Monday, August 31, 2009

White Plume Mountain, B/X Style (Part 1)

Mmm…post #200…has it been only three months? Less I guess. But having a chance to get my thoughts insta-published (not to mention have folks throw commentary like a monkey slinging…well, you know) has been fun.

Plus, it’s led me places I wasn’t expecting to go. Originally the idea was to write about my own RPG experiences (mainly past) and thoughts/critique about the subject. For posterity, you understand? So that when I start to forget things (more than I already do), there may be some record. Um…isn’t that kind o what a blog is all about?

For Post #200, though, I might as well go back to my roots…well the roots of this blog anyway, started SO LONG AGO (in June…jeez!). I’ll make this as easy as possible:

This post is freely distributable as non-copyright material as a free conversion of the Lawrence Schick “adventure module” White Plume Mountain (initially published by TSR, later re-published by Wizards of the Coast). These notes include only conversion notes for use with the Moldvay/Cook/Marsh (“B/X”) Dungeons and Dragons adventure game, as well as compatible game systems like Frank Mentzer’s Basic & Expert set or Daniel Proctor’s Labyrinth Lord; they are not an intended infringement of TSR or Wizards of the Coast copyright and they are not meant for commercial use. In order to use these conversion notes you will need to FIRST own or purchase a copy of the original copyrighted material and maps, freely available at Wizards of the Coast’s web site.


NOTES FOR ENTIRE ADVENTURE MODULE: Because of the moisture and condensation in the dungeon, most areas (except where stairs lead upwards) have a foot of warm, muddy water filling them. This water reduces movement by one-third on all situations and makes it very difficult to keep silent, run (without falling), or depend on invisibility (as a character will be given away by foot-shaped holes!).

Every two turns, the DM should check for wandering monsters. There are few monsters in the area (only encountered on a 1 in 12 roll), but those found have been entirely indoctrinated by the arch-mage Keraptis and are immune to charm spells or the PCs’ powers of persuasion. The DM should keep this in mind when making Reaction rolls for monsters found. The following table should be used when the dice indicate a monster has been encountered (roll 1D6):

1. Black Pudding (HD 10*, Hps 45, page X29/LL65): doing its best to keep the dungeon clean of trash and remains.
2. 5 Bugbears (HD 3+1, Hps 19, 15, 13, 12, 10, page B32/LL61): hired muscle sent on menial step-and-fetch duties for the dungeon denizens; resentful.
3. 2 Gargoyles (HD 4, Hps 21, 19, page B35/LL75): probably ‘sleeping,’ acting like hideous statues. If they surprise the party they will come to life with the party in their midst…otherwise will be groggy in their first round.
4. Invisible Stalker (HD 8*, Hps 33, page X34/LL82): this is the wizard Keraptis’ right-hand “man servant” and has been sent on an important mission. It will never surrender to the party nor betray Keraptis.
5. 3 Ogres (HD 4+1, Hps 21, 18, 17, page B40/LL89): more hired muscle, but better paid and with a bit of swagger. They will attempt to engage the party in a place where they will not be “bottle-necked.”
6. 2 Wights (HD 3*, Hps 18, 15, page B44/LL101): slain adventures, experimented and brought to hideous “life” by Keraptis. They will attack the living with no remorse.

It is recommended that no wandering monster encounter be used more than once.

All encounters below correspond to the numbered areas on the original map. No description will be noted unless necessary to explain a trap or trick of the encounter area. Page references for monsters are provided as “B” for the Moldvay Basic set, “X” for the Cook/Marsh Expert set, or “LL” for the Labyrinth Rulebook.

1. No encounter notes.

2. Access to the three-way corridor is blocked by a young sphinx (HD 8**, Hps 38, see New B/X Monster section at the end of this document) and a mysterious wall of invisible force (the wall may be defeated by a dispel magic, passwall, or disintegrate spell). The bedraggled sphinx squats in the muck of the corridor on the opposite side. If the party can answer the sphinx’s riddle, she will dispel the wall and allow the adventurers to pass. If they defeat the wall through another means, she will attack.

3. A huge patch of green slime (HD 8*, Hps 38, B36/LL79) lays on the floor of this corridor a length of nearly 20’. As it is under the water, it will probably not be detected until it has eaten through the PCs boots and started on their toes! Flaming oil will be ineffective on the slime as it oil will simply float on the water, though a fireball will still wipe it out.

4. The door to this room appears to be a simple iron-bound door, but upon entry it will slam shut, locking the PCs in the room. The door is entirely impervious to any type of magic, may not be forced in any fashion, and will only open to the proper key.

Each globe on the ceiling is easily shattered, dropping their contents into the much. In order they contain:

1. 3 Shadows (HD 2+2*, Hps 12, 10, 9, B41/LL93), 300 worthless lead coins, and a fake key.
2. Potion of gold dragon control, and a fake key.
3. A necklace worth 12,000gp, a fake key, and an enraged air elemental (HD 8*, Hps 33, X31/L73) which immediately attacks!
4. Ring of telekinesis, and a fake key.
5. 11 glass gems (worthless), and a fake key.
6. Fake, paste and glass jewelry and a fake key, entirely obscured by the gray ooze (HD 3*, Hps 16, B36/LL78) covering them.
7. Wand of paralyzation (1 charge) and a fake key.
8. Real key and the fantastic ring.
9. Six 100gp gems and a fake key.

5. This room contains five Bone Golems (HD 8, Hps 30, X33/LL78) each numbered as provided. Unlike typical bone golems, these only have two arms apiece. If the answer to their riddle is guessed correctly, the golem chosen will serve the party faithfully (as a henchman with Morale 12). Otherwise, all five golems attack .

6. This space is blocked by a steel turnstile that turns only one way (forward). The PCs will have to somehow destroy it to move back through the corridor (a bone golem or creature with giant strength can easily do so; a PC with gauntlets of ogre power has a 40% chance to break the turnstile). There is no monster present.

7. PCs will need to use their wits to make their way across this cavern. Falling into the mud 50’ below will result in the character taking 3D6 damage from the fall and 2D10 damage every round as the character is boiled alive. Geyser A erupts every five minutes, and geyser B every three minutes. Characters on a disk adjacent to an erupting geyser must roll a strength check at -5 (see page X51), or be washed off the disk. Characters not on adjacent disk must also make strength checks, but they receive a +1 to their roll for every disk removed between them and the geyser.

PCs also take damage from the boiling mud of an erupting geyser: 4D10 at the point of eruption and reduced one step for each ten feet of distance: 4D8, 4D6, 4D4, 2D4, and 1D4 if at least 50’ away. The algal scum in this cavern is faintly phosphorescent, giving an eerie illumination to the entire chamber.

8. This chamber is clouded by a continual darkness spell. Ctenmiir is a standard vampire (HD 8**, Hps 40, X41/LL99), though one compelled to stay and guard the hammer, Whelm. Being a chaotic creature, he will not wield the weapon, but will do his best to thwart others from taking it.

In a niche beneath the vampires coffin is the following treasure: 10,000sps and 9000gps in six leather sacks, two potions (ESP and black dragon control), and a scroll with the magic-user spells ventriloquism, dispel magic, and teleport.

Whelm is a Lawful +3 Warhammer (+5 when wielded by a dwarf)with an intelligence of 15, and an ego of 18. Its purpose is to slay trolls, giants, and goblins (including bugbears, thouls, and hobgoblins). If wielded by a dwarf it returns when thrown, and it always detects the presence of gold, gems, and goblins (60’ range). Once per day it may be struck on the ground, sending out a shockwave that stuns all opponents (cannot move, attack, or cast spells) within 60’ that fail a save vs. spells; the stun lasts 1D4 rounds. The wielder of Whelm acquires acute agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) and will fight at -2 to attack when not indoors or underground. It is obvious that Whelm is a dwarven weapon.

9. At the bottom of this ten-foot deep pool may be a found a valve wheel. Although it may only be turned by characters with a combined strength of 36, doing so opens several tubes that will drain out all the water in the corridors within 10 turns. Also at the bottom of the pit is a secret door (only discoverable with a detect magic spell) that leads to Keraptis’ Indoctrination Center (see END NOTE).

10. The creatures inhabiting this room are two Kelpies (HD 5*,Hps 26, 27; see New B/X Monster section at the end of this document. They will attempt to charm male characters. Section C of this area is the kelpies’ lair containing 600gps, a tiara worth 2000gps, and a suit of chain mail +3 in excellent condition). Section D contains nothing.

11. This corridor contains thirty feet of a spinning cylinder, coated in slippery oil, and rotating at a constant 8 miles per hour. It is possible to slide through it, but no one can keep their footing while crossing it.

12. Watching though a spy hole at the end of this passage is the fighter Burket (AC 4, HD 4, Hps 18, +2 to hit and damage for 17 Strength). He waits till parties are halfway through the cylinder and then fires a flaming arrow to ignite the oil of the cylinder (damage is 2-16 the first round and 1-4 every subsequent round, burning a total of 2-8 rounds). He then closes the spy hole and moves to guard the door with sword and shield while warning Snarla of the invaders.

Snarla is a 7th level magic-user and a lycanthrope (AC 9, HD 7**, Hps 17). Her memorized spells are: Magic missile, shield, sleep, phantasmal force, web, dispel magic, haste, confusion. If Burket is killed or she is caught and cornered, she transforms into hew wolf form (AC 5, HD 4*, Hps 26, B38/LL84). The only treasure in this room is Snarla’s spell book (contains the same spells she’s memorized).

13. This room is disguised by a phantasmal force to appear sumptuous, when in reality it is rather plain. The chest holds Snarla’s treasure: 400eps, 300gps, 6 gems worth 200gps each, and one gem worth 100gps.

14. While theses iron doors are shut, they open easily by pushing so long as they are not holding back any water from area 15-17 (they are emergency doors to prevent flooding to the rest of the dungeon). From the north they have handles that likewise allow ease in pulling.

15. No encounter notes.

16. No encounter notes.

17. Giant crab (AC 0, HD 15, Hps 60, #Attacks 2 claws, Damage 3-18/3-18, Alignment Neutral). On the creature’s left claw it wears a rune scribed band of copper that renders it immune to all mind-affecting magic. The band is only attuned to the crab and is worthless to anyone else.

The membrane of the chamber may be easily punctured by most any sharp object (missed arrows and sword thrusts for instance). A person who makes a hole in melee will 1D4 damage from a jet of scalding hot water, and major gashes (from an axe or two-handed sword, for example) will cause the chamber to collapse in 1D6 rounds, boiling and drowning those without fire resistance and water breathing ability. Spells like fireball and lightning bolt will have a similar effect.

The heavy chest attached to the floor at the north end of the chamber contains the following treasure: 1000gps in small sacks, 3 large gems (two worth 1000gps, one worth 5000gps), a pearl necklace worth 4000gps, a ring of djinni summoning, and a wand of cold (with 17 charges). The chest also contains Wave.

Wave is a Neutral trident +3 (does damage as a spear). It has an intelligence of 14, an ego of 20, and the purpose of causing death or disfigurement to any that will not worship the sea god Poseidon. It possesses both speech and telepathy, allows water breathing (as the spell) on the caster, and acts as a potion of control animals (though only aquatic animals). When rolling a natural (unmodified) “20” on an attack roll, it dehydrates its target, draining one-half of the victims remaining hit points (calculated AFTER normal damage). Once per day, Wave can create a sphere of force around the wearer (and those standing close by) that prevents any and all attacks, physical or magical, from penetrating; this effect lasts 6 turns and can only be destroyed by a wish or disintegrate spell. Wave will communicate this ability to potential converts of the sea god, and it may be used to save PCs from boiling to death in a collapsing bubble!

(continued in Part 2)

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