Rooms/ Halls
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Rating: 2.8333
Condition: Normal
ID: 6928


August 23, 2012, 9:22 pm

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The Walk


"The Walk. Oh, aye, I've heard o' the walk. Its this peninsula, south of us, where the sides o' this peninsula are cliffs. At the end o' this peninsula is this big area, riddles with caves. In them caves is a huge treasure. At least, according to these rumors I've heard. 'Course, them caves have been taken over by orcs. I'd go take the treasure meself if I was younger."

-Old Gerald, man in the pub

The Summary:

There's this place called the Walk. It is a 100 foot long isthmus, ending in a 50 foot (in diameter) circular island. This isthmus is five feet wide, mostly. It would be just a normal old place, except for the fact that its also happens to have 30 foot cliff on either side. This makes it a 100 foot long hard rock, five foot long bridge, with pebbles tossed on top. And, of course, the huge waves crashing onto the sides with regularity, making the whole thing wet. Falling is not an option, because of the aforementioned huge waves crashing against solid rock. On the island (of sorts) itself, the rock has some tunnels. This is where a tribe of orcs set up their base, and this is where a famous treasure lies.

Room One: A Stroll in the Park

The Walk, as it has come to be called, was dangerous before a bunch of orcs took over and set up a catapult to fire boulders at all who come. Now it is very dangerous. The orcs will continuously fire either a single large stone or a number of smaller stones. Added to the danger of a catapult is the Walk itself. 100 feet of pebble strewn, wet rock. Running carries the inherent danger of falling the 30 feet into the ocean, which will result in death, from either the fall or from the riptide throwing you against the cliff wall. Every so often, probably 10 feet or so, either a scoop in the path from a boulder hitting the walk, or the boulder itself, will present an obstacle. Also, the group of orcs firing the catapult include a wizard, who will block any attack spells like fireball, and an archer, who will shoot at people who get too close to the catapult. The final 10 feet should be blocked by a boulder, to give the PCs (if they chose to run across the Walk) a place to come up with a plan concerning the Catapult Crew.

Room Two: Down the Hatch

The Catapult Crew consists of one archer (who has a sword), one wizard, ten warriors, and a runner. The runner's job is to get down the trap door, and raise the alarm, while the rest block the intruder. The orcs who remain to fight off the PCs while the runner heads down the hatch should be good enough to provide the PCs a challenge, but weak enough so that they will die. Either way, if the runner gets down the hatch before the PCs can stop him, and ring a bell in the tunnel below, the orcs will attack in mass, which would mean that the PCs should run. The Catapult Crew will have no money. They will also, especially if its night, play poker.

Room Three: A Hall, a Sentry, and Failure

Down the hatch, there is a tunnel. In this tunnel is a bell, which the runner in Room Two was heading for. The tunnel will lead to the orc's hall. Its 40 feet wide, and 10 feet tall. To the north, east, and west are ladders leading to sleeping quarters. They are labeled in orcish. To the south is a ladder leading to the treasure. In the center of the room are more guards. They will be playing poker quietly while the real guarding takes place in the shadows. In each corner, which are draped in shadows, a guard waits quietly. Each of these guards will run to warn the others if the PCs are sighted. The guards playing poker will draw their weapons and attack. These guards should be easily beaten. They, too, will lack money.

Room Four: A Treasure, of Sorts

Down the southern ladder is the treasure vault. The others lead to sleeping quarters. The treasure vault is a library. Inside, each wall will have a shelf full of books. Inside here, feel free to dispense certain books containing hints of quests, or have someone send the PCs to collect a certain book. Either way, there will be a table with an open book and a lantern down here. The lantern will be unlit. The orcish army will follow the PCs after a couple of rounds (give the orcs 10-20 minutes of in game time), and the PCs will meet Chief Graf. The Chief is a half-orc, which shows why the library isn't a pile of cinders. He will explain that he, too, was first drawn by rumors of a treasure, like the PCs, only to find books. He likes to read, which is why he kept the library intact. He will know send his orcs after the PCs. The orcs should not look like they are beatable. Whether they are or not, the PCs should exercise a technique that they may or may not have mastered: Running Away. A tunnel will wind down and down. It should have a couple of traps that will slow down the orcs more than the PCs. The PCs should take it. The tunnel will exit out into Room Five.

Room Five: Something More Precious than Gold

A dock lies at the bottom of the tunnel, hidden through illusions that no one would get close enough (huge waves, remember?) to find. It has a sailboat accessible, with bottom deck with 10 hammocks and a small pile of gold. Not a fortune, but a little something to make the PCs happy that the whole thing was not in vain, and to cover expenses. The boat will take a bit to cast off. In the meantime, this seems like a perfect opportunity to perfect ones fighting. The orcs will come before the boat is ready to set sail. Good thing the tunnel makes it so only two orcs at a time can come out.

Epilogue: And they sail off into the sunset...

And the PCs sail of into the killer waves determined to throw them onto the cliffs. Or use your godlike powers to make the waves peaceful for the PCs to get some good "and-they-sail-off-into-the-sunset" -ing. 

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Scrasamax
August 27, 2012, 8:41
Only voted
Voted Dossta
August 28, 2012, 13:26
As a five room dungeon, this works reasonably well. I love the Walk, as it represents a nice combination of combat and environmental hazards. I would probably try to get my players to run this one as a heist, however -- this would make a great setting for a high-security prison.

That said, there are a few points that could use improving. One, the orcs have a wizard on staff, yet the escape boat is guarded by illusions? If the orcs have been there for any time at all, they should have found that by now. Two, you said that the tunnel deown to the little boat has traps that will slow the orcs down more than the PCs. That can only be the case if the orcs have not discovered the tunnel already. Otherwise, they would have mapped the whole thing out or replaced the traps with some of their own making. Three, orcs aren't usually the type to wait quietly in the shadows on guard duty, while within their own stronghold. If you want to leave the shadowy guards, why not make them wizardly constructs, goblin slaves or at least orcish youth?

If I were going to use this dungeon layout, I would personally replace the orcs with something a bit more organized -- perhaps Naga or a religious cult -- and change the escape route slightly. Barrels worked in the Hobbit, after all. Why not something similar here?
August 28, 2012, 16:55
Thank you for the feedback.

Your first point, that of the orc wizard and the illusions- the wizard made those illusions to hide the dock. The escape boat was the orcs (they need something to go raid people and get food, supplies, etc). The traps were set by the orcs, and were to stop people coming from the dock to the library. I was thinking things in the nature of pit traps. They would slow the orcs down more than the PCs because the PCs would be to busy running than checking on traps, and would (probably) evade any traps they set off. As to the third thing, in my world orcs are smart and organized. If they aren't in yours, feel free making the monsters something a bit more organized.

And- Barrels? I know of The Hobbit, but I have never read it. What do barrels have to do with anything?
August 28, 2012, 19:04
Ah, so the orcs know about the boat and the back way out. If they are intelligent and organized, why would they let the PCs escape down a known exit route?

To clarify the barrels comment: In the Hobbit, the party is captured and detained in an underground facility. The only apparent way out is the Front Gate, which is heavily guarded. However, the hero finds that the elves keep a wine cellar that opens to an underground river, and that the elves occasionally send empty barrels back down-river. In other words, the party finds a service entrance/exit and exploits it to make their escape in secret.

If the boat is a known factor, and is used for mundane stuff like resupplying, then BAM -- you have your "barrels" exit. Other possibilities would be a garbage barge, or perhaps leaving under the guise of workers from outside. This is assuming, of course, that the PCs opted for the covert option.
August 28, 2012, 20:57
They don't let the PCs escape down a known escape route. They pursued them, didn't they? The tunnel leading to the boats is presumed to be opposite the ladder down to the ladder. The PCs would either be in the middle of the library, or by the tunnel (or maybe in some place nobody but a player could possibly think worth investigating), so the orcs couldn't possibly get between the PCs and the exit.

And yes, if the PCs want to be covert, then let them use the boat. But nobody knows about the boat, because of the illusion hiding the dock (and they leave at night), so they would have to reconnoiter the area at night to even have a chance of finding it.
Voted Agar
August 29, 2012, 4:33
As a general concept, it's ok. The name and air around it are catchy. One thing that is buggin the heck out of me are the guards funds. All that poker playing, but no one has any money? A bit of copper and a couple silvers is believable, but no cash at all? My orcs don't play "Friendly" games, maybe if they were wagering services, like duty shifts, latrine cleaning, I could understand.

Room2 Issues: Wizard high enough to block fireballs + competent and well supplied catapult crew = pain. There are just too many good spells to not make that encounter more dangerous. Invisible boulders alone are terrifying enough.

The traps on the way out slowing the orcs down is a real nagging point with me too. Their traps, their home, and they suffer? What kind of trap could that be? Pit traps would only slow the orcs down if they are less agile than the PCs and don't have a second way around. Also, where are the orcs at the docks? They apparently have expendable impoverish poker playing guards a plenty, no one thought to protect thier ride?
August 29, 2012, 10:51
The orcs are wagering bad jobs, like the duty shifts, latrine cleaning, and such. Or they don't have to play poker at all.

If you want to have some wizard in room 2 making the boulders invisible, go right ahead. My orc wizard is a bit lazy, and doesn't want to go to extremes to stop the intruders, and feels the walk and the boulders is enough. He just wants to make sure he lives, and so blocks attacks.

And the dock protection- they think that the illusions hiding the dock and the traps in the tunnel are enough. If you want to throw a couple of orcs in the dock, go right ahead. I just think that it might be unfair to the PCs to have to ready the boat, defend the dock from the horde coming down the tunnel, and kill a couple of orcs on the dock.

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