healing (DMG pg 188)

In the 4e version, Krombaalt the storm giant lord (father of Elektra, who the group may have freed and befriended in the frost giant adventure) gives the group a reward: A flying tower!! Pretty awesome.

(page 211) Chapter 7 – Tomb of Horrors



Not For Everyone: Maybe the most important thing to know about this adventure is that some people hate it. A good portion of players will not enjoy running a gauntlet where there are a lot of arbitrary, weird things that can kill you.

This place is not “fair.” If you think you have players who won’t enjoy it, warn them first and just don’t run it if you think it’s going to be a big problem.

Marching Order: You need to know the marching order before you even start. This place is full of traps and you’ve got to know who is where. Make it very clear to the group that unless they say differently, you are going to assume that’s the order they are in.

Establish any rules of thumb beforehand (such as, “I will assume the thief is carrying the torch at all times unless you tell me differently”). If you wait until a trap hits and you ask people where they are, they're going to be as far away from the trap as possible.

Animal Sidekicks: Animal companions always get forgotten. They will make a big difference in here because they are one more target, one more thing that can trigger a trap. Also, animals are unpredictable. Make sure you establish how the animal acts immediately so the group doesn’t feel like you’re using it to screw them. If a donkey gets nervous due to loud noise, make sure you show that off right away.

Be Cool: Try not to rub it in or gloat when things happen. The heroes are likely to die. I always say that you should secretly root for the characters. We’re gunning for a fun, wacky, scary time, not an opportunity to gruesomely murder the characters in new and exotic ways.

Perception: There’s a lot of searching in this adventure. You might want to cut to the chase and say: “You thoroughly search the area and find nothing.” If you have the players describe and roll for every nook and cranny, the game will come to a halt and the players might get bored.

Roll it Yourself: If you have a group that wedges traps shut, you should secretly make the roll for them to see if it works. If a player rolls low, they know it didn’t work. Their character wouldn’t know that, so if you roll it, it eliminates any chance of meta-gaming.

Warn Them: There are a lot of points in this adventure where there's no saving throw - you just die. You might fall in lava, you might get steamrolled, or you might get crushed by the ceiling. Make sure the players know that up front because some people really don't like it when an adventure "breaks the rules."

Begin: The beginning of this adventure is weird. The group comes to this hill. They know it contains the entrance to the tomb. They have to poke through the dirt and dig out the entrance. But there’s three entrances, and only one is the real one.

All of the entrances are on the same side! How do you fairly decide which entrance they found? I say roll a d6. 1-2 is area 1, 3-4 is area 2, 5-6 is area 3.

(page 213) 1. False Entrance Tunnel:

Make sure you know who’s in the tunnel before anything happens.

Open the doors: DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 27 (5d10) bludgeoning dmg. Success: Half dmg.

You could use the Tamoachan rules for being buried and suffocation. I mean, this is a deadly adventure, right?

(page 214) 2. False Entrance Tunnel:

You need to know who is where before this happens.

When Someone Moves Past the Block: Roll initiative. On each count, the block slides six inches toward the opposite wall. So that means the group can pretty much avoid being trapped. I’d say that at initiative count 4, there’s two feet of space left. So if you have a player who rolled a 2 or a 1, they’re the ones who are in real trouble.

The other thing here is that the group might hustle to get to the doors. Then they’re trapped in a tiny area with some fake doors. Can the group move the block back? I guess not. If they have digging equipment they could probably dig around it.

(page 213) 3. Entrance to the Tomb of Horrors:

This is a legendary location. This hallway is full of dangers, including probably the most famous trap in D&D history.

Covered Pits: No save, you just fall in: 3 (1d6) dmg plus 11 (2d10) piercing dmg and DC 15 Con save or 22 (4d10) poison dmg, half dmg on a successful save.

Message From Acererak: Those who study the floor can put together Acererak's riddle/clue thing. You can just cut and paste it from right here. That thread has discussion about what it all means.

4. Fresco of the Wizardly Work Room:

Chest Sticking Out of the Wall: Poison Needle: 1 dmg and DC 15 Con save or poisoned for 1 hour (disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks).

What’s in the chest? A rod! Pull it.. a pit trap opens underneath you: 3 (1d6) dmg, 11 piercing, DC 15 Con save. Fail: 22 poison.

5. The Arch of Mist:

If you just walk through the arch: You appear in room 7.
If you press the stones and walk on the path through the arch: Room 11.
If you press the stones and do not walk on the path: You go to 3 (The entrance to the tomb).

If a character walks through, don’t jump to what they see. Let the group react. You want to know how many rounds that character is alone for. Wait until the rest of the group has declared whether they’re going through or not, and if so, how long they’re going to wait. Then you can jump to the character, knowing who will arrive to help, and when.

6. The Face of the Great Green Devil: Sphere of annihilation (DMG pg 201)

This one is famous:
  • It obliterates any object other than an artifact.
  • Stick your hand in there: 4d10 force dmg.
  • You jump in, you’re dead/annihilated. 
(page 219) 7. The Forsaken Prison:

Inside one of the pit traps in the entrance hallway is a secret 3-foot diameter tunnel that leads to a door. This is a magical one-way door. You go through, you can’t come back out.

It leads to a room with no exits, just three levers:

  • Push all three up: A trapdoor in the ceiling opens up.
  • Pull all three down:  The whole floor gives way. You fall, taking 10d6 dmg. You have ten minutes to climb out before the exit is sealed off.

(page 216) 8. Gargoyle Lair: Gargoyle (MM pg 140)

The gargoyle animates as soon as someone enters.

4-Armed Gargoyle: AC 15 HP 63 +4/+4/+4 to hit, 5 (1d6 + 2) damage
  • Spd 30, fly 60
  • Resistant to non-magic weapons
(page 216) 9. Complex of Secret Doors:

This one is a pain. You have to find secret doors as darts shoot at you. Roll initiative and at Init 20 roll the 50% chance that the darts fire away. Remember, it’s one dart in each room. The group will be spread out, so that’s a lot of darts.

Darts: DC 20 Dex save. Fail: 5 (1d10) piercing dmg.

(page 216) 10. Great Hall of Spheres:

It’s just illusions concealing crawlspaces.

Archway: Make sure you don’t say what happens when someone goes through. Wait and see what the rest of the group does. Once you know who is going through and how long the others wait, then you can jump to the player who went through.

So you go through.. you appear in area 3, naked. Your gear goes to 33. Tomb of Horrors!

(page 217) 11. The Three-Armed Statue: Gem of seeing (DMG pg 172)

Its hands are out. There are depressions in the palms.. gems would fit in them perfectly! Put three gems in.. they’re crushed. If the group keeps going, once they get to 10 gems.

An invisible gem of seeing appears in the hand of the broken arm. This gem only works 12 times, then it shatters. This item is extremely useful in this dungeon. It can detect things that are otherwise almost impossible to detect.

(page 218) 12. Trapped False Doors:

Open a fake door, a spear shoots out: +11 to hit, 9 piercing dmg.

(page 218) 13. Chamber of Three Chests: Swarm of poisonous snakes (MM pg 334), ring of protection (DMG pg 191), giant skeleton (page 236)

These chests are a middle finger from the tomb to the players. Chests:
  • Gold (plate covering iron): SNAKES
  • Silver (plate over iron): There’s a ring of protection. Say, a secret compartment in the bottom! d4 DARTS:  +11 to hit, 3 (d6) dmg each.
  • Oak Bound with Thick Bronze Bands: GIANT SKELETON! I think it would be cool to say that it was a pile of bones that animates rather than having it teleport in.
(page 218) 14. Chapel of Evil:

Again, you need to know who is where. Especially who is in the center aisle.

Pews: You can open the pews and find treasure. Open the front row: Poison gas fills the whole room in 2 rounds. DC 15 Con save. Fail: Poisoned for… 48 hours! Poisoned: Disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

Touch the Altar: A lightning bolt shoots down the center aisle: DC 15 Dex save. Fail: 8d6 lightning. Success: Half dmg.
  • Then the altar turns red. Touch it again, it explodes: Fireball DC 15 Fail: 8d6 fire. Success: Half dmg.
Walk through Archway: Your gender and alignment reverse.
  • Exit and re-enter: 3 psychic dmg, alignment is restored.
  • Go in again: Gender restored, you appear in area 3, naked. Your stuff is in room 33. Tomb of Horrors! 
Mysterious O: It’s a hole that you can fit a coin or magic ring in. Put a ring in it, and a passage to the hallway that leads to 16 opens up. That hallway is crucial, as it is the secret entrance to the entire second half of the tomb.

(page 219) 15. Stone Gate:

Stick a magic ring in it, passage to the hallway. The ring is destroyed forever!

The Hallway: Three doors. Each time you open one, make DC 15 Dexterity save or d6 dmg plus 11 piercing and make a DC 15 Con save or take 22 poison.

The 3rd Pit: This has the door to the rest of the dungeon.

(page 219) 16. Locked Oaken Door:

Opening the Door: You have to destroy it. It has 100 hit points!

Again, know the marching order. The first three heroes are screwed. The floor tips toward the lava.

Roll initiative:
  • On initiative count 10, they fall prone and slide 10 feet toward the pit.
  • Scramble up: DC 10 athletics. Fail by 5 or more: You slide 5 feet toward the pit.
  • On the 4th Square: You take 3 fire dmg
  • On the 5th Square: You take 11 fire dmg.
  • Fall in: You’re dead. It’s lava, you’re just dead.
(page 220) 17. Magical Secret Door:

I hope the group has detect magic or that gem of seeing. It says you can’t detect this door normally, only with magic.

(page 220) 18. Corridor Protected by Fear Gas:

Fear Gas: DC 15 Con save or frightened for 1 minute. You just run back to 17 until you make your save or it wears off.

Opening the secret door gets rid of the gas.

(page 220) 18A. False Crypt: Greater zombie (page 237), web (PH pg 287), potion of healing (2d4+4)

This fake Acererak gets all dramatic. You can pick up the mace. Once you hit him three times, he is defeated and the entire tomb begins to shake and collapse! The heroes can run out to safety… The collapse is an illusion. This is just a way to try to trick the group into thinking they defeated Acererak.

(page 221) 19. Laboratory and Mummy Preparation Room: Ochre jelly (PH pg 243)

Three vats:
  • Western Vat: Dirty water (you can cook hot dogs in it)
  • Middle Vat: Slow-acting acid. It takes a round to kick in, does d3 acid dmg. This acid damages magic items! There is half of a golden key at the bottom. Getting the key.. I think mage hand would work, right?
  • Eastern Vat: Ochre Jelly! And the half of the golden key.
The key: Once assembled, this is known as The First Key. As noted on page 226, when this key is made, Acererak’s soul is called back to the material plane.

(page 221) 20. Huge Pit Filled with Spikes:

It’s an open spiked pit. You have to get in and climb out to continue onward.

Stepping on the last 5 feet of the pit causes all of the spikes to shoot up into the air. Everybody in the pit: +11 to hit 11 (2d10) piercing dmg. New spikes replace the old ones.

(page 222) 21. The Agitated Chamber: Poisonous snake (MM pg 334)

This one’s wacky. Roll init. At the end of each round, roll a die. Odd: The room begins bucking. DC 10 Dex save or 1 point of damage.

The exit is behind a tapestry. The problem: The tapestries are made of green slime and brown mold.

Green Slime (DMG pg 105) It drops from the ceiling. If you are unaware of it, no saving throw, it just hits. If you are aware of it: DC 10 Dex 5 (1d10) acid, you take dmg again at the start of each of your turns until it is scraped off. It does 11 acid to nonliving material, so it will likely destroy the scraping tool. Cold/fire/radiant/sunlight/cure disease destroys it.

Brown Mold (DMG pg 105) The brown mold covers a 10 foot square area. When you get within 5 feet of it: DC 12 Con save. Fail: Take 22 cold dmg. Success: Half damage.
  • It is immune to fire and extinguishes fire within five feet.
  • It is instantly destroyed by cold damage.
Treasure: It doesn’t say how many coffers there are. Maybe say 12? You roll for each one, it’s just gems, coins, or… poisonous snakes!

(page 222) 22. The Cavern of Gold and Silver Mists: Siren (page 243), potion of greater healing (DMG pg 188), bracers of defense (DMG pg 156), ring of feather falling.

This is zany. Enter the room: DC 15 Int save. Fail: You have an Int and Cha of 1! You can’t do much other than walk around and protect your friends. This effect goes away once you leave the room

Siren: There are two sacks in front of her. If the group touches either of them, they disappear.

She magically tells the group her story. She can't indicate this, but her curse is broken if the group invites her to come with them. If the group does this, they can touch one sack. The other disappears, but this one’s got some loot.

Siren is with the group now. She’s not especially helpful. She does have greater invisibility. Also, she just seems like a really fun NPC to run.

If the group tries to touch both sacks at the same time, both sacks disappear, along with Siren.

(page 222) 23. False/True Door: It’s a false door.. with a secret door inside it. Tomb of Horrors!

(page 223) 23A. Knockout Corridor:

Sleep Gas: DC 15 Con save. Fail: Fall unconscious for 2d4x10 minutes.

Every ten minutes, roll a d4. On a 4, a stone juggernaut rolls over everyone and they die!

(page 223) 24. Adamantine Door:

Stick 3 swords into it. Boom. Done.


(page 223) 25. Pillared Throne Room:

Touch a pillar: You float (the cure for this is to wear the crown) and are sucked toward one of the two devil faces:
  • Northwest Face: You are teleported to room 6 naked. Your stuff appears in 33.
  • Northeast Face: You are teleported to 27A.
The Gem: You can cast wish with it! An evil, Tomb of horrors Wish, that is. Whatever the wish is, it’s distorted and horrible. Then, roll initiative. On initiative count 1, it explodes, killing everyone within 15 feet.

The Crown: The crown turns floaters back to normal, but it is stuck on your head. Worse, you’re blind when not in this room. To take it off, you touch the scepter to it. Which end?
  • Gold: Crown comes off.
  • Silver: You turn to dust and you’re dead.
Exit: Sticking the silver end of the scepter in the throne reveals a secret passage.

(page 224) 26. Small Room with a Door of Electric Blue: Mummy lord (MM pg 229), ring of resistance (fire) (DMG pg 192)

Take the gem: The mummy (lord) attacks.

(page 224) 27. The Portal of Scintillating Violet: Flying sword (MM pg 20)

The flying swords attack and are invulnerable to everything except these 4 spells: Telekinesis, heat metal, disintegrate, magic weapon.

(page 224) 27A. Chamber of Hopelessness: Potion of diminution (DMG pg 186)

If you leave this room, all 6 sets of swords attack. That’s 12 nearly-invulnerable flying swords.

(page 225) 28. The Wondrous Foyer: Antipathy/Sympathy (PH pg 214)

Look at the key: Wis save DC 17. Fail: You’re frightened and run away from the key. This condition always remains. Any time you see the key, you run.

This is the Second Key. You need this key to get to Acererak. When the group obtains the key, Acererak prepares for battle in his room.

(page 225) 27. The Valves of Mithral: Ochre Jelly (MM pg 243), wight (MM pg 300)

The door has a sort of keyhole. Different things happen, depending on what you do with the door:
  • Use the first key: Take 5 lightning dmg.
  • Use the second key: Take 10 lightning dmg.
  • Use the golden end of the scepter: Doors open!
  • Use the silver end of the scepter: You are teleported to 6, naked. Your stuff appears in 33. Tomb of Horrors!
Slash/pierce the door: (You might want to narrate this as if a wound has opened up) A huge torrent of blood pours out and fills the area in 20 rounds. Fire turns it to poison gas – you just die (A character in the 5 foot wide passage can make a DC 17 Con save to live). Remember.. lit torches! Fire!

You can “turn off” the blood by casting cure wounds spells on the door.

There’s a big list of spells that do different things to the blood. Disintegrate will save you, as will raise dead.

(page 225) 30. False Treasure Room: Efreet (MM pg 145), wish (PH pg 288), Staff of the Magi (DMG pg 203)

No spells/magic items work in here.

Move statue: You find a secret door that lets you go on.

Bronze Urn: Three wishes! Like the wish spell?

The Staff: The staff of the magi is broken into pieces. Can it be fixed? I’d say yes, but it’s got some quirks. This is the fake treasure right? Maybe roll on the wild magic table every time it is used.

Chest: Triple locks, each with a poison needle: Poison needle does 1 dmg and purple worm poison (DMG pg 258): DC 19 Con save. Fail: 42 (12d6) poison. Success: Half dmg.

(page 226) 31. One-Way Doors:

Basically, you open the door and a pit trap appears beneath you: d6 dmg, 11 piercing and DC 15 Con save. Fail 22 poison. Succeed: half dmg.

(page 226) 32. Secret Door:

The only way to open this is with the First Key


(page 226) 33. The Crypt of Acererak the Demilich: Demilich (MM pg 48), ghost (MM pg 147), defender (DMG pg 164), sword of vengeance (DMG pg 206), berserker axe (DMG pg 155), spear of backbiting (page 229)

You must use the second key to access this room.

When the key is used: Roll init. On init count 10, anybody still in this hallway is crushed to death.

Just treasure and a skull…. No discernible threat.
  • Touch the treasure: A dust-thing forms. It doesn’t attack, it just hovers there. Any attack against it gives it 1 hp, spells give it 1 hp per level of the spell. If it gets to 50 hp, it becomes a ghost and attacks.
  • Touch the Skull: It floats into the air and looks the group over. This is Acererak.
Fighting Acererak: This fight is really brutal. It seems like Acererak can win in a single round. He has his legendary actions and his lair actions (MM pg 49).

Lair Actions: Knock prone, create a personalized antimagic field, or make it so that nobody can regain hit points for a round.

Then he’s got this:
(Rchg 5-6) Howl: Everybody makes a DC 15 Con save or they drop to 0 hit points!

And he has this:
Trap Soul: DC 19 Cha save. Fail: Your soul is trapped in a gem. Success: 24 necrotic dmg. If this drops you to 0 hp, your soul is trapped in a gem. If Acererak is defeated, crushing the gems frees the souls.

The closest that any group I’ve run through this tomb has gotten to Acererak is room 27, with the levitating pillars. As far as I know, there’s still a brother and sister team huddled in 27A trying to figure out a way past those flying swords.

12 comments:

Zingbob Co said...

Thanks so much Sean! I love seeing all of your guides and your "How to run"'s. I hope that this one is just as awesome as the earlier ones, and I'm sure it'll be a great help to me.

Sean said...

Zingbob: Thanks! I was worried that this book might not need a guide, but holy crap the page numbers..!

The Eye of Horus said...

Totally love your work, Sean! I cannot wait to get my copy, and this is going to be an amazing adventure for my players.

Rob Plummer said...

Thanks for the guide Sean! I am wondering the same thing....where are the maps for digital download for Forge of Fury, Tomb of Horrors, and White Plume Mountain? I hope you find them and share.

Thanks

JohnnyJPrice said...

What should I do with Bradford and Sharwyn once the tree is killed? Should they regain their conciousness, or should they remain linked to the tree for their remaining 24 hours?

Sean said...

The Eye of Horus: Thanks!! Sunless Citadel is long but it has a lot of simple, fun rooms.

Rob Plummer: Those maps were done by a different artist, I think that sometimes those artists don't post their stuff for sale. I'll look! Most of these Schley maps are actually from the 4e versions, which you can get the actual poster map versions of on ebay, though they might be expensive.

JohnnyJPrice: The adventure sort of leaves it up to you. You could set it up so the group can feed them the red apple to cure them? Or maybe go on another quest to save them?

Zingbob Co said...

"Splint Mail Issue: It says in the book that Durnn has splint mail, and claims that it gives him an AC of 19! That looks like a mistake. Splint is AC 17 (PH pg 145)."

By the way, this is including the hobgoblin's shield, so 17+2=19. It does work out, what doesn't work out is that he should gain a +1 to hit and damage, having a +4 to hit and dealing 1d8+2 Slashing damage with his longsword. The way it is written it makes it seem like he has a +4 to hit and deals 1d8+1 Slashing damage.

Sean said...

Zingbob: Fixed it! Thank you!

jerry247 said...

hero. you are an great asset to the community, get this done and on dmguild so i can pay you!

JohnnyJPrice said...

Shut up and take my money, Sean

Grant Ellis said...

For those that run it: this is the best thread on the Tomb of Horrors I have found...
http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?306885-WIR-S1-Tomb-of-Horrors-SPOILERS!!-SPOILERS-EVERYWHERE!!-%E2%80%8F

I disagree with some of the Canonfire thread interpretation of the poem, but that poem can also mislead by design, so I don't blame them.

Sean said...

jerry247: Thank you! I am finishing the pdf right now, it should be up today or tomorrow.

JohnnyJPrice: Will do!

Grant Ellis: Awesome, thank you. I'm going to check it out.