Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Catacombs of Ptolemides - IV

AREAS 16-18

These areas of the dungeon are filled with thick and clinging spiders' webs (except for where noted). The passages and rooms average 10ft in height except for room 16 whose ceiling arches to a 15ft peak at the center. The walls are smooth stone. Entrances to passageways are arched and framed in stone. Doors are thick, hard wood with iron bands and hinges hidden in equally thick beams used as frames. The average door takes 300hp of damage to knock down. 

The spiderwebs  are thickest near the ceilings and thin near the floor. They obscure vision and make it hard to move. Vision is down to 10ft even with a bright lightsource. Movement is also slowed down to 10. Fighting within the webs is at -2 to hit and damage for all weapon types except for piercing weapons which receive no penalty. 

The webs are sticky and clinging, but not strong enough to hold up more than a hat or a small dagger. 

The webs are unusually moist and have a sickly sweet smell. An open flame will cause the lower webs to crinkle and blacken while emitting a thick smoke, but to set them afire requires an open flame to be held to them for at least 2 combat rounds or the use of magical means.

If the flames do catch fire the results will be spectacular and a bit explosive.


The upper few feet of the webs near to the ceiling are heavily permeated with fumes from enchanted embalming barrels (A new item noted below). Any open flames which reaches reaches to the ceilings, such as a torch thrust above 8ft or burning webs, will cause the fumes to ignite in a greenish flame. Anyone within the 10ft block where the fire began must Save versus Dexterity or receive 1d8 damage (The save will reduce this to 1d4 damage and the character will have dropped to the ground). There will be a 1 in 6 chance that the fire will ignite clothing, hair, etc... though a successful Save versus Avoidance will negate any potential damage. 

If the webs are ignited there will be several effects:

Flames will spread through Area16-18 at a rate of 20ft per combat round. 

All Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders will take 1d8 fire damage.

All Pickled Zombies (New Monster) outside of their embalming barrels will be ignited. 

All seals on embalming barrels will crack though the barrels will not automatically open.

All open doors will slam shut unless prevented.

The cracked walkway at 16b will collapse. Specific damage and effects are noted under 16b's description.

Area 18a will explode. Specific damage and effects noted under 18a's description.

AREA 16-18 cont...

Wooden embalming barrels are stored throughout this area. Several of them have been cracked open and are releasing a sickly sweet stench whose fumes have filled the webs along the ceiling.

This entire area is home to a large colony of Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders. They have been attracted by the fumes coming from the cracked embalming barrels). All Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders in this area are slightly poisoned and inebriated do to the inhalation of these fumes. They are at 1/2 hp and are -3 to hit.

Zombie, Pickled
No. Encountered: 1d6
Alignment: Chaotic Evil
Size: M
Movement: 20
Dexterity: 3
Armour Class: 6
Hit Dice: 2
No. of Attacks: 1 (Pummel or Bite)
Damage: 1d6 Pummel or 1d3 Bite
Saving Throw: 16
Morale: 12
Experience Points: 52
Treasure Class: J,K,L,M

Pickled Zombies are the result of unhallowed corpses left inside enchanted embalming barrels. These barrels (combined with a specific fluid) are normally sealed with a clay and wax ward that inhibits reanimation, but over time or if the seal is damaged, the bodies placed in these barrels will reanimate as a slightly weakened form of a normal zombie.

In appearance these Pickled Zombies are undecayed. Their flesh is moist and covered in a viscous goo which exudes from their pores, mouth, nostrils and other bodily openings. This goo smells sickly sweet and the fumes which come from it are flammable though the goo is not. Anyone trying to grapple with a Pickled Zombie will be at a -2 disadvantage. They are literally as slippery as a greased pig.

2 or more Pickled Zombies will attempt to grapple or overbear an opponent. If they are able they will then stuff the victim in an enchanted embalming barrel in an attempt to create another zombie. It takes at least a week for a body to ripen in a barrel and emerge as a Pickled Zombie.

Pickled Zombies are immune to fire based attacks. If exposed to flame, magical or normal, they will ignite with a shimmering blue flame, but the viscous goo that they exude protects them from fire damage. A burning Pickled Zombie does an additional 1d4 per attack with a 1 in 6 chance of setting their opponent afire for 2 combat rounds (at 1d4 damage per round). Save versus Avoidance for no damage. This blue flame will last around a Pickled Zombie for 1d6+3 combat rounds unless reignited by another flame source.

Pickled Zombies smell sickly sweet and attract spiders of all sorts. The fumes are a mild poison to spiders as well as an intoxicant. A spider exposed to these fumes for more than a week will be poisoned at 1/2hp and intoxicated for a -3 to hit penalty.


Enchanted Embalming Fluid
This fluid is normally found in conjunction with Enchanted Embalming Barrels and Pickled Zombies. Though it can be found on its own, it has a shelf life of only 2 weeks before losing its potency when not in a Enchanted Embalming Barrel or Pickled Zombie. It is a mild poison which will reduce most non-magical creatures to 1/2hp if exposed to it for more than a week. It is a greenish, thick liquid that emits a powerful sickly sweet smell. This smell attracts spiders from as far away as 60ft+1d10x10ft


Enchanted Embalming Barrel
These were designed years ago to preserve the bodies of the dead for a more elaborate interment. Each was sealed with a priestly ward set in clay and wax around the barrels lid after the body was placed inside. Unfortunately these wards decayed after only a few months and were easily damaged. A body placed in an unwarded Enchanted Embalming Barrel will become a Pickled Zombie after a weeks marination. 

3 poisoned Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders reside in this area. They will attack anyone passing through the center section of the room.

In the South-West corner of the room there is an over-turned hand-cart with a broken wheel. Beneath the cart is a large wooden chest. The chest is unlocked and has inside a large quantity of spoiled trail rations, 3 skins of dank but drinkable water (1 quart each), a glass jar  with a waxed top containing 1 pint of moonshine. In a secret compartment at the bottom of the chest are 2 healing potions and 1/2 a dozen empty potion bottles.

Along the North wall are 6 Enchanted Embalming barrels, 4 of which contain Pickled Zombies.

AREA 16a
These corridors contain webs, Pickled Zombies, poisoned Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders, and Enchanted Embalming Barrels,

For every 20ft of corridor there is a 1 in 3 chance of encountering the following:
1). 1d2 poisoned Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders
2). 1d3 Pickled Zombies
3). 1d3 Enchanted Embalming Barrels that are:
a). Empty 
b). Sealed with the body of a corpse - Treasure Class - L,K,M
c). Unsealed with a Pickled Zombie
4). The drained hulk of some creature
a). A dog
b). several rats
c). The body of a man in leather armor. He clutches a short-sword in his withered hand. A small case on his belt contains ink, quills, parchment and a partially completed map of this level.
d). A man in robes. He wears an enchanted +1 silver dagger on this right arm. Inside his robes in a hidden pocket there is a tube containing a scroll of Burning Hands and another scroll of Flame Missile.
e). The body of an Giant Ogre-Faced Spider on its back with its legs curled around it. It is not dead, only dead drunk and poisoned like its fellows. It will spring to life if awakened.

AREA 16b
This 10ft section of hallway is piled with a score of Enchanted Embalming Barrels. At some point these were used as a make-shift platform to reach the ceiling. Some took a hammer and chisel and did substantial damage to ceiling, even gouging a few holes to the passage above. The barrels have no fallen and several are cracked open and oozing a greenish viscous goo. 

The heavy fumes in this spot have attracted 1/2 dozen Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders who lair in this passage. They are both poisoned and drunk like their fellows in other areas. 

If exposed to open flame these webs will ignite with a powerful explosion. Anyone in the 16b square will suffer 3d8 damage (Save versus Breath Weapon for 1/2 damage). Anyone in the two adjacent squares will suffer 2d8 damage, Save versus Breath Weapon for 1/2 damage). 

If an explosion occurs the ceiling will crumble and now have a 5ft diameter ragged hole (or from above a 5ft diameter hole in the floor of that passage). All barrels in and around 16b will split apart and 8 flaming Pcikled Zombies will crawl from the wreckage.

This room is littered with smashed barrels, the dismembered bodies of 5 Pickled Zombies and 7 dead Giant Ogre-Faced Spiders. The door to the East is open, but has been severely damaged and hangs only from an upper hinge. The secret door beyond is closed and a bar has been dropped across the inner side to keep it shut.

The webs in this room have been hacked apart at 6ft high and lower, but the upper webs are still thick and permeated with embalming fumes. These webs will ignite if exposed to flame but will cause only 1d3 damage to anyone beneath them and a Save versus Dexterity (which will mean dropping to the floor) will negate any damage.

AREA 18a
This small room is jammed with Enchanted Embalming Barrels, the Southern 10ft square is packed floor to ceiling with over 25 barrels alone. All the barrels are cracked and leaking fluid.

The door to this room is shut but not locked. Anyone opening the door will need to Save versus Breath Weapon or become immediately nauseated and subject to vomiting. Each combat round that this door is open or anyone is within the room, a Save must be made. This door is partially cracked and leaks fumes from the concentrated source within. If the hall outside the door is ignited then area 18a will explode violently.

The door will be shattered and cause 1d10 damage to anyone standing in the 10ft block front of it (in the 18b hall). Anyone inside the room will suffer 3d8 damage. After such an explosion the room will contain only a large amount of shattered barrels and body parts. If anyone sifts the wreckage they may find 280gp, 584sp, 2,000cp and 12 30gp gems. To recover these items by mundane means will be slow and disgusting work.

AREA 18b
The Northern door to this hall is shut with a bar across it, but is also nailed shut with iron spikes from the other side.

The Eastern door leading to area 18a is shut and the door is cracked

The West door is open.

This small hallway is filled with webs. See area 16a for possible encounters.

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