BASIC01: A Learning Time

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BASIC01 Materials

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Adventure Background

Long ago and far away, in a place apart from our own, there was a school. Not much like the sort of school you or I have ever visited; though parts of it smelled of chalk, and the hallways echoed in a familiar sort of way after class was out. This was a school for adventurers.

The wide world beyond the walls of this school was a place of exceptional wonder...and exceptional danger. Good elves dwelled in their forests and evil elves lived far underground with their spiders. Dwarves worked the mines and forges, and clever gnomes and friendly halflings were easy to overlook by those who didn’t know better. All of these, and busy humans too, knew how dangerous it could be to wander into dark or unfamiliar places. Wild and hungry things would do all they could to gobble up a nice fat halfling, or burn down a human town, or even steal away a whole kingdom. Goblins and giants were on the ground and stirges and dragons were in the skies. Most people could only flee from such beasts.

Your parents were not “most people”, and neither will you be.

Exallizar Preparatory Academy had stood for hundreds of years on its spot atop a rocky cliff (the elves didn’t think that was all that old, but this isn’t about them). It had a sturdy stone wall all the way ‘round, and a squat and wide building right in the middle of a campus that was so full of smaller buildings that the outside seemed an awful lot like a town. Bright murals and tapestries decorated the inside of the big wall, telling stories of some of the great things that adventurers had done in the past.

Some of them might even be of your mother or father!

You see, Exallizar is not an easy school to get into. Only the children of heroes who’ve had at least one bardic ballad written in their honor are granted admittance, so that they might continue to live up to the family name as champions of Good. Some of the students have come from a long line of graduates, and some are the first in their family to have the benefit of such an education. The hottest part of the year is just now drawing to a close - time to get back to school, and prove yourselves worthy of your family’s legacy!

 

Adventure Hook

It is assumed that all the children attending Exallizar Preparatory Academy are enthusiastic about learning the adventurer’s craft. While other children’s education stops at boring math and history (if they’re lucky enough to attend school at all!), the PCs are spending their days learning about heroes and monsters, how to swing a sword or cast a spell, and preparing for a life of heroism, excitement, and wealth.

 

Adventure Synopsis

The PCs begin by sitting in a large auditorium-style lecture hall where the four professors and the headmaster all welcome them to Exallizar Preparatory Academy. The PCs are assigned to each other by “random drawing”, and it is explained that they will be partnering for the entire year. Life at the school is described in some detail, and after the players have a chance to roleplay and work out some group tactics. We then fast forward a couple of weeks to the big test - a dungeon crawl! After completing both, the adventurers receive their midterm grade.

 

 

 

 

Part 1: Lecture Hall

The summertime has already passed, and it’s time at last to begin your education in the world of adventuring. There is no more exciting job in all the world, and at last it will be your chance to show your worth. Last year was spent in intense study and training with the understanding that year that you’d be facing real danger.

“The time has come for you to truly learn what it means to be an adventurer.”

The voice of headmaster Benson echoes throughout the spacious lecture hall. Over a hundred young adventurers have been organized into groups of four, and now sit in attentive silence as the old warrior speaks. The headmaster is known throughout the land as someone who single-handedly slew a mighty red dragon through his own arcane power and martial might, and has been master of the academy for nearly twenty years.

“You have spent years learning the tales the bards tell. You’ve studied tactics, learned anatomy, spoken of the gods, and taken your first steps along the path of arcana. Today we test that.”

He casts a steady gaze over the assembly...do his eyes linger on your group just a moment longer than the others?

“Seated beside you are three strangers. For the next year, they will become closer to you than mere classmates - closer to you than family. They are your adventuring party. You are all responsible for them as they to you. When you enter the gauntlet today -”

A low murmur begins to build in the chamber. The first day back, and now this?! The “gauntlet” is a dreaded and secret test that has only been spoken of as whispered rumors. It’s said that some students never emerge alive.

Headmaster Benson pointedly clears his throat, and the noise dies down.
 
"- you will have only them to depend on You will be graded on your ability to manage resources, on your ability to support one another, and on the time it takes you to find and retrieve something of great worth. You are welcome to retreat and quit at any time, at which point your grade will be tallied as-is. Anyone who does not complete this gauntlet with a passing grade will be repeating the prior year."

He steeples his fingers on the lectern and leans forward with a grim smile on his lips. His gray eyes focus on you and the students seated nearest you...your new party.

“Group one. Proceed downstairs.”

 

 

Part 2: The Gauntlet

You and your new adventuring party make your way from the lecture hall to the spiraling stone stairwell that leads to the basement. It’s a bit of a trek.

(Allow the players the chance to roleplay, and the characters to introduce themselves and discuss tactics).

A guard lets you through a restricted doorway, and you find yourselves in a very large underground room. Near the door rests a table bearing eight vials and four scrolls. Each of the scrolls bears one of your names. A smiling young adult in cleric’s robes leans against the wall with his arms folded.

“Good morning! I’ll bet you’re surprised to find yourselves down here instead of out on the training fields. My name is Duly, and I’m the proctor for this test, though your instructors are watching the whole thing with magic.  If something goes horribly wrong, I’ll be the one to rush in and rescue you...hopefully.”

Duly clears his throat with a nervous chuckle.

“If you need healing, I can offer that, though it will cost you half a letter grade each time I restore you. You can also take a day to rest and heal, but that will drop you a letter grade. My group had to do that, in fact. Many do.”

He gestures to the table.

“These vials are all healing potions, and the scrolls are all extra-credit assignments. Best of luck on that.”

Each of the vials is a potion of cure light wounds (1d8+1), and there are enough for each of the PCs to have two.

Each of the scrolls contains an assignment from the lead instructors of each class. Hand the players notes on what the scrolls say inside without showing the others, but don’t tell them they have to keep them secret. They can share them as much as they want! This is a test to see if they can think outside the box and work together.

Fighter goal   
Allow no foe a clear path to your casters.
(Don't give any enemies you're aware of a straight line to the cleric or wizard.)

Cleric goal
Tend to the health of your allies when it matters most.
(Don't let anyone spend more than a single round below 0 hp.)
Wizard goal
Use your education to assist your companions.
(Provide useful information on enemies through use of the knowledge skill at least 3 times.)
Rogue goal
Never fight fair if you can help it.
(Help the fighter flank at least three times.)

Duly doesn’t plan to spoil any of the secrets of the gauntlet - he’s being watched too! But he’s willing to chat if anyone wants. He graduated last year, but decided to stay on to work in the academy for a year to pay off some of his debt before going off into the world looking for a score. He won’t go into specifics, but he does say that if anyone brings any monsters...if there should happen to BE some...out of the dungeon, they will be in for a nasty surprise.

The northern end of the vast basement terminates in a trio of doors that stand side by side. The gauntlet awaits!

Illusionary Terrain

If the adventurers try to lure a monster out of their section into the room that Duly occupies, they will find only what appears to be a wide open field at twilight. This illusion will remain in place until after the threat is terminated, at which time they appear back at the door to the section of the gauntlet they just left.

 

Player's Map

click to enlarge

 

Game Master's Map

click to enlarge

1. Obtuse Nonsense

This hallway turns into a wide room about 30 feet in. Torches in the fixed wall sconces glow via permanent light spells, holding back what would otherwise be an oppressive gloom. A stone sarcophagus sits in the center of the room, and a pair of massive metal doors stand to the north.

Call for a Perception check. Anyone who succeeds vs DC 10 or better notices a riddle inscribed along the floor.

"The champions guard gilded worth
Beyond the box exhumed from earth
A box with pearl as its keys
One white; one black - each one of these
Is guarded in a mighty way
So if you would impress this day
Hearken now to what I say

On right?

The fourth of third for five will bring
A key to you - the names the thing
And on your left; a brutish king
Dwells in the dark. His minions too
You lit a torch? They're on to you.
Depose that king and master shade
Then slay the monster for your grade"

 

If the PCs examine the doors, read:

These doors are made of thick steel, and have the image of two knights emblazoned upon them. The knights stand with the blades of their swords crossed in an "x" shape, barring entry.  

There is no visible keyhole.  All attempts to break the adamantine-laced steel doors automatically fail, and there is no lock to pick.  When both pearls have been inserted into the sarcophagus (below), these two doors will open.

 

If the PCs examine the sarcophagus, read the following:

The lid atop this mighty coffin is held fast by two sets of iron clasps at the top and bottom. On either side of the base, there is a small circular indentation in the stone, about the size of a marble. The left half of the base is bright white marble, while the right half is deep black obsidian.

The sarcophagus requires a pearl in each side to open, which will release the lid and unveil the troll guardian resting within. The weakened troll wakes up from its stasis 1 round after the lid is opened, and spends the next round standing up from its prone position (provoking attacks of opportunity) and climbing from the sarcophagus.

 

A Troll emerges from the sarcophagus!

 

Troll (Chaotic Evil)

Male Troll
CE Large Humanoid (Giant)
Init +2; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq); CR 4; XP 1,200 hp 39
Senses Darkvision (60 feet), Low-Light Vision, Scent; Perception +8


DEFENSE


AC 16, touch 12, flat-footed 15
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +3
Regeneration 5 (acid or fire)


OFFENSE


Melee
Bite +7 (1d8+4/20/x2) and
Claw x2 +7 x2 (1d6+4/20/x2) +Rend (2 claws, 1d4+2)
Special Attacks long reach, rend


STATISTICS


Str +4,  Dex +2,  Con +2,  Int -2,  Wis -1,  Cha -2
Skills Intimidate +6, Perception +8, Stealth -3
Feats Toughness, Iron Will, Skill Focus: Perception
Languages Giant


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Large A troll is a large creature. It takes up a 10-foot by 10-foot space (2 squares by 2 squares)
Long Reach A troll can make its melee attacks against creatures 5 feet (1 square) or 10 feet (2 squares) away from it.
Regeneration 5
Scent
Rend (2 claws)

 

New Rules!

Scent

Creatures with Scent can locate things without seeing them. They can detect the presence, but not the specific location, of everything within 30 feet. Finding the location is a move action. If they are within 5 feet (1 square) of the thing they've scented, they can pinpoint their area even without being able to see them.

This extraordinary ability lets a creature detect approaching enemies, sniff out hidden foes, and track by sense of smell.

Scent can be fooled by covering up your smell with other powerful odors (like garbage or skunk musk), and also doesn't work across water.

 

Rend (Ex)

If a monster with Rend hits with a certain number of a certain kind of attacks (2 claws for the troll), it does extra damage - in this case, 1d4+2.

 

Regeneration (Ex)

Creatures with regeneration is much harder to kill than normal. Each round, they regain a fixed amount of HP, and they cannot die as long as their regeneration is still functioning (though they are still knocked out when brought to 0 hp). Some things, usually fire or acid, cause a creature's regeneration to stop functioning on the round following the attack. When this happens, the creature can be killed normally.

 

2. Pitch Black

The hallway stretches north a few dozen feet before taking a sharp turn to the left. No light touches this area, leaving everything pitch black.

 

A DC 5 Perception check reveals the sounds of squeaky voices and clattering stone from just up ahead. A quartet of goblins are sitting on the floor and chattering and squabbling amongst themselves while playing some sort of dice game.

A DC 15 Perception check (10 if the PCs have goggles of darkvision or lit lanterns) allows the PCs to notice a trip wire that has been rigged across the hall where it first curves.

 


Trip Wire Trap

CR 1/2 (XP 200)

Type mechanical Perception DC 15 (10 with darkvision)
Disable Device DC 10 Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

Target falls prone and takes 1 point of damage (DC 15 Reflex prevents), and the loud clanging of dozens of pans and broken knives tied to the ends of the rope acts as an alarm spell, alerting the goblins (if they aren’t already) in Area 2, and bringing the goblins from Area 3 to join the fight in 1d3 rounds.

 

 

 

 

Goblins attack!

 

(4) Goblins (Chaotic Evil)

Goblins are hateful, suspicious creatures about 4 feet tall. They prefer to dwell in caves or buildings abandoned by others. They love fire, hate dogs and horses, and believe that writing steals the words from your head.

Initiative +6; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 10

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +0


DEFENSE


AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14   (+2 armor, +1 shield, +2 Dex, +1 size)

Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2


OFFENSE


Melee Shortsword +4 (1d4-1/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +4 (1d2-1/20/x2)

Ranged Shortbow +4 (1d4-1/20/x3)


STATISTICS


Str -1, Dex +2, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha -1

Skills Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +4, Ride +6, Stealth +10

Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse

Equipment Arrows (20), Leather, Shield, Light Steel, Shortbow, Shortsword


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

 

 

3 Lardy Lardy Slumber Party

A rank larder filled with all sorts of foul, expired foodstuffs. Barrels have been overturned and ransacked of rotten fruit and old meat, and an empty mead keg sits cracked and empty against the wall.

Three goblins sleep sprawled across the floor of this room, snoring fitfully unless the PCs made a great deal of noise (either screaming unnecessary battle cries, casting exceptionally loud spells, or triggering the trip wire trap in Room 2), in which case they would join their fellows during the fracas.

(2) Goblins (Chaotic Evil)

Goblins are hateful, suspicious creatures about 4 feet tall. They prefer to dwell in caves or buildings abandoned by others. They love fire, hate dogs and horses, and believe that writing steals the words from your head.

Initiative +6; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 10

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +0


DEFENSE


AC 16, touch 13, flat-footed 14   (+2 armor, +1 shield, +2 Dex, +1 size)

Fort +2, Ref +2, Will +2


OFFENSE


Melee Shortsword +4 (1d4-1/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +4 (1d2-1/20/x2)

Ranged Shortbow +4 (1d4-1/20/x3)


STATISTICS


Str -1, Dex +2, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha -1

Skills Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +4, Ride +6, Stealth +10

Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse

Equipment Arrows (20), Leather, Shield, Light Steel, Shortbow, Shortsword


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Goblin Boss (Neutral Evil)
Goblins are hateful, suspicious creatures about 4 feet tall. They prefer to dwell in caves or buildings abandoned by others. They love fire, hate dogs and horses, and believe that writing steals the words from your head.

Initiative +3; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1; HP 11

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +0


DEFENSE


AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 11   (+3 Dex, +1 size)

Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +3


OFFENSE


Melee Arcane Bond Dagger +2 (1d3-1/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +1 (1d2-1/20/x2)

Spell-Like Abilities Burning Hands (1/day)

Wizard Spells Known (CL 2, 1 melee touch, 5 ranged touch):

1 (3/day) Burning Hands (DC 13), Cause Fear (DC 13), Sleep (DC 13)

0 (at will) Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Ray of Frost, Read Magic (DC 12)


STATISTICS


Str -1, Dex +3, Con +1, Int +2, Wis 0, Cha -1

Skills Acrobatics +5, Knowledge (Arcana) +6, Knowledge (Nature) +6, Ride +7, Spellcraft +7, Stealth +12

Feats Improved Spell Difficulty: Cause Fear


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Arcane Bond: Masterwork Dagger This item is automatically added to your character on the Weapons tab.

Once per day, you can use it to cast any one spell in your spellbook. You don't have to prepare this spell ahead of time - using the bonded item is like an emergency backup

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Evocation Evocation magic is all about creating and controlling energy.

Many evokers focus on attack spells rather than defense or trickery.

Restricted Spells: You can never learn or cast acid arrow, disguise self, displac

Force Missile (5/day) One foe in 30 ft. takes 1d4+1 damage.

If they are still asleep, it takes them 1 round to come to their senses and stand up with weapons in hand.

 

 

4. No Rest for the Reanimated

The smell of decay is thick in this room. The northern and southern walls hold three rows of three cobweb-covered cadavers wrapped in ancient funerary garb.

Five of the bodies (two from the north and three from the south) rise up and animate as zombies as soon as the first PC enters the room. They attack whoever is nearest and behave mindlessly.

(5) Zombies (Neutral Evil)

Zombies are the animated corpses of dead creatures. Their rotting flesh makes them hardier than skeletons, but slow. Zombies can do little more than follow orders or mill about in search of living prey.

Initiative +0; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 12

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +0


DEFENSE


AC 12, touch 10, flat-footed 12   (+2 natural)

Fort +0, Ref +0, Will +3

Damage Reduction 5/slashing; Immune dazzled, disease, paralysis, poison, sleep, stunning, Undead Traits


OFFENSE


Melee Slam (Zombie) +4 (1d6+4/20/x2)


STATISTICS


Str +3, Dex 0, Con 0, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha 0

Skills

Feats Toughness +3


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Damage Reduction (5/slashing) Reduce damage from P/B melee or ranged weapons by this amount (minimum 0).

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Immune to Fortitude Effects You are immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save.

Immunity to Disease You are immune to diseases.

Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.

Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.

Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.

Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.

Staggered Make only a single move or a single attack action each round.

Undead Traits Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects

 

5. Slim Chance

The secret door to this area is hidden behind the body on the middle shelf, and opens when a heavy block is pushed inward, a Str score 14 or higher required. One person can crawl through at a time.

The air in this room is musty, almost unbreathable.

Read this when the first of the PCs moves far enough in to see around the corner:

A skeleton rests against the far well, sagging forward and seemingly held together  by nothing more than cobwebs. All at once, crimson light ignites in the armored skeleton's eyes; it raises a blade to attack!

 

Skeletal Champion (Neutral Evil)

Some skeletons retain their intelligence and cunning, making them formidable warriors. These skeletal champions may lead gangs of skeletons, or serve an evil cleric or other powerful leader.

Initiative +5; Speed 30/20 ft. (6/4 sq.); CR 2; HP 17

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +6


DEFENSE


AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17   (+5 armor, +1 Dex, +2 natural, +1 dodge)

Fort +3, Ref +1, Will +3

Defensive Abilities Channel Resistance +4

Damage Reduction 5/bludgeoning; Immune dazzled, cold, mind-affecting, paralysis, poison, sleep, precision damage, stunning, Undead Traits


OFFENSE


Melee +1 Longsword +8 (1d8+5/19-20/x2)


STATISTICS


Str +3, Dex +1, Con +1, Int -1, Wis 0, Cha +1

Skills Perception +6, Stealth -1

Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Power Attack -1/+2, Weapon Focus: Longsword

Equipment +1 Longsword, Scale Mail


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Channel Resistance +4 +4 bonus to save vs. Channel Energy.

Damage Reduction (5/bludgeoning) Reduce damage from P/S melee or ranged weapons by this amount (minimum 0).

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Immune to Fortitude Effects You are immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save.

Immunity to Cold You are immune to cold damage.

Immunity to Mind-Affecting attacks You are immune to Mind-Affecting attacks.

Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.

Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.

Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.

Immunity to Sneak Attacks You are immune to sneak attacks.

Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.

Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.

Undead Traits Undead are immune to death effects, disease, mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, phantasms, and patterns), paralysis, poison, sleep, stun, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects

The skeletal champion is wielding a +1 longsword, as well as guarding a wand of magic missile (7 charges), a cloak of elvenkind (+5 stealth), and an enhanced holy symbol of whatever deity the cleric worships that allows 1 extra use of channel energy per day, as well as allowing them to channel an extra 1d6 energy per attempt.

 

6. Fat Chance

The room has the look of a hastily put-together throne room, the centerpiece of which is a massive ogre seated on a chair made of tusk, bone, and fur. As you enter his chamber, he rises slowly and hefts his club. He smiles a cruel smile before bellowing a challenge and charging!

"ME CRUSH PUNY HUMANS!"

Fragooth (Chaotic Evil)

Ogres are brutal, evil thugs who revel in the misery of others. They've been known to kick their prisoners around like a cruel game, or tear their victims limb from limb. When bored, they beat up members of their own tribe.

Initiative -1; Speed 30/20 ft. (6/4 sq.); CR 3; HP 30

Senses Darkvision (60 feet), Low-Light Vision; Perception +5


DEFENSE


AC 17, touch 8, flat-footed 17   (+4 armor, -1 Dex, -1 size, +5 natural)

Fort +6, Ref +0, Will +3


OFFENSE


Melee Mace, Heavy +8 (2d6+9/20/x2)

Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.


STATISTICS


Str +6, Dex -1, Con +2, Int -2, Wis 0, Cha -2

Skills Climb +8, Perception +5

Feats Iron Will, Toughness +3

Equipment Hide, Mace, Heavy, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Low-Light Vision You can see twice as far in dim light as a dwarf or a human.

Fragooth the ogre was the leader of the gang of goblins before they were captured and is confident in his ability to squash such tiny adversaries, and fights to the death. The room itself contains nothing of value apart from heaps of furs that have been tainted by ogre-stink.

 

Treasure

The ogre possesses a single White Pearl

 

 

 

 

7. Perfectly Safe

The hallway stretches about twenty feet ahead before curving off to the right. Torches burn in wall sconces, providing ample illumination.

The right side of the hallway is guarded by a swinging axe that activates when a target stands on the northernmost of its squares. The left side of the hall has a shallow pit trap enhanced by a miniature siphon projector which sprays a cone of flame upward as soon as someone falls in.


Swinging Axe Trap

CR 1 (XP 400)

Type mechanical Perception DC 20
Disable Device DC 20 Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

Attack +10 melee (1d8+1/x3) multiple targets (all targets in a 10 foot line)

Burning Pit Trap

CR 2 (XP 600)

Type mechanical Perception DC 20
Disable Device DC 20 Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

10-ft deep pit (1d6 falling damage) DC 20 reflex avoids.

Gout of flame (2d4 fire damage) DC 15 reflex for 1/2 damage, using same roll.

8. Horrific Entombment

The hallway turns sharply to the right here, ending after another 20 feet at a  gray wooden door.

As soon as the first PC steps more than five feet into the room, a stone partition begins to grind into place. It takes twelve seconds (two rounds) to totally cut area 8 off from area 7. If the PCs decide to remain on the inside after the divider has sealed the room, a tile in the ceiling falls to the floor to reveal a many-holed metal semicircle. The door on the other side has an excellent lock, but is rotted and fragile. A DC 25 Disable Device check will open the lock, whereas a DC 15 Strength check will break it down. The door has hardness 2, and 15 hit points.

Stone partition trap

CR 3 (XP 800)

Type mechanical Perception DC 25
Disable Device DC 30 Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

Stone wall slides into place, sealing targets in to the room over the course of 1 round unless they decide to leave. On the 2nd round, any 1 target may attempt to leap through at the last instant with a DC 20 reflex save. Failure causes 4d6 crushing damage with a 50/50 chance of them ending up on either side.

On the 3rd round, a tile falls from the center of the ceiling (15 feet up), releasing a metal semi-circle with dozens of small holes that rotate and attack random targets each round.

Attack +15 ranged (1d4+1/x2) 2 random targets per round (all targets in a 10 foot radius)

The dart launcher ceases fire as soon as the PCs move through the door. The stone partition remains in place until the white pearl is placed in its socket on the sarcophagus, the door to area 12 is unlocked, or 6 hours pass.

 

 

9. Actually Perfectly Safe

This hallway angles in a north-easterly shape, and has four other doors  leading off - west, east, northeast, and north.

Should the players examine the doors, they will find that the northernmost door is locked with an elaborate and magical seal that requires a key.

The door to the northeast is trapped with a turret similar to the one from area 8, only much larger and more rapid-firing.
The doors to area 10, area 11, and the north-eastern trap are all of uncommon make. Built of stone, they are opened by grasping a central vertical handle and twisting it down into a horizontal position. They then slide open down the middle, and cannot be resealed.

Spear Barrage Trap

CR 3 (XP 800)

Type mechanical Perception DC 20 Disable Device DC 25 Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

Attack +10 ranged (1d6x2) in a 15 foot cone, 1d4 shortspears per target.

 

 

10. Is it the Moon?

Water elemental riddle (800 xp)

The door slides open to reveal a 15x15 room lit by an eerie gray light. The center of the room is dominated by a mighty stone pedestal, the top of which forms a basin.

As soon as the first PC steps across the threshold of the door, a deep voice echoes through the small chamber.

 

"Three lives have I.
Gentle enough to soothe the skin,
Light enough to caress the sky,
Hard enough to crack rocks."

Answer: "Water"


If any of the characters answer loudly and firmly, the room takes it as the intended answer to its riddle (use your discretion as GM). The floor of the room rumbles once before it begins to sink over the course of 2 rounds. During the 1st round, it is a DC 5 Acrobatics check for anyone standing in the area to avoid falling prone and taking 1 point of damage. At the beginning of the second round, the floor has sunk beneath four previously-hidden holes (one in the center of each cardinal direction) that begin to fill the room with water. By the end of that round, the floor has dropped four feet, which is where it remains.

The room’s ambient light shifts to a deep blue as water begins bubbling up from the central basin. It flows and roils, and suddenly takes the shape of a water elemental.

Water Elemental (click to open)

Water Elemental (Neutral)

Water elementals are patient, relentless creatures made of living fresh or salt water. They prefer to hide in water and ambush their opponents, especially air-breathers at a disadvantage under the surface.

Initiative +1; Speed 20 ft. (4 sq.); CR 3; HP 30

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +5


DEFENSE


AC 17, touch 11, flat-footed 16   (+1 Dex, +6 natural)

Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +1

Immune flanking, critical hits, paralysis, poison, sleep, precision damage, stunning


OFFENSE


Swimming (90 feet)

Melee Slam (Elemental, Water) +7 (1d8+4/20/x2)


STATISTICS


Str +3, Dex +1, Con +2, Int -3, Wis 0, Cha 0

Skills Acrobatics +6, Perception +5, Stealth +6, Swim +16

Feats Power Attack -2/+4


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Immune to Flanking You are immune to flanking.

Immunity to Critical Hits You are immune to Critical Hits

Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.

Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.

Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.

Immunity to Sneak Attacks You are immune to sneak attacks.

Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.

Power Attack -2/+4 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.

Swimming (90 feet) You have a Swim speed.

Vortex If elemental moves, +5 to Swim DCs within 30 ft.

The elemental’s actions depend on whether the PCs gave the correct answer.

If they answer correctly:

The water elemental extends its hands to reveal two held items - a silver key, and a smoothly curved dagger. It stands patiently, as though awaiting your choice.

The dagger is a +1 corrosive dagger (+1 to attack and damage, +1d6 acid damage).

The key is one of two keys that can unlock the door to area 12.

If either of one the items is taken, the other is drawn back into the elemental’s body before it sinks back into the basin and vanishes. Award XP as if the elemental had been defeated.

Should a PC attempt to take both items, the elemental behaves as if the PCs answered incorrectly (see below).

If they answer incorrectly:

The water elemental roars with a fury to match the tides, then surges forward to attack!

The water elemental makes good use of its vortex ability, moving about back and forth, sometimes in and out of the hidden drains to emerge from an unexpected angle, each turn to keep the water swirling. All characters standing in the 4 feet of water must make a DC 10 swim check (15 with the vortex) each round or suffer -2 on all attack rolls, as well as treating the flooded area as difficult terrain.

 

 

11. Maybe a Peanut?

Fire elemental riddle (800 xp)

The door slides open to reveal a 15x15 room lit by an eerie gray light. The center of the room is dominated by a mighty stone pedestal, the top of which forms a basin.

As soon as the first PC steps across the threshold of the door, a deep voice echoes through the small chamber.

“I am always hungry,
I must always be fed,
The finger I touch,
Will soon turn red.”

Answer: Fire

If any of the characters answer loudly and firmly, the room takes it as the intended answer to its riddle (use your discretion as GM).

The room’s ambient lighting dies away to be replaced by the glow of flames that appear within the central basin. The flames build in intensity for a few moments before they erupt against the ceiling in a mighty blast. The fire spreads down over the stone walls and licks against the edge of the floor. From this pillar of fire emerges a barely-humanoid shape - a beast made of pure flame. 

Fire Elemental (click to open)

Fire Elemental (Neutral)

Fire elementals are quick, cruel creatures of living flame. They enjoy frightening beings weaker than themselves, and terrorizing any creature they can set on fire. They cannot enter or swim across water, but can jump over it.

Initiative +7; Speed 50 ft. (10 sq.); CR 3; HP 30

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +7


DEFENSE


AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13   (+3 Dex, +3 natural, +1 dodge)

Fort +6, Ref +7, Will +1

Immune flanking, critical hits, fire, paralysis, poison, sleep, precision damage, stunning

Weaknesses Vulnerability to Cold


OFFENSE


Melee Slam (Elemental, Fire) +7 (1d6+1/20/x2)

Special Attacks Burn (1d6) (DC 14)


STATISTICS


Str +1, Dex +3, Con +2, Int -3, Wis 0, Cha 0

Skills Acrobatics +8, Climb +5, Perception +7

Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Burn (1d6) (DC 14) If you hit an opponent you inflict fire damage on their next turn.

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Immune to Flanking You are immune to flanking.

Immunity to Critical Hits You are immune to Critical Hits

Immunity to Fire You are immune to fire damage.

Immunity to Paralysis You are immune to paralysis.

Immunity to Poison You are immune to poison.

Immunity to Sleep You are immune to sleep effects.

Immunity to Sneak Attacks You are immune to sneak attacks.

Immunity to Stunning You are immune to being stunned.

Vulnerability to Cold You are vulnerable (+50% damage) to Cold damage

The elemental’s actions depend on whether the PCs gave the correct answer.

If they answer correctly:

The fire elemental extends its hands to reveal two held items - a golden key, and a dagger whose blade is forged in the shape of flames. It stands patiently, as though awaiting your choice.

The dagger is a +1 flaming dagger (+1 to attack and damage, +1d6 fire damage).

The key is one of two keys that can unlock the door to area 12.

If either one of the items is taken, the other is drawn back into the elemental’s body before it sinks back into the basin and vanishes. Award XP as if the elemental had been defeated.

Should a PC attempt to take both items, the elemental behaves as if the PCs answered incorrectly (see below).

If they answer incorrectly:

The fire elemental gives a cruel hissing cackle as it casts the items back into the flaming basin, then burns a warpath directly for you!

The fire elemental will swiftly press the attack. Any character that is in a square adjacent to the fire elemental and the room’s burning wall must make a DC 10 Reflex save each turn to avoid taking 1d4 points of fire damage from the flames that lick over the stone.

 

 

12. Perplexing Prisms

Color puzzle (1,200 xp)

Five permanent light spells glow within polished metal cones that focus and reflect their illumination on to smooth and whitewashed northern wall. A few feet nearer the wall than the cones stand five peculiar contraptions. Held at waist-height by a thin metal rod, each of these spherical devices is bisected horizontally by a shallow slit. Hanging beneath the device are four levers that end in wide lenses of colored glass. The lenses are red, blue, yellow, and translucent white,. Each of these can be rotated all the way ‘round the sphere, and when held straight up they change the color of the light being shone on the wall.

This puzzle involves the PCs figuring out that they need to spell “PEARL” on the wall using the colors they can make with the lenses.

P ink (red and translucent)
E merald (blue and yellow)
A qua (blue, yellow, and translucent)
R ed
L avender (blue and red)

Hints for this puzzle were given in Area 1’s riddle.

The fourth of third for five will bring”  references that the fourth word in the riddle’s third line is “pearl”, and “a key to you - the names the thing” hints that the name of the thing you want is the answer to the puzzle. “Depose the king and master shade” does not mean an incorporeal monarch to match the ogre king - it means that you must gain mastery over shade in the sense that colors are shades. An additional clue your players might pick up on is that whenever the proper color is being shown on the wall, the lenses lock into place.

The puzzle complete, all of the lights begin to flow and blend together across the wall. More and more they coalesce and condense, until at last there is only a single black dot on the wall. The black dot gradually becomes three dimensional, then drops to the floor with a “plink”! It appears to be a black pearl.

 

 

13. Gilded Worth

False treasure room

An alabaster hall stretches before you. To the East stands a mighty vault door. To the North, an ornate and massive treasure chest.

The door is actually a trap identical to the one from area 9 (the teachers have a sick sense of humor beaten into them from years of adventuring).

Spear Barrage Trap

CR 3 (XP 800)

Type mechanical Perception DC 20 Disable Device DC 25

Trigger location Reset manual

EFFECTS

Attack +10 ranged (1d6x2) in a 15 foot cone, 1d4 shortspears per target.

The treasure chest is unlocked, and resting atop a large velvet cushion within is a coinpurse bulging with semiprecious stones and gold pieces. All told, a haul worth about 500 GP.

If any of the PCs make a DC 10 Perception check to find out if there is anything else in the chest, or if they say that they simply pull the cushion up, they discover that the chest has a false bottom that opens into a dark and uninviting crawlspace.

 

 

 

14. Great Worth

True treasure room

This hole is dark, dirty, and smells of wet earth. No sound nor light comes from within.

If the PCs move into Area 14, they must do so one at a time, and emerge in a prone position. The giant centipede resting just over the entry-hole takes that opportunity to launch a surprise attack on the first one through.

Giant Centipede (Neutral)

Giant centipedes are human-sized versions of common house pests. They attack nearly any living creatures with their poisonous jaws. Their coloration ranges from dull hues to bright reds and fiery oranges.

Initiative +2; Speed 40 ft. (8 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 5

Senses Darkvision (60 feet); Perception +4


DEFENSE


AC 14, touch 12, flat-footed 12   (+2 Dex, +2 natural)

Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +0

Immune mind-affecting


OFFENSE


Climbing (40 feet)

Melee Bite (Centipede, Giant) +2 (1d6-1/20/x2)

Special Attacks Poison: Bite - injury (DC 13)


STATISTICS


Str -1, Dex +2, Con +1, Int 0, Wis 0, Cha -4

Skills Climb +10, Perception +4, Stealth +10, Swim +2

Feats Weapon Finesse


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Climbing (40 feet) You have a Climb speed.

Darkvision (60 feet) You can see in the dark up to 60 feet. This works like normal vision, but it's only in shades of gray.

Immunity to Mind-Affecting attacks You are immune to Mind-Affecting attacks.

Mindless Immune to any effect that depends on a mind.

Poison: Bite - injury (DC 13) -1 to Ranged attacks, AC, Ref saves, and Dex skills for 1 hr. Cumulative.

 An old armoire stands alone in the dark against  the Northern wall. One of its doors hangs partially ajar.

Five scroll cases rest within the armoire, and in four of them are writs that are good for five free absences. Within the fifth is a letter congratulating the party for being so thorough, and informing them that they have just bumped their final grade for this assignment up an entire letter. Award an extra 1,000 xp.

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

No breaks, as well as finding the hidden treasure room = A
A single attempt with no breaks = B
Two attempts with a single breaks = C
Three attempts with two breaks =D
Four or more attempts with more than two breaks = F

Modifiers

Finding the hidden treasure room bumps the entire party’s grade up by 1 letter mark.
Accomplishing the extra credit assignment bumps the individual character’s grade up by 1 letter mark.

Taking a day to rest during the test drops the grade by 1 mark.
Receiving healing from Duly during the test drops the grade by 1/2 mark.

If the party is already getting an A and the characters also accomplish their extra credit goals, they will be permitted to keep any single looted magic item from the gauntlet as a reward!

This puts them at the head of the class, and will surely raise the expectations of their instructors for the coming year. One heck of a first day!

 

 

 

Meet the new PCs

Feel free to print these characters and use them as your PCs for this adventure!

 

Ronius

Ronius the fighter sometimes gets accused of being unintelligent by people who don't know him very well.  He's got a fine head on his shoulders; it’s just he gets lost every once in a while when the excitement of combat takes over!  Ronius likes to be first on the battlefield but the last one to retreat, thus would never leave any of his companions in the lurch. 

Ronius (Neutral Good)

Initiative +2; Speed 30/20 ft. (6/4 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 16

Senses Perception +0


DEFENSE


AC 19, touch 12, flat-footed 17   (+5 armor, +2 shield, +2 Dex)

Fort +5, Ref +2, Will +2


OFFENSE


Melee Javelin +1 (1d6+4/20/x2) and

Longsword +6 (1d8+4/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +5 (1d3+4/20/x2)


STATISTICS


Str +4, Dex +2, Con +3, Int +1, Wis 0, Cha +1

Skills Acrobatics +3, Climb +8, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +5, Swim +8

Feats Power Attack -1/+2, Toughness +3, Weapon Focus: Longsword

Equipment Adventurer's Kit, Alchemist's Fire, Backpack, Belt Pouch, Crowbar, Javelin (5), Lantern, Longsword, Oil (3), Ram, Portable, Rope (3), Scale Mail, Shield, Heavy Steel, Thunderstone, Tindertwig (3), Waterskin


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Power Attack -1/+2 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.

Ram, Portable +2 to STR checks to break open a door, and allows a second helper (+2).

 

 

Kale

 

Kale the wizard is prone to striking slightly overdramatic poses from time to time just to remind everyone how terrific he is.  He is a handsome young man with all the gifts and a grand legacy of archmagi.  While Kale is very talented and well liked, he holds the secret fear that he might not be able to live up to his ally’s expectations.  Kale does not like to act hastily if he can avoid it. 

Kale (Neutral Good)

Initiative +1; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 8

Senses Perception +1


DEFENSE


AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 10   (+1 Dex)

Fort +2, Ref +1, Will +3


OFFENSE


Melee Arcane Bond Quarterstaff +3 (1d6+3/20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +2 (1d3+2/20/x2)

Wizard Spells Known (CL 1, 2 melee touch, 1 ranged touch):

1 (2/day) Cause Fear (DC 15), Sleep (DC 15)

0 (at will) Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Ray of Frost, Read Magic (DC 14)


STATISTICS


Str +2, Dex +1, Con +2, Int +4, Wis +1, Cha +1

Skills Knowledge (Arcana) +8, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +8, Knowledge (History) +8, Knowledge (Local) +8, Knowledge (Nature) +8, Knowledge (Religion) +8, Spellcraft +8

Feats Arcane Strike, Point Blank Shot

Equipment Acid Flask (2), Adventurer's Kit, Alchemist's Fire (2), Backpack, Belt Pouch, Flint and Steel, Waterskin


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Arcane Bond: Masterwork Quarterstaff This item is automatically added to your character on the Weapons tab.

Once per day, you can use it to cast any one spell in your spellbook. You don't have to prepare this spell ahead of time - using the bonded item is like an emergency backup

Arcane Strike As a swift action, add +1 damage, +1 per 5 caster levels and your weapons are treated as magic for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.

Hand of the Apprentice (7/day) Throw the melee weapon you are holding 7/day.

Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.

 

 

Meeris

 

Meeris the cleric of the Sun Goddess is an incredibly talented priestess despite her somewhat introverted personality. While she'd much rather talk things out than resort to violence, she is a first-rate marksman with her crossbow; a quality that often catches foes by surprise.  While the idea of close melee combat is terrifying to Meeris, if necessary she is willing to draw enemy attention if it means saving a friend or ally.

Meeris (Lawful Good)

Initiative +3; Speed 30/20 ft. (6/4 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 9

Senses Perception +5


DEFENSE


AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15   (+5 armor, +3 Dex)

Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +7


OFFENSE


Melee Mace, Light +0 (1d6/20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +0 (1d3/20/x2)

Ranged Crossbow, Light +3 (1d8/19-20/x2)

Special Attacks Sun's Blessing

Spell-Like Abilities Rebuke Death (8/day)

Cleric Spells Known (CL 1, 0 melee touch, 3 ranged touch):

1 (3/day) Bless (DC 16), Doom (DC 16), Protection from Evil (DC 16)

0 (at will) Light, Detect Magic, Read Magic (DC 15), Stabilize


STATISTICS


Str 0, Dex +3, Con +1, Int +2, Wis +5, Cha +2

Skills Heal +9, Knowledge (Arcana) +6, Knowledge (History) +6, Knowledge (Religion) +6, Spellcraft +6

Feats Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot

Equipment Belt Pouch, Bolts, Crossbow (30), Crossbow, Light, Holy Symbol (Wood), Holy Water, Mace, Light, Scale Mail, Smokestick


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Channel Positive Energy 1d6 (5/day) (DC 12) Use your holy symbol to heal the living or injure the undead.

Point Blank Shot +1 to attack and damage rolls with ranged weapons at up to 30 feet.

Precise Shot You don't get -4 to hit when shooting or throwing into combat.

Rebuke Death (8/day) Heal 1d4 damage to creatures at negative HP.

Spontaneous Casting The Cleric can swap memorized spells for Cure spells.

Sun's Blessing +1 to channel positive energy's damage to undead.

 

Willow

 

Willow the rogue is good at her job, but fully aware that just one slip up may prove fatal for her and her allies.  She feels a very personal sense of responsibility for the safety of others that she tends to hide beneath a cool and aloof exterior.  She’s known to become irritable if forced to concentrate under fire.

Willow (Chaotic Good)
Initiative +4; Speed 30 ft. (6 sq.); CR 1/2; HP 9

Senses Perception +8


DEFENSE


AC 17, touch 14, flat-footed 13   (+3 armor, +4 Dex)

Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +1


OFFENSE


Melee Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20/x2) and

Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20/x2) and

Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20/x2) and

Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20/x2) and

Dagger +4 (1d4/19-20/x2) and

Unarmed Strike +4 (1d3/20/x2)

Special Attacks Sneak Attack +1d6


STATISTICS


Str 0, Dex +4, Con +1, Int +2, Wis +1, Cha +2

Skills Acrobatics +8, Bluff +6, Climb +4, Diplomacy +6, Disable Device +9, Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +6, Knowledge (Local) +6, Perception +8, Sense Motive +5, Stealth +8, Swim +4

Feats Skill Focus: Perception, Weapon Finesse

Equipment Adventurer's Kit, Backpack, Belt Pouch, Caltrops (4), Chalk, Crowbar, Dagger, Dagger, Dagger, Dagger, Dagger, Flint and Steel, Lantern, Mirror, Oil (7), Piton (5), Pole, Rope, Sack (empty), Smokestick (2), Studded Leather, Thieves' Tools


SPECIAL ABILITIES


Sneak Attack +1d6 +1d6 damage if you flank your target or your target is flat-footed.

Trapfinding +1 +1 to find or disable traps.

 

 

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