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Sidequest Saturday (Maddening May): Sunken Asylum

As the PCs are exploring the swamp, they come across a strange looking tree. It is larger than all the rest and twisted, with much of the bark ravaged. The whole of it appears to ever so slightly slip in and out of focus.


Adventure Location: The Sunken Asylum
Dangers: madness, mosaic, orderlies, teleport trap, fainting couch trap, coven of witches
Lighting: none
Environment: underground stone passageways and natural cave with flooded areas and extra-planar areas

One side of the tree opens up, creating an entrance large enough to ride a horse through one moment, and then small enough so that a Medium-sized humanoid would find it a tight squeeze the next.


A DC 20 Knowledge (planes) check reveals that this is likely the entrance to an extraplanar portal, while a DC 20 Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (local) check suggests that the PCs may have found an entrance to The Sunken Asylum.

Sunken Asylum Map - justin andrew mason [reduced]Once inside the tree, a stone staircase leads down about 60 feet into the Atrium. The Atrium has dirt floors, with patches of stone floor that is broken and worn. The far wall is convex and covered with an aged mosaic depicting a Rod of Asclepius, a serpent-entwined rod. However, a large corner of the mosaic has been defaced and appears to be covered in an amber slime. The amber slime is residue from a karz slug. Touching it poisons the PC for 4 rounds. For the first 2 rounds, the slime causes Amnesia (Will DC 20) and for the last two rounds the slime causes Paranoia (Will DC 17).

For each hour spent in The Asylum or before each encounter, the GM rolls on the following table and apply the specific madness effect.

d100    Madness Effect
0-15       —
16-30    auditory patch of madness
31-45    visual patch of madness
46-65    echoes of the asylum
66-75    both auditory and visual patches of madness
76-85    auditory patch of madness, and echoes of the asylum
86-95    visual patch of madness, and echoes of the asylum
96-99    visual and auditory patches of madness, and echoes of the asylum
100        The asylum writhes as a wave of raw madness energy rolls through the hallways. All characters must make a DC 25 Will save or immediately gain a random insanity (see the “Sanity and Madness” section in Chapter 8 of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Gamemastery Guide).

Each side of the Atrium has three passageways leading away. The first passageway on each side, closest to the stairs, spirals downwards. The western one leads down a long way, and eventually leads to the Plane of Madness. Characters that continue down that path must make a DC 20 Will Save each round or gain the confused condition for 1d6 rounds.

The eastern passageway spirals downwards for many miles, but it is flooded after about 100 yards.

The middle passageways both lead to The Cells, while the last passageways lead to The Examining Rooms.

The Cells were used as holding blocks for the insane inmates of the Asylum. Inmates would be locked in each individual cell, only to be taken out to visit the Examining Rooms for treatment. The already maddened inmates scribbled on the walls at times, channeling madness. In their pathological scrawls, they wrote down the key words to the ritual that opens up travel to a special place in the Plane of Madness where creatures from this plane could journey and be protected from most of the adverse effects.

SpiritFor The Cells, each hallway contains 22 individual cells, each closed off by a locked (DC 25 Disable Device check) stout wooden door. (DC 25 Break, Hardness 5, 20 HP). Whenever a door is opened, there is a 10% chance that an orderly materializes right outside the cell and attacks the party.

Orderly CR 5

Orderly     CR 5
XP 1,600
LE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +7;  Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense; Perception +10
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+5 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 47 (5d8+25)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness
OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +6 (1d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Con drain)
Special Attack create spawn
TACTICS
During Combat The orderly attacks the biggest and most powerful looking enemy.
Morale The ghost attacks until the enemy dies or it is destroyed; it does not think in terms of survivability.
STATISTICS
Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 21
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 21
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Diplomacy +10, Fly +7, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +11
Languages Common, Infernal
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid slain by a wraith becomes a wraith in 1d4 rounds. These spawn are less powerful than typical wraiths, and suffer a –2 penalty on all d20 rolls and checks, receive –2 hp per HD, and only drain 1d2 points of Constitution on a touch. Spawn are under the command of the wraith that created them until its death, at which point they lose their spawn penalties and become free-willed wraiths. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Constitution Drain (Su) Creatures hit by a wraith’s touch attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. On each successful attack, the wraith gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lifesense (Su) A wraith notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.

Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex) A wraith caught in sunlight cannot attack and is staggered.

Unnatural Aura (Su) Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can sense the unnatural presence of the wraith at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so unless a master succeeds at a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or wild empathy check. A panicked animal remains so as long as it is within 30 feet of the wraith.

The walls of each cell are covered in writings. Some are painted and some are etched into the stone itself. The writings are in the native language of the Plane of Madness, and are unintelligible even with spells. If they are inspected for more than 2 rounds, a random result from the Madness Effect table materializes.


However, if a DC 22 Perception check is made the PCs find that a single phrase has been hidden in the scrawl, scribbled in Draconic—a DC 30 Spellcraft check shows these to be pieces of a spell. Each phrase is different.

There are twelve examining rooms labeled A through L. Each contains a small desk, a chair and a fainting couch. The fainting couch is trapped and the small desk contains a journal in one of the drawers.


Fainting Couch Trap     CR 7
Type magical; Perception DC 31; Disable Device 31
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect Anyone that touches the couch is compelled to lay down on it (DC 24 Will Save to resist). Once the PC is resting, they must make a DC 24 Fortitude save or take a -4 penalty on saves for 11 hours.
Journals of Madness CR 10
aaw-website - madness journal
There are twelve journals. Once all twelve are acquired, a DC 25 Spellcraft check reveals that there are 4 spells contained within the books, and that the words in The Cells are needed to activate them.

Each spell has a code by it that corresponds to a room in The Cells. Starting from the bottom (south) and working up, each room is numbered, 1-22. The west rooms are labeled “L” while the east rooms are labeled “R”. The words on the walls of the cells listed must be collected with the journals. As they are collected, they write themselves in the back of the journal from Examination Room A.

Collecting a word requires a DC 25 Spellcraft check. If it fails, it is still written and appears to have succeeded. Once the words are collected, the spell may be cast without any check. However, there is a chance that instead of the spell intended, one of the other spells is cast at random (depending on how many successful entries are written for that spell):

0 entries     A random spell is cast
1 entry          10% chance the correct spell is cast
2 entries     40% chance the correct spell is cast
3 entries     60% chance the correct spell is cast
4 entries     80% chance the correct spell is cast
5 entries     The correct spell is cast

The spells are as follows:

Activate Teleporter to Plane of Madness: (18L, 4R, 13R, 21R, 22L) This spell is required to activate the teleporter to the Plane of Madness. Doing so exposes the teleporter. In game terms, when this spell is cast, the secret doors on either side of the teleporter open up. There is no way to otherwise open or even find these doors.

Touch of the Eldritch: (1R, 8R, 4L, 11L, 19L) Target PC (or random if not targeted) gains the Eldritch Template. However, each day, they lose 1 point of Wisdom. When their Wisdom score reaches zero, they give up their soul and travel to the Plane of Madness. A restoration spell of any strength removes this condition.

Madness Link: (2L, 6L, 13L, 5R, 17R) Target PC (or random if not targeted) must make a DC 18 Will save or gain one of the Touching of Minds conditions. The telepathic link is with a random creature from the Plane of Madness.

Comatose: (3R, 16R, 7L, 15L, 22L) Target PC (or random if not targeted) must make a DC 18 Fortitude save or fall comatose for 1d6 days. A restoration spell is required to wake the PC any earlier than that.

Once the proper spell is cast from the journals of madness, secret doors to the teleporter open up and the teleporter is active. Stepping into the teleporter activates the teleport trap.


Teleport Trap     CR 5
Type magical; Perception DC 29; Disable Device DC 29
Trigger touch; Reset auto
Effect The teleport into the Witch’s Coven travels through an energy tunnel that splits through the Plane of Madness. It is not an instantaneous trip (it takes 1d4 rounds to complete), and the sights and sounds are enough to drive one mad. Unless a DC 20 Will Save is made, each PC becomes confused (as the condition) for 1d2+1 rounds. Note that actions can be taken to prepare while teleporting, and it may be that confused adventurers are no longer confused on arrival.

The Witch’s Coven is a small, protected area on the Plane of Madness. PCs in this area are protected somewhat from the madness effects that would normally assault them. There are no rolls for madness effects while in the Witch’s Coven.

On the far side, the PCs arrive in the Witch’s Coven. Arranged along the north wall near the eastern light source are 5 very strange looking drow.

Five female drow, wearing flowing robes covered in what seems to be moving embroidery, stand near the wall as if each of their locations is set. The light from three glowing wall sconces cast dark shadows, hiding their faces.

drow_woman_wizard__ryan_sumoThe witch in the middle is Nogth Ma’klurl’uth in drow form, flanked by 4 other drow witches. Nogth initially casts black tentacles on the party as they exit the teleporter (as a readied action). Once combat begins, one or more of the witches tries to use the misfortune hex on a spellcaster, and if one of the hexes succeeds, Nogth casts hold person. After that tactic, the witches concentrate their abilities to disable or kill the rest of the party, saving the hold person victim to feed the madness. The quasits run interference and also attempt to disrupt spellcasting.

Should the PC who is held be left alone (either by party death or retreat) and Nogth survives, they gain the eldritch template and fall under the control of the madness slug. Every day, the PC must make a DC 25 Will Save or lose 1 point of Wisdom. If their Wisdom score reaches zero, the PC dies and their soul feeds Nogth’s madness.

If Nogth is killed in the battle, the remaining witches attempt to kill the held character.

Nogth 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 21; SA hexes (cackle, coven, evil eye, misfortune); SQ cantrips, darkvision 120 ft., DR 15/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-Like Abilities (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
[/stextbox]

(4) Eldritch Drow Witch CR 7

ELDRITCH DROW WITCH     CR 7
XP 3,200
Female or Male drow witch 7 (eldritch template)
CE Medium humanoid (drow, elf)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 38 (7d6+14)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +4; +2 vs enchantment spells
DR 5/magic; Immune magic sleep effects; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 13
Weaknesses light blindness
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk shortsword +4 (1d6, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged mwk hand crossbow +7 (1d4 plus quasit poison, Crit 19-20/x2, Range 30 ft.)
Special Attacks hex (standard action, DC 16 Will save; see special abilities)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +9)
at will—feather fall
1/day—dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 7th; concentration +10)
4th—black tentacles
3rd—bestow curse, cup of dust, silent blindness/deafness; distracting cacophony
2nd—blindness/deafness, cure moderate wounds, silent charm person, touch of idiocy; hideous laughter, levitate
1st—burning hands, command x2, mage armor (already cast), ray of enfeeblement; memory lapse
0th—bleed, detect magic, detect poison, touch of fatigue
Patron insanity
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Combat Casting, Improved Familiar (quasit), Silent Spell, Toughness
Skills Bluff +7, Fly +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Perception +8, Sense Motive +2, Spellcraft +10, Stealth +10, Survival +2, Swim +4, Use Magic Device +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +4 Swim
Languages Aklo, Elven, Undercommon
SQ Cantrips, ferocity, horrific death, keen senses, poison use, weapon familiarity (hand crossbow, rapier, shortsword), witch’s familiar, voidborn
Gear masterwork hand crossbow (8 poisoned bolts), masterwork shortsword, ring of protection +1, potions of cure moderate wounds (2), potions of invisibility (2)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Cackle Hex (Su) An eldritch drow witch can cackle madly as a move action. Any creature that is within 30 feet that is under the effects of an agony hex, charm hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, or misfortune hex caused by the witch has the duration of that hex extended by 1 round.

Evil Eye Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch can cause doubt to creep into the mind of a foe within 30 feet that she can see. The target takes a –2 penalty on one of the following (witch’s choice): AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. This hex lasts for 6 rounds. A DC 16 Will save reduces this to just 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Flight Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. She can fly, as per the spell, for 7 minutes per day. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the witch.

Misfortune Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch can cause a creature within 30 feet to suffer grave misfortune for 1 round. Anytime the creature makes an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, it must roll twice and take the worse result. A DC 16 Will save negates this hex. This hex affects all rolls the target must make while it lasts. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Horrific Death (Ex) When an eldritch drow witch is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within its reach take 1d6+7 acid damage. While at negative hit points, the eldritch drow witch gains a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls and adds a +7 insight bonus to all damage. When it finally dies, the eldritch creature dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo.

Eldritch Quasit Familiar CR —

ELDRITCH QUASIT FAMILIAR     CR —
CE Tiny outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, +2 size)
hp 17 (7 HD); fast healing 2
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +9
DR 5/magic cold iron or good; Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 12
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d3–1 plus poison), bite +7 (1d4–1)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)
At will—detect good, detect magic, invisibility (self only)
1/day—cause fear (30-foot radius, DC 11)
1/week—commune (six questions)
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +8, Fly +20, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (planes) +6, Perception +7, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +16
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy (touch)
SQ Alertness, change shape (bat, Small centipede; polymorph), deliver touch spells, empathic link, ferocity, horrific death, improved evasion, voidborn
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Horrific Death (Ex) When an eldritch drow witch’s familiar is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within 5 feet take 1d6+7 acid damage. While at negative hit points, the eldritch drow witch’s familiar gains a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls and adds a +7 insight bonus to all damage. When it finally dies, the eldritch creature dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo.

Poison (Ex) Claw—injury; save Fortitude DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dexterity; cure 2 consecutive saves. The DC includes a +2 racial bonus.


SCALING THE ENCOUNTER
To modify this encounter, apply the following changes:
CR 12 (19,200)    Remove two witches.
CR 11 (12,800)    Remove all witches.
CR 10 (9,600)     Remove Norgth and two witches. Designate one of the witches as Nogth. If Nogth is not killed, any unconscious PC are given the eldritch template as above.

If Nogth is defeated, the teleporter in the Witch’s Coven begins to flicker—the PCs have 1d10+4 rounds to leave or be trapped in the Plane of Madness! Once they are back to their own plane, the madness effects and encounters in the Atrium, The Cells, and the Examining Rooms are no longer active and the routes that connect to the Plane of Madness no longer exist. 1d4 rounds after the party exits the tree, the entrance to the Sunken Asylum closes up for good.

If Nogth is not defeated, the entrance still closes as above but it reappears in 1d6 days. All madness effects and encounters still take place as the PCs exit the Sunken Asylum.

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Statblock Sunday (Maddening May): Karz Slug

karz_slug_clipartA gelatinous slug umber in hue and covered in amber slime, this creature is patterned with a symmetrical array of hardened nodules. Several dangerous-looking calcified horns protrude outward from both of its tapered ends, making it nearly impossible to tell which end is which. A series of bulbous suckers cover the slug’s underside and surround a wide, fleshy maw that twitches and extrudes more of the viscous slime that envelops the weird gastropod.


Karz Slug
       CR 9
XP 5,200
N Medium Vermin
Init +4; Senses blindsight 60 ft.; Perception +10
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 20, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +16 natural)
hp 35 (5d8+10)
Fort +4, Ref +6, Will +6
DR 10/fire or salt; Immune acid, mind-affecting effects
Weakness susceptible to salt and heat
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. on walls or inverted)
Melee lung +4 (2d4+4 plus karz slime on successful hit) (see karz slime)
Ranged spit karz slime +4 (see karz slime)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5ft./15 ft. (can lunge up to 15 ft. as a melee attack)
STATISTICS
Str 18, Dex 18, Con 12, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 16
Base Atk +8, CMB +12; CMD 16 (can’t be tripped)
ECOLOGY
Environment underground
Organization brood (6-18) [x3 if located in breeding den]
Treasure none (see karz slug gland)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Karz Slime (Ex) Karz slugs are covered in a thick layer of translucent amber slime. A karz slug can spit slime as a ranged attack at a target (up to 60 ft.), or slather slime on a target (as a free action) with a successful melee attack. The slime is a fast acting poison and is immediately absorbed into the victim’s skin upon contact. The slime remains poisonous for four rounds after a creature comes into contact with it and each round an affected target must make a Fortitude saving throw to negate its effects. After four rounds the poison is neutralized and the slime is annoying but harmless.
For the initial two rounds of exposure the slime causes Amnesia (Will DC 20), for the last two effective rounds exposure to the slime causes Paranoia (Will DC 17). If a target fails any of these saving throws it remains affected by the relevant slime effects until the poison is cured by magical means such as the neutralize poison spell. If a target is affected by any of these affects for longer than 24 hours then they also become afflicted by Psychosis (no saving throw; insanity DC 20) until the poison is cured by magical means. If a target is affected by any of these effects for longer than a week, the effects become permanent.

Malleable (Ex) A karz slug’s body is very malleable, allowing it to fit into narrow areas with ease. A karz slug takes no penalties to its speed or checks when squeezing in an area that is one size category smaller than its actual size.

Lunge (Ex) A karz slug has the ability to make a lunge attack as a standard melee attack. This lunge attack has a reach of 15 feet. After a lung attack the karz slug moves from its previous square to the square nearest its intended target. This movement is considered a part of its attack and not factored into its movement rate.

Psionic Camouflage (Su) A karz slug has the ability to project itself (illusion) as an environmental element. This is a psionic mind-altering effect (Will DC 25). Karz slugs most commonly use this ability to hide themselves if they flee from an engagement.

Psionic Lure (Su) A karz slug has the ability to project itself (illusion) as any other Medium sized creature it has encountered. This is a psionic mind-altering effect (Will DC 25). As an intelligent creature a karz slug can tell the difference between various creatures, and may choose to work together with other karz slugs to manifest a projected scenario that is more likely to attract prey. While karz slugs do not understand language, their projections can repeat phrases in any language that have been overheard.

Susceptible to Salt (Ex) A handful of salt burns a giant slug as if it where a flask of acid, causing 1d6 points of damage per use.

Susceptible to Heat (Ex) A karz slug takes double damage from heat or fire damage. Its slime is semi-flammable and has a 15% chance of combustion if exposed to an open flame. If a karz slug’s slime ignites, it kills that slug immediately.
If exposed to excessive heat or fire there is a 10% chance that a karz slug instinctively flees for 2d4 rounds.

TACTICS
Karz slugs are rarely found alone. If they are separated from their kin they often become withdrawn and docile–fleeing at the first opportune moment. However, in groups they become quite vicious and committed to killing and consuming other creatures in mass.
Karz slugs communicate with one another via a telepathic link that radiates 250 ft. from their square. They work together to kill off their prey, usually attacking any targets with fire first, followed by targets they perceive to be weakest.
If encountered within a karz slug breeding den, all karz slugs gain the benefits of a constant extraordinary effect identical to the haste spell.



Karz Slug Glands
A karz slug has a gland located near its core. This gland enables its natural psionic abilities. If removed from the dead slug, dried, and properly prepared (DC 15 Craft [magic items] check; 48-hours), it becomes a enchanted consumable. Once properly prepared and eaten, it provides the user with immunity to all mind-altering affects and a +3 bonus to Will saving throws for 24-hours. This includes any mind-altering status effects that the user may have been affected by before consumption. The taste of a prepared karz slug gland is eye-wateringly sour and bitter.

 

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AaWBlog Adventures: Maddening May, Macabre Manses, Wonders of NaeraCull

cover-naeracull2The craziness of the AaWBlog could not be contained within the month of May, and thus insanity abounds throughout Maddening May! Fight off strange slugs, explore a sunken insane asylum, and traverse the Dar’spelun Slugmarsh—if you’re brave enough for it.

Read up on Maddening May here and here!

 

In case you somehow missed it, we collected all of the amazing content from the Hungering Jungle of NaeraCull in FOUR FREE PDFs you can get right here on AdventureAWeek.com!

 

Of course, regular readers already know what happened in October: we got spooky with Macabre Manses. There are several haunted houses to explore, written by Rory Toma, Justin Andrew Mason, and RPG Superstar Steve Helt!

Explore the Macabre Manses here and here!

 

Stay tuned! More is coming down the line for Remember in December, and if you check in next week, details on the AaWBlog Adventure Path!

 

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Maddening May: Descent into the Sunken Asylum!

As the PCs are exploring the swamp, they come across a strange looking tree. It is larger than all the rest and twisted, with much of the bark ravaged. The whole of it appears to ever so slightly slip in and out of focus.


Adventure Location: The Sunken Asylum
Dangers: madness, mosaic, orderlies, teleport trap, fainting couch trap, coven of witches
Lighting: none
Environment: underground stone passageways and natural cave with flooded areas and extra-planar areas

One side of the tree opens up, creating an entrance large enough to ride a horse through one moment, and then small enough so that a Medium-sized humanoid would find it a tight squeeze the next.


A DC 20 Knowledge (planes) check reveals that this is likely the entrance to an extraplanar portal, while a DC 20 Knowledge (history) or Knowledge (local) check suggests that the PCs may have found an entrance to The Sunken Asylum.

Sunken Asylum Map - justin andrew mason [reduced]Once inside the tree, a stone staircase leads down about 60 feet into the Atrium. The Atrium has dirt floors, with patches of stone floor that is broken and worn. The far wall is convex and covered with an aged mosaic depicting a Rod of Asclepius, a serpent-entwined rod. However, a large corner of the mosaic has been defaced and appears to be covered in an amber slime. The amber slime is residue from a karz slug. Touching it poisons the PC for 4 rounds. For the first 2 rounds, the slime causes Amnesia (Will DC 20) and for the last two rounds the slime causes Paranoia (Will DC 17).

For each hour spent in The Asylum or before each encounter, the GM rolls on the following table and apply the specific madness effect.

d100    Madness Effect
0-15       —
16-30    auditory patch of madness
31-45    visual patch of madness
46-65    echoes of the asylum
66-75    both auditory and visual patches of madness
76-85    auditory patch of madness, and echoes of the asylum
86-95    visual patch of madness, and echoes of the asylum
96-99    visual and auditory patches of madness, and echoes of the asylum
100        The asylum writhes as a wave of raw madness energy rolls through the hallways. All characters must make a DC 25 Will save or immediately gain a random insanity (see the “Sanity and Madness” section in Chapter 8 of Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Gamemastery Guide).

Each side of the Atrium has three passageways leading away. The first passageway on each side, closest to the stairs, spirals downwards. The western one leads down a long way, and eventually leads to the Plane of Madness. Characters that continue down that path must make a DC 20 Will Save each round or gain the confused condition for 1d6 rounds.

The eastern passageway spirals downwards for many miles, but it is flooded after about 100 yards.

The middle passageways both lead to The Cells, while the last passageways lead to The Examining Rooms.

The Cells were used as holding blocks for the insane inmates of the Asylum. Inmates would be locked in each individual cell, only to be taken out to visit the Examining Rooms for treatment. The already maddened inmates scribbled on the walls at times, channeling madness. In their pathological scrawls, they wrote down the key words to the ritual that opens up travel to a special place in the Plane of Madness where creatures from this plane could journey and be protected from most of the adverse effects.

SpiritFor The Cells, each hallway contains 22 individual cells, each closed off by a locked (DC 25 Disable Device check) stout wooden door. (DC 25 Break, Hardness 5, 20 HP). Whenever a door is opened, there is a 10% chance that an orderly materializes right outside the cell and attacks the party.

Orderly CR 5

Orderly     CR 5
XP 1,600
LE Medium undead (incorporeal)
Init +7;  Senses darkvision 60 ft., lifesense; Perception +10
Aura unnatural aura (30 ft.)
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 18, flat-footed 14 (+5 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 47 (5d8+25)
Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +6
Defensive Abilities channel resistance +2, incorporeal; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses sunlight powerlessness
OFFENSE
Speed fly 60 ft. (good)
Melee incorporeal touch +6 (1d6 negative energy plus 1d6 Con drain)
Special Attack create spawn
TACTICS
During Combat The orderly attacks the biggest and most powerful looking enemy.
Morale The ghost attacks until the enemy dies or it is destroyed; it does not think in terms of survivability.
STATISTICS
Str —, Dex 16, Con —, Int 14, Wis 14, Cha 21
Base Atk +3; CMB +6; CMD 21
Feats Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative
Skills Diplomacy +10, Fly +7, Intimidate +13, Knowledge (planes) +7, Perception +10, Sense Motive +10, Stealth +11
Languages Common, Infernal
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Create Spawn (Su) A humanoid slain by a wraith becomes a wraith in 1d4 rounds. These spawn are less powerful than typical wraiths, and suffer a –2 penalty on all d20 rolls and checks, receive –2 hp per HD, and only drain 1d2 points of Constitution on a touch. Spawn are under the command of the wraith that created them until its death, at which point they lose their spawn penalties and become free-willed wraiths. They do not possess any of the abilities they had in life.

Constitution Drain (Su) Creatures hit by a wraith’s touch attack must succeed on a DC 17 Fortitude save or take 1d6 points of Constitution drain. On each successful attack, the wraith gains 5 temporary hit points. The save DC is Charisma-based.

Lifesense (Su) A wraith notices and locates living creatures within 60 feet, just as if it possessed the blindsight ability.

Sunlight Powerlessness (Ex) A wraith caught in sunlight cannot attack and is staggered.

Unnatural Aura (Su) Animals, whether wild or domesticated, can sense the unnatural presence of the wraith at a distance of 30 feet. They do not willingly approach nearer than that and panic if forced to do so unless a master succeeds at a DC 25 Handle Animal, Ride, or wild empathy check. A panicked animal remains so as long as it is within 30 feet of the wraith.

The walls of each cell are covered in writings. Some are painted and some are etched into the stone itself. The writings are in the native language of the Plane of Madness, and are unintelligible even with spells. If they are inspected for more than 2 rounds, a random result from the Madness Effect table materializes.


However, if a DC 22 Perception check is made the PCs find that a single phrase has been hidden in the scrawl, scribbled in Draconic—a DC 30 Spellcraft check shows these to be pieces of a spell. Each phrase is different.

There are twelve examining rooms labeled A through L. Each contains a small desk, a chair and a fainting couch. The fainting couch is trapped and the small desk contains a journal in one of the drawers.


Fainting Couch Trap     CR 7
Type magical; Perception DC 31; Disable Device 31
Trigger touch; Reset none
Effect Anyone that touches the couch is compelled to lay down on it (DC 24 Will Save to resist). Once the PC is resting, they must make a DC 24 Fortitude save or take a -4 penalty on saves for 11 hours.
Journals of Madness CR 10
aaw-website - madness journal
There are twelve journals. Once all twelve are acquired, a DC 25 Spellcraft check reveals that there are 4 spells contained within the books, and that the words in The Cells are needed to activate them.

Each spell has a code by it that corresponds to a room in The Cells. Starting from the bottom (south) and working up, each room is numbered, 1-22. The west rooms are labeled “L” while the east rooms are labeled “R”. The words on the walls of the cells listed must be collected with the journals. As they are collected, they write themselves in the back of the journal from Examination Room A.

Collecting a word requires a DC 25 Spellcraft check. If it fails, it is still written and appears to have succeeded. Once the words are collected, the spell may be cast without any check. However, there is a chance that instead of the spell intended, one of the other spells is cast at random (depending on how many successful entries are written for that spell):

0 entries     A random spell is cast
1 entry          10% chance the correct spell is cast
2 entries     40% chance the correct spell is cast
3 entries     60% chance the correct spell is cast
4 entries     80% chance the correct spell is cast
5 entries     The correct spell is cast

The spells are as follows:

Activate Teleporter to Plane of Madness: (18L, 4R, 13R, 21R, 22L) This spell is required to activate the teleporter to the Plane of Madness. Doing so exposes the teleporter. In game terms, when this spell is cast, the secret doors on either side of the teleporter open up. There is no way to otherwise open or even find these doors.

Touch of the Eldritch: (1R, 8R, 4L, 11L, 19L) Target PC (or random if not targeted) gains the Eldritch Template. However, each day, they lose 1 point of Wisdom. When their Wisdom score reaches zero, they give up their soul and travel to the Plane of Madness. A restoration spell of any strength removes this condition.

Madness Link: (2L, 6L, 13L, 5R, 17R) Target PC (or random if not targeted) must make a DC 18 Will save or gain one of the Touching of Minds conditions. The telepathic link is with a random creature from the Plane of Madness.

Comatose: (3R, 16R, 7L, 15L, 22L) Target PC (or random if not targeted) must make a DC 18 Fortitude save or fall comatose for 1d6 days. A restoration spell is required to wake the PC any earlier than that.

Once the proper spell is cast from the journals of madness, secret doors to the teleporter open up and the teleporter is active. Stepping into the teleporter activates the teleport trap.


Teleport Trap     CR 5
Type magical; Perception DC 29; Disable Device DC 29
Trigger touch; Reset auto
Effect The teleport into the Witch’s Coven travels through an energy tunnel that splits through the Plane of Madness. It is not an instantaneous trip (it takes 1d4 rounds to complete), and the sights and sounds are enough to drive one mad. Unless a DC 20 Will Save is made, each PC becomes confused (as the condition) for 1d2+1 rounds. Note that actions can be taken to prepare while teleporting, and it may be that confused adventurers are no longer confused on arrival.

The Witch’s Coven is a small, protected area on the Plane of Madness. PCs in this area are protected somewhat from the madness effects that would normally assault them. There are no rolls for madness effects while in the Witch’s Coven.

On the far side, the PCs arrive in the Witch’s Coven. Arranged along the north wall near the eastern light source are 5 very strange looking drow.

Five female drow, wearing flowing robes covered in what seems to be moving embroidery, stand near the wall as if each of their locations is set. The light from three glowing wall sconces cast dark shadows, hiding their faces.

drow_woman_wizard__ryan_sumoThe witch in the middle is Nogth Ma’klurl’uth in drow form, flanked by 4 other drow witches. Nogth initially casts black tentacles on the party as they exit the teleporter (as a readied action). Once combat begins, one or more of the witches tries to use the misfortune hex on a spellcaster, and if one of the hexes succeeds, Nogth casts hold person. After that tactic, the witches concentrate their abilities to disable or kill the rest of the party, saving the hold person victim to feed the madness. The quasits run interference and also attempt to disrupt spellcasting.

Should the PC who is held be left alone (either by party death or retreat) and Nogth survives, they gain the eldritch template and fall under the control of the madness slug. Every day, the PC must make a DC 25 Will Save or lose 1 point of Wisdom. If their Wisdom score reaches zero, the PC dies and their soul feeds Nogth’s madness.

If Nogth is killed in the battle, the remaining witches attempt to kill the held character.

Nogth 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 21; SA hexes (cackle, coven, evil eye, misfortune); SQ cantrips, darkvision 120 ft., DR 15/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-Like Abilities (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
[/stextbox]

(4) Eldritch Drow Witch CR 7

ELDRITCH DROW WITCH     CR 7
XP 3,200
Female or Male drow witch 7 (eldritch template)
CE Medium humanoid (drow, elf)
Init +3; Senses darkvision 120 ft.; Perception +8
DEFENSE
AC 18, touch 14, flat-footed 15 (+4 armor, +1 deflection, +3 Dex)
hp 38 (7d6+14)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +4; +2 vs enchantment spells
DR 5/magic; Immune magic sleep effects; Resist acid 10, cold 10; SR 13
Weaknesses light blindness
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mwk shortsword +4 (1d6, Crit 19-20/x2)
Ranged mwk hand crossbow +7 (1d4 plus quasit poison, Crit 19-20/x2, Range 30 ft.)
Special Attacks hex (standard action, DC 16 Will save; see special abilities)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 7th; concentration +9)
at will—feather fall
1/day—dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire
Witch Spells Prepared (CL 7th; concentration +10)
4th—black tentacles
3rd—bestow curse, cup of dust, silent blindness/deafness; distracting cacophony
2nd—blindness/deafness, cure moderate wounds, silent charm person, touch of idiocy; hideous laughter, levitate
1st—burning hands, command x2, mage armor (already cast), ray of enfeeblement; memory lapse
0th—bleed, detect magic, detect poison, touch of fatigue
Patron insanity
STATISTICS
Str 10, Dex 16, Con 11, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 14
Base Atk +3; CMB +3; CMD 16
Feats Combat Casting, Improved Familiar (quasit), Silent Spell, Toughness
Skills Bluff +7, Fly +8, Knowledge (planes) +8, Perception +8, Sense Motive +2, Spellcraft +10, Stealth +10, Survival +2, Swim +4, Use Magic Device +7; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception, +4 Swim
Languages Aklo, Elven, Undercommon
SQ Cantrips, ferocity, horrific death, keen senses, poison use, weapon familiarity (hand crossbow, rapier, shortsword), witch’s familiar, voidborn
Gear masterwork hand crossbow (8 poisoned bolts), masterwork shortsword, ring of protection +1, potions of cure moderate wounds (2), potions of invisibility (2)
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Cackle Hex (Su) An eldritch drow witch can cackle madly as a move action. Any creature that is within 30 feet that is under the effects of an agony hex, charm hex, evil eye hex, fortune hex, or misfortune hex caused by the witch has the duration of that hex extended by 1 round.

Evil Eye Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch can cause doubt to creep into the mind of a foe within 30 feet that she can see. The target takes a –2 penalty on one of the following (witch’s choice): AC, ability checks, attack rolls, saving throws, or skill checks. This hex lasts for 6 rounds. A DC 16 Will save reduces this to just 1 round. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Flight Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch gains a +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. She can fly, as per the spell, for 7 minutes per day. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but they must be spent in 1-minute increments. This hex only affects the witch.

Misfortune Hex (Su) The eldritch drow witch can cause a creature within 30 feet to suffer grave misfortune for 1 round. Anytime the creature makes an ability check, attack roll, saving throw, or skill check, it must roll twice and take the worse result. A DC 16 Will save negates this hex. This hex affects all rolls the target must make while it lasts. Whether or not the save is successful, a creature cannot be the target of this hex again for 1 day.

Horrific Death (Ex) When an eldritch drow witch is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within its reach take 1d6+7 acid damage. While at negative hit points, the eldritch drow witch gains a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls and adds a +7 insight bonus to all damage. When it finally dies, the eldritch creature dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo.

Eldritch Quasit Familiar CR —

ELDRITCH QUASIT FAMILIAR     CR —
CE Tiny outsider (chaotic, demon, evil, extraplanar)
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7
DEFENSE
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +6 natural, +2 size)
hp 17 (7 HD); fast healing 2
Fort +1, Ref +5, Will +9
DR 5/magic cold iron or good; Immune electricity, poison; Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10; SR 12
OFFENSE
Speed 20 ft., fly 50 ft. (perfect)
Melee 2 claws +7 (1d3–1 plus poison), bite +7 (1d4–1)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th)
At will—detect good, detect magic, invisibility (self only)
1/day—cause fear (30-foot radius, DC 11)
1/week—commune (six questions)
STATISTICS
Str 8, Dex 14, Con 11, Int 11, Wis 12, Cha 11
Base Atk +3; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +8, Fly +20, Intimidate +6, Knowledge (planes) +6, Perception +7, Sense Motive +4, Stealth +16
Languages Abyssal, Common; telepathy (touch)
SQ Alertness, change shape (bat, Small centipede; polymorph), deliver touch spells, empathic link, ferocity, horrific death, improved evasion, voidborn
SPECIAL ABILITIES
Horrific Death (Ex) When an eldritch drow witch’s familiar is first reduced to negative hit points, creatures within 5 feet take 1d6+7 acid damage. While at negative hit points, the eldritch drow witch’s familiar gains a +2 insight bonus on attack rolls and adds a +7 insight bonus to all damage. When it finally dies, the eldritch creature dissolves into a pool of unidentifiable goo.

Poison (Ex) Claw—injury; save Fortitude DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dexterity; cure 2 consecutive saves. The DC includes a +2 racial bonus.


SCALING THE ENCOUNTER
To modify this encounter, apply the following changes:
CR 12 (19,200)    Remove two witches.
CR 11 (12,800)    Remove all witches.
CR 10 (9,600)     Remove Norgth and two witches. Designate one of the witches as Nogth. If Nogth is not killed, any unconscious PC are given the eldritch template as above.

If Nogth is defeated, the teleporter in the Witch’s Coven begins to flicker—the PCs have 1d10+4 rounds to leave or be trapped in the Plane of Madness! Once they are back to their own plane, the madness effects and encounters in the Atrium, The Cells, and the Examining Rooms are no longer active and the routes that connect to the Plane of Madness no longer exist. 1d4 rounds after the party exits the tree, the entrance to the Sunken Asylum closes up for good.

If Nogth is not defeated, the entrance still closes as above but it reappears in 1d6 days. All madness effects and encounters still take place as the PCs exit the Sunken Asylum.

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Maddening May: The Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh

 

As the PCs explore the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh, more of the subterranean swamp—almost all of it prohibitively dangerous—reveals itself. Parties in the Underworld bogs have already dealt with an ambush in the Tangleroot Forest, preyed upon by the voracious carrion crawler. Some of the powers that the karz slugs are able to unlock are discovered in the quicksilver amulet, and items of power that belonged to some of the former denizens (such as the chained-swords of ill fate) have surfaced as well.

Adventurers have bested the whispering woods and paranoid delusions (including phobias of many different varieties!), learned of the Sunken Fla’nag Asylum, fought spirirts from the Shroudstone, and perhaps even braved the presence of the madness slug, Nogth Ma’klurl’uth! The ghost of Torgould has revealed to the party some of the mysteries in the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh—and that the means to bring an end to some of the madness in the Underworld locale is within their grasp!

Enjoy the incredible map that the talented Justin Andrew Mason has put together for the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh, and keep an eye out on the AaWBlog tomorrow for a grand finale to Maddening May!

aaw-website - Updated_Slugmarsh_Map_for_May2014_AaWblog

 

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Maddening May: Torgould’s Rest

The gentle sound of a small stream running through the swamps calls you closer. The Clearwater Caverns is the eye of the storm in the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh. Any light source is reflected from the stream up unto the walls and ceiling in bluish hues—the view has a soothing effect after all the madness that otherwise seems so prevalent in this hellish place.

cavern torgould's restTorgould’s Rest     CR 5
XP 1,600
NG special haunt (30 ft. by 30 ft. cavern)
Caster Level 5th
Notice Perception DC 21 (to see the fluorescent image of a regal dweorg beckoning you)
hp 22; Trigger proximity; Reset 1 day
Effect When this haunt is triggered, Torgould appears as he did before he died—a dweorg regaled in all the glory of his peoples. Anyone in the haunt’s area of effect can hear his soft voice: “Welcome to this accursed place, travelers. I met my doom here—hopefully you will not follow me”. Torgould serves as a guide in the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh; he answers any question the party asks, but can only communicate within his area of effect. Below are examples of Torgould’s knowledge of the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh, but it is not exhaustive; in addition to telling the party of the Sunken Asylum and Tangleroot Forest, he can inform them of anything else the GM wants the adventurers to know about.
Destruction As stated under Bolghar’s Despair, bringing Bolghar the message of Torgould’s forgiveness also destroys this haunt, granting XP for both haunts. Once Bolghar and Torgould’s haunts have been destroyed, Torgould can no longer assist the party, but he grants each PC a +2 insight bonus to Will saves for the next 24 hours.

Bolghar
Bolghar was my brother, but he was suffering from the curse of youth, brashness, and pride.”
He always thought he should lead the expedition and when the madness of the marsh gained foothold in his mind, Bolghar’s fate was sealed.”
I am sorry I did not see my brother’s slow descent into madness until it was too late.”
Yes he killed me, but it was not the Bolghar I knew—he was long gone at the time of the fateful event.”
I wish he knew that I forgive him for everything that transpired here, so he can finally rest.”

Giant Slug
Yes Nogth Ma’klurl’uth is its true name, a creature of insanity.”
It comes here from a planar rift somewhere in the Veil, to the south of here.”
Bolghar was killed in battle with Nogth Ma’klurl’uth—I like to think that the Bolghar who died in the beast was the Bolghar I knew my entire life.”
I have watched men go insane in the presence of the madness slug, and just standing and waiting for its maw to take them. Too many good men have died for the might of the madness that crawls.”

Slug Hunter
Vyn the slug hunter, you say? He lives in a shed southeast of here—it is not of dweorg workmanship if you know what I mean.”
He suffers from a malady, and needs the glands of karz slugs in order to create a remedy.”
Vyn seeks to fell the queen of the slugs, in the hopes that her gland will cure him entirely.”
If it will help him I don’t truly know, but if you seek a cure you should talk to him about it.”

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Maddening May: Paranoid Delusions

Azurewrath [Rick Hershey]
The same madness that turned brother against brother also works to sow paranoid delusions into the PCs—even their own items can betray them!

Paranoid Delusions (CR 8)

The air is thick with moisture.

Type: magical; Perception DC 33; Disable Device 33

Trigger location; Reset None

Effect

When the trap is triggered, the PC feels vaguely unsettled. The next time they use an item together with a roll, like a skill check or attack roll, they must make a DC 25 Will Save. On a failure, they become unable to use that item for the next 1d6+2 rounds, believing that the item is cursed and will betray them. On a success, the PC takes a -2 circumstance penalty on the next single action with the item.

This trap works well at the beginning of an encounter area that requires combat or skill checks. To play this up, have the item in question trigger vivid hallucinations, or even have it mildly injure the PC. A sword could seemingly cut the wielder or an item could suddenly appear cursed or evil. With good enough descriptions, even non-affected PCs may think twice about their own inventory when sizing up an encounter. After all, there are plenty of other reasons they could feel uneasy.

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Maddening May: Chained-Swords of Ill-Fate

Chained-Swords of Ill-Fate
Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th
Slot none; Price 33,000 gp; Weight 13 lbs.

DESCRIPTION
Each blade of this double-bladed sword is nicked and battered from striking thousands of blows, but glows with a persistent dull, silver light that outlines it when unsheathed. Chains are wrapped around both sides of the hilt, and a worn, ornate clasp is latched at its center.

This +1 keen/+1 keen two-bladed sword normally operates as a regular two-bladed sword does, but can be changed with the flip of a latch (a swift action) into a bizarre, truly lethal weapon. When unlatched the swords come apart and are connected only by the chains, allowing the wielder of the chained-swords of ill-fate to lash out in a dangerous flurry of strikes—both at himself and his enemies! The wielder of an unlatched chained-swords of ill-fate can make two additional attacks in a full-attack action; both of these attacks are at their highest bonus -5, but one of them must target the wielder. These additional attacks stack with haste and other abilities and effects that grant additional attacks.

sword chucksThe wielder may make two additional extra attacks in a full-attack action for every +8 points of base attack bonus they possess (each at a -10 penalty) so long as one of these attacks is made against themselves.
Creatures attacking themselves with the chained-swords of ill-fate are considered flat-footed. Any critical hit a creature threatens on itself with the chained-swords of ill-fate is automatically confirmed.

HISTORY
Success on a Knowledge (history) or Profession (soldier) check to learn more about the chained-swords of ill-fate reveals some facts about the unique weapon’s lore:

DC 15     The warrior Phytar earned a great deal of renown as master of the double-bladed sword and is said to have created the chained-swords of ill-fate, though he was quite incoherent afterward.
DC 20     A callous ally—a dark sorcerer and fellow of generally foul disposition named Blak-Maij—sarcastically suggested he seek a more powerful weapon in the Dar’Spelun Slugmarsh. Being surprisingly dull and witless, Phytar took him at his word and headed for the Underworld bogs.
DC 25     While a fool, Phytar didn’t lack martial prowess. He easily killed creatures that attacked him, living for decades as a recluse in the subterranean swamps. Eating everything he thought he could, Phytar consumed several of the karz slugs and survived—but was delirious for weeks. A vision came to him during one of these spells, a phantasm of a wondrous amalgamation of nunchaku and a two-bladed sword.
DC 30     Despite his complete lack of intellect, Phytar’s iron resolve led to success after several decades of unending pursuit of the craft of magical weapons. He emerged with the chained-swords of ill-fate, challenging anyone willing to do battle. It’s said that these combats were a truly magnificent sight to behold, though it wasn’t long before Phytar accidentally killed himself using the very weapon he spent his life creating.

CONSTRUCTION
Requirements Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (two-bladed sword), Weapon Focus (two-bladed sword), Weapon Specialization (two-bladed sword), keen edge, haste; Cost 16,500 gp

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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