The Map Mine: Keyed Dungeon Part 3

The Map Mine: Keyed Dungeon Part 3

Welcome to another edition of the Map Mine. So! I didn't expect to be revisiting this, but I did a playtest of the Keyed Dungeon from my previous post - and it turns out it runs pretty well, but needs a couple of tweaks to make it a bit more survivable for 1st and 2nd level characters.

Thanks to Ary, Kyle, and Jonathan for the neat additional ideas.

Changes to the Map

Okay, first - let's have a look at the original map. There are three significant changes.

Original Map

The first change is probably the most obvious - the addition of a secret room right off of the main hall. The new room is used to showcase what the place used to be, before everything was replaced by the Devils that took up residence there. Its location is a bit tough to find, because its on an otherwise unremarkable wall - and since it's not at a dead end or otherwise suspicious, there needs to be some other way to telegraph that it's there (if you want the players to find it, that is).

This leads us to our second change, there is now another secret tunnel at the end of one of the dead-end paths. It's essentially a crawlspace which leads to the forge area, specifically behind a box. There's not a lot of space back there, but it's enough to either get a hidden view of the room - or if you're very very careful, maybe get a jump on the denizens in there.

The final, and perhaps most interesting change is the introduction of a pit spanning a now-extended corridor. It's designed to represent a hellpit that's been opened because the devils now inhabiting the place have created. It does, additionally serve another purpose. That purpose is providing a means of dealing with Scrabbles.

Updated, more interesting map

Scrabbles the Hell Hound

When we playtested this, the players had a particular problem - and that problem is Scrabbles. You see, Erland Selwin is relatively helpless. All of his victims were taken by surprise. He's useless in a fair fight. So, one of the first things he was granted by his Devilish patron (in my telling of the adventure) was the Hell Hound that he's named Scrabbles. Since Scrabbles is a gift from his patron, he won't attack Erland, and will generally listen to his commands... but he's also extremely mean.

So, during the playtest, Erland wandered out into the halls, got spooked by the players, and then ran to go find Scrabbles. The players talked their way into his room, and quickly convinced him that they were there to enlist, and that they needed to discuss the plan in the command room. Well, he agreed... but at this point wanted Scrabbles with him (spooked, remember?).

At this point, they got him into the hallways - but realized that they were no match whatsoever for a Hell Hound, and had no immediate way to deal with him.

So! We've added a couple of options to the adventure. The first, on the Altar in Room 4 now contains delicious offerings: Soporific Buns. These buns are delicious, they're nutritious, and they induce a deep sleep. Scrabbles also loves them. He'll eat them and return to his cage, and fall into a deep sleep. This is the simplest way to deal with him and also get the most expensive treasure in the dungeon, his emerald collar.

Another way to deal with him is to knock him off into the hell pit. This is the more dangerous way to do it, but also extremely effective.

Other Changes

Some minor other changes to the adventure:

  • It now has a name: "The Unearned Halls"
  • Some of the NPCs now have more details
  • ART! (It's licensed stock art).

I'm planning on putting this up on Itch soon, and will update the link here when it's done!