Room Two: Puzzle or Roleplaying Challenge - A trial that cannot be solved by steel alone.
To reach the Coldfire Urn for long enough to close it without being frozen to death or at least badly frostbitten, the PCs must travel through the snows to the Sorcery Springs Geyser Basin and collect the waters from a certain spring that lies near the centre of the geyser field. Because of the limited time that there is to close the Urn, there is no time to collect the proper permission from Queen Amber of Vallermoore or even the local noble of the area. Worse, when the PCs arrive at the entrance, they find it is guarded by several armed Rangers who tell the PCs that because of a recent earthquake the Basin is closed for two weeks whilst the boardwalks are repaired. The PCs will have to sneak in.
They may do so by day or by night. Whichever they chose when they find a way to climb over the ten-foot wall that encloses the basin (which should not be too hard to find a way over or under) they are met with a scene of desolation. The earthquake has shaken the entire area and the boardwalks are smashed into matchwood in many places. There are cracks torn in the ground in many places and steam flows from it. Crossing the area safely (unless magic such as levitation is used) will require a dexterity check by each PC. Failure will mean that a PC falls off the boardwalk and two dice must be rolled to see what happens as a result. What happens could be very nasty indeed.
2-The PC is unlucky enough to fall directly into a deep bubbling hot spring and is parboiled as a result. Unless healed by powerful magic, the luckless PC will be dead within fifteen minutes. Even if healed he or she will lose points off his or her stats permanently and will never fully recover from the horrible experience.
3-The PC burns his or her hip in the spring but escapes with a painful burn wound and a few points off his or her Hit Points, Stamina, or the equivalent.
4-The PC falls into warm water and escapes with a soaking. Any items he or she has that would be destroyed or severely damaged by being soaked eg spell scrolls, a map ect suffer that damage or destruction.
5-The PC falls into the warm water and gets his or her gender changed.
6-The PC falls into the runoff from the Geyser of Farseeing. The PC affected will find him or herself seeing not what is around them but what is ten miles away instead, so someone who drinks it ten miles away from a city will see what is in the city-meaning that he or she is effectively blind as far as seeing the way is but gifted with a kind of second sight.
7-Sticky quicksand. The PC when pulled out will have to leave his or her boots behind and will be covered in mud but otherwise unharmed. Very bad luck if they are magical boots.
8-No effect whatsoever, the PC gets lucky this time.
9-a mildly scalded foot, it will be painful and might slow the PC for a while but there is no further damage.
10-A leg turns into a horses leg and that will last for 1 D6 of hours. No other harm done but the PC will be unable whilst with a hoof instead of a foot to sneak up on anybody.
11-The PC swallows some magical water that makes him or her silent for one hour in real life although if the PC has something to write on passing notes to others is possible. No spells that require speech can be cast by that PC during that hour.
12-The PC is violently sick from swallowing some foul water.
For every five minutes that the PCs are in the area by day a dice must be rolled and on a 1 a Ranger sees them. The PCs have several options-they can fight, flee and come back by night, try and bribe the Ranger, or merely explain why they are there. If they fight he will blow on a whistle and summon 2 to 12 other Rangers to his defence. Each round that the fight goes on, the PCs must make a dexterity check. (See below) Magic cast in the area by day will alert the Rangers at once.
If they try and bribe the Ranger the GM should make the price high as the Rangers are dedicated to their duty of protecting the springs and are not just your average bored guards. If they fail to offer enough the Ranger will call for help and try and arrest them and they must either flee or fight. Since the Rangers are basically good people, any magical weapons that the PCs have who give a bonus when fighting against evil will not give that bonus. If the PCs win the fight they can loot the bodies of the Rangers and proceed. If they lose the by now enraged Rangers will kill them.
If they merely explain why they are there they will be taken to the Park Superintendent. Whilst at first sceptical if the PCs persist he will believe them and let them go to the spring.
If they decide to sneak in by night, first they will face a penalty when taking their dexterity tests and be more likely to fall off the boardwalks. Again, for every 5 minutes that the PCs are in the area a dice must be rolled, but this time on a 1 it will be a Geyser Ghost that sees the PCs. It will attack at once and if it wounds the PC three times consecutively it will possess him or her. There are only three ways to get it out of the possessed person-by killing the possessed person, by the water from a certain geyser, or by showing the possessed person a dead body, which it will then possess. Geyser Ghosts can only be harmed by magic or magical weapons.
When the PCs have reached and drunk from the spring they will be protected from the intense cold and will be able to carry on towards the Urn.
Winter. The final frontier. For who truly knows, if spring will ever come.
This months quest revolves around the concept of winter, in all its hoary splendor. Cold, death, decay, and torpid hibernation. Snow, ice, and frost. These are the ubiquitous images of the long, bleak season.
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