Thursday, February 28, 2019

30(ish) minute dungeon challenge

I read about a challenge, which you can read here. I have not the time nor talent to do one a day, but it seemed like a spot of fun. I started with the idea of flavor cultists, which might be cheating. Oh well. 

The Hook:  "There's a new soup-place in town, it's real good. Too good. On top of that, a few people have gone missing in the area. Investigate the place for me and I'll make you wealthy if you turn anything up." 

General Background

A soup serving restaurant that could fit in any urban area. Placed in the basement of a building with a entrance leading down from the street, and an sluice gate exit in the back to some waterway or underground area. The restaurant is only open one day a week, and this post assumes the party is here one of the days it is closed. On its' day open, there would be a large crowd of customers and double the amount of flavor cultists in the building. Also this dungeon assumes a gold standard mostly because I was tired when I wrote it. Aside from some mentioned specifics, feel free to tie the rooms together however you like, smaller numbered rooms should be closer to the store front, larger numbered rooms closer to the back exit. 

1. Entrance: 

The front door is locked, but is easy to break or pick. The room has a few chairs, tables, and a counter where orders are made and picked up. A doorway leads to the back, and there is a small sliding window which connects to room 2. The furniture, as well as the cutlery, bowls, and etc. are all very cheap and poorly made, but wow, does this room smell great. 

Wandering Encounter: Sentient Fruit Fly Cloud 

1HD Swarm traits, Movement: flies fast, 40'/turn. 
Can do no damage, but occupying the same space as the swarm means one is blinded ( they go for the eyes). Standing in the swarm also means  taking -1 to all actions out of sheer irritation. Sentient  Fruit Flies have a standard chance to be encounter in the dungeon but also have a cumulative 25% chance to be encountered anytime a smell is discovered. They love to hide on walls and then swarm those about to fall into traps. 

2. Kitchen: 

Prep-table, cabinets, a wooden larder, knives, ladles, pans and pots. Three large ovens connect to chimneys for ventilation, leading up into the roof. The soup smell is strongest in this room, but none is prepared right now, though various spices and vegetables are stored in the larder. One of the ovens has a kettle on it. When approached, the kettle begins to whistle menacingly. 

 Encounter: Guardian Kettle 

3HD AC: Chain, Movement: Floats, 10'/turn. 
Sprays boiling water up to 60' (1d8 fire damage) and can create a cloud of steam, obscuring vision 30ft around it.) The Guardian Kettle takes damage from cold water as if it were instead acid, (cooling it down) and double damage from any cold damage. The guardian kettle hates fruit flies and will target them first before attacking other intruders. 

There are lots of fancy and very pungent cheeses stored in the cabinets, (6 wheels worth 1d20x10gp each) but anyone carrying them will attract the attention of the sentient fruit flies much more fiercely. 

3. Storage:

Spare sets of bowls and cutlery are in this room, as well as copious amounts of to-go boxes. Hidden in the floor boards is a cash box with 110gp and a key which unlocks the wall safe in 9.  

4. A Bathroom:

 With the usual stock of amenities, and the room is placed inconveniently from entrance and kitchen, as if purposefully out of the way. The door only locks from the outside, which is strange. Dried blood, hair and a finger with a ruby ring (120gp) can be found in the floor drain. 

Trap: A  hallway that leads to the bathroom holds a trap. The hallway seems rather un-used, as if little foot traffic passes through here, and a dark brown stain is lies on the floor 40' down. On the ceiling, inspection will reveal a extended two-pronged fork from the middle of the ceiling. Anyone over 4'8'' passing under the fork or magical lighting will leap from the fork. Those underneath must make a reflex save or take 2d4 electricity damage, and then a will save or be stunned and involuntarily walk forward, where a well-disguised pressure plate will cause a heavy metal bolt to drop from the ceiling killing them instantly. Anyone over 6'5'' would instead just smack their face into the metal fork and take the electrical damage, but it would block them from walking forward into the drop-bolt. 

5. Shrine to Gulaxis:

A dark, cold room, that reeks of rotted food and flesh. Gulaxis is the demon of decadence and wasted food. Inside a statue of a slovenly over-fed man is the focus of the shrine. Gulaxis gave the owners of the restaurant the inspiration for the delicious soup, but in return demanded regular sacrifices of unwitting customers. Rotted food coats  the shrine and statue, the traditional way of honoring the demon. Under the grime, the statue is actually made of jade (250gp) and has magical properties:

Statue of Gulaxis

If a humanoid or expensive and well made meal (100gp+ in value) is sacrificed to the statue, Gulaxis may be entreated to answer any food-related question he is asked. Gulaxis will also take time to offer forbidden recipes in exchange for horrible, food related deeds. 

This room also acts as the meat storage, victims are stored here to honor Gulaxis, chickens are stored here to go into the soup. 

6.  Obulette 

Where victims as well as milk and cream are left to be kept cool. The hole in the ceiling is the only way out, barred iron pipes. Ropes attached to clay jars of milk and cream are nicely cooled down here, and pulled up when needed. Trapped at the bottom is Scrungus a Thief (lvl 1) who broke in here to steal soup, but instead got himself caught and forced down here. He will feign gratitude and grovel but attempt to betray the party at first sign of weakness. Scrungus has the lever to operate the sluice gate in room 10. 

7. Mushroom Farm:

Earthy smells flood the senses when the door to the room is opened. The floor is dirt and hundreds of purple, glowing mushrooms are being grown here. These mushrooms are the secret to the soup, when made into a cream of mushroom then mixed with spices and chunks of cooked chicken. Though discovered through horrid means, the soup is just a really good recipe, nothing more. 

8. Break room:

Smells of sweat and tobacco. A table with cards and ashtrays. Hairnets and personal effects litter the room. Inside sleep 1d6 Flavor Cultists, who have stats of level 1 fighters, and wield cleavers. (1d4 damage) They may investigate sounds of combat or loud noise. They are lead by a level 3 fighter/cleric, who wields a +1 Frying Pan like a club (1d6+1 damage) The leader also holds a key around his neck for the locked drawer in room 9. 

9. Back Office:

A desk with paperwork pertaining to running the business. In a locked desk drawer is the full recipe for the soup, worth 500gp to most, and a larger fortune to a interested connoisseur. Behind a very abstract painting of the demon Gulaxis (you'd really have to be told what you're looking at for it to make sense) is a safe, unlocked by the key in room 3. Inside is a Thermos of Warming with four helpings of the famous soup inside. Opening it floods the room with a powerful smell that makes most humanoid's mouths water. 

Thermos of Warming : Magical item. Metal and with a screw-on-top, the Thermos of Warming keeps anything inside perfectly preserved and warm indefinitely. Anyone touching the outside of the thermos cannot feel the heat inside. Whatever the temperature was upon entering the thermos is the temperature that it will remain. Holds enough for about four servings of soup. 

10. Back Exit: 

A hallway leading to a heavy metal sluice gate, which leads to the sewers, a waterway, or deeper underground. The lever which operates it is broken (by Scrungus, see room 6) Opening it from the other side, or without the operational level requires the strength of at least four people and makes a lot of noise. 

Trap: The entire path of room is covered in cheese wire, strung across at various angles. Walking even 10ft into the room carelessly will deal 1d10 points of damage as well as acting as if the person had stepped on a caltrop. Running into the room at full speed is a reflex save, succeed and only lose a limb, fail and die. 

After editing this took a bit more than 30 minutes, but it was a very, very fun exercise. Thank you to this talented person for posting the challenge. 

EDIT: Here are some other very talented peoples' try at the challenge. Good reads.