Soooooo.... am I still on time for this little competition?
(I'm kidding, don't worry, I know I'm weeks late
Anyway... here's the entry I was working on; it's finished now.
This adventure is designed for a party of 5 characters of a level between 6 and 8 (depending on how hard you want it to be)
I aimed for the following optionals:
- Artifact: The PCs have an opportunity to acquire an Artifact.
- Helpful: At least one NPC described in the adventure wants to help the PCs accomplish a goal.
- Radiant: At least one creature or trap has the ability to inflict radiant damage. (It's the Gnome Arcanist, and it was kinda by accident but whatever, it works)
Any parts of the layout that don't work I blame on this horrible text editor. I've already spent the better part of 2 hours formatting this juggernaut and I've really had it. Sorry about any typo's or stuff.
Comments very much appreciated.
The book of Jerrol Caine
The players are kidnapped from their dreams one night to wake up in a strange underground crypt. A powerful artefact, The Book of Jerrol Caine, brought them there.
It seeks to test them, to see if they are worthy of carrying it into battle and further its own might.
The book has three challenges for them, each linked to one of the Warlock Pacts (Fey, Infernal and Star) and three cloaked guardians (depicting also the three pacts)
If the character beat the challenges, one of them can pick up the book; doing so makes them wake up with a shock; that character will still have the book in his hands.
If they refuse the call of the book, they can leave the dream through the staircase, but the book will never call them again. They should get this nagging sensation of power lost when they start moving up the stairs.
Whether the players die for real when they die in the dream, or simply wake up from a nightmare, is up to you...
In what looks like a dream made solid, you and your party find yourself standing on an unfamiliar staircase.
Looking up, the stairs seem to move on forever, circling up into strange, purple clouds... images move in them, strangely familiar to you.
Up there, are your normal dreams... but this is not one of them. This dream is strangely real.
The room the stair ends in looks fairly plain. There are three statues near the end of the room, depicting strange, cloaked creatures...
Each is roughly humanoid, and clad in black. The leftmost statue has a series of white, razorsharp teeth. The middle statue has a set of bat-like wings. The right statue has tentacles that grow from its sleeves.
The face of each creature is hidden, but you can almost sense them looking down at you.
A feeling of safety eminates from the dream above, but you can... hear... a soft whisper coming from somewhere inside the complex. Something is calling to you, promising you something...
Something powerful. Very powerful.
Challenge 1: The Feywild
[ Area 1 ]
Hidden in the room the players start in, watching from the shadows, are a band of Gnomes riding Fey Panthers. They will not show themselves until the characters leave the stairs, at which point they sneak in for the attack.
The room is mostly dim light or no light, with an open pit in the middle (10ft deep)
The Panthers seem to arrive from nowhere, stepping out of the air. The Gnomes use Reactive Stealth to stay hidden on top of their Panthers.
The Gnomish Leader greets them with the words "Welcome to the challenge. Flee while you can, or show your worth."
The Gnomes ride the Fey Panthers into battle. The Arcanist uses its aura to allow the Gnomes to hide and attack with Combat Advantage,
while the Panters pounce into battle and then retreat.
After the first round, the Panthers that are adjacent to characters use their Fey Step to teleport away, leaving the Gnome standing in their square, then charge in again from behind to get CA by flanking with their rider.
If the target steps away, the Gnomes will mount their Panthers again to use more on-the-run tactics. If the target instead attacks the Gnome, he uses Fade Away, then remounts the Panther while invisible.
The Arcanist stays away from Melee, using Scinthillating Bolt and Illusionary Terrain to hinder enemy movement.
His mount can Teleport and take the Gnome with him (this uses up both their Fey Step powers) if the Arcanist gets cornered, althoug the Panther will lash out before it moves.
Use the Aura of Illusion to allow the Gnomes to hide for Combat Advantage.
Also remember that if a hidden Gnome Skulk misses with an attack, he remains hidden... this also counts if he's sitting on top of his Mount.
All creatures fight to the death, and will vanish (leaving no corpses behind) on death.
3x Gnome Skulk [ lvl 2 lurker, MMI 134 ]
1x Gnome Arcanist [ lvl 3 controller (leader), MMI 134 ]
4x Fey Panther [ lvl4 skirmisher, MMI 213 ]
Total XP from encounter: 1225XP. Encounter level: 6
Challenge 2: The Nine Hells
[ Area 2 ]
With the Gnomes destroyed, the players can move up to the stairs to the second challenge.
As they move into the mostly empty room, they can see the stone door to the south, and the stairs up. The stairs end in another door.
This door is wood, with glowing runes all over it. It looks powerful.
From the roof of this room, flapping wings can be heard. These are from a trio of Spinagon's circling the ceiling. They cackle at the players, and start throwing spines at them.
A group of 4 legion devils stand near the stairway leading to the runed door, grinning dangerously.
Whenever a Legion Devil is destroyed and his initiative comes up, a new Legion Devil teleports in and can act immediately.
This room is about 6 squares high.
The Spinagons fly around, keeping close to the roof and pelting their targets with spines.
They prefer to take out those not yet poisoned, going from target to target.
The Legion Devils fight side by side in groups of 2, using mostly Aid Another attacks to allow the Spinagons to score a hit.
They will teleport around to harry different targets, being guided by the cries from the Spinagons.
They rely on their Squad Defense to stay alive, and will usually try to stay adjacent to at least the most dangerous looking Ranged attacker to try and make OAs.
Whenever a Legion Devil falls, a new one teleports in on the old ones' initiative count, appearing anywhere in the area.
Up to 12 Legion Devils can teleport into the encounter, but if all the Spinagons are destroyed, the Legion Devils stop coming (any survivors are either quickly killed or teleport out)
3x Spinagon [ lvl 6 skirmisher, MM 66 ]
12x Legion Devil Grunt [ lvl 6 minion soldier, MM 64 ]
Total XP from encounter: 1556XP. Encounter level: 7
CHALLENGE 3: The Far Realm
[ Areas 4, 5, 6, 7 ]
When the Devils are destroyed (they also vanish on death) the players can check out both doors. The runed door leading to Area 3 is locked by a powerful spell, and requires a key to open.
The stone doors can be pushed open. Behind them is a hallway with an intersection. A faint glow comes from each direction; faint blue from the two sides and shiny gold from the south-most room.
They can also see a big pit trap before the shiny gold.
If they stand adjacent to one of the portals or approach the pit, the monster and trap activate.
When the character approach the pit, a terrible shriek can be heard. From the pit rises a revolting creature of purple flesh, covered in eyes and mouths, and mouth-eyes and eye-mouths. It quivers as it rolls towards the party, lashing about with pseudopods it grows for the occasion.
More tentacles, seemingly unafixed to anything, rise from the pit, and can be heard moving forth from the portals as well.
Remember to play heavily on the impossibly horrible nature of the creature, it should be quite frightening. It looks roughly like a Gibbering Mouther.
If they can defeat and/or bypass the monster and cross the pit, the shiny gold they saw appears to be a shining key amongst a pile of gold coins.
(This is a good spot to add in any interesting treasure you want to dispense, too)
The key opens the runed door to area 3, behind which the book lies.
The Monstrosity will attempt to stay amidst the party (plowing them down with its Flowing Form) to attack as many with its Gibbering and Mouthing Fury as possible.
When bloodied, it will grow too large for the hallway and try to move into one of the rooms, if there are targets there. Otherwise, it will squeeze in the hallway and fling mouths, eyes, acidic plasma, and pseudopods at everything around it, until it explodes into a big, gory mess.
The portal tentacles will attempt to slide characters back into the Monstrosity, while the pit tentacles will attempt to drag characters in (the pit is 30ft deep)
If the tentacles can reach multiple characters, they will attempt to hit as many as possible with slow. If only one target presents itself, the trap will attack that character with each attack, trying to restrain it.
(There is one trap, that can make three attacks, spread around its three attack locations in any way it likes. Since its an Elite, I guess technically it would also have an Action point for a fourth one)
Gibbering Monstrosity [ level 6 solo controller, see below for stats]
Gibbering Tentacle trap [ level 6 elite warder, see below for stats ]
Total XP from encounter: 1750XP. Encounter level: 8
As the players open the runed door, they look into a small room. On a pedestal near the back lies an old, dusty tome. It's open somewhere in the middle, and looks very well-made.
The book is flanked by three creatures, looking very much like the statues in the first room. Their faces are still not visible, even though one still has a set of shining white teeth. This creature also looks slightly translucent, as if not really being all there...
A faint heat comes from the winged being, and you can smell sulfur about him.
The tentacled creature seems to emit a humming sound, and looking at him makes you feel like your brain is trying to crawl out the back of your head.
They all stare at you, then as one, wave towards the book, bowing to the party. They are not hostile, but remain silent.
In essence, each of them is both a part of Jerrol Caine himself, and a part manifestation of the Book.
They might sometimes be seen in other dreams, or even manifest if something threatens the existance of the Book, to give information or fight on behalf of the Book (and they party, if they are lucky)
If the players pick up the book, they snap awake as if awakening from a nightmare, but one of them is still clasping the book. They can still see the three grinning figures standing around them, but they slowly wink from existance.
The Book itself looks like it was made from pink, supple leather (human skin, actually) and has the picture of a screaming face on the cover.
The first few pages of the book contain an introduction about what the book is, and what is wants to do. These pages later become blank, and will bear any information the book is sharing with its current 'owner'.
Gibbering Monstrosity stats found here:
Sorry, but the stat block only works in the preview, not in an actual post. Blame the forums.
Tentacle Trap Level 6 Elite Trap [ Warder ]
Large tentacles rise up from the pits and pour throw the portals, grabbing and tossing adventurers around.
No check is required to notice the tentacles.
Trigger: The tentacles rise when a character comes within 5ft of the pit or one of the portals. Some come from the two magic portals on both sides of the intersection, while another bunch comes from the pit.
Minor Action, Ranged 5
Target: one creature within reach.
Attack: +9 vs Ref
Hit: 1d10+3 damage, slid 3 squares and Slowed (save ends)
If this attack hits a slowed character, he is immobilized (save ends) instead.
If this attack hits an immobilized character, he is restrained (save ends) instead.
Each portal can be shut down by succeeding on two Arcana checks (DC 17)
Whenever an Arcana check fails, the character making the check is subjected to another attack from the tentacles.
After succeeding both checks, the portal winks out of existance, and the trap cannot attack from that location anymore.
Tentacles can also be severed (AC 17, other defenses 15) by an attack. Each location has 20 HP.
Severing a tentacle disables that location (save ends) After the trap made a save, new tentacles grow, and that location becomes active again.
The Book of Jerrol Caine Heroic Level Artefact
This ancient book was created by the only warlock known who made pacts with the Far Realm, Feywild and Infernals at the same time.
Although he eventually came to some horrible fate, this magically sentient book contains much of the great knowledge he once possesed.
The Book can be held in one hand to activate all its powers.
Property: you gain a +3 bonus to Religion Checks and Arcana Checks relating to Devils, Fey Creatures or Abbarant Creatures.
Property: whenever you attack a creature with the Fey or Abbarant origin or the Devil keyword, you deal +1d6 damage.
Property: You gain resist 5 to the attacks of creatures with the Fey or Abbarant origin, or the Devil keyword.
Power (at-will): Standard action. You can use Eldritch Blast (Warlock 1). Select to use either Constitution or Charisma when you obtain the Artefact.
Goals of the Book of Jerrol Caine
<> Drain power from the Feywild, Nine Hells and the Far Realm for its own use
<> Search for ways to restore its master to life
<> Gain enough stength to become a patron to its own band of Warlocks
Roleplaying the Book of Jerrol Caine
The book can communicate through writing. The first few pages of the book are generally blank, unless the book has something to say about the current situation.
It can read its owners thoughts, and will generally offer useful advice, although its specialty is the three pacts (Fey, Abbarant and Devil) and it doesn't have a lot of useful things to add on other topics.
The Book will try to convince its owner to scheme for power, moving him to improve his standing in the world, make people owe him favors, and otherwise improve his power.
It does not hate pact creatures, although it will push its owner further and further in getting him to wrest power from them.
Starting score: 5
Owner gains a level +1d10
Owner subjugates a Pact creature of its level or higher (max 1/day) +2
Owner has a creature of its level or higher owe it a favor (max 1/day) +1
Owner owes favors to a creature of its level or lower(max 1/day) -1
Owner swears allegiance or subservience to another creature or being -1 per day
"Together, we will rule the worlds!"
The Book is happy with the power its owner is gathering, and will push him to increase him, while also nudging him towards ultimate power... restoring its master to life.
Property: The damage bonus increases to 2d6, and the resistances increase to 10. The skill bonus increases to +5.
Power (daily): Free action. You gain access to Dark One's Own Luck (Warlock 6)
Power (daily): Standard action. Make an attack. Ranged 10, targets a creature with the Fey or Abbarant Origin or the Devil keyword, Cha or Con +6 vs Will, the target is Dominated (save ends)
"Power flows to us!"
The Book is satisfied with its owners lust for power, and will help it generate more.
Property: The skill bonus increases to +4. The damage bonus increases to 1d8.
Power (encounter): Immediate reaction (trigger: you reduce an enemy to 0hp) You gain temporary HP equal to your level, teleport 3 squares and gain concealment until the end of your next turn.
"I do not share power, but you may have what it takes to gain it regardless."
The book is testing its owner, trying to make it covet and collect as much power as possible.
"You are weak, but you can still claim greatness."
The Book is not pleased, thinking its owner is a servant rather then a master.
Special: Once per day at any time, the Book will overrule its owners actions and force it to act to its best interests.
Whichever action the owner last choose to make does not happen; instead the Book decides which action the owner takes.
Any resources the owner wanted to spend on its action are not lost; any resources the Book spent are.
Angered (0 or lower)
"You are a weakling, a follower and a sheep. I will abuse your strengths for my own profit."
The Book consideres its owner an underling, and will use him to further his own means, and his own means alone.
Special: Once per day at any time, the Book will dominate its owner to further its own ends. The domination lasts about 5 minutes.
The Book will generally attempt to either extort power from another creature (any creature, including party members and allies), show its superiority to enemies,
or attempt to sabotage the owners relation with a creature the owner serves (acting against a Deities alignment, abusing friendships, insulting kings, etc)
During this domination, the owner is not Dazed, and the Book can use all of its powers, items, and actions.
"My quest continues. We will meet again, and you know you will owe me."
The Book vanishes, searching more powerful individuals to help it restore its owner to life.
When it succeeds, it will know who still owe it favors... this might not be the last time the character sees the Book.
If the Book was at least satisfied, it leaves behind 5000gp in Residuüm as a parting gift, and last favor it can ask in return later.