Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kellerlabyrinth Keyed (basically)

Decided to partially stock my Kellerlabyrinth segment. "Partially" because this is one of those partly-ruined/partly-still-in-use dungeons where it makes sense to try and get across a largely abandoned feeling.

First, some history to give this stuff some context. According to the adventure background in Better Than Any Man, it takes place in October 1631. Wurzburg falls to the Swedish on October 15.

Before the war started, Oppenheim was under the jurisdiction of the (protestant) Count Palatine. The Spanish Hapsburgs (in an alliance with the Austrian Hapsburgs a.k.a. the Holy Roman Empire) took the city in 1620. The (protestant) Swedish army took Oppenheim on November 7 on its way from Wurzburg to Mainz; 23 days after the Bishop of Wurzburg surrendered.

While the Spanish had control of the city, they were using it to store weapons and ammo, and for access to an important bridge, which in turn gave them access to the entire Palatinate. In the image below, the six-pointed star shape next to the river is the wall surrounding Oppenheim. Those blocky shapes to the left of it are probably Swedish mixed unit formations of musketeers and pikeman (the taller, lighter blocks are pikes being held at shoulder arms). Don't ask me where the bridge is; it might be too small to see in the distance if it's right by the city but I really couldn't say for sure.
Artist: Matthaus the Elder Marien
So, to summarize from the DM's point of view: the campaign begins with BTAM at the beginning of October 1631. Wurzburg falls on October 15. The trip to Oppenheim* takes between a day and a half and a week, depending on how much crap the PCs are lugging around and whether or not they've managed to steal some horses. Assuming they arrive by November 7, the (catholic) Spanish are in control of the city until then. Some of the occupiers will be preparing to offer token resistance, while others will be taking their troops and heading north to Mainz, where the real siege is gonna go down.

After November 7, the (protestant) Swedes are in charge. The changes that matter to PCs will mostly be cosmetic (government officials have Swedish or German names instead of Spanish ones), but protestant civilians will be likely to start treating them like heroes if they helped liberate the city in a significant way.

*Yeah okay this part is totally railroading the game if you aren't prepared to improvise a little, so here's the obvious disclaimer: The PCs are of course free to keep fucking around near Wurzburg and Karlstadt or go wander around Germany or whatever, but tell the players that there's cool stuff under Oppenheim and maybe they won't be lame about it. If they do get distracted or something, there's nothing wrong with taking elements of this and putting them elsewhere; I'm assuming you've done this before if you are going to try and run this adventure location, so you probably know what to do.

I haven't assigned these encounters to any particular spot on the map so just number the rooms however you want. Assume that any humans without hit dice or levels listed are untrained peasants.

1) Munitions Storage
Door: Medium quality lock on a wrought iron gate. 2 3HD Spanish Soldiers are posted outside, wearing morions and breastplates, armed with pikes and flintlock pistols.
Contents: Full of weapons. If you want pistols, muskets, pikes, swords, shot, or gunpowder, this is the place to get it. I'm not worried about how much stuff there is to take away because I generally keep track of time and encumbrance; even if they make multiple trips, the PCs won't run out of stuff to cart off before the next guard shift shows up. Let's say there's enough in here to arm one unit (regiment I think? I'm not up to speed on 17th century military jargon) each of musketmen, pikemen, and cavalry.

2) The Meeting Place
Door: Medium quality lock. If there is a meeting underway,
Occupants: If there's no meeting happening, there's no one here. Assuming the meeting is in progress, there are 6 Mysterious Figures in the room, wearing identical hooded cloaks that hide all identifying features. They know the Swedes are on their way, and have developed a plan to blow up several Hapsburg weapon caches, but lack the skills to pull it off. One or two are wealthy merchants that can afford to pay the PCs pretty well. If the PCs don't accept this mission, the resistance finds someone else, so the Swedish attack is still successful. If the PCs kill the resistance members, there's no good reason there wouldn't be more spies the PCs don't know about.

3) Jaspar's Treasure Cache
Door: Heavy oak door, high quality lock, poison needle trap triggered by attempting to pick the lock. Attempting to force the door has a 1/4 chance of causing the tunnel to collapse (in addition to the usual wandering monster check). There are two keys to this door; one belongs to an officer named Jaspar Hardtman and the other belongs to his manservant, Symon Dreyer.
Contents: 6 chests containing 230 gp, 1250 sp, and assorted gems and jewelry worth 150 sp.

4) Cursed Statue
Door: Heavy oak door, high quality lock, poison needle trap triggered by attempting to pick the lock. Attempting to force the door has a 1/4 chance of causing the tunnel to collapse (in addition to the usual wandering monster check). The key belongs to someone but I'm not saying who.
Contents: A fine layer of dust over everything, an old desk with a leather-bound journal describing a merchant's expeditions to the Indian Subcontinent and a map showing the location of Petra (stumbled upon while fleeing Bedouin raiders on a return trip), a painted ebony statue of Kali the Destroyer that comes to life and fucks you right the fuck up if you enter without using the key. Not bothering with stats here; let's just say I don't expect the party to live if they try to fight. If they do beat it, the statue crumbles; the resulting pile of debris takes up 10 inventory slots and is worth around 80 sp.

5) Kruper's Hideout
Occupants: Velten Kruper, a level 4 mage, armed with a flail. Erbrechen (translation: the act of vomiting), Kruper's disgusting little homunculus familiar, unarmed but his bite causes (on a failed save) uncontrollable nausea that lasts 1d4 rounds AND it does 1 point of temporary CON damage that heals when the victim eats a meal and rests. Kruper is either asleep or tinkering with his equipment or spellbook, which contains 4 level one spells and 3 level two spells, in addition to one custom spell:
Crawling Eye (Level 1): At the end of the incantation, the caster pops out one of his or her eyeballs, along with several inches of optic nerve, and tosses it to the ground. The optic nerve splits into three legs and becomes mobile. The eye is controlled (and transmits information) through direct psychic contact, which doesn't distract the magic user from whatever else he's trying to do (although anything involving depth perception should be rolled at a disadvantage). The eye can move as quickly as an unencumbered human, is extremely sneaky and hard to hit due to its size, and has one hit point. If your eye is destroyed, you don't get it back (One-Eyed Velten has a nice ring to it now that I think about it). If you lose both eyes you basically have to invent and translate your spellbook into braille if you want to ever use it again.

Contents: Bed, foot locker with a change of clothes and some rations, table & chair, alchemy equipment, box of candles, silver candelabra worth 50 sp, leather purse containing 80 sp.

6) Refugee Camp
Occupants: 1d6+4 Peasants, 1d4 of whom are children. The refugees are shaken down for what little they can scrape together on a weekly basis by Bardthold's gang.
Contents: Straw mats, sacks containing basic goods, a couple farming implements that could be used as weapons in a pinch, torches in holders.

7) Bardthold's Hideout
Occupants: Barthold Vischer, level 5 fighter with a scarred left cheek, wields a 10' long hooked chain that can be used to attack, trip, disarm, or grapple, ring mail armor, iron key, wineskin. 2 2HD Bodyguards, leather armor, pike, 1d30 sp each, no morale failure. 3d6 1HD Thugs, club or dagger, 1d12 cp each.
Contents: two dozen straw mats and blankets, locked chest containing 3500 cp, 350 sp, and a silver locket with a broken chain, containing the portrait of a young officer, worth 20 sp to a merchant or 300 sp to his mistress, torches in holders.

8) Guarded Cache
Occupants: 1 2HD Veteran and  2 1HD Guards, leather armor, shortswords, shields, writ of employment, 1d12 sp each. 2 2HD Wardogs.
Contents: Three straw mats, two iron-bound chests with very high quality locks. One is trapped with a glass vial of poison gas that expands to fill the room, and the other contains 650 sp and 320 gp.

9) Rat's Nest
Occupants: 1d4+2 1HD Giant Rats, Rat Swarm.
Contents: rat feces, broken and rotted crates full of spoiled goods, a weird orange mold that the rats have been eating.

10) Locked Storeroom
Door: Average quality lock, reinforced with wrought iron bands. The key belongs either to Olga Bruns in room 15, or to one of the surface innkeepers.
Contents: 6 kegs of beer, 3 casks of wine, crates full of pickled vegetables and salted meats wrapped in wax paper.

11) Forgotten Storeroom
Door: Old, faded wood, high quality lock, rusted and brittle hinges.
Contents: Thick layer of dust over everything. A bunch of old, broken junk, and a child-sized skeleton locked in a cage in the corner. The skull has a third eye socket in the middle of its forehead.

12) Shrine to The Four Holy Marshals
Contents: Wooden altar, wooden statues of four saints (one against each wall), with the name of the subject conveniently carved into each base. All five objects have been down here in the damp air for around a hundred years and are partially covered in grey moss (useful for healing potions).

13) Plague Quarantine
Occupants: 1d4+7 plague victims. Sister Anneke Everding is tending them, which she sees as a holy sacrifice as she is sure to become infected soon.

14) Opium Den
Occupants: Zheng Wulian, the face of the operation, level 3 rogue, extremely gifted with languages, armed with two flintlock pistols and a sword, wearing a large emerald ring4 3HD Guards, barechested and scarred veterans that came here from China with Zheng, each armed with two maces and a dagger. 1d8 Semi-Conscious Peasants. 1/4 chance of a Usual Suspect.**
Contents: A dozen cheap, straw-stuffed mattresses, 4 long-stemmed ivory pipes carved like oriental dragons, a locked wooden chest containing 2000 cp and 500 sp, a large brass urn containing let's say a pound of opium, 4 large brass lamps in the arabic style.

15) Drinking Hall
Occupants: Olga Bruns, runs the place. 1d8 Peasants1d2+1 1HD Thugs1d4-1 Usual Suspects.**
Contents: Puddle of vomit, tables, benches, tin mugs, 4 large kegs of beer and 2 large casks of wine in an alcove, iron chandelier, box of candles, chest containing 450 cp and 80 sp.

Okay so the map I drew has about twice as many rooms as I've detailed here. You can stock the rest with the following table, using the details in similar rooms that I've already described as a guide:
1) Refugee Camp
2) Waste Room (full of filth and garbage, will eventually be sealed off)
3) Locked Storeroom
4) Munitions Storage
5) Looted Storeroom
6) Looted Storeroom
7) Forgotten Storeroom
8) Forgotten Storeroom

Random Encounters
1) Rat Swarm, 1/4 chance that they are plague carriers.
2) A Black Cat, that is almost certainly a transformed witch, crosses your path.
3) 1d6+1 Wild Dogs, if there are three or less present then they have rabies.
4) 1d4+2 1HP Giant Centipedes, about a foot long, paralytic bite.
5) 1d6+2 Thugs, clubs and knives, 1d12 cp each.
6) Velten Kruper's Crawling Eye.
7) A Usual Suspect.**
8) Plague Victim, has gone mad and escaped the quarantine.
9) Ghost of St. Quirin
10) Ghost of St. Hubert
11) Ghost of St. Cornelius
12) Ghost of St. Antony
All four of the ghosts have the power to bless or curse PCs (maybe I'll do the specific effects in a later post but this is already way longer than I thought it would be). They are all-knowing within the confines of the Kellerlabyrinth, and decide what to do with you based on your actions on what they see as their turf.

**Usual Suspects 
1) Hernando Perez, inquisitor, level 3 fighter, suspects everyone including PCs of witchcraft, will pay handsomely for magic users or information leading to their capture, armed with a flintlock pistol, a rapier, and a stiletto.
2) Sly Ludolf, hustler, level 4 rogue,  prefers three card monte so get practicing, DM. Or if you are an irretrievable klutz, he uses loaded dice (before the game, pick a couple and melt them VERY slightly in your oven with the number you want most often facing up). A leather purse contains 2d30 cp. Carries a rusted shortsword.
3) Hermann Clump, ratcatcher, talks to them, is friends with them, is defensive of them, can summon a swarm of them to protect him in combat, eats them (they don't mind because they have tiny easily manipulated rat brains). Keeps a couple rats hidden in his clothing when in public areas. They tend to run around in there, which is inconvenient, because Hermann is a bit ticklish. Armed with a big-ass meat cleaver that counts as a battle axe. Treasure: cheese, moldy cheese that makes you either hallucinate or completely understand the universe (it's impossible to tell which for sure).
4) Ilsabei Muller, super protective mother, never seen without her 8 year old son, Erich. The second time you meet this pair, Erich's eyes have grown noticeably darker, and his voice and mannerisms have changed in an ominous sort of way. Ilsabei hasn't noticed, and even if you point it out to her, she's likely to chalk it up to puberty. If you point out that Erich is probably a bit young for that, she'll claim this is due to his "exceptional qualities." There will be no reasoning. They're both unarmed but who the hell knows what Erich's capable of.
5) Maren Domeier, musician, carries a mandolin, only plays her own songs. These are somewhat nonsensical ditties about life in the tunnels, which occasionally yield useful information to any careful listeners in the audience.
6) Masked Woman, no one else seems to be taking any notice of her, but she's staring at you and she hasn't blinked once. Her sword and cloak look just as expensive as her ceramic mask, which is shaped like a stylized owl.

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