Archive for Adventure Gaming

Escape from the Lizardmen’s Grotto

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 3, 2015 by Kullervo

This weekend my brother an adventure involving an escape from the clutches of a bloodthirsty lizardman tribe.  The PCs begin in wooden cages in the center area, destined for sacrifice.

He asked for one exit route through the lizardman area, but with the potential for rescuing other captives, and a second exit through flooded caves.  I added one, possibly two more exits.
After talking through the (finished) map, we also came up with a jade mine (the entrance would be in one of the cliff faces in the central grotto.  It has a bloated giant lizardman overseer, a cockatrice accidentally stalking the tunnels, and a secret plan for the miners to dig an escape tunnel.
Escape from the Lizardmen's Grotto
Obviously it’s hand-drawn and hand-written.
Also, here’s a random encounter chart:
Random Encounters in the Grotto

The Forgotten Temple: Treasure Map

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2015 by Kullervo

Treasure Map

The players found this map in the griffon’s lair.

The Forgotten Temple pt. 1: The Well Caves

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2015 by Kullervo

The party landed itself in pretty hot water while exploring the Ulthar Hills, and by hot water I mean up on a barren ridge fighting a pack of griffons at the entrance to their lair.  Casualties were severe.  The survivors fled into the lair (a cave), where they found an old ironbound door, which they managed to get open, get through, and bar behind them.  Nowhere to go but forward and down…

Well Caves

Megadungeon Level One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 21, 2014 by Kullervo


Level 1 Unkeyed

And keyed:

Level 1 Keyed

This is the replacement dungeon level I drew after being dissatisfied with my first attempt. you’ll notice that is it bigger, but that the entrance (D1) and the exits (D8 and D19) are in the same relative places. This is because I’ve already planned out where the different connections between levels are relative to each other; one of the big ideas in this dungeon is that each level connects to many other levels (no level connects to fewer than two other levels, and some connect to as many as six).

In this level, the exits to levels two and three are easy to find–this is another characteristic of the dungeon: it will never be hard to find the pathway to go through the levels sequentially. The dungeon was originally meant to be used, after all. On the other hand, many of the out-of-order level connections or connections to sublevels may be hidden.

Quick rundown of the different areas:

The D areas are just generic dungeon. Not much treasure ebcause they’ve basically been picked clean, but also not much in the way of really challenging monsters. Maybe a scavenger or a wandering monster or two. The big exception is D20-D26, which was once the lair of a tribe of kobolds, before they were driven out by the goblins in the G areas. Not much is left in terms of loot, but the whole area is still booby trapped like crazy. D16 is a large cistern/reservoir, with underwater tunnels leading to the S areas. Watch out for the water rats.

The B areas were originally barracks (you can see the fighting pit in B7). There’s a mess hall (B11), a drill floor (B2), offices and quarters for officers (B3-B6), an armory (B8), a smithy (B9), and a kitchen at B10 with a secret passage into the larders. These areas are mostly inhabited at present by a gang of brigands, with their loot.

The L areas are the larders, which are now completely infested with dog-sized bloodthirsty carnivorous chickens. They are mean, and extremely territorial, and that’s just the hens. The rooster is the size of a horse and pure evil. The whole area is basically buried in chicken shit, and the level’s other inhabitants avoid it. That said, the larders were not only stocked with foodstuffs–the whole area is riddled with secret rooms where there are still valuables left for the taking.

The S areas are full of grates to water tunnels below and weird machinery. They are difficult to get to, and used as the lair of a bunch of really big giant water rats. There’s also some decent treasure in there though, so it’s worth trying to find.

The K areas were once kennels. The hounds are all dead, and the area is haunted by a gray ooze, that can slip through the locked and rusty bars.

The G areas have long been used as the lair of a goblin tribe, led by a self-styled king, with a decent haul of treasure. It’s not clear what the rooms were originally used for.

The X areas are mostly abandoned, because an extremely dangerous predator lairs at X4. The only other inhabitants are a mixed group of human and goblin outcasts, hiding out at X8 and planning revenge.

Free Hand-Drawn Dungeon Map for You

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , on May 13, 2014 by Kullervo

I drew this a few days ago and decided I wasn’t actually going to use it after all, so feel free. I had 10′ squares in mind. The map was intended to be the first level of a twelve-level dungeon. The entrance is through a shaft in the roof of the lozenge/diamond-shaped room in the bottom right corner. Exits to levels 2 and 3 are by stairways in the bottom right and top left. There should be no choke points, and a lot of different ways to loop through the dungeon.

Spare Map

This is pretty representative of my current mapping style. The downside is, not that many cool features or really unusual rooms, which I used to do better at.

Three Blind Mice

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2014 by Kullervo

The secret passage opens into a roughly 40′ by 60′ cavern room, with a ceiling that is 80′ high (and thus out of sight). A faraway sounding voice seems to be singing. Upon closer listening, it is a child’s voice singing “Three Blind Mice.” The walls can be climbed without climbing gear, although there are some slick patches (1 in 10 chance of falling per turn; thieves do not need to roll). Carved into the rock walls at irregular intervals beginning at approximately 50′ from the floor are three large (5′ across) faces of mice. There is no other exit.

Dance of the Dead

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by Kullervo

This long room has two exits. Along one wall is a tapestry depicting a dance of the dead. When PCs approach within 30′ of the tapestry (which is necessary to move from either of the exits to the other), an eerie music strikes up, and 13 skeletons emerge from the tapestry, stand in a line and wait for one combat round. If any PCs begin dancing within that combat round, the skeletons will join the PC in a dance for 13 combat rounds, then bow, and return to the tapestry. Any PCs who do not dance will be attacked by the (normal) skeletons.

The Training Room

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2014 by Kullervo

This 30′ by 60′ room has a large wooden door at either end. Against the walls are obvious combat dummies, well-battered and worn, and a rack of still-usable assorted polearms.

In the center of the room is a hulking ogre wth a black helmet covering its face and a huge blade. It stands still, breathing, as if waiting between rounds of combat. It is an illusion that has long ceased to function properly, and will not react to the players in any way.

Using Dwellers of the Forbidden City with Labyrinth Lord

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by Kullervo

Anyone know much about what tweaks need to be made to use an AD&D 1st edition with an older edition retro-clone like Labyrinth Lord or Swords and Wizardry? I’ve got a copy of Dwellers of the Forbidden City and I’d love to run it, but I am not sure what the differences would be in terms of monsters. I suppose converting to Swords and Wizardry would be the easiest because there’s that big document of monsters for S&W floating around the internet, so I assume anything in DotFC is written up in there anyway.

But is there any kind of general consensus as to switching around between different retro-clones and other retro games? Just curious.

D&D: Monster Motivations

Posted in Dungeons & Dragons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Kullervo

This was my entry for Fight On!’s fantasy gaming tables contest, spruced up and tweaked a bit since the initial entry.

Roll a d% on this table for a monster or group of monsters to discover what its primary motivation is when it encounters a group of player characters.  Roll a d% on the most appropriate column, depending on if the monster is Chaotic, Neutral or of low (animal) intelligence.



Animal Intelligence





Evil.  The monster simply enjoys killing and causing pain.  If reasoned with, the monster will look for opportunities to betray the player characters or otherwise gain the upper hand.




Fear.  The monster is as afraid of the player characters as they are of it.  An assurance of good intentions before blood is drawn could turn an enemy into a friend, or lull the unsuspecting brute into a false sense of security.  This monster may (d% 1-40) have a -1 to its usual Morale.




Glory.  The monster is out to defeat worthy opponents and take trophies from them as evidence of its victory.  If the player characters appear to be beneath the monster’s valor, it may hold them in contempt but let them alone, or it may decide to kill them anyway, out of pity.  This monster has a +2 to its usual Morale.



Greed.  The monster is keen on the player characters’ treasure and items, and is willing to kill if necessary, but it will also look for easier ways to get the player characters’ valuables.



Hatred.  The monster has a deep antipathy for humans (d% 1-30), elves (d% 31-60), dwarves (d% 61-90) or halflings (d% 91-00).  The monster will refuse to parley with the object of its hatred, and is unlikely to be willing to parley with any adventurers who associate with the object of its hatred.  In combat, the monster will attack the object of its hatred and will continue to attack it until it is dead.




Hunger.  The monster is looking for something to eat.  Combat can be avoided if the player characters can somehow provide a more suitable meal.  If the player characters pose a significant threat, the monster may be willing to look elsewhere for an easy meal, but if food is scarce, the monster may be desperate, thus the monster may have -1 (d%1-40) or +1 (d% 91-00) to its usual morale.



Machismo. These swaggering monsters want to impress each other.  As long as more than one of them is present, these monsters have +2 to their morale.




Pain. The monster is wounded and lashing out in pain.  The wound may be obvious (d% 1-60) or hidden (d% 61-00).  In either case, the players have a chance to make an ally if they heal the wound instead of causing more wounds.  But pain can cause the monster to act unpredictably, and thus the monster may have -1 (d% 1-30) or +1 (d% 71-100) to its usual Morale.




Rage.  The monster is in a killing frenzy and is unlikely to retreat or bargain unless somehow calmed first.  The monster’s rage may be its natural state (d% 1-60), or a result of disease (d% 61-80) or magic (d% 81-00).




Territory.  The monster is defending what it thinks of as its territory, and sees the players as trespassers or invaders.  Although the monster may be unlikely to be willing to parley first (d% 1-25), it will be satisfied with merely driving the player characters away.



Vengeance.  Whether correctly (d% 1-30) or incorrectly (d% 31-00), the monster blames the players for a great wrong that has been done to it, and seeks vengeance.



Zealotry.  The player characters are an affront to the monster’s faith, and it is willing to sacrifice itself to scour them from the earth.  This monster has a +3 to its usual Morale.