Well friends, no new map this week as I'm taking the Large Library maps and combining them together into another Shadowdark RPG compatible adventure. I'm about 75% of the way through the first draft, and everything will go up as it's completed - so I hope you'll keep an eye out for that (I'll likely have a separate post just about the adventure in question).
For this post, we'll be doing a bit of a sneak preview of the content of said Library, much like we did for Keyed Dungeon Pt. 2 - but since this time I don't have the PDF ready, we'll just talk about a few features.
The New Monsters
For the library, I wanted to play with the idea that the place was originally a place of learning that had very little regard for the "morality" of that learning. This is basically just a small riff on the "Things humanity was not meant to know" trope - where eventually the search for too much "forbidden" knowledge leads to, as the sages call it: "a bad time".
As part of this "bad time", I wanted to do a brief touch on body horror / transformation to the mix, and what better monster for that than the humble, and unassuming Ooze? It fits a lot of the "I have no mouth, and I must scream" sort of vibe, and I've never done much with them. There's already some great ooze based content for Shadowdark - namely "Trial of the Slime Lord" and Kelsey's Ooze Cubes - so I'm hoping I've not made anything duplicative here. All that said, this is probably most influenced by a great adventure in Quests of Doom, vol 1. called "The Noble Rot" by J. Collura / Frog God Games.
It may be a little cliché here, but I also wanted to have the oozes be transformed and strongly influenced by their original area of study - so if you were deep into geomantic research your ooze form would be thematically aligned to your area of study. As if the years of pouring yourself into a particular line of study molded your ooze form into a particular magical shape. Relatedly, this was a good excuse to try making some Shadowdark monsters while I was in there. So - I've created both a "Type" and "Subtype"s for the Oozes in this dungeon. There are 5 subtypes currently, and all of the following is subject to revision as I've not playtested any of it yet.
Arcane Ooze (Type)
A blob of animated goop the consistency of pudding crackles with magical energy. While intelligent, the thought-processes of this once humanoid creature are now entirely alien and often bizarre. While capable of speech by pushing air through their oozy membranes, they rarely deign to do so. When they do they're often nonsensical.
Note: Arcane Oozes always come in a subtype variant (listed below).
AC 12, HP 12, ATK whip +3 (1d6), MV double near, S +0, D +1, C +1, I +3, W -2, Ch -2, AL C, LV 3
Arcane Resistance - Immune to Damage based on Arcane Ooze Subtype
Spellcasting - Most Arcane Oozes have some spellcasting ability as determined by their subtype.
Aquatic Ooze (Subtype)
This transparent jelly could be easily missed, were it not for the thin layer of rime trailing behind it.
Cold Snap (Int Spell): DC 14. Close Cube centered on the Ooze. 1d6 Dmg.
Douse (Int Spell): DC 13. All light sources that are fire-based (e.g. lanterns, torches) in a near cube are extinguished.
Arcane Resistance: Immune to Cold and Electricity
One of the main things I didn't showcase directly in the last post is the entrances to the dungeon. I decided as I was making it that I wanted the library to be carved into the side of a mountain, and as part of its backstory to have the main entrance be collapsed - but that necessitated more than the entrance I was originally planning (the hole up through the depths).
Thus, I've added another entrance as seen in this screenshot:
That's a ladder, carved in through an opening in the ceiling, left by another crawling party who came in recently (or not, it's really up to you) - giving two obvious entrances.
The main entrance is now at the dead end at the bottom, covered in rocks - which serves as a third entrance / exit, should the players be inventive.
...consequently there's now a ladder icon in the icon pack, which I'll release an update for hopefully shortly.
Well that's it for now, when I've got an update for the adventure I'll post a separate post here and I'll see you back here in 2 weeks for the start of the next map!