To begin this five room dungeon, the players receive a missive requesting them to meet a petty lord, named Arront Seliverous, and to tell no one
what they were doing. Seliverous does not tell the PCs what he is hiring them to do.
Room One: Entrance and Guardian
The Outer Courtyard and the House Guards
There are about half a dozen guards lounging around on crates in an open courtyard. The remains of dinner, some bread and mutton, are lying on a barrel, and a few of them are actively involved in a game of dice, where no one seems to be the winner. The guards are extremely ill-tempered for several reasons, including a recent cut in pay, and therefore are actively looking for a good scruff.
Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge
The House Steward
The house steward, named Kendtal, is a small, weasely man in grand, nearly gaudy, robes with dark hair and pale skin, he also has the habit of wringing his many-ringed hands. Kendtal is dedicated, and a little overzealous, and will, at first, simply not allow the PCs in to see his master and he can, at a word, call threescore guards to aid him in repelling intruders. He also has a strong penchant for wine, so much so that, for the right amount of wine, he may suddenly remember much more important things to do elsewhere. (Note: In room one several guards can be heard to speak of "Master Jangle-Keys" and his latest drinking binge).
Room Three: Trick or Setback
When the PCs reach the door to Lord Seliverouss private rooms, it opens and a worried face, with dark eyes and hair, and a slightly crooked nose, connected to a richly robed body, appears. With many a word of gratitude Seliverous pulls the PCs into his outer chambers, but before he will explain his problem, the lord insists on them taking refreshment with him. The drinks are laced with a fairly powerful sleeping draught that should safely put the PCs out for a few hours.
Room Four: Climax or Big Battle
The PCs wake to find that all their weapons and more valuable items have been removed, and that they have been moved to a deep pit. Scattered among the rocks are numerous, if rusty, weapons ready to grab up, if necessary. Standing on the edge of the pit is Lord Seliverous, after the appropriate gloating and monologueing , he reveals that he was hired by (insert name of appropriate villain here) to knock off the PCs, with that he leaves. Next, a gate opens in the wall and a manticore (or other beastie of appropriate power) comes out to feed on the helpless adventurers. A battle ensues with the manticore and, hopefully the PCs win.
Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist
After defeating said beastie if the PCs look around, they will find the body of (insert name of good NPC the PCs thought was important, but wasn't) apparently killed by the same big bad beastie.
In association with Johnn Four, and all the fine folks subscribed to his Roleplaying Tips Weekly mailing list at, we bring you our first collaborative Quest.
Room One: Entrance and Guardian - There needs to be a reason why your dungeon hasn’t been plundered or why your adventurers are the ones for the job.
Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge - A trial that cannot be solved by steel alone.
Room Three: Trick or Setback - Build tension through tricks and setbacks and give them a double-dose of gameplay such as more combat or another roleplaying challenge.
Room Four: Climax, Big Battle or Conflict - The final combat or conflict of the dungeon.
Room Five: Reward, Revelation, Plot Twist - The dungeon is complete but what is it about this dungeon that made it different or memorable. What kind of mystery have they discovered, what kind of reward have they won, and what kind of information have they recovered?
Submissions to the quest will each earn an extra 15XP can be inputted on the site as normal or can be emailed to Johnn at roleplayingtips.com.
Prizes for this quest include a D&D Icons Gargantuan Black dragon from Legend Games, MyInfo Personal Reference Software licenses from Milenix Software, DCC #46 Book of Treasure Maps – DCC #$7 Tears of the Genie - #50 Vault of the Iron Overlord from Goodman Games, and 1 on 1 Adventures #5 Vale of the Sepulcher - #6 Shroud of Olindor - #7 Eyes of the Dragon - #8 Blood Brothers - Advanced Adventures #3 Curse of the Witch Head from Expeditious Retreat Press. Winners for these prizes will be chose randomly so every submission has an equal chance of winning. Also, all the quest submissions will be combined and edited with what the folks at Roleplaying Tips come up with and they all will be offered back to the community.
------------ Strolen's Citadel Quest, Five Room Dungeon was an awesome collaborative success. The total amount of quest submissions between Johnn's Roleplaying Tips and the Citadel was a whopping 87 Five Room Dungeons! The winners of this set were chosen randomly so congratulations to all. But here are those that won a gift from the sponsors: Gillian Wiseman Tyler Turner Nik Palmer Daniel Burrage Uri Lifshitz Clayton Blanchard Jean-Christophe Pelletier Jason Kemp Pirate Queen Wulfhere Valadaar Thewizard63. Congratulations to Everybody!!!
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? Responses (8)
This one just doesn't work for me. There's some potential there, but in my opinion, there are several negatives that keep it from achieving that potential.
First, some of the positive things about the plot:
I like the names. They work well for me, each suggesting certain aspects of their owner's character, which the GM can play up or use for contrast.
The plot itself uses the five-room format well, giving a well-considered balance between combat and roleplaying. The challenges given encourage a variety of roleplaying styles.
Everything is well-written, clear, and easy to read.
Now the negatives:
"Blah, blah, blah, mighty magics, fight to the death, you know the drill..." The way the sub is written, it seems as if even the author was saying "Even I don't care about this." That's not a message the players and potential GMs want to hear.
The "drink laced with sleeping draught" schtick is not only ancient, it's not very effective. You can bet that if there is a saving throw, SOMEONE in the party will make it. If it's too high for anyone to make, it seems like a rail job to the players.
The "mysterious patron who wants to kill the PCs" is another hoary cliche that seldom works well in games.
Agree 100% with Wulf on this one.
Updated: Upon some failings being pointed out to me by Wulfhere, I modified my submission.
It is a little better. The good things remain, most bad things as well. The cliches being what they are, can still be met in games and employed to some success, and then is this short atmospheric piece useful.
Now, one thing I do, if my grand idea doesn't seem so grand once I write it up, is take a closer look on the plot hooks, on what follows from the submission, and what impact it will have on the game. In this case it is the last room.
- What if a servant unexpectedly helps the PCs (bringing them a few of their best weapons, or whatever)? Perhaps he is fed up with his master, or he is known to a PC already. Now they have an ally in the enemy camp, and may choose a different path, than hacking their way through the bad guys.
- What if the minor noble is secretly a double agent, and wants to gain the trust of the villain - and the PCs are just the means? How will they cooperate later with this man, who was willing to sacrifice them?
- Say, what if the monster was that good guy... changed, and mind-controlled, and the PCs end up killing him? That'll make the encounter much more memorable that "defeated monster X".
Not bad, but it seems a bit forced and lacking enthusiasm