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Sidequest Saturday: Cavern of Sleep

Somnambula Patch

Cavern of Sleep (CR 9; XP 6,400)

The PC’s are making their way through the Underworld and enter a peculiar cave; several patches of mushrooms seem to have grown into truly unusual, vividly colorful patterns.

The mushrooms in this cave glow with different colors, small puddles of water next to some of the fungus patches reflect the light up onto the cavern walls and ceilingit is a beautiful and mesmerizing sight indeed in this otherwise dark monotonous realm”

Upon observing the mushrooms closer, read the following:

As you look at the mushrooms, you begin to make out patterns and something that looks like letters or runes—but surely your mind must be playing tricks on you.”

Any kind of check related to visually interacting with the mushroom patches will trigger the trap (Knowledge, Perception, Survival, etc.; this does not include Perception checks made by a character with Trapfinding.)


Somnambula Patch     CR 5
XP 1,600
Type magical; Perception DC 30; Disable Device DC 30
Trigger special (looking at the patch); Reset automatic
Effect When seeing the symbol of sleep which has been cultured to grow in some of the patches, a character must take a DC 17 Will save or fall into a catatonic slumber for ten minutes.

The somnambula patch is not the most dangerous thing in the cavernthe gardens have been grown to catch prey for Gelwar, a svirfeneblin wizard and his deformed, adopted two-headed brother (Orak and Jeeves).


This small, hairless gnome has gray skin, and large eyes. He wears a black robe with red trimmings that sparkle in the fungal glow.

Gelwar     CR 6
XP 2,400
Male svirfneblin wizard (enchanter) 6
N small humanoid (gnome)
Init +7; Senses Darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +9
DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 17, flat-footed 16 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 dodge, +1 size)
hp 33 (6d6+12)
Fort +7, Reflex +9, Will +10
SR 17
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft.
Melee dagger +2 (1d3-2, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged touch +7
Special Attacks dazing touch 6/day (standard action, melee touch, daze for one round)
Wizard Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +9; arcane bond [ring])
     3rddeep slumber (DC 18), hold person (DC 18),suggestion (DC 18)
     2ndbull’s strength, hideous laughter (DC 17),invisibility, web (DC 15)
     1st—expeditious retreat, mage armor, magic missile (2)
     0th—acid splash, ghost sound (DC 13), light, resistance
     Prohibited Schools conjuration, necromancy
STATISTICS
Base Atk +3; CMB +0; CMD 13
Str 6, Dex 16, Con 13, Int 16, Wis 12, Cha 8
Feats Combat Casting, Greater Spell Focus (enchantment), Improved Initiative, Scribe scroll, Spell Focus (enchantment)
Skills Appraise +10, Knowledge (arcana) +10, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +12, Knowledge (local) +10, Perception +9, Spellcraft +12, Stealth +15 (+17 when underground)
Languages Aklo, Common, Gnome, Terran, Undercommon
SQ Arcane school (enchantment), cantrips, defensive training, fortunate, hatred (+1 to hit vs. dwarven subtype), stonecunning
Gear cloak of resistance +2,dagger, potions of cure light wounds (3), potion of invisibility, ring of protection +1, spellbook, spell components, 1,542 gold pieces
TACTICS
Gelwar casts mage armor before the party reaches the cavern (the +4 to AC has already been included in his statblock). He then casts bull’s strength on his “brother” (also included in the statblock). In combat Gelwar tries to incapacitate opponents using his 3rd-level spells, then hideous laughter and web before switching to spells that deal damage. Invisibility and expeditious retreat are used to flee should the battle turn against them. If Orak and Jeeves goes down, Gelwar surrenders in the hopes of saving his friend and offers his small treasury if the party will help to kill the drow scouts in the eastern caves (see Alternate Solution).


This large lumbering ad hoc version of a svirfneblin is clad in dirty rags and sports two heads, the right one a filthy, drooling, pig-like face. The left head seems to be well-groomed but only on the left side and repeats the phrases, “jolly good mate”, “we are awfully sorry old chap”, and “pardon me, just flailing through here” while in the midst of combat. The right head merely growls in annoyance over the left head’s chattiness.

Orak and Jeeves (1)     CR 6
XP 2,400
CE large humanoid (giant)
Init+3; Senses Low-light vision; Perception +14
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 8, flat-footed 18 (+2 Armor, -1 Dex, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 65 (10d8+20)
Fort +9, Reflex +2, Will +5
OFFENSE
Speed 40ft.
Melee 2 flails +14/+9 (2d6+8)
Ranged 2 javelins +5 (1d8+6)
Space 10ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks superior two-weapon fighting
STATISTICS
Base Atk +7; CMB +16; CMD 25 (27 vs. trip)
Str 27, Dex 8, Con 15, Int 6, Wis 10, Cha 11
Feats Cleave, Improved Initiative, Improved Overrun, Iron Will, Power Attack
Skills Handle Animal +8, Perception +12; Racial Modifiers +4 on Perception
Languages pidgin of Gnome and Undercommon
Gear a collection of shiny rocks, and a large hand puppet with blonde curly hair (named Mr. Wiggles).
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Superior Two-Weapon Fighting (Ex) Orak and Jeeves fight with a flail or javelin in each hand. Because each of its two heads controls an arm, Orak and Jeeves do not take a penalty on attack or damage rolls for attacking with two weapons.
TACTICS
Orak and Jeeves happily wade into combat, hitting the character that most recently dealt them damage in melee, but should Gelwar’s spells put any opponent prone they pummels that foe relentlessly (they let Gelwar deal with the spellcasters).

 

AREA FEATURES
The main cavern is laid out as a garden and a few stalagmites rise up and and provide sparse cover (10% miss chance). A small cavern behind a concealed entrance (Perception DC 25 to spot), make up the living quarters of the pair of svirfneblins.

SCALING THE ENCOUNTER
CR 8 (XP 4,800) 
Add the quick rules young template to both Gelwar and Orak and Jeeves, (+2 to all Dex-based rolls, –2 to all other rolls, –12 hp)

CR 10 (XP 9,600)
Add the quick rules advanced template to both Gelwar and Orak and Jeeves, (+2 on all rolls [including damage rolls] and special ability DCs; +4 to AC and CMD; +12 hp). Increase the number of somnambula patch traps to two.

 

ALTERNATE SOLUTION
The pair lived in relative peace and harmony until a few months ago when they were discovered by a drow scouting party. The dark elves gave them an ultimatumthey wanted prisoners delivered to them by Gelwar or they would drag both back to their fleshcraft laboratories, where the two of them would know the meaning of horror and pain before their minds finally broke. The svirfneblin reluctantly agreed and ever since the gardens have supplied the drow with victims for their vile practices. Gelwar wants nothing more than seeing the scouting party killed, then he and his brother would be free to travel to another part of the Underworld and continue their existencea place where Gelwar could grow the mushroom patches that soothe his brother, a cavern of sleep.

 

[Submitted by Brian Wiborg]

 

 

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Magic Item Monday: Golden Dentures of the Noble

Golden Dentures of the NobleAAW-goldenDentures-color-01

Aura moderate divination; CL 9th

Slot none; Price 22,850 gp; Weight

This set of perfect dentures are all that remain of a long-dead noble, the sophisticated craftsmanship rare even among enchanted items. Only the wealthiest would wear such ostentatious golden dentures to show their opulence to friends and rivals alike.

The owner of a set of Golden Dentures of the Noble receives a +9 competence bonus to Knowledge (history) checks, but only for subjects and questions pertaining to the distant past (typically between 500 to 1000 years ago but ultimately determined by your campaign setting). Additionally up to three times per day as a standard action the owner may command the Golden Dentures of the Noble to fly towards a target, delivering a charging slam attack to one creature within 30 feet. The item has an attack bonus of +11 and on a successful hit deals 3d6+9 damage, swiftly returning to the owner after the attack (whether successful or not) to be caught as a free action at the beginning of that character’s next turn (in the event that the owner is unable to do so, they return to the square they were thrown from). Golden Dentures of the Noble have an Armor Class of 16, hardness 8 and 15 hit points should they be attacked by a readied opponent or struck by a provoked attack of opportunity (they cannot be disarmed, grappled, sundered or tripped). If shattered by an attack, twenty four hours later the collected pieces reform into the same perfect dental apparatus.

CONSTRUCTION

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, gust of wind, speak with dead; Cost 11,425 gp (457 xp)

History     A character that makes a Knowledge (nobility) check to learn about the item identifies the following fragments of lore:

DC 15     A thousand years ago the Grand Emir Hakim Al Razhan ordered his most talented artisans to create something truly unique to flaunt his wealth and power. They brought him their creations one after another; rings, necklaces, and clothes bedecked with gems, but none of them pleased Hakim. He ordered the craftsmen of the rejected proposals beheaded, their bodies destined to burn. The legends tell of a mighty pyre building as the artisans tried in vain to please their master until finally an apprentice stepped forward and held aloft a set of dentures made of gold; these were truly unique and the Grand Emir was pleased. He put them on display in his throne room, proudly parading his wealth to all. Several other nobles had their own versions made but none of them dared outdo the original design until after Al Razhan’s death many years later. It is these copies that occasionally show up in marketplaces throughout the world; the first set of Golden Dentures of the Noble have been lost to time.

DC 20     In the autumn of Al Razhan’s life he suffered the maladies associated with old age and to remedy the loss of his teeth he had the golden dentures magically fused to his jaw. The Grand Emir is often credited for the invention of the expression, “the golden smile of misery,” as his subjects did little but suffer in toil under the glittering grin of the immoral noble. His last years were spent researching how to prolong life and after decades of investigations Hakim determined that bargaining was the ticket; he would negotiate with entities from beyond time and space to gain immortality. During the ritual several forbidden texts were read aloud from behind the safety of protective wards (cast by his high circle of court wizards); many names which had been unspoken for countless centuries were uttered again, some for the first time by a human tongue. At the height of the ritual, something went wrong; a mispronounced word, a misaligned rune – no one can be sure. What is known is that the vengeful spirits of the executed artisans from decades ago descended upon Al Razhan and his mages, tearing them to pieces in a display of righteous fury from beyond the grave. When they retreated to their dark realms, nothing of the Grand Emir or his wizards remained but the Golden Dentures of the Noble, which were left laying innocuously at the site of the botched ritual.

DC 25     The artisan apprentice is not named in any contemporary sources but after Al Razhan’s death an anonymous bard composed the Ballad of the Golden Smile; it claims that the apprentice was not an artisan, but instead a sorcerer and the brother of an executed craftsman. Lacking the power to avenge his brother, he instead wove discreet spells into the original Golden Dentures of the Noble and these were the true source of Grand Emir Hakim Al Razhan’s doom.

 

Created by Brian Wiborg Mønster

Do you have an idea for an enchanted sword, arcane-empowered armor or unique magic item? Take a look at the submission rules and send a brief summary of your proposed enchanted item titled ‘Armory of Adventures submission’ to submit(at)adventureaweek.com with the following:

  • the nature of the item (weapon, armor or wondrous)
  • one or two sentences about its appearance
  • what the item in question does
  • the components and spell(s) used in its construction
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Maddening May – Nogth Ma’klurl’uth the Madness Slug

aaw-website - madnessslug2__matt_bulahaoA writhing mass of tentacles and teeth bursts from the ground. Whipping limbs surround its wide, tooth-filled maw, and its entire body is marked randomly with eyes—everytime you look at the them they appear to be in a new place. Reality swirls in waves around the monster as the world tries to push it back to the nightmare that spawned it.

Nogth Ma’klurl’uth, the Madness Slug CR 13
XP 25,600
CE gargantuan outsider (chaotic, evil, extraplanar)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft.; Perception +23
DEFENSE
AC 29, touch 4, flat-footed 29 (+25 natural, -2 Dex, -4 size)
hp 184 (16d10+96) regeneration 5
Fort +16, Ref +9, Will +16
DR 15/magic; Immune acid, cold, mind affecting effects, paralysis, sleep; SR 18
Defensive Abilities acidic blood
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., burrow 40 ft., swim 20 ft.
Melee bite +24 (4d8+12), 4 tentacles +22 (2d6+12 plus grab)
Space 20 ft.; Reach15 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60 ft. cone, Will DC 24, 1d6 wisdom drain), swallow whole (4d8+12 bludgeoning damage, AC 22, hp 18), feeding tentacles.
STATISTICS
Str 34, Dex 6, Con 22, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 9
Base Atk +16; CMB +32 (+36 grapple); CMD 40 (cannot be tripped)
Feats Blind Fight, Bloody Assault, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Iron Will, Multiattack, Power Attack
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +20, Knowledge (planes) +20, Perception +23, Sense Motive +23, Spellcraft +20, Stealth +17, Swim +31
Languages telepathy 120 ft.
SQ Change shape (drow witch; see below)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Acidic Blood (Ex) Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s blood can corrode metal on contact. If a creature damages Nogth Ma’klurl’uth with a piercing or slashing weapon made of metal, Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s blood deals 5d6 points of acid damage to the metal weapon (unlike most forms of energy damage, this damage is not halved when applied to a metal object, although it does still have to penetrate the metal’s hardness). The weapon’s wielder can halve the damage the weapon takes by making a successful DC 22 Reflex save. Creatures made of metal that deal slashing or piercing damage to Nogth Ma’klurl’uth with a natural attack take 5d6 points of acid damage (a DC 22 Reflex save halves this damage). The corrosive elements of the blood fade 1 round after it leaves Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s body or it dies. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Aura of Madness (Su) Any creature within 15 ft. of Nogth Ma’klurl’uth must take a DC 20 Will save or fall under the effects of a confusionspell (CL 16th) for 1d10 rounds.
1-25      act normally
25-50     do nothing but babble incoherently
51-75     deal 1d8 points of damage + Str modifier to self with item in hand
76-100   attack nearest creature (a familiar counts as part of the subject’s self)
Whether or not the save is successful, that creature cannot be affected again by Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s aura of madness for 24 hours. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Breath Weapon (Su) Swirling mass of solidified madness. 60 ft. cone, Will save DC 24 to negate, 1d6 wisdom drain. Nogth Ma’klurl’uth can use its breath weapon once every 1d4 rounds. An opponent reduced to zero or below in wisdom by Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s breath weapon gains a severe insanity from the list below (curable DC 24).
1-3      paranoia
4-6      schizophrenia
7-9      psychosis
10-12   multiple personality disorder
See the “Sanity and Madness” section in Chapter 8 of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Gamemastery Guide for the specific rules of each one of these types of insanity.

Feeding Tentacles (Ex) Nogth Ma’klurl’uth can transfer one creature with the grappled condition from a tentacle to its mouth as a free action at the beginning of its turn. The creature does not lose the grappled condition during the transfer and starts in Nogth Ma’klurl’uth’s mouth with the grappled condition to be either swallowed whole or bitten.

Ferocity (Ex) Nogth Ma’klurl’uth continues to fight even when reduced to negative hit points.

Horrific Death (Ex) When Nogth Ma’klurl’uth is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within its reach take 1d6+16 acid damage. While at negative hit points, Nogth Ma’klurl’uth adds a bonus to all damage equal to its hit dice (16). When it finally dies, Nogth Ma’klurl’uth dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo and reforms on the Plane of Madness after 101 years.

Madness Without, Madness Within (Ex) Nogth Ma’klurl’uth is madness given form and as such its insides consists of swirling fragmented visions of a variety of insanities. Any creature that has been swallowed whole must make a DC 22 Will save before attempting to cut their way out of Nogth Ma’klurl’uth. Failure results in the creature using its turn trying to maintain their precious grasp on reality; a new save may be attempted next round. Success means the creature can attempt to cut its way out and no further saves are necessary. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Voidborn (Ex) Nogth Ma’klurl’uth can exist safely in the void of space or similar hostile conditions.

 

The demiplane of madness is a maelstrom of insanities. The ground is a deluge of mud made of madnesses that has lost their potency—now they lie dormant and make up the ground of the plane. From this mire structures rise, but not in any conventional sense: floating towers, inverted houses, and structures that are there one moment and gone the next are common. The inhabitants of the plane are no less weird than the dimension itself. Hordes of madmen roam the everchanging landscape and nightmarish creatures prowl the skies.

This is the realm of Nogth Ma’klurl’uth; for centuries he roamed the plane, growing big on the different madnesses encountered there. When a rift appeared in the sky, Nogth Ma’klurl’uth entered it to find new avenues of destruction—what it found was the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh. The unique properties of the Slugmarsh and the madness seeping in through the rift from his home plane made it an ideal hunting ground for the madness slug, which has since spent centuries hunting in the subterranean swamps, going back to the demiplane of madness when prey is scarce in the Underworld bogs.

One of the first denizens of the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh that Nogth Ma’klurl’uth came across was a drow witch named Hejkri. The dark elf didn’t answer the impulse to run and was quickly swallowed whole by the madness slug, but did not die quickly. Instead she suffered for decades, her soul and mind torn apart by Nogth Ma’klurl’uth—since then the madness slug has assumed her form at times, insinuating herself into traveling parties, establishing a coven, and otherwise driving those that meet “her” into madness.

 

Drow-Female-RogueNogth Ma’klurl’uth (drow witch 7); CR 11 (XP 12,800)
HP 80 (12d6+36); AC 23 (+4 Dex, +1 dodge, +8 natural)
Init +8; Speed 30 ft.; Atk dagger +7 (1d4+1)
Base Atk +6; CMB +7; CMD 21SA hexes (cackle, coven, evil eye, misfortune); SQ cantrips, darkvision 120 ft., DR15/magic; Immune acid, cold, mind affecting effects, paralysis, sleep; SR 18
AL Chaotic Evil; SV Fort +7, Ref +10, Will +11; Str 12, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 18, Wis 12 Cha 18
Skills Knowledge (arcana) +19, Knowledge (planes) +19, Perception +16, Sense Motive +16, Spellcraft +19, Stealth +19, Swim +16; Feats Combat Casting, Dodge, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes
Spell-LikeAbilities (CL 12th, concentration +16)
at will—glibness
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 7th; concentration +11)
4th—black tentacles, fear
3rd—deep slumber, dispel magic, seek thoughts
2nd—blindness/deafness, detect thoughts, hold person, touch of idiocy
1st—burning hands, chill touch, command, mage armor, ray of enfeeblement 
0th—bleed, detect magic, spark, touch of fatigue